The Gospel of Abraham
The Place of Patriarchal Polygamy in the LDS Foundation Movement
The Possible Restoration of Biblical Polygamy in 1836
This Series about the special conference at the Morley Farm has been an amazing ride for me.
My intention was to do two or three articles about it. But the more I studied it, the more I learned and realized that it interrelates with everything else in the gospel, and it took on a life of its own.
I really appreciate all of the feedback and observations that many of you have given me during this journey.
I think I have personally learned more about the history of the church and certain components of the priesthood and the gospel in the last few months than I have learned in the last five years.
Praise the Lord.
I have made a few numbering changes and annexed the paper about the patriarchal priesthood into this series since it was the Morley Farm research that revealed that information, making this part 8.
This was going to be the last part of the series summarizing what we have learned about the three orders of the priesthood however, I have decided to use this part of the series to publish what I have learned about the restoration of the Gospel of Abraham in 1836 and how it relates to the introduction of the biblical polygamy into the LDS restoration movement.
Please understand that the “patriarchal priesthood of Abraham” and the “gospel of Abraham” are not synonymous! They are to very different topics.
I am assuming the next installment summarizing what we have learned about the three orders of the priesthood will be the last one.
By way of review, part 1 reviewed the actual accounts pertaining to the conferring of the priesthood on 23 of the elders of the Church. During that experience, Lyman Wight saw the Father and the Son. He became one of the very few documented cases to see the glory of the Father.
In part 2 we reviewed how the Man of Sin was revealed and how many of the people at the conference struggled with demonic possession for two days.
In part 3 we reviewed why the Melchizedek Priesthood needed to be restored and how it is the priesthood required to Establish Zion.
Part 4 is where the distinction between the patriarch priesthood that was restored through Peter James and John vs the highest, Melchizedek priesthood which was restored at the special conference at the Morley Farm began to unfold. We learned that one becomes a “possessor of all things” once one receives the fullness of the Melchizedk priesthood.
In Part 5 we continued to learn about priesthood and realized that Patriarchal Priesthood administers the saving ordinances of the Gospel and the New and Everlasting Covenant of Baptism. That paper was originally titled Patriarchal Priesthood.
Part 6 discussed the transfiguration of Lyman Wight and how one of the definitions of salvation is for one to “triumph over all evil spirits” it was previously titled Part 5-a,
The most recent part in this series, part 7 examined the true Oath & Covenant of the Father which is found in the True Manner of Baptism. It identified that Father Adam & Lyman Wight and every other Saint that has entered into the gate and the holy order of the priesthood after the order of the Son of God, did so via the New and Everlasting Covenant of Baptism…. even the three part baptism of water, fire & Holy Ghost (previously titled part 5-b)
That may sound trite and obvious, but it is not. What I am saying is, that instead of the traditional scenario taught in the church of being baptized and confirmed, getting the Aaronic Priesthood and then being ordained to the Melchizedek Priesthood according to the decision of mortal men, I am suggesting a scenario similar to this,
- Aaronic Priesthood (called and ordained by man)
- Patriarchal Priesthood (called and ordained by man)
- Melchizedek Priesthood (initiated by the calling of Gods voice out of heaven to his anointed, telling him you have been found worthy to be ordained to the Melchizedek Priesthood, and then ordained by man)
- The Baptism of Fire and the Holy Ghost sent forth by the Father- being transfigured and entering into the presence of the Father to gain the TESTIMONY.
In that scenario, the oath and covenant which is entered into from the candidate is represented in the baptismal covenant.
On the part of God, it is his voice confirming that all that he has shall be given to the candidate. This oath and covenant are received of the Father which he cannot break (84:40)
“..in the ordinances … the power of godliness in manifest. And without the ordinances thereof, and the authority of the priesthood, the power of godliness is not manifest unto men in the flesh. For without this no man can see the face of God and live”
No matter what the hirelings of the latter day saint church have said, the holy and infallible word of God instucts us to seek the face of God.
Four Records merge into Three, then become One
The following passages in 2 Nephi 19:12-14 speak chronologically about God’s dealings with four groups of people in the Lords vineyard and the corresponding books of scripture containing Gods dealings with them.
The first three groups are separate and distinct from each other. The fourth group is referring to a composite of the three and all other remnants of Israel.
I have made insertions in brackets to show how I am interpreting these passages,
12 For behold, I shall speak unto the Jews and they shall write it; [Bible] and I shall also speak unto the Nephites and they shall write it; [Book of Mormon] and I shall also speak unto the other tribes of the house of Israel, which I have led away, and they shall write it; [Book of Commandment- the gentile Church of Christ- 1829-1837] and I shall also speak unto all nations of the earth and they shall write it. [Doctrine and Covenants The Gentile Church of Christ AND the converts from foreign lands- “outcasts of Israel & Dispersed of Judah- 1837- ]
Notice that after referring to four groups and four records, in verse 12 that verse 13 reduces the four groups to three groups with three records. It explains that the time will come when all three groups will have their own record along with the record of the other two groups. This applies to the second watch.
13 And it shall come to pass that the Jews shall have the words of the Nephites, and the Nephites shall have the words of the Jews; and the Nephites and the Jews shall have the words of the lost tribes of Israel; and the lost tribes of Israel shall have the words of the Nephites and the Jews.
Finally verse 14 reveals that the time will come in the 3rd watch when all of Israel will be gathered to the promised land and will have all three records gathered into one record. Not only do each of the three groups have access to the records of the other two groups, but all three records are bound into one record,
14 And it shall come to pass that my people, which are of the house of Israel, shall be gathered home unto the lands of their possessions; [Promised land of America] and my word also shall be gathered in one. And I will show unto them that fight against my word and against my people, who are of the house of Israel, that I am God, and that I covenanted with Abraham that I would remember his seed forever. 2 Ne. 29: 12-13
Here is a breakdown of the four groups of people and their corresponding scriptures as mentioned in verse 12,
- Jews– Kingdom of Judah- Bible
- Nephites– Descendents of Lehi- Manassah- Book of Mormon
- Other Tribes– Outcasts of Israel identified with the Gentiles- Book of Commandments
- All Nations AND/OR Lost Tribes– Outcasts of Israel combined with gathered remnants of Judah and all other tribes and descendants of Abraham.- Doctrine & Covenants
The Kingdom of Israel was LED AWAY into Gentile Nations
Verse 12 speaks of the third group of people who the Lord “led away”. This appears to be referring to the kingdom of Israel that was led away captive and then became mingled with and identified with the gentile nations. Eventually they migrated to the promised land of America between 1607 and 1836.
We have discussed on other posts the doctrine of “British Israelism” and the “Christian Identity movement” and how the Kingdom of Israel became assimilated into the gentile nations and that the believing gentiles are the literal descendents of Israel that had lost their tribal identity anciently.
Amos 7: 11 prophesies how the Lord “led away” the kingdom of Israel,
“For thus Amos saith, Jeroboam shall die by the sword, and Israel shall surely be led away captive out of their own land.”
In 1st Kings 9 the Lord foretells how he will cast the Kingdom of Israel out of his sight if they apostatize and worship other gods,
“.. But if ye shall at all turn from following me, ye or your children, and will not keep my commandments and my statutes which I have set before you, but go and serve other gods, and worship them: Then will I cut off Israel out of the land which I have given them; and this house, which I have hallowed for my name, will I cast out of my sight; and Israel shall be a proverb and a byword among all people” (See also 2 Chr. 7: 20)
We have also discussed how the Kingdom of Judah became “dispersed” during Old Testament times while maintaining their tribal identity so that they could return and rebuild the Old World Jerusalem preparatory to the Saviors meridian ministry. However after the siege at Jerusalem in about 70-73 AD the real Jews who survived became scattered and mingled into the gentile nations losing their tribal identity, just as the kingdom of Israel had done during Old Testament times.
The Book of Mormon reveals that the Jews who are mingled among the Gentile nations in the last days begin to believe in Christ and are gathered to the lands of their inheritance in the promised land of America.
Isaiah refers to the kingdom of Israel in the latter days as the “outcasts of Israel”. He refers to the kingdom of Judah as the “dispersed of Judah”,
“And he shall set up an ensign for the nations, and shall assemble the outcasts of Israel, and gather together the dispersed of Judah from the four corners of the earth.” Isa. 11: 12
The prophet Joseph Smith clarified that the Elders being sent to foreign lands were engaged in seeking the Outcasts of Israel and the Dispersed of Judah,
“Those engaged in seeking the Outcasts of Israel, and the Dispersed of Judah, cannot fail
to enjoy the Spirit of the Lord and have the choicest blessings of Heaven rest upon
them in copious effusions. Joseph Smith, Jr”.,( letter to Orson Hyde and John E. Page, dated 14 May 1840May 14, 1840)
When asked if the Jewish converts were to gather to the Jerusalem of the Old World or to America, he told them they were to gather with the Saints in America!
The Gentile Church of Christ was composed of the Children of Israel
How do we know that the believing gentiles that converted to the restored Church of Christ between 1830 and 1836 were remnants of the Kingdom of Israel that had been led away by the Lord?
We know this because In section 103 the Lord informs the small gentile Church of Christ in America that “..ye are the children of Israel, and of the aseed of Abraham, and ye must needs be bled out of cbondage by power, and with a stretched-out arm.”
Furthermore, the following passage in the dedicatory prayer reveals that the leaders of the restored church are the “Sons of Jacob” who would be the “servants” of the Lord that would build the holy city in the end times,
“That all the ends of the earth may know that we, thy servants, have aheard thy voice, and that thou hast sent us; That from among all these, thy servants, the sons of Jacob, may gather out the righteous to build a holy acity to thy name, as thou hast commanded them.”
We also know that the righteous remnant of Jacob from the Book of Mormon will be involved in building the holy city. The above verses and other associated passages in modern revelation seem to indicate that the gentile-ephraimite leaders of the LDS restoration movement, who are the “servants” of the Lord, will be “assisting” the other remnants of Jacob s in building the holy city in the 3rd watch.
From these and other passages we are informed that the believing gentiles in America at the time of the LDS restoration movement were the “other tribes” spoken of in 2nd Nephi 29.
Although the triple combinations containing the Doctrine and Covenants, Book of Mormon and King James Version of the Bible with references to the JST that are enjoyed by the Latter day Saints in the 2nd watch appear to be a partial fulfillment of the prophecy in 2 Nephi 29, it appears that the three records will literally be bound together in the 3rd watch and they will be much more complete and accurate.
It appears they will contain,
- The true and complete JST of the Bible which includes the complete vision of John
- The current portion of the Book of Mormon including the next portion of the Book of Mormon
- The undefiled Doctrine and Covenants with all of the commandments and covenants in their pure form and any false revelations discarded.
According to another prophecy about the Seer of the latter days, part of his work was to reveal the COVENANTS of the Lord to his people once again. Hence the name of the record he brought forth, “DOCTRINE AND COVENANTS”.
Along with that work, he is instrumental in helping the record of the Jews and the record of the Nephites, a remnant of the house of Joseph, grow together,
In the 3rd watch, these three records will take away all doctrinal contentions among those who accept the truth. One has to pay close attention to realize that three records are being spoken of not just two. The Seer convinces people of the truth of the two ancient records and he also brings forth a record that reveals the “covenants” which God has made with the Fathers,
“For Joseph truly testified, saying: A seer shall the Lord my God raise up, who shall be a choice seer unto the fruit of my loins.
Yea, Joseph truly said: Thus saith the Lord unto me: A choice seer will I raise up out of the fruit of thy loins; and he shall be esteemed highly among the fruit of thy loins. And unto him will I give commandment that he shall do a work for the fruit of thy loins, his brethren, which shall be of great worth unto them, even to the bringing of them to the knowledge of the covenants which I have made with thy fathers…
But a seer will I raise up out of the fruit of thy loins; and unto him will I give power to bring forth my word unto the seed of thy loins—and not to the bringing forth my word only, saith the Lord, but to the convincing them of my word, which shall have already gone forth among them.
Wherefore, the fruit of thy loins shall write; and the fruit of the loins of Judah shall write and that which shall be written by the fruit of thy loins, and also that which shall be written by the fruit of the loins of Judah, shall grow together, unto the confounding of false doctrines and laying down of contentions, and establishing peace among the fruit of thy loins, and bringing them to the knowledge of their fathers in the latter days, and also to the knowledge of my [Doctrine and ] covenants, saith the Lord.” 2 Ne. 3: 12, 14
The current standard works of the Church have not been successful in confounding false doctrines and laying down all contentions and establishing peace. Once the 3rd watch begins and the fulness of each of the three records are bound together, then those of the pure in heart will come to a unity of the faith and the doctrinal confusion we currently have will disperse.
The following statement from the history of the church documents the intent of the leaders of the Church to publish and bind all three records together during the Nauvoo period, when they were attempting to usher in the dispensation of the fulness of times.
Another “Epistle of the First Presidency to the Saints Scattered Abroad” was sent out on or about 1 September 1840 and contained an appeal to the members to contribute financially to the building up of the kingdom. Particularly mentioned was “the printing and circulation of the Book of Mormon, Doctrine and Covenants, hymn-book, and the new translation of the Scriptures.” (History of the Church, 4:187; also Times and Seasons, vol. 1, no. 12, Oct. 1840, p. 179.)
It is essential for the Saints to publish and send the JST of the bible to the world. Please note what the Lord says in section 124,
“If he will do my will let him from henceforth hearken to the counsel of my servant Joseph, and with his interest support the cause of the poor, and publish the new translation of my holy word unto the inhabitants of the earth”. D&C 124: 89, 125
It is necessary for the salvation of Zion,
“And, verily I say unto you, that it is my will that you should hasten to translate my scriptures, and to obtain a knowledge of history, and of countries, and of kingdoms, of laws of God and man, and all this for the salvation of Zion. Amen.”
The Stick of Joseph and the Stick of Ephraim
The two prophecies concerning three records in 2nd Nephi 3 and 29 appear to be speaking about the same prophetic event mentioned in Ezekiel 37.
The apparent discrepancy is that Ezekiel 37 only appears to speak of two records being joined together instead of three. Of course the prophecy in 2nd Nephi 3 also appears that way unless you understand how to interpret the work that the Seer does pertaining to revealing the “covenants” of the Father.
I am not sure why the current version of the JST published by the community of Christ does not have those passages corrected, but my speculation, based on 2nd Nephi 29, is that the “stick of Joseph” is separate and distinct from the “stick of Ephraim” just as the tribe of Joseph is spoken of very distinctly and separately from the tribe of Ephraim in the Old Testament.
My speculation is that the stick of Joseph is the Book of Mormon and the stick of Ephraim is the Book of Commandments and the Doctrine and Covenants.
Here is what I think a more accurate rendering of the passages in Ezekiel is,
“Moreover, thou son of man, take thee one stick and write upon it, For Judah, and for the children of Israel his companions: then take another stick, and write upon it, For Joseph, [then write upon ] the Stick of Ephraim, and for all the house of Israel his companions: And join them one to another into one stick; and they shall become one in thine hand.” Ezek. 37: 16
I believe the above translation is completely consistent with the two prophecies in 2nd Nephi and all of the other prophesies pertaining to these events.
The bible or “Stick of Judah” is written primarily to the Jews but also to the “children of Israel his companions”.
The book of Mormon, or “Stick of Joseph” is written primarily to and about Lehi’s posterity which is from the loins of Joseph but it is also written for the gentiles who are also a remnant of Joseph.
The Doctrine and Covenants or “Stick of Ephraim”, is written to the tribes of Israel that were identified among the gentiles and for ALL the House of Israel. Nevertheless, the leaders of the LDS restoration movement are clearly from Ephraim, as pointed out before. They are the ones responsible for gathering all tribes into the gospel net.
Notice how the following passages in Zechariah 10 speak of Judah, Joseph and Ephraim as separate and distinct tribal entities,
“And I will strengthen the house of Judah, and I will save the house of Joseph, and I will bring them again to place them; for I have mercy upon them: and they shall be as though I had not cast them off: for I am the Lord their God, and will ahear them.
And they of Ephraim shall be like a mighty man, and their heart shall rejoice as through wine: yea, their children shall see it, and be glad; their heart shall rejoice in the Lord.”
Apparent Discrepancy regarding Stick of Ephraim?
Of course the D&C has a passage that appears to define the Stick of Ephraim as the book of Mormon, (D&C 27: 5) however that verse was not in the original version of the revelation which raises some questions about how and why the verse was added at a later time.
Furthermore, defining the stick of Ephraim as the Book of Mormon instead of the Doctrine and Covenants appears to be inconsistent for the following reasons;
- The book of Mormon never characterizes Lehi’s posterity as being from Ephraim.
- The JST reveals that Ephraim was separated from the tribe of Joseph (JST Gen 48:5-6)
- The D&C strongly infers the first laborers of the last kingdom as being from Ephraim (109 & 133)
- Hosea refers to Israel and Ephraim. Ephraim was the largest tribe in Israel and sometimes the whole nation was referred to as Ephraim.
- Hosea informs us that “Ephraim, he hath mixed himself among the people” during OT times Hosea 7: 8. This is clearly identifying Ephraim as being among the tribes that had been led away and finally migrated to America between 1607 and 1836. It is not referring to Lehi’s posterity.
The Gospel of Christ vs the Gospel of Abraham
As you know, one of the greatest goals of the LDS foundation movement was to redeem Zion. That was one of the primary reasons for the restoration of the Melchizedek priesthood at the Morley Farm. As you work your way through this article, please keep in mind that when the Saints failed to redeem Zion after having the Melchizedek revealed to them by the voice of God through the heavens, by the hand of Joseph Smith, who held the keys of Elijah, the Lord then does something NEW for the salvation of the church.
I am going to be presenting scriptural evidence that once the Gentiles rejected the fulness of the Gospel of Christ, God then remembers his covenant with Abraham.
Understanding that the gospel of Abraham is a lesser gospel containing a lower gospel law than the fulness of the Gospel of Christ is critical.
The Time of Transition
During 1834-6 the efforts to redeem Zion appear to have been largely abandoned after the Saints in Jackson County were forced to flee and the gentiles appear to have rejected the fullness of the Gospel as prophesied in the Book of Mormon by altering the manner of baptism and failing to live consecration and redeem Zion,
“And thus commandeth the Father that I should say unto you: At that day when the Gentiles shall sin against my gospel, and shall reject the fulness of my gospel, and shall be lifted up in the pride of their hearts above all nations, and above all the people of the whole earth, and shall be filled with all manner of lyings, and of deceits, and of mischiefs, and all manner of hypocrisy, and murders, and priestcrafts, and whoredoms, and of secret abominations; and if they shall do all those things, and shall reject the fulness of my gospel, behold, saith the Father, I will bring the fulness of my gospel from among them. 3 Ne. 16: 10
Indeed the Lord did take the fullness of the Gospel from the gentile Church of Christ however, the prophet Joseph Smith realizing the seriousness of the situation announced that the Lord had revealed to him that something NEW must be done for the salvation of the Church.
He then announced that foreign missions would be established by the twelve apostles and others. This declaration took place in conjunction with the secret appearance of Christ, Moses, Abraham and Elijah in the Kirtland Temple.
Amazingly, God was now remembering his covenant with Abraham!
Missions were now going to be set up to take the preparatory Gospel to the children of Abraham in the nations of the world!
It appears that God may have instructed Joseph and Oliver to keep the visitation in the Kirtland Temple a secret so that the Saints of that generation would not associate the taking of the gospel to foreign lands with the covenant of Abraham. Even down to this very day the apostate church claims to be taking the fulness of the gospel to the nations of the earth even though they are really taking the preparatory gospel of Abraham.
The Saints, in their darkened state of minds were unwittingly participating in the remembering of Gods covenant with Abraham instead of taking the fulness of the gospel of Jesus Christ to the nations of the world for the last time.
By the time that the diary entry with the short summary of the Temple visitation would be published in the D&C 40 years later, the latter day church in Utah would pretty much be set in their interpretations of what had taken place in Kirtland, Jackson County, Far West and Nauvoo.
The modern church now assumes that foreign missions were initiated in response to the command in section 84,
“Therefore, go ye into all the world; and unto whatsoever place ye cannot go ye shall send, that the testimony may go from you into all the world unto every creature.”
Clearly that command is referring to the 3rd watch, when the first laborers of the last kingdom return with the fullness of the Melchizedek priesthood, as high priests, with fulness of priesthood power.
Notice the following verses,
“And as I said unto mine apostles, even so I say unto you, for you are mine apostles, even God’s high priests; ye are they whom my Father hath bgiven me; ye are my my friends“;
Several of the quorum of the twelve, who are not the first laborers of the last kingdom, like Brigham Young and Heber C. Kimball, were NEVER even ordained to be high priests! The above command was speaking to those being spoken to in section 84! Those who had just received the other comforter, even the promise of eternal life. Joseph, Sidney and most of the others being spoken to in section 84 never went on foreign missions.. they were being reserved by the Lord to go forth for the last time in the 3rd watch.
The passages continue… revealing that miracles will follow those who believe when the servants go forth for the last time in the 3rd watch when the Marvelous Work begins.
Therefore, as I said unto mine apostles I say unto you again, that every asoul who bbelieveth on your words, and is baptized by water for the cremission of sins, shall dreceive the Holy Ghost.
And these asigns shall follow them that believe—
In my name they shall do many wonderful aworks;
In my aname they shall cast out devils;
In my name they shall aheal the sick;
In my name they shall aopen the eyes of the blind, and unstop the ears of the deaf;
And the tongue of the dumb shall speak;
And if any man shall administer apoison unto them it shall not hurt them;
And the apoison of a serpent shall not have power to harm them.”
God was reminding these first elders about the promise that had been given to them two years earlier in secion 29,
“..ye have been chosen out of the world to declare my gsopel with the sound of rejoicing, as with the voice of a trump… ye are called to bring to pass the gathering of mine elect; formine elect hear my voice and harden not their hearts…” (See section 29)
Once you understand the doctrine of the three watches and who the first laborers of the last kingdom are, you begin to realized that God did a “bait and switch” on the Church. They had been down-graded from the fulness of the Gospel, to the preparatory gospel mentioned in section 84.
Even the gospel of Abraham.
Here is what the LDS church website has to say about the transitory time time of crisis wherein the Lord revealed to Joseph that something new must be done for the salvation of the church.
“During the last few years the Saints lived in Kirtland, many members and even some leaders of the Church apostatized. The Church seemed to be passing through a time of crisis. “In this state of things,” the Prophet wrote, “God revealed to me that something new must be done for the salvation of His Church.” This “something new” was a revelation to send missionaries to England to preach the gospel.
Heber C. Kimball, a member of the Quorum of the Twelve, recalled: “About the first day of June 1837, the Prophet Joseph came to me, while I was seated in … the Temple, in Kirtland, and whispering to me, said, ‘Brother Heber, the Spirit of the Lord has whispered to me, “Let my servant Heber go to England and proclaim my gospel and open the door of salvation to that nation.” ’ ” Elder Kimball was overwhelmed by the thought of such an undertaking: “I felt myself one of the very weakest of God’s servants. I asked Joseph what I should say when I got there; he told me to go to the Lord and He would guide me, and speak through me by the same spirit that [directed] him.”
The Prophet also extended calls to Orson Hyde, Willard Richards, and Joseph Fielding in Kirtland, and to Isaac Russell, John Snyder, and John Goodson in Toronto, Canada. These brethren were to join Elder Kimball on his mission to England. Gathering in New York City, they sailed on the ship Garrick for Great Britain on July 1, 1837. This first mission outside of North America brought some 2,000 converts into the Church during the missionaries’ first year in England. Elder Kimball wrote joyfully to the Prophet: “Glory to God, Joseph, the Lord is with us among the nations!”
A second apostolic mission to Britain, involving most members of the Twelve under the leadership of Brigham Young, was directed by the Prophet from Nauvoo. Leaving in the fall of 1839, the Twelve arrived in England in 1840. There they began a labor that by 1841 would bring over 6,000 converts into the Church, fulfilling the Lord’s promise that He would do “something new” for the salvation of His Church.
From Nauvoo, Joseph Smith continued to send missionaries throughout the world. Elder Orson Hyde landed in England in 1841 and later continued his assigned mission to Jerusalem.
On May 11, 1843, the Prophet called Elders Addison Pratt, Noah Rogers, Benjamin F. Grouard, and Knowlton F. Hanks to perform missions to the islands of the South Pacific. This was the first mission of the Church anywhere in that vast region. Elder Hanks died at sea, but Elder Pratt traveled to the Austral Islands, where he taught the gospel on the island of Tubuai. Elders Rogers and Grouard continued to Tahiti, where hundreds of people were baptized as a result of their labors.” LDS Church Website
The great missionary work to foreign lands was initiated as a direct result of the appearance of Moses and Abraham to Joseph Smith and Oliver Cowdery in the Kirtland Temple in April of 1836. Since the gentile nation and the gentile church had rejected the fulness of the Gospel of Jesus Christ, the Lord was now remembering his covenant with Abraham. The preparatory gospel, even the gospel of Abraham was now being sent to the nations of the world.
Elder Parley P. Pratt had received a revelation shortly after the appearance of Abraham to Joseph and Oliver foretelling that the servants of the Lord would be taken out of the midst of the gentiles and sent to the nations afar off. Following that, paraphrasing Amos, he foretells that this nation would have a famine pertaining to hearing the word of the Lord…
“In July, 1836, while lodging at the house of brother Joseph Fielding, the voice of the Lord came unto me in a dream, saying:
And I answered:
“Here am I;”
for I was in a vision of the Spirit and knew that it was the Lord who spake unto me. And he said:
“When did I ever reveal anything unto you in a dream and it failed to come to pass?”
And I answered:
“go unto this people and cry unto them with a mighty voice that they repent, lest I smite them with a curse and they die; for, notwithstanding the present fruitfulness of the earth, there shall be a famine in the land; and not only a famine for bread, but a famine for the Word of the Lord; for I will call my servants out from their midst and send them to the nations afar off.”
Indeed, once the foreign missions were initiated the heavens began to close over the Latter day Saints. Only a few canonized revelations came forth during the next eight years, including sections 112 and 124 which declared ominous conditions among the apostate Saints,
How profound are the words of Amos,
“Behold, the days come, saith the Lord God, that I will send a famine in the land, not a afamine of bread, nor a bthirst for water, but of hearing the cwords of the Lord:”
Now that the fullness of the Gospel of Jesus Christ had been rejected by the Gentiles, God was now remembering his covenant with Abraham and his seed. Hence, Abraham appears and restores the Gospel of Abraham to the earth and Moses gives the keys of the gathering of Israel from the four parts of the earth.
Up until section 110 in 1836 the restored church was only taking the fullness of the Gospel to those remnants of Israel who were identified among the gentiles who had been led away and had been gathered to America.
After the gentiles rejected the fullness of the Gospel of Christ, we have the secretive appearance of Christ, Elijah, Moses and Abraham in the Kirtland Temple and the restoration of the lesser Gospel of Abraham. From that time on, it appears from passages in section 84, 110 and 112, that the Saints were taking the preparatory gospel of Abraham into all the world to be a blessing to the seed of Abraham.
The Lord was keeping the church alive by restoring the lesser Gospel of Abraham and using the church to send it into all the world!
It is important to understand that the Covenant of the Father pertaining to the fullness of the Gospel of Jesus Christ represents Celestial Law while the Covenant of the Lord with Abraham wherein the seed of Abraham blesses all the families of the earth with the preparatory gospel represents a lesser law… probably that of , Terestrial Law.
This amazing event wherein our Father Abraham restored the Gospel of Abraham was both a blessing and a cursing according to the prophetic words of Moses… more on that later.
Lyman Wight observed that the Book of Commandments represented the higher law while the Doctrine and Covenants contained a lesser law.
Much of the historical documentation pertaining to how Lyman Wight felt has been lost and some of it has been sealed from public scrutiny by people in high places so we are left to speculate why Lyman felt this way.
Nevertheless, his feelings seem to be consistent with history and the switching over from the gospel of Jesus Christ to the Gospel of Abraham which is the preparatory gospel. However it may not have been so much to do with the differing content between the two books as the composition of the church membership they each went to and the level of priesthood authority and law directing the church.
Aside from possible variations in doctrine and protocol, perhaps one of the most distinguishing factors between the Book of Commandments and the Doctrine and Covenants is that the Book of Commandments was the cannon of scripture used by the Gentile Church in America between 1830 and 1835 and the Doctrine and Covenants was published in 1835 and shortly thereafter sent forth to the world.
The Doctrine and Covenants came forth at a time of great transition in the Church where the following events were taking place,
1- The stronghold in Kirtland (priesthood protection) came to an end when the Saints failed to redeem Zion by September 11, 1836. A great apostasy followed and the Saints had to abandon the Temple and flee from Kirtland. (see D&C 64:21 regarding the five year stronghold”)
2- The church name was changed from the “Church of Christ” to the “Church of God” while attempting to redeem Zion. Then after failing to redeem Zion, it was changed to the “Church of Jesus Christ of Latter day Saints”. The new name represented the Saints that were in a scattered condition. (Although the History of the church indicates the third name was used much earlier, the first time it is used in scripture is D&C 115: 3-4)
3- The gospel of Abraham was taken to foreign lands. With the foreign missionary work, and the influx of converts coming from foreign countries, the demographics of the church changed to include the “dispersed of Judah” and the “outcasts of Israel”. Remnants of Judah and all other tribes of Israel throughout the world that had also been assimilated into the gentile nations were migrating to America from foreign lands. (It is interesting to note the John B. Lee makes mention of the “Jews” and “Gentiles” living in Nauvoo. His statements seem to be applying the word “Jews” to the new converts coming into the church from foreign countries rather than to the Ashkenazi Jews in the church such as Orson Hyde and Alexander Neibar)
The statement of Joseph Smith that something new must be done for the salvation of the Church and the establishment of foreign missions was directly related to the secret event that took place in the Kirtland Temple which is documented in section 110 of the D&C.
Among other things, Father Abraham (Elias) in fulfillment of ancient prophecy, (110:12 ) appeared to Joseph and Oliver and committed to them the keys of the Gospel of Abraham pertaining to the covenant of the Lord to Abraham wherein all of the nations would be blessed.
This was done in conjunction with Moses appearing and giving Joseph and Oliver the keys of the gathering of ALL of the remaining remnants of the house of Israel.
At this point, foreign missions were set up and the preaching of the preparatory gospel, (see section 84:26-27) even the gospel of Abraham began to take place in all the world.
Although a huge 2nd watch gathering of the seed of Abraham to America has taken place from 1836 to the present day, it appears from passages in Section 133 that when the servants return, and the times of the Gentiles once again come in, (45:28) there will be a massive 3rd watch final gathering to America. The final warning to “go ye out from Babylon” will go to ALL NATIONS and eventually those who are in the “North Countries” will finally return with yet other records,
“Yea, verily I say unto you again, the time has come when the voice of the Lord is unto you: Go ye out of Babylon; gather ye out from among the nations, from the four winds, from one end of heaven to the other. Send forth the elders of my church unto the nations which are afar off; unto the islands of the sea; send forth unto foreign lands; call upon all nations, first upon the Gentiles, and then upon the Jews. And behold, and lo, this shall be their cry, and the voice of the Lord unto all people: Go ye forth unto the land of Zion, that the borders of my people may be enlarged, and that her stakes may be strengthened, and that Zion may go forth unto the regions round about..
..they who are in the North countries shall come in remembrance before the Lord and their prophets shall hear his voice and shall no longer stay themselves… and they shall bring their rich treasures unto the children of Ephraim…And there shall they fall down and be crowned with glory, even in Zion, by the hands of the servants of the Lord, even the children of Ephraim…. And they shall be filled with songes of everlasting joy. Behold, this is the blessing of the everlasting God upon the tribes of Israel, and the richer blessing upon the head of Ephraim and his fellows…Behold, this is the blessing of the everlasting God upon the tribes of Israel, and the richer blessing upon the head of Ephraim and his fellows.”
The above passages indicate that Ephraim and his fellows receive a richer blessing than the other tribes of Israel and those of Judah, including those who return from the North countries.
Old Jerusalem vs New Jerusalem
The Terrestrial Gospel of Abraham
The book of Ether makes the distinction between those of the celestial souls who inhabit the New Jerusalem vs those of the terrestrial glory that fall under the gospel of Abraham, pertaining to the covenant that God made with Abraham.
Those that are caught up to meet Christ and the city of Enoch come down in the New Jerusalem.
Those that fall under the terrestrial law pertaining to God’s covenant with Abraham, who died without accepting the fullness of the gospel law are also made white, but they receive a lesser blessing and live under a lesser law and are designated as the “Old Jerusalem”.
They are the terrestrial spirits that were gathered in under the covenant of Abraham,
“And there shall be a new heaven and a new earth; and they shall be like unto the old save the old have passed away, and all things have become new.
And then cometh the New Jerusalem; and blessed are they who dwell therein, for it is they whose garments are white through the blood of the Lamb; and they are they who are numbered among the remnant of the seed of Joseph, who were of the house of Israel.
And then also cometh the Jerusalem of old; and the inhabitants thereof, blessed are they, for they have been washed in the blood of the Lamb; and they are they who were scattered and gathered in from the four quarters of the earth, and from the north countries, and are partakers of the fulfilling of the covenant which God made with their father, Abraham. Ether 13: 11
We know the D&C was written to all nations because in the opening section it declares that “the voice of the Lord is unto ALL MEN.. and the voice of warning shall be unto ALL PEOPLE.”
Other sections also speak of how the servants of the Lord will go forth into ALL NATIONS,
“And inasmuch as my people shall assemble themselves at the Ohio, I have kept in store a blessing such as is not known among the children of men, and it shall be poured forth upon their heads. And from thence men shall go forth into all nations.” D&C 39: 15
“And I give unto you a commandment that then ye shall teach them unto all men; for they shall be taught unto all nations, kindreds, tongues and people.” D&C 42: 58
God remembers Abrahamic covenant AFTER remnant of Jacob is scattered by Gentiles
The Book of Mormon reveals that the blessings that God had for the descendents of Lehi were given to the gentiles who later came to America.
“And behold, the Lord hath reserved their blessings, which they [the apostate remnant of Jacob living in about 400 AD] might have received in the land, for the Gentiles who shall possess the land.
But behold, it shall come to pass that they shall be driven and scattered by the Gentiles; and AFTER they have been driven and scattered by the Gentiles, behold, then will the Lord remember the covenant which he made unto Abraham and unto all the house of Israel.” Mormon 5:19-20
That prophecy in the Book of Mormon indicates that God will remember his covenant with Abraham and all the house of Israel AFTER the Gentiles have DRIVEN and SCATTERED the remnant of Jacob.
I suspect that some people assume that the remembering of the covenant with Abraham by the Lord in the latter days was initiated by the restoration of the Gospel of Jesus Christ and the legal establishment of his church in April of 1830.
However, I would like to suggest that perhaps there is another interpretation of the above scripture that is more congruent with scripture and history.
Please Note that the Indian Removal Act was not signed into law until the following month after the legal establishment of the Church of Christ upon the earth. More importantly, that actual act of driving the remnants of Jacob out of their lands did not begin until 1831!
Although the process of driving and scattering the remnants of Jacob continued for nearly a decade, the initial thrust of the movement began with the trail of tears in 1831 when 4,000 of the 15,000 cherokee died from exposure disease and starvation. The five primary Indian tribes were driven and scattered per the Indian Removal Act between 1831 and 1834… just about the time that the Gentile Church attempting to establish Zion in Jackson County was driven and scattered by the unbelieving gentiles!
Below are a few excerpts about the Trail of Tears,
The Trail of Tears was the relocation and movement of Native Americans in the United States from their homelands to Indian Territory (present day Oklahoma) in the Western United States. The phrase originated from a description of the removal of the Choctaw Nation in 1831. Many Native Americans suffered from exposure, disease, and starvation while en route to their destinations, and many died, including 4,000 of the 15,000 relocated Cherokee.
In 1831, the Cherokee, Chickasaw, Choctaw, Muscogee-Creek, and Seminole (sometimes collectively referred to as the Five Civilized Tribes) were living as autonomous nations in what would be called the American Deep South. The process of cultural transformation (proposed by George Washington and Henry Knox) was gaining momentum, especially among the Cherokee and Choctaw. Andrew Jackson was the first U.S. President to implement removal of the Native Americans with the passage of the Indian Removal Act of 1830. In 1831 the Choctaw were the first to be removed, and they became the model for all other removals. After the Choctaw, the Seminole were removed in 1832, the Creek in 1834…
…Secretary of War Lewis Cass appointed George Gaines to manage the removals. Gaines decided to remove Choctaws in three phases starting in 1831 and ending in 1833. The first was to begin on November 1, 1831 with groups meeting at Memphis and Vicksburg. A harsh winter would batter the emigrants with flash floods, sleet, and snow. Initially the Choctaws were to be transported by wagon but floods halted them. With food running out, the residents of Vicksburg and Memphis were concerned…
Nearly 17,000 Choctaws made the move to what would be called Indian Territory and then later Oklahoma. About 2,500–6,000 died along the trail of tears. Approximately 5,000–6,000 Choctaws remained in Mississippi in 1831 after the initial removal efforts. The Choctaws who chose to remain in newly formed Mississippi were subject to legal conflict, harassment, and intimidation. The Choctaws “have had our habitations torn down and burned, our fences destroyed, cattle turned into our fields and we ourselves have been scourged, manacled, fettered and otherwise personally abused, until by such treatment some of our best men have died.” The Choctaws in Mississippi were later be formed as the Mississippi Band of Choctaw Indians and the removed Choctaws be called the Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma.
God remembers his Covenant with Abraham in 1836
Clearly scripture reveals that the remembering of the covenant of the Lord with Abraham happens AFTER the gentiles reject the fullness of the Gospel and AFTER the unbelieving gentiles scatter the indians.
I would pose the following question. If the restoration of the Church of Christ in 1830 did not constitute the remembering of the covenant with Abraham and the blessing unto all the House of Israel, what event did?
All we are told is that AFTER the [unbelieving ] gentiles scatter the remnants of Jacob, the covenant with Abraham that would BLESS all the house of Israel would be remembered.
In previous articles I have shown that the Gentiles that received the gospel had rejected it sometime on or before September 11th 1836, with was the appointed time for the redemption of Zion.
I would suggest that the remembering of the covenant with Abraham likely began sometime between the beginning of the scattering of the remnants of Jacob in 1831 and the failure of the Saints to redeem Zion by September 1836.
If we do a key word search using the word Abraham in modern scripture, looking for an event that might identify the establishment of the covenant with Abraham, we find the following event that took place shortly before the deadline of September 1836,
“After this, Elias [Abraham] appeared, and committed the dispensation of the gospel of Abraham, saying that in us and our seed all generations after us should be blessed.”
I would submit to you that this secret appearance of Abraham and others to Joseph and Oliver in the Kirtland Temple was an integral part of the Lord remembering his covenant with the seed of Abraham in the 2nd watch!
Indeed I would submit that the appearance of Abraham to commit the Gospel of Abraham in the Kirtland Temple was the fulfillment of the promise and prophecy that God made to Abraham that he would make a great nation (America) out of the seed of Abraham and that Abraham would minister to his seed in the latter days and that they would take the gospel of Abraham to the nations of the earth.;
“But I, Abraham, and Lot, my brother’s son, prayed unto the Lord, and the Lord aappeared unto me, and said unto me: Arise, and take Lot with thee; for I have purposed to take thee away out of Haran, and to make of thee a minister to bear my name in a strange land [in the latter days] which I will give unto thy seed after thee for an everlasting possession, when they hearken to my voice.
For I am the Lord thy God; I dwell in aheaven; the earth is my bfootstool; I stretch my hand over the sea, and it obeys my voice; I cause the wind and the fire to be my cchariot; I say to the mountains—Depart hence—and behold, they are taken away by a whirlwind, in an instant, suddenly.
My aname is Jehovah, and I bknow the end from the beginning; therefore my hand shall be over thee.
And I will make of thee a great nation, [America]and I will bbless thee above measure, and make thy name great among all nations, and thou shalt be a blessing unto thy seed after thee, that in their hands they shall bear this ministry and Priesthood unto all nations;
And I will abless them through thy name; for as many as receive this bGospel shall be called after thy cname, and shall be accounted thy dseed, and shall rise up and bless thee, as their efather; “
From this we see that Father Abraham was to minister to his posterity in the latter days. God was to make a great nation out of his posterity.
Although the patriarchal priesthood had already been restored in 1829 for the purpose of administering the ordinances of salvation for the fullness of the Gospel of Jesus Christ, Father Abraham was now restoring the Old Testament Gospel of Abraham since the believing gentiles had rejected the higher gospel.
Remarkably, the restored church provides patriarchal blessings identifying people as the seed of Abraham, fulfilling the prophesy that those who receive this preparatory gospel are called after the name of Abraham!
In one sense the remembering of the Covenant that God made with Abraham was obviously a cursing since the church was being down-graded from the Fulness of the Gospel of Christ to the Gospel of Abraham, yet in another sense, it was a blessing because it appears to have prolonged the temporal salvation of the church and it initiated the remembering of the covenant between God and Abrahams posterity. This made possible the sending forth of the preparatory gospel to the seed of Abraham in all the world.
The Lord had revealed the Melchizedek priesthood through Joseph Smith, Sidney Rigdon and Lyman Wight at the Morley Farm and demonstrated that the oath and covenant of the Father was available through the baptismal covenant, enabling man to see the face of God the Father upon faith and diligence.
Joseph Smith had labored diligently to sanctify the latter day children of Israel that they might behold the face of God but the members of the church, collectively, like the children of Israel wanted to follow a prophet and live a lesser law instead of becoming prophets and consecrating themselves fully.
The Gospel of Abraham which is the lesser gospel with a lesser law, was therefore instituted… it is described in section 84, using the Old Testament children of Israel as an illustration,
“Now this Moses plainly taught to the children of Israel in the wilderness, and sought diligently to Santify his people that they might behold the face of God;
“But they ahardened their hearts and could not endure his bpresence; therefore, the Lord in his cwrath, for his danger was kindled against them, swore that they should not eenter into his rest while in the wilderness, which rest is the fulness of his glory.
25 Therefore, he took aMoses out of their midst, and the Holy bPriesthood also;
26 And the lesser apriesthood continued, which priesthood holdeth the bkey of the cministering of angels and the dpreparatory gospel;
27 Which agospel is the gospel of brepentance and of cbaptism, and the dremission of sins, and the elaw of fcarnal commandments, which the Lord in his wrath caused to continue with the house of Aaron among the children of Israel until gJohn, whom God raised up, being hfilled with the Holy Ghost from his mother’s womb.”
Joseph Smith opined that the lesser law was given as a cursing….
“The law was given under Aaron for the purpose of pouring out Judments and destructions.” (Smith Dairy)
“Levitical which was never able to administer a Blessing but Only to bind heavy burdens which neither they nor their father able to bear” (Franklin D Richards Diary)
Was the Patriarchal Law of Multiple Wives Restored with the Gospel of Abraham?
I must confess at this point that the carnal law of commandments contained in the gospel of Abraham and the law of Moses does appear to allow the patriarchal law of multiple wives unless God specifically forbids it as he did in the case of Lehi and his posterity.
It appears that the restoration of polygamy also very possibly took place with the restoration of the Gospel of Abraham in 1836.
Two Groups are dispersed between 1831 & 1834
Is it a coincidence that from 1831 to 1834 the trail of tears and the removal of the five main Indian tribes was taking place at the same time the Saints who were attempting to redeem Zion were being moved out of their place?
Notice how the following prophecy in the Book of Mormon foretells of a time when the unbelieving gentiles will scatter one group of Gods people and will cast out another group of Gods people who had been mingled among them,
1- My people of the House of Israel who are scattered by the unbelieving gentiles
2- My people of the House of Israel who are cast out from among the unbelieving gentiles
“Behold, because of their belief in me, saith the Father, and because of the unbelief of you, O house of Israel, in the alatter day shall the truth come unto the bGentiles, that the fulness of these things shall be made known unto them.
8 But wo, saith the Father, unto the unbelieving of the Gentiles—for notwithstanding they have come forth upon the face of this land, and have scattered my people who are of the house of Israel; [the Lamanites] and my people who are of the house of Israel have been cast out from among them, [The Latter day Saints in Jackson County & eventually those in Kirtland, Far West and Nauvoo] and have been trodden under feet by them;
9 And because of the mercies of the Father unto the Gentiles, and also the judgments of the Father upon my people who are of the house of Israel, verily, verily, I say unto you, that after all this, and I have caused my people who are of the house of Israel to be smitten, and to be afflicted, and to be slain, and to be cast out from among them, and to become hated by them, and to become a hiss and a byword among them—
10 And thus commandeth the Father that I should say unto you: At that day when the Gentiles shall sin against my gospel, and shall reject the fulness of my gospel, and shall be lifted up in the pride of their hearts above all nations, and above all the people of the whole earth, and shall be filled with all manner of lyings, and of deceits, and of mischiefs, and all manner of hypocrisy, and murders, and priestcrafts, and whoredoms, and of secret abominations; and if they shall do all those things, and shall reject the fulness of my gospel, behold, saith the Father, I will bring the fulness of my gospel from among them.
11 And then will I remember my covenant [the Abrahamic covenant] which I have made unto my people, O house of Israel, and I will bring my gospel unto them. “
This prophecy is really quite amazing. It clearly states that right after the gentiles reject the fullness of the gospel, God will remember his covenant with Abraham!
We know that directly after the Saints failed to establish Zion, and rejected the fullness of the Gospel, that Abraham and other ministering of angels secretly appeared to Joseph and Oliver and restored the Gospel of Abraham.
The prophecy foretold of both the scattering of the indigenous remnants of the Book of Mormon people and it foretold the casting out of the Latter day Saints from among the unbelieving gentiles! It is remarkable that both events would happen simultaneously,
I realize that the following verse can be interpreted to only be referring to the lamanites, however, if you do a key phrase search on “trodden under feet” you will see that the second part of the sentence applies scripturally to the latter day Saints. They were truly trodden under feet.
But wo, saith the Father, unto the unbelieving of the Gentiles—for notwithstanding they have come forth upon the face of this land, and have scattered my people who are of the house of Israel; [the Lamanites]
and my people who are of the house of Israel have been cast out from among them, [The Latter day Saints in Jackson County & eventually those in Kirtland, Far West and Nauvoo] and have been trodden under feet by them”
In section 101 the Lord warns the Gentile Saints that if they are found to be transgressors after being called to the everlasting gospel they will be “cast out” and “trodden under the feet of men”.
“When men are called unto mine aeverlasting gospel, and covenant with an everlasting covenant, they are accounted as the bsalt of the earth and the savor of men;
40 They are called to be the savor of men; therefore, if that asalt of the earth lose its savor, behold, it is thenceforth good for nothing only to be cast out and trodden under the feet of men.
41 Behold, here is wisdom concerning the children of Zion, even many, but not all; they were found transgressors, therefore they must needs be achastened—“
Later in section 103 he reiterates,
1 Verily I say unto you, my friends, behold, I will give unto you a revelation and commandment, that you may know how to aact in the discharge of your duties concerning the salvation and bredemption of your brethren, who have been scattered on the land of Zion;
2 Being adriven and smitten by the hands of mine enemies, on whom I will pour out my bwrath without measure in mine own time.
3 For I have suffered them thus far, that they might afill up the measure of their iniquities, that their cup might be full;
4 And that those who call themselves after my name might be achastened for a little season with a sore and grievous chastisement, because they did not bhearken altogether unto the precepts and commandments which I gave unto them.
5 But verily I say unto you, that I have decreed a decree which my people shall arealize, inasmuch as they hearken from this very hour unto the bcounsel which I, the Lord their God, shall give unto them.
6 Behold they shall, for I have decreed it, begin to aprevail against mine benemies from this very hour.
7 And by ahearkening to observe all the words which I, the Lord their God, shall speak unto them, they shall never cease to prevail until the bkingdoms of the world are subdued under my feet, and the earth is cgiven unto the saints, to dpossess it forever and ever.
8 But inasmuch as they akeep not my commandments, and hearken not to observe all my words, the kingdoms of the world shall prevail against them.
9 For they were set to be a alight unto the world, and to be the bsaviors of men;
10 And inasmuch as they are not the saviors of men, they are as asalt that has lost its savor, and is thenceforth good for nothing but to be cast out and trodden under foot of men.
11 But verily I say unto you, I have decreed that your brethren which have been scattered shall return to the alands of their inheritances, and shall bbuild up the waste places of Zion.
12 For after amuch tribulation, as I have said unto you in a former commandment, cometh the blessing.
The blessing and the Cursing
Years ago while reading the D&C I was impressed with the declaration of the Lord that the new converts of the Church were the literal descendants of the children of Israel.
While reading and pondering Deuteronomy 29-31 and other related prophesies about latter day Israel in the Old Testament, I began to use the prophecies about the descendants of Israel contained therein as a context for understanding the events of LDS church history.
I was already familiar with the very disturbing warnings that the Lord had given to the Saints about the consequences of not living consecration, not redeeming zion and not publishing the JS Translation of the bible to the world.
Those warnings seemed to give credence to the warning that had been given very early in the Church that God would turn them over to Satan if they did not repent.
The failure of the Saints to do these things seemed to fit into the prophecies in the Old Testament, New Testament and Book of Mormon about the future apostasy of Gods people in the latter days.
I had already keyed into the target day of September 11th 1836 as the time when the stronghold in Kirtland would be removed and the appointed time for the redemption of Zion would be in Jackson county.
Naturally, since that date came and went without the Saints being able to establish Zion, I began to analyze the changes that began to take place in the church after that time as the Saints were having to flee Kirtland, Far West, Adom-ondi-amen, and eventually Nauvoo. It caused me to consider the events relating to the Danites, the participation of Masonry and the evolution of the Spiritual Wife doctrine from the biblical principle of polygamy that entered into the church AFTER September 11 1836, in a new light.
It occurred to me that perhaps the church was digressing instead or progressing after failing to keep Gods laws.
I did a study on the flow of revelation and realized that the heavens seemed to be closing. With approximately 110 canonized revelations coming prior to September 11th 1836 and only about 10 coming after that date. How strange that over 100 revelations came during the first 7 years of Joseph Smith’s ministry and only about 10 coming during the during the remaining 8 years!
Additionally, I noticed that the few revelations that came after the ministering of Abraham in 1836 had ominous declarations in them, for instance section 112 informed the Saints that all “flesh was corrupt” and that “gross darkness” was over the “minds of the people”.
Section 124 informed that Saints that the “fullness of the Priesthood” had been “lost” and would need to be restored again.
Those warnings in latter day revelation seemed consistent with the prophesies in Deuteronomy which prophesied that the children of Israel would go a “whoring” after the “Gods of the stranger” “whither” they go (31:16) even in the “latter days” (31:29)
One of the things that intrigued me in those chapters in Deuteronomy was an event that was to take place in the last days that had to do with a “Blessing” and a “Curse” upon the descendants of the children of Israel which appears to take place as they are transitioning into apostasy.
It seemed extremely strange and illogical that God would be placing a blessing and a cursing on his people at the same time.. however, I have been studying the scriptures long enough to know that Gods ways are not my ways and so I did not discount what was being said.
It is really quite an important prophesy because it details some major events that lead up to the time when a portion of them finally come out of apostasy and RETURN to the Lord.
It behooves us to understand the issues involved in the prophecy that pertains to the Blessing and the cursing in the last days.
Please study these passages about the blessing and the cursing closely. They foretell a period of apostasy wherein the latter day children of Israel are given a blessing and a cursing. The Good news is that eventually the righteous portion will return to the Lord;
“And it shall come to pass, when all these things are come upon thee, the blessing and the curse, which I have set before thee, and thou shalt call them to mind among all the nations, whither the Lord thy God hath driven thee, thou shalt return unto the Lord they God, and shalt obey his voice according to all that I command thee this day, thou and thy children, with all thine heart, and with all thy soul;
That then the Lord thy God will turn thy captivity, and have compassion upon thee, and will turn and gather thee from all the nations, wither the Lord they God hath scattered thee. If any of thine be driven out unto the outmost parts of heaven from thence will the Lord they God gather thee, and from thence will he fetch thee; And the Lord they God will bring thee into the land which thy fathers possessed, and thou shalt possess it; and he will do thee good, and multiply thee above thy fathers.
And the Lord thy god will circumcise thine heart, and the heart of thy seed, to love the Lord thy God with all thine heart, and with all thy soul, that thou mayest live. And the Lord thy God will put all these curses upon thine enemies, and on them that hate thee which thee.
And thou shalt return and obey the voice of the Lord, and do all his commandments which I command thee this day…
I call heaven and earth to record this day against you, That I have set before you life and death, blessing and cursing; therefore choose life that both thou and thy seed may live;
That thou mayest love the Lord they God, and that thou mayest obey his voice, and that you mayest cleave unto him for he is thy life, and the length of thy days; that thou mayest dwell in the land which the Lord sware unto thy fathers, to Abraham Isaac and Jacob”
The above passages seem to speak of a time when the Lord gives latter day Israel a blessing and a cursing. Sometime after that, the Lord has compassion on them and frees them from the “captivity” or bondage they have been in for 400 years.
At that time, God will circumcise their heart and they will finally love the Lord God with all of their heart and souls.
One needs to keep in mind the fact that there are two general groups of Gods people that are redeemed, the larger portion represents the seed of Abraham that ultimately receives a terrestrial inheritance, the smaller group of the elect receive a celestial inheritance.
I really wanted to identify and better understand what the blessing and the curse was that seemed to be placed on latter day Israel. It seemed very strange to me that God would put a blessing and a cursing upon them at the same time!
I looked for the pivotal event that might represent the turning point in Gods relationship with latter day Israel.
Naturally section 110 containing the appearance of Christ, Abraham, Elijah and Moses shortly before the appointed time for the redemption of Zion was one of the suspected events that I felt might relate this prophecy.
As I studied that event and where it fell into the time line of church history I thought it was interesting that Joseph Smith had quit encouraging the saints to be prepared to redeem Zion at the appointed time of Sept 11 1836. As early as late 1834 he was encouraging them to live in surrounding areas to Jackson county so that they would be ready to regain possession of those sacred places on or before September 11 1836. Strangely enough, he seemed to quit talking about it during 1835-6, as if it had become apparent to him that Zion would need to be redeemed at a later time…
It was as if it had been revealed to him, or at least become obvious to him that the Saints would not be able to establish Zion by that date.
Secondly, I found it intriguing that the visitation by Christ and the ministering angels in the Kirtland Temple was kept a secret!
The Saints of that time were apparently never told about this event during the life of Joseph Smith.
I believe it was 16 years after the Saints migrated to Utah before this event was made public and it was a full 40 year, biblical generation before it was canonized in the D&C!
The Gospel of Abraham possibly contains the Law of Plural Marriage
I have made some harsh statements regarding those who practiced various types of polygamy during the restoration movement.
However, somewhere between writing part 4 of the High Priesthood article and the article on Patriarchal Priesthood, I had an “ah ha” moment in the evolution of my belief about polygamy which I am now sharing in this part of this series.
I have always claimed in my posts that “biblical polygamy” was accepted of God and was certainly not adultery. I have also always maintained that the “spiritual wife doctrine”, which teaches that you must have multiple wives in order to gain an inheritance in the celestial kingdom, that was introduced for the very first time during the Nauvoo period is a false doctrine, and that it is not necessary to have multiple wives to become exalted in the celestial kingdom.
My opinion on those two issues has not changed…
In the past I have felt that those who engaged in certain types of polygamy during the restoration movement may have been in transgression for doing so. I did this based on my understanding of the information I had at the time, within this twilight Zone that we are living in.
My belief concerning the practice of polygamy between 1836 and today HAS evolved.
Although I have suspected in the past, that biblical polygamy may have been permissible during the restoration movement, I could never find any credible documentation in the scriptures and supporting theory, to justify the belief.
Section 42 and 49 prohibited polygamy and section 132 has way too many false doctrines intermingled in it to accept it without corroborating scriptural testimony… and corroborating scriptural testimony for the doctrines taught in 132 is nonexistent.
Additionally, there is compelling testimony from William Law, who personally read the original revelation now known as section 132, which indicates that someone messed with the original and added the theological part about multiple wives being required for exaltation.
But now, as a result of the research I have been doing, primarily regarding the special conference at the Morley Farm and the high priesthood, and particularly the concept of the Gospel of Abraham that was restored in section 110, my thoughts about polygamy after the defilement of the Kirtland Temple have changed.
I now believe that after the first laborers of the last kingdom received their spiritual endowments and became sanctified in 1832-3 (giving them the ability to offer themselves up as an acceptable atonement and scapegoat offerings and giving them the ability to have their bodies “renewed” at a future time so they could return during the 3rd watch), that the collective body of the church, consisting of wheat and tares, rejected the fullness of the Gospel containing the higher law.
That higher law, as contained in section 42, contained the celestial law of monogamy as well as consecration.
Once the fullness of the gospel had been rejected by the Gentile church, the Lord came to his temple in secret with three other ministering angels.
Among other things, they restored Israelite tribalism AND the “Gospel of Abraham” which very possibly contains the law of plural marriage.
Shortly after that, people in foreign lands from the house of Jacob with the “believing blood of Israel” in them began to gather into the gospel net, geographically and theologically as a direct result of God remembering his covenant with the seed of Abraham.
Although this gathering of the seed of Abraham did not physically separate the new converts into the specific 12 sub-tribes physically, they were identified tribally by patriarchal blessings.
This amazing and secretive series of events that took place in the Kirtland Temple, began the global gathering of the tribes of Israel and the seed of Abraham into one collective tribe regarding those who joined the church. However it is very possible that the gathering of the seed of Abraham to America takes on a broader application than that.
With regard to the “Gospel of Abraham” which is not to be confused with the “Priesthood of Abraham”, it was restored to the earth during that series of events in the Kirtland Temple.
This took place since the Saints had rejected the fullness “Gospel of Christ”.
I realize there are people who will take issue with me and suggest that the Saints were becoming more righteous and enlightened between Kirtland and Nauvoo and that the “gospel of Abraham” is somehow greater than the “gospel of Christ”, containing a higher law, but I disagree, and I feel that the evidence is obvious and compelling..
Again, it is important to distinguish the difference between “priesthood” and “gospel”.
Among other things, Priesthood is the authority to dispense the saving ordinances of the gospel. While the gospel is the “power of God unto salvation”.
Up until the time that Christ came to the Kirtland temple in secret, the “priesthood” of Abraham and Moses that was restored by Peter, James and John, was dispensing the blessings of the fullness of the gospel of Christ, which is the gospel of the highest salvation.
Sometime after that time the patriarchal priesthood began dispensing the gospel of Abraham.
Abr 2 proves that the descendants of Abraham are to take the gospel of salvation to the world, and also D&C 124 which verifies that the church in Kirtland and also Nauvoo was being governed by patriarchal priesthood.
According to section 124, the Church in Nauvoo was being administered by the patriarchal priesthood of Abraham which Hyrum Smith had been appointed to by his father, by blessing and by right.
That patriarchal priesthood gave him the keys of the patriarchal blessings upon the heads of all of the Saints. It also gave him the same keys of blessing and cursing, sealing and loosing, just as the Lord gave to Abraham and Peter, James and John.
If it is not shocking enough that the church was being governed by the Patriarchal Priesthood beginning in 1829, we find that in Nauvoo, after the fullness of the priesthood had been lost, the prophet, seer and revelators of the church, namely Joseph, Sidney and Hyrum, were functioning with those spiritual gifts, under the authority of the patriarchal priesthood.
Even more shocking is the fact that when Hyrum was being made the co-president of the Church with Joseph under the patriarchal priesthood, he was replacing Oliver Cowdery in that calling… that’s right, way back before Oliver left the Church, when he was the co-president of the Church with Joseph in Kirtland, the priesthood he had gotten from Peter James and John was the same patriarchal priesthood that was governing the church in Nauvoo!
Once the Gentile church had collectively rejected the gospel of Christ and the higher law of consecration which mandates monogamy, it was necessary to down-grade the church to the gospel of Abraham, in order to enable it’s temporal salvation, even if they were being down-graded to the preparatory gospel.. without them even knowing it. Hence, the event in the Kirtland Temple was not spoken about publicly during the life of Joseph Smith.. nor was it published in the D&C for forty years after that.
I am therefore open to the possibility that anyone living at that time to the present, who is living the biblical law of polygamy according to the rules and authority of the Gospel of Abraham, (which I don’t claim to be an authority on) may not be committing transgression in doing it. They were simply given the lesser law that Abraham was living before he entered into the higher law.
This lesser law that allows polygamy, allowed the children of Israel to practice polygamy and it was a cursing to them.
Nevertheless, I am not convinced that the patriarchal law of polygamy allows an unspecified number of wives with no guidelines.
The Old Testament doesn’t give us much information pertaining to the law and the Book of Mormon makes the following statement,
“For if I will, saith the Lord of Hosts, raise up seed unto me, I will command my people; otherwise they shall hearken unto these things.” Jacob 2: 30
This remarkable verse actually provides more clues to how polygamy should be practiced than one might think.
If you do a key phrase search on “raise up seed” we find that in the Old Testament the raising up of seed pertained to the act of raising up seed to a deceased brother via his wife,
“…And Judah said unto Onan, Go in unto thy brother’s awife, and marry her, and raise up seed to thy brother.” Gen. 38: 8
It refers to the same thing in the New Testament,
“…Saying, Master, Moses said, If a man die, having no children, his abrother shall bmarry his wife, and raise up seed unto his brother.” (Mat 22:24 see also Mark 12: 19 Luke 20: 28)
I find it interesting that the New Testament credits Moses as stipulating the practice of raising up seed to a deceased brother, yet gives no other details about what guidelines Moses gave pertaining to raising up seed.
Finally, in the Book of Mormon, it simply means raising up seed through monogamous marriages.
“And now I would that ye might know, that after my father, Lehi, had made an end of aprophesying concerning his seed, it came to pass that the Lord spake unto him again, saying that it was not meet for him, Lehi, that he should take his family into the wilderness alone; but that his sons should take bdaughters to cwife, that they might raise up dseed unto the Lord in the land of promise.” 1 Ne. 7: 1
How fascinating that according to the scriptures, that phrase can only be documented as referring to one of two things, raising up seed to a deceased brother by marrying a brothers wife, or to procreation via monogamy!
Obviously, it is possible that Moses gave other rules and broader allowances pertaining to polygamy, but if so, it is very strange that they do not show up in scripture.
Although I have evolved regarding the legitimacy of patriarch polygamy in the LDS foundation movement, my paradigm shift has not changed my belief that the spiritual wife doctrine is bogus. In fact, it has significantly strengthened it.
I would present the case study of Lyman Wight as just one more evidence, that multiple wives are not necessary for exaltation.
Note that he was called to the High Priesthood after the order of the Son of God, was transfigured, he beheld the father and the son, became sanctified by fire and appears to have received the baptism of the Holy Ghost or the “other comforter”.
In short, he received the baptism of fire and the Holy Ghost, was elected to the highest portion of Melchizek priesthood, and entered into the gate and received the promise of eternal life, and he did all this as a humble, monogamous, follower of Christ. We have no reason to suppose that case was any different regarding the monogamous status of Adam, Melchizedek, Enoch and many others.
Historical Revisionism and the Practice of Polygamy
In addition to the case study of Lyman Wight regarding polygamy, I would like to present the case study of Benjimin F. Johnson.
Recently one of my friends send the following question to me by email;
“was the parenthetical statement in verse 2 of D&C 131, viz. [meaning the new and everlasting covenant of marriage], always present in this verse, or was it something added later. the only other reference to the “new and everlasting covenant of marriage” is in 132, which is obviously a point of debate. i suppose my real question is if the “order of the priesthood” mentioned in the same verse really referring to marriage, or was that interpretation added sometime later. did the Lord really use that language..”the new and everlasting covenant of marriage“?
Let us review what it says in those passages in 131;
“In the celestial glory there are three heavens or degrees; And in order to obtain the highest, a man must enter into this order of the priesthood [meaning the New and Everlasting Covenant of Marriage]; And if he does not, he cannot obtain it. He may enter into the other, but that is the end of his kingdom; he cannot have increase.”
Here was my response to him;
“According to the blue books, section 131 was never intended to be represented as a revelation.
Sections 130 and 131 were composite statements from Joseph Smith that people reminisced about hearing him talk about. verses 1-4 of 131 were comments JS made while visiting a friends house taken out of history of the church… of course, this is during the time that he was apparently practicing polygamy.
Those comments from history of the Church were not put into the D&C until 1876 by Orson Pratt under the direction of BY..
YES the comments in brackets were added later..
Strangely enough, when you read the entire original statement without the comments that Pratt and Young added, JS was speaking about the highest priesthood and was speaking about being sealed for eternity to ONE wife.
Here is the exact quote taken out of the history of the Church that Joseph Smith made to his friend;
““Your life is hid with Christ in God and so are many others, nothing but the unpardonable sin can prevent you from inheriting eternal life for you are sealed up by the power of the Priesthood unto eternal life, having taken the step necessary to for the purpose.
Except a man and his WIFE enter into an everlasting covenant and be married for eternity, while in this probation, by the power and authority of the Holy Priesthood, they will cease to increase when they die. That is, they will not have any children after the resurrection.
But those who are married by the power and authority of the priesthood in this life, and continue without committing the sin against the holy Ghost, will continue to increase and have children in the celestial glory.
The unpardonable sin is to shed innocent blood, or be accessory thereto. All other sins will be visited with judgment in the flesh and the spirit, being delivered to the buffetings of Satan until the day of the Lord Jesus the way I know in whom to confide-
God tells me in whom I may place confidence.
In the Celestial glory there are three heavens or degrees; and in order to obtain the highest, a man must enter into this order of the priesthood and if he does not, he cannot obtain it. He may enter into the other, but that is the end of his kingdom; he cannot have an increase..”
I personally find the above quote to be anything but an endorsement of the spiritual wife doctrine or polygamy in general….”
The above statements attributed to Joseph Smith are a testimony against the spiritual wife doctrine.
Notice how the man and wife are to enter into the true everlasting covenant of baptism, which includes consecration, and then, after having done that, they are to be married for eternity;
Except a man and his WIFE enter into an everlasting covenant and be married for eternity,
The above statement reminds me of the profound statement by Paul to the Corinthians about the eternal union of the two genders,
“Nevertheless neither is the man without the woman, neither the woman without the man, in the Lord.”
If being sealed to multiple wives was essential to the highest salvation, Paul would have said,
“Nevertheless neither is the man without women, neither the women without the man, in the Lord.”
The Rest of the Story
It is pretty amazing to realize that Brigham Young deliberately selected one short paragraph from those incredible statements which were contained in the dairy. After selectively taking only a portion of what was said, he then inserted [meaning everlasting covenant of marriage] to imply something other than what was really being said.
This is a text book example of historical revisionism.
But then, so is section 132.
This is exactly what had happened with the rewriting of section 132. There is evidence to show that the original revelation was very short and only had to do with biblical polygamy.
Additionally, the traditional biblical definitions for the terms “everlasting covenant”, “salvation” and “oath and covenant” “strait gate” and other terms were all changed in section 132.
The definition of “everlasting covenant” was changed. Instead of referring to baptism it was changed to refer to multiple wives.
The term “salvation” was also changed. Instead of referring to the “greatest gift of God” in the Celestial Kingdom, as it had previously been referred to in the scriptures, it referred to a lesser glory for those who remain single.
Lastly, the term “oath and covenant” of the priesthood, which had previously referred to the covenant of the Law of the church containing consecration, now referred to “multiple wives”.
For more information about the inconsistencies in section 132 see the following article. Analysis of Section 132
But lets get back to our case study of Benjamin F. Johnson.
As you saw from reading the complete statement attributed to Joseph Smith, the principle of being sealed in marriage eternally was presented as having to do with ONE WIFE.
But there is much more to be gleaned from this case study.
If you are very familiar with church history, you are aware that Joseph introduced Benjamin to the principle of multiple wives and that Benjamin did in fact practice polygamy!
You might have assumed that it must have been some time after the event mentioned in section 131 that Joseph introduced Brother Johnson to the law of polygamy. In fact you may be assuming that it was introduced after Joseph sealed Brother and sister Johnson to each other..
Joseph had already introduced the patriarchal law of multiple wives to Benjamin F Johnson before he sealed him to his wife!
That is what is so revealing and compelling about the case study of the Johnsons!
Joseph Smith had introduced the biblical principal of multiple wives to Benjamin as a separate concept. He later revealed the celestial principle of celestial marriage to ONE WIFE as a separate and distinct concept.
He told Brother Johnson he needed to be sealed to his WIFE but he never said anything about needing to be sealed to his plural wives…. Why! Because polygamy is a TEMPORAL, CARNAL LAW, having to do with raising up seed within the law of the gospel of Abraham.
It is not a SPIRITUAL LAW having to do with the Law of Zion.
Please note the wording taken from several passages out of the autobiography of BFJ
“…As I have alluded to the law of plural marriage [D&C 132] I will relate the time and manner in which it was taught to me.”
Notice how brother Johnson refers to it as the “law of plural marriage” but someone later inserts [D&C 132] in brackets to lead the reader into assuming that plural marriage and the doctrine contained in the current editions of section 132 which teaches that you need multiple wives to receive the greatest salvation, are synonymous. They are NOT!
“After telling additional details in his autobiography brother Johnson states, “as we sat down upon a log he began to tell me that the Lord had revealed to him that plural or patriarchal marriage was according to His law; and that the Lord had not only revealed it to him but had commanded him to obey it;”
Again, notice that the marital law spoken of is characterized as PLURAL or PATRIARCHAL marriage. Not CELESTIAL marriage. Also please remember that the law Joseph Smith was obviously referring to was the Law contained in the gospel of Abraham that was restored in 1836, he was obviously not speaking about the celestial law contained in section 42 as the gentile church had rejected the fullness of the Gospel.
Nowhere in brother Johnsons diary does it ever mention celestial marriage or the concept of being sealed to multiple wives for eternity.
This is what Brother Johnson says…
In the evening he called me and my wife to come and sit down, for he wished to marry us according to the Law of the Lord. I thought it a joke, and said I should not marry my wife again, unless she courted me, for I did it all the first time. He chided my levity, told me he was in earnest, and so it proved, for we stood up and were sealed by the Holy Spirit of Promise.
Again, Joseph had already taught Brother Johnson about the law of plural marriage, yet when Joseph told him he needed to be SEALED TO HIS WIFE BY THE HOLY SPIRIT OF PROMISE according to the “LAW OF THE LORD” it was a totally new concept to him, nor did he say anything about the need to have additional wives sealed to him!
This is further proof that the law of plural wives was not a part of celestial law. Again, the law of the fullness of the Gospel in section 42 requires monogamy. The interesting thing about this is that while taking the people into the law of Abraham, Joseph still seemed to be functioning as a prophet seer and revelation and God was still using him to seal righteous people.
Later in his autobiography Brother Johnson reiterated;
“the Prophet had sealed to me my first and had given to me a second to be my wife”.
Again, we see a very important distinction being made, the primary wife was sealed for eternity, while additional wives were not.
As we begin to realize that Zion was not redeemed by the appointed time and that the 3rd watch would not begin for four generations, the remembering of the covenant with the seed of Abraham would not only necessitate the gathering of the Seed of Abraham but also the bearing of the seed of Abraham. It actually begins to make sense why the Old Testament law of polygamy might actually provide an important role among the Saints.
Joseph was so concerned about the necessity of his close friend Brother Johnson fulfilling the higher law of being sealed to his wife that he made sure it was done. Yet he never said anything about sealing plural wives to Brother Johnson.
It appears that it was Brigham Young that insisted that Brother Johnson be sealed to his plural wife after the death of Joseph Smith;
“On November 14th Mary Ann Hale, given to me by the Prophet, was sealed to me as a plural wife by Father John Smith, as directed by President Brigham Young.
This case study of Brother Johnson provides another potential testimony that the Abrahamic Law of Plural wives was not originally presented as a celestial law that required being sealed to multiple wives.
This is consistent with the testimony of William Law who had read the original revelation on marriage back in Nauvoo, and when asked about the current content in section 132 in an interview, he said;
“I was astonished to see in your book that the revelation was such a long document.
I remember DISTINCTLY that the original given me by Hyrum was MUCH SHORTER.
It covered not more than two or three pages of foolscap. The contents are substantially the same, but there was not that theological introduction.
The thing consisted simply in the command of doing it, and that command was restricted to the High Priesthood and to virgins and widows. But as to Joseph, himself, the Lord’s chosen servant, it was restricted to virgins only, to clean vessels, from which to procure a pure seed to the Lord.”
It is also consistent with the scenario that when the Saints rejected the fullness of the Gospel including the law of Zion which contains consecration and monogamy, the Lord came to his temple in secret with other messengers and restored a lesser gospel law, even the Gospel of Abraham.
When the Saints got to Nauvoo, the Lord verifies in section 124 that the fullness of the priesthood had been taken. He also informs that Saints that the priesthood now governing the church is patriarchal priesthood, the same priesthood that governed the church in Kirtland!
Now then, I am not saying that it was categorically Brigham Young that began the practice of sealing plural wives to people for eternity. I have not taken the time to research this topic further but I suppose it was probably Joseph Smith that began it at some point in time before his death.
It doesn’t matter to me who began it because I believe in the literal interpretation of the “Atonement Statute” prophecy and the “scapegoat doctrine”.
God had to use someone to deliver the Saints over to the idolatry and whoring spirit that was in their hearts. My best guess at this time is that it probably was Joseph Smith who initiated the doctrines and practices associated with section 132 as well as the more deviant variations of it pertaining to polyandry that took place in Nauvoo. (which even violated the terms and conditions of plural marriage contained in section 132)
For this reason I am not all that concerned with who originated the doctrine and the practice of sealing people to multiple wives.
I am interested in understanding the introduction of the principle of patriarchal polygamy in view of ancient and modern revelation and how LDS history tells us in the proper context of those scriptures.
This concludes the 8th part of this series on the incredible event and associated knowledge that we can glean from the special conference at the Morley Farm in 1831.
My last part of this series will summarize what we have learned about the three orders of Priesthood.
click here for part nine