Recorded by Mrs Watcher
I am sorry about the delay in posting part 2 of the series on the RLDS Church and Joseph Smith’s involvement in Polygamy, I have been house sitting for my son and have not had my computer with me.. I hope to post it shortly..
In the mean time, I got the following question recently and thought it might be worth sharing
I was on a forum yesterday talking to an individual who is convinced that John is the end-time servant and I realized, despite still being convinced that it is Joseph, that I don’t fully understand why the scriptures talk about John being the one to restore all things. What am I missing?
14 Q. What are we to understand by the little book which was aeaten by John, as mentioned in the 10th chapter of Revelation?A. We are to understand that it was a mission, and an ordinance, for him to bgather the tribes of Israel; behold, this is Elias, who, as it is written, must come and crestore all things.
This was my reply to him-
Several thoughts come to mind regarding this question which has come up repeatedly over the years..
First, whenever you have an apparent discrepancy or contradiction in scripture, it is important to see which side has the most supporting data. ” in the mouth of two or three witnesses shall every word be established” or something like that.. LOL
Clearly, the return of Joseph Smith has a huge amount of credible supporting data with somewhere between 15 and 20 direct revelatory evidences and at least three directly from scripture stating in essence that he will return under the direction of Jesus Christ to fulfill his mission and the gathering.. In addition to those evidences which are extremely direct and easy to interpret, there is a whole other realm of secondary, indirect set of evidences which cumulatively present a very large and entailed picture.
On the other hand, the passage you quote above from Section 77, (the way many people interpret it), has very little supporting evidence. The few that exist are generally vague and seem to do largely with missionary work, but not specifically the role of the end times servant..
Another point to consider is the fact that Section 77 is not a thus sayeth the Lord revelation that was canonized by Joseph Smith under the direction of the Lord, It was apparently stated by Joseph and written by someone else and finally canonized by Pratt and Brigham Young in 1876.
Hence, you have the scriptures that were endorsed by God before Joseph’s death, in section 124, with the warning the “anything more or less than this cometh of evil” vs some items of instruction added many years later which appear to contradict the established word of God..
It is interesting to note the “there are no early copies of this section extant, and but few others for text comparison” (The HIstorical Development of the Doctrine and Covenants by Woodford Pg 974)
Another thing to consider is that although there seems to be one primary end times servant, it is apparent that there are actually two of them with many other high-profile players.
Certainly John and the three Nephites will participate in the grand work of bringing souls to Christ, and for that matter, Oliver and Sidney and Hyrum and Lyman and others have huge parts to play..
Several Old Testament prophecies speak of Joseph and Sidney in tandem and it is frankly not easy to always differentiate their roles.
Section 35 leaves us hanging by telling us that Sidney has a great future role to play in the “great work” which is similar to that of John the Baptist.. but it never informs us what it is.. then in section 93 we are informed that the administration of Joseph works closely with the administration of Sidney, yet they are two separate administrations.. and since Joseph is responsible for bringing forth the word and Sidney and others are responsible for taking the word to the nations and teaching it, it is possible that Joseph could be largely in the background in the beginning of the grand work with Sidney being the high profile servant.. wouldn’t that be a real test for mainstream Mormons that have been indoctrinated to think that Sidney is evil!!
I find it interesting that section 29 itemizes several keys players and seems to possibly identify someone other than Joseph as the Elias that will “restore all things” I guess that is something one could argue in favor of John the Revelator, however, I personally think Sidney or someone else would be the more likely candidate if in fact if is not Joseph..
Clearly we don’t have a perfect knowledge of how things will evolve in the final end times events and there is a reason for that as it will be a revelatory test for all of us..
And then you have the following clarification in the JST
10 And Jesus answered and said unto them, Elias truly shall first come and restore all things, as the prophets have written.
11 And again I say unto you that Elias has come already, concerning whom it is written, Behold, I will send my messenger, and he shall prepare the way before me; and they knew him not and have done unto him whatsoever they listed.
12 Likewise shall also the Son of Man suffer of them.
13 But I say unto you, Who is Elias? Behold, this is Elias, whom I send to prepare the way before me.
14 Then the disciples understood that he spake unto them of John the Baptist, and also of another, who should come and restore all things, as it is written by the prophets.
If John the Baptist is the original Elias that restores all things.. and there is to be another one…. and John the Baptist gave his keys to Joseph and Oliver, (section 13) It seems likely that one or both of them represent the last Elias that restores all things and perhaps that is why it was again Joseph and Oliver who jointly received the keys of the gathering in section 110..
One needs to realize that the end times servant is not necessarily the one who restores “all things“….
Another fascinating passage that I will simply provide for your consideration but will decline to elaborate deeply on at this time, is as follows:
26 And they asked him and said unto him; Why baptizest thou then, if thou be not the Christ, nor Elias who was to restore all things, neither that [end times] prophet?
27 John answered them, saying, I baptize with water: but there standeth one among you, whom ye know not;
28 He it is of whom I bear record. He is that prophet, even Elias, who, coming after me, is preferred before me, whose shoe’s latchet I am not worthy to unloose or whose place I am not able to fill; for he shall baptize, not only with water, but with fire and with the Holy Ghost.
(keep in mind that the term “all things” sometimes has reference to the Holy Ghost which teaches you “all things“… hint hint..
Anyway, there are other considerations that are fascinating but I have some errands to run… those are the ones that are top of mind.. sorry if some of the above quotes are a little off, I don’t have my scriptures handy
Great question… frankly, your time getting into doctrinal pissing matches with people on messaging boards is going to be largely a waste of time with regard to changing their minds… but it is a great opportunity for you to search deeper and deeper as questions are asked and pondered