Were the Restoration Saints and the Entire World Condemned by God Because they Neglected to Enter Into Covenant with the Book of Mormon? Part 2

In part 1 of this series I talked about how a previous post of mine really hit a nerve with a Snufferite reader of my blog.

He apparently felt that I was attacking the doctrine that Denver Snuffer introduced a few years ago. That was actually not my intent. I had long since forgotten about Denver Snuffers claim that the saints of the restoration had failed to enter into covenant with the Book of Mormon.

Snuffer used the following passage from Section 84 of the Doctrine and Covenants to claim that the saints of the LDS restoration had been condemned for failing to receive the Book of Mormon by covenant:

54 And 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.

The above passage of scripture is being grossly misinterpreted by Denver Snuffer on many different levels.

First of all, the church was not brought under condemnation for taking the Book of Mormon lightly. It is the seven elders being addressed in verse 54 that had treated lightly the things they had received two years previously. It is because these leaders of the whole church had previously been brought under condemnation.

You can back up two years and read the first revelation given to those seven elders (section 29) to see what promises they had taken lightly.

Secondly, the entire church did not remain under condemnation from that time forth. A portion of the church was brought out from under condemnation at that very time. (read verses 60-62)

It would not be until December of 1834 that the Lord would declare in a revelation to Joseph Smith, that the entire church was under condemnation:

‘Verily,  condemnation resteth upon you, who are appointed to lead my Chu[r]ch,  and to be saviors of men: and also upon the church: And there must needs be a  repentance and a refor[m]ation among you, in all things..” See Joseph Smith Papers

( click here for a blog post identifying and clarifying the three times that the Lord declared various divisions of his church to be under condemnation)

Third- It was the “children of Zion” that remained under condemnation until they repented and brought forth the fruits of Zion that had been revealed in the D&C and the Book of Mormon. That term “children of Zion referred specifically to the portion of the saints who had been sent to live in the land of Zion in Missouri. When they arrived in that land they made a covenant to live the laws of Zion but they failed to do so.

Lastly, the passage is not referring specifically to the “Book of Mormon” as being the “new covenant” it is referring to the “Book of Mormon AND the former commandements which I have given them

The “former commandments” incorporates the inspired version of the Bible and the revelations received by Joseph Smith, most notably, the “Articles and Covenants of the Church” contained in section 20. and the “law of the Church” contained in section 42.

Those two revelations had been copied by hand and taken by the first missionaries as the word of the Lord to be used in concert with the Book of Mormon in the conversion process while doing their proselytizing.

Continuing on with the Snufferite claims:

In Section 157 of the Snufferite scriptures the Lord presumably says:

The Book of Mormon was given as my covenant for this day and contains my gospel, which came forth to allow people to understand my work and then obtain my salvation.”

According to that passage, Christ gave the Book of Mormon as a separate and distinct covenant to the latter day saints through Joseph Smith. One that differs from the covenant given to the new testament saints.

We have already proven that statement to be false, nevertheless as we parse through the technicalities of this heresy we need to ask the question, is the passage suggesting that the Book of Mormon overrides the New Testament as the new covenant, or simply that the content in the Book of Mormon overrides and is superior to the content in the New Testament as the new covenant?

Or both?

However you slice it, there are serious problems with the interpretation and the conclusions made.

What about the Doctrine and Covenants which was sustained as scripture by the church. Wouldn’t that be more applicable to the saints of the restoration than the Book of Mormon???

There is a multiplicity of problems associated with the supposed revelation that Denver received.

His claims of course are not substantiated by any revelations that came through Joseph Smith nor anything that Joseph Smith said. In fact, it contradicts what the Lord has told us about the importance of the revelations that came through Joseph Smith Jr.

Here is a valid observation made by Joseph Fielding Smith that is supported by scripture:

Joseph Fielding Smith said:

In my judgment there is no book on earth yet come to man as important as the book known as the Doctrine and Covenants, with all due respect to the Book of Mormon, and the Bible, and the Pearl of Great Price, which we say are our standards in doctrine. The book of Doctrine and Covenants to us stands in a peculiar position above them all.

I am going to tell you why. When I say that, do not for a moment think I do not value the Book of Mormon, the Bible, and the Pearl of Great Price, just as much as any man that lives; I think I do. I do not know of anybody who has read them more, and I appreciate them; they are wonderful; they contain doctrine and revelation and commandments that we should heed; but the Bible is a history containing the doctrine and commandments given to the people anciently. That applies also to the Book of Mormon. It is the doctrine and the history and the commandments of the people who dwelt upon this continent anciently.

But this Doctrine and Covenants contains the word of God to those who dwell here now. It is our book. It belongs to the Latter-day Saints. More precious than gold, the Prophet says we should treasure it more than the riches of the whole earth. I wonder if we do? If we value it, understand it, and know what it contains, we will value it more than wealth; it is worth more to us than the riches of the earth. [Doctrines of Salvation, comp. Bruce R. McConkie, 3 vols. (Salt Lake City: Bookcraft, 1954–56), 3:198–99]

On another occasion President Joseph Fielding Smith said:

This Doctrine and Covenants [is not a book just for the Latter-day Saints. It is more than that. It] belongs to all the world, to the Catholics, to the Presbyterians, to the Methodists, to the infidel, to the non-believer.

It is his book if he will accept it. . . . The Lord has given it unto the world for their salvation. If you do not believe it, you read the first section in this book, the preface, and you will find that the Lord has sent this book and the things which it contains unto the people afar off, on the islands of the sea, in foreign lands, and his voice is unto all people, that all may hear.

And so I say it belongs to all the world, not only to the Latter-day Saints, and they will be judged by it, and you will be judged by it. [In Conference Report, October 1919, 146]

President Joseph Fielding Smith uses the words of the Lord in the Doctrine and Covenants to show that the whole world will be judged by the word of the Lord in the revelations that Joseph Smith Jr. brought forth.

Denver Snuffer is clearly misinterpreting a few passages from Section 84 and using those misinterpretations to preach another gospel.

Continuing on with the Snufferite claims, here is an official statement from the Snufferite movement given to me by Mark Peterson, the alias of the commenter that wanted to defend the claims of Denver Snuffer:

On Saturday, September 2, 2017, during the Covenant of Christ Conference held in Boise, Idaho, this volume was canonized as scripture by affirmative vote of the general assembly of the body of believers, both assembled there and participating by video stream throughout the world. This marked the first and only time, to that point in history, that the Book of Mormon had ever been formally voted upon and accepted as a canon of scripture by any group of believers.

That is quite a claim. The Book of Mormon had never been formally voted upon and accepted by any group of believers???

I will show later in this post that that claim simply is not true. The Book of Mormon was voted on and accepted by the saints of the restoration.

Contiuing on with the official statement by the Snufferites:

Those professing to believe in the Doctrine of Christ formally received the Book of Mormon not only as a canon of scripture, but also as a covenant from God. This fulfilled the last prerequisite necessary in obtaining a new covenant from Him that would commence the grafting of the gentiles into the house of Israel to be numbered among His people (see Jacob 3; also Answer and Covenant). The following morning, the Lord offered His grafting covenant to the world, which was authoritatively administered by his servant Denver Snuffer Jr. and continues to be available to all who will receive it (see T&C 158).

This declaration is very revealing. It explains why Denver Snuffer has done some of the things he has done in the past.

After his missionary efforts dried up with card carrying Mormons, and then failed with the LDS fundamentalists and the RLDS crowd, Denver decided to conduct a mass conversion of the protestants. This is apparently why he made his video presentations commemorating the 500th year anniversary of the Christian reformation. This is why has asked his followers to sponsor three grand talks geared towards converting biblical Christians. After all of the their efforts, I am not aware of one single protestant that they have converted.

But getting back to the topic at hand-

Obviously, if Denver is speaking about literally making a covenant with a physical book, then he is suggesting idolatry. So we must assume that he is simply using a figure of speech and that he is really saying that the saints of the restoration failed to make a covenant to accept the content in the Book of Mormon as scripture.

Of course that supposition is not accurate.

It is a matter of historical record that the Book of Mormon was received by covenant as a canon of scripture by the saints of the restoration by virtue of the fact that on June 9th 1830, at the first conference of the church, the Articles and Covenants” (Section 20) was presented to the church for approval.

The minutes of that meeting recorded-

“Articles and Covenants ready by Joseph Smith Jr. and received by unanimous voice of the whole congregation, which consisted of most of the male members of the Church” (See JosephSmithPapers )

Incorporated within the Articles and Covenants was the declaration that the Book of Mormon was translated by power from on high and that it contains the fulness of the gospel of Jesus Christ to the Jew and Gentiles. (verse 8)

It claims that the Book of Mormon proves that the Holy Scriptures are true!

It also declares that “those who received it in faith, and work righteousness, shall receive a crown of eternal life, but those who harden their hearts in unbelief, and reject, it shall turn to their own condemnation” (verses 14 &15″

As you can see, the Book of Mormon was received by covenant via the law of common consent when section 20, known as the “Articles and Covenants of the Church” was received by covenant.

However the acceptance of the Book of Mormon by covenant does not end there. In section 38:32 given on January 2, 1831 that Lord had promised that he would give the LAW once the saints got to Ohio:

32 Wherefore, for this cause I gave unto you the commandment that ye should go to the Ohio; and there I will give unto you my law; and there you shall be endowed with power from on high;

33 And from thence, whosoever I will shall go forth among all nations, and it shall be told them what they shall do; for I have a great work laid up in store, for Israel shall be saved, and I will lead them whithersoever I will, and no power shall stay my hand.

The law promised in the above passages was given on February 9th 1831.

In that revelation (section 42) which would become a binding law upon the church, this is what the Lord said about the Book of Mormon:

12 And again, the elders, priests and teachers of this church shall teach the principles of my gospel, which are in the Bible and the Book of Mormon, in the which is the fulness of the gospel.

13 And they shall observe the covenants and church articles to do them, and these shall be their teachings, as they shall be directed by the Spirit.

As you can see.

The LAW OF THE CHURCH commands the priesthood leaders to teach the principles of the Gospel that are contained in both the Bible and Book of Mormon!

It is a historical fact that we have previously covered in this blog that both the Book of Commandments and the Doctrine and Covenants which both contained the above passages, were sustained by the church through the law of common consent.

Since the importance of the Book of Mormon and the commandment to accept it as scripture, and to teach from it, had been incorporated into the revelations Joseph Smith received, and since those revelations have been accepted by covenant through the law of common consent, the saints of the restoration did enter into covenant to accept the Book of Mormon and the fulness of the gospel that it contains.

But wait!

In a sense, what Denver Snuffer said does in fact apply to those that have followed his directives because they have rejected the Articles and Covenants of the church in section 20, setting them aside as a thing of naught.

By so doing, they have also set aside the law of the church in section 42 because in that section, the Lord commands the saints to observe the Articles and commandments of the church”, which the Snufferites have rejected! (see verse 12 above)

By doing so, the Snufferites have in fact, failed to enter into covenant with the Book of Mormon.. this is a very strange turn of events indeed!

Continuing on with this issue-

Having shown that the Snufferites have introduced a heresy based on a gross misinterpretation of scripture, I could end this post right now.

However, it would not do justice to the term “new covenant” which has been taken lightly.

Let’s actually do a keyword search on the phrase “new covenant” in the scriptures to fully appreciate what a holy and sacred term it is.

If we actually understand when it originated and what it means, and the following the historical and scriptural progression of the use of the term, we are less likely to be deceived by those that want to bastardize it by superimposing a different meaning upon it in the latter days.

The first mention of this phrase is in Jeremiah 31. The Lord says to Jeremiah-

31 ¶ Behold, the days come, saith the LORD, that I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel, and with the house of Judah:

32 Not according to the covenant that I made with their fathers in the day that I took them by the hand to bring them out of the land of Egypt; which my covenant they brake, although I was an husband unto them, saith the LORD:

Thousands of years before the birth of Christ and the emergence of Christianity, God is telling Jeremiah about a new covenant that he will make in the latter days with his people. The prophecy informs us that the covenant will be different than the old covenant made through Moses before the house of Israel became divided.

It informs us that when the new Covenant is made in the latter days, it will be after the house has been divided into the House of Israel and the House of Judah. (In the latter days these two houses will be referred to the “jew” and “gentile”.

33 But this shall be the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel; After those days, saith the LORD, I will put my law in their inward parts, and write it in their hearts; and will be their God, and they shall be my people.

34 And they shall teach no more every man his neighbor, and every man his brother, saying, Know the LORD: for they shall all know me, from the least of them unto the greatest of them, saith the LORD: for I will forgive their iniquity, and I will remember their sin no more.

We are told that the new covenant that will be given in the latter days will not be a tangible item. It won’t be metal or gold or a statue made of stone or metal, or a tangible book or any kind of physical idolatry. The new covenant when fully actuated is going to be a spiritual change of heart that is placed by God in their “inward parts” and written in their “hearts“.

The result of this mystical download which is being referred to as the new covenant, is that God forgives his people and each person knows the Lord personally. The recipients become the people of God in a higher, literal sense.

As is the case with so many prophesies, we are not given all of the messy details of what takes place between Old Testament times and when the new covenant is finally successfully entered into by both gentile and Jews.

Any biblical Christian will tell you that the term New Covenent has specific reference to the mediation of Jesus Christ through his suffering, death and resurrection. It has very clear reference to the atonement that he offered for mankind.

The New Testament Saints understood Christ’s Offering
Represented the New Covenant

Lets review some New Testament passages that shed light on this new covenant that is placed in a person’s inward parts and written in their hearts

First the magnificent discourse given by Paul in Galatians 3 which informs us that-

13 Christ hath redeemed us from the curse of the law, being made a curse for us: for it is written, Cursed is every one that hangeth on a tree: That the blessing of Abraham might come on the Gentiles through Jesus Christ; that they might receive the promise of the Spirit through faith.

Not surprisingly, the new law brought by Christ redeems people from the curse of the old law which makes possible the blessing of Abraham on the Gentiles through Jesus Christ. The promise of the new law and associated covenant is the promise of the spirit through faith in Christ.

Protestants who place their faith and authority on the New Testament as a book, instead of the promise of the spirit through faith in Christ would do well to note that nothing about a book is being mentioned.

Snufferites would be wise to do the same.

15 Brethren, I speak after the manner of men; Though it be but a man’s covenant, yet when it be confirmed, no man disannulleth, or addeth thereto.

16 Now to Abraham and his seed were the promises made. He saith not, And to seeds, as of many; but as of one, And to thy seed, which is Christ.

17 And this I say, that the covenant, that was confirmed before of God in Christ, the law, which was four hundred and thirty years after, cannot disannul, that it should make the promise of none effect.

18 For if the inheritance is of the law, then it is no more of promise: but God gave it to Abraham by promise.

19 Wherefore then the law was added because of transgressions, till the seed should come to whom the promise was made in the law given to Moses, who was ordained by the hand of angels to be a mediator of this first covenant (the law).

20 Now this mediator was not a mediator of the new covenant; but there is one Mediator of the new covenant, who is Christ, as it is written in the law concerning the promises made to Abraham and his seed. Now Christ is the Mediator of life; for this is the promise which God made unto Abraham.

As you can see, the mediator of the new covenant which will be placed in the inward parts and written on the heart, is Christ. It is the covenant of Christ’s offering. Nothing about a Book is being mentioned regarding the new covenant.

Continuing on

21 Is the law then against the promises of God? God forbid: for if there had been a law given which could have given life, verily righteousness should have been by the law.

22 But the scripture hath concluded all under sin, that the promise by faith of Jesus Christ might be given to them that believe.

23 But before faith came, we were kept under the law, shut up unto the faith which should afterwards be revealed.

24 Wherefore the law was our schoolmaster until Christ, that we might be justified by faith.

25 But after that faith is come, we are no longer under a schoolmaster.

26 For ye are all the children of God by faith in Christ Jesus.

27 For as many of you as have been baptized into Christ have put on Christ.

28 There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither bond nor free, there is neither male nor female: for ye are all one in Christ Jesus.

29 And if ye are Christ’s, then are ye Abraham’s seed, and heirs according to the promise.:

Clearly the New Testament Saints were offered the New Covenant and it was not the Book of Mormon as a tangle item. or even the New Testament, as a physical book, which had not even been canonized yet, it was the blood of Christ.

Where else is the new covenant mentioned in the New Testament?

It is discussed again by Paul in Hebrews 8 and 9.

Here is a snippet from Hebrews 9

13 For if the blood of bulls and of goats, and the ashes of an heifer sprinkling the unclean, sanctifieth to the purifying of the flesh:

14 How much more shall the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered himself without spot to God, purge your conscience from dead works to serve the living God?

15 And for this cause he is the mediator of the new covenant,
that by means of death, for the redemption of the transgressions that were under the first covenant, they which are called might receive the promise of eternal inheritance.

16 For where a covenant is, there must also of necessity be the death of the victim.

17 For a covenant is of force after the victim is dead: otherwise it is of no strength at all while the victim liveth.

18 Whereupon neither the first covenant was dedicated without blood.

As you can see, the shed blood of Christ of the new covenant is what purges us . Christ’s death is what redeems us from our transgressions.

We are informed that both covenants, the old covenant through Moses, and the new covenant through Christ, required the death of a victim.

During Old Testament times the old covenant offering victim was an animal sacrifice. In New Testament times, the offering victim was Christ.

So far, this is all pretty straight forward and consistent from Old Testament times to New Testament times. The new Covenant was Christ’s sacrifice.

According to the prophecy in the Jeremiah, when the New Covenant is fully actuated, it is followed by a spiritual change of heart that is placed by God in the believers “inward parts” and written in their “hearts“.

The definition of the term “New Covenant” is so basic that any biblical Christian can tell you what it means. And yet many Mormons cannot.

Why?

Because those of us that grew up in modern day Mormonism have been raised in a cult that is not truly bible based. Modern Mormonism is not build upon the foundation of Biblical Christianity and therefore, it has misinterpreted and modified the meaning of so many sacred scriptures that need to be viewed through the lens of biblical theology in order to be fully understood in the correct context. This is why people who are raised in Mormonism are doctrinally confused and scattered in their thinking.

The same is true of people converted to Mormonism who were not steeped in biblical Christianity before joining.

The only people so deluded as to think that the biblical term new covenant could be referring to a physical object or to the Book of Mormon as some kind of superior book of scripture to the bible or the revelations that Joseph Smith Jr. received, are those that never really understood the simplicity and power of the gospel of Christ that was taught in the New Testament.

Here is Pauls admonition:

For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek.

Was Paul deluded?

Was the gospel that he accepted and preached inferior to the gospel taught in the Book of Mormon? Did he need something more that would come forth in the latter days? Did he need a new and improved new covenant”? Do we need a new and improved new covenant?

Section 76 Validates the Definition of New Covenant Did Not Change

In section 76 which was given years after the Book of Mormon came forth, a listing of descriptives is given pertaining to those who qualify to have their names written in heaven. Incorporated in this listing is the reminder that the new covenant is what actuates this amazing redemption.

68 These are they whose names are written in heaven, where God and Christ are the judge of all.

69 These are they who are just men made perfect through Jesus the mediator of the new covenant, who wrought out this perfect atonement through the shedding of his own blood.

70 These are they whose bodies are celestial, whose glory is that of the sun, even the glory of God, the highest of all, whose glory the sun of the firmament is written of as being typical.

The above passage is clearly defining new covenant that was pertinanet to the saints of the restoration and to us, as the atonement of Christ through the shedding of his blood, not the Book of Mormon.

It is evident that the new covenant being spoken of in section 76 is the same one that the Book of Jeremiah prophesied about and the same one that was spoken of by Paul in the New Testament. This new covenant was rejected by the Jews and it was ultimately collectively broken by the gentiles of the New Testament church and the gentiles and the LDS restoration.

But we are promised that it is going to be restored to the earth when God returns his servants to the vineyard.

As you can see, the definition of the new covenant is really not that difficult to understand. The prophecy about it in Jeremiah was speaking about the same covenant that was offered to the New Testament gentiles and the LDS restoration gentiles.

When Joseph Smith’s ministry began, the Lord made the game plan very clear, he said-

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

The Lord did not offer a different or improved covenant to the latter day saints than he did to the new testament saints. The game plan was to restore biblical Christianity in it’s purity along with the new covenant of Christ’s shed blood. There wasn’t to be another “new covenant” that was superior or different than the last “new covenant”.

The warning was that if the people of that generation hardened their hearts towards the truth, they would be delivered up to Satan.

God promised that he would send strong delusion.

Clearly this new definition of new covenant and the glorifying of a book of scripture as being superior to the Bible is a strong delusion.

One Response to Were the Restoration Saints and the Entire World Condemned by God Because they Neglected to Enter Into Covenant with the Book of Mormon? Part 2

  1. JN says:

    AMEN Watcher!! The Bible is so good!! It is such a pity that it is so down played in Mormonism as some barely true book. I think most Mormons when they say they believe the Bible they are only referring to the gospels. They don’t dare look at or try to understand the Old Testament and epistles. Sad!

    This part is so good it’s worth repeating!!

    “The definition of the term “New Covenant” is so basic that any biblical Christian can tell you what it means. And yet many Mormons cannot.

    Why?

    Because those of us that grew up in modern day Mormonism have been raised in a cult that is not truly bible based. Modern Mormonism is not build upon the foundation of Biblical Christianity and therefore, it has misinterpreted and modified the meaning of so many sacred scriptures that need to be viewed through the lens of biblical theology in order to be fully understood in the correct context. This is why people who are raised in Mormonism are doctrinally confused and scattered in their thinking.

    The same is true of people converted to Mormonism who were not steeped in biblical Christianity before joining.

    The only people so deluded as to think that the biblical term new covenant could be referring to a physical object or to the Book of Mormon as some kind of superior book of scripture to the bible or the revelations that Joseph Smith Jr. received, are those that never really understood the simplicity and power of the gospel of Christ that was taught in the New Testament.

    Here is Pauls admonition:

    For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek.

    Was Paul deluded?

    Was the gospel that he accepted and preached inferior to the gospel taught in the Book of Mormon? Did he need something more that would come forth in the latter days? Did he need a new and improved new covenant”? Do we need a new and improved new covenant?”

    Wow. Totally agree! Thanks for sharing Watcher 👍

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: