Back in 1989 Dallin H. Oaks gave a talk entitled “Alternate Voices,” (Ensign, May 1989, 27)
In it he warned the members of the church to beware of those who speak about gospel topics who do not have the authority to do so.
“My remarks will refer to those voices that speak of God, of his commandments, and of the doctrines, ordinances, and practices of his church. Some of those who speak on these subjects have been called and given divine authority to do so. Others, whom I choose to call alternate voices, speak on these subjects without calling or authority.”
Of course the main purpose of the talk was to do damage control since Sunstone and other symposiums and publications were raising controversial issues and waking people up about church history and the original gospel taught in the early church history and in the scriptures.
Some issues were being raised by intellectuals from academia while others were being raised by LDS fundamentalists and renegade historians.
Since that time I am happy to observe that there have been many new alternate voices that have educated Mormons and challenged them to search church history and the scriptures.
I think that agency is very important and I think those that have inquiring minds have a right to seek out additional information and to share their views of history and the gospel with others.
The internet has changed the world and it has certainly changed the world of Mormonism.
Information is being rediscovered and disseminated at a rapid pace and it is creating indigestion for a lot people in high places.
There are numerous bloggers out there that I enjoy reading from time to time that do a great job of exposing the apostasy of the latter day church.
It seems like more and more of these types of blogs are popping up all the time.
I believe this is a sign of the times.
There is a lot of good that comes out of these types of blogs and there is a lot of bad as well.
More and more people are waking up to the fact that all in not well in Zion.
That is good.
Most of these alternate voices focus on the PROBLEM (apostasy of the latter day church) and only talk about the obvious signs that the church is in apostasy, and do not reveal the SOLUTION (how the redemption of the latter day church and the establishment of Zion is going to take place).
Most of these alternate voices do not discuss how the Lord is going to bring the believing gentiles out of apostasy and redeem Zion. Some of them still assume the church still holds all of the keys Joseph Smith held despite the countless problems that are discussed.
Many of these sites end up leaving their readers in a state of confusion and despair because they only harp on the awful state that we are in.
Often times the result of these blogs on the readers is the loss of testimony in the gospel, the latter day work, the calling of Joseph Smith, and in Gods word.
Many of these sites point their readers down what the Book of Mormon refers to as forbidden paths by promoting false doctrines, rather than hanging on to the iron rod.
The problem, in my opinion with only harping on the apostasy is that even though it gives many readers an “ah hah” moment and helps them wake up and understand the insanity being experienced in the corporate church, it leaves many readers in a state of confusion and anger and despair regarding the state of Gods people and their own salvation.
This makes lots of people ripe for entering into forbidden paths.
But it is all good.
Everyone with a voice has a calling.
For some it is to spread a little light and ultimately point people on the right path.
For others it is to spread a little light and ultimately point people into a forbidden path.
It is all part of the program, those who are the elect will ultimately make it through the maze, they will know the voice of God’s servants when the Marvelous Work begins.
In addition to those who blog about the apostasy, there are those at the other extreme who continue the myth that leaders and members of the restored church continue to have the heavens opened and enjoy direct communion with God and receive the second comforter despite the fact that we as a individuals and collectively as a people have been rejected as a church and have failed to keep the law of the gospel, have not sacrificed all things, (which is required before one can receive their calling and election), and we no longer have the keys of the kingdom on the earth.
Joseph Smith taught that a man cannot have his calling and election, or the second comforter until AFTER they have been thoroughly tested-
“When the Lord has thoroughly proved him, and finds that the man is determined to serve Him at all hazards, then the man will find his calling and his election made sure, then it will be his privilege to receive the other Comforter, which the Lord hath promised the Saints.”
What does it mean to be thoroughly tested?
According to Lectures on faith, it means you have to sacrifice all things-
“A religion that does not require the sacrifice of all things never has power sufficient to produce the faith necessary unto life and salvation; for, from the first existence of man, the faith necessary unto the enjoyment of life and salvation never could be obtained without the sacrifice of all earthly things” (Lectures on Faith , 69).
There is no bypassing the system. You cannot have your calling and election made sure at this time on the earth without doing what all of the great prophets have done. You must consecrate and sacrifice all things.
Those of us living during these times of hidden darkness kid ourselves if we assume that we have sacrificed all things for the Lord or even come close to making the sacrifices that some of the early saints of the restoration movement have made.
I believe the people of this generation who think they have made great sacrifices for the Lord deceive themselves. I am skeptical that there are members of the latter day church that have sacrificed all things and made their calling and election sure.
Indeed, if there are such people then indeed the many evidences I have provided of the last restoration of the gospel would be invalid since there would clearly be know need for a gospel restoration if people are still getting their calling and election made sure.
We as a people have miserably failed to live consecration.
If someone in this day in age of our generation is claiming to have had their calling and election made sure and is now claiming that they are receiving the second comforter, I believe they are either deceived or they are intentionally deceiving others. Most of the alternate voice that come along making these claims are pretty easy to spot by some of the false doctrines they teach.
Even if they have not directly made that claim and have been misunderstood by their followers but they knowingly allow their followers to continue thinking that they have had their calling and election made sure, their motives are suspect and they are dangerous people in my opinion. I am very skeptical of those kinds of people.
Nevertheless, they have an important calling, to weed out those who don’t know the voice of the Master.
Along the same lines, although Presidents of the Church from Brigham Young to the present time have clearly not been claiming to be parting the veil and communicating directly with God, but the fact that some of them have knowing allowed the gullible among the saints to assume they continuously communed directly with God, is, in my opinion, a very serious sin of omission. I don’t think God condones this practice.
The doctrine of the Three Watches exposes the fact that we live in deceptive times when the fulness of the gospel appears to be on the earth to those who have not been weened from the breast in their gospel study. The scriptures refer to this time that we are living in as a time of “hidden darkness”
The Book of Mormon explains that after the fulness of the gospel is taken from the Gentiles, the house of Israel simply comes to a knowledge of the fulness of the gospel, but do not receive the fulness.
If indeed we do not currently have the fulness of the gospel, how can people personally receive of the fulness of the gifts of God?
Although we live in times of darkness, we are deluded into thinking we live in times of great light. Many of us rationalize that the fulness of the gospel is still on the earth even though virtually all of the gifts of the spirit and the baptism of fire is never truly being experienced by anyone.
Obviously, since I feel passionate about this topic I feel personally responsible with regard to the sobering fact that I and others have been trying to explain this doctrine with very little noticeable success.
I have pondered long and hard about why I and a few others have been ineffectual in teaching the third watch doctrine.
Although I concede that I have probably not done a very good job, I have come to the conclusion that the issue is much deeper than my shortcomings in articulating this doctrine.
I am not overly concerned however because the Lord tells us he can do his own work.
The Gentiles are Destined to Fail Virus
Another outgrowth of this situation is that many of the alternate voices who are warning about the latter day apostasy seem to have turned against the latter day gentiles.
They interpret the scriptures with a huge bias against the role of the gentiles and against the eventual outcome of the gentiles.
It is becoming more common to hear certain groups of people make disparaging remarks about the role and outcome of the gentiles in the last days.
Categorical statements to the effect that “we gentiles are in big trouble”, and “the gentiles will reject the fullness of the gospel” and “the Lord will raise up another people since the the gentiles will reject the fullness of the gospel”, etc. seem to keep popping up with frequent regularity.
Related to this phenomenon is their embracing of the Book of Mormon while rejecting modern revelation… or at least, having a clear preference to the Book of Mormon over modern revelation whenever they appear to differ on doctrinal issues.
One of the common signs of this infectious attitude is that many of these bloggers spend most of their time reading and quoting from the Book of Mormon almost exclusively instead of including and giving preference to the modern revelations directed at the latter day gentiles.
In fact, they often seem to hold the modern revelations in contempt because of their inability to reconcile several of the apparent discrepancies between the D&C and the Book of Mormon depictions of the gospel and the church.
Any time protocol or doctrine seems to differ a little between that which is contained in the Book of Mormon and modern revelation, they seem to default to the Book of Mormon as their guide.
Again, although this virus sends people on forbidden paths, it is all good. It all leads to the eventual separation that takes place when the Marvelous Work takes place.
David Whitmer- The Poster Child for the Gentiles
I was reading a recent blog in which the author was emphasizing that those ordained by Christ in 3rd Nephi with priesthood power were called disciples instead of apostles.
He then deemed it important to acknowledge that David Whitmer questioned whether the office of apostle should ever have been restored..
Of course the blogger did not come out and blatantly commit himself on the issue one way or the other, but the fact that he referenced Whitmer and couched his remarks the way he did, it was obvious how he felt.
He is typical of those that have been inflicted with the “Gentiles are Destined to Fail Virus”.
He has begun to question many things that took place in the initial establishment of the church.
He noted that the 12 who were chosen in 3rd Nephi were consistently referred to as “disciples” and claimed that there isn’t a single apostle in the Book of Mormon record.
Actually the Book of Mormon does in fact acknowledge the office of apostle and reveals the fact that the 12 in Jerusalem will return in the 3rd watch.
I suppose what he really must have meant, is that there is not a single person who was called to the office of apostle when Christ visited the Nephites.
It is indeed significant that the Book of Mormon makes the distinction between the calling of the 12 disciples vs the calling of 12 apostles.
Obviously, the 12 apostles in Jerusalem had been commissioned to take the gospel to the entire world while the disciples in the Book of Mormon appear to be somewhat more directed toward serving the descendants of Lehi.
Additionally, the 12 apostles had been commissioned to pass their apostolic administrative keys of the kingdom to the gentiles, not the Nephites.
As we have discussed in several posts, the gentiles have been given the administrative responsibility over all of the tribes of Israel.
This is why Joseph Smith and his associates who have been “identified with the gentiles” (D&C 109:60) were given the keys of the kingdom and the mandate to take the gospel to the whole world.
This is why remnants of Israel are carried on the shoulders of the gentiles in the last days.
This is why the Book of Mormon points out that the gentiles have care for the house of Israel.
“And now behold, this I speak unto their seed, and also to the Gentiles who have care for the house of Israel, that realize and know from whence their blessings come.” Morm. 5: 10
This is why the two administrative gifts of the spirit are given to the gentiles but withheld from the House of Israel.
As you can see, it is the gentiles and not the House of Israel that have been given the spiritual gifts of understanding the differences of administration and to know the diversities of operations and whether they be of God.
The implication that the restored church should not have modern apostles based on the fact that the Book of Mormon 12 were called disciples is shaky at best.
To further establish the point via the words of David WHitmer is, simply ridiculous.
I have noticed that it has become increasingly fashionable to quote from David Whitmer among some of those who are waking up to the problems in the latter day church and digging into history.
I love and admire David Whitmer as much as the next guy and I quote from him from time to time to illustrate what the early gentiles were going through and thinking, but I have challenged much of the false doctrine he taught after he became disaffected from Joseph Smith and the church.
I consider his teachings after he left the church to be less than credible. I do not consider them to be a good reason for throwing out the modern day calling of apostles.
David Whitmer wrote an amazing diatribe entitled “An address to Believers in the Book of Mormon” which is very fascinating.
In it he throws out the baby with the bathwater by denying virtually everything that Joseph Smith was called to do except for the translation of the Book of Mormon.
I believe all serious students of the restoration should read it.
However, before you read it, you should have a little historical context so that they can see the errors in the things he taught.
Please note that he did not publish this thesis until 1887 many many years after he had humiliated himself by personally trying to start his own church two separate times.
After his falling out with Joseph Smith, and eventually, many years after the martyrdom, David Whitmer deduced that Joseph had been deceived and that he had never been commissioned to restore the church and priesthoods.
I want to spend a little time focusing on Whitmer because understanding his plight contains the key to unlocking some incredible information regarding some prophesies about the gentiles.
Whitmer must have felt a burden and perhaps some guilt knowing that he would be accountable before God for his testimony of the Book of Mormon and, in later years, he must have felt awful about how flaky his life looked to the world with the breaking up of the restored church and his own two failures in starting his own church.
It was in the above mentioned document that David Whitmer taught that God never commissioned Joseph Smith to restore the office of apostle or the office of High Priest, or any priesthood at all..
He even claims that Joseph was never commissioned to restore the church.
The Second Great Work
It is easy to see how Brother Whitmer arrived at some of his conclusions. After all, he knew that the Book of Mormon was true, but he participated in a disastrous attempt to organize Gods kingdom and establish Zion. He had been the president of the church in Zion during that failed attempt.
As he looked at the many failures of the restoration movement and all of the splinter groups that sprang forth from the cause he had been involved in, it was obvious to him that all of them had taken forbidden paths.
He must have felt extreme pressure to stand faithful as a witness of the Book of Mormon despite the failure of the saints to live up to the callings and commandments in modern revelation.
Possibly the only explanation he could arrive at was that Joseph had simply been deceived and gotten ahead of himself.
Whitmer was quite aware of many of the third watch references in the Book of Mormon. It appears that he understood that the Marvelous Work was to be a future event because he taught that there was going to be A SECOND GREAT WORK like the one Joseph did.
That would be another reason for his deduction that Joseph got ahead of himself in doing some of the things he did.
Here is what Whitmer said about the future work-
The following excerpts are taken from an interview with David Whitmer.
It was published in the Deseret News on August 16 1878;
Q- When will the temple be built? (referring to Jackson County Temple)
A- Right after the great tribulation is over.
Q- What do you mean by that?
A- A civil war more bloody and cruel than the rebellion. (first civil
war) It will be a smashing up of this nation, about which time the SECOND GREAT WORK has to be done, a work like Joseph did, and the translation of the sealed plates, and peace all over.”
One has to give him credit for understanding that there is to be one more last great work.
Few Latter day Saints understand that!
Nevertheless, Whitmer’s mind had become darkened and he and his fellow gentiles rejected the fullness that was being offered during the Kirtland years.
Those who embrace the false doctrines that Whitmer taught as a credible light in understanding the events of the LDS restoration movement would do well to remember that he not only rejected the restoration of the office of apostle, he rejected the restoration of the Melchizedek priesthood and the calling of High Priest.
Now then, why do I take issue with these beliefs taught by David Whitmer?
To be continued…