Before continuing with part 2 of this series about the eternal law of certification and record keeping there are some house cleaning issues to take care of.
Last year I did a post about Mike Kennedy. Mike is apparently the first descendant of Joseph Smith Jr. to receive what the church erroneously claims to be the Melchizedek Priesthood.
According to Mike, the church has given him a special lifetime calling to seek out and gather, or unify, the remnants of the posterity of Joseph Smith Jr. and to be somewhat of a special emissary of the church in that capacity.
My wordpress analytics is showing that a large number of people have been viewing that article, largely due to someone placing a link to it on their facebook page. I can only assume that someone from the RLDS tradition has shared the article with their friends and that they find it interesting since their theology puts a big emphasis on the importance of Joseph Smith’s posterity in playing an important role in the end times scenario.
Prophecy informs us that an end times Davidic Servant will be instrumental in gathering Israel and redeeming Zion. Some students of the restoration believe that Joseph Smith was a lawful heir of the Davidic lineage even though part of his true heritage had been hid from the world in Christ (D&C 86:9 & 113:1-6)
Because of this, some people within both the LDS and RLDS traditions believe the Davidic Servant spoken of in prophecy will be a descendent of Joseph Smith.
As we progress further into this series we will find that some of the mysteries revealed in section 128 just might unlock the meaning of the Davidic prophecy about the opening of the sealed book found in Revelation Chapter 5.
Since there are several new subscribers from the RLDS tradition who are now reading this blog, it occurs to me that there may be others who would find the article about Mike Kennedy interesting.
Here is the link to that post.
Another related post that has recently became popular for the same reason is this one I did about the Secret Davidic Bloodline.
Secondly, for those of my readers who are drinking the cool-aid coming out of Brazil about the angel Moroni and the gold plates, I have created a pdf with additional information that I have not previously provided.
I don’t want to dedicate an entire post to this topic because most of my readers are not following the movement anymore and I don’t want to give this scam more publicity than it deserves.
Nevertheless, I know of a couple of my readers who are not grounded in scripture and they seem to be tossed to and fro with every wind of hearsay and heresy, and they are stumbling over the claims of this movement.
It is my hope that this pdf might provide a voice of reason to them and provide a historic template for why the claims of Mauricio Berger seem to miraculously match the past proclamations and speculations of Bob Moore before the claims of Mauricio became public.
The Savior gave a stern warning to beware of false prophets because following them and their teachings can be spiritually detrimental.
The pdf can be viewed here. Final mauricio blog 10
No More Rain by OneWhoIsSearching
In the past I have blurbed a few times about one of the few blogs that I follow. It is called OneWhoIsSearching. This person has been given a few gifts that are blessing the lives of people in understanding church history and doctrine. He covers some of the same topics I do but with greater clarity and brevity.
His tremendous ability to articulate concepts in written form is only exceeded by his ability to dig deep into LDS church history and search the scriptures in documenting the truths that he is bringing to light.
In his last post he continues to tease us about his forthcoming book by sharing a chapter from it.
It is just magnificent. Read and weep.
It is titled No More Rain
Cumorahland Summer TOUR Last Call!
As you all know, I am a firm believer that the events in the Book of Mormon took place primarily in North America. Because of this, I am generally supportive of the efforts of Wayne May regardless of how accurate his specific geographical speculations may be.
I have also enjoyed the work of documentary film maker Ryan Fisher and his Nephite Explorer series. I just noticed that they are sponsoring a Summer tour.
“Last call for our Cumorahland Summer Tour. Come join Wayne May and Ryan Fisher on a detailed tour of the last land of the Nephites. Explorer archaeological sites, natural wonders and meet Native tribes whose history is from the Book or Mormon. We start in Kirtland Ohio and work our way to the Hill Cumorah pageant. Registration will be closing soon so if interested email us at: Ryan@nephiteexplorer.org”
Watch the tour video here:
Dissecting and Parsing Modern Revelation
Mrs Watcher and I began doing a podcast series on modern revelation nearly two months ago. In the introduction to that series, we began dissecting and parsing section one of the Doctrine and Covenants which the Lord designated as the “preface” to that canon of scripture. In that podcast we identified the following four prophetic themes in that section:
1- (Verses 1-10) When the final work of restoration begins, the voice of warning will go forth in power by God’s disciples who were called and ordained to that work during Joseph Smith’s ministry and the LDS restoration movement. Those who have the faith to believe the unconditional promises of God as provided in the Doctrine and Covenants can know exactly who those authorized servants are that will go forth for the last time. This enables one to easily detect the imposters that claim to have authority to do that work.
2- (Verses 11-16) It was prophesied in that revelation that the saints of the restoration would stray from the ordinances and break the everlasting covenant. In short, they would rejected the fullness of the gospel just as Christ prophesied that they would in 3rd Nephi. During my last nine years of blogging I have provided countless posts which document the fact that this took place within just a few years after that revelation was given. Here is just one of many posts that provides a brief chronology of historical events that took place during Joseph Smith’s ministry.
3- (Verses 17-28) The everlasting covenant that was established and broken during Joseph Smith’s ministry will be REESTABLISHED when the final restoration begins.
4- (Verses 29-39) The first laborers of the last kingdom were given power to lay the FOUNDATION of the TRUE AND LIVING CHURCH during Joseph Smith’s ministry. Those same disciples will also bring it forth AGAIN out of darkness and obscurity when the final work begins.
In part two of the podcast series that we were recording, after getting through a few verses of section one, we got a phone call and had to put our recording on pause. We then had some visitors knock on our door. Following that we got distracted and had a series of events take place in our lives. Some of them were happy events that included a cruise to Mexico. Some were devastating, resulting in some significant financial losses. Nevertheless, we are working on regaining our equilibrium and hope to finish that recording very soon.
Those who have subscribed to our youtube channel will be getting a notification about that next podcast soon. We are sorry about the delay.
A few years ago I was able to document the fact that the LDS Church uses paid shills as online influencers. The corporate church has them monitor blogs such as mine that reveal doctrinal and historical truths that do not reflect kindly on the official sanitized history of the church and the false doctrines and traditions handed down by well meaning (and sometimes not so well meaning) church fathers.
They make comments to try and challenge or soften the hard reality of just how serious our current dilemma really is.
Because of the shills, I began to question if I wanted comments activated on my blog.
Additionally, it became very time consuming to monitor and reply to comments, delete spam, and prevent commenters from hijacking the comment thread.
Because of these issues, I decided to deactivate the comments section of this blog and simply invite people to email their comments and observation to me at onewhoiswatching [at] gmail.com. I would then share some of the conversations in my notable emails series which has worked well.
Nevertheless, I have recently received suggestions from readers to reactivate the comment section. They claim that some of the most informative information in this blog can be found in the comments section of my older posts. They feel that the observations, questions, answers and overall interaction that takes place there is very helpful in drilling down on the topics I cover.
For this reason, I have decided to reactivate the comments again for a while to test the waters. Comments will be monitored and only allowed if they are sincere, edifying, and on topic. Obviously, those that disagree with my interpretations are encouraged to challenge anything I say as long as they provide thoughtful scriptural and historical documentation to back up their challenges.
On with the Show
Ok, on with part 2 of this series on section 128 and the eternal law of certification and recording of the saving ordinances of the gospel.
As previously observed, the revelatory content in section 128 is taken from a letter that Joseph Smith wrote while running and hiding from his enemies.
The revelatory process is multidimensional. It takes place in many different ways.
Although many revelations came as a result of a direct question or historic event that required a revelation, some of the revelations that came to Joseph Smith came as a result of his pondering and meditating upon a subject that he desired greater clarity on.
This would be the impetus for the heavens to open and send a revelatory download, as demonstrated in section 76 which took place while Joseph and Sidney were working on the inspired version of the Bible:
19 And while we meditated upon these things, the Lord touched the eyes of our understandings and they were opened, and the glory of the Lord shone round about. Doctrine and Covenants 76:19
Letter writing seems to have been another springboard for receiving the revelatory download. In a sense, letter writing is just a written form of sharing one’s ponderings with others.
Joseph would sometimes begin writing a letter to a fellow laborer in the ministry or to the saints in general, regarding his doctrinal and prophetic ponderings and in the midst of writing the letter, the spirit would fall upon him and he would begin to prophesy or to reveal new doctrine.
Section 128 is not the only revelatory download that emerged in the middle of letter writing. Other profound revelations uttered by Joseph Smith are extracted from letters that he wrote.
Writing from Prison
A few of these revelatory letters came while he was in prison.
I find some poetic justice in that.
As the intercessory servant who took upon himself and acted out the sins of modern day Israel, just has Moses had done anciently, he apparently sinned as part of his ineffable intercession and therefore, found himself in prison. Some of his visits to jail were unjustified. Others were arguably justified according to the laws they were laboring under.
As aptly foretold in ancient scripture, Joseph Smith, as the end times Davidic Servant spoke presumptuously.
He sinned against the wife of his youth.
His transgressions resulted in his being chastened by the rod of man
But the poetic profundity of the situation does not end with his revelatory stints in prison. As we shall see later in section 128, the prophetic topic of setting the prisoners free was heavily on his mind as it well should have been.
“Let the dead speak forth anthems of eternal praise to the King Immanuel, who hath ordained, before the world was, that which would enable us to redeem them out of their prison; for the prisoners shall go free”
As we continue connecting doctrinal and prophetic dots found in Sections 124 and 128 and other passages with ancient prophecy, we shall see that the setting free of the prisoners by God’s Mighty and Strong Davidic Deliverer is a major theme of end times events.
Was joseph Smith being arrogant to think that he and his brethren were the ones who would set free the prisoners on the other side of the veil during the marvelous work?
Or will he and his brethren be among those prisoners?
I would suggest BOTH.
As a prisoner in the Liberty Jail, Joseph penned some letters that have remarkable revelatory content in them.
Section 122, in my humble, heretical opinion, contains a prophecy stating that Joseph would be cast into the jaws of hell AFTER being killed.
The prophecy heavily implies that he would be “dragged to prison and thine enemies prowl around thee like wolves for the blood of the lamb.”:
“cast into the pit, or into the hands of murderers and the sentence of death passed upon thee; if thou be cast into the deep [sea] ; if the billowing surge conspire against thee; if fierce winds become thine enemy; if the heavens gather blackness, and all the elements combine to HEDGE UP THE WAY; and above all, if the very jaws of hell shall gape open the mouth wide after thee, know thou my son, that all these things shall give thee experience, and shall be for thy good“.
I would suggest that the above snippet was not allegorical. It was chronologically literal.
A conspiracy of masonic murderers ( including some fellow Mormons) did in fact pass the death sentence upon him and murder him while he was in prison. Clearly, that part of the prophecy took place.
In the next chronological prophetic snippet, he is informed that following his death, the very jaws of hell would gape open to receive him into the deep [sea]. (this will take on more significance when we review the prophecy in Revelation chapter 5.)
Prophecy informs us that God’s servant(s) will return from the dead to have their filthy garments removed. (Zech 3:3-4) His/their return in filthy garments would imply that their time spent on the other side of the veil was not necessarily spent leisurely sipping Champaign in paradise while in the heavenly realms.
In the prophecy, Joseph is reminded that the Savior had descended below all who had gone before him, and had suffered beyond anything humanly possible.
The Son of Man hath descended below them all. Art thou greater than he?
Indeed Christ did descend below them all. After suffering and being scourged and being crucified for the sins of the world, he descended downward to visit the spirits in prison. Christ actually had prophesied of his up and coming fulfillment of the prophecy when he read the following words of Isaiah to his home congregation:
18 The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he hath anointed me to preach the gospel to the poor; he hath sent me to heal the brokenhearted, to preach deliverance to the captives, and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty them that are bruised, [to proclaim liberty to the captives, and the opening of the prison to them that are bound;
19 To preach the acceptable year of the Lord.
20 And he closed the book, and he gave it again to the minister, and sat down. And the eyes of all them that were in the synagogue were fastened on him. (Luke 4:18-20 and Isaiah 61:1 rendering)]
Upon hearing the words read to them and realizing Christ was referring to himself, the members of his ward tried to kill him. One has to wonder if his local bishop, high priest leader and home teacher were among the mob seeking his life. Christ mystically eluded them because the time of his crucifixion had not fully come.
After his crucifixion, Christ preached deliverance to the captives, and set at liberty them that are bruised and opened the prison to them that are bound. , (Luke 4 & Isaiah 61:1)
The remarkable thing about the words of Isaiah that Christ applied to himself is that they were to have a dual fulfillment, as do most prophecies. The prophecy would take place during the meridian of time and again in the end times when Zion is established.
I suppose that there are those that would challenge my interpretations above. They would submit that all passages about freeing the prisoners in prison had reference to Christs work in the meridian of time.
There is a huge problem with that assumption.
Chapters 42 and 49 in Isaiah are clearly speaking about the servant of the Lord, not the Lord himself. Furthermore, they are speaking about an end times event, not a meridian of time event.
Isaiah 42 and 49 are not the only prophetic chapters in Isaiah that speak of the freeing of the prisoners during the end times..
Pay close attention to the passages in Isaiah 24. They are clearly speaking about the very end times when the earth shall reel to and fro. At this time, many shall be shut up in prison and will eventually be visited
19 The earth is utterly broken down, the earth is clean dissolved, the earth is moved exceedingly.
20 The earth shall reel to and fro like a drunkard, and shall be removed like a cottage; and the transgression thereof shall be heavy upon it; and it shall fall, and not rise again.
21 And it shall come to pass in that day, that the Lord shall punish the host of the high ones that are on high, and the kings of the earth upon the earth.
22 And they shall be gathered together, as prisoners are gathered in the pit, and shall be shut up in the prison, and after many days shall they be visited.
23 Then the moon shall be confounded, and the sun ashamed, when the Lord of hosts shall reign in mount Zion, and in Jerusalem, and before his ancients gloriously
More on the prophetic narrative of setting the prisoners free later in this series, right now I want to touch on another revelatory letter written during the Kirtland era. It was written on November 27, 1832. The prophet appears to have had a revelation in the midst of writing the letter. This is how we got section 85.
The letter begins thusly, ( this and much of the letter was not canonized):
Brother Wm <W> Phelps
I say brother because I feel so from the heart and altho it is not long since I wrote a letter unto you yet I feel as tho<ugh> you would excuse me for writing this as I have many things which I wish to communicate some things which I will mention in this letter which are laying <great> with weight upon my mind
Whilst writing the letter, Joseph began to prophesy. This and some other parts of the letter were canonized:
6 Yea, thus saith the still small voice, which whispereth through and pierceth all things, and often times it maketh my bones to quake while it maketh manifest, saying:
7 And it shall come to pass that I, the Lord God, will send one mighty and strong, holding the scepter of power in his hand, clothed with light for a covering, whose mouth shall utter words, eternal words; while his bowels shall be a fountain of truth, to set in order the house of God, and to arrange by lot the inheritances of the saints whose names are found, and the names of their fathers, and of their children, enrolled in the book of the law of God;
8 While that man, who was called of God and appointed, that putteth forth his hand to steady the ark of God, shall fall by the shaft of death, like as a tree that is smitten by the vivid shaft of lightning.
The use of the term “one mighty and strong” in Joseph’s inspired utterance in this letter is taken from Isaiah 28 and is speaking of the same prophetic narrative. Clearly, this has reference to the Davidic Servant who will at some point in time show forth the fullness of priesthood power.
Interestingly, section 85, like section 128, addresses the importance of RECORD KEEPING.
1 It is the duty of the Lord’s clerk, whom he has appointed, to keep a history, and a general church record of all things that transpire in Zion, and of all those who consecrate properties, and receive inheritances legally from the bishop;
2 And also their manner of life, their faith, and works; and also of the apostates who apostatize after receiving their inheritances.
In section 128 Joseph reveals that the “books” that the dead will be judged out of, contain the “records” of the saving ordinances and covenants that people faithfully observed and participated in while entering into. Those records of the saving ordinances are the “works” that people are judged by.
The fact that there are multiple books to be opened possibly indicates that there are multiple ordinances and or covenantal observances, (the true definition of WORKS as per John’s words in the Book of Revelation) that need to be entered into, certified and recorded. Along with baptisms for the dead and living, there may well be other observances that will need to be recorded and certified by witnesses, earthly or otherwise.
Multiple Books to be Opened
The presence of multiple books as opposed to a singular book might also represent the documentation of the various levels of God’s laws and appointed glories, ie, celestial, terrestrial and telestial law.
Clearly, Baptisms for the living and for the dead need to be certified and recorded into the authorized book on earth so that they can be entered into the authorized books in heaven.
According to section 85, the law of consecration also needs to be recorded.
According to the revelation, if one does not consecrate and have it faithfully recorded, they will not be in the “book of remembrance“:
all they who are not found write [written] in the book of remmemberance shall find none inheritence in that day but they shall be cut assunder and their portion shall be appointed them among unbelievers where is wailing and gnashing of teeth (spelling not corrected)
That warning was followed up by a sobering reminder that God was speaking through Joseph Smith and that God would fulfill his promises:
“..these things I say not of myself therefore as the Lord speaketh he will also fulfill..”
According to what the Lord revealed to Joseph Smith, the written records on earth make possible the written records in heaven and that is the essence of what the Lord meant when he gave men the power to bind (seal) on earth and in heaven through priesthood keys, associated covenants, by virtue of the recording thereof .
19 And I will give unto thee the keys of the kingdom of heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt bind on earth shall be bound in heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven. Matthew 16:19
18 Verily I say unto you, Whatsoever ye shall abind on earth shall be bound in heaven: and whatsoever ye shall loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven. Matthew 18:18
Indeed, whatsoever you [bind, seal, or] record on earth shall be recorded in heaven:
8 Now, the nature of this ordinance consists in the power of the priesthood, by the revelation of Jesus Christ, wherein it is granted that whatsoever you bind on earth shall be bound in heaven, and whatsoever you loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven. Or, in other words, taking a different view of the translation, whatsoever you record on earth shall be recorded in heaven, and whatsoever you do not record on earth shall not be recorded in heaven…
9 It may seem to some to be a very bold doctrine that we talk of—a power which records or binds on earth and binds in heaven. Nevertheless, in all ages of the world, whenever the Lord has given a dispensation of the priesthood to any man by actual revelation, or any set of men, this power has always been given.
Hence, whatsoever those men did in authority, in the name of the Lord, and did it truly and faithfully, and kept a proper and faithful record of the same, it became a law on earth and in heaven, and could not be annulled, according to the decrees of the great Jehovah. This is a faithful saying. Who can hear it?
We learn from section 85, that the consecration of properties and the obtaining of legal inheritances must be conducted by the authorized “bishop” in Zion who is-
“the man that God has appointed in a legal way agreeable to the law given to organiz[e] and regulate the church and all the affairs of th[e] same; from the bishop
Further, the consecration and obtaining of legal inheritances must be faithfully recorded by the Lord’s Clerk.
It would appear, from a composite reading of sections 85, 128 and other related sections, that the records on earth of those who are baptized and live the law of consecration are entered into the books in heaven, spoken of by John the Revelator.
This may all seem like the legalistic overkill of the natural man and his version of the gospel of works, but it is simply eternal law that was established before the foundation of the world. Who are we to judge the expediency of what God has required for the plan of salvation to be justified?
Their Names Enrolled with the People of God
In my humble opinion, section 85 gives a blood curdling warning that every orthodox Mormon should take very seriously.
It informs the saints that those who have not entered into the law of consecration are not allowed to have their names enrolled with the people of God or to have their genealogy kept or found in any of the records of the church:
3 It is contrary to the will and commandment of God that those who receive not their inheritance by consecration, agreeable to his law… should have their names enrolled with the people of God.
4 Neither is their genealogy to be kept, or to be had where it may be found on any of the records or history of the church.
5 Their names shall not be found, neither the names of the fathers, nor the names of the children written in the book of the law of God, saith the Lord of Hosts.
Did you catch that?
If you have not faithfully entered into the true law of consecration and received your inheritance from the true Bishop, as outlined in the Doctrine and Covenants, you cannot have your name enrolled with the people of God and your genealogy is not to be kept or found on any of the records of the church!
Why do Mormons spend so much time doing endless genealogical research and work for the dead when they have no authority to do so and it is to no avail?
The Mormon Church is claiming to have the Melchizedek Priesthood.
They are claiming to have valid Bishops.
They claim to have the authority and mandate to be doing valid baptisms for the dead
These are serious claims with serious consequences.
They are doing genealogy work and work for the dead even though nobody living today has the Melchizedek priesthood nor has anyone today entered into the true law of consecration according to the protocol given by the holy word of God.
Bottom-line: Section 85 informs us that genealogy work by those who have not literally consecreated according to God’s protocol, under the true Melchizedek Priesthood and a valid Bishop, is not accepted by God and is contrary to the word of God.
Who can hear this?
Are some of the “Books” Exclusively Witnessed from Heaven?
I am guessing that eternal law may also require records kept by angels on the other side of the veil who can witness spiritual things that other mortals cannot. In my opinion, it is not just the physical act of water baptism that needs to be recorded in heaven. We know that the spiritual rebirth of fire and the Holy Ghost must take place, which follows the offering of a broken heart and contrite spirit:
20 And ye shall offer for a sacrifice unto me a broken heart and a contrite spirit. And whoso cometh unto me with a broken heart and a contrite spirit, him will I baptize with fire and with the Holy Ghost, even as the Lamanites, because of their faith in me at the time of their conversion, were baptized with fire and with the Holy Ghost, and they knew it not. 3 Nephi 9:20
For this reason, it is not unreasonable to suspect that one of the books contains the record of those who have offered up a broken heart and a contrite spirit and thusly been born of fire and the Holy Ghost.
“Not only to say, but to do”
One of the reasons that Mormons are moving forward with baptisms for the dead and genealogy work, is that they have been deceived into thinking they are living the higher law.
Despite having rejected the fullness of the Gospel and having failed to live the law of consecration (and having been rejected as a church with their dead), is the fact that the Brigham Young Masonic Temple Ritual requires the saints to give lip service to the law of consecration. This lulls them into a sense of false security, thinking that they are living the law of consecration even though they are not.
Here is how the covenant is administered in the Masonic LDS Temple:
We are instructed to give unto you the law of consecration as contained in the book of Doctrine and Covenants, in connection with the law of the gospel and the law of sacrifice, which you have already received. It is that you do consecrate yourselves, your time, talents, and everything with which the Lord has blessed you, or with which he may bless you, to the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, for the building up of the kingdom of God on the earth and for the establishment of Zion.
Each of you bring your right arm to the square.
You and each of you covenant and promise before God, angels, and these witnesses at this altar, that you do accept the law of consecration as contained in this, the book of Doctrine and Covenants [he displays the book], in that you do consecrate yourselves, your time, talents, and everything with which the Lord has blessed you, or with which he may bless you, to the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, for the building up of the kingdom of God on the earth and for the establishment of Zion.
Each of you bow your head and say, “Yes.”
That will do
Notice that even though “endowed” Mormons make the promise to “accept” the “law of consecration as contained” in the “Doctrine and Covenants”, and to “consecrate.. everything… to the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter day Saints”, it is just an empty promise because they do not really consecration everything. Aside from a corrupted form of tithing, they retain the remainder of their riches to use as they desire while the poor among them continue to suffer financially.
Class distinction is a core reality in modern Mormon as both rich and poor mingle among each other in the church. They do not become temporally equal as commanded by God. Without temporal equality there cannot be spiritual equality.
“I say unto you, be one; and if ye are not one ye are not mine.” (D&C 38:27)
4 For a permanent and everlasting establishment and order unto my church, to advance the cause, which ye have espoused, to the salvation of man, and to the glory of your Father who is in heaven;
5 That you may be equal in the bonds of heavenly things, yea, and earthly things also, for the obtaining of heavenly things.
6 For if ye are not equal in earthly things ye cannot be equal in obtaining heavenly things;
7 For if you will that I give unto you a place in the celestial world, you must prepare yourselves by doing the things which I have commanded you and required of you.
8 And now, verily thus saith the Lord, it is expedient that all things be done unto my glory, by you who are joined together in this order; (D&C 78 See also D&C 104)
Nobody actually consecrates everything to the church and nobody actually receives their inheritance from the Bishop.
..not only to say, but to do
As previously documented in a post, there is no reason for a valid bishop to exist without a valid bishop’s storehouse.
The Lord in his infinite foreknowledge knew that the condemned church would take LIGHTLY his commandments and go into apostasy.
He warned them that they were to KEEP THE FORMER COMMANDMENTS, (including consecration) NOT ONLY TO SAY, BUT TO DO!
God knew in advance that the modern corporate church would give lip service to living consecration without actually doing it.
Here is the warning and condemnation given in section 84:
54 .. your minds in times past have been darkened because of unbelief, and because you have treated lightly the things you have received—
55 Which vanity and unbelief have brought the whole church under condemnation.
56 And this condemnation resteth upon the children of Zion, even all.
57 And they shall remain under this condemnation until they repent and remember the new covenant, even the Book of Mormon and the former commandments which I have given them, not only to say, but to do according to that which I have written—
58 That they may bring forth fruit meet for their Father’s kingdom; otherwise there remaineth a scourge and judgment to be poured out upon the children of Zion.
59 For shall the children of the kingdom pollute my holy land? Verily, I say unto you, Nay.
There are many LDS fringe groups that love to quote the above passages but emphasize or only focus on remembering the New Covenant and the Book of Mormon.
They misinterpret what “New Covenant” has reference to in this passage and conveniently neglect to stress the importance of the FORMER COMMANDMENTS given by the Lord through Joseph Smith. Those former commandments are represented by the revelations contained in the Doctrine and Covenants which includes the LAW OF CONSECRATION .
The living of the law of consecration by saints in past generations is documented in the “New Covenant” (New Testament) and the Book of Mormon which is a companion testament to the New Testament. These canons of scripture validate and document the law from a historical point of view.
Both Testaments document that the saints of God that enter into covenant must become ONE and have all things in common temporally. Nevertheless, the “former commandments” given to the restoration saints contain the commandment from God for them to live it!
Sections 85 and 128 represent a fascinating form of inspired writing from which revelation emerges and both of them emphasize the importance of Keeping RECORDS that can be certified by the mouth of two or three witnesses.
Section 85 came during the Kirtland era that I refer to as the revelatory sweet spot of Joseph’s 15 year ministry when the fullness of the gospel was on the earth and the vast majority of the revelations were pounding down upon Joseph’s head.
As you can see from the graphic below, 105 canonized revelations rained down upon the head of Joseph Smith during a short 5 1/2 year period in the early Kirtland years while there were only about 14 canonized revelations that were received during the last 7 1/2 years of the Nauvoo era.
Section 128 on the other hand, came during the Nauvoo era at the tail end of his ministry when the heavens were closing and darkness was overcoming the saints.
When I first began comparing the teachings and personal life of Joseph Smith during the Kirtland era with the teachings and personal life of Joseph Smith during the Nauvoo era, I was perplexed because I saw two different Joseph Smiths.
I referred to this conundrum as the Nauvoo dilemma.
It has since been revealed to me that Joseph Smith was simply acting out the sins of apostate Israel as the Davidic intercessor.
Interestingly, Joseph Smith was warning the world of impending judgments that were about to take place during the Kirtland years, yet during the Nauvoo years he completely changed his prophetic rhetoric and spoke of the missionary work that was to take place over the unforeseeable future.
The reason for this is because his intercessory offering delayed the impending judgments for four generations.
As documented in scripture, Joseph Smith was a latter day Moses, who was making a temporal atonement offering for latter day Israel and taking their sins upon his own head.
He did this much the same way that Moses offered himself as an atonement offering for ancient Israel, causing Moses to sin before the Lord. This resulted in Moses not being allowed to cross over into the promised land. (I realize this is repetitive to many of my readers, but I have several new readers that need this foundational information)
Joseph Smith was showing signs of acting out the sins that were being placed upon his head.
The Joseph Smith of Kirtland vs. the Joseph Smith of Nauvoo
Indeed, the historical Joseph Smith of the Kirtland era was quite different from the historical Joseph Smith of the Nauvoo era-
The Kirtland Joseph was very merciful to all those that hated and challenged him and he was confident in the Lord.
The Nauvoo Joseph became extremely angry, fearful, condemning and paranoid.
The Kirtland Joseph and the Book of Mormon he brought forth warned the saints against involvement in secret orders with secret oaths, including Masonry. For this reason the Kirtland Saints refused to participate in Masonry.
The Nauvoo Joseph allowed the Danites to exist and he became a Mason, while encouraging his brethren to enter into the craft. He also utilized secret forbidden oaths and signs in the Council of Fifty.
The true spiritual endowment that had accompanied the restored church when the fullness was on the earth was replaced with a corrupt, outward, temple ritual patterned largely after the ritual in the Satanic Masonic craft.
The Kirtland Joseph and the revelations he brought forth admonished the saints to live the law of consecration and warned about the urgency of living it and the consequences of breaking that covenant.
The Nauvoo Joseph prevented the Saints from trying to re-establish it. When the saints approached Joseph with the desire to once again attempt living the law of consecration Joseph told them the time was not right. He prevented the saints from attempting to reestablish the covenant that had been broken and took personal responsibility for them not attempting it again.
The Kirtland Joseph taught the Biblical doctrine of God. He canonized Lectures on faith which taught the biblical character and nature of God and how there is only one true God who has been God from everlasting to everlasting.
It appears that the Nauvoo Joseph taught (in the King Follett and other sermons) that God the Father was once a mortal man who worked out his salvation like a countless array of other Gods that went before him. That heresy contradicts the Bible, Lectures on Faith, and the very scriptures Joseph had been instrumental in bringing forth.
The Kirtland Joseph and the revelations he brought forth stressed fidelity and the importance of the celestial marital doctrine of monogamy.
The Joseph of Nauvoo appears to have taught and practiced some sort of spiritual wife doctrine that involved the sealing of multiple wives to one man.
There is an overwhelming amount of evidence and prophecy to suggest that the Nauvoo Joseph transgressed before the Lord because the saints of the restoration rejected the fullness. As an intercessory servant he transgressed and had to die for his intercessory offering.
One of the serious sins among believers in the LDS restoration is the idolatry of prophet worship.
The belief that a true prophet can never sin or lead anyone astray is insidious and unscriptural.
Many people feel that every single thing that Joseph taught and did was categorically correct simply because he was a true prophet of God. Although we latter day saints outwardly reject the doctrine of infallibility, we secretly believe it.
The prophet Joseph Smith made the following statement:
“This morning . . . I visited with a brother and sister from Michigan, who thought that ‘a prophet is always a prophet’; but I told them that a prophet is a prophet only when he was acting as such” (Joseph Smith,_History of the Church, 5:265).
According to David Whitmer Joseph Smith asked the Lord why his revelation to sell the copyright to the Book of Mormon failed.
“Joseph reportedly enquired of the Lord through the Urim and Thummim and, according to Whitmer, received a revelation that stated, Some revelations are of God: some revelations are of man: and some revelations are of the devil (Joseph Smith Papers)
Few Mormons realize that the Lord sometimes uses his prophets to test his people by allowing them to teach things that are contrary to the Holy Word of God. Those who have not learned to test every revelation and trust in the Word of the Lord instead of the Arm of Flesh can easily be deceived.
Even when a prophet is functioning as a true prophet, they can have misguided speculations about doctrines that God has not yet revealed to them. Beyond those basic facts about prophets, Joseph Smith had a special calling as an intercessory prophet who took upon himself and acted out the sins of apostate Israel. All of this has already been documented in previous posts and cannot be rehashed here.
The amazing thing about the dark time in Nauvoo is that Joseph continued to bring forth some amazing truths that were ultimately canonized even though few people pay attention to them or understand them.
Continuing with section128-
10 And again, for the precedent, Matthew 16:18, 19: And I say also unto thee, That thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it. And I will give unto thee the keys of the kingdom of heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt bind on earth shall be bound in heaven; and whatsoever thou shalt loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven.
11 Now the great and grand secret of the whole matter, and the summum bonum of the whole subject that is lying before us, consists in obtaining the powers of the Holy Priesthood. For him to whom these keys are given there is no difficulty in obtaining a knowledge of facts in relation to the salvation of the children of men, both as well for the dead as for the living.
12 Herein is glory and honor, and immortality and eternal life—The ordinance of baptism by water, to be immersed therein in order to answer to the likeness of the dead, that one principle might accord with the other; to be immersed in the water and come forth out of the water is in the likeness of the resurrection of the dead in coming forth out of their graves; hence, this ordinance was instituted to form a relationship with the ordinance of baptism for the dead, being in likeness of the dead.
13 Consequently, the baptismal font was instituted as a similitude of the grave, and was commanded to be in a place underneath where the living are wont to assemble, to show forth the living and the dead, and that all things may have their likeness, and that they may accord one with another—that which is earthly conforming to that which is heavenly, as Paul hath declared, 1 Corinthians 15:46, 47, and 48:
The above passages have some very profound, yet subtle information in them. For instance, the Lord is telling Peter that he will be given the keys of the kingdom of heaven.
I believe that is the only place in the standard works where those keys and that term is expressly used. So please don’t confuse the term “kingdom of Heaven” with “kingdom of God on earth” or the many variations that have reference to the kingdom of God on earth. They are not the same.
Why is this important?
Because there is a HUGE difference between the KEYS of the Kingdom [of God on earth] that Joseph Smith got from John the Baptist, vs. the keys of the kingdom of God in heaven that Christ gave to Peter.
One could argue that those who were ordained to the Melchizedek Priesthood at the Morley Farm that magnified their calling had been given the keys of the kingdom of Heaven, but I am not sure if that can be definitively proven or if an additional anointing from the Lord is required.
What we do know is that the ultimate fruits that should accompany the fullness of priesthood and the true church we not present within just a few years after the fullness was restored.
The grand secret, as pointed out by Joseph Smith, is in obtaining the “powers” of the Holy Priesthood so that one can open the heavens and get answers to questions.
The introduction to the concept of Baptism for the Dead has been an extremely controversial one. The first time the concept is mentioned in scripture is in 1 Corinthians 15.
The first time it shows up in modern revelation is in section 124. Yet the first known sermon when Joseph Smith taught the principle was actually BEFORE section 124 was given!
The sermon was delivered at Nauvoo, Ill., on August 15, 1840 (Saturday). It was at the funeral of Seymour Brunson, a prominent member of the Church in Nauvoo. This is according to a reminiscent account of Simon Baker which is in the Journal History, LDS Archives.
On the one hand, it is strange that there appears to be only one known reminiscence of this radical teaching during that sermon. It seems that such a topic would have been the talk of the town and would have created much buzz and chatter.
On the other hand, it makes sense that the principle of Baptism for the dead was revealed to Joseph Smith prior to section 124 because the principal is mentioned so matter of factly in the revelation, as if the saints should have been familiar with the doctrine already.
Also, section 124 begins in such a strange manner as to imply that the first part of the revelation had been withheld by Joseph Smith or that the context in which the revelation was received was withheld:
1 Verily, thus saith the Lord unto you, my servant Joseph Smith, I am well pleased with your offering and acknowledgments, which you have made; for unto this end have I raised you up, that I might show forth my wisdom through the weak things of the earth.
What offering and acknowledgements had he just made that represented the express purpose for which Joseph had been raised up?
Don’t you just hate it when you only get the climax of a storyline without the context?
Of course those that have been reading this blog have a pretty good idea what I think the offering was.
So now we need to deal with the ominous and controversial topic of baptism for the dead.
In verse 8 of section128 Joseph had indicated that baptism could be conducted by a person in their own propria persona, or they could have it done by means of their own agents.
A Mystical Gospel based on Proxy
Of course, the foundational principle of the Gospel of Christ is that of proxy. None of us are able to save ourselves from our fallen state and the demands of justice, but our Savior, Jesus Christ, the Redeemer has been sent to provide a proxy intercession that we cannot provide for ourselves.
That being the case, is it a stretch to suggest that in order for those that have lived and died without being baptized could have their work done by proxy to get their names written in the books from which all men will be judged? After all, God has stated categorically seven times in the standard works that one must believe and be baptized to be saved.
The vast majority of Protestantism is deeply offended by the notion.
Interestingly, there are people in LDS fringe groups that also have indigestion regarding this doctrine of baptism for the dead. I recently noticed the following criticisms on a blog post.
I’ve been researching “baptism for the dead” the last few days and I can find absolutely nothing in the BOM that supports the concept, but I find quite a bit that disagrees with it:
1 Nephi 15:32-33, 1 Nephi 10:21, 2 Nephi 9:25, Helaman 13:38, Alma 48:23, and most devastatingly, Alma 34:31-34 and Moroni 8:22-24. This, of course, supports the Bible in that this mortal probation is given us to choose God or not. (We consequently have major problems with D&C 138 and 124, but that’s another story. And think of how much time and money is spent on the dead instead of the living.)I consider D&C 137 to be true revelation, and since it was canonized in the 1980s, shouldn’t it apply to the LDS people today?
4 I saw the beautiful streets of that kingdom, which had the appearance of being paved with gold.
5 I saw Father Adam and Abraham; and my father and my mother; my brother Alvin, that has long since slept;
6 And marveled how it was that he had obtained an inheritance in that kingdom, seeing that he had departed this life before the Lord had set his hand to gather Israel the second time, and had not been baptized for the remission of sins.
7 Thus came the voice of the Lord unto me, saying: All who have died without a knowledge of this gospel, who would have received it if they had been permitted to tarry, shall be heirs of the celestial kingdom of God;
8 Also all that shall die henceforth without a knowledge of it, who would have received it with all their hearts, shall be heirs of that kingdom;
9 For I, the Lord, will judge all men according to their works, according to the desire of their hearts.
10 And I also beheld that all children who die before they arrive at the years of accountability are saved in the celestial kingdom of heaven.
I sympathize with the concerns that are being raised above.
However, I want to once again emphasize the difference between the mystical grace of God and associated laws that were established from before the foundation of the world, VS. the legalistic works of the natural man and the gospel of works that he preaches.
Reframing the Concept of Works
Joseph Smith suggests in section 128 that being judged according to our works out of the books has nothing to do with the gospel of works legalism found in apostate Christianity and Mormonism. He informs us that the term “works” as used in those passages means something quite different than one might suppose.
In the sixth chapter of John, Christ surprises the Jews with a similar definition.
28 Then said they unto him, What shall we do, that we might work the works of God?
29 Jesus answered and said unto them, This is the work of God, that ye believe on him whom he hath sent.
The word “Imputed” in the following passage is of extreme importance in understanding grace and justification:
20 He (Abraham) staggered not at the promise of God through unbelief; but was strong in faith, giving glory to God;
21 And being fully persuaded that, what he (Christ) had promised, he was able also to perform.
22 And therefore it was imputed (credited) to him (Abraham) for righteousness.
23 Now it was not written for his sake alone, that it was imputed to him;
24 But for us also, to whom it shall be imputed, if we believe on him that raised up Jesus our Lord from the dead;
25 Who was delivered for our offences, and was raised again for our justification.
According to the 1828 Websters, the word imputed means “Charged to the account of”, “attributed”, “ascribed”.
According to the Strongs concordance, it means to “Count”.
Some of the other translations of the New Testament use the word “credit”
They all mean essentially the same thing.
Therefore IT WAS [also] CREDITED TO HIM AS RIGHTEOUSNESS. Now not for his sake only was it written that it was credited to him, but for our sake also, to whom it will be credited, as those who believe in Him who raised Jesus our Lord from the dead, He who was delivered over because of our transgressions, and was raised because of our justification.
So then what is the point of all this? The point is this: When Paul says in Romans 4:22 (and verses 3, 5, and 9) that “faith is credited as righteousness,” he does not mean that our faith is our righteousness. He means that our faith unites us to Christ so that God’s righteousness in Christ is credited to us.
In part three, we shall deconstruct an amazing Davidic Servant prophecy found in the Book of Revelation using some of the keys that Joseph Smith provides in section 128.