If someone were to ask me which internet site was the most valuable one for searching the true originating events relating to the early history of the LDS church, I would have to say it is www.saintswithouthalos.com
The amount of credible, unbiased, documented historical facts accumulated on that site is really quite remarkable.
Interestingly it only documents events having to do with the period 1830-1839.
That site was very helpful to me in my attempt to reconstruct what happened at the June 1831 special conference where 23 high priests were ordained to the holy order of the Son of God according to the voice of God out of heaven.
It greatly saddens me that that site has not been working in recent weeks.
I hope this is a temporary problem. If not, the loss of this resource is a real tragedy.
I believe the owner of that site is a fellow by the name of Scott Kenney. He is apparently one of the originating founders of Signature Books.
If anyone knows Scott or the inside scoop on what happened to the site, I would be very interested in knowing what happened to this valuable resource.
Perhaps my second favorite site pertaining to LDS historical information is www.boap.org which provides every known public discourse by Joseph Smith during the Nauvoo period. It appears to be maintained by BYU or come of the religious scholars at BYU.
The other day I came across the most incredible, revealing statement by the prophet Joseph Smith pertaining to priesthood. I got it off of the boap website.
I really wish I would have had this quote that I am going to share with you when I did the Priesthood Series and the Morley Farm
I am going to provide the quote as it reads on the boap website including the brief statements of commentary by the contributors of boap provided in the [brackets].
I am doing this to 1- provide another witness that there are three separate priesthoods and 2- to show that those who have been indoctrinated by the corporate church to believe that there are only two priesthoods and that the Morley Farms incident only had to do with the introduction of a priesthood office within the priesthood restored by Peter James and John were understandably confused by the statement that Joseph made.
Even though they were understandably confused by the statement, they were forced to consider, at least in part, what was really being said by Joseph Smith.
I have highlighted the comments in brackets in yellow to make it easy for your to separate them from the words of Joseph Smith. (the bracket were added by them)
Those who have read and understood the Morley Farm series or even just read the discourse Joseph Smith gave on the three priesthoods will understand how significant the following statement really is.
**** quote by JS from Boap with their comments in yellow highlighted caps below****
“When Joseph Smith dictated his first attempt at a personal history in 1832 he made this remark:
“A History of the life of Joseph Smith Jr an account of his marvilous experience and of all the mighty acts which he doeth in the name of Jesus Christ the son of the living God of whom he beareth record and also an account of the rise of the church of Christ in the eve of time according as the Lord brought forth and established by his hand firstly he receiving the testimony from on high
[The first vision]
secondly the ministering of Angels
[Moroni -Book of Mormon plates]
thirdly the reception of the holy Priesthood by the ministring of Angels to adminster the letter of the Gospel – the Law and commandments as they were given unto him – and the ordinencs
[John the Baptist (are Peter, James and John included here?)], forthly a confirmation and reception of the high Priesthood after the holy order of the son of the living God power and ordinence from on high to preach the Gospel in the administration and demonstration of the spirit the Kees of the Kingdom of God confered upon him [visit of Peter, James and John, or is this a reference to the restoration of the office of high priest?] and the continuation of the blessings of God to him &c”
As you can see from the comments in brackets, it was difficult for traditional Mormon scholars to believe what they were reading but they had no other alternative than to accept the possibility that the reception of the “holy” priesthood, by angels, (plural), had to probably be referring to both of the first two priesthoods since the Aaronic priesthood was the first to be restored by just one angel.
This set up the next part of Joseph’s statement which speaks of the restoration of a “high” priesthood which is separate and distinct from the two previous priesthoods that were both restored by angels.
He identifies it as the “High Priesthood after the holy order of the son of God”
Again we see question marks in the brackets from the LDS scholars postulating that the third priesthood must have been referring to the restoration of the office of “High Priest” which is how the modern corporate church inaccurately defines the event that took place at the Morley Farm.
Finally, notice how the first two priesthoods were for the purpose of administering the “letter of the Gospel – the Law and commandments.. and the ordinencs” while the priesthood after the order of the Son of God was to “preach the Gospel in the administration and demonstration of the spirit”
This explains one issue that I was never really clear on even after all of the research I did in the Morley Farm series, ie, was the third priesthood necessary for the preaching the fullness of the gospel or was it simply needed to establish Zion?
It would appear from the above statement from Joseph Smith that it has a greater spiritual power that is necessary in the final preaching of the gospel.
When the Gentiles finally repent and the first laborers of the last kingdom return in power, they will go forth not only with patriarchal priesthood authority to administer the saving ordinances of the gospel, ie, baptize and confirm, they will also be showing forth the spiritual fruits and powers that follow those with the fulness of the priesthood.
Section 88 confirms that elders who are ordained to be apostles do not really receive the fulness of apostolic power confirmed upon them until after they get their calling and election to the high Melchizedek priesthood of the Son of God.
It is not enough to be ordained an apostle, one must also be called and elected to the high priesthood and become a friend of God.
It is only after that spiritual endowment takes place that the spiritual fruits and powers are manifest in their missionary labors-
“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.
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;
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.
And these signs shall follow them that believe—
In my name they shall do many wonderful works;
In my name they shall cast out devils;
In my name they shall heal the sick;
In my name they shall open the eyes of the blind, and unstop the ears of the deaf;
And the tongue of the dumb shall speak; And if any man shall administer poison unto them it shall not hurt them;
And the poison of a serpent shall not have power to harm them.”
Very few experiences like the spiritual manifestations mentioned above happened following the restoration of the highest priesthood at the Morley Farm because the vast majority of the 23 who were ordained by the calling of God’s voice out of heaven were called but not chosen and even those who were chosen temporarily lost the fulness of the priesthood because of fear and jealousy. (see section 67 and also 95:5)
When Brigham Young was quizzed about the fact that he had never been called or chosen by God to be a high priest, he dismissed it by stating that it was not necessary because he had been ordained an apostle. He claimed that the apostolic priesthood holds all of the priesthood power that one can hold on earth.
Conceptually Brigham Young’s claim is true, if the apostle magnifies his calling and is also called by God to be a High Priest, such as the first laborers being addressed in the above passage.
But his contention is accurate ONLY if an apostle has magnified his calling and been called and elected to the office of High Priest in the Melchizedek priesthood such as those being addressed in section 88!
In closing, let me share one other quote that I have since found, that I wish I had had during the Morley Farm series.
It provides another testimony that the restoration of the fulness of the Melchizedek priesthood at the Morley Farm represented a greater portion of Melchizedek priesthood than that which was restored by Peter James and John, not just an office within it-
Parley P. Pratt wrote the following about the Morley Farm conference in these words:
“On the sixth of June, 1831, a general conference was convened at Kirtland, consisting of all the Elders, far and near, who could be got together. In this conference much instruction was given by President Smith, who spake in great power, as he was moved by the Holy Ghost; and the spirit of power and of testimony rested down upon the Elders in a marvelous manner. Here also were some strange manifestations of false spirits, which were immediately rebuked
Several were then selected by revelation, through President Smith, and ordained to the High Priesthood after the order of the Son of God; which is after the order of Melchizedek.
This was the first occasion in which this priesthood had been revealed and conferred upon the Elders in this dispensation, Although the office of an Elder is the same in a certain degree, but not in the fulness.
On this occasion I was ordained to this holy ordinance and calling by President Smith.” (Parley P. Pratt, Autobiography of Parley P. Pratt, edited by his son, Parley P. Pratt [Salt Lake City: Deseret Book Co., 1985], 53.)
From the words of Parley Pratt we find that the restoration that took place at the special conference was of a priesthood, not just a priesthood office.
It appears that the two year missionary work prior to the restoration of the fullness of the priesthood at the Morley Farm in June of 1831 was done under the power of the patriarchal priesthood while the missionary work that took place after the restoration of the highest priesthood, during beginning with section 52, was to be done under the authority of the highest priesthood.
Confirming this amazing truth is the fact that prior to the restoration of the highest priesthood in 1831, the first commission to the elders was to-
“open your mouths and they shall be filled, saying: Repent, repent, and prepare ye the way of the Lord, and make his paths straight; for the kingdom of heaven is at hand” (section 33)
Interestingly, that is the exact wording that that John the Baptist made in preparing the way in the spirit of Elias, with the preparatory gospel, BEFORE the greater ministry with the fulness of the gospel was to take place via Peter, James and John and the other apostles! (Matt 3:2 )