Part One of this Series
In part one of this series we observed that the letters that Joseph Smith sent to newspaper editors in 1833 and 1842 documented Moroni foretelling that the Lord was about to fulfill the ancient covenant with Israel, his ancient covenant people.
We also noted that the official church history version of the Moroni account in the Pearl of Great Price mysteriously omitted this game changing information.
The emergence of this ancient covenant following the rejection of the fulness by the Gentile church would result in a major change in trajectory of the LDS restoration movement and the condemned church. Few people are aware of this change of trajectory and are left to try and force the events of church history to match a false narrative.
In the JS History account, Joseph simply stated that the angel “offered many explanations which cannot be mentioned here.” instead of speaking about the fulfilling of the ancient covenant.
It almost appears as if the Lord is sharing inside information with the Gentile world, while keeping his people Israel who were migrating to America across the great waters in the dark, regarding their true identity and the fulfillment of this amazing prophetic event.
I must confess that years ago when I read Joseph’s declaration stating that God was setting his hand a second time to gather his people, I assumed he was referring to the restoration of the Gentile church.
I assumed that Peter James, John, Paul and others took the gospel to the gentiles during New Testament times and then Joseph was used by God to take the New Testament gospel to the Gentiles a second time.
It was not until I finally realized that Joseph’s ministry to the Gentiles was part of the same dispensation that Peter James, John, Paul and others of the New Testament apostles had begun.
Joseph Smith was was not starting a new dispensation when the restored Biblical Christianity in 1830, he was giving the Gentiles their final opportunity to repent during the dispensation that Peter, James and John had begun before the gospel would be taken from the Gentiles to the House of Israel.
The Gospel dispensation that Joseph was actauly involved in ushering in did not take place until 1836, AFTER the fulness of the Gospel was rejected by the Gentile Saints of the restored church
The setting of God’s hand the second time to fulfill that ancient covenant with God’s ancient covenant people primarily has to do with the remnants of the Jews from the ancient kingdom of Judah that are referred to as the outcasts of Israel and the dispersed of Judah.
In part two of this series I spoke about how these two letters to newspaper editors provide compelling historical proof that the account of the visitation of Christ, Moses Elias and Elijah as contained in Section 110 is true.
The ancient gospel of Abraham was indeed secretly ushered in, representing the beginning of the fulfillment of the ancient covenant with the ancient covenant people, the Jews.
When a keyword search is done using the term “ancient covenant” the term Joseph used in one of his letters, the Book of Mormon is the only standard work that it shows up in. The two references identify the latter day “Jews” as the ancient covenant people:
5 O ye Gentiles, have ye remembered the Jews, mine ancient covenant people? Nay; but ye have cursed them, and have hated them, and have not sought to recover them. But behold, I will return all these things upon your own heads; for I the Lord have not forgotten my people. 2 Nephi 29:5
4 But thus saith the Lord God: O fools, they shall have a Bible; and it shall proceed forth from the Jews, mine ancient covenant people. And what thank they the Jews for the Bible which they receive from them? Yea, what do the Gentiles mean? Do they remember the travails, and the labors, and the pains of the Jews, and their diligence unto me, in bringing forth salvation unto the Gentiles? 2 Nephi 29:4
During the times of the Gentiles that began during New Testament times and finally came to an end with the rejection of the fulness by the end of 1834, the Jews had been hated and despised, not reclaimed. But Isaiah had foretold that God would indeed set his hand a second time to recover them and that is what Joseph was speaking about in the two letters that he wrote.
The restoration of ancient keys and dispensational rights in section 110 and the limited commission of taking the knowledge of the gospel to the House of Israel that is documented in Section 118 had specifically to do with God setting his hand a second time to recover the remnants of his ancient people Israel.
Those events resulted in a second wave of missionary work to remnants of the House of Israel (Jews) across the “great waters” that followed the rejection of the fulness by the Gentiles.
This represented the fulfillment of Isaiah’s prophecy that in the last days, the Lord would “set his hand again, a second time to recover the remnants of this people“.
The following statement is from Joseph Smith to Mr. Saxton:
“The time has at last arrived when the God of Abraham of Isaac and of Jacob has set his hand again the second time to recover the remnants of his people… and from the Islands of the sea and with them to bring in the fulness of the Gentiles and establish that covenant with them which was promised when their sins should be taken away. see Romans 11, 25, 26, & 27 and also Jeremiah 31. 31, 32, & 33,11
Joseph was paraphrasing passages from Isaiah 11
“And it shall come to pass in that day, that the Lord shall set his hand again the second time to recover the remnant of his people…
And he shall set up an ensign for the nations, and shall assemble the outcasts of Israel, and gather together the dispersed of Judah from the four corners of the earth.”
The next passage is quite interesting because it provides context:
The envy also of Ephraim shall depart, and the adversaries of Judah shall be cut off: Ephraim shall not envy Judah, and Judah shall not vex Ephraim. Isaiah 11:11-13
When the Marvelous Work and a Wonder takes place in the third watch, the envy of Ephraim towards Judah and the vexing of Ephraim by Judah will come to an end.
The Splitting Up of the Kingdom Created Envy and Vexing
The envy of Ephraim towards Judah and the vexing of Ephraim by Judah all began back when the Kingdom of Israel was split into two separate kingdoms because of the heavy tax burden that king Rehoboam placed upon Israel after they had petitioned him to lighten their tax burden.
The Ephraimite Kingdom of Israel lead by the Ephraimite Jeroboam, and the Kingdom of Judah lead by Rehoboam became estranged from each other and that estrangement has carried forward to the present time.
During New Testament times after the Jews (Descendants of the ancient Kingdom of Judah) rejected the gospel, Paul notes that their rejection resulted in the taking of the gospel to the Gentiles (remnants of the ancient Ephraimite kingdom of the Israel)-
44 ¶And the next sabbath day came almost the whole city together to hear the word of God.
45 But when the Jews saw the multitudes, they were filled with envy, and spake against those things which were spoken by Paul, contradicting and blaspheming.
46 Then Paul and Barnabas waxed bold, and said, It was necessary that the word of God should first have been spoken to you: but seeing ye put it from you, and judge yourselves unworthy of everlasting life, lo, we turn to the Gentiles.
Conversely, just as the gospel message was taken from the Jews to the Gentiles during New Testament times, at the end of the Gentile dispensation when the Gentiles rejected the fulness of the gospel, it opened the way for the knowledge of the fulness to be taken from the Gentiles to the Jews. The following snippet is from the JST of the Bible-
24 Now these things he spake unto them, concerning the destruction of Jerusalem. And then his disciples asked him, saying, Master, tell us concerning thy coming?
25 And he answered them, and said, In the generation in which the times of the Gentiles shall be fulfilled, there shall be signs in the sun, and in the moon, and in the stars; and upon the earth distress of nations with perplexity, like the sea and the waves roaring. The earth also shall be troubled, and the waters of the great deep;
26 Men’s hearts failing them for fear, and for looking after those things which are coming on the earth. For the powers of heaven shall be shaken. JST, Luke 21:24–26. (Compare Luke 21:25–26)
The above prophecy like virtually all other prophecies was to have a dual fulfillment. A shadow fulfillment would take place during the end of the first watch. The literal fulfillment would take place during the third watch.
The Gentiles failed to live the law of consecration and fell under condemnation in December of 1834.
Parley Pratt received a revelation from the Lord in July of 1836 commanding him to warn the people of America to repent for the gospel was to be taken from the Gentiles to the nations afar off, leaving the Gentiles in America with a famine for the Word of the Lord:
“Go unto this people and cry unto them with a mighty voice that they repent, lest I smite them with a curse and they die; for, notwithstanding the present fruitfulness of the earth, there shall be a famine in the land; and not only a famine for bread, but a famine for the Word of the Lord; for I will call my servants out from their midst and send them to the nations afar off.”
Having heard these words I took courage, and I continued to lift up my voice in the congregations, both in town and country, testifying of the gospel and warning the people of things to come. Many repented and were baptized, while many hardened their hearts and were filled with a contentious and lying spirit. But the Saints were filled with faith, joy, and love; and they met together oft, and had great union and peace, and were happy in the society of each other.
In the autumn of the same year–I think in September–I had preached on Sunday in the chapel, on the subject of the coming of the Son of Man and the signs which would precede his coming. I prophesied that they would see signs in the heavens very soon, such as were spoken of by Jesus Christ in the New Testament; and that when they should begin to see them they might know for themselves that His coming was nigh at hand. After thus preaching I returned in the evening to the house of brother and sisters Fielding, at the hour of 9 p.m.; we sat up for an hour or two conversing on these important things and rejoicing, when, on going out at the door and looking abroad, we beheld a most wonderful scene in the heavens, and, as it continued for some time, we finally went to some of the nearest neighbors and called them out to behold it.
A wave of white light extended like a rainbow from east to west over the entire horizon, a little south of the meridian. It was in appearance about twenty feet wide, and seemed agitated in its motions like a wave of the sea; at length it removed like the motions of a great swell of the sea towards the south and disappeared; when lo! another similar light appeared immediately in the place of the former, and, after remaining stationary with agitated motions for some time, it rolled away to the south and disappeared like the former, and was replaced by a third. Thus the same scene was renewed and continued for hours. We finally all retired to rest, while it yet continued to be exhibited.”
The significance of the timing of the revelation Parley received and the signs in the heaven cannot be overstated. The Lord had revealed to Parley that the gospel would be taken from the Gentiles creating a “famine” of the word of God among the Gentiles who had rejected the fulness.
The servants of the Lord would be “taken out of the midst” of the gentile nations to take the knowledge of the gospel to another branch of Israel. The signs in the heavens that Parley documents were taking place at about the time that the “stronghold” in Kirtland was being taken away per the prophecy in Section 64.
It was shortly after this revelation and prophecy of Parley Pratt’s, and the accompanying signs in the heavens that Joseph announced, that something new must be done for the salvation of the church.
“In this state of things,” the Prophet wrote, “God revealed to me that something new must be done for the salvation of His Church.”
This “something new” was a revelation to send missionaries to England to preach the gospel. It is interesting to note that the first grand sign in the heavens during Joseph Smith’s ministry, happened just as the Saints are being expelled from Jackson County, Missouri.
The Second grand sign took place at about the appointed time for the redemption of Zion, when the bridegroom tarried because the saints had failed in their attempt to consecrate and gather.
When the believing Gentile Saints failed to redeem Zion at the appointed time, the gospel was then taken to the House of Israel in nations afar off in fulfillment of the prophetic revelation Pratt had received.
The revelation Parley Pratt received about the servants of God being taken out of the “midst” of America and sent “to the nations afar off” and the revelation God gave to Joseph Smith about establishing foreign missions for the “salvation of the church” had specific reference to the prophecies in the Old Testament, New Testament and Book of Mormon, addressed in part one of this series regarding the gospel going from the Gentiles to the Jews.
This event had also been foretold in the prophecy uttered by Christ in 3 Nephi 16:
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.
After declaring that God had revealed to Joseph that something new must be done for the salvation of the church, Joseph used the quorum of the Twelve to he set up foreign missions. This was all in fulfillment of Christ’s prophecy.
Remarkably, God sent the elders from the midst of the Gentile nation of America to take the knowledge of the gospel to “nations afar off.”
The passage being quoted to Parley from the Lord is taken from Amos 8:1:
Amos saw that in the latter-days, God would send a famine of hearing the word of the Lord upon this, the hypocritical nation of America for rejecting the fulness of the gospel. This is why leaders of the corporate church can only teach the precepts of men instead of authoritatively teaching from the scriptures.
From other prophecies and statements from Joseph Smith, it is apparent that after the gentile nation of America rejected the fulness of the gospel, the preparatory knowledge of the gospel was then sent to the outcasts of Israel and the dispersed of Judah, scattered among the nations afar off.
Parley Pratt and Sidney Rigdon and others were initially filled with the spirit of prophecy during the early, Kirtland era of the church and they were both called by revelation to teach in the school of the prophets.
They had both been prepared to play important roles in helping to lay the foundation of the kingdom, preparatory for the Marvelous Work that would be ushered in four generations later. The Lectures on Faith grew out of Sidney’s teachings and would eventually become canonized and then eventually rejected as scripture.
When the Gentile nation rejected the fulness of the gospel preached by Joseph Smith and other anointed servants of God, including Sidney Rigdon and Parley Pratt, the Lord covered the eyes of his anointed servants, withdrew his spirit and took the fulness of the gospel out of their midst.
It is no coincidence that some Mormon bloggers and authors are now making disparaging remarks about Sidney Rigdon and Parley P. Pratt, claiming they were uninspired and they adversely altered the trajectory of Mormonism by misinterpreting the message of the Book of Mormon. This represents yet another form of rejecting the fulness of the Gospel.
Envy and Vexation
Ephraim envies Judah and Judah vexes Ephraim until the Marvelous Work begins. The Jews were the first to have the message of the gospel offered to them and they will be the last to have the message of the Gospel offered to them-
In response the the first two parts of this series I got the following email from a subscriber:
This most current series has to be the most insightful and powerful witness of the 3 watches and different latter day dispensations that you’ve done.
Praise God almighty for his mercy and grace in opening this up to you and ultimately us.
I must confess I was dumbfounded when I read his email because he is right, Moroni’s proclamation about the fulfillment of the ancient covenant does provide one of the most insightful and powerful witnesses of the doctrine of the three watches and yet, I did not even catch that when I wrote the first two segments of this series!
I sometimes become so hyper-focused on a primary topic that I am trying to articulate, that I fail to connect the other dots that connect to it. This same fellow shared the following observations a few days after the one posted above:
for out of Zion shall go forth the law, and the word of the LORD from Jerusalem.
However, as you’ve pointed out in Isa 30:19 they shall be on the same continent.
As I was reading the above email, a passage from Section 84 that he quoted jumped out at me and hit me between the eyes. It is one I have noticed before but had forgotten about with regard to how it relates to this current series. It not only provides a compelling witness regarding the three watches, it also provides additional clarity about how the ancient covenant differs from the covenant God makes with the Gentiles!
More to come in the part four..