Notable Emails #32: “during the Messianic years, John the Baptist turned the hearts of the prophets to the Jews– but… he never turned the hearts of the Jews to the prophets!”

[Editorial Note: I get many emails from readers of my blog sharing their thoughts and asking my opinion about historical and doctrinal matters and about prophecy. This series provides selected email exchanges that may be of interest to the general readership.

I sometimes alter my past responses slightly when posted in this series in an effort to provide clarity. As always, the reader should never assume that I know what I am talking about. The information is being provided to stimulate thought and deeper study into the scriptures and history of the church.

I do not share email conversations if you request that I don’t.

I seldom correct typos in emails from readers since I am unqualified to correct my own typos.

There are many emails that i just cannot include although i value all correspondence from readers]

Email Exchange #1
“during the Messianic years, John the Baptist turned the hearts of the prophets to the Jews– but… he never turned the hearts of the Jews to the prophets!”

(This is an email I sent to someone who made a comment on another blog

Oh.. My…. Gosh!

G.azelem-

I loved the following observation that you shared on the onewhoissearching blog

I’ll mention something of interest:
When John the Baptist is on the earth in the Gospels, the angel says in Luke 1 that he will go forth in the spirit and power of Elias and turn the hearts of the fathers to the children. It DOESN’T say he will turn the hearts of the children to the fathers.
So during the Messianic years, John the Baptist turned the hearts of the prophets to the Jews– but… he never turned the hearts of the Jews to the prophets! The Jews rejected Christ and the prophets.
But Elijah, according to Malachi, is supposed to do both.
That’s why the prophecies are incomplete if you stop at the New Testament.
Elijah/JTB turned the hearts of the children to the fathers in the second watch🙂
That’s why the angel didn’t include that part of Elijah/JTB’s mission in Luke.
How amazing is that???
I love the scriptures.
-G.azelem

That is an unbe-freakin-lieveable observation!!!

You have uncovered one of the most powerful witnesses of the truthfulness of the LDS restoration and how the New Testament narrative is incomplete in the eyes of ancient prophecy without the  restoration narrative.

Furthermore, you have identified yet another witness that the literal Jews began coming into the restored church AFTER they began to believe, just as the Book of Mormon prophesied.

Amazing observation !

[editorial note: the person I sent the above email to that goes by the name of G.azelem, is a young whipper-snapper that really searches the scriptures. It is fun to see a millennial who is so passionate about the word of God. He has a fascinating and thought provoking blog called the work of the father. Regardless of whether you agree with all of his conclusions or not, his research and logic will stimulate thought and challenge the typical dogma of mainstream Mormonism. Click here  to see one of my favorite posts from this guy.

Email Exchange #2
“There has men been ordained prophets, priests and kings, but I have never heard of anyone [except Sidney Rigdon] being ordained a seer and revelator.”

Watcher-

In your latest post you say that BY was not a designated by JS as a prophet and seer. I disagree. In the first Journals of the JS Papers, during the dedication of the Kirtland temple, JS “called upon the  quorums and congregation of saints to acknowledge the 12 Apostles who were present as Prophets and Seers…” (27 Mar 1836). While I agree that BY did not come in at the gate, I don’t think it is accurate to say he “had not been called to be a prophet seer and revelator through Joseph Smith.”

My Response

Interesting observation

I have mixed feelings on this

Perhaps I should have said he was not appointed and ordained as the prophet seer and revelator to preside over the church as such, as the president of the High Priesthood..

However, you are no doubt familiar with the quote by President Marks at the trial of Sidney Rigdon wherein he testifies that he is not aware of anyone besides Sidney who had been ORDAINED as a prophet seer and revelator.

Perhaps that is the key… A person can be sustained to be something before being ordained, but it does not become consummated until the ordination takes place.

The following statement by Marks was made publicly in front of BY and many of the apostles and yet it did not generate any blow-back from any of them

“Now is there a man in the church who has received the ordination of a prophet, seer and revelator? [other than Sidney Rigdon] If there is I want to see him.—”
“There has men been ordained prophets, priests and kings, but I have never heard of anyone [except Sidney Rigdon] being ordained a seer and revelator. I think I am knowing to all the ordinations, but I dont [don’t] know of a man who has been ordained to the office and calling Brother Sidney has; and if he is cut off, who will we have to obtain revelations?”

His Reply

Yes. BY and the other 12 may have been CALLED by God though JS to be prophets and seers, but perhaps they had not been CHOSEN or ordained as such. Also interesting is that in the journal, JS only asks the congregation to accept the 12 as prophets and seers…not REVELATORS

My Reply

Yes that could be significant.

Also, section 43 seems to be focusing on not accepting the teachings of anyone not properly ordained

rev·e·la·tor
[révvə làytər]

NOUN
somebody or something believed to reveal divine will or truth
But I still get indigestion thinking of Brigham as a prophet or seer. By his own admission he was neither.

Email Exchange #3
“I agree the masonic trappings of the endowment ceremony are troubling and likely part of the turning over the church to Satan..”

 

Hi Watcher, very interesting post on Integrity.  Are we to understand then that the patriarchal priesthood restored by JTB aka Elijah allows us to do the temple work that is being done today?  Albeit the endowment ordinance especially, and others have been corrupted by BY and future generations and therefore are of no effect?

My Response

I have only been able to establish a link between the restoration of patriarchal priesthood by JTB/ Elijah and the turning of the hearts between the fathers and the children through the gospel of Christ . I don’t see any relationship with the masonic temple ritual that emerged in Nauvoo, indeed, that ritual seems to be the fulfillment of Gods warning that he would turn the saints over to Satan if they did not repent and reform.

His Reply

towards the end of your post you proffered the following:

As you can see, Joseph is acknowledging that they had everything necessary because Elijah had already returned and revealed the priesthood by hand. At the time that joseph was speaking, the gospel had been established because Elijah had restored the priesthood!

According to Joseph’s sermon, the saints were in possession of the patriarchal priesthood power to-

-gather the saints

-build up Zion

-build temples and baptismal fonts for the dead (which they were currently doing)

-perform ordinances, washings, anointing’s, ordinations, etc.

The fact that the above patriarchal priesthood powers were on the earth despite the fact that the fullness of Melchizedek Priesthood had been lost, is noted in Section 124:28, 38-41, 91-93

There is nothing in Joseph’s sermon that indicated that they needed to wait for the return of Elijah to establish the gospel, gather Israel and build temples and baptismal fonts for the dead.

I agree the masonic trappings of the endowment ceremony are troubling and likely part of the turning over the church to satan, it appears to me the other functions of the temple may have had some validity and proper priesthood backing, at least perhaps before changes were made to them (unless of course they were never properly instituted by BY after JSs death.) Are the washings, annointings, ordinances performed in the modern temples essentially the same as were performed in the Kirtland temple?

My Reply

I don’t know and don’t see why it would be relevant. I believe the saints were rejected as a church, meaning that all priesthood power and authority to perform saving ordinances in their fulness was withdrawn from them. Hence, it really doesn’t matter to me how accurate the current washings, anointing’s and ordinances performed in modern temples may be to the original in form. They have no substance IMO.

If you feel that the church was not rejected, and that it represents the true church that was restored, then of course you should honor and believe in the efficacy of everything the church is doing.

His follow up question

So you don’t believe the church has any priesthood authority?  Is none needed to promulgate the BOM and Gospel of JC to the world?

My Reply

I do think they have priesthood authority. They represent the latter day kingdom of Israel in a fallen state, much like the Children of Israel, who were bound down and cursed by the Law of Moses. Clearly they have some level of lineal priesthood. I believe they still have the commission to take the KNOWLEGE of the fullness of the gospel to the nations as contained in the Book of Mormon.

It is even possible that they have some priesthood authority to offer a preparatory baptism… however a preparatory baptism is of no avail unless it is followed by the true baptism.

I just don’t think they are the true Church of Christ that Joseph restored with the authority to provide all of the saving ordinances. I think most of their truth claims and doctrinal teachings are false. I don’t think they have the POWER and AUTHORITY that Christ originally gave to Joseph Smith or to the New Testament Saints or to the Nephites.

Again, it shouldn’t matter to you what I think. It should only matter to you what the Holy Ghost teaches you. If you conclude through your personal study and the spirit that the church is true and the temple ritual is valid then of course it should be important to you.

.Email Exchange #4
“Do you have any other evidence of these kinds of things?  The witnesses seemed a little sketchy and their premises and accusations strain credulity”

Your recent post that had a link with the Godmakers was interesting.  I remember hearing about that film as a youth but had never seen it – it was verboten!

The part about Hinckley and parties in Indian Hills and dalliances with young boys was really hard to believe.

Do you have any other evidence of these kinds of things?  The witnesses seemed a little sketchy and their premises and accusations strain credulity.

My Reply

I think the reason the witnesses seemed shaky is because those are the kind of people that would be found at those kind of parties.

I once had additional info which I seem to have lost.

One of the stories included a radio station that got shut down or purchased because they were giving air time to the stories circulating around about Hinckley.

The cherry processor in Utah Valley sent a letter to thousands of LDS church employees that worked at the church office building documenting what he had found and attempting to expose Hinckley. It was very embarrassing to the church.. I think he may have detailed all of his sources in the letter, I am not sure.

I came across a copy of that letter in my records a few months ago but when I decided to put a snippet about Hinckley in the post, i could not find the letter.

Perhaps it is providence.

It is all in God’s hands.

His Follow Up Question

So you think the party and pedophilia stories just may be true?  Have you heard of any other brethren being involved?

My Reply

From what I remember, there was quite a bit of evidence that Baum collected from different completely unrelated sources… in addition to that, I have a close friend who used to work for LDS Church Security. I will refer to him as R.W.

He worked closely with a person that was a Detective for the SL Vice department. I will refer to him as J.L. 

J.L., the Vice Department Detective told RW a lurid story about how there had been a real problem in Salt Lake City with people being approached in Parks and the Train Station on the west side of SL by homosexuals that prompted the police department to do some stake-outs and set up cameras. (this took place somewhere in the neighborhood of 1989 to 1993)

There was an event captured on tape in the bathrooms at the train station on the west side of Salt Lake.

When the tapes were viewed by the higher ups, including the Attorney General who I will refer to as PVD, it became apparent that some of the people involved were high church officials including Hinckley, and the tapes were destroyed because of political pressure by people in high places.

Both the Detective friend of my contact, that used to work for church security (J.L.) and the Attorney General (PVD) who are both pretty old right now, will deny this story for obvious reasons. 

I won’t give additional details… but, where there is smoke, there is usually fire… I find it hard to believe that so multiple accusations by unrelated sources are all being directed primarily at one particular general authority, but again, I cannot pass judgment because I just don’t know for sure.

To me, one of the the biggest red flags within the documentable events of the story, aside from multiple and unrelated witnesses, is how the church and Hinckley chose to respond to the public accusations and public demonstrations.

In my opinion, they could have and should have simply made a public statement of denial and sued the false accusers for defamation of character.

Instead, they chose to remain silent and put pressure on the local news channels to do a news blackout and to block the reporting of free speech and the right of people to protest in an effort to bring an issue into the light.

That seems highly inappropriate to me. 

IMO the church did not want to allow the various testimonies to be heard by the general public and they did not want to have a court case where people would submit testimonies under oath, including a guy dying of AIDS, that could and would be scrutinized by the general public.

I am not making an accusation about Hinckley because I just don’t know for sure, however, I have a huge problem with how the church handled it. It just doesn’t make sense that they would handle it that way if he was innocent.

I am content to leave this issue and many others in the hands of God. When the time comes for all of hidden things of darkness to be exposed, they will be. In the mean time, it our responsibility to seek after the truth and to expose darkness whenever and however we can. 

Email Exchange #5 
“..what a start! Challenge the corruptness of the entire system. Expose all the little snowflakes and the corrupt media which constantly preaches social justice to them.”

Dear Watcher,

My wife walked into the room where I was watching Trump’s address about half way through and I said to her “I was not expecting this speech.” It was so politically incorrect in a way that I did not think Donald was Brave enough to state.

Asking for God’s protection!
The prayers stated in Jesus’s name.
The scripture reading invoking Solomon’s wisdom.
The double bibles used for his and Pence’s swearing in.
Pence placing his hand on the II Chronicles prayer for repentence leading to a healing of the land.

I thought I was listening to another one of Chuck Baldwin’s Liberty Fellowship meetings!

Also, I did not know the backstory on Mike Pence which you revealed. One could be cynical and say, “Of course, Donald only wanted to curry the evangelical vote.”

But somehow I have thought from the first time that Donald pulled out his Bible and said that his mother gave it to him, that there was more going on under the hood than met the eye.

Watcher you have taught that when Joseph made his intercessory offering and said that something new must be done for the salvation of the church, that the new thing was to send the missionaries to the European nations – most likely the remnants of scattered Israel. But the converts came by the thousands because they were willing to listen to the words of the gospel.

I watched Donald carefully throughout his campaign especially the preachers with whom he was meeting and encouraging. It seemed to me that Donald was willing to listen to those men and women who still stood “in Jesus’ name.”

There is no doubt that the savior does not want a reformed system. His prayer, for us to say, it to replace the existing system with the Kingdom of God.

But what a start! Challenge the corruptness of the entire system. Expose all the little snowflakes and the corrupt media which constantly preaches social justice to them.

I laughed when one of the ministers said that rain was a symbol of God’s favor and that it started to rain when Donald swearing in began. O yes, here I sit in California looking out my second story window at what has been a dry Murrieta Creek bed for the last seven years, and it is running bankful with new rain. Prophetic?

But the issue is more than Donald, will the people repent and return to the Lord so that he can provide the healing?

We know that Zion is to take care of the poor and needy. But first is needed those with wealth and wisdom.

9 Yea, a supper of the house of the Lord, well prepared, unto which all nations shall be invited.

10 First, the rich and the learned, the wise and the noble;

11 And after that cometh the day of my power; then shall the poor, the lame, and the blind, and the deaf, come in unto the marriage of the Lamb, and partake of the supper of the Lord, prepared for the great day to come. DC 58

What if? O, my!

I also reacted to your teaser regarding the “ends of the earth.” I’ve spent the better part of this afternoon doing a word search on this phrase. Amazingly, it is found “all over” as is its compainion phrase the ends of the world.

The world is not a sphere. It’s more like an oblate spheroid which spins upon its axis and has both north and south ends. This is interesting because of the recent news about major scientific, religious, and political figures, making visits to the antartic region. I’m so anxious to read your observations on this topic.

Again, the wisdom shown in your having connected the histories of Solomon’s temple to the Kirtland Temple is awe inspiring. I thank God that I found your blogs and have your book. I gain knowledge and understanding from them constantly. Thanks again for your faithful performance of your calling.

My Response

Thank you my friend..

I think you have already figured out 90% of where I am going with the “ends of the earth”

I enjoyed doing a keyword search as well…. very interesting….:)

 

Email Exchange #6
“..it’s the Lord who’s voice is heard from heaven as they’re called. Whether by his prophet or himself it’s the same.”

Watcher,

I was reading in section 78 today and noticed this:

The Lord spake unto Joseph Smith, Jun., saying: Hearken unto me, saith the Lord your God, who are ordained unto the high priesthood of my church, who have assembled yourselves together;
2 And listen to the counsel of him who has ordained you from on high, who shall speak in your ears the words of wisdom, that salvation may be unto you in that thing which you have presented before me, saith the Lord God.

If it wasn’t for your blog and willingness to share with us what the Lord has revealed and shared with you about the 3 priesthoods, this never would’ve made sense to me. I never would’ve known that God calls and ordains his high priests out of the heavens.

If I recall correctly, he conferrs it upon them and it’s his prophet who ordains them to the office of high priest.

Either way it’s the Lord who’s voice is heard from heaven as they’re called. Whether by his prophet or himself it’s the same.

 

Email Exchange #7
“I cannot reconcile his quote in the TPJS knowing what I know about the JST”

Watcher-

I don’t get how the JST has Revelation 1:6

And unto him who loved us be glory, who washed us from our sins in his own blood and hath made us kings and priests unto God, his Father. To him be glory and dominion forever and ever. Amen.

While the King James Version has it as

And hath made us kings and priests unto God and his Father; to him be glory and dominion for ever and ever. Amen.

And Joseph would later side with the KJV in the last discourse he would give before his death.

I used to believe that the JST was his training ground similar to the LDS apologist in your post. I used to think that he was learning and growing or evolving. As he grew in stature and discovered more truths, this was the result — accepting the King James Version as correct. That God had a Father and he one before him.l etc.

President Joseph Smith read the 3rd chapter of Revelation, and took for his text 1st chapter, 6th verse—“And hath made us kings and priests unto God and His Father: to Him be glory and dominion forever and ever. Amen.”

It is altogether correct in the translation.(TPJS p. 369)

Of course in no longer believe that. I believe that Joseph translated the Bible and was inspired. That it was a commandments from God and an extremely revelatory process.

However, I cannot reconcile his quote in the TPJS knowing what I know about the JST

My Response

Isn’t that really a classic example of how the Lord inspired Joseph Smith during the revelatory sweet spot during the early Kirtland years and then “covered the eyes of the seers” a decade later?

The Lord had promised that the Saints would be turned over to Satan if they did not repent and reform… he used Joseph to do that..

The KJV had been corrupted and implied that the Father had a Father and had not always been God
Joseph Smith corrects it early on in the Inspired Version and solidifies the truth about the only true God in Lectures on Faith
Clearly there are multiple gods with a minor “g” but only one true God the Father with a capital “G” who has always been God with no Gods before him….
Then later in the King Follett Sermon, on April 7th, he contradicts the Bible and even the scriptures he had brought forth 
“We have imagined and supposed that God was God from all eternity. I will refute that idea, and take away the veil, so that you may see…He was once a man like us; yea, that God himself, the Father of us all, dwelt on an earth, the same as Jesus Christ Himself did; and I will show it from the Bible.”

Following that sermon some of the saints use his corrupt teaching about the multiplicity of Gods to substantiate their previous claims that he was a fallen prophet so he gives another sermon on June 16 and used the corrupted passage that had been secretly corrected in the Inspired Version of the Bible which had not yet been made public to the world.
The coming forth of the Inspired Version would later provide a testimony against both the April 7 1844 King Follett Sermon and the June 16 1844 sermon on the multiplicity of “G”ods.
To me it all makes sense with the back drop of the secret history of Mormonism which provides the prophetic narrative of the LDS restoration movement.

 

His Reply

I agree. To me it all makes sense now after finding your blog and reading your book. Before all that I was of the opinion, like the apologist, that Joseph was growing line upon line and precept upon precept until the revelatory climax of the nauvoo period.

Unfortunately, I was so blinded by my love of Jospeh and my assurity that the LDS church was true that I had never considered the possibility that what he taught wasn’t right or the church was wrong.

In other words, I was zeal without knowledge. A very dangerous combination. Like my professor of religion, I was all “testimony” without substance.

I remember the first time I read in your blog that the first 100 published revelations of the D&C that Jospeh received happened ALL before 1833!! I had previously thought, again without checking, that Joseph hadn’t hit 100 till at least the 1840’s or at least Nauvoo.

This was a huge shift for me. It forced me to rethink and re-evaluate things. Now I’m caught in a landslide. No escape from reality.

.Email Exchange #8
“I personally believe there is a difference between power, authority and keys.”

Watcher,

In all your reading have you ever found that there’s a difference between priesthood power/authority and keys?

Or in other words, that priesthood keys didn’t equal priesthood authority.

D&C 107:18

18 The power and authority of the higher, or Melchizedek Priesthood, is to hold the keys of all the spiritual blessings of the church—

but if we read that they’re the same, then the first presidency is the same as the 12 and the 70 is the same as well.

22 Of the Melchizedek Priesthood, three Presiding High Priests, chosen by the body, appointed and ordained to that office, and upheld by the confidence, faith, and prayer of the church, form a quorum of the Presidency of the Church.

23 The twelve traveling councilors are called to be the Twelve Apostles, or special witnesses of the name of Christ in all the world—thus differing from other officers in the church in the duties of their calling.

24 And they form a quorum, equal in authority and power to the three presidents previously mentioned.

25 The Seventy are also called to preach the gospel, and to be especial witnesses unto the Gentiles and in all the world—thus differing from other officers in the church in the duties of their calling.

26 And they form a quorum, equal in authority to that of the Twelve special witnesses or Apostles just named.

This would suppose that since Joseph and Sidney and Fredrick all had the same keys or authority if they’re one in the same, that the 12 held the same keys.

D&C 97:2,6

2 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.

6 And again, verily I say unto thy brethren, Sidney Rigdon and Frederick G. Williams, their sins are forgiven them also, and they are accounted as equal with thee in holding the keys of this last kingdom;

Okay, switching gears with an email I received.

I emailed my old religion professor to invite him to your blog and have him watch the videos you posted about church history. I was trying to pique his interest and curiosity by asking about a few events in church history and asking for his help in understanding things.

This was his response:

I don’t read anti Mormon literature.
It drags down rather than uplifts.
I would not let yourself be jarred but one mans skewed take on a church history event. You know Jesus called Joseph Smith. You also should know the Lord lets each of us act for ourselves… making mistakes as we go. He did the same for Joseph. But what the Lord did not do, is recall Joseph’s calling. I know the Lord guided Joseph just as he guides the prophets today.

I have known for decades that the Kirtland temple only had the name of the church on it. We call it a temple because of the sacred things that happened there. But it was designed like a tabernacle or large meeting house.

The sealing power would be restored there and all future temples would designed for current uses.

Talk to me in person if you want to chat more.

My Response

That is a fearful response from a fearful person who cannot intelligently refute the truth. It is not his time to have an awakening. you need to let him slumber for a while longer.

“But what the Lord did not do, is recall Joseph’s calling.”

I am befuddled by the above statement.

I have never suggested that the Lord recalled Joseph’s calling.

If his reference is to my article, which he implies that he did not read, then he is taking issue with my statement that Brigham Young and those presidents of the church that followed in his footsteps, did not continue with the full priesthood calling, keys and commission that joseph was given.

Of course I have never said that Joseph’s calling was revoked or recalled by the Lord… quite the opposite, Section 43 and other passages indicate that Joseph would retain his calling and commission in life and death and would eventually return to complete his commission.

What I do claim is that according to Isaiah and other passages, and the events of church history, Joseph had his eyes covered for a season and the powers of his priesthood could have temporarily withdrawn. (as per conditions set forth in section 121 for example) It is a sound doctrine which is clearly taught in scripture that priesthood power and authority can be withdrawn for various reasons including unrighteous dominion.

In a sense I suppose that I am suggesting that priesthood authority was revoked from those that followed in Joseph’s calling as the president of the church. After all, the twelve were sustained as prophets, seers and revelators by members of the church in the Kirtland Temple because it was anticipated at that time that they would be receiving an endowment of power from on high and going forth in power for the last time and would have all of the priesthood powers and authority implied in those terms.

Unfortunately they did not ever get the complete ordination nor did they appear to get the full endowment of power they had been anticipating at that time.

A few years later they were given a lesser missionary commission pertaining to the dispensation of the gospel of Abraham….. and to my knowledge, were never sustained again publicly as prophets seers and revelators.

It is important to understand that there is a HUGE difference between being sustained to a calling or power by the body of the church, and actually being called and ordained by God through the laying on of hands.

You will recall that during the Sidney Rigdon trial in Nauvoo at the time of the succession crisis, William Marks proclaimed publicly in front of Brigham Young and the Twelve, that he was unaware of anyone who had been ordained to be a prophet seer and revelator except for Joseph and Sidney.

Brigham Young and his brethren of the Twelve made no attempt to refute the declaration. They acknowledged that they had never been ordained as such, even though they had been sustained by the church membership to be ordain many years previously.

Regarding the definition of “keys”.

Interestingly, I got an email from Rock Waterman years ago asking me what my opinion was regarding the definition of priesthood “keys’ is.

I can’t even remember exactly what i said but I think I said I was unaware of a scriptural definition that is ever given. 

The scriptures assume that the reader understands what the word means. The only way to understand the definition is through the inspired use of intertextuality and analyzing contextually how the word is being used within scripture.

I personally believe there is a difference between power, authority and keys.

Each seems to have specific meaning although there is overlap.

Off of the top of my head (and reserving the right to change my mind at anytime and deny having said what I am about to say…. LOL)

I would say that-

Raw priesthood POWER is embodied in moving the elements, both organized and unorganized, through faith… it is through faith that Enoch and Melchizedek had power over all things and could command the elements

Raw priesthood AUTHORITY has to do with having dominion over all, or a specified group of intelligences

Priesthood KEYS has to do with administrative rights within an organization such as the “church” or “kingdom of God”.

I realize there is overlap in the above three definitions.

His Reply

Thank you for he response…

Here’s the email that I wrote to my religion professor to give context to his answer.

I think it was the link URL that caused him to pause because it had the word “anti-Mormon” in it. As you can see I wasn’t being straightforward with him, but trying to lure him in and it backfired.

Have you ever read anything from this anonymous blogger?

I recently came across his rebuttal to an opinion piece done by some members.

What really caught my attention wasn’t so much his rebuttal as was his videos about church history at the end. There’s so much that I never knew about church history that I find really intriguing.

I trust you and your wisdom and thought I would reach out to you about it.

https://onewhoiswatching.wordpress.com/2017/01/07/the-alarming-truth-behind-anti-mormonism-by-dustin/

I didn’t know that the Kirkland Temple didn’t have Christ’s name on it. That it only says Church of Latter Day Saints. His explanation of the church losing the fullness was kinda jarring and that it was fulfilling the Savior’s prophecy in 3 Ne 16:10.

Anyway, anything you could share about it would be great.

Thanks,

Email Exchange #9
“They miss the other GREATER promise that’s there. The invitation to
KNOW that Christ is the Son of God”

Watcher,

I really liked what you said about people never having a solid foundation of Christ and thats what creates atheists.

I’ve always wondered why so many members of the church stop short when it comes to Moroni’s promise in Moroni 10:3-5. They get a testimony, or so they say, about the Book of Mormon and immediately believe the narrative that Joseph Smith and the LDS church must be true.

They miss the other GREATER promise that’s there. The invitation to KNOW that Christ is the Son of God found in verses 6-7.

6 And whatsoever thing is good is just and true; wherefore, nothing that is good denieth the Christ, but acknowledgeth that he is.

7 And ye may KNOW that he is, by the POWER of the Holy Ghost; wherefore I would exhort you that ye deny NOT the power of God; for he worketh by POWER, according to the FAITH of the children of men, the same today and tomorrow, and forever.

Without this foundation, one built on Christ, what else matters?

.

Email Exchange #10

 

Watcher,

Hope you were able to ring in the New Year with your family just fine.

I taught Gospel Doctrine yesterday. I shared the differences in the Book of Commandments and the Doctrine and Covenants and the several name changes the church has undergone and why.

It was going well until I had the students open to the Introduction of the Doctrine and Covenants. I should’ve check with the online version first. LOL

Here’s what the updated online version say and how the church is now combating and denying the truth of what the earlier Book of Commandments was. They make it sound like the BoC never even happened and that Joseph knew his revelations were insufficient and needed to be expounded because of additional light he’d received. What a bunch of garbage!!

Here’s what it says:

The revelations were originally recorded by Joseph Smith’s scribes, and Church members enthusiastically shared handwritten copies with each other. To create a more permanent record, scribes soon copied these revelations into manuscript record books, which Church leaders used in preparing the revelations to be printed. Joseph and the early Saints viewed the revelations as they did the Church: living, dynamic, and subject to refinement with additional revelation. They also recognized that unintentional errors had likely occurred through the process of copying the revelations and preparing them for publication. Thus, a Church conference asked Joseph Smith in 1831 to “correct those errors or mistakes which he may discover by the Holy Spirit.”

After the revelations had been reviewed and corrected, Church members in Missouri began printing a book titled A Book of Commandments for the Government of the Church of Christ, which contained many of the Prophet’s early revelations. This first attempt to publish the revelations ended, however, when a mob destroyed the Saints’ printing office in Jackson County on July 20, 1833.

Upon hearing of the destruction of the Missouri printing office, Joseph Smith and other Church leaders began preparations to publish the revelations in Kirtland, Ohio. To again correct errors, clarify wording, and recognize developments in Church doctrine and organization, Joseph Smith oversaw the editing of the text of some revelations to prepare them for publication in 1835 as the Doctrine and Covenants of the Church of the Latter Day Saints. Joseph Smith authorized another edition of the Doctrine and Covenants, which was published only months after the Prophet’s martyrdom in 1844.

My Reply

The wording is very interesting.

It is unfortunate that the manual neglects to clarify that a few copies of the Book of Commandments were indeed published and are currently in the possession of the church and rare book collectors to this very day.

This is how historical revisionism takes place.

Nevertheless, I am actually impressed with some of the overall narrative because they do admit that

“After the revelations had been reviewed and corrected, Church members in Missouri began printing a book titled A Book of Commandments for the Government of the Church of Christ”

They are actually admitting that the Book of Commandments WAS printed and that it had been reviewed and corrected prior to being printed!

I am also impressed that they clearly acknowledged and pointed out that the two canons of scripture had distinctly different names.

Any thinking person could potentially ascertain from the different names, that the two books of scripture were addressing to different churches representing two distinctly different and evolving demographics.

That is huge.

They did not need to disclose that but they did. Frankly, I think the narrative in the manual represent much greater disclosure and transparency than the church has represented in their manuals in the past.

The most deceptive aspect of the narrative being given, in my opinion, is that it implies that Joseph immediately began preparing the next book of scripture for print since the first effort largely failed because of the destruction of the printing press.

They should have pointed out that there was a two year intermission between the publishing of the two canons and that circumstances had greatly changed during that time. .

In fairness, the narrative was not saying that they again corrected the errors that had were found in the previous Book of Commandments, they were simply saying that by the time the next canon of scriptures were ready to be published, the revelations needed to be corrected AGAIN to reflect the current “developments” .

Upon hearing of the destruction of the Missouri printing office, Joseph Smith and other Church leaders began preparations to publish the revelations in Kirtland, Ohio. To again correct errors, clarify wording, and recognize developments in Church doctrine and organization,

I am actually impressed with much of the wording because it incorporates what I have taught on the subject even though it is somewhat cryptically worded in a way that most members would not pick up on the significance of what is being said.

.I am almost led to wonder if the person that wrote the narrative has read my essay on the topic and was trying to maintain historical integrity while trying to present things in a yet faith promoting way.. .

When was the manual published?

 

His Reply

Sorry for the confusion. I don’t teach from their manual. I teach from the scripture text and fill in the gaps when need to give context to the content.

So it actually was found in online version of the introduction to the D&C.

https://www.lds.org/scriptures/dc-testament/introduction?lang=eng

So there’s no telling when it was updated.

My response

This is really quite interesting.

By using the Internet Archive Way Back Machine, you can see how frequently the PTB are updating and in some cases, changing the official story line.

wayback

For instance, between January 27 and February 16th of this year, 26 updates have been made to the online narrative. the vast majority of changes are insignificant and probably have to do with punctuation and providing additional references.

I quickly went back in time to see if a major change that took place regarding the paragraphs in question. 

It appears as if the inclusion of the part you brought to my attention was inserted between the January 8 2013 update and the March 14 2013 update in that online manual.

The change attempts to give a broad explanation for why changes took place in both canons of scripture.

One change that really sticks out is that the early narrative clearly states that there was a two year period between the two publications while the later narrative deceitfully implies that the second publications was in preparation directly after the first one.

That change took place about 8 months after I did the series on the distinction between the Book of Commandments  and the Doctrine and Covenants .. just a coincidence no doubt .. but an interesting one. 

 January 8 3013  March 14 20`3
A number of the revelations were published in Zion (Independence), Missouri, in 1833, under the title A Book of Commandments for the Government of the Church of Christ. Concerning this publication the elders of the Church gave solemn testimony that the Lord had borne record to their souls that these revelations were true. As the Lord continued to communicate with his servants, an enlarged compilation was published two years later in Kirtland, Ohio, with the title Doctrine and Covenants of the Church of the Latter Day Saints. To this publication in 1835, the written testimony of the Twelve Apostles was attached as follows:

 

The revelations were originally recorded by Joseph Smith’s scribes, and Church members enthusiastically shared handwritten copies with each other. To create a more permanent record, scribes soon copied these revelations into manuscript record books, which Church leaders used in preparing the revelations to be printed. Joseph and the early Saints viewed the revelations as they did the Church: living, dynamic, and subject to refinement with additional revelation. They also recognized that unintentional errors had likely occurred through the process of copying the revelations and preparing them for publication. Thus, a Church conference asked Joseph Smith in 1831 to “correct those errors or mistakes which he may discover by the Holy Spirit.”

After the revelations had been reviewed and corrected, Church members in Missouri began printing a book titled A Book of Commandments for the Government of the Church of Christ, which contained many of the Prophet’s early revelations. This first attempt to publish the revelations ended, however, when a mob destroyed the Saints’ printing office in Jackson County on July 20, 1833.

Upon hearing of the destruction of the Missouri printing office, Joseph Smith and other Church leaders began preparations to publish the revelations in Kirtland, Ohio. To again correct errors, clarify wording, and recognize developments in Church doctrine and organization, Joseph Smith oversaw the editing of the text of some revelations to prepare them for publication in 1835 as the Doctrine and Covenants of the Church of the Latter Day Saints. Joseph Smith authorized another edition of the Doctrine and Covenants, which was published only months after the Prophet’s martyrdom in 1844.

The early Latter-day Saints prized the revelations and viewed them as messages from God. On one occasion in late 1831, several elders of the Church gave solemn testimony that the Lord had borne record to their souls of the truth of the revelations. This testimony was published in the 1835 edition of the Doctrine and Covenants as the written testimony of the Twelve Apostles:

 

His Response

Maybe, then again maybe not. Great use of technology.

 

Email Exchange #11

Watcher,

I was thinking that the Gift of the Holy Ghost for a remission of sins was part of the restoration of the Melchizedek Priesthood at the Morley farm.

It shows up more prominently after section 52. However there is mention of it in the Articles of the Church or section 20. And I went back to the original and saw that it was there from the beginning.

So is the confirming a member of the church and the gift of the Holy Ghost part of the patriarchal order?

Also, for some reason I believed Oliver Cowdery was ordained a high priest the following day after the conference. He was actually ordained 28 August by Sydney Rigdon. But I think you knew that.

http://www.josephsmithpapers.org/paper-summary/minute-book-2/7

 

My Response

I frankly am still trying to get clarity on the “gift of the Holy Ghost” and when it was truly given and truly received.

As I recall, Joseph and Oliver baptized each other and then received the manifestation of the holy spirit and had their minds enlightened, enabling them to prophesy and understand passages of scripture they had previously not understood,

Oddly, there is no mention of them doing any kind of ordinance having to do with bestowing the gift through the laying on of hands…… at that time even though they clearly got at least a portion of the Holy Ghost

Joseph Smith taught that there is a difference between receiving the Holy Ghost and receiving the gift of the Holy ghost. 

Clearly it was spoken of and supposedly conferred upon people early on, ( at least the invitation to “Receive the Holy Ghost” yet we know that during the first preliminary period prior to the Morley Farm there were none that doeth good except those that were ready to receive the fulness..

12 And there are none that doeth good except those who are ready to receive the fulness of my gospel, which I have sent forth unto this generation.

I would think that someone who has received the gift of the Holy Ghost and is walking in the spirit is doing good, but perhaps I don’t understand the full significance of what doing good really means…

From the following passage in the BofM we find that those that “doeth good” walk in the POWER and GIFTS of God

Moroni 10:25
25 And wo be unto the children of men if this be the case; for there shall be none that doeth good among you, no not one. For if there be one among you that doeth good, he shall work by the power and gifts of God.

I am not sure the POWER and gifts of God began to fully to manifest until the Morley Farm endowment

The following passage in the Bible could possibly be construed to be saying the those that doeth good have seen God

3 John 1:11
Beloved, follow not that which is evil, but that which is good. He that doeth good is of God: but he that doeth evil hath not seen God.

One could suggest that people within the restored  church did not begin literally seeing God until the morley farm experience.

Yes, I know that Joseph supposedly saw God ten years earlier, but as I have pointed out in previous posts, there is a difference between seeing God in VISION and LITERALLY seeing him face to face as did Moses, as was clarified by God when he called Moses, Aaron and Miriam on the carpet and gave them a tongue lashing..

One could argue that the ordinance is an integral part of the confirmation ordinance into the “church” and since the church had not been established at the time of Joseph and Olivers baptism and priesthood ordination, it was not yet appropriate to do the confirmation/bestowal/invitation

one could argue that since the wording of the ordinance was to invite and admonish the recipient to receive the Holy Ghost that it was to be a future event that takes place when the fulness is available…

I am not sure if the giving of the gift of the Holy Ghost was taking place prior to the official formation of the church and the section on how the church was to be run in Section 20

Notice the change in wording between the following revelation in the BofC and the D&C

Book of Commandments XXIV                                    Doctrine and Covenants 20
24:29 And again, by way of commandment to the church, concerning the matter of baptism; 24:30 Behold whosoever humbleth himself before God and desireth to be baptized, and comes forth with a broken heart and a contrite spirit, and witnesseth unto the church, that they have truly repented of all their sins and are willing to take upon them the name of Christ, having a determination to serve him unto the end, and truly manifest by their works that they have received the Spirit of Christ unto the remission of their sins, then shall they be received unto baptism into the church of Christ. 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.
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;
24:33 And to teach, expound, exhort, baptize, and watch over the church; 20:42 And to teach, expound, exhort, baptize, and watch over the church;
24:34 And to confirm the church by the laying on of the hands, and the giving of the Holy Ghost, and to take the lead of all meetings. 20:43 And to confirm the church by the laying on of the hands, and the giving of the Holy Ghost; 20:44 And to take the lead of all meetings.

I leave it to you to figure this fuzzy issue out and enlighten me… 🙂

His Response

Great response.

What brought all this on was I was searching “laying on of hands” and came across D&C 55:1 where WW Phelps was commanded to be baptized and receive a remission of sins by receiving the Holy Ghost.

Behold, thus saith the Lord unto you, my servant William, yea, even the Lord of the whole earth, thou art called and chosen; and after thou hast been baptized by water, which if you do with an eye single to my glory, you shall have a remission of your sins and a reception of the Holy Spirit by the laying on of hands;

I also tried to search to see who baptized him. I couldn’t find that info. For a minute I thought it might’ve been Sidney, but I couldn’t find out for sure.

My thought was that the revelation that Joseph received for Sidney in D&C 35:5-6 was a prophecy and D&C 55 was its fulfillment.

5 Thou didst baptize by water unto repentance, but they received not the Holy Ghost;
6 But now I give unto thee a commandment, that thou shalt baptize by water, and they shall receive the Holy Ghost by the laying on of the hands, even as the apostles of old.

As you mentioned, it’s hard to know for sure when they actually started to perform the ordinance. And your search “doeth good” brings up some interesting insights.

I once did a search for “to do good” and came up with something close to consecration. Which if true, would give credence to your theory of them having a higher law.

For example Jacob 2:19

19 And after ye have obtained a hope in Christ ye shall obtain riches, if ye seek them; and ye will seek them for the intent to do good—to clothe the naked, and to feed the hungry, and to liberate the captive, and administer relief to the sick and the afflicted.

Keep in mind this verse is in relation to those that have obtained riches. They’ve received them to do good.

And then in Moroni 7 we learn who does good and who doesn’t.

16 For behold, the Spirit of Christ is given to every man, that he may know good from evil; wherefore, I show unto you the way to judge; for every thing which inviteth to do good, and to persuade to believe in Christ, is sent forth by the power and gift of Christ; wherefore ye may know with a perfect knowledge it is of God.
17 But whatsoever thing persuadeth men to do evil, and believe not in Christ, and deny him, and serve not God, then ye may know with a perfect knowledge it is of the devil; for after this manner doth the devil work, for he persuadeth no man to do good, no, not one; neither do his angels; neither do they who subject themselves unto him.

My Response

Interesting…

Of course Section 55 which you quote was given after the higher power emerged… and the commandment to Sidney could very possibly be futuristic, that he would be doing so after the fulness is received at the morley farm.
One more wrench to throw in the works is that just prior to the passage in 35 stating that nobody was doing good except those prepared to receive the fulness, in section 33, we get a strange passage that seems inconsistent. First it seems to say that the entire vineyard was corrupt, then is indicates that there are a few that doeth good, then it says that those that doeth good are in err about certain things..

Doctrine and Covenants 33:4

4 And my vineyard has become corrupted every whit; and there is none which doeth good save it be a few; and they err in many instances because of priestcrafts, all having corrupt minds.

It is difficult to understand the full intent of the above scripture, perhaps in light of Section 35 which seems to contradict it.
I remain convinced that the full baptism of fire and the Holly Ghost was not available to the saints until after the Melchizedek endowment was given at the Morley Farm. I still think it is odd that this issue is still somewhat vague…
The Joseph the Seer prophecy states that Joseph’s calling would be to take away doctrinal confusion and bring forth a unity of the faith… That certainly did not happen back then or since, which is just one more proof that the ultimate fulfillment of the prophecy was referring to the Joseph’s return in the third watch, not to his first commission in the 2nd watch. 
BTW

I just found a site that allows us to do keyword searches of the JST !!!!
Check it out!

 

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Notable Emails # 30 “I have to disagree to the credit you give to the LDS Church and saving ordinances. I do not see any saving ordinances, temple rites, secret signs or tokens as of any value.”

Notable Emails #29 “I enjoyed your post on Joseph Smith as the ‘Covenant Servant’ in Isaiah 42.. however..”

Notable Emails #28- “Why do we need prophets and apostles when they refer us to scholars for doctrine and church history understanding”Notable Emails #27 “what makes you so sure JS was not just a charlatan from the beginning?”

Noteable Emails #26 This and that, this and that, tell us how it is Hugh, we won’t look back!

Noteable Emails #25 “Can I ask you for some help with chapter 27 in 2 Nephi?”

Notable Emails #24 “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.”

Notable Emails #22 “My prediction is that those who accept the gospel of Bill Reel (non-literal historicity of the Book of Mormon) will ultimately either loose all of their faith…”

Notable Emails #21 ” I don’t believe the current LDS Church has ANY “authority” – especially BECAUSE they preach that the culmination of the Gospel is the Masonic Rituals..”

Notable Emails #19- “Sometime ago I had an extraordinary experience where I was forgiven of some of my sins”

 Notable Emails #18- “I wake up every morning with this intense feeling that we are getting closer”

 Notable Emails #17 “Then shall the offering of Judah and Jerusalem be pleasant unto the LORD, as in the days of old, and as in former years.”

 Notable Emails #16 “the Lord wouldn’t give a young church such responsibility so early”

Notable Emails #15: “It would be so hard to do if we didn’t have the word crunching software available to us to use. Now I can see why so many are deceived. “

 Notable Emails #14 (b) “who was the legal heir and successor of the Prophet Joseph Smith, Jr.?”

 Notable Emails #14 (a) “Baptism for the dead is illogical and pretty much impossible to ever accomplish”

 Notable Emails Part 13 “Gileadi compares the Servant to Hezekiah, in that he answered for the temporal sins of the people and acted as a proxy savior”

 Notable Emails Part 12 “the scriptures will become corrupted and deceive the elect and give Satan power”

 Notable Emails Part 9 “My number one desire right now is to protect my wife and honor her tender feelings about the gospel as she understands it.”

 Notable Emails Part 8 “Who are the Jews and Gentiles?

Notable Emails Part 7 “My eyes have been opened”

Notable Emails Part 6: “Can anyone tell me anything about this blog?… This guy seems to have some new ideas I’ve never heard before using the scriptures to back his views.

Notable Emails Part 5: “the truths that both you and I hold so dear …are things that cannot be taught they can only be revealed.”

Notable Emails- Part 4 “I have now caught the spirit of watching along with you and others.”

Notable Emails- Part 3 “Have you ever read ‘Letter to a CES Director?’” Yes… and it has strengthened my testimony!

Notable Emails- Part 2: “Readers deserve to know if you truly are a heretic or just a faithful divergent thinker”

Notable Emails Part 1- Mormon Missionary: “I too am watching”

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