In part one of this series we documented the fact that the Snufferites have completely misinterpreted the prophecy in Section 93 about the “Record of John”.
They have mistakenly assumed that the passage was referring to the “record of John the Evangelist” when in fact it is clearly referring to the “record of John the Baptist”.
The high-jacking of the testimony of John the Baptist is made possible in Denver’s tortured text by changing the narrative to show that it was actually John the Evangelist who received this spiritual knowledge as a spectator at the Baptism of Jesus
“And I, John, bear record, and lo the heavens were opened, and the Holy Ghost descended upon Him in the form of a dove and remained upon Him. There came a voice out of heaven saying: You are my Beloved Son, this day I have begotten you; for I was there with John the Baptist when he baptized Jesus.” (p. 32)
We can only assume that Denver was trying to reconcile what some students of the gospe have seen as a conundrum in the narrative in Section 93 which seems to blend content that is generated from both John the Baptist and John the Revelator.
Part of the confusion comes from the fact that the Gospel of John the Evangelist contains the record given by John the Baptist.
Denver’s fabricated text was supposed to resolve the perceived dilemma and prove once and for all that he is a true prophet by revealing the truth behind the perceived controversy.
Needless to say, Denver had misinterpreted the associated scriptures and the scheme backfired.
The above change in narrative is a blatant contradiction to a very important change that Joseph Smith had previously made in the Inspired Version of the Bible wherein he explains that John the Baptist IS THE ONLY ONE AT THE BAPTISM THAT SAW AND HEARD THE VOICE OF GOD THE SPIRIT OF GOD DESCEND AS A DOVE. Clearly, John the Evangelist could not have born record of that event.
Notice the clarifying change in the JST below that “John saw” the heavens open and the spirit of God descending like a dove. The King James implies that the whole crowd saw it. It was John’s exclusive calling to bear record of the spirit descending like a dove!
Notice also the clarifying change in the JST below that “he [John] heard” a voice from heaven saying “this is my beloved son in whom I am well pleased, hear ye him”. Again, the KJV implies that the entire crown heard the voice but this clarification assures us that it was John the Baptist who bears record of these things. It was John’s exclusive privilage and calling to bear record that he heard the Father’s pronouncement.
“Joseph Smith Revision
King James Version
Matt 3:45 And Jesus, when he was baptized, went up straightway out of the water; and John saw, and lo, the heavens were opened unto him; and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove and lighting upon Jesus.
Matt 3:46 And lo, he heard a voice from heaven saying, This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased. Hear ye him.
16 And Jesus, when he was baptized, went up straightway out of the water: and, lo, the heavens were opened unto him, and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove, and lighting upon him:
17 And lo a voice from heaven, saying, This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.
As you can see, it was exclusively John the Baptist’s right and calling to see and hear and bear record of this event that took place when he baptized Christ.
That is why we are informed that in order to fully believe in Christ, one must believe the record of John the Baptist. Among other things, his record informs us that Christ was not born of [mortal] blood and that at his baptism, he received of the fulness of the Father that he had enjoyed when he created the worlds.
We know from the Joseph Smith Translation of the Bible that nobody else in the crowd saw and heard what John the Baptist saw, heard, and bore record about, including John the Evangelist.
The dark source from where Snuffer’s revelation came from is totally exposed in this one fact. However this is only one of many bloopers that will be cataloged in part three of this series.
As documented in part one of this series, the evidence is beyond overwhelming that the record of John that is referenced in Section 93 is clearly referring to the “Record of John the Baptist”.
Differentiating the Record of John the Baptist from the Apostolic Testimony
It has been erroneously suggested by some bible scholars that Malachi was the last Old Testament Prophets. While his writings and prophecies are the last to be recorded in the Old Testament, it is actually John the Baptist that was the last Old Testament Prophet.
Let us consider the remarkable differentiation between the record that John the Baptist bore PRIOR to the suffering, crucifixion, resurrection and atonement that Christ offered, and the testimony that John the Evangelist and his fellow apostles bore AFTER the suffering, crucifixion, resurrection and atonement of Christ.
The Record of John the Baptist was Pointing Forward
John represented the Old Covenant Law of Moses that was given to point to Christ and prepare the world for the coming Messiah.
It makes perfect sense that John the Baptist, the last Old Testament Prophet representing the law and the prophets should be the one to identify, baptize, and bear record of the anticipated MESSIAH.
It is no coincidence that John the Baptist referred to Christ as MESSIAH when he appeared to Joseph and Oliver.
1 Upon you my fellow servants, in the name of Messiah I confer the Priesthood of Aaron, which holds the keys of the ministering of angels, and of the gospel of repentance, and of baptism by immersion for the remission of sins; and this shall never be taken again from the earth, until the sons of Levi do offer again an offering unto the Lord in righteousness. Doctrine and Covenants 13:1
Naturally the preliminary record of an Old Testament prophet would acknowledge Christ as the Messiah.
The record of John the Baptist contained but was not limited to the following components
- Christ was the Messiah
- Christ was not born of mortal blood (virgin birth)
- Christ received of his fathers fulness that he had before the world was
- Christ SHALL take away the sins of the world
- Christ SHALL baptize with fire and the Holy Ghost
Those are all components of the record born by the Baptist BEFORE Christ suffered and offered an atonement.
John the Baptist introduced the doctrine of “fulness of the Father” which is touched on in Section 93 and further elaborated on in Lectures on Faith..
Notice that the record of John the Baptist does not specifically witness of the suffering, crucifixion and resurrection of Christ since it took place BEFORE those events took place. The Baptist would be killed before the crucifixion of Christ. The record of the Baptist was to be the preliminary, preparatory, foundational record upon which all other testimonies of Christ would rest.
We might well characterize the record of John the Baptist as the pre-atonement record of Christ while the record born by John the Evangelist and his brethren was the post-atonement record.
The Record of John the Evangelist and the other Apostles was Pointing Backwards
The apostolic record of Christ that is born by John the Evangelist and his fellow apostles focuses on the atonement which is the foundational sacrifice of the gospel of Christ, (the good news that he suffered for the sins of the world )
The apostles were called to be eye witnesses and to bear witness of the crucifixion of Christ and the fact that he rose from the dead and paid for the sins of the world. All of this had taken place as a historical fact when their ministry began.
Notice the testimony of Peter:
34 ¶Then Peter opened his mouth, and said, Of a truth I perceive that God is no respecter of persons:
35 But in every nation he that feareth him, and worketh righteousness, is accepted with him.
36 The word which God sent unto the children of Israel, preaching peace by Jesus Christ: (he is Lord of all:)
37 That word, I say, ye know, which was published throughout all Judæa, and began from Galilee, after the baptism which John preached;
38 How God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Ghost and with power: who went about doing good, and healing all that were oppressed of the devil; for God was with him.
39 And we are witnesses of all things which he did both in the land of the Jews, and in Jerusalem; whom they slew and hanged on a tree:
40 Him God raised up the third day, and shewed him openly;
41 Not to all the people, but unto witnesses chosen before of God, even to us, who did eat and drink with him after he rose from the dead.
42 And he commanded us to preach unto the people, and to testify that it is he which was ordained of God to be the Judge of quick and dead.
43 To him give all the prophets witness, that through his name whosoever believeth in him shall receive remission of sins.
Peter’s Epistle, when writing to encourage the new converts regarding the basis of their faith Peter reminded his readers that he witnessed the transfiguration of Jesus on the mountain top:
16 For we have not followed cunningly devised fables, when we made known unto you the power and coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, but were eyewitnesses of his majesty.
17 For he received from God the Father honour and glory, when there came such a voice to him from the excellent glory, This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.
18 And this voice which came from heaven we heard, when we were with him in the holy mount.
19 We have also a more sure word of prophecy; whereunto ye do well that ye take heed, as unto a light that shineth in a dark place, until the day dawn, and the day star arise in your hearts (Matthew 17:1-9)
John the Evangelist gave the following witness:
Brethren, this is the testimony which we give of that which was from the beginning, which we have heard, which we have seen with our eyes, which we have looked upon and our hands have handled, of the Word of life.
(For the life was manifested, and we have seen it, and bear witness, and show unto you that eternal life, which was with the Father and was manifested unto us.)
That which we have seen and heard declare we unto you, that ye also may have fellowship with us; and truly our fellowship is with the Father and with his Son Jesus Christ.
And these things write we unto you, that your joy may be full.
John also testified of the appearance of the resurrected Christ to doubting thomas and the other apostles:
26 ¶And after eight days again his disciples were within, and Thomas with them: then came Jesus, the doors being shut, and stood in the midst, and said, Peace be unto you.
27 Then saith he to Thomas, Reach hither thy finger, and behold my hands; and reach hither thy hand, and thrust it into my side: and be not faithless, but believing.
28 And Thomas answered and said unto him, My Lord and my God.
29 Jesus saith unto him, Thomas, because thou hast seen me, thou hast believed: blessed are they that have not seen, and yet have believed.
30 ¶And many other signs truly did Jesus in the presence of his disciples, which are not written in this book:
31 But these are written, that ye might believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God; and that believing ye might have life through his name.
One of the foundational aspects of the apostolic witness is that people saw the resurrected Christ after his crucifixion. Paul gives the following account:
1 Moreover, brethren, I declare unto you the gospel which I preached unto you, which also ye have received, and wherein ye stand;
2 By which also ye are saved, if ye keep in memory what I preached unto you, unless ye have believed in vain.
3 For I delivered unto you first of all that which I also received, how that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures;
4 And that he was buried, and that he rose again the third day according to the scriptures:
5 And that he was seen of Cephas, then of the twelve:
6 After that, he was seen of above five hundred brethren at once; of whom the greater part remain unto this present, but some are fallen asleep.
7 After that, he was seen of James; then of all the apostles.
8 And last of all he was seen of me also, as of one born out of due time.
Paul also gave the following testimony and definition of the gospel:
15 So, as much as in me is, I am ready to preach the gospel to you that are at Rome also.
16 For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek.
1 And I, brethren, when I came to you, came not with excellency of speech or of wisdom, declaring unto you the testimony of God. 2 For I determined not to know any thing among you, save Jesus Christ, and him crucified.
Numerous other testimonies from the apostles are contained in the New Testament.
The New Testament differentiates the record of the apostles from the record of John the Baptist documenting that their testimony had to do with preaching the gospel and testifying of the suffering, death and resurrection of Christ resulting in the good news of the atonement and the plan of redemption Christ provided.
Joseph and Sidney’s Vision Validated Both Records
In his role in restoring New Testament Christianity to the earth, Joseph Smith restored the essential components of the apostolic testimony:
“23 He was crucified, died, and rose again the third day;
24 And ascended into heaven, to sit down on the right hand of the Father, to reign with almighty power according to the will of the Father;
25 That as many as would believe and be baptized in his holy name, and endure in faith to the end, should be saved—” (See all of Section 20 for a more complete account of the apostolic testimony)
One of the remarkable things that we have previously noted is that the LDS restoration and the content in the D&C is a mixture of both Old Testament and New Testament theology.
This is because of Joseph Smith’s role in introducing and restoring elements of both Old Testament and New Testament theology.
Joseph was instrumental in restoring the New Covenant, however, once the fulness of the gospel and New Covenant was rejected by the restored gentile church, Joseph was instrumental in secretly ushering in the dispensation of the ancient Gospel of Abraham, which included mortal atonement offerings such as the one Moses offered in behalf of Israel.
One of the mindblowing things that is revealed in the vision that Joseph and Sidney had as documented in Section 76, is that Joseph and Sidney bore a composite record, including the components contained in both the Baptists and the Evangelists records.
Joseph and Sidney bore record of both the Godhood of Christ and the “Fulness of the Father” that John the baptist bore record of, and also the testimony of the gospel of Christ that the apostles had bore record of. Snippets of this remarkable testimony are as follows.
11 We, Joseph Smith, Jun., and Sidney Rigdon, being in the Spirit on the sixteenth day of February, in the year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred and thirty-two—
12 By the power of the Spirit our eyes were opened and our understandings were enlightened, so as to see and understand the things of God—
13 Even those things which were from the beginning before the world was, which were ordained of the Father, through his Only Begotten Son, who was in the bosom of the Father, even from the beginning;
14 Of whom we bear record; and the record which we bear is the fulness of the gospel of Jesus Christ, who is the Son, whom we saw and with whom we conversed in the heavenly vision.
20 And we beheld the glory of the Son, on the right hand of the Father, and received of his fulness;
22 And now, after the many testimonies which have been given of him, this is the testimony, last of all, which we give of him: That he lives!
23 For we saw him, even on the right hand of God; and we heard the voice bearing record that he is the Only Begotten of the Father—
24 That by him, and through him, and of him, the worlds are and were created, and the inhabitants thereof are begotten sons and daughters unto God.
40 And this is the gospel, the glad tidings, which the voice out of the heavens bore record unto us—
41 That he came into the world, even Jesus, to be crucified for the world, and to bear the sins of the world, and to sanctify the world, and to cleanse it from all unrighteousness;
42 That through him all might be saved whom the Father had put into his power and made by him;
43 Who glorifies the Father, and saves all the works of his hands, except those sons of perdition who deny the Son after the Father has revealed him.
50 And again we bear record—for we saw and heard, and this is the testimony of the gospel of Christ concerning them who shall come forth in the resurrection of the just—
51 They are they who received the testimony of Jesus, and believed on his name and were baptized after the manner of his burial, being buried in the water in his name, and this according to the commandment which he has given—
52 That by keeping the commandments they might be washed and cleansed from all their sins, and receive the Holy Spirit by the laying on of the hands of him who is ordained and sealed unto this power;
53 And who overcome by faith, and are sealed by the Holy Spirit of promise, which the Father sheds forth upon all those who are just and true.
There you have the record “last of all”, by Joseph and Sidney, that incorporates the pre-atonement record of the Baptist verifying that Christ received the fulness of the Father and that he fulfilled all righteousness and also incorporates the apostolic testimony of the Evangelist that testifies of the suffering, death and resurrection of Christ and his Gospel.
When Does the Fulness of the Record of John the Baptist Come Forth?
What Does it Reveal?
Gospel students have speculated for decades about when the fulness of the record of John would come forth and what would be in it.
I will now show how a simple keyword search and a basic understanding of church history reveals what the cryptic prophecy in Section 93 was talking about. The demystification will take place once again by using keyword crunching technology while obeying the Lords admonition to search the scriptures. This is the way to find answers to gospel questions.
We will start with the term “fulness” taken from the passage in question that speaks of the “fulness of the record of John”
The term fulness shows up about 62 times in the Doctrine and Covenants.
If one were to sift through and evaluate the keywords in all of the above passages for contextual relevance one would find terms such as “fulness of the gospel”, “fulness of the priesthood”, “fulness of times”, “fulness of the earth”, and so on.
However, eventually one would come to the following term:
“The Fulness of my Scriptures”
With that term we hit pay dirt.
Praise God for keyword crunching software that enables us to parse through scriptures in seconds that would otherwise take an inordinate amount of time.
The phrase “fulness of my scriptures” is found in Section 42
12 And again, the elders, priests and teachers of this church shall teach the principles of my gospel, which are in the Bible and the Book of Mormon, in the which is the fulness of the gospel.
13 And they shall observe the covenants and church articles to do them, and these shall be their teachings, as they shall be directed by the Spirit.
14 And the Spirit shall be given unto you by the prayer of faith; and if ye receive not the Spirit ye shall not teach.
15 And all this ye shall observe to do as I have commanded concerning your teaching, until the fulness of my scriptures is given.
With some basic knowledge of church history and a keyword search, the mystery has been solved.
The Lord had commanded Joseph Smith to translate the Bible to restore missing content and clarify existing content.
He referred to the translation Joseph was working on as the “fulness of my scriptures“.
He had kept encouraging Joseph to finish the project and he had emphasized that it was a critical project because there would be many very important corrections and clarifications that would be revealed.
He had told Joseph not to teach out of this amazing translation until it had been finished and published to the world.
The Lord had warned that the saints would fail if Joseph did not complete that task.
Sadly Joseph was murdered before he could publish the translation and teach from it.
The good news is that the Bible with corrections in it and the manuscript were preserved and the Joseph Smith Translation has been published for us to study.
We know that the record of John the Baptist is contained in the first chapter of the Gospel of John. Clearly, section 93 is informing us that the record is not complete in the King James Translation of the Bible. It is obvious that the “fulness of the record of John” is contained in the “fulness of the scriptures!
When the Gospel of John the Baptist was mentioned in Section 93 it was to be revealed HEREAFTER referring to when the Joseph Smith Inspired Version of the Bible would be available.
As it turns out, we have had access to the fulness of the record of John for several generations.
We latter day saints have been guilty of taking this remarkable canon of scripture lightly.
Revelatory Changes that Restore the Record to its Fulness
Having demystified the cryptic prophecy in Section 93, I am going to provide a bullet point listing of the additional information that is revealed in the fulness of the Record of John the Baptist . This additional information is brought to light by the revelatory insertions and clarifications in the Joseph Smith Translation.
My bullet point listing has been taken from a side by side comparison of the Record of John in the KJV and the JST that can be viewed at the following link.
It includes a third column for comparing Section 93 and a fourth column for a few related scriptural sources and notes. I have highlighted what I consider to be the additional insertions and clarifications in yellow. It is a work in progress. Additional observations from readers are welcome.
The profundity of the following listing of items from the record of John the Baptist that had not been clearly stated in the King James Version of the record of John the Baptist may seem unremarkable to scholars who have already assimilated these truths over the years without realizing that they were in fulfillment of the prophecy in Section 93. They will also seem unremarkable to those that don’t have the doctrinal and spiritual foundation to comprehend what is being said.
Summary of Notable Additions and Clarifications
of the Fulness of Johns Record
- John saw that Christ was again given the fulness of the father at his baptism. Christ had previously enjoyed the fulness of the father BEFORE his earthly ministry. (D&C 93:7 & John 17:5)
- The Son is “of God” (JST John 1:1)
- Men were made by him and of him and through him. He is the light of the world (D&C 93:10)
- The world cannot perceive his light (JST John 1:5)
- John the Baptist came to bear witness of the light and bear record of the gospel through the Son that all men might believe (JST John 1:7)
- He gives POWER to those that BELIEVE on his name and RECEIVE him,to become the Sons of God (JST John 1:12)
- He was not born of [mortal] blood (virgin birth) (JST John 1:13)
- As many as believe on his name shall receive of his fulness (JST John 1:16)
- The Father always bears record of the Son when he reveals himself (JST John 1:17)
- John the Baptist confessed and denied not that he was Elijah the Prophet (JST John 1:21)
- He said I am Elijah the Prophet the prepares the say, not the latter day prophet that restores all things, that will be Joseph Smith (JST john 1:22)
- Christ shall baptize not only with water, but with fire and the Holy Ghost (JST John 1:28)
It should be remembered that the passages that remained unmodified can be just as profound as the inspired changes that were made. One should read the entire first chapter of the Testimony of John in the Inspired Version of the Bible to get the full impact of the fulness of Johns record.
In my opinion, one of the most profound elements of John the Baptist’s record is the declaration that John the Baptist was Elijah the Prophet of Old Testament fame. I have already covered that in detail.
Another incredible revelation to come out of the fulness of John’s record is the doctrine of the Fulness of the Father. I have also written about this amazing doctrine. I will be re-posting it in my essential oldies series.
John bore record that Christ enjoyed the fulness prior to coming to this earth, then provided a condescension, then received the fulness again at his baptism. Because of his condescension, those that believe, can also receive the fulness of the Father.
Here is a section about this mind-blowing doctrine from Lectures on Faith:
Lectures on Faith 5:1
1 In our former lectures we treated of the being, character, perfections and attributes of God. What we mean by perfections, is, the perfections which belong to all the attributes of his nature. We shall, in this lecture speak of the Godhead: we mean the Father, Son and Holy Spirit.
2 There are two personages who constitute the great, matchless, governing and supreme power over all things—by whom all things were created and made, that are created and made, whether visible or invisible: whether in heaven, on earth, or in the earth, under the earth, or throughout the immensity of space—
They are the Father and the Son: The Father being a personage of spirit, glory and power: possessing all perfection and fulness: The Son, who was in the bosom of the Father, a personage of tabernacle, made, or fashioned like unto man, or being in the form and likeness of man, or, rather, man was formed after his likeness, and in his image;
—he is also the express image and likeness of the personage of the Father: possessing all the fulness of the Father, or, the same fulness with the Father; being begotten of him, and was ordained from before the foundation of the world to be a propitiation for the sins of all those who should believe on his name, and is called the Son because of the flesh—
and descended in suffering below that which man can suffer, or, in other words, suffered greater sufferings, and was exposed to more powerful contradictions than any man can be. But notwithstanding all this, he kept the law of God, and remained without sin: Showing thereby that it is in the power of man to keep the law and remain also without sin.
And also, that by him a righteous judgment might come upon all flesh, and that all who walk not in the law of God, may justly be condemned by the law, and have no excuse for their sins. And he being the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth, and having overcome, received a fulness of the glory of the Father—
possessing the same mind with the Father, which mind is the Holy Spirit, that bears record of the Father and the Son, and these three are one, or in other words, these three constitute the great, matchless, governing and supreme power over all things: by whom all things were created and made, that were created and made: and these three constitute the Godhead, and are one:
The Father and the Son possessing the same mind, the same wisdom, glory, power and fulness: Filling all in all—the Son being filled with the fulness of the Mind, glory and power, or, in other words, the Spirit, glory and power of the Father—
possessing all knowledge and glory, and the same kingdom: sitting at the right hand of power, in the express image and likeness of the Father—a Mediator for man—being filled with the fulness of the Mind of the Father, or, in other words, the Spirit of the Father: which Spirit is shed forth upon all who believe on his name and keep his commandments:
and all those who keep his commandments shall grow up from grace to grace, and become heirs of the heavenly kingdom, and joint heirs with Jesus Christ; possessing the same mind, being transformed into the same image or likeness, even the express image of him who fills all in all: being filled with the fulness of his glory, and become one in him, even as the Father, Son and Holy Spirit are one.
3 From the foregoing account of the Godhead, which is given in his revelations, the Saints have a sure foundation laid for the exercise of faith unto life and salvation, through the atonement and mediation of Jesus Christ, by whose blood they have a forgiveness of sins, and also, a sure reward laid up for them in heaven, even that of partaking of the fulness of the Father and the Son, through the Spirit.
As the Son partakes of the fulness of the Father through the Spirit, so the saints are, by the same Spirit, to be partakers of the same fulness, to enjoy the same glory; for as the Father and the Son are one, so in like manner the saints are to be one in them, through the love of the Father, the mediation of Jesus Christ, and the gift of the Holy Spirit; they are to be heirs of God and joint heirs with Jesus Christ.
Whenever I read the above section I am filled with light.
When I read fabricated revelations that corrupt the truths revealed by the Joseph Smith Translation I feel darkness.
We Latter day Saints have sinned a grievous sin in not valuing and taking seriously, and studying the Joseph Smith Translation of the Bible. By doing so we can gain a much deeper understanding of the gospel and also detect the false prophets in our midst.
A review of the changes made in the record of John the Baptist in the JST should inspire a humble reverence for the magnificent revelatory light that has been shown forth through the instrumentality of the prophet Joseph Smith.
It will become another testimony of the validity of Joseph Smith’s calling as a tranlator and revelator.
It should instill a desire in gospel students to search the JST and take it seriously, for it is a pearl of very great price.
It is absolutely heartbreaking to realize that Denver Snuffer has treated Joseph Smith’s inspired revisions of Johns record with contempt by deleting and reinterpreting so many of them.
We will review what he did in our next post.