Discovering the Doctored Covenants and then the Interpretive Revisions and then the changing of the Ordinance

Nearly three decades ago before I had lost my innocence regarding the state of the modern corporate church, I found myself in a small library in Sugar House Utah. I was in the religious section looking at books about LDS history and doctrine when I happened upon an old, tattered little booklet with plastic comb binding.

The title of the book was “The Doctored Covenants”

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The play on words in the title really broad-sided me. The book was based on the supposition that the contents in the revelations in the original 1833 Book of Commandments had been altered by Joseph Smith when the 1835 Doctrine and Covenants was published. It showed verse after verse of the original revelations that had been altered.

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Of course I knew that could not possibly be true because I had never heard anything said about this in church and none of the faith promoting books on doctrine and history that I had read had said anything about this. I was so shocked and offended that the library would contain such inflammatory trash that I stomped out of the library with the booklet in hand, without checking it out, and without ever returning it.

I confiscated it because I felt it should not have been on public display.

I was determined to extract it from public view so that other unsuspecting Mormons would not have to suffer the shock and horror that I had suffered. It was obvious to me that it had been printed by a local printer and authored by a disaffected apostate who had lost the spirit and was now making stuff up to embarrass the church. It was extremely unprofessional looking… a dead giveaway that it could not be the truth.

Well… to be truthful, I suppose there may have been another reason I confiscated the book as well.

I had to devour it and then research and debunk the suppositions being made.

That little booklet continues to sit on my bookshelf to this very day as a reminder to me that things are not always as they appear.

This was one of many significant events in my life that got me to voraciously begin studying the history of the church. I eventually found out about “The Historical Development of the Doctrine and Covenants” By Woodford, a faithful member of the church, who did his Masters Thesis on the topic at BYU. He provides historical context for all of the revelations in the D&C and shows all of the changes that have taken place. I highly recommend this amazing six volume work for those who are interested in early LDS Church history and the revelations that Joseph Smith received.

After many years of drilling down into the early history of the church I have arrived at the epiphany that the original revelations in the Book of Commandments were true and did not need to be “corrected”. Indeed, Joseph Smith never claimed that the original revelations had any errors in them or that they needed to be corrected.

The second epiphany I had that came many years later is that the changes that Joseph Smith made in some of the revelations that were later published in the 1835 Doctrine and Covenants, which completely contradicted the original revelations were also True! He was inspired and commanded by the Lord to make those changes.

You see, once I began to understand the secret story line behind the public story line of early church history, I realized that the changes Joseph made were inspired and that they needed to be made because the historical CONTEXT had changed so dramatically between 1833 and 1835.

In that short period of time, between the publishing of the Book of Commandments in 1833 and the publishing of the Doctrine and Covenants in 1835, the fulness of the gospel had been cumulatively rejected by the Gentile church and therefore the trajectory of the church had changed and the content in some of the revelations needed to be modified to reflect the new historical context and trajectory of the church.

In 1833 the Lord was commanding the saints to consecrate and establish Zion. By 1835, the saints had failed in their attempt at Zion and the Lord had told them that they must wait a “little season” before they could live the laws of Zion and establish Zion.

Context is everything, and the context had now changed. The new canon of scripture needed to reflect and address the new context.

I have blogged briefly about that amazing aspect of church history.

COMMANDMENTS-DOCTRINE-COVENANTS Part One

COMMANDMENTS-DOCTRINE-COVENANTS Part Two

During my quest to better understand the revelations Joseph received in the context of what was really taking place in church history, I discovered a little Gem called The Doctrine and Covenants Commentary, by Hyrum M Smith and Janne M Sjodahl which I picked up at Deseret Book.

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I was greatly impressed with this work as it also provided some good historical context in helping the reader to better understand what the revelations in the Doctrine and Covenants were really conveying.

However, years later, after devouring that commentary, one day while I was in the Church Historical Library reading a multi-volume work claiming to contain all of the discourses of Brigham Young, I noticed a book on the book shelf called the Doctrine and Covenants commentary by Hyrum Smith that did not appear to be co-authored by Sjodahl and did not look very much like the one co-authored  by  Hyrum M Smith and Janne M Sjodahl that I had purchased from Deseret Book. It only credited Hyrum M. Smith with authoring the commentary.

I randomly opened it to page 202

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As I began reading some of the content on the page my eyes became fixed on the following quote.

“That great and abominable church A Church which has discarded the principles of church government established by our Lord and adopted those of Lucifer.”

 

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Interesting, I thought to myself, ‘Apostle Smith seems to think that the great and abominable church spoken of in Section 29 (which is referring to the term as it appears in the Book of Mormon), is not just some counterfeit church established by Satan to compete with the Lord’s true church, he seems to be suggesting that the Lord’s true church eventually becomes Satans church by discarding the true principles of church government!

‘How did I miss that little gem” I asked myself, and I went home to see if the commentary I had purchased from Deseret Book said the same thing.

Sadly, it did not. In fact, numerous things had been changed or deleted.

It simply said that the Great and abominable church spoken of in section 29 was the same one spoken of in 1 Nephi.
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Hmmm I wondered why the modern church would feel so uncomfortable with that declaration, that they would feel they need to remove it.

Naturally, I was curious to know what the difference was between the commentary authored by Apostle Hyrum M. Smith, vs. the commentary I had purchased at Deseret Book that was co-authored by Apostle Hyrum M. Smith and  Janne Sjodahl.

It turns out that the original Doctrine and Covenants Commentary by Hyrum M. Smith was published solely under his name in 1919 even though it was actually Janne Sjodahl that wrote most if not all of it. Hyrum M. Smith lived from March 21, 1872 – January 23, 1918 and was the eldest son of church apostle and future church president Joseph F. Smith and Edna Lambson. The REVISED book that I purchased was published in 1978.

Hyrum_M._Smith

Janne Sjodahl on the other hand lived from 29 November 1853 – 23 June 1939, making him older than apostle Smith.

It is somewhat fitting that I cannot find a picture of the ghost writer Janne Sjodahl.. LOL

The truth is that Janne Sjodahl had actually written virtually all of the content in the original D&C Commentary even though all of the credit was initially given to Apostle Hyrum M. Smith.

It appears as if Apostle Smith was somewhat of a doctrinal lightweight and also knew very little about church history so Brother Sjodahl was employed as a ghost writer to provide the doctrinal and associated historical commentary.

Sjodahl was a prolific writer that authored many publications and had served as the editor of the LDS Church’s Millennial Star in Liverpool. He was a Swedish convert to the church who was baptized into the LDS church On 7 October 1886. It appears as if he had previously been excommunicated from the Baptist church the same year he converted to Mormonism, on June 8 1886, possibly on charges of adultery.

So why did the church eventually come clean and acknowledge brother Sjodahl’s involvement in the authorship of the D&C Commentary?

I don’t know.

I suspect that someone let the cat out of the bag about Sjodahl’s involvement and the church felt that they needed to do damage control by showing a little more transparency. Does that sound familiar with regard to the recent historical essays?

Of course showing Smith and Sjodahl as “co-authors” with Apostle Smith getting “top billing” is less than accurate and honest, nevertheless, we need to give the church credit for getting a little closer to the truth.

But we still need to know who was responsible for sanitizing the commentary and taking all of the embarrassing stuff out of it.

As far as knowing who the actual “doctrinal scholars” and “historians” were that sanitized and  REVISED it, we just don’t know for sure who was employed to do the dirty work. However, according to the preface, it was done under the direction of the “publication committee”

  • Joseph Fielding Smith
  • Harold B. Lee
  • Marion G Romney

It would not surprise me if Joseph Fielding Smith, historian revisionist extraordinaire, did much of the revision, just as he condensed and sanitized the discourses of Joseph Smith by surgically extracting only the approved, faith promoting snippets from Joseph’s statements and discourses and publishing them in “Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith”. The book gives readers the feeling that they are reading all of the important things that Joseph said without having to read the full discourses of Joseph Smith which contain some very controversial and revealing information.

As a point of interest, I am relatively closely related to two of the three folks listed above. I suppose guilt by association is a possibility so don’t take anything I say as the gospel truth, be your own investigative reporter.

Moving a little closer to the point of this post, let me attempt to bring all of this together with a simple little six point summation.

1- God’s true church becomes Satan’s Church once it discards the principles of church government established by Christ and adopts those of Lucifer.

Now I know this all seems very applicable to the current situation that we find ourselves in, with so many seekers of the truth getting cast out of the modern church and how the modern church has discarded the true principles of church government in how they conduct disciplinary councils yada, yada, yada, bla, bla, bla, etc. etc., ad nauseam

HOWEVER, if that is where your mind is taking you, you are missing the real significance of what is being conveyed here and you are making the same mistake most people make when they begin to realize that all is not well in Zion.

You need to go back further in time.

WAY FURTHER BACK IN TIME.

Why are people in denial about the early history of the latter day church?

Because God has not fully taken blindness off of Israel yet….. rant over.. let us proceed with point #2

2- In 1829 the Lord warned: “If this generation harden their hearts.. I will deliver them up unto Satan..”

In about 30 years of pouring over historical documents, doctrinal essays and other types of religious articles written by LDS scholars I don’t recall ever seeing the above passage quoted. It is completely off of the radar of believing Mormons. Where does such denial come from?

I realize that we all have a tendency to assume that God parents his children like we do, giving them warning after warning after warning, with threatened consequence after threatened consequence, while never making good on the threatened consequences of disobedience. But what if God actually does follow through and make good on his threats?

I am going to suggest that prophecy verifies that He does and He did.

Furthermore, the above warning is not an anomaly. It seems outrageous to think that God would actually deliver His own beloved children over to the enemy or to Satan for a season of consequences but there are a numerous situations in scripture where similar consequences are mentioned. Alma 37:15 is one that comes to mind:

“And now behold, I tell you by the spirit of prophecy, that if ye transgress the commandments of God, behold, these things which are sacred shall be taken away from you by the power of God, and ye shall be delivered up unto Satan, that he may sift you as chaff before the wind.”

Judges 13:1 also comes to mind:

“AND the children of Israel did evil again in the sight of the LORD; and the LORD delivered them into the hand of the Philistines forty years”

3- The prophet Isaiah, looking forward at the Gentiles that would be getting the gospel exclaims that “The earth also is defiled under the inhabitants thereof; because they have transgressed the laws, changed the ordinance, broken the everlasting covenant” Isa 24:5

The modern corporate church teaches that the above prophecy is exclusively referring to the naughty Catholics and Protestants that have deviated from the laws and ordinances of the New Testament Church, however, that prophecy has a dual fulfullment as demonstrated by modern revelation.

In D&C 1:15- The Lord prophetically verifies that Isaiah’s prophecy was applicable to and would be fulfilled by the latter day Saints in Kirtland. Read section 1:15 carefully but first notice in the preceding verses how the Lord says “prepare ye prepare ye, for that which is to come..” and “the day cometh…” that those who do not hear the voice of the Lord and His servants will be “cut off”. Notice all of the futuristic descriptives demonstrating that the passage in verse 15 is a future event that takes place after the church was restored.

Why will some of the saints of the restored church be cut off? because “..they have strayed from mine ordinances, and have broken mine everlasting covenant

That is right, God was prophesying in section one, in November of 1831, that the Saints would, at some time in the very near future, fulfill the prophecy of Isaiah by transgressing the law in section 42, changing the ordinances given in section 20, and breaking the everlasting covenant of the gospel that was restored through the prophet Joseph Smith. They would also discard the rules of church government established by the Lord in section 20 and 107 and other sections of the D&C.

The futuristic descriptives used just prior to the warning in section one, clearly demonstrate that the prophetic warning about transgressing the laws and changing the ordinance and breaking the covenant was not just referring to the apostasy of the New Testament church as some would have us believe. It had to do with the restored church during Joseph’s ministry.

What? You think the fulfillment of that prophecy among the restored church could not possibly have happened by December of 1834?

I have spent nearly seven years documenting how history and scripture testify otherwise. The evidence is beyond overwhelming.

4- Exactly 3 1/2 years to the day, after the Melchizedek priesthood was restored on June 5 1831, the Lord made the following declaration on December 5 1834:

” Verily condemnation resteth upon you who appointed to lead my Church, and to be saviors of men and also upon my church and there must needs be a repentance and  a reformation among you in all things..” (pg 73 Unpublished Revelations see also History of the Church)

The 3 1/2 years of nourishment represents the time when revelation was flowing. Following that period of time, the heavens began to close.

timelinebook8 second period

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The 3 1/2 year prophecy that the fulness of the gospel would be on the earth shows up multiple times in ancient prophecy.

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We are informed in the book of Daniel that the saints would be deceived by Satan from the time the New Testament church want into apostasy until a 3 1/2 year period of time of revelatory nourishment that would take place after the church was restored through the instrumentality of Joseph Smith. Following that 3 1/2 year period of nourishment, the “power of the holy people” would be “scattered” and the saints would be deceived again, until the ancient of days returns to the Lords vineyard.

This 3 1/2 year period when the restored church would receive and strive to live the fulness, and would ultimately cumulatively reject the fulness, was mentioned by Christ in 3 Nephi 16. He foresaw and foretold that the saints of the restored church would ultimately sin against and reject the fulness.

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So what had taken place during 1834, that would cause the Lord to take the fulness from the restored church and declare that both the leaders and members of the restored church were officially under condemnation and would need to have a restoration in all things?

Here is a very brief and incomplete listing of events relating to the entire church and church leadership being brought under condemnation:

February 24 1834 (Section 103) Conditional promise given, if Saints “hearken to obey all the words which I the Lord their God shall speak unto them, they shall never cease to prevail until the kingdoms of the world are subdued…But inasmuch as they keep not my commandments, and hearken not to observe all my words, the kingdoms of the world shall prevail against them.” Who began to prevail from that time? Clearly, the kingdoms of the world have overcome the saints.

April 23rd 1834 (Section 104) The Lord announces that “the covenants [had been] broken through transgression. (This brings the two year attempt to live consecration to an end by the breaking of the covenant See section 82 April 26th 1832 and Isaiah 24)

May 3, 1834 (HC 2:62-63) Conference of the Church held ten days after breaking law of consecration and officially removes the name of Christ from the name of the Church and changes name to “Church of the Latter day Saints”. (The Lord had previously told the saints that if they did not obey his law and commandments they were not worthy to be called by His name)

June 22,1834 (Section 105) Revelation given to Zion’s Camp. The expedition to redeem Zion is called off. Because of Transgression-Zion and her laws must wait for a little season of learning and chastisement.

November 29 1834 HC Joseph and Oliver enter into “Covenant of Tithing [consecreation]” “for the continuance of [gospel] blessings“. This covenant was part of an intercession made on behalf of the Latter day saints that prevented the saints from being destroyed from off the face of the earth and enabled the completion of the Kirtland Temple and some very important events. It made possible the continuance of spiritual gospel blessings under the gospel of grace despite the breaking of the covenant of consecration by the collective church. It enabled the fulfillment of the prophecy, that the Lord would come “suddenly” and “secretly” to his temple after which the saints had the keys of the Gospel of Abraham and the law of mercy, ( see Section 110 April 3 1836)

After rejecting the fulness of the Gospel, the saints found themselves in the same situation that ancient Israel found themselves in, when they refused to go up the mount and see the face of God and when they were found transgressing as Moses was bringing the plates with the higher law down the mountain.

At that point in time, God informs Moses that He is going to destroy ancient Israel from off the face of the earth.

However Moses intercedes in behalf of ancient Israel and offers himself as an atonement offering in their behalf. It appears as if He and Aaron would eventually  have Israel’s sins placed upon them and act them out and would face the consequences of transgression that Israel deserved, because of their intercessory offering

Does it not stand to reason that the latter day saints would have likewise been wiped of the face of the earth once they rejected the higher law causing them to likewise require an intervention to prevent their destruction?

I would suggest that if you read the revelation closely in the D&C at that period of time, the Lord had declared that judgments were indeed coming upon the earth and that the destroyer/devourer had been sent forth… oddly, within a short period of time, things stabilized and the ominous doom being announced in the revelations became little more than a footnote in the history of the church.

Is it possible that a latter day intervention took place?

From the allegory in Jacob we find that the latter day Moses also intercedes for latter day Israel just like Moses had done anciently. Notice what takes place when the Lord is contemplating casting them into the fire for their rebelliousness:

“And it came to pass that the Lord of the vineyard said unto the servant: Let us go to and hew down the trees of the vineyard and cast them into the fire, that they shall not cumber the ground of my vineyard, for I have done all. What could I have done more for my vineyard? But, behold, the servant said unto the Lord of the vineyard: Spare it a little longer. And the Lord said: Yea, I will spare it a little longer..”

Understanding that an intercession took place provides critical context for understanding modern revelation and the early history of the church….. Ok, let’s continue..

5- Looking at what was going to take place in Kirtland, the Book of Mormon prophet Mormon makes the following declaration:

 “Behold, the Lord hath shown unto me great and marvelous things concerning that which must shortly come, at that day when these things [the Book of Mormon] shall come forth among you.  Behold, I speak unto you as if ye were present, and yet ye are not. But behold, Jesus Christ hath shown you unto me, and I know your doing…. “O ye pollutions, ye hypocrites, ye teachers, who sell yourselves for that which will canker, why have ye polluted the holy church of God?O ye wicked and perverse and stiffnecked people, why have ye built up churches unto yourselves to get gain? Why have ye transfigured the holy word of God…” (Mormon 8:33)

Again, I realize that most of the alternative LDS bloggers think the above prophecy about polluting the Holy Church of God is referring to events that took place way after the martyrdom, such as when the modern corporate church began to self-correct and reject the heresies taught by Brigham Young, or perhaps referring to this time that we are currently living in, where good people are being cast out of the church, or perhaps even a future time, but that is only because they don’t understand what the “holy Church of God” is.

They don’t understand that the true Melchizedek priesthood must be on the earth and the saints must be living or attempting to live the law of consecration in order for the true Church of Christ to be called the Church of God. They don’t understand that the true Melchizedek priesthood and the Church of God has not been on the earth since December of 1834.

The Lord has sent strong delusion and even many of those that appear to be awake are still under the delusion that the modern church still represents the “Church of God”  or the “Church of Christ”, when in fact it has perverted virtually every doctrine of the restoration, rejected the law of the gospel has revealed in section 42, and “..discarded the principles of church government established by our Lord and adopted those of Lucifer.” 

It does not represent the Church of God, it represents a lesser kingdom, a lesser priesthood, with a lesser commission.

I acknowledge and have thusly documented that the modern apostate church still has a mandate from God and I think those that feel led to participate should do so.

Taking the oracles to the nations of the world and witnessing of the name of Christ is the most important missionary work taking place in the world in may opinion, however, if a person has an awakening that causes them to become openly critical of the church to the extent that the church feels it needs to protect itself from a critical member, the desire of the excommunicated member to petition the First Presidency to reinstate them, so that they can enjoy membership in the apostate church and continue criticizing it, baffles me.

The point is that we are living in the period of time that John the Revelator spoke of, when the whole world has been deceived by Satan.

“And the great dragon was cast out, that old serpent, called the Devil, and Satan, which deceiveth the whole world” Rev 12:9

Understanding how and when the restored church collectively transgressed the laws, changed the ordinances and broke the everlasting covenant is critical.

Now then, if God was going to make good on His promise to deliver the latter day saints over to Satan, would he not, could he not, use his latter day mouthpiece to do it?

Is that not what is taught in Ezekiel 14?

Have we not been taught that when the elders of Israel come before the Lord’s mouthpiece to inquire, with impure hearts that God has his prophet tell them what they want to hear based on their impure hearts?

“THEN came certain of the elders of Israel unto me, and sat before me.  And the word of the LORD came unto me, saying, Son of man, these men have set up their idols in their heart, and put the stumblingblock of their iniquity before their face: should I be enquired of at all by them? Therefore speak unto them, and say unto them, Thus saith the Lord GOD; Every man of the house of Israel that setteth up his idols in his heart, and putteth the stumblingblock of his iniquity before his face, and cometh to the prophet; I the LORD will answer him that cometh according to the multitude of his idols; That I may take the house of Israel in their own heart, because they are all estranged from me through their idols. (Ezek 14:1-5)

With the above passage in mind, does it not make perfect sense that Joseph would begin doing and saying bizarre  things that contradict the revelations given during the 3 1/2 year time of nourishment, once the fulness had been rejected by the saints?

Does it not make sense that Joseph would lead some of the brethren on an uninspired treasure hunt only to be told by the Lord that their attempt at find the treasure was “folly”?

Does it not make sense that Joseph would tell the saints that the Kirtland Safety Society was inspired and would be a success?

What about his knowledge of and support of the Danites and his involvement in Masonry?

Does it not make perfect sense that He would begin secretly telling people that the practice of polygamy was a higher marital law than the law of monogamy given as the marital law of the fulness of the gospel in section 42?

Does it not make perfect sense that in the King Follett discourse, Joseph would contradict what God had declared about His own character and nature in the Bible, Book of Mormon and previous revelations, including the Lectures on Faith?

What about Mormon’s prophetic declaration that the scriptures would be transfigured and what about Isaiah’s prophetic declaration that the saints of the restored church would “[transgress] the laws, changed the ordinance, broken the everlasting covenant”?

Did the saints not transgress the laws that were originally given? Did Joseph Smith not alter the revelations to change the ordinance of Baptism and the Sacrament? Did not all of this happen directly after the saints rejected the fulness?

6- Changing Ordinances? Compare the Book of Commandments with the Doctrine and Covenants. One of the truly mindblowingly remarkable things about the changes between the Book of Commandments and the Doctrine and Covenants is the fact that Joseph Smith literally changed the wording in the ordinances.

It is interesting to note that although Isaiah 24:5 speaks of ordinance as “singular”, the D&C version of the prophecy provides additional clarity by making ordinances “plural”. Notice how Joseph literally changed the wording in both the baptismal ordinance AND in the Sacrament ordinance:

Change in The Baptismal Covenant

24:52 Whosoever being called of God and having authority given them of Jesus Christ, shall go down into the water with them, and shall say, calling them by name: 24:53 Having authority given me of Jesus Christ, I baptize you in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost. Amen. 20:73 The person who is called of God and has authority from Jesus Christ to baptize, shall go down into the water with the person who has presented himself or herself for baptism, and shall say, calling him or her by name: Having been commissioned of Jesus Christ, I baptize you in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost. Amen.

Remember, the wording in the baptismal covenant from the Book of Mormon was the standard in the restored church up until the change was made in the Doctrine and Covenants in 1835. Joseph never claimed that it was incorrect or that those who had been baptized into the restored church during the first four years had to be rebaptized. Nevertheless, he was inspired to change the wording ever so slightly after the saints failed to keep the law of consecration which the law of the gospel in section 2 mandates.

The point is not how significant the change is, (although the implications are probably more significant than we realize) the point is that the wording was changed. It fulfills the prophecy. The original wording was acceptable and valid in the Book of Mormon and in the restored church during the first four years that converts were being baptized into the church. The saints baptized during the first four years were not required to get re-baptized. No mistake had been made in the original Book of Commandments. Therefore, why the change in wording with no explanation?

Change in the terminology relating to the Sacrament Prayer

24:31 The duty of the elders, priests, teachers, deacons and members of the church of Christ. 24:32 An apostle is an elder, and it is his calling to baptize and to ordain other elders, priests, teachers and deacons, and to administer the flesh and blood of Christ according to the scriptures; 20:38 The duty of the elders, priests, teachers, deacons, and members of the church of Christ–An apostle is an elder, and it is his calling to baptize; 20:39 And to ordain other elders, priests, teachers, and deacons; 20:40 And to administer bread and wine–the emblems of the flesh and blood of Christ— 20:41 And to confirm those who are baptized into the church, by the laying on of hands for the baptism of fire and the Holy Ghost, according to the scriptures;

The change above is very significant.

Amazingly we learn from Christ’s visit to the Nephites that there were two separate sacraments given. The first appears to have been a preparatory sacrament where bread and water were used as “emblems” of Christ’s flesh and blood. The second mystical Sacrament only refers to the partaking literally of his flesh and blood. Notice the same wording in the passage in the Book of Commandments.

Furthermore, even though a revelation states that water can replace wine when it is not possible for the saints to use wine of their own making for the purpose of the sacrament, the saints have long since replaced the wine with water categorically even though they have the resources and capacity to make their own wine and obey the commandment.  Releasing themselves from obeying the original commandment despite having the capacity to make wine for the sacred purpose is very serious. No revelation was ever given that justifies this.

It is also important to note that divine procedure for the Sacrament offering is for the congregation to kneel. Have you ever seen an LDS congregation kneel?

These wording and procedural changes of ordinances are significant. They are clearly what the prophecies in Isaiah and section one are referring to. It is important to note that additional changes in baptismal procedure also took place.

Notice the wording in the D&C that was very similar to the original wording in the BofC that requires the baptismal candidate to make a public confession before the church BEFORE the baptism is performed

20:37 And again, by way of commandment to the church concerning the manner of baptism–All those who humble themselves before God, and desire to be baptized, and come forth with broken hearts and contrite spirits, and witness before the church that they have truly repented of all their sins, and are willing to take upon them the name of Jesus Christ, having a determination to serve him to the end, and truly manifest by their works that they have received of the Spirit of Christ unto the remission of their sins, shall be received by baptism into his church.

It appears as if it may have been as far back as perhaps during Joseph Smith’s ministry that the saints began neglecting to follow the above ordinance protocol. The change in protocol has continued to this very day. When was the last time you ever saw a child or an adult come before the church with a broken heart and contrite spirit to make a PUBLIC confession to the church that they have truly repented of all their sins BEFORE they were baptized!

Joseph Smith himself declared that the saints had been chastened for not obeying the commandments and for departing from the ordinances when they got to Nauvoo:

“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, and we have felt His arm and kissed the rod”

Clearly, the divine protocols and procedures pertaining to the saving ordinances as well as other principles of church government that that saints of the restoration had been commanded to adhere to had been discarded during Joseph’s ministry, fulfilling the prophecy of Isaiah.

Discovering the Doctored Covenants led me on a long journey to understand why Joseph Smith altered God’s holy word. I am now convinced that he was inspired to make those changes to match the contextual change in trajectory that the church had gone through in just a few years since rejecting the fulness.

On my journey it became apparent to me that historical revisionism has been an integral part of the modern church’s attempt to hide the serious apostasy that has taken place. Finally, it has occurred to me that not only have the revelations been changed, but the original ordinances of the restoration have also been changed and they are reflected in the changes made in the Doctrine and Covenants.

Did Joseph know what he was doing when he was making the changes in the wording of the Doctrine and Covenants?

Did he know God was using him to deliver apostate Israel over to the idolatry in their hearts?

I believe he did.

He informed the saints that he could keep a secret until doomsday.

I believe that he and Sidney Rigdon knew exactly what  they were doing and why they were doing it when they called a special conference in 1834 and motioned that the name of the Church of Christ be changed to the Church of the Latter day Saints without giving any reason for the name change.

They knew exactly what they were doing. They were winking at God while doing it.

Apostate latter day Israel was being delivered over to Satan as promised. God is a faithful and just parent. He keeps his promises. We latter day saints have been naughty and have been sent to our bedroom to think things over for a “Little season”.

The following remembrance of Daniel Tyler indicates that Joseph was aware of what would happen within just 12 years when he made the following prediction in 1830:

“Boys, you think I am a Prophet, and want to hear all I have to say. ‘Now, said he’, “if I should tell you all I know that will come to pass within twelve years, perhaps there would not one of you believe it, and would apostatize from the Church. But I shall let you learn things as they happen, then most likely you will all stand in the Church.” (Recollections of the Prophet Joseph Smith, as related by Elder Daniel Tyler http://www.boap.org/LDS/Early-Saints/REC-JS.html)

12 years from 1830 is about when the saints were rejected as a church with their dead.

But what about the dark days of Nauvoo?

Did Joseph know that the things he was teaching regarding celestial polygamy and the false doctrines taught in the King Follett discourse?

I suspect that by that time Joseph’s eyes had been covered because of the iniquity of apostate latter day Israel, per the prophecy of Isaiah:

“For behold, the Lord hath poured out upon you the spirit of deep sleep. For behold, ye have closed your eyes, and ye have rejected the prophets; and your rulers, and the seers hath he covered because of your iniquity.

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Editorial Note: When I originally published this post I made a very inappropriate and sarcastic comment about people that become awakened and therefore critical of the current corporate church, who attempt to have their disciplinary hearings overturned, and attempt to retain or regain their membership status.

I have since removed that comment.

The comment was not directed at any specific person and it was made out of frustration because I feel I have been very inept over the last seven years in explaining that the latter day apostasy spoken in scripture was fully complete at the time of the martyrdom. It began when the fulness of the gospel was rejected  by the saints and lost from the earth in 1834 and was complete when the condemned church failed to repent and have a restoration in all things which resulted in the condemned church being rejected as a church with their dead in Nauvoo, prior to the martyrdom.

It has been frustrating to me that so many fringe bloggers  always characterize the apostasy of the latter day church as depicted in Mormon 8 and 2nd Nephi 28 as being directed to us and our time, thinking that the modern corporate church is the “holy church of God”, when in fact those passages in the Book of Mormon are primarily referring to the saints of the restored church living during Joseph Smith’s ministry who transgressed the laws, changed the ordinances, and broke the everlasting covenant

Those of us living now have inherited an apostate religion, even though the modern church still has the valid commission given to the apostle in Section 118, of publishing the gospel to the nations and testifying of the name of Christ.

Obviously membership in the corporate church is a very personal issue that everyone needs to determine for themselves. I have always stated that I do not ever try to influence how people make that decision, which is one of many reasons that my comment was inappropriate and has been removed.

Although I have removed that comment, I want to share an email that I got from Rock Waterman, who explains why he feels that it is important to him to fight for his membership.

“I have been given strong instruction from the Lord to exhaust all scriptural remedies.  Perhaps it’s because the Lord wants me working from the inside.  There is only one reason leaders would want me out, and that is because a member, no matter how faithful to the true teachings, loses credibility with believers when he can be pointed to and called an apostate.  That is of course why they expelled other bloggers such as Adrian Larsen, Brent Larsen, Will Carter, and others.

But I suspect the larger reason is that by first witnessing at the hearing as to my beliefs in the Restoration, then appealing their unjust decision to the seat of the First Presidency, these men are given the opportunity to repent.  And if they fail to repent, and instead affirm the decision of the stake high council, the opportunity is given them to bring condemnation on THEIR heads as well as the heads of the local leaders.

I believe the Lord wants these opportunities extended, so at the last day when they stand before Him for judgment, they are left with no excuse.

Of course, I hope for an institutional repentance.  But if that repentance is not forthcoming, then will I publish the contents of my appeal for all the church to witness the dishonesty and hypocrisy currently existing in the Corporate Church, from the lowest levels of leadership to the highest.”
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