Five Epiphanies From Sections 124 and 128
After dissecting section 128 and other related scriptures over the years, I have had five ginormous epiphanies that I wanted share to wrap this series up.
Two of them were shared in the last post.
The third, fourth and fifth will be presented in this post.
Let me warn you, these epiphanies if true, are brutal, yet remarkably illuminating. I suggest that you brace yourself and put your seat belt and crash helmet on, lest the reading of this post leaves you laying in the fetal position crying like a little baby.
Nevertheless, God provides a solution for the current dilemma.
Here is a summary of the five epiphanies
My first epiphany had to do with the definition of “works” in the following passage contained in the book of Revelation.
12 And I saw the dead, small and great, stand before God; and the books were opened: and another book was opened, which is the book of life: and the dead were judged out of those things which were written in the books, according to their works.
13 And the sea gave up the dead which were in it; and death and hell delivered up the dead which were in them: and they were judged every man according to their works
According to Joseph Smith, the word “works” as used in the above passage refers to the properly authorized “Baptisms for the Dead” and the faithful record of these sacred ordinances which were requisite for salvation from the foundation of the world. It goes without saying that authorized and recorded baptisms for the living are included in this definition of “works”.
This is significant because the above passages is one of the most powerful evidences used when the works vs. grace through faith debate emerges.
Apparently, the “books” that are to be opened so that we can be judged according to what is in them has to do with the saving ordinances of the gospel and related covenantal observances, not our feeble natural man efforts to do good and keep every commandment according to the letter of the law.
In other words, first we believe and have faith in Christ and his atoning sacrifice.
As a result of that faith, we enter into covenant with Christ through baptism while making a public confession of our faith. This covenant and public confession is then faithfully certified and recorded on earth so that it can be recorded in heaven.
I find this completely consistent with Biblical Christianity upon which the LDS restoration movement was built upon.
It is consistent with the seven declarations in the scriptures (provided in the last post) that state that he who believes and is baptized will be saved.
The second epiphany I had was that the names of the recipients of the saving ordinances as documented in these books (or records) kept in heaven are categorically dictated by the names of the recipients of the saving ordinances found in the books (or records) that have been faithfully kept by human priesthood authority on earth.
Hence the tremendous importance of human priesthood authority not only in administering the ordinances of salvation, but in keeping a faithful certification and record of the ordinances performed, as per the protocol set up by God from before the foundation of the world.
The third epiphany has to do with the necessity of a “welding link” that binds or seals the fathers with the children and the children with the fathers into the new covenant.
Elijah the prophet appeared to Joseph and Oliver in the Kirtland Temple in April of 1836 to declare that the prophecy in Malachi about his return to turn the hearts of the fathers to the children had been completely fulfilled.
Few people realize that what Elijah was referring to, was his return seven years previous in his New Testament identity as John the Baptizer to restore the priesthood keys by which the fathers and children could be saved and united in the gospel covenant.
Paul informs us in the book of Hebrews that the Old Testament fathers are dependent on their posterity in order to be made perfect, and their posterity is dependent upon the Old Testament fathers before they can be made perfect in the gospel covenant.
Apparently the eternal laws and agreements entered into in the preexistence required an all or nothing, collective group covenant of oneness, which sheds light on the law of consecration being one of the required fruits of the true church.
Related to this is what Joseph Smith refers to as a binding or sealing “welding link” that binds the living with the dead through proxy ordinance work and the faithful records of these works.
My fourth epiphany has to do with the fact that since both the new testament saints and the restoration saints attempted to embrace the fulness but ultimately stumbled and went into apostasy, they failed to establish the welding link.
The Old Testament fathers as well as we, their posterity who later received the fulness of the gospel and covenant, have not been sealed/bound together in the covenant as mandated by eternal law. Hence, precious few if any have had their names entered into the authorized earthly records and the corresponding heavenly records.
Everyone on the other side of the veil who has not been resurrected is in bondage as a disembodied spirit. Further, it appears as if those that have been quickened and caught up with and to the city of Enoch are still at the mercy of the agents of God on the earth before the Zion of Enoch from above can be reunited with the Zion from below”
The Lord hath gathered all things in one. The Lord hath brought down Zion from above. The Lord hath brought up Zion from beneath. (D&C 84:100)
Those in Enoch’s Zion are in a terrestrial, paradisiacal suspension and have not yet become perfect or saved nor can they be until they have been united with their dead through the welding link. (interestingly, Joseph used the terms perfect and saved synonymously in 128)
According to sections 124 & 128 and the un-sanitized history of the church, the saints were rejected with their dead. This means that our unresurrected ancestors on the other side of the veil are in prison and will remain in prison until the authorized servants of the Lord complete the welding link.
The fifth epiphany has to do with the fact that the Lord’s end times Servant from the lineage of Judah is the one that sets the prisoners free by overseeing the completion of the saving ordinances and the faithful certification and recording of them. Thus completing the welding link between the fathers and the children.
Are the Untaught the Only Spirits in Prison?
Allow me to attempt to development some of these concepts further.
We know that one of the things that Christ did after providing the infinite and eternal atonement that involved his suffering and crucifixion and resurrection, was to go into the world of spirits and to set the prisoners free.
Interestingly, the exact same prophetic narrative shows up in end times prophecy and in section 128.
Prophecy informs us that another freeing of the prisoners must take place as part of the end times scenario.
Joseph’s intervention and intercessory offering is typological to what the Savior did. Is it unreasonable to suggest that Joseph had to be thrust into spirit prison in order to lead the prisoners out at the appointed time?
Two of the most prolific Davidic Prophecies in Isaiah are contained in Isaiah 42 and 49. Both of them contain the prophetic theme of God’s servant setting the prisoners free.
In Isaiah 42 we find that God’s servant was given as a covenant of the people, for the light of the Gentiles. It is the calling of the latter day servant to bring the prisoners out of prison:
6 I the Lord have called thee in righteousness, and will hold thine hand, and will keep thee, and give thee for a covenant of the people, for a light of the Gentiles;
7 To open the blind eyes, to bring out the prisoners from the prison, and them that sit in darkness out of the prison house.
The same mind blowing narrative shows up in Isaiah 49 but with more detail.
The Davidic lamentation has the servant lamenting that his first attempt at gathering Israel was in vain, but then he declares that-
“though Israel be not gathered, yet shall I be glorious in the eyes of the Lord and my God shall be my strength“
The Lord declares that he has given his stumbling servant to be a
“covenant of the people, to establish the earth. That thou mayest say to the prisoners, Go forth”
As you can see, the Davidic servant of the end times will set the prisoners free!
That is exactly what Joseph Smith was referring to in section 128 when he made the following declaration:
22 Brethren, shall we not go on in so great a cause? Go forward and not backward. Courage, brethren; and on, on to the victory! Let your hearts rejoice, and be exceedingly glad. Let the earth break forth into singing. 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.
23 Let the mountains shout for joy, and all ye valleys cry aloud; and all ye seas and dry lands tell the wonders of your Eternal King! And ye rivers, and brooks, and rills, flow down with gladness. Let the woods and all the trees of the field praise the Lord; and ye solid rocks weep for joy! And let the sun, moon, and the morning stars sing together, and let all the sons of God shout for joy! And let the eternal creations declare his name forever and ever! And again I say, how glorious is the voice we hear from heaven, proclaiming in our ears, glory, and salvation, and honor, and immortality, and eternal life; kingdoms, principalities, and powers!
Joseph clearly saw himself and his brethren as the ones who had the Davidic mandate, calling, right and priesthood power to fulfill the prophecies in Isaiah 42 and 49 in setting the prisoners free.
Goodness knows that the curse mentioned in Malachi, will eventually go forth to devour the earth. I have shown in previous posts that it did begin going forth during Joseph’s ministry but it was delayed by an intercessory intervention.
According to Section one, the earth still needs to be “established”!
Those that are in prison need to be set free by God’s Davidic covenant servant because earthly records of the ordinances are requisite before heavenly records can be opened in the judgment.
But who exactly are the prisoners that are in prison?
I think I better understand this question as a result of studying sections 124, 128, Isaiah 42 & 49 and related end times prophecies and events of the LDS restoration.
The answer might surprise you because you have been indoctrinated to think that the only ones in spiritual bondage are those that never had the gospel preached to them in mortality and never had the opportunity to be baptized.
I am going to challenge that notion.
A careful reading of 1 Cor 29 wherein Paul is speaking of baptisms for the dead shows that the topic of the chapter and Pauls discourse is about the general reality of a physical resurrection, not missionary work for the dead who never heard the gospel!!!!
That should be a huge clue.
The New Testament saints were aware of and practicing the ordinance of baptism for the dead. Indeed, Paul brought the concept up not only to prove that there is to be a physical resurrection, but also to show that without the ordinance, the saints were in jeopardy of being made perfect:
29 Else what shall they do which are baptized for the dead, if the dead rise not at all? why are they then baptized for the dead?
30 And why stand we in jeopardy every hour?
Again, a careful contextual reading of that chapter shows that the underlying topic being addressed was the resurrection of all of the dead, not just those that lived when the gospel was not on the earth. He was not specifically addressing missionary work for those who had not had the gospel preached to them although they obviously represent a subcategory.
We know from the additional scriptures brought forth through Joseph Smith that our ancient Old Testament fathers had a knowledge of the gospel. Abraham was promised that his seed would proclaim the message of the gospel in a strange land in the latter days. (Abr 2:6)
In section 128, Joseph Smith quotes Paul, to demonstrate why the New testament saints were performing baptisms for the dead.
15 And now, my dearly beloved brethren and sisters, let me assure you that these are principles in relation to the dead and the living that cannot be lightly passed over, as pertaining to our salvation. For their salvation is necessary and essential to our salvation, as Paul says concerning the fathers—that they without us cannot be made perfect—neither can we without our dead be made perfect.
Joseph is quoting Paul and showing that Abraham and all of our Old Testament fathers have not and cannot be made perfect unless we, the believing portion of their posterity are also saved according to and in total conformance to the faith and “works” (adherance to baptism and the certified recording of it) that were mandated to be performed on earth in the flesh from before the foundation of the world..
In Hebrews chapter 11 Paul informs us that “faith is the substance [assurance] of things hoped for the evidence of things not seen“.
He then details the righteous trials and triumphs of many of our Old Testament fathers such as Abel, Enoch, Noah, Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Joseph, Moses.
Paul includes the harlot Rahab, as well as Gideon, Barak, Samson, Jephthae, David Samuel, and the prophets as those that are at the mercy of the living to act as agents for them in having their ordinance work and recorded certifications done.
He notes that they all embraced and died in the faith, despite the fact that they had not received all of the promises (gospel covenants) while in the flesh. He ties these promises to a promised land that they were all seeking, even a heavenly city:
13 These all died in faith, not having received the promises, but having seen them afar off, and were persuaded of them, and embraced them, and confessed that they were strangers and pilgrims on the earth.
14 For they that say such things declare plainly that they seek a country.
15 And truly, if they had been mindful of that country from whence they came out, they might have had opportunity to have returned.
16 But now they desire a better country, that is, an heavenly: wherefore God is not ashamed to be called their God: for he hath prepared for them a city.
In the concluding verse of the chapter, Paul makes the mind-blowing declaration that all of these patriarchal fathers have not and cannot be saved and perfected without their posterity nor can their posterity be saved without them.
39 And these all, having obtained a good report through faith, received not the promise:
40 God having provided some better thing for us, that they without us should not be made perfect.
The patriarchal fathers obtained a good report through faith but RECEIVED NOT THE PROMISE!
Joseph Smith picks up on this theme and reiterates this concept in his letter from Liberty Jail in 1839 (Section 121).
He touches on the greatly misunderstood topic of “works“, assuring us that “there is a time appointed for every man” to perform his works. Regardless of when he has lived on this earth.
He reveals that our patriarchal forefathers from Old Testament times, despite having not received the “promise” or fulness of the covenant, as noted by Paul, had been visited by angels.
These angels directed their minds in “anxious expectation” to the “knowledge” that has not been revealed since the world was until now”
This knowledge has been “held in reserve for the fulness of their glory”
Joseph would be revealing this knowledge, pertaining to the welding link and baptisms for the dead, in sections 124 and 128.
25 For there is a time appointed for every man, according as his works shall be.
26 God shall give unto you knowledge by his Holy Spirit, yea, by the unspeakable gift of the Holy Ghost, that has not been revealed since the world was until now;
27 Which our forefathers have awaited with anxious expectation to be revealed in the last times, which their minds were pointed to by the angels, as held in reserve for the fulness of their glory;
Section 124 reiterates the fact that this secret knowledge of how our fathers are going to mystically enter into the gospel covenant will be revealed in the dispensation of the fulness of times:
40 And verily I say unto you, let this house be built unto my name, that I may reveal mine ordinances therein unto my people;
41 For I deign to reveal unto my church things which have been kept hid from before the foundation of the world, things that pertain to the dispensation of the fulness of times.
According to Paul, those of us coming to earth after Christ’s earthly ministry and atonement were recipients of a “BETTER THING” (even the fulness of the gospel and the covenant of Baptism)
Those living on the earth with the fulness will be authorized to act as agents for those that believed when they lived on the earth in the flesh as well as those that would have believed had they had the gospel preached to them when they were in the flesh.
When visiting the Nephites Christ matter of factly makes mention of the fact that the “fulfilling” of the “covenant” of the Old Testament Fathers was yet a future event.
6 O ye house of Israel whom I have spared, how oft will I gather you as a hen gathereth her chickens under her wings, if ye will repent and return unto me with full purpose of heart.
7 But if not, O house of Israel, the places of your dwellings shall become desolate until the time of the fulfilling of the covenant to your fathers.
After quoting Paul and noting that we cannot be saved without our dead patriarchal ancestors nor can our dead be saved without their living ancestors, Joseph Smith then makes a remarkable Segway into the passage found in 1 Cor 15:29 proving not only that baptism for the dead is a valid doctrine, but that the new testament saints were actually practicing it!
16 And now, in relation to the baptism for the dead, I will give you another quotation of Paul, 1 Corinthians 15:29: Else what shall they do which are baptized for the dead, if the dead rise not at all? Why are they then baptized for the dead?
The new testament saints were attempting to usher in the dispensation of the fulness of times and had had the knowledge of baptisms for the dead revealed to them. Ultimately they would go into apostasy and break the covenant. The latter day saint restoration saints would eventually repeat the same pattern.
Next, Joseph Smith correlates the practice of baptism for the dead with the “restoration of priesthood” that an ancient prophet “had his eyes fixed on“.
17 And again, in connection with this quotation I will give you a quotation from one of the prophets, who had his eye fixed on the restoration of the priesthood, the glories to be revealed in the last days, and in an especial manner this most glorious of all subjects belonging to the everlasting gospel, namely, the baptism for the dead;
Joseph then explains that Malachi’s prophecy about the coming of Elijah the Prophet to turn the hearts of the fathers to the children and the heart of the children to the fathers is expressly interrelated to the ordinance of baptism for the dead (and the living):
for Malachi says, last chapter, verses 5th and 6th: Behold, I will send you Elijah the prophet before the coming of the great and dreadful day of the Lord: And he shall turn the heart of the fathers to the children, and the heart of the children to their fathers, lest I come and smite the earth with a curse.
But wait, Malachi warns us that if the hearts of the fathers and children are not turned towards each other, creating a welding link, through the saving ordinances and the faithful recording of them, the earth will be smitten with a curse.
18 I might have rendered a plainer translation to this, but it is sufficiently plain to suit my purpose as it stands. It is sufficient to know, in this case, that the earth will be smitten with a curse unless there is a welding link of some kind or other between the fathers and the children, upon some subject or other—and behold what is that subject? It is the baptism for the dead.
For we without them cannot be made perfect; neither can they without us be made perfect. Neither can they nor we be made perfect without those who have died in the gospel also; for it is necessary in the ushering in of the dispensation of the fulness of times, which dispensation is now beginning to usher in, that a whole and complete and perfect union, and welding together of dispensations, and keys, and powers, and glories should take place, and be revealed from the days of Adam even to the present time.
And not only this, but those things which never have been revealed from the foundation of the world, but have been kept hid from the wise and prudent, shall be revealed unto babes and sucklings in this, the dispensation of the fulness of times.
The Welding Link was Established
The Curse was Delayed
Perhaps there are some dots that can be connected together by evaluating the context in section 124 and 128
On the one hand, section 124 speaks about an ordinance that has been hid from the world from the foundation of the earth. It is called the ordinance of baptisms for the dead.
On the other hand, God makes a chilling warning to the saints of the restoration. He informs them that if they don’t repent of the abominations that they were currently practicing, and complete the boarding house of the Lord, they would be “rejected as a church with their dead” which IMO is just another way of saying that the fulness of the authority to administer the saving ordinances that had been given would be taken away.
The consequences of this action is that Satan would be in control.
The following warning and prophecy in the Book of Commandments given a decade earlier foretold the final state of the saints of the restoration:.
And thus, if the people of this generation harden not their hearts, I will work a reformation among them, and I will put down all lyings, and deceivings, and priestcrafts, and envyings, and strifes, and idolatries, and sorceries, and all manner of iniquities, and I will establish my church, like unto the church which was taught by my disciples in the days of old.
And now if this generation do harden their hearts against my word, behold I WILL DELIVER THEM UP UNTO SATAN, for he reigneth and hath power at this time, for he hath got great hold upon the hearts of the people of this generation: and not far from the iniquities of Sodom and Gomorrah, do they come at this time: and behold the sword of justice hangeth over their heads, and if they persist in the hardness of their hearts, the time cometh that it must fall upon them.
I have spent many years documenting the fact that the saints of the restoration did in fact harden their hearts against the word of God and that God did indeed deliver the saints up unto Satan and over to their delusions.
I have stressed in past posts that being rejected as a church means that the saving ordinances for the living and the dead are no longer valid because of the apostasy that brought about condemnation. This apostasy and condemnation left the saints with the KNOWLEDGE of the fulness of the gospel found in the written oracles that God had brought forth through Joseph Smith.
However virtually all of my comments in the past have been limited to the consequences of the apostasy and condemnation on this side of the veil, for the living.
But what are the consequences for our dead that have been rejected as a church?
Let me ask you a question-
If the saints of the restoration rejected the fullness of the gospel and then were rejected as a church with their dead, being cut off from the fulness of the ordinances of salvation on this side of the veil, where are the saints of the restoration who have passed on to the other side and there dead ancestors are now?
That’s right, the delivering of the saints up unto Satan had to do with both sides of the veil. This is what the proclamation of Paul and Joseph Smith leads to.
Let me bring this a little closer to home for you with a personal example.
I come from an LDS family that is very proud of there heritage.
We descend from ancient kings.
My mother is a Romney.
My father is a descendent of Brigham Young.
My dear sister just completed a book about our family heritage and pioneer ancestors.
Here is what she just said in an email
The XXXXXX Book has been completed and I will be ordering it tomorrow at noon.
It is a beautiful almost 400 page.. soft cover, spiral bound, black and white hard copy on archival paper…
“We have a grandmother who designed and sewed the first national flag ever to fly in the Salt Lake valley, another grandmother who was the first lady to own and operate a Singer Sewing machine in Utah and gave instructions to other ladies.
One of our grandfathers crossed the plains over fifty times carrying U. S. mail, freight and passengers.
WE have a beautiful pioneer grandmother whose red hair was so captivating that an Indian Chief bartered his blankets, saddle, pony and finally his own wife in exchange for Vilate Young Decker. AS a child, she sat on the lap of the prophet Joseph Smith while he talked about the Angel Moroni.
WE have grandfathers who attended school with or were friends with Patrick Henry and George Washington of Revolutionary War fame.
WE have inventors of paint and washing machines, and a grandmother who took lake saleratus (baking soda) off the ground and made elegant, light bread for the second party of saints to come into the valley. However, when she arrived she declared, ‘Weak and weary as I am, I would rather go a thousand miles farther than remain in such a place as this.’ She was one of the first three women to enter the Salt Lake valley and even Brigham Young bowed to her determination.
We descend from the first wife of Brigham Young on Genevieve’s side and from a disappointed colliery worker in Scottish mines on Alec’s side. Add Robert the Bruce into the mix and the Robertson family clan name that dates back to Moses… we have pretty much covered the bases.”
I dearly love all of these progenitors of mine. Some of them were great thinkers, leaders and doers. Some of them were believers in the restored gospel while some were apparently drunks and scoundrels. ( I suspect they did not get much mention in the book LOL) However, I am convinced that they all have one thing in common-
THEY ARE ALL IN PRISON RIGHT NOW!
That is correct. Even the one’s who had a fervent knowledge and testimony of the gospel of Jesus Christ.
Because the New Testament Saints and the Restoration Saints both ultimately failed to establish what Joseph Smith referred to as the “welding link“.
Furthermore, if you or I were to die tomorrow, we would also be in prison with our ancestors.
Yes I realize that there are passages of scripture that state that there are two divisions in the spirit world, referring to the spirit prison and paradise. Be that as it may, that is not the point. The point is that regardless of where you are on the other side of the veil, you are in a state of bondage until your spirit is reunited with it’s tabernacle of element and that cannot happen until the saving ordinances are valid and duly certified and recorded.
The consequences of being rejected as a church applies to BOTH SIDES OF THE VEIL.
To be rejected as a church means that their baptisms for both the living and for the dead have temporarily been rejected by the Lord. This reality should not be lightly passed over:
15 And now, my dearly beloved brethren and sisters, let me assure you that these are principles in relation to the dead and the living that cannot be lightly passed over, as pertaining to our salvation. For their salvation is necessary and essential to our salvation, as Paul says concerning the fathers—that they without us cannot be made perfect—neither can we without our dead be made perfect.
This means that their names have not yet been recorded and entered into the books on earth so that they can be entered into the books in heaven. The welding link that binds the fathers to the children has not been established.
Holy S#*t storm.
As of the dates of those revelations given in January of 1841 and September of 1842, the names of the dead had not yet been faithfully recorded into the books on earth and therefore could not be entered into the books in heaven!
There is incontrovertible evidence from the scriptures and the true history of the church that those records were never faithfully certified and completed for the living or the dead.
Imagine how it would feel to be locked up in spirit prison awaiting the day of judgment when God will fulfill his promises made to our ancient fathers and to us.
16 And I will show it plainly as I showed it unto my disciples as I stood before them in the flesh, and spake unto them, saying: As ye have asked of me concerning the signs of my coming, in the day when I shall come in my glory in the clouds of heaven, to fulfil the promises that I have made unto your fathers,
17 For as ye have looked upon the long absence of your spirits from your bodies to be a bondage, I will show unto you how the day of redemption shall come, and also the restoration of the scattered Israel.
It appears from the above passage that Christ was informing his servants that he had not yet fulfilled the promises made to the Old Testament saints.
Further, he informs them that the separation of their bodies from their spirits would be a form of bondage and that they would not be redeemed from that bondage until the time of his coming, when the prisoners would be set free and redeemed from their bondage.
Imagine what it must be like waiting in spiritual bondage as a spirit no longer clothed in a physical body, realizing that if you come forth to be judged, the books will be opened without the necessary ordinance work having been faithfully observed and recorded.
If you are not laying on the ground in the fetal position crying like a little baby right now, it is only because you don’t understand the documentation that is before you.
It was quite a few decades ago when it occurred to me that the saints of the LDS restoration were rejected with their dead. After studying section 124 and also studying the true history of the church and looking at the nasty putrefied fruits that accompany every single faction of the restoration, it became apparent to me that God had made good on his promise to temporarily reject the saints with their dead.
It was sometime after I had arrived at this conclusion that I eventually came across this statement from Lyman Wight, the first person ordained to the Melchizedek priesthood during Joseph Smiths’ ministry, who had arrived at the same conclusion .
Here is what Joseph Smith declared to the saints according to the testimony of Lyman Wight:
“There shall be no more baptisms for the dead, until the ordinance can be attended to in the font of the Lord’s House; and the church shall not hold another general conference, until they can meet in said house. For thus saith the Lord!”
The fact that the saints were not allowed to have a general conference as a church until they repent and complete the house of the Lord speaks volumes about the severity of the situation. That is just one more way of saying that the saints were in the process of being rejected as a church.
They were on probation.
Here is Lyman Wight’s synopsis of the conclusion of the Nauvoo era that the LDS church has done such a good job of erasing from the history of the church:
“… We were to have a sufficient time to build that house, during which time our baptisms for our dead should be acceptable in the river. If we did not build within this time we were to be rejected as a church, we and our dead together.
Both the temple and baptizing went very leisurely, till the temple was somewhere in building the second story, when Bro. Joseph from the stand announced the alarming declaration that baptism for our dead was no longer acceptable in the river. As much to say the time for building the temple had passed by, and both we and our dead were rejected together..
“The church now stands rejected together with their dead. The church being rejected now stands alienated from her God in every sense of the word.”
Lyman Wight was the first person of that dispensation to be ordained a high priest.
Joseph Smith had seen Lyman in vision in the celestial kingdom.
He was one of the most valiant missionaries of the restoration.
He is one of the few brethren that the Lord spoke highly of in section 124, right before the heavens became sealed. He was commended for having his heart focused on the cause of Zion.
He was intimately involved in Nauvoo at the time that the house of the Lord was being built. Indeed he and two others were expressly commanded by the Lord to oversee the building of the true House of the Lord in Nauvoo.
22 Let my servant George, and my servant Lyman, and my servant John Snider, and others, build a house unto my name, such a one as my servant Joseph shall show unto them, upon the place which he shall show unto them also.
Ok, I have now shared my five epiphanies that I got from reading and believing section 128 in conjunction with section 124 and a myriad of other related passages.
I believe that some of the information contained in section 128 can provide clarity, and context to many other passages of scripture. This information can even unlock the meaning of obscure prophecies.
The Book with Seven Seals
Ok, we have established the fact from Isaiah 42 and 49 that the Davidic Servant will be the one to oversee the process of restoring the fulness for the last time and setting the prisoners free.
We know from section 128 that in order to do so, a welding link needs to be established that turns the hearts of the fathers to the children in the everlasting covenant.
This requires the conducting of valid ordinances and faithfully certifying and recording them into the earthly book so that the heavenly book can reflect them.
But is there a prophetic narrative in scripture that addresses these topics and provides the storyline of how this will all take place?
I will now end this series by providing my interpretation of the mystical prophecy found in Revelation chapter five based on the epiphanies spoken about in this series.
1 And I saw in the right hand of him that sat on the throne a book written within and on the backside, sealed with seven seals.
I believe that the personage who sits on the throne is the Father.
I now believe that the book that is sealed with seven seals is the sealed portion of the gold plates from which Joseph Smith translated the Book of Mormon.
Joseph Smith and other witnesses simply stated that a portion of the plates were sealed but did not mention that they had seven seals.
If my speculation is true, why didn’t Joseph or any of the witnesses testify that there were seven seals?
If the plates had a portion of pages that were sealed, then annexed in with and covered over by the next portion that was sealed, then annexed with the next portion and covered over again and so on seven times, the six sub-seals under the top seal would not necessarily be noticeably visible.
Another possibility is that Joseph and the witnesses did understand that there were seven seals but were commanded to not speak about the seven seals.
To me it is not rocket science to conclude that these two sealed books are the same. We are told in the book of Mormon that the sealed portion contains
“all things from the foundation of the world unto the end thereof” (2 Nephi 27:10–11; see also Ether 3:25
Conversely, we are informed in modern revelation that the book that is sealed with seven seals also contains the revealed will, mysteries, and the works of God as well as the hidden things of his economy from the beginning of the first seal to the end of the seventh:
(D& C 77:6 – 7) 6 Q. What are we to understand by the book which John saw, which was sealed on the back with seven seals? A. We are to understand that it contains the revealed will, mysteries, and the works of God; the hidden things of his economy concerning this earth during the seven thousand years of its continuance, or its temporal existence. 7 Q. What are we to understand by the seven seals with which it was sealed? A. We are to understand that the first seal contains the things of the first thousand years, and the second also of the second thousand years, and so on until the seventh.
Both sealed books contain the things pertaining to the temporal existence of this earth and God’s purposes therein.
When it occurred to me that the Book with seven seals in Revelation 5 might be the same as the sealed portion of the Book of Mormon, I did some key word searches in Google to see if any LDS scholars had arrived at the same conclusion.
I was gratified to see that my friend Steven D. Fisher who also believes in the concept of the three watches has already arrived at that conclusion
Few if any others appear to have arrived at this conclusion, which does not surprise me. I believe it was meant to be a mystery that was not understood until the very end times.
Continuing on with the mystical narrative in chapter five of the Book of Revelation.
2 And I saw a strong angel proclaiming with a loud voice, Who is worthy to open the book, and to loose the seals thereof?
I suspect the “strong angel” is probably Michael the archangel, who is the chief angel in the heavens under Christ.
We will read later in the narrative that Christ, who is referred to in this prophetic narrative as the “Lamb” who had been “slain” will ultimately open the book. But for some reason, a mortal “man” needed to first “loose” the seals before the Lamb would eventually “remove” the seals.
3 And no man in heaven, nor in earth, neither under the earth, was able to open the book, neither to look thereon.
4 And I wept much, because no man was found worthy to open and to read the book, neither to look thereon.
5 And one of the elders saith unto me, Weep not: behold, the Lion of the tribe of Juda, the Root of David, hath prevailed to open the book, and to loose the seven seals thereof.
6 And I beheld, and, lo, in the midst of the throne and of the four beasts, and in the midst of the elders, stood a Lamb as it had been slain, having seven horns and seven eyes, which are the seven Spirits of God sent forth into all the earth.
The “man” who was to open the book and loose the seals is referred to as the “lion from the tribe of Judah“.
Prophecy scholars virtually always claim that Christ is both the “Lion of the tribe of Judah” and the “Lamb as it had been slain” in this narrative.
I challenge that interpretation.
The narrative makes clear that the Lion of the tribe of Judah is a “man“, not a God.
Back when tribal patriarchal blessings were given, the tribe of Judah was told that from that lineage would come the lawgiver who would hold the scepter until Shiloh come. This Davidic servant would gather the people. He was characterized as the “lion’s whelp“.
8 ¶ Judah, thou art he whom thy brethren shall praise: thy hand shall be in the neck of thine enemies; thy father’s children shall bow down before thee.
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.
The key of David
We are informed in scripture that the “man” who is the “Lion of the tribe of Judah” is the Davidic Servant that has been given the “key” to open and shut. This man with the key of David first shows up in Isaiah 22:
22 And the key of the house of David will I lay upon his shoulder; so he shall open, and none shall shut; and he shall shut, and none shall open. Isaiah 22:22
He is mentioned again in the Book of Revelation:
7 And to the angel of the church in Philadelphia write; These things saith he that is holy, he that is true, he that hath the key of David, he that openeth, and no man shutteth; and shutteth, and no man openeth; Revelation 3:7
No other mortal man can open what he has shut or shut what he has opened.
The Lord told Joseph Smith that when he returns to the earth in the end times, his voice would be like a “fierce Lion“:
thy voice shall be more terrible in the midst of thine enemies than the fierce lion, because of thy righteousness; and thy God shall stand by thee forever and ever. (D&C 122:4)
Modern revelation informs us that Isaiah 11 speaks of two latter day Davidic servants that are both of mixed lineage:
3 What is the rod spoken of in the first verse of the 11th chapter of Isaiah, that should come of the Stem of Jesse?
4 Behold, thus saith the Lord: It is a servant in the hands of Christ, who is partly a descendant of Jesse as well as of Ephraim, or of the house of Joseph, on whom there is laid much power.
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 previously provided much documentation in this post pertaining to this topic.
Back to the narrative in Revelation 5.
Why so much indigestion over the fact that a “man” could not be found in the following places that could open the book?
I believe that section 128 reveals why human priesthood authority is so important. The books from which we will be judged in heaven are categorically created from the records kept on earth.
Why did a “man” need to first open the book? Why not God?
Later in the narrative we shall see that the Lamb does take the book from the hand of the father and open it, but not until after the “man” mysteriously appears and opens it.
For most bible scholars, it may seems illogical that a “man” is so important in first opening the book in which the inhabitants of the world will be judged.
I believe that section 128 provides the key to unlock this mystery.
God’s mortal servants are tasked with the mandate to perform the saving ordinances for those that believe. They are to certify and record these ordinances.
It is not until these ordinances are certified and recorded on earth, that the names of the children of God can be entered into the book in heaven that is sealed with seven seals.
We are informed in scripture that Ephraim is the tribe that will administer the fulness of the gospel and utter blessings upon the other tribes. We are also informed that Joseph Smith is the one that holds the keys of the things that are sealed:
17 And I have sent forth the fulness of my gospel by the hand of my servant Joseph; and in weakness have I blessed him;
18 And I have given unto him the keys of the mystery of those things which have been sealed, even things which were from the foundation of the world, and the things which shall come from this time until the time of my coming..”
Joseph Smith holds the keys of the sealed book that contains things that were from the foundation of the world and also things which SHALL come from that time until the time of Christ’s coming in glory.
In other words, if there are things that need to be faithfully certified and recorded and added to that sealed book, Joseph is the one that needs to add it according to the mandate of God.
Joseph was clearly leading us to these conclusions in section 128. Notice how the angel from heaven was declaring the prophets and the book to be revealed-
20 And again, what do we hear? Glad tidings from Cumorah! Moroni, an angel from heaven, declaring the fulfilment of the prophets—the book to be revealed
Previously in this series I expressed how blown away I was that the records in heaven are contingent upon the records kept by mortal man on earth.
That appears to be what all of the indigestion is about in the narrative.
The Father is holding a sealed book which contains the acts of men on the earth. A book from which mankind will be judged.
Christ will ultimately take the book and open it for the judgement, but not until a “man” comes forth to loose the seals so that critical documentation can be entered therein.
The narrative first informs us that no man can be found in the following three places that can loose the seals.
- in earth
- under the earth
Finally a man does mysteriously comes forth.
But where does he come from in not from heaven, in the earth, or under the earth, where did he come from?
In verse 13 it is revealed that there are actually four places that inhabitants from this world are found
“And every creature which is in heaven, and on the earth, and under the earth, and such as are in the sea..”
The Lion from the tribe of Judah obviously came forth out of the sea!
That is the last place anyone expected help to come from because the sea is the domain of the Beast! The Beast emerges out of the sea (Rev 13:1)
Remember the prophecy in Section 122:
The prophecy heavily implies that Joseph would be-
“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“.
As the Davidic intercessor Joseph had been cast into the sea and the very jaws of hell gaped open to receive him. I appears as if he has spent some time in prison until the appointed time for him to emerge and manifest the fulness of priesthood that had been dormant in him, even the very priesthood he had received during the special conference at the Morley Farm during the revelatory sweet spot of his ministry.
Praise God almighty.
He has a very strange act that he is going to perform.
It has to do with proxy, intercessory ordinance work to get the names of true believers into the book.
It also appears to involve God’s covenant servant breaking down the prison doors to set the prisoners free. It appears as if this will be done from the inside of the prison house. And as luck would have it, that is where the covenant servant is. This is typological to narratives in scripture wherein God’s servants are freed from prison with great power.
When the appointed time arrives, God’s covenant servant is going to be imbued with power from God and then he will kick the s#*t out of those prison doors, loose the seals, oversee the proxy work for the prisoners and free them.
Only human priesthood authority is allowed to do this according to eternal law and God’s pre-existent mandate.
Herein lies the key to the interpretation of the bizarre prophecy found in the fifth chapter of the Book of Revelation IMO.