In the Lecture 7, last verse in the Lectures on Faith it states “for God must change otherwise faith will prevail with him. And he who possesses it will, through it, obtain all necessary knowledge and wisdom, until he shall know God, and the Lord Jesus Christ, whom He has sent — whom to know is eternal life. Amen.”
What does it mean “for God must change”? Previous lectures teach that God is perfect and unchanging. I’m havin a hard time wrapping my head around this one.
I read online where it means that God changes his reward or blessings for those that don’t have faith, but that doesn’t make sense since it would be the same unchanged God who withholds the blessing because faith wasn’t present.
This lecture was eye opening to the awful state we’re in — no blessings or very few as a people because of the lack of faith.
The language is very confusing for sure. It is somewhat typical of the way Rigdon and others of that day communicated, almost a quasi shorthand or abbreviated form of communication.
The topic being focused on is the principle of faith being an essential character trait of God and on the necessity for us to obtain faith in order to know God. The unchangeable character of God has already been addressed in a previous lecture.
Could you send me the link to the site that shows the changes between the Book of Commandments and D&C?
There are numerous webpages that address this. Virtually all of them are done by anti-Mormons. It is unfortunate that the LDS church does not provide an accurate and faith promoting explanation for the changes on line along with all of the changes.
This particular page link that I am providing is for BofC chapter 4/D&C 5
[Look at the following thesis] Looks like another nail in the coffin for section 132.
Where is the rest of the document? Do you have it? I would like to review it for any historical data that it might provide.
The supposition that Orson Hyde or, more probably Brigham Young wrote it makes a lot of sense. I am of the opinion that Brigham Young oversaw the project but I suspect that he had some help. I think it may have been a group project and that some snippets from other unpublished revelations were used as well. The general narrative feels quite disjointed and does not flow well in my opinion.
Regarding the lady that did the research, I was struck by the number of illogical and erroneous historical assumptions contained in her thesis.
Just off the top of my head, here are some that jumped out at me.
She attributes the writing of section 76 to Joseph Smith when it is a known fact that Rigdon wrote it
She attributes “The Seer” to Orson Hyde when it is well known that Orson Pratt wrote it.
By falsely attributing the authorship of those writings she corrupts and invalidates some of her analysis and research and destroys her own credibility as a competent historical researcher on this topic.
She initially considers Oliver Cowdery and Hyrum Smith as a top suspects. Both are illogical and absurd.
Oliver had left the church many years previous to the time in question. and he was violently opposed to the doctrine of polygamy and had charged Joseph with indiscretion relating to the Alger affair.
Hyrum was a late adapter of the principle who had been on a crusade against the principle well into the time that it was being received by many.
Had she been familiar with the general history of the church she would not have spent time and energy focusing on those two historical players.
Using the Journal of Discourses to analyse the language style of Brigham Young seems questionable to me as the discourses were hastily written by scribes who at worst used short hand and at best were reducing long complex sentence structures into shorter narratives often using their own vocabularies to reconstruct succinct thoughts. Simply look at the side by side comparisons of the Nauvoo Discourses by Joseph Smith from the various journals to see a huge difference between what various note takers are hearing from the speaker not only in style but uses of words.
She does not seem to be able to differentiate inspired “word of wisdom” revelations in the D&C that were clearly written in the style of mortal authors from “thus sayeth the Lord” first person narratives in the D&C and she attributes the writing style of the “thus sayeth the Lord” revelations to Joseph Smith instead of to the Lord.
Overall, her knowledge of history is very lacking. I think she was way out of her depth in studying and researching this topic. This lady is largely ignorant about much of church history. She makes egregious historical mistakes repeatedly.
She could have only gotten away with submitting such a mistake ridden thesis at a university where the committee is completely unfamiliar with LDS church history.
Nevertheless, her analysis did uncover some interesting things. I loved how she observed how section 132 uses certain phrases in an inconsistent way that they had been used in previous revelations. One great observation she made was that
“When Joseph [the Lord] used “as touching,” [in other revelations] it meant “agreed.” As used in Section 132, “as touching” meant “in relation to.” This is a very significant observation. I had pointed several other changes in the use of established scriptural terms in my
The bottom line for me is that if a person treasures up the word of God and searches the scriptures and the history of the church under the influence of the spirit, they will find that content, context and consistency in the prophetic narrative is what demonstrates the fallacy of section 132 not the research of an RLDS secular linguistics expert who has an ax to grind with the principle of polygamy.
Thanks for sending the document, it was an interesting read.
That [portion of the thesis] is all I came across.
I don’t know what her agenda or reasoning was in doing this paper but I found it interesting and some of it pretty compelling. I skimmed through parts of it.
It isn’t definitive but it does add to the case against 132.
I do think she made a pretty good case for this not being written through JS either by revelation(whether she thinks he received any) or on his own, since it was so different from other things he wrote(revealed) and that it was so similar to stuff BY wrote or said. I believe BY wrote it and have thought that for a long time. King Brigham, imho was the driver behind polygamy from the start. It was his thing and he wanted to get as many people doing it as he could to justify his own desires.
No way God would reveal His crowning doctrine in such a convoluted, illogical and dubious manner supported by no other scripture in recorded history.
There is no credible second let alone third witness of it anywhere.
The fact that she has an axe to grind against polygamy isn’t necessarily a negative. Because, even if BY was the one who wrote it(her conclusion) and that was proven somehow, LDS corp wouldn’t back off from it since he was a prophet, right? They would just change the narrative.
The SLC suits have way to much invested in 132 and getting rid of it means the whole eternal marriage procreation scam would be in jeopardy.
[editorial note: this was in response to the amazing ice melt in the North Pole youtube that was mentioned in one of my posts]
Joseph.’ … Sometimes when at my house I asked him questions relating
to the past, present and future; … one of which I will relate: I asked
where the nine and a half tribes of Israel were. ‘Well,’ said he, ‘you
remember the old caldron or potash kettle you used to boil maple sap in
for sugar, don’t you?’ I said yes. ‘Well,’ said he, ‘they are in the
north pole in a concave just the shape of that kettle. And John the
Revelator is with them, preparing them for their return.”– Benjamin Johnson, My Life’s Review, 1947, p. 93
- 21 Yea, at the time that he shall yield up the ghost there shall be thunderings and lightnings for the space of many hours, and the earth shall shake and tremble; and the rocks which are upon the face of this earth, which are both above the earth and beneath, which ye know at this time are solid, or the more part of it is one solid mass, shall be broken up;
- 22 Yea, they shall be rent in twain, and shall ever after be found in seams and in cracks, and in broken fragments upon the face of the whole earth, yea, both above the earth and beneath.
- D&C 88:79, 104
- 79 Of things both in heaven and in the earth, and under the earth; things which have been, things which are, things which must shortly come to pass; things which are at home, things which are abroad; the wars and the perplexities of the nations, and the judgments which are on the land; and a knowledge also of countries and of kingdoms—
- 104 And this shall be the sound of his trump, saying to all people, both in heaven and in earth,and that are under the earth—for every ear shall hear it, and every knee shall bow, and every tongue shall confess, while they hear the sound of the trump, saying: Fear God, and give glory to him who sitteth upon the throne, forever and ever; for the hour of his judgment is come.
This may also apply
“Wherefore, I will that all men shall repent, for all are under sin, except those which I have reserved unto myself, holy men that ye know not of.”
Email [comment in the about section of my blog] # 5
Hello Watcher. I recently awoke or at least have begun to awaken. Since August I’m no longer blindly following the brethren and traditions of the church. I’m still active at church, but I’m very confused. I was raised in the church, served a mission, married in the temple, and have always been active. Though I’ve committed my fair share of sins and am at best an unworthy servant of Christ, I have always tried to do what’s right. I never questioned or wavered in my belief that the church was the Lord’s true church and that the brethren were true prophets and apostles, but now I’m not so sure. Something is off. I recently found your blog and I’m thankful I did. I admit I have been reading your recent posts and have kind of bounced around through different posts of yours and haven’t read through all your blogs in order on your sister blog, but I plan to as I have time. I have a few questions for you and I don’t know how to get a hold of you except for in this comment section.
I have four kids, the oldest is 9 and I baptized him when he was 8 before I woke up. My next child turns 8 in the spring. In your opinion is it ok to baptize her? I’m not sure what priesthood authority, if any, I actually possess. I’m also very concerned about my children and even myself being mislead by corrupted and false doctrine at church, but I don’t know if leaving the church and the support system of fellow believers of Christ. It’s very frustrating.
For the most part I find your blog very enlightening, but I have questions about a few of the things you teach. One question from a recent post of yours is about John the Baptist and Elijah. You say they are the same person, but the JST of John 1 says that they aren’t the same person. It also appears from the D&C that Joseph Smith understood them to be different people since he refers to them by theit seperate names. Any thoughts? I have other questions too, is there a better way to reach you?
Praise God that you are no longer blindly following the brethren and the false traditions of the church. As Paul says, you need to prove all things, hold fast to that which is good. Obviously, that includes anything you read on my blog.
You can contact me anytime by email at onewhoiswatching [at] gmail dot com.
Not everyone responds the same way when they begin to wake up and it is a long process. Many people react in anger and make rash decisions. I hope you will take things slowly and not jump to conclusions or make radical life changes without taking it slowly and counting the cost of your actions. Please realize that there is still much to learn and that you don’t want to make major life-changing decisions based on a very small portion of the relevant information that you need in order to make informed decisions.
As a matter of policy I try to never give counsel and tell people what they need to do since we have been commanded not to give counsel ( man should not counsel his fellow man, neither trust in the arm of flesh— D&C 119)
Nevertheless, I do share my opinions regarding what I would do in certain situations and what I have seen others do.
You have asked whether I think it is ok for you to baptise your child. I think the answer to that question probably varies from person to person that begins to wake up and has to do with a multiplicity of things, including your level of doctrinal understanding which, by your own admission is not great.
As I implied at the end of my last blog post, I think we all sin relatively cheaply during this little season of learning and chastisement since we are actually in the dispensation of the gospel of Abraham, NOT the dispensation of the fulness of times (which is erroneously taught in the church.)
Since we do not currently have the fulness of the gospel on the earth, we cannot be held to that level of accountability. I believe our generation of latter day saints have inherited the apostasy from our forefathers and I think God has mercy on us for that reason.
I have stated before that I believe that the authority to promulgate the gospel that was given to the “condemned” and “unconverted” quorum of the Twelve during Joseph ministry is still on the earth today among the current “condemned” and “unconverted” quorum of the Twelve. It is up to each member of the church to determine for themselves how to navigate the waters based on how these men are presenting the preparatory gospel of Christ.
When the fulness is ushered in, in the near future, we will all be held accountable to accept or reject the light at that time.
The process of waking up is a long process for most people. I have been studying the apostasy and trying to wake up for about 30 years now and I continually am learning things I did not understand before and am currently finding areas where the false indoctrinations I have inherited still have a strong hold upon my mind.
I think God will judge your actions according to the intent of your heart. If you prayerfully determine that the best thing for your family is to continue active in the church and to baptize your children, I think the Lord will bless you in that effort as long as you continue to learn and grow in the gospel and continue earnestly trying to wake up and teach the truth to your children. The ultimate goal for all of us to to treasure up the word of God and seek to take the Holy Spirit as our Guide as we WATCH for the return of the first laborers of the last kingdom.
“For the most part I find your blog very enlightening, but I have questions about a few of the things you teach. One question from a recent post of yours is about John the Baptist and Elijah. You say they are the same person, but the JST of John 1 says that they aren’t the same person. It also appears from the D&C that Joseph Smith understood them to be different people since he refers to them by theit seperate names. Any thoughts?”
Actually, the first chapter of the Gospel of John according to the JST has John the Baptist admitting that he is Elijah the Prophet. It is the KJV that indicates otherwise
Please read the following article very carefully and I think you will see that the evidence is overwhelming that John the Baptist represents the literal transmigration of Elijah the Prophet
I wrote that article to demonstrate that section 110 is a true revelation in response to a false prophet that is trying to sway people into believing that it is a false revelation.
One of the many insidious reinterpretations of scripture by the modern church is the non-literal interpretation of Zion, reducing it to some non-geographical definition. Yes a Zion society consists of those that are pure in heart and of ONE heart and ONE mind, but it is a very real geographical location. A closely related doctrine that has been watered down by the apostate church is the concept of the gathering. The latter day saints are NOT a gathered people. They are a scattered people. There is still going to be a geographical gathering of Gods elect (see D&C 29)
Your observation about the Father using Christ to cast down Satan is a great observation. We learn from scripture that the Father created the Son in a tabernacle of element for the purpose of creating all other things including the earth we live on. Christ created all things in earth and in heaven. Indeed, if Satan was organized from unorganized matter or intelligence, it was the Son who did it.
The father seems to do all things through the Son. Even in the few instances where scripture credits the father as doing something, it has reference to him doing it through the son. IMO
There are several possible interpretations
The way I read it “today” is the end of the first watch when the saints were given the fulness which they rejected. The window of time to be tithed was limited and it came to an end on sometime between april 3 1836 and September 11 1836 when “tomorrow” began with the gospel of abraham and the opportunity to tithe and sacrifice was taken away with the fulness. The burning takes place sometime after today (first watch)
I enjoyed reading the article. He does a very good job of making a compelling case that Joseph Smith did not practice polygamy, in part, by sprinkling Joseph Smith’s public denials throughout his article. For those that want to believe the testimony of Joseph Smith and protect his reputation there certainly is good reason to view the situation through the lens that he provides. Particularly if you believe that Joseph Smith, as a true prophet of God could not have committed any serious sins.
On the other hand, there is another lens that one can view the topic through. It is such a compelling and powerful historical lens that it toppled the RLDS church and caused them to reject Joseph Smith and the Book of Mormon and the LDS restoration. Indeed, the overwhelmingly compelling research that has come forth regarding Joseph Smith’s polygamy that has come out during the last few decades is so compelling that it caused the RLDS church to rename itself and to reinvent itself as a protestant church.
What is the basis of this lens? It is that VIRTUALLY EVERY INTIMATE FRIEND OF JOSEPH SMITH, AND EVERY HIGH LEVEL MEMBER OF THE FIRST PRESIDENCY AND THE NAUVOO HIGH COUNCIL AND THE QUORUM OF THE TWELVE APOSTLES AS WELL AS COUNTLESS WOMEN THAT JOSEPH INTRODUCED INTO THE RELIEF SOCIETY, BELIEVED THAT JOSEPH SMITH WAS A POLYGAMIST.
While the anonymous author of the article is attempting to preserve Joseph’s credibility as a true prophet, by claiming that he did not lie about his involvement in polygamy, it seems to be lost on him that the scenario he is painting also destroys the credibility of Joseph Smith’s character and prophetic abilities.
Think about it.
The people that Joseph Smith surrounded himself with as his closest friends and confidents all lied about him and threw him under the bus, claiming he was a polygamist when they knew perfectly well that he wasn’t, according to the theory being presented.
So much for Joseph’s ability to attract and choose good, loyal people with integrity, as friends.
According to the theory being presented, by revelation Joseph called men like Sidney Rigdon, and William Law into the First Presidency and people like William Marks and Austin Cowles into the Stake Presidency and others into the highest positions positions of authority in the church, that got amazing endorsements from God in section 124, and yet they all apparently lied in unison about Joseph’s involvement in polygamy and unitedly threw him under the bus.
Does Joseph Smith credibility look any better when we accuse virtually everyone except Joseph Smith of being liars and perjurers?
To the credit of this particular author he does not make the mistake that others have made in trying to blame the problem on a Brigham Young led conspiracy. The fact of the matter is that it was not just Brigham Young and the Utah saints that credited the doctrine of celestial polygamy on Joseph Smith. EVERYONE of the various factions that split from the church in Nauvoo, including those that chose not to follow Brigham Young, saw Joseph Smith as the author of the spiritual wife-celestial polygamy doctrine, not Brigham Young.
Some of the factions even practiced polygamy to some degree, but it was not because of the influence of Brigham Young. Lyman Wight eventually had a stint with celestial polygamy but he certainly did not learn the practice from Brigham Young who he personally despised. James Strang integrated polygamy into his new order but his motivation had nothing to do with Brigham Young who he very possibly never even met.
And what about the women who all put their own reputations at risk while supposedly lying about Joseph Smith? Are we to believe that all of these noble women lied about Joseph Smith, knowing that such a lie could put their eternal relationship with God at jeopardy?
“There’s a very good article that attempts to debunk or challenges a lot of the evidence out there that JS practiced polygamy. He takes them all head on, except OC’s account with Fanny Alger.”
I really don’t think that Oliver Cowdery’s testimony is the only damning piece of historical evidence that is missing from the essay. There is a lot of evidence that is missing. One of the most compelling and powerful missing evidences is the testimony of William Marks. Marks was not mentioned once in the article that I am aware of.
Marks was considered by most to be one of the most honest men of personal integrity in Nauvoo. Apparently the Lord was impressed Marks. He made Marks the President of the Church in Far West and Nauvoo. Here is the testimony that Marks actually published in 1853 in the Zions Harbinger and Baneemy’s Organ:.
“When the doctrine of polygamy was introduced into the church as a principle of exaltation, I took a decided stand against it; which stand rendered me quite unpopular with many of the leading ones of the church…
Joseph, however, became convinced before his death that he had done wrong; for about three weeks before his death, I met him one morning in the street, and he said to me, “Brother Marks… We are a ruined people.” I asked, how so? He said: “This doctrine of polygamy, or Spiritual-wife system, that has been taught and practiced among us, will prove our destruction and overthrow.
I have been deceived,” said he, “in reference to its practice; it is wrong; it is a curse to mankind, and we shall have to leave the United States soon, unless it can be put down and its practice stopped in the church.
Now,’ said he,’ Brother Marks, you have not received this doctrine, and how glad I am. I want you to go into the high council and I will have charges preferred against all who practice this doctrine, and I want you to try them by the laws of the church, and cut them off, if they will not repent and cease the practice of this doctrine.”
As an interesting aside to this response, you might find the following exchange between me and one of the top LDS apologists (and his wife) about the principle of polygamy. At the 52:32 point of the youtube, I ask Brian Hales “are you open to the possibility that Joseph Smith could have been a true prophet but that he was not justified in everything that he did regarding polygamy”?
The responses from him and his wife are entertaining if not enlightening. When I bring up the above testimony by Marks about Joseph Smith admitting that he had been deceived, Brian Hales incoherently deflects the question by associating the topic with the “Joseph Smith Fought Polygamy” series by Richard and Pamela Price which of course rejects the premise that Joseph was deceived by postulating that he never practiced it. I fail to see the logic in associating William Mark’s accusation of Joseph Smith’s polygamy with the Price’s contention that he never practiced it!
Ultimately, Hales claims that the testimony by Marks is “not credible” and “highly improbably”, although he does not explain why they would not be credible. He then follows up with another incoherent declaration that William Marks statement “fit the RLDS needs at the time” which makes absolutely no sense at all because the declarations of the Emma Smith and her sons, denied Joseph’s involvement in the practice polygamy. The official stance of the RLDS church when it was formed was that Joseph did not practice polygamy. Therefore, Hales statement that Marks reminiscence that Joseph confessed to his involvement and was deceived “fit the RLDS needs at the time” seems somewhat illogical to me. (Perhaps he is referring to some of the other key players in the RLDS organization like Marks, who did believe that Joseph was the originator of the principle despite the official storyline of the church.
The Nauvoo High Council Minutes
Another perhaps even more compelling evidence that was conspicuously left out of the anonymous essay has to do with the minutes of the Nauvoo High Council and the Nauvoo City High Council which documents that fact that Hyrum presented a revelation on polygamy to both councils, stating that his brother Joseph Smith had received the revelation and that the members of the High Council would be damned if they did not accept it.
Sadly, the anonymous author of the paper deceitfully only provides the “damage control” statements of Hyrum Smith that were made AFTER the high council rejected the revelation. But he neglects to provide the whole story and the testimony from multiple sources of what was really said to the High Council. Here is what the anonymous author has to say using selected quotes from the a book by John Dinger:
“At the time William Law made his accusations in the Expositor regarding this alleged revelation, Joseph and Hyrum did not deny the existence of a revelation but flatly denied that it permitted plural wives.
In the City Council minutes of June 8, 1844 Joseph and Hyrum give us a glimpse into the revelation according to them: “[Hyrum] referred to the revelation [he] read to the [Nauvoo Stake] High council — that it was in answer to a question concerning things which transpired in former days & had no reference to the present time
— that W[illia]m Law[,] when sick[,] [confessed and] said ^he had been guilty of adultery &^ he was not fit to live or die, had sinned against his own soul….[The mayor said]…They make [it] a criminality of for a man to have a wife on the earth while he has one in heaven —
according to the keys of the holy priesthood, and [the mayor] read the statement of W[illia]m Law in the Expositor, where the truth of God was transformed into a lie. [He] read [the] statements of Austin Cowles — & said he had never had any private conversation with Austin Cowles on these subjects, that he preached on the stand from the bible showing the order in ancient days[,] having nothing to do with the present time...
C[ouncillor] H[yrum] Smith — spoke to show the falsehood of Austin Cowles in relation to the revelation referred to — that it referred to former days [and] not the present timeas stated by Cowles. [The] Mayor said he had never preached the revelation in private as he had in public — had not taught it to the highest anointed in the Church ^in private^ which many confirmed.
[The mayor said][,] on enquiring [of God regarding] the passage in [the Bible that in] the resurrection they neither marry &c[:] I received for [an] answer, Men in this life must be married in view of Eternity, [and that] was the [full] amount of the [content of the] revelation, otherwise [in the resurrection] they must remain as angels only in heaven, and [the mayor] spoke at considerable length in explanation of the[se] principles[.] 56 I”
It is shocking that the author would only provide part of the evidence provided from John Dingers book “The Nauvoo City and High Council Minutes“. Did he really think that nobody has the book?
Prior to Hyrum Smith’s above mentioned attempt to backpedal and try to deny having presented the doctrine of polygamy as a contemporary doctrine that needed to be accepted and lived, he had apparently made quite a different declaration according to multiple testimonies contained within the book.
According to documentation within the book, on one occasion Councilman Dunbar Wilson “made inquiry in relation to the subject of plurality of wives as there were rumors respecting it, and he was satisfied there was something in those remarks and he wanted to know what it was.”
At this time, Hyrum Smith, who was probably relieved to just get the secret practice out in the open, read the revelation on polygamy to the High Council.
After reading it, he made the following declaration: “Now, you that believe this revelation and go forth and obey the same shall be saved, and you that reject it shall be damned”
That hardly sounds like Hyrum was simply informing the high council about an ancient principle that did not need to be lived anymore.
Much more evidence is provided in the book by multiple witnesses that contradict the later attempt by Hyrum Smith to do damage control. It is truly unfortunate that the anonymous author of the article would mischaracterize Hyrums statements to the High Council by only relating a small part of the evidence that supports his own contentions.
I will not go into further problems with the anonymous essay on polygamy because it does not matter to me if people choose to believe that Joseph never lived polygamy. For those who have a serious interest in this topic, I will refer you to the following link where I address a few more issues and also suggest that those interested in this topic consider purchasing the book by Dinger.
William Law- Offering a Reformation and Bringing about the “Chastisement” of God Upon the Fallen Servant- Final
What was the Great Sin the Joseph Committed?
You asked me a question that several others have asked me over the years. Is there a different sin beside polygamy that Joseph Smith might have committed that could have fulfilled the atonement statute- 2nd Samuel 7 prophecy?