Housekeeping Issues Regarding Sections 124 and 97

I have a tendency to think things through in my mind and then abbreviate them when I articulate them in writing. Sometimes I do more than abbreviate. Sometimes I completely leave them out, leaving it up to my readers to read my mind on certain issues.

This is particularly true when I am in the process of learning new things and discovering documentation not previously considered.

A recent case in point is when I announced that I believed that section 124 was a revelation primarily about the Nauvoo House rather than about the Nauvoo Temple. When I addressed that very peculiar narrative having to do with strangers living in a house of the Lord that was Holy, I acknowledged that a surface reading of the narrative seemed very strange. No pun intended.

I was so excited to show the keyword links in the scriptures showing that the posterity of Abraham was referred to as strangers, that I completely left out my thinking as to how the Lord could dwell in a holy house that traveling strangers were living in.

A very good friend of mine who is as, or more analytical, as me sent me an email containing the following sentiments:

I must admit, the whole idea of the Nauvoo House really has had me totally flummoxed.  None of it makes any sense to me.  A house for wayfaring strangers to lodge in that will also be a Holy house for ordinances too sacred to perform outside it? It seems an inherent contradiction in terms (like Jumbo Shrimp or Military Intelligence)!”

It is when I read the above statement that it dawned on me that I neglected to explain in detail why these children of Abraham could be allowed in the holy temple. I can only assume that others of my readers had the same disconnect that this friend had.

Here is my response to this friend:

I can see that I did not do a very good job of portraying my interpretation of what was being said because I agree with you that a surface reading, assuming the word strangers to mean what we commonly think it means,  does not make sense.

I believe the “strangers” that are referred to are the “children of Abrahamthat have been converted to the gospel and have been cleansed by the baptism of fire and the holy ghost and have now traveled from afar and are now ready to receive the “second ordinances” that have been hidden from the foundation of the world, and to be taught the mysteries.

Indeed, I strongly suspect that the “strangers” that come from “afar” in verse 23 are synonymous with the “saints” that come from “afar” in verse 25.

If the governor of the house is responsible for preventing pollution from entering into the house that it may remain holy enough for the Lord to continually dwell there, these are converts to the gospel that have been cleansed. They are not your everyday, lying, stealing, fornicating and blaspheming strangers that are staying down at the Motel 6. (No offense to motel 6 , they offer a great rate and do not discriminate!)

This friend of mine also pointed out another gap that I did not take very much time to explain. He said:

“Help me out on Section 97. I don’t see how that could possibly have been about the Nauvoo temple since when it was given (maybe I’m wrong – just going by the date), they hadn’t even settled in Nauvoo. Since it only speaks of establishing a temple in “Zion” (and Nauvoo is a cornerstone), I see a good case to be made that it was originally for one of the temples in Missouri and was then changed to Nauvoo – isn’t that perhaps what the scripture about evil enemies making impossible to fulfill the commandment saying?  IE, You no longer have to do it (in Mizzou) but you still have to do it asap, just now in Nauvoo …

This brings up several issues.

Let’s begin with the quote that blew my socks off when I saw it.

I now quote from Volume 2 Number Seven of the Times and Season Page 295 under the date of

February 1, 1841:

“To show more fully the will of God concerning the house which is to be built, we make an extract from the book of Covenants, page 209, which reads as follows:

 10 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.

11 Yea, let it be built speedily, by the tithing of my people.

12 Behold, this is the tithing and the sacrifice which I, the Lord, require at their hands, that there may be a house built unto me for the salvation of Zion—

13 For a place of thanksgiving for all saints, and for a place of instruction for all those who are called to the work of the ministry in all their several callings and offices;

14 That they may be perfected in the understanding of their ministry, in theory, in principle, and in doctrine, in all things pertaining to the kingdom of God on the earth..’ 

Now, I would candidly ask the Saints, and all who desire to do the will of God, will we lay hold with our mights to accomplish this mighty, this glorious work, and show by our works, that we, who enjoy the glorious privilege of living in these latter days, (in which God has begun his work to bring to pass the gathering of his elect,) are worthy of the high privileges which we enjoy, by coming up like men of God and sacrifice, and by our works show that we are such a people as the Lord would have gathered together, as described in the 50th Psalm which says: “Gather my Saints together unto me; those that have made a covenant with me by sacrifice?” Among the sacrifices which God requires at this time is the tithing for the building of this house.”

  Why Is Elias Higbee a Credible Source?

Let me say that I don’t believe Elias Higbee was a loose canon taking the liberty of forcing his own interpretation on section 97 to make it applicable to the Nauvoo Temple. After all, the Times and Seasons was the official church publication that was under the close scrutiny of Joseph Smith.

We know that Joseph was quite bold in correcting people that taught false doctrine in public regarding really important matters. Section 130 reminds us of that.

An example of this is the well known event that took place in early 1843 having to do with some false teaching by Orson Hyde.

After hearing Orson Hyde preach on the Second Coming, Joseph Smith kindly corrected him in private and at a public meeting. Some of his instructions to Elder Hyde became Doctrine and Covenants 130. ” (April 2n 1843. History of the Church, 5:323–26; D&C 130; Paulsen, BYU Studies 35.4: 7)

Elias Higbee certainly knew that if he was speculating on section 97 he would be called on the carpet and corrected. More than likely, his comments had been reviewed and approved by Joseph Smith before they were published.

In my opinion, Elias Higbee had either heard Joseph state that section 97 was speaking about the Nauvoo Temple, or, Joseph specifically taught this to Higbee, since Higbee had been given the stewardship of being on the Temple Committee.

It is important to remember that Higbee’s article in the Times and Season’s was allowed and possibly even mandated because of his calling on the temple committee. He certainly could have quoted section 124 in his remarks but he chose section 97.

Furthermore, his statement in the Times and Seasons came after section 124 was given, so this give a strong implication that section 124 was not being interpreted by Joseph and his contemporaries as being the initial commandment to build the Nauvoo Temple.

Additionally, 124 comes long after the revelation and subsequent attempt to build the Far West Temple.

The fact that a separate revelation had been given for the Far West Temple during the interim, with a separate pattern given to Joseph Smith as to what the temple should look like, adds even more credibility to the fact that section 97 had always contained the commandment to build the Nauvoo Temple and that Elias Higbee knew exactly what he was talking about.

It is interesting to Note that section 113 of the Doctrine and Covenants given on March of 1838, emerged as a result of the questions that Judge Higbee asked Joseph Smith about Isaiah 11. This demonstrates that Higbee had access to the prophet and was not shy about asking questions:

“Questions by Elias Higbee; What is meant by the command in Isaiah…” (113:7)

In addition to having the privilege of serving on the building committee, Higbee was an intimate friend of Joseph’s and had learned much sitting at the feet of the Lord’s anointed and asking questions.

Remember, it was Judge Elias Higbee that went with Joseph Smith to Washington to meet with the President of the United States and ask for a restoration of the losses the Saints had experienced in Jackson and other places. This was fulfillment of the admonition of the Lord and associated parable of the unjust judge in Section 101. Higbee was with Joseph and was no doubt being taught by him about all of these things.

Clearly, there is strong reason to suppose that Joseph is the originator of the interpretation given by Higbee, and, at the very least, Joseph would have reproved Higbee, had the declaration been erroneous.

Furthermore, we have already established that if a specific revelation had been given about building the Nauvoo Temple, it had to have been given before Joseph publicly gave the command for the saints to begin building the temple in 1840…

It has been established that the purchase of the land for the temple and the beginning of its erection had begun before section 124  was given.

Hence, that facts are that

1- Section 124 definitely did not contain the original revelation to build the Nauvoo Temple

2- The revelation had to have been given sometime before Joseph commanded the saints to build the temple in 1840

3- There is no other claim of a revelation being given other than the one that Elias Higbee gave in the official church periodical in which these types of announcements were to be spotlighted. (other than modern day interpretations that claim that 124 refers to the Nauvoo Temple)

Those are the two things that I did not elaborate on very well in my earlier comments about the two houses that were to be built in Nauvoo. I am glad my friend helped me realize I needed to give more information about why “strangers” would need to live where the Lord was personally dwelling and why I find the claim of Judge Elias Higbee to be credible.

Speculations for the Mystics that Read this Blog

Now, I want to quote a few more statements from the email that a friend sent me. Everything else that follows in this post is highly speculative.

But the thing that really struck me as incredibly fascinating and possibly profound was the following comment of Sog:  

“This means to me that the Nauvoo House will be a place where true eternal marriages and sealings will occur. It could be said that the Nauvoo Temple is a house of patriarchy, and the Nauvoo House, a house of matrimony.” !!!!

“A temple is obviously SO patriarchal, with its various levels and orders of priesthood, etc.  But, a “house of MATRIMONY”!!!  What a concept!  …. I just think that it fits so nicely with the Lord’s purpose statement in 124:38 “… that those ordinances might be revealed which had been hid from before the world was“.

 Why?  

Because, so many true principles seem to have an evil/carnal, counterfeit, counterpart that is very close to it and therefore very attractive (e.g., United Order and Communism, love and lust, to name just the first two that pop to mind).

 It just seems like it would be a kind of spiritual poetic symbiosis if the true intent of those words were referring to “true eternal marriages and sealings” that would be revealed to occur in accordance with the law of monogamy in the Nauvoo House while “blind and drunk” Israel, in accordance with its abominable desires, ended up with counterfeit “sham” eternal marriages and sealings to many “spiritual wives” according to the law of polygamy

 Anyway, it’s all just wild speculation on my part, but fascinating stuff, no doubt.”

Those observations that my friend made, which were motivated by the comments of Fabledsob got my wheels turning on the subject also.

If Ye are Not ONE Ye are Not Mine

The declaration that ” if ye are not one ye are not mine”, may have a deeper meaning than the law of consecration, relating to the saints having all things in common. The level of being one may have to do with the composite mystery of Godliness.

The mystical Bridal Chamber

After reading those comments by my friend, it occurred to me that I had missed the profundity of some of the things that fabledsog had said. Upon further pondering, it really does make sense that the Nauvoo House could be used to ponder the word of the Lord where the second ordinances may be revealed and performed. It may even be where the mystical chamber is, wherein the mystical union of the sexes takes place.

I have previously speculated that the righteous man and woman are sealed by the Holy Spirit of Promise through the baptism of fire and the Holy Ghost without ceremony, however, why not a literal ceremony?

Why wouldn’t that be one of the holy ordinances hidden from the beginning?

The discovery of the Nag Hammadi codices (a group of ancient texts found in an urn) in Upper Egypt 60 years ago has sparked some fascinating debates about Christianity’s central mystery. One of the most intriguing candidates for that mystery is the Sacrament of the Bridal Chamber. It is described specifically in the Gospel of Philip as the means to attain Christhood. It is also alluded to in the Exegesis on the Soul and, apparently, the Gospel of Thomas.” (Ref)

70. Christ came to rectify the separation that had been present since the beginning and join the two; and to give life unto those who had died by separation and join them together. Now,a woman joins with her husband in the bridal bedroom, and those who have joined in the bridal bedroom will not reseparate. (Gospel of Philip)

“If the woman had not separated from the man, she would not die with the man. His separation became the beginning of death.

Because of this Christ came to repair the separation which was from the beginning and again unite the two and to give life to those who died as a result of the separation and unite them. But the woman is united to her husband in the bridal chamber. Indeed those who have united in the bridal chamber will no longer be separated. ” (The Nag Hammadi Library James M. Robinson General Editor)

We know that at some point in time the commandment for righteous married couples must once again BECOME ONE FLESH, which was given in the beginning of time shortly after the fall, must be fulfilled before the end of time.

Those who are to become equal with Christ in the mystery of godliness (with a minor “g”) must receive the “binding”/”sealing” union that makes them composite. This is done in the mystical bridal chamber spoken of in some of the ancient texts.

See  also https://onewhoiswatching.wordpress.com/2010/08/09/celibacy-the-doctrine-of-marriage-the-shaker-connection/

and

https://onewhoiswatching.wordpress.com/2008/12/03/66/

We know that the 2nd watch restoration, and the four standard works, revealed what JS referred to as the first four principles and ordinances of the gospel, or what God refers to as the “first ordinances”, but section 124 informs us that sacred ordinances that have been hidden from the foundation must be made known and performed in the dispensation of the fulness of times.

First Ordinances

Behold, these are the first ordinances which you shall receive; and the residue shall be made known in a time to come, according to your labor in my vineyard. And again, I would that ye should learn that he only is saved who endureth unto the end.  Even so.  Amen.” (53:6-7)

The mystery of godliness

God bestowed the priesthood to enable the valiant saints to have the mysteries of godliness manifested to them.

19  And this greater priesthood administereth the gospel and holdeth the key of the mysteries of the kingdom, even the key of the knowledge of God.

20  Therefore, in the ordinances thereof, the power of godliness is manifest.

21  And without the ordinances thereof, and the authority of the priesthood, the power of godliness is not manifest unto men in the flesh;

22  For without this no man can see the face of God, even the Father, and live. (section84)

The Revealing of the Mystery of Godliness shall be Finished

John the Revelator makes a declaration that the mystery of God shall be finished that had previously been declared by his servants before the seventh angel begins his sound:

In the days of the voice of the seventh angel, when he shall begin to sound, the mystery of God should be finished, as he hath declared to his servants the prophets (Revelation 10:7).”

We have been promised that it shall be revealed whether there be one god or many. Does the fulfillment of this promise take place in Nauvoo?

In section 93 we are given in part, the testimony of John regarding the mysterious nature of God with the promise that we will receive the fulness of the record of John pertaining to this great mystery.

Does this book come forth in preparation for the gathering to Nauvoo?

Is it revealed in Nauvoo?

Does it reveal an ordinance that takes place in Nauvoo?

In section 93 it we are informed that “.. when separated, man cannot receive a fulness of joy“. (Although some interpret that passage to mean the separation of spirit and element which is being referred to in the previous passage, that is not necessarily what verse 34 is referencing)

Is it possible that the “mystery of Godliness” and the nature and ordinance of uniting males and females to become the “Sons of God” must take place in the bridal chamber in the Nauvoo House, where they can be prepared and be taught by the Savior of the world that dwells there?

While most ordinances pertaining to the house of the Lord in scriptures are very male oriented, the Nauvoo House is for the “strangers” who are “saints”, which implies, both male and female. Hence the ordinances thereof would be for both genders to participate in.

It has previously been pointed out that Isaiah 60 shares multiple keywords with section 124. Isaiah 57 speaks of declaring the acceptable day of the Lord, section 93 mandates Sidney to “proclaim the acceptable year of the Lord”.

We know that many of the ending chapters of Isaiah pertain to the content in section 124.

“Thy Land Shall be Married”

The following passage shows up in Isaiah 62:4 declaring that the LAND shall be MARRIED.

FOR Zion’s sake will I not hold my peace, and for Jerusalem’s sake I will not rest, until the righteousness thereof go forth as brightness, and the salvation thereof as a lamp that burneth.

2  And the Gentiles shall see thy righteousness, and all kings thy glory: and thou shalt be called by a new name, which the mouth of the LORD shall name.

3  Thou shalt also be a crown of glory in the hand of the LORD, and a royal diadem in the hand of thy God.

4  Thou shalt no more be termed Forsaken; neither shall thy land any more be termed Desolate: but thou shalt be called Hephzi-bah, and thy land Beulah: for the LORD delighteth in thee, and thy land shall be married.

5  ¶ For as a young man marrieth a virgin, so shall thy sons marry thee: and as the bridegroom rejoiceth over the bride, so shall thy God rejoice over thee.

6  I have set watchmen upon thy walls, O Jerusalem, which shall never hold their peace day nor night: ye that make mention of the LORD, keep not silence,

7  And give him no rest, till he establish, and till he make Jerusalem a praise in the earth.

The land shall be married?

There are obviously multiple possible levels of meaning here, some mystical.

An obvious surface meaning of the land being married might be found in section 133: 24

However, another meaning might have to do with the fact that the male/man and the female/man were created from the dust of the earth and then separated from each other.

In other words, a man or woman is just a blob of animated dust, earth, or land, walking around.

Eventually, the land will have the curse taken off of it and be sanctified when it is married. That could pertain to the land we walk on, or, to us as individual clumps of animated dust.

Wherefore, it is lawful that he should have one wife, and they twain shall be one flesh, and all this that the earth might answer the end of its creation; And that it might be filled with the measure of man, according to his creation before the world was made.” (49:16-17)

It is the consecrated people upon the land, that sanctify the land of Zion (D&C 119)

Seeing God

Why would the converted strangers (children of Abraham) need to contemplate the word of God in a holy, undefiled house where Christ dwells?

Because the veil of unbelief needs to be completely removed and they need to see and converse with God. Should we be surprised if there is actually an appointed time, in the designated holy place when and where this takes place?

And again, verily I say unto you that it is your privilege, and a promise I give unto you that have been ordained unto this ministry, that inasmuch as you strip yourselves from jealousies and fears, and humble yourselves before me, for ye are not sufficiently humble, the veil shall be rent and you shall see me and know that I am—not with the carnal neither natural mind, but with the spiritual.

11  For no man has seen God at any time in the flesh, except quickened by the Spirit of God.

12  Neither can any natural man abide the presence of God, neither after the carnal mind.

13  Ye are not able to abide the presence of God now, neither the ministering of angels; wherefore, continue in patience until ye are perfected.

14  Let not your minds turn back; and when ye are worthy, in mine own due time, ye shall see and know that which was conferred upon you by the hands of my servant Joseph Smith, Jun.  Amen.”

Again, this is all very speculative. I only offer it to get the creative, revelatory juices flowing for the mystics that read this blog. 🙂

Advertisements

19 Responses to Housekeeping Issues Regarding Sections 124 and 97

  1. Ryan says:

    I just re-read Isa. 54 and saw things that I’ve never seen before.

    Thank you Watcher for pointing out the Three Watches to me. It’s changed the way I study the scriptures.

    This was all foretold by Isaiah and then reinforced by the Savior’s visit to the Nephites.

    6 For the Lord hath called thee as a woman forsaken and grieved in spirit, and a wife of youth, when thou wast refused, saith thy God.

    (Refused or rejected as in D&C 124:32 or as early as 1834 when Christ’s name was removed from the church.)

    7 For a small moment have I forsaken thee; but with great mercies will I gather thee.

    8 In a little wrath I hid my face from thee for a moment; but with everlasting kindness will I have mercy on thee, saith the Lord thy Redeemer.

    10 For the mountains shall depart, and the hills be removed; but my kindness shall not depart from thee, neither shall the covenant of my peace be removed, saith the Lord that hath mercy on thee.

    (Isaiah 54:6-8, 10)

    The Lord had forsaken his church when He removed his name from it and they became scattered. But he would gather them again in mercy and kindness either just before or at the beginning of the 3rd watch for the covenant’s sake, which would not be removed.

    I never would have seen this. Thank you and praise be to God for his holy word.

    I love the scriptures now more than ever.

  2. Ryan says:

    One more thing that I forgot to add…

    4 Fear not; for thou shalt not be ashamed: neither be thou confounded; for thou shalt not be put to shame: for thou shalt forget the shame of thy youth, and shalt not remember the reproach of thy widowhood any more. (Isaiah 54:4)

    Most of the shame that the church has born because of JS and others will be forgotten or wiped away.

    If it wasn’t for the SGD I wouldn’t have understood this or how it could be.

  3. Praise be the Lord God of Israel and his mercy 🙂

  4. Ryan says:

    Watcher,

    One thing that I don’t quite have a handle on are patriarchal blessings.

    Mine is vague enough that it’s come to pass several times already.

    However there’s a weird phrase about taking my family to be sealed in the temple. I was “sealed” to my wife before we had a family.

    Now I look to this as some future date.

    Have you written about patriarchal blessings in light of the church’s current lack of priesthood?

  5. I have noticed that some PBs are incredibly prophetic while others don’t appear to be. I think it depends on the person, the patriarch, and perhaps other things.

    As I understand it, a father has the right to give a patriarchal blessing to his children. I am not sure ordination to a specific office or priesthood is even necessary.

    Patriarchal priesthood is inherited, not ordained, as I understand it.

    I have not really written about the topic other than a brief mention of it in the Book of Abraham series.

  6. ryder478 says:

    I was reading on Avraham Gileadi’s web site a couple of days ago, to enhance my understanding of Isaiah, and read that “rib” in Hebrew means “chamber”. I have difficulty ‘not’ linking rib to the meaning of bridal chamber or mystic chamber.

    IDK myself, but just a thought.

  7. Fascinating thought!

    On the general topic, I was pondering some of the speculations that I and some of the other commenters were making about the possibility of the Nauvoo house playing a role in the ultimate sealing of the male and female in the marital chamber and I decided to do a few keyword searches to see if there were any hints in the Old Testament that might link the Nauvoo house thusly and I found an amazing statement in Psalms 144

    2 That our sons may be as plants grown up in their youth; that our daughters may be as corner stones, polished after the similitude of a palace:

    Compare that to this passage in section 124

    2 Your prayers are acceptable before me; and in answer to them I say unto you, that you are now called immediately to make a solemn proclamation of my gospel, and of this stake which I have planted to be a cornerstone of Zion, which shall be polished with the refinement which is after the similitude of a palace.

    The passage in Psalms is clearly speaking about the general same topic. Yet it speaks about the daughters being the “cornerstones” which will be polished after the similitude of a palace.

    I am still trying to wrap my mind around what is being said.

    That blows me away!

    BTW a few verses earlier it speaks of the new song

    “I will sing a new song unto thee, O God”

    Joseph said the 144,000 would be sealed up in Nauvoo… I guess it is just a coincidence that this is verse 144. 🙂

  8. JennyP1969 says:

    My take on this cornerstone/daughters symbolism comes from Masonic ideology of sorts. Nauvoo was a heavily Masonic-riddled time period….

    Cornerstones are the most key stone of a whole building. If it isn’t perfectly square and perfectly level, the remainder of the building is off. It is the first stone laid and is to be polished greater than all other stones so it will always stand out among the remaining stones.

    Masons seek to build a spiritual temple within themselves all throughout life. Christ is the Chief Cornerstone upon which all remaining qualities of the spiritual temple is to be built.

    In the psalm, and again in section 124, perhaps the daughters growing up to be polished cornerstones is symbolic of becoming the key first stone laid in a child’s life upon which will determine the stature and character of the person the child will grow up to be. Mothers are key. Polished to stand out as a key to the correct foundation the person from the beginning. If she is a mother who has Christ as her Chief Cornerstone, her children will be straight and true. And strong.

    Women are literal partners with Diety in creating the bodies to be born, and nurturing the “building” from the foundation up of the souls/temples of sons and daughters of God. If that cornerstone is not right, woe ensues.

    Way cool.

  9. Jenny

    I could not agree more with your following statement

    “perhaps the daughters growing up to be polished cornerstones is symbolic of becoming the key first stone laid in a child’s life upon which will determine the stature and character of the person the child will grow up to be. Mothers are key. Polished to stand out as a key to the correct foundation the person from the beginning. If she is a mother who has Christ as her Chief Cornerstone, her children will be straight and true. And strong.

    Women are literal partners with Diety in creating the bodies to be born, and nurturing the “building” from the foundation up of the souls/temples of sons and daughters of God. If that cornerstone is not right, woe ensues.”

    Mothers are truly the cornerstone in the lives of their children on therefore of society and of Zion. They not only bring forth life, they also nurture the life they bring forth and they teach the children they bring forth. I think this calling even transcends their own children. A Godly woman becomes a teacher and nurturer of every child they come in contact with. A woman does not even need to physically have their own children in order to be a cornerstone in another person’s life.

    I would add to you observation, the essential role they play in “helping” the man, which is their calling as “helpmate”. I have found in my marriage that Mrs Watcher is my foundation and my cornerstone in the Lord. She provides stability to my life in ways that are ineffable that I feel at a loss to explain the synergism that takes place.

    Also, I find that just being in her presence actuates a flow of revelation as I read the scriptures.

    I believe that the declaration that “neither is the woman without the man neither the man without the woman in the Lord” is referring to the need each gender has for their partner and the foundational cornerstone that the daughters of God provide in the lives of the Sons of God.

    It is interesting to me that Psalms 144 refers to the “tower” which relates to Nauvoo and it also speaks of the “new song” which alludes to the sealing up of the 144,000. Is it possible that the vibratory frequency that sings of completion, that can only be learned by those souls that have been reunited with their cornerstone? Can this be why the 144,000 are referred to as both “High Priests” and “Virgins” ?

  10. JennyP1969 says:

    Watcher, you write some of the loveliest things about Mrs. W. I love that. What a beautiful concept of her being your corner stone too. Perhaps women are the whole family corner stone. Mr. P. was recently released as a YSA bishop. He loved that calling, and we both love the “kids” from “our” sweet ward. But oh my, how troubled and “messed up” are so many of them. They come from wonderful and strong LDS families, but for all the righteous endeavors of their parents, character development has fallen far short. This fallen state of mortality is full of potholes, sink holes, and fox holes. I’ve come to believe that the atonement is THE thing that matters most. Without it, we are irrevocably doomed….doomed beyond comprehension. But when they grasp the merest strands of the atonement, miracles happen. True, true miracles.

    So once again we see that whether corner stone, or any other stone, male or female — Christ is Every.Thing. And even this we only barely discern in totality because we are in this fallen condition.

    Oh what a lovely tribute to Mrs. Watcher. I hope you tell her these things……

  11. Ryan says:

    Jenny,

    Does Mr. P share your same beliefs and read Watcher’s blog?

    If so how did that effect his ministry as a YSA bishop?

  12. Jenny,

    If you have been secretly reading my blog without telling Mr. P or your Bishop, I will need to notify them.

  13. “If you have been secretly reading my blog without telling Mr. P or your Bishop, I will need to notify them.”

    Jenny

    I hope you realize that my tongue was planted firmly in my cheek when I said what I did. My dry sense of humor is sometimes hard to translate over the Internet. In fact, after 35 years of marriage Mrs. Watcher still does not always know when I am kidding. 🙂

  14. JennyP1969 says:

    To Ryan and Watcher….

    Lol! No, my husband does not read this blog. He reads no blogs at all, not even the church websites. He thinks most people who write blogs have too much time on their hands and should spend it in better ways, which, of course he is the expert of determining. It’s his passive-aggressive way of letting me know that if writing blogs is a waste of time, reading them is worse. He sees my scriptures open and my shuffling through them as I read, so he can’t exactly say I’m wasting my time. But he’d rather I was doing more gardening, quilting, cleaning, or cooking….you know, the things I did before he got me an iPad for my birthday three years ago.

    So, no there is no sharing of what I’ve been learning. Well…that’s not fully correct. If I say I learned something in my scripture study, and if it isn’t too controversial, and I have my scriptures right there, he listens. I appreciate that. But, Watcher, I can’t give you any credit for it or he wouldn’t listen. I apologize for that. When he asks where I found those scriptural connections I say it was from one of those gospel geniuses that are scriptural giants. He likes sources like that. Wink. And it’s the truth.

    Watcher, have you ever read “Visions of Glory”? There guy who saw Joseph said he spoke in the conference center with the appearance of someone different, and then morphed into his familiar self. I found this curious in regards to the Third Watch. And I’m curious as to what you think about it if you’ve read the book.

    Hey, Happy New Year to All! I look forward to a new year of watching and learning.

  15. Jenny-

    I had not even heard of the book until you mentioned it. I just Googled it and noticed that Tim Malone over at latterday commentary recently did a review of it and apparently Greg Smith also did one on the FAIR website.

    I look forward to reading both reviews.

    I was struck by the following statement of Tim’s:

    “The negative reviews on Amazon and elsewhere declare that Spencer was deceived. I’m not going to go that far. I believe Spencer was sincere when he described what he said he saw.”

    What does sincerity have to do with deception besides absolutely nothing?

    I may be misunderstanding what Tim is saying there, but it feels like he is confusing discernment with sincerity and I don’t think there is any connection at all.

    I believe that most, if not all deceived people are sincere. Sincerity is a given.

    Very few of the false prophets out there are insincere. But they are confused and deceived.

    Anyway, thank you for the heads up, I look forward to reading the reviews.

    Happy New Year to you Jenny and to everyone else. I think 2014 is going to be a humdinger. 😉

  16. Fusion says:

    I read a lot and heard a couple of podcasts from John Pontius and ‘Spencer’ more than a year ago with my wife. I thought John had a beautiful spirit, Christlike.

    However, as I continued to read and use my instincts, I felt it was time to lay off and conquer other directions, coz something just wasn’t right. I am not saying that John Pontius did not have a spiritual experience- I think it is possible he did, but something about Spencer’s relating his experiences just didn’t tie in with the portion of Holy Spirit that I have.

    In saying this, I think you may have said something in one of your comments the other day, Watcher, about you not believing the Holy Spirit is truly here without the fulness of the Gospel being present. Funnily enough, I have been discussing that very phrase with my Wife and my closest buddies- it seems extremely uncomfortable for me to either say, or, to hear others say they have the Holy Spirit and thus they can discern such and such.

    I keep stating the phrases ‘my instincts’ or ‘portion of Holy Spirit’ because it does NOT make sense to me that the Holy Ghost is fully here, because of the insane amount of CONFUSION that exists! Because of the era of the internet, we have done a strange 180 degree spin- whereas in the past most people faltered because of a LACK of information, I believe most people are lost because of TOO much information- or, in other words, too many spins and options on a given topic, thus, a deluge of MISinformation.

    I wish I could say I have the Holy Ghost. There are definitely times I have felt the Lord’s presence, but I am such an unworthy soul, that I just can’t justify the presence of the Spirit within me over so many other folks who are so Christlike in deed and in thought.

    If I did indeed have the Holy Ghost like most people who claim they do (even though they ironically always disagree with someone else who also says they have the Holy Spirit!), I would not be make so many mistakes and constant face palms…!

  17. Fusion

    I am sure it is offensive and even laughable to members of the church when I suggest that we don’t enjoy the fulness of the Holy Ghost and we don’t have the true gift of the Holy Ghost, but, that is how I see it.

    I agree with your assessment, we live in an era of information overload. In some ways it is a blessing to have access to so much information, yet, if a person cannot discern and make sense out of the information we have, it is a cursing instead of a blessing.

    I believe we live in a time of extreme confusion. There are basically two types of confused people. Those who know they are confused and those that are blissfully unaware of how confused they are.

    As Church Missler says, one of the biggest stumbling blocks to learning the truth is the false assumption that we already have it.

  18. JennyP1969 says:

    I’m right there with you Fusion on the gift of the Holy Ghost. I have had that gift at key times, but often it is in the looking back that I recognize His hand in my behalf.

    In our fallen state, I believe we can abide only a mere portion of the Spirit. His glory is God’s, and none can abide it unless a change is wrought…and that change cannot be granted until we are prepared.

    Sooo……I believe the spirit world is under the stewardship of the greatest of Spirits — the Holy Ghost. And I believe the same pattern exists there as here on this side of the veil. In other words, I believe there is delegation of callings and stewardships among the spirits to help guide and direct, and even protect us folks still here. In God’s name, they serve us, and the honor and glory goes to God. As it should.

    I believe this because my son died in an accident for 22-27 minutes when he was just barely 3. It’s a long and terrible and beautiful story, but the main point is, he recovered fully and told us of his time beyond the veil. He stressed that we are never, ever left alone — that many spirits watch over us to help guide us to be like Jesus. But we don’t “see” or “hear” them because we use our eyes and ears rather than our hearts.

    It seems we can abide our ancestors glory…smiles. He taught of the love they have for us, and how they pull for us, and cheer us on, and tell us where to look for truth and love, and how to choose love above ALL t.h.i.n.g.s. He taught of how at special times, special spirits come to our aid.

    And this is key (perhaps even A Key): the more we heed them, the stronger “spirit” we and they have. He says they can’t abide yelling and will flee. He says they don’t like arguing. They’re full of love, peace, and wisdom. If we constantly ignore their whispering they leave for a time and try again later. But the more we recognize their help, the more we discern their “spiritual” presence and the closer we are to Jesus.

    He taught that Jesus has everything figured out so we can be like Him and never be alone while here in this veiled estate.

    When the blessed Third Watch comes (and it feels very, very close) we WILL have the wondrous fullness of the gospel…..and with that will come a much larger portion of the Spirit! Oh Happy Day! Till then, I try my best to honor those loved ones who teach and guide me each day under the direction of the Spirit. I try not to be “deaf” and “blind”. I try to imagine if I was one of them (and we all will be sooner or later) and couldn’t get through to someone still here how discouraging that would be. I try to listen from the heart and with my spirit ears. As the years have passed (20) since his accident and his message from “home” I’ve become much more adept at this process.

    I believe Watcher has had a great deal of “guidance” in his work and study. I further believe I was “guided” to find his writings to help me. I know this sounds…well……..I know how it sounds. Yet, I believe. I do not believe my son was deceived, but I’m not offended if you do.

    Do I hit “send”? I’m very hesitant to do so. I have learned that when someone is ready, this special experience blesses. But when they aren’t, it causes negative reactions and a few times, even mocking. It’s a new year. Perhaps these words will give an insight into this part of the “gift” of the Holy Ghost. I hope it does. Let us add “listening” to our efforts at watching. I believe if we do, we will be strengthened against deception, and will discern far more as we watch……and wait……study…….and learn……..

%d bloggers like this: