I suspect that some long time readers of this blog are confused about why I thought the declaration by Moroni about the impending fulfillment of an ancient covenant between God and ancient Israel was so astounding since I have been blogging about the secret ushering in of the dispensation of the gospel of Abraham it for years.
The reason I thought Moroni’s declaration was so astounding was not because the concept was new to me. It was because Moroni was validating my claims about the proper interpretation of D&C 110.
You see, all of my previous blog posts on the topic, used MY INTERPRETATION of Section 110 as the foundational proof that the ushering in of an ancient covenant grew out of the Gentile rejection of the fulness. Spring-boarding off of that interpretation, I also referenced countless additional contextual evidences from LDS history and scripture as supporting evidence to my interpretation of Section 110.
Although there has never been any doubt in my mind about what I have written about, regarding this topic, the modern church provides a radically different interpretation than mine. They superimpose a “dispensation of the fulness of times” narrative on the “the Dispensation of the Gospel of Abraham” content that is in the event narrative. Naturally, I have wanted to find hard evidence from a credible independent historical source that would confirm my interpretation, even though I think the correct interpretation is obvious.
I believe the declaration from Moroni in the Wentworth Letter and the associated Old Testament passages associated with it from the Saxton Letter is a game changer because it provides hard evidence from two separate historical documents authored by Joseph Smith.
They verify that an ancient covenant, separate and distinct from the New Testament Gospel Covenant to the Gentiles, was ushered in during Joseph’s ministry. It proves the interpretation of Section 110 that I have been providing for the last several years is correct.
I have looked for this type of a clear historical/scriptural validation in the scriptures for years and the best I could come up with was Isaiah 48 which is probably too cryptic and ambiguous to be persuasive and compelling to those who have not studied the topic in the scriptures deeply.
Moroni’s declaration provides a very strong witness that the interpretation of Section 110 that I have offered is correct and that the dispensation of the Gospel of Abraham that was secretly ushered in shortly after the saints and their leaders were condemned, along with the keys for gathering Israel, did in fact represent the beginning of the fulfillment of the ancient covenant that God made with portions of Israel.
These accounts of what was said by Moroni in the two letters, provide a compelling witness that Section 110 is true. It therefore exposes the false prophets and false teachers in the modern church who are providing a false interpretation, as well as the prophet of a contemporary fringe group who is trying to cause doubt in the historicity of the account given in Section 110.
It is becoming apparent to me why the false prophet of the most recent LDS fringe movement is wanting to discredit Section 110. After all, if the fulness was rejected by the saints by 1834, resulting in the beginning of the fulfilling of an ancient covenant in 1836 which has been and is currently preparing the way for the return of the Lord, then the claims of this movement that they are “preserving the restoration” of the true church that Joseph briefly restored are clearly exposed as being fraudulent.
The Most Controversial thing I Speak About
Of the many controversial and distasteful interpretations of scripture that I have suggested on this blog, I suppose I get the most blow-back from the general claim that the fulness of the gospel and the true church of God had returned back into the wilderness by the end of 1834.
I suppose there are several reasons for this.
One is that descendants of the Mormon pioneers as well as the more recent converts to the faith have been indoctrinated to think that they are special and are the elect children of God and that they have been “born under the covenant” in the “dispensation of the fulness of times” because they were so righteous in the pre-existence.
They have been taught that, unlike previous gospel dispensations, the one we live in is invincible and cannot go into apostasy. Hence the restored church was true back in Joseph Smith’s day, and it will always be true. All they need to do is blindly do what the false prophets and apostles tell them to do and they will be exalted.
It is a tough pill to swallow to be informed that you have not been born under the true covenant. Rather, you have inherited lies. You have inherited the apostasy and the false traditions of your fathers. The dispensation of the fulness of times was clearly never ushered in during Joseph’ ministry, and the true church of God that Joseph was instrumental in bringing forth out of the wilderness fled back into the wilderness within a few years after it came forth.
Have the Last Four Generations Been an Exercise in Futility?
Another reason for blow-back when I speak about our current situation is that it logically does not make sense to most people that God would have his true church restored and on the earth for about 3 1/2 years followed by darkness and apostasy for four generations until the Marvelous Work and a Wonder begins, with nothing significant happening during the interim period of time.
It does not make sense to me that God would have his church restored and then taken from the earth, leaving a veil of complete darkness and deception for four generations leading up to the events of the coming of Christ in his glory without anything of significance happening to prepare people for the marvelous work and a wonder and Christ’s return.
That is part of the profundity of what was covered in part one of this series. The LDS restoration movement was not ended in complete darkness. A priesthood commission that is documented in Section 118 of the Doctrine and Covenants has continued to this very day. There was a very important purpose in everything that happened during Joseph’s ministry. The fulfilling of the ancient covenant that was ushered in has been preparing many people for the Lord’s return!
The Lord did not leave the saints in a complete veil of darkness after the fulness was rejected. He began fulfilling the ancient covenant he had given to Israel and Jacob and that covenant was given in part, for the purpose of gathering and preparing people for the return of the Lord:
“This messenger proclaimed himself to be an angel of God sent to bring the joyful tidings, that the covenant which God made with ancient Israel was at hand to be fulfilled, that the preparatory work for the second coming of the Messiah was speedily to commence;”
That ancient covenant represents the preparatory gospel of Jesus Christ that is essential to the “preparatory work” leading up to the return of Christ into the vineyard, that has been taking place for the last four generations.
I have had numerous readers ask me what the purpose of this long interim period of four generations is accomplishing if in fact the fulness was lost and the saints were rejected as a church.
The truth is that even though the saints have been rejected as a church, they have not been rejected as a tribe or as God’s covenant people. The tribal gathering continued after the church became rejected. As the Saints were being rejected as a church with power to administer the fulness of the saving ordinances, the ancient kingdom of Israel was being reestablished and would continue the commission that had been given in section 118 and would continue providing the scriptures that have the fulness documented in them.
What Have We Been Told About the Ancient Covenant?
Let us now review passages of scripture that provide bits and pieces of commentary regarding the various aspects of the ancient covenant and preparatory work that has been ushered in.
There is Power in God’s Word
An integral part of the preparatory work that began four generations ago has to do with the coming forth of the Book of Mormon and the revelations received by Joseph Smith. Few people realize how powerful and significant the word of God is that Joseph Smith was instrumental in bringing forth. The word of God has the power to illuminate the mind and sanctify the soul.
Note the following declaration and promise of God referring the blessing that is directly attached to believing on the words of God.
“Whosoever believeth on my words, them will I visit with the manifestation of my spirit; and they shall be born of me, even of the water and of the Spirit… and the testimony of three witnesses will I send forth of my word… and their testimony shall also go forth unto the condemnation of this generation if they harden their hearts against me.” (D&C 5:16)
The Oracles of God
The words of God that came forth through the instrumentality have the power of blessing people with the manifestation of God’s spirit regardless of the current state of the church and the saving ordinances. The scriptures Joseph brought forth with the fulness of the gospel in them, and making them available to the work is perhaps the most important aspect of the preparatory work that has been taking place during the last four generations. The testimony of the three witnesses is just as binding on us now as it was on those of that generation. I believe those witneses will return and participate in the Marvelous Work.
Lets review the prophesy about how the keys of the Kingdom would remain with Joseph in both this world and the next one while the oracles (scriptures) that he brought forth would remain with the church after his death:
Thus saith the Lord, verily, verily I say unto you my son, thy sins are forgiven thee, according to thy petition, for thy prayers and the prayers of thy brethren have come up into my ears.
Therefore, thou art blessed from henceforth that bear the keys of the kingdom given unto you; which kingdom is coming forth for the last time.
Verily I say unto you, the keys of this kingdom shall never be taken from you, while thou art in the world, neither in the world to come;
Nevertheless, through you shall the oracles be given to another, yea, even unto the church.
And all they who receive the oracles of God, let them beware how they hold them lest they are accounted as a light thing, and are brought under condemnation thereby, and stumble and fall when the storms descend, and the winds blow, and the rains descend, and beat upon their house. (D&C 90:1-5)
Clearly the Lord was putting the Saints at that time and future generations, on notice that the keys of the kingdom would remain with Joseph after his death, until he returns with them to begin the final work. We have previously reviewed the prophetic dream in Section 65 which gives a prophetic account of how Joseph will return with the keys at a later time.
Nevertheless, despite the fact that the keys of the kingdom are no among us at this time, the scriptures remain powerful and relevant. The above passage of scripture is putting all of us on notice that we will be held accountable for how we hold the scriptures even AFTER the keys of the Kingdom were temporarily removed from the earth.
The scriptures are so powerful and revelatory for those that seriously read, study , search, and believe them under the influence of the spirit.
The Oracles Offer A Blessing or a Cursing
They provide a condemnation for those that reject them because of lack of faith or because of scientific arguments. They also provide a condemnation for those that dismiss them and in favor of the contrary teachings of uninspired church leaders:
These are they who are honorable men of the earth, who were blinded by the craftiness of men.
These are they who receive of his glory, but not of his fulness.
These are they who receive of the presence of the Son, but not of the fulness of the Father.
Wherefore, they are bodies terrestrial, and not bodies celestial, and differ in glory as the moon differs from the sun.
These are they who are not valiant in the testimony of Jesus; wherefore, they obtain not the crown over the kingdom of our God. (D&C 76:75-79)
The scriptures of the restoration also provide the means for believers to gain whatever level of knowledge they are capable of comprehending and living and thereby preparing them for the coming of Christ.
For the elect of God, the scriptures make it possible to gain a knowledge of the fulness of the gospel and to establish a preparatory relationship with God that will prevent them from being deceived. Those who treasure up the word of God by the power of the spirit will be able to identify the true messengers when they return and take the Holy Spirit as their guide when the keys return and it is offered.
Sadly, many of the saints took the scriptures lightly during Joseph’s ministry contributing to the loss of the fulness:
And your minds in times past have been darkened because of unbelief, and because you have treated lightly the things you have received—
Which vanity and unbelief have brought the whole church under condemnation.
And this condemnation resteth upon the children of Zion, even all.
And they shall remain under this condemnation until they repent and remember the new covenant, even the Book of Mormon and the former commandments which I have given them, not only to say, but to do according to that which I have written— (D&C 84:54-57)
Many Mormons take the scriptures lightly now. Zion and the law of consecration are not even in the paradigm of many Mormons. They LOVE the preparatory gospel and how it allows for materialism and class distinction.
How a person holds the scriptures largely determines whether they will be condemned or justified. The scriptures seem to indicate that the elect of God are always seeking Zion in their hearts and seeking to better understand what the fulness of the Gospel is.
The scriptures teach us what the fulness is so that we can be preparing our hearts and minds for the return of the fulness. Those who study God’s word realize how critical the law of consecration is while those who have become blinded are oblivious to the consequences that took place when the restored church in Kirtland failed to live the covenant that they had entered into;
During Joseph’s day the saints were warned that if they did not organize according to God’s law they would be “cut off“:
For it must needs be that they be organized according to my laws; if otherwise, they will be cut off. (D&C 51:2)
The fact that the Saints were cut off from the fulness of the Gospel and the full spiritual blessings of the Gospel, does not mean that the Lord has not provided a preparatory gospel.
One of the great tests placed upon Mormons during this time of preparation is if we will actually read and believe the word of God in the scriptures that Joseph Smith brought forth through the gift and power of God, or whether they will blindly follow the false precepts of men and discount the holy word of God.
Another Term for the Ancient Covenant
According to Section 110, another term for the ancient covenant that God had with Abraham, Isaac and Jacob is “The Dispensation of the Gospel of Abraham“.
In D&C 84, we are given one of the best concise definition of what the ancient covenant is that began to be fulfilled during Joseph Smith’s ministry after the fulness was rejected. It uses an ancient event that parallels what happened during the restoration movement when the priesthood was taken away.
Now this Moses plainly taught to the children of Israel in the wilderness, and sought diligently to sanctify his people that they might behold the face of God;
But they hardened their hearts and could not endure his presence; therefore, the Lord in his wrath, for his anger was kindled against them, swore that they should not enter into his rest while in the wilderness, which rest is the fulness of his glory.
Therefore, he took Moses out of their midst, and the Holy Priesthood also;
And the lesser priesthood continued, which priesthood holdeth the key of the ministering of angels and the preparatory gospel;
Which gospel is the gospel of repentance and of baptism, and the remission of sins, and the law of carnal commandments, which the Lord in his wrath caused to continue with the house of Aaron among the children of Israel until John, whom God raised up, being filled with the Holy Ghost from his mother’s womb. (D&C 84:23-27)
The above summary of what happened to the Children of Israel after Moses was taken out of their midst is remarkably similar to what happened to the latter day children of Israel.
Moses earnestly sought to sanctify the Children of Israel that they might behold the face of God.
Joseph had earnestly sought to sanctify the saints that they might behold the face of God. Through his instrumentality the office of High Priest was restored to the earth and the admonition to seek the face of God was given to those called to that holy calling.
During Moses’s ministry it is documented that a small portion of the brethren did see God.
During Joseph’s ministry there were a few individuals that did see the face of God as well.
Collectively, the children of Israel hardened their hearts and could not ENDURE the presence of God.
The same is true of the saints during the restoration movement. They hardened their hearts and could not ENDURE the presence of God.
The Lord did not allow the children of Israel to enter into his rest in the wilderness as they were journeying towards the promised land.
The Lord did not allow the latter day children of Israel to enter into his rest while they were attempting to establish Zion in the promised land.
Moses was taken out of the midst of the people and the Holy Priesthood also .
Joseph Smith was taken out of the midst of the people and the Holy Priesthood also.
The Children of Israel were left with the preparatory gospel
The Latter day Saints were left with the preparatory gospel.
As you can see, an exact type of what happened to the latter day saints has been provided and if validates Moroni’s claim that the ancient covenant represents the preparatory Gospel which prepares us for the return of the fulness.
The Ancient Covenant Includes a Knowledge of the Fulness
In his prophecy in 3rd Nephi 16, Christ clarifies that once the fulness has been rejected by the Gentiles, the preparatory gospel of the ancient covenant contains a KNOWLEDGE of what the fulness of the gospel is.
And thus commandeth the Father that I should say unto you: At that day when the Gentiles shall sin against my gospel, and shall reject the fulness of my gospel, and shall be lifted up in the pride of their hearts above all nations, and above all the people of the whole earth, and shall be filled with all manner of lyings, and of deceits, and of mischiefs, and all manner of hypocrisy, and murders, and priestcrafts, and whoredoms, and of secret abominations; and if they shall do all those things, and shall reject the fulness of my gospel, behold, saith the Father, I will bring the fulness of my gospel from among them.
And then will I remember my covenant which I have made unto my people, O house of Israel, and I will bring my gospel unto them.
And I will show unto thee, O house of Israel, that the Gentiles shall not have power over you; but I will remember my covenant unto you, O house of Israel, and ye shall come unto the knowledge of the fulness of my gospel.
But if the Gentiles will repent and return unto me, saith the Father, behold they shall be numbered among my people, O house of Israel. 3rd Nephi 16:10-13
The Lesser Law and Priesthood
Can only Curse Not Bless
It is important to realize that even though the lesser priesthood and the lesser gospel provide the oracles that detail what the fulness of the gospel is, those that do not desire to repent and live the fulness when it returns and are content with the preparatory gospel, will be cursed by being damned in their eternal progression.
Joseph Smith opined that the lesser law was given as a cursing if it is not used to transcend to the higher priesthood and the fulness of the Gospel…
“The law was given under Aaron for the purpose of pouring out Judments and destructions.” (Smith Dairy)
“…Levitical [priesthood] which was never able to administer a Blessing but Only to bind heavy burdens which neither they nor their father able to bear” (Franklin D Richards Diary) The Words of Joseph Smith, p.243-248; Given 27 August 1843
“The priesthood of Levi consisted of cursings and blessing carnal commandments and not of blessings and if the preisthood of this generation has no more power than that of Levi or Aron or of a bishhoprick it administers no blessings but cursings. . .” (http://www.boap.org/LDS/Parallel/1843/27Aug43.html).
Ancient prophecy confirms that the Lord would curse the blessings of the latter day saints if they do not “lay it to heart“.
“If ye will not hear, and if ye will not lay it to heart, to give glory unto my name, saith the LORD of hosts, I will even send a curse upon you, and I will curse your blessings: yea, I have cursed them already, because ye do not lay it to heart.”
Modern revelation confirms the fulfillment of the ancient prophecy:
“by your own works, bring cursings, wrath, indignation, and judgments upon your own heads, by your follies, and by all your abominations, which you practise before me, saith the Lord.” (D&C 124:48)
The Book of Mormon speaks of the promise in Malachi about the Lord coming sudden coming of the Lord to his temple after the Lord’s messenger Elijah (John the Baptist) prepares the way:
And it came to pass that he commanded them that they should write the words which the Father had given unto Malachi, which he should tell unto them. And it came to pass that after they were written he expounded them. And these are the words which he did tell unto them, saying: Thus said the Father unto Malachi—Behold, I will send my messenger, and he shall prepare the way before me, and the Lord whom ye seek shall suddenly come to his temple, even the messenger of the covenant, whom ye delight in; behold, he shall come, saith the Lord of Hosts. 3 Nephi 24:1
That is exactly what happened during the LDS restoration movement.
The sudden coming of the Lord to the Kirtland Temple had also been foretold in modern revelation.
I am Jesus Christ, the Son of God; wherefore, gird up your loins and I will suddenly come to my temple. Even so. Amen. Doctrine and Covenants 36:8
Remarkably, the Lord revealed in Section 133 that the sudden coming to his temple would be associated with a “curse to judgment“:
Hearken, O ye people of my church, saith the Lord your God, and hear the word of the Lord concerning you—
The Lord who shall suddenly come to his temple; the Lord who shall come down upon the world with a curse to judgment; (D&C 133:1-2)
As a follow up to those passages in 84 and 90, which inform us that the oracles will continue on in the church even though the fulness of the priesthood will not, we have the JST of Christ’s words demonstrating that the Jewish Church in the meridian of time was in a similar state of apostasy as the modern LDS church. Leaders continue to preside in the church and to exercize unrighteous dominion over the flock. The following passages are very instructive
“Then spake Jesus to the multitude, and to his disciples, saying, The Scribes and the Pharisees sit in Moses’ seat.
All, therefore, whatsoever they bid you observe, they will make you observe and do; for they are ministers of the law, and they make themselves your judges. But do not ye after their works; for they say, and do not.” JST Matthew 23:1-3
The JST further reveals that while the unrighteous leaders of the apostate church make themselves Judges in Israel and compel the flock to obey their directives in order to qualify for the spiritual blessings the church claims stewardship over, they prevent the flock from entering into the strait gate by withholding the true teachings contained in the scriptures:
“Woe unto you, lawyers! For ye have taken away the key of knowledge, the fullness of the scriptures; ye enter not in yourselves into the kingdom; and those who were entering in, ye hindered.” JST Luke 11:53
The JST also informs us that we are to follow Christ as our guide, not those who sit in the seat of Moses:
Seek unto my Father, and it shall be done in that very moment what ye shall ask, if ye ask in faith, believing that ye shall receive.
And if thine eye which seeth for thee, him that is appointed to watch over thee to show thee light, become a transgressor and offend thee, pluck him out.
It is better for thee to enter into the kingdom of God, with one eye, than having two eyes to be cast into hell fire.
48 For it is better that thyself should be saved, than to be cast into hell with thy brother, where their worm dieth not, and where the fire is not quenched. Mark 9:45-48
From the above three snippets in the JST of the Bible from Matthew Luke and Mark, we learn the following:
- Moses’ Seat of Authority is valid but limited
- Those who sit in it sometimes teach false doctrine and exercise unrighteous dominion
- They prevent the flock from entering the strait gate by taking away the key of knowledge, which is the “fulness of the scriptures”
- It is the responsibility of the saints to follow Christ as their guide, not uninspired priesthood leaders
One of the truly shocking events of the restoration is that leaders of the modern church took the “doctrine” part of the “Doctrine and Covenants” out of the Doctrine and Covenants. It is also known as the Lectures on Faith. The Lectures on Faith was originally canonized as scripture under the direction of God’s servant and sustained by the law of common consent.
It was placed in the Doctrine and Covenants in 1835 AFTER the Gentile church failed to live consecration, rejected the fulness and became condemned in 1834.
It appears that the reason the Lord had Joseph canonize these lectures is to instruct the condemned saints and future generations about the true nature of God and about the deeper aspects of faith, to prepare them for the fulness that had been lost from the earth.
By taking the doctrine portion out of the Doctrine and Covenants, the leaders of the church were in a sense taking away the key of knowledge which enables the saints to enter into the kingdom. Modern leaders also withhold the key of knowledge by giving false interpretations of scripture.
By the providence of God, those who are searching deeply for answers can still find the original doctrine and can read and interpret for themselves what the Lord has taught in the scriptures
The Latter day Jews BEGIN to Believe
Ancient prophecy informs us that the latter day Jews would begin to gather when the truth is restored to the earth
Second Nephi 30 gives a brief prophetic snippet about the latter day “Jews” that began gathering into Nauvoo as the ancient covenant was beginning to be fulfilled.
And it shall come to pass that the Jews which are scattered also shall begin to believe in Christ; and they shall begin to gather in upon the face of the land; and as many as shall believe in Christ shall also become a delightsome people.
And it shall come to pass that the Lord God shall commence his work among all nations, kindreds, tongues, and people, to bring about the restoration of his people upon the earth.
The scattered descendants of the Jews who rejected Christ in the meridian of time were to be gathered to the promised land of America where they would BEGIN to believe in Christ. That is what the preparatory covenant represents. It is a beginning point of partial belief without actually living the full law of God. It is for those that only begin to believe until they can transcend the preparatory gospel and prepare their hearts for the fulness of the Gospel.
The preparatory gospel presents people with a knowledge of the fulness as contained in the oracles if they are willing to read and understand what is presented therein.
The ancient covenant has been gathering God’s ancient people together for four generations; both physically to American and to “stakes” all over the world as well as exposing them to the oracles of God.
The fulfilling of this ancient covenant is preparing people for the return of Christ and for the Marvelous Work and a Wonder.
To be continued…