The First and Second Anointings- Part Two

May 18, 2017

JPart one of this series pointed out that when the Assyrian is oppressing God’s people in the last days, the yoke and burden shall be taken away from off of God’s elect because of the ANOINTING.

That burden of yoke, affliction, and bondage, along with the intervention of the mystical anointing is mentioned in the dedicatory prayer contained in section 109.

32 Therefore we plead before thee for a full and complete deliverance from under this yoke;

33 Break it off, O Lord; break it off from the necks of thy servants, by thy power, that we may rise up in the midst of this generation and do thy work.

34 O Jehovah, have mercy upon this people, and as all men sin, forgive the transgressions of thy people, and let them be blotted out forever.

35 Let the anointing of thy ministers be sealed upon them with power from on high.

36 Let it be fulfilled upon them, as upon those on the day of Pentecost; let the gift of tongues be poured out upon thy people, even cloven tongues as of fire, and the interpretation thereof.

37 And let thy house be filled, as with a rushing mighty wind, with thy glory.

That post demonstrated that the anointing that is to take place when the servants return to go forth in power is the same anointing that took place on the day of Pentecost during New Testament times.

Sometimes God’s servants go forth in mighty power after their anointing and sometimes they must be persecuted by the wicked after their anointing, it is all contextually dependent on the purposes of God, the calling the person has been given and the times they live in.

Moses had the same anointing and held the same power and authority as Enoch and Melchizedek and was just as righteous, but he was given a much different stewardship over a rebellious people.

In the previous post it was pointed out that the term anointing in those sections of scripture is synonymous with the word endowment and it has to do with being anointed or endowed with the gift of the Holy Ghost, which is also referred to as the Comforter which teaches all things.

Another term for the anointing or endowment that results in the gift of the Holy Ghost is the baptism of fire and the holy Ghost.

One of the great sections of scripture relating to the anointing is found in 1st John. Later in this series we will dissect that section for greater understanding about how the first anointing, which teaches all things, works.

In part one of this series I showed the following graphic depicting the fact that we have not fully entered into the strait gate until AFTER the baptism of fire and the Holy Ghost has been received.

three phases of plan of salvation

I realize that many members of the modern church probably cringe at this supposition because they have not experienced the baptism of fire and the Holy Ghost as it is described in the scriptures and yet they feel certain they have entered into the strait gate because they are “active” in the church, pay a full tithe and have a temple recommend, etc.. The baptism of fire a foreign concept to them.

Nevertheless, they have been led to believe that they have the gift of the Holy Ghost and have entered into the strait gate and are on the narrow path.

Many LDS fringe groups also have a blind spot with regard to the significance of the Baptism of fire and the Holy Ghost. Some believe they can receive the other Comforter of Christ who periodically visits to teach the mysteries BEFORE they even experience the first Comforter that comes by way of the baptism of fire and the Holy Ghost.

In hindsight, it occurs to me that I should have included the written word of God (scriptures) in all three phases. Interestingly, the written word of God plays an important role getting to phase one.

A person often gains faith and an increased visitation of the promptings that come in conjunction from the light of Christ and the intermittent promptings of the Holy Ghost by reading the scriptures. Then once they enter phase one they continue holding onto the written portion of the “iron rod” which helps direct them into phase two and into the strait gate. At that point they keep reading and pondering the written word of God while the Holy Ghost teaches them “all things” over the process of time.

Coincidentally, a few days after I posted my suppositions in part one of this post, showing where the baptism of fire and the Holy Ghost falls into the chronology of the plan of salvation, a fellow spoke at the Snufferite Doctrine of Christ Conference and  taught just the opposite of what I have just explained.

He claimed that only repentance and the baptism of water is required to enter into the strait gate. He deducted that the baptism of fire and the Holy Ghost took place AFTER one enters into the strait gate.

His conflicting point of view is helpful to consider because it provides me the opportunity to further explain why I disagree with what is commonly taught and believed.

He implied that the doctrine of Christ that was being taught in the 31st chapter of 2nd Nephi, began in verse 17 and ended in verse 19.

One of the common mistakes that many people make when studying doctrine is in being to narrow and myopic in the source material we study. It is tempting to build an entire theology around a few short passages of scripture without consulting the larger context of the narrative and are therefore not properly interpreted.

Verse 17 was not beginning the topic of what the doctrine of Christ is, it was giving a very brief summary of it.

The verse begins by saying “Wherefore, do the things which I have told you I have seen that your Lord and your Redeemer should dofor, for this cause have they been shown unto me, that ye might know the gate by which ye should enter

That should have been a hint that the topic of the strait gate had already been previously  addressed in greater detail.

What had Nephi told them?

He had just prophesied about the future baptism of Christ wherein Christ would receive the baptism of fire and the Holy Ghost after being baptized by water!

If we back up to verses one and two in that same chapter Nephi says:

1 And now I, Nephi, make an end of my prophesying unto you, my beloved brethren. And I cannot write but a few things, which I know must surely come to pass; neither can I write but a few of the words of my brother Jacob.
2 Wherefore, the things which I have written sufficeth me, save it be a few words which I must speak concerning the doctrine of Christ; wherefore, I shall speak unto you plainly, according to the plainness of my prophesying. 

As you can see, verse one is where the topic of the doctrine of Christ begins in this chapter, not verse 17.

Nephi then teaches that Christ’s baptism of water AND His reception of the Holy Ghost is what represents the doctrine of Christ.

4 Wherefore, I would that ye should remember that I have spoken unto you concerning that prophet which the Lord showed unto me, that should baptize the Lamb of God, which should take away the sins of the world.
5 And now, if the Lamb of God, he being holy, should have need to be baptized by water, to fulfil all righteousness, O then, how much more need have we, being unholy, to be baptized, yea, even by water!
6 And now, I would ask of you, my beloved brethren, wherein the Lamb of God did fulfil all righteousness in being baptized by water?
7 Know ye not that he was holy? But notwithstanding he being holy, he showeth unto the children of men that, according to the flesh he humbleth himself before the Father, and witnesseth unto the Father that he would be obedient unto him in keeping his commandments.
8 Wherefore, after he was baptized with water the Holy Ghost descended upon him in the form of a dove.
9 And again, it showeth unto the children of men the straitness of the path, and the narrowness of the gate, by which they should enter, he having set the example before them.

The straightness of the path and the narrowness of the gate that one must enter into is not limited to water baptism, it includes the reception of the Holy Ghost as demonstrated by the example set by the Lamb of God.

This is why the sign of the dove is so incredibly significant in the baptism of Christ narrative. A spiritual endowment was being bestowed by the Father in conjunction with the baptism of water.

The narrative leading up to the few short verses that this brother built an entire doctrine on, continues on for several verses reiterating the need to receive the Baptism of Fire and the Holy Ghost before one can enter into the strait gate-

10 And he said unto the children of men: Follow thou me. Wherefore, my beloved brethren, can we follow Jesus save we shall be willing to keep the commandments of the Father?
11 And the Father said: Repent ye, repent ye, and be baptized in the name of my Beloved Son.
12 And also, the voice of the Son came unto me, saying: He that is baptized in my name, to him will the Father give the Holy Ghost, like unto me; wherefore, follow me, and do the things which ye have seen me do.
13 Wherefore, my beloved brethren, I know that if ye shall follow the Son, with full purpose of heart, acting no hypocrisy and no deception before God, but with real intent, repenting of your sins, witnessing unto the Father that ye are willing to take upon you the name of Christ, by baptism—yea, by following your Lord and your Savior down into the water, according to his word, behold, then shall ye receive the Holy Ghost; yea, then cometh the baptism of fire and of the Holy Ghost; and then can ye speak with the tongue of angels, and shout praises unto the Holy One of Israel.
14 But, behold, my beloved brethren, thus came the voice of the Son unto me, saying: After ye have repented of your sins, and witnessed unto the Father that ye are willing to keep my commandments, by the baptism of water, and have received the baptism of fire and of the Holy Ghost, and can speak with a new tongue, yea, even with the tongue of angels, and after this should deny me, it would have been better for you that ye had not known me.
15 And I heard a voice from the Father, saying: Yea, the words of my Beloved are true and faithful. He that endureth to the end, the same shall be saved.
16 And now, my beloved brethren, I know by this that unless a man shall endure to the end, in following the example of the Son of the living God, he cannot be saved.

Previous posts have documented the fact that Christ enjoyed the fulness of the glory of the Father in the preexistence when he created the earth and that as part of his condescension, he humbled himself and temporarily put off the fulness of his power.

“And Now oh  Father, glorify me with the glory which I had with thee before the world was” John 17:5

It appears that his reception of the baptism of fire and the Holy Ghost at his baptism represents a mystical mile post in regaining his pre-existent light, power, and glory during his earthly ministry. Furthermore, Christ is setting the example of what we need to do in order to put off the natural man and become a new creature of the Holy Ghost.

Those remarkable passages that prophesied of the future baptism of Christ by John the Baptist clarify that the sign of the dove that descended upon Jesus represented the baptism of fire and the Holy Ghost!

The Book of Mormon clarifies and reiterates that the sign of the Dove literally represented the anointing which is also referred to as the baptism of fire and the Holy Ghost upon Christ!

Here is yet another witness from the Book of Mormon:

and ye will also know that ye are a remnant of the seed of Jacob therefore ye are numbered among the people of the first covenant and if it so be that ye believe in Christ and are baptized first with water then with fire and with the Holy Ghost FOLLOWING THE EXAMPLE OF OUR SAVIOUR according to that which he hath commanded us it shall be well with you in the day of judgement Amen. Mormon 7:10   

THERE IT IS AGAIN! THE CLAIM THAT CHRIST RECEIVED THE BAPTISM OF FIRE AND THE HOLY GHOST AT HIS WATER BAPTISM TO SET AN EXAMPLE OF THE PATTERN WE MUST FOLLOW

It was not just Christ’s baptism by water that was showing the WAY back to the Father, it was also his legal reception of the Gift of the Holy Ghost as bestowed by the Father according to the plan of salvation.

While the New Testament does a good job of documenting Christ’s baptism and the descending of the “spirit” upon Christ like a dove, the Book of Mormon provides much greater clarity about what the sign of the dove signified.

John the Baptist does however provide a very important key-

33 And I knew him not: but he that sent me to baptize with water, the same said unto me, Upon whom thou shalt see the Spirit descending, and remaining on him, the same is he which baptizeth with the Holy Ghost. 

34 And I saw, and bare record that this is the Son of God. John 1:32-34

Notice that God told Christ that the one who the Spirit descends upon and REMAINS upon, is the servant who would be the one who would go around baptizing with both water and the Holy Ghost.

That is the definition of the gift of the Holy Ghost, the fact that it abides continually.

The gospels of Luke and Mark inform us that the voice of the Father from heaven declared Christ to be his beloved son:

 

22 And the aHoly Ghost descended in a bodily shape like a bdove upon him, and a voice came from heaven, which said, Thou art my beloved Son; in thee I am well pleased. Luke 3:22

11 And there came a voice from heaven, saying, Thou art my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased. Mark 1:11

The physical effects of the baptism of fire and the Holy Ghost upon the Savior appear somewhat unremarkable to us because there was no sin that needed to be burned out of him in a sanctifying ordinance.

He had been sinless.

Nevertheless, he needed to set the example for all mankind and fulfill all righteousness according to the laws of God by receiving that which has been ordained of God as a required saving ordinance.

We are commonly taught about the importance of Christ’s water baptism but few people realize that the sign of the dove, or descending of the Spirit in the like a dove, represented the baptism of fire and the Holy Ghost.

This remarkable narrative in the Book of Mormon sets the stage for the beginning of verse 17 that the presenter assumes to be the beginning of the doctrine of Christ narrative.

The assumed beginning point of the doctrine of Christ in the presentation is in all actuality, the summation of what had already been taught about the doctrine of Christ and how one enters into the way:

17 Wherefore, do the things which I have told you I have seen that your Lord and your Redeemer should do;

What was it that was shown to Nephi that Christ did?

He recieved the baptism of water followed by the baptism of fire and the Holy Ghost.

for, for this cause have they been shown unto me, that ye might know the gate by which ye should enter.

Now that we have the full context, it is obvious that the clumping together of the baptism of water and the Holy Ghost that the presenter takes issue with, is very appropriate and correct.

He states:

“when we clump together all these scriptures and think it being one- That’s a foolish mistake for people who are new to make in the scriptures.”

The above declaration sounds very logical unless you have read the entire chapter.  However with the full context, it becomes obvious that there is a reason why the following summation is all clumped together. It is because everything listed therein is required to enter into the strait gate-

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.

In my opinion, the reason that there appears to be a grammatical distinction between the grouping of repentance and baptism of water, vs the baptism of fire and the Holy Ghost, is because repentance and baptism of water is determined by the recipient and performed by a facilitator. The sending of the Holy Ghost is determined by and performed by the Father who sends it.

The summary in those few verses that the presenter focuses on, notes that after the baptism of water and the baptism of fire and the Holy Ghost, the new convert has entered into the gate:

18 And then are ye in this strait and narrow path which leads to eternal life; yea, ye have entered in by the gate; ye have done according to the commandments of the Father and the Son; and ye have received the Holy Ghost, which witnesses of the Father and the Son, unto the fulfilling of the promise which he hath made, that if ye entered in by the way ye should receive.

What about after one enters into the strait and narrow gate?

If the presenter’s supposition that one enters the gate before the baptism of fire is correct, it would be time to get the baptism of fire and the Holy Ghost once a person enters into the gate. However that is not what the narrative says because the convert already has the Holy Ghost before entering in.

After one has entered into the gate through the baptism of water and fire and the Holy Ghost, one must press onward with a perfect brightness of hope with a love of God and all men-

19 And now, my beloved brethren, after ye have gotten into this strait and narrow path, I would ask if all is done? Behold, I say unto you, Nay; for ye have not come thus far save it were by the word of Christ with unshaken faith in him, relying wholly upon the merits of him who is mighty to save.
20 Wherefore, ye must press forward with a steadfastness in Christ, having a perfect brightness of hope, and a love of God and of all men. Wherefore, if ye shall press forward, feasting upon the word of Christ, and endure to the end, behold, thus saith the Father: Ye shall have eternal life.
21 And now, behold, my beloved brethren, this is the way; and there is none other way nor name given under heaven whereby man can be saved in the kingdom of God. And now, behold, this is the doctrine of Christ, and the only and true doctrine of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost, which is one God, without end. Amen.

In my opinion, the next mistake the presenter makes is that he stops his study of the topic prematurely. The narrative about the doctrine of Christ continues into the next chapter.

The presenter makes the following declaration:

..Ok, so we have identified three portions, the gate, the path and the way..”

The assumption that one first enters into the gate, then into the path, and eventually into the way may sound  logical, but it does not square with what the continuing narrative states.

If the presenter would have continued reading the entire chapter and into the next chapter, he would have learned that the WAY is where you  enter in. The “way” appears to be synonymous with the “strait gate“.

Why?

Because Christ is the WAY and belief in Christ is the beginning point.

5 Thomas saith unto him, Lord, we know not whither thou goest; and how can we know the way?
6 Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.

My contention is that instead of limiting his study of the Doctrine of Christ and the process of entering into the WAY to verses 17-19, the Snufferite presenter should have begun with verse one of Chapter 31 and read all the way through verse 6 of chapter 32 because those are the passages addressing the topic.

Furthermore, he should not have limited his study to those passages. He should have done a keyword search and evaluated every passage having to do with the topic. He should have looked to see if his interpretation of that section of scripture was consistent with all of the related scriptures.

Doing so would have led him to several other passages in the four standard works that confirm what we just read.

Jacob 6:8, 11

and deny the good word of Christ, and the power of God, and the gift of the Holy Ghost, and quench the Holy Spirit, and make a mock of the great plan of redemption, which hath been laid for you… O then, my beloved brethren, repent ye, and enter in at the strait gate

3 Nephi 27: 20, 33

..that ye may be sanctified by the reception of the Holy Ghost, that ye may stand spotless before me at the last day…. Enter ye in at the strait gate; for strait is the gate, and narrow is the way that leads to life, and few there be that find it

D&C 22:1

1 Behold, I say unto you that all old covenants have I caused to be done away in this thing; and this is a new and an everlasting covenant, even that which was from the beginning. [referring to Adams baptism of water, fire and the Holy Ghost]

2 Wherefore, although a man should be baptized [by water] an hundred times it availeth him nothing, for you cannot enter in at the strait gate by the law of Moses, neither by your dead works [water baptism without the baptism of fire and the Holy Ghost].

3 For it is because of your dead works that I have caused this last covenant and this church to be built up unto me, even as in days of old.

4 Wherefore, enter ye in at the gate, as I have commanded, and seek not to counsel your God. Amen.

As you can see, other passages of scripture from different passages in the standard works confirm what we just reviewed.

Remarkably, that talk was followed by another presenter who makes the exact same mistake. 

The next presenter also relies on just a few selected verses out of a much larger scriptural narrative to build his thesis. He begins his talk by saying

Do you know what Jesus referred to as His doctrine?

I used to be a teacher and now we are going to have a “Pop Quiz”.

If you know what Jesus referred to as being his doctrine, please recite it now in one sentence for 10 points. . . . Okay, time’s up. Please wait to score yourself because all ten points are given only if one certain phrase is included. Okay, if you didn’t get that, let’s try to fill in the blanks for 7 points:

And again I say unto you, ye must repent, and be baptized in my name, and _______ ____ ____ _______ _______, or ye can in nowise inherit the kingdom of God.

Verily, verily, I say unto you, that this is my doctrine, and whoso buildeth upon this buildeth upon my rock, and the gates of hell shall not prevail against them.

And whoso shall declare more or less than this, and establish it for my doctrine, the same cometh of evil, and is not built upon my rock; — 3 Nephi 11:38-40

Most of you guessed something, but you wouldn’t have bet money on your answer, and wisely so.

You recognized repenting and being baptized, but then what? So here’s your last chance. For 3 points, select the answer by multiple choice.

A. receive the Holy Ghost
B. have charity towards all
C. become as a little child
D. endure to the end

The presenter then marginalized the importance of the baptism of fire and the Holy Ghost by declaring what he considers the correct answer to be.

The correct answer is C. (becoming as a little child)

Did you get any points?

No?

Perhaps you are thinking that this was a frivolous test because you’ve never heard of that requirement before. Maybe it wasn’t important to know that little detail in an obviously trick question!

But wait, it is important. It is the part of the Christ’s doctrine and anything less than that is what He said “cometh of evil”.

This second presenter chose just three passages out of 3rd Nephi 11 to build the supposition he was building.

He leads his listeners to believe that the doctrine of Christ is contained in just three short verses. By doing so, he asserts that the necessary parts of the doctrine of Christ are-

a) repent,

b) be baptized with water

c) become as a little child

Remarkably, making his point, he inadvertently rejected the reception of the Holy Ghost as part of the doctrine of Christ.

He apparently interprets the scripture as saying that anything more or less than those three things with regard to the doctrine of Christ, “cometh of evil” and he rejects the reception of the Holy Ghost as being the correct answer in describing the doctrine of Christ.

Technically, if the answer can only be divined from the short verses he is limiting the definition to, then the answer he gives is correct. However, the narrative containing the doctrine of Christ is not limited to the few passages that he is focusing on. It begins with the condescension of Christ back at the beginning of the chapter with the Father bearing witness of the Son.

Then in verse 21 Christ gives Nephi power to baptize the others. Following that, a very specific protocol is given to perform baptisms.

Finally, beginning in verse 35, a few verses before the three verses that the presenter focuses on for his quiz, the Lord provides the foundation for understanding the verses that are being spotlighted by the presenter.

Let us read verses 33- 40 instead of just 37-40 and see if that changes the interpretive inflection and the correct answer to the quiz:

33 And whoso believeth in me, and is baptized, the same shall be saved; and they are they who shall inherit the kingdom of God.
34 And whoso believeth not in me, and is not baptized, shall be damned.

35 Verily, verily, I say unto you, that this is my doctrine, and I bear record of it from the Father; and whoso believeth in me believeth in the Father also; and unto him will the Father bear record of me, for he will visit him with fire and with the Holy Ghost.

36 And thus will the Father bear record of me, and the Holy Ghost will bear record unto him of the Father and me; for the Father, and I, and the Holy Ghost are one.

37 And again I say unto you, ye must repent, and become as a little child, and be baptized in my name, or ye can in nowise receive these things.

38 And again I say unto you, ye must repent, and be baptized in my name, and become as a little child, or ye can in nowise inherit the kingdom of God.

39 Verily, verily, I say unto you, that this is my doctrine, and whoso buildeth upon this buildeth upon my rock, and the gates of hell shall not prevail against them.
40 And whoso shall declare more or less than this, and establish it for my doctrine, the same cometh of evil, and is not built upon my rock; but he buildeth upon a sandy foundation, and the gates of hell stand open to receive such when the floods come and the winds beat upon them.

As you can see, the full narrative that defines the doctrine of Christ in that chapter actually emphasizes the importance receiving the Holy Ghost. If we consider the full discourse being given, the presenter failed his own test by dismissing and marginalizing the reception of the holy Ghost.

The more important answer if you read the whole narrative, is the reception of the Gift of the Holy Ghost, indeed, one could argue that one cannot fully become like a little child and maintain that status, without receiving the Holy Ghost.

I am not diminishing the importance of becoming as a little child, it is certainly very important.

The problem I have with the conclusion presented, is that he completely omits the the necessity and significance of the reception of the gift of the Holy Ghost in his definition of the doctrine of Christ by only focusing on a few scriptures.

He implies that anything more or less that repentance, water baptism and becoming like a little child, cometh of evil.

The larger context that he omits shows that the Gift of the Holy Ghost is an essential part of becoming a little child in Christ.

Becoming as a Little Child

Allow me to point out something very very significant in the narrative.

The Lord commands us to “become as a little child” two times in a row,  but I do not think he is being repetitious . I think he is stating that one must become as a little child, twice!

37 And again I say unto you, ye must repent, and become as a little child, and be baptized in my name, or ye can in nowise receive these things.
38 And again I say unto you, ye must repent, and be baptized in my name, and become as a little child, or ye can in nowise inherit the kingdom of God.

In verse 37 Christ admonishes the Nephites to become as a little child BEFORE baptism.

In verse 38 Christ admonishes the Nephites to become as a little child AFTER baptism.

He may be informing us that we need to become as a little child two times during the process of conversion. 

Since he had just explained the necessity of receiving the Holy Ghost at baptism, he is very probably referring to the full baptism of water, fire and the Holy Ghost when he uses the term baptism. Hence, he seems to suggest that we need to become as a little child before receiving the anointing of the Holy Ghost and once again AFTER receiving the anointing of the Holy Ghost.

The first time we humble ourselves and become a little child we do it as part of our agency as we exercise faith through the grace of God. The second time, we become as a little child after we are sanctified by the baptism of water and the Holy Ghost.

Is it a coincidence that both of these Snufferinte presenters seem to have a blind spot in declaring the importance and proper chronological placement of the baptism of fire and the Holy Ghost in the plan of salvation?

I don’t think so.

Their spiritual mentor Denver Snuffer has the exact same blind spot.

One of the astounding things about Denver’s Snuffer’s book about the Second Comforter is that the “Baptism of Fire and the Holy Ghost” is virtually NEVER even mentioned and elaborated on in a serious way.

He never mentions receiving that spiritual endowment prior to getting his supposed second comforter experience.

In fact the phrase may only be used once or twice that I noticed. He only speaks briefly about the “Gift of the Holy Ghost” in the sterile and ambiguous way that the modern church teaches about it.

Even more astounding is how apparent it is in the narrative of his book, that Denver has never personally experienced the true Pentecostal endowment that is described in the scriptures.

He NEVER describes experiencing the baptism of fire and the Holy Ghost which is evidenced by the spiritual outpouring of spiritual gifts such as prophesying, such as Joseph and Oliver did and speaking with the tongue of angels, etc., not does he state in the book that following a spiritual anointing the meaning behind many scriptures opened up to him.

It was not  until after the book was written and his followers apparently begin asking questions about the baptism of fire that Denver back-pedals and addresses the topic in a blog almost as an after thought, and fails to give a date or specific event in which it took place.

I don’t think any documentation for actuation of the Gift of the Holy Ghost prior to the supposed reception of the “second comforter” according to Denver’s writings, can be found.

This is every odd if God commissioned him to write a “how to book” on the topic of second comforter. He basically regurgitates the sanitized version of what the corrupt modern church teaches about the gift of the Holy Ghost..

Denver’s approach to and understanding of the gift of the Holy Ghost and all other spiritual gifts is completely intellectual and left brain, almost like reading a legal brief which has been converted into layman’s terms.

In his blog he states that

If the baptism of fire and the Holy Ghost is viewed as conferring revelation and opening the scriptures to your mind (as Joseph and Oliver recount in the JS-H), then I have received this endowment.

That is quite an unremarkable statement.

I have personally also had the scriptures opened to my mind as I know that several of my readers have. But I don’t make the claim that it is evidence that I have had the full baptism of fire and the Holy Ghost. The light of Christ and belief in the scriptures along with dedicated study and searching can produce those results.

God promises us that if we simply believe his word in scripture, we will be blessed with the manifestation of his spirit and be born again of water and the spirit.

16 And behold, whosoever believeth on my words, them will I visit with the manifestation of my Spirit; and they shall be born of me, even of water and of the Spirit—Doctrine and Covenants 5:16

That blessing was given when the fulness of the gospel was on the earth. We live during a time when the fulness is not on the earth. Nevertheless, I believe that spiritual enlightenment definitely accompanies the reading and believing of the scriptures.

The point Joseph and Oliver were making in their account of their baptism, is that because of and directly related to their baptism, they noticed a distinct increase in spiritual discernment and enlightenment. They had already been blessed with the manifestation of the spirit as a result of believing in the scriptures, but something even greater had taken place that was associated with their baptism of water.

It becomes apparent from reading Denver’s book that Denver does not understand what the Baptism of fire and the Holy Ghost really is from personal experience. He does not understand the effects it has on a converted sinner, or how it chronologically relates to the reception of the second Comforter.

Denver’s worldview of the gospel is seen and described in a very letter of the law, legalistic way leading up to what he assumes is the “Second Comforter”.

A huge mistake that he makes in his book about the Second comforter is that he assumes that ALL appearances from the Savior represent what the Second Comforter.

That is incorrect.

He does not realize that the Savior can visit and teach someone during or even prior to their travels in the strait gate and the narrow path, and BEFORE they have sufficiently proven themselves to God sufficiently enough to receive their calling and election.

Calling and Election is ALWAYS followed by the “other Comforter” experience, but NEVER preceded by it.

The “other Comforter” represents instruction on a much more profound level having to do with the mysteries.

Please understand that I am not speaking derogatorily about the two presenters as individuals. I’m sure they are fine people.

However they have taken upon themselves the responsibility of teaching doctrine in a Doctrine of Christ Conference that is under the guidance and direction of a person that claims to speak to and be instructed by Christ. That requires all of us who are taking our gospel study seriously to discern the correctness of the doctrine that they teach.

I don’t think it is a coincidence that the two presenters have the same blind spot as Denver with regard to the baptism of fire and the Holy Ghost.

All three of them seem to dismiss and misunderstand the importance of the baptism of fire and the Holy Ghost and how it fits chronologically into the process of eventually receiving the second anointing.

I am suggesting that they have all contracted the same seducing spirit that has currently taken possession of the Snufferite movement.

Joseph Smith taught that all religious movements have their own very distinct false spirit that guides them.

It is evident from the Apostles’ writings, that many false spirits existed in their day, and had “gone forth into the world,” and that it needed intelligence which God alone could impart to detect false spirits, and to prove what spirits were of God. The world in general have been grossly ignorant in regard to this one thing, and why should they be otherwise—for “the things of God knoweth no man, but the Spirit of God.”

If we go among the pagans, they have their spirits; the Mohammedans, the Jews, the Christians, the Indians—all have their spirits, all have a supernatural agency, and all contend that their spirits are of God. Who shall solve the mystery? “Try the spirits,” says John, but who is to do it? The learned, the eloquent, the philosopher, the sage, the divine—all are ignorant.

While on my mission I noticed a very distinct and discernible spirit that each religious denomination had.

Within seconds of speaking with a person about religion I could tell if they were a Baptist, a Jehovah Witness, Pentecostal, Church of Christ, etc.

Not only did each religious sect have their own unique nomenclature, they also had a very distinct false spirit with a supernatural agency.

When I challenge the teachings of the Snufferites it is never a personal thing, I am challenging the false doctrine taught by the seducing false spirit and supernatural agency that has currently possessed them.

I believe those that are putting their trust in the baptism under the direction of a mortal man who is clearly stumbling along trying to figure things out for himself, are being cursed in their efforts while thinking they are being blessed.

34 O Lord, I have trusted in thee, and I will trust in thee forever. I will not put my trust in the arm of flesh; for I know that cursed is he that putteth his trust in the arm of flesh. Yea, cursed is he that putteth his trust in man or maketh flesh his arm.

However a greater cursing awaits those that enter into the false new scripture covenant that is being offered.

It is because of my love for these three men and the others in the Snufferite movement who have been deceived by a lying spirit that I am laboring on these issues.

I keep dove tailing the events of this movement into my posts because it represents a monumental current event that has been prophesied about by Christ.

It is a sign of the times.

It is therefore a prophetic milestone marker indicating that the return of the Lord and his true servants back into the Lords vineyard is nigh at hand.

It is no coincidence that Christ declares that one must enter into the strait gate and then warns of false prophets who can be detected by their fruits.

What are their fruits?

Among other things, teaching false doctrine about how to enter into the way.

22 Repent, therefore, and enter ye in at the strait gate; for wide is the gate, and broad is the way that leadeth to destruction, and many there be who go in thereat.

13 Enter ye in at the strait gate: for wide is the gate, and broad is the way, that leadeth to destruction, and many there be which go in thereat:

23 Because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way that leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it.

14 Because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it.

24 And, again, beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep’s clothing; but inwardly they are ravening wolves.

15 Beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves.

25 Ye shall know them by their fruits;

How Did the Five Virgins Become WISE?

Picking up on the topic of the baptism of fire and the Holy Ghost, I would now like to share some observations about the parable of the Ten Virgins.

According to the parable,

1- All ten of the virgins were part of the same fellowship as evidenced by the fact that they were traveling together to meet the bridegroom.

2- They all believed in Christ as evidenced by the fact that they had all been invited by the bridegroom to meet him and all were going forth with the express desire and anticipation of meeting him at the marriage.

3- The wise took additional oil in separate vessels in addition to the oil in their lamps, while the foolish took no extra oil in their lamps.

4- The invitation was quite specific, involving a specific appointed place and time.

5- At the appointed time and place, while the bridegroom tarried the virgins slumbered AND slept.

The slumbering and sleeping of the virgins begins to take place at or just before the appointed time of the meeting when the bridegroom tarried.

I would argue that the virgins first slumbered and then slept during the time when the meeting was to take place.

The meeting was probably going to take a process of time during which the giving of inheritances and stewardships and the establishment of Zion would take place.

I believe the two terms “slumbered” and “slept” are not prophetically synonymous. I believe that “slumber” possibly has referenced to having their eyes covered in apostasy in what the scriptures describe as being spiritually sleeping, blind and drunk.

Conversely, the term “sleep” very possibly means they died before entering into the marriage.

In other words, all of the virgins of that particular generation died off during the years when Zion would have been redeemed during the second watch. However scripture informs us that they will eventually be raised up before the bridegroom returns at the time that the “call” is made.

[All prophecies have a dual fulfillment. This prophetic parable applies to all of us in the broad sense of a shadow fulfillment. However I have also previously shown that the parable is literally applicable to the saints of the restoration during Joseph Smith’s Kirtland ministry see ]The Bridegroom Tarried …]

Continuing on..

6- At the second appointed time in the 3rd watch, called “midnight” (or midpoint) a cry is made, “the bridegroom cometh“.

We know from modern revelation that the first laborers of the last kingdom will return with the voice of warning to make this preparatory cry.

Section 65 informs us that those who received the keys to the kingdom of God during Joseph’s ministry will be the ones to prepare the way of the Lord and make ready for the return of the bridegroom. The call will go forth from thence. The primary voice is sent down from heaven and will be “mighty and powerful“, “going forth to the ends of the earth“.

Compare that section with section one which says it will be Joseph and his brethren that send forth the final voice of warning. See also sections 88:92 and 133:10

7- AFTER awaking, (being raised up and returned to this stage of mortal probation) the wise virgins put the additional oil in their lamps and enter into the marriage to receive their inheritances during a time of worldwide commotion.

8 The foolish will awake without any oil in their lamps and their only option is to enter into the “buy and sell” system of the Beast. .

We learn from modern revelation that putting the oil in their lamps represented taking the Holy Ghost as their GUIDE. That is the receiving of the First Comforter which takes place through the baptism of fire and the Holy Ghost.

56 And at that day, when I shall come in my glory, shall the parable be fulfilled which I spake concerning the ten virgins.

57 For they that are wise and have received the truth, and have taken the Holy Spirit for their guide, and have not been deceived—verily I say unto you, they shall not be hewn down and cast into the fire, but shall abide the day.  D&C 45:56-57

I now have a question to ask you.

If the wise virgins did not take the Holy Spirit as their guide by receiving the baptism of fire and the Holy Ghost until after they fell asleep and awoke and put oil in their lamps, What was it that made them WISE before they received the baptism of fire and the holy Ghost?

Think about it.

What is it that differentiated the wise from the foolish before the wise finally receive the baptism of fire and the Holy Ghost?

This is a very important question for each of us to answer because we are living during a the preparatory time. We need to be preparing ourselves for the great call to go forth at midnight.

I believe it has to do with the only major thing that Joseph Smith restored, that still remains with us.

The Scriptures 

I believe the answer to what will make us WISE prior to recieving the first anointing, is provided in the following passage

And that from a child thou hast known the holy scriptures, which are able to make thee WISE unto salvation through FAITH which is in Christ Jesus. 2 Timothy 3:15

It is the reading and believing of the holy scriptures that makes us wise and prepares us to take the Holy Spirit as our guide through the baptism of fire and the Holy Ghost when the servants return to make strait the way of the Lord.

The difference between the wise and foolish virgins is that the wise put their trust and faith in the written word of God and learned how to study and search it while they were awaiting the spiritual anointing referred to as the baptism of fire and the Holy Ghost.

It is that anointing that provides ongoing personal revelation at a higher, more consistent level, yet only those that have the faith to search out and believe the unconditional promises and prophecies in the scriptures will have the extra oil when the time of Pentecost comes.

The foolish virgins do not have faith in the unconditional promises and prophesies of Christ and his servants. They look for human priesthood authority to guide them. They are duped by the false prophets that arise to deceive.

Joseph Smith restored the church and priesthood and many things during his short 15 year public ministry, however the true and living church fled back onto the wilderness and the fulness of the priesthood was taken away as documented in section 124. .

The one thing that remained with the church that Joseph Smith brought forth was the following scriptures.

  • The Book of Mormon
  • The Book of Commandments/Doctrine and Covenants
  • The Inspired Version of the Bible
  • Book of Abraham

Here is the Lord’s declaration and warning that the scriptures would be retained by the church after Joseph and his brethren would be taken from their midst.

3 Verily I say unto you, the keys of this kingdom shall never be taken from [Joseph, Sidney and Frederick while they are] in the world, neither in the world to come;

4 Nevertheless, through [them] shall the oracles [scriptures] be given to another, yea, even unto the church.

5 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.

As you can see, it is taking the scriptures lightly that brings the saints under condemnation when the storms descend, the winds blow, and the rains descend and beat upon their house.

One of the gross misinterpretations of scripture that the Snufferite leader has made has to do with the following passages from section 84

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

He claims that the above passage is saying that the saints not only failed to “do” what he had told them to do, they also failed to “say” it. He claims that the scriptures and covenants given in the scriptures were corrupted and misunderstood when they were given.

That is not what the passage is saying.

The previous three verses declare very clearly what the condemnation consists of

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

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

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

The condemnation at that point in time was not from misunderstanding and corrupting the revelations and covenants that Joseph was given. It had nothing to do with writing down the Book of Mormon and the revelations Joseph received incorrectly.

The problem was caused by not believing what God was saying and by taking his commandments lightly. The corruption of the scriptures such as inserting section 132 an omitting Lectures on Faith took place much much later as a result of initially taking the revelations lightly.

Look up the word “lightly” in the 1828 Websters.

It has nothing to do with a misunderstanding or corruption of information. It has to do with not taking the information seriously.

Denver Snuffer simply does not believe God’s promise in D&C 1:37-39 that every promise and prophecy in the Doctrine and Covenants will come true, including the unconditional promise given earlier in that revelation contained in verses 4 – 8.

The voice of warning will go forth among all people by Joseph Smith and his brethren who published the Book of Commandments and Doctrine and Covenants to the inhabitants of the world.

According to that promise, Joseph Smith and his brethren will go forth in power sealing up the unbelieving and rebellious until the day that the wrath of God is poured out upon the wicked.

That promise will be fulfilled as sure as there is a God in heaven.

Anyone who if found usurping Joseph Smith’s role and calling when he returns will surely fear and tremble when the justice of an almighty God falls upon them.

Those passages command the saints to believe what God had revealed through Joseph Smith. They testify that ALL of the promises and prophecies given in the D&C would be fulfilled.

The unconditional promises and prophecies of the Lord declare that Joseph Smith and the other first laborers of the last kingdom will be the ones to prepare the saints for the return of the bridegroom.

There is no need for Denver and his disciples to prepare anyone for the coming of the Lord or to create their own set of scriptures.

The saints of the restoration knew what commandments they had been given. They simply did not hearken to them. Those of us living during the generation of the Lord’s return also have access to the true revelations and have what we need to become WISE and to prepare ourselves to take the Holy Spirit as our guide when the servants return and offer the anointing.

I was going to review what 1st John has to say about the anointing that abides continually and the teaches all things, in this post, but alas, it will need to be in the next post.

Keep watching.

[Suggested reading for those that think you can have the baptism of fire and know it not Baptized by fire and they knew it not]


Essential Oldies but Goodies Part Five: Discovering the Doctored Covenants

May 13, 2017

Having addressed the true narrative behind the succession crisis, differentiated between the terrestrial gospel of works and the celestial gospel of grace, viewed the restoration of the gospel through a mystical lens and reviewed the 8,000 timeline of this earths existence in temporal time, we shall now jump into one of the most perplexing historical topics of the restoration;The seemingly contradictory alterations that Joseph Smith made to some of the revelations that he received.

Few Latter day Saints are aware that after approving and canonizing many of his revelations in the Book of Commandments, and having them sustained by the law of common consent by the church membership, just two years later Joseph Smith made some significant changes to several of those revelations and canonized them in the Doctrine and Covenants.

Some of the changes completely reversed the meaning of the original text.

This creates considerable heart burn for many Mormons once they find out about it.

It certainly did for me.

However, after doing extensive research on the topic and becoming aware of the prophetic backdrop behind the secret history of Mormonism, the changes all made Perfect sense to me.

This historical conundrum was transformed from one of the most faith disturbing historical events to one of the most faith promoting historical events of the restoration.

I now believe that all of the revelations in the 1833 Book of Commandments are correct as well as the conflicting one in the 1835 Doctrine and Covenants.

One of the things I have come to realize in my search for truth is that if we embrace and seek to understand the difficult issues in church history, rather than sweeping them under the carpet as if they don’t exist, or placing them on the proverbial “shelf” hoping to get an answer in the after life, we will get faith promoting answers to many of them.

I am providing a few articles having to do with this topic

Enjoy

 

COMMANDMENTS-DOCTRINE-COVENANTS Part One

COMMANDMENTS-DOCTRINE-COVENANTS Part Two

 

Discovering the Doctored Covenants and then the Interpretive Revisions and then the changing of the Ordinance

 

 

Previous Oldies but Goodies

Seven Seals and a Paradisaical Millennium” Part Four

A Mystical Look at the LDS Restoration Movement Part Three

Be Ye Therefore Perfect.. right now Part Two

The Succession Crisis Part One


John Pratt: “A Defense of D&C 110”

May 4, 2017

Many years ago when I was doing some research on the 8,000 year timeline of the earths existence, I came across a great book written by John C. Lefgren  regarding the prophetic significance of April 6th.

Lefgren believes that the declaration in section 20 about April 6th is inspired and literal as do I.

Section 20 declares the date of the Savior’s birth to be 2,000 years previous to the date that the church was formally organized through the instrumentality of Joseph Smith. Some question whether that declaration is inspired and literally true.

The arise of the Church of Christ in these last days, being one thousand eight hundred and thirty years since the ccoming of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ in the flesh, it being regularly dorganized and established agreeable to the elaws of our country, by the will and commandments of God, in the fourth month, and on the sixth day of the month which is called April— D&C 20:1

Lefgren’s interpretation of the above passage was very literal.

Sometime after that book was written, a few LDS scholars took issue with the conclusions of the author.

In response to their critique, a fellow by the name of John Pratt wrote an impressive defense of Lefgren’s book.

For several years I have enjoyed reading many of John Pratt’s articles which can be found at Johnpratt.com

John is a prolific writer and researcher who has been published in the Ensign and he has written articles for Meridian  Magazine.

John is apparently related to a Orson and Parley Pratt.

 

john and orson pratt

He has done much research and written many articles regarding the sacred calendar and I have enjoyed reading his thoughts relating to that topic.

Although John and I have some profound disagreements on several doctrinal issues, I view much of his work on the sacred calendar to be significant and worth considering.

I recently got an email from John notifying me of a paper he had written in which he defends the historicity and revelatory veracity of Section 110 of the Doctrine and Covenants using the sacred calender.

The defense he has written is a timely one considering the fact that there is a group who are currently revising the standard works and planning to discard section 110 from the Doctrine and Covenants.

I thought I would share his email containing a link to a paper he has written, and my response to it. In my response I share some of my reasons for believing that both section 110 and section 20 are inspired of God and should not be discarded.

Enjoy.

John’s Email

A long article about zodiac ages (including the Age of Aquarius) has just been posted on my website which go so far as propose exact dates and presidencies of each. It’s very technical and about 30 pages long, so I only recommend reading the section that discusses the visit of the Lord to the Kirtland temple in 1836 as recorded in D&C 110. That section has come under fire as not being well enough documented so I’m attempting to subpoena some celestial witnesses to testify in its favor.  Thus I’d suggest reading only one section of the article, at http://www.johnpratt.com/items/docs/2017/zodiac_ages.html#1.5 .

If you want an idea of what the whole article is about, then just read the Conclusion at the end.

Thanks,
John

My Response to John Pratt

John-

I appreciate very much your defense of the veracity and historicity of the event detailed in section 110 of the Doctrine and Covenants from a sacred calendaring perspective.

Your contention that the event in 110, and the words of Christ that you quoted were uttered at the time that the age of Aquarius began is fascinating and thought provoking.

It is a breath of fresh air during a time when many critics who cannot discern holy scripture through  personal revelation scoff at the words of the Savior simply because they cannot find historical documentation to support the event.

Linking the ushering in of the dispensation of the gospel of Abraham to the beginning of the age of Aquarius is a compelling observation.

I also found it interesting how you pointed out the significance of the Savior speaking of the “beginning” of the pouring out of blessings upon his people followed by more blessings to be poured out in the future, making the transaction that took place the beginning of a progressive series of events. It is consistent with a passage in 3rd Nephi 16 which I believe has prophetic implications that relate to the prophetic content in section 110.

I believe 3 Nephi 16:4-5 speaks of a beginning point followed by a progression of events. It begins with the remnants of Israel that have been scattered upon the face of the earth being physically “brought in” .

Following that, remnants are “brought to a knowledge of [Christ]without necessarily being physically “brought in”

Finally, during a third phase, the remnants are “gathered from the four corners of  the earthat which time Christ fulfills the covenant of the Father with them.

That scenario is exactly what begins to happen following Christ’s prophecy and following the ushering in the gospel of Abraham.

Shortly after that vision, Joseph informs the saints that something new must be done for the salvation of the church and he sends missionaries across the great waters. At the beginning of this new dispensation of the Gospel of Abraham, remnants of the House of Israel are physically “brought in” and they come to Nauvoo and then to Utah.

As the church grows, they eventually begin to establish stakes in other parts of the world and they quit teaching the doctrine of the physical gathering. At that point, the remnants are “brought to a knowledge of Christ” without physically being “brought in“.

According to prophecy, the final crescendo or fulfillment of the dispensation of the gospel of Abraham, which your sacred calendar associates with the age of Aquarius, the remnants will be physically gathered “from the four corners of the earth”.

It  is interesting to note that the covenant is not fulfilled until the final pouring out of God’s spirit at the time of the final gathering from the four corners of the earth.

I think that your research regarding the veracity of section 110 is very timely because there is a movement at hand that questions the credibility and historicity of section 110. This same group is in the process of expunging section 110 from a revised version of the LDS scriptures.

This is what a member of this new scripture committee has said about why changes to the scriptures need to be made and why section 110 should be deleted from the Doctrine and Covenants

One of the first ways that a dispensation becomes corrupted is by compromising the scriptures used by believers in that dispensation. Therefore, when a new dispensation begins, one of the first orders of business for believers is to adopt a new set of scriptures which restore so far as it is possible a correct version of the material they regard as scripture..  there is a need to remove errors correct text 

The claim is that the scriptures that Joseph Smith brought forth were corrupted shortly after being received. No examples or supporting documentation to that claim were clearly presented although the presenter goes on to list section 110 as one of the sections that will be deleted from the new scriptures.

Continuing with his implication that section 110 is one of the corruptions that has compromised the integrity of the scriptures, here is the official reason that section 110 is being deleted:

“..Section 110 is completely unverifiable as a true revelation or vision, the three individuals with some information about the section, joseph Smith Oliver Cowdery and Warren Cowdery left no statement or explanation about section 110, further, in listing those who visited with them in their perspective testimonies neither Joseph Smith or Oliver Cowdery mention Elijah as having come. Finally, throughout the Nauvoo time frame including a month before his death, Joseph Smith spoke of Elijah’s return as a future and not a past event..”

The claim that section 110 is unverifiable is a huge red flag because it is admitting that the group that is adding and removing scripture is making their determination based on verifiable historical information rather than revelation.

Only the Holy Ghost can validate a true revelation, not historical facts. If the new religious movement was being led by a true prophet he would simply ask the Lord and receive a “thus saith the Lord” revelation  from God confirming or denying the section to be a true revelation.

Each individual has the same responsibility to receive personal revelation on the topic.

The logic by the new scripture committee was apparently taken from the statements made by Denver Snuffer in his book (PTHG Pg 326–327)

All the contemporaneous records kept by any party fail to record any mention by Joseph Smith of the Kirtland Temple visitation from Moses, Elias and Elijah. It was never taught by Joseph Smith, never mentioned in any sermon delivered by him, and was never mentioned in anything Joseph ever wrote (75)

The claim that no contemporaneous records by any party record any mention of a visitation from Moses, Elias and Elijah is not accurate in my opinion. There are in fact credible historical records that show that Joseph or Oliver had mentioned aspects of the vision to selected individuals. Some of these individuals even mentioned these events to critics of the restoration.

For instance one account from a hostile source actually mentions the visitation of Christ and angels in conjunction with the solemn assembly with the curtains being drawn.

“They [the Mormons] have lately had what they term a solemn assembly. This was at the completion of the lower story of the Temple which is finished in a very singular order having four Pulpits on each [Page 261]end of the House and curtains between each. Also, curtains dividing the house in the center. They have had wonderful manifestations there of late behind the curtains. This was in the night. Their meeting held for several nights in succession. None but the Prophets and Elders were admitted. The number of Prophets now amounts to twelve. Some can see angels and others cannot. They report that the Savior appeared personally with angels and endowed the Elders with powers to work Miracles” (H. Michael Marquardt, The Rise of Mormonism: 1816–1844 (Longwood, FL: Xulon Press, 2005), 422)

It is highly unlikely that a hostile person living in Kirtland at the time could manufacture such a tale containing accurate details relating to the holding of a solemn assembly, a description of the priesthood pulpits, the curtains behind which the most holy place is hidden from the outer court, and the appearance of Christ and angels.

Perhaps even more compelling, is the following statement in a letter from WW Phelps to his wife within a week after the Savior appeared behind the veil:

“On Sunday, April 3, the twelve held meeting and administered the sacrament. It was a glorious time. The curtains were dropt in the afternoon. And there was a manifestation of the Lord to Br Joseph and Oliver, [by] which they [learned] thus the great & terrible day of the Lord as mentioned by Mal[a]chi, was near, even at the doors.” (William W. Phelps, Journal, April 1836 (letter 27), 3, William Wines Phelps (1792–1872) Papers, Vault MSS 810, BYU Special Collections.)

That statement identifies a “manifestation” that took place in the temple on the the exact date of the event detailed in section 110 . Further, it reveals the statement made by Elijah as recorded in Malachi!

Clearly,  there are contemporaneous records that coincide with the event documented in section 110.

Claiming that Joseph always spoke of the coming of Elijah as a future event and never as a past event is also an inaccurate declaration. I have shown in a previous post that Joseph Smith did indeed speak of the coming of Elijah as a past experience during the Nauvoo era.

Just as you have shown how the sacred calendar testifies of Section 110, I have shown how the prophecies of Danial also testify of Section 110. Six of the nine prophetic time sequences having to do with Joseph Smith’s ministry either begin or end with April 3, 1836.

Perhaps one of the most compelling has to do with the prophecy in Daniel 9:24 . This prophecy declares that it would be 139 weeks from the time the commandment is given to rebuild the holy city until an anointing of the “most holy” takes place and the account of the vision is sealed up.

seal up the vision

Backing up 139 weeks from the time that Joseph and Oliver had the secret vision behind the veil and sealed it up in the church historical journal, takes us to Sunday August 4th, 1833. That was the week that section 94 was given in which the commandment to commence the work of laying the foundation the city of the stake of Zion beginning at the Lord’s house.

There are countless scriptural evidences that confirm the validity of section 110.

The inspired version of the Bible reveals that John the Baptist in New Testament times was the same person known as Elijah the prophet during Old Testament times. This information reveals the prophetic link between the declaration by Elijah in section 110 and the restoration of the priesthood through John the Baptist in section 13. This gives us another prophetic witness of the revelatory validity of the event in Section 110.

elijah doctrine 2.png

The Book of Abraham also testifies of the truthfulness of section 110 by providing the definition and context of the dispensation of the Gospel of Abraham that was ushered in.

dispensation of the gospel of abraham

 

There are numerous indirect references to the validity of section 110 given in other sections of the Doctrine and Covenants.

 

110 related

listed below are a few posts that address these witnesses.

https://onewhoiswatching.files.wordpress.com/2013/08/reading-abraham-while-god-winks6.pdf

https://onewhoiswatching.wordpress.com/2013/12/23/section-27-and-the-book-of-abraham-both-testify-that-section-110-is-true/

https://onewhoiswatching.wordpress.com/2013/12/29/the-keys-to-gather-israel-two-patriarchal-blessings-testify-of-section-110/

https://onewhoiswatching.wordpress.com/2014/01/02/section-109-testifies-that-section-110-is-true/

https://onewhoiswatching.wordpress.com/2013/12/31/section-112-testifies-of-section-110/

https://onewhoiswatching.wordpress.com/2014/01/06/section-124-makes-reference-to-section-110/

In  my opinion, there is an overwhelming amount of evidence in scripture to show that section 110 is true.

I believe God commanded Joseph and Oliver to not publicly disclose the experience they had. This was done to provide a test. Only those that search the scriptures and receive personal revelation can perceive the revelatory witnesses that testify of section 110.

God has provided it as a test to see who will discern and defend it as truth.

This is very important in my opinion because it is a very serious thing to deny revelation and to alter the holy scriptures.

The Book of Mormon prophesies of those among the gentiles that would eventually transfigure God’s Holy Word [1]

Extracting true revelations from canonized scripture would certainly seem to fall into this category.

The Lord has warned us to not add to or take away from his scriptures. Everyone who participates in and endorses that new scripture project will be personally liable for any mistakes that are made when they enter into covenant on that project, so it would do them well to take it very seriously, lest the curses of God are brought upon their heads[2]

In my opinion, it is highly unlikely this scripture committee will ever consider leaving section 110 in their new scriptures regardless of the evidence that anyone brings forth. This is because of the stand that Snuffer has taken against it.

Snuffer has publicly warned me and others to quit teaching about the distinction between the dispensation of the gospel of Abraham and the dispensation of the fulness of the gospel, as revealed through the event documented in section 110-

“Those who claim the Gospel of Abraham is less than the gospel given to Adam are a false message born by a false messenger, mark it, if they don’t repent for preaching that message in opposition to what the Lord declares both in scripture and by my voice, they will regret it.

For the record, I have never said that the gospel that Abraham received, was anything less than the fulness of the gospel that had been preached to Adam or that was restored through the prophet Joseph Smith.

What I have documented and blogged about is that the fulness of the gospel had been rejected by the latter day saints by the end of 1834 and that shortly after that, the dispensation of the gospel of Abraham was ushered in according to section 110.

That event demonstrates that a significant change in trajectory took place that resulted in the apostles of the restoration taking the knowledge of the fulness of the gospel to the nations across the great waters as documented in section 118.

I have shown from the Book of Abraham that the dispensation of the gospel of Abraham has to do with the chosen seed of Abraham preaching the gospel to the nations of the earth in the latter days.

I have further stated and documented that those events match up with the prophecy of Jesus Christ in 3 Nephi 16.

In my opinion, it was the “knowledge” of the fulness of the gospel that was taken to the remnants of the House of Israel after the fulness was rejected in 1834 followed by the ushering in of the dispensation of the gospel of Abraham in 1836.

Shortly after that, the saints were rejected as a church with their dead, which would indicate that even though they had a knowledge of the fulness of the gospel as explained in the scriptures that Joseph brought forth, they did not enjoy the power in the priesthood to perform all of the saving ordinances. Even Denver Snuffer has finally acknowledged that the church was rejected in Nauvoo. (he pointed it out as a possibility in his book, PTHG, but now is declaring it to the case)

The book of Abraham, informs us that God promised Abraham that in the latter days, his posterity would be a great blessing to the nations of the earth by preaching the gospel to them. It clarifies however that the fulness of the gospel and the final giving of the land as an everlasting possession will not be fully actuated until God’s people “hearken to his voice” (Abraham 2:6)

The prophecy of Jesus Christ in 3rd Nephi 16 and more specifically summarized in 3rd Nephi 16:10-13 began to be fulfilled when the keys of the DISPENSATION of the Gospel of Abraham were delivered to Joseph and Oliver and the latter day apostles began to take the KNOWLEDGE of the fulness of the Gospel ( as contained in the Book of Mormon and the revelations Joseph brought forth) to the nations of the earth across the great waters. That sequence of events will be completed once the gentiles repent as described in Ether 4:6.

I believe that the reason that Denver wants to discredit section 110 is because it explains the change in trajectory during Joseph Smith’s ministry and proves that the modern corporate church still has the priesthood commission given  in section 118, to take the knowledge of the gospel to the nations of the earth. Section 110 supports and validates the unconditional promises and prophesies about the servants of God returning to the vineyard to complete their commissions.

It leaves no place for Denver’s ministry and the other gospel that he promotes.

While I agree with you that section 110 is valid, and I rejoice in your defense of it, the primary purpose of this response to your email has to do with section 20 which the new scripture committee is also planning to delete from the standard works.

I am curious as to why you have taken up a defense of section 110 but not of section 20?!?!

Although I love section 110 and think that it is hugely important with regard to explaining church history and shedding light on prophecy, in my opinion, it is not as pertinent as a canonized revelation as section 20 is. This is because section 20 is a COMMANDMENT on how to govern the church and provide the saving COVENANTS and saving ordinances of the gospel.

God has commanded us to search the commandments and he has promised us that all of the revelations that were canonized by Joseph Smith and his associates are true and faithful.

Search these commandments for they are true and faithful, and the prophecies and promises that are in them shall all be fulfilled. What I the Lord have spoken, I have spoken, and I excuse not myself; and thou the heavens and the earth pass away, my words shall not pass away, but shall all be fulfilled, whether by my own voice or the voice of my servants, it is the same. D&C 1:37-38

I believe you have already endeavored to prove the divine origin of section 20 in other articles you have written by showing the historic and prophetic significance of the date April 6th.

I would point out that in your article, Defense of April Sixth, you have substantiated the revelatory veracity of section 20 by showing how April sixth is a prophetic date-

“Lefgren states that his intent is “to show how the modern revelation concerning the significance of April 6 is in perfect harmony with other sacred writings” (p. 12). That is, he proposes that the belief that Jesus was born on 6 April 1 B.C. is consistent with all LDS scripture, but not necessarily with all secular sources. (All dates refer to our Gregorian calendar.) The reviewers claim that Lefgren also believes the “resurrection of Jesus fell on April sixth.” He does not; his date for the Resurrection is 3 April A.D. 33 (p. 61).”

The Snufferite scripture committee has indicated their intentions of expunging section 20 from the D&C along with section 110.

This is the official reason given by the new scripture committee for expunging section 20 from scripture:

Several LDS sections have been removed for the following reasons.. section 20 was written by Oliver Cowdery and constitutes church articles and covenants used to begin to structure the early church organization, they no longer apply…

What an odd declaration.

The claim that section 20 was received exclusively by Oliver Cowdery is simply not true.

Stating that the revelation on how to organize and govern the restored church is no longer relevant without giving any credible scriptural documentation or explanations from Joseph Smith as to why the commandment to govern the church was only temporary, is absurd.

Section 20 is referred to by the Lord as the “articles and covenants” of the church and section 42 which is referred to as the “law of the church” and the “law of Zion”. They were both taken by the early missionaries and used as the foundational scriptures for teaching new converts.

They represented the foundation of the restoration movement. Those are arguably two of the most inseparable and foundational parts of the Doctrine and Covenants.

Claiming that some of the scriptures that Joseph Smith brought forth in the Doctrine and Covenants are false or only temporary is a serious thing. I would agree that some of the additions and deletions made after the death of Joseph Smith did corrupt the Doctrine and Covenants that the church uses today. Adding section 132 is a good example of this. However, I would point out that the Lord endorsed all of the revelations in the 1835 Doctrine and Covenants in 124:119-120.

And again, verily I say unto you, let no man pay stock to the quorum of the Nauvoo House unless he shall be a believer in the Book of Mormon, and the revelations I have given unto you, saith the Lord your God;

For that which is more or less than this cometh of evil, and shall be attended with cursings and not blessings, saith the Lord your God. Even so. Amen.

It is sobering to realize that God put his stamp of approval on the revelations in the 1835 Doctrine and Covenants and warned that more or less than what had been canonized would be evil and would bring forth cursings. Yet a scripture committee is now removing the foundational revelation in that canon of scripture.

It is somewhat ironic that while the Snufferite scripture committee desires to reinstate the “doctrine” portion of the original Doctrine and Covenants by reinstating the Lectures on Faith, they simultaneously desire to delete the “Covenants” portion of the original Doctrine and Covenants by expunging section 20, a section that the Lord specifically referred to as the articles and covenants of the church.

Sections 42 and 20 represented the LAW and the COVENANTS of the latter day saint restoration.

In an apparent attempt to discredit the revelatory veracity of section 20, the Snufferite scripture committee has declared that section 20 was exclusively received by Oliver Cowdery rather than being a joint revelation given by the Lord to both Joseph and Oliver.

That claim is unsubstantiated and it contradicts the following declaration of Joseph Smith which is plainly documented in the section heading:

We obtained of Him [Jesus Christ] the following, by the spirit of prophecy and revelation; which not only gave us much information, but also pointed out to us the precise day upon which, according to His will and commandment, we should proceed to organize His Church once more here upon the earth.”

It is pretty obvious that the Snufferite committee feels a need to discredit section 20 as an ongoing and relevant revelation since their holy teacher Denver Snuffer instructed his followers to use the baptismal and church governance protocol from the Book of Mormon instead of the baptismal and church governance protocol that the Lord gave to the restored church through Joseph Smith.

Snuffer has indicated that section 20 was only relevant for a limited time only, if at all, while the protocols in the Book of Mormon are timeless. He apparently does not want to have his new fellowship governed according to the instructions given by the Lord in section 20.

Why would God’s instructions to the gentiles, who have been designated as the final messengers of the gospel be no longer relevant? Why would the instructions to the Nephites supersede them?

This apparently has to do with Snuffers believe that Parley Pratt and Sidney Rigdon hijacked the direction of the restored church by adversely influencing Joseph Smith, a heresy that Snuffer gleaned from Daymon Smith

Clearly, if section 20 was a true revelation, it would cast doubt upon Denver’s holy calling and his teachings just as his rejection of section 110 does.

Concluding that section 20 is not a valid revelation of ongoing significance and that it was received exclusively by Oliver Cowdery and not Joseph Smith brings into question Joseph Smith’s honesty and integrity during those early years in Kirtland when the foundations of the restored gospel were being laid.

Why would Joseph Smith lie about jointly receiving the revelation about the articles and covenants of the church with Oliver Cowdery?

Another thing to consider is the fact that Joseph reviewed the revelation before getting the sustaining vote of the church on it and he made a very significant change which Oliver and the Whitmers initially took issue with.

However Oliver and the Whitmers eventually agreed with Joseph. (in my opinion, that one change which is the only apparent change between the protocol in section 20 and some of the teachings in the Book of Mormon, and therefore it appears as if it is one of the reasons Denver rejects the revelation as being valid.

Those changes verify the fact that Joseph was very familiar with every word in the revelation and had scrutinized them under the spirit of revelation. Clearly, Joseph was intimately involved in receiving the articles and covenants of the church. His involvement was endorsing the revelation as coming from God once he made those changes.

It is very odd that the Snufferites want to “preserve” the restoration by eliminating the very foundation of it.

Snufferites who are seriously thinking about making some of these radical changes to the scriptures that have been endorsed by God, would do well to ponder these things and be very prayerful about them before making a decision that could bring curses upon them.

Having observed that you have substantiated the revelatory veracity of section 20 from a sacred calendaring point of view, there is something else that should be considered with regard to expunging section 20 from the new scriptures.

The Lord makes specific mention of the “articles and covenants” (section 20) in sections 33 and 42 of the Doctrine and Covenants:

ye shall remember the church articles and covenants to keep them. Doctrine and Covenants 33:14

And they shall observe the covenants and church articlesto do them, and these shall be their teachings, as they shall be directed by the Spirit. Doctrine and Covenants 42:13

As you can see, sections 33 and 42 which were both “thus saith the Lord” revelations that were received by Joseph Smith. Both testify that section 20 is valid and it contains the approved articles and covenants of the Church.

There is nothing in those directives from the Lord to indicate that those articles and covenants are only temporary and that they would one day be superseded by the ancient protocols given to the Nephites in the Book of Mormon.

If one assumes that section 20 is a false revelation that came only through Oliver Cowdery or that it was only a temporary protocol that would not remain relevant, valid and binding upon the gentiles, then sections 33 and 42 would also need to be classified accordingly and discarded.

The same logic would suggest that section 33 and 42 are either not true revelations from God or they only had temporary significance and must now be expunged from modern revelation along with section 20 which they endorse.

Section 33 further validates the articles and covenants previously detailed in section 20 by declaring that God had established the church and called it forth out of the wilderness.

5 And verily, verily, I say unto you, that this church have I established and called forth out of the wilderness.

Such a declaration suggests that there were no problems with the foundational articles and covenants upon which the church was established.

Clearly, the Lord would have commanded section 20 to be stricken from the revelations of the restoration had there been a problem with it. Section 33 declares the restored church to have come forth out of the wilderness and to have been properly ESTABLISHED.

Section 33 was calling certain elders into missionary work and teaching them what to do and say. It is clearly validating and building upon the baptismal and church governance protocol that had been detailed in section 20

10 Yea, open your mouths and they shall be filled, saying: Repent, repent, and prepare ye the way of the Lord, and make his paths straight; for the kingdom of heaven is at hand;

11 Yea, repent and be baptized, every one of you, for a remission of your sins; yea, be baptized even by water, and then cometh the baptism of fire and of the Holy Ghost.

12 Behold, verily, verily, I say unto you, this is my gospel; and remember that they shall have faith in me or they can in nowise be saved;

13 And upon this rock I will build my church; yea, upon this rock ye are built, and if ye continue, the gates of hell shall not prevail against you.

14 And ye shall remember the church articles and covenants to keep them.

As  you can see,  section 33 is directing the leaders and missionaries of the church to REMEMBER the articles and covenants of the church given in section 20 and use them as the rock upon which to build the church. This is no doubt why the first missionaries hand copied section 20 and took it with them on their missions.

Are we remembering the church articles and covenants by discarding them and rejecting them as being inspired?

We clearly need to get rid of section 33 or accept section 20 since section 33 validates the revelatory veracity and ongoing relevance of section 20.

We have the same problem with section 42 if we choose to disregard section 20. Section 42 was considered to be the law of the church and section 42 commands the saints to integrate the articles and covenants in section 20 into the ongoing law of the church.

As you can see, if the scripture committee chooses to expunge section 20 in their new covenant with God, they need to expunge sections 33 and section 42. The Lord in his infinite foreknowledge made the content and relevance of these revelations cohesive and interdependent. It is an all or nothing proposition.

By getting rid of section 42 we are no longer bound to accept the New Testament practice of having all things in common with personal stewardships, as a true principle that must be lived. Nor are the saints required to live monogamy as a marital law. While that may come as a relief to some, it may bring some very very stiff penalties with it. It may bring the wrath of God down upon those that transfigure God’s holy word.

We know from Denver’s lectures that he finds some truth in Section 132 and the practice of celestial polygamy. We know from Denver’s remarks that he considers Joseph Smith’s involvement in polygamy to be inspired, even though Denver admits that he doesn’t fully understand it nor disclose what he believes it to be. The stage has been set for some kind of spiritual wifery to be introduced into the Snufferite movement at some point in time.

The point is, that by deleting section 20, you must delete section 42 from the D&C and at that point we are no longer limited to monogamy in our marital activities and we have one less contradiction between the marital law of monogamy in section 42 and the marital law in 132.

Clearly, it is the marital commandment of polygamy in section 132 that needs to be discarded, not the monogamy commandment in section 42.

Having shown that section 33 and 42 made specific reference to and validated the revelatory accuracy of section 20, I would point out that there are a host of other sections [3] that also make reference to the “covenants” detailed in section one and therefore they would also need to be expelled from the new Snufferite scriptures

Sections 28, 35, 51, 68, 97 & 107 all make reference to the COVENANTS delivered and canonized as section 20.

Leaving those scriptures intact while expunging section 20 would only create confusion  and contradiction since they refer to and incorporate a previous revelation that is no longer considered relevant. It is incredible just how many revelations were built upon the foundation of section 20!

Just as sections 28, 33, 35, 42, 51, 68, 97, and 107 are all intertextually related to section 20 and they all bear witness of section 20 and each other, each of those sections is in turn intertextually related with at least two or three other revelations that Joseph received during those early years in Kirtland. Virtually all of the revelations are intertwined and are inseparable from a revelatory point of view.

Naturally, all of the sections that reference and give credibility to any of the eight sections listed above, also need to be expunged from the new D&C. But it does not stop there, because there are a whole new group of revelations that reference and give revelatory credibility to the revelations of the next grouping of revelations and so on and so on.

This process just keeps repeating itself until virtually every revelation that came through Joseph Smith is proven to be interrelated to and built upon the foundation of the covenants in section 20. Clearly, not one jot or tittle is to be removed from section 20 or section 42. They will remain as the guiding force by which the church is governed when the servants return to resume their commission.

In first Nephi 13, the Lord’s prophet Nephi prophesied about the coming forth of the Book of Mormon by the gentiles. In that prophecy, it was noted that in the latter days, the gentiles would bring forth the plain and precious things that the Lord would teach to the seed of Lehi when he personally ministers to them. It was making specific reference to the restoration of the church and ministry of joseph Smith in the 1800’s.

The prophecy clearly states that when those things taught by Christ to the Nephites contained in 3rd Nephi, that are hid up, are brought forth by the gentiles, the gentiles would seek to bring forth Zion.

The event took place.

Obviously, the attempt was not successful at that time, as hinted in the prophecy, however, the the prophecy notes that those that make the initial attempt at Zion would “have the gift and power of the holy ghost and if they endure to the end they shall be lifted up at the last day”.

According to the prophecy, Joseph Smith and his fellow gentiles who brought forth the account of the Savior’s ministry as contained in 3rd Nephi, are the ones who have the gift and power of the holy ghost. They are the ones that “publish peace and great tidings”, not Denver Snuffer and his scripture committee. 

35 For, behold, saith the Lamb: I will manifest myself unto thy seed, that they shall write many things which I shall minister unto them, which shall be plain and precious; and after thy seed shall be destroyed, and dwindle in unbelief, and also the seed of thy brethren, behold, these things shall be hid up, to come forth unto the Gentiles, by the gift and power of the Lamb.

36 And in them shall be written my gospel, saith the Lamb, and my rock and my salvation.

37 And blessed are they who shall seek to bring forth my Zion at that day, for they shall have the gift and the power of the Holy Ghost; and if they endure unto the end they shall be lifted up at the last day, and shall be saved in the everlasting kingdom of the Lamb; and whoso shall publish peace, yea, tidings of great joy, how beautiful upon the mountains shall they be.

Nothing is said or implied in the above prophecy about the gentiles bringing forth a false or temporary set of covenants which would need to be changed to a more ancient directive by another prophet or religious movement.

There are those that want to discredit the restoration of the gospel that joseph Smith was instrumental in bringing forth by inferring that only Joseph’s work in bringing forth the Book of Mormon is of any enduring revelatory value.

However the Book of Mormon validates the revelations that joseph Smith brought forth. It declares that Joseph and his associates like Oliver Cowdery had the gift and power of the Holy Ghost sufficient enough to be commanded to attempt Zion!

Their calling was not limited to bringing forth the Book of Mormon!

They legitimately attempted to bring forth Zion!

That very attempt required independent revelation and commandments and covenants from the Lord through the spirit of prophecy.

There is no need for a new latter day prophet to completely negate and disparage the inspired foundation that the Lord established through the prophet Joseph Smith.

The revelations that were brought forth and canonized through Joseph Smith that were sustained by the saints of the restoration through the law of common consent and endorsed by the Lord in section 124 represent an all or nothing proposition.

Just prior to receiving the articles and covenants contained in section 20 of the D&C, Joseph and Oliver were told by the Lord:

17 Behold, you have my gospel before you, and my rock, and my salvation. 18 Ask the Father in my name in faith, believing that you shall receive, and you shall have the Holy Ghost, which manifesteth all things which are expedient unto the children of men.

I testify that Joseph and Oliver and there brethren did have the Holy Ghost and the spirit of prophecy when they received section 20. It is an enduring protocol for the gentiles that will be used when the gentiles finally repent.

John- I appreciate your defense of section 110 but would encourage you to use your research of divine calendars to defend section 20 of the Doctrine and Covenants as well.

 

 

 

 

[1][1] Mormon 8:33  O ye wicked and perverse and stiffnecked people, why have ye built up churches unto yourselves to get gain? Why have ye transfigured the holy word of God, that ye might bring damnation upon your souls? Behold, look ye unto the revelations of God; for behold, the time cometh at that day when all these things must be fulfilled.

[2][2] Man does not have the authority to change the will of God on any subject. One of the most serious and blasphemous things a person can do is to alter God’s holy word in scripture. We have been given severe warnings in several places in the Bible concerning any changes that we try to make to God’s word. Galatians 1:6-9, warns us that if we pervert the gospel by changing it, we will be accursed. Deuteronomy 4:2 Revelation 22:18-19 both warn of the plagues and cursings that fall upon those that adds or takes away from God’s word. God shall take away his part from the Book of Life, and from the holy city, and from the things which are written in this book.”

[3] Doctrine and Covenants 28:12,14 For, behold, these things have not been appointed unto him, neither shall anything be appointed unto any of this church contrary to the church covenants. Doctrine and Covenants 35:24 Keep all the commandments and covenants by which ye are bound; and I will cause the heavens to shake for your good, and Satan shall tremble and Zion shall rejoice upon the hills and flourish; Doctrine and Covenants 51:4 And let my servant Edward Partridge, when he shall appoint a man his portion, give unto him a writing that shall secure unto him his portion, that he shall hold it, even this right and this inheritance in the church, until he transgresses and is not accounted worthy by the voice of the church, according to the laws and covenants of the church, to belong to the church. section 68:13 And now, concerning the items in addition to the covenants and commandments, they are ….And again, no bishop or high priest who shall be set apart for this ministry shall be tried or condemned for any crime, save it be before the First Presidency of the church; 23 And inasmuch as he is found guilty before this Presidency, by testimony that cannot be impeached, he shall be condemned; 24 And if he repent he shall be forgiven, according to the covenants and commandments of the church. Doctrine and Covenants 97:8 Verily I say unto you, all among them who know their hearts are honest, and are broken, and their spirits contrite, and are willing to observe their covenants by sacrifice—yea, every sacrifice which I, the Lord, shall command—they are accepted of me. Doctrine and Covenants 107:12,19-20,63,85-87,89 The high priest and elder are to administer in spiritual things, agreeable to the covenants and commandments of the church; and they have a right to officiate in all these offices of the church when there are no higher authorities present.

 

 

 


“If they will not accept our doctrine then let them accept our hospitality.”

April 25, 2017

One of my favorite quotes that has been attributed to Joseph Smith is as follows:

“If they will not accept our doctrine then let them accept our hospitality.”

I have seen a few variations of the above quote but the one above suits the purpose of this blog post.

Hospitality is one of the attributes that is expected of a bishop.

HOSPITAL’ITY, noun [Latin hospitalitas.] The act or practice of receiving and entertaining strangers or guests without reward, or with kind and generous liberality.A bishop–must be given to hospitality 1 Timothy 3:2.

I want to begin this post by asking the two questions;

“Is the Bishop to extend hospitality to both members and non-members or just to non-members?”

“Is it possible for a bishop to extend hospitality to a member of the flock while at the same time withholding the hand of fellowship over a doctrinal disagreement?

The context in which Joseph Smith’s declaration was given had to do with missionary work and the offer of hospitality was being directed towards non-members but I find it hard to believe that it should not apply to members and ex-members of the church. The definition in Websters would seem to indicate that hospitality is to be offered to all.

Another favorite quote from Joseph Smith has to do with an observation he made when an older member of the church was excommunicated for preaching false doctrine. Joseph Smith referred to the older High Priest as “one of the wisest old heads we have among us“.

Joseph noted that just because  the fellow “preached about the beast” in the Book of Revelation and interpreted the prophecy in a supposed heretical way, “he was hauled up” before the “high c[ouncil]“.

Joseph opined:

I never thought it was right to call up a man for erring in doctrine

He declared-

[I] want the liberty of believing as I please..

[It] Dont prove that a man is not a good man because he errs in doctrine..

Joseph considered the practice of doctrinal excommunication “to much like methodism not Latter Dayism”

 

I suspect that we all feel like Joseph Smith did.

We all want the liberty of believing as we please.

Do we relinquish our agency and conscience or responsibility and right to interpret scripture upon joining the church?

What would the church be like today if local and global leaders of the church agreed with Joseph Smith that one should not be cast out of the church for erring in doctrine?

What if they extended hospitality and the hand of fellowship to those members that struggle with official doctrine and believe differently with regard to the truth claims of the church?

What if everyone was allowed to fellowship and worship with the saints to whatever extent of activity and belief they wanted to, regardless of how much of the official doctrine of the church they accepted?

The Mexican Saints and the Third Convention

Many decades ago a large group of LDS Mexican Saints became estranged from the main body of the church and the leadership of the corporate church in Salt Lake City.

There were a series of events and issues that seemed to take root at the time of the Mexican Revolution and continued into the early 1930’s.

Included in these issues was the intense feeling of national pride and the perception of insensitivity toward the Mexican Saints on the part of the Anglo Latter-day Saints by a large number of central Mexican Saints.

Some of the Mexican Saints resented that fact that leadership positions among the Mexican saints, particularly that of Mission President, were always filled by Anglo Saints from outside of the community. Since there were no Stakes set up in Mexico at the time, the Mission President was essentially the president of the church in Mexico.

The feeling of being second class citizens in the kingdom of the saints is a long standing issue that members of the church of differing nationalities continue to feel to this day. The following observation was made by Hugo Olaiz who is a third-generation Mormon from Argentina

MY LIGHT-skinned dad, his brother, and his male cousins became stake presidents, mission presidents, and regional representatives, while my dark-skinned mom’s relatives became home teachers, branch secretaries, and Sunday School superintendents.

Another issue was related to the practice of polygamy which leaders of the church had secretly continued the practice in Mexico after assuring the federal government that they had officially stopped the practice.

Compounding these problems was the fact that a very highly educated and articulate Mexican by the name of Margarito Bautista rose up among the Mexican Saints and began expressing doctrinal issues with the church. Bautista was a gifted scholar and orator who had great influence among the Mexican saints.

Bautista was an ordained High Priest who had spent time in Salt Lake City doing temple work, genealogy work and observing how the church was run. He also taught the gospel doctrine class in his ward.

He had become good friends with Rey L. Pratt, one of the Anglo leaders in Mexico. Possibly with some guidance and encouragement from Pratt, Bautista concluded from his Book of Mormon studies that-

“the ‘chosen people’ were the Latin Americans, particularly the Mexicans. ‘Gentiles’- by which he meant those who were the House of Israel not be descent, but by adoption- were considered second-class.

Bautista argued that being a son or daughter of Israel by direct descent (which he interpreted as being of Native American lineage, however diluted) was decidedly better than being adopted (which he thought included most Anglo American members)”

Bautista proudly authored a book containing the above sentiments and presented the manuscript to the church authorities in Salt Lake City, expecting them to publish it and make him the new Mission President in Mexico.

Needless to say, the church leadership felt somewhat threatened and offended by the premise of the book and reviewed it with contempt.

Stunned by the rejection, Bautista took the manuscript back to Mexico and had it published by a Mexican member who owned a printing press.

The book became a best seller among the Mexican saints.

Some of the Mexican saints became passionate about the book and preferred to quote from the book instead of from scripture.

Church authorities in Mexico attempted to diffuse the books divisive influence by going on crusades to de-legitimize the book but the more they entered into discussions and debates with the passionate followers of Bautista, the more agitated people became. The controversy ultimately backfired and generated more interest in the book.

One lessen we learn from the Bautista experience that has repeated itself again and again in the many fringe groups that break away from the church, is that controversy sells books and publicizes new religious offshoots and ultimately results in additional converts to the cause.

Because of these dynamics and many more, a strain between a large portion of the Mexican saints and the rest of the church resulted in a breaking point and what seemed to be an irreversible schism.

This schism has become known as the “Third Convention” and it resulted in about 1/3 of the members of the church in Mexico leaving the main body of the LDS Church.

It is said that “relationships between members of the Church in Mexico and the dissident Conventionists were filled with suspicion, acrimony, and in many cases, a loathing reserved for only the very incarnation of evil”

The saints of the Third Convention demanded that they have their own Mexican leaders and their presumed leaders were demanding that polygamy and consecration be officially implemented among the Mexican saints.

Church leadership and this faction of the Mexican Saints were unable to resolve their differences.

“By May of 1937, .. the breach was absolute. with no possibility of reconciliation in sight, President David O. McKay, then a counselor to President Heber J. Grant, became uncharacteristically frustrated and urged that excommunication procedures against the Third Convention leaders begin.”

As a result, conventionist leaders were excommunicated from the LDS Church for rebellion and insubordination and failing to recognize the authority of the church leaders. Most of the Mexican brethren that were excommunicated did not even bother to attend their hearings as they considered them to be unrighteous and therefore null and void.

The leadership of the church probably assumed that the vast majority of the saints participating in the “third convention” would return to the church once their leaders were excommunicated.

Strangely, even though the body of the third convention saints ultimately parted ways  with Bautista and his radical views that had in part been responsible for leading them down the path of dissaffection, they did not chose to reunite with the mother church. They remained separated from the main church.

Interestingly, the members of the third convention considered themselves to be doctrinally orthodox despite having some differing interpretations of scripture, and they simply organized their own priesthood auxiliaries and conducted their own Sunday schools and sacrament meetings just as they had been taught.

They continued to bless infants, baptize children and ordain men to the priesthood. They even sent out missionaries.

For them, it was business as usual.

During their estrangement from the mother church they constructed six new meeting houses in accordance with LDS custom and dedicated them to the Lord despite their estrangement from the main body of the church.

The bad feelings and the schism remained while this amazing and united group of saints held a separate but parallel existence to the maim church for ten years!

Finally the church leadership called a very remarkable man by the name of Arwell L. Pierce to be the president of the Mexican Mission. He was tasked with the responsibility to broker a reuniting of the dissaffected third convention saints and to “bring them back into a harmonious relationship with each other and with the [mainstream] Church

arwell

A Process of Healing

Pierce was a very shrewd businessman, a skilled negotiator and master psychologist who understood how to read people and make deals. He and his associates used the “good cop, bad cop” routine on the Mexican dissenters to eventually get them to see the advantages of reuniting with the mother church. According to a popular paper written by an LDS author-

Arwell Pierce was a month short of being sixty years old when he entered mexico as mission president. Given his age some wondered if he would be up to the task of holding the church together in mexico, a challenge that had taxed a series of mission presidents beyond their capabilities.

Actually Pierces age may have worked in his favor. The problems in mexico called for someone with patience, wisdom, insight, and compassion; characteristics frequently associated with maturity and possessed in good measure by president pierce. He put these attributes and all his other skills to work to try to salvage the church in Mexico. He was an ecclesiastically experienced man, a diplomat,and a politically sensitive leader

Although David O. McKay had been the one who had pushed for extreme measures against the original leaders of the faction, he eventually softened towards those of the third convention that had refused to reunite with the church. His instructions to Pierce are really quite touching-

President David 0 Mckay had told him that ‘we dont have a divided mission we have a big family quarrel’, adding that ‘you are the Abraham Lincoln who must save this union’. Pierce got his inspiration not only from this mandate but also from the saviors sermon on the mount, ‘agree with thine adversary quickly’ (matt 525 3 ne 1225) and other scriptures that he cited often. For example, ‘and unto him that smiteth thee on the one cheek offer also the other and him that taketh away thy cloke forbid not to take thy coat also’ (Luke 6:29) so he persuaded, loved, and gathered in the saints and former saints

There are many issues involved in this historical event that I don’t have time to mention in this post. There are undoubtedly differing views as to how and why a miracle took place, but suffice it to say, president Arwell Pierce was able to play a very significant part in reuniting the third convention saints with the main body of the church.

It is not the purpose of this post to dissect this historical event or to provide all of the details, rather, I want to simply note the fact that President Pierce patiently labored with the third convention  saints and largely built trust and loved them back into the fold using a great deal of patience and diplomacy. By saying that, I don’t want to minimize the tremendous part that was played by the leaders of the third convention who also demonstrated great patience and mercy.

The truth of the matter is that the Mexican saints and their leaders convinced Arwell Pierce that church headquarters had mishandled the situation and that the third convention saints had been justified in what they had done.

The miracle that I spoke of earlier is not limited to the desire on the part of the Mexican saints to rejoin the mother church, I suspect that desire had laid latent in the Mexican Saints from the beginning of the breach. The miracle has to do with the problem of excommunication and re-baptism.

Church policy required the leadership of the third convention saints to be re-baptized into the church and to have all priesthood ordinations, and ordinances redone.

The response of the third convention saints to that proposal was not just “No”, it was “Hell no!”.

In their minds, they had not left the church, the church had left them.

Why should they be re-baptized?

Why should their priesthood and their priesthood ordinances be questioned?

Pierce could see that the last hurdle to overcome would be the necessity for excommunicated leaders to be be re-baptized before they could reunite with the church.

A long chain of other priesthood related events and ordinances would need to be revisited as well if re-baptism was required. A veritable Pandora’s box was being opened.

Pierce realized that hell would freeze over long before the third convention saints acquiesced to those humiliating demands of re-baptism.

Between the time that Pierce had been called to the be the Mission President in Mexico and the time of the mend, President Grant had died and President George Albert Smith became his successor and David O. McKay had become the president of the Quorum of the Twelve.

Under normal circumstances hell would also freeze over long before the church leadership would allow excommunicated members to return to the fold without re-baptism or offer any apology for mishandling the situation. Priesthood protocol required repentance, re-baptism, re-ordination to the priesthood and the redoing of priesthood ordinances.

Upon assessing the stalemate, President Pierce packed up his huge pair of diplomatic brass balls and headed for Salt Lake City.

He was going to conduct the greatest sales pitch of his life.

He was going to convince the first presidency of the church to reinstate the excommunicated Mexican saints back into the church without having to be re-baptized.

Perhaps Arwell Pierces crowning achievement was his initiation of an ecclesiastical review of conventionist leaders excommunications. He persuaded the first presidency to overturn the excommunications thereby nullifying the original disciplinary councils decisions in april 1946. The first presidency changed the excommunications to disfellowshipment.

Disfellowshipment a less severe sanction that made the conventionists reentry into the church much easier. This decision was no doubt influenced by the first presidencys view that the churchs trouble in mexico seemed more like a family quarrel than apostasy.

That decision on the part of the First Presidency may will be the closest thing to an apology that the a First Presidency of the church has ever proffered in modern times. (As emphasized in recent years, it is a policy of the First Presidency to NEVER apologize for anything. We can only assume that policy is somehow reflected in the principles of the gospel but I am not sure how.)

One of the things that becomes obvious as this historic event is analyzed is the fact that excommunication is not a valid priesthood procedure for negating past ordinances of salvation or for quenching any spiritual gifts enjoyed by the victim. 

Excommunication is not a determination that is categorically ratified by God or the Holy Ghost, it is merely a unified decision made by mortal man or council of men to withdraw the hand of fellowship from someone they are censuring.

One of the most horrid and heretical practices of modern Mormonism is to teach that all spiritual blessings are removed through excommunication.

third convention.png

President Pierce was able to navigate around the sticky issue of excommunication.

Nothing but diplomacy was used by the leadership of the church in this delicate transition.

Even those baptized into the church by the third convention saints during the previous ten years were simply encouraged to get their baptisms “ratified” rather than being told that they their baptisms had not counted. This preserved their dignidad.

Can Lessons be Learned?

I believe there are some valuable lessons to be learned from the reunification of the third convention saints and they bring to mind some interesting what if’s.

What if the current First Presidency of the LDS church were to have their hearts softened towards members and ex-members of the church who do not agree on all points of official doctrine?

What if they considered them to be part of a family squabble instead of evil apostates?

What if they were to extend hospitality and the liberal hand of fellowship to everyone that wants to worship with the saints regardless of how many of the official truth claims of the church they agree with.

What if they created a new policy to reclassify all previous doctrinally related excommunications as disfellowships that had now expired with everyone involved being invited back into full fellowship. To do so would not be doing anything significantly different than what was done in the case of the excommunicated leaders of the third convention saints.

Being somewhat of a scriptural literalist and an otherwise black and white personality, I will be the first to admit that, in my opinion,  the true doctrine of Christ and the fulness of the Gospel require a rigid allegiance to some foundational tenets, with little room for doctrinal gray area. However, we are clearly not living during a time when the fulness of the gospel is on the earth. We are living during the dispensation of the Gospel of Abraham. In short, we all sin cheaply during a time of hidden darkness, while telestial and terrestrial law secretly governs the church.

Things have changed during the last 180 years.

The truth of the matter is that many of the truth claims of the modern condemned church are simply not true.

Church authorities are not able to provide credible answers to perplexing problems having to do with doctrine and church history.

Because of this, people are justified in having questions and concerns.

Perhaps it is time for Church authorities to quit taking themselves quite so seriously and lighten up a little bit.

They need to repent and publicly confess that they are not literally acting as prophets seers and revelators. They simply preside over a faction of modern Israel. Getting rid of prophet worship and other forms of idolatry is of paramount importance.

They need to acknowledge that the restored church has long since lost its way and become condemned before the Lord. One of the first things that needs to be done is to get rid of the Satanic Masonic Temple covenant with hell.

Following that, the church needs to refocus on the true doctrine of Christ as taught in the scriptures. They need to recommit to their commission to take the knowledge of the gospel to the nations of the world.

They need to stop using God’s holy word as part of a bait and switch scheme to get people involved in latter day false prophet worship.

They should start extending mercy to those that experience a faith crisis and find themselves no longer able to blindly accept all of the doctrines and truth claims of the church.

By so doing, perhaps they would be creating fewer lifelong enemies and critics that extend precious little mercy to them and the church in return.

Does the Church Make Converts Into a Two Fold Child of Hell?

When Jesus was chastising the scribes and pharisees for their hypocrisy, he noted that they did missionary work that made their converts a twofold child of hell like unto themselves.

12 Woe unto you, Scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For ye compass sea and land to make one proselyte; and when he is made, ye make him two-fold more the child of hell than he was before, like unto yourselves. JST 23:12

Note that the initial conversion is not the problem, it is AFTER the proselyte becomes converted where the problem arises.

I would suggest that it is what the hypocrites teach their new converts AFTER their conversion that makes them a twofold child of hell like unto the hypocrites.

Is this not what is taking place in the church today?

We send missionaries into the world presenting the Book of Mormon to investigators. The book of Mormon contains the fulness of the Gospel and the true doctrine of Christ.

As investigators read it, they feel the power of the Holy Ghost bearing witness of the truth. Because of this, they join the church and receive the other scriptures brought forth through the prophet Joseph Smith.

They naively assume that the institution that brought the good news to them will properly guide them into further light and knowledge.

Once baptized, the new converts are taught another gospel than that one taught in the Book of Mormon.

New converts are introduced to a satanic temple ritual that cannot be found anywhere in the Book of Mormon or the Doctrine and Covenants or the Inspired Version of the Bible that had been brought forth by the Prophet Joseph Smith.

New converts are taught to revere and blindly follow the leaders of church as prophets and seers even though the scriptures brought forth by Joseph Smith clearly teach that false seers and guides are to be discarded-

40 Therefore, if thy hand offend thee, cut it off; or if thy brother offend thee and confess not and forsake not, he shall be cut off. It is better for thee to enter into life maimed, than having two hands, to go into hell.
41 For it is better for thee to enter into life without thy brother, than for thee and thy brother to be cast into hell; into the fire that never shall be quenched, where their worm dieth not, and the fire is not quenched.
42 And again, if thy foot offend thee, cut it off; for he that is thy standard, by whom thou walkest, if he become a transgressor, he shall be cut off.
43 It is better for thee, to enter halt into life, than having two feet to be cast into hell; into the fire that never shall be quenched.
44 Therefore, let every man stand or fall, by himself, and not for another; or not trusting another.
45 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.
46 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.
47 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. JST Mark 9:40-48

How sinister it is to use the holy word of God to convert people and then use the credibility of those scriptures to lure the unsuspecting convert into a covenant with hell, a gospel of dead works, and false prophet worship?

But enough with such harsh realities.

What if the modern corporate church were to repent and stop making false truth claims and stop making their converts a two fold child of hell?

What if the church were to sponsor an “If you cannot accept our doctrine accept our hospitality” convention followed by a huge banquet? This humongous feast cold rightly be financed as a missionary endevour from missionary funds. I think the Lord would see it as a more justified investment than a mall.

What if the high level apologists and authorities of the LDS church joined in with the local bishops to extend a heart-felt invitation to all of the antagonists to come to this friendship gathering? Imagine the surprise on the faces of all of the folks that they have entered into heated debates with harsh words over the years.

Imagine what it would look like to see high level church apologists and authorities supping with high level critics and antagonists of the church. Imagine these people exchanging niceties and sincerely asking each other about their health and other aspects of  their personal lives and how their children and grand children are doing. Perhaps the conversations would begin to incorporate discussions on parts of the scriptures that they are in agreement on rather than on the difficult issues that have divided them.

Antagonists come in many flavors. You have everything from angry atheists that have totally lost faith in Christ, to those that simply want to get back to the pure fundamentals of Mormonism. Some antagonists have never been Mormons while others have been excommunicated. Some have been closet questioners who will love to come out and get a breath of fresh air.

All of them have one thing in common. They are all children of God who deeply care about searching out the truth the best they can.

Can you see folks like Ed Decker, Sandra Tanner, John Dehlin, Jeremy Runnells, Grant Palmer and Rock Waterman sitting at a table with people like Dan Peterson, William Hamblin, Louis Midgely, Dallin Oaks and Jeff Holland, laughing and sharing stories with each other while asking for the butter to be passed?

Readers of this blog may find this post to be confusing because they know that I have no interest in reuniting to membership or fellowship with the mother church. But I am not throwing out these what ifs for my benefit. I am throwing them out in behalf of those with doubts that would like to remain in the church and for those with doubts that would like to be treated with dignity instead of scorn.

I have noticed that the vast majority of people being pushed out of the church because of a faith crisis are loosing faith in Christ and becoming atheists and agnostics.

This is heartbreaking.

It causes me to wonder if these people would not be better off continuing in the fellowship of the saints on their own terms, while only believing as much as they can.

I believe the increasing flow of Mormons who are leaving and becoming atheists are fulfilling the prophecy in JST 2 Thessalonians 2:2-3, 7-9

Satan will cause a falling away or apostasy before the Lord returns. That ye be not soon shaken in mind, or be troubled by letter, except ye receive it from us; neither by spirit, nor by word, as that the day of Christ is at hand. Let no man deceive you by any means; for there shall come a falling away first…Yea, the Lord, even Jesus, whose coming is not until after there cometh a falling away, by the working of Satan with all power, and signs and lying wonders..

Are we not seeing an increasing flow of God’s people Israel who are leaving the faith?

Is this not a fulfillment of prophecy that the return of the Lord back into the vineyard is near?

What are the brethren doing to stop the hemorrhaging that is taking place?

If I am a general authority and I honestly believe that I am going to be held accountable in my stewardship for how many sheep are lost, I think I would do everything in my power to find ways to keep people in the church, regardless of how much of the doctrine they can believe.

I would allow people the right to believe however they can and as much or as little as they can. I would want to provide a safe community for them and their families, not expel them from the fold.

Yes I realize that there needs to be rules of engagement that need to be followed in return for the privilege of fellowship.

The church does not need to allow angry critics to use the church as a platform to vent and pontificate their criticisms. Those that choose to continue participating despite their unanswered questions and unbelief need to be respectful of the community and keep any negative thoughts to themselves while participating in community meetings and classes and functions.

Those that choose to not participate and still take a high profile position against the church need to be treated with the same dignity and respect as the sheep that the church would be reclaiming back into fellowship. Everyone has a right to their opinion and they have a right to share it.

Many who are struggling to believe will not want to participate and that is fine, but for those that still want a safe community of faith for themselves and their kids, the option might be taken. In an ever increasingly dark world there might be something of value in a community that teaches morals and provides a social platform for interacting with people who generally desire to promote Christ-like teachings and attributes.

The truth is that the scenario I have just described already exists in the church to a lesser degree and it works well. There are many many many active and semi-active Mormons that don’t buy what the church is selling as truth claims but they keep it to themselves and quietly participate to whatever degree they choose.

These people are left alone because they don’t rock the boat.

Yes, they are secretly referred to or implied to be “luke warm” , in the ward council meetings but that needs to also change. Spiritual class distinction within the church needs to be eliminated.

The fact that some people choose to speak freely about their criticisms and doubts outside of church and even to ask some hard questions during gospel doctrine class is no reason for the church to proactively conduct witch hunts to expel these people as if they are some kind of cancer that will destroy the church. If the modern church needs to fear and tremble about anything, it is the truth.

The church needs to quit being fearful and threatened by people who have questions and concerns. They need to embrace diversity of thought to whatever extent that they are unable to provide real answers to real concerns.

The truth is that a critic that attends church and enjoys fellowship and friendship with the saints and is left unmolested for having differing views will do much less damage to the church than the critic who has been publicly humiliated and cast out of the fold.

It is no longer possible to prevent true believing members from finding out about difficult issues any longer. It is going to happen with increasing momentum from here on out no matter how hard you attempt to expel unbelievers.

Would I come to such a banquet if invited?

Sure.

Why not.

I seldom turn down a free meal.

I would love to get to know some of the folks I have had conversations with online. I love them for their passion and I respect their right to believe how they want.

Would I return to church?

No.

But there there are probably many that would.

Ultimately, perhaps fewer sheep would be lost to atheism.

 

[some of the content regarding the Arwell Pierce story was taken from an article written by F. Lamond Tullis contained in the scholarsarchive link at byu found here It has been sanitized with regard to some historical issues but has some very interesting information in it.

I want to thank my sweet wife for taking the first draft of this post and mercilessly destroying it and causing me to rethink some of the propositions presented.]

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


The Stone of Stumbling – Stumbling Stone Prophecy

April 11, 2017

 

There is a remarkable prophetic narrative that shows up in bits and pieces in multiple ancient passages of scripture.

The primary passages foundational to the narrative use keywords such as a “stone of stumbling“, “stumblingstone“, “chief corner stone“, “cornerstone” “corner stone”, “stumble in judgement” and “rock of offense“.

Those main keywords are found in Psalm 118 and Isaiah 8:14 (2 Nephi 18:14) and Isaiah 28.

The snippets in Psalms 118 and Isaiah 8, have keywords and/or narrative that point to the greatly misunderstood and misinterpreted narrative which is in Isaiah 28. 

Isaiah 28 provides the most exhaustive detail and cohesive story-line pertaining to this general prophetic narrative.

Additionally, there is a wealth of supporting information in countless other prophecy threads throughout the scriptures that relate to and help provide additional context and chronological order to the general story-line. I have provided these additional supporting passages in previous blogs, the  secret history youtube presentations, and my book

I suspect few, if any faithful LDS scholars and historians would understand the narrative or agree with me on the historical time, place, and setting that the narrative in Isaiah 28 takes place because they have a huge conflict of interest. They are invested in a history that justifies their own religious beliefs and the traditions of their pioneer forefathers.

I would submit that the literal fulfillment of the narrative in Isaiah 28 takes place during Joseph Smith’s 15 year ministry and the LDS restoration movment that took place in New York, Kirtland, Jackson County, Far West and Nauvoo.

The primary interpretation of Isaiah 28 is speaking about a servant of Christ that transgresses and becomes a stumblingstone to the first generations of the restoration saints and their descendants. Nevertheless, a shadow fulfillment of the Isaiah 28 narrative also takes place and the “chief corner stone” part of the narrative that is rejected by the builders is clearly referring to Christ in that fulfillment.

Summarizing the Story-line of Isaiah 28

The literal fulfillment of Isaiah 28 begins with a rebuke to the “drunkards of Ephraim” who are characterized as the “Crown of Pride” and as the “hasty fruit that is harvested prematurely before it is fully ripe. (Baptism of water is of little avail if the baptism of fire and the Holy Ghost does not occur and endure.) 

God notifies us in the narrative that he has a mighty and strong servant who will show forth great power during the appointed time of the final restoration. He and his fellows will “sit in judgment” and be a “strength to them that turn the battle to the gate” when the Lord does “his work, his strange work and bring[s] to pass his strange act“. At this time the Lord shall “rise up” and “be wroth” like he did anciently in mount Perazim.

The narrative informs us that prior to the time of the final restoration and strange act,  the servant lays the “foundation”. Following that, a “spirit of deep sleep” is poured out upon the saints and they reject the fulness of the teachings, priesthood, and covenant established by the prophets and seers.

This transgression by the latter day gentile church covers the eyes of the seer causing him to err in judgment which in turn results in doctrines and practices, including a false covenant with death and hell, that causes a portion of the saints and their posterity to further stumble.

Nevertheless, the narrative informs us that before he stumbles, he establishes the truth and he “lays the foundation” (See Isaiah 28:16 and compare with D&C 1:30, 18:4-5, 21:2, 48:6, 58:7, 78:11-13, ) , he “binds up the testimony” (Isaiah 8:16 compare Section 76:22, also D&C 88:84, 133:72) and he “seals the law” (Isaiah 8:18 compare Section 42, also D&C 88:84, 133:72). It appears from modern revelation he did this during his first ministry to those saints and will do it again to those living in this generation when he returns during the time of the third and fourth generation (or the third watch) to “repair the breach” (Isaiah 58:12).

According to this ancient prophetic narrative, the preliminary work of the mighty and strong servant results in God’s people being taught “line upon line“, “precept upon precept” and yet the word of the Lord is ultimately given “that they might go, and fall backward, and be broken, and snared, and taken“.

The false satanic covenant will be disannulled and the agreement with hell shall not stand; when the overflowing scourge shall pass through, then the deceived shall be trodden down by it

Isaiah 8:17 informs us that after the saints stumble, fall, become broken, snared and taken, the Lord hides his face from the House of Jacob.

Those that understand this and patiently “wait” upon the Lord without making “haste” (a hasty decision to follow someone who has not been ordained to be a prophet and revelator to the church, per Section 43) , will be blessed.

Peter and Paul both Summarize and Amalgamate the Text

Both Peter and Paul were quite familiar with this prophetic thread about the stone of stumbling – stumbling stone and both made mention of it in their writings to the New Testament saints.

Of all of the prophecies from the Old Testament in general, and from Isaiah specifically, this prophetic narrative was among the predominant ones in their minds.

Interestingly, they each quote from this narrative beginning with a snippet from Isaiah 28:16 yet they both interject very significant keywords not found in the entire Isaiah 28 narrative.

They are interjecting keywords from the other related passages creating an amalgamated prophetic text.

It is interesting that the two renditions of the quote by these two apostles differ significantly from each other!

We will review these quotes from Peter and Paul later in this post.

Dual Fulfillment of Prophecy

One of the great ah-ha’s that I had many years ago about prophecy is in realizing that virtually all prophecies have at least two fulfillments. Usually one is a literal fulfillment and the other is a shadow fulfillment.

Christ informs us in the Book of Mormon that Isaiah prophesied of things that would happen to the House of Israel and ALSO to the Gentiles.

He then informs us that all of the things that happened to Israel are typological of what would eventually happen to the Gentiles in the latter days.

1 And now, behold, I say unto you, that ye ought to search these things. Yea, a commandment I give unto you that ye search these things diligently; for great are the words of Isaiah.
2 For surely he spake as touching all things concerning my people which are of the house of Israel; therefore it must needs be that he must speak also to the Gentiles.
3 And all things that he spake have been and shall be, even according to the words which he spake. 3rd Nephi 23:1-3

Hence, the fact that a servant of God that causes people to stumble is placed two separate times by God in religious history, once to Israel during Christ’s ministry, and again to the Gentiles during Joseph Smith’s ministry, should not be surprising to us.

With this understanding, let us compare the quotes from ancient prophecy that these two New Testament apostles made.

Peter’s Words
1st Peter 2:6
Paul’s Words
Romans 9:30-33
5 Ye also, as lively stones, are built up a spiritual house, an holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices, acceptable to God by Jesus Christ.

6 Wherefore also it is contained in the scripture, Behold, I lay in Sion a chief corner stone, elect, precious: and he that believeth on him shall not be confounded.

7 Unto you therefore which believe he is precious: but unto them which be disobedient, the stone which the builders disallowed, the same is made the head of the corner,

8 And a stone of stumbling, and a rock of offence, even to them which stumble at the word, being disobedient: whereunto also they were appointed.

9 But ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people; that ye should shew forth the praises of him who hath called you out of darkness into his marvellous light:

30 What shall we say then? That the Gentiles, which followed not after righteousness, have attained to righteousness, even the righteousness which is of faith.

31 But Israel, which followed after the law of righteousness, hath not attained to the law of righteousness.

32 Wherefore? Because they sought it not by faith, but as it were by the works of the law. For they stumbled at that stumblingstone;

33 As it is written, Behold, I [Jesus Christ] lay in Sion a stumblingstone and rock of offence: and whosoever believeth on him shall not be ashamed.

I would suggest that Peter’s rendition of the ancient narrative is identifying the servant who is a stone of stumbling and a rock of offense as Jesus Christ, while Paul’s rendition is identifying a stumblingstone servant in the narrative as the end times servant of Christ, even Joseph Smith.

Compare the two snippets from Peter and Paul’s quotes that begin with the following phrase taken from Isaiah 28;16; “BEHOLD I LAY IN ZION”

chief corner stone

No other passage in ancient scripture contains the phrase, “BEHOLD I LAY IN ZION”

Clearly both New Testament apostles are referencing the narrative in Isaiah 28.

However, there are some radical changes in text that are made by both Peter and Paul.

Remarkably, Peter inserts the term “chief corner stone” which is not in the Isaiah 28 text. Peter seems to be taking a derivative of a keyword taken from the narrative in Psalms 118:22.

The term “head corner stone” from Psalms 118:22 is synonymous with “chief corner stone“.

Paul’s quote also inserts keywords that do not show up in Isaiah 28. He is merging the narrative in Isaiah 8:14 (and also documented in 2nd Nephi 18:24) with the narrative in Isaiah 28.

Peter’s interpretation has God the Father speaking and declaring that he has placed his son Jesus Christ as the chief corner stone that is a sure foundation.

Yet Peter’s commentary notes that Christ’s words of truth will be a stumblingstone for many.

the father

 

the son 2

 

Peter’s quote and narrative is consistent with the point he is making that Christ became the chief cornerstone when the New Covenant was established in the meridian of time, yet the Jews rejected him.

Contextually,  Peter seems to be interpreting the passage to be saying

Behold, I [God the Father] lay in Sion a Chief Cornerstone [Jesus Christ] … and he that believeth on him shall not be confounded. 1 Peter 2:6

Conversely, the interpretive inflection of Paul’s prophetic quotation has Jesus Christ as the voice in the narrative declaring that he, Christ, is the one who lays the stumblingstone servant in Zion.

Instead of the stone being a chief corner stone that is a “sure foundation”, Paul refers to his servant as the stumblingstone!

the son

joseph smith

 

Jesus Christ is the Chief Corner Stone

We are informed in the Joseph Smith Translation of the Bible that Christ had identified himself to the Jewish leaders as the head (chief) corner stone

Verily, I say unto you, I am the stone, and those wicked ones reject me.
I am the head of the corner. These Jews shall fall upon me, and shall be broken. JST Matthew 21: 51-52

Christ was making reference to and paraphrasing the following passage in Psalms 118:22

The stone which the builders refused is become the head stone of the corner.

We learn from the Joseph Smith Translation that Christ had warned the wicked Jewish leaders in a parable that He was the head corner stone and they were rejecting him. Because of this, the kingdom would be taken from among them.

40 When the lord therefore of the vineyard cometh, what will he do unto those husbandmen?

41 They say unto him, He will miserably destroy those wicked men, and will let out his vineyard unto other husbandmen, which shall render him the fruits in their seasons.

42 Jesus saith unto them, Did ye never read in the scriptures, The stone which the builders rejected, the same is become the head of the corner: this is the Lord’s doing, and it is marvellous in our eyes?

43 Therefore say I unto you, The kingdom of God shall be taken from you, and given to a nation bringing forth the fruits thereof.

44 And whosoever shall fall on this stone shall be broken: but on whomsoever it shall fall, it will grind him to powder.

Paul also made clear to the Ephesians that Christ is the “chief corner stone” (Ephesians 2:20)

Nevertheless, in Romans 9, Paul seems to be offering a more literal interpretation of the original narrative in Isaiah 28 which informs us that the one who is mighty and strong and his companions “stumble in judgment”  causing God’s people who had been taught “line upon line and precept upon precept”to “fall backward, and be broken, and snared, and taken”.

Behold I [Jesus Christ] lay in Sion a stumblingstone [Joseph Smith] and rock of offence: and whosoever believeth on him shall not be ashamed. Romans 9:33

 

Peter and Paul are Paraphrasing the Same Ancient Texts

The differences in the passages quoted by Peter and Paul are quite fascinating and revealing.

In my opinion, Peter and Paul are quoting from the same ancient scriptural narratives in Isaiah 28 and other related passages yet providing different interpretations based on different fulfillments of the prophecy.

Peter is putting the focus on Christ as the chief cornerstone that is the sure foundation.

Paul is putting the focus on the end times servant who becomes a stumblingstone after testifying of Christ as the chief cornerstone.

Peter’s Words
1st Peter 2:6
Paul’s Words
Romans 9:30-33
Behold, I lay in Sion a chief corner stone, elect, precious: and he that believeth on him shall not be confounded. 33 Behold, I lay in Sion a stumblingstone and rock of offence: and whosoever believeth on him shall not be ashamed.

Peter is speaking of Christ, the “corner stone” who can be categorically trusted. Those that trust in him will not be confounded. He is amalgamating keywords from Isaiah 28:16 as well as Psalms 118.

Psalms 118 Isaiah 28:16
22 The stone which the builders refused is become the head stone of the corner. Therefore thus saith the Lord God, Behold, I lay in Zion for a foundation a stone, a tried stone, a precious corner stone, a sure foundation: he that believeth shall not make haste.

Obviously, Christ’s earthly visit in the meridian of time was to Jerusalem not Zion.

That presents a problem for those taking Peter’s narrative to be the literal fulfillment of the original Old Testament text from Isaiah 28.

Nevertheless, I would suggest that we have the third watch coming up in which the Son of God will be making a mysterious visit to his vineyard. Because of that, the contextual inflection of the passage given by Peter could still be literally fulfilled when Christ visits the inhabitants of Zion at some time in the future.

Modern revelation informs us that there will be a gathering to Zion of both wheat and tares and that the false apostles will be exposed:

38 For it shall come to pass that the inhabitants of Zion shall judge all things pertaining to Zion.

39 And liars and hypocrites shall be proved by them, and they who are not apostles and prophets shall be known. 

Paul is amalgamating passages as well. He takes the “I lay in Zion for a foundation a stone” and “corner stone” theme from Isaiah 28:16 and merges it with the stumblingstone and rock of offense keywords in Isaiah 8:14 (2 Nephi 18:14).

Isaiah 28:16 Isaiah 8:
16 ¶ Therefore thus saith the Lord God, Behold, I lay in Zion for a foundation a stone, a tried stone, a precious corner stone, a sure foundation: he that believeth shall not make haste. 13 Sanctify the Lord of hosts himself; and let him be your fear, and let him be your dread.
14 And he shall be for a sanctuary; but for a stone of stumbling and for a rock of offence to both the houses of Israel, for a gin and for a snare to the inhabitants of Jerusalem.
15 And many among them shall stumble, and fall, and be broken, and be snared, and be taken.

Peter and Paul are using the same general prophetic narrative but speaking about two separate and distinct fulfillments as well as two different and distinct servants.

Peter is very possibly speaking to Jewish converts while putting the prophetic inflection on Christ who came to the Jews and then later sent the gospel to the gentiles through his apostles..

Paul referred to himself as the apostle to the Gentiles and appears to be directing his remarks to gentile converts. Paul puts the prophetic inflection on the end times servant that first takes the gospel to the Gentiles and then sends the knowledge of the fulness of the gospel to the Jews through the latter day quorum of the twelve apostles.

Does the variation and inconsistency between the quote of Peter and the quote from Paul  from the same narrative result in a serious problem that challenges the accuracy and consistency of the teachings of the New Testament apostles?

Not at all.

As previously mentioned, prophecies have a dual fulfillment, with one being a literal rendering of the event and the other being a shadow rendering of the event. The details of the shadow fulfillment can differ significantly from the literal as long as the general narrative is maintained.

Hence Peter’s rendition with a radical twist in narrative is completely consistent with many other dual fulfillments of prophecy. This is why it is important for students of the scriptures to do an inspired review of the content and context leading up to and following after the primary verses in question.This is so critical when it comes to understanding a prophetic text.

Peter and Paul were both speaking to converts who had accepted Christ as the chief cornerstone of their faith while noting the “disobedient” who had stumbled at the words of life uttered by Christ. The stumblingstone servant brings forth the words of Christ before stumbling.

The disobedient stumble because they are so indoctrinated in the letter of the law that they can not see the fulfillment of prophecy when Christ emerged and proclaimed himself to be the chief corner stone. (Section 90 states that there are 2 ways that we sin, either through disobedience or through the false traditions of our fathers.)

Literal Fulfillment verses Shadow Fulfillment

Paul chose to stick with the more literal text from Isaiah 28.

He was addressing the same general theme directed at the New Testament saints living at that time and  yet he chose to use the literal end times narrative and associated interpretation found in Isaiah 28 to drive his point home.

Both Peter and Paul were pointing out that the disobedient stumble because they attempted to satisfy the law of righteousness through WORKS instead of by FAITH.

Again, both Peter and Paul were speaking to the elect of God living at that time who had chosen to accomplish righteousness through faith in Christ instead of works in the letter of the law.

Paul was using the literal contextual rendering of Isaiah 28 to prove his point.

Take a closer look at Pauls statement with my clarification insertions. It provides an astounding summation of the detailed narrative in Isaiah 28

33 As it is written, Behold, I [Jesus Christ] lay in Sion a stumblingstone and rock of offence: and whosoever believeth on him shall not be ashamed.

Why would Christ state that those that believe in a transgressing stumblingstone servant shall not be ashamed?

Unless one has a deep understanding of the true history of the Mormonism, the atonement statute prophecy in Leviticus 16, the true biblical profile of Joseph Smith who was to provide an intercessory offering like the one Moses offered for ancient Israel, and the restored gospel, the above summation is a real conundrum that one cannot easily make sense of.

After studying this issue for about 30 years, here are my three takeaways from the above quote from Paul that synthesizes what Isaiah 28 is speaking about

  1. Christ places his servant in Zion
  2. His Servant commits a transgression that becomes a stumblingblock and a rock of offence to the people of God and their posterity.
  3. Those of God’s people who continue to believe in the original testimony of Christ from the servant, as well as the original revelations and teachings that laid the foundation of his ministry, (instead of embracing the transgression or losing faith altogether as a result of the transgression) will not be ashamed when the final restoration and judgement comes. 

Unbe-freakin-lieveable 

How many people became offended and ashamed of their involvement in the LDS restoration when Joseph deviated from his original teachings?

How many Mormons are falling away from belief in Christ an the Book of Mormon today because they are ashamed of controversial information on the Internet about Joseph Smith?

Yet Paul informs us that those that cling on to the foundational truths brought forth through Joseph Smith despite the stumblestone that he set up, will not be ashamed.

How I missed that summational interpretive descriptive of the narrative in Isaiah 28 when I wrote the paper on the atonement statute intercession of Joseph Smith is beyond me.

It is possibly the most powerful and concise explanation of what took place between the saints of the restoration and Joseph Smith that I have found.

Nevertheless, the stone of stumbling narrative was not completely lost on me even though I had not yet realized just how literally Paul’s summation of Isaiah 28 applied to Joseph Smith and the saints.

Here is a snippet from my book:

Perhaps one of the most disturbing observations I made as I studied LDS church history was the fact that Joseph Smith’s teachings and actions, following the Kirtland apostacy completely contradicted his teachings and actions during the early, revelatory years in Kirtland.

As much as I love and revere the prophet Joseph Smith, I became troubled at the cognitive dissonance I suffered from when trying to reconcile the two very different Joseph’s that I was seeing portrayed in LDS Church history.

I became quite burdened with the inconsistencies I saw in the later years of Joseph Smith’s life. The deeper I got into the history of the church during my journey, the more of a stumbling block he became to me. From what I could ascertain, I was not alone. He became one of the biggest stumbling blocks for many other Latter-day saints as well.

Just as Christ became a stone of stumbling to the Jews during his earthly ministry, Joseph Smith also became a stone of stumbling to those who studied his life. The Jews stumbled because of Christ’s incomprehensible claim of Godhood.

Joseph Smith became a stone of stumbling to many because of the inconsistencies they saw in his teachings and life. Believers wrested history and forced everything he did to be acceptable because they believed that a true prophet could not lead God’s people astray.

Nevertheless, four generations after the martyrdom, Mormonism is taking it on the chin because the Internet is empowering people to access a mountain of disruptive information not previously available to some Latterday Saints.

Latter day missionary work is now stymied because of the contradictory doctrines Joseph taught and the transgressions that he unabashedly acted out . In the words of one of the revelations warning him about his future, temporary fall from grace, The Lord foretold that he would fall and loose his awareness:

“Behold, thou art Joseph, and thou wast chosen to do the work of the Lord, but because of transgression, if thou art not aware thou wilt fall.” D&C 3:9

Why Did Joseph Temporarily Transgress and Fall?

As you can see from the above snippet from my book, I understood Joseph’s role as a stumbling block. But  had not noticed Paul’s amazing summation of the Isaiah 28 narrative pointing to what would eventually take place in the LDS restoration movement.

Thanks to the Joseph Smith Translation and Book of Mormon versions of Isaiah 29:9-10, we are told why Joseph fell.

It was part of his calling as an intercessor.

2nd Nephi 27:4-5

For behold, all ye that doeth iniquity, stay yourselves and wonder, for ye shall cry out, and cry; yea, ye shall be drunken but not with wine, ye shall stagger but not with strong drink.

For behold, the Lord hath poured out upon you the spirit of deep sleep. For behold, ye have closed your eyes, and ye have rejected the prophets; and your rulers, and the seers hath he covered because of your iniquity. 

 

JST Isaiah 29:9-10

For behold, all ye that do iniquity, stay yourselves and wonder; for ye shall cry out and cry; yea, ye shall be drunken, but not with wine; ye shall stagger, but not with strong drink.

For behold, the Lord hath poured out upon you the spirit of deep sleep. For behold, ye have closed your eyes, and ye have rejected the prophets and your rulers; and the seers hath he covered because of your iniquities.

 

This is why Paul notes that whosoever believes in the testimony of the stumblingstone servant, despite his transgression, “shall not be ashamed”

Dissecting Isaiah 28

A close reading of Isaiah 28 confirms that Paul’s concise summary of Isaiah 28 is consistent with the narrative. As we read Isaiah 28, we get a synopsis of the biblical profile of Joseph Smith and his prophetic calling. It provides yet another witness that the restored church fled back into the wilderness as quickly as they had come out of it.

The prophetic narrative in Isaiah 28 does a better job of depicting what happened to the saints of the restoration than all of the books by LDS historians put together.

Isaiah 28 begins by rebuking the “drunkards of Ephraim“, referring to the believing gentile converts to the church in Kirtland. They are characterized as the “Crown of Pride” and as the “hasty fruit that is harvested prematurely before  becoming fully ripe. 

He then speaks of the ultimate majesty and triumph of the Lord’s servant in the glory that he will have when the marvelous work goes forth in the earth:

Behold, the Lord has a mighty and strong one which as a tempest of hail and a destroying storm, as a flood of mighty waters overflowing, shall cast down to the earth with the hand….

It is noteworthy that the Lord begins this amazing narrative by depicting the Lord’s servant in his ultimate victorious calling which is mentioned in modern revelation using the exact same keywords “mighty and strong”

7 And it shall come to pass that I, the Lord God, will send one mighty and strong, holding the scepter of power in his hand, clothed with light for a covering, whose mouth shall utter words, eternal words; while his bowels shall be a fountain of truth, to set in order the house of God, and to arrange by blot the inheritances of the saints whose names are found, and the names of their fathers, and of their children, enrolled in the book of the law of God; Doctrine and Covenants 85:7

Nevertheless, the narrative in Isaiah quickly informs us that this amazing servant who will ultimately be successful in commanding the elements, subduing God’s enemies, gathering the saints and setting the house of God in order, first errs in judgment- 

this mighty and strong one and his brethren-

also have erred” and “are out of the way”

“they err in vision, they stumble in judgment”

“for all tables are full of vomit and filthiness, so that there is no place clean” 

It is remarkable that modern revelation notes that Joseph and his fellows erred and that their errs would be made known.

Behold, I am God and have spoken it; these commandments are of me, and were given unto my servants in their weakness, after the manner of their language, that they might come to understanding.

And inasmuch as they erred it might be made known;

And inasmuch as they sought wisdom they might be instructed;

And inasmuch as they sinned they might be chastened, that they might repent; D&C 1:24-27

The Internet and many books on LDS church history are abuzz about the errs of Joseph Smith. The embracing of Masonry, secret practice of polygamy and the King Follett Sermon continue to haunt the memory of Joseph Smith’s ministry and cause people to doubt the validity of the LDS restoration movement. However the narrative in Isaiah 28 provides the context. Further, ancient prophecy speaks about the chastisement of Joseph Smith that results in his death while the mercy of God remains upon the intercessory servant.

I will be his father, and he shall be my son. If he commit iniquity, I will chasten him with the rod of men, and with the stripes of the children of men:

But my mercy shall not depart away from him, as I took it from Saul, whom I put away before thee. 2 Samuel 7:14

Line Upon Line, Precept Upon Precept

In this excruciatingly painful and nearly unbelieveable narrative in Isaiah 28 the Lord exclaims

“Whom shall he teach knowledge? and whom shall he make to understand doctrine? them that are weaned from the milk, and drawn from the breasts.

10 For precept must be upon precept, precept upon precept; line upon line, line upon line; here a little, and there a little:

 

That describes exactly what happened during the early Kirtland years. The Lord used Joseph Smith to bring forth the Book of Mormon and the revelations that teach the saints about the true doctrine of Christ and the fulness of the gospel line upon line .

In Section 98:12 the Lord warns the saints that he will try and prove them through this process of teaching them “line upon line” and “precept upon precept”

11 And I give unto you a commandment, that ye shall forsake all evil and cleave unto all good, that ye shall live by every word which proceedeth forth out of the mouth of God.

12 For he will give unto the faithful line upon line, precept upon precept; and I will try you and prove you herewith.

13 And whoso layeth down his life in my cause, for my name’s sake, shall find it again, even life eternal.

14 Therefore, be not afraid of your enemies, for I have decreed in my heart, saith the Lord, that I will prove you in all things, whether you will abide in my covenant, even unto death, that you may be found worthy.
15 For if ye will not abide in my covenant ye are not worthy of me.

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, 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. D&C 98

As you can see, teaching line upon line and precept upon precept is the refiners fire upon which God proves his people to see if they will live by every word that he gives them. That is how they abide in the New Covenant.

“The new covenant, even the Book of Mormon and the former commandments”

As you can see from the above passage in section 98, the saints of the restoration had clearly entered into covenant with the Lord. But they eventually broke it.

Joseph will return to repair the breach-

12 And they that shall be of thee shall build the old waste places: thou shalt raise up the foundations of many generations; and thou shalt be called, The repairer of the breach, The restorer of paths to dwell in. Isaiah 58:12

 I have provided extensive documentation on this topic in previous posts.

There is currently a false prophet in the land who claims that the restoration saints failed to enter into the covenant. They supposedly did this by taking the Book of Mormon and revelations that came through Joseph Smith lightly.

He arrives at this false conclusion by misunderstanding a passage in Section 84 of the Doctrine and Covenants. The New Covenant is not the Book of Mormon and revelations recieved through Joseph Smith. The New Covenant is the baptism of water, fire and the Holy Ghost as contained in the Book of Mormon and the revelations Joseph Smith brought forth.

His solution is to get his followers to enter into covenant by accepting a bastardized version of the scriptures that removes many of the words of Christ while inserting many of his own uninspired and arrogant words.

We see from the above passages from section 98  that the saints had indeed entered into covenant. A serious study of the scriptures reveals that the saints entered into covenant through water baptism followed by consecration.

They eventually broke the covenant they had entered into by not being obedient to the commandments they were given as they were taught line upon line. (We have documented in other posts the fact that the saints of the restoration collectively broke the everlasting covenant see Isaiah 24 and D&C Section 1)

The correct protocol for Baptism as contained in the Book of Mormon and the revelations that had been received is the NEW COVENANT being referred to in Section 84. We have been informed that the NEW COVENANT that makes us NEW CREATURES is the same NEW COVENANT that was had in the beginning by Adam.

The New and Everlasting Covenant was
from the Beginning with Adam

1 Behold, I say unto you that all old covenants have I caused to be done away in this thing; and this is a new and an everlasting covenant, even that which was from the beginning.

2 Wherefore, although a man should be baptized an hundred times it availeth him nothing, for you cannot enter in at the strait gate by the law of Moses, neither by your dead works.

3 For it is because of your dead works that I have caused this last covenant and this church to be built up unto me, even as in days of old.

4 Wherefore, enter ye in at the gate, as I have commanded, and seek not to counsel your God. Amen.

(The above passage proves that the New and Everlasting Covenant is baptism, not the Book of Mormon and the modern revelations.)

50 But God hath made known unto our fathers that all men must repent.

51 And he called upon our father Adam by his own voice, saying: I am God; I made the world, and men before they were in the flesh.

52 And he also said unto him: If thou wilt turn unto me, and hearken unto my voice, and believe, and repent of all thy transgressions, and be baptized, even in water, in the name of mine Only Begotten Son, who is full of grace and truth, which is Jesus Christ, the only name which shall be given under heaven, whereby salvation shall come unto the children of men, ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost, asking all things in his name, and whatsoever ye shall ask, it shall be given you. 64 And it came to pass, when the Lord had spoken with Adam, our father, that Adam cried unto the Lord, and he was caught away by the Spirit of the Lord, and was carried down into the water, and was laid under the water, and was brought forth out of the water.

65 And thus he was baptized, and the Spirit of God descended upon him, and thus he was born of the Spirit, and became quickened in the inner man.

66 And he heard a voice out of heaven, saying: Thou art baptized with fire, and with the Holy Ghost. This is the record of the Father, and the Son, from henceforth and forever;

(The above passage proves that the New Covenant, which was had from the beginning, is the baptism water, fire and the Holy Ghost.)

 

The saving ordinance of water baptism must be ratified by the baptism of fire and the Holy Ghost in order to get into the strait gate and enjoy the abiding counsel of the Holy Spirit. This is always accompanied with or followed by the fruits of the Spirit including speaking in the tongue of angels.

The Isaiah 28 narrative informs us that the refreshing that transforms the carnal nature of man into a new creature of the Holy Ghost and enables a follower of Christ to enter into his rest, was collectively rejected by the saints after entering into covenant.

It is because of their rejection of the baptism of fire and the Holy Ghost that the saints fell after being taught line upon line and precept upon precept. Isaiah continues-

11 For with stammering lips and another tongue will he speak to this people.

12 To whom he said, This is the rest wherewith ye may cause the weary to rest; and this is the refreshing: yet they would not hear.

13 But the word of the Lord was unto them precept upon precept, precept upon precept; line upon line, line upon line; here a little, and there a little; that they might go, and fall backward, and be broken, and snared, and taken.”

The Saints of the Restoration have been “snared and taken”

Clearly, Isaiah 28 informs us that the saints of the restoration fell backwards and were snared and taken. Shortly after they were rejected as a church with their dead, many of them were seduced into a false covenant with Satan.

Satan uses fallen prophets and false prophets to seduce God’s apostate people into entering into a covenant with death and hell.

After becoming condemned and then rejected as a church, the saints were turned over to Satan as had been prophesied through the prophet Joseph Smith during the early years of the restoration. It is largely through the masonic temple endowment that the posterity of many of the saints have become enslaved and had their minds darkened.

According to the Isaiah 28 narrative, these fallen saints and their posterity erroneously think the lies and falsehood that they had replaced the simple gospel of Christ with would protect them from the overflowing scourge .

The ritualistic covenant with death and hell offered by the Satanic masonic endowment would actually feature Satan himself entering into the temple and placing him into a position of authority over the saints.

It would feature him putting the saints under his power if they failed to live every facet of the LAW of the gospel as set forth in the scriptures.

In other words, the saints that entered into this unscriptural covenant willingly put themselves under the law of justice instead of the law of mercy and grace through faith, under the direction of Lucifer.

Interestingly, faith vs the letter of the law was the topic being addressed by Peter and Paul when they quoted from Isaiah 28. Let us continue with the Isaiah 28 narrative-

14 Wherefore hear the word of the Lord, ye scornful men, that rule this people which is in Jerusalem.

15 Because ye have said, We have made a covenant with death, and with hell are we at agreement; when the overflowing scourge shall pass through, it shall not come unto us: for we have made lies our refuge, and under falsehood have we hid ourselves:

However, before the covenant with death and hell had been entered into in Nauvoo, the foundation had already been laid which would enable the Marvelous Work and a Wonder to take place four generations later.

16 ¶ Therefore thus saith the Lord God, Behold, I lay in Zion for a foundation a stone, a tried stone, a precious corner stone, a sure foundation: he that believeth shall not make haste.

What is the tried corner stone that provides the sure foundation?

What does it mean to “make haste“?

I would suggest that the sure foundation is Christ and his atonement. It is referring to entering into the full covenant with Christ through the baptism of water, fire and the Holy Ghost by the proper priesthood authority and then hanging on to the iron rod (that is the word of God) for dear life.

To make haste is to make a hasty decision that is contrary to the sure foundation of Christ and His holy word.

The word of God comes in three forms.

  1. The written word of God in scripture
  2. The spoken word of God through God’s living oracles (when they are on the earth)
  3. The still small voice from the Gift of the Holy Ghost that abides continuously (when it is available through the  fulness of the gospel)

When the fulness is not on the earth, and we are unable to fully enter into the strait gate and enjoy the gift of the Holy Ghost,  each of us must study and search the written word of God and give diligent heed to the light of Christ and the intermittent promptings of the Holy Ghost.

The written word of God contains the pure and simple doctrine of Christ and the fulness of the Gospel as contained in the Book of Mormon and the revelations brought forth through Joseph Smith.

Only those revelations that were publicly accepted and sustained through the law of common consent before the death of Joseph Smith can be considered official scripture that contains the doctrine of Christ and the fulness of the gospel.

The revelations pertaining to Christ and his doctrine and his gospel represent the cornerstone spoken of in scripture. It is the foundation of biblical Christianity and the LDS restoration movement.

Anything more or less that that cornerstone cometh of evil.

The Lord is going to sweep away the refuge of lies that all institutionalized religions have become immersed in as well as the fellowship groups that are led by false prophets.

Those that have made hasty decisions and not held on to the iron rod of Gods written word have been and will be deceived when the true servants return to the vineyard.

Those that are true to the written word of God will be given the opportunity to take the Holy Spirit as their guide as they enter into the strait gate when the light shines forth and the fulness returns to the earth through the properly ordained servants that have been designated in scripture.

Those that are deceived and reject the true servants will be will be trodden down-

17 Judgment also will I lay to the line, and righteousness to the plummet: and the hail shall sweep away the refuge of lies, and the waters shall overflow the hiding place.

18 ¶ And your covenant with death shall be disannulled, and your agreement with hell shall not stand; when the overflowing scourge shall pass through, then ye shall be trodden down by it.

19 From the time that it goeth forth it shall take you: for morning by morning shall it pass over, by day and by night: and it shall be a vexation only to understand the report.

God is about to rise up and do his strange work. Will you be found among those that are patiently waiting for the return of the true servants? Will you have ears to hear or will you make a hasty decision and be deceived by false prophets?

As with all prophecies, these passages in Isaiah have a dual application.

The first fulfillment of a hasty decision that went contrary to the word of God and ended with making a covenant with death and hell took place at the time of the succession controversy in Nauvoo.

This is how many of us inherited the LDS Temple endowment and placed ourselves under covenant with Satan.

Following the martyrdom of Hyrum and Joseph, many of the saints of the restoration violated the commandment and warning in Section 43 and followed after prophets that had not been ordained by God

Another hasty decision that will result in a covenant with death and hell is currently being entered into at this time just prior to the return of the true servants and the final restoration.

It has to do with entering into covenant to accept a bastardize version of the four standard works which rejects the inspired scriptures brought forth by Joseph Smith.

It rejects the official “articles and covenants” of the restored church that were received by revelation jointly through Joseph Smith and Oliver Cowdery, the first and second elder of the restored church. This amazing revelation was sustained and ratified by the saints as containing the saving ordinances of the restored church.

The articles and covenants laid the foundation for how the restored gentile church was to be governed and they were to have preeminence over any ordinance or church governance protocols in the Book of Mormon.

Section 20 was one of the two revelations that were hand copied and sent with the early missionaries of the restoration. It is absolutely foundational to the LDS  restoration movement.

The false scriptures of the false covenant also incorporate the false revelation about the testimony of John which omits or contradicts numerous inspired changes by Joseph Smith.

It also rejects the words of Christ in Section 110 which explains the change in trajectory of the condemned church.

Regarding the time of the succession crisis, the Lord had made it clear that anything more or less than what was contained in the Book of Mormon and the revelations that had been sustained by the common consent of the church, with regard to the doctrine of Christ, cometh of evil.

119 And again, verily I say unto you, let no man pay stock to the quorum of the Nauvoo House unless he shall be a believer in the Book of Mormon, and the revelations I have given unto you, saith the Lord your God;
120 For that which is more or less than this cometh of evil, and shall be attended with cursings and not blessings, saith the Lord your God. Even so. Amen. D&C 124:119-120

We still have the scriptures as they existed at the time the above warning was given. Those that add to or take away from the simple gospel of Christ and the fulness of the Gospel that had been revealed through Joseph Smith will be cursed.

In the above passages from Section 124 the Lord was reiterating what had been said anciently in the Book of Mormon

38 And again I say unto you, ye must repent, and be baptized in my name, and become as a little child, or ye can in nowise inherit the kingdom of God.
39 Verily, verily, I say unto you, that this is my doctrine, and whoso buildeth upon this buildeth upon my rock, and the gates of hell shall not prevail against them.
40 And whoso shall declare more or less than this, and establish it for my doctrine, the same cometh of evil, and is not built upon my rock; but he buildeth upon a sandy foundation, and the gates of hell stand open to receive such when the floods come and the winds beat upon them.

Any decision that went contrary to that counsel would be a hasty decision.

If one will study the succession crisis closely, they will find that the more noble and faithful among the saints would refuse to submit to the ancient temporal kingdom that was being set up by Brigham Young which would ultimately require participants in good standing to put their trust in the “arm of flesh ” by raising the “arm of flesh”.

Those that do this are cursed.

Many hasty decisions were made at the time of the succession crisis.

Some people made the hasty decision of following Brigham and the majority of the Twelve as their spiritual guides.

Some people made the hasty decision of following James Strang and other self proclaimed prophets.

Lots of hasty decisions were made back then that replaced the simple doctrine of Christ and the fulness of the gospel, with fringe groups that used the restoration narrative and scriptures to gain power over people.

Those of us living today at the time when the last great work of restoration is about to take place should be more concerned with not making our own hasty decisions.

There is a great falling away from belief in Christ taking place today which was prophesied in the scriptures.

There is also a great awakening of our awful situation taking place today that was prophesied in scripture.

Many of these people who have awakened to the awful situation that the modern church and our country is in, have associated with splinter groups led by false prophets. These people are making a hasty decision to follow a false prophet that has not been ordained by God to replace Joseph Smith.

When Christ warned of false prophets in the last days, he was not just referring to the myriad of independent space cadets that have randomly emerged over the last four generations, he was referring more specifically to a confederacy of associated false prophets that would arise at the very time that the last great restoration would take place.

In Matthew 24 the Lord was warning us about a specific religious movement built upon the foundation of a false doctrine that teaches that anyone can see the face of the Lord and get the “Second Comforter” even before the servants return with the fulness of the Gospel. This association of false prophets and teachers would have the power of a united group testimony.

What is currently taking place in the land is an ingenious deception crafted by Satan himself and unwittingly carried out by those who do not know the voice of the shepherd in the scriptures.

Things are not going to end well for those that raise their arms in this false covenant that rejects the words of Christ and replaces them with the words of a false prophet. It is a covenant with death and hell.  Temporally speaking it may end in a latter day Masada. More importantly, it will seal you up to Satan as one of his Tares.

If you are involved in such a group you need to repent before it is eternally too late.

You need to study & search, parse & vet, question and challenge the claims of the false prophet and question his  perceived authority. You need to follow the example of those that bitch the varnish off of wood in an effort to get to the truth of the matter because your soul depends upon it.

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[EDITORIAL NOTE: I have spent nine long grueling years trying to explain to people that the fulness was taken from the earth and that the saints of the LDS restoration were rejected as a church with their dead.

Isaiah teaches that the heavens closed and the Lord hid his face from the saints once the fulness was rejected.

Other ancient and modern scriptures attest to the fact that God does turn his face away from his apostate people for a time and turn them over to Satan when they reject the fulness.

In Deuteronomy 31:17 the Lord prophesied that in the latter times he would forsake the latter day saints and hide his face from them.

Then my anger shall be kindled against them in that day, and I will forsake them, and I will hide my face from them

In Nauvoo, he counseled the saints to ponder his sayings while he was near

“And again, verily I say unto you, my friends, 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—”  

God is not always near.

He did hide his face from his people.

Precious few people have believed me.

It is arrogant, prideful human nature to assume that God would never turn his face from our generation or that of our precious pioneer ancestors that suffered so much and were so valiant in the cause. The spiritual gifts that always accompany the true saints have not been the saints since Kirtland.

Even most LDS fringe groups and those who have awakened to the fact that all is not well in Zion typically refuse to accept that the fulness is not somewhere on earth and available to those who sincerely seek it.

The latest false prophet of the latest fringe movement initially bore testimony of the truthfulness of the modern corporate church and its priesthood and ordinances. Eventually he began to realize that there were problems in the church but he refused to believe that the saints had been completely rejected as a church. His contention was that all that needed to be done was to preserve the restoration. 

Although he noted the warning that the church would be rejected if they failed to complete the Nauvoo Temple in his controversial book, He refused to commit one way or the other whether the saints had been rejected by God.

Years later he has finally now taken a stand and declared that the saints had been rejected as a church by the Lord back in Nauvoo. This of course creates a big problem for his ever changing paradigm and associated claims since he originally claimed that the priesthood, saving ordinances and temple endowment of the modern corporate church made possible his bogus Second Comforter experience.

I am raising the warning voice against this false prophet and the covenant he is getting people to enter into.

The saints were rejected as a church back in Nauvoo and the Lord hid his face from the saints of the restoration just as Isaiah testifies.

Happily the Lord informs us that he will once again turn his face towards his people.

In a little wrath I hid my face from thee for a moment; but with everlasting kindness will I have mercy on thee, saith the Lord thy Redeemer. Isaiah 54:8

The true servants will return as prophesied in scripture.
Don’t make a hasty decision. This is the patience of the true saints.


Updated Listing For Those That Prefer to Listen

March 27, 2017

 

For those that prefer to listen than to read, here is a current listing of youtube recordings that we have made.

If the links don’t show up in the email sent to subscribers of this blog, please click here to see a listing of presentations online.

If you have not subscribed to this blog, shame on you!

In the four part series on the Secret History of Mormonism, I speak very slowly like a rather senile old man… Oh, that’s right, I am a senile old man!

Anyway, some people may prefer the slow pace, but if you don’t, a little trick for those that are not familiar with it is to go into settings and speed up the recording. It makes me sound like Alvin of the Chipmunks, but you can get through the information much quicker whilst laughing at me.

 

 

 


The First and Second Anointings: Part One

March 23, 2017

[Editorial Note: The suppositions contained in this post are according to my evolving understanding of the scriptures.

Each person should evaluate the scriptural evidence and be responsible for prayerfully receiving inspired interpretations for themselves.

In this post I am intentionally going to be repetitious because of the strong indoctrination and delusion that needs to be overcome]

“..the yoke shall be destroyed because of the anointing

There is a very important prophecy in Isaiah Chapter 10 that speaks about an end times event. It informs us that the “Assyrian” will be oppressing God’s people and laying a heavy burden upon them at the time that God’s servants return.

The good news in the narrative is that the Lord God of Israel intervenes and stirs up a scourge against the Assyrian.

The scourge will be typological to the slaughter that took place anciently at the rock of Oreb.

That assurance is followed by the observation below that the yoke and  burden shall be taken away from off of God’s elect because of the anointing:

27 And it shall come to pass in that day, that his burden shall be taken away from off thy shoulder, and his yoke from off thy neck, and the yoke shall be destroyed because of the anointing. Isaiah 10

Have you ever wondered what the mystical anointing is that Isaiah speaks about that miraculously takes away the yoke and burden off of God’s people?

The answer can be found in modern revelation by doing a keyword search of yoke AND burden AND anointing.

This search takes us to the dedicatory prayer of the Kirtland Temple in Section 109

During the dedicatory prayer, Joseph Smith and his brethern who were the ordained leaders of the church petitioned the Lord in the Kirtland Temple to take away the grievous burdens and  yoke of affliction and bondage off of their necks by anointing them with power from on high.

It was to be the same anointing that took place anciently on the day of Pentecost:

29 We ask thee, Holy Father, to confound, and astonish, and to bring to shame and confusion, all those who have spread lying reports abroad, over the world, against thy servant or servants, if they will not repent, when the everlasting gospel shall be proclaimed in their ears;

30 And that all their works may be brought to naught, and be swept away by the hail, and by the judgments which thou wilt send upon them in thine anger, that there may be an end to lyings and slanders against thy people.

31 For thou knowest, O Lord, that thy servants have been innocent before thee in bearing record of thy name, for which they have suffered these things.

32 Therefore we plead before thee for a full and complete deliverance from under this yoke;

33 Break it off, O Lord; break it off from the necks of thy servants, by thy power, that we may rise up in the midst of this generation and do thy work.

34 O Jehovah, have mercy upon this people, and as all men sin, forgive the transgressions of thy people, and let them be blotted out forever.

35 Let the anointing of thy ministers be sealed upon them with power from on high.

36 Let it be fulfilled upon them, as upon those on the day of Pentecost; let the gift of tongues be poured out upon thy people, even cloven tongues as of fire, and the interpretation thereof.

37 And let thy house be filled, as with a rushing mighty wind, with thy glory.

As you can see, the anointing that was being petitioned for in the Kirtland Temple was the same anointing that took place in the New Testament at Christ’s baptism and among the new converts to Christianity on the day of Pentecost.

The testimony of John the Baptist was that following Christ’s baptism, he was anointed with the Holy Ghost and with power;

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.
According to Section 109, and it makes possible the rising up of God’s servants to do His work- Acts 10

The petition in Section 109 reveals that the anointing places the testimony of the covenant upon the Lord’s servants, enabling them to seal up the law and prepare the saints for the judgments that will go forth in the approaching day of Calamity.

How Will the Gathering Take Place?

A brief synopsis of how the gathering will take place in the last days is also given in this prophetic dedicatory prayer in the Kirtland Temple-

38 Put upon thy servants the testimony of the covenant, that when they go out and proclaim thy word they may seal up the law, and prepare the hearts of thy saints for all those judgments thou art about to send, in thy wrath, upon the inhabitants of the earth, because of their transgressions, that thy people may not faint in the day of trouble.

39 And whatsoever city thy servants shall enter, and the people of that city receive their testimony, let thy peace and thy salvation be upon that city; that they may gather out of that city the righteous, that they may come forth to Zion, or to her stakes, the places of thine appointment, with songs of everlasting joy;

40 And until this be accomplished, let not thy judgments fall upon that city.

41 And whatsoever city thy servants shall enter, and the people of that city receive not the testimony of thy servants, and thy servants warn them to save themselves from this untoward generation, let it be upon that city according to that which thou hast spoken by the mouths of thy prophets.

42 But deliver thou, O Jehovah, we beseech thee, thy servants from their hands, and cleanse them from their blood.

43 O Lord, we delight not in the destruction of our fellow men; their souls are precious before thee;

44 But thy word must be fulfilled. Help thy servants to say, with thy grace assisting them: Thy will be done, O Lord, and not ours.

45 We know that thou hast spoken by the mouth of thy prophets terrible things concerning the wicked, in the last days—that thou wilt pour out thy judgments, without measure;

46 Therefore, O Lord, deliver thy people from the calamity of the wicked; enable thy servants to seal up the law, and bind up the testimony, that they may be prepared against the day of burning.

47 We ask thee, Holy Father, to remember those who have been driven by the inhabitants of Jackson county, Missouri, from the lands of their inheritance, and break off, O Lord, this yoke of affliction that has been put upon them.

48 Thou knowest, O Lord, that they have been greatly oppressed and afflicted by wicked men; and our hearts flow out with sorrow because of their grievous burdens.

49 O Lord, how long wilt thou suffer this people to bear this affliction, and the cries of their innocent ones to ascend up in thine ears, and their blood come up in testimony before thee, and not make a display of thy testimony in their behalf?

Notice how the above passages include those that were driven out of Jackson County Missouri as having heavy burdens that were put upon them by the wicked.

The petition continues to pray for mercy upon all of the nations of the world and for the rulers of our land who will be ruling at the time that the anointed servants rise up to raise the voice of warning for the last time.

This is why it is so important to be praying for President Trump and his administration.

It petitions the Lord to soften the hearts of the people when the servants go forth from the Kirtland Temple-

54 Have mercy, O Lord, upon all the nations of the earth; have mercy upon the rulers of our land; may those principles, which were so honorably and nobly defended, namely, the Constitution of our land, by our fathers, be established forever.

55 Remember the kings, the princes, the nobles, and the great ones of the earth, and all people, and the churches, all the poor, the needy, and afflicted ones of the earth;

56 That their hearts may be softened when thy servants shall go out from thy house, O Jehovah, to bear testimony of thy name; that their prejudices may give way before the truth, and thy people may obtain favor in the sight of all;

57 That all the ends of the earth may know that we, thy servants, have heard thy voice, and that thou hast sent us;

58 That from among all these, thy servants, the sons of Jacob, may gather out the righteous to build a holy city to thy name, as thou hast commanded them.

59 We ask thee to appoint unto Zion other stakes besides this one which thou hast appointed, that the gathering of thy people may roll on in great power and majesty, that thy work may be cut short in righteousness.

60 Now these words, O Lord, we have spoken before thee, concerning the revelations and commandments which thou hast given unto us, who are identified with the Gentiles.

61 But thou knowest that thou hast a great love for the children of Jacob, who have been scattered upon the mountains for a long time, in a cloudy and dark day.

62 We therefore ask thee to have mercy upon the children of Jacob, that Jerusalem, from this hour, may begin to be redeemed;

63 And the yoke of bondage may begin to be broken off from the house of David;

64 And the children of Judah may begin to return to the lands which thou didst give to Abraham, their father.

65 And cause that the remnants of Jacob, who have been cursed and smitten because of their transgression, be converted from their wild and savage condition to the fulness of the everlasting gospel;

66 That they may lay down their weapons of bloodshed, and cease their rebellions.

67 And may all the scattered remnants of Israel, who have been driven to the ends of the earth, come to a knowledge of the truth, believe in the Messiah, and be redeemed from oppression, and rejoice before thee.

68 O Lord, remember thy servant, Joseph Smith, Jun., and all his afflictions and persecutions—how he has covenanted with Jehovah, and vowed to thee, O Mighty God of Jacob—and the commandments which thou hast given unto him, and that he hath sincerely striven to do thy will.

Clearly, the “yoke” and “burden” and “anointing” mentioned in the above prophetic narrative in Section 109 are the exact same “yoke” and “burden” and “anointing” that is mentioned in the prophecy in Isaiah 10.

It is remarkable how the New Testament and the Doctrine and Covenants unseals the meaning of the ancient prophecies in Isaiah and provides clarity and context for those who accept the unconditional promises of the Lord.

But the primary purpose of this post is not to discuss prophecy.

It is to determine the definition of the word “anointing” and why this anointing is so important.

Having laid the foundation for just how important the anointing is in the prophetic end times narrative, let us now consider just exactly what the anointing has reference to with regard to in reference to the plan of salvation.

The word anointing shows up again in the new Testament in 1st John:

But the anointing which ye have received of him abideth in you, and ye need not that any man teach you; but as the same anointing teacheth you of all things, and is truth, and is no lie, and even as it hath taught you, ye shall abide in him.

As you can see, the term anointing as used in the above passage, refers to a spiritual endowment which places something within the recipient that teaches them all things and it ABIDES (or continues) in them.

As demonstrated by the testimony of John the Baptist the anointing spoken of above is the endowment known as the Gift of the Holy Ghost, otherwise called the Comforter.

The correct scriptural term for “endowment” as it relates to the true Church of Christ, is a spiritual blessing that is poured out from heaven (D&C 105: 12, 18, 33). This is important to understand because if you are a Mormon, you have been indoctrinated to associate the word endowment with an outward ceremonial ritual involving secret words, oaths and handshakes, instead of a Pentecostal outpouring of the spirit.

In part one of this post, I am addressing the literal, scriptural meaning of the terms anointing and endowment as they relate to the fulness of the gospel and the true Church of Christ, not the altered meanings that the modern corporate church has superimposed upon these terms.

In this first part of the series I will provide a very simple explanation of the three phase plan of salvation as it relates to the the first principles and ordinances of the gospel followed by the first and second anointings.

In part two I will provide all of the documentation necessary to substantiate the veracity of the three phases that will be presented in part one.

In part three, I will show how the first and second anointings of the first and second comforters emerged during Joseph Smith’s ministry and how they were taken from the earth when the restored  church fell under condemnation and was eventually rejected as a church with their dead.

Finally, in part four, I will demonstrate why it is so important to have a clear understanding of the first and second anointings, which represent the spiritual bestowals of the first and second Comforters . I will show that it is necessary to avoid being deceived by false prophets who claim to have received these anointings.

Altered Definitions Create Stumbling Blocks

One of the stumbling blocks modern Mormonism has in understanding these things is in the fact that scriptural terms such as anointing and endowment have been altered to mean something different than what they mean in the scriptures, relative to the fulness of the Gospel and the Church of Christ.

It is my contention that the term anointing has reference to the spiritual outpouring of the  GIFT OF THE HOLY GHOST, otherwise referred to as the Comforter which abides continually in the recipient until and unless it is offended or denied by the recipient.

In this series I will be calling upon the words of Joseph Smith and several related passages in the scriptures to develop and substantiate the three phases of the plan of salvation that i am presenting.

Some of the facinating and very revealing passages that we shall review are found in 1st and 2nd John in the Joseph Smith Translation of the Bible.

Again, after providing numerous scriptures and some commentary in part two, I will then share a listing of several scriptural based observations about the first and second anointing derived from the passages relating to this topic .

“Second Comforter” is not a Scriptural Term

Let me clarify that the terms “first Comforter” and  “second Comforter” are not scriptural terms. The scriptures reveal the existence of two comforters by referring to  “another Comforter” which proves that two different Comforters exist.

3 Wherefore, I now send upon you another Comforter, even upon you my friends, that it may abide in your hearts, even the Holy Spirit of promise; which other Comforter is the same that I promised unto my disciples, as is recorded in the testimony of John.  Doctrine and Covenants 88:3

16 And I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter, that he may abide with you for ever; John 14:16

In the following quote, Joseph Smith used the terms “other Comforter” AND “last Comforter“as descriptives to teach that there are two different Comforters and that there is a specific, categorical order to the reception of the two Comforters which is never deviated from.

It is very difficult to fully understand what the second Comforter is and how it fits into the plan of salvation without understanding what the first Comforter is.

Now what is this other Comforter? It is no more nor less than the Lord Jesus Christ Himself; and this is the sum and substance of the whole matter; that when any man obtains this last Comforter, he will have the personage of Jesus Christ to attend him, or appear unto him from time to time, and even He will manifest the Father unto him,

and they will take up their abode with him, and the visions of the heavens will be opened unto him, and the Lord will teach him face to face, and he may have a perfect knowledge of the mysteries of the Kingdom of God;

and this is the state and place the ancient Saints arrived at when they had such glorious visions-Isaiah, Ezekiel, John upon the Isle of Patmos, St. Paul in the three heavens, and all the Saints who held communion with the general assembly and Church of the Firstborn. (TPJS 150–51)

Clearly, the last or second comforter is to have Jesus Christ personally appear and teach the mysteries of the kingdom of God. This second comforter NEVER precedes the first comforter which is the constant abiding of the first comforter.

Joseph  Smith again makes it clear in the next quote that the last Comforter always follows AFTER a recipient has enjoyed the constant guidance of the first Comforter and has proven themselves to God by being “thoroughly proved” and “living by every word of God”. It is only after a person receives their calling and election that they are blessed with the continual appearances of the Savior to teach the mysterious of the Kingdom of God.

There are two Comforters spoken of, one is the Holy Ghost the same as given  on the day of Pentecost, and that all Saints receive after Faith Repentance and  Baptism. This first Comforter or Holy Ghost has no other effect than pure intelligence..

After a person has faith in Christ, repents of his sins, and is baptized for the remission of his sins and receives the Holy Ghost, (by the laying on of hands), which is the first Comforter, then let him continue to humble himself before God, hungering and thirsting after righteousness, and living by every word of God, and the Lord will soon say unto him, Son thou shalt be exalted.

When the Lord has thoroughly proved him, and finds that the man is determined to serve Him at all hazards, then the man will find his calling and his election made sure, THEN it will be his privilege to receive the other Comforter, which the Lord hath promised the Saints, as is recorded in the testimony of St. John in the 14th chapter, . . . (Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith, p. 150)

Again, it is only after the Lord has thoroughly proved a person and finds them determined to serve Him at all hazards, that calling and election is made sure and the other Comforter is realized.

The above quote informs us that the first Comforter was given to the New Testament saints on the day of Pentecost. This is consistent with the narrative in section 109.

The Gift of the Holy Ghost Abides

The phrase “Constant Companionship of the Holy Ghost” that is commonly used in the modern church is not found in the scriptures although the concept is valid. The above phrase is consistent with the fact that the first Comforter, or Gift of the Holy Ghost, ABIDES in the believer.

The term “abide” means to continue permanently.

The teachings of Joseph Smith and the scriptures inform us that the Holy Ghost may fall on anyone at anytime intermittently, but having the Holy Ghost continuously ABIDE in us requires specific ordinances of salvation.

23 A man may receive the Holy Ghost, and it may descend upon him and not tarry with him. Doctrine and Covenants 130:23

Just as there is a clear distinction between the intermittent promptings and teachings of the Holy Ghost vs. the first Comforter (which is the continuous abiding of the Holy Ghost), there is also a very clear distinction between the first comforter and the second Comforter.

One must ALWAYS receive the abiding Gift of the Holy Ghost (first Comforter) which progressively teaches “all things” and grow in light and knowledge and prove themselves worthy to God until the “perfect day”,  BEFORE Calling and Election is bestowed followed by the continual appearances of the Savior to reveal the mysteries of the kingdom (second Comforter) will take place.

The First Comforter Always Precedes the Second Comforter

The constant abiding of the Holy Ghost (first Comforter) ALWAYS follows AFTER and it is initiated by the anointing, otherwise referred to as the baptism of fire and the Holy Ghost.

Some passages of scripture imply that the baptism of fire and the Holy is synonymous with, or is the beginning manifestation of the Gift of the Holy Ghost or Comforter.

Interestingly, there appears to be rare occasions in scriptures when the baptism of fire and the Holy Ghost precede the baptism of water. .

The continual ongoing visitations of the Savior to teach the mysteries of the kingdom (second Comforter) ALWAYS FOLLOWS AFTER , and are initiated by, the reception of one’s calling and election, much the same say as the Gift of the Holy Ghost (first Comforter) is initiated by the Baptism of Fire and the Holy Ghost.

A person must be sealed up unto eternal life which is the guarantee that they will be saved in the highest kingdom of the Father, BEFORE they will receive the second Comforter.

No exceptions to this rule. 

I am going to suggest that there are three general phases of the plan of salvation that one goes through when the fulness of the gospel and the true Church of Christ is on the earth.

  • The Preparatory Gospel which is initiated by faith, followed by repentance, water baptism and confirmation into the church (which includes the laying on of hands and prayer supplicating the reception of the Gift of the Holy Ghost).
  • The receiving of the Holy Spirit as your Guide by receiving the Gift of the Holy Ghost which is the first Comforter. Again, the anointing which endows a person with the second Comforter is called the Baptism of Fire and the Holy Ghost 
  • The ongoing visitation and teaching of the mysteries by the Savior (second Comforter) which is initiated by Calling and Election followed by the continual visitations of Christ to teach the mysteries.

three phases of plan of salvation

As you can see, one does not enter into the strait gate until they receive the baptism of fire and the Holy Ghost which initiates the constant abiding of the Holy Ghost to teach all things.

I believe it is obedience to the constant teachings and guiding influence of the Holy Ghost along with continued study of the written word of God in the scriptures, during the second phase that is referred to as the “iron rod” and “word of God” in the allegory in Lehi’s dream in the book of Mormon.

No one is safe without hangin on to the iron rod for dear life, those that let go of it will fall away into forbidden paths and be lost,” as the allegory states.

The full application of the allegory has to do with the second phase depicted in the graphic.

Nevertheless, during the first phase of the gospel, during our walk of faith, before we have entered into the strait gate,  it is paramount that we hang on to the iron rod as represented in the written word of God under the influence of the light of Christ and the intermittent visitations of the Holy Ghost. This is why I continually emphasize the importance of the scriptures.

In the above graphic, the laying on of hands for the gift of the Holy Ghost is depicted as part of the first principles and ordinances of the gospel:

4 We believe that the first principles and ordinances of the Gospel are: first, Faith in the Lord Jesus Christ; second, Repentance; third, Baptism by immersion for the remission of sins; fourth, Laying on of hands for the gift of the Holy Ghost.

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Nevertheless, the actual reception of the Gift of the Holy Ghost as a result of the baptism of fire and the Holy Ghost is the a spiritual anointing or endowment that begins the second phase. That anointing may or may not take place directly after the water baptism. That anointing is only available when the fulness of the gospel is on the earth. It is not part of the preparatory gospel. 

The ultimate reception of the Gift of the Holy Ghost is not received as part of the first ordinances, rather, the laying on of hands for the gift is part of the first ordinances.

The Strait Gate

The scriptures characterize the first anointing, or, baptism of fire and the Holy Ghost which culminates in the first Comforter as entering into the strait gate.

this is the way; and there is none other way nor name given under heaven whereby man can be saved in the kingdom of God. And now, behold, this is the doctrine of Christ, and the only and true doctrine of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost, which is one God, without end. Amen…  For behold, again I say unto you that if ye will enter in by the way, [one enters in by the “strait gate”] and receive the Holy Ghost, it will show unto you all things what ye should do”

This means that the first principles and ordinances of the gospel in phase one of the above pic does not qualify as entering into the strait gate.

The above passage informs us that we must “ENTER IN” by the “WAY“.

Since there are numerous other passages that inform us that be must enter in through the “STRAIT GATE“, the two terms are obviously synonymous. We are also informed by other passages that “JESUS CHRIST” is the “WAY“.

One does not enter into the strait gate until they receive the ANOINTING of the Gift of the Holy Ghost (first Comforter). It is through the anointing that a person takes the Holy Spirit as their guide. They must first be filled with and sanctified by the Holy Ghost and become a new creature. (2 Cor 5:17, Gal 6:15)

A convert does not enter into the “strait gate” until they receive the first ordinances of the gospel followed by the first anointing otherwise known as the baptism of fire and the Holy Ghost..

Those of us that realize that the restored church was condemned by the end of 1834 and that it was rejected with their dead back in Nauvoo prior to the martyrdom of Joseph Smith should be very sobered to realize that we have not yet received the first or second anointing and thus none of us have received the first or second Comforter.

None of us have literally taken the Holy Spirit as our guide nor have we entered into the strait gate!

The following passage about taking the Holy Spirit as our guide does not literally become applicable until the last restoration takes place and the light of the fulness of the gospel once again shines upon this dark apostate world:

56 And at that day, when I shall come in my glory, shall the parable be fulfilled which I spake concerning the ten virgins.
57 For they that are wise and have received the truth, and have taken the Holy Spirit for their guide, and have not been deceived—verily I say unto you, they shall not be hewn down and cast into the fire, but shall abide the day. D&C 45

We are at the mercy of the final restoration and the return of God’s true anointed servants before we can receive the anointing of fire and the Holy Ghost and the first Comforter.

It is currently impossible for a person to transcend or bypass the first ordinances of the gospel and the first Comforter and calling and election to get the second comforter.

[***EDITORIAL NOTE: IF THE ABOVE GRAPHIC AND EXPLANATION REPRESENTS A TRUE AND FAITHFUL DEPICTION OF THE TRUE ORDER OF THE PLAN OF SALVATION AND HOW WE ARE TO PROGRESS STEP BY STEP BEGINNING WITH FAITH AND ENDING WITH CALLING AND ELECTION FOLLOWED BY THE SECOND COMFORTER, IT PROVES BEYOND A SHADOW OF A DOUBT THAT DENVER SNUFFER IS A FALSE PROPHET.

HE HAS BEEN DECEIVED AND HAS TAUGHT A FALSE DOCTRINE ABOUT THE PROCESS OF RECEIVING THE SECOND COMFORTER.

IT PROVES THAT HE WAS NOT VISITED BY THE TRUE CHRIST.

THIS KNOWLEDGE SHOULD STRIKE FEAR INTO THE HEARTS OF EVERY SNUFFERITE WHO HAS BEEN DECEIVED.

THIS SERIES WILL PROVIDE OVERWHELMING SCRIPTURAL PROOF TO DEMONSTRATE THE TRUE PROGRESSION OF THE PLAN OF SALVATION-

FROM FAITH TO REPENTANCE..

FROM REPENTANCE TO BAPTISM BY WATER

FROM BAPTISM BY WATER TO THE BAPTISM OF FIRE AND THE HOLY GHOST

THE  BAPTISM OF FIRE AND THE HOLY GHOST, INITIATES THE FIRST COMFORTER WHICH ABIDES CONTINUALLY

AFTER FOLLOWING THE GUIDANCE OF THE FIRST COMFORTER AND PROVING ONESELF TO GOD, CALLING AND ELECTION TAKES PLACE-

CALLING AND ELECTION, INITIATES THE CONTINUING VISITATIONS OF THE SECOND COMFORTER WHICH IS JESUS CHRIST

IT IS MY BELIEF THAT SOMETIME BETWEEN THE PUBLISHING OF HIS BOOK, “THE SECOND COMFORTER” IN 2006 AND HIS MOST CONTROVERSIAL BOOK ” PASSING THE HEAVENLY GIFT” IN 2011, DENVER SNUFFER REALIZED (PERHAPS SUBCONSCIOUSLY) THAT THE LDS CHURCH WAS IN APOSTASY AND THAT HE HAD MADE A HUGE MISTAKE CONCERNING THE DOCTRINE OF THE SECOND COMFORTER.

THAT IS WHY HE BACK-PEDALED AND MADE A RADICAL SHIFT IN MANTRA, FROM ENCOURAGING HIS FOLLOWERS TO SEEK THE SECOND COMFORTER, TO MANDATING THAT THEY ALL NEEDED TO BE RE BAPTIZED BY WATER.

RE-BAPTISM IS FOR THOSE THAT HAVE SINNED AND NEED TO GET BACK IN THE STRAIT GATE. THOSE WITH THE FIRST COMFORTER NEVER NEED TO GET RE-BAPTIZED.

ANYONE THAT TRULY HAS THE SECOND COMFORTER HAS ALREADY HAD THEIR CALLING AND ELECTION MADE SURE AND CANNOT FALL FROM GRACE… THEY ALSO WOULD NEVER NEED TO BE RE-BAPTIZED.

MORE ON THIS IN THE CONCLUSION OF THIS SERIES]