Who Holds the Keys of the Gathering?
From the very beginning of recorded religious history the scriptures speak of God’s servant who would conduct the final gathering of God’s people in the end times.
9 Judah is a lion’s whelp: from the prey, my son, thou art gone up: he stooped down, he couched as a lion, and as an old lion; who shall rouse him up?
10 The sceptre shall not depart from Judah, nor a lawgiver from between his feet, until Shiloh come; and unto him shall the gathering of the people be.
Because of God’s infinite foreknowledge, he knew from the beginning that his people would disobey him, the tribes of Israel would split apart from each other and mingle among the heathen, and need to be gathered out from among them in the end times.
The LDS restoration movement is no different, the topic of the gathering was of major importance.
From the visit of Moroni in the very beginning, to the revelations that followed, the gathering remained one of the most prominent themes up until the fulness was rejected by the gentiles by the end of 1834.
When the angel Moroni visited Joseph Smith he quoted the 11th chapter of Isaiah which speaks of this same descendant of Judah who shall stand as an ensign of the people. This servant of the Lord would assemble the outcasts of Israel and the dispersed of Judah:
10 ¶ And in that day there shall be a root of Jesse, which shall stand for an ensign of the people; to it shall the Gentiles seek: and his rest shall be glorious.
11 And it shall come to pass in that day, that the Lord shall set his hand again the second time to recover the remnant of his people, which shall be left, from Assyria, and from Egypt, and from Pathros, and from Cush, and from Elam, and from Shinar, and from Hamath, and from the islands of the sea.
12 And he shall set up an ensign for the nations, and shall assemble the outcasts of Israel, and gather together the dispersed of Judah from the four corners of the earth.
According to Joseph’ own words, the gathering of the outcasts of Israel and the dispersed of Judah actually began during the second major wave of missionary work, in the late 1830’s.
“If there is anything calculated to interest the mind of the Saints, to awaken in them the finest sensibilities, and arouse them to enterprise and exertion, surely it is the great and precious promises made by our heavenly Father to the children of Abraham; and those engaged in seeking the outcasts of Israel, and the dispersed of Judah, cannot fail to enjoy the Spirit of the Lord and have the choicest blessings of Heaven rest upon them in copious effusions.” (Joseph Smith Jr., Discourses of the Prophet Joseph Smith, 195.)
This happened in conjunction with the petition for the children of Judah to return to the lands of the Abrahamic covenant in section 109, the secret ushering in of the dispensation of the gospel of Abraham in section 110, and the commission of the the twelve apostles to cross the great waters to promulgate the gospel as directed in section 118.
The latter day servant who is to gather Israel was to be a descendant of Judah.
Although the revelations concerning Joseph Smith clearly identified him as a descendant of Joseph, he would later comment on the 11th chapter of Isaiah and reveal that the servant who gathers God’s people would be of mixed lineage, being of both Joseph and Jesse (and Judah) :
5 What is the root of Jesse spoken of in the 10th verse of the 11th chapter?
6 Behold, thus saith the Lord, it is a descendant of Jesse, as well as of Joseph, unto whom rightly belongs the priesthood, and the keys of the kingdom, for an ensign, and for the gathering of my people in the last days.
I have demonstrated in previous blogs that Joseph Smith is of mixed lineage.
The Inspired Version Sheds Light on the Gathering
When Joseph Smith translated the Old Testament, several passages were modified or added to bring clarity to the topic of the gathering. One of these changes is found in the seventh chapter of Genesis where God promises Enoch that in the last days, God will come to gather and preserve the elect before the heavens shall be darkened:
67 And the Lord said unto Enoch, As I live, even so will I come in the last days, in the days of wickedness and vengeance, to fulfill the oath which I made unto you concerning the children of Noah.
68 And the day shall come that the earth shall rest. But before that day the heavens shall be darkened, and a veil of darkness shall cover the earth; and the heavens shall shake, and also the earth.
69 And great tribulations shall be among the children of men, but my people will I preserve; and righteousness will I send down out of heaven, and truth will I send forth out of the earth, to bear testimony of mine Only Begotten; his resurrection from the dead; yea, and also the resurrection of all men.
70 And righteousness and truth will I cause to sweep the earth as with a flood, to gather out mine own elect from the four quarters of the earth, unto a place which I shall prepare; an holy city, that my people may gird up their loins, and be looking forth for the time of my coming; for there shall be my tabernacle, and it shall be called Zion; a New Jerusalem.
Another clarification in the JST of the Old Testament was to change the word “sprinkle” to “gather” in Isaiah 52
13 ¶ Behold, my servant shall deal prudently, he shall be exalted and extolled, and be very high.
14 As many were astonied at thee; his visage was so marred more than any man, and his form more than the sons of men:
15 So shall he
sprinkle [gather] many nations; the kings shall shut their mouths at him: for that which had not been told them shall they see; and that which they had not heard shall they consider.
When the New Testament was translated, additional clarity was provided in the 13th chapter of Mark showing that the angels that return to gather the elect do so with when the great sound of a trump takes place.
Another one of the very significant clarifications regarding the gathering in the JST New Testament was to show that the word Elijah is a Biblical code word for any servant of God that is sent to prepare the way before Christ.
In those same passages in JST Matthew 17, Christ declared that there would be two great prophets that would act in the calling of Elijah by preparing the way before the Lord. One had already come to prepare the way before Christ in the person of John the Baptist. In addition to John the Baptist, there would be a latter day servant who would act as Elijah the Restorer.
“And Jesus answered and said unto them, Elias truly shall first come, and restore all things, as the prophets have written.
And again I say unto you that Elias has come already, concerning whom it is written, Behold, I will send my messenger, and he shall prepare the way before me; and they knew him not, and have done unto him, whatsoever they listed. Likewise shall also the Son of Man suffer of them.
But I say unto you, Who is Elias? Behold, this is Elias, whom I send to prepare the way before me. Then the disciples understood that he spake unto them of John the Baptist, and also of another who should come and restore all things, as it is written by the prophets. JST Matt. 17: 10-14
Many scriptures and prophecies point to Joseph Smith as being Elijah the Restorer.
That critical bit of information in the passages above provides greater context to the book of Malachi which had also been quoted to Joseph Smith by Moroni with some very important clarifications:
36 After telling me these things, he commenced quoting the prophecies of the Old Testament. He first quoted part of the third chapter of Malachi; and he quoted also the fourth or last chapter of the same prophecy, though with a little variation from the way it reads in our Bibles. Instead of quoting the first verse as it reads in our books, he quoted it thus:
37 For behold, the day cometh that shall burn as an oven, and all the proud, yea, and all that do wickedly shall burn as stubble; for they that come shall burn them, saith the Lord of Hosts, that it shall leave them neither root nor branch.
38 And again, he quoted the fifth verse thus: Behold, I will reveal unto you the Priesthood, by the hand of Elijah the prophet, before the coming of the great and dreadful day of the Lord.
39 He also quoted the next verse differently: And he shall plant in the hearts of the children the promises made to the fathers, and the hearts of the children shall turn to their fathers. If it were not so, the whole earth would be utterly wasted at his coming.
One of the most profound revelations coming out of the visitation documented in D&C 110 is the fact that the keys of the final gathering of Israel were given to Joseph and Oliver by Moses.
11 After this vision closed, the heavens were again opened unto us; and Moses appeared before us, and committed unto us the keys of the gathering of Israel from the four parts of the earth, and the leading of the ten tribes from the land of the north.
During the last four generations, there have been a myriad of false prophets that have arisen within the church and then apostatized from the church or been cast out of it who have claimed or implied that they would be the one to conduct the gathering. Some of them simply discounted the literalness of the above passage while others have marginalized the event by challenging the historicity of it.
Another witness that Joseph Smith holds the keys of the gathering was provided in September of 1835 in Joseph Smith’s patriarchal blessing given by Oliver Cowdery which declares-
“By the keys of the Kingdom shall he lead Israel into the land of Zion”
Two years previous, Joseph Smith’s father had given Joseph a blessing that declared that Joseph Smith would bring the scattered posterity of Abraham back into the “true fold” and that he –
“shall prepare the way for the remnants of his people to come in among the Gentiles, with their fullness, as the tribes of Israel are restored.”
Clearly, Joseph was the one mentioned by Christ as Elijah the restorer who would restore all things. Part of that restoration of all things would be the gathering and restoration of God’s people to the lands of their inheritance, which is why Moses gave Joseph the keys of the gathering of Israel.
The visitation documented in Section 110 in which the keys of the gathering were bestowed took place in response to the petitions given in the Dedicatory Prayer of the Kirtland Temple that had been offered up just days previous
33 Break it off, O Lord; break it off from the necks of thy servants, by thy power, that we may rise up in the midst of this generation and do thy work…that they may gather out of that city the righteous, that they may come forth to Zion, or to her stakes, the places of thine appointment, with songs of everlasting joy;
Clearly section 109 provides yet another witness that Joseph Smith, Oliver Cowdery and their associates will be the ones to rise up and initiate the work of gathering God’s people to Zion.
All of this pointed to the fact that Joseph Smith is Elijah the restorer, even the angel that ascends from the east with the everlasting gospel:
9 Q. What are we to understand by the angel ascending from the east, Revelation 7th chapter and 2nd verse?
A. We are to understand that the angel ascending from the east is he to whom is given the seal of the living God over the twelve tribes of Israel; wherefore, he crieth unto the four angels having the everlasting gospel, saying: Hurt not the earth, neither the sea, nor the trees, till we have sealed the servants of our God in their foreheads. And, if you will receive it, this is Elias which was to come to gather together the tribes of Israel and restore all things. D&C 77:9
It is unfortunate that some LDS authors have claimed that the above passage is referring to John the Revelator and that he is the one who holds the keys to the gathering in the last days.
This false doctrine comes from a misinterpretation of the following passage from the same section:
14 Q. What are we to understand by the little book which was eaten by John, as mentioned in the 10th chapter of Revelation?
A. We are to understand that it was a mission, and an ordinance, for him to gather the tribes of Israel; behold, this is Elias, who, as it is written, must come and restore all things.
If one only focuses on that one verse, without any context and without considering the wealth of information on the topic, it is understandable how someone could assume that it is identifying John the Revelator as the one with the mission to gather the tribes of Israel and restore all things.
However, since that interpretation is in conflict with countless other passages of scripture, one should view the passage through a broader and more accurate context. One might begin by realizing that verse 14 in section 77 is a continuation of the narrative spoken in verse six about the book that John saw which was sealed with seven seals. The emphasis is on the mysterious book and its content, not on identifying John the Revelator as the topic of the narrative in the book.
After carefully studying the flow of the questions in section 77 relative to the mysterious sealed book, one should then study the chapters being referenced in the Book of Revelation.
Doing so indicates that John the Revelator is simply being commanded to ingest the sealed book ( or ponder the mysterious narrative contained within) having to do with the angel that ascends while emerging to gather Israel.
Verse 14 is not identifying John the revelator as the angel that will emerge in the last days ascending from the east, it is revealing to John that the angel that ascends is described in the mysterious book that John is commanded to ingest. John is informed that this end times servant will have a mission from God that is also identified as an ORDINANCE!
I would suggest that the ordinance describing the mission of this amazing servant can be found in the atonement statute found in Leviticus 16. We have discussed the atonement statute ordinance in previous posts.
It is very possible that the following declaration about how the mysterious narrative within the book would make John feel is providing a clue as to who the latter day servant is.
“..it shall make thy belly bitter, but it shall be in thy mouth sweet as honey..”
The above declaration is very possibly another way of stating what Moroni stated about Joseph Smith’s ministry being bitter and sweet.
He said that Joseph’s name-
“..should be had for good and evil among all nations, kindreds, and tongues, or that it should be both good and evil spoken of among all people” (JS—H 1:33).
It is a very curious thing that the mysterious ministry of this amazing servant of God is both bitter and sweet, causing people to speak both good and evil of him.
Another mysterious thing in the narrative is that the angel emerges by ascending upwards from the depths rather than descending from the heavens.
How often do the scriptures speak of angels of God ascending to make their appearance rather than descending from God to make their appearance like the angel Moroni did?
Only those who understand the intercessory offering of this servant and the atonement offering price that would be paid would understand why he must emerge by ascending upward from the depths rather than by descending from heaven.
There is no scriptural evidence to suggest that John the Revelator is the Davidic Servant that initiates the gathering of the elect in the last days. That theory makes no sense and it completely contradicts all of the unconditional promises and prophecies in the D&C.
To suggest that John the Revelator is the Davidic Servant that brings about restoration and the gathering of Israel is to suggest that there was no need for Joseph’s ministry and to negate all of the unconditional prophecies pertaining to it.
A contextual review of what is being said based on the primary text in the Book of Revelation informs us that the sealed book being spoken of reveals who Elijah the restorer is. John the Revelator was simply commanded to ingest the book, making the point that the mission of Elijah the restorer would be both delicious and bitter.
Interestingly, Joseph Smith referred to himself as the angel flying in the midst of heaven in a discourse covered in the first part of this series
In the discourse, Joseph alludes to the fact that it is he, Joseph Smith, that is the one that is the holder of keys of the priesthood that is to be a witness over all the people. He also alludes to the fact that he, Joseph is the angel with the everlasting gospel spoken of in the book of Revelation:
“..all the testimony is, that the Lord in the last days would commit the keys of the Priesthood to a witness over all people–has the Gospel of the Kingdom commenced in the last days..
I have read it precisely as the words flowed from the lips of Jesus Christ–John the Revelator saw an angel flying thro’ the midst of heaven, having the everlasting Gospel to preach unto them that dwell on the earth, &c.”
References to an angel or angels flying in the midst of heaven in modern revelation show up twice in section 88 and twice again in section 133
Sections 1 and 133 were given just two days apart and 1 was designated by the Lord and his servant as the “PREFACE” to the revelations given by the Lord through Joseph Smith while section 133 was designated as the “APPENDIX“.
Both sections are pregnant with prophetic snippets about the 3rd watch events of the end times and can be very edifying when read together back to back.
A knowledge that section 133 was to be the “appendix” to the D&C and that it is a prophecy about the third watch is critical when studying prophecy. This coupled with a very careful reading for context reveals that the literal fulfillment of the angel flying in the midst of heaven as documented in Revelation 14:6 is clearly a future, third watch event. Any events in the past were only shadow fulfillments.
One of the cryptic realities about reading the modern revelations is that the practice of dividing God’s word into verses often encourages the reader to accept the limited implications of a singular passage while missing the broader context of what is being presented.
For instance, lets take a look at D&C 133:17
17 For behold, the Lord God hath sent forth the angel crying through the midst of heaven, saying: Prepare ye the way of the Lord, and make his paths straight, for the hour of his coming is nigh—
The singular passage makes it sound like the prophetic event being spoken of had already taken place prior to November of 1831 when the revelation was given right?
HOWEVER, if we read the narrative from the very beginning of the revelation, paying attention to detail, it becomes apparent that that declaration in that verse is being made by the servants of the Lord AFTER they emerge in the third watch.
How many times have you read that passage assuming that the angel being spoken of has already been sent forth some time in the past? Have you seen commentaries suggesting that it is a past event?
However, if you will back up to verse one and carefully follow the narrative all the way through to verse 17 you will find that verse 17 is quoting what the servants will be saying once they return in the 3rd watch!
Verses 1 tells us to hearken to the word of the Lord.
Verse 2 informs us that Lord is about to suddenly come to his temple with a “curse to judgement” upon the world.
That visitation to the temple and related cursing took place within a few years and is clearly documented in Section 110 and the book of Malachi that it refers us to.
Verse 3 informs us that the Lord is going to make his arm bare in the eyes of all nations and that all people will see the salvation of their God
The narrative is pointing to the future.
Verse 7 states that the voice of warning is going to go forth AGAIN ,to come out of Babylon and to gather together from the four winds.
Yes the Lord called the saints to come out of Babylon during Joseph’s ministry and he invited his people to the marriage as stated in the parable of the ten virgins. But they failed to establish Zion during Joseph’s ministry and they fell asleep during their journey to meet the Lord!
Praise God that an intercession took place and that God’s people were not wiped off the face of the earth for their collective transgression.
The roots have been kept alive per the allegory in Jacob!
Verse 8 speaks of sending forth the elders of the church AGAIN in the third watch to prepare the way. This passage is reiterating what the Lord said in section 88:80-.84. The Lord promise Joseph and first laborers of the last kingdom that he would send them forth AGAIN to complete the commission they had been given and to eventually go forth among the gentiles for the last time to “bind up the law and seal up the testimony, and to prepare the saints for the hour of judgment which is to come”
Verse 9 begins informing us what their “cry” will be.
From that verse until verse 17 we are being told what the first laborers of the last kingdom will be saying once they return in the 3rd watch.
Hence, the first laborers of the last kingdom will return in the third watch when the Marvelous Work is beginning, they will be proclaiming that the Lord has just barely sent forth the angel flying in the midst of heaven warning the people to “prepare the way of the Lord“!
In other words, they will be identifying the return of Joseph Smith as the literal fulfillment of the prophecy in Revelation 14:7
Now fast forward to verse 36 and the Lord reiterates that his third watch servant has appeared unto some and committed the everlasting gospel, and that he shall eventually appear unto many.
36 And now, verily saith the Lord, that these things might be known among you, O inhabitants of the earth, I have sent forth mine angel flying through the midst of heaven, having the everlasting gospel, who hath appeared unto some and hath committed it unto man, who shall appear unto many that dwell on the earth.
Connecting the Dots Relative to the Gathering in the October Revelatios
Sections 33, 65, 66 & 100
In part one of this series I mentioned that all four of the canonized revelations in the D&C given in the month of October contained prophetic content relating to the final gathering in the end times.
We will now briefly review this content.
In future parts of this series we will connect additional dots with some related threads from September revelations as well as related content from other scriptures to see how all of this interrelates to the prophetic implications found in some of the ancient feast days that provide prophetic enactments of events that will take place during the September-October time of the year.
Section 33 was a revelation given to two relatively obscure historical figures in LDS church history. Their names were Ezra Thayre and Northrop Sweet. These two Elders were given an astounding prophetic promise that was unconditional.
Most Latter day Saints probably consider the promise given to these two individuals to either have been fulfilled in a rather non-literal and unremarkable way, or simply not fulfilled at all. They consider it to simply be one of many unfulfilled (failed) revelations received by Joseph Smith.
I am convinced that the unconditional promise will take place.
The revelation commands these two Elders to “lift up their voices with the sound of a trump”.
I believe the “sound of a trump” happens to be a literal prophetic timeline marker having to do with when their ministry will begin in earnest in the 3rd watch.
There is a literal time when the first sound of a trump will take place.
I believe it is the time that is mentioned in the parable of the Ten Virgins that is described as “midnight” when the “cry” is made. I suspect that this time marks the end of the sixth seal and the beginning of the seventh seal.
Section 33 informs these two elders that they are living in the time of the “eleventh hour”
Since the revelation associates their ministry with the time of the Ten Virgins, the implication is that they were living just prior to midnight when the cry goes forth.
The revelation informs these two Elders that the Lord’s true church has been “established and called forth out of the wilderness”. In previous posts we have established the fact that the church went back into the wilderness shortly after coming out of the wilderness. Section 109 informs us that the true and living church will once again come out of the wilderness of darkness one last time during the 3rd watch.
In Section 33 the Lord reiterates what had been declared in section 29, namely that the “elect” of God would be “gathered” from the “four corners of the earth” as a result of their missionary labors.
They were promised that if they would open their mouths, they would be filled, and they would “become even like Nephi of Old”.
That is quite a promise of future priesthood power.
It did not take place during their lives but I am of the belief that it will take place when the cry is made at midnight.
It is interesting how members of the modern church and even the world are so familiar with personalities as Brigham Young, and yet they are oblivious to who these two Elders are, even though their participation in gathering the elect is monumental.
Getting back to Section 33 and the midnight event in the parable of the Ten Virgins, God commands these two Elders to make the following declaration when they go forth:
“ Repent, repent, and prepare ye the way of the Lord, and make his paths straight; for the kingdom of heaven is at hand..”
Notice the similar theme in the parable of the Ten Virgins when the cry at midnight goes forth to go forth and meet the Bridegroom
And at midnight there was a cry made, Behold, the bridegroom cometh; go ye out to meet him.
When we get to Section 65, we are informed once again that when the one who is mighty and powerful returns, whose voice will be unto all men, he shall say
“Prepare ye the way of the Lord, make his paths strait.. prepare ye the supper of the Lamb, make ready for the Bridegroom”
As you can see, Sections 33 and 65 both have the same prophetic theme and both use terminology that inter-relates to the parable of the Ten Virgins.
According to the parable, it is after the cry is made at midnight that all of the virgins “arise” but the foolish virgins do not have oil for their lamps and cannot enter into the marriage.
Putting this event into the context provided by modern revelation, the foolish virgins cannot enter Zion but must participate in the Beast system of Babylon which consists of buying and selling rather than having all things common through consecration.
The Lord has said that all things are spiritual to him. The parable of the Ten Virgins blends the spiritual with the temporal.
Modern revelation informs us that the oil in the vessels that the wise virgins use when the cry goes forth at midnight represents taking the Holy spirit as their guide.
57 For they that are wise and have received the truth, and have taken the Holy Spirit for their guide, and have not been deceived—verily I say unto you, they shall not be hewn down and cast into the fire, but shall abide the day. Doctrine and Covenants 45:57
I interpret that event referred to as taking the Holy Spirit as your guide to represent the anointing of the first comforter which abides continually and teaches all things. It comes at the time that a person or group of persons receive the baptism of fire and the Holy Ghost.
For this reason, it should not be surprising that Ezra and Northrop are commanded to admonish their listeners to-
“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..”
So, at midnight when the call goes forth, the first elders of the last kingdom, including Ezra and Northrup, will invite their prospects to repent and be baptized with water. The promise is that those that do so, will receive the baptism of fire and the Holy Ghost which is synonymous with having oil in their lamp after the cry is made.
The Lord declares that repentance followed by the baptism of water, fire and the Holy Ghost constitute the essence of the gospel and the mystical method for accessing the full benefits of the atonement.
He continues to reiterate that repentance, baptism of water, and the baptism of fire and the Holy Ghost, is the rock upon which his church will be built.
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.
15 And whoso having faith you shall confirm in my church, by the laying on of the hands, and I will bestow the gift of the Holy Ghost upon them.
16 And the Book of Mormon and the holy scriptures are given of me for your instruction; and the power of my Spirit quickeneth all things.
Notice how the gates of hell will not prevail against those that repent and receive the baptism of water, fire and the Holy Ghost when the servants go forth at midnight. That means that the gates of Hell do prevail against those that don’t take the Holy Spirit as their guide.
We are informed that at that time when the cry goes forth at midnight, the saints are to use the articles and covenants to govern the church, as documented in Section 20.
The Lord informs the saints that the Book of Mormon and the other scriptures that came forth from and/or were revised by the Prophet Joseph Smith, had been given for their instruction for those who are quickened by the Spirit.
The only thing necessary to make those scriptures come to life with total accuracy is the spirit of personal revelation that comes from the Comforter (continuous abiding of the Holy Ghost upon the endowment of the Baptism of fire and the Holy Ghost).
The true history of Mormonism reveals that the fulness of the Gospel was collectively rejected by the gentiles and that the Lord told them that they would not be required to live the laws of Zion until after a little season of chastisement and learning.
From this we learn that the spiritual reason that the saints were unable to live gospel law, establish Zion and be redeemed during that generation is because they never collectively received the baptism of fire and the Holy Ghost that they were anticipating.
The promise to Ezra and Northrop that they would be going forth at the time when the baptism of fire and the Holy Ghost would take place, was a future event.
The same promise had been given to Sidney Rigdon when he made his first visit to Joseph Smith and received a revelation by his hand. Again, modern revelation informs us that the time when this great power would be manifested would be in a future time when a “great work” takes place. Here is what the Lord says to Rigdon:
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.
7 And it shall come to pass that there shall be a great work in the land, even among the Gentiles, for their folly and their abominations shall be made manifest in the eyes of all people.
8 For I am God, and mine arm is not shortened; and I will show miracles, signs, and wonders, unto all those who believe on my name.
9 And whoso shall ask it in my name in faith, they shall cast out devils; they shall heal the sick; they shall cause the blind to receive their sight, and the deaf to hear, and the dumb to speak, and the lame to walk.
10 And the time speedily cometh that great things are to be shown forth unto the children of men;
Notice how the promise to Sidney Rigdon is that he would lay on hands as the apostles of old and people would receive the Holy Ghost but that promise would take place at the time of the “Great Work” that will take place when the “folly” and “abominations” of the of the “Gentiles” will be shown forth.
At that time, miracles will start to take place such as the casting out of devils, the healing of the sick and blind, etc. I believe that time is about to take place.
In Section 33 the Lord ends the revelation to Ezra and Northrop by letting them know that they will be players in the literal fulfillment of the parable of the Ten Virgins:
17 Wherefore, be faithful, praying always, having your lamps trimmed and burning, and oil with you, that you may be ready at the coming of the Bridegroom—
18 For behold, verily, verily, I say unto you, that I come quickly. Even so. Amen.
As you can see, Section 33 which was given in October, had the prophetic theme that directly relates the return of the servants to prepare the way of the Lord.
As previously mentioned, Section 65 which was given in October also had the same theme of the gathering and the one who gathers.
It begins by speaking of the mighty and powerful servant of the Lord whose voice is unto men ” prepare ye the way of the Lord, make his paths straight”
It informs us that the kingdom that Daniel prophesied of will roll forth to the ends of the earth from the keys of the kingdom that had been given to man on the earth.
The Lord’s servant Joseph Smith will cry out ”
“Prepare ye the way of the Lord, prepare ye the supper of the Lamb, make ready for the Bridegroom.”
The prophecy informs us that God’s kingdom must be set up on earth BEFORE his kingdom in heaven can come down to meet it. Hence, the gathering and consecration and establishment of Zion must take place BEFORE the coming of the Lord in glory.
One of the most important, underrated and misunderstood personalities of the restoration is William E. McLellin. In this revelation directed to him, which was given shortly after he joined the church and was given the Melchizedek Priesthood, the Lord congratulates him for receiving the “everlasting covenant, even the fulness of the Gospel”.
That is one of the few passages that enables us to link the fulness of the gospel and the everlasting covenant with the fulness of the priesthood that is mentioned in Section 124.
Isaiah 24 observes that the everlasting covenant would be broken by the saints in the latter days. (that prophecy is reiterated again in section one of the D&C).
The revelation makes it clear that William is still struggling and is not fully clean and has struggled with thoughts of adultery, however, it makes some unconditional promises about his involvement in the final gathering.
It declares that
“..thou shalt magnify thine office and push many people to Zion”
In that statement, he was paraphrasing a prophetic statement from the patriarchal blessing of Joseph of Egypt found in Deuteronomy 33. It was the descendants of Joseph that would conduct the gathering and push the saints together from the ends of the earth:
17 His glory is like the firstling of his bullock, and his horns are like the horns of unicorns: with them he shall push the people together to the ends of the earth: and they are the ten thousands of Ephraim, and they are the thousands of Manasseh.
The fourth revelation given in the month of October is given to Joseph and Sidney and it provides critical information regarding the saints that had been cast out of the Land of Zion.
As with the other three revelations given during the month of October, it has several prophetic pronouncements that are clearly related to the third watch gathering. In the revelation the Lord acknowledges that the Jackson County Saints-
“shall be redeemed although she is chastened for a little season… therefore let your hearts be comforted for all things shall work together for the good of them that walk uprightly and to the sanctification of the church for I will raise up unto myself a pure people that shall serve me in righteousness.”
How in the world were the saints that were being cast out of the Land of Zion supposed to take comfort in knowing that they had to wait for a little season and that God was going to raise up a people who would be obedient?
The answer would be forthcoming in the next revelation that would be given in the following month.
Section 101 was essentially an extension or continuation of section 100.
In it, the Lord speaks again about the saints that had been cast out of the land of Zion. They had been afflicted because of their transgression
Nevertheless God declares that-
“Yet I will own them and they shall be mine in that day when I shall come to make up my Jewels”
The above passage is revealing that it was the afflicted saints who had transgressed in the land of Zion that would eventually be raised up during the day when the Lord makes up his Jewels!!
The above passage was an unmistakable reference to the following passage in Malachi which identifies the Lord’s Jewels as those found in the Book of Remembrance.
16 ¶ Then they that feared the Lord spake often one to another: and the Lord hearkened, and heard it, and a book of remembrance was written before him for them that feared the Lord, and that thought upon his name.
17 And they shall be mine, saith the Lord of hosts, in that day when I make up my jewels; and I will spare them, as a man spareth his own son that serveth him.
18 Then shall ye return, and discern between the righteous and the wicked, between him that serveth God and him that serveth him not.
Those transgressing saints had either not yet received the baptism of fire and the Holy Ghost or they had left the narrow path and had not retained a remission of their sins.
Clearly there was at least a portion of them that were nevertheless pure in heart. They would be raised up and collected in the day that God gathers together his jewels.
Praise God almighty, that this bizarre story-line is totally consistent with the parable of the Ten Virgins.
The saints of the restoration failed to meet the Lord at the first appointed time and place when the Bridegroom tarried.
Then they all slumbered and slept.
But they will be raised up at midnight when the cry is made!
Very little is said in scripture about those of us living today, most of whom are descendants of the dispersed of Judah and the outcasts of Israel that began gathering into the church in the late 1830’s.
How many of us with be wise and take the Holy Spirit as our guide when the servants return?
More to come, keep watching.