John Pratt: “A Defense of D&C 110”

Many years ago when I was doing some research on the 8,000 year timeline of the earths existence, I came across a great book written by John C. Lefgren  regarding the prophetic significance of April 6th.

Lefgren believes that the declaration in section 20 about April 6th is inspired and literal as do I.

Section 20 declares the date of the Savior’s birth to be 2,000 years previous to the date that the church was formally organized through the instrumentality of Joseph Smith. Some question whether that declaration is inspired and literally true.

The arise of the Church of Christ in these last days, being one thousand eight hundred and thirty years since the ccoming of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ in the flesh, it being regularly dorganized and established agreeable to the elaws of our country, by the will and commandments of God, in the fourth month, and on the sixth day of the month which is called April— D&C 20:1

Lefgren’s interpretation of the above passage was very literal.

Sometime after that book was written, a few LDS scholars took issue with the conclusions of the author.

In response to their critique, a fellow by the name of John Pratt wrote an impressive defense of Lefgren’s book.

For several years I have enjoyed reading many of John Pratt’s articles which can be found at Johnpratt.com

John is a prolific writer and researcher who has been published in the Ensign and he has written articles for Meridian  Magazine.

John is apparently related to a Orson and Parley Pratt.

 

john and orson pratt

He has done much research and written many articles regarding the sacred calendar and I have enjoyed reading his thoughts relating to that topic.

Although John and I have some profound disagreements on several doctrinal issues, I view much of his work on the sacred calendar to be significant and worth considering.

I recently got an email from John notifying me of a paper he had written in which he defends the historicity and revelatory veracity of Section 110 of the Doctrine and Covenants using the sacred calender.

The defense he has written is a timely one considering the fact that there is a group who are currently revising the standard works and planning to discard section 110 from the Doctrine and Covenants.

I thought I would share his email containing a link to a paper he has written, and my response to it. In my response I share some of my reasons for believing that both section 110 and section 20 are inspired of God and should not be discarded.

Enjoy.

John’s Email

A long article about zodiac ages (including the Age of Aquarius) has just been posted on my website which go so far as propose exact dates and presidencies of each. It’s very technical and about 30 pages long, so I only recommend reading the section that discusses the visit of the Lord to the Kirtland temple in 1836 as recorded in D&C 110. That section has come under fire as not being well enough documented so I’m attempting to subpoena some celestial witnesses to testify in its favor.  Thus I’d suggest reading only one section of the article, at http://www.johnpratt.com/items/docs/2017/zodiac_ages.html#1.5 .

If you want an idea of what the whole article is about, then just read the Conclusion at the end.

Thanks,
John

My Response to John Pratt

John-

I appreciate very much your defense of the veracity and historicity of the event detailed in section 110 of the Doctrine and Covenants from a sacred calendaring perspective.

Your contention that the event in 110, and the words of Christ that you quoted were uttered at the time that the age of Aquarius began is fascinating and thought provoking.

It is a breath of fresh air during a time when many critics who cannot discern holy scripture through  personal revelation scoff at the words of the Savior simply because they cannot find historical documentation to support the event.

Linking the ushering in of the dispensation of the gospel of Abraham to the beginning of the age of Aquarius is a compelling observation.

I also found it interesting how you pointed out the significance of the Savior speaking of the “beginning” of the pouring out of blessings upon his people followed by more blessings to be poured out in the future, making the transaction that took place the beginning of a progressive series of events. It is consistent with a passage in 3rd Nephi 16 which I believe has prophetic implications that relate to the prophetic content in section 110.

I believe 3 Nephi 16:4-5 speaks of a beginning point followed by a progression of events. It begins with the remnants of Israel that have been scattered upon the face of the earth being physically “brought in” .

Following that, remnants are “brought to a knowledge of [Christ]without necessarily being physically “brought in”

Finally, during a third phase, the remnants are “gathered from the four corners of  the earthat which time Christ fulfills the covenant of the Father with them.

That scenario is exactly what begins to happen following Christ’s prophecy and following the ushering in the gospel of Abraham.

Shortly after that vision, Joseph informs the saints that something new must be done for the salvation of the church and he sends missionaries across the great waters. At the beginning of this new dispensation of the Gospel of Abraham, remnants of the House of Israel are physically “brought in” and they come to Nauvoo and then to Utah.

As the church grows, they eventually begin to establish stakes in other parts of the world and they quit teaching the doctrine of the physical gathering. At that point, the remnants are “brought to a knowledge of Christ” without physically being “brought in“.

According to prophecy, the final crescendo or fulfillment of the dispensation of the gospel of Abraham, which your sacred calendar associates with the age of Aquarius, the remnants will be physically gathered “from the four corners of the earth”.

It  is interesting to note that the covenant is not fulfilled until the final pouring out of God’s spirit at the time of the final gathering from the four corners of the earth.

I think that your research regarding the veracity of section 110 is very timely because there is a movement at hand that questions the credibility and historicity of section 110. This same group is in the process of expunging section 110 from a revised version of the LDS scriptures.

This is what a member of this new scripture committee has said about why changes to the scriptures need to be made and why section 110 should be deleted from the Doctrine and Covenants

One of the first ways that a dispensation becomes corrupted is by compromising the scriptures used by believers in that dispensation. Therefore, when a new dispensation begins, one of the first orders of business for believers is to adopt a new set of scriptures which restore so far as it is possible a correct version of the material they regard as scripture..  there is a need to remove errors correct text 

The claim is that the scriptures that Joseph Smith brought forth were corrupted shortly after being received. No examples or supporting documentation to that claim were clearly presented although the presenter goes on to list section 110 as one of the sections that will be deleted from the new scriptures.

Continuing with his implication that section 110 is one of the corruptions that has compromised the integrity of the scriptures, here is the official reason that section 110 is being deleted:

“..Section 110 is completely unverifiable as a true revelation or vision, the three individuals with some information about the section, joseph Smith Oliver Cowdery and Warren Cowdery left no statement or explanation about section 110, further, in listing those who visited with them in their perspective testimonies neither Joseph Smith or Oliver Cowdery mention Elijah as having come. Finally, throughout the Nauvoo time frame including a month before his death, Joseph Smith spoke of Elijah’s return as a future and not a past event..”

The claim that section 110 is unverifiable is a huge red flag because it is admitting that the group that is adding and removing scripture is making their determination based on verifiable historical information rather than revelation.

Only the Holy Ghost can validate a true revelation, not historical facts. If the new religious movement was being led by a true prophet he would simply ask the Lord and receive a “thus saith the Lord” revelation  from God confirming or denying the section to be a true revelation.

Each individual has the same responsibility to receive personal revelation on the topic.

The logic by the new scripture committee was apparently taken from the statements made by Denver Snuffer in his book (PTHG Pg 326–327)

All the contemporaneous records kept by any party fail to record any mention by Joseph Smith of the Kirtland Temple visitation from Moses, Elias and Elijah. It was never taught by Joseph Smith, never mentioned in any sermon delivered by him, and was never mentioned in anything Joseph ever wrote (75)

The claim that no contemporaneous records by any party record any mention of a visitation from Moses, Elias and Elijah is not accurate in my opinion. There are in fact credible historical records that show that Joseph or Oliver had mentioned aspects of the vision to selected individuals. Some of these individuals even mentioned these events to critics of the restoration.

For instance one account from a hostile source actually mentions the visitation of Christ and angels in conjunction with the solemn assembly with the curtains being drawn.

“They [the Mormons] have lately had what they term a solemn assembly. This was at the completion of the lower story of the Temple which is finished in a very singular order having four Pulpits on each [Page 261]end of the House and curtains between each. Also, curtains dividing the house in the center. They have had wonderful manifestations there of late behind the curtains. This was in the night. Their meeting held for several nights in succession. None but the Prophets and Elders were admitted. The number of Prophets now amounts to twelve. Some can see angels and others cannot. They report that the Savior appeared personally with angels and endowed the Elders with powers to work Miracles” (H. Michael Marquardt, The Rise of Mormonism: 1816–1844 (Longwood, FL: Xulon Press, 2005), 422)

It is highly unlikely that a hostile person living in Kirtland at the time could manufacture such a tale containing accurate details relating to the holding of a solemn assembly, a description of the priesthood pulpits, the curtains behind which the most holy place is hidden from the outer court, and the appearance of Christ and angels.

Perhaps even more compelling, is the following statement in a letter from WW Phelps to his wife within a week after the Savior appeared behind the veil:

“On Sunday, April 3, the twelve held meeting and administered the sacrament. It was a glorious time. The curtains were dropt in the afternoon. And there was a manifestation of the Lord to Br Joseph and Oliver, [by] which they [learned] thus the great & terrible day of the Lord as mentioned by Mal[a]chi, was near, even at the doors.” (William W. Phelps, Journal, April 1836 (letter 27), 3, William Wines Phelps (1792–1872) Papers, Vault MSS 810, BYU Special Collections.)

That statement identifies a “manifestation” that took place in the temple on the the exact date of the event detailed in section 110 . Further, it reveals the statement made by Elijah as recorded in Malachi!

Clearly,  there are contemporaneous records that coincide with the event documented in section 110.

Claiming that Joseph always spoke of the coming of Elijah as a future event and never as a past event is also an inaccurate declaration. I have shown in a previous post that Joseph Smith did indeed speak of the coming of Elijah as a past experience during the Nauvoo era.

Just as you have shown how the sacred calendar testifies of Section 110, I have shown how the prophecies of Danial also testify of Section 110. Six of the nine prophetic time sequences having to do with Joseph Smith’s ministry either begin or end with April 3, 1836.

Perhaps one of the most compelling has to do with the prophecy in Daniel 9:24 . This prophecy declares that it would be 139 weeks from the time the commandment is given to rebuild the holy city until an anointing of the “most holy” takes place and the account of the vision is sealed up.

seal up the vision

Backing up 139 weeks from the time that Joseph and Oliver had the secret vision behind the veil and sealed it up in the church historical journal, takes us to Sunday August 4th, 1833. That was the week that section 94 was given in which the commandment to commence the work of laying the foundation the city of the stake of Zion beginning at the Lord’s house.

There are countless scriptural evidences that confirm the validity of section 110.

The inspired version of the Bible reveals that John the Baptist in New Testament times was the same person known as Elijah the prophet during Old Testament times. This information reveals the prophetic link between the declaration by Elijah in section 110 and the restoration of the priesthood through John the Baptist in section 13. This gives us another prophetic witness of the revelatory validity of the event in Section 110.

elijah doctrine 2.png

The Book of Abraham also testifies of the truthfulness of section 110 by providing the definition and context of the dispensation of the Gospel of Abraham that was ushered in.

dispensation of the gospel of abraham

 

There are numerous indirect references to the validity of section 110 given in other sections of the Doctrine and Covenants.

 

110 related

listed below are a few posts that address these witnesses.

https://onewhoiswatching.files.wordpress.com/2013/08/reading-abraham-while-god-winks6.pdf

https://onewhoiswatching.wordpress.com/2013/12/23/section-27-and-the-book-of-abraham-both-testify-that-section-110-is-true/

https://onewhoiswatching.wordpress.com/2013/12/29/the-keys-to-gather-israel-two-patriarchal-blessings-testify-of-section-110/

https://onewhoiswatching.wordpress.com/2014/01/02/section-109-testifies-that-section-110-is-true/

https://onewhoiswatching.wordpress.com/2013/12/31/section-112-testifies-of-section-110/

https://onewhoiswatching.wordpress.com/2014/01/06/section-124-makes-reference-to-section-110/

In  my opinion, there is an overwhelming amount of evidence in scripture to show that section 110 is true.

I believe God commanded Joseph and Oliver to not publicly disclose the experience they had. This was done to provide a test. Only those that search the scriptures and receive personal revelation can perceive the revelatory witnesses that testify of section 110.

God has provided it as a test to see who will discern and defend it as truth.

This is very important in my opinion because it is a very serious thing to deny revelation and to alter the holy scriptures.

The Book of Mormon prophesies of those among the gentiles that would eventually transfigure God’s Holy Word [1]

Extracting true revelations from canonized scripture would certainly seem to fall into this category.

The Lord has warned us to not add to or take away from his scriptures. Everyone who participates in and endorses that new scripture project will be personally liable for any mistakes that are made when they enter into covenant on that project, so it would do them well to take it very seriously, lest the curses of God are brought upon their heads[2]

In my opinion, it is highly unlikely this scripture committee will ever consider leaving section 110 in their new scriptures regardless of the evidence that anyone brings forth. This is because of the stand that Snuffer has taken against it.

Snuffer has publicly warned me and others to quit teaching about the distinction between the dispensation of the gospel of Abraham and the dispensation of the fulness of the gospel, as revealed through the event documented in section 110-

“Those who claim the Gospel of Abraham is less than the gospel given to Adam are a false message born by a false messenger, mark it, if they don’t repent for preaching that message in opposition to what the Lord declares both in scripture and by my voice, they will regret it.

For the record, I have never said that the gospel that Abraham received, was anything less than the fulness of the gospel that had been preached to Adam or that was restored through the prophet Joseph Smith.

What I have documented and blogged about is that the fulness of the gospel had been rejected by the latter day saints by the end of 1834 and that shortly after that, the dispensation of the gospel of Abraham was ushered in according to section 110.

That event demonstrates that a significant change in trajectory took place that resulted in the apostles of the restoration taking the knowledge of the fulness of the gospel to the nations across the great waters as documented in section 118.

I have shown from the Book of Abraham that the dispensation of the gospel of Abraham has to do with the chosen seed of Abraham preaching the gospel to the nations of the earth in the latter days.

I have further stated and documented that those events match up with the prophecy of Jesus Christ in 3 Nephi 16.

In my opinion, it was the “knowledge” of the fulness of the gospel that was taken to the remnants of the House of Israel after the fulness was rejected in 1834 followed by the ushering in of the dispensation of the gospel of Abraham in 1836.

Shortly after that, the saints were rejected as a church with their dead, which would indicate that even though they had a knowledge of the fulness of the gospel as explained in the scriptures that Joseph brought forth, they did not enjoy the power in the priesthood to perform all of the saving ordinances. Even Denver Snuffer has finally acknowledged that the church was rejected in Nauvoo. (he pointed it out as a possibility in his book, PTHG, but now is declaring it to the case)

The book of Abraham, informs us that God promised Abraham that in the latter days, his posterity would be a great blessing to the nations of the earth by preaching the gospel to them. It clarifies however that the fulness of the gospel and the final giving of the land as an everlasting possession will not be fully actuated until God’s people “hearken to his voice” (Abraham 2:6)

The prophecy of Jesus Christ in 3rd Nephi 16 and more specifically summarized in 3rd Nephi 16:10-13 began to be fulfilled when the keys of the DISPENSATION of the Gospel of Abraham were delivered to Joseph and Oliver and the latter day apostles began to take the KNOWLEDGE of the fulness of the Gospel ( as contained in the Book of Mormon and the revelations Joseph brought forth) to the nations of the earth across the great waters. That sequence of events will be completed once the gentiles repent as described in Ether 4:6.

I believe that the reason that Denver wants to discredit section 110 is because it explains the change in trajectory during Joseph Smith’s ministry and proves that the modern corporate church still has the priesthood commission given  in section 118, to take the knowledge of the gospel to the nations of the earth. Section 110 supports and validates the unconditional promises and prophesies about the servants of God returning to the vineyard to complete their commissions.

It leaves no place for Denver’s ministry and the other gospel that he promotes.

While I agree with you that section 110 is valid, and I rejoice in your defense of it, the primary purpose of this response to your email has to do with section 20 which the new scripture committee is also planning to delete from the standard works.

I am curious as to why you have taken up a defense of section 110 but not of section 20?!?!

Although I love section 110 and think that it is hugely important with regard to explaining church history and shedding light on prophecy, in my opinion, it is not as pertinent as a canonized revelation as section 20 is. This is because section 20 is a COMMANDMENT on how to govern the church and provide the saving COVENANTS and saving ordinances of the gospel.

God has commanded us to search the commandments and he has promised us that all of the revelations that were canonized by Joseph Smith and his associates are true and faithful.

Search these commandments for they are true and faithful, and the prophecies and promises that are in them shall all be fulfilled. What I the Lord have spoken, I have spoken, and I excuse not myself; and thou the heavens and the earth pass away, my words shall not pass away, but shall all be fulfilled, whether by my own voice or the voice of my servants, it is the same. D&C 1:37-38

I believe you have already endeavored to prove the divine origin of section 20 in other articles you have written by showing the historic and prophetic significance of the date April 6th.

I would point out that in your article, Defense of April Sixth, you have substantiated the revelatory veracity of section 20 by showing how April sixth is a prophetic date-

“Lefgren states that his intent is “to show how the modern revelation concerning the significance of April 6 is in perfect harmony with other sacred writings” (p. 12). That is, he proposes that the belief that Jesus was born on 6 April 1 B.C. is consistent with all LDS scripture, but not necessarily with all secular sources. (All dates refer to our Gregorian calendar.) The reviewers claim that Lefgren also believes the “resurrection of Jesus fell on April sixth.” He does not; his date for the Resurrection is 3 April A.D. 33 (p. 61).”

The Snufferite scripture committee has indicated their intentions of expunging section 20 from the D&C along with section 110.

This is the official reason given by the new scripture committee for expunging section 20 from scripture:

Several LDS sections have been removed for the following reasons.. section 20 was written by Oliver Cowdery and constitutes church articles and covenants used to begin to structure the early church organization, they no longer apply…

What an odd declaration.

The claim that section 20 was received exclusively by Oliver Cowdery is simply not true.

Stating that the revelation on how to organize and govern the restored church is no longer relevant without giving any credible scriptural documentation or explanations from Joseph Smith as to why the commandment to govern the church was only temporary, is absurd.

Section 20 is referred to by the Lord as the “articles and covenants” of the church and section 42 which is referred to as the “law of the church” and the “law of Zion”. They were both taken by the early missionaries and used as the foundational scriptures for teaching new converts.

They represented the foundation of the restoration movement. Those are arguably two of the most inseparable and foundational parts of the Doctrine and Covenants.

Claiming that some of the scriptures that Joseph Smith brought forth in the Doctrine and Covenants are false or only temporary is a serious thing. I would agree that some of the additions and deletions made after the death of Joseph Smith did corrupt the Doctrine and Covenants that the church uses today. Adding section 132 is a good example of this. However, I would point out that the Lord endorsed all of the revelations in the 1835 Doctrine and Covenants in 124:119-120.

And again, verily I say unto you, let no man pay stock to the quorum of the Nauvoo House unless he shall be a believer in the Book of Mormon, and the revelations I have given unto you, saith the Lord your God;

For that which is more or less than this cometh of evil, and shall be attended with cursings and not blessings, saith the Lord your God. Even so. Amen.

It is sobering to realize that God put his stamp of approval on the revelations in the 1835 Doctrine and Covenants and warned that more or less than what had been canonized would be evil and would bring forth cursings. Yet a scripture committee is now removing the foundational revelation in that canon of scripture.

It is somewhat ironic that while the Snufferite scripture committee desires to reinstate the “doctrine” portion of the original Doctrine and Covenants by reinstating the Lectures on Faith, they simultaneously desire to delete the “Covenants” portion of the original Doctrine and Covenants by expunging section 20, a section that the Lord specifically referred to as the articles and covenants of the church.

Sections 42 and 20 represented the LAW and the COVENANTS of the latter day saint restoration.

In an apparent attempt to discredit the revelatory veracity of section 20, the Snufferite scripture committee has declared that section 20 was exclusively received by Oliver Cowdery rather than being a joint revelation given by the Lord to both Joseph and Oliver.

That claim is unsubstantiated and it contradicts the following declaration of Joseph Smith which is plainly documented in the section heading:

We obtained of Him [Jesus Christ] the following, by the spirit of prophecy and revelation; which not only gave us much information, but also pointed out to us the precise day upon which, according to His will and commandment, we should proceed to organize His Church once more here upon the earth.”

It is pretty obvious that the Snufferite committee feels a need to discredit section 20 as an ongoing and relevant revelation since their holy teacher Denver Snuffer instructed his followers to use the baptismal and church governance protocol from the Book of Mormon instead of the baptismal and church governance protocol that the Lord gave to the restored church through Joseph Smith.

Snuffer has indicated that section 20 was only relevant for a limited time only, if at all, while the protocols in the Book of Mormon are timeless. He apparently does not want to have his new fellowship governed according to the instructions given by the Lord in section 20.

Why would God’s instructions to the gentiles, who have been designated as the final messengers of the gospel be no longer relevant? Why would the instructions to the Nephites supersede them?

This apparently has to do with Snuffers believe that Parley Pratt and Sidney Rigdon hijacked the direction of the restored church by adversely influencing Joseph Smith, a heresy that Snuffer gleaned from Daymon Smith

Clearly, if section 20 was a true revelation, it would cast doubt upon Denver’s holy calling and his teachings just as his rejection of section 110 does.

Concluding that section 20 is not a valid revelation of ongoing significance and that it was received exclusively by Oliver Cowdery and not Joseph Smith brings into question Joseph Smith’s honesty and integrity during those early years in Kirtland when the foundations of the restored gospel were being laid.

Why would Joseph Smith lie about jointly receiving the revelation about the articles and covenants of the church with Oliver Cowdery?

Another thing to consider is the fact that Joseph reviewed the revelation before getting the sustaining vote of the church on it and he made a very significant change which Oliver and the Whitmers initially took issue with.

However Oliver and the Whitmers eventually agreed with Joseph. (in my opinion, that one change which is the only apparent change between the protocol in section 20 and some of the teachings in the Book of Mormon, and therefore it appears as if it is one of the reasons Denver rejects the revelation as being valid.

Those changes verify the fact that Joseph was very familiar with every word in the revelation and had scrutinized them under the spirit of revelation. Clearly, Joseph was intimately involved in receiving the articles and covenants of the church. His involvement was endorsing the revelation as coming from God once he made those changes.

It is very odd that the Snufferites want to “preserve” the restoration by eliminating the very foundation of it.

Snufferites who are seriously thinking about making some of these radical changes to the scriptures that have been endorsed by God, would do well to ponder these things and be very prayerful about them before making a decision that could bring curses upon them.

Having observed that you have substantiated the revelatory veracity of section 20 from a sacred calendaring point of view, there is something else that should be considered with regard to expunging section 20 from the new scriptures.

The Lord makes specific mention of the “articles and covenants” (section 20) in sections 33 and 42 of the Doctrine and Covenants:

ye shall remember the church articles and covenants to keep them. Doctrine and Covenants 33:14

And they shall observe the covenants and church articlesto do them, and these shall be their teachings, as they shall be directed by the Spirit. Doctrine and Covenants 42:13

As you can see, sections 33 and 42 which were both “thus saith the Lord” revelations that were received by Joseph Smith. Both testify that section 20 is valid and it contains the approved articles and covenants of the Church.

There is nothing in those directives from the Lord to indicate that those articles and covenants are only temporary and that they would one day be superseded by the ancient protocols given to the Nephites in the Book of Mormon.

If one assumes that section 20 is a false revelation that came only through Oliver Cowdery or that it was only a temporary protocol that would not remain relevant, valid and binding upon the gentiles, then sections 33 and 42 would also need to be classified accordingly and discarded.

The same logic would suggest that section 33 and 42 are either not true revelations from God or they only had temporary significance and must now be expunged from modern revelation along with section 20 which they endorse.

Section 33 further validates the articles and covenants previously detailed in section 20 by declaring that God had established the church and called it forth out of the wilderness.

5 And verily, verily, I say unto you, that this church have I established and called forth out of the wilderness.

Such a declaration suggests that there were no problems with the foundational articles and covenants upon which the church was established.

Clearly, the Lord would have commanded section 20 to be stricken from the revelations of the restoration had there been a problem with it. Section 33 declares the restored church to have come forth out of the wilderness and to have been properly ESTABLISHED.

Section 33 was calling certain elders into missionary work and teaching them what to do and say. It is clearly validating and building upon the baptismal and church governance protocol that had been detailed in section 20

10 Yea, open your mouths and they shall be filled, saying: Repent, repent, and prepare ye the way of the Lord, and make his paths straight; for the kingdom of heaven is at hand;

11 Yea, repent and be baptized, every one of you, for a remission of your sins; yea, be baptized even by water, and then cometh the baptism of fire and of the Holy Ghost.

12 Behold, verily, verily, I say unto you, this is my gospel; and remember that they shall have faith in me or they can in nowise be saved;

13 And upon this rock I will build my church; yea, upon this rock ye are built, and if ye continue, the gates of hell shall not prevail against you.

14 And ye shall remember the church articles and covenants to keep them.

As  you can see,  section 33 is directing the leaders and missionaries of the church to REMEMBER the articles and covenants of the church given in section 20 and use them as the rock upon which to build the church. This is no doubt why the first missionaries hand copied section 20 and took it with them on their missions.

Are we remembering the church articles and covenants by discarding them and rejecting them as being inspired?

We clearly need to get rid of section 33 or accept section 20 since section 33 validates the revelatory veracity and ongoing relevance of section 20.

We have the same problem with section 42 if we choose to disregard section 20. Section 42 was considered to be the law of the church and section 42 commands the saints to integrate the articles and covenants in section 20 into the ongoing law of the church.

As you can see, if the scripture committee chooses to expunge section 20 in their new covenant with God, they need to expunge sections 33 and section 42. The Lord in his infinite foreknowledge made the content and relevance of these revelations cohesive and interdependent. It is an all or nothing proposition.

By getting rid of section 42 we are no longer bound to accept the New Testament practice of having all things in common with personal stewardships, as a true principle that must be lived. Nor are the saints required to live monogamy as a marital law. While that may come as a relief to some, it may bring some very very stiff penalties with it. It may bring the wrath of God down upon those that transfigure God’s holy word.

We know from Denver’s lectures that he finds some truth in Section 132 and the practice of celestial polygamy. We know from Denver’s remarks that he considers Joseph Smith’s involvement in polygamy to be inspired, even though Denver admits that he doesn’t fully understand it nor disclose what he believes it to be. The stage has been set for some kind of spiritual wifery to be introduced into the Snufferite movement at some point in time.

The point is, that by deleting section 20, you must delete section 42 from the D&C and at that point we are no longer limited to monogamy in our marital activities and we have one less contradiction between the marital law of monogamy in section 42 and the marital law in 132.

Clearly, it is the marital commandment of polygamy in section 132 that needs to be discarded, not the monogamy commandment in section 42.

Having shown that section 33 and 42 made specific reference to and validated the revelatory accuracy of section 20, I would point out that there are a host of other sections [3] that also make reference to the “covenants” detailed in section one and therefore they would also need to be expelled from the new Snufferite scriptures

Sections 28, 35, 51, 68, 97 & 107 all make reference to the COVENANTS delivered and canonized as section 20.

Leaving those scriptures intact while expunging section 20 would only create confusion  and contradiction since they refer to and incorporate a previous revelation that is no longer considered relevant. It is incredible just how many revelations were built upon the foundation of section 20!

Just as sections 28, 33, 35, 42, 51, 68, 97, and 107 are all intertextually related to section 20 and they all bear witness of section 20 and each other, each of those sections is in turn intertextually related with at least two or three other revelations that Joseph received during those early years in Kirtland. Virtually all of the revelations are intertwined and are inseparable from a revelatory point of view.

Naturally, all of the sections that reference and give credibility to any of the eight sections listed above, also need to be expunged from the new D&C. But it does not stop there, because there are a whole new group of revelations that reference and give revelatory credibility to the revelations of the next grouping of revelations and so on and so on.

This process just keeps repeating itself until virtually every revelation that came through Joseph Smith is proven to be interrelated to and built upon the foundation of the covenants in section 20. Clearly, not one jot or tittle is to be removed from section 20 or section 42. They will remain as the guiding force by which the church is governed when the servants return to resume their commission.

In first Nephi 13, the Lord’s prophet Nephi prophesied about the coming forth of the Book of Mormon by the gentiles. In that prophecy, it was noted that in the latter days, the gentiles would bring forth the plain and precious things that the Lord would teach to the seed of Lehi when he personally ministers to them. It was making specific reference to the restoration of the church and ministry of joseph Smith in the 1800’s.

The prophecy clearly states that when those things taught by Christ to the Nephites contained in 3rd Nephi, that are hid up, are brought forth by the gentiles, the gentiles would seek to bring forth Zion.

The event took place.

Obviously, the attempt was not successful at that time, as hinted in the prophecy, however, the the prophecy notes that those that make the initial attempt at Zion would “have the gift and power of the holy ghost and if they endure to the end they shall be lifted up at the last day”.

According to the prophecy, Joseph Smith and his fellow gentiles who brought forth the account of the Savior’s ministry as contained in 3rd Nephi, are the ones who have the gift and power of the holy ghost. They are the ones that “publish peace and great tidings”, not Denver Snuffer and his scripture committee. 

35 For, behold, saith the Lamb: I will manifest myself unto thy seed, that they shall write many things which I shall minister unto them, which shall be plain and precious; and after thy seed shall be destroyed, and dwindle in unbelief, and also the seed of thy brethren, behold, these things shall be hid up, to come forth unto the Gentiles, by the gift and power of the Lamb.

36 And in them shall be written my gospel, saith the Lamb, and my rock and my salvation.

37 And blessed are they who shall seek to bring forth my Zion at that day, for they shall have the gift and the power of the Holy Ghost; and if they endure unto the end they shall be lifted up at the last day, and shall be saved in the everlasting kingdom of the Lamb; and whoso shall publish peace, yea, tidings of great joy, how beautiful upon the mountains shall they be.

Nothing is said or implied in the above prophecy about the gentiles bringing forth a false or temporary set of covenants which would need to be changed to a more ancient directive by another prophet or religious movement.

There are those that want to discredit the restoration of the gospel that joseph Smith was instrumental in bringing forth by inferring that only Joseph’s work in bringing forth the Book of Mormon is of any enduring revelatory value.

However the Book of Mormon validates the revelations that joseph Smith brought forth. It declares that Joseph and his associates like Oliver Cowdery had the gift and power of the Holy Ghost sufficient enough to be commanded to attempt Zion!

Their calling was not limited to bringing forth the Book of Mormon!

They legitimately attempted to bring forth Zion!

That very attempt required independent revelation and commandments and covenants from the Lord through the spirit of prophecy.

There is no need for a new latter day prophet to completely negate and disparage the inspired foundation that the Lord established through the prophet Joseph Smith.

The revelations that were brought forth and canonized through Joseph Smith that were sustained by the saints of the restoration through the law of common consent and endorsed by the Lord in section 124 represent an all or nothing proposition.

Just prior to receiving the articles and covenants contained in section 20 of the D&C, Joseph and Oliver were told by the Lord:

17 Behold, you have my gospel before you, and my rock, and my salvation. 18 Ask the Father in my name in faith, believing that you shall receive, and you shall have the Holy Ghost, which manifesteth all things which are expedient unto the children of men.

I testify that Joseph and Oliver and there brethren did have the Holy Ghost and the spirit of prophecy when they received section 20. It is an enduring protocol for the gentiles that will be used when the gentiles finally repent.

John- I appreciate your defense of section 110 but would encourage you to use your research of divine calendars to defend section 20 of the Doctrine and Covenants as well.

 

 

 

 

[1][1] Mormon 8:33  O ye wicked and perverse and stiffnecked people, why have ye built up churches unto yourselves to get gain? Why have ye transfigured the holy word of God, that ye might bring damnation upon your souls? Behold, look ye unto the revelations of God; for behold, the time cometh at that day when all these things must be fulfilled.

[2][2] Man does not have the authority to change the will of God on any subject. One of the most serious and blasphemous things a person can do is to alter God’s holy word in scripture. We have been given severe warnings in several places in the Bible concerning any changes that we try to make to God’s word. Galatians 1:6-9, warns us that if we pervert the gospel by changing it, we will be accursed. Deuteronomy 4:2 Revelation 22:18-19 both warn of the plagues and cursings that fall upon those that adds or takes away from God’s word. God shall take away his part from the Book of Life, and from the holy city, and from the things which are written in this book.”

[3] Doctrine and Covenants 28:12,14 For, behold, these things have not been appointed unto him, neither shall anything be appointed unto any of this church contrary to the church covenants. Doctrine and Covenants 35:24 Keep all the commandments and covenants by which ye are bound; and I will cause the heavens to shake for your good, and Satan shall tremble and Zion shall rejoice upon the hills and flourish; Doctrine and Covenants 51:4 And let my servant Edward Partridge, when he shall appoint a man his portion, give unto him a writing that shall secure unto him his portion, that he shall hold it, even this right and this inheritance in the church, until he transgresses and is not accounted worthy by the voice of the church, according to the laws and covenants of the church, to belong to the church. section 68:13 And now, concerning the items in addition to the covenants and commandments, they are ….And again, no bishop or high priest who shall be set apart for this ministry shall be tried or condemned for any crime, save it be before the First Presidency of the church; 23 And inasmuch as he is found guilty before this Presidency, by testimony that cannot be impeached, he shall be condemned; 24 And if he repent he shall be forgiven, according to the covenants and commandments of the church. Doctrine and Covenants 97:8 Verily I say unto you, all among them who know their hearts are honest, and are broken, and their spirits contrite, and are willing to observe their covenants by sacrifice—yea, every sacrifice which I, the Lord, shall command—they are accepted of me. Doctrine and Covenants 107:12,19-20,63,85-87,89 The high priest and elder are to administer in spiritual things, agreeable to the covenants and commandments of the church; and they have a right to officiate in all these offices of the church when there are no higher authorities present.

 

 

 

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