I got an amazing email today that began with this
“I have a capsule concern that is bothering me immensely. I am not looking to you for all answers; but, those answers where I am blank and not visited with, I inquire.”
I will now provide some of this person’s comments followed by my responses:
“First of all, since the second part of the preparatory Priesthood is gone, that leaves the Levitical order left, which is all right because of the ability to spread the gospel and baptize (supposedly bringing the everlasting covenant). But in 1923, good ole’ Heber decides to change the manner of conferral to ordaining to office first. Then Good ole’ David decides that that isn’t right and smoothly changes it back to the way it was. Since my father was born in 1922 and fell under the auspices of the new arrangement, was his my baptism even valid in 1963 when he may not have had a true ordinance of conferral upon him? Therefore all 50 people I baptized in Florida from 1975-77 may not be valid; and my sons as well?”
You bring up a fascinating question that I have pondered as well.
I honestly don’t know the answer for sure. My gut feeling is that the technicality of how the levitical priesthood was transferred incorrectly is probably not much of an issue. First of all, one needs to remember that baptism under that authority is basically the law of moses version of baptism that only points us to the need for baptism from the higher priesthood. ( Just as the “more righteous” portion of Nephites that were not destroyed in 3 Nephi needed to be re-baptized by the higher authority, even though they had previously been baptized by Nephi. )
All of us will need to be re-baptized when the servants return, regardless of whether we have had a valid preparatory baptism.
The other “hint” that may shed some light on this, that I will be addressing sometime in the last part of the current series, is that according to the allegory in the Book of Jacob in the Book of Mormon, the transition of taking the preparatory gospel to the “outcasts of Israel” and the “dispersed of Judah” shortly after the Gentiles rejected the “fulness” of the Gospel, resulted in keeping the roots alive in the church until the Marvelous Work and a Wonder begins with the servants returning and the additional books of scripture coming forth.
My feeling is that the taking of the lesser gospel to the world and keeping the roots alive, includes three things.
a) Nourishing the latter day church with the knowledge of the gospel contained in the Book of Mormon and the D&C (& JST Bible)
b) The authority of the Levitical priesthood in orchestrating missionary work and taking the message of the Gospel to the world
c) Grafting in other branches of the tree (House of Israel) into the existing tree that was previously composed primarily of wild branches (gentiles).
This grafting in is in fulfillment of Christ’s prophecy in 3 Nephi 16 and it began when the keys of gathering were secretly given to Joseph and Oliver in the Kirtland Temple. Shortly after that, Joseph anounced that “something new must be done for the salvation of the church”. Foreign missions were then established and soon thereafter, converts from the House of Israel (Jews) began coming from the British Isles to Nauvoo. According to the allegory in Jacob, this grafting is what keeps the roots alive:
50 But, behold, the servant said unto the Lord of the vineyard: Spare it a little longer.
51 And the Lord said: Yea, I will spare it a little longer, for it grieveth me that I should lose the trees of my vineyard.
52 Wherefore, let us take of the branches of these which I have planted in the nethermost parts of my vineyard, and let us graft them into the tree from whence they came; and let us pluck from the tree those branches whose fruit is most bitter, and graft in the natural branches of the tree in the stead thereof.
53 And this will I do that the tree may not perish, that, perhaps, I may preserve unto myself the roots thereof for mine own purpose.
54 And, behold, the roots of the natural branches of the tree which I planted whithersoever I would are yet alive; wherefore, that I may preserve them also for mine own purpose, I will take of the branches of this tree, and I will graft them in unto them. Yea, I will graft in unto them the branches of their mother tree, that I may preserve the roots also unto mine own self, that when they shall be sufficiently strong perhaps they may bring forth good fruit unto me, and I may yet have glory in the fruit of my vineyard.
“67 And the branches of the natural tree will I graft in again into the natural tree;
68 And the branches of the natural tree will I graft into the natural branches of the tree; and thus will I bring them together again, that they shall bring forth the natural fruit, and they shall be one.”
If in fact these things are all part of keeping the roots alive, then that would indicate that the church does not lose the lesser priesthood before the Marvelous Work begins, although it is functioning as a tribe, not a church. It has been rejected as a church, meaning that it no longer has the higher authority for administering the ordinances of salvation.
Lastly, I believe the following prophecy in D&C 13 probably applies to the final offering of righteousness that takes place in the 3rd watch (which could possibly be characterized of the completion of the offering in righteousness that took place in the 2nd watch)
“UPON you my fellow servants, in the name of Messiah I confer the Priesthood of Aaron, which holds the keys of the ministering of angels, and of the gospel of repentance, and of baptism by immersion for the remission of sins; and this shall never be taken again from the earth, until the sons of Levi do offer again an offering unto the Lord in righteousness.”
Next observation from the email:
“I understand we are under condemnation for changing the ordinance, but what is “breaking” the everlasting covenant mean? We changed the manner of baptism by eliminating confessing and committing to an audience, and the wording changed from “authority” to “commissioned”, so would breaking be because of Heber’s denunciation of the conferral process? These have serious ramifications you can see. Why would the restoration process, and the preparing the world for the second coming be shut off at the surface and be eliminated all together when the worls needs to be prepared and gathered?”
It quite literally means the everlasting covenant has been broken. It is no longer in effect. We are currently upheld by MERCY and the preparatory Gospel and the lesser law, instead of the GRACE of the everlasting Gospel.
The everlasting gospel covenant between God and his people has been broken… Period, end of story.
It was established with the Gentiles back in the New Testament and reconfirmed with the restored church for a short period of time, but it was broken when the Saints and the entire nation rejected the fulness by 1834.
I have been trying to get this point across for six years in my blogs but I think very few people believe me. My goal is to hammer this point home when I complete the current series. That is the whole reason why the servants must return to “restore the breach” (Isaiah 58:12) “That mine everlasting covenant might be established; That the fulness of my gospel might be proclaimed by the weak and the simple unto the ends of the world, and before kings and rulers.” (D&C 1: 22-23)
Although I am speculating that the Levitical priesthood is still on the earth, one can make a strong argument that the changing of the way the ordinance of priesthood was conferred was an integral part of changing the ordinance of baptism and that section 13 of the D&C was fulfilled after Josephs acceptable intercessory offering in the 2nd watch.
“I[n] summary, I may not have been properly baptized, I have had no bestowal of the Holy Ghost, and I mock the blessing of all those I came in contact with acting in the name of the Lord. Did I agree to come in the Dark Ages of time when I feel I have learned so much concerning the acts of the heavens?”
I have no idea what each of us agreed to relative to which period of time we came to earth. On the bright side, every time I am sitting in my warm home with Mrs Watcher, sipping a cup of hot chocolate and reading the four standard works that people have shed their blood to make available for me to read, study, search and ponder, I think of the Book of Mormon people and the adversity they faced. I think of the New Testament Saints and the persecution they experienced. I think of the darkened minds of the Utah pioneers that walked to Utah on Bloody feet to have the privilege of being oppressed by King Brigham and his version of the preparatory gospel and I think of the poor souls that were enticed into the bondage of polygamy. I have absolutely no desire to trade places with anyone. LOL ( am being a little light hearted and perhaps light minded in some of my remarks.. please don’t take offense.. I have to view things this way to keep my sanity. Obviously, the times ahead could be much harder than previous generations have experienced..)
You and I are living at the time when the everlasting gospel is about to shine forth in all of its glorious and ineffable effervescence.
We have been given the scriptures and study helps, such as word crunching software that saves us from an inordinate amount of time and brain damage and enables us, with the help of God’s Spirit, to find out what has happened in the past and what is about to take place.
While we don’t have the bonafide “constant companionship” that comes from the true “gift of the Holy Ghost“, we clearly have the light of Christ and possibly the intermittent visitations of the Holy Ghost. I can testify from personal experience that I have felt intelligence being downloaded into my heart and mind while searching God’s holy word.. I strongly suspect that you have experienced the same thing.
This is preparing us for the Marvelous Work!
Praise God almighty!
You and I are living in the time that all of the prophets have seen in vision and prophesied about.
“So I have the Book of Mormon and prayer without the Spirit preparing me to see the face of my Savior. Can you see how this knocks my world askew since my nature has always been to analyze?”
I certainly understand that all of this information is a shock to ones system and a real paradigm changer, but the good news if that the servants are coming with the GOOD NEWS and we have the opportunity to prepare our hearts and our minds to receive the servants.
We currently study and ponder the “lesser things” contained in the Book of Mormon but we are going to have the opportunity to read, study, search and ponder the “greater things” that are about to come forth.
You, my friend are among the very few of the latter day saints that even begin to comprehend what is about to take place. Count yourself blessed beyond description.
Your remarks demonstrate someone who has cared enough to search deeply in the history of the church and the word of God. I pray that God will continue to infuse you with the light that we all need to prepare our hearts and our minds for that which will probably take place in a very short period of time.
Keep praying, studying, searching, pondering and spiritually preparing..
oh… and keep Watching.