“..the covenant which God made with ancient Israel was at hand to be fulfilled..” Part 5

June 14, 2016

 

The Secret Identity of the Latter day Saint Jews

In the previous parts of this series we have briefly addressed three historical accounts of Moroni’s visit to Joseph Smith. Two of them are contained in letters to newspaper editors. A third account is found in the Pearl of Great Price and according to some sources, it was created from the content in the Wentworth Letter.

The official version of this account as contained in the Pearl of Great Price was apparently edited and revised with differences in wording by Elder Franklin D. Richards.

As noted previously, the JS History version of the account omits the most important fact that the ancient covenant that God had made with our ancient patriarchal fathers, Abraham and Jacob, was being ushered in as a result of the pending rejection of the fulness of the Gospel by the Gentile Church.

I am not sure if Joseph Smith, Franklin D. Richards, or someone else is responsible for the omission. It appears to me as if it was intentional.

Was the omission inspired by God?

Was the omission an intentional one to keep the true identity of the latter day saints Jews hidden from them so that end times prophecies relative to the Jews could play out?

I will leave those questions up to the reader to determine for themselves.

Three Accounts of the Visit of Moroni

  • “The Book of Mormon is a record  of the forefathers of our western Tribes of Indians, having been found through the ministration of an holy Angel”  (Saxton)
  • “He called me by name, and said unto me that he was a messenger sent from the presence of God to me, and that his name was Moroni; that God had a work for me to do..” (JS History Pearl of Great Price)
  • “in a moment a personage  stood before me surrounded with a glory  yet greater than that with which I was  already surrounded. This messenger  proclaimed himself to be an angel of God..” (Wentworth)

I find it curious that in the two letters to editors, Moroni is not identified by name. He is only referred to as “and angel of God” or as a “holy angel“. There has been some confusion about whether it was Moroni, Nephi, or some other Book of Mormon figure that appeared to Joseph. The following is taken from Wikipedia

There have been two conflicting accounts as to the name of the angel. Initially, Smith merely referred to “an angel” without identifying its name. Thus, in an 1831 letter from Lucy Mack Smith to her brother, she discusses Moroni as the person who buried the plates, but does not identify him as the unnamed “holy angel” that gave Smith the means to translate the golden plates

In Smith’s 1832 history, he said he was visited by “an angel of the Lord”, who mentioned the Book of Mormon prophet “Moroni” as the last engraver of the golden plates; however, Smith’s account did not say whether or not the angel was referring to himself as Moroni.

In 1835, Smith identified the angel as Moroni: in 1835, while preparing the first edition of the Doctrine and Covenants, he made additions to an earlier revelation regarding sacramental wine, and indicated a number of angels that would come to the earth after the Second Coming and drink wine with Smith and Oliver Cowdery.

 Among those angels, the revelation listed “Moroni, whom I have sent unto you to reveal the book of Mormon, containing the fulness of my everlasting gospel; to whom I have committed the keys of the record of the stick of Ephraim”.

Around this time, Cowdery was writing a history of Smith in which he identified the angel as the prophet Moroni from the Book of Mormon.

 In July 1838, Smith wrote an article for the church periodical Elders’ Journal, in the form of questions and answers, that stated the following:

Question 4th. How, and where did you obtain the book of Mormon?
Answer. Moroni, the person who deposited the plates, from whence the book of Mormon was translated, in a hill in Manchester, Ontario County, New York, as a resurrected being, appeared unto me, and told me where they were; and gave me directions how to obtain them.

However, on May 2, 1838, a few months before Smith’s statement in Elders’ Journal, Smith began dictating a church history that included a detailed account of his visits from the angel.

 In this text, Smith identified the angel as “Nephi“, which is the name of the Book of Mormon’s first narrator. Smith’s 1838 identification as “Nephi” was left unchanged when the 1838 history was published in 1842 in Times and Seasons, which Smith edited himself, and in Millennial Star.

In the latter, an editorial referred to the 1823 vision and praised “the glorious ministry and message of the angel Nephi”.

After Smith’s death, the identification as “Nephi” was repeated when The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS Church) published its first edition of the Pearl of Great Price. It was also repeated in 1853 when Smith’s mother Lucy Mack Smith published a history of her son.

As a further complication, Mary Whitmer, mother to one of the Three Witnesses and four of the Eight Witnesses, said she had a vision of the golden plates, shown to her by an angel whom she always called “Brother Nephi”, who may or may not have been the same angel to which Smith referred.

Nevertheless, based on Smith’s other statements that the angel was “Moroni,” and based on both prior and later publications, most Latter Day Saints view Smith’s 1838 identification of the angel as Nephi as a mistake, perhaps on the part of the transcriber or a later editor.

 In the version of Smith’s 1838 history published by the LDS Church, as well as the portion canonized by that denomination as the Pearl of Great Price, the name “Nephi” has been changed by editors to read “Moroni”.

The Community of Christ publishes the original story, including the identification of “Nephi”, but indicates “Moroni” in a footnote.

Frankly, I don’t lose any sleep over which Book of Mormon personality appeared to Joseph Smith and others as an angel from God. I can understand why critical thinkers who are skeptics get indigestion from the controversy and consider it just one more evidence that Joseph was a false prophet.

To those of us that have deeply studied and believed the scriptures that Joseph brought forth, and have received the promised manifestation of the spirit, the controversy is insignificant.

Later in this post we will address another controversy which deals with a huge contradiction between the narrative in the Saxton Letter and the Wentworth Letter. However in this case, the answer to the dilemma will be provided showing how a  historical conundrum that skeptics might consider to be a scandalous slip up, is really an amazing literal fulfillment of prophecy.

Parsing The Saxton Letter

The Saxton letter noted that the beginning of the fulfillment of this ancient covenant was to be accompanied by an event described as the fulness of the Gentiles.

The narrative is associating the “first time” that God had extended his hand to gather Israel, to the meridian of time when the gospel was extended to the Jews but they refused to enter into covenant.

Joseph Smith pointed out, in the Saxton Letter that there is a distinction between the Jews refusal to enter into the gospel covenant, and the Gentiles who did in fact enter into covenant and then broke it.

This  covenant has never been established with the house of Israel nor with th[e] house of Judah for it requires two parties to make a covenant and those  two parties must be agreed or no covenant can be made. Christ in the  days of his flesh proposed to make a covenant with them but they rejected  him and his proposals and in consequence thereof they were broken off  and no covenant was made with them at that time but their unbelief  has not rendered the promise of God of none effect..

Thus after this chosen family had rejected Christ  and his proposals the heralds of salvation said to them. “lo  I we turn <un>to the gentiles,” and the gentiles received the covenant and  were grafted in from whence the chosen family were broken off

Following the rejection of Christ and the gospel covenant by the Jews, the gospel covenant was successfully established with the Gentiles during New Testament times.

Again, it is critical to understand that in order to make sure that his readers did not confuse the ancient covenant that was in the process of being fulfilled, with the COVENANT  that had been established with the Gentiles, Joseph Smith gave the following scriptural references for his hearers in the Saxton letter; Romans 11:25-27 and also Jeremiah 31:31-33.

 

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

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

33 But this shall be the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel; After those days, saith the Lord, I will put my law in their inward parts, and write it in their hearts; and will be their God, and they shall be my people. Jeremiah 31:31-33

25 For I would not, brethren, that ye should be ignorant of this mystery, lest ye should be wise in your own conceits; that blindness in part is happened to Israel, until the fulness of the Gentiles be come in.

26 And so all Israel shall be saved: as it is written, There shall come out of Sion the Deliverer, and shall turn away ungodliness from Jacob:

27 For this is my covenant unto them, when I shall take away their sins. Romans 11:25-27

According to Paul, blindness would happen to Israel “until the fulness of the Gentiles be come in“.

That is exactly what was happening during the transitionary time between the Kirtland and Nauvoo eras of Joseph’s ministry. Like most prophecies, it has a shadow fulfillment and a literal fulfillment.

Following the time of blindness, there there was to be a deliverer that would come out of Zion who shall turn away ungodliness from Jacob. Again, a shadow fulfillment and literal fulfillment is at play here having to do with the transition between the first and second watch, and the second and third watch.

Take Away Sins vs. Repent of Them

According to this ancient covenant, God takes away the sins of Israel. It is proclaimed that “all Israel shall be saved“.

Differentiating the Ancient Covenant with the New Covenant

Notice that categorically ALL OF ISRAEL will be saved pertaining to the fulfillment of the ancient covenant between God and Israel. That is one of many things that differentiates the ancient covenant between God and Israel, and the fulness of the COVENANT established by Christ in the New Testament with the gentiles.

Conversely, Christ informed his followers that few would enter into the gate of the fulness of the Gospel COVENANT.

Another distinction between the ancient covenant with Israel and the covenant with the Gentiles is that those entering into the fulness of the Covenant need to repent and offer up the sacrifice of a broken heart and a contrite spirit. Whereas those that would enter into the ancient covenant would simply be given a new heart and a new spirit by the Lord.

Although most protestants and Mormons reject the Old Testament and New Testament passages that speak of a category salvation for the Jews, modern revelation reiterates that Israel will categorically be saved-

25 And Israel shall be saved in mine own due time; and by the keys which I have given shall they be led, and no more be confounded at all. Doctrine and Covenants 35:25

33 And from thence, whosoever I will shall go forth among all nations, and it shall be told them what they shall do; for I have a great work laid up in store, for Israel shall be saved, and I will lead them whithersoever I will, and no power shall stay my hand. Doctrine and Covenants 38:33

12 And in that day all who are found upon the watch-tower, or in other words, all mine Israel, shall be saved. Doctrine and Covenants 101:12

Although Paul’s prophecy in Romans makes it sound like Israel is immediately saved and delivered after the fulness of the Gentiles, the Book of Mormon provides addition clarity, implying that the transition period between the fulness of the Gentiles and the grafting in of Israel into the apostate church would bring them to a knowledge of the true Messiah.

14 And after the house of Israel should be scattered they should be gathered together again; or, in fine, after the Gentiles had received the fulness of the Gospel, the natural branches of the olive tree, or the remnants of the house of Israel, should be grafted in, or come to the knowledge of the true Messiah, their Lord and their Redeemer. 1 Nephi 10:14

In the Saxton Letter Joseph declared that the Gentile Dispensation that had begun during New Testament times was soon coming to an end and that the Gentiles had-

“transgressed the laws, changed the ordinance, broken the everlasting covenant.” Isa 24:5 

This represented the fulness of iniquity of the Gentiles that was the event marker for the emergence of the ancient covenant that would be initiated during Joseph’s ministry.

Withholding of the Holy Ghost During Joseph’s Ministry

After declaring that the Gentile world had broken the covenant previous to the restoration of the Gospel that had just taken place at the end of the times of the Gentiles, Joseph Smith notes that even the restored church, during his ministry, was having the Holy Ghost withdrawn during their watch:

The Lord has declared to his servants some Eighteen months since that he was then withdrawing his spirit from the earth, and we can see that such is the fact for not only the churches are dwindling away, but there are no convers[i]ons, or but very few, and this is not all, the governments of the earth are thrown into confusion & division, and distruction to the eye of the spiritual beholder seemes to be writen by the finger of an invisable hand in Large capitals upon almost evry thing we behold——”

The revelation Joseph had been given 18 months earlier is Section 63 of the Doctrine and Covenants given in August of 1831, which contains the following ominous declaration:

“I, the Lord, am angry with the wicked; I am holding my Spirit from the inhabitants of the earth. I have sworn in my wrath, and decreed wars upon the face of the earth, and the wicked shall slay the wicked, and fear shall come upon every man; And the saints also shall hardly escape; nevertheless, I, the Lord, am with them, and will come down in heaven from the presence of my Father and consume the wicked with unquenchable fire. And behold, this is not yet, but by and by.

Clearly, the saints of the restored church was also failing and would repeat the breaking of the covenant that had been previously broken during that gentile dispensation.

“Vail of Stupidity”

In the Saxton Letter, Joseph noted that the withdrawal of God’s spirit had caused a stupor of thought among the people, even a-

“vail of stupidity over the hearts of the people and that the judgments of God were currently falling upon the world.”

The ominous declaration in Section 63 had been followed a few months later by what is now known as Section 1. On November 1st 1831, it was prophesied that the everlasting covenant that Joseph had restored to the earth would be collectively broken by the latter day saints.

Although most Mormons read the following passages assuming that they are referring to the breaking of the covenant that had happened previous to the restoration of the Gospel through Joseph Smith, please notice the descriptives showing the final breaking of the covenant to be a future event done by the saints of the restored church.

11 Wherefore the voice of the Lord is unto the ends of the earth, that all that will hear may hear: 12 Prepare ye, prepare ye for that which is to come, for the Lord is nigh; 13 And the anger of the Lord is kindled, and his sword is bathed in heaven, and it shall fall upon the inhabitants of the earth. 14 And the arm of the Lord shall be revealed; and the day cometh that they who will not hear the voice of the Lord, neither the voice of his servants, neither give heed to the words of the prophets and apostles, shall be cut off from among the people; 15 For they have strayed from mine ordinances, and have broken mine everlasting covenant; 16 They seek not the Lord to establish his righteousness, but every man walketh in his own way, and after the image of his own god, whose image is in the likeness of the world, and whose substance is that of an idol, which waxeth old and shall perish in Babylon, even Babylon the great, which shall fall. 15

Clearly the above passages are referring to the restored Gentile Church that is breaking the covenant, not the saints of the New Testament Church or even those of the falling away that followed shortly after New Testament times.

The beginning of the withholding of God’s spirit Section in 63:32-35 and the above passages in Section 1, revealed that the ultimate and final fulfillment of the breaking of the covenant in Isaiah 24:5 was to be done by the latter day saints.

Fortunately, Section 1 also reveals that the broken covenant by the latter day saints would eventually be re-established in the 3rd watch at the time when the “weak things of the earth” would “rise up and break down the mighty and strong ones”:

Wherefore, I the Lord, knowing the calamity which should come upon the inhabitants of the earth, called upon my servant Joseph Smith, Jun., and spake unto him from heaven, and gave him commandments; And also gave commandments to others, that they should proclaim these things unto the world; and all this that it might be fulfilled, which was written by the prophets— The weak things of the world shall come forth and break down the mighty and strong ones, that man should not counsel his fellow man, neither trust in the arm of flesh—  But that every man might speak in the name of God the Lord, even the Savior of the world; That faith also might increase in the earth; That mine everlasting covenant might be established [again]; That the fulness of my gospel might be proclaimed by the weak and the simple unto the ends of the world, and before kings and rulers.

The “Ancient Covenant” vs. the “Fulness of the Gospel”

The ancient covenant mentioned in the Saxton Letter was separate and distinct from the fulness of the Gospel associated with the “doctrine of Christ“, as detailed in the New Testament and Book of Mormon. 

When mentioned or alluded to in scripture, the term “fulness of the Gentles” seems to have a two part meaning. It refers to the time when the fulness of the Gospel is given to the believing Gentiles. It also seems to refer to the time that the Gentiles reach the fulness of their iniquity, and ultimately reject the fulness of the Gospel.

Many critics of the modern LDS church are holding it up to the standard of the restored Gospel as detailed in the Book of Mormon and Doctrine and Covenants.

In that context, they are justified in their claims that the church is not living or teaching the fulness of the Gospel as they claim to be doing. However, the narrative given in both of these letters to newspaper editors as well as the events of LDS church history which are congruent with the narrative, are not claiming that the modern church is supposed to be representative of the fulness of the Gospel.

The modern apostate church is actually functioning under the dispensation of the Gospel of Abraham despite their false claims. Under that ancient dispensation, they are only responsible for offering a preparatory gospel. Within their legitimate steweardship, they are taking the KNOWLEDGE OF THE FULNESS OF THE GOSPEL to the nations of the world by virtue of taking the Book of Mormon to the world.

In reality, the modern apostate church actually represents the beginning of the fulfilling of an ancient covenant with Israel.

As evidenced by these two letters, Moroni was foretelling that Joseph’s ministry would include the beginning of the fulfillment of the ancient covenant as soon as the fulness was rejected by the Gentiles.

This is why the priesthood keys that were restored by John the Baptist (Elijah) as documented in section 13, the keys of the gathering and the dispensation of the gospel of Abraham that would ultimately be delivered to Joseph and Oliver during seven years later through the visitation of Moses Abraham and Elijah were necessary.

It is the dispensation of the Gospel of Abraham that Joseph Smith was instrumental in ushering in, not the dispensation of the fulness of times.

A Discrepancy Between the Saxton and Wentworth Narratives

The information contained in the last four parts of this series has largely been based on the declarations made in two separate and distinct letters that Joseph Smith sent to two newspaper editors.

Although both letters along with other supporting documentation from the scriptures and the history of the church are very consistent in declaring that the ancient covenant was being ushered in as the fulness of the Gospel was being rejected by the Gentile church, there is one apparent discrepancy between the narratives in the two letters.

Impending Judgments of God

The Saxton Letter written in 1833 had an apocalyptic sense of urgency to it, proclaiming that the Gentile dispensation was about to come to an end followed by judgments of Biblical proportions.

It was urging people to quickly repent, enter into the New Covenant, and gather to Zion to seek refuge from the impending storm of God’s judgment upon the world.

In that letter, Joseph observed that the Gentiles had not remained faithful in the covenant and therefore had broken, or were in the midst of breaking the covenant:

“..after this chosen family had rejected Christ and his proposals the heralds of salvation said to them. “lo  I we turn <un>to the gentiles,” and the gentiles received the covenant and  were grafted in from whence the chosen family were broken off-

but  the Gentiles have not continued in the goodness of God but have  departed from the faith that was once delivered to the saints and have  broken the everlasting covenant in which their fathers were established  see Isaiah 24th 5th...

Has not the pride highmindedness and unbelief of the Gentiles provoked the holy one of Israel to withdraw his holy spirit from  them and send forth his Judgments to scourge them for their wickedness;

this is certianly the case..  in the language of Isaiah, [“]the earth is defiled under the inhabitants thereof because they have transgressed the Laws; changed the ordinances  and broken the everlasting covenant

In previous posts we have shown how those passages in Isaiah are paraphrased in Section One of the Doctrine and Covenants to show that the fulness of pride, the final transgressing of the law, the final changing of the ordinances and the final breaking of the covenant by the Gentiles took place during Joseph Smith ministry.

It was the restored church of the Gentile saints during the Kirtland era that rejected the fulness, necessitating the grafting in of the natural branches into the tree and causing the knowledge of the gospel to be taken to the House of Israel.

Perhaps the most  prophetic and sobering declaration made in the Saxton letter, with regard to the impending judgments of God, is as follows:

“And now I am prepared to say by the authority of Jesus Christ, that not many years shall pass away before the United States shall present such a scene of bloodshed as has not a parallel in the [history]  of our nation [pestilence] hail famine and earthquake will  sweep the wicked off this generation from off the face of  this Land to open and prepare the way for the  return of the lost tribes of Israel from the north  country—”

Needless to say, the above prophecy did not see its fulfillment during Joseph’s ministry.

A rather Serene and Philosophical Mood

Conversely the Wentworth Letter that was written nearly a decade later, did not build upon the ominous theme of impending doom and judgment that provided the backdrop of the Saxton Letter narrative.

Indeed, no mention of the Gentiles breaking the everlasting covenant was made, nor did it convey any sense of urgency to gather to Zion and seek refuge from the pending storm of God’s judgments. The contrast in tone between the two letters is striking.

After detailing major points having to do with the early history of the church, the Wentworth letter details the persecutions of the Saints and then goes on to document that  the gospel had been taken to every state in the nation followed by the establishment of foreign missions and the subsequent conversion of thousands of foreigners.

Notice the tone of the letter implies that the taking of the gospel to the nations of the world will continue for the unforeseeable future while no further judgments-doom or sense of urgency is pontificated:

“Persecution has not stopped the progress of truth, but has only added fuel to  the flame, it has spread with increasing  rapidity, proud of the cause which  they have espoused and conscious of their innocence and of the truth of their  system amidst calumny and reproach  have the elders of this church gone forth,  and planted the gospel in almost every  state in the Union;
It has penetrated our  cities, it has spread over our villages, and has caused thousands of our intelligent,  noble, and patriotic citizens to obey its  divine mandates, and be governed by its  sacred truths. It has also spread into  England, Ireland, Scotland and Wales: 
 
In the year of 1839 where a few of our missionaries were sent over five thousand joined the standard of truth, there  are numbers now joining in every land.
 
Our missionaries are going forth to  different nations, and in Germany, Pales tine, New Holland, the East Indies, and  other places, the standard of truth has  been erected: 
 
No unhallowed hand can  stop the work from progressing, persecutions may rage, mobs may combine, armies may assemble, calumny may defame, but the truth of God will go forth  boldly, nobly, and independent till it has  penetrated every continent, visited every  clime, swept every country, and sounded  in every ear, till the purposes of God shall be accomplished and the great Jehovah shall say the work is done.”

Again, the contrast in tone and narrative between the two letters in this regard is rather astounding.

The Saxton letter was forecasting that within that very generation a scene of bloodshed would take place in America that would be greater than anything known in history.

It was prophesying that the wicked would be swept off the earth by pestilence, famine and earthquake and that the lost tribes of Israel would come forth from the North Country.

Did that happen?

No.

To those who have not searched the prophecies and the history of the church, Joseph Smith must surely appear to be a false prophet because the doom he foretold never took place.

Here we are four generations later. The judgments spoken of never took place.

However those who have searched the deeper things and are familiar with the secret history of Mormonism see the stark contrast in the two letters as a historical witness that the events that took place between those two letters represented the fulfillment of ancient prophecies.

The Saxton Letter written in 1833 documented that the gentile church was rejecting the fulness.

The Wentworth Letter written in 1842, when taking of the knowledge of the fulness of the gospel was in full swing, documented that the gospel was being taken to the nations of the earth, resulting in thousands of converts flowing to Nauvoo from across the great waters.

“Lest the whole earth be smitten with a curse”

According to ancient prophecy, the reason Joseph Smith went from proclaiming impending judgments upon the earth in 1833, to a rather serene, philosophical  and contemplative acknowledgement that the gospel was being taken to the nations of the earth, is because an amazing intervention took place that delayed the impending judgments from going forth at that time.

According to the words of Elijah the Prophet (John the Baptist), who was paraphrasing a prophecy from the Book of Malachi, the curse that the earth was scheduled to be smitten with, had been delayed.

This intervention was being accomplished by the beginning of the fulfillment of an ancient covenant between the Lord and remnants of his ancient people. This included taking of the knowledge of the gospel to the House of Israel.

This second wave of missionary work to the House of Israel would result in turning the hearts of the Fathers to the Children (Jews) and the hearts of the Children (Jews) to the Fathers.

14 Behold, the time has fully come, which was spoken of by the mouth of Malachi—testifying that he [Elijah] should be sent, before the great and dreadful day of the Lord come—

15 To turn the hearts of the fathers to the children, and the children to the fathers, lest the whole earth be smitten with a curse—

16 Therefore, the keys of this dispensation are committed into your hands; and by this ye may know that the great and dreadful day of the Lord is near, even at the doors.

This tremendous change in trajectory taking place during Joseph’s ministry had remarkably been foretold thousands of years previously.

trajectory

Another prophetic narrative detailing this amazing change in trajectory is found in the allegory in the 5th chapter of Jacob when the Lord informs his servant that he is going to burn the vineyard:

And it came to pass that the Lord of the vineyard said unto the servant: Let us go to and hew down the trees of the vineyard and cast them into the fire, that they shall not cumber the ground of my vineyard, for I have done all. What could I have done more for my vineyard? Jacob 5:49

The narrative in those passages verify that in the latter days, God was about to wipe the wicked off the face of the earth just as he was about to wipe the wicked children of Israel from off the face of the earth anciently before Moses intervened in their behalf.

The allegory in Jacob informs us that the servant petitions the Lord in behalf of the Gentile church to spare it a little longer.

But, behold, the servant said unto the Lord of the vineyard: Spare it a little longer. Jacob 5:50

Hence the Lord agrees to delay the burning of the vineyard. This is accomplished by grafting in the natural branches.

And the Lord said: Yea, I will spare it a little longer, for it grieveth me that I should lose the trees of my vineyard.

Wherefore, let us take of the branches of these which I have planted in the nethermost parts of my vineyard, and let us graft them into the tree from whence they came; and let us pluck from the tree those branches whose fruit is most bitter, and graft in the natural branches of the tree in the stead thereof. Jacob 5:51-52

It is remarkable that shortly after declaring that the judgments of God were about to be unleashed, Joseph Smith announced that the Lord had revealed to him that “something new” must be done for the SALVATION of the church. The establishment of foreign missions was the solution provided and the grafting in of the natural branches began.

Please note that it was during the 3 1/2 year period that the fulness was on the earth, that the Saxton letter was crafted. It was during the time that the Saints were miserably attempting and failing to live the fulness of the Gospel.

By the end of 1834 the fulness was taken from the Gentile Church and they were pronounced “condemned“.

It would be just a few years after the Saxton letter that our ancient Patriarchal Fathers, Moses, Abraham and Elijah would secretly return and provide the priesthood keys by which the fulfillment of the ancient covenant would begin to be realized.

Those who understand the secret secret history of the LDS restoration movement can see why the discrepancy between the two letters exists and that it is completely consistent with the fulfillment of prophecy.

ancient covenant

Click to enlarge

Only a knowledge of the intercession that was made by Joseph Smith and others, and the restoration of ancient Priesthood keys including the keys of the gathering of Israel and the secret ushering in of the Dispensation of the Gospel of Abraham can explain why Joseph went from a state of urgency and impending doom in 1833 to a rather serene and philosophical mood with a long term outlook, in 1842.

Additional scriptural documentation to the prophetic narrative that has been presented is provided in the four standard works. As few pertinent passages are provided below-

2 Nephi 30:1-2. These passages provide verification that the Gentiles who sinned and rejected the gospel will not “utterly be destroyed.” A remnant of the Gentiles will finally repent. Those who do are also considered to be the “covenant people” of the Lord.

3 Nephi 21:1-14. These passages explain that, after the Gentiles finally repent in the third watch after initially rejecting the fulness of the gospel and waiting for a little season before proceeding toward the establishment of Zion, the House of Israel will finally be physically gathered in from their long dispersion. Finally, the Gentiles will repent and come unto the true points of Christ’s doctrine that they had initially sinned against. This repentance of the Gentiles and the gathering in of Lehi’s seed that will have dwindled in unbelief is referred to as the Marvelous Work. It is directed by the return of God’s marred servant who is a type of Gideon, sent to deliver the Saints from out of the hands of their enemy.

Ether 4:4-7. These passages verify that the plates containing the things the Bother of Jared saw have been withheld from coming forth during the ministry of Joseph Smith because of the iniquity of the believing Gentiles, and that the Gentiles will eventually repent of their iniquity enabling the plates to come forth.

1 Nephi 13. These passages prophesy that the righteous portion of the believing Gentiles who lived at the time when the first portion of the Book of Mormon came forth would “seek” to bring forth Zion but would not be successful. It prophesied that if they endured to the end, they would return to the earth to “publish peace” and eventually be “lifted up” (raptured; caught up in the cloud) at the last day and saved in the everlasting kingdom of the Lamb.

Praise God Almighty, for his ways are mysterious and his secrets are only shared with those that treasure up his word under the influence of the Holy Ghost.

Part One

Part Two

Part Three

Part Four


“..the covenant which God made with ancient Israel was at hand to be fulfilled..” Part 4

June 6, 2016

I ended part three of this series speaking about two emails I got from one of my subscribers.

I have since received another one from him which is as follows:

Per your last post. I just found this scripture just hidden in plain sight that the Gospel was being restored to the Gentiles first then going to go to the Jew second … After the Abrahamic covenant had been restored. 
26 And again, I command thee that thou shalt not covet thine own property, but impart it freely to the printing of the Book of Mormon, which contains the truth and the word of God—
27 Which is my word to the Gentile, that soon it may go to the Jew, of whom the Lamanites are a remnant, that they may believe the gospel, and look not for a Messiah to come who has already come.
.
That was a phenomenal find that clearly shows that early in the restoration movement, the Lord made it clear that first the Book of Mormon which contains the fulness of the Gospel was going to the Gentile and secondly, it would go to the Jew after it went to the Gentile.
 .
It is interesting that the Lamanites are classed among the general category of  “Jews”. I have previously noted that a remnant of “Jews” from the seed of Lehi would unite with the believing Gentiles during the end times to build up Zion while it appears as if the majority of the other latter day Jews would come forth in the second great harvest which pertains to those that will receive a terrestrial reward.
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I would suggest that the mission to the Lamanites by Oliver Cowdery, Parley Pratt, Peter Whitmer Jr., and Ziba Peterson, in the context of what is being said in the passages above, may have been premature since the Gospel had not been rejected by the Gentiles at the time that the attempt was made.
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I suspect that is why their efforts in taking  the gospel to the Lamanites was not successful at that time. Perhaps they got ahead of themselves.
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Nevertheless, the passages above clearly demonstrate that a general missionary effort to the Jews was to follow the general missionary effort to the Gentiles. Indeed the above passage regarding this is not the only one that has been hiding in plain site.
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There are several passages in modern revelation that mentioned how the gospel was to go to the Gentile first and then to the Jew. These passages have been very cryptic to Latter day Saints because they have a false perception of who the Jews are.
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It is now obvious to me that the second wave of missionary work across the great waters that began bringing converts to Nauvoo and later to Utah is clearly the missionary work to the Jews that was being spoken of.
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I have generally avoided speaking of this topic to Latter day Saints because Mormons who descend from the converts coming from across the great waters to Nauvoo are generally not receptive to the cold hard fact that many of them are likely from Judah and his fellows rather than from Ephraim and his fellows.
Here are a few other passages to include with the passage provided above showing that a missionary effort to the believing Jews was to follow the missionary work to the Gentiles-
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Doctrine and Covenants 20:9
9 Which contains a record of a fallen people, and the fulness of the gospel of Jesus Christ to the Gentiles and to the Jews also;
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Doctrine and Covenants 21:12
12 And the first preacher of this church unto the church, and before the world, yea, before the Gentiles; yea, and thus saith the Lord God, lo, lo! to the Jews also. Amen.
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Doctrine and Covenants 107:33
33 The Twelve are a Traveling Presiding High Council, to officiate in the name of the Lord, under the direction of the Presidency of the Church, agreeable to the institution of heaven; to build up the church, and regulate all the affairs of the same in all nations, first unto the Gentiles and secondly unto the Jews.
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Doctrine and Covenants 107:35
35 The Twelve being sent out, holding the keys, to open the door by the proclamation of the gospel of Jesus Christ, and first unto the Gentiles and then unto the Jews.

The taking of the Gospel to the Latter day Saint Jews was to take place in that generation, following the taking  of the Gospel to the Gentiles. It was not an event that would begin taking place many generations later.

The above passages provide somewhat of a disconnect  to most latter day saints. This may be why the corporate church tries to promote Orson Hydes failed attempt in taking the gospel message to the Ashkenai Jews in the Old World as something significant and prophetic when in fact it was an unremarkable non-event.

The Lord was not referring to the unbelieving Ashkenazi Jews that Orson Hyde visited in the Old World Jerusalem, he was referring to the converts that would begin coming into the church from the efforts of the Twelve beginning in about 1839.

Another amazing passage that speaks of the Gospel being taken to the Jew following the Gentile is found in D&C 98. It actually modifies that declaration made in Malachi and again reiterated by Elijah the prophet when he appeared to Joseph and Oliver in the Kirtland Temple in 1836;

16 Therefore, renounce war and proclaim peace, and seek diligently to turn the hearts of the children to their fathers, and the hearts of the fathers to the children;

17 And again, [or in other words] the hearts of the Jews unto the prophets, and the prophets unto the Jews; lest I come and smite the whole earth with a curse, and all flesh be consumed before me.

I find the above passage to be Incredible.

Part of the intervention that would prevent the curse  from going out after the Gentiles rejected the Gospel, was the grafting in of other branches into the tree, as documented in the allegory in Jacob. This is why Joseph Smith had said that the Lord had  revealed to him that “something new must be done for the salvation of the church”!

Another mind-blowing passage is in Section 90

Thus saith the Lord, verily, verily I say unto you my son, thy sins are forgiven thee, according to thy petition, for thy prayers and the prayers of thy brethren have come up into my ears.

Therefore, thou art blessed from henceforth that bear the keys of the kingdom given unto you; which kingdom is coming forth for the last time.

Verily I say unto you, the keys of this kingdom shall never be taken from you, while thou art in the world, neither in the world to come;

Nevertheless, through you shall the oracles be given to another, yea, even unto the church.

And all they who receive the oracles of God, let them beware how they hold them lest they are accounted as a light thing, and are brought under condemnation thereby, and stumble and fall when the storms descend, and the winds blow, and the rains descend, and beat upon their house.

And again, verily I say unto thy brethren, Sidney Rigdon and Frederick G. Williams, their sins are forgiven them also, and they are accounted as equal with thee in holding the keys of this last kingdom;

As also through your administration the keys of theschool of the prophets, which I have commanded to be organized;

That thereby they may be perfected in their ministry for the salvation of Zion, and of the nations of Israel, and of the Gentiles, as many as will believe;

That through your administration they may receive the word, and through their administration the word may go forth unto the ends of the earth, unto the Gentiles first, and then, behold, and lo, they shall turn unto the Jews.

10 And then cometh the day when the arm of the Lord shall be revealed in power in convincing the nations, the heathen nations, the house of Joseph, of the gospel of their salvation.

Notice the Chronology above-
  • The Gospel is taken to the Gentiles and the associated nations of Israel
  • Then the Gospel is taken to the Jews (The Latter day Saint Jews)
  • Then comes the day of POWER (third watch) when the Gentiles repent and accept the fulness
  • Then the other remnants of Joseph mingled among the heathen nations receive the gospel of their salvation
The term “gospel of their salvation” is a dead giveaway to the fact that there are multiple covenants and levels of salvation within the Lord’s plan to the various branches of Israel.
“His Gathered Saints” VS. “His Restored People”
 Now, with the context provided by the above passages,  I want to address another passage of scripture that the above subscriber had previously made mention of from Section 84-
Yea, the word of the Lord concerning his church, established in the last days for the restoration of his people, as he has spoken by the mouth of his prophets,
AND
for the gathering of his saints to stand upon Mount Zion, which shall be the city of New Jerusalem. D&C 84:2
Although not obvious to the casual reader, I would suggest that the above passage is speaking about two separate and distinct tribes of God’s people.
The restoration of “His People” is referring to the Latter day Saints “Jews” who are the ancient covenant people that started converting to the Gospel following the secret ushering in of the Dispensation of the Gospel of Abraham and the commission given to the Twelve Apostles in Section 118.
The gathering of “His Saintsto stand upon mount Zion includes the believing Gentiles of the Kirtland era who laid the foundation of the LDS restoration movement.
According to the Book of Mormon, these Saints stumbled during Joseph’s ministry, yet they will repent of their iniquity in the third watch, during the day of power (Ether 4:6 )
Remarkably, the above passage in Section 84 mirrors the following passage in the Book of Mormon.

14 And it came to pass that I, Nephi, beheld the power of the Lamb of God, that it descended upon the saints of the church of the Lamb,

AND 

upon the covenant people of the Lord, who were scattered upon all the face of the earth; and they were armed with righteousness and with the power of God in great glory. 1 Nephi 14:14

The passage from modern revelation in Section 84 and the ancient passage out of 1 Nephi 14 in the Book of Mormon are both differentiating  between the “Saints” who compose the Church of the Lamb, and are the elect of God, versus the “ancient covenant people“.
Of course 1 Nephi 14 is speaking about the third watch day of power, after the Jews have experienced their pain and unite with the true church to receive their blessings from Ephraim, although  Ephraim gets the “greater blessing”.
saints vs covenant people
As addressed in a previous part of this series, these two tribal kingdoms are often referred to as “Judah” (Jews) and “Ephraim” (Gentiles). They were created when the kingdom of Israel was split into two separate kingdoms during Old Testament times.
Both tribal kingdoms are covenant people of the Lord and God has made covenants with both tribal kingdoms. That is why the Book of Mormon speaks of “covenants” (plural) that God has made with Israel:
“The book that thou beholdest is a record of the Jews, which contains the covenants of the Lord, which he hath made unto the house of Israel.. for behold, they have taken away from the gospel of the Lamb many parts which are plain and most precious; and also many covenants of the Lord have they taken away.” 1 Nephi 13:23-26
Judah and his fellows represent the ancient covenant that is mentioned in Jeremiah 31. The book of Ether informs us that this tribal group are “partakers of the fulfilling of the covenant which God made with their father, Abraham” (Ether 13:11). Other terms for the ancient gospel covenant with the Jews are the “gospel of Abraham” and the “preparatory gospel
Conversely, Ephraim and his fellows are saved through the fulness of the Gospel that requires the sacrifice of a broken heart and a contrite spirit.
“for thus my church shall be called..”
Section 115 also prophesies of the two tribal groups of people that will emerge in the prophetic end times scenario during the third watch day of power.
They are the “Church of Jesus Christ of Latter  day Saints” (Judah and his fellows) AND the “Church in Zion” (Ephraim and his fellows) who are referred to in the Book of Mormon as the “Church of the Lamb of God“. Pay close attention to the wording below. The narrative begins with contemporary people and events but subtly evolves into a future prophecy:

Verily thus saith the Lord unto you, my servant Joseph Smith, Jun., and also my servant Sidney Rigdon, and also my servant Hyrum Smith, and your counselors who are and shall be appointed hereafter;

 And also unto you, my servant Edward Partridge, and his counselors;

 And also unto my faithful servants who are of the high council of my church in Zion, for thus it shall be called, [future]

AND

unto all the elders and people of my Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, scattered abroad in all the world;

 For thus shall my church be called in the last days, [future] even The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

 Verily I say unto you all: Arise and shine forth, that thy light may be a standard for the nations;

Again we see the Lord differentiating between the “faithful servants” in the “Church in Zion” who are gathered in Zion, and the Latter day Saint Jews who currently are and will be in a scattered condition when the Marvelous Work begins.
We know that the Lord was speaking prophetically about a future time in the above passage for two reasons. One is the word “shall”. The other has to do with the emergence of a quote from Isaiah 60 which contains narrative relating to the final events in the third watch because of the paraphrase in verse 5 of Isaiah 60.
Years ago when it occurred to me that the above passages were speaking of a future time, “for thus my church shall be called..” I felt angry that the Saints living during Joseph Smith’s ministry misinterpreted the above passage as a mandate and a justification to reinsert the name of Christ into the name of the Church after it had been taken out of the name of the church in 1834.
The truth is that the Saints had already begun calling themselves the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter day Saints even before Section 115 was given. 
 
I knew the church had not repented and reformed and had not become worthy to have the name of Christ reinserted into the name of the Church.
I felt that the condemned church had high-jacked the name of God’s true Saints that would be in a scattered condition prior to being gathered to Zion during the 3rd watch.
I am still convinced that the condemned church was not justified in calling themselves by the name of Christ, however, God, in his infinite foreknowledge is prophesying in Section 115 that in the third watch, after the Latter day Saint Jews of the condemned church repent, they will become a blessed people and Judah will unite with Ephraim.
 
I am of the belief that the misapplication of the passage by the condemned church during the Far West period of the Church was indeed according to the mystical providence of God and that the passage is indeed referring to the Latter day Saints of the modern corporate church.
Even though the saints were not justified in reinserting the name of Christ into the name of the condemned church, this event results in a seamless prophetic congruency because it will indeed be the repentant Latter day Saint Jews who will fulfill the above prophecy.
It is remarkable how the Mormon Church has used the concepts of “stakes” to scattered Gods covenant people in a very organized manner.
It appears as if the narrative provided in 1 Nephi 14 is referring to a time when the modern church repents, after their “pain” and becomes a gathered people who are united with the true Church of the Lamb. The uniting of the Jews with the true church in the day of power is substantiated in scripture:

2 That he has spoken unto the Jews, by the mouth of his holy prophets, even from the beginning down, from generation to generation, until the time comes that they shall be restored to the true church and fold of God; when they shall be gathered home to the lands of their inheritance, and shall be established in all their lands of promise. 2 Nephi 9:2

As I have studied 1 Nephi 14 and related passages my heart has been filled with love and compassion for those of the modern corporate church. I now appreciate to a much deeper degree, that the modern corporate church is filled with Gods ancient covenant people and that God loves them and has a covenant with them that he will fulfill. I personally feel the vexing and envying between Judah and Ephraim dissipating in my own views even though I am not even certain which group I will end up in.
All Israel will be saved according to the various covenants of salvation!

My paradigm has greatly changed and I no longer feel a sense of urgency to warn latter day saints about the pain that awaits them. I am no longer as offended by the attempts at apologetics that are done by well meaning Mormons.

I am at peace knowing that any warning that takes place will be done by the servants of God who have been ordained to raise the warning voice.
The following video represents the latest attempt by God’s ancient covenant people to justify their beliefs and the difficult historical issues that they are unable to reconcile to those that are having a crisis of faith.

The chronology provided in all of the above passages in this final part of the series is consistent with the  Gentiles rejecting the fulness, followed by the beginning of the fulfillment of the ancient covenant which represents the preparatory gospel.
The preliminary work that has continued from Joseph’s ministry to this very day has to do with taking the knowledge of the fulness to the Latter day Jews.
Interestingly, the Latter day Saint Jews who are currently in a scattered condition in “stakes” throughout the world, only “begin” to believe in Christ because they will not live the fulness of his gospel.
We are informed in Section 76 that one of the trademarks of the Latter day Saint Jews is that they are those “Who received not the testimony of Jesus in the flesh, but afterwards received it. These are they who are honorable men of the earth, who were blinded by the craftiness of men. These are they who receive of his glory, but not of his fulness.” (verses 74-76)
Following this preliminary period of preparation that has been taking place for four generations, as orchestrated by Judah and his fellows, the fulness of the gospel will be preached in POWER by Ephraim and his fellows. This is documented in Section 133 which has previously been addressed.
Another cryptic passage that speaks to this topic is found in Section 58. It briefly identifies the preliminary work with the preparatory gospel followed by the final day of power.
Notice how the ancient covenant people of the Lord, the latter day saint Jews that have largely remained in a scattered condition are generally described as the-
  • rich
  • learned
  • wise
  • noble
Does that not perfectly describe how we latter day saints perceive ourselves and project ourselves to others?
Our religious culture puts so much importance on the accumulation of wealth, class distinction, the importance of a formal education, the distortion of the pure and simple doctrine of Christ through intellectualism, scholarship and sophistry.
Conversely, those who accept the fulness of the gospel during the “day of power” who will be Ephraim and his fellows, are generally described as the-
  • poor 
  • lame
  • blind
  • deaf

Section 58:9-11

Yea, a supper of the house of the Lord, well prepared, unto which all nations shall be invited.

10 First, the rich and the learned, the wise and the noble;

11 And after that cometh the day of my power; then shall the poor, the lame, and the blind, and the deaf, come in unto the marriage of the Lamb, and partake of the supper of the Lord, prepared for the great day to come.

As you can see, Judah and his fellows have been gathering to the supper of the House of the Lord.

The invitation takes place in two parts after the rejection of the fulness takes place by the Gentiles.

The first group has begun to believe in Christ while remaining in a scattered condition in “stakes” all over the world.

They have been in their process of gathering converts while remaining in a scattered condition for four generations now.

The second group represents the Ephraimite Gentiles who stumbled during the first part of Joseph’s ministry. They eventually repent and establish Zion with the righteous seed of Lehi during the day of power which is about to be ushered in.

I have previously begun a series about Ephraim and Judah and do not want to beat a dead horse by reiterating how I see the interaction between these two groups within the modern corporate church. (See The Vexing of Ephraim Part One, Part Two, Part Three) but I do want to show a remarkable narrative similarity between selected passages in Jeremiah 31 and Section 133

Jeremiah 31 speaks prophetically of the New Covenant God will make with the three divisions of his people in the latter days. He classifies his people as-

  • Ephraim His firstborn,
  • The House of Israel, (Israel)
  • The House of Judah (Jacob).

D&C 133 summaries the same narrative regarding these three groups of people.

Similarly, Section 133 Identifies Ephraim as “my servants” who make up the 144,000 who have the Father’s name written in their foreheads.

The tribes of Israel will be gathered from the “north countries” and will Notice in the book of Jeremiah how God refers to Ephraim as his firstborn who goes up to Zion and petitions the Lord to save his people Israel.

Following that, the Lord says he will bring his people from the “north country” and gather them from the coasts of the earth. The Lord who scattered Israel will gather him. The Lord will redeem Jacob. The Lord will turn their mourning into joy and their sorrow into rejoicing.

 

Jeremiah 31 D&C 133:17-35
6 For there shall be a day, that the watchmen upon the mount Ephraim shall cry, Arise ye, and let us go up to Zion unto the Lord our God.

 

7 For thus saith the Lord; Sing with gladness for Jacob, and shout among the chief of the nations: publish ye, praise ye, and say, O Lord, save thy people, the remnant of Israel.

 

8 Behold, I will bring them from the north country, and gather them from the coasts of the earth, and with them the blind and the lame, the woman with child and her that travaileth with child together: a great company shall return thither.

 

9 They shall come with weeping, and with supplications will I lead them: I will cause them to walk by the rivers of waters in a straight way, wherein they shall not stumble: for I am a father to Israel, and Ephraim is my firstborn.

 

10 ¶Hear the word of the Lord, O ye nations, and declare it in the isles afar off, and say, He that scattered Israel will gather him, and keep him, as a shepherd doth his flock.

 

11 For the Lord hath redeemed Jacob, and ransomed him from the hand of him that was stronger than he.

 

12 Therefore they shall come and sing in the height of Zion, and shall flow together to the goodness of the Lord, for wheat, and for wine, and for oil, and for the young of the flock and of the herd: and their soul shall be as a watered garden; and they shall not sorrow any more at all.

 

13 Then shall the virgin rejoice in the dance, both young men and old together: for I will turn their mourning into joy, and will comfort them, and make them rejoice from their sorrow.
21 Set thee up waymarks, make thee high heaps: set thine heart toward the highway, even the way which thou wentest: turn again, O virgin of Israel, turn again to these thy cities.

 

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

 

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

 

33 But this shall be the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel; After those days, saith the Lord, I will put my law in their inward parts, and write it in their hearts; and will be their God, and they shall be my people.
34 And they shall teach no more every man his neighbour, and every man his brother, saying, Know the Lord: for they shall all know me, from the least of them unto the greatest of them, saith the Lord: for I will forgive their iniquity, and I will remember their sin no more.

 

17 For behold, the Lord God hath sent forth the angel crying through the midst of heaven, saying: Prepare ye the way of the Lord, and make his paths straight, for the hour of his coming is nigh—

 

18 When the Lamb shall stand upon Mount Zion, and with him a hundred and forty-four thousand, having his Father’s name written on their foreheads. 25 And the Lord, even the Savior, shall stand in the midst of his people, and shall reign over all flesh.
23 He shall command the great deep, and it shall be driven back into the north countries, and the islands shall become one land;

 

26 And they who are in the north countries shall come in remembrance before the Lord; and their prophets shall hear his voice, and shall no longer stay themselves; and they shall smite the rocks, and the ice shall flow down at their presence.

 

27 And an highway shall be cast up in the midst of the great deep.

 

28 Their enemies shall become a prey unto them,

 

29 And in the barren deserts there shall come forth pools of living water; and the parched ground shall no longer be a thirsty land.

 

30 And they shall bring forth their rich treasures unto the children of Ephraim, my servants.

 

31 And the boundaries of the everlasting hills shall tremble at their presence.

 

32 And there shall they fall down and be crowned with glory, even in Zion, by the hands of the servants of the Lord, even the children of Ephraim.

 

33 And they shall be filled with songs of everlasting joy.

 

34 Behold, this is the blessing of the everlasting God upon the tribes of Israel, and the richer blessing upon the head of Ephraim and his fellows.

 

35 And they also of the tribe of Judah, after their pain, shall be sanctified in holiness before the Lord, to dwell in his presence day and night, forever and ever.

Notice in the book of Jeremiah how God refers to Ephraim as his firstborn who goes up to Zion and petitions the Lord to save his people Israel.

Following that, the Lord says he will bring his people from the “north country” and gather them from the coasts of the earth.

The Lord who scattered Israel will gather him. The Lord will redeem Jacob. The Lord will turn their mourning into joy and their sorrow into rejoicing.

Similarly, Section 133 Identifies Ephraim as “my servants” who make up the 144,000 who have the Father’s name written in their foreheads. The tribes of Israel will be gathered from the “north countries”.

Praise God almighty for the covenants he has made with the various divisions of his covenant people.

 

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Isaiah 11:13

13 The envy also of Ephraim shall depart, and the adversaries of Judah shall be cut off: Ephraim shall not envy Judah, and Judah shall not vex Ephraim.

 Part One

Part Two

Part Three

 


“..the covenant which God made with ancient Israel was at hand to be fulfilled..” Part 3

May 29, 2016

Part One of this Series

In part one of this series we observed that the letters that Joseph Smith sent to newspaper editors in 1833 and 1842 documented Moroni foretelling that the Lord was about to fulfill the ancient covenant with Israel, his ancient covenant people.

We also noted that the official church history version of the Moroni account in the Pearl of Great Price mysteriously omitted this game changing information.

The emergence of this ancient covenant following the rejection of the fulness by the Gentile church would result in a major change in trajectory of the LDS restoration movement and the condemned church. Few people are aware of this change of trajectory and are left to try and force the events of church history to match a false narrative.

In the JS History account, Joseph simply stated that the angel “offered many explanations which cannot be mentioned here.” instead of speaking about the fulfilling of the ancient covenant.

It almost appears as if the Lord is sharing inside information with the Gentile world, while keeping his people Israel who were migrating to America across the great waters in the dark, regarding their true identity and the fulfillment of this amazing prophetic event.

I must confess that years ago when I read Joseph’s declaration stating that God was setting his hand a second time to gather his people, I assumed he was referring to the restoration of the Gentile church.

I assumed that Peter James, John, Paul and others took the gospel to the gentiles during New Testament times and then Joseph was used by God to take the New Testament gospel to the Gentiles a second time.

It was not until I finally realized that Joseph’s ministry to the Gentiles was part of the same dispensation that Peter James, John, Paul and others of the New Testament apostles had begun.

Joseph Smith was was not starting a new dispensation when the restored Biblical Christianity in 1830, he was giving the Gentiles their final opportunity to repent during the dispensation that Peter, James and John had begun before the gospel would be taken from the Gentiles to the House of Israel.

The Gospel dispensation that Joseph was actauly involved in ushering in did not take place until 1836, AFTER the fulness of the Gospel was rejected by the Gentile Saints of the restored church

The setting of God’s hand the second time to fulfill that ancient covenant with God’s ancient covenant people primarily has to do with the remnants of the Jews from the ancient kingdom of Judah that are referred to as the outcasts of Israel and the dispersed of Judah.

Part Two

In part two of this series I spoke about how these two letters to newspaper editors provide compelling historical proof that the account of the visitation of Christ, Moses Elias and Elijah as contained in Section 110 is true.

The ancient gospel of Abraham was indeed secretly ushered in, representing the beginning of the fulfillment of the ancient covenant with the ancient covenant people, the Jews.

When a keyword search is done using the term “ancient covenant” the term Joseph used in one of his letters, the Book of Mormon is the only standard work that it shows up in. The two references identify the latter day “Jews” as the ancient covenant people:

5 O ye Gentiles, have ye remembered the Jews, mine ancient covenant people? Nay; but ye have cursed them, and have hated them, and have not sought to recover them. But behold, I will return all these things upon your own heads; for I the Lord have not forgotten my people. 2 Nephi 29:5

4 But thus saith the Lord God: O fools, they shall have a Bible; and it shall proceed forth from the Jews, mine ancient covenant people. And what thank they the Jews for the Bible which they receive from them? Yea, what do the Gentiles mean? Do they remember the travails, and the labors, and the pains of the Jews, and their diligence unto me, in bringing forth salvation unto the Gentiles? 2 Nephi 29:4

During the times of the Gentiles that began during New Testament times and finally came to an end with the rejection of the fulness by the end of 1834, the Jews had been hated and despised, not reclaimed. But Isaiah had foretold that God would indeed set his hand a second time to recover them and that is what Joseph was speaking about in the two letters that he wrote.

The restoration of ancient keys and dispensational rights in section 110 and the limited commission of taking the knowledge of the gospel to the House of Israel that is documented in Section 118 had specifically to do with God setting his hand a second time to recover the remnants of his ancient people Israel.

Those events resulted in a second wave of missionary work to remnants of the House of Israel (Jews) across the “great waters” that followed the rejection of the fulness by the Gentiles.

This represented the fulfillment of Isaiah’s prophecy that in the last days, the Lord would “set his hand again, a second time to recover the remnants of this people“.

The following statement is from Joseph Smith to Mr. Saxton:

“The time has at last arrived when the  God of Abraham of Isaac and of Jacob has set his hand again  the second time to recover the remnants of his people…  and from the  Islands of the sea and with them to bring in the fulness of the Gentiles and  establish that covenant with them which was promised when their sins should  be taken away. see Romans 11, 25, 26, & 27 and also Jeremiah 31. 31, 32, & 33,11

Joseph was paraphrasing passages from Isaiah 11

“And it shall come to pass in that day, that the Lord shall set his hand again the second time to recover the remnant of his people…

And he shall set up an ensign for the nations, and shall assemble the outcasts of Israel, and gather together the dispersed of Judah from the four corners of the earth.”

The next passage is quite interesting because it provides context:

The envy also of Ephraim shall depart, and the adversaries of Judah shall be cut off: Ephraim shall not envy Judah, and Judah shall not vex Ephraim. Isaiah 11:11-13

When the Marvelous Work and a Wonder takes place in the third watch, the envy of Ephraim towards Judah and the vexing of Ephraim by Judah will come to an end.

The Splitting Up of the Kingdom Created Envy and Vexing

The envy of Ephraim towards Judah and the vexing of Ephraim by Judah all began back when the Kingdom of Israel was split into two separate kingdoms because of the heavy tax burden that king Rehoboam placed upon Israel after they had petitioned him to lighten their tax burden.

The Ephraimite Kingdom of Israel lead by the Ephraimite Jeroboam, and the Kingdom of Judah lead by Rehoboam became estranged from each other and that estrangement has carried forward to the present time.

During New Testament times after the Jews (Descendants of the ancient Kingdom of Judah) rejected the gospel, Paul notes that their rejection resulted in the taking of the gospel to the Gentiles (remnants of the ancient Ephraimite kingdom of the Israel)-

44 ¶And the next sabbath day came almost the whole city together to hear the word of God.

 45 But when the Jews saw the multitudes, they were filled with envy, and spake against those things which were spoken by Paul, contradicting and blaspheming.

 46 Then Paul and Barnabas waxed bold, and said, It was necessary that the word of God should first have been spoken to you: but seeing ye put it from you, and judge yourselves unworthy of everlasting life, lo, we turn to the Gentiles.

Conversely, just as the gospel message was taken from the Jews to the Gentiles during New Testament times, at the end of the Gentile dispensation when the Gentiles rejected the fulness of the gospel, it opened the way for the knowledge of the fulness to be taken from the Gentiles to the Jews. The following snippet is from the JST of the Bible-

 24 Now these things he spake unto them, concerning the destruction of Jerusalem. And then his disciples asked him, saying, Master, tell us concerning thy coming?

 25 And he answered them, and said, In the generation in which the times of the Gentiles shall be fulfilled, there shall be signs in the sun, and in the moon, and in the stars; and upon the earth distress of nations with perplexity, like the sea and the waves roaring. The earth also shall be troubled, and the waters of the great deep;

26 Men’s hearts failing them for fear, and for looking after those things which are coming on the earth. For the powers of heaven shall be shaken.  JST, Luke 21:24–26. (Compare Luke 21:25–26)

The above prophecy like virtually all other prophecies was to have a dual fulfillment. A shadow fulfillment would take place during the end of the first watch. The literal fulfillment would take place during the third watch.

The Gentiles failed to live the law of consecration and fell under condemnation in December of 1834.

Parley Pratt received a revelation from the Lord in July of 1836 commanding him to warn the people of America to repent for the gospel was to be taken from the Gentiles to the nations afar off, leaving the Gentiles in America with a famine for the Word of the Lord:

“Go unto this people and cry unto them with a mighty voice that they repent, lest I smite them with a curse and they die; for, notwithstanding the present fruitfulness of the earth, there shall be a famine in the land; and not only a famine for bread, but a famine for the Word of the Lord; for I will call my servants out from their midst and send them to the nations afar off.”

Having heard these words I took courage, and I continued to lift up my voice in the congregations, both in town and country, testifying of the gospel and warning the people of things to come. Many repented and were baptized, while many hardened their hearts and were filled with a contentious and lying spirit. But the Saints were filled with faith, joy, and love; and they met together oft, and had great union and peace, and were happy in the society of each other.

In the autumn of the same year–I think in September–I had preached on Sunday in the chapel, on the subject of the coming of the Son of Man and the signs which would precede his coming. I prophesied that they would see signs in the heavens very soon, such as were spoken of by Jesus Christ in the New Testament; and that when they should begin to see them they might know for themselves that His coming was nigh at hand. After thus preaching I returned in the evening to the house of brother and sisters Fielding, at the hour of 9 p.m.; we sat up for an hour or two conversing on these important things and rejoicing, when, on going out at the door and looking abroad, we beheld a most wonderful scene in the heavens, and, as it continued for some time, we finally went to some of the nearest neighbors and called them out to behold it.

 

A wave of white light extended like a rainbow from east to west over the entire horizon, a little south of the meridian. It was in appearance about twenty feet wide, and seemed agitated in its motions like a wave of the sea; at length it removed like the motions of a great swell of the sea towards the south and disappeared; when lo! another similar light appeared immediately in the place of the former, and, after remaining stationary with agitated motions for some time, it rolled away to the south and disappeared like the former, and was replaced by a third. Thus the same scene was renewed and continued for hours. We finally all retired to rest, while it yet continued to be exhibited.”

The significance of the timing of the revelation Parley received and the signs in the heaven cannot be overstated. The Lord had revealed to Parley that the gospel would be taken from the Gentiles creating a “famine” of the word of God among the Gentiles who had rejected the fulness.

The servants of the Lord would be “taken out of the midst” of the gentile nations to take the knowledge of the gospel to another branch of Israel. The signs in the heavens that Parley documents were taking place at about the time that the “stronghold” in Kirtland was being taken away per the prophecy in Section 64.

It was shortly after this revelation and prophecy of Parley Pratt’s, and the accompanying signs in the heavens that Joseph announced, that something new must be done for the salvation of the church.

In this state of things,” the Prophet wrote, “God revealed to me that something new must be done for the salvation of His Church.

This “something new” was a revelation to send missionaries to England to preach the gospel.  It is interesting to note that the first grand sign in the heavens during Joseph Smith’s ministry, happened just as the Saints are being expelled from Jackson County, Missouri.

The Second grand sign took place at about the appointed time for the redemption of Zion, when the bridegroom tarried because the saints had failed in their attempt to consecrate and gather.

When the believing Gentile Saints failed to redeem Zion at the appointed time, the gospel was then taken to the House of Israel in nations afar off in fulfillment of the prophetic revelation Pratt had received.

The revelation Parley Pratt received about the servants of God being taken out of the “midst” of America and sent “to the nations afar off” and the revelation God gave to Joseph Smith about establishing foreign missions for the “salvation of the church” had specific reference to the prophecies in the Old Testament, New Testament and Book of Mormon, addressed in part one of this series regarding the gospel going from the Gentiles to the Jews.

This event had also been foretold in the prophecy uttered by Christ in 3 Nephi 16:

And then will I remember my covenant which I have made unto my people, O house of Israel, and I will bring my gospel unto them. And I will show unto thee, O house of Israel, that the Gentiles shall not have power over you; but I will remember my covenant unto you, O house of Israel, and ye shall come unto the knowledge of the fulness of my gospel.

After declaring that God had revealed to Joseph that something new must be done for the salvation of the church, Joseph used the quorum of the Twelve to he set up foreign missions. This was all in fulfillment of Christ’s prophecy.

Remarkably, God sent the elders from the midst of the Gentile nation of America to take the knowledge of the gospel to “nations afar off.”

The passage being quoted to Parley from the Lord is taken from Amos 8:1:

Behold, the days come, saith the Lord God, that I will send a famine in the land, not a famine of bread, nor a thirst for water, but of hearing the . . . (Amos 8:11)

Amos saw that in the latter-days, God would send a famine of hearing the word of the Lord upon this, the hypocritical nation of America for rejecting the fulness of the gospel. This is why leaders of the corporate church can only teach the precepts of men instead of authoritatively teaching from the scriptures.

From other prophecies and statements from Joseph Smith, it is apparent that after the gentile nation of America rejected the fulness of the gospel, the preparatory knowledge of the gospel was then sent to the outcasts of Israel and the dispersed of Judah, scattered among the nations afar off.

Parley Pratt and Sidney Rigdon and others were initially filled with the spirit of prophecy during the early, Kirtland era of the church and they were both called by revelation to teach in the school of the prophets.

They had both been prepared to play important roles in helping to lay the foundation of the kingdom, preparatory for the Marvelous Work that would be ushered in four generations later. The Lectures on Faith grew out of Sidney’s teachings and would eventually become canonized and then eventually rejected as scripture.

When the Gentile nation rejected the fulness of the gospel preached by Joseph Smith and other anointed servants of God, including Sidney Rigdon and Parley Pratt, the Lord covered the eyes of his anointed servants, withdrew his spirit and took the fulness of the gospel out of their midst.

It is no coincidence that some Mormon bloggers and authors are now making disparaging remarks about Sidney Rigdon and Parley P. Pratt, claiming they were uninspired and they adversely altered the trajectory of Mormonism by misinterpreting the message of the Book of Mormon. This represents yet another form of rejecting the fulness of the Gospel.

Envy and Vexation

Ephraim envies Judah and Judah vexes Ephraim until the Marvelous Work begins. The Jews were the first to have the message of the gospel offered to them and they will be the last to have the message of the Gospel offered to them-

message one

In response the the first two parts of this series I got the following email from a subscriber:

Watcher,

This most current series has to be the most insightful and powerful witness of the 3 watches and different latter day dispensations that you’ve done. 

Praise God almighty for his mercy and grace in opening this up to you and ultimately us. 

Thank you!!

I must confess I was dumbfounded when I read his email because he is right, Moroni’s proclamation about the fulfillment of the ancient covenant does provide one of the most insightful and powerful witnesses of the doctrine of the three watches and yet, I did not even catch that when I wrote the first two segments of this series!

message two

I sometimes become so hyper-focused on a primary topic that I am trying to articulate, that I fail to connect the other dots that connect to it. This same fellow shared the following observations a few days after the one posted above:

Watcher,
For years I have struggled with the law coming from Zion and the word from Jerusalem.
Especially given that the law in section 42 was given in Kirtland.
I believe this comes from a false belief that the law would originate in Zion. I remember reading Doctrines of Salvation were Joseph Fielding Smith postulates that the old world Jerusalem will be where the word will come from and that the new world Jerusalem will be were the law originates from.
However, a careful reading of Isaiah chapter 2 verse 3 indicates that the law shall go out of Zion but the word shall from Jerusalem. 

for out of Zion shall go forth the law, and the word of the LORD from Jerusalem.

However, as you’ve pointed out in Isa 30:19 they shall be on the same continent.

For the people shall dwell in Zion at Jerusalem
The law can still go forth out of Zion and be from Jerusalem. In fact, I believe this is what will happen when the Lord has his 144,000 go forth from Mount Zion; or, in other words, New Jerusalem. 
D&C 84:2
Yea, the word of the Lord concerning his church, established in the last days for the restoration of his people, as he has spoken by the mouth of his prophets, and for the gathering of his saints to stand upon Mount Zion, which shall be the city of New Jerusalem.
Nowhere in the scriptures does it say the law shall originate from Zion only that it shall go forth out of Zion.
Of course, this is all new to me and old news to you. Just wanted to share my excitement and enthusiasm for finally putting the pieces the other.🙂

As I was reading the above email, a passage from Section 84 that he quoted jumped out at me and hit me between the eyes. It is one I have noticed before but had forgotten about with regard to how it relates to this current series. It not only provides a compelling witness regarding the three watches, it also provides additional clarity about how the ancient covenant differs from the covenant God makes with the Gentiles!

More to come in the part four..

Keep Watching

Part One

Part Two

Part Four Final


“..the covenant which God made with ancient Israel was at hand to be fulfilled..” Part 2

May 17, 2016

 

I suspect that some long time readers of this blog are confused about why I thought the declaration by Moroni about the impending fulfillment of an ancient covenant between God and ancient Israel was so astounding since I have been blogging about the secret ushering in of the dispensation of the gospel of Abraham it for years.

The reason I thought Moroni’s declaration was so astounding was not because the concept was new to me. It was because Moroni was validating  my claims about the proper interpretation of D&C 110.

You see, all of my previous blog posts on the topic, used MY INTERPRETATION of Section 110 as the foundational proof that the ushering in of an ancient covenant grew out of the Gentile rejection of the fulness. Spring-boarding off of that interpretation, I also referenced countless additional contextual evidences from LDS history and scripture as supporting evidence to my interpretation of Section 110.

Although there has never been  any doubt in my mind about what I have written about, regarding this topic, the modern church provides a radically different interpretation than mine. They superimpose a “dispensation of the fulness of times” narrative on the “the Dispensation of the Gospel of Abraham” content that is in the event narrative. Naturally, I have wanted to find hard evidence from a credible independent historical source that would confirm my interpretation, even though I think the correct interpretation is obvious.

I believe the declaration from Moroni in the Wentworth Letter and the associated Old Testament passages associated with it from the Saxton Letter is a game changer because it provides hard evidence from two separate historical documents authored by Joseph Smith.

They verify that an ancient covenant, separate and distinct from the New Testament Gospel Covenant to the Gentiles, was ushered in during Joseph’s ministry. It proves the interpretation of Section 110 that I have been providing for the last several years is correct.

I have looked for this type of a clear historical/scriptural validation in the scriptures for years and the best I could come up with was Isaiah 48 which is probably too cryptic and ambiguous to be persuasive and compelling to those who have not studied the topic in the scriptures deeply.

Moroni’s declaration provides a very strong witness that the interpretation of Section 110 that I have offered is correct and that the dispensation of the Gospel of Abraham that was secretly ushered in shortly after the saints and their leaders were condemned, along with the keys for gathering Israel, did in fact represent the beginning of the fulfillment of the ancient covenant that God made with portions of Israel.

These accounts of what was said by Moroni in the two letters, provide a compelling witness that Section 110 is true. It therefore exposes the false prophets and false teachers in the modern church who are providing a false interpretation, as well as the prophet of a contemporary fringe group who is trying to cause doubt in the historicity of the account given in Section 110.

It is becoming apparent to me why the false prophet of the most recent LDS fringe movement is wanting to discredit Section 110. After all, if the fulness was rejected by the saints by 1834, resulting in the beginning of the fulfilling of an ancient covenant in 1836 which has been and is currently preparing the way for the return of the Lord, then the claims of this movement that they are “preserving the restoration” of the true church that Joseph briefly restored are clearly exposed as being fraudulent.

The Most Controversial thing I Speak About

Of the many controversial and distasteful interpretations of scripture that I have suggested on this blog, I suppose I get the most blow-back from the general claim that the fulness of the gospel and the true church of God had returned back into the wilderness by the end of 1834.

I suppose there are several reasons for this.

One is that descendants of the Mormon pioneers as well as the more recent converts to the faith have been indoctrinated to think that they are special and are the elect children of God and that they have been “born under the covenant” in the “dispensation of the fulness of times” because they were so righteous in the pre-existence.

They have been taught that, unlike previous gospel dispensations, the one we live in is invincible and cannot go into apostasy. Hence the restored church was true back in Joseph Smith’s day, and it will always be true. All they need to do is blindly do what the false prophets and apostles tell them to do and they will be exalted.

It is a tough pill to swallow to be informed that you have not been born under the true covenant. Rather, you have inherited lies. You have inherited the apostasy and the false traditions of your fathers. The dispensation of the fulness of times was clearly never ushered in during Joseph’ ministry, and the true church of God that Joseph was instrumental in bringing forth out of the wilderness fled back into the wilderness within a few years after it came forth.

Ouch!

Have the Last Four Generations Been an Exercise in Futility?

Another reason for blow-back when I speak about our current situation is that it logically does not make sense to most people that God would have his true church restored and on the earth for about 3 1/2 years followed by darkness and apostasy for four generations until the Marvelous Work and a Wonder begins, with nothing significant happening during the interim period of time.

I agree.

It does not make sense to me that God would have his church restored and then taken from the earth, leaving a veil of complete darkness and deception for four generations leading up to the events of the coming of Christ in his glory without anything of significance happening to prepare people for the marvelous work and a wonder and Christ’s return.

That is part of the profundity of what was covered in part one of this series. The LDS restoration movement was not ended in complete darkness. A priesthood commission that is documented in Section 118 of the Doctrine and Covenants has continued to this very day. There was a very important purpose in everything that happened during Joseph’s ministry. The fulfilling of the ancient covenant that was ushered in has been preparing many people for the Lord’s return!

The Lord did not leave the saints in a complete veil of darkness after the fulness was rejected. He began fulfilling the ancient covenant he had given to Israel and Jacob and that covenant was given in part, for the purpose of gathering and preparing people for the return of the Lord:

“This messenger  proclaimed himself to be an angel of God  sent to bring the joyful tidings, that the covenant which God made with ancient  Israel was at hand to be fulfilled, that  the preparatory work for the second coming of the Messiah was speedily to commence;”

That ancient covenant represents the preparatory gospel of Jesus Christ that is essential to the “preparatory work” leading up to the return of Christ into the vineyard, that has been taking place for the last four generations.

I have had numerous readers ask me what the purpose of this long interim period of four generations is accomplishing if in fact the fulness was lost and the saints were rejected as a church.

The truth is that even though the saints have been rejected as a church, they have not been rejected as a tribe or as God’s covenant people. The tribal gathering continued after the church became rejected. As the Saints were being rejected as a church with power to administer the fulness of the saving ordinances,  the ancient kingdom of Israel was being reestablished and would continue the commission that had been given in section 118 and would continue providing the scriptures that have the fulness documented in them. 

What Have We Been Told About the Ancient Covenant?

Let us now review passages of scripture that provide bits and pieces of commentary regarding the various aspects of the ancient covenant and preparatory work that has been ushered in.

There is Power in God’s Word

An integral part of the preparatory work that began four generations ago has to do with the coming forth of the Book of Mormon and the revelations received by Joseph Smith. Few people realize how powerful and significant the word of God is that Joseph Smith was instrumental in bringing forth. The word of God has the power to illuminate the mind and sanctify the soul.

Note the following declaration and promise of God referring the blessing that is directly attached to believing on the words of God.

“Whosoever believeth on my words, them will I visit with the manifestation of my spirit; and they shall be born of me, even of the water and of the Spirit… and the testimony of three witnesses will I send forth of my word… and their testimony shall also go forth unto the condemnation of this generation if they harden their hearts against me.” (D&C 5:16)

The Oracles of God

The words of God that came forth through the instrumentality have the power of blessing people with the manifestation of God’s spirit regardless of the current state of the church and the saving ordinances. The scriptures Joseph brought forth with the fulness of the gospel in them, and making them available to the work is perhaps the most important aspect of the preparatory work that has been taking place during the last four generations. The testimony of the three witnesses is just as binding on us now as it was on those of that generation. I believe those witneses will return and participate in the Marvelous Work.

Lets review the prophesy about how the keys of the Kingdom would remain with Joseph in both this world and the next one while the oracles (scriptures) that he brought forth would remain with the church after his death:

Thus saith the Lord, verily, verily I say unto you my son, thy sins are forgiven thee, according to thy petition, for thy prayers and the prayers of thy brethren have come up into my ears.

Therefore, thou art blessed from henceforth that bear the keys of the kingdom given unto you; which kingdom is coming forth for the last time.

Verily I say unto you, the keys of this kingdom shall never be taken from you, while thou art in the world, neither in the world to come;

Nevertheless, through you shall the oracles be given to another, yea, even unto the church.

And all they who receive the oracles of God, let them beware how they hold them lest they are accounted as a light thing, and are brought under condemnation thereby, and stumble and fall when the storms descend, and the winds blow, and the rains descend, and beat upon their house. (D&C 90:1-5)

Clearly the Lord was putting the Saints at that time and future generations, on notice that the keys of the kingdom would remain with Joseph after his death, until he returns with them to begin the final work. We have previously reviewed the prophetic dream in Section 65 which gives a prophetic account of how Joseph will return with the keys at a later time.

Nevertheless, despite the fact that the keys of the kingdom are no among us at this time, the scriptures remain powerful and relevant. The above passage of scripture is putting all of us on notice that we will be held accountable for how we hold the scriptures even AFTER the keys of the Kingdom were temporarily removed from the earth. 

The scriptures are so powerful and revelatory for those that seriously read, study , search,  and believe them under the influence of the spirit.

The Oracles Offer A Blessing or a Cursing

They provide a condemnation for those that reject them because of lack of faith or because of scientific arguments. They also provide a condemnation for those that dismiss them and in favor of the contrary teachings of uninspired church leaders:

These are they who are honorable men of the earth, who were blinded by the craftiness of men.

These are they who receive of his glory, but not of his fulness.

These are they who receive of the presence of the Son, but not of the fulness of the Father.

Wherefore, they are bodies terrestrial, and not bodies celestial, and differ in glory as the moon differs from the sun.

These are they who are not valiant in the testimony of Jesus; wherefore, they obtain not the crown over the kingdom of our God. (D&C 76:75-79)

The scriptures of the restoration also provide the means for believers to gain whatever level of knowledge they are capable of comprehending and living and thereby preparing them for the coming of Christ.

For the elect of God, the scriptures make it possible to gain a knowledge of the fulness of the gospel and to establish a preparatory relationship with God that will prevent them from being deceived. Those who treasure up the word of God by the power of the spirit will be able to identify the true messengers when they return and take the Holy Spirit as their guide when the keys return and it is offered.

Sadly, many of the saints took the scriptures lightly during Joseph’s ministry contributing to the loss of the fulness:

And your minds in times past have been darkened because of unbelief, and because you have treated lightly the things you have received—

Which vanity and unbelief have brought the whole church under condemnation.

And this condemnation resteth upon the children of Zion, even all.

And they shall remain under this condemnation until they repent and remember the new covenant, even the Book of Mormon and the former commandments which I have given them, not only to say, but to do according to that which I have written— (D&C 84:54-57)

Many Mormons take the scriptures lightly now. Zion and the law of consecration are not even in the paradigm of many Mormons. They LOVE the preparatory gospel and how it allows for materialism and class distinction.

How a person holds the scriptures largely determines whether they will be condemned or justified. The scriptures seem to indicate that the elect of God are always seeking Zion in their hearts and seeking to better understand what the fulness of the Gospel is.

The scriptures teach us what the fulness is so that we can be preparing our hearts and minds for the return of the fulness. Those who study God’s word realize how critical the law of consecration is while those who have become blinded are oblivious to the consequences that took place when the restored church in Kirtland failed to live the covenant that they had entered into;

During Joseph’s day the saints were warned that if they did not organize according to God’s law they would be “cut off“:

For it must needs be that they be organized according to my laws; if otherwise, they will be cut off.  (D&C 51:2)

The fact that the Saints were cut off from the fulness of the Gospel and the full spiritual blessings of the Gospel, does not mean that the Lord has not provided a preparatory gospel.

One of the great tests placed upon Mormons during this time of preparation is if we will actually read and believe the word of God in the scriptures that Joseph Smith brought forth through the gift and power of God, or whether they will blindly follow the false precepts of men and discount the holy word of God.

Another Term for the Ancient Covenant

According to Section 110, another term for the ancient covenant that God had with Abraham, Isaac and Jacob is “The Dispensation of the Gospel of Abraham“.

In D&C 84, we are given one of the best concise definition of what the ancient covenant is that began to be fulfilled during Joseph Smith’s ministry after the fulness was rejected. It uses an ancient event that parallels what happened during the restoration movement when the priesthood was taken away.

Now this Moses plainly taught to the children of Israel in the wilderness, and sought diligently to sanctify his people that they might behold the face of God;

But they hardened their hearts and could not endure his presence; therefore, the Lord in his wrath, for his anger was kindled against them, swore that they should not enter into his rest while in the wilderness, which rest is the fulness of his glory.

Therefore, he took Moses out of their midst, and the Holy Priesthood also;

And the lesser priesthood continued, which priesthood holdeth the key of the ministering of angels and the preparatory gospel;

Which gospel is the gospel of repentance and of baptism, and the remission of sins, and the law of carnal commandments, which the Lord in his wrath caused to continue with the house of Aaron among the children of Israel until John, whom God raised up, being filled with the Holy Ghost from his mother’s womb. (D&C 84:23-27)

The above summary of what happened to the Children of Israel after Moses was taken out of their midst is remarkably similar to what happened to the latter day children of Israel.

Moses earnestly sought to sanctify the Children of Israel that they might behold the face of God.

Joseph had earnestly sought to sanctify the saints that they might behold the face of God. Through his instrumentality the office of High Priest was restored to the earth and the admonition to seek the face of God was given to those called to that holy calling.

During Moses’s ministry it is documented that a small portion of the brethren did see God.

During Joseph’s ministry there were a few individuals that did see the face of God as well.

Collectively, the children of Israel hardened their hearts and could not ENDURE the presence of God.

The same is true of the saints during the restoration movement. They hardened their hearts and could not ENDURE the presence of God.

The Lord did not allow the children of Israel to enter into his rest in the wilderness as they were journeying towards the promised land.

The Lord did not allow the latter day children of Israel to enter into his rest while they were attempting to establish Zion in the promised land.

Moses was taken out of the midst of the people and the Holy Priesthood also .

Joseph Smith was taken out of the midst of the people and the Holy Priesthood also.

The Children of Israel were left with the preparatory gospel

The Latter day Saints were left with the preparatory gospel.

As you can see, an  exact type of what happened to the latter day saints has been provided and if validates Moroni’s claim that the ancient covenant represents the preparatory Gospel which prepares us for the return of the fulness.

The Ancient Covenant Includes a Knowledge of the Fulness

In his prophecy in 3rd Nephi 16, Christ clarifies that once the fulness has been rejected by the Gentiles, the preparatory gospel of the ancient covenant contains a KNOWLEDGE of what the fulness of the gospel is.

And thus commandeth the Father that I should say unto you: At that day when the Gentiles shall sin against my gospel, and shall reject the fulness of my gospel, and shall be lifted up in the pride of their hearts above all nations, and above all the people of the whole earth, and shall be filled with all manner of lyings, and of deceits, and of mischiefs, and all manner of hypocrisy, and murders, and priestcrafts, and whoredoms, and of secret abominations; and if they shall do all those things, and shall reject the fulness of my gospel, behold, saith the Father, I will bring the fulness of my gospel from among them.

And then will I remember my covenant which I have made unto my people, O house of Israel, and I will bring my gospel unto them.

And I will show unto thee, O house of Israel, that the Gentiles shall not have power over you; but I will remember my covenant unto you, O house of Israel, and ye shall come unto the knowledge of the fulness of my gospel.

But if the Gentiles will repent and return unto me, saith the Father, behold they shall be numbered among my people, O house of Israel. 3rd Nephi 16:10-13

The Lesser Law and Priesthood
Can only Curse Not Bless

It is important to realize that even though the lesser priesthood and the lesser gospel provide the oracles that detail what the fulness of the gospel is, those that do not desire to repent and live the fulness when it returns and are content with the preparatory gospel, will be cursed by being damned in their eternal progression.

Joseph Smith opined that the lesser law was given as a cursing if it is not used to transcend to the higher priesthood and the fulness of the Gospel…

The law was given under Aaron for the purpose of pouring out Judments and destructions.” (Smith Dairy)

“…Levitical [priesthood] which was never able to administer a Blessing but Only to bind heavy burdens which neither they nor their father able to bear” (Franklin D Richards Diary)  The Words of Joseph Smith, p.243-248; Given 27 August 1843

“The priesthood of Levi consisted of cursings and blessing carnal commandments and not of blessings and if the preisthood of this generation has no more power than that of Levi or Aron or of a bishhoprick it administers no blessings but cursings. . .” (http://www.boap.org/LDS/Parallel/1843/27Aug43.html).

Ancient prophecy confirms that the Lord would curse the blessings of the latter day saints if they do not “lay it to heart“.

If ye will not hear, and if ye will not lay it to heart, to give glory unto my name, saith the LORD of hosts, I will even send a curse upon you, and I will curse your blessings: yea, I have cursed them already, because ye do not lay it to heart.”

Modern revelation confirms the fulfillment of the ancient prophecy:

by your own works, bring cursings, wrath, indignation, and judgments upon your own heads, by your follies, and by all your abominations, which you practise before me, saith the Lord.” (D&C 124:48)

The Book of Mormon speaks of the promise in Malachi about the Lord coming sudden coming of the Lord to his temple after the Lord’s messenger Elijah (John the Baptist) prepares the  way:

And it came to pass that he commanded them that they should write the words which the Father had given unto Malachi, which he should tell unto them. And it came to pass that after they were written he expounded them. And these are the words which he did tell unto them, saying: Thus said the Father unto Malachi—Behold, I will send my messenger, and he shall prepare the way before me, and the Lord whom ye seek shall suddenly come to his temple, even the messenger of the covenant, whom ye delight in; behold, he shall come, saith the Lord of Hosts. 3 Nephi 24:1

That is exactly what happened during the LDS restoration movement.

The sudden coming of the Lord to the Kirtland Temple had also been foretold in modern revelation.

I am Jesus Christ, the Son of God; wherefore, gird up your loins and I will suddenly come to my temple. Even so. Amen. Doctrine and Covenants 36:8

Remarkably, the Lord revealed in Section 133 that the sudden coming to his temple would be associated with a “curse to judgment“:

 Hearken, O ye people of my church, saith the Lord your God, and hear the word of the Lord concerning you—

The Lord who shall suddenly come to his temple; the Lord who shall come down upon the world with a curse to judgment;  (D&C 133:1-2)

As a follow up to those passages in 84 and 90, which inform us that the oracles will continue on in the church even though the fulness of the priesthood will not, we have the JST of Christ’s words demonstrating that the Jewish Church in the meridian of time was in a similar state of apostasy as the modern LDS church. Leaders continue to preside in the church and to exercize unrighteous dominion over the flock. The following passages are very instructive

“Then spake Jesus to the multitude, and to his disciples, saying, The Scribes and the Pharisees sit in Moses’ seat.

All, therefore, whatsoever they bid you observe, they will make you observe and do; for they are ministers of the law, and they make themselves your judges. But do not ye after their works; for they say, and do not.” JST Matthew 23:1-3

The JST further reveals that while the unrighteous leaders of the apostate church make themselves Judges in Israel and compel the flock to obey their directives in order to qualify for the spiritual blessings the church claims stewardship over, they prevent the flock from entering into the strait gate by withholding the true teachings contained in the scriptures:

 “Woe unto you, lawyers! For ye have taken away the key of knowledge, the fullness of the scriptures; ye enter not in yourselves into the kingdom; and those who were entering in, ye hindered.” JST Luke 11:53

The JST also informs us that we are to follow Christ as our guide, not those who sit in the seat of Moses:

Seek unto my Father, and it shall be done in that very moment what ye shall ask, if ye ask in faith, believing that ye shall receive.

And if thine eye which seeth for thee, him that is appointed to watch over thee to show thee light, become a transgressor and offend thee, pluck him out.

It is better for thee to enter into the kingdom of God, with one eye, than having two eyes to be cast into hell fire.

48 For it is better that thyself should be saved, than to be cast into hell with thy brother, where their worm dieth not, and where the fire is not quenched. Mark 9:45-48

From the above three snippets in the  JST of the Bible from Matthew Luke and Mark, we learn the following:

  • Moses’ Seat of Authority is valid but limited
  • Those who sit in it sometimes teach false doctrine and exercise unrighteous dominion
  • They prevent the flock from entering the strait gate by taking away the key of knowledge, which is the “fulness of the scriptures”
  • It is the responsibility of the saints to follow Christ as their guide, not uninspired priesthood leaders

One of the truly shocking events of the restoration is that leaders of the modern church took the “doctrine” part of the “Doctrine and Covenants” out of the Doctrine and Covenants. It is also known as the Lectures on Faith. The Lectures on Faith was originally canonized as scripture under the direction of God’s servant and sustained by the law of common consent.

It was placed in the Doctrine and Covenants in 1835 AFTER the Gentile church failed to live consecration, rejected the fulness and became condemned in 1834.

It appears that the reason the Lord had Joseph canonize these lectures is to instruct the condemned saints and future generations about the true nature of God and about the deeper aspects of faith, to prepare them for the fulness that had been lost from the earth.

By taking the doctrine portion out of the Doctrine and Covenants, the leaders of the church were in a sense taking away the key of knowledge which enables the saints to enter into the kingdom. Modern leaders also withhold the key of knowledge by giving false interpretations of scripture.

By the providence of God, those who are searching deeply for answers can still find the original doctrine and can read and interpret for themselves what the Lord has taught in the scriptures

The Latter day Jews BEGIN to Believe 

Ancient prophecy informs us that the latter day Jews would begin to gather when the truth is restored to the earth

Second Nephi 30 gives a brief prophetic snippet about the latter day “Jews” that began gathering into Nauvoo as the ancient covenant was beginning to be fulfilled.

And it shall come to pass that the Jews which are scattered also shall begin to believe in Christ; and they shall begin to gather in upon the face of the land; and as many as shall believe in Christ shall also become a delightsome people.

And it shall come to pass that the Lord God shall commence his work among all nations, kindreds, tongues, and people, to bring about the restoration of his people upon the earth.

The scattered descendants of the Jews who rejected Christ in the meridian of time were to be gathered to the promised land of America where they would BEGIN to believe in Christ. That is what the preparatory covenant represents. It is a beginning point  of partial belief without actually living the full law of God. It is for those that only begin to believe until they can transcend the preparatory gospel and prepare their hearts for the fulness of the Gospel.

The preparatory gospel presents people with a knowledge of the fulness as contained in the oracles if they are willing to read and understand what is presented therein.

The ancient covenant has been gathering God’s ancient people together for four generations; both physically to American  and to “stakes” all over the world as well as exposing them to the oracles of God.

The fulfilling of this ancient covenant is preparing people for the return of Christ and for the Marvelous Work and a Wonder.

To be continued…

Keep Watching

Part One

Part Three

Part Four Final


“..the covenant which God made with ancient Israel was at hand to be fulfilled..” Part 1

May 13, 2016

 

On January 4th 1833 Joseph Smith wrote a letter to newpaper editor Noah C. Saxton from Kirtland Ohio, highlighting important details about the history and current state of the Latter day restoration movement.

Nearly one decade later,  on March 1 1842, Joseph Smith wrote another letter to newspaper editor John Wentworth  from Nauvoo, once again highlighting important details about the history and current state of the Latter day restoration movement.

Both letters are consistent in proclaiming that an ancient covenant between God and Israel (that had been prophesied in the Old Testament) was about to be fulfilled.

In the Wentworth Letter Joseph quotes Moroni as declaring that the fulfillment of an ancient covenant with Israel was about to commence.

“This messenger  proclaimed himself to be an angel of God  sent to bring the joyful tidings, that the covenant which God made with ancient  Israel was at hand to be fulfilled, that  the preparatory work for the second coming of the Messiah was speedily to commence;”

Astounding.

The above declaration of Moroni in the Wentworth Letter is revealing information that was intentionally withheld in the account of Moroni’s visit that ultimately became canonized in the Pearl of Great Price.

No mention of the fulfillment of an ancient covenant is found in the JS History contained in the Pearl of Great Price.

Indeed, the JS History version in the Pearl of Great Price informs us that many explanations were given by Moroni that could not be mentioned in that account:

“And he further stated that the fulness of the Gentiles was soon to come in. He quoted many other passages of scripture, and offered many explanations which cannot be mentioned here.

It appears that in the Pearl of Great Price account of Moroni’s visit, it was not intended to reveal that the fulness of the Gentiles (including the ultimate rejection of the fulness by the Gentiles) would birth the beginning of the fulfillment of the ancient covenant that would prepare the way for the coming of Messiah.

According to the Wentworth Letter, it was not just the restoration of Biblical Christianity that has been preparing the way for the coming of Messiah during the last four generations, it is the covenant that God made with ancient Israel that has been preparing the way for the coming of Messiah!

In the Saxton Letter Joseph Smith chose to reference the ancient covenant with God’s ancient covenant people in  Jeremiah 31:31-33 instead of referencing the Covenant that Christ established with the Gentiles in the New Testament.

Those passages refer to the an ancient promise of God to the House of Israel and to the House of Judah, that he would provide a New Covenant with his people in the latter days. He also gave Romans 11:25-27  in which Paul simply paraphrased the promise of the ancient covenant in Jeremiah 31.

In the Saxton Letter Joseph emphasized that God was setting forth his hand a second time in establishing this covenant and that the first time that he set his hand to offer it to Israel, they rejected it.

“The time has at last arrived when the  God of Abraham of Isaac and of Jacob has set his hand again  the second time to recover the remnants of his people which have been left from Assyria, and from Egypt and from Pathros &.c. and from the  Islands of the sea and with them to bring in the fulness of the Gentiles and  establish that covenant with them which was promised when their sins should  be taken away. see Romans 11, 25, 26, & 27 and also Jeremiah 31. 31, 32, & 33,11

Below is Paul’s reference to above words of Jeremiah

For I would not, brethren, that ye should be ignorant of this mystery, lest ye should be wise in your own conceits; that blindness in part is happened to Israel, until the fulness of the Gentiles be come in.

 And so all Israel shall be saved: as it is written, There shall come out of Sion the Deliverer, and shall turn away ungodliness from Jacob:

For this is my covenant unto them, when I shall take away their sins.

Upon further study of these two letters and the passages they reference, it becomes clear that the ancient covenant being spoken of that had previously been extended, included the invitation of salvation to the Jews during Christ’s mortal ministry which they had rejected.

During Joseph’s ministry, the Lord was setting his hand “a second time” to recover the remnants of the posterity of the New Testament Jews and other remnants of Israel under the “New Covenant” mentioned in Jeremiah 31.

The Lord Sets his Hand a Second Time to Recover the Jews

The Book of Mormon provides a second witness that the setting of God’s hand the “second time” to recover the remnants of his people is referring to the posterity of the New Testament Jews that rejected Christ.

Just prior to the allegory in Jacob 5, the prophet Jacob prophesied, (sometime between 544 and 421 BC), that the Jews would eventually gather to the Old World Jerusalem where they would reject Christ. They would “stumble” because they “despised the words of plainness“. Therefore, Christ would take “way his plainness from them“.

According to Jacob, the Jews “will reject the stone upon which they might build and have safe foundation“.

Nevertheless, Jacob informs us that “according to the scriptures, this stone shall become the great, and the last and the only sure foundation upon which the Jew can build

A Great Mystery is Revealed

How is it possible that the Jewish people that rejected Christ in New Testament times could eventually build upon the foundation of Christ?

The narrative in Jacob 4 continues with Jacob presenting a great dilemma and mystery and then providing the answer to it-

“And now, my beloved, how is it possible that these [Jews], after having rejected the sure foundation, can ever build upon it, that it may become the head of their corner?

Behold, my beloved brethren, I will unfold this mystery unto you; if I do not, by any means, get shaken from my firmness in the Spirit, and stumble because of my over anxiety for you.” (Jacob 4:17-18)

The great mystery is then revealed within the rather lengthy allegory that is contained in chapter 5 of the Book of Jacob. The allegory is written somewhat cryptically, however within the general narrative, an intercession takes place that involves the grafting in of the natural branches (the Jews)  into the wild tree (the apostate Gentile Church).

The following passage from 1 Nephi informs us that the fulness of the Gentiles makes possible the grafting in of the ancient covenant people (Jews) into the Gentile church-

And now, the thing which our father meaneth concerning the grafting in of the natural branches through the fulness of the Gentiles, is, that in the latter days, when our seed shall have dwindled in unbelief, yea, for the space of many years, and many generations after the Messiah shall be manifested in body unto the children of men, then shall the fulness of the gospel of the Messiah come unto the Gentiles, and from the Gentiles unto the remnant of our seed— 1 Nephi 15:13


And after the house of Israel should be scattered they should be gathered together again; or, in fine, after the Gentiles had received the fulness of the Gospel, the natural branches of the olive tree, or the remnants of the house of Israel, should be grafted in, or come to the knowledge of the true Messiah, their Lord and their Redeemer. 1 Nephi 10:14

After the lengthy allegory, Jacob summarizes things by paraphrasing the setting forth of God’s hand a second time narrative from Jeremiah 31-

“And the day tht he shall set his hand again the second tie to recover his people, is the day,  yea even the last tie that the servants of the Lord shall go forth in his power, to nourish and prune his vineyard; and after that the end soon cometh” Jacob 6:2

The solving of the great mystery by Jacob in the Book of Mormon parallels the solving of the same mystery by Paul in the New Testament. It is interesting to note that passages just prior to and following the passages that Joseph Smith quoted in the Saxton Letter address the exact same allegory that is provided in Jacob 5.

The Rejection of the Fulness by the Gentiles

In previous posts I have noted that the rejection of the fulness of the Gospel was complete by the end of 1834 when the Saints had failed to live consecration and the law of the gospel as documented in section 42.

After the dispensation of the Gospel of Abraham was secretly ushered in with the priesthood keys of restoring Israel on April 3rd 1836, the Lord commissioned the quorum of the Twelve Apostles to cross the great waters and promulgate the gospel as documented in Section 118 on July 8 1838.

The following statement of Joseph Smith on  May 18 1840, identifies the two houses of Israel mentioned in Jeremiah 31 as the demographic that this new wave of missionary work was targeting.

“If there is anything calculated to interest the mind of the Saints, to awaken in them the finest sensibilities, and arouse them to enterprise and exertion, surely it is the great and precious promises made by our heavenly Father to the children of Abraham; and those engaged in seeking the outcasts of Israel, and the dispersed of Judah, cannot fail to enjoy the Spirit of the Lord and have the choicest blessings of Heaven rest upon them in copious effusions.” (Joseph Smith Jr., Discourses of the Prophet Joseph Smith, 195.)

All of this represents an amazing change in the trajectory of the church. After the Gentiles rejected the fulness in Kirtland, the knowledge of the Gospel was then taken to the outcasts of Israel and the dispersed of Judah. As this missionary work progressed, converts to the church from these two houses of Israel began gathering to Nauvoo and eventually to Utah.

dispersed

 

To be continued…

 

Part Two

Part Three

Part Four Final

 

 


Adorn

May 6, 2016

I recently got an email from a person who had purchased and begun reading “Solving the Prophet Puzzle“. (which has temporarily been reduced to just $19 until the final revision is ready)

In the email he said:

I recently bought your book from Amazon.
I understand it is not yet finalized and that you have people proof reading it for you…

He then made note of two minor inaccuracies that needed to be corrected in the book which I greatly appreciate. He then said:

I am now on page 34 and will report an inconsistency there that you may want to address.

You suggest that the condemnation expressed by Moroni in Mormon 8 is directed at the first generation of Mormons.

What churches did these early Saints adorn? (v37) And what of the fine apparel? Moroni is clearly describing a people other than those impoverished first generation saints.

Apart from these things I have found it an interesting read so far.
Regards,

His assumption that Mormon 8 is referring to later generations of Latter day Saints is a very common one. Numerous readers of my blog have contacted me with the same view over the years. It is the reason that we have so many splinter groups running around trying to find out who currently has the priesthood keys to administer the fulness, or inventing novel ways of obtaining the priesthood. All of this in an attempt to preserve the restoration and claim the blessings thereof, that took place four generations ago.

People refuse to believe that the true Church of Christ that was restored by Joseph Smith has long since been rejected by the Lord and that the Gospel of Abraham was secretly ushered in with a preparatory gospel.

While I believe that the apostolic mandate given in Section 118 still gives a commission to leaders of the modern apostate church to spread the Book of Mormon, teach about the Gospel of Christ, and witness of the name of Christ, the fulness of the Gospel was rejected by the saints of the restoration by 1834 and God rejected the saints “as a church with their dead before the death of Joseph Smith.

This was my response to him regarding his criticism:

Thank you so much for the feedback… 

Regarding your last point.
I realize that that Mormon 8 appears to be more applicable to later generations of the saints as they became more wealthy and affluent… and I don’t disagree that much of the content does apply to later generations as well.
HOWEVER, I think that as you get further into the book and deeper into the history of the church, you will realize (regardless of whether you agree or not with my interpretations of history) that my reasoning for making that interpretation of Mormon 8, Is based on the documented facts provided in the book, that the saints of the restored church rejected the fulness of the gospel by 1834 and that prior to the death of Joseph Smith, the Lord rejected the saints as a church with their dead. 
That being the case, how could later generations after that be responsible for polluting the “holy church of God” when the holy church being referred to has not been on the earth since 1834?
As you continue you will find out how the “church of God” differs from the “church of Christ” and how the “Church of Christ” differs from the modern church.
You will also find out that the Lord took his name out  of the church of Christ in 1834 which is what Mormon 8 make reference to… etc. 
Furthermore, the church did divide into competing factions with the saints in Jackson County accusing the saints in Kirtland, etc., 
Wealth and prosperity actually did become a stumbling block to the saints during the Nauvoo period and some of the saints were putting their time and resources into building their fine homes and masonic lodges instead of building the temples, etc.

Mormon 8:38

38 O ye pollutions, ye hypocrites, ye teachers, who sell yourselves for that which will canker, why have ye polluted the holy church of God? Why are ye ashamed to take upon you the name of Christ? Why do ye not think that greater is the value of an endless happiness than that misery which never dies—because of the praise of the world?

It was  not until my response to him that I had actually connected the dots between Moroni’s observation that the saints of the restoration were ashamed to take upon them the name of Christ, with the historical fact that the name of Christ was officially taken out of the church in late 1834 as the saints were rejecting the fulness of the Gospel.

After having the name of Christ taken from them, the saints were petitioning the Lord in the dedicatory prayer in 1836, to reinstate his name back into the name of the church.

Furthermore, shortly after the dedication of the temple, the Lord would give an ominous warning to those of the leaders of the church that would profess to know the name of the Lord when in fact they don’t.

Although the Saints eventually reinserted the name of Christ into the name of the church, there is no evidence that they did so with the approval of God. ( I have demonstrated that Section 115 was a prophecy about a future time, not the reinstating of the name of Christ into the name of the church)

It is well documented that the Lord rejected the church with their dead in Nauvoo. Furthermore, they were not showing forth the fruits that are always associated with the true and living church of Christ..

my name 2

Over the years I have noticed that many of the dots can be connected through the use of keyword searches while others are more difficult to find because slightly different terminology is used. Once a person becomes aware of the secret history of the church and the real historical narrative, more and more dots become connected, but it takes time, study and lots of searching.

It never fails to amaze me how many significant doctrinal, historical and prophetic nuggets have been sitting in plain sight in front of my face over the years that I have failed to see initially. It is also interesting how much of what I learn comes from attempting to articulate what I have previously learned while responding to questions that people ask me or while responding to criticisms.

Impoverished Saints?

The person who contacted me made a common assumption about the “impoverished first generation saints” that I want to address.

Since responding to that email, it has occurred to me that I did not address the part of his criticism about how the Saints of the restoration were guilty of ADORNING their churches. This part of the question is really quite an interesting one because it highlights parts of LDS history that many people are not familiar with.

First, lets take a look at what the 1828 Websters Dictionary has to say about the word ‘adorn’.

adorn

ADORN’, v.t. [L. adorno, ad and orno, to deck, or beautify, to dress, set off, extol, furnish.

1. To deck or decorate; to make beautiful; to add to beauty by dress; to deck with external ornaments. A bride adorneth, herself with jewels. Isa. 6. To set off to advantage; to add ornaments to; to embellish by any thing external or adventitious; as, to adorn a speech by appropriate action, sentiments with elegance of language, or a gallery with pictures.3. To make pleasing, or more pleasing; as, great abilities adorned by virtue or affability.4. To display the beauty or excellence of; as, to adorn the doctrine of God. Titus 2.

ADORN’, n. Ornament. Obs.

ADORN’, a. Adorned; decorated. Obs.

I would suggest that the word adorn as defined in the above definition could be used to refer to decorating and beautifying the church as the term refers to the saints that make up the body of Christ, or to the church buildings that the saints meet in.

The fact that the following passage make distinct mention of “very fine apparel” and “adorning of your churches” would indicate that the later is speaking about adorning meeting houses.

36 And I know that ye do walk in the pride of your hearts; and there are none save a few only who do not lift themselves up in the pride of their hearts, unto the wearing of very fine apparel, unto envying, and strifes, and malice, and persecutions, and all manner of iniquities; and your churches, yea, even every one, have become polluted because of the pride of your hearts.

37 For behold, ye do love money, and your substance, and your fine apparel, and the adorning of your churches, more than ye love the poor and the needy, the sick and the afflicted.

Although we often think of the saints of the restoration as being impoverished, particularly in the early New York and Kirtland years of the restoration, it is a well established fact that there was a segment of the well established members and leaders of the church in Nauvoo who had arrived from Kirtland and other places prior to the second in-gathering from across the great waters that were experiencing a degree of wealth and affluency. It is hard to believe that none of these apostate saints were adorning themselves with fine apparel and jewelry.

It is interesting to note that the New Testament addresses the importance of modesty, sobriety and  and humility in the way the saints dressed and how they should not be adorning themselves with fine apparel.

In the second chapter of Timothy, Paul addresses the importance of dressing modestly and avoiding braided hair and jewelry:

Whereunto I am ordained a preacher, and an apostle, (I speak the truth in Christ, and lie not;) a teacher of the Gentiles in faith and verity.

I will therefore that men pray every where, lifting up holy hands, without wrath and doubting.

In like manner also, that women adorn themselves in modest apparel, with shamefacedness and sobriety; not with broided hair, or gold, or pearls, or costly array;

10 But (which becometh women professing godliness) with good works.

In the third chapter of Peter, Peter reiterates a similar theme as Paul

Likewise, ye wives, be in subjection to your own husbands; that, if any obey not the word, they also may without the word be won by the conversation of the wives;

While they behold your chaste conversation coupled with fear.

Whose adorning let it not be that outward adorning of plaiting the hair, and of wearing of gold, or of putting on of apparel;

But let it be the hidden man of the heart, in that which is not corruptible, even the ornament of a meek and quiet spirit, which is in the sight of God of great price.

For after this manner in the old time the holy womenalso, who trusted in God, adorned themselves, being in subjection unto their own husbands

Both Peter and Paul warned the women against adorning themselves with braided hair or of adorning the body with jewelry and fancy clothing. This was all vanity and pride. It was focusing on enhancing the beauty of the created instead of focusing on the majesty and mercy of our creator.

It is not inconceivable that married women who went to great lengths to look attractive in public could have been perceived as unfaithful to their husbands and to Christ when viewed the the lens of Biblical Christianity.

But it is not my desire in this post to address focus on the fine apparel and braided hair that no doubt was emerging in the city of Nauvoo as the saints of the restoration were becoming affluent.

I want to address the adorning of the church buildings, specifically the temple, since this is one of the often overlooked fruits of the LDS apostasy. The following statement from the LDS church website notes that Nauvoo went through a quick transition as the Saints continued to inhabit the area:

“After 1842 many of the early log homes were replaced with fine brick houses that still stand as evidence of the Latter-day Saint commitment to excellence.”

Is it a coincidence that the modern church refers to “FINE brick houses” and the passage in question refers to “FINE apparel“?

Possibly.

But again, what I want to focus on is the adorning of the Temple.

One of the amazing contrasts between Kirtland and Nauvoo is how the Kirtland Temple was a very plain and modest structure compared to the Nauvoo Temple which was adorned in various ways both within and without.

The adorning of the exterior with pagan images that violate the command of God to avoid graven images has already been addressed in previous posts.

sunstone

 

side of nauvoo temple

An LDS merchandiser made the following observation while unwittingly using the term adorn:

“The beautiful inverted stained glass stars that adorn the top of the Nauvoo Temple have a meaningful history dating back to the early Christian church..”

nauvoo star

“When the Nauvoo Temple was rebuilt and dedicated in 2002, President Gordon B. Hinckley determined that the three-color stained glass windows would once again adorn the Temple.  The beautiful Morning Star windows again glow at night as they once did and remind us of the sacrifice of those early pioneers who loved the Lord.” http://www.templehousegallery.com/NAUVOO-TEMPLE-STAINED-GLASS-STAR-120.htm

I find the use of the word adorn in the above copy and think it is noteworthy with regard to the declarations in Mormon 8 that the Nauvoo Temple was adorned inside of the temple with very beautiful and costly mirrors and extravagant paintings of Brigham Young and other leaders of the church who presided over the church after the death of Joseph Smith.

The following snippets were taken from an article in BYU Studies by Jill C Major

“In the first Nauvoo Temple, the celestial room was adorned with a number of splendid mirrors, paintings and portraits”. William Clayton who wrote this description, also recorded the subjects of the twenty-two of the known portraits that hung in the celestial room.

Their it is again. The use of the term “adorned” used by Jill Major. It was not inserted by me. You just can’t make this stuff up folks.

The article continues..

Brigham young: delivering the law of the lord-

Centered among the portraits on the east wall of the celestial room according to Clayton was the portrait of president Brigham Young placed where members would see the seven foot tall full body portrait of their leader immediately upon stepping into the room

Brigham Young offering the law of the LordAmazing.

Brigham Young has a very expensive and extravagant full body painting of himself done and has it placed in the celestial room of the Nauvoo Temple. It and many other pictures of the General Authorities were used to adorn the Temple.

They were placed there for everyone to see when they enter the celestial room. I have no idea how much the painting cost but I don’t think that “impoverished” people were investing in seven foot tall paintings of themselves.

It is curious that Brigham Young who was all but poverty stricken during the early Kirtland years and was called to the apostolic ministry as a life time occupation somehow within a relatively short period of time had the means during the Nauvoo period to build a fine brick house, have his children tutored and have multiple paintings of himself commissioned.

brigham youngs house in nauvoo

Brigham Young Home in Nauvoo

 

Continuing on with the Jill Major article in BYU Studies-

A portrait of Brigham Young already existed. A bust view which was possibly created in Philadelphia on June 1 1841 to commemorate elder Youngs fortieth birthday. The president could easily have loaned this portrait for the prominent east wall of the celestial room yet the busy leader took time to pose for a second portrait in July 1845 according to the biographer of the man chosen to paint this portrait the artist Selah Van Sickle 1809

Brigham Young selected the message of his new portrait which he called “Delivering the Law of the Lord

This was not to be a portrait of a sitting figure with hands clasping the scriptures as Nauvoo artist William W Major had portrayed other citizens.

Instead Brigham young chose to dress in formal clothes and stand solemnly in front of a large case of mostly historical books

A book of Mormon and a Bible lie on a cloth covered table to his right but Brigham young selected to emphasize a third book on the table by standing it up the book is titled law of the lord.”

There is a warped sense of irony in Brigham Young depicting himself as delivering the “Law of the Lord” since the law of the Lord had been given in section 42 requiring the saints to live consecration and to live the law of monogamy. Those are two gospel principles for which Brigham Young would not become notorious.

However, the term “Book of the Law of the Lord” had specific reference to a book created by Joseph Smith that contained the names of worthy members of the church who had contributed to the construction of the temple and was perhaps conceptually pattered after the Lambs Book of Life. It was a very prestigious book to have one’s name written in.

Starting in December 1841 the names of those contributing tithing in the form of money or goods for the building of the temple were written in a large hive five hundred plus page leather bound record called the book of the law of the lord which was kept in the counting room of Joseph Smiths brick store on water street..

The book of the law of the lord was thus an important record of the faithful it also served as a sacred text at times revelations to the prophet joseph smith were recorded in it and read in conference.

As the faithful saints entered the celestial room their eyes would focus on the face of Brigham Young and then travel down to the book he held they could feel assured that because their names were written in the the book of the law of the lord they had a right to all the promised blessings ordinances oracles and endowments which will not only benefit them but their posterity to the latest generation.

The book symbolized the beginning of the fulfillment of all the glorious covenants they had made in the temple of the lord.

A second reason to commission such a commanding portrait was to remind church members of the importance of relying on the president of the twelve apostles to lead them after Joseph Smith,s martyrdom, Sidney Rigdon, James J Strang, William Smith and Lyman Wight claimed revelations and authority to lead the church, these men opposed Brigham Young and quickly gathered small groups of followers

The life sized portrait sent a powerful message that Joseph Smith s personal record book had passed to the hands of Brigham Young and only brigham young had the authority to deliver the law of the lord to the church

Those who remembered this lesson from the Nauvoo Temple continued their spiritual and temporal journey following the westward path made by their leaders..

..those who forgot or ignored it left the church and wandered on other roads

portraits of apostles also on the prominent east wall of the celestial room positioned to the left of the Brigham Young portrait was a painting of Heber C Kimball on the right side of the president was a painting of Willard Richards on the same wall hung paintings of apostles John Taylor, Orson Hyde, and George A Smith. This grouping communicated a message of unity and leadership as if to proclaim here are your guides follow them they know the path to the celestial kingdom”

It is difficult to know if the placing of these opulent paintings was singularly the cause of ego run amok or part of a very well thought out psychology which was being used to indoctrinate the masses into supporting the radical leadership shift that had just taken place.

It can truly be said that the saints of the restoration began to adorned their churches beginning with the Nauvoo Temple, both on the exterior, with stained glass windows inverted stars and pictures of a pagan sun god, and also on the inside, with idolatrous paintings of those who claimed to be the official guides of the church holding the priesthood keys.

It is true that this tradition of adorning places of worship has been continued into future generations. numerous articles have been written about the outrageous expenditures the modern church makes on their temples and meeting houses. However the first generation of Saints clearly had the stumbling block of prosperity and pride that was so poignantly and accurately described by Moroni. Moroni was intimately familiar with the first generation of saints and he saw in vision everything that transpired in Kirtland and Nauvoo.

The Lord showed Moroni in vision what took place during Joseph Smith’s ministry. Moroni saw how the restored church failed to live the law of consecration. The Lord had warned the saints that if they refused to impart their substance according to the law of the gospel he would withdraw his spirit from them.

Moroni saw how the newly restored church was given the name, “Church of Christ” by revelation. He saw that within a few short years that name of Christ was taken out of the name of the church because the Saints of the restoration could not live the law of Christ.

Moroni saw the Saints petition the Lord during the dedicatory prayer to reinstate his name upon the Saints.

Moroni saw how the Lord warned the saints in Nauvoo that if they did not repent, reform and complete the Nauvoo Boarding House they would be rejected as a church with their dead.

He saw how the saints would need to flee from Nauvoo and the unfinished temple because of the abomination that they practiced.

Moroni became appalled and sickened at what he saw as he exclaimed “why have ye polluted the holy church of God? Why are ye ashamed to take upon you the name of Christ?”

It is truly amazing that so many believers in the Book of Mormon and members of the modern church as well as many splinter groups think that the fulness of the gospel is still on the earth.


The Doctrine of Christ- Part Four

May 4, 2016

Up to this point in this series we have discussed the fact that the Book of Mormon provides a clear and precise bullet point listing of what the “Doctrine of Christ” is, which is not provided in the New Testament. This demonstrates that the significance of the Book of Mormon is much greater than simply providing a second witness of Christ.

In this fourth part of the series we are going to change directions a little bit and note how the baptismal protocol for Gentiles differs slightly but significantly from the protocol for the House of Israel. We will do this by analyzing an amazing controversy that took between Joseph Smith and Oliver Cowdery. We will also use passages from the New Testament to show that Joseph Smith was completely inspired to do what he did.

Gentiles vs. House of Israel

One of the most foundational and important revelations of the LDS restoration movement is section 20 of the current LDS Doctrine and Covenants. It was known as the “Articles and Covenants” of the church because it provides the protocol for managing the affairs of the church including the different priesthood functions and how to administer the ordinances of salvation.

In conjunction with other revelations brought forth by the prophet Joseph Smith, it reiterates the “Doctrine of Christ” as does the Book of Mormon. Section 20, along with section 42 which was known as the “Law of the Church” was copied numerous times by hand and sent with early LDS missionaries as a teaching and proselytizing tool.

I have pointed out in previous blog posts that Oliver Cowdery had received a personal revelation from the Lord on how he was to build up the church. He received it one year before he and Joseph penned Section 20.  It is not surprising that the two revelations had similar content in them. Much of the content in both revelations is derived from the Book of Mormon. 

Unlike the majority of the revelations in the Doctrine and Covenants which are given word for word in the words of Christ, Section 20 and a few other notable revelations read more like they were written by inspired men, similar to how most of the passages read in the New Testament and Book of Mormon. Section 20 and the revelation to Oliver Cowdery were both inspired by the Holy Ghost while drawing upon the precepts found in the Book of Mormon.

I Command you in the name of God!

One of the controversial and revealing events that happened in the very early part of the restoration movement had to do with Section 20. It had to do with a short doctrinal insert into the revelation made by Joseph, after Joseph and Oliver had written it. Oliver Cowdery discovered the inclusion before the revelation was published and he came unglued.

He sent a letter to Joseph commanding him in the name of God to erase the words he had inserted. He implied that the insertion represented “priest craft”. A brief account of the event as recorded in Joseph Smith’s history is provided below:

 “Whilst thus (and otherwise at intervals) employed in the work appointed me, by my Heavenly Father; I received a letter from Oliver Cowdery—the contents of which, gave me both sorrow and uneasiness…. He wrote to inform me, that he had discovered an error in one of the commandments” The revelation in question was no less than the Church’s Articles and Covenants and the allegedly erroneous passage described the requirements for baptism. What Cowdery found objectionable were the words “and truly manifest by their works that they have received the Spirit unto the remission of their sins.” As Joseph remembered the letter, Oliver wrote “I command you in the name of God to erase those words, that no priestcraft be amongst us.”[1]

Here is the entire passage in D&C 20:37 with the above mentioned insertion in caps:

37 And again, by way of commandment to the church concerning the manner of baptism—All those who humble themselves before God, and desire to be baptized, and come forth with broken hearts and contrite spirits, and witness before the church that they have truly repented of all their sins, and are willing to take upon them the name of Jesus Christ, having a determination to serve him to the end, AND TRULY MANIFEST BY THEIR WORKS THAT THEY HAVE RECEIVD OF THE SPIRIT OF CHRIST UNTO THE REMISSION OF THEIR SINS, shall be received by baptism into his church.

Joseph was quite offended by the rebuke and the implication of priest craft. He responded to Oliver in a letter asking-

“by what authority he took upon him to command me to alter, or erase, to add or diminish to or from a revelation or commandment from Almighty God.”

Joseph followed up his letter with a visit to Oliver and the Whitmers who had sided with Oliver on the issue. The following is Joseph’s summation about the labor and perseverance that it took to persuade them that his insertion was accurate-

“It was not without both labor and perseverance that I could prevail with any of them to reason calmly on the subject. However, Christian Whitmer at length became convinced that the sentence was reasonable, and according to Scripture; and finally, with his assistance, I succeeded in bringing, not only the Whitmer family, but also Oliver Cowdery to acknowledge that they had been in error, and that the sentence in dispute was in accordance with the rest of the commandment”[2]

According to Joseph’s account, he was finally able to win Cowdery and the Whitmers over to the modified protocol.

Curiously, he does not share how he won Oliver and the Cowdery’s over.

He provides no scriptural support for the insertion in his brief summary of what happened.

Did he expect future generations to simply go on faith that he knew what he was doing?

Did he expect future generations to search the scriptures to determine for themselves that Joseph was inspired in what he did?

One way that we know that Joseph was in the right is that in a later revelation the Lord sided with Joseph and admonished Oliver to not command Joseph since Joseph held the keys of the mysteries:

And thou shalt not command him who is at thy head, and at the head of the church; For I have given him the keys of the mysteries, and the revelations which are sealed, until I shall appoint unto them another in his stead. ( D&C 28:6&7)

It would appear as if the change that Joseph Smith made had to do with some the mysteries of the gospel that were not commonly understood at the time.

As I have studied the history of the church over the years, I have found that most of the time I come across something difficult to explain pertaining to the history of the LDS restoration movement, there are fascinating answers to be found by doggedly searching out the issue.

Often there is an interesting explanation behind it that enlightens and amplifies and provides another witness of the veracity of the LDS restoration movement and the divine calling of Joseph Smith.

This controversy between Oliver Cowdery and Joseph Smith concerning an apparent change in the baptismal protocol is no exception. I believe I have arrived at a reasonable explanation of this issue that sheds light on several things.

The Book of Mormon Supports Cowdery’s Contention

Before I share what I have found in solving this doctrinal dilemma I want to acknowledge why I think it was not unreasonable for Oliver Cowdery to be concerned.

It is not difficult to see why Oliver was initially incensed at the insertion that Joseph Smith had made because in virtually all of the related passages in the Book of Mormon we are informed that the remission of sins takes place AFTER water baptism is performed. The declaration that baptismal candidates should experience and declare having had a remission of sins BEFORE baptism does sound novel when viewed through the eyes of the Book of Mormon! Note a typical passage from the Book of Mormon:

For the gate by which ye should enter is repentance and baptism by water; and then cometh a remission of your sins by fire and by the Holy Ghost.[3]

As previously noted in this post, Oliver had previously written down a revelation on how to build up the Church of Christ based on content from the Book of Mormon. This revelation began- “”A commandment from God unto Oliver how he should build up his church[4]

Oliver later received a revelation from God through Joseph Smith, confirming that the revelation he had previously written down about how he was to build up the church, was true-

 Now, behold, because of the thing which you, my servant Oliver Cowdery, have desired to know of me, I give unto you these words:

 Behold, I have manifested unto you, by my Spirit in many instances, that the things which you have written are true; wherefore you know that they are true.

 And if you know that they are true, behold, I give unto you a commandment, that you rely upon the things which are written;

 4 For in them are all things written concerning the foundation of my church, my gospel, and my rock.

 Wherefore, if you shall build up my church, upon the foundation of my gospel and my rock, the gates of hell shall not prevail against you.

Oliver had successfully written down a revelation from the Lord by the power of the Holy Ghost on how  he (Oliver Cowdery) should build up the Church.

Obviously, he had studied the baptismal protocol from the Book of Mormon. Therefore, he saw an apparent dilemma when he compared what the Book of Mormon teaches to the protocol Joseph had modified in Section 20:37.

I am going to suggest a few things that may provide additional context in resolving this dilemma.

First, it is important to understand that the reason Oliver got his own independent revelation on how to build up the church had to do with the fact that he would be preaching the gospel to the House of Israel at a future time, during the marvelous work and a wonder in the 3rd watch. Yet Section 20 was given to Joseph and Oliver pertaining to the protocol to be used at that time, by those of the restored Gentile Church.

Modern revelation makes clear the fact that Oliver will be preaching the gospel during the marvelous work and a wonder[5]. In that setting, it makes sense that Oliver will be following the protocol in the Book of Mormon, while the joint revelation to Joseph and Oliver that would be canonized in the Book of Commandments was directed to the Gentile Church of the restoration.

I am going to suggest that the Gentile protocol differs somewhat from the protocol in the Book of Mormon for the House of Israel for valid reasons.

The Gentiles Need to be Adopted back into God’s Family

The point I want to make regarding the apparent discrepancy in baptismal protocol to the gentiles in modern revelation compared to the one given to the House of Israel in the Book of Mormon, is that the Gentiles have a different status and calling before God than the rest of the House of Israel.

Paul: The Apostle to the Gentiles

To better understand the distinction between the Gentiles and the House of Israel, it is interesting to observe that Paul, who referred to himself as the apostle of the Gentiles[6], is the apostle that revealed and discoursed upon the “law of adoption” and the doctrine of predestination in his epistles to the believing Gentiles.

“Having predestinated us unto the adoption of children by Jesus Christ to himself, according to the good pleasure of his will, That we should be to the praise of his glory, who first trusted in Christ.

In whom we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of his grace… Having made known unto us the mystery of his will, according to his good pleasure which he hath purposed in himself:

That in the dispensation of the fulness of times he might gather together in one all things in Christ, both which are in heaven, and which are on earth; even in him:

In whom also we have obtained an inheritance, being predestinated according to the purpose of him who worketh all things after the counsel of his own will: That we should be to the praise of his glory, who first trusted in Christ.

In whom ye also trusted, after that ye heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation: in whom also after that ye believed, ye were sealed with that holy Spirit of promise,

Which is the earnest of our inheritance until the redemption of the purchased possession, unto the praise of his glory.”[7]

Those principles pertaining to predestination and the law of adoption only show up in Paul’s epistles to the Gentiles. It is beyond the scope of this series to delve at lenghth into those tenets. I simply make note to show that the Gentiles were in a different status than their brethren of the House of Israel.

Although having an Israelite heritage, Paul was a Roman citizen that identified himself with the converted Gentiles. His writings show that he classed himself among the believing gentiles to which he was called by God to preach.

The above passages seem to emphasize the fact that his gentile converts “first trusted” in the gospel messages and after they “believed” they were “sealed with the Holy Spirit of Promise”. The implication therein is that they were cleansed from sin PRIOR to the ordinance of baptism.

My interpretation of the above passages is supported by one of the most compelling and instructive conversion stories in the New Testament. It is the story of a Gentile named Cornelius who was visited by an angel and instructed to have his men send for a Man named Peter and ask him what he should do.

While hearing the gospel preached by Peter, Cornelius and his friends and family were overcome by the spirit and they received the “gift of the Holy Spirit” after believing and PRIOR to being baptized:

44 ¶While Peter yet spake these words, the Holy Ghost fell on all them which heard the word.

 45 And they of the circumcision which believed were astonished, as many as came with Peter, because that on the Gentiles also was poured out the gift of the Holy Ghost.

 46 For they heard them speak with tongues, and magnify God. Then answered Peter,

 47 Can any man forbid water, that these should not be baptized, which have received the Holy Ghost as well as we?

 48 And he commanded them to be baptized in the name of the Lord. Then prayed they him to tarry certain days.

The conversion of Cornelius and his household in which the gift of the Holy Ghost was received prior to baptism is clearly contrary to the order provided in the 2nd chapter of Acts and the Book of Mormon, both of which are addressing the baptismal protocol for the House of Israel in general.

In the second chapter of Acts, the Judean members of the Church received the gift of the Holy Ghost after having been baptized by water.

Other Jews who witnessed the event were instructed by Peter to first be baptized by water for the remission of sins, prior to receiving the gift of the Holy Ghost:

Therefore let all the house of Israel know assuredly, that God hath made that same Jesus, whom ye have crucified, both Lord and Christ.

 37 ¶Now when they heard this, they were pricked in their heart, and said unto Peter and to the rest of the apostles, Men and brethren, what shall we do?

 38 Then Peter said unto them, Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost.

 39 For the promise is unto you, and to your children, and to all that are afar off, even as many as the Lord our God shall call.

 40 And with many other words did he testify and exhort, saying, Save yourselves from this untoward generation.

 41 ¶Then they that gladly received his word were baptized: and the same day there were added unto them about three thousand souls.

 42 And they continued steadfastly in the apostles’ doctrine and fellowship, and in breaking of bread, and in prayers.

As you can see, the New Testament differentiates the baptismal protocol between Jews and Gentiles and it provides supporting evidence for the doctrinal accuracy of the insertion that Joseph made in the baptismal protocol in section 20.

It is not unlikely that Joseph Smith used the conversion of Cornelius to convince Oliver and the Whitmers that members of the Gentile church could indeed receive a remission of sins prior to baptism. The conversion story of Cornelius is so powerful and instructive and faith promoting that I am providing the entire chapter below:

1 There was a certain man in Cæsarea called Cornelius, a centurion of the band called the Italian band,

 2 A devout man, and one that feared God with all his house, which gave much alms to the people, and prayed to God alway.

 3 He saw in a vision evidently about the ninth hour of the day an angel of God coming in to him, and saying unto him, Cornelius.

 4 And when he looked on him, he was afraid, and said, What is it, Lord? And he said unto him, Thy prayers and thine alms are come up for a memorial before God.

 5 And now send men to Joppa, and call for one Simon, whose surname is Peter:

 6 He lodgeth with one Simon a tanner, whose house is by the sea side: he shall tell thee what thou oughtest to do.

 7 And when the angel which spake unto Cornelius was departed, he called two of his household servants, and a devout soldier of them that waited on him continually;

 8 And when he had declared all these things unto them, he sent them to Joppa.

 9 ¶On the morrow, as they went on their journey, and drew nigh unto the city, Peter went up upon the housetop to pray about the sixth hour:

 10 And he became very hungry, and would have eaten: but while they made ready, he fell into a trance,

 11 And saw heaven opened, and a certain vessel descending unto him, as it had been a great sheet knit at the four corners, and let down to the earth:

 12 Wherein were all manner of four footed beasts of the earth, and wild beasts, and creeping things, and fowls of the air.

 13 And there came a voice to him, Rise, Peter; kill, and eat.

 14 But Peter said, Not so, Lord; for I have never eaten any thing that is common or unclean.

 15 And the voice spake unto him again the second time, What God hath cleansed, that call not thou common.

 16 This was done thrice: and the vessel was received up again into heaven.

 17 Now while Peter doubted in himself what this vision which he had seen should mean, behold, the men which were sent from Cornelius had made inquiry for Simon’s house, and stood before the gate,

 18 And called, and asked whether Simon, which was surnamed Peter, were lodged there.

 19 ¶While Peter thought on the vision, the Spirit said unto him, Behold, three men seek thee.

 20 Arise therefore, and get thee down, and go with them, doubting nothing: for I have sent them.

 21 Then Peter went down to the men which were sent unto him from Cornelius; and said, Behold, I am he whom ye seek: what is the cause wherefore ye are come?

 22 And they said, Cornelius the centurion, a just man, and one that feareth God, and of good report among all the nation of the Jews, was warned from God by an holy angel to send for thee into his house, and to hear words of thee.

 23 Then called he them in, and lodged them. And on the morrow Peter went away with them, and certain brethren from Joppa accompanied him.

 24 And the morrow after they entered into Cæsarea. And Cornelius waited for them, and had called together his kinsmen and near friends.

 25 And as Peter was coming in, Cornelius met him, and fell down at his feet, and worshipped him.

 26 But Peter took him up, saying, Stand up; I myself also am a man.

 27 And as he talked with him, he went in, and found many that were come together.

 28 And he said unto them, Ye know how that it is an unlawful thing for a man that is a Jew to keep company, or come unto one of another nation; but God hath shewed me that I should not call any man common or unclean.

 29 Therefore came I unto you without gainsaying, as soon as I was sent for: I ask therefore for what intent ye have sent for me?

 30 And Cornelius said, Four days ago I was fasting until this hour; and at the ninth hour I prayed in my house, and, behold, a man stood before me in bright clothing,

 31 And said, Cornelius, thy prayer is heard, and thine alms are had in remembrance in the sight of God.

 32 Send therefore to Joppa, and call hither Simon, whose surname is Peter; he is lodged in the house of one Simon a tanner by the sea side: who, when he cometh, shall speak unto thee.

 33 Immediately therefore I sent to thee; and thou hast well done that thou art come. Now therefore are we all here present before God, to hear all things that are commanded thee of God.

 34 ¶Then Peter opened his mouth, and said, Of a truth I perceive that God is no respecter of persons:

 35 But in every nation he that feareth him, and worketh righteousness, is accepted with him.

 36 The word which God sent unto the children of Israel, preaching peace by Jesus Christ: (he is Lord of all:)

 37 That word, I say, ye know, which was published throughout all Judæa, and began from Galilee, after the baptism which John preached;

 38 How God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Ghost and with power: who went about doing good, and healing all that were oppressed of the devil; for God was with him.

 39 And we are witnesses of all things which he did both in the land of the Jews, and in Jerusalem; whom they slew and hanged on a tree:

 40 Him God raised up the third day, and shewed him openly;

 41 Not to all the people, but unto witnesses chosen before of God, even to us, who did eat and drink with him after he rose from the dead.

 42 And he commanded us to preach unto the people, and to testify that it is he which was ordained of God to be the Judge of quick and dead.

 43 To him give all the prophets witness, that through his name whosoever believeth in him shall receive remission of sins.

 44 ¶While Peter yet spake these words, the Holy Ghost fell on all them which heard the word.

 45 And they of the circumcision which believed were astonished, as many as came with Peter, because that on the Gentiles also was poured out the gift of the Holy Ghost.

 46 For they heard them speak with tongues, and magnify God. Then answered Peter,

 47 Can any man forbid water, that these should not be baptized, which have received the Holy Ghost as well as we?

 48 And he commanded them to be baptized in the name of the Lord. Then prayed they him to tarry certain days.

Joseph’s refusal to back down to Oliver Cowery when commanded to erase the insertion from the baptismal protocol was inspired and justified. It is totally congruent with the Gentile protocol as contained in the Bible.

Clearly, God knew what he was doing through Joseph Smith and scriptures support the fact that the believing Gentiles can be cleansed and receive the Spirit prior to being baptized.

“..he was lost, and is found!”

I would suggest that the parable of the prodigal son had reference to the two kingdoms of Israel led by the tribes of Judah and Ephraim and that the lost son represented the Ephraimite Gentiles who became mingled among the Gentile nations and thus, the “prodigal son” of the two kingdoms of the house of Israel.

The symbolism of how the Father went out to meet the returning son and to place on him the ring and the robe BEFORE the son made it back into the fathers kingdom may well be symbolic of how Gentiles are allowed to receive the Gift of the Holy Ghost and a remission of sins PRIOR to being baptized into the body of Christ.

8 I will arise and go to my father, and will say unto him, Father, I have sinned against heaven, and before thee,

19 And am no more worthy to be called thy son: make me as one of thy hired servants.

20 And he arose, and came to his father. But when he was yet a great way off, his father saw him, and had compassion, and ran, and fell on his neck, and kissed him.

21 And the son said unto him, Father, I have sinned against heaven, and in thy sight, and am no more worthy to be called thy son.

22 But the father said to his servants, Bring forth the best robe, and put it on him; and put a ring on his hand, and shoes on his feet:

23 And bring hither the fatted calf, and kill it; and let us eat, and be merry:

24 For this my son was dead, and is alive again; he was lost, and is found. And they began to be merry.

The believing gentiles represented the portion of the Kingdom of Israel who had been “cast away” out of God’s sight during Old Testament times[8].

As the “outcasts of Israel” they differed from the “dispersed of Judah”. The dispersed of Judah maintained their tribal identify and bloodline and eventually gathered back to the Old World Jerusalem where the Jews as a nation would reject and crucify Christ.

The believing Gentiles are the remnants of the Kingdom of Israel that had been assimilated into the heathen nations. Because of this, they had lost their tribal identity as well as having mingled their blood with other nations.

Paul explains that the believing of the Gentiles that have accepted the gospel are among the “elect” of God who had been predestinated to be adopted back into the house of Israel after having been cast out among the nations.

I would suggest that this may well be the reason God was revealing a slight but very significant change in the baptismal protocol for the Gentile church.

Gentiles must have the Old Blood Purged

With this in mind, let us visit an interesting observation made by Joseph Smith about how the manifestation of the Holy Ghost acts upon a Gentile compared to how it acts upon the literal seed of Abraham:

“This first Comforter or Holy Ghost has no other effect than pure intelligence. It is more powerful in expanding the mind, enlightening the understanding, and storing the intellect with present knowledge, of a man who is of the literal seed of Abraham, than one that is a Gentile, though it may not have half as much visible effect upon the body; for as the Holy Ghost falls upon one of the literal seed of Abraham, it is calm and serene; and his whole soul and body are only exercised by the pure spirit of intelligence; while the effect of the Holy Ghost upon a Gentile, is to purge out the old blood, and make him actually of the seed of Abraham.[9] 

I believe the above observation by Joseph Smith shows a significant distinction between the Jew and Gentile. It may be a very important key to understanding why Gentiles need to first be cleansed and converted by the Spirit before being baptized while those of the literal seed may receive their remission of sins after the physical act of baptism.

The Ephraimite-Gentiles Have Been Hidden from the World

As pointed out in previous posts, the kingdom of Israel that David reigned over eventually split into two kingdoms; the Kingdom of Judah and the Ephraimite Kingdom of Israel. Shortly after the division took place, the Kingdom of Judah became dispersed but maintained their tribal identity and bloodline. They would later re-inhabit the Old World Jerusalem.

However the Ephraimite Gentiles became mixed among the nations.

Ephraim, he hath mixed himself among the people; Ephraim is a cake not turned.[10]

Much of the content of the Book of Hosea addresses the apostate condition of both Judah and Ephraim, both anciently and in the latter days, and how they go whoring after idols. In chapter 5 the Lord makes the following declaration;

“I will go and return to my place till they acknowledge their offense, and seek my face: in their affliction they will seek me early”[11]

The above passage is referring to how the Lord returned to his place and how revelation to the church dried up after the Gentile offended God by rejecting the fulness. It informs us that the believing gentiles as a group will once again seek the face of God “in their affliction”. The above declaration is quite hopeful. It foretells that the time will come when Ephraim will return from their apostate condition and seek the face of God.

The Book of Mormon prophetically documents that fact that the time would finally come when the Ephraimite Gentiles would repent:

For the Lord said unto me: They shall not go forth unto the Gentiles until the day that they shall repent of their iniquity, and become clean before the Lord.

 And in that day that they shall exercise faith in me, saith the Lord, even as the brother of Jared did, that they may become sanctified in me, then will I manifest unto them the things which the brother of Jared saw, even to the unfolding unto them all my revelations, saith Jesus Christ, the Son of God, the Father of the heavens and of the earth, and all things that in them are. Although it is probably commonly assumed by many latter day saints that the repentance of Ephraim took place during Joseph Smith’s ministry, there is overwhelming evidence to suggest that is not the case. [12]

In a question and answer period conducted in March of March of 1838 after the gentile church had rejected the fullness, Joseph Smith prophesied about the future return and repentance of the gentiles who would be in a scattered condition. He revealed that these remnants are those that held the right to priesthood and that they would return to the power they had lost :

7 Questions by Elias Higbee: What is meant by the command in Isaiah, 52d chapter, 1st verse, which saith: Put on thy strength, O Zion—and what people had Isaiah reference to?

 8 He had reference to those whom God should call in the last days, who should hold the power of priesthood to bring again Zion, and the redemption of Israel; and to put on her strength is to put on the authority of the priesthood, which she, Zion, has a right to by lineage; also to return to that power which she had lost.

 9 What are we to understand by Zion loosing herself from the bands of her neck; 2d verse?

 10 We are to understand that the scattered remnants are exhorted to return to the Lord from whence they have fallen; which if they do, the promise of the Lord is that he will speak to them, or give them revelation. See the 6th,

 7th, and 8th verses. The bands of her neck are the curses of God upon her, or the remnants of Israel in their scattered condition among the Gentiles.

Early during Joseph Smith’s ministry the Lord invited the saints to respond during the short time that the Lord would be “near”, implying that he would not always be near. In Section 88 the Lord provides a parable about twelve kingdoms and how each kingdom would have joy in basking in the countenance of the Lord for a specific period of time. The parable follows up with this declaration:

“I leave these sayings with you to ponder in your hearts, with this commandment which I give unto you, that ye shall call upon me while I am near—“[13]

It is interesting to compare the above admonition to the following one found in the 55th chapter of Isaiah which was prophesying about the future ministry of Joseph Smith.

“Seek ye the Lord while he may be found, call ye upon him while he is near..”

The Book of Hosea spends much of its narrative speaking of the apostasy of Ephraim in both ancient time and modern times however it assures us that Epraim would eventually repent at the appointed time and seek the Lord early. It informs us that the Lord will heal Ephraim of their backsliding and they shall no longer worship idols:

“I will heal their backsliding, I will love them freely: for mine anger is turned away from him… Ephraim shall say, What have I to do any more with idols?”[14]

The Ephraimite Gentiles Have a Leadership Role

Ancient scripture notes that the Ephraimite Gentiles have a leadership role in nurturing and gathering the other remnants of Israel.

“Thus saith the Lord God, Behold, I will lift up mine hand to the Gentiles, and set up my standard to the people: and they shall bring thy sons in their arms, and thy daughters shall be carried upon their shoulders”. [15]

Modern revelation is consistent with this theme addressing the role of Ephraim in the following three sections:

  • Section 64
  • Section 113
  • Section 133.

The Book of Commandments was the canon if scripture given to the Ephriamite Gentile church while the Doctrine and Covenants was canonized with both Jew and Gentile in mind as trajectory and demographic of the church was changing.

Section 113 had not been given by the time that the Book of Commandments to the Ephraimite Gentiles was published.

Amazingly, even though Section 64 and Section 133 had been received long before the 1833 Book of Commandments was published, the narratives about the role of Ephraim were not published in it.

Section 133 was omitted altogether from the Book of Commandments even though it was received within days of section one which was published as the preface of the Book of Commandments. The Lord would later reveal that it was to be the appendix of the Doctrine and Covenants.

Although Section 64 was part of the Book of Commandments, the last several verses containing information about the role of Ephraim was mysteriously missing. It is not clear why it was not included in the Book of Commandments.

It appears likely that the Lord was keeping the leadership role of Ephraim hidden until after the Ephraimite-Gentile church became condemned and the demographics changed with the second major wave of missionary work going to the House of Israel across the great waters.

When the Doctrine and Covenants was published in 1835, it did contain the content regarding Ephraim from section 64 and 133.

Notice how section 64 reveals that only those of Ephraim will not be cut off from the land of Zion when the appointed time for the redemption of Zion takes place:

And the rebellious shall be cut off out of the land of Zion, and shall be sent away, and shall not inherit the land. For, verily I say that the rebellious are not of the blood of Ephraim, wherefore they shall be plucked out. Doctrine and Covenants 64:35-6

Notice however, that Section 133 provides a broader context showing that after the non-Epraimite portion of the tribes composed of Judah and the lost ten tribes finally come forth during the second harvest, they will receive their blessings by the hand of the Epraimites: 

And they who are in the north countries shall come in remembrance before the Lord; and their prophets shall hear his voice, and shall no longer stay themselves; and they shall smite the rocks, and the ice shall flow down at their presence. 27 And an highway shall be cast up in the midst of the great deep. 28 Their enemies shall become a prey unto them,

  29 And in the barren deserts there shall come forth pools of living water; and the parched ground shall no longer be a thirsty land. 30 And they shall bring forth their rich treasures unto the children of Ephraim, my servants.

 31 And the boundaries of the everlasting hills shall tremble at their presence.

 32 And there shall they fall down and be crowned with glory, even in Zion, by the hands of the servants of the Lord, even the children of Ephraim.

33 And they shall be filled with songs of everlasting joy.

  34 Behold, this is the blessing of the everlasting God upon the tribes of Israel, and the richer blessing upon the head of Ephraim and his fellows.

  35 And they also of the tribe of Judah, after their pain, shall be sanctified in holiness before the Lord, to dwell in his presence day and night, forever and ever

This reveals that the first gathering and redemption has to do exclusively with Ephraim who is given the greater blessing from the Lord. Eprhaim will then gather their brethren to receive their blessing during the afternoon of the first resurrection.

This is the reason Ephraim is not mentioned as one of the 12 tribes that make up the 144,000 as documented in the chapter 7 of the Book of Revelation. It is because the entire 144,000 were of mixed lineage. All of them were of Ephraim as well as one of the other tribes. The 144,000 will minister to and gather the other remnants of Israel who will come forth in the second harvest.

According to the patriarchal blessing of Joseph Smith given by Oliver Cowdery in September of 1835, Joseph Smith was from the “House of Ephraim[16] and yet few if any other sources reveal that Joseph Smith was an Ephriamite. The role of Ephraim was a closely guarded secret during the early part of the restoration movement.

Truly Ephraim is of the rightful priesthood lineage and yet he hath been mixed among the nations and his identity has been hidden from the world. Joseph Smith was informed that he and his fellows were of the rightful literal lineage but had been hidden from the world:

8 Therefore, thus saith the Lord unto you, with whom the priesthood hath continued through the lineage of your fathers— 9 For ye are lawful heirs, according to the flesh, and have been hid from the world with Christ in God—  Doctrine and Covenants 86:9

The deeper one delves into the holy word of God the more dynamic and inspired Joseph’s ministry becomes. The Doctrine of Christ is true. The baptismal protocol to the Gentiles as contained in Section 20 of the Doctrine and Covenants is true.

After the Gentiles rejected the fulness by the end of 1835, the dispensation of the Gospel of Abraham was secretly ushered in and the knowledge of the gospel was taken across the great waters to the House of Israel. This transitionary period saw the restoration of the ancient kingdom of Israel with descendants of the Kingdom of Judah taking over the leadership roles of the apostate modern church. This fulfilled the prophecy of Christ in 3rd Nephi 16 when he said the Gentiles would not have power over them:

And I will show unto thee, O house of Israel, that the Gentiles shall not have power over you; but I will remember my covenant unto you, O house of Israel, and ye shall come unto the knowledge of the fulness of my gospel.

Nevertheless, the times of the Gentiles is about to come in again and Ephraim shall be restored to his rightful position. The day will come when Judah will no longer vex Ephraim and Ephraim will no longer envy those of Judah that currently sit in the seat of Moses, making themselves judges over the people when in fact the only authority they have been given is to minister and preach about the fullness of the Gospel.

“Then spake Jesus to the multitude, and to his disciples, saying, The Scribes and the Pharisees sit in Moses’ seat.

All, therefore, whatsoever they bid you observe, they will make you observe and do; for they are ministers of the law, and they make themselves your judges. But do not ye after their works; for they say, and do not.”[17]

Those who think it is the responsibility of Ephraim to humbly submit to the Jewish leaders that currently rule the modern apostate church simply because they have some priesthood keys or commission, would do well to compare the JST of Matthew 23 as shown above, to the King James Version.

The Inspired Version also warns about the danger of following the priesthood leaders who have been placed over us as our guides once they become transgressors. Doing so will only result in going to hell with them:

Seek unto my Father, and it shall be done in that very moment what ye shall ask, if ye ask in faith, believing that ye shall receive.

And if thine eye which seeth for thee, him that is appointed to watch over thee to show thee light, become a transgressor and offend thee, pluck him out.

It is better for thee to enter into the kingdom of God, with one eye, than having two eyes to be cast into hell fire.

48 For it is better that thyself should be saved, than to be cast into hell with thy brother, where their worm dieth not, and where the fire is not quenched. Mark 9:45-48

 

[1] Cited in Dean C. Jessee, ed., The Papers of Joseph Smith, 2 vols. (Salt Lake City: Deseret Book, 1989–1992), 1:319-20.

[2] History of the Church, 1:105

[3] 2nd Nephi 31:17 See also 3 Nephi 1:23, 12:2 30:2, Moroni 8:25 Nevertheless, there are place in the Book of Mormon and the Bible that speak of people getting the Holy Ghost and/or a remission of sins prior to Baptism.

[4] The revelation to Oliver is contained in “Unpublished Revelations” by Collier or you can view it on line at the Joseph Smith Papers Project http://josephsmithpapers.org/paperSummary/appendix-3-articles-of-the-church-of-christ-june-1829

[5] Oliver’s future calling during the Marvelous Work is clarified in Section 18

[6] Romans 11:13 “For I speak to you Gentiles, inasmuch as I am the apostle of the Gentiles, I magnify mine office”  See also Acts 13:46 “Then Paul and Barnabas waxed bold, and said, It was necessary that the word of God should first have been spoken to you: but seeing ye put it from you, and judge yourselves unworthy of everlasting life, lo, we turn to the Gentiles.”

[7] Ephesians 1:5-13

[8] Hosea 9:17 My God will cast them away because they did not hearken unto him and they shall be wanderers among the nations

[9] TPJS pg 149

[10] Hosea 7:8

[11] Hosea 5:15

[12] Ether 4:6-7

[13] D&C 88:62

[14] Hosea 13:4-8

[15] Isaiah 49:22 see also 1 nephi 21:22, 22:6, 8, 2 Nephi 6:6

[16] http://josephsmithpapers.org/paperSummary/blessing-from-oliver-cowdery-22-september-1835#!/paperSummary/blessing-from-oliver-cowdery-22-september-1835&p=2

[17] JST Matthew 23:1-3