Are You Sure You Are A Gentile? Part Three

Continuing on with David Whitmer-

If you agree with him concerning his view that Joseph should not have restored the office of apostle to the earth, then you are on a slippery slope and ultimately, you may end up concluding that the other things he taught were true as well.

He has rejected many of the most important revelations that Joseph Smith received.

In fact, since virtually all of the canonized revelations have to do with the restored church, church protocol, gospel law, the establishment of Zion and priesthood keys, you would need to reject virtually all of the revelations in the D&C. Are you prepared to do that?

Here is a passage from section 84 given in September of 1832 being directed to the first laborers of the last kingdom that had been ordained High Priests.

62 Therefore, go ye into all the world; and unto whatsoever place ye cannot go ye shall send, that the testimony may go from you into all the world unto every creature.

63 And as I said unto mine apostles, even so I say unto you, for you are mine apostles, even God’s high priests; ye are they whom my Father hath given me; ye are my friends;

64 Therefore, as I said unto mine apostles I say unto you again, that every soul who believeth on your words, and is baptized by water for the remission of sins, shall receive the Holy Ghost

Needless to say, Whitmer rejected section 84 as a valid revelation from God didn’t he?

The Lord would never have made that declaration before June of 1831 because the office of High Priest had not been restored at the Morley Farm by then.

I’m sorry that David Whitmer lost faith in the greater part of the restoration movement of the 1820’s and 30’s, and was only able to testify of the divinity of the Book of Mormon, but I firmly believe that section 84 and other sections of the D&C are inspired and true.

If ever there was a true revelation from God, it would be section 84.

The modern revelations are true, even if Whitmer needed to reject them to keep his sanity.

Ironically, the Lord was addressing the leaders of the church when he gave the following warning in that same section of scripture-

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

55 Which vanity and unbelief have brought the whole church under condemnation.

56 And this condemnation resteth upon the children of Zion, even all.

57 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—

58 That they may bring forth fruit meet for their Father’s kingdom; otherwise there remaineth a scourge and judgment to be poured out upon the children of Zion.

As you can see, the Lord was upset with David Whitmer and many of the other early leaders of the church for taking the “former commandments” lightly… such as to live consecration, redeem Zion and to magnify their priesthood as an Apostle and a High Priest until they become clean and see the face of God, etc.

You see, David Whitmer’s hindsight observations led him to conclude that the spiritual phenomena and restoration of the Melchizedek priesthood at the special conference at the Morley Farm was all a deception. (If you are not familiar with the special conference at the Morley Farm you have missed out on the foundational and pivotal event that explains the context behind every section in the D&C from section 38 to 133. please click here to view the other half of LDS history that you have missed out on)

Whitmer had been doing missionary work for about two years BEFORE the Lord revealed that a special endowment of greater priesthood was now going to be bestowed at a special conference at the Morley Farm.

The announcement made in section 44 and other comments from Joseph Smith about the restoration of the Melchizedek priesthood perplexed David because he had previously assumed that the priesthood that he had been ordained with, that was restored by Peter James and John, was the highest priesthood there was.

When Joseph announced that the highest Melchizedek priesthood was restored for the first time in June of 1831 at the Morley farm, David and others were confused. It seemed like a contradiction to them because these brethren already thought they had the highest priesthood, from Peter James and John.

One thing led to another and eventually Whitmer and a group of other saints dissented.

They even tried to form a new church in Kirtland that failed. A few years later Whitmer tried again, unsuccessfully.

The reason I am spotlighting David Whitmer is not just because his views are often quoted and embraced by those who are trying to figure things out, it is because his views are representative of most of the gentile converts who apostatized during the early Kirtland era.

Did you realize that, according to some historians, nearly 50% of the gentile members of the church in Kirtland apostatized and left the Church between 1831 and 1839? About 30% of the leaders did as well.

Most of these people had similar doubts and issues that David had.

Many of the saints that left the church still believed the Book of Mormon just like David and Oliver did, they simply could not accept the fulness of all of the other things that Joseph was revealing and restoring.

As mentioned in previous posts, the real problem had to do with the tares being mingled among the wheat, making it impossible for the collective body of Christ to accomplish what they needed to. The spiritual gifts were therefore largely withheld.

David Whitmer and the early gentiles who apostatized in Kirtland were literally fulfilling the prophecy of Jesus Christ revealing that the gentiles would reject the fullness of the gospel.

Initially David went with the flow and allowed himself to be ordained a High Priest.

He even accepted his calling to go on a mission on the way to Jackson County. He then became the president of the church in Zion during the failed attempt to redeem Zion.

But after the discouraging attempt to redeem Zion, he had his falling out with Joseph and eventually rejected the whole experienced as a deception.

His soul became cankered toward the Seer and the Spokesman even while remaining true to his testimony of the Book of Mormon.

His mind became darkened against the work of God just as the Lord had indicated in section 84.

If you accept these same teachings of David Whitmer, how can your state of mind be any different than the darkened state of mind that David had?

It is difficult to understand exactly what all of David’s issues were at first.

We do know that he was among the twenty three originally ordained high priests.

We also know that he and most of the other high priests failed to see the face of God, which was promised to all of those who became pure before God.

That was a very difficult thing for many of them.

It was difficult to see people like Lyman Wight having the heavens opened and seeing the father and the Son while most of the quorum of High Priests struggled.

Jealousies crept into the church.

We also know that he felt highly threatened and jealous of the new-comer Sidney Rigdon who was getting much more adoration from the membership than the three witnesses to the book of Mormon and the other originating elders of the church.

The revelation to Sidney in section 35 was unbelievably gushing with incredible future promises and validation of Rigdon’s previous ministry.

David seemed to see Sidney as the cause of many of the problems in the church.

He claimed that Sidney had an unhealthy influence on Joseph and blamed the introduction of the various priesthoods into the church on Sidney.

Whatever the reasons, David eventually rebelled at the teaching that the church and the priesthoods had been restored.

He eventually found himself teaching that the only commandment that God had given Joseph Smith was to translate the Book of Mormon.

Yes, that is right, if you have decided to side doctrinally with David Whitmer, you may as well burn your doctrine and covenants because David rejected virtually everything of importance in it from the restoration of the church to the restoration of all three priesthoods, to the commandment to redeem Zion.

Years ago when I first read An Address to all believers in the Book of Mormon, I began to see the logic of what Whitmer was saying and I could see how people could be seduced into believing that Joseph should have been limited to just translating the Book of Mormon.

I had to reread many of the incredible, light filled revelations in the D&C to jolt myself back into the realization that Whitmer’s mind had been darkened and was denying modern revelation.

Think about the ramifications of what Whitmer was teaching!

He rejected the articles of the church in section 20 and the law of the gospel given in section 42. These were the two revelations that he and others of the early missionaries took with them during the first missionary campaigns.

He rejected section 29 containing the great secret of how the elect will be gathered BEFORE the wrath of God hits.

He rejected section 35 regarding the Rigdon ministry that Joseph and Oliver brought to light and the future calling of Rigdon.

He rejected section 38 regarding the commandment for the church to go to Kirtland to get the law of the gospel.

Section 43 on the law of succession,

45 containing invaluable insight on Matthew 24, section

59 revealing that Sunday is the true day of worship, section

64 prophesying that Kirtland only would be a stronghold for five more years and that the appointed time for the redemption of Zion would expire on September 11th 1836, the prophetic dream known as section

65 revealing that the keys of the Kingdom would need to be restored again to man on the earth,

76 revealing the plan of salvation and the three degrees of glory, section

84 revealing amazing things about the priesthood,

88 revealing how the first elders of the last kingdom would be called again to go forth for the last time and how the sequence of things would take place in the last generation of time,

93 on the eternal nature of light and the spirit of truth, etc,

01 and 103 providing the parable of the redemptions of Zion and how that would take place, etc. etc. etc.

The list goes on and one… he rejected all of the great infusions of light coming forth from Gods latter day prophet!

Again, I am spotlighting the views of David Whitmer not because I want to pick on him, rather, because he is really the poster child of the latter day gentile apostasy that Christ prophesied about..

Many of the views of David Whitmer were the personification of most of the other early gentiles who left the church.

Nearly 50% of the gentile Church apostatized in Kirtland because they ultimately decided they could not accept the further light, knowledge and priesthood keys that followed the translation of the Book of Mormon, let alone consecration.

These gentiles were fulfilling the prophecy given by Christ in 3rd Nephi!

They were accepting the Book of Mormon and parts of the gospel, but they were rejecting the fullness of the gospel!

This is why there were so few documented events pertaining to the full baptism of water, fire and Holy Ghost during the 15 year ministry of the prophet Joseph Smith. The gentiles just could not embrace the fullness.

It is the same David Whitmer mindset along with many misinterpreted passages of scripture in the Book of Mormon that has infected many LDS seekers who don’t know how to interpret the string of failures in the restored church and the awful situation the restored church finds itself in today!

Why is it that so many people begin to embrace the teachings of David Whitmer after they begin to realize that the church is in apostasy?

In part, it is because they misinterpret many of the passages in the Book of Mormon.

Do the Gentiles Reject or Accept the Gospel?

I want to review two sets of passages in the book of Mormon that initially appear to contradict each other.

After one realizes that they are referring to two separate and distinct events, that take place in two different and distinct time periods, it all makes sense.

However it is common to get the chronology of these events backwards.

I am going to review these two passages in an effort to highlight what I think is a large part of the disconnect is, with people who turn against the gentiles.

Many of them refuse to believe that the Marvelous Work is yet a future event. If they get the chronology of events wrong, it is easy to see why they reject the Marvelous Work as a future event.

The Gentiles will REPENT and ACCEPT the fullness of the Gospel

The following passage tells us that in the latter days the gentiles will repent and accept the fullness of the gospel-

Behold, I have written upon these plates the very things which the brother of Jared saw; and there never were greater things made manifest than those which were made manifest unto the brother of Jared. Wherefore the Lord hath commanded me to write them; and I have written them. And he commanded me that I should seal them up.. For the Lord said unto me: They [the sealed portion] shall not go forth unto the Gentiles until the day that they shall repent of their iniquity, and become clean before the Lord.

And in that day that they shall exercise faith in me, saith the Lord, even as the brother of Jared did, that they may become sanctified in me, then will I manifest unto them the things which the brother of Jared saw, even to the unfolding unto them all my revelations, saith Jesus Christ, the Son of God, the Father of the heavens and of the earth, and all things that in them are.

The gentiles will REJECT the fullness fo the gospel

This passage indicates that he gentiles will reject the fullness of the gospel-

” 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… I will bring the fulness of my gospel from among them.

Ok, so which passage is correct?

Do the latter day gentiles sin against the gospel as prophesied by Christ in 3rd Nephi or do they repent and become clean before the Lord and accept the fullness of the gospel as prophesied by Moroni in the book of Ether?

The obvious answer to this is that both prophetic statements are true.

They simply speak of different events that take place at different times in the last days.

It is true that the latter day gentiles do collectively sin and reject the fullness of the gospel AND it is true that the righteous among the latter day gentiles eventually repent and accept the fullness of the gospel and become clean before the Lord.

The real issue to be addressed, is, which prophetic event comes first, the repentance or the apostasy?

Many Mormons have been conditioned to assume that the repenting of the gentiles took place at the time Joseph Smith restored the church and that the ultimate rejection of the gentiles is something that eventually takes place sometime before the second coming.

In other words, the church begins as a righteous organization that successfully embraces the fullness of the Gospel with very few if any real problems and then, through the process of many generations, it eventually rejects the gospel.

Hence, many people are looking critically at the church right now wondering if they have rejected the fullness of the gospel yet, fulfilling the prophecy given by Christ.

This is why most Mormons think we have been in the dispensation of the fullness of times ever since the restoration of the church four generations ago and that the next phase will be the “fullness of the gentiles” when they think the gentiles will finally reject the fullness of the gospel.

This is incorrect!!!!!

A careful analysis of the passages above will verify that the true sequence is actually reversed!

The first event was not the repentance of the gentiles; it was their rejection of the fullness of the gospel back at the time of Joseph Smith.

The second event that takes place among the believing gentiles, just prior to the second coming is not apostasy, it is repentance and redemption. (yes it is true that the unbelieving gentiles will reject it, but the believing ones repent!)

Notice how the passages from Christ in 3rd Nephi associate the rejection of the gospel with the time that the gentile nation smites and afflicts and slays the descendants of Lehi-

9 And because of the mercies of the Father unto the Gentiles, and also the judgments of the Father upon my people who are of the house of Israel, verily, verily, I say unto you, that after all this, and I have caused my people who are of the house of Israel to be smitten, and to be afflicted, and to be slain, and to be cast out from among them, and to become hated by them, and to become a hiss and a byword among them—

10 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.

11 And then will I remember my covenant which I have made unto my people, O house of Israel, and I will bring my gospel unto them. [as show in previous posts, this was fulfilled shortly after the dispensation of the gospel of Abraham was restored in 1836]

As you can see, “That day” when the gentiles reject the fullness of the gospel is NOT referring to the last generation of time spoken of in Matthew 24, it is speaking of a previous time, when the book of Mormon first comes forth.

It is speaking about a time when the descendants of Lehi are smitten and afflicted by the gentiles in the 1830-40’s. (trail of tears, etc.)

The affliction of the descendants of Lehi happened primarily during the LDS restoration movement.

It is also speaking of a time when the restored church begins a new missionary effort to the house of Israel after the Lord remembers the covenant of Abraham that he had previously made with his people in Old Testament times!

Ok, now let’s look closer at the words of Moroni-

The Gentiles will repent and accept the fullness of the Gospel

4 Behold, I have written upon these plates the very things which the brother of Jared saw; and there never were greater things made manifest than those which were made manifest unto the brother of Jared.

5 Wherefore the Lord hath commanded me to write them; and I have written them. And he commanded me that I should seal them up; and he also hath commanded that I should seal up the interpretation thereof; wherefore I have sealed up the interpreters, according to the commandment of the Lord.

6 For the Lord said unto me: They [the greater things in the sealed portion] shall not go forth unto the Gentiles until the day that they shall repent of their iniquity, and become clean before the Lord.

7 And in that day that they shall exercise faith in me, saith the Lord, even as the brother of Jared did, that they may become sanctified in me, then will I manifest unto them the things which the brother of Jared saw, even to the unfolding unto them all my revelations, saith Jesus Christ, the Son of God, the Father of the heavens and of the earth, and all things that in them are.

8 And he that will contend against the word of the Lord, let him be accursed; and he that shall deny these things, let him be accursed; for unto them will I show no greater things, saith Jesus Christ; for I am he who speaketh.

Clearly, the time when the gentiles finally repent is not when the unsealed portion of the Book of Mormon came forth four generations ago, but rather it will be when the sealed portion comes forth in the future!

As you can see, the prophecy made by Christ and the prophecy made by Moroni do not contradict each other, they simply speak of two different events that take place at two different times.

In fact they provide the proper sequence of events pertaining to the role of the latter day gentiles.

First, in the 2nd watch, the restored church would bring forth a portion of the record of the Nephites and then collectively stumble and ultimately reject the fullness of the gospel.

This would necessitate that something new be done for the salvation of the church.

Hence, the restoration of the gospel of Abraham (as documented in section 110) then the commission to take the preparatory gospel to the nations of the world (as documented in the words of Joseph Smith and also section 112).

This made possible the grafting in of additional branches of the house of Israel from foreign nations to keep the tree alive as revealed in the parable in Jacob.

Many generations later in the 3d watch, the Lord would do a Marvelous Work and a Wonder among the gentiles in the 3rd watch and the righteous gentiles will repent and become clean.

Now for the rest of the story regarding the identity of
The Gentiles and the House of Israel

To be continued…

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15 Responses to Are You Sure You Are A Gentile? Part Three

  1. Cam says:

    This is younger dude, aka rooch, now just cam.
    Have a few thoughts about some of this stuff.

    I first came across whitmers stuff a few years back through this blog, I think. I felt a very powerful spirit when talking about some of whitmer’s ideas while with a friend. I think/hope it was a good spirit. I have been rereading it recently. I don’t know that everything he said was correct, but I do feel you do not give fair representation to some of what he said.

    You say-
    “Years ago when I first read An Address to all believers in the Book of Mormon, I began to see the logic of what Whitmer was saying and I could see how people could be seduced into believing that Joseph should have been limited to just translating the Book of Mormon.

    I had to reread many of the incredible, light filled revelations in the D&C to jolt myself back into the realization that Whitmer’s mind had been darkened and was denying modern revelation.”

    Whitmer did say that jospeh should pretend no other gift, which is consistent with the d&c, which whitmer quotes at many points to prove his points. You paint a picture like he rejected everything in the d&c. He didn’t. He just stated that some revelations come from man, some from god, and others from the devil. He stated that they were not in err about everything when it came to the church. He stated that as long as joseph was humble he recieved good revelation, and when he wasn’t he was answered according to the desires of his heart. Maybe whitmer did deny some modern revelation, but he certainly did not completely reject the revelations in the d&c.

    But my point in this is not that whitmer was correct or should be defended. I just feel the same way about some things he said, maybe my mind is darkened, maybe not. I don’t feel like the d&c is all wrong, I just don’t know that it is all right, or all relevant. Or perhaps some of it is law given those who need to be led like the children of israel were.

    My point in this is that it is all very confusing to me. I would like to say that I didn’t care what happened back in the early church days, and that its all too confusing and complicated, and that God will lead me where I need to go, and I can just leave it alone. But I keep coming back to it. I don’t even know if it is that relevant to my life, but I really wish it did make more sense. Ususally when we are seeking to “know” something there is an underlying brokeness that is driving the search, and often what we need is not more knowledge but more love to heal the brokeness. That is probably the case for me right now.

    But still,I’m curious, I search it out, and its all too damn complicated. That is the appeal of whitmer’s writings. He is also the only recent church authority I can recall saying that we should serve god in love and not fear. Or give discourses about the importance of charity. Or about not relying on the arm of flesh (including his own). Or talking about how easily we are led on in the persuasions of men. Those things ring true to me, whether or not whitmer was in error.

    What are we to make of all this mess? Where does that leave us? I don’t buy into all your ideas and theories, they are much too complicated and dependant on being learned and having time to search unfulfilling mysteries. They remind me of that scripture in jacob about the jews searching for things they can’t understand. But I have felt a good spirit in a general nature about your searching for truth and I feel like you have come across many good things.

    I don’t even know why I am writing this. I guess I feel like there are so few who are searching these things out in this way. I feel a certain kinship and bond with you even though I don’t know that I agree with a lot of what you write. And not to mention I have never met you before.

    Could it be that its something we have missed entirely?

    What if there is a simple answer? What if there is some serious truth to what whitmer said? What if all this complicated stuff about the priesthood that no one understands came because of men wanting positions and callings? Why IS IT NOT SIMPLE?! I feel like it should be, and when we finally discover it, it will be. Maybe we can admit for now that we have not found it?

    I have felt that God just wants to love his children, and heal them. I don’t know what to make of everything else. I feel that Jesus is real and good and powerful beyond measure. I feel that something very amazing and powerful happened in the early history of the church, and that God is very pleased with the faith that many of those early saints exhibited. I feel that Joseph Smith did amazing things, and I sense something amazing about the book of mormon. And I also have felt the spirit that the gospel is supposed to be plain and simple and full of power and love and the ability to heal the most broken places. I feel like God is going to do great and marvelous things in the future.

    What are we missing? Where do we turn for truth? How do we know when we get it? Can we maybe admit that we just don’t know, and for all of our searching we are still in darkness? I told God last night that I want to be a part of the gospel that heals all the brokeness. Thats the one I want. And maybe thats why some of whitmers words appeal so much to me – it just seems simpler.

    But anyway, I guess this is my way of saying hello again. I have had lots interesting/good/crazy/loving/painful experiences the last few years. I sense some kind of goodness about all this stuff you are searching out watcher. I feel a bond. You helped me out when I first discovered that not everything was black and white in church. And I feel a genuine sense of your willingness to reject conventional wisdom and the ideas of men when you feel its right. There is something really refreshing about that.

    Anywho, I hope things are going well.

  2. Cam-

    It is great to hear from you again.

    I totally understand your feelings about Whitmer. There are many who feel the same way you do about what he had to say… and he really does make a lot of sense. And he does a good job of simplifying the gospel.

    My number one priority of this blog is to get people to search the scriptures and the history of the church and to use their mind and their heart under the power and influence of the Holy Ghost in discerning what the truth is.

    I love your desire to ponder and to know the truth for yourself and I respect the fact that you are not going to just blindly accept someone elses point of view. (more specifically, mine, in this particular case.)

    Since you have responded and brought this topic up and since you have suggested that I may have been too hard and Brother David and that my interpretation of the events of LDS history may be skewed and that I may be dismissing the simplicity of the gospel, I would like to respond.

    My response, believe it or not, is not with the intent to change your mind as much as to use this opportunity to reiterate and clarify to other readers of this blog why I feel the way I do.

    Your comment is actually very timely. Just the other night I felt impressed to read another interesting pamphlet which was similar to David Whitmers.

    Did you know that Oliver Cowdery also published a pamphlet or letter, just like Whitmer did?

    It was titled, “A Defense of My Grounds for Separating Myself from the Latter Day Saints”

    Some people speculate that it was an imposter that wrote it, not Cowdery.

    Nobody really knows for sure.

    Assuming he did write it, it is interesting because in it, he makes some of the same declarations that his brother in law and fellow witness of the Book of Mormon, David Whitmer made.

    As I recall, he said he did not believe in the priesthoods that were later revealed in the church, or at least that they were necessary for salvation, etc.

    It seems like he said that he no longer believed that there was only one true church, etc.

    Frankly, if you take the things that David and Oliver said, at face value, then they really were rejecting most of the foundational doctrines that modern revelation was founded on.

    Although I did pick on David Whitmer in my blog and refer to him as a poster child for the gentiles, the truth of the matter is that Oliver Cowdery and MANY others of the early kirtland saints rejected the “greater things”

    I don’t know if you ever read the series on the Morley Farm, but if you did not, you really should!

    It provides lots of information pertaining to the highest priesthood and the highest endowment that was offered to the church and ultimately rejected by the ENTIRE CHURCH.

    the fact of the matter is that I DO BELIEVE IN A VERY SIMPLISTIC GOSPEL, JUST LIKE WHITMER DID.

    But the simplistic gospel I believe in was revealed at the Morley Farm and in the scriptures.

    It is very simple.

    We must be spiritually born again via priesthood authority.

    As John the Baptist said to the Jews-

    “I indeed baptize you with water unto repentance: but he that cometh after me is mightier than I, whose shoes I am not worthy to bear: he shall baptize you with the Holy Ghost, and with fire:”

    My simple contention is that the restored church of the gentiles had the baptism of water fire and holy ghost offered to them beginning at the special conference at the Morley Farm and during a short period afterwards but they ultimately rejected it… just as Christ had prophesied in 3rd Nephi they would.

    David, Oliver and virtually the whole gentile church rejected the FULNESS.. even the “greater things” spoken of int he BofM.

    Now then, I am not saying that David and Oliver and all of the others have missed out on salvation.

    Indeed, Christ prophesied that the gentiles would have the opportunity to repent after the knowledge of the fulness of the gospel goes to the house of Israel.

    I believe that David and Oliver and many others will return and repent in the 3rd watch.

    They will be valiant in their testimonies of the Book of Mormon and they will accept the greater things also.

    Interestingly, in a letter from Oliver to David, Oliver said-

    “Let the Lord vindicate our characters, and cause our testimony to shine, and then will men be saved in his kingdom” (Oliver Cowdery to David Whitmer, July 28, 1847, Ensign of Liberty, 1:92).

    May that prayer be answered I pray in the name of Jesus Christ

    Again, it is great to hear from you Cam.

    Watcher

  3. Cam says:

    I feel a good spirit about some of what you say. I was talking with my brother tonight, and there is something weird about whtimers justification for separating, for sure. There is a strange spirit there that I can’t put my finger on, maybe you are right about some of the specifics. But to the degree he does genuinely point people to jesus, is a good spirit. But yeah it feels like there is something missing or off in his words. I can’t actually finish the whole thing for that reason.

    I can’t finish the morley farm series I feel for that same reason.

    Its almost like I feel the answer isn’t the important thing. Lets say we figure it all out, and have the perfect answer, then what? We have our reward. Do we want the answers, to be right, or do we want love?

    I guess its true you can have all knowledge, but if you don’t have charity, it profits you nothing. Maybe its all just beside the point, yeah?

    Interesting experience – I went and watched the new Joseph Smith movie on temple square and felt such an overwhelming loving spirit. I just felt so much love for the early saints and for Joseph Smith. I felt a piece of the intense love God felt for everything the did and for the work they accomplished. And its like I understood more about church history in that feeling than I did in all of my days of searching for answers. Its like the love clarified so much confusion. And I didn’t feel like I got any answers to specifics, just that the lord feels so much love for his people, and that we have little appreciation for the faith of early saints. It was a cool feeling. And I didn’t feel like the were perfect or didn’t make serious mistakes, it was just the feeling if you don’t grasp the love you don’t get anything.

  4. Love is certainly central to the whole plan and purpose.. No question about that.

    I can’t remember if I have seen the new JS movie.. how long has it been out?

    Have you seen 17 Miracles Yet?

    In the story line the “brethren” decide to have a group of saints travel to “Zion” late in the year and the handcart company lost a lot of people to the bad weather. the main character in the story (which was a true story) had warned the brethren and the saints that it was not a good time for the hand cart company to leave and he was ridiculed and chastised by the leaders for questioning the decisions of the brethren even though he was obedient in following them.

    One couple who had delayed getting married so they could be sealed in the temple in Zion never made it because the guy died on the way there.

    As I watched the movie I was really conflicted because on the one hand I was disgusted with the uninspired decisions of the brethren and the pressure they put on the saints to not question authority and also the idolatry of following the brethren without thinking, and of delaying a marriage ceremony just to have it sealed by a masonic ritual, etc.

    On the other hand, as I said to Mrs. Watcher, I would have been with that hand cart company making all of those same mistakes because of a lack of knowledge AND because of my love of the gospel and my testimony of the book of Mormon, etc.

    20/20 hindsight…

    Love, Faith, Sacrifice… how do those things fit into the context of knowledge.

    was Joseph Smith right when he said we could get saved no faster than we can get knowledge?

    Such things to ponder…

    Is it not the intent of our hearts that we will be judged for?

  5. Cam says:

    Hmmm… I am not sure I have ever liked that quote about being saved as fast as we can get knowledge. That, to me, contradicts several scriptures that I love, ones that say things like if you don’t have charity you can’t enter the kingdom of heaven. I don’t know what Joseph meant by that, but it seems an open door for idolatrous worship of wisdom and learning.

    Especially when you consider that God likes to describe himself as love. God is love. Why can’t we say that you are only saved as fast as you can grow in love? That sounds better. And what good is any knowledge without love? And aren’t we to be restored to whatever state of love and mercy we attain? I’m not sure knowledge can save. I think Jesus can save, because He is love. Maybe we need the knowledge that can only be found through love.

    No, haven’t seen 17 miracles, hoping to see that soon. I don’t know how long the JS movie has been out. Its based on the restoration movie that came before it, with the same actors, but they took out a bunch of stuff and added new stuff.

    Yeah, its interesting, the good feeling I felt while watching that movie was not a feeling of all is well in zion. Actually, it was quite the opposite – it was a feeling of how important it is that we have faith like they did, the kind of faith that produced all of the amazing outpourings of the spirit that occurred. It was a feeling that I too wanted to stand for love and for God at any cost, and make no excuse for the darkness that we seem to be in today. It was weird, it was a feeling of love for all that happened, but with that, a desire to not make any excuses for all the errors that we seem to have fallen into, and to take up my cross like they did, and not bow down to babylon or authority or anything that stands in the way of God’s love. But on the whole I felt so much of the love that God felt for those people, and how important their sacrifices were, and how difficult it was to bring even a little light into a world of darkness.

  6. I guess we can agree on the importance of love and agree to disagree on the importance of knowledge.

    There are just so many passages that speak of the importance of knowledge. Here are just a few that come to mind besides the one previously discussed that you don’t feel good about-

    Jesus told his accusers to “Search the scriptures; for in them ye think ye have eternal life: and they are they which testify of me. And ye will not come to me, that ye might have life.”

    Jesus was defining what true scripture is. It is the passages that testify of Christ. I believe he was telling them they had misunderstood the scriptures, yet the scriptures did provide very important “knowledge” about who God is and that saving knowledge is essential.

    Also, the Lord said, through Hosea that “My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge”

    That seems pretty straight forward to me.

    He continues- “because thou hast rejected knowledge, I will also reject thee, that thou shalt be no priest to me: seeing thou hast forgotten the law of thy God, I will also forget thy children”

    That of course brings up the topic of the LAW which would bring up a whole new dimension of this topic and discussion… but the scriptures are very clear that there is a law that must be lived to be saved and it takes knowledge to know what the law is. In fact, your supposition that love is important and knowledge is not, was determined based on your own knowledge… how ironic!

    Interestingly, the foundational principle of the law, is LOVE and yet, there is clearly more to the law than love unless, as suggested, love is synonymous with pure knowledge.

    modern revelation informs us that

    “Whatever principle of intelligence we attain unto in this life, it will rise with us in the resurrection.
    And if a person gains more knowledge and intelligence in this life through his diligence and obedience than another, he will have so much the advantage in the world to come.
    There is a law, irrevocably decreed in heaven before the foundations of this world, upon which all blessings are predicated—
    And when we obtain any blessing from God, it is by obedience to that law upon which it is predicated.”

    Is it possible that “pure eternal love” and “pure eternal knowledge” are very closely related if not exactly the same thing and that they encompass all other good traits?

    Notice how profoundly section 93 (the section on light and love) intertwines the importance of keeping commandments (which requires knowledge) with the concepts of light and truth.

    The Spirit of truth is of God. I am the Spirit of truth, and John bore record of me, saying: He received a fulness of truth, yea, even of all truth;
    And no man receiveth a fulness unless he keepeth his commandments.
    He that keepeth his commandments receiveth truth and light, until he is glorified in truth and knoweth all things.
    Man was also in the beginning with God. Intelligence, or the light of truth, was not created or made, neither indeed can be.
    All truth is independent in that sphere in which God has placed it, to act for itself, as all intelligence also; otherwise there is no existence.
    Behold, here is the agency of man, and here is the condemnation of man; because that which was from the beginning is plainly manifest unto them, and they receive not the light.
    And every man whose spirit receiveth not the light is under condemnation.
    For man is spirit. The elements are eternal, and spirit and element, inseparably connected, receive a fulness of joy;
    34 And when separated, man cannot receive a fulness of joy.
    35 The elements are the tabernacle of God; yea, man is the tabernacle of God, even temples; and whatsoever temple is defiled, God shall destroy that temple.
    36 The glory of God is intelligence, or, in other words, light and truth.
    37 Light and truth forsake that evil one.

    Clearly, intelligence light and truth are essential and cannot be obtained without knowledge… and yet, I would submit that light and truth are closely related to love if not the same thing…

    The last scripture that comes to my feeble mind is this one

    And unto every kingdom is given a law; and unto every law there are certain bounds also and conditions.
    All beings who abide not in those conditions are not justified.
    For intelligence cleaveth unto intelligence; wisdom receiveth wisdom; truth embraceth truth; virtue loveth virtue; light cleaveth unto light; mercy hath compassion on mercy and claimeth her own; justice continueth its course and claimeth its own; judgment goeth before the face of him who sitteth upon the throne and governeth and executeth all things.

    Again, I would suggest that pure love is closely associated with if not synonymous with pure light and intelligence and pure light and intelligence is closely related to, if not synonymous with pure knowledge.

    I do think that I tend to get way to bogged down in facts and technicalities in my blog posts and I over analyze things when they really can be simplified, but I still think that knowledge is just as important and possibly even the same as love if you drill down deep enough in the eternal context.

    Babylon calls… I must go.

    Thank you for visiting

  7. Cam says:

    Yeah, you do make some good points. I feel the spirit of a lot of those scriptures.

    Side note: I found that book that you love – Joseph’s Kirtland – here in the church history library. I read about some of the pentecostal events during that period – amazing stuff. I wonder why I didn’t hear more about that growing up. Angels, heavenly choirs, people seeing God left and right. Is that what we are missing out on?

    And, as this is a post about Whitmer, I wonder why he felt to say in his pamphlet that the gifts of the spirit were strongest before the church was formally organized. I don’t know that it could get much more powerful than in kirtland. Was he there? Did he forget?

    Anywho, tell Mrs. Watcher hello for me.

  8. “And, as this is a post about Whitmer, I wonder why he felt to say in his pamphlet that the gifts of the spirit were strongest before the church was formally organized. I don’t know that it could get much more powerful than in kirtland. Was he there? Did he forget?”

    What a great observation/question.

    I wish I knew the answer.

    In my opinion what Lyman Wight experienced at the Morley Farm in 1831 is significantly greater that what happened at the dedication of the temple.

    Perhaps Whitmer was referring to what the three witnesses experienced when they saw the angel saw the plates and heard the voice of God, etc. before the legal organization of the church.

    Also, there were numerous miracles of healing and prophecy that accompanied and motivated many of the early conversions

  9. Cam says:

    Gotta put up a scrip in defense of love –

    2 And though I have the gift of prophecy, and understand all mysteries, and all knowledge; and though I have all faith, so that I could remove mountains, and have not charity, I am nothing.

    3 And though I bestow all my goods to feed the poor, and though I give my body to be burned, and have not charity, it profiteth me nothing.

    4 Charity suffereth long, and is kind; charity envieth not; charity vaunteth not itself, is not puffed up,

    5 Doth not behave itself unseemly, seeketh not her own, is not easily provoked, thinketh no evil;

    6 Rejoiceth not in iniquity, but rejoiceth in the truth;

    7 Beareth all things, believeth all things, hopeth all things, endureth all things.

    8 Charity never faileth; but whether there be prophecies, they shall fail; whether there be tongues, they shall cease; whether there be knowledge, it shall vanish away.

    9 For we know in part, and we prophesy part.

    10 But when that which is perfect is come, then that which is in part shall be done away.

    11 When I was a child, I spake as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child; but when I became a man, I put away childish things.

    12 For now we see through a glass, darkly; but then face to face; now I know in part; but then shall I know even as also I am known.

    13 And now abideth faith, hope, charity, these three; but the greatest of these is charity.

    I think we may have to agree to disagree. Knowledge just isn’t as cool.

  10. The Glider says:

    I don’t even think you need to agree to disagree – I think the different focus in complimentary….I, too, crave simplicity, and I think that is found in Love. Love that the Father and Son have for us, and that love we give away (referring to the verses on Charity above.) It’s the essence of the second great commandment by which we obey the first as well, a la Matthew 25 and King Benjamin.

    But I also think that another facet of loving our God is being able to understand and thereby honor our Father for the beauty and glory and completeness and wholeness of his actions and intentions.

    I love my wife, and because of that I do all that I can to fulfill her wishes and desires. I don’t always understand where those come from. Sometimes she asks me to do things and I just don’t get the ‘why,’ but because I love her, I do it anyway (these instances usually have to do with interacting with our kids.) I trust her, and by obeying her desires, I show her that trust/love. Now, as I come to understand where she was coming from (from studying the situation and all of the different variables and inputs, and asking her to clarify things that I don’t understand), and how all the different circumstances led her to ask me to behave in a certain way – juggling the needs and wants of a husband, four kids, a dog, the chickens, and the crazy world we live in – the love I feel for her, and the honor which I give her, becomes even more profound through that understanding. But I love her even without that understanding, there are some things after 23 years that I still don’t get, but those things I do ‘get’ demonstrate to me even better the love that we have for each other.

    These are just the thoughts I had as I read your comments to each other. Knowledge, understanding, light, truth, LOVE, God – all just different facets of the same eternity.

  11. “But I also think that another facet of loving our God is being able to understand and thereby honor our Father for the beauty and glory and completeness and wholeness of his actions and intentions.”

    I agree. If you truly love somebody or something, it is a natural tedency and desire to want to learn more about it or them. You want to gain a greater knowledge.

    If we love God, then we want to learn more about him. We want to please him. We want to learn more about his attributes. We want to learn more about how to become more like him.

    If our creator desires us to gain knowledge and understanding and tells us to keep his commandments and his laws, it is love that powers our desire to obey him. And it is his love for us that motivates him to tell us what is best for us and to assure us that our acquisition of knowledge is best for us in the eternal scheme of things.

    Furthermore, I still maintain that love and light (which is intellegence and knowlege) are ultimately the same. Everyone who acquires a fulness of love will have a fulness of knowledge and visa versa, hence, it isn’t a matter of two competing attributes or chosing which is important, but rather two attributes that appear to be different but, when they reach their fulness, they are the same.

    Perhaps my passionate desire to acquire an understanding and knowledge of things pertaining to the gospel and the restoration movement simply means that I am at a place in my progression where that is resonating with me and is what I need to focus on. Perhaps Cam is at a place in his progress where the simplicity of the gospel and the importance of love is what is resonating with him andand focusing on that is of upmost importance to him.

    Is one or the other more important at the exclusion of the other?

    I contend that ultimately, if you acquire the fulness of one of them, you will also acquire the fulness of the other. A fulness of love embrassed all knowledge and understanding. A fulness of light, intelligence and knowledge embrasses all love.

  12. Cam says:

    Yeah, I would like to say its just a matter of semantics, maybe we area all saying the same thing, maybe it all ends up in the same place, etc. But that is not how it feels to me. I don’t think it is a matter of semantics. I think God wants to proclaim very bodly that love is the whole, that there is nothing else, and that until you find that healing grace, nothing else matters, not even a little bit. And not some kind of fluffy superfluous healing, but the raw depth of healing atonement, the kind that binds up the brokeness at the deepest level.

    This is how I see it – at a very deep level we are broken, broken and beat down and in bondage more than we can appreciate. We are hurting in ways that we don’t even realize. We have scars and pain and doubts and fears that are so deeply rooted we have just learned to live with them and accept them as part of life. From the day we are born we are slowly beat into submission by every facet of babylon, taught to compete, taught that our worth is conditional, taught that god’s love is conditional, taught to endlessly compare ourselves to others, taught that we are not good enough, taught that we must earn our right to live and eat food, taught to take from others for our own gain, taught to stress and worry to achieve success, taught to play the game or else we will be denied every thing that we think we need to be happy. We are taught to fear what others think, because others hold our happiness in their hands. It is ingrained on the deepest level that people will use the things you love the most against you if you do not give them what they want. That is the substance and structure of babylon. It is hell.

    My point being, it really is all meaningless until we start to find some kind of balm for the wounds that scar us at the deepest levels. Its not that the other things we say or pursue or discuss aren’t valid in their own way, its just that they are beside the point. I think God is going to reveal to people their own brokeness in a way that we have not seen before. And that there is a power that God has, that goes beyond the superficial, goes beyond the mere discussion of principles and ideas, and penetrates right to heart of the problem, and heals the sickness at the source. It is something poweful and beautiful, the kind of thing I think that Christ meant when he said he wants us to be converted so that he may heal us.

    I think we are searching for many things, but at the heart of this searching is a longing, a deep longing to connect with the love that only a truly loving father could give us. The longing to be like children again, and to be wrapped up in the arms of some loving being who will heal us at the deepest level. Its not something we can pay lip service to. The brokeness that we have is the source of every pain and every bit of hell that we experience in this world. It is not something that God pays lip service to either. When the Lord speaks about wanting to heal us, there is nothing more sacred or holy or more important to Him than just that.

    We are like the abused child, ever fearing the hand of God that it is just another manipulative ploy to extract something from us in return for pain and misery. It is the thing that causes us to run endlessly in fear. I believe that a lot of the things that we talk about and research and discuss hint at that, and point us toward that, but that also they illuminate how much we are running from our brokeness. And I have known and sensed this brokeness in myself, and I sense and see it in every person that I know. It runs us and drives us. It seems like no one has escaped the effects of our babylonian upbringing.

    And that to me, is the missing puzzle piece. Zion is not to be estalished on knowledge or any other principle. It is to be built on love, and not the kind of love we know, but God’s love, which is His power. Zion can only start to be when the brokeness is healed at the deepest levels. Because babylon is born from the brokeness. You can restore every truth and principle that you like, but until the actual scars and wounds that cause us to hurt eachother are healed you will not find Zion.

    All of our searching is important, it is part of our path. But I just want to make the point that much of our searching serves the point of letting us run ourselves ragged, letting us search until we are so tired and beat down that we finally give up on all our idols and let God in. We are running. Its not that the running is wrong. Its just a symptom, an indicator. They are trying to tell us something.

    And for every blog that I have ever read or written, that point keeps being hammered home. We are running from a God that we do not completely trust.

    And so no, I don’t think that knowledge is the same thing, at least not on the level we understand what knowledge is. And that is all beside the point anyway. The call of Jesus is to be converted so that we may be healed. Complex structures of thoughts, opinions, ideas, scriptures, or philosophies cannot heal the brokeness. Knowledge cannot heal the brokeness. It may flow out of the healing, but it is not the source of the healing. It may point to the source of healing, but that process of healing is something entirely its own, born out of the deepest and most unfathomable depths of love.

    I just get frustrated because for every thing I ever think I learn, or for every convincing opinion I read, for every construct of God that I have ever built, it has not taken away the pain. Some of it has given me hope, and has pointed me in the right direction. But there is always something missing, and I can sense and feel my brokeness in very real ways. And I also sense and feel that God wants me to stop running. But I also sense that he is okay with my running, because I need to get it out of my system. He knows I will stop running eventually, because there will be nowhere left to run to. That is the point I want to get to, but also the point I am franticly trying to avoid. It is the point of loss of control, but of freedom through healing.

    Thats some of my thoughts on the matter. Hope that clarifies some of why I feel the way I do.

  13. We seem to be going around in circles here and it is probably because you don’t understand or believe that the remedy for the brokenness you speak of is not available at this time.

    The whole point of my two blogs is that the fulness of the gospel provides the complete baptism of water fire and the holy ghost which is what heals our “brokeness” and makes us a new creature of the holy ghost… enjoying the fulness of the father which encompasses a fulness of every good gift and attribute including love and knowledge and everything else.

    You are feeling broken and frustrated because you have not yet been born again… period.

    My personal opinion, is that the fulness of the gospel which has the solution to the problem you speak of is not on the earth at this time.

    When it returns, those who embrace the light of the fulness of the gospel will be born again and healed.

    until then, everyone will continue to experience some level of brokenness.

    If you believe the solution is on the earth right now that is fine… please share with us where it is and who has obtained it.

  14. Cam says:

    Im not in disagreement with any of that above post. I think I make it pretty damn clear that I have not found the solution, that I am still broken. Thats exactly my point. We desperately need God to heal us. Not more knowledge. And sure, as far as I am aware, the fullness isn’t here. I don’t disagree.

    But we do disagree on something … what is it? Maybe its that I believe we have the ability, through excercising faith born of love, to call down the powers of heaven on our behalf. That maybe the only reason the saving power of the fullness of the gospel isn’t here is because of our unbelief? And that we can remedy that unbelief by exercising faith? And that comes how? By trusting in the love that God has for us? And that trust comes down to this – forsaking all things that are motivated by fear, and waiting for the hope of righteousness that comes by faith.

    We are not in darkness because we must wait for someone to open the path for us. The path is already there, open and waiting. If we lack anything from God, it is not because God isn’t mercifully extending it towards us, its because we lack faith. Period. Maybe that is the difference? You believe we are powerless to do anything until it is given to us at the appointed time? That there is some foreordained time when it will come, and until then all we can do is watch and wait?

    What if the foreordained time is when people wake up to their lack of faith and realize that they can call down the blessings of heaven through excersing faith in Jesus? How could it happen any other way? The fullness returns when faith returns. Who is to say we can’t influence that process by our own faith? Why isn’t it possible that what prophets saw in our day was a bunch of people waking up to their ability to choose love over fear and thus commanding the faith to put salvation and healing back on the earth. As opposed to us just waiting around for someone to come from the dead to give it to us – I’m not saying it won’t happen that way. Maybe we call them from the grave to minster to us by our faith. I’m just saying, either way, its going to require faith on our part, right?

    The fullness of the gospel is going to return, we agree. Is it not our calling to bring it back with our faith? To be like the brother of Jared and put so much faith in Christ that nothing could be witheld from us? Do we lack the gospel because the time has not yet come? Or has the time not yet come because we lack faith?

  15. “We desperately need God to heal us. Not more knowledge”

    I disagree. Knowledge is exactly what we need before we can be healed.

    “We are not in darkness because we must wait for someone to open the path for us. The path is already there, open and waiting”

    That sounds really inspiring and good… but it is wrong. I disagree with that too. There are so many frustrated people like you who feel broken and sincerely want to get on the path and get healed but it hasn’t happened in 180 years. I don’t believe that there have not been good sincere people trying to have enough faith during that time. I have provided countless prophetic passages in my blogs showing that in fact we do need to wait on the timing of the Lord and the return of his servants.

    “You believe we are powerless to do anything until it is given to us at the appointed time? That there is some foreordained time when it will come, and until then all we can do is watch and wait?”

    damn rights I believe that and the scriptures teach it. do some key word search on “set time” and “appointed time” …. oh… thats right, you don’t believe that knowledge is important. You prefer to decide for yourself how things should be instead of searching the scriptures for KNOWLEDGE. cuz KNOWLEDGE isn’t important is it Cam?

    “What if the foreordained time is when people wake up to their lack of faith and realize that they can call down the blessings of heaven through excersing faith in Jesus? How could it happen any other way? The fullness returns when faith returns. ”

    Again, Cam’s way that things should happen sounds so warm and fuzzy and logical… the only problem is that God says it will happen differently.

    God says that FIRST the weak things of the earth (the servants of the second watch) will return and preach the truth so that men can reconnect with the true and living God and not be deceived by false doctrines and the logic of the natural man. AFTER that, FAITH will once again increase in the earth-

    19 The aweak things of the world shall come forth and break down the mighty and strong ones, that man should not counsel his fellow man, neither ctrust in the arm of flesh—

    20 But that every man might aspeak in the name of God the Lord, even the Savior of the world;

    21 That faith also might increase in the earth;

    22 That mine everlasting covenant might be established;

    23 That the fulness of my gospel might be proclaimed by the weak and the simple unto the ends of the world, and before kings and rulers.

    Read those passage carefully Cam… oh.. thats right, knowledge of how things will actually take place doesn’t matter… all we need is love

    I hereby dedicate this song to you Cam

    PS at the 2:40 mark please notice who is sitting in the listening audience..

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