The LDS Church is being Sued for Religious Fraud

September 14, 2019

As most of you are probably aware, the LDS Church is being sued for religious fraud.

Here is a snippet from courthousenews.com

SALT LAKE CITY (CN) — A federal lawsuit sure to get attention in Utah claims that the “Mormon Corporate Empire” has driven worshipers to existential crises, suicide, anxiety and depression by peddling a “scheme of lies” centered on the  religion’s creation and its scriptures, a onetime member claims.

 

(The angel Moroni, an icon of the Mormon faith.)

Laura Gaddy on Monday filed a scathing, 75-page class action against the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Represented by Salt Lake City attorney Kay Burningham, Gaddy claims the church, which claimed 16 million members worldwide in 2018, twisted “the foundational history of Mormonism” in a “fraudulent scheme perpetrated for generations.”

“The material facts upon which Mormonism is based have been manipulated through intentional concealment, misrepresentation, distortion and or obfuscation by the [LDS] to contrive an inducement to faith in Mormonism’s core beliefs,” the complaint states.

The defendant is The Corporation of the President of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, which Gaddy describes as a holding company, “which owns and/or controls several for-profit businesses.”

The complaint cites official, “whitewashed” teachings of Mormonism claiming to be the restoration of the gospel of Jesus Christ, in which a divine authority essential to that gospel was taken from Earth after Christ’s crucifixion and purportedly restored hundreds of years later to church founder Joseph Smith.

There have obviously been countless lawsuits over a myriad of issues attempted against the LDS Church by disgruntled members of the church over the years. Some successful, most probably never see the light of day in court. The church has deep pockets and one of the most powerful law firms on retainer.

Institutional Financial Fraud

Several months ago I was contacted by another person who has accumulated compelling documentation about the intentional and secretive manipulation of and questionable use of financial funds by the church.

Additionally he has documented how the legal status and ownership of the corporation of the church has been intentionally altered to conceal how money and power is being routed. He claims these secret changes of legal status have been done for nefarious reasons and that there has been no accountability. Much of this information has not come to light because of lack of the lack of transparency which the Mormon church is famous for.

He was asking me for support and guidance on how he might proceed taking legal action against the church. I told him I did not think success would be very likely and that the costs would be overwhelming. Additionally, I did not think a credible attorney could be found that would accept the case.

The Remnant Temple Fund has over $100,000?

I have now been contacted by a disgruntled Snufferite who is claiming that the  Temple Fund lacks transparency and he feels that those behind the fund have questionable motives.

He has attempted to look into where the money is, who controls it, and how it will ultimately be used. I found the email and his detective work to be insightful and somewhat shocking as to how he has been treated when simply attempting to identify who some of the key players over the fund are and requesting transparency and accountability.

He is concerned that other gullible people are going to be bilked out of their hard earned money in the future and wants to bring this issue into the spotlight to protect future victims. I will probably be posting his email at his request in a future post.

Kay Burningham is the Real Deal

Getting back to the most recent lawsuit by Laura Gaddy which is accusing the LDS Church of religious fraud, the interesting thing about this lawsuit which differentiates it from others is that it is claiming damages based on the intentional misrepresentation of LDS Church History.

This attempt appears to be somewhat unusual. Some legal experts might suggest that the claims of such a lawsuit would be extremely difficult to prove. Obviously, a legal success in such an undertaking might just send a chill down the spine of many religious cults, not to mention all of the false prophets out there that are making outrageous claims that cannot be supported and in some cases, can easily be shown to be false.

Some casual observers of the Gaddy lawsuit may be shaking their heads and blowing it off as a frivolous lawsuit without merit that has no chance in hell of ever making it to court.

Frankly, I am not so sure this is the case.

Here are two things to consider.

  1. Many bloggers, authors and historians (including myself) have been documenting the intentional manipulation of church history by the LDS for years. There is no question about the fact that the LDS church has knowing fabricated and suppressed church historical facts that are foundational to the truth claims of the church.

    While I do not personally question or challenge foundational truth claims about Joseph Smith being a true prophet, the true New Testament Church of Christ being restored in the 1800’s, and the Book of Mormon being a true record of an ancient and fallen people, I do agree that many other parts of the current historical narrative being promoted by the modern church are unsupported and false.

    I think the modern LDS church leadership needs to be held accountable. Interestingly, the most egregious and damaging historical fabrications are not even being addressed in the lawsuit because it is being orchestrated by non-believers who only have a cursory understanding of LDS church history. They do not comprehend the deeper historical revisionism and related ramifications.

    2- The other thing to consider is who the legal counsel for Laura Gaddy is. Kay Burningham appears to be the real deal and she has skin in the game.

    She is not some low budget ambulance chasing opportunist that is throwing up a hail Mary in hopes of hitting the jackpot against a wealthy corporation. She is an accomplished attorney that has been groomed to take on such a case. She got her J.D. from the BYU  J. Reuben Clark Law School. She was a recipient of the “Outstanding Achievement Award” in Intellectual Property Law.

    She “is a civil trial attorney with over 25 years experience in California and Utah, representing both corporate defendants and individual plaintiffs. She has litigated cases involving misrepresentation and fraud in the context of product liability warnings, health care disclosures, insurance coverage and employment and real-estate contracts.

    Ms. Burningham has tried a variety of civil cases in San Diego Superior Court. In the early nineties she served as a San Diego Superior Court judge pro tem/civil settlement officer and arbitrator where she assisted in the resolution of a variety of civil cases. Since returning to Utah, she has tried cases in Utah District Court and has successfully argued before the Utah Supreme Court.”

    She has obviously been preparing for a case like this for years. Kay is the author of the book, “An American Fraud: One Lawyer’s case against Mormonism

Below is a link to a video of a presentation she did in 2013 on the topic of religious fraud and whether or not it is prosecutable.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HCgotg4kM7w&t=712s

Those desiring updates on this may visit the following site.

https://www.xmoresources.org/

 

 


Identifying and Correcting the False Traditions of our Fathers: #2 The resurrection begins the great judgment and represents the reuniting of our body and spirit into our final glorified state.

August 6, 2019

This post represents the second false doctrine that we are going to cover in this series which is often taught in the LDS Church.

The resurrection is often characterized by the institutional church as a split-second event that takes place after this earthly probation is over, where the spirit and body are reunited in their final glorified state.

Admittedly, some passages of scripture even sound like that may be the case when viewed as a single passage without looking at related passages and taking a broader contextual look at the doctrine.

The scenario I am seeing in the scriptures relative to the doctrine of the resurrection is quite different. The process of returning and being restored in the flesh actually appears to be part of the end times scenario and it begins with being restored to mortality before being restored to a glorified state.

The scriptures sometimes use the word restoration in place of or including the term resurrection.

Furthermore, the restoration (and resurrection) process actually takes place during this probationary period of this earth life and before the time of the final judgments and wrath of God that will be poured out upon the inhabitants of the earth.

The Resurrection of the Dead Represents the Time of Restoration

The following declarations are found on the official website of the LDS Church and has been taught as official church doctrine for centuries:

“[This] is truly the dispensation of the fullness of times, when all things which are in Christ Jesus, whether in heaven or on the earth, shall be gathered together in Him, and when all things shall be restored.”

As you can see, according to the above quote, we Latter day Saints have entered into the dispensation of the fulness of times when all things in heaven or on earth are to be restored and gathered to Christ. Interestingly, there is no scriptural support provided for that claim nor is there a reference provided as to who made that sensational statement.

In a later post in this series we shall address this topic and see from scripture and history of the church that we have not entered into the dispensation of the fulness of times.

Regarding the resurrection, or restoration of the dead, the official LDS website states that-

At the time of the resurrection, we will “be judged according to [our] works. … We shall be brought to stand before God, knowing even as we know now, and have a bright recollection of all our guilt..”

The wording in the above teaching can be confusing. It causes us to assume that the resurrection takes place after God’s last great work is finished and this mortal probation is over.

I believe the scriptures do not teach that.

It declares that the resurrection marks the time when the judgment begins and our works done in the mortal flesh have been completed.

I believe that a full, contextual reading of the scriptures provide a much more detailed sequence of events that do not support such a narrow characterization.

One of the problems may be semantics. The terms resurrection and restoration are not always used exactly the same way.

Below is one a passage from the modern revelation that I think is sometimes misunderstood:

6 And also with Elias, to whom I have committed the keys of bringing to pass the restoration of all things spoken by the mouth of all the holy prophets since the world began, concerning the last days; D&C27:6

 Who is the Elias being spoken of? When did he bring to pass the restoration of all things?

I would suggest that the passage is speaking about keys that were committed pertaining to a future event.

 A literal reading of the scriptures that pertain to the resurrection inform us that the resurrection actually begins the time of the literal gathering of God’s people to the lands of their inheritance. Further, they inform us that when we are initially brought forth from the dead, we will be returned to our MORTAL bodies, not our IMORTAL BODIES!

Look at the following passage of scripture in 2 Nephi 10:7

But behold, thus saith the Lord God: When the day cometh that they shall believe in me, that I am Christ, then have I covenanted with their fathers that they shall be restored in the flesh, upon the earth, unto the lands of their inheritance.

The passage is speaking about the final literal gathering of Israel.

First, those living on the earth shall believe in Christ.

Second, people will be restored in the flesh upon the earth.

Lastly, they are brought unto the lands of their inheritance.

That chronological sequence of events may be so foreign to you that you think I am misinterpreting the passage and wresting the scriptures. But I am not basing these claims solely on a unique interpretation of the above passage of scripture.

Verse 8 of 2 Nephi 10 notes that people are being gathered from the “four parts of the earth” after people are restored in the flesh.

And it shall come to pass that they shall be gathered in from their long dispersion, from the isles of the sea, and from the four parts of the earth;

 Now let’s review the dry bones prophecy in Ezekiel which supports the above declaration in 2 Nephi 10, that people will be restored to the earth in the flesh BEFORE the final gathering of Israel:

37 The hand of the Lord was upon me, and carried me out in the spirit of the Lord, and set me down in the midst of the valley which was full of bones…

2 And caused me to pass by them round about: and, behold, there were very many in the open valley; and, lo, they were very dry.

3 And he said unto me, Son of man, can these bones live? And I answered, O Lord God, thou knowest.

4 Again he said unto me, Prophesy upon these bones, and say unto them, O ye dry bones, hear the word of the Lord.

5 Thus saith the Lord God unto these bones; Behold, I will cause breath to enter into you, and ye shall live:

6 And I will lay sinews upon you, and will bring up flesh upon you, and cover you with skin, and put breath in you, and ye shall live; and ye shall know that I am the Lord.

7 So I prophesied as I was commanded: and as I prophesied, there was a noise, and behold a shaking, and the bones came together, bone to his bone.

8 And when I beheld, lo, the sinews and the flesh came up upon them, and the skin covered them above: but there was no breath in them.

9 Then said he unto me, Prophesy unto the wind, prophesy, son of man, and say to the wind, Thus saith the Lord God; Come from the four winds, O breath, and breathe upon these slain, that they may live.

10 So I prophesied as he commanded me, and the breath came into them, and they lived, and stood up upon their feet, an exceeding great army.

11 Then he said unto me, Son of man, these bones are the whole house of Israel: behold, they say, Our bones are dried, and our hope is lost: we are cut off for our parts.

Ezekiel prophesies that the time will come when the whole house of Israel will be restored to the earth in the flesh. Their dead bones will be covered with flesh once again and the breath of life will be put into them.

This has huge implications that we will not address in this post, but one has to wonder what has taken place on earth that would cause the entire house of Israel to be dead.

What happens after God restored them to the earth in the flesh?

They are gathered to the land of Israel!

 12 Therefore prophesy and say unto them, Thus saith the Lord God; Behold, O my people, I will open your graves, and cause you to come up out of your graves, and bring you into the land of Israel.

13 And ye shall know that I am the Lord, when I have opened your graves, O my people, and brought you up out of your graves,

14 And shall put my spirit in you, and ye shall live, and I shall place you in your own land: then shall ye know that I the Lord have spoken it, and performed it, saith the Lord.

After God opens the graves of the dead and restores all of Israel back to the earth in the flesh and puts his spirit in them, he brings them into the land of Israel.

As you can see, the above prophecy in Ezekiel 37 shares the same bizarre chronology as 2nd Nephi 10

This unusual narrative is also found in the blessing and cursing prophecy of Moses who declares that after Israel goes into apostasy in the latter days and is “driven” among “all nations“, God will gather his people, even from the four parts of heaven, and place them in their land!

1 And it shall come to pass, when all these things are come upon thee, the blessing and the curse, which I have set before thee, and thou shalt call them to mind among all the nations, whither the LORD thy God hath driven thee,

2 And shalt return unto the LORD thy God, and shalt obey his voice according to all that I command thee this day, thou and thy children, with all thine heart, and with all thy soul;

3 That then the LORD thy God will turn thy captivity, and have compassion upon thee, and will return and gather thee from all the nations, whither the LORD thy God hath scattered thee.

4 If any of thine be driven out unto the outmost parts of heaven, from thence will the LORD thy God gather thee, and from thence will he fetch thee:

5 And the LORD thy God will bring thee into the land which thy fathers possessed, and thou shalt possess it; and he will do thee good, and multiply thee above thy fathers.

This doctrine of being gathered even from the dead and placed into the appointed land is also found in Isaiah 52 which speaks first of the dead shaking the dust off and then being gathered.

shake yourselves from the dust

It then transitions into the gathering out of Babylon-

“go out from thence.. go ye out of the midst of her..

It speaks of the anointed servant of the Lord conducting this gathering

Behold my servant shall deal prudently.. his visage was so marred.. he shall gather many nations..”

 As you can see, the restoration of men back to the earth in the flesh precedes the final gathering of Israel!

The prophet Daniel also provides an interesting chronology having to do with the restoration of souls back to the earth:

1 And at that time shall Michael stand up, the great prince which standeth for the children of thy people: and there shall be a time of trouble, such as never was since there was a nation even to that same time: and at that time thy people shall be delivered, every one that shall be found written in the book.

2 And many of them that sleep in the dust of the earth shall awake, some to everlasting life, and some to shame and everlasting contempt.

3 And they that be wise shall shine as the brightness of the firmament; and they that turn many to righteousness as the stars for ever and ever.

Daniel informs us that once the children of Israel have been gathered, Michael stands up.

At that time, there will be a time of trouble.

People who have slept in the dust will awake. Some to everlasting life, others to shame and everlasting contempt.

Some of the ones that awake will turn many to righteousness! If people are still being converted to the truth, then clearly this amazing time of resurrection is still taking place during probationary time.

From Mortal Bodies to Immortal Bodies

Furthermore, as briefly mentioned earlier in this post, there is reason to believe that initially, men are restored from the dust back to their mortal bodies not their immortal bodies!

It is commonly taught in the church that after our mortal body dies, all men will be resurrected from the dead into our final immortal and glorified bodies to be judged.  It is believed by many that perhaps this process takes place sometime after the events of the end times during the millennium.

But there are passages in the Book of Mormon that seem to challenge this.

They teach that those who experience the death of the mortal body must first be returned to this earth and come forth out of the grave and be restored to that same mortal body to be judged.

Notice the very specific language used in the book of Alma declaring that the immortal body is raised from the mortal body, not directly from the spirit that is in the spirit world. 

Alma 11:45 

45 Now, behold, I have spoken unto you concerning the death of the mortal body, and also concerning the resurrection of the mortal body. I say unto you that this mortal body is raised to an immortal body

It is not saying that the spirit is directly reunited with the immortal body, it is saying that first there is a resurrection of the mortal body. Sometime after that, the mortal body is raised to an immortal body.  

Alma 12:20 

20 But there was one Antionah, who was a chief ruler among them, came forth and said unto him: What is this that thou hast said, that man should rise from the dead and be changed from this mortal to an immortal state, that the soul can never die?

Again, we have a progression here.

Alma is stating that we gain a mortal body in this probation, then we die, then we are raised up again in our mortal body, then we are judged, then we are raised from our mortal body to an immortal body.

  • Mortal Body in Mortal Probation
  • Death
  • Restored from the dead to our mortal body after death the first death has been conquered
  • Mortal Body raise to an Immortal body

Countless patriarchal blessings from the time of Kirtland to the present day have promised the saints that they would stand on the earth in the flesh to see the coming of the Lord.

Skeptics have scoffed at how many people have died without seeing the fulfillment of this prophecy. And yet it appears from several passages that everyone that has died after the crucifixion of Christ will eventually be returned to the earth at the appointed time, before the time of the coming of the Lord so that they can stand on the earth and witness his coming in glory.

Those patriarchal blessings will still be fulfilled.

Job understood this concept full well that at the time of the end, he would be restored to the earth in the flesh to see God.

25 For I know that my redeemer liveth, and that he shall stand at the latter day upon the earth:

           26 And though after my skin worms destroy this body, yet in my flesh shall I see God.. Job 19:25-29 King James Version (KJV)

 The Book of Revelation notes how the wicked that are restored to their bodies will desire death but will not be able to die

“And in those days shall men seek death, and shall not find it; and shall desire to die, and death shall flee from them”

This doesn’t necessarily mean that these men are in their final glorified bodies. If so, why are they seeking death?

Again, the term resurrection is not necessarily used the same way in the scriptures all the time nor does it always have reference to the final state of the immortal body.

Sometimes the term resurrection and related terms may simply have reference to coming forth from the dead to be judged, not necessarily referring to the restoration of a physical body.

Section 88: 96-101 gives a chronology of the four groups coming forth from the dead at the coming of Christ and yet, it only addresses some form of physical restoration of the celestial spirits are quickened and caught up and the terrestrial spirits are judged in the flesh. Nothing is said about the “spirits” that come forth from the other two groups having been returned to physical bodies at that time.

This restoration narrative is closely related to many other deep topics and this episode is not intended to answer all of the questions about the resurrection. In some ways it may generate more questions than answers. The purpose is to simply point out that what is being taught about resurrection by the institutional church is not supported in scripture.

 

 

 


Setting Up the Patriarchal Order to Establish an Ancient Kingdom in the Latter Days: The Gathering and Scattering of Latter Day Israel- Part 2

July 26, 2019

In part 1 of this series we observed that Joseph Smith Jr. was the first patriarch of the last days. We also observed that Joseph Smith Sr. became the Patriarch of the church one day after the Lord declared all members and leaders of the church to be under condemnation.

At the end of part 1 of this series I mentioned that a father of a prominent family during Joseph Smith’s ministry had been ORDAINED to be a patriarch and to give his family blessings, even before Father Joseph Smith Sr. was ordained to be the patriarch of the church.

This man was John Hayden Young Sr., the father of Brigham Young.

In 1834 John Young Sr. was ordained a Patriarch by President Joseph Smith so that he could bless his family. It appears as if he was the first man ordained to that office in the Church. His ordination preceded the ordination of father Joseph Smith Sr. as the Patriarch of the Church.

The following is Brigham Young’s recollection of how this unusual event took place:

“..at the time that Zion’s Camp, as it is called, went up to Missouri, in 1834, so far as I am aware, Joseph had never received any intimation as to there being a Patriarch in the Church. On our return home from Missouri, my brother Joseph Young, while conversing with me, asked if it would be right for our father to give us a blessing. Said he—”I feel just as though I want my father to give me a patriarchal blessing.” When we reached Kirtland we talked with Joseph on the subject, and he said, “Certainly,” and finally we appointed a day, and brother Joseph, the Prophet, came to where we met and ordained my father a Patriarch, and
he was the first man ordained to the office of Patriarch in the Church, and he blessed his children; and soon after this Joseph ordained his father a patriarch and his father called his children together and blessed them. Then Joseph had another revelation, that a record should be kept, and when this was revealed to him, he then had his father call his house together again, and blessed them over and a record was kept of it.

But Wait, Father’s don’t Need to be Ordained Patriarchs!
They Have a Lineal Right to Bless their Children!

Interestingly, there is an account of Joseph Smith Sr. and father John Johnson both giving patriarchal blessings to some of their children in February of 1834 even though they had not been ordained patriarchs. Those ordinations by un-ordained patriarchs took place before Joseph Smith ordained father John Young to be a patriarch to his family or Joseph Smith Sr., to be the patriarch of the church. This documentation of un-ordained fathers giving patriarchal blessings to their offspring is consistent with what the church has since taught, that fathers don’t need to be ordained as patriarchs in order to give their posterity blessings.

This begs the question, why did Joseph Smith respond in the affirmative to Joseph Young’s desire to have his father John Young ordained a patriarch, even the first to be ordained to give blessings?

Was Joseph Smith just being a loose canon?

Did he get ahead of himself in doing an unnecessary ordination, or was he winking at God, knowing that the Young family had an important part to play in the re-establishment of the patriarchal hierarchy of latter day Israel? After all, this event took place during Joseph Smith’s revelatory sweet spot.

The possibility that Joseph Smith knew about the prominent future role of the Young family in the restoration movement reminds me of the following account given by Brigham Young:

“In the evening a few of the brethren came in, and we conversed together upon the things of the kingdom. He (the Prophet) called upon me to pray; in my prayer I spoke in tongues. As soon as we arose from our knees the brethren flocked around him, and asked his opinion concerning the gift of tongues that was upon me. He told them it was the pure Adamic language.

Some said to him they expected he would condemn the gift Brother Brigham had, but he said, ‘No, it is of God, and the time will come when brother Brigham Young will preside over this Church.’ The latter part of this conversation was in my absence.”

A second testimony is given by Levi Handcock of Joseph’s prophetic understanding that Brigham would one day preside over the church:

“I was living with Joseph Smith Jr. and had completed the translating room and had seen many new brethren, and had heard Joseph speak many things concerning them, but no observation sunk with such weight on my mind as the one that he made about Brigham Young and Joseph Young.

Some time in the month of Nov. 1832, these men came to Joseph Smith in the evening and sung and prayed with us. After they had gone from there Joseph Smith said to me, “how do you like the men?” or something near it. After he had got my answer he said, “these are good men,” and “there is Brigham Young, [he] is a great man and one day the whole kingdom will rest upon him; and there is the smaller one, he is a great man, but his brother [Brigham] is greater..

It is interesting to note that there is nothing in the above alleged prophecies of Joseph Smith about Brigham Young being a “prophet” or “seer” or “revelator”. Simply that he would “preside” and that the “kingdom will rest upon him”. What kingdom? Was it a new patriarchal order?

One can argue that something deeper was in the works having to do with the establishing of a patriarchal kingdom in conjunction with the John Young Sr. family generally and Brigham Young specifically.

One of the interesting things about the succession debate between the LDS church and the RLDS church that took place shortly after the establishment of the RLDS church, is that Brigham Young and his successors had a blind spot regarding one of their strongest succession arguments.

Instead of trying to suggest that the Quorum of the Twelve had a legitimate right to preside over the entire church, which they clearly didn’t, they might have focused on the patriarchal order that was re-established on December 6th 1834 to lead the church. The re-establishment of this ancient order beginning with father Joseph Smith Sr., ultimately resulted in the passing of the torch of church leadership to Hyrum Smith and his descendants as documented in Section 124.

However, the “church of the Latter day Saints” was under condemnation and on probation when section 124 was given. If the saints became rejected as a “church”, is it possible that they could remain as a tribal kingdom that called themselves a church?

In previous posts we showed that the calling of Hyrum Smith to serve in unison with his brother Joseph, was the beginning of the fulfillment of the succession prophecy in Section 43 which warned that nobody would be called to succeed Joseph as the prophet UNLESS Joseph were to fall.

Within a few short years after the calling of Hyrum, Joseph declared that he would no longer prophesy for the church and that his brother Hyrum had the authority.

The Lord declared in section 124 that Hyrum presided in the office of “Priesthood and Patriarch” of the church by ordination and by lineal right :

91 And again, verily I say unto you, let my servant William be appointed, ordained, and anointed, as counselor unto my servant Joseph, in the room of my servant Hyrum, that my servant Hyrum may take the office of Priesthood and Patriarch, which was appointed unto him by his father, by blessing and also by right;

92 That from henceforth he shall hold the keys of the patriarchal blessings upon the heads of all my people,

93 That whoever he blesses shall be blessed, and whoever he curses shall be cursed; that whatsoever he shall bind on earth shall be bound in heaven; and whatsoever he shall loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven.

Note how the first order of business was to declare Hyrum as the holder of the office of priesthood and patriarch. Following that, as a secondary role to that presiding position, Hyrum was appointed to be a prophet, seer and revelator-

95 That he may act in concert also with my servant Joseph; and that he shall receive counsel from my servant Joseph, who shall show unto him the keys whereby he may ask and receive, and be crowned with the same blessing, and glory, and honor, and priesthood, and gifts of the priesthood, that once were put upon him that was my servant Oliver Cowdery;

96 That my servant Hyrum may bear record of the things which I shall show unto him, that his name may be had in honorable remembrance from generation to generation, forever and ever.

Clearly, the order of the church had changed. The dispensation of the gospel of Abraham had changed the order of priesthood leadership to the ancient patriarchal order. Hyrum held the office of “Priesthood and Patriarch“. The above passage becomes much more meaningful with the backstory of how the patriarchal order was established to lead the church of the latter day saints at the downgrading of the condemned church on December 6th 1834 followed by the secret ushering in of the dispensation of the Gospel of Abraham in 1836.

The above snippet from section 124 is highly significant.

The following statement has been greatly misunderstood “keys of the patriarchal blessings upon the heads of all my people

Those of us reared in the LDS church have been indoctrinated to think that the “keys” of the “patriarchal blessings” refer to the giving of fathers blessings and blessings by stake patriarchs.

In hindsight, it becomes obvious that the “keys” have to do with the evangelical priesthood keys that had been restored by John the Baptist in 1829. This is why the revelation states that Hyrum was replacing Oliver Cowdery who had once held the keys of that patriarchal priesthood.

Oliver Cowdery was not running around giving patriarchal blessings to members of the church (with the notable exception of the one he gave to Joseph Smith)

Where had Oliver gotten the evangelical keys?

From John the Baptist!

While it is important to acknowledge the significant priesthood roles of families like the Cowdery’s, Smith’s and Young’s, it becomes obvious that there were numerous people converting to early Mormonism that were from the chosen seed of Abraham and who had right to the lineal priesthood by birthright.

A Strong Succession Argument

The fact that Hyrum’s posterity went west with Brigham Young and his posterity and  quorum of the Twelve apostles who also held the patriarchal/evangelical priesthood keys of taking the gospel message to the world, is worth evaluating seriously.

Is it possible that even though the saints were rejected as a church, they continued on as a tribal kingdom with the priesthood mandate to take the knowledge of the gospel, via the Book of Mormon, to other remnants of Israel?

I believe this provides the real story of what actually took place during the succession crisis and how the Lord re-established an ancient patriarchal-tribal order with authority to take the knowledge of the gospel to the dispersed of Judah and the outcasts of Israel.

This is not to discount the importance of the seed of Joseph Smith Jr. who chose to reject the leadership of Brigham and the Twelve. They have their own place and standing. All of us are out of the way, but those of us associated with any of the LDS restoration fragments  who have the believing blood in our veins, are the children of Abraham and the literal descendants of Israel.

Oddly enough, the significance of this patriarchal order to lead the saints appears to have been totally lost on Brigham Young and his brethren.

They were hell-bent on maintaining the appearance of the acknowledged restored “church” organization rather than the “patriarchal” organization that had become the default powerbase and hierarchy of the Church of the Latterday Saints before it became rejected as a church.

The significance of the patriarchy in leading the saints after the “church” was rejected with its dead was completely obscured. The significance of the patriarchal priesthood of Abraham, otherwise referred to as the evangelical priesthood, also became obscured.

In fact, in conjunction with Brigham Young’s reorganizing of the existing church leadership in Nauvoo to secure his kingdom shortly after the succession crisis, a disinformation campaign was orchestrated by the Twelve regarding the office of Patriarch.

It neutered the authority of the office of the patriarch that had been re-established in 1834 and again acknowledged in 1841.

In an article in the Times and Seasons written by John Taylor under the direction of Brigham Young, it was declared that the office of Patriarch only had authority over other patriarchs in the church and related only to giving patriarchal blessings. Further, it was declared that Hyrum and his successors were “Patriarchs To the church” not “Patriarchs Over the Whole Church“.

Big difference.

Here is a snippet from an article written by author, researcher and historian E. Gary Smith:

ALMOST A YEAR after Patriarch to the Church Hyrum Smith was killed, the Times and Seasons, the official church newspaper in Nauvoo, carried an editorial entitled “Patriarchal,” with the prefatory note: “As the nature of the office of Patriarch, does not seem to be fully understood, we thought a little explanation on this point might not be amiss.”

1 If what followed failed in its stated purpose of providing a complete understanding of the office, it nevertheless represents the first attempt to provide a written description of the duties and responsibilities of the office of Patriarch to the Church, and for that reason has usually figured largely in historical studies of the subject and period.

2 “Patriarchal,” which appeared 1 June 1845, was authored by John Taylor, of the Times and Seasons and presumably spoke on behalf of Brigham Young and the Quorum of the Twelve.

3 Taylor, in his description of the office of Patriarch to the Church, concluded among other things that: the title is “Patriarch to the Church” and not “Patriarch over the whole Church”; that

“..the Patriarch to the Church is one of several patriarchs, all of whom have equal authority to give blessings; that patriarchs only bless the “fatherless” (those without worthy priesthood-bearing fathers); and that the presiding rights of the Patriarch to the Church are limited to presiding over other patriarchs.

To make use of this editorial in reconstructing the office as it once existed we must remember that, as with other offices in the Mormon hierarchy, the position of Patriarch to the Church evolved with few written guidelines during the lifetime of the Prophet Joseph Smith. We are left to evaluate and collate the miscellaneous and disparate evidences available to us.

As you can see, Brigham Young and his brethren were completely recharacterizing and marginalizing the power, authority and position of the office of Patriarch over the entire church in an effort to maintain the look and feel of the restored “church” priesthood organization.

The Remarkable Sons of Father John Young Sr.

John and Nabbie Young had 11 children, six daughters and five sons, beginning with Nancy in 1786 and ending with Lorenzo Dow in 1807

The brothers of Brigham Young are seldom acknowledged as being significant players in the LDS restoration movement and historically they were greatly overshadowed by the ministry and leadership of their brother Brigham. For the most part, he kept each of them out of the leading councils of the church. However it should be noted that Brigham’s brothers were noble disciples of Christ.

John M Young Jr.,

The eldest brother and name sake of father John Young, was deeply religious and became a Methodist minister at a very young age.

John was baptized into the restored Church by his brother Joseph Young, 6 Oct. 1833. He was ordained an elder in 1834.12. He served mission to Ohio, Pennsylvania, and New York in 1834, and established branch in Nunda, Livingston Co., New York. He assisted in construction of Kirtland temple and was ordained a seventy, by 1836.

He was Ordained a high priest by Lyman Wight and John P. Greene, 1841 and served as counselor in Kirtland stake presidency, 1841–1845, and as Kirtland stake president, 1845–1847 after which he migrated to Salt Lake Valley, Oct. 1847.21

Joseph Young

Baptized into Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints by Daniel Bowen, 6 Apr. 1832, at Columbia, Bradford Co., Pennsylvania.

8 Ordained an elder by Ezra Landon, Apr. 1832.  Served mission to New York, spring 1832. Served mission to Upper Canada, summer 1832. Moved to Kirtland, Geauga Co., Ohio, fall 1832. Served mission to Upper Canada, winter 1832–1833. Participated in Camp of Israel expedition to Missouri, 1834.  Ordained a seventy, 28 Feb. 1835, in Kirtland.

Appointed a president of First Quorum of the Seventy, 1 Mar. 1835. Served missions to eastern states, 1835, 1836. Stockholder in Kirtland Safety Society.  witnessed massacre at Hawn’s Mill, Caldwell Co., Missouri.  Member of Nauvoo Legion, 1842

Appointed “first president over all the quorums of the seventies” at conference in Nauvoo, Oct. 1844. Admitted to Council of Fifty, 1 Mar. 1845.

He is documented as being a very solemn person who made the following observation before coming into contact with the Mormon Elders:

“There is not a Bible Christian in the world; what will become of the people?”

This had a profound impact on the views of Brigham Young and and was probably instrumental in preparing Brigham and his family for the message of the restoratioin.

In a discourse Brigham observed that the realization that the inhabitants of the earth had all gone out of the way had put a huge burden of the Lord upon his brother Joseph:

“For many years no person saw a smile on his countenance,” (see Journal of Discourses, 12:95)

To me it is not insignificant that Joseph Young is the one that felt impressed upon by the spirit to desire his father to be ordained a patriarch so that the Young brothers could receive their patriarchal blessings. Little did he know at the time just how significant a role the Young Family would play in the LDS restoration movement

Lorenzo Young

John Young’s youngest son Lorenzo Young was 19 Oct. 18071–21 Nov. 1895. Baptized into Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints by John P. Greene, 1832. Stockholder in Kirtland Safety Society. Participated in skirmish at Crooked River, near Ray Co., Missouri, 25 Oct. 1838. mission to Ohio, 1844. 

Lorenzo and his second wife, Harriet Page Wheeler, were numbered among the first small company of pioneers, led by Brigham Young, to enter the Salt Lake Valley in July of 1847. They were parents of the first pioneer male child born in the valley—Lorenzo

Lorenzo was perhaps the most visionary of the sons of John Young. At the age of 9 he experienced a prophetic dream wherein he recorded standing in an open space, seeing a carriage coming along a road that led up into the air. The carriage was white and brilliant with gold and the horses traveled like the wind.

” the Savior was in the carriage… it was driven by his servant. The carriage stopped near me, and the Savior inquired where my brother Brigham was. After informing him, he further inquired about my other brothers and our father. After I had answered His inquiries, he stated that he wanted us all, but he especially wanted my brother Brigham.”

Numerous interpretations could be placed upon the dream. I find it interesting that the Savior inquired about the father and each of the sons. The fact that the Savior was looking specifically for Brigham could be viewed in a positive or negative light.

Where was Brigham?

Where had he gone?

What path had he gone down?

Phineas Young

16 Feb. 17991–10 Oct. 1879. Baptized into Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints by Ezra Landon, 5 Apr. 1832, Began serving mission to Canada with Elial Strong, Eleazer Miller, and Enos Curtis, June 1832.

Served mission to New York with Oliver Granger, ca. 1834. Served missions to Virginia, eastern states, and Michigan Territory, 1835. Ordained a high priest by Brigham Young and George Miller, fall 1842. Served mission to eastern states, 1843–1844, preaching mainly in Ohio and New York. Admitted to Council of Fifty, 15 Apr. 1845.

“Phineas, the third son, had struggled with the enticements of the world before finding a spiritual identity near the age of 24, when he forsook his former companions and pursuits, and prayed fervently to the Lord until he, too, accepted Methodism and became a preacher, according to “The Faithful Young Family.”

He tells of a singular experience he had when he was visiting a young woman who was dying of consumption, the same dreaded malady of which his mother had died. He relates that he was “promoted to lay hands on the sufferer and rebuke the disease” — and this action healed her. “I never had seen anything of the kind in my life,” Phineas continued, “but had always believed the people were living far beneath their privileges”

Of all of John Young’s sons, Phineas Young may be the most significant player to ever be pushed out of his rightful position. It is a little known fact that Brigham’s brother Phineas, who was six years older than Brigham was actually the very first man called by revelation, into the quorum of the Twelve apostles by Oliver Cowdery and David Whitmer.

Interestingly, Joseph Smith used his influence to persuade Oliver and David to rescind the call that had been extended to Phineas Young and replace him in the quorum with Joseph Smith’s brother, William Smith.

Oliver Attempts to Correct the Mistake

Here is a letter from Oliver Cowdery to Brigham Young wherein Oliver Informs Brigham that Phineas had been robbed of his calling-

Elkhorn, Walworth County, Wisconsin February 27, 1848

Dear Brigham [Young]:

By the hand of Brother Phineas H. Young I received your epistle of December last, and after reading it carefully and conversing freely with Brother Phineas, I have thought that if circumstances would permit I would visit you in the early part of the spring say as soon as the 6th of April, if possible. This will give me an opportunity of seeing my valuable old friends, and time too of conversing upon interesting subjects.

I have concluded to do so for many reasons; One is, it is difficult communicating as fully by writing as one would often wish, and also it will give time to say orally what one can hardly communicate in any other way as well. I have said above, that if possible I would see you the 6th of April: this my be prevented on account of certain business, of which Brother Phineas will fully acquaint you, which I may find myself under an honorable obligation of doing.

Brother Phineas informs me that you talk of going into the [Salt Lake] valley this summer. After conversing with Brother Phineas upon some matters of importance, you may think best not to, till you shall have seen us. I refer you to Brother Phineas for full particulars, upon which you will act as wisdom may direct. Brother Phineas will also inform you of the substance of what I have just written to Brother David Whitmer, advising him for reasons given by all means to be at Winter Quarters on the 6th of April.

As I may not be with you at the conference, and as this is a confidential communication, I may be permitted to say a word in relation to a matter long since past, but which is due Brother Phineas. At the time the Twelve were chosen in Kirtland, and I may say before it had been manifested that Brother Phineas was entitled to occupy the station as one of the number; but owing to Brother Joseph’s urgent request at the time, Brother David and myself yielded to his wish, and consented for William to be selected, contrary to our feelings and judgment, and to our deep mortification ever since.

Brother Phineas occupied at that time a relation to myself that caused me to feel delicate about urging his name and besides Brother Joseph, about that time was bearing down heavily upon Brother Phineas. The time has now come when Brother Phineas can occupy the place where he ought to have been from the first, and I cannot but hope he may have justice done him as far as possible. You and others may think that it is a matter about which I have no right to speak, but this shall not prevent my saying the truth, for it one to a worthy man, though he be my brother-in-law.

As to other matters, I refer you to Brother Phineas. I will in great haste subscribe myself.

Yours in the new covenant,

Source: Oliver Cowdery to Brigham Young, February 27, 1848 in Gunn (1962).

 

According to the Wilford Woodruff Journal, in 1854, Phineas Young told the brethren in Utah about the switch:

“May 15, 1854: Near Fillmore, Utah.

Phineas Young said that he was the first that was chosen in the organization of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, but Brother Joseph said he wished I would let Wm. Smith have that place, so I gave way to him. The above shows Phineas Young’s feelings

“Some fifty years after the formation of the quorum, in an interview that Zenas Gurley conducted with David Whitmer in January 1885, Whitmer corroborated Cowdery’s and Young’s recollections and confirmed that Phineas was the man who was originally selected for the position” (Cook, David Whitmer Interviews, 157.)  See http://signaturebooks.com/2014/04/lost-apostles-excerpts/#apostle9

The Brigham Young Family Dynasty Fails to Gain Traction

Brigham Young and his associates reclassified and downgraded the office of Patriarch during the Nauvoo succession crises and essentially marginalized the significance of the Joseph Smith Sr. and the John Young Sr. patriarchies.

Interestingly, Brigham would later attempt to create a Brigham Young family dynasty to lead the church by ordaining several of his sons as apostles.

brighams sons.png

It is astounding nearly 200 years later to look back with the benefit of 20-20 hindsight (and hopefully a little inspiration) to see how a few key events completely changed the course of history.

It appears that Phineas, not Brigham, would have been the president of the quorum of the Twelve at the time of the succession crisis, had Joseph Smith not interfered with the inspired mandate that the Lord had given to Oliver and David to chose the Twelve Apostles.

There are numerous events that may well have been associated with Isaiah’s prophecy that the seers eyes would be covered, and with the prophetic warning found in the 1833 Book of Commandments that the Lord would deliver the Saints over to Satan if they had stiff necks. Joseph’s interference in this particular event appears to have been one of them.

It is my understanding that Phineas was a very humble, Godly man. It is a very sobering thing to contemplate just how differently things may have played out if Phineas Young, instead of Brigham Young, had been the President of the Quorum of the Twelve at the time of the succession crisis in Nauvoo.

One thing we know is that all things were foreseen by God and that he is ultimately in control.

The John Young family seems to play a very important role in the direction that the restoration movement took during the succession crisis. He raised five God-fearing boys. Three of them became Methodist Ministers before accepting the restored gospel. A forth became the presiding patriarch of the latter day kingdom regardless of whether you want to refer to him as a prophet, president or patriarch. The fifth, probably should have been in that position.

John Young’s genealogy shows that he descends from ancient kings. Will deeper research reveal that they come from the Davidic bloodline that was necessary to re-establish the Davidic dynasty in the latter days?

In part three of this series we will ponder why in hellfire God commissioned David Whitmer and Oliver Cowdery to “search out Twelve” apostles in May of 1829 yet they did not get around to obeying that commandment until nearly six years later in February of 1835, AFTER the fulness of the gospel had been rejected!!!

The apostles that David and Oliver called only held patriarchal priesthood keys.

In the interim, while awaiting Oliver and David to act on that commission in 1835, God had called a quorum of apostles who held the Melchizedek Priesthood.

What is with that?

Is it possible that the twelve traveling evangelical apostles represented the beginning of a patriarchal order and tribal kingdom that would continue on after the succession crisis?

More to come.. keep watching m


Setting Up the Patriarchal Order to Establish an Ancient Kingdom in the Latter Days: The Gathering and Scattering of Latter Day Israel- Part 1

July 24, 2019

Summary of topics to be covered in this series.

What is Aaronic Priesthood? Moses held the Melchizedek priesthood. It was a higher priesthood than his brother Aaron held. The term “Aaronic Priesthood” can be used in two differing contexts and therefore can be very confusing. Sometimes the term may refer to a broad definition that includes Levitical priesthood or even exclusively refer to Levitical priesthood which is the lowest of the three grand orders of priesthood. It is named ” ‘the priesthood of Aaron’, because it was conferred upon Aaron and his seed, throughout all their generations” . Aaron and his sons are descendants of the tribe of Levi and hence, the term “Levitical priesthood“.

At other times the term “priesthood of Aaron” is used as a specific descriptive referring to the actual priesthood authority or priesthood keys that Aaron personally held and exercised as the presiding patriarchal high priesthood in ancient Israel. This priesthood is synonymous with the patriarchal priesthood that is named after the great patriarch, Abraham. This is the second grand order of priesthood.

Context is everything when reading about terms in the scriptures. This is why knowledge is power. This is why one must possess the spirit of revelation or the information within the holy scriptures remain sealed to the uninitiated.

When John the Baptist restored the Aaronic priesthood “keys” in 1829 as documented in section 13, it is referring to the administrative keys of the second grand order of priesthood that Aaron and Abraham both personally held. This is the priesthood authority that the early elders of the church held in presiding over the church during the first two years after the church was legally established, before the Melchizedek priesthood was restored at the special conference at the Morley Farm. It is also the default priesthood that was left after the Melchizedek priesthood was rejected.

The Ordination of Patriarchs during the LDS Restoration: Few people realize that father John Young, the father of Brigham Young, was ordained to be a patriarch and to give patriarchal blessings to the members of his patriarchal family. Remarkably, this ordination took place BEFORE the ordination of father Joseph Smith Sr. as the patriarch of the Church of the Latter day Saints on December 6th, 1834.

Why was father Young ordained as a patriarch before father Smith?

Why did Father Young even need to be ordained to give patriarchal blessings to his posterity?

We are taught that every father has an innate patriarchal, lineal right as a father to give fathers blessings to their children?

Is it possible that this ordination was a significant preliminary event that would be necessary in the eventual establishment of an ancient tribal kingdom in the last days after the saints are rejected as a church?

The Two declarations of Condemnation upon the Church: There are two times in modern revelation wherein the Lord declares the church to be under condemnation. The represent a short timeline with a beginning point of a probationary period and the end point of the probation. The first declaration of condemnation is documented in section 84. It places the saints on probation while they were stumbling in their attempt to live the fulness of the gospel and the law of the gospel. At this time, some leaders of the church were exempt from the condemnation. If the saints would have been faithful in coming out from under condemnation, the fulness of the gospel would have remained upon the earth.

The second revelation declaring the saints to be under condemnation appears in the history of the church. It proclaims that all members and leaders of the church to be under condemnation. It this revelatory declaration is given at the time that Oliver Cowder and others were ordained as presiding elders of the newly downgraded church. That declaration represents the failure of the saints to repent and retain the fulness and become sanctified. The failed attempt to live the fulness resulted in the loss of the fulness. It resulted in a priesthood downgrade of the church similar to what happened to the ancient children of Israel when they refused to be sanctified and behold the face of God. Because of this, God in his wrath withdrew Moses and the higher priesthood and caused the lesser priesthood to remain .

A Priesthood of Blessings and Cursings. The Melchizedek Priesthood (highest order of priesthood) is a priesthood of spiritual blessings. The Levitical Priesthood (the Lowest order of priesthood) only results in cursings.

The patriarchal priesthood of Abraham (the second order of priesthood) can be accompanied by blessings AND/OR cursings. It is accompanied with blessings as a preparatory gospel if the saints are not under condemnation and are moving towards receiving the fulness . It is accompanied with cursings once the saints reject the fulness and are under condemnation. Anciently, Moses prophesied about the blessing and the cursing that would take place in the latter days.

The Law of Carnal Commandments vs. the Law of Blessings: Section 13 speaks of the restoration of the keys of the patriarchal priesthood of Abraham that John the Baptist restored to the earth in 1829. Conversely, section 84 speaks of the patriarchal priesthood of Abraham that remained among the children of Israel. Both provide a brief description of Abraham’s patriarchal priesthood.

Both accounts list the following three components of the patriarchal priesthood

  1. Keys of the ministering of angels,
  2. Gospel of Repentance,
  3. Baptism for the Remission of Sins

Clearly, both accounts are speaking of the same order of priesthood.

However, there is a significant contextual difference in these two accounts.

Section 13 is speaking of the introduction of this second order of priesthood as a preparatory event leading toward the eventually restoration of the fulness. Because of this, blessings accompanied the restoration of this priesthood. Joseph and Oliver prophesied and enjoyed the outpouring of the Holy Ghost.

Conversely, Section 84 refers to the patriarchal priesthood of Abraham as the default priesthood that God in his wrath caused to remain among Israel after they refused to be sanctified and behold the face of God. They rejected the fulness and therefore became condemned. As a result of this condemnation, the law of carnal commandments was introduced as a cursing as another component of this priesthood.

The modern day institutional church is governed through carnal commandments. When was the Law of Carnal Commandments introduced into the restored church? I would suggest that the law of carnal commandments was not part of the initial priesthood restoration that is mentioned in section 13. Rather, the law of carnal commandments was introduced sometime AFTER the saints lost the fulness because of transgression to the higher law.

Almost immediately after the condemnation was pronounced upon the restored church in section 84, the Lord in his infinite foreknowledge began making preparations for the downfall of the saints even while the fulness was being offered to the saints. Among other things, a dietary word of wisdom was revealed through Joseph Smith. It was initially directed at the high priests and was not given by way of commandment. Eventually however, it would become a “letter of the law” commandment in the church after the fulness was removed and they were downgraded.

It appears as if the word of wisdom became part of the law of carnal commandments to latter day Israel. Scripture informs us that when the fulness is being lived by the saints, poison cannot hurt them. Because of this, there is no need for a dietary carnal commandment. It is not what goes into the mouth that is harmful, rather it is what comes out of the mouth. However when the saints fall from grace and begin relying upon the gospel of works instead of the gospel of faith and grace, a dietary law of carnal commandments becomes necessary along with a host of other outward commandments and rituals. Eventually the spiritual endowment is changed into an outward ritual containing signs and tokens and keywords and methods of taking life. This outward ritual is a letter of the law cursing.

The establishment of an ancient kingdom: The succession crisis that took place in Nauvoo often creates more questions that answers. Those who search deep into the history of the church often arrive at one of two possible conclusions regarding the ultimate result of the crisis and the current state of the institutional church today that evolved from that crisis. One possibility is that the down-graded “church of the latter day saints” weathered the storm and continues to exist today in a condemned state.

A second possibility is that the Lord rejected the saints as a church, along with their dead, because they failed to repent and build the temple in the allotted time frame as declared in section 124. This second possibility often leaves people without hope that God’s work of taking his word to the nations has continued on under his original mandate and authority.

Is it possible that there is a third possibility? Is it possible that obscure events in the history of the church resulted in the restoration of an ancient tribal kingdom? Is it possible that even though this tribal kingdom was rejected by God as a “church” with the fulness of the saving ordinances, it still has some level of lesser priesthood authority with a priesthood mandate to take God’s word to the dispersed of Judah and the outcasts of Israel? Is it possible that this tribal patriarchal kingdom has disguised itself as God’s “true church” ?

In a recent podcast, MD and Searcher discussed the office of Patriarch of the Church and revealed the fact that Father Joseph Smith Sr. was set apart and ordained to be the first Patriarch of the Church of the Latter day Saints.

Father Smith was given the keys of the patriarchal Priesthood over the kingdom of God on earth

For new readers, it is very important to understand that originally, the restored church was designated by revelation as the Church of Christ. By the time that Father Smith was ordained to be the patriarch of the church in December of 1834, , the name of Christ had been taken out of the church because of transgression and the failure of the saints to live the law of the Gospel as given in section 42.

The ordination of Father Smith was a very significant event for several reasons.

A New Patriarchal Order of Leadership

One reason this event was so significant is that it introduced a new priesthood leadership hierarchy into the newly downgraded church. This change in priesthood administration was done quite cryptically.

Initially, the priesthood offices and leadership organization of the restored church was very simple and similar to what is described in the New Testament. After a few years, shortly after the Melchizedek Priesthood was restored, High Priests became the highest-ranking members of the hierarchy. They always presided when present regardless of the tenor of the elders that previously presided in a particular congregation.

After the fulness of Melchizedek priesthood was rejected by the saints, the patriarchal priesthood became the default priesthood by which things were administered.

The ordination of Father Smith as the patriarch of the church, holding the keys of the kingdom of God on earth actually took the church into this third phase of priesthood organization although few members of the church fully realized what was taking place.

Just months previous to this occasion, the name of Christ had been taken out of the name of the Church because the saints had failed to keep the law of consecration and the law of God as contained in Section 42.

December 5th 1834 appears to represent the official end of the fulness of the gospel that had been restored on June 5th 1831. The represents a 3 ½ year period of time that is prophesied of in the Book of Daniel. On that day the Lord made the following declaration in a revelation to Joseph Smith:

“..verily condemnation resteth upon you who are appointed to lead my church and to be saviors of men and upon the Church. And there must needs be a repentance and a reformation among you, in all things..”

One of the things that MD discovered in his research for the podcast is that the day of Father Smith’s ordination was on December 6th, 1834.

That is the day after the Lord pronounced both the leaders and members of the church to be under condemnation.

The true date of that ordination had been obscured in the official history of the church. MD discovered the true date of this ordination while reading a book by Mike Quinn. This provides yet another witness to the fact that the fulness of the Gospel and Priesthood which was restored on June 5th 1831, lasted for 3 ½ years… exactly.

Again, this was in fulfillment to an ancient prophecy in the Book of Daniel indicating that the fulness would only last for that period of time being preceded and followed by apostasy and darkness.

One of the objectives of this series is to suggest that although Father Smith was the first person to be ordained as the Patriarch of the Church of the Latter day Saints, he was not the first to be ordain a patriarch in the latter days.

It is revealed in the patriarchal blessing of Joseph Smith Jr. that he was the first patriarch in the last days!

In his hands shall the Urim and Thummim remain and the holy ministry, and the keys of the evangelical priesthood, also, for an everlasting priesthood forever, even the patriarchal; for, behold, he is the first patriarch in the last days. He shall sit in the great assembly and general council of patriarchs, and execute the will and commandment of God under the direction of the Ancient of Days; for he shall have his place and act in his station. Behold, my brother Joseph is blessed: blessed are all who bless him, and bles sed are all those whom he blesses. Multitudes, multitudes, shall come to a knowledge of the truth through his ministry, (Patriarchal blessing from Oliver to Joseph Sept 22 1835 ” page 77 unpub)

Joseph Smith Jr. held the keys of the “holy ministry“, and the “keys of the evangelical priesthood“.

That revelatory snippet also reveals that “evangelical priesthood” and “patriarchal priesthood” are synonymous.

This is why Joseph Smith declared: “an Evangelist is a Patriarch..”. In other words, the evangelical priesthood is the same as the patriarchal priesthood.

We know that the Twelve Traveling Evangelists in the Quorum of the Twelve are basically traveling preachers holding the evangelical priesthood.

In an uncanonized revelation received in November of 1835, the Lord said:

“I appoint these twelve that they should be equal in their ministry, and in their portion and in their evangelical rights” Unpub pg 80 rev to the 12 given on Nov 3 1835

They held the same priesthood as Philip the Evangelist in the New Testament. This is what one Christian commentator has to say about this priesthood calling:

The evangelist – This word properly means one who announces good news. In the New Testament it is applied to a preacher of the gospel, or one who declares the glad tidings of salvation. It occurs only in two other places, Ephesians 4:1; 2 Timothy 4:5. What was the precise rank of those who bore this title in the early Christian church cannot perhaps be determined. It is evident, however, that it is used to denote the office of preaching the gospel; and as this title is applied to Philip..

The scriptures inform us that the evangelical priesthood and office of evangelist can be a traveling missionary role or an administrative one. Indeed, Philip the evangelist is listed as one of seven deacons:

Leaving the next day, we reached Caesarea, and we went to stay at the home of Philip the evangelist, who was one of the Seven. Acts 21:8

Therefore, brothers, select from among you seven men confirmed to be full of the Spirit and wisdom. We will appoint this responsibility to them Acts 6:3

..and devote ourselves to prayer and to the ministry of the word.”
This proposal pleased the whole group. They chose Stephen, a man full of faith and of the Holy Spirit, as well as Philip, Prochorus, Nicanor, Timon, Parmenas,and Nicolas from Antioch, a convert to Judaism.
They presented these seven to the apostles, who prayed and laid their hands on them.… Acts 6:5

Ancient kings and patriarchs were evangelic preachers.

Abraham was a great preacher and evangelist/patriarch. We don’t often think of Abraham as an evangelist preacher or missionary, however the book of Abraham reveals that the great blessing and promise that he obtained from the Lord through the fathers was to be a minister and to be over a ministry that that would preach the gospel:

1 In the land of the Chaldeans, at the residence of my fathers, I, Abraham, saw that it was needful for me to obtain another place of residence;

2 And, finding there was greater happiness and peace and rest for me, I sought for the blessings of the fathers, and the right whereunto I should be ordained to administer the same; having been myself a follower of righteousness, desiring also to be one who possessed great knowledge, and to be a greater follower of righteousness, and to possess a greater knowledge, and to be a father of many nations, a prince of peace, and desiring to receive instructions, and to keep the commandments of God, I became a rightful heir, a High Priest, holding the right belonging to the fathers.

3 It was conferred upon me from the fathers; it came down from the fathers, from the beginning of time, yea, even from the beginning, or before the foundation of the earth, down to the present time, even the right of the firstborn, or the first man, who is Adam, or first father, through the fathers unto me.

4 I sought for mine appointment unto the Priesthood according to the appointment of God unto the fathers concerning the seed.

6 But I, Abraham, and Lot, my brother’s son, prayed unto the Lord, and the Lord appeared unto me, and said unto me: Arise, and take Lot with thee; for I have purposed to take thee away out of Haran, and to make of thee a minister to bear my name in a strange land which I will give unto thy seed after thee for an everlasting possession, when they hearken to my voice.

9 And I will make of thee a great nation, and I will bless thee above measure, and make thy name great among all nations, and thou shalt be a blessing unto thy seed after thee, that in their hands they shall bear this ministry and Priesthood unto all nations;

10 And I will bless them through thy name; for as many as receive this Gospel shall be called after thy name, and shall be accounted thy seed, and shall rise up and bless thee, as their father;

11 And I will bless them that bless thee, and curse them that curse thee; and in thee (that is, in thy Priesthood) and in thy seed (that is, thy Priesthood), for I give unto thee a promise that this right shall continue in thee, and in thy seed after thee (that is to say, the literal seed, or the seed of the body) shall all the families of the earth be blessed, even with the blessings of the Gospel, which are the blessings of salvation, even of life eternal.

There is not one mention of the Melchizedek Priesthood in the above passages.

Even the office of “high priest” spoken of above is referring to the patriarchal office of high priest such as the one that Aaron held anciently, not the Melchizedek office of High Priest.

This explains why section 124 first observes that the fulness of the priesthood had been taken away yet it continues to acknowledge the office of high priest in the Church of the Latter day Saints.

Melchizedek High Priests VS. Aaronic High Priests

One of the amazing things we learn from the plat of the city of Zion that Joseph produced in 1833, is that there is a multiplicity of priesthood callings and offices within the three grand orders of priesthood that are not commonly understood or talked about.

It is apparent in reading the Old Testament that the Aaronic priesthood had the office of “high priest” that was not the same office of “high priest” that function after the order of Melchizedek.

This fact is further verified in Joseph Smith’s Zion plat. In it, there were 24 separate temples and numerous pulpits with priesthood designations on them. One of them was:

House of the Lord, for the Presidency of the High and Holy Priesthood, after the order of Melchizedek

and another was:

“House of the Lord, for the Presidency of the High and Holy Priesthood, after the Order of Aaron”

As you can see, the Melchizedek and Aaronic orders both had the office of “high priest“. Understanding this can greatly reduce the cognitive dissonance when following the changes in the hierarchy of the church during Joseph Smith’s ministry.

On the day of Penticost, Peter made reference to King David as a “patriarch”:

29 Men and brethren, let me freely speak unto you of the patriarch David, that he is both dead and buried, and his sepulchre is with us unto this day

We have been conditioned to think of David as a king but perhaps not so much as a patriarch. Yet that is the priesthood authority by which he reigned on his kingly throne.

King Solomon Held Patriarchal Authority

Abraham obtained the patriarchal priesthood and ministry that came down from the Fathers.

It is interesting that King Solomon refers to himself in the beginning passages of Ecclesiastes first, as a “Preacher” and secondly, as “the king of Israel“.

“The words of the Preacher, the son of David, king in Jerusalem”

The true office of a righteous king anciently was to be the head patriarch/evangelist and preacher over a tribe or kingdom of Israel.

King Benjamin is perhaps a perfect example of a preacher/King over Israel.

This is how God’s tribal order was set up during Old Testament times.

This is important to understand because there was a particular family during the LDS restoration movement that was instrumental in bringing about the ordination of a family, or tribal patriarch during the early days of the church of the Latter day Saints.

In fact, the patriarch of is prominent family arguably became the first to be “ordained” a patriarch in the Church of the Latter day Saints for the purpose of giving patriarchal blessings.

Is it possible that his progenitors would ultimately be involved in the re-establishment of an ancient patriarchal kingdom in the latter days?

More on that later..

Keep Watching


Taking a Critical Look At the Veracity of the Book of Abraham

July 3, 2019

One day in the mid 1980’s shortly after I began to search the scriptures a little more seriously, I was browsing through a used bookstore. While I was looking through a copy of the Old Testament the owner of the store approached me and engaged me in a conversation about the Bible.

He declared that the Bible was filled with errors and that it was not a credible religious history. I challenged him and said I believed it was.

I acknowledged that there had been some translation errors over the centuries and perhaps some intentional alterations and deletions by conspiring scribes and leaders of the great whore, but in general, I believed the Bible to be trustworthy, particularly the Joseph Smith Version which had largely corrected many of the problems.

I then I asked him to give me an example of an egregious contradiction in the Holy writ when the JST is taken under consideration.

He jumped at the opportunity even though he clearly was not very familiar with the JST.

We both agreed that the creation story in Genesis is meant to be literal, foundational and significant.

He then opened the Bible to the book of Genesis and showed me how Genesis Chapter one declared that man was created in the image of God during the sixth day. Following that, chapter 2:1 informs us that “the heavens and the earth were finished

The account then moves forward to the seventh day in verse 2 noting that God “ended his work which he had made. And he rested on the seventh day from all of his work that he had made” yet in verse 5 informs us that during that seventh day, “there was not a man to till the ground” Verse 7 says “and the Lord formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life and man became a living soul. ”

The account goes on to tell how God planted a garden and grew every tree that is pleasant, etc. It further informs us that God only formed the man Adam out of the dust of the ground, not all men. The others would not be created until AFTER Adam has eve taken from his rib and they begin to procreate AFTER the fall.

There you have it” declared the book store owner. “That chronology is completely inconstant and contradictory.”

What?

Man was created on the sixth day yet during the seventh day there was not yet a man to till the ground so God created Adam from the dust of the earth????

I then asked him if he had studied the JST or even the Book of Moses in the Pearl of Great Price very much and he admitted that he had not.

I then replied something to the effect of, “the apparent discrepancy that you have pointed out must certainly cause a dilemma for protestants that have nothing but the King James Bible to rely on, but it is clearly explained and resolved in the Book of Moses. It informs us that there were two creations. First, a spiritual creation in heaven, followed by a physical creation.”

I then obtained a Pearl of Great Price with the JST account of the creation and read him some passages of scripture. One of which I had previously to memorized for my mission-

” 5. For I, the Lord God, created all things of which I have spoken spiritually, before they were naturally upon the face of the earth; for I, the Lord God, had not caused it to rain upon the face of the earth.
6. And I, the Lord God, had created all the children of men, and not yet a man to till the ground, for in heaven created I them, and there was not yet flesh upon the earth, neither in the water, neither in the air;

8. And I, the Lord God, formed man from the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul; the first flesh upon the earth, the first man also;

9. Nevertheless, all things were before created, but spiritually were they created and made, according to my word.

He looked shocked as he pondered the issue for a few minutes and then said, I hadn’t put that together.

I have since come to realize that there are an awfully lot of things that most of us have not put together which is why we need to continually study the scriptures.

Don’t Run and Hide from “Apparent Contradictions”

Over the years I have come to realize that many of the apparent discrepancies that we find in the scriptures which appear to be contradictions, actually have logical explanations that take us to the next level of understanding that we simply have not yet put together.

Something else I have learned is to never sweep uncomfortable conundrums under the table and run from them. Rather, we should embrace the apparent discrepancies as  opportunities to gain greater insight. We should use them as study topics to search the scriptures.

I have had countless experiences like the one above when reading the scriptures and they almost always result in finding a pearl of great price. (no pun intended)

Many of the erroneous interpretations that we make in the scriptures are predicated upon false teachings that we have been indoctrinated with.

Does the Book of Abraham Contradict the Bible?

Recently a very astute reader of this blog that calls himself Mike brought to my attention some apparent discrepancies between parts of the Book of Abraham and the Book of Genesis.

I love the fact that he uses the foundational scriptures as the standard and doctrinal template by which all other scripture is to be judged.

He is able to read scriptures that he has had a predisposed bias, with fresh eyes and a new perspective despite the indoctrination that one is bombarded with as a member of the church. I believe God wants us to be critical thinkers while being beseeching his spirit for illumination.

I felt that the research that this brother had done would provide a great example of critical thinking and so I posted it, despite the fact that I had not taken the time to do my own critical examination of the points he made.

I am really glad I did post it.

Hopefully some of you have used the dilemmas presented in his research for your scripture study

I think I accomplished my goal by posting his observations.

However, I may have gone overboard in my diatribe regarding my ongoing learning curve and the fact that I am sure my thinking has evolved over the years. I suggested that if I were to go back and re-read all of my old posts, I would probably have to clean many things up that I now see differently.

This caused a reader to send me an email asking if I still believe in the unconditional promises referring to the return of Joseph Smith.

Of course I do.

I did not mean to imply that I no longer believe the major tenants that I have covered in this blog over the last ten years. I have not had numerous radical changes of thought during the time I have been blogging. I was only pointing out that I am always scrutinizing previous interpretations and sometimes I do need to self-correct when I find a more enlightened interpretation. .

Getting back to the critique of the Book of Abraham, I took a few minutes to re-read portions of JST Genesis and portions of the Book of Abraham last Sunday morning while sitting out by the campfire. Sadly I only had about an hour or two to ponder some of the observations and concerns that the Mike shared in his email.

Although I have still not done an exhaustive search of all the issues that the reader brought up, I did have some thoughts and even one major ah-ha! That I would like to share.

Is there One God or Many Gods?

The following is a snippet from the email I got from Mike:

I believe that the quote in D&C 121:28 is in reference to the Saints being handed over to Satan. There is no pressing question or doubt about whether there be one God or many gods. Throughout the scriptures, the doctrine of one God is manifestly clear. The scriptures highlight the oneness of the Father and the Son. The scriptures do not present them as multiple Gods. Why, in 1839, would this be such an important question to have answered?

I disagree with the assertion that 121:28 was just a smokescreen given to deliver the Saints over to Satan. I think there were many saints of the restoration that were questioning whether or not there were other independent Gods in the universe besides the God of Israel.

Section 121:26-9 says this:

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;

28 A time to come in the which nothing shall be withheld, whether there be one God or many gods, they shall be manifest.

29 All thrones and dominions, principalities and powers, shall be revealed and set forth upon all who have endured valiantly for the gospel of Jesus Christ.

Again, I do not believe the above passages had to do with turning the saints over to Satan. Notice how the general question of whether there are other gods beside God, appears to be answered a few passages later:

32 According to that which was ordained in the midst of the Council of the Eternal God of all other gods before this world was, that should be reserved unto the finishing and the end thereof, when every man shall enter into his eternal presence and into his immortal rest.

That passage is amazing because it confirms two things:

  1. There are other gods beside the Eternal God
  2. There was a pre-earth council of gods

Actually, the Old Testament confirms that the “Sons of God” existed in the pre-existence. Notice the follow passage in Job:

4 Where wast thou when I laid the foundations of the earth? declare, if thou hast understanding.

5 Who hath laid the measures thereof, if thou knowest? or who hath stretched the line upon it?

6 Whereupon are the foundations thereof fastened? or who laid the corner stone thereof;

7 When the morning stars sang together, and all the sons of God shouted for joy?

As I see it, the concept of there being pre-earth gods is pretty clear cut. Sons of God are obviously gods.

I believe the Book of Abraham narrative of a pre-earth council of spirits and souls is supported in the above passage from Job.

I wouldn’t be surprised if in fact the Book of Abraham narrative uses “souls” as a descriptive for “gods” and “spirits” as a descriptive for “morning stars“. Further, Joseph Smith is credited with stating that there are two types of beings in heaven, Spirits and Angels. Again, there seems to be some degree of consistency.

Interestingly, acclaimed Bible scholar Michael Heiser also interprets the above passage to prove that there are multiple gods and there was a pre-earth council. This is quite remarkable given the fact that many evangelical scholars would consider these views to be heretical.

So why does Section 121 pose the question of whether there be one God or many gods, and suggest that the question will be answered in a time to come, and then appear to answer the question a few verses later in the following verse?

I would suggest that the real question has been hidden by bad punctuation.

I don’t think the question in 121:28 was

whether there be one God or many gods

I think it was

whether there be one God or many Gods

The real question is not whether there are other lesser, sons of God than the great eternal God. That question had already been answered pretty clearly in scripture.

The question being posed is, are there other independent “G”ods like the Father who are not his offspring or his progenitors.

The answer to that was not quite as obvious to some of the saints even though God declares that there are not other Gods “BESIDE ME” (outside of my domain)

That is the great question that was to be answered in a time to come.

I believe that I have documented in past blog posts and in my book that there are no other Gods beside the great Eternal God.

Did other gods help to Create the Earth?

Something else very important is revealed in the Book of Job. It reveals that the sons of God in the council of God did NOT participate in the creation of the heavens and the earth!

They might more accurately be described as cheerleaders.

The morning stars and the sons of God shouted for joy as they witnessed the Father/Son God lay the foundations of the earth!

This narrative is completely consistent with JST Genesis account which informs us that the Father God created the heavens and the earth and He did it through his Son God.

This provides a very important part of the template and standard by which we are to judge the narrative in the Book of Abraham.

Does this mean that the Book of Abraham account of the pre-earth council is incorrect?

Does the Book of Abraham narrative actually say that the pre-earth council helped to create the heavens and the earth?

What Does “The Gods” Mean in the Book of Abraham?

The Book of Abraham uses the phrase “the gods” many times throughout its narrative. The early use of the term has reference to multiple pagan gods.

The first time the phrase is used in a positive way referring to the creation of the earth by “the Gods” is in Abraham 4:1

I have always assumed that the phrase “the Gods” in that passage was referring to a council of many gods (even the sons of God). I had been taught that they participated with the Father and Son in creating the earth:

1 And then the Lord said: Let us go down. And they went down at the beginning, and they, that is the Gods, organized and formed the heavens and the earth.

However, since Mike has suggested that such an interpretation is not congruent with the JST Genesis account, I decided to take a closer, contextual look at how the phrase “the Gods” was being used.

Modern Chapters, Versification and Punctuation is an Abomination

Before sharing my most recent ah-ha, let me reiterate how much I loathe the modern chapter breaks, versification and punctuation with which our scriptures have been bastardized. Much of this versification and punctuation seems to break up the flow of the narrative and change the inflection of meaning. It often promotes the uninspired precepts of men and the doctrinal bias of those that have inserted them.

Because of this I usually read scripture stripped of punctuation, versification or chapter breaks. It is amazing how much these things can alter the meaning of scripture. I do this to allow the spirit to guide the interpretation.

One of the many examples of how a chapter insertion disrupts the flow of a narrative is Abraham 4:1

Lets look at the previous passages and narrative in the previous chapter that leads up to that passage speaking of “the Gods” that organized and formed the heavens and the earth to see if it is really saying what we might think it is saying.

22 Now the Lord had shown unto me, Abraham, the intelligences that were organized before the world was; and among all these there were many of the noble and great ones;

23 And God saw these souls that they were good, and he stood in the midst of them, and he said: These I will make my rulers; for he stood among those that were spirits, and he saw that they were good; and he said unto me: Abraham, thou art one of them; thou wast chosen before thou wast born.

This time when I read this chapter I noticed two declarations that God made to the council as well as a declaration he did NOT make to them.

  1. He was going to make some of these soulsrulers“.
  2. He declared that Abraham and other spirits had been “chosen” before they were born.

Nothing is said about either of these groups playing a part in the creation of the world, only in discussing the creation of the world and the gospel plan of being proven and having the opportunity to be added upon.

I had previously convoluted those declarations to mean that these souls and spirits were going to help create the heavens and the earth. But that is not what the passages are saying.

It is one thing to become a ruler or to be chosen. It is quite another to be invited to create the heavens and the earth.

Continuing on with the narrative in the Book of Abraham.

24 And there stood one among them that was like unto God, and he said unto those who were with him: We will go down, for there is space there, and we will take of these materials, and we will make an earth whereon these may dwell;

25 And we will prove them herewith, to see if they will do all things whatsoever the Lord their God shall command them;

26 And they who keep their first estate shall be added upon; and they who keep not their first estate shall not have glory in the same kingdom with those who keep their first estate; and they who keep their second estate shall have glory added upon their heads for ever and ever.

Again, in the past, because of my indoctrinated bias, I assumed that the “we” in “we will go down…and .. make an earth whereon these may dwell..” was referring to everyone in the council of the souls and spirits, or at least to one of those groups.

However, as I look at it with fresh eyes, having the benefit of the context provided by JST Genesis and the Book of Job, and other scriptures, I can now see how it could actually be saying that the one composite God was informing the souls who had apparently been through an earthly probation, that He and the Father were going to go down and make an earth for “thesespirits to dwell.

Why had I previously assumed that the passages were identifying the many souls and spirits as helping to create the heavens and earth?

Because I had always been taught that! Our underlying beliefs often skew how we interpret things.

Who introduced that concept into the church?

Mike has suggested that Joseph Smith Jr. might have taught this along with the “God was once a mortal man” dogma in the King Follett Sermon in conjunction with delivering the saints over to Satan:

Frankly, that makes perfect sense to me.

The tricky thing about parsing the words of Joseph Smith after the rejection of the Gospel in 1834 is that you get some amazingly profound truths mingled with some heretical teachings that are not congruent with the word of God.

The burden is on us to parse and discern every point of doctrine.

To complicate things further, we often make the same false assumptions about what Joseph Smith was saying that we make when we interpret scripture. Context is everything.

Notice the following statements attributed to Joseph Smith in one of his discourses.

The head one of the Gods brought forth the [g]ods.” That is the true meaning of the words. Baurau signifies to bring forth. If you do not believe it, you do not believe the learned man of God. Learned men can teach you no more than what I have told you. Thus the head God brought forth the Gods in the grand council.

I will transpose and simplify it in the English language. Oh, ye lawyers, ye doctors, and ye priests, who have persecuted me, I want to let you know that the Holy Ghost knows something as well as you do. The head God called together the [g]ods and sat in grand council to bring forth the world.

With a predetermined bias, one might assume that the above declaration is stating that the gods in the grand council helped to create the heavens and the earth. But does it actually state that?

No.

It says nothing about creating the heavens and the earth, it is simply saying that a council was held to discuss the bringing forth of the world… the term world often has reference to people, not land. Besides, nothing definitive about the actual involvement in the creation process by these gods is stated.

Continuing with Joseph’s discourse-

“The grand councilors sat at the head in yonder heavens and contemplated the creation of the worlds which were created at the time.”

I still see no problem with the contemplation of the worlds by the council.

Continuing with Joseph’s discourse-

I have got the oldest book in the world; but I [also] have the oldest book in my heart, even the gift of the Holy Ghost. I have all the four Testaments. Come here, ye learned men, and read, if you can. I should not have introduced this testimony, were it not to back up the word rosh—the head, the Father of the Gods. I should not have brought it up, only to show that I am right.

In the beginning the heads of the [g]ods organized the heavens and the earth.

Did you catch that?

Brilliant!

The “heads” (plural) of the “gods” (plural) organized the heavens and the earth.

Bingo.

The heads of the gods is the Father/Son God…. The Godhead

He (they) is/are the ones that organized the heavens and the earth, not the other sons of god.

Joseph Smith himself is making a differentiation.

There is the involvement of the council of gods contemplating the bringing forth of the “worlds”

There is also the actual organizing of the heavens and the earth by the “heads” of the gods.

Continuing with Joseph’s discourse-

“Now the learned priests and the people rage, and the heathen imagine a vain thing.. If we pursue the Hebrew text further, it reads, “Berosheit baurau Eloheim ait aushamayeen vehau auraits.”—”The head one of the Gods said, Let us make a man in our own image.” I once asked a learned Jew, “If the Hebrew language compels us to render all words ending in heim in the plural, why not render the first Eloheim plural?” He replied, “That is the rule with few exceptions; but in this case it would ruin the Bible.” He acknowledged I was right. I came here to investigate these things precisely as I believe them. Hear and judge for yourselves; and if you go away satisfied, well and good.

Astounding.

Joseph Smith is declaring the Head God to be the Head Gods. The head God is a composite being composed of the Father and the Son

Continuing with Joseph’s discourse-

“In the very beginning the Bible shows there is a plurality of Gods beyond the power of refutation. It is a great subject I am dwelling on. The word Eloheim ought to be in the plural all the way through—Gods. The heads of the Gods appointed one God for us; and when you take [that] view of the subject, its sets one free to see all the beauty, holiness and perfection of the Gods. All I want is to get the simple, naked truth, and the whole truth.

Joseph Smith is proving from the Hebrew that the “head one of the Gods“, (or “heads of the Gods”) is a plural, composite God. Is this not what the scriptures teach us about the Father and the Son? The Father is in the Son and the Son is in the Father!

He is also using the Hebrew to show that the Heads of the Gods appointed one God for us. Is he not making a cryptic reference to the narrative in the Book of Abraham?

whom shall I send?”

The reply from the one like unto the Son of Man-

“Here I am send me”

He sent his Son!

The Son is clearly the one that has been appointed to be our one God (who is composite with the Father)

Scripture informs us that it is only through the name of the Son that we can be saved.

17 And moreover, I say unto you, that there shall be no other name given nor any other way nor means whereby salvation can come unto the children of men, only in and through the name of Christ, the Lord Omnipotent. (Mosiah 3:17)

8 And under this head ye are made free, and there is no other head whereby ye can be made free. There is no other name given whereby salvation cometh; therefore, I would that ye should take upon you the name of Christ, all you that have entered into the covenant with God that ye should be obedient unto the end of your lives.

9 And it shall come to pass that whosoever doeth this shall be found at the right hand of God, for he shall know the name by which he is called; for he shall be called by the name of Christ. (Mosiah 5:8-9)

Michael Heiser Shakes Up the Evangelical Christians

Bible scholar Michael Heiser has published a book titled “The Unseen World” which would have been considered heretical by biblical Christians just a few decades ago. However his documentation is so compelling that he is getting very little flack from his peers.

He speaks of God’s “Divine Council“, even his entourage. https://www.thedivinecouncil.com/

He claims that the Old Testament teaches of a dual God at the head and also of a pre-earth divine council of gods.

In fact he makes many declarations that are quite similar to the ones that Joseph Smith made centuries ago. Instead of being shunned and branded a heretic, he is celebrated by many top evangelical scholars.

Here is a snippet from Michael Heiser’s book wherein he speaks of another passage that supports the pre-earth council of the gods:

“Several Old Testament passages describe this administrative structure existing in the heavenly realm, as well. Psalm 82 is perhaps the clearest- and perhaps the most startling. As I related in the first chapter, it’s the passage that opened my own eyes. The psalm refers to Yahwey’s administration as a council. The first verse reads

‘God (Elohim) stands in the divine assembly; he administers judgment in the midst of the gods (elohim)’

You no doubt noticed that, as I pointed out in chapter one, the word Elohim occurs twice in this verse. You also probably recognize Elohim as one of God’s names, despite the fact that the form of the word is plural.”

Heiser points out that even though “Elohim” usually means plural, it can mean singular. He then goes on to rationalize that the first use of Elohim in that passage must be singular while the second is plural.

I disagree.

Even Heiser struggles to shrug off the indoctrination of orthodoxy.

I am convinced that both uses of the word in that passage are plural. Here is my rendition of what is being said in Psalms-

“The Father/Son Gods stand in the divine assembly; they administer judgment in the minds of the sons of god”

If we learn anything when doing an exhaustive search into what God has told us about himself, it is that he is a composite being. The spiritual personage of the Father dwells in the physical personage of the Son making them a plural singular. The Father and the Son are ONE God, yet they consist of two Gods who can and do function individually from time to time.

Lets continue on in the Book of Abraham narrative, working our way to verse one in chapter four ..

27 And the Lord said: Whom shall I send? And one answered like unto the Son of Man: Here am I, send me. And another answered and said: Here am I, send me. And the Lord said: I will send the first.

28 And the second was angry, and kept not his first estate; and, at that day, many followed after him.

You will notice that the above narrative switches to God and the two entities that offer to be sent [as the savior and redeemer of the world.]

God choses his only begotten Son over the would-be usurper, who kept not his first estate.

This narrows the focus of the narrative to the Father and the Son and it brings us to the original passage in question.

Sadly, the chapter heading insertion helps the reader to forget that the narrative is now down to two beings. The Father and the Son who he chooses to send.

Continuing on-

1 And then the Lord said [to His Son]: Let us go down. And they went down at the beginning, and they, [the Father and His only Begotten Son] that is the Gods, organized and formed the heavens and the earth.

That’s right.

I am suggesting that the term “the Gods” in the Book of Abraham is not referring to some pre-earth council of many Gods that all participated in the creation of the earth, rather, it is referring specifically to the Father/Son God. They are the Gods that created the heavens and the earth.

This appears to be what Joseph Smith was teaching when he said:

the heads of the [g]ods organized the heavens and the earth

Those two Gods make up the only true God. The only true God of the Bible is a composite God consisting of the Father and the Son.

This is taught in Lectures on faith and the New Testament, yet it is difficult to retain this concept when reading other texts with differing semantics.

This interpretation brings “the Gods” terminology in the Book of Abraham into conformity with the JST creation account in Genesis with informs us that the Father creates all things through His Son

1 And it came to pass that the Lord spake unto Moses, saying: Behold, I reveal unto you concerning this heaven, and this earth; write the words which I speak. I am the Beginning and the End, the Almighty God; by mine Only Begotten I created these things; yea, in the beginning I created the heaven, and the earth upon which thou standest. (Moses Chapter 2)

That passage appears to contain conflicting descriptives.

First the Father informs us that He created the heaven and the earth by His Only Begotton. Yet in the same breath, He declares that He created the Heaven and earth.

Which is it?

Is this a contradiction?

Not at all.

It is depicting the mysterious composite being that is the only true God.

As Colossians 2:1-10 says

The mystery of God is in understanding that in Christ, “dwelleth all the fulness of the Godhead bodily

It is the Father who is a personage of spirit who dwells in the Son, who is a personage of tabernacle.

While the Book of Moses uses one form of descriptive to make a mysterious point, is it not just as illuminating for the Book of Abraham to refer to this composite being as “the Gods“?

If my interpretive supposition is correct I find it astoundingly refreshing and clarifying that the Book of Abraham would use this descriptive of “the Gods” to refer to the Father /Son God instead of the typical descriptives in scripture that assure us that the Father and Son are ONE while continuing to speak of them as being separate and distinct beings.

Again, if this radical interpretation is correct, it shows that the Book of Abraham is in conformity with the JST Book of Genesis about this point. The Father, who dwells within the Son created all things by the Son.

I remain convinced that there are other lesser gods, (with a small “g”) than the head God (or Gods) that is composed of the Father and the Son.

I believe that the lesser gods that shouted for joy were the “sons of God”, not other independent Gods.

I remain convinced that the head God(s) called together a pre-earth council to contemplate the organization of the worlds.

I am now convinced that the council of lesser gods did NOT participate in the creation of the heavens and the earth.

I am convinced that the term “the Gods” as used in the Abraham narrative is referring to the “head Gods” which is the Father and the Son (and Holy Ghost)

I am convinced that the pre-earth council narrative described in the Book of Abraham is true and accurate and very revelatory and illuminating. I believe many of those souls are among God’s rulers and that Abraham and other spirits were chosen to do a great work before this earth was created. In my mind it is not a coincidence that the Book of Abraham came forth in conjunction with the dispensation of the Gospel of Abraham.

I now enjoy an even deeper understanding of the text in the Book of Abraham and a deeper appreciation for the pre-earth council and the creation of the heavens and the earth. This is because Mike challenged me to re-read and scrutinize a text that I have previously taken for granted.

Thank you Mike.

Mike made other critical observations which I will probably tackle later after I have more time to do some research.

Although I am even more convinced now than before that the book is inspired, I feel that I now have a greater understanding of how the phrase “the Gods” is used in it. Additionally, I now feel certain that the creation of the heavens and the earth was not a group effort outside of the FATHER/SON GOD.

I have a greater appreciation for God’s admonition to understand how and what He is.

Here are a few more of my personal takeaways from this most recent exercise

  1. Don’t take anything for granted in the teachings of modern prophets or the scriptures. We all suffer from many decades of indoctrination, but it is time to question and scrutinize everything. We have a tendency to hang on to some of the false traditions of our Fathers that need to be scrutinized
  2. The JST of the Bible, the Book of Mormon, and the revelations that God gave to Joseph Smith Jr. in the D&C, are the foundational scriptures by which all doctrines must conform. All three of these canons of scripture came forth prior during Joseph’s revelatory sweet spot. They all came forth prior to the to the rejection of the fulness by the end of 1834 . The doctrines in the Book of Abraham must conform to these three canons of scripture.
  3. Each of the individual doctrines in our foundational scriptures need to be congruent with the general doctrinal narrative and subjected to the law of two or three witnesses.
  4. While many of the inspired teachings of Joseph Smith are illuminating and essential in clarifying passages of scripture, he was also used as an instrument by God in delivering the Saints over the Satan for a little season. For that reason, one cannot categorically accept every teaching that is attributed to him as being true without scrutinizing them to make sure they are consistent with God’s written word.

Thank you, Mike, for being bold enough to challenge a sacred cow.

For now, it is still sacred to me.

This could change as I continue searching and pondering.

I welcome scripturally founded opinions on this topic from readers regardless of whether you agree with me or not.

Keep Watching


A Recent Comment: “I appreciate being given the respect to form my own opinion”

June 28, 2019

I recently posted a very controversial email that I got from a reader of my blog providing some details of the research he did in parsing through the Book of Abraham to verify it’s doctrinal accuracy. In his research he compared the creation account in the Book of Abraham to the creation account in JST Genesis and found what he considers to be some glaring inconsistencies. He also found what he considers to be other textual inconsistencies.

He agreed with some observations I had made years ago in comparing Section 110 with portions of the Book of Abraham and for that reason, he has concluded that the early parts of the Book of Abraham are inspired. Nevertheless, he notes that Joseph did not translate the Book of Abraham all at once. He continued translating it during the Nauvoo era which was not overwhelmingly revelatory with regard to producing scripture.

Some of the conclusions reached were not what the modern church would refer to as “faith promoting”. For that reason, some church authorities would contend that the research should not be considered or publicly shared.

Further, some of the conclusions in the research did not sync with some of my own personal conclusions regarding the Book of Abraham. That reason alone would perhaps motivate some people to sweep his research under the rug to avoid confusion and embarrassment.

He and I both made mention of some research I have shared in the past regarding how the Book of Abraham and Section 110 testify of each other. It has since occurred to me that new readers of this blog may not be aware of what we are talking about. You can read my article at the following link:

Reading Abraham While God Winks

After I posted the controversial research results for my readers to consider, I got one of the most humbling and meaningful compliments I have received during the ten years I have been blogging. Here is what the reader said in the comments section:

I am so grateful that you post the ideas that are thought provoking even when you may not agree with them or only agree in part.

I appreciate being given the respect to form my own opinion of what the others have written.

Praise God.

I appreciate those comments from a reader because I honesty do respect the intelligence and free agency of my readers.

I don’t want to have the burden of being responsible for what they choose to believe by withholding important information or skewing the facts in any way.

Just because the research and conclusions that someone shares may not agree with my own beliefs or things I have previously written, does not disqualify it from public scrutiny and the possibility that it is true.

Years ago a brother of mine that reads this blog gave me a similar compliment. He noted that I was one of the very few people he knew that tends to share ALL of my research findings from the scriptures and church history regardless of whether it agrees with my own personal conclusions or not.

That compliment means a lot to me.

I really do try to share all of the pertinent data that I dig up although time and space does not always allow me to pass on everything I find. Obviously I cannot post everything I parse through and I am not immune to personal bias when I have to prioritize what makes the final edit.

I do however sincerely try to pass on all relevant data. I do this because I don’t want the burden of being responsible for creating bias by withholding information. It is not my responsibility to manipulate or withhold the facts in an effort to get others to agree with my conclusions.

Ultimately, my conclusions are insignificant because I am mortal and infallible.

That sentiment may not always be apparent in my blog posts because I am passionate and emotional about what I believe in and I want to make a compelling case for what I believe in.

Nevertheless, at the end of the day, the primary importance of this blog and it’s primary purpose is to present scriptural and historical data as honesty and accurately as I can so that each reader may excise their right and responsibility to determine the truth by the power of the Holy Ghost.

I share my opinions as persuasively as I can to stimulate thought and encourage people to search the scriptures and history of the church for themselves.

It is the responsibility of the readers of this blog to discern whether my observations and opinions are inspired or not.

I am sure I get some things right and some things wrong

It is not my responsibility to try and protect people from the scriptures nor is it my responsibility to protect them from themselves.

It is not my responsibility to prevent people from making the wrong conclusions.

My responsibility is to present the data as accurately as possible and document why I have concluded what I have. Again, I often provide data that does not support my own conclusion.

After doing so, I simply let the chips fall where they may with regard to how the information is processed by my readers.

My blog typically attracts independent thinkers who take their gospel study very seriously.

They are self-actualizing and don’t need or want to be spoon fed. Many of them disagree profoundly with some of my conclusions. I am not threatened by that. In fact, I love it. I love to be challenged. I love a good old fashioned debate. I served my mission in the Bible Belt and I have seen a few old-fashioned bible debates. I love how a good debate stimulates thought and presents concepts never before entertained.

I am fallible in my gospel study.

I am on a learning curve just like everyone else.

I do not believe everything the same way today that I did 30 years ago or even one year ago. I continue to evolve in my understanding of church history and God’s holy word.

People who believe things the exact same way today that they did 30 years ago scare the hell out of me and have very little credibility with me.

Therein is the danger of modern Mormonism. Mindlessness and lack of critical thinking is one of the profound trademarks of modern Mormonism. People who put their minds and their hearts in automatic pilot and lap up the vomit that is regurgitated year after year in gospel doctrine class are pathetic creatures in my humble opinion.

Modern Mormonism, not unlike public education, sucks the life out of people, inhibits their ability to think laterally and makes them zombies.

Learning is a continuous life-long proposition that should always be challenging prior thought and discovery.

I can admit that I have been wrong in my past conclusions.

I do it all the time.

I have often observed that I wish I had the time and inclination to go through the 500+ blog posts that I have written over the years and clean them up, bring them current, and correct things that I no longer view the same way. I would like to do that. I just don’t have the time.

After updating and correcting them, I could then, in another ten years return and go through the same process all over again.

The more you learn, the more you realize just how much you don’t know.

The less you learn, the easier it is to be fooled into thinking that you know everything.

One of the red flags that I see in some of the false prophets and false teachers that have arisen among us is their inability to acknowledge when they have been wrong.

Their refusal to acknowledge their past doctrinal mistakes is caused by their insecurity and fear that their ability to speak authoritatively will be diminished if that admit past error. They are afraid that people will not longer consider their prophetic claims to be valid if in fact they have made serious doctrinal errors in the past.

There is one false teacher in particular that simply cannot admit that he has ever made a doctrinal mistake.

He has claimed that the patriarchal priesthood of Abraham is a greater priesthood than the Melchizedek Priesthood.

He has claimed that the inspired historical narrative in Section 110 is false.

He has claimed that priesthood authority is not necessary to administer the holy ordinance of baptism.

He has waffled back and forth on the topic of polygamy.

He has claimed that you can get the second comforter BEFORE your get your calling and election…

The list of false doctrines that he has taught and continues to teach goes on and on and on. Yet even when it becomes overwhelmingly obvious that he has been wrong, he will go through immense mental gyrations of sophistry and even conjure up new clarifying revelations to avoid admitting that he has made mistakes or been misled by the father of lies.

This blog is often times more about presenting questions than about providing answers. Be weary of those that claim to have all the answers.

If you believe everything you read in this blog, I have a bridge I would like to sell you in norther Siberia.

Nuff said?


Notable Emails #34: Extracting Greater Meaning from God’s Word Via Poetry AND Is the Book of Abraham Only Partly Inspired?

June 26, 2019

One of the many benefits of blogging is that I get to know lots of very interesting people that are much smarter than me.

Many of them bring things to my attention that they have noticed.

Some have special scripture and church history searching skills.

Others have a gift of seeing things in the scriptures that are not apparent to the casual reader.

I have not done a “Notable Emails” post for a while.

Today I thought I would pass on two of my most recent correspondences.

Extracting A greater Interpretation from Scripture through Poetry

One of the emails is from Edward Faunce, a brilliant attorney and Pastor of a Restorationist Branch in California.

Many years ago the RLDS church went through a radical reform, questioning the status of Joseph Smith Jr. as a prophet of God and rejecting the Book of Mormon as divinely inspired scripture.

Ultimately they changed their name to the Community of Christ in an attempt to start fresh and distance themselves from their doctrinal past, opting to continue accepting the divinely inspired calling of Joseph Smith and the truth claims about the historicity of the Book of Mormon.

At that time there were numerous members of their church who rejected the changes and chose to stick with the fundamental beliefs of the restoration.

One very high profile family was brought before a church disciplinary court because they were not willing to submit to the heresies being promoted they the current leaders who had taken the church organization hostage.

Ed represented this courageous family in their dispute with the RLDS/Community of Christ Church.

Someday I am going to provide a synopsis of that amazing event and show some remarkable legal defenses that Ed put forth from the scriptures of the restoration. His defense was pure genius IMO.

Today I am going to share an email I recently got from Ed and a poetic rendition that he did of Section 88 (LDS)  (Section 85 RLDS).

Dear Watcher,

Loved your post today. The interplay between DC sections 76 and 88 (RLDS 85) are remarkable.

I continually work at formatting the DC sections in an attempt to make them more understandable and to display the incredible poetic structures, lists, parallel lines etc.

Accordingly, I’m attaching a pdf copy of my latest efforts on DC 85 “the Olive Leaf”. I know it is long, but so much is in it.

  Ed

I love reading Ed’s poetic versions of the revelations that Joseph Smith Jr. received because new insights always jump out of me when I do.

I encourage you to take a look at Section 88 with new eyes and a new perspective as you read this poetic version. See if anything jumps out at you that you have not previously noticed as you read the poetic format.

You can read it by clicking on the following link

DC 85 poetry2D (3)

Taking a Critical Look at the Book of Abraham

The next email is from a person that uses the screen name of Mike. He has done some remarkable research on the content and translation timeline of the Book of Abraham.

In a nut shell, he has observed that the first part of the translation took place during a more revelatory time of Joseph’s ministry while later portions of it were translated during a less revelatory time.

I personally have not studied his suppositions deeply yet and I have no final opinion on his speculation. However, I love how he has learned to search every word of a proposed  revelation deeply on it’s own merits to determine just how inspired it is.

I have always warned about taking an all or nothing approach to accepting a source as being inspired or non-inspired.

His thought process regarding this issue is a great example of parsing through every doctrinal concept of a proposed revelation without taking anything for granted.

Here is his email to me:

Watcher,

I wrote this up and apologize in advance for its length. If you have a chance to read it, I would really appreciate your thoughts. The crux of it is I think Abraham 4-5 is not inspired. I think Abraham 1 – 2:18 is inspired. I’m still investigating the portion in between. I lay out my reasons below:

I’ve been studying the creation accounts and I’m curious about your take on my concerns about the Book of Abraham account. I know that you have defended Abraham as scripture, so I went back and re-read your article “Reading Abraham While God Winks”. I believe the Book of Abraham is a mixed bag, it is true scripture in parts and it is the uninspired work of Joseph in other parts!

What struck me was the passage that your article highlights as a key to understanding D&C 110 and the Gospel of Abraham is in Abraham 2:9-10. That is the portion of the Book of Abraham that I have the most confidence in. If you look at the Joseph Smith Papers project, we are missing the manuscript of the translation of Abraham. We have only a few documents from the 1835 work:

              William W. Phelps and Warren Parrish copy covers Abraham 1:1-2:18 from ~July to ~November 1835

              Frederick G. Williams copy covers Abraham 1:4-2:6 from ~July to ~November 1835

              Warren Parrish copy covers Abraham 1:4-2:2 from ~July to ~November 1835

Apart from these, we don’t have the rest from the 1835 work. The first manuscript includes the portion that you identified as so insightful and a key to unlocking D&C 110. I have great confidence this is part of the inspired work because it was done during Joseph’s revelatory sweet spot, it contains new light and is relevant to our day.

I don’t know if you’ve had a chance to read this article on the Book of Abraham:

https://rsc.byu.edu/es/archived/let-us-reason-together/work-translating-book-abraham-s-translation-chronology

“The Work of Translating”: The Book of Abraham’s Translation Chronology

It contains a lot of options for how the book was translated. After reading that and with my concerns I’ll mention below about the creation account, I believe that while publishing Abraham in 1842, Joseph altered the original translation from 1835. Specifically, I believe he re-wrote much of the creation account using his own knowledge and understanding of Hebrew which he had gained through his own studies. I don’t believe he was inspired to do so – at least not for our benefit. I believe this was part of the fulfillment of delivering the Saints over to Satan.

I believe that the quote in D&C 121:28 is in reference to the Saints being handed over to Satan. There is no pressing question or doubt about whether there be one God or many gods. Throughout the scriptures, the doctrine of one God is manifestly clear. The scriptures highlight the oneness of the Father and the Son. The scriptures do not present them as multiple Gods. Why, in 1839, would this be such an important question to have answered? The only reason I can see is that it is because the Saints were being handed over to Satan, and that is a doctrine of Satan’s, not of God’s.

With this in mind, I have been looking for those things after 1839 which support the wrong answer to that question. I see the King Follett discourse as doing that. I also see the Book of Abraham’s creation account in 1842 doing that.

I didn’t originally doubt the creation account in the Book of Abraham. I had begun to study the creation accounts from a new perspective and I wanted to put all of the scriptures together. I took the KJV, the JST, and the Book of Abraham versions and lined them up, verse by verse so I could see them all together. I then started to go through them line by line to see the changes that were made. It was interesting to me what different things jumped out to me. The KJV and Abraham are in the 3rd person, but the JST is in the 1st person. Going through the JST changes to the KJV, there’s not a huge amount of alterations. The creation account is mainly intact and to me the changes shed more light in key areas.

The Abraham account is jarringly different. It uses a plurality of gods throughout it. It also has a few other changes I’ll note below which individually may not seem off, but when I look at them as a whole it does damage to the creation account.

After I had started this analysis, I began watching Chuck Missler’s series on Genesis. I believe he spends something like eight episodes on just the creation. As he would highlight different portions of the KJV and draw insights I hadn’t seen before, time after time those same portions were still there in the JST. But many were missing or altered in the Abraham version. It was actually this process that made me research about the translation process of Abraham to see if it was all from the early part of Joseph’s ministry or if it had been done in the latter part of Joseph’s ministry where I think he was fulfilling the prophecy from the Book of Commandments and delivering the Saints over to Satan.

KJV Genesis 1:5 and JST Genesis 1:8 both use the same sentence “And the evening and the morning were the first day.” Chuck Missler points out that this doesn’t really describe a normal day. It’s covering the evening and the morning. A full day would go from evening to evening or from morning to morning. I’ll never do as well as Chuck Missler at explaining this, but he goes back to the Hebrew text and shows that evening and morning can be terms used to associate with chaos and order. That each day of creation was a process of taking chaos and creating order out of it. Thus, the evening was the original state of chaos. And the morning was the amount of order God had done.

If you have a chance to re-watch that series, he has a great graphic showing how the creation account just keeps adding order. I think it’s no coincident that in the inspired JST, the same sentence is used and the same insights Chuck Missler found is available to us.

When we get to the Book of Abraham, this isn’t the case: Abraham 4:5 “…And it came to pass that from the evening until morning they called night; and from the morning until the evening they called day; and this was the first, or the beginning, of that which they called day and night.”

This changes the original text to match our concept of a day. It goes from evening to evening. By itself, this is a small change, but the changes keep adding up.

The next big change that drew my attention was in KJV Genesis 1:10 (“…and God saw that it was good.”) and JST Genesis 1:14 (“And I, God, saw that all things which I had made were good.”). Chuck Missler calls this seeing that it was good as blessing of the work. Abraham instead has “…and the Gods saw that they were obeyed.” While a small change, it seems to indicate that Abraham’s Gods are not omnipotent. There seems to be the possibility that the could have been disobeyed. This could be seen as nitpicking, in that the KJV and JST could hold out the possibility that God’s work could have been bad rather than good. However, from the perspective of Chuck Missler where that statement is a blessing of the work, it takes that doubt away. In Abraham’s version, it isn’t a blessing.

I then went back to the first day, because God had blessed his work then as well. KJV Genesis 1:4 and JST Genesis 1:7 both have the same use of ‘good’ which can be thought of as the blessing of the work. How does Abraham do it? Much differently: Abraham 4:4 “And they (the Gods) comprehended the light, for it was bright; …”. Comprehended is a weird word here. What is it supposed to mean? Did the Gods create something they hadn’t understood? Were they surprised the light was bright? What were the Gods expecting the light to be?

Throughout the account, Abraham changes the ‘good’ blessing to observing that the Gods had been obeyed. See Abraham 4:10, 4:18, 4:21, 4:25, 4:31. In 4:21, they finally say ‘good’ only after observing that their creations would obey them. I can see the logic in obeying God (Gods) as being good. But if we look at God saying it was ‘good’ as a blessing, then having Gods fretting about if they would be obeyed is a much different narrative.

The next big change is in KJV Genesis 1:26 “And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness…”. Here in the KJV we have a plural with the word God. What does the JST do? JST Genesis 1:27 “And I, God, said unto mine Only Begotten, which was with me from the beginning, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness; and it was so.” The inspired version makes it clear that the Father and the Son are involved in the creation. We know from Lectures on Faith that they are each a personage, so we can see where the plural in the KJV comes from.

I think these verses are where the inspired JST really makes important changes and it’s where the Abraham account lacks them.

KJV Genesis 1: 27 So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them.

The original goes from plural to singular.

JST Genesis 1: 29 And I, God, created man in mine own image, in the image of mine Only Begotten created I him; male and female created I them.

The inspired version is consistent with other scriptures that God used the image of the Only Begotten to create man. The plural to singular makes sense as it is the Father and the Son involved here.

Abraham 4: 27 So the Gods went down to organize man in their own image, in the image of the Gods to form they him, male and female to form they them.

It sticks with the plural here rather than singular, not the image of the Only Begotten – ‘Only’ is singular!

There’s also a subtle change here from ‘created’ to ‘organize’ and ‘form’. These are very similar words, but both the KJV and JST stick with ‘create’. I think that is more appropriate. Both the KJV and JST use ‘form’ later on when man’s physical body is formed from the dust of the earth. This is probably minor, but it stuck out to me for some reason.

Here’s one of the worst part of the Abraham account:

Abraham 4:28 “…And the Gods said: We will cause them to be fruitful and multiply…”

What a stark contrast to KJV Genesis 1:28 “…and God said unto them, Be fruitful, and multiply…” and JST Genesis 1:30 “…and said unto them, Be fruitful, and multiply…”. The big change is that in the KJV and JST God is commanding them to be fruitful. In the Abraham account, the Gods are going to do it for man. They are going to be the cause. As we know from the full creation account, it is due to Adam and Eve exercising their agency that they fell and it was after that point where they began to be fruitful and to multiply. Abraham tells us that the Gods are going to cause this to happen.

Well, who caused the Fall to happen? Wouldn’t it be correct to lay that at the feet of Satan, having tempted Eve to partake of the forbidden fruit? This is pretty close to a smoking gun as far as who is writing the Abraham account. It’s the one who caused that to happen.

I know that it was all part of God’s plan, but for God to claim that He caused it, would deny the agency He had given to man. The wording in Abraham is just way off to me.

There are some more subtle changes in Abraham, but the next big one is from JST Genesis 2:5-6. This is where new light is shed on the creation and we learn that the first 7 days are talking about a spiritual creation. It explains why we see some of the same things being repeated in Genesis chapter 2. Unfortunately, Abraham sticks with the KJV and doesn’t include this new information.

Why didn’t Abraham’s account include this key piece of information? It should have matched the JST, but it doesn’t.

The final big change in Abraham’s account is that he reverses the order of when God separated Eve from Adam. Adam is a composite being in the express image of the Only Begotten. He currently has no help meet, Eve is still composite with him. Adam gets to observe God creating all the animals and Adam gets to name them. This is all done as a composite being. There may be a good reason why Adam needed to remain as a composite being in order to witness this creation and name all the animals.

In the KJV and JST it is after all the animals are created that God causes a deep sleep to come upon Adam and he separates Eve from him. The Abraham account reverses this and separates Eve from Adam before all the animals are created. I don’t know the full significance of this, but it can’t be both. Either it was done before all the animals were formed or it was done after. The KJV and JST have it happen after. Abraham has it happen first. If Abraham were inspired of God, God’s word would be consistent.

Perhaps the only significance of this is to act as a red flag for those of us who pursue it, to see one more inconsistency, and possibly a needless one at that. But it could also be much more significant.

Regardless, it doesn’t make sense that God would provide two conflicting accounts. One is true and one is false. For all the other reasons I have outlined, I have concluded that the bulk of this account is not inspired from God.

I believe the first part of the Book of Abraham is inspired and true. I believe the last two chapters are not inspired or correct. Abraham 2:19 through the end of chapter 3 is something I’m still contemplating. It could be inspired, but I think each passage needs to be carefully inspected and tested against the rest of the scriptures. We need to follow the Spirit and seek guidance on just what parts are true and what aren’t.

Appreciate your time and any thoughts you have on this.

   Mike

This was my response to Mike

“Mike

After my first quick read, your research seems remarkable to me and you seem to have some valid concerns. I am going to need to do a deep dive into this as soon as I get a chance.

I have noticed a distinct difference in tone and portions of content between the Abraham account of creation vs the Biblical (JST) over the years but I just assumed one was a general account and the other provided more specifics…

To me, Lectures on Faith supports the Abraham narrative of other gods being involved in the creation when it says,

“It was by faith that the worlds were framed. God spake, chaos heard, and worlds came to order, by reason of the faith there was in him.”

I suspect the term “chaos” is referring to other intelligences or spirit entities involved in the creation process.  ( I realize you believe that chaos represents the elements from which the world was created, and that may be true, however, it is also possible that chaos has reference to intelligences that are obeying a command to organize the earth/world)

Section 121 is a curious revelation because after verse 28 which poses the question of whether or not there are other gods and suggests the answer will be in the future, verse 32 then reveals that in fact, the “eternal God” stood in the “council of gods” before the world was!!!! Again, we have a secondary confirmation of the Abraham narrative.

In fairness to the concept of other gods, Michael Heiser a Christian bible scholar has done a magnificent job of showing that in fact it was well documented anciently in the OT that there were other gods, ie, the “sons of God” (who would obviously be gods).

Anyway, your research is fascinating and well worth consideration. In fact I may make a blog out of your email as it brings up some very important observations and it is a real life example of how we need to parse every bit of scripture and never assume that every part is true just because one part is true.

Wonderful research!

Thanks for sharing.

PS Have you listened to any of Mike Heisers lectures on multiple gods?”

This was Mike’s reply

Hi Watcher,

I appreciate your consideration and feedback. I’ve started watching some of Michael Heiser’s lectures but I don’t think I’ve gotten to the ones on multiple Gods. I’ve seen some of his lectures on the days of Noah and the sons of God, which I found very provocative. I’ll keep searching his lectures for that info.

Since coming across your blogs I’ve taken a new approach to drop my previous traditions and look at everything anew and look for evidence from the scriptures. I’m surprised how often I have come across something new and/or not been able to find the scriptural basis for my past beliefs. It’s also opened my eyes to non-LDS Biblical scholars and how much value there is in diving deep into the word of God.

Thank you,

   Mike

Again, I am not saying I necessarily agree with Mike’s suppositions about the Book of Abraham. I am forwarding his research to stimulate thought and remind everyone that the gospel plan requires all of use to check all doctrines against the established foundational word of God.

Mormons have been indoctrinated and conditioned to check their brains at the door and blindly accept what they are told by current leaders of the church, regardless of what the word of God says. That is contrary to what the Savior and His holy scriptures have counseled us to do.

Previous Notable Emails

Notable Emails #33: “God Will Not Fix the Broken Apostate Church”

Notable Emails #32: “during the Messianic years, John the Baptist turned the hearts of the prophets to the Jews– but… he never turned the hearts of the Jews to the prophets!”

???

Notable Emails # 30 “I have to disagree to the credit you give to the LDS Church and saving ordinances. I do not see any saving ordinances, temple rites, secret signs or tokens as of any value.”

Notable Emails #29 “I enjoyed your post on Joseph Smith as the ‘Covenant Servant’ in Isaiah 42.. however..”

Notable Emails #28- “Why do we need prophets and apostles when they refer us to scholars for doctrine and church history understanding”Notable Emails #27 “what makes you so sure JS was not just a charlatan from the beginning?”

Noteable Emails #26 This and that, this and that, tell us how it is Hugh, we won’t look back!

Noteable Emails #25 “Can I ask you for some help with chapter 27 in 2 Nephi?”

Notable Emails #24 “I recently awoke or at least have begun to awaken. Since August I’m no longer blindly following the brethren and traditions of the church.”

Notable Emails #23 “Woe to the rebellious children, saith the Lord, that take counsel, but not of me; and that cover with a covering, but not of my Spirit, that they may add sin to sin”: The LDS Temple Garment

Notable Emails #22 “My prediction is that those who accept the gospel of Bill Reel (non-literal historicity of the Book of Mormon) will ultimately either loose all of their faith…”

Notable Emails #21 ” I don’t believe the current LDS Church has ANY “authority” – especially BECAUSE they preach that the culmination of the Gospel is the Masonic Rituals..”

Notable Emails #19- “Sometime ago I had an extraordinary experience where I was forgiven of some of my sins”

 Notable Emails #18- “I wake up every morning with this intense feeling that we are getting closer”

 Notable Emails #17 “Then shall the offering of Judah and Jerusalem be pleasant unto the LORD, as in the days of old, and as in former years.”

 Notable Emails #16 “the Lord wouldn’t give a young church such responsibility so early”

Notable Emails #15: “It would be so hard to do if we didn’t have the word crunching software available to us to use. Now I can see why so many are deceived. “

 Notable Emails #14 (b) “who was the legal heir and successor of the Prophet Joseph Smith, Jr.?”

 Notable Emails #14 (a) “Baptism for the dead is illogical and pretty much impossible to ever accomplish”

 Notable Emails Part 13 “Gileadi compares the Servant to Hezekiah, in that he answered for the temporal sins of the people and acted as a proxy savior”

 Notable Emails Part 12 “the scriptures will become corrupted and deceive the elect and give Satan power”

 Notable Emails Part 9 “My number one desire right now is to protect my wife and honor her tender feelings about the gospel as she understands it.”

 Notable Emails Part 8 “Who are the Jews and Gentiles?

Notable Emails Part 7 “My eyes have been opened”

Notable Emails Part 6: “Can anyone tell me anything about this blog?… This guy seems to have some new ideas I’ve never heard before using the scriptures to back his views.

Notable Emails Part 5: “the truths that both you and I hold so dear …are things that cannot be taught they can only be revealed.”

Notable Emails- Part 4 “I have now caught the spirit of watching along with you and others.”

Notable Emails- Part 3 “Have you ever read ‘Letter to a CES Director?'” Yes… and it has strengthened my testimony!

Notable Emails- Part 2: “Readers deserve to know if you truly are a heretic or just a faithful divergent thinker”

Notable Emails Part 1- Mormon Missionary: “I too am watching”