20 Transfigured Doctrines
I have been working on a paper that breaks the 15 year public ministry of the prophet Joseph Smith into five very specific, definable and revealing time periods.
It contains historical and scriptural documentation to demonstrate exactly what took place during those periods of time and ultimately, why the current state of the corporate latter day church is in the condition it is in.
Although much of this information has been covered in bits and pieces in previous blog posts, this paper will provide additional documentation and also provide live links to all articles that covered each topic covered in the paper.
In conjunction with this religious-historical timeline of the LDS restoration movement, I have identified 20 major, foundational doctrines that were taught between 1829 and the latter part of 1836.
The paper addresses how every single one those foundational doctrines have since been transfigured at some point in time between the end of 1836 and our present time in 2011.
There are several reasons I am using 1836/1837 as the dividing line for when the true doctrines began being transfigured.
One is that even though the Lord told the Saints in 1834 that they had already been given sufficient time to redeem Zion by that date and would need to wait a little season before they could live the laws of Zion and redeem Zion, he had previously promised them that they would have priesthood blessings and protection and the opportunity to repent in Kirtland until the appointed time of September 11th 1836
Another reason for choosing 1836/1837 as the tipping point for when the original truths began to be corrupted has to do with the ominous pronouncement from the Lord in section 112 that-
“all flesh has become corrupt before my face“.
That pronouncement was essentially the same one made in JST Genesis 8 when the Lord observed that all flesh had become corrupt.
Beginning with that pronouncement in the Old Testament, He gave the world a set time of 120 years in which to listen to the preaching of Noah and repent or be destroyed by water-
“The earth was corrupt before God; and it was filled with violence. And God looked upon the earth, and behold, it was corrupt, for all flesh had corrupted its way upon the earth.
And God said unto Noah, The end of all flesh is come before me; for the earth is filled with violence, and behold, I will destroy all flesh from off the earth. Make thee therefore, an ark..”
The scriptures then inform us that the existing flesh on the earth that had become corrupted would have 120 years to repent before the rain began falling and the floods destroyed all living things.
Interestingly, the ark seems to be a type of the chambers or holy places that the righteous will be commanded to gather into when the servants return to give the final warning in the last days.. and the floods that covered the earth in the days of Noah are a type of the fire that will consume the earth in the latter days.
Additionally, the city of Enoch is also a type of what will happen to the elect after they have gathered and consecrated. Once they have repented and received the fulness of the gospel that was previously rejected, they will be caught up to meet the Lord and the city of Enoch in the cloud while the inhabitants of the earth are destroyed by fire, just as the wicked were destroyed by water in the days of Noah.
I don’t know if I will ever get the paper completed, and I’m not anxious about it since this research is mainly for my own edification and ability to easily reference my other posts by topic, however if any of you would like to see it when and if it gets finished, feel free to respond with you email address and I will send the document to you when it is done. My blog has the moderation feature and I will not publish you email address.
Since the paper may not be completed anytime soon, I thought I would share a few details of the paper at this time.
The general five part time-line break down is provided in the graphic below-
Again, I am not going to provide the detailed documentation pertaining to each of these time periods at this time, it will be contained in the finished paper. (although anyone who has read my blogs will not have a difficult time understanding the significance of each designated time period.)
The graphic does not mean to imply that the 111 revelations that were received prior to September 11th of 1836 are true revelations and the 14 revelations received after that period of time are false.
I believe that virtually all of the revelations received by Joseph Smith during his life that are consistent with all previous revelations and that were published or canonized during his life are true. (not just the canonized ones, but all of the published ones)
The above time-line is a testimony to the long suffering of God and how he continues to labor with his apostate people for a season even after they have corrupted themselves.
It had previously been prophesied, in the book of Commandments, and in other published but un-canonized revelations, that the saints would have a future opportunity for a reformation. I believe that opportunity came in Nauvoo.
Had they done so, they would have ushered
in the dispensation of the fulness of times.
I simply showed the number of revelations that were received during each period of time, in the graphic, to illustrate the flow of revelation during each segment of the 15 year ministry.
In all fairness, the revelations were probably slowing down, not only because of the darkness that was covering the minds of the people and their unwillingness to accept truth, but also because the light and knowledge necessary in laying the initial foundation of the Marvelous Work had been given, primarily within the first seven years when the initial appointed time frame for redeeming Zion was to take place.
Why have you Transfigured the Holy Word of God
A Book of Mormon prophet gasped when he saw in vision that the saints of the restored church would change the pure truths revealed by God through his prophets pertaining to the gospel of Jesus Christ and the kingdom of God.
Although I have known that many of the original doctrines have been changed for a long time, it is only within the last few years that I have actually come to realize just how pervasive this transfiguration of God’s holy word has really been.
After studying this topic in more detail, I now feel as if virtually every single doctrine and ordinance that was originally revealed through the prophet Joseph Smith has been changed… including the most important doctrines pertaining to the nature and character of God that reveal who and what we worship.
From them shall be Taken Away
Even that which they have
The following passages of scripture indicate that once an enlightened people reject the truth, not only does the Lord stop revealing additional truths, he even takes away the previous truths that have already been revealed-
For behold, thus saith the Lord God: I will give unto the children of men line upon line, precept upon precept, here a little and there a little; and blessed are those who hearken unto my precepts, and lend an ear unto my counsel, for they shall learn wisdom; for unto him that receiveth I will give more; and from them that shall say, We have enough, from them shall be taken away even that which they have.
31 Cursed is he that putteth his trust in man, or maketh flesh his arm, or shall hearken unto the precepts of men, save their precepts shall be given by the power of the Holy Ghost.
32 Wo be unto the Gentiles, saith the Lord God of Hosts! For notwithstanding I shall lengthen out mine arm unto them from day to day, they will deny me; nevertheless, I will be merciful unto them, saith the Lord God, if they will repent and come unto me; for mine arm is lengthened out all the day long, saith the Lord God of Hosts. 2nd Nephi 28
This amazing truth is addressed again in Alma-
“..he that will harden his heart, the same receiveth the lesser portion of the word; and he that will not harden his heart, to him is given the greater portion of the word, until it is given unto him to know the mysteries of God until he know them in full.
And they that will harden their hearts, to them is given the lesser portion of the word until they know nothing concerning his mysteries; and then they are taken captive by the devil, and led by his will down to destruction. Now this is what is meant by the chains of hell.” (Alma 12)
We are reminded in modern revelation that the wrath of God will be poured out upon the wicked without measure because his spirit shall not always strive with man-
“Wherefore, fear and tremble, O ye people, for what I the Lord have decreed in them shall be fulfilled.
8 And verily I say unto you, that they who go forth, bearing these tidings unto the inhabitants of the earth, to them is power given to seal both on earth and in heaven, the unbelieving and rebellious;
9 Yea, verily, to seal them up unto the day when the wrath of God shall be poured out upon the wicked without measure—
10 Unto the day when the Lord shall come to recompense unto every man according to his work, and measure to every man according to the measure which he has measured to his fellow man.
..he that repents not, from him shall be taken even the light which he has received, for my spirit shall not always strive with man, saith the Lord of hosts.”
As you can see, the Lord reiterates in modern revelation that if the saints did not repent, the previous light they had been given would be taken away.
Also, did you catch another parallel pertaining to the time of Noah and our own? In the same passages in Genesis when God observes that all flesh has become corrupt, he warns that his spirit shall not always strive with man-
“the Lord said unto Noah, My Spirit shall not always strive with man, for he shall know that all flesh shall die, yet his days shall be an hundred and twenty years; and if men do not repent, I will send in the floods upon them”
How interesting that in modern revelation God makes the same general observations and pronouncements that he made in the time of Noah-
- All flesh has become corrupt
- My spirit shall not always strive with men
- If men do not repent I will send floods/fire upon them
This is a fascinating concept where the light and truth that has been given must be taken away if it is rejected.
The Lord giveth and the Lord taketh away..
(God uses his seers the revealed the truth to take the truth aways)
If God reveals the truth to his saints through his anointed seers, and the people reject the truth, exactly how does God take the truth away from the people?
Have you ever wondered about that?
The answer to that is found in the Book of Mormon and JST versions of Isaiah 29:
“For behold, all ye that doeth iniquity, stay yourselves and wonder, for ye shall cry out, and cry; yea, ye shall be drunken but not with wine, ye shall stagger but not with strong drink.
For behold, the Lord hath poured out upon you the spirit of deep sleep. For behold, ye have closed your eyes, and ye have rejected the prophets; and your rulers, and the seers hath he covered because of your iniquity.”
Speaking of the Seers whose eyes are covered by the Lord because of the transgression of the saints, Isaiah informs us the “priest and the prophet have erred through strong drink..”
They “err in vision and stumble in judgment”
Using similar terminology, section one prophesies that when the Lord’s weak and simple servants “erred”, “it might be made known”.
“And in as much as they sinned, they might be chastened that they might repent”.
We have already covered the prophesies in Zechariah and other Old Testament passages that speak of the return and repentance of God’s latter day servants in the 3rd watch. At that time, they will restore the light and knowledge that they had previously restored and then taken away from the saints when God covered their eyes.
There you have it, Isaiah informs us that at the time when the first portion of the sealed book comes forth, there are seers on the earth that bring a portion of the record forth.
Those seers that bring forth the first portions of the book of Mormon thereafter have their eyes closed by the Lord because of the wickedness of the saints. At that time the Lord pours out a spirit of deep sleep upon the saints and their seers.
I realize that it is almost incomprehensible to consider the possibility that God used such men as Joseph Smith and Sidney Rigdon (who were both sustained as prophets and seers in the 1836 solemn assembly) to eventually transfigure the original true doctrines that those men had been so instrumental in bringing forth.
I will not provide the detailed documentation for each of the doctrines I am going to list at this time. I will simply give you the listing of doctrines that have been transfigured. I leave it to you to do your own research to determine which doctrines are true and which are false.
You decide if my supposition is correct or false and if in fact the original teaching of the LDS restoration movement are the true teachings.
You can decide for yourself how and when the true and false doctrines were introduced into the church.
Some of these doctrines on the list have been transfigured in relatively recent times by leaders such as Joseph Fielding Smith.
Others were transfigured in the early Utah period of the church by Brigham Young.
Some, however, were transfigured in the later Nauvoo years by Joseph Smith himself.
Again, I have known for decades that the church has been infested with false doctrines. Indeed I have a long list of church leaders from Brigham Young, to Joseph Fielding Smith, to Ezra Taft Benson who have acknowledged this fact. However I did not realize just how pervasive the problem was or how early it began until recent years.
I always realized that the Book of Mormon was including the very first generation of the latter day saints in the rebuke for transfiguring the holy word of God, but I had assumed it was only referring to the lay members, I just couldn’t accept that it was including the first laborers of the last kingdom in that ominous observation.
Just as recently as the last year or two I have come to the painful realization that the Image of God that I have been worshiping all of my life is really just a false image of God that has been created by the imagination of uninspired men .
I inherited this image of God from the false traditions of my fathers.
The image of God that I had, originated from the transfigured doctrines, not from the original pure doctrines.
I grew up loving the King Follett Sermon that Joseph Smith gave in Nauvoo. To me, it was the epitome of what differentiated Mormonism from apostate Christianity.
I am going to be a God someday I thought to myself!
But was it not the desire to exalt himself that got Satan thrown out of heaven?
I loved the concept of the progression of the Gods and the possibility that I might become a Savior of a world and the fact that God the Father was once a mortal man like myself.
I loved knowing that God the Father has a glorified body of flesh and bones and that I will one day be a “God the Father”. (I am not saying we cannot become begotten Sons of God, I am simply saying that their will always be a distinction between the “begotten Sons of God” and “unbegotten” Father.
Conversely, I have also always loved the Lectures on Faith that Joseph and Sidney gave in Kirtland, although I have struggled over the years to wrap my mind around some of the concepts in it.
It is only recently that I realized that many of the doctrines taught in Lectures on Faith and the doctrines taught in the King Follett Sermon are diametrically opposed to each other. (They cannot both be true)
If you will carefully compare Lectures on Faith with the King Follett Sermon, I think you will see what I am talking about.
This realization has helped me to understand and appreciate the true doctrine of salvation and nature of God, taught in the New Testament and the Book of Mormon and distinguish it from the doctrine of exaltation that crept into the church during the Nauvoo period.
It has also sobered me up about my desire to exalt myself in the eternities.
I have come to the conclusion that either Joseph and Sidney were confused and deceived when they taught the Lectures on Faith in the school of the prophets prior to 1835, or, Joseph taught some industrial strength false doctrine during the Nauvoo era.
Of course, the fruits of Lectures on Faith is that several of the elders who believed those teachings during the Kirtland period were actually seeing God the Father and the only begotten Son and testifying that the Father was a glorified personage of spirit that was a consuming fire and that the Son was a personage of fleshly tabernacle.
Conversely, nobody during the Nauvoo era was having the heavens opened to them.
This brings us to the old argument of whether Joseph 1) began the restoration movement making lots of doctrinal errors that needed to be corrected later on in Nauvoo when he gained greater truth and light, or 2) if he started with truth and light and then became darkened in his mind after the saints rejected the truth that he revealed.
We must ask ourselves this question- did the most inspired doctrines come in the first seven years or the second seven years of Joseph’s ministry?
I have made my views on this abundantly clear in previous posts, I now provide a listing of transfigured doctrines for you to study and formulate your own opinions on.
This has created no small degree of indigestion for me, realizing that perhaps, God, in his infinite wisdom, covered the eyes of the seers and used Joseph and others to take away the original truths about the Godhead that they had previously revealed.
Again, in this post I am going to provide a partial listing of 20 of the true doctrines that were originally taught during the first years of the LDS restoration movement. Each one of them will be followed by the transfigured doctrine that is currently believed and taught by many leaders and members of the church today.
I am NOT going to provide all of the documentation that I have to show why one doctrine is true and the other is false. That information will be contained in the finished document.
I simply thought you would enjoy being able to see the difference between what was being taught in the early church up to September 11th 1836 vs the last seven or eight years and beyond, even up today.
Remember, every doctrine classified below as the “Original Doctrine” was taught sometime prior to September 11th 1836. Every doctrine classified as “Transfigured Doctrine”, was taught sometime after September 11th 1836.
Listing of Original and Transfigured Doctrines
- God the Father: Original Doctrine- God is a glorified personage of spirit, even a consuming fire. One of the major differentiating attributes between the Father and Son is that, unlike the Father, the Son is a personage of tabernacle (element or flesh) Transfigured Doctrine– God has a separate glorified body of flesh and bones like the Son.
- Jesus Christ: Original Doctrine– Christ is the only begotten of the Father and he created all past and future worlds and atoned for all past and future worlds. (that is what an infinite and eternal atonement is) Transfigured Doctrine- each of us that become “exalted” will become an Adam God then a Christ God that creates and atones for the worlds we create and then eventually we will become the Father of our own Godhead.
- The Holy Ghost: Original Doctrine- The Holy Ghost is a spirit essence and is the mind of God and is not a personage of spirit or tabernacle. Transfigured Doctrine– The Holy Ghost is a personage and was in a temporal probation at the time of Joseph Smith
- The Godhead (Trinity): Original Doctrine– The Father and Son constitute the two personages in the Godhead while the Father, Son and Holy Ghost constitute the Godhead. Although each of these entities have separate and distinct features, and can manifest themselves independently, they jointly and synergistically constitute the ONLY TRUE GOD and they dwell in each other and there is no God besides them. These three distinct entities each provide a separate and distinct function within THE DIETY. Transfigured Doctrine– The majority of the church membership now believe that the three members of the Godhead are separate entities and that there are many other independent Gods (and Godheads) just like them… and that all of the righteous will become Gods and part of other Godheads. (A smaller segment of the church has taken the view that Christ is the only God… he is both the Father and the Son, never acting as two distinct personages.)
- The infinite knowledge of God: Original Doctrine- God has all knowledge and there is not anything that he does not know. According to Lectures on Faith, it is impossible to have the faith necessary to life and salvation if one does not believe that God knows all things. Transfigured Doctrine– God is still learning. (this was taught by our beloved Brigham Young and others)
- Jesus is our Father NOT our Brother: Original Doctrine- Jesus is the Father of the heavens and the earth. He was the only begotten Son from the beginning and he was part of the Godhead during our pre-existence. Transfigured Doctrine– Christ was one of our spirit brothers in the pre-existence who came to earth as a mortal messiah.
- Christ had a Glorified Body of Flesh BEFORE his earthly ministry and is an unchangeable being:
Original Doctrine– Christ was an immortal personage of fleshly tabernacle BEFORE he came in the meridian of time to atone for our sins. Transfigured Doctrine– Christ took on a physical body for the first time when he came to earth in the meridian of time.
- Christ was an IMMORTAL MESSIAH: Original Doctrine– Christ did not have mortal blood. Human blood cannot atone for the sins of other humans. Christ was an immortal God with immortal blood when he hung on the cross. Transfigured Doctrine– Christ was mortal/human just like us. He provided mortal blood to provide an infinite atonement.
- The Doctrine of the knowledge God (otherwise known as Lectures on Faith): Original Doctrine– It was originally taught that one needed to have a correct doctrinal foundation in order to correctly interpret the covenants provided in the modern revelations. For that reason, the “Lectures on Faith”, which was inspired of God, were canonized as scripture in the Doctrine and Covenants as the Doctrine part of the Doctrine and Covenants. It provided the foundation for understanding the revelations from God. Transfigured Doctrine– The Lectures on Faith have some good information but is not to be considered scripture. Conflicting teaching from the King Follett discouse are accepted instead of the sacred doctrines in LoF. Eventually the Lectures on Faith was taken from the D&C because it conflicted with the King Follett Sermon and the doctrines taught in section 132 and 130 (which were both cannonized by Brigham Young without a revelation to do so.)
- Salvation vs Exaltation: Original Gospel– The ultimate salvation was to become a Son of God and becoming equal with Christ and to spend eternity praising and glorifying and worshipping God and doing his will. Transfigured Gospel– We can also become Savior’s of our own worlds and atone for them and eventually become Just like God the Father.
- The Testimony of Jesus: Original Gospel– Originally the testimony of Jesus, categorically had to be obtained by seeing Jesus with the definition of testimony provided by the event documented in section 76. Transfigured Gospel– Now you only need to get a testimony from the “promptings” of the Holy Ghost.
- The Dispensation of the Fulness of Times:
Original Doctrine- The Church of Christ was restored under the dispensation of the last times and was hoping to usher in the dispensation of the fullness of times when the highest priesthood was restored at the Morley Farm. After that failure, the next attempt was to take place after the completion of the Nauvoo Temple… another failure. Instead of ushering in the fulness of times, the dispensation of the Gospel of Abraham was secretly ushered in. Transfigured Doctrine– The church now falsely teaches that we are living in the dispensation of the fullness of times and they usually claim it was ushered in either at the time of the first vision or when the church was legally established in 1830. (and some apologists claim it was ushered in in 1836)
- The Kingdom Daniel Saw Rolling forth:
Original Doctrine– It was the hope that the kingdom of God on earth which Daniel saw coming forth destroying all other kingdoms, would eventually come forth in the future, after Zion was redeemed. Transfigured Doctrine– The church now teaches that the Church IS the Kingdom of God that Danial Saw rolling forth in vision.
- Pre-Baptismal Public Witness: Original Gospel– God commanded the new converts of the newly restored Church of Christ to make a public witness before the church that they have truly repented of all their sins and are determined to serve him to the end. Transfigured Gospel– Allows new converts to be baptized without first making a public witness before the church.
- The Lords Supper: Original Doctrine– The Lords Supper was one of the five ordinances of the gospel. Transfigured Doctrine– the Lords Supper is no longer considered an ordinance of salvation by many.
- The Members of the Church Commanded to Kneel during the Sacrament; Original Doctrine- the entire congregation was to kneel. Transfigured Doctrine– Only those blessing the sacrament need to kneel while the congregation sits on their “arses”. (which is extremely offensive to God)
- The Sacrament must be administered by an Elder or Priest: Original Doctrine– The Sacrament must be administered by an Elder or Priest. Transfigured Doctrine– The Teachers and Deacons may assist in the administration of the sacrament.
- The Ordinance of faith: Original Doctrine- Faith was originally listed as one of the ordinances of the gospel. Transfigured Doctrine- Faith is now only a principle of the gospel.
- Virgin birth: Original Doctrine- Mary was a virgin before and after giving birth to Christ. She became pregnant after being overshadowed by the Holy Spirit. Transfigured Doctrine– God the Father came down in a physical body and had carnal sex with Mary.
- Marriage: Original Doctrine– A righteous monogamous couple could gain the highest salvation. Transfigured Doctrine– Polygamy was required to gain a greater salvation.
Needless to say, there are many more transfigured doctrines that could be added to the list. I may address more of them in the finished article. Feel free to submit others that you feel should be included or challenge any of the above suppositions that you think are inaccurate.