Change in trajectory
We have observed in the first two parts of this series as well as in other posts, articles, and chapters in my book, that the priesthood leadership dynamic within the church began changing when the fullness of the gospel/priesthood was rejected. I can see six major events that resulted in a significant change in trajectory.
The first event was the rejection of the fullness of the gospel and priesthood by the Gentile church culminating in a December 5th 1834 revelation wherein the Lord declared
“Verily, condemnation resteth upon you, who are appointed to lead my Chu[r]ch, and to be saviors of men: and also upon the church: And there must needs be a repentance and a refor[m]ation among you, in all things..”
That event happened at the time that significant patriarchal priesthood offices were replacing Melchizedek priesthood offices over the church and it led to the second major event which was the secret vision behind the veil in the Kirtland Temple on April 3, 1836.
During that visitation the anticipated ushering in of the dispensation of the fullness of times was secretly replaced with the ushering in of the dispensation of the gospel of Abraham.
“After this, Elias appeared, and committed the dispensation of the gospel of Abraham, saying that in us and our seed all generations after us should be blessed.”
Shortly after that Joseph Smith declared that the Lord had informed him that “something new must be done for the salvation of the church”. He then began establishing foreign missions and commissioning the condemned quorum of the Twelve to preside over this latest missionary movement.
The third major event having to do with the changing priesthood leadership dynamic in the church and the change in trajectory took place when the Lord gave a revelation in 1841 declaring that the fullness of the priesthood had been taken away and warning the saints that if they neglected to finish the Lords Boarding House in Nauvoo within a “sufficient” period of time, they would be rejected as a church with their dead.
“For there is not a place found on earth that he may come to and restore again that which was lost unto you, or which he hath taken away, even the fulness of the priesthood.. I command you, all ye my saints, to build a house unto me; and I grant unto you a sufficient time to build a house unto me; and during this time your baptisms shall be acceptable unto me.
But behold, at the end of this appointment your baptisms for your dead shall not be acceptable unto me; and if you do not these things at the end of the appointment ye shall be rejected as a church, with your dead, saith the Lord your God.”
In this revelation, Hyrum Smith was commissioned to work in concert with Joseph Smith Jr. in presiding over the church. Hyrum’s priesthood offices were distinctly different than Joseph’s. Hyrum was appointed to the “ Office of Priesthood” and the “Office of Patriarch” . Joseph was referred to as the “presiding elder”.
The fourth major event took place in October of 1841 with Joseph’s declaration that the Lord was no longer going to accept any baptisms. The following is a version of what joseph said in the sanitized history of the Church, however I am also providing Lyman Wight’s memory of the declaration as well which seems a little more definitive regard the finality of the Lord’s declaration.
Joseph declared in general conference October 1841 according to the current history of the church:
“There shall be no more baptisms for the dead, until the ordinance can be attended to in the Lord’s House; and the Church shall not hold another General Conference, until they can meet in said house. For thus saith the Lord!” (HC 4:426)
According to Lyman Wight, this was because of the work on the temple had gone “leisurely” despite the Lord’s commandment to hasten the work.
“… We were to have a sufficient time to build that house, during which time our baptisms for our dead should be acceptable in the river. If we did not build within this time we were to be rejected as a church, we and our dead together.
Both the temple and baptizing went very leisurely, till the temple was somewhere in building the second story, when Bro. Joseph from the stand announced the alarming declaration that baptism for our dead was no longer acceptable in the river. As much to say the time for building the temple had passed by, and both we and our dead were rejected together..
“The church now stands rejected together with their dead. The church being rejected now stands alienated from her God in every sense of the word.”
There is compelling evidence that I have covered in other posts to suggest that the Saints should have directed all of their efforts on the building of the Nauvoo House instead of dividing their time and resources on both of the sanctuaries. Section 124 had virtually nothing to do with the Nauvoo Temple. It had to do with the Nauvoo Boarding House of the Lord.
Of course there were other issues involved. Many of the saints were spending time and resources on building their own homes and Masonic lodges at the time when the salvation of the church hung in the balance. Additionally section 124 informed the saints that they were currently practicing abomination before the Lord, very possibly referring to the secret practice of polygamy at the time.
One of the great misconceptions about section 124 is that it was referring to the urgency of building the Nauvoo Temple when in fact, it was referring exclusively to the urgency of building Nauvoo Boarding House of the Lord where the baptisms for the dead were to be administered. In a previous post I have shown that the Nauvoo Temple was already under construction before section 124, commanding the saints to build a house of the Lord in Nauvoo was given, and that the original justification for the Nauvoo Temple was actually cited by the temple building committee as being section 97, not section 124!!!!!!!
Although Joseph’s eventual declaration that Baptisms for the dead were no longer acceptable led the saints to believe that baptisms for the living were still acceptable, the thought defies all logic.
Why would the Lord penalize the dead for the failure of the living to complete the temple, while allowing the living to continue enjoying the ordinance of Baptism?
A close reading of the following passages, with particular focus on verse 31, indicates that ALL BAPTISMS FOR BOTH THE LIVING AND THE DEAD WILL BE ACCEPTABLE DURING THE “ACCEPTABLE TIME” AND THAT ALL BAPTISMS FOR BOTH THE LIVING AND THE DEAD WILL NOT BE ACCEPTABLE IF FAILURE TO BUILD THE HOUSE TAKES PLACE DURING THE “ACCEPTABLE TIME”:
31 But I command you, all ye my saints, to build a house unto me; and I grant unto you a sufficient time to build a house unto me; and during this time your BAPTISMS shall be acceptable unto me. [ALL BAPTISMS, NOT JUST BAPTISMS FOR THE DEAD!]
32 But behold, at the end of this appointment your baptisms for your dead shall not be acceptable unto me; and if you do not these things at the end of the appointment ye shall be rejected as a church, with your dead, saith the Lord your God.
33 For verily I say unto you, that after you have had sufficient time to build a house to me, wherein the ordinance of baptizing for the dead belongeth, and for which the same was instituted from before the foundation of the world, your baptisms for your dead cannot be acceptable unto me;
34 For therein are the keys of the holy priesthood ordained, that you may receive honor and glory.
35 And after this time, your baptisms for the dead, by those who are scattered abroad, are not acceptable unto me, saith the Lord.
36 For it is ordained that in Zion, and in her stakes, and in Jerusalem, those places which I have appointed for refuge, shall be the places for your baptisms for your dead.
In the above passages the term baptisms FOR THE DEAD shows up four times, however the very first verse does not refer to baptisms for the dead, it clearly states that BAPTISMS will be acceptable during the acceptable time.
The Lord is very exact in His choice of words. It was not an oversight on his part to use the term “baptisms” instead of “baptisms for the dead” in the first verse.
Rejected as Church Means Baptisms are Rejected
It is essential to understand this because this is what the Lord was referring to when he informed the saints that they would be rejected as a “church”.
The thing that differentiates God’s people as a “church” from his people as a “tribal” entity” are the saving ordinances of the Gospel. The whole reason that his church needed to be restored through the instrumentality of Joseph Smith was so that the saving ordinances could be available. Once the church is rejected, the saving ordinances of the church are no longer valid.
Those that understand this realize that we have not had the true and full baptismal ordinance on the earth for four generations and this is why we need to have a final RESTORATION.
This is why the Marvelous Work and a Wonder needs to still take place.
There are false prophets out there that teach that the church has only recently lost the authority to baptize and that you can resume the same baptizing authority and once again resume the restoration that Joseph Smith began by soliciting seven women to restore the authority to baptize. This is delusional. This is a doctrine of devils.
Only God’s appointed and authorized servants will restore the keys of the saving ordinances of the church which have been missing for four generations.
It will happen as described in the scriptures at the appointed time.
In section 124 Hyrum was appointed to work in concert with Joseph Smith in presiding over the condemned church which had been put on probation. Once the church was rejected with their dead, Joseph and Hyrum were still presiding over God’s people Israel.
This is why the transition from Melchizedek priesthood offices to lineal priesthood offices presiding over the church between December of 1834 up to the Nauvoo era is so noteworthy. God, in his infinite wisdom and foreknowledge, had made preparations so that his people could continue functioning as a tribal organization with patriarchal priesthood.
The fifth major event that took place in changing the priesthood leadership dynamic and trajectory of the church was Joseph’s resignation as the presiding prophet, seer and revelator of the church.
On July 16th 1843 The prophet Joseph Smith stated in a public discourse to the church-
“that Hyrum held the office of prophet to the church by birth-right & he was going to have a REFORMATION and the saints must regard Hyrum for he has authority”
Apostle Willard Richards gave a similar report of Joseph’s declaration in a letter to the absent Brigham Young:
“[Joseph] said he would not prophesy anymore— Hyrum should be the prophet.”
This left Hyrum as the sole president over the tribal saints who had been rejected as a church. It was also a literal fulfillment to the succession prophecy in section 43 that had foretold how the succession would take place if Joseph was to for any reason fail to abide in the Lord.
“I say unto you, that none else shall be appointed unto this gift [ the gift of receiving commandments and revelations for the church] except it be through him; for if it be taken from him he shall not have power except to appoint another in his stead.
And this shall be a law unto you, that ye receive not the teachings of any that shall come before you as revelations or commandments;”
clearly, Hyrum was the one that was appointed through Joseph, as per the succession law and prophecy documented in section 43.
Nevertheless, God did not reject his people, he only rejected them as a church. Hyrum was still authorized to receive revelations and commandments for God’s people Israel predicated on his own worthiness to receive revelation.
The rejected church still represented the tribes of Israel and were being led by the limited patriarchal priesthood commission that had been put in place by the Lord back in section 118.
This lineal patriarchal priesthood that had been handed down from the fathers is mentioned in sections 13, 107, 110, 112, and 118 and it was still in force even after the church became rejected and lost the right to have the saving ordinances. Indeed, one of the astounding clues provided in the Book of Mormon is that the rejected gentile church would take the KNOWLEDGE of the fulness of the gospel to the House of Israel. that is th prophetic promise being made. God was going to have the Book of Mormon and the Doctrine and Covenants made available to the world by people testifying of the name of Christ, for the next four generations until the final restoration of the Melchizedek Priesthood takes place.
The Final Event
The final major event pertaining to the priesthood leadership transition and the change in trajectory of the church took place at the time of the martyrdom when the succession crisis took place and the rejected church chose to be led by a kingly dictatorship led by Brigham Young and his apostolic brethren rather than Sidney Rigdon who had been ordained and sustained as a prophet seer and revelator.
It is not the purpose of this post to rehash that historical ordeal.
I have spoken at length about the amazing succession crisis, the secret re-establishment of the ancient “kingdom of Israel” which replaced the “church” and the parts played by such men as William Marks, William Law and Sidney Rigdon.
It is not the purpose of this post to revisit all of that information. For those new to this blog, I would refer you to the following links for more detailed information regarding these most important historical issues:
In part four of this series we will use the patriarchal blessings given by Joseph Smith Sr. and those given by Hyrum Smith as a type of “Rosetta stone” in deciphering what took place during the leadership transition between the Kirtland era and the Nauvoo era.
We will use the content of these patriarchal blessings in verifying that a transition in tribal demographics actually took place during the Nauvoo era. The gospel was taken from the “gentiles” in America after they rejected it. It was then taken to the “House of Israel” across the great waters.
This astonishing transition took place as a result of the commission given to the quorum of the Twelve in section 118. The establishing of foreign missions was in fulfillment of the prophecy of Christ in 3rd Nephi 16 and it fulfills the prophecies described in the allegory found in Jacob 5.
God’s final work is about to begin.
Additional records are about to come forth.
God’s true servants are about to return and give the final warning.
Zion will be established exactly as described in the holy word of God.
A remnant of believers are going to be literally gathered out to stand in holy places as the corrupt government of the United States is destroyed by a civil war that is currently brewing.
If you do not have a relationship with God’s holy word in the scriptures and take the Holy Ghost as your guide when it is offered, you will be deceived by those who have been ordained to gather out the tares from among the wheat before the wheat is gathered out to stand in holy place (and perhaps even after).