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…