Notable Emails #16 “the Lord wouldn’t give a young church such responsibility so early”

Watcher,

When ever I speak to others about the fullness of the priesthood and Morely’s farm I usually get the same response that the Lord didn’t give the fulness to JS until later in his life in Nauvoo.

It’s always the Lord wouldn’t give a young church such responsibility so early. He had to grow them up first.

I like how well they know the Lord and his will for his people. 🙂

So I thought to do a little research and see what the Lord’s pattern really was.

Mosiah 18

Alma baptizes the people. Then immediately afterward he’s commanded them to live what looks like a form of consecration

27 And again Alma commanded that the people of the church should impart of their substance, every one according to that which he had; if he have more abundantly he should impart more abundantly; and of him that had but little, but little should be required; and to him that had not should be given.

Then in Mosiah 26 Alma is given the promise of eternal life from God’s own mouth out of heaven.

20 Thou art my servant; and I covenant with thee that thou shalt have eternal life; and thou shalt serve me and go forth in my name, and shalt gather together my sheep.

So in that instance the Lord has a people willing to take upon them His name, they share their substance with one another and the Lord reveals from heaven that His servant shall have eternal life. There isn’t much more about that until Alma 13.

But it seems to me that with Alma after they’re baptized, they enter into consecration and receive of the fullness.

The same with the saints of the restoration movement.

I looks like this was the case with the saints of the New Testament time as well. After they were baptized unto the Holy Ghost in Acts 2 it says:

44 And all that believed were together, and had all things common;

Moses, the same. He tried to give them the fullness after baptizing them in the Sea as stated in 1 Cor. 10.

2 And were all baptized unto Moses in the cloud and in the sea;

But they rejected it.

So it seems that my superficial research has yielded me the pattern of the Lord in the matter. That He quickly moves to have His saints consecrate with him and receive of the fullness not much after their baptism.

So the idea that the Lord delayed his pattern for the Latter-day Saints is unfounded because He’s a God that changeth not.

Have you every researched out this pattern before. If so, have you blogged out it? Did I miss it somewhere? What’s missing in my approach?

“RN”

My response

Great observations!

I have always maintained that the fulness happens very quickly once the gospel is restored and I have addressed the topic in different ways but I have not really approached it in the sense that you just did.

One of the most revealing topical searches a person can do in the D&C is to chronologically list everything the Lord says about the law of consecration, including the benefits of living it, and the consequences of not living it once it is commanded.

I think Latter day Saints in general have a huge blind spot with regard to the significance of the law of consecration and how serious of a group sin it is when the law is entered into and then rejected. This comes in part from the ridiculous temple ceremony that enables people to give lip service to the law without having to actually live it. I think many people actually think they are living consecration via their temple vows. The temple endowment offers the wealthy and sophisticated, a way to sacrifice without sacrificing. They can continue to own their mansions and cabins and toys and go on cruises and trips and enjoy class distinction while still thinking they are living the law of consecration.

I think one of the things I try to point out in the fifteen year timeline of Joseph’s ministry is that within two years after the knowledge of the fulness of the gospel was restored, along with the saving ordinances, , the fulness of the gospel/priesthood was restored which lasted for exactly 3 1/2 years before it was lost to the saints.

timeline book

(Click on Graphic to Enlarge)

During the preparatory two year period that preceded the fulness, between March of 1829 and June of 1831, even though the lineal priesthood offices were restored to perform the ordinance of baptism, the Lord informs us that “all flesh” was corrupt. (D&C 38:11) That declaration of the Lord is categorical and it included the baptized members of his restored church. In other words, something more was necessary to bring about sanctification.

 

timelinebook first period

The power to sanctify people did not emerge until  the 3 1/2 year period when the Melchizedek Priesthood  was restored in June of 1831. It was not until after the fulness was restored in 1831 that Joseph and others received the confirming of their oath and covenant and received  their sanctification (See D&C 84 & 88)

“The power and authority of the higher, or Melchizedek Priesthood, is to hold the keys of all the spiritual blessings of the church—” D&C 107:18

 

timelinebook8 second period

Getting back to your search in the Book of Mormon regarding the law of consecration and the pattern that you have found. It becomes apparent that any time a group of saints have the fulness, they are living consecration or getting ready to do so very soon. Conversely, there is another pattern that is provided in the Book of Mormon regarding Consecration having to do with the consequences of breaking the law once it has been entered into.

One of the most sobering historical events that is documented about this law is found in 4th Nephi where it informs us how and why the time of fulness came to an end among the Nephites after three and a half generations of being blessed by it.
1 AND it came to pass that the thirty and fourth year passed away, and also the thirty and fifth, and behold the disciples of Jesus had formed a church of Christ in all the lands round about. And as many as did come unto them, and did truly repent of their sins, were baptized in the name of Jesus; and they did also receive the Holy Ghost.
2 And it came to pass in the thirty and sixth year, the people were all converted unto the Lord, upon all the face of the land, both Nephites and Lamanites, and there were no contentions and disputations among them, and every man did deal justly one with another.
3 And they had all things common among them; therefore there were not rich and poor, bond and free, but they were all made free, and partakers of the heavenly gift.
10 And now, behold, it came to pass that the people of Nephi did wax strong, and did multiply exceedingly fast, and became an exceedingly fair and delightsome people.
11 And they were married, and given in marriage, and were blessed according to the multitude of the promises which the Lord had made unto them.
12 And they did not walk any more after the performances and ordinances of the law of Moses; but they did walk after the commandments which they had received from their Lord and their God, continuing in fasting and prayer, and in meeting together oft both to pray and to hear the word of the Lord.
13 And it came to pass that there was no contention among all the people, in all the land; but there were mighty miracles wrought among the disciples of Jesus.
15 And it came to pass that there was no contention in the land, because of the love of God which did dwell in the hearts of the people.
16 And there were no envyings, nor strifes, nor tumults, nor whoredoms, nor lyings, nor murders, nor any manner of lasciviousness; and surely there could not be a happier people among all the people who had been created by the hand of God.

 

24 And now, in this two hundred and first year there began to be among them those who were lifted up in pride, such as the wearing of costly apparel, and all manner of fine pearls, and of the fine things of the world.
25 And from that time forth they did have their goods and their substance no more common among them.
26 And they began to be divided into classes; and they began to build up churches unto themselves to get gain, and began to deny the true church of Christ.

 

 

 

 

 

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