The Man Comes Around
I got a call from my son and he told me that reading my blog reminds him of this song by Johnny Cash . I ended up playing the song countless times in a row because it really grew on me and I found myself reading about the life of Johnny Cash. I was led to this article which I found interesting because I think many of us find ourselves in a Nickajack Cave when times get dark.
I guess I do get pretty apocalyptic sometimes.
I suggest turning the lights off, turning the sound way up, and lighting a candle as you listen to this song right before reading this blog.
Denver’s Priesthood Talk
I noticed that Denver has posted his Orem talk on priesthood.
Several weeks ago, after I posted a rebuttal point documenting where and when the Melchizedek priesthood was first restored during Joseph’s ministry, one of his followers had inferred that Denver would probably be explaining himself a little better about what he knew and believed about the fulness of the priesthood, and why he had never specifically mentioned the astounding event at the Morley Farm when the fulness of the priesthood was restored.
I am not aware that Denver has ever spoken about the true restoration of the Melchizedek priesthood at the Morley Farm. He has incorrectly referred to the appearance of Peter, James and John as being the restoration of the Melchizedek priesthood, but never, to my knowledge identified the special conference at the Morley farm as being associated with anything other than the bestowal of the office of high priest which he considered to be part of the priesthood restored by Peter, James and John.
Here is an excerpt from the Orem talk:
“On an earlier occasion there was a conferral of priesthood in June 1831.
One of those upon whom it was conferred upon that day, by the voice of God out of heaven, was Ezra Booth. Brother Ezra Booth would later drift off to rebellion and doubt about Joseph Smith and the restoration.
He wrote a series of nine letters which were published in a newspaper explaining why he rejected Mormonism. But he had the conferral by the voice of God in June 1831, yet we get down to January 1841 we learn the fullness had been taken away. (D&C 124: 28.)”
From the above comment, it sounds to me as if Denver is in full agreement, that the fulness was conferred by the voice of God out of the heavens at the Morley Farm, In June of 1831.
Denver even got the date correct this time.
I guess it just never occurred to him to mention this profoundly significant event over the years, in all of his previous blog posts, talks and books.
Very strange that such a foundational event could have been overlooked by someone that had been personally tutored by angels and Christ and given a commission by God to teach us about priesthood and Zion.
Nevertheless, even though his comment leads the reader to believe that Denver was previously aware of the event, as it relates to the delivering of the Melchizedek priesthood to many of the Elders according to the voice of God out of heaven, Denver continues to deny that the categorical declaration that the fulness had been lost, in section 124, applied to Joseph Smith himself.
“The fullness had been taken away at least as it pertained to the Church. I do not think the revelation given to the Church meant that Joseph had forfeited the fullness. After all the revelation discussing the loss was given to Joseph as God’s prophet.”
Denver provides no credible documentation for the above theory that the fulness was taken from Hyrum, Sidney and everybody else in the entire church except Joseph.
There are several problems with Denver’s logic.
One is that Hyrum is given the same calling as Joseph during the same revelation and is given the calling of “priesthood” and is made a “patriarch” with the sealing powers. This patriarchal priesthood with sealing power is what Snuffer claims to be part of the highest priesthood. Therefore, according to Snuffers understanding of priesthood, Hyrum must have held the highest priesthood along with his brother Joseph despite the declaration of the Lord in section 124.
(Snuffer continues to argue that the patriarchal priesthood is higher than the Melchizedek priesthood! )
Another huge problem with Snuffer’s claim that Joseph is specifically excluded from the declaration that the fulness had been lost, is that the revelation is being addressed directly and specifically to Joseph Smith, even though it gives council, advice, and instructions to many people throughout the revelation:
“VERILY, thus saith the Lord unto YOU, my servant Joseph Smith..” (verse 1)
28 verses later, the revelation is still being addressed to Joseph Smith:
“For there is not a place found on earth that he may come to and restore again that which was lost unto YOU, or which he hath taken away, even the fulness of the priesthood…” (verse 28)
There is no reason to suppose that “you” is referring to the church but not Joseph Smith.
One can easily justify the revelation speaking to Joseph as God’s mouthpiece and to ALL of the Saints (verse 31) but trying to suggest that verse 28 excludes Joseph is without merit.
Of course Denver has to take that stance, in order to provide a foundation for legitimizing everything Joseph would do during those last three years in Nauvoo, including the secret councils, secret ordinations, and secretly lived spiritual wife doctrine that would eventually become the main controversy at the time of the succession crisis.
All of this fits nicely into this next part of the series on PTHG where I will show some more of Denvers inaccuracies pertaining to the law of succession and what really took place in Nauvoo.
To view the updated pdf containing all fifteen rebuttal points to date, click on the link below.
The Church was Rejected with their Dead
For those who followed the exchange between Greg Smith and myself regarding the rejection of the church with their dead, and what section 124 was really speaking about, I have updated the following article with additional information from my comments section.
In addition to the updates on the above article, here is a little more interesting trivia regarding the general issue of the temple that I find really quite interesting:
According to Margorie Hopkins Bennion in an article she wrote titled, “The Rediscovery of William Weeks’ Nauvoo Temple Drawings, “The basement walls were high enough for a cornershone-laying ceremony on 6 April 1841. Weeks was present and marched in the parade and then helped lower the first cornerstone into place.”
This verifies that the walls of the temple had begun being erected BEFORE the cornerstone ceremony, contrary to what Greg Smith contends in his arguments. This supports the literal interpretation of the declaration made by the First Presidency in the Times and Seasons that the erection of the temple had begun prior to January 15 1841.
Curiously, there is no mention of a baptismal font being put in the Nauvoo Temple until well after the erection of the walls had begun, and after section 124 was given.
By July 1841, Weeks had drawn plans for the font in the basement, and by August President Smith had approved and accepted the design.
One has to wonder if the baptismal font was somewhat of an afterthought and perhaps was only meant to be put in the Nauvoo House because section 97 lists the purpose of the Nauvoo Temple for a) worship, b) seeing God and c) training for the ministry.
Nothing is mentioned about ordinance work in section 97.
Section 124 on the other hand, identifies the Nauvoo house as a place where ordinances will be revealed and performed.
Was Williams Weeks Called to be the Architect by Revelation?
“Architectural and construction plans for the Temple were solicited, and in competition with other drawings Weeks’ plans won immediate approval.”
There is reason to believe that Joseph chose Weeks for the project by revelation.
“F. M. Weeks, a nephew, recalled William telling him that when he went in and presented his plans, Joseph Smith grabbed and hugged him and said, ‘You are the man I want.'”
“From the beginning, Joseph was considered the chief architect, while Wiliam served as the general superintendent of the temple and oversaw its construction”
Joseph felt very strongly about the temple being built according to the “pattern” that had been shown to him by the Lord.
“I wish you to carry out my designs. I have seen in vision the splendid appearance of that building illuminated, and will have it built according to the pattern shown me.”
Section 97 makes note of the fact that Joseph had been given the pattern:
“Verily I say unto you, that it is my will that a house should be built unto me in the land of Zion, like unto the pattern which I have given you.” (Section 97 :10)
In April 1843, Joseph Smith stated, “I gave a certificate to William Weeks to carry out my designs and the architecture of the Temple..”
Sadly, at the succession crisis, Brigham Young began presiding over the building committee and took control of the Temple project. He began overriding the decisions that Weeks had made in conformity to what Joseph had instructed him:
“President Young often overshadowed Weeks in terms of making final architectural decisions. Strong personalities caused some contention among the temple planners. In late October 1844, “I [Brigham Young] attended a council with the brethren of the Twelve, the Trustees, the Temple Committee and Brother William Weeks at the Temple Office, settling the difference existing between the Temple committee and Bro. Weeks.”
Early in 1846 Brigham Young decided to release Weeks as the architect and call him to join the vanguard group of saints leaving Nauvoo. By doing so, Young could continue making modifications without any friction from Weeks.
He replaced Weeks with Truman O Angell.
In a written letter to Angell, Weeks said, “by the authority vest in me by Joseph Smith and his Councillors do appoint Truman Angel to be my successor as Superintendent over the finishing of the Temple & Nauvoo House in the City of Joseph according to the plans and design given by me to him. And no persons shall interfere with him in the carrying out of these plans and designs..”
The above statement by Weeks shows his desire that nobody, including Brigham Young, would interfere with the revealed will of the Lord through Joseph Smith in the design of the temple. Weeks disregard for the supposed authority of Brigham Young would eventually result in his excommunication.
Brigham Young obviously believed that William Weeks was the most capable architect and even enticed him with an offer to oversee the new Utah Temple project but Weeks had had his fill of the leadership of Brigham Young soon after his arrival into the Salt Lake Valley:
“Despite the promises given in his blessing and Brigham Young’s intentions to have William design a Utah temple, the architect became openly discontent and disloyal to the Church during his first weeks in the valley. Causes of his alienation are not known, although his obituary stated,
“He was not a follower of Brigham Young and did not believe in polygamy but was a great admirer of Joseph Smith. When Brigham Young became the head of the Mormon church Mr. Weeks deserted them and went to Los Angeles.” Actually, in early 1848 William, Caroline, and their family returned to the Midwest, and in the October 1848 General Conference, they were excommunicated from the Church.
A Polished Stone
Wiki informs us that “During an archaeological investigation of the [Nauvoo] temple site, two highly polished limestone blocks were discovered. Approximately twelve feet east of the entrance to the baptistry and ten feet from either the side of the support piers rested the blocks, roughly fourteen inches square, which projected seven inches (178 mm) above the brick floor. These objects are not mentioned in any account of the basement, and their purpose is unknown. They may have held some type of support columns, dividing the font from the entrance to the basement or they may have simply been a decorative element with a vase or something similar resting on them. They may have been part of a feature planned, but not used, in the final construction“
Although it is unknown what the highly polished limestone blocks were to be used for, or to represent, it is interesting to note that the “..cornerstone of Zion” was to be “..polished with the refinement which is after the similitude of a palace.” 🙂
The Death Warrant of Jesus Christ
In noticed that Section 124 was placed in the cornerstone of the Nauvoo House which is no surprise. I have tried to find out what was placed in the cornerstone of the Nauvoo Temple but have not been able to find out that information.
Another thing that was placed in the cornerstone of the Nauvoo House is “Whole No. 35 of the Times and Seasons otherwise known as Vol. 2 No. 23. which can be viewed Here
I have reviewed the contents thereof to see if there is anything specifically significant to the Nauvoo House with no avail, however, one thing of interest is the notification, that the death warrant of Jesus Christ had been found in 1820 and “the document was faithfully transcribed by the editor”
Sentence rendered by Pontius Pilate, acting Governor of Lower Galilee, stating that Jesus of Nazaret shall suffer death on the cross.
In the year seventeen of the empire Tiberius Cæsar and the 25th day of march, the city of the holy Jerusalem, Anna and Caiphas being priests, sacrificators of the people of God, Pontius Pilot [Pilate], Governor of Lower Galilee, sitting on the prsidentia [presidential]
chair of the Prætory, condemns Jesus of Nazareth to die on the cross between two thieves-the great and notorious evidence of the people saying:
1. Jesus is a seducer.
2. He is seditious.
3. He is an enemy of the law.
4. He calls himself falsely the Son of God.
5. He calls himself falsely the King of Israel.
6. He entered into the temple, followed by a multitude bearing palm branches in their hands.
Order the first centurion, Quillus Cornelius, to lead him to the place of execution.
Forbid to any person whomsoever, either poor or rich, to oppose the death of Jesus.
The witnesses who signed the condemnation of Jesus are, viz:-1. Daniel Robani; 2. Raphael Robani; 3 Capet, a citizen.
Jesus shall go out of the city of Jerusalem by the gate of Struenus.”