I have a capsule concern that is bothering me immensely

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.

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11 Responses to I have a capsule concern that is bothering me immensely

  1. Ryan says:

    Watcher,

    In discussing the loss of the fullness of the priesthood with others a plaguing thought has lingured in my mind.

    When BY led the saints westward, he did not hold the keys of presidency, but did hold the keys of apostleship as the president of the twelve and the patriarchal priesthood.

    Where, when or how did he and others of the twelve lose the patriarchal priesthood?

    I know that The Lord said they would need to complete the Nauvoo Temple to have it filled with the power of the patriarchal priesthood but not that they would lose it.

    Even if they lost the right to exercise it, which I haven’t read, does that translate to not having authority to pass it on or confer it?

    Authority to act in the priesthood and power in the priesthood are two different things. Hence many are called, but few are chosen.

    Wouldn’t someone have to have the patriarchal priesthood or be a direct descendent of Moses in order to see God?

    Where does that leave us prior to the second coming? That’ll be a lot of conferring by the first elders. 🙂

  2. Patriarchal priesthood is a very vague concept to us because very little was explained about it in the scriptures. I don’t pretend to be an expert on the topic.

    My current view is that patriarchal priesthood is inherited based on physical and spiritual lineage.

    When we speak of patriarchal priesthood being restored or lost, I believe it is somewhat of a misnomer. I am not convinced that patriarchal priesthood was ever bestowed or conferred, or even lost because it is innate. What was bestowed or conferred and eventually lost, was the legitimacy of the priesthood “offices” that function under the patriarchal priesthood.

    Joseph and Oliver were ordained as “elders” and “apostles” with specific administrative rights and powers, but IMO they already held the lineal patriarchal priesthood.

    Since Joseph and Oliver were the literal sons of Moses and not Aaron, it was necessary for that priesthood to be conferred in order for God to accomplish what he needed to. There was no need to confer patriarchal priesthood IMO.

    When the church was rejected as a church, I don’t think patriarchal priesthood was taken away, HOWEVER, I think a strong case can be made that the legitimacy of the offices within that priesthood became null and void.

    The whole purpose of having those offices is to administer gospel ordinances and gospel blessings in the church.

    If the church is no longer accepted of God, it has no saving power and has no need for the higher ordinances of salvation beyond the preparatory gospel.

    Hence, if the fulness of the Gospel has been taken from the earth, why would the Lord need to allow the priesthood offices that bestow Gospel blessings to remain?

    I believe the “Church of Jesus Christ of Latter day Saints” as we call ourselves, effectively became a “tribal kingdom” living a lesser law powered by Levitial priesthood once it was rejected as a church by God. All they really needed in order to bestow the letter of the law and associated cursings was Levitical priesthood.

    Brigham Young was presiding of the latter day “Kingdom of the Jews”. it needed to be restored, according to prophecy.

    If the offices that bestow gospel blessings in the church were to never be lost from the earth, there was no need for the Levitical priesthood to ever be restored at the time of the restoration of the church because the higher priesthood offices can perform all of the lesser ordinances. That is why the declaration that “this priesthood shall never be taken from the earth again until…” (or something like that..) is so mind-blowingly significant. In essence, the declaration was inferring that the other priesthood offices and callings WOULD be taken. It was essentially stating that it would be the only priesthood with functioning offices to remain for a period of time.

    The Levitical priesthood personifies the administrative power and inspiration and oppression that accompanied Brigham Young and the saints to Utah. It personifies what drives the church today and why the focus is on salvation by works and fear, rather than the Grace of God. The LDS Church essentially functions as the latter day Law of Moses.

    Naturally there are always some of the “elect of God” who accomplish great spiritual things even during times of darkness purely based on their simple faith in Christ. Those amazing things should not be used to give credibility to the apostate church or their priesthood, rather they should be used to glorify God and to whet our appetites as to the greater things that are to come.

    When I resume the current series I will provide what I consider to be compelling proof from modern revelation and the Book of Mormon, documenting that AS the Gentile Church went into apostasy and became rejected as a church, at the same time, an influx of “Jews” (other branches of the tree of Israel) began gathering into the rejected church from foreign lands.

    This created a mixture of Jew and Gentile into the church in Nauvoo during the time of crisis wherein both groups were given the chance to have a reformation and return to the simple gospel of Christ as outlined in the New Testament, BofM and the early BoC…. but the reformation was rejected resulting in God rejecting the cumulative body of saints, as a church.

    He nevertheless continues to labor with his unfaithful bride and he is nourishing the tribal kingdom of the latter day saints with the “lesser things” contained in the first installment of the Book of Mormon and keeping the “roots alive” for four generations so that the wise virgins who believe his words in the BofM and modern revelation will continue to grow in faith and prepare themselves to “take the Holy Spirit as their [constant] guide” once the light shines forth, the breach has been mended, the broken covenant has been re-established and the call goes forth.

    I realize it is incredibly sobering and painful for members of the church to believe this. I don’t even expect most people that frequent this site to believe this.

    The programming is just too strong and the spirit of deception and cursing put upon the saints that Paul refers to as the “strong delusion” that went forth at the time of the rejection is just to difficult to overcome, but I believe that it will not be long before this concept is validated and those that respond to the greater light become shocked at just how dark the “hidden darkness” really was that they had hitherto been part of.

    Allow me to share the next comment from the person that inspired this post, since it applies to this discussion:

    Thank you. I have felt many of the things you speak. My good wife has said, “You wanted to search for truth, don’t be discouraged for having received it.” I am so fortunate that she loves this as I do. It makes the searching so much brighter. I will continue. Thank you for continuing the wait with good information to help.

    One Question. When someone asks to receive a blessing, I cannot feel right about declaring “by the power of the Melchizedek Priesthood”. I can however state in the name of Jesus Christ using the prayer of faith.. I was always making myself available for blessing on a consistent basis. I wanted to serve and distribute the power of God abroad so to speak. How have you approached this?

    My reply:

    I think the ideal is to do a “prayer of faith” like you said.. however, there are some people in the church that will try to correct you especially if you are doing a two part anointing and sealing as “elders”.

    One way to look at it is that Joseph Smith taught that all priesthood is Melchizedek, meaning that even the Levitical is an appendage of the higher priesthood.

    Perhaps if you are making the declaration with that understanding in your heart, the Lord will understand and will smile upon your offering..

    Again, I don’t know, I am only guessing.

    I wish I knew all of the answers 😉

  3. I have had the same thoughts, and don’t want to return back to church for the reasons stated above. But on the other hand, I have thought that my immersing myself back into the apostate church (kind of like baptism, isn’t it?) would be an act of being responsible for the apostasy (as well as my own), and doing what you said above, “keeping the roots alive”. I would not be running away from it, but rather would be embracing what is so, and not making it wrong. I am sure I would grow in ways that are not possible by my being separate from it. Also it would be a way of turning my heart to my active father.

  4. Ryan says:

    Can’t wait for the next installment.

  5. Ryan says:

    I was reading in Jeremiah 31:36 and I think what I read there and in TPJS are relevant to the conversation.

    36 If those ordinances depart from before me, saith the Lord, then the seed of Israel also shall cease from being a nation before me for ever.

    (Jeremiah 31:36)

    “We have been chastened by the hand of God heretofore for not obeying His commands … we have treated lightly His commands, and departed from His ordinances, and the Lord has chastened us sore … The Lord has told us to build the Temple and the Nauvoo House; and that command is as binding upon us as any other; and that man who engages not in these things is as much a transgressor as though he broke any other commandment; he is not a doer of God’s will, not a fulfiller of His laws.” TPJS p. 253-254

  6. sfort says:

    To all those in this precarious position, we read from Avraham Gileadi: “The great paradox–the test the Saints must endure in our day as anciently–consists of remaining true, even while around people may indulge in idolatry. Brother Hugh Nibley serves as an inspiring example of such faithfulness. Though he recognizes the great good and also evils that exist in the Church, he stands aloof from all disaffection. He scrupulously maintains the fine line between discontent–often voiced openly to inspire us to higher things–and malcontent. From him, malcontent, a sure path to apostasy, receivers not so much as a whisper. One ever sense that what has inspired Brother Nibley throughout his career as a scholar and author is an overriding love and concern for others. His constant preoccupation in life is the cause of Zion. The rest of us would do well to “take a page out of his book’ and read it. May we all have this great understanding as we muddle through these times.

  7. It is difficult enough to avoid being in denial about the situation the church is in, without being on their payroll.

    I believe Gileadi and Nibley both shared that challenge.

    Had Nibley ever told the complete truth about the everlasting covenant being broken, he would have lost his job, his income, his credibility and the esteem of the admiring public.

    Gileadi got a brief taste of what could happen but he quickly made it back into the fold where he could continue enjoying a loyal following.

  8. Fusion says:

    I second that, Watcher. I love both Gileadi and Nibley’s works and think them to definitely be inspired, but the fact is a Denver Snuffer, for example, is not on their payroll whilst the former two are/were. Thus, they have both been careful enough to expound the truth, with a dollop of sweet caramel sauce on the top by their staying in the church, or, in other words, choosing to keep their jobs.

    The same cannot be said for the rest of us- those who have opened their mouths about the very thing that is supposed to define us- the Book of Mormon and its condemnation of us ‘believing’ Gentiles in the latter day church. The intolerance, insecure behaviour and cult-like ‘follow the leader as in North Korea-style’ is for those who are happy to have a puppetmaster. It is a pity that the idea of ‘Come, let us reason together’ (Isa 1:18; D&C 50:10) is pure fiction in the LDS Church (TM).

    In the end, I suppose, I love the expounding of scriptures Avraham and Hugh do/did, but to follow their examples or their opinions on things not directly related to scripture is tantamount to making them our arm of flesh.

  9. Steve says:

    This may answer some of your friend’s concerns: http://boaporg.wordpress.com/2010/08/19/dc-107-part-11-ordination-practices/

    I recommend the whole series to understand the full context, but in short–originally Priesthood ordination was simply an ordination to office without any additional/previous conferral of an order (Aaronic, Melchizedek, etc.) like we do today. Joseph F. Smith, due to a misunderstanding and faulty back-reading of D&C verses where John the Baptist restores the Aaronic Priesthood to Joseph and Oliver, changed the method of ordination to include the conferral of a general Priesthood order (Aaronic or Melchizedek) before ordination to an office. Heber J. Grant was actually changing it back to the original method, and it was David O. McKay that read Joseph F. Smith’s explanation that convinced him to change it back to the JFS style that we practice today.

    When it comes down to it though, the conferral of general Priesthood order, Aaronic and/or Melchizedek–while it might be nice to understand that we are entering into a particular order of the Priesthood–is unnecessary in passing on authority of the Priesthood, which comes solely by ordination to office by one holding the office/authority to do so. No conferral of and official entrance into a general priesthood order was/is actually necessary, only except for the fact that we ought to follow the current procedure given to us by those who hold the all of keys at our head.

    Hope that helps.

  10. Thank you Steve

    Looks like an informative post.

    Who wrote the post do you know? Was it J Stapley?

  11. Steve says:

    I believe it is W. V. Smith, the owner of that site. It seems like he and J Stapley are close friends though, often sharing and commenting on each other’s work.

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