“The Man of Sin”

December 4, 2009

BTW regarding the series I did on the restoration of the Melchizedek Priesthood at the Morley Farm…

You will remember that at least two people testified that the Prophet Joseph Smith had stated that the “Man of Sin” would be revealed during that special conference.

I saw Joseph Smith the Prophet when he first came to Kirtland, and was with him in the first conference held in that place, which was in a small school house. When he arose in our midst he said that before the conference closed there were those present who should see the heavens open and bear record of the coming of the Son of Man, and that the man of sin should be revealed. While he talked he laid his hand upon the head of Lyman Wight. He then laid his left hand upon the head of Harvey Whitlock. Lyman Wight stepped into the middle of the room and bore record of the coming of the Son of Man. Then Harvey Whitlock stepped into the middle of the room with his arms crossed, bound by the power of Satan, and his mouth twisted unshapely. Elder Philo Dibble

Apparently Joseph had prophesied of the revealing of the Man of Sin the previous day as well.

John Whitmer notes that “Joseph Smith Jr. Prophecied the day Previous that the man of Sin should be revealed


Obviously, God had revealed to Joseph what was going to take place at the special conference in advance.


In case it has not occurred to you, Joseph Smith was prophesying not only that the Man of Sin would be revealed, he was using the exact phrase that had been used by the Apostle Paul in the New Testament.


He was identifying a prophetic event that had been prophesied in the New Testament by the Apostle Paul.


The Second Epistle of Paul the Apostle to the Thessalonians JST



CHAPTER 2

The apostasy, and the man of sin. [Summary provided by JS]

3 Let no man deceive you by any means; for there shall come a falling away first, and that man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition;

9 Yea, the Lord, even Jesus, whose coming is not until after there cometh a falling away, by the working of Satan with all power, and signs and lying wonders,

10 And with all deceivableness of unrighteousness in them that perish; because they received not the love of the truth, that they might be saved.

11 And for this cause God shall send them strong delusion, that they should believe a lie;

12 That they all might be damned who believed not the truth, but had pleasure in unrighteousness.

13 But we are bound to give thanks always to God for you, brethren beloved of the Lord, because God hath from the beginning chosen you to salvation through sanctification of the Spirit and belief of the truth;

In other words, Paul was explaining to the New Testament Saints that at a later time, in the latter days, the Man of Sin would be revealed. The ability of the Man of Sin to show forth his own power and signs and lying wonders would be manifest at the time of the beginning of the falling away, prior to the Coming of Christ. It would culminate many years later during the coming of Christ with the consuming of the Man of Sin who will be sitting in the temple of God

That amazing prophetic event of the Man of Sin being revealed, according to the prophetic utterance of Paul, would mark the beginning of the latter day “falling away” because of those who would not receive the truth at that time… they would rather believe a lie.

Instead of the pure and simple sanctifying endowment of the Holy Ghost, they would delight in take upon them signs and tokens of a false covenant. (see Mal 3:1)

Instead of becoming sanctified of the Spirit through the baptism of fire, the unbelievers received a strong delusion…

Just one more interesting fact about the mysterious special conference at the Morley Farm… it marked the prophetic time period of the revealing of the Man of Sin.. which was the beginning of the latter day “falling away”.


Searching for the Holy Order and 23 High Priests- Part 8

September 14, 2009

By OneWhoIsWatching
www.threewatches.blogspot.com

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,

  • Baptism
  • Confirmation
  • 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 forever2 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:

“Parley!”

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:

“Never, Lord.”

“Well, then,”

He continued,

“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.[3] 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.[8] 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.”[10] 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!

Incredible!

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…

HOWEVER

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..

WRONG!

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.

Keep Watching

click here for part nine


Searching for the Holy Order and 23 High Priests- Part 6

August 25, 2009

By OneWhoIsWatching
www.threewatches.blogspot.com

The Transfiguration of Joseph, Lyman & Harvey
Salvation is to
triumph over all evil spirits
(previously titled Part 5-a)

[Hopefully references to the documentation contained herein will be added during the next
few weeks, but feel from to find them using key word searches]

There must be opposition in all things

I have mentioned how Ezra Booth and other scoffers who appear to have denied the conferral of the Melchizedek priesthood and rejected the events of the special conference were appalled by the experience at the Morley Farm. It was a spiritual experience that was not easily comprehended by the natural man.

The possession by evil spirits was very disturbing to everyone there. According to some accounts, they struggled with possession for two days.

Some thought it inconsistent of God to allow the “Man of Sin” and his minions to crash the party and disrupt things.

However, this provides an incredible learning experience for us. As we search the scriptures we find that it is totally congruent with the gospel.

In section 29 we are taught that,

It must needs be that the devil should tempt the children of men, or they could not be agents unto themselves; for if they never should have bitter they could not know the sweet..”

The plan of salvation, which includes the law of agency, cannot function without the opposing forces of a devil.

Agency is contingent on the opposition that comes from the temptations of the Devil.

What was happening at the Morley farm is what has happened at various times throughout religious history.

It happened to Joseph Smith at the first vision when Satan tried to destroy him.

The forces of darkness usually surface to a greater degree when a greater light shines forth.

In a sermon given in Nauvoo, Joseph Smith gave a fascinating definition of what “salvation” is and revealed how oppressive the world of spirits is….

The spirits of the eternal world are diverse from each other as here in their dispositions: aspiring, ambitious… The spirits of the eternal world glory in bringing other spirits in subjection unto them, striving continually for the mastery….” (ref)

This spirit world is composed of aspiring and ambitious spirits who oppress those that have less knowledge and power than themselves.

The prophet also acknowledges that because of the unsurpassed power and glory of the Father, he is able to call together and organize spirits to do his will when he creates a world or has a work to do;

“Further, He who rules in heaven, when he has a certain work to do, calls the spirits before him to organize them. They present themselves and offer their services.”

The prophet reveals that because of the dynamics in the spirit world, we have enemies there, and we need to gain knowledge and power that will place us beyond their power. He states that we need to do this in order to be saved;

[Therefore] as man is liable to [have] enemies there as well as here it is necessary for him to be placed beyond their power in order to be saved…”

“What is salvation? Salvation is for a man to triumph over all his foes or be above all enemies even our last enemy which is death through power… Knowledge will do this. And until this is done you will not have obtained salvation.

Further, knowledge must be given to triumph over all evil spirits in the world to come, then we are saved. Perhaps there are principles here that few men have thought of.” (ref)

The term salvation, as used in the New Testament and book of Mormon and most of the time in modern revelation refers to the highest salvation in the kingdom of God. According to Joseph Smith, this highest salvation has to do with overcoming all enemies through the acquisition of knowledge and priesthood power. (See also D&C 76:106 Not all are saved until Christ subdues all enemies under his feet.. only then is his work perfected)

Joseph Smith revealed a great secret in that and other discourses stating that evil spirits oppress other spirits in the world of spirits. Those with greater power often oppress the others. Unrighteous dominion runs rampant in the spirit world.

It is therefore essential that we gain the knowledge and power necessary to “triumph over all evil spirits” in the world to come.

According to testimony, Joseph Smith exclaimed;

I now see God, and Jesus Christ at his right hand let them kill me, I should not feel death as I am now..”

Again, it may seem odd that Joseph, while seeing the majesty of the Father and the Son in their glory in the eternal world should say “let them kill me, I should not feel death as I am now”. (ref)

Who was Joseph speaking about? Who would want to kill him?

Why is he preoccupied with enemies on either side of the veil while having the heavens parted and seeing the Father and the Son?

I believe he may have seen more than just the Father and the Son when the heavens departed… or at least intelligence was pouring into him and revealing to the eyes of his understanding just how serious and real the spiritual war in heaven and on earth really is.

I believe that it is impossible to gain a perfect knowledge of God and a fulness of the Holy Ghost and and a deeper understanding of the forces of good without gaining a sure knowledge of Satan and the forces of evil that want to destroy the humble followers of Christ.

On that occasion, Joseph and others had it revealed to them just how literal the enemy in the “secret chambers” really is. He understood that evil beings on both sides of the veil are making war with the Saints and trying to destroy them and the work of God.

You will recall that the reason the Lord commanded the Saints to go to the Ohio to get the law of the Gospel (section 42) and receive the priesthood endowment (section 44 Morley Farm) was “because of the enemy” (section 37:1).

And that ye might escape the power of the enemy, and be gathered unto me a righteous people, without spot and blameless— Wherefore, for this cause I gave unto you the commandment that ye should go to the Ohio; and there I will give unto you my law; and there you shall be endowed with power from on high..” (section 38:31-32)

Joseph’s statement was totally congruent with what the Lord had been warning the Saints about.

The Lord gathered the infant church to Ohio and gave them the law of consecration and the higher priesthood so that they could establish Zion and be protected from the enemy that was already combined and conspiring against the Saints in secret chambers.

The Lord revealed the power of the forces of evil on the same occasion that he gave some of them the highest priesthood so that they would be sobered up to the reality of his power and be better prepared to avoid his deceptions.

Joseph’s statement that they could now kill him is somewhat ironic, or prophetic, as the time would come within the next few years when he would have the opportunity to stare death in the face, being told he would be put in front of a firing squad if he did not betray the Lords anointed. Having had the experience he had, and obtained the knowledge he gained that day, he fearlessly smiled at death and remained valiant in the faith.

Not only were the dark forces at the special farm upsetting to many of the participants, but even the things of God seemed ridiculous to them.

“But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God”

Mocking Lyman’s Vision of the Father and the Son, Ezra Booth gave this account;

Wight arose and presented himself a pale countenance, a fierce look, with his arms extended, and his hands cramped back, the whole system agitated, and very unpleasant object to look upon. He exhibited himself as an instance of great power of God, and called upon those around him ‘if you want to see a sign, look at me.’ He then stepped upon a bench and declared with a loud voice, he saw the Savior

It is interesting how the natural man who is an unbeliever will characterize a spiritual event so much differently than a believer.

But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned.” (ref)

Here is another account of the exact same event by a believer;

…After he had prophesied, he laid his hands upon Lyman Wight [and ordained him] to the High Priesthood after the holy order of God. And the Spirit fell upon Lyman” (ref)

Here is Lyman’s general description of the event years later;

“On the 4th of June 1831, a conference was held at Kirtland, <Ohio> represented by all the above mamed [named] branches; Joseph Smith our modern Prophet presided; and here I again saw the visible manifestations of the power of God as plain as could have been on the day of pentecost and here for the first time I saw the Melchisedec priesthood introduced into the church of Jesus Christ as anciently..” (ref)

Lyman compared the events of this spiritual endowment to the day of Pentecost.

I would like to make two observations about this very controversial event.

The first has to do with the principle of adoption. The second has to do with the Baptism of Fire.

The Principle of Adoption

Joseph Smith once said that when;

the Holy Ghost falls upon one of the literal seed of Abraham, it is calm and serene; … while the effect of the Holy Ghost upon a Gentile, is to purge out the old blood, and make him actually of the seed of Abraham. That man that has none of the blood of Abraham (naturally) must have a new creation by the Holy Ghost.” (ref)

Had the experience at the Morley Farm happened in book of Mormon times among the Nephites, the physical response to the glory of God upon a Nephite might have been a more “serene” effect than what Joseph, Lyman and Harvey experienced.

I believe Lyman and Harvey and possibly Joseph were having a very visible, spiritual, physical effect taking place upon his spiritual and physical body. The gentile blood was being purged. They were becoming, once again, the Seed of Abraham and Moses which is requisite in being elected to the fullness of the priesthood.

Again, in section 84, we are informed that the first two priesthoods that were restored by John the Baptist and Peter, James and John, were lineage based priesthoods. One must magnify those priesthoods and “become” the sons of Moses and of Aaron and the seed of Abraham in the process of being elected to the highest priesthood that is without Father and Mother….without beginning of days.

Whilst on the principle of adoption, I would like to share a speculation that I have about adoption which pertains to the principle of predestination, as taught in the New Testament.

I think everyone that is saved must possibly be adopted into the seed of Abraham.

I would suggest however, that everyone who is ultimately called and elected to the highest kingdom, even though they are adopted spiritually back into the house of Israel through the baptism of fire, were, at a previous time, literal heirs according to the flesh… they were originally of the seed of Abraham.

This explains why the Lord told the early Saints that they “are the children of Israel and the seed of Abraham…” and that the covenant of baptism was sent forth for the express purpose of recovering his people who “were of the house of Israel” (103:17 & 39:11) and yet he explained that they needed to “become the Sons of Moses and of Aaron and the seed of Abraham…” in the process of becoming sanctified and becoming the elect of God (88:34-34).

Why do we need to be adopted into the house of Israel if our forefathers originally came from that lineage?

I believe that the parable of the prodigal son may very well represent the two tribes of Israel that had been given the right of kingship… Judah and Joseph (Ephraim).

When the prodigal son offended his father, culture, and tribal law by requesting his inheritance prematurely, before the passing of his Father, and then exhausting his inheritance by living riotously, he lost his inheritance and place of standing in his Fathers house.

However, I believe he was adopted back into his Fathers family and back into his previous station and inheritance when he returned to ask for mercy and request the opportunity to be a servant in his Fathers kingdom,

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

The response of his Father was to restore him to his previous position;

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

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

For this my son was dead, and is alive again; he was lost, and is found.”

I believe this represented the fact that the kingdom of Israel became mingled among the nations and more specifically, “Ephraim hath mixed himself among the nations”.

The reason Ephraim is not mentioned specifically in the Book of Revelation when identifying the 12,000 High Priests from each tribe, is because Ephraim had become mixed into all 12 tribes.

All 12,000 from each tribe that are called and chosen are of mixed lineage. Each of them, in addition to maintaining their original tribal identity also have the birthright blood of Ephraim, which is the right of the first born. The 144,000 Ephraimites that gather in the terrestrial portion of the House of Israel are the firstfruits of the resurrection mentioned in section 88 and the Book of Revelation.

Joseph Smith was using the Gospel of Jesus Christ to gather the scattered remnants of those tribes who had lost their identity and birthright. They were being adopted back into the family of Israel from which they had originally been legal heirs according to the flesh. (86:8-10)

The Transfiguration of Joseph Smith, Lyman Wight and Harvey Whitlock

Getting back to Joseph, Lyman and Harvey, their experiences were very strange and seemed so inappropriate and offensive to some… They were classed among the gentiles. Their lineage was originally from the house of Israel; anciently the kingdom of Israel became the “outcasts of Israel” when God scattered them among the nations. They temporarily lost their identity and their birthright.

It is very possible that these brethren were having their mixed gentile blood purged out of their systems, becoming a new creatures of the Holy Ghost and being adopted back into the tribe and kingdom from which they had originally come from.

The scriptures reveal that it is impossible for a man to see God the Father unless he is transfigured. Notice the testimony of Moses;

11 But now mine own eyes have beheld God; but not my natural, but my spiritaul eyes, for my  natural eyes could not have beheld; for I should have withered and died in his presence; but his glory was upon me; and I beheld his face, for I was transfigured before him. … For behold, I could not look upon God, except his glory should come upon me, and I were transfigured before him. But I can look upon thee in the natural man. Is it not so, surely?”

If these three brethren were telling the truth about seeing the Father and the Son, and if the above passage is true, they had to have been transfigured, just like Moses during his experience at the special conference at the Morley Farm.

Joseph, Lyman and Harvey were transfigured before God at the special conference at the Morley Farm! The glory of God fell upon them and transfigured them!

They were experiencing what Christ and Peter, James, and John had experienced on the Mount of Transfiguration when the Father bore witness of the Son.

Notice how the following scripture in JST John reveals that whenever a person sees the Father, it involves the Father bearing witness of the Son!

And no man hath seen God at any time, except he hath borne record of the Son..”

It is virtually always Christ that deals directly with mortal man except when the will of the Father choses to sanctify someone with the baptism of the Fire and the Holy Ghost. I appears that during this process, the candidate either hears the Father bear testimony of the Son or sees the Son on the right hand of the Father.

Shortly after the Morley Farm experience, Joseph and Sidney became transfigured during the Vision known as section 76. Notice how they also saw the Father and had to become sanctified in the process by receiving the fullness of their glory;

By the power of the Spirit our eyes were opened and our understandings were enlightened, so as to see and understand the things of God—

Even those things which were from the beginning before the world was, which were ordained of the Father, through his Only Begotten Son, who was in the bosom of the Father, even from the beginning;

Of whom we bear record; and the record which we bear is the fulness of the gospel of Jesus Christ, who is the Son, whom we saw and with whom we conversed in the heavenly vision….

And while we meditated upon these things, the Lord touched the eyes of our understandings and they were opened, and the glory of the Lord shone round about.

And we beheld the glory of the Son, on the right hand of the Father, and received of his fullness..”

During the vision that Joseph and Sidney had, which is now known as section 76, several of the Elders were walking in and out of the room and watching the event. Several mentioned that they could feel the spirit but could not see what Joseph and Sidney were seeing. I believe Joseph and Sidney were also transfigured during that vision and possibly received the baptism of fire, just as Lyman had been.

It appears that Lyman Wight received the baptism of fire, which is spoken of in the scriptures, and he experienced the “transfiguration” that Moses and every other prophet who saw the Father and the Son experienced. It is not clear to me if both of these terms represent the exact same event.

When the scriptures reveal that the baptism of fire is done according to the will of God the Father, it appears to be speaking of the sanctification that takes place when someone is being called and elected to the high priesthood by God the Father.

Again, when a person experiences the baptism of fire, they have the heavens opened and they either hear the Father bearing witness of the Son or they see the Son standing on the right hand of the Father. (Most of the time, the scriptures don’t give details of what happened to those who were baptized. But we do no that women as well as men are invited by God’s servants to be baptized. The stories pertaining to King Benjamin’s people and the people of Ammon would indicate that men and women may experience the baptism of Fire and the Holy Ghost and therefore are elected to this high priesthood)

Stephen is another example of someone being transfigured while seeing the Son of Man standing on the right hand of the God;

Behold, I see the heavens opened, and the Son of man standing on the right hand of God.

Lyman Wight and Harvey Whitlock received the Baptism of Fire and the Holy Ghost

As the Savior was speaking to the Nephites in 3rd Nephi after destroying the wicked, he made the following comment;

“… ye shall offer up unto me no more the shedding of blood; yea, your sacrifices and your burnt offerings shall be done away, for I will accept none of your sacrifices and your burnt offerings. And ye shall offer for a sacrifice unto me a broken heart and a contrite spirit. And whoso cometh unto me with a broken heart and a contrite spirit, him will I baptize with fire and with the Holy Ghost, even as the Lamanites, because of their faith in me at the time of their conversion, were baptized with fire and with the Holy Ghost and they knew it not. 3 Nephi 9:19-20

I believe the Savior was not saying that the Lamanites didn’t know that they were experiencing an incredible spiritual manifestation and the preliminary effects of the Holy Ghost. He was simply pointing out that they did not understand that what they were experiencing was called the baptism of fire and the Holy Ghost.

It is true that usually the baptism of fire and the Holy Ghost follow the public confession and the baptism of water and the laying on of hands for the Gift of the Holy Ghost, but there are times when God changes the order in which these things are received.

An example of this is the day of Pentecost when the gift of the Holy Ghost fell upon the Gentiles causing Peter to offer them water baptism;

While Peter yet spake these words, the Holy Ghost fell on all them which heard the word. And they of the circumcision which believed were astonished, as many as came with Peter, because that on the Gentiles also was poured out the gift of the Holy Ghost. For they heard them speak with tongues, and magnify God. Then answered Peter, Can any man forbid water, that these should not be baptized, which have received the Holy Ghost as well as we? And he commanded them to be baptized in the name of the Lord. Then prayed they him to tarry certain days.” (Acts 10:45)

Interestingly, it could be said that most of the spectators at the Morley Farm watched the glory of God fall upon Lyman Wight as he received the baptism of fire and the Holy Ghost and they knew it not. In other words, they did not comprehend that he was being sanctified by the cleansing power of the baptism of Fire. Nor did they comprehend that he was spiritually transfigured to be able to see God with his spiritual eyes.

One might ask why it is that the Lamanites in the prison saw the fire that encircled Lehi and Nephi and saw the heavens opened and heard the voice of God and saw angels descending when, in fact, even the believing Saints at the Morley Farm didn’t appear to notice anything other than to acknowledge that the glory of God descended upon Lyman.

I don’t pretend to know the answer. It may be that the gentiles were not exercising the degree of faith that the Lamanites exercised. It might have something to do with the fact that the Lamanites have a greater predisposition for spiritual phenomena than the gentiles until the gentile blood is purged, as mentioned by Joseph Smith.

Nevertheless, if we study the events that took place in the 5th chapter of Helaman and all of the other scriptures that talk about the baptism of fire and the Holy Ghost, it becomes clear that Lyman was experiencing the same baptism of fire and the Holy Ghost that Lehi and Nephi and others experienced.

The heavens parted, the Father bore witness of his Son and the Holy Spirit entered into their hearts as they were cleansed by a burning fire.

If you study every scripture that speaks of the baptism of Water, Fire, and Holy Ghost and document what each of them reveal, I think you will find that the spiritual baptism contains the following elements and results;

1-      The Fire and Holy Ghost is given by the will of the Father through the Son

2-      The heavens are opened and the Father bears witness of the Son or the Son is seen on the right hand of the Father

3-      The Holy Ghost enters into the heart of the candidate-

4-      The Holy Ghost showeth all things and teacheth the peaceable things

5-      The Holy Ghost bears record of the Father and the Son

6-      Angels descend and ye speak with the tongue of angels

7-      The recipient enters into the order of the Son who is without “beginning of days or end of years”

8-      After this sanctifying priesthood endowment of the water fire and Holy Ghost, if the candidate should deny Christ, it would have been better for them if they had never known him.

It is not clear whether the baptism of the Holy Ghost (which comes after the initial gift of the Holy Ghost) constitutes the other comforter which is the constant companionship of the Holy Ghost and is the promise of eternal life.

It is possible that the Holy Ghost is a three part event;

1-      Invitation to receive the Holy Ghost initiated by laying on of hands after baptism but before the baptism of fire.

2-      Baptism of the Holy Ghost which usually follows after the laying on of hands for the gift of the Holy Ghost

3-      The other Comforter which is the sealing of the Holy Ghost into your heart to be with you on a continual basis and is the promise of eternal life.

It appears that the Baptism of Water and the Gift of the Holy Ghost is what initiates entering into the gate.

The reason we are told that the Lord employeth no man at the gate is because Christ, under the direction of the Father, is the one that we must believe in, and he determines a persons worthiness to receive the Holy Ghost.

It appears that after confessing your sins before God and the church, declaring your determination to serve God, being baptized by water, and receiving the Gift of the Holy Ghost, you are justified.

After that you are on the straight and narrow path. The next part of baptism is the baptism of fire which is sanctification.

Those who are justified and/or sanctified can still fall from grace.

It appears to me that the last step necessary in being sealed up and having one’s calling and election sure, is the receive the “Other comforter”. It is the constant companionship of the Holy Ghost.

Receiving the Other comforter is the promise of eternal life.

(It is sometimes erroneously taught in the church that the Gift of the Holy Ghost is to have the constant companionship of the Holy Ghost, this is not substantiated in the scriptures)

According to section 76:69 “Just men made perfect” appears to be referring to those who become justified by entering in at the gate of baptism and then being made perfect through the sanctification of the fire and eventually receiving the promise of eternal life through the other comforter.

Again, it is not clear to me whether the term baptism of the “Holy Ghost” which is spoken of in the scriptures is synonymous with the term, “Other  comforter”. If not, then the gift of the Holy Ghost and then the baptism of the Holy Ghost are two steps that take place before the final reception of the other comforter.

Once I understood that Lyman Wight and Harvey Whitlock were experiencing the same baptism of Fire and the Holy Ghost that Lehi and Nephi and the Lamanite dissenters experienced in Helaman 5, I began to experience a greater synchronization of the theology in the Book of Mormon with the theology in the Doctrine and Covenants!

Over the years, as I have studied the salvation theology in the Book of Mormon and compared it to the salvation theology in the D&C, I have been a bit perplexed. The Spirit bore witness that the doctrines in the unaltered revelations contained in both books were true, yet it didn’t seem like the process and many of the terms used were exactly the same!

Salvation theology in the Book of Mormon is very simple… Focusing almost totally on salvation through faith, repentance, and the baptism of water, fire, and the Holy Ghost.

Modern revelation contains that same salvation terminology, incorporating the baptism of water, fire, and Holy Ghost, but it also adds a very complex and, frankly, potentially very confusing component of priesthood theology. The priesthood component in modern revelation seems to be emphasized as much or more than the saving ordinances of the Gospel.

The Book of Mormon puts very little emphasis on priesthood, and the organization structure theology seems much less complex.

Once it occurred to me that the process of being elected to the high priesthood through the oath and covenant of the Father was the same thing as being baptized by fire and the Holy Ghost by the will of the Father, I realized the doctrines contained in the two books were congruent, although sometimes described by different terminology.

The reason for the apparent discrepancy and differing terminology between the two cannons of scripture has to do with the fact that the Book of Mormon was a record of God’s dealings with those who were of the pure blood of Israel while the D&C is God’s dealings with the Gentiles, or the portion of Israel who had mingled among the gentile nations.

The necessity of having the gentile blood purged from the system requires the dynamics of being “called” to the priesthood and having the opportunity to “magnify” priesthood until one is “elected”. This process enables the candidates, by faith, to “become” the sons of Moses and of Aaron and the seed of Abraham again. It also provides a sifting out process by which the tares, who are mingled among the wheat, may be sifted out and condemned for walking in darkness at noon day. It leaves them without excuse.

If a person doesn’t experience the merging together and synchronicity of the salvation theologies from these two books, they often lose faith in the revelations in the D&C and they begin to doubt their inheritance as a Gentile. It creates a natural tendency in the Gentile to assume he has an inferior birthright.

It results in a distorted lens through which to see the gospel and the events of the last days.

For instance, when reading about how the believing gentiles will assist the Book of Mormon remnant of Jacob in building up Zion, they assume an inferior role when, in fact, the righteous gentiles who receive their calling and election, obtaining the promise of eternal life, will indeed take the leadership role according to modern revelation. (of course it really doesn’t matter who has the leading role, but for the sake of trying to understand the scriptures this topic is being addressed)

It is easy to assume that the Nephites in 3rd Nephi, who consecrated and established Zion for 3 1/2 generations were more righteous than the Gentile Saints who failed to establish Zion during the early years of the restoration movement, but this is not an accurate assumption. The prodigal Son returns to his birthright!

One must remember that the Nephites had been stumbling around in darkness for a long time before Christ intervened and destroyed the tares, leaving the wheat to be taught, endowed, and organized.

Nephi was unable to get the righteous to repent among the wicked. Divine intervention was required to separate the wheat from the tares and produce the necessary miracle….

I would submit to you that Christ could certainly have provided the exact same divine intervention upon the gentiles at the Morley Farm; He could have separated the wheat from the tares however, doing so was not in accordance with his infinite and eternal plan. He makes it plain in modern revelation that in the dispensation of the last days, he must allow the wheat and the tares to grow together;

But behold, in the last days, even now while the Lord is beginning to bring forth the word, and the blade is springing up and is yet tender—

5 Behold, verily I say unto you, the angels are crying unto the Lord day and night, who are ready and waiting to be sent forth to reap down the fields;

6 But the Lord saith unto them, pluck not up the tares while the blade is yet tender (for verily your faith is weak), lest you destroy the wheat also.

7 Therefore, let the wheat and the tares grow together until the harvest is fully ripe; then ye shall first gather out the wheat from among the tares, and after the gathering of the wheat, behold and lo, the tares are bound in bundles, and the field remaineth to be burned. “

The Inferiority complex of some of the Gentiles

Because of the things previously discussed, some have a tendency to assume that the gentiles of the latter days are spiritually inferior to the Nephites among whom Christ visited and establish the law of consecration.

Again, I suppose one of the reasons they arrive at this conclusion is because they were successful in establishing Zion and the Gentiles at the time of the restoration of the Church were not.

Another factor has to do with the fact that priesthood theology and salvation theology in the D&C seems complex and different than the simplistic theology presented in the New Testament and the Book of Mormon.

It is because of this inferiority complex that some people reject the three watches doctrine and the return of the first laborers of the last kingdom. Instead, they see the Nephites in the leading role and see the believing gentiles (Epraimites ) in a subservient role assisting the remnant of Jacob.

For these reasons it is not uncommon to see some of these people view the D&C with contempt, and most of their writings are based on the Book of Mormon scriptures and theology even though the Doctrine and Covenants is much more pertinent to us and our generation.

I personally don’t care whether the gentiles are in a leadership role or a lesser role during the establishment of Zion as long as I can be there in Zion sweeping the floors, washing the dishes, and cleaning the toilets…

HOWEVER,

I believe the infallible word of God in the scriptures does indeed show forth with great clarity that the gentile first laborers of the last kingdom will take the leading role in the reestablishment of Zion in the last days. They represent “Ephraim” as outlined in section 133.

I believe that the events that took place at the special conference at the Morley Farm constituted the LDS Foundation movement’s version of the visitation of Christ to the Nephites.

Unfortunately, the light shined among those who sat in darkness and they did not comprehend the light (some did, but they were hampered because of being mingled among unbelievers and because God has put blindness upon Israel until an appointed time).

It is not fair to compare the results of what happened in 3rd Nephi to what happened at the Morley Farm.

The Joseph Smiths and Sidney Rigdons and Lyman Wights of the restoration movement would have done just fine in establishing Zion if Christ would have destroyed all of the wicked and descended from heaven to teach and organize those that remained. But that was not the will of God.

He had another program in mind for the foundation movement wherein the wheat and tares needed to grow together until the appointed time of harvest when the Marvelous Work is to take place.

This is critical to understand. Those who don’t understand this often deny their own inheritance.

There are more and more LDS who, because they don’t understand these things, subtly drop their study of the D&C and focus on the Book of Mormon, assuming that it is the more pure record and doctrine of the gospel.

I believe this is a huge error.

To deny modern revelation is to deny the word of God to our generation, specifically tailored to our circumstances.

It is true that Joseph Smith testified that “the Book of Mormon was the most correct of any book on earth, and the keystone of our religion”

I told the brethren that the Book of Mormon was the most correct of any book on earth, and the keystone of our religion, and a man would get nearer to God by abiding by its precepts, than by any other book”  (History of the Church, 4:461).

It is easy to assume that statement is suggesting that the Book of Mormon is doctrinally more pertinent to our salvation, but that is not what he is saying. We need to put that statement in its proper historical, doctrinal, and textual context.

It may make us feel closer, but that does not mean that the doctrine is more pertinent to us than what is in modern revelation.

I don’t think that Joseph Smith was saying the Book of Mormon provided more important salvation theology than the literal word of God that he was receiving through direct revelation.

Here are differing perspectives about these cannons of scriptures from other general authorities;

The Book of Mormon is the “keystone” of our religion, and the Doctrine and Covenants is the capstone…, The Lord has placed His stamp of approval on both the keystone and the capstone. [In Conference Report, April 1987, 105; or “The Book of Mormon and the Doctrine and Covenants,” Ensign, May 1987, 83]

The preface of the Doctrine and Covenants introduces the message of the book:

“Hearken, O ye people of my church, saith the voice of him who dwells on high, and whose eyes are upon all men; yea, verily I say: Hearken ye people from afar; and ye that are upon the islands of the sea, listen together.

For verily the voice of the Lord is unto all men, and there is none to escape; and there is no eye that shall not see, neither ear that shall not hear, neither heart that shall not be penetrated.

And the rebellious shall be pierced with much sorrow; for their iniquities shall be spoken upon the housetops, and their secret acts shall be revealed.

And the voice of warning shall be unto all people, by the mouths of my disciples, whom I have chosen in these last days.

And they shall go forth and none shall stay them, for I the Lord have commanded them.

Behold, this is mine authority, and the authority of my servants, and my preface unto the book of my commandments, which I have given them to publish unto you, O inhabitants of the earth.

Wherefore, fear and tremble, O ye people, for what I the Lord have decreed in them shall be fulfilled”. [D&C 1:1­7]

Those verses should not be taken lightly.

The following scriptures are also very sobering;

“Search these commandments, for they are true and faithful, and the prophecies and promises which are in them shall all be fulfilled.

What I the Lord have spoken, I have spoken, and I excuse not myself; and though the heavens and the earth pass away, my word shall not pass away, but shall all be fulfilled, whether by mine own voice or by the voice of my servants, it is the same.

For behold, and lo, the Lord is God, and the Spirit beareth record, and the record is true, and the truth abideth forever and ever”

President Joseph Fielding Smith said:

“This Doctrine and Covenants is my book and your book, it belongs to all the world, to the Catholics, to the Presbyterians, to the Methodists, to the infidel, to the non-believer. It is his book if he will accept it. . . .

The Lord has given it unto the world for their salvation. If you do not believe it, you read the first section in this book, the preface, and you will find that the Lord has sent this book and the things which it contains unto the people afar off, on the islands of the sea, in foreign lands, and his voice is unto all people, that all may hear.

And so I say it belongs to all the world, not only to the Latter-day Saints, and they will be judged by it, and you will be judged by it.” [In Conference Report, October 1919, 146]

Joseph Fielding Smith also said:

In my judgment there is no book on earth yet come to man as important as the book known as the Doctrine and Covenants, with all due respect to the Book of Mormon, and the Bible, and the Pearl of Great Price, which we say are our standards in doctrine.

The book of Doctrine and Covenants to us stands in a peculiar position above them all. I am going to tell you why. When I say that, do not for a moment think I do not value the Book of Mormon, the Bible, and the Pearl of Great Price, just as much as any man that lives; I think I do. I do not know of anybody who has read them more, and I appreciate them; they are wonderful; they contain doctrine and revelation and commandments that we should heed; but the Bible is a history containing the doctrine and commandments given to the people anciently.

That applies also to the Book of Mormon. It is the doctrine and the history and the commandments of the people who dwelt upon this continent anciently.

But this Doctrine and Covenants contains the word of God to those who dwell here now. It is our book. It belongs to the Latter-day Saints. More precious than gold, the Prophet says we should treasure it more than the riches of the whole earth. I wonder if we do? If we value it, understand it, and know what it contains, we will value it more than wealth; it is worth more to us than the riches of the earth.” (Doctrines of Salvation 3:198-199)

Finally here is what Joseph Smith said about the Book of Commandments which he refereed to as the Book of Revelation;

After deliberate consideration in consequence of the Book of Revelation now to be printed being the foundation of the Church and the salvation of the world and the keys of the mysteries of the kingdom, and the riches of eternity to the Church; Voted that they be prized by this conference to be worth to the church the riches of the whole earth, speaking temporally…”

Is this how you feel about the holy and infallible word of God that came through Gods latter day Seer?

Thoughts to Ponder

In closing this portion of part 6 of this series let me share a few observations.

The following passages were to have a dual fulfillment;

And when the times of the Gentiles is come in, a light shall break forth among them that sit in darkness, and it shall be the fulness of my gospel;

But they receive it not; for they perceive not the light, and they turn their hearts from me because of the precepts of men.” (section 45:28-29)

We have discussed that passage before and observed that the final literal fulfillment takes place in the 3rd watch when those that sit in darkness among the gentiles will reject the message of God’s servants when the first laborers of the last kingdom return. Many members of the Church will be deceived by those who are false prophets and apostles.

HOWEVER,

Those passages had a very distinct shadow fulfillment during the LDS foundation movement. Perhaps the most poignant event that pertains to the shadow fulfillment of those passages is how the Saints collectively responded to the priesthood endowment that was being offered at the Morley Farm.

The collective church, which was composed of wheat and tares, rejected the light that was shining forth at that time.

Just as the Book of Mormon is a record of a fallen people, the Doctrine and Covenants is also a record of a fallen people.

Even at this time four generations later, the general church membership is virtually unaware of, or, finds little value in the Morley Farm experience.

They refuse to openly acknowledge that the third and highest order of the Holy Melchizedek priesthood, which is different and distinct from the first two orders of priesthood that were restored by angels, was restored to the earth at that time by the voice of God out of heaven.

They largely refuse to teach and discuss the profound implications of this event because they don’t comprehend it.

Additionally, judging from emails and comments I get, there are those who have been following this series who consider themselves enlightened gospel scholars that are mocking my “obsession” with what the events of the Special Conference at the Morley Farm really represents.

Perhaps I have become a little obsessed. It’s been wonderful! I have been studying and meditating about this event intensely for weeks and I am loving it. Obsession is great!

I don’t want to be like those participants that took these things lightly or couldn’t comprehend them because they sat in darkness.

If it is true that Lyman Wight was indeed transfigured before the Lord and that he received the baptism of fire and the Holy Ghost, in the process of being elected to the Melchizedek priesthood, then he had already entered into the oath and covenant of the Father that is mentioned in section 84.

He had entered into it BEFORE the special conference.

Many people feel that the “covenant” portion of the oath and covenant of the Father is what God and man jointly enter into and that an “oath” is only made by the Father when he finally grants the promise of eternal life… but the chronology of the phrase “oath and covenant” would suggest that an oath is entered into by man before the covenant is consummated.

I would suggest that both the candidate and the Lord make an “oath”.

The candidate makes an oath up front, before entering into covenant. Eventually, after being faithful, they obtain an oath from God AFTER making good on the covenant they entered into.

The process begins with an oath or promise from the disciple of Christ. He then enters into a covenant with God. Finally, after the disciple has been tested and weighed in the balance, God gives the promise of eternal life.

The humble follower of Christ must offer an oath before God in the presence of witnesses BEFORE they can enter into the covenant.

That covenant has to do with completely submitting one’s self to God… To SERVE God and not themselves. In essence they are making a promise to consecrate themselves to God and sacrifice ALL THINGS just like Abraham did, which results in obtaining the promise of eternal life from God.

In the next part of this series we will dissect what the oath and covenant of the Father is, although you have hopefully already had your epiphany and you know what it is.

Once it occurred to me what the oath and covenant of the Father really was, it was like the sun shining through on a cloudy day.

It began to make sense to me why section 84 informs us that the oath and covenant of the Father belongs to the administrative power of the patriarchal priesthood.

I could see why Lyman Wight had to make a public declaration before witnesses and enter into the baptismal covenant which had been administered by the patriarchal priesthood BEFORE he could be endowed with the highest priesthood.

It occurred to me that women enter into the exact same oath and covenant of the Father that men do… AHA!!!

The patriarchal priesthood was restored by Peter, James, and John to dispense the saving ordinances of the Gospel. It is in those saving ordinances that the oath and covenant of the Father is made available and entered… and that is what makes it possible to enter into the gate and the holy order of the priesthood after the Son of God

To be continued…

click on the link below to proceed to the next part

Searching for the Holy Order and 23 High Priests- Part 7

True Oath & Covenant found in True Manner of Baptism
Father Adam & Lyman Wight enter the gate via water, fire & Holy Ghost

(previously titled part 5-b)


Searching for the Holy Order and 23 High Priests- Part 4

July 26, 2009

By OneWhoIsWatching
www.threewatches.blogspot.com

The Highest Order of the Melchizedek Priesthood
makes you a Possessor of All Things

[editorial note: some references still need to be added. You may need to do some key word searches for references]

Let those who seek, continue seeking until they find.  When they find, they will become troubled. When they become troubled, they will be astonished, and will rule over the ALL.”  -Jesus Christ, Gospel of Thomas

Ok, if you have read the previous three parts of this series you are now in for a big surprise. I warned you to put your crash helmet and seat belt on because part 4 would be taking you for quite a ride.

Most of you are reading this series because you are one of those who are seeking. As a seeker you have undoubtedly found some hidden treasures of knowledge. In the process you have no doubt become a little troubled about some things you have found. Don’t give up, don’t become discouraged. Don’t lose you faith. You are getting close to the astonishment phase of seeking. Astonishment is on the path to becoming a ruler over all things.

The amazing thing about the doctrinally disruptive historical and doctrinal information you are about to read is that the most compelling documentation for it does not primarily come from obscure journals, unpublished revelations, claims of people involved in secret quorums claiming to have secret endowments or source material of questionable credibility… the most powerful documentation for the suppositions you are about to review is taken from the Doctrine and Covenants!

Revelations that were sustained by the law of common consent, published and in most cases, canonized for the world to see.

You are going to see passages from canonized revelations that have been available to the Saints for four generations and yet the significance of the meaning behind them have been without the full context because the restoration of the highest priesthood at the special conference at the Morley Farm incident has been minimized, distorted or covered over completely.

When viewed with the context provided by testimony of what really happened at the special conference at the Morley Farm, the meaning in the passages are illuminating and the implications are astounding, astonishing and powerful.

If you have been engaged enough to keep following this series with a desire to understand this event that took place at the Morley Farm and if you are willing to review the remaining parts of this article with an open mind, seeking the truth, sacrificing all of your preconceived notions on the altar of truth, you may find some answers to questions that you have been looking for. I know that I certainly have.

This part of this series regarding the restoration of the Highest Melchizedek priesthood is where the rubber hits the road… it is where we get to the next level of understanding pertaining to what took place at the Morley Farm about the three orders of priesthood that have been introduced into the Church and into the preliminary great work that began at the Morley Farm, but ultimately got hindered for a period of four generations.

I have been blown away with regard to how significant the restoration of the Melchizedek priesthood was and is.

Up to now we have pretty much simply outlined what took place at the special conference where the powers of light and darkness descended upon the conference and how many of the believing and unbelieving gentiles struggled with the strange things that took place… with several of them rejecting it, claiming it was not of God. Others rationalized that it represented something different than what Joseph Smith claimed that it represented.

I would submit to you that this very well may have been most important event that took place between the publishing of the Book of Mormon up until today.

Everything that took place during the restoration movement from 1829 to 1844 was interrelated to, and most of it, predicated upon, what took place at the special conference at the Morley Farm.

One would think from the way this incident in LDS church history has been swept under the carpet and minimized that it was, at best, a spur of the moment, random event that took place with marginal significance.

Some, like Ezra Booth would later contend that this event and the entire restoration movement was either of the Devil or it was orchestrated by deceivers, while some of the early leaders of the Church like David Whitmer, would have you believe that the restoration of the Melchizedek Priesthood and the office of High Priest, was a deception which originated from a false revelation that Joseph got because he listened to the  urging of Sidney Rigdon.

Lastly, many of the early brethren, like Brigham Young, (who wasn’t even present at the special conference, nor was he a member of the church at the time), would have us believe that the restoration of the Melchizedek Priesthood and associated endowment what took place at the Morley Farm was simply the introduction of a “priesthood office”.

He claimed it was simply an office  within the existing priesthood that had been restored to Joseph and Oliver though Peter James and John. He and others erroneously believed that Peter James and John had restored the fulness of the Melchizedek Priesthood.

Interestingly, the fact that Martin Harris was a Priest and only held the Aaronic Priesthood at the time he was called by the voice of God from the heavens to have the fulness of the priesthood bestowed upon him with the other 22 brethren, proves that Brigham Young’s spin on the event is wrong.

This is the foundational belief that the office of High Priest was only an office within a previously restored priesthood, became the prevailing doctrine within the LDS Church. To this very day the church teaches that there are only two priesthoods that have been restored by angels in 1829. The remarkable event at the Morley Farm in 1831 has been obscured into oblivion.

This false doctrine that the “High Priest” is simply an office in the “higher, patriarchal priesthood” that was restored by Peter James and John, is encapsulated in the recent response of a reader;

There are six offices in the priesthoods of which we know a great deal, three offices in each of the two priesthoods. The offices of the high priesthood are high priest, elder, and bishop. The offices of the lesser priesthood are priest, teacher, and deacon.”

The above statement represents the belief of the LDS church today and of course it contradicts the testimonies of Joseph Smith, Lyman Wight and others. It contradicts the scriptures and it contradicts what was taught at the special conference at the Morley Farm.

In this part of this series we shall lay out some of the most illuminating and incriminating evidence showing that the above mentioned doctrine of the priesthood which permeates the church and even LDS fundamentalism today is FALSE DOCTRINE.

Let us begin by reviewing how this experience was characterized by Joseph Smith, John Corril and Lyman Wight;

Joseph Smith said, “the authority of the Melchizedek Priesthood was manifested and conferred for the first time upon several of the Elders. It was clearly evident that the Lord gave us power in proportion to the work to be done, and strength according to the race set before us, and grace and help as our needs required.” History of The Church, 1:175-177

The following statement from John Corrill is consistent with the observation of Joseph Smith;

The Melchizedek priesthood was then for the first time introduced, and conferred on several of the elders. In this chiefly consisted the endowment—it being a new order—and bestowed authority.However, some doubting took place among the elders, and considerable conversation was held on the subject. The elders not fairly understanding the nature of the endowments, it took some time to reconcile all their feelings.

Corrill’s recollection of what took place is consistent with the comments of Joseph Smith as recorded in the history of the Church.

Lyman Wight’s reminiscence  provides yet another witness that the highest, Melchizedek priesthood was introduced for the first time. His remarks are consistent with the previous two accounts;

On the 4th of June 1831, a conference was held at Kirtland, <Ohio> represented by all the above mamed [named] branches; Joseph Smith our modern Prophet presided; and here I again saw the visible manifestations of the power of God as plain as could have been on the day of Pentecost and here for the first time I saw the Melchizedek priesthood introduced into the church of Jesus Christ as anciently; whereunto I was ordained under the hands of Joseph Smith, and I then ordainded Joseph and Sidney and sixteen others such as he chose unto the same priesthood. The spirit of God was made manifest to the heeling of the sick, casting out devils, speaking in unknown tongues, discerning of spirits, and prophesying with mighty power, After the two days the conference broke up receiving the revelation which appointed 28 elders their Mission to Missouri

I would submit that all three of these accounts are congruent with each other and accurate in their observation that the highest priesthood of Melchizedek was introduced for the first time at the special conference at the Morley Farm in 1831.

Indeed the endowment received at that conference was the highest order of the Melchizedek Priesthood. It was being conferred for the first time in this dispensation. It did represent a “new order” of the priesthood, separate and distinct from the first two that had been restored by angels. It is the highest order of the priesthood which rules over all other priesthoods in the universe. (nevertheless, as Joseph Smith said, “all priesthood is Melchizedek” in that it is all an appendage of the highest or greatest priesthood).

Adding to the testimony of the above statements, when Joseph Smith dictated his first attempt at a personal history in 1832 he made this remark:

A History of the life of Joseph Smith Jr an account of his marvilous experience and of all the mighty acts which he doeth in the name of Jesus Christ the son of the living God of whom he beareth record and also an account of the rise of the church of Christ in the eve of time according as the Lord brought forth and established by his hand firstly he receiving the testimony from on high
[The first vision]
secondly the ministering of Angels
[Moroni -Book of Mormon plates]
thirdly the reception of the holy Priesthood by the ministring of Angels to adminster the letter of the Gospel – the Law and commandments as they were given unto him – and the ordinencs
[John the Baptist (are Peter, James and John included here?)], forthly a confirmation and reception of the high Priesthood after the holy order of the son of the living God power and ordinence from on high to preach the Gospel in the administration and demonstration of the spirit the Kees of the Kingdom of God confered upon him [visit of Peter, James and John, or is this a reference to the restoration of the office of high priest?] and the continuation of the blessings of God to him &c”

As you can see from the comments in brackets which are inserted by Mormon scholars, it was difficult for traditional Mormon scholars to believe what they were reading but they had no other alternative than to accept the possibility that the reception of the “holy” priesthood, by angels, (plural), had to probably be referring to both of the first two priesthoods since the Aaronic priesthood was the first to be restored by just one angel.

This set up the next part of Joseph’s statement which speaks of the restoration of a “high” priesthood which is separate and distinct from the two previous priesthoods that were both restored by angels.

He identifies it as the “High Priesthood after the holy order of the son of God

Again we see question marks in the brackets from the LDS scholars postulating that the third priesthood must have been referring to the restoration of the office of “High Priest” which is how the modern corporate church inaccurately defines the event that took place at the Morley Farm.

Finally, notice how the first two priesthoods were for the purpose of administering the “letter of the Gospel – the Law and commandments.. and the ordinencs” while the priesthood after the order of the Son of God was to “preach the Gospel in the administration and demonstration of the spirit”

This possibly explains one issue that I was never really clear on, ie, was the third priesthood necessary for the preaching of  the fullness of the gospel or was it simply needed to establish Zion?

It would appear from the above statement from Joseph Smith that it has a greater spiritual power that is necessary in the final preaching of the gospel, when the gospel is taken to the whole world in POWER.

When the Gentiles finally repent and the first laborers of the last kingdom return in power, they will go forth not only with patriarchal priesthood authority to administer the saving ordinances of the gospel, ie, baptize and confirm, they will also be showing forth the spiritual fruits and powers that follow those with the fulness of the priesthood.

Section 88 confirms that elders who are ordained to be apostles do not really receive the fulness of apostolic power confirmed upon them until after they get their calling and election to the high Melchizedek priesthood of the Son of God.

It is not enough to be ordained an apostle, one must also be called and elected to the high priesthood and become a friend of God.

It is only after that spiritual endowment takes place that the spiritual fruits and powers are manifest in their missionary labors. Clearly, many  of the original 23 who were called, were not chosen and most of those who were chosen, failed to get the fulness of the spiritual baptism/endowment during the special conferece.

When the 3rd begins and the servants go forth in power, there will be some some very obvious spiritual powers and signs that will follow them and those who believe on their words.-

“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.

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 given me; ye are my friends;

Therefore, as I said unto mine apostles I say unto you again, that every soul who believeth on your words, and is baptized by water for the remission of sins, shall receive the Holy Ghost.

And these signs shall follow them that believe—

In my name they shall do many wonderful works;

In my name they shall cast out devils;

In my name they shall heal the sick;

In my name they shall open 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 poison unto them it shall not hurt them;

And the poison of a serpent shall not have power to harm them.”

Very few experiences like the spiritual manifestations mentioned above happened following the restoration of the highest priesthood at the Morley Farm because the vast majority of the 23 failed to receive the fulness of the highest priesthood that was conferred and they  temporarily lost the fulness of the priesthood because of fear and jealousy. (see section 67 and also 95:5, 124:28)

When Brigham Young was quizzed about the fact that he had never been called or chosen by God to be a high priest, he dismissed it by stating that it was not necessary because he had been ordained an apostle. He claimed that the apostolic priesthood holds all of the priesthood power that one can hold on earth.

Conceptually Brigham Young’s claim is true, if the apostle magnifies his calling and is also called by the voice of God to be a High Priest, such as the first laborers being addressed in the above passage. But his contention is accurate ONLY if an apostle has magnified his calling and been called and elected to the office of High Priest in the Melchizedek priesthood such as those being addressed in section 88!

Some Doubting Took Place

I would submit that when Corrill states that “some doubting took place”, he was making somewhat of an understatement…. Some doubting did take place at that time and Joseph had to really labor with many of the Saints for several months to help them try to see that the events of the conference were inspired.. but, as we can see from history, doubting and contention over the implications of the event has continued for four generations.. so much so, that this event has all but been written out of our lesson manuals and books on church history. Even LDS authors are reticent to write about it…

Although David Whitmer blames the Morley farm incident on the urgings and influence of Sidney Rigdon, (as I pointed out in a previous post) we are going to see that this event was prophesied of and spoken about in modern revelation before the Saints moved to Ohio and before Sidney Rigdon could have had any doctrinal influence on Joseph.

Again, the prevailing belief in Mormonism discredits Joseph’s proclamation that the Melchizedek priesthood was a separate and distinct division of the priesthood and was being restored for the first time and that it represented a greater power and authority than the other two divisions of priesthood that had been restored by angels.

The general attitude towards the events of the special conference is that they were questionable at worst and not that significant at best.

We shall now dig a little deeper into this event and view it through the eyes of modern revelation and ancient prophecy.

When we get done we will have a greater appreciation for the observation by John Corrill that “some doubting took place” and we shall see how that observation and the rejection of the true endowment that springs forth from the fullness of the Gospel, and the corrupt endowment and associated spiritual wife doctrine that crept in as a result of that rejection, during the Nauvoo period applies to the following prophecy by Christ in the book of Mormon;

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.

I would submit to you that the greatest endowment that springs forth out of the fullness of the Gospel was revealed at the special conference and that ultimately, the minds of the Saints, in general, could not accept and embrace the gift that was being offered.

The dynamics of pride play a significant role in how some of the early leaders viewed the events at the special conference. After the Saints cumulatively rejected the highest priesthood endowment, lyings, deceits, mischiefs and all manner of hypocricy, murders, priestcrafts, whoredoms and secret abominations entered into the church.

This incredible priesthood endowment was ultimately rejected and lost because the minds of the Saints were darkened and in some cases became darkened.

The prophecy given by Jesus Christ coincides with the prophecy the Lord gave to Moses wherein he foretells how the descendants of the Children of Israel will go a whoring after other gods and break the covenant wherever they go, even in the latter days;

And the Lord said unto Moses, Behold, thou shalt sleep with thy fathers; and this people will rise up, and go a whoring after the gods of the strangers of the land, whither [wherever] they go to be among them, and will forsake me, and break my covenant which I have made with them.

Then my anger shall be kindled against them in that day, and I will forsake them, and I will hide my face from them, and they shall be devoured, and many evils and troubles shall befall them; so that they will say in that day, Are not these evils come upon us, because our God is not among us?

And I will surely hide my face in that day for all the evils which they shall have wrought, in that they are turned unto other gods…For I know that after my death ye will utterly corrupt yourselves, and turn aside from the way which I have commanded you; and evil will befall you in the latter days; because ye will do evil in the sight of the Lord, to provoke him to anger through the work of your hands.http://scriptures.lds.org/en/deut/31/17-18#17

The Endowment of the Melchizedek Priesthood

“According to John Whitmer, a conference was called by Joseph Smith which promised a “blessing” if the Elders were faithful.

June 3, 1831. A general conference was called, and a blessing promised, if the elders were faithful, and humble before him. Therefore the elders assembled from the East, and the West, from the North and the South. And also many members.

Others remembered the “blessing” that was to be poured out as being referred to as an “endowment“. This definition for the word endowment referred to a spiritual, pentecostal, manifestation from God. It represents the earlier and more accurate use of the term endowment in the four standard works and early LDS theology;

“… About this time Solomon Came to see me and brought Zebedee Coltrin along he held some metings and wanted I should go to Kirtland with him we started the latter part of May got there by the Last of the month I lerned that on the fourth of June there was to be an indowment of some Elders” Levi Hancock [I seldem attempt to correct the spelling in these historical entries.. I can’t spell myself very well!]

Others described the promised events as the beginning of the “great and mighty work” and that it would involve the “work of miracles“.

As the 4th of June last was appointed for the sessions of the conference, it was ascertained, that that was the time specified, when the great and mighty work was to be commenced, and such was the confidence of some, that knowledge superceded their faith, and they did not hesitate to declare themselves perfectly assured that the work of miracles would commence at the ensuing conference. With such strong assurances, and with the most elevated expectations, the conference assembled at the time appointed. To give, if possible, energy to expectation, Smith, the day before the conference, professing to be filled with the spirit of prophecy, declared, that “not three days should pass away, before some should see their Savior, face to face.” (Ezra Booth)

Now let us read the actual canonized revelation known as section 44 commanding the elders to assemble for the magnificent event that was to take place at the Morley Farm;

Behold, thus saith the Lord unto you my servants, it is expedient in me that the elders of my church should be called together, from the east and from the west, and from the north and from the south, by letter or some other way.

And it shall come to pass, that inasmuch as they are faithful, and exercise faith in me, I will pour out my Spirit upon them in the day that they assemble themselves together.

And it shall come to pass that they shall go forth into the regions round about, and preach repentance unto the people.

And many shall be converted, insomuch that ye shall obtain power to organize yourselves [law of consecration] according to the laws of man;

That your enemies may not have power over you; that you may be preserved in all things; that you may be enabled to keep my laws; that every bond may be broken wherewith the enemy seeketh to destroy my people.

Behold, I say unto you, that ye must visit the poor and the needy and administer to their relief, that they may be kept until all things may be done according to my law which ye have received. Amen.” (D&C 44)

Section 44 confirms that the event at the Morley Farm was commanded, by revelation and that the promise was given that God would pour out his spirit upon the worthy! It was given just four months after the law of consecration was given!

The restoration of the highest priesthood at the Morley Farm was foreseen and foretold by the Lord way back before the newly restored church even left New York to go to Ohio!

The above revelation brings to our attention what the Lord said in January of 1831, in section 38;

Verily I say unto you, ye are clean, but not all; and there is none else with whom I am well pleased;

For all flesh is corrupted before me;

[remember the prophecy the Lord gave to Moses? “Ye will utterly corrupt yourselves”]

and the powers of darkness prevail upon the earth, among the children of men, in the presence of all the hosts of heaven—

Which causeth silence to reign, and all eternity is pained, and the angels are waiting the great command to reap down the earth, to gather the tares that they may be burned and behold the enemy is combined.

And now I show unto you a mystery, a thing which is had in secret chambers, to bring to pass even your destruction in process of time, and ye knew it not;

But now I tell it unto you, and ye are blessed, not because of your iniquity, neither your hearts of unbelief; for verily some of you are guilty before me, but I will be merciful unto your weakness.

Therefore, be ye strong from henceforth; fear not, for the kingdom is yours.”

Despite the fact that the lesser and higher priesthoods had been on the earth for nearly two years with the ability to dispense the fullness of the Gospel which is the everlasting covenant, the Lord is acknowledging that ALL FLESH WAS STILL CORRUPT and the enemy was combined and plotting against the Saints.

There was a greater priesthood endowment that was possible now that the first two priesthoods were on the earth.

The higher priesthood restored by Peter, James and John had not made the Saints completely clean but it provided the keys by which to part the heavens and receive the highest priesthood endowment which could make them clean and give them the greatest priesthood power!

Continuing on in this section, the Lord now informs the Saints that he is going to give them greater riches and a LAND OF PROMISE!

And I hold forth and deign to give unto you greater riches, even a land of promise, a land flowing with milk and honey, upon which there shall be no curse when the Lord cometh;

And I will give it unto you for the land of your inheritance, if you seek it with all your hearts.

And this shall be my covenant with you, ye shall have it for the land of your inheritance, and for the inheritance of your children forever, while the earth shall stand, and ye shall possess it again in eternity, no more to pass away.

As we have already discussed in a previous post, section 52, given after the conference, promises that after the elder’s meeting in the land of Missouri following their missionary efforts, God will reveal where ZION, the LAND OF PROMISE is to be!

Clearly section 38 was a precursor to the commandment to gather to the conference at the Morley Farm in section 44 and the event that took place at the conference and the commandment the next day to go forth on missions and eventually meet at the next conference in Missouri where the promised land would be identified!

As we study the revelations prior to and after the event at the Morley Farm it becomes increasingly obvious that the magnificent event at the Morley Farm was the pinnacle of spiritual endowments at the heart of everything that transpired up to the dedication of the Kirtland Temple.

Now for another mind blower as we continue on in section 38.

…the enemy in the secret chambers seeketh your lives. …and that you might escape the power of the enemy, and be gathered unto me a righteous people without spot and blameless wherefore, for this cause I gave the commandment that ye should go to the Ohio; and there I will give you you MY LAW; and there you SHALL BE ENDOWED WITH POWER FROM ON HIGH And from thence, whosever I will, shall go forth among all nations, and it shall be told them what they shall do ; for I have a GREAT WORK LAID UP IN STORE, for Israel shall be saved and I will lead them whithersoever I will, and no power shall stay my hand… but beware of pride lest ye become as the Nephites of old

The law of consecration and an endowment with power from on high was going to be given once the Saints got to Ohio to protect the them from a secret combination that was organized and plotting their destruction.

Before I became aware of this amazing event at the Morley Farm, I always assumed that the endowment that was to be given from on high in Ohio, mentioned in section 38, must have been referring to the spiritual gifts of visions and prophesying and speaking in tongues that eventually took place at the Kirtland temple dedication five years later.

However, this assumption never made sense to me since the endowment was interrelated to the law of consecration which the Saints had failed to keep in Missouri and had pretty much discarded in Kirtland by the time the temple dedication took place.

I now understand that the endowment that was promised in conjunction with the law of consecration in section 38 is undeniably referring to the endowment of the highest priesthood that took place at the Morley Farm!

The endowment of the highest priesthood was necessary for the protection of the Saints from the secret combination and the establishment of Zion! The event marked the laying of the foundation of the GREAT WORK which would take place in the 3rd watch! ( D&C 64: 33) We shall see as this story continues to unfold that the work taking place at that time would be HINDERED in the 2nd watch and would eventually need to resume in the 3rd watch.

realizing that most prophesies and many revelations have a dual fulfillment, one can read both section 38 and 44 and realize that what happened in Kirtland during the 2nd watch was a partial fulfillment preparatory to the final fulfillments of both of those sections that will take place in the 3rd watch when the servants return in power to fulfill their callings.

Now let us take the time to outline why the higher priesthood needed to be restored to the earth and what it entails;

  • The protection of the Saints from a combined enemy that was/is seeking their destruction
  • The ushering in of the dispensation of the fullness of times
  • The calling of the 144,000 High Priests
  • The restoration of Israel
  • The redemption of Zion

In hindsight, it is now obvious from reading modern revelation and the events of church history that according to section 44 and previous sections;

  • The two previous priesthood endowments prior to the special conference had not made the Saints clean. All flesh was still corrupt!
  • The Saints must meet to receive a greater priesthood endowment which had the power to make them clean without spot
  • The greater endowment of priesthood was needed in order to protect the Saints from the enemy and to go forth in power preaching the gospel and to gather the Saints and establish Zion

Are you beginning to see how the restoration of the Melchizedek priesthood at the Morley Farm fits into everything that was taking place during the first six years after the legal restoration of the church?

The dynamics that were taking place in the Church here are amazing.

People like David Whitmer appear to have felt threatened and offended with the commandment to gather for a great priesthood endowment. This is because they had been going forth in the authority of the apostolic priesthood preaching the gospel, thinking they held the highest priesthood authority and power in existence.

You will recall from one of our prior parts of this article that David Whitmer said;

The next grievous error which crept into the church was in ordaining high priests in June, 1831. This error was introduced at the instigation of Sydney Rigdon… Remember that we had been preaching from August 1829, until June, 1831—almost two years—and had baptized about 2,000 members into the Church of Christ, and had not one high priest. During 1829, several times we were told by Brother Joseph that an elder was the highest office in the church….

Brethren—I will tell you one thing which alone should settle this matter in your minds; it is this: you cannot find in the New Testament part of the Bible or Book of Mormon where one single high priest was ever in the Church of Christ. It is a grievous sin to have such an office in the church…. Now brethren, do you not see that the displeasure of the Lord was upon their proceedings, in ordaining High Priests? Of course it was” (An address to All Believers in Christ)

David Whitmer and others of the first missionaries could not understand why there needed to be a greater priesthood introduced than the one they had already been given! If they had already been ordained to do missionary work, why was another priesthood and the beginning of another separate and distinct missionary ministry necessary?

Little did they know that the fullness of the gospel and the saving ordinances that they had been given authority to minister to people, were still in the process of bringing forth the full priesthood power that springs forth out of the fullness of the Gospel.

By rejecting the full power springing forth from the fullness of the gospel, they were rejecting the fullness of the Gospel!

They were fulfilling the words of Christ and the prophecy the Lord had given to Moses!

In fact everyone involved in the restoration movement up to the time that the Kirtland Temple was defiled, that rejected the highest priesthood endowment, was rejecting the fullness of the Gospel and fulfilling the prophecy of Christ by so doing.

Now for another great hidden mystery that is contained in the D&C which provides great understanding about the greater priesthood endowment that was to be given at the Morley Farm.

The Lord identifies the “greatest” priesthood which is about to be ordained by God himself out of the heavens at the upcoming conference.

The following passage is taken out of section 50.

Speaking about the priesthood endowment that was about to be poured out upon the worthy elders at the Morley Farm the Lord says ;

..he that is ordained OF GOD and sent forth, the same is appointed to be the greatest, not withstanding he is the least and the servant of all.

Wherefore, he is possessor of all things; for all things are subject unto him, both in heaven and on the earth, the life and the light, the Spirit and the power, sent forth by the will of the Father through Jesus Christ his Son.

But no man is possessor of all things except he is purified and cleansed from all sin.”

This is un-be-frekin-lievable!

Again, I would submit to you that the above passages are referring to the greatest priesthood that was about to be restored to the earth during the following month, at the Morley Farm!

The above verses address three truths;

  • The greatest priesthood is ORDAINED OF GOD unlike the lesser two priesthoods that were previously restored to the earth. Those two priesthoods are ordained by men according to patriarchal lineage and/or the “will of man”. [clarification, they are called by prophecy, but nevertheless ordained by mortals as opposed to being ordained by God]
  • Those who receive the greatest priesthood and become purified and cleansed from all sin become the POSSESSORS OF ALL THINGS. This is the power of creation. The Fulness of the Father. The power of Godhood!
  • This priesthood that is sent forth BY THE WILL OF THE FATHER as opposed to the will of men, is bestowed by the FATHER, not just by men. (through divine possession)

As we drill down a little further, we shall see that the spiritual endowment which manifested itself at the Morley Farm, is mandated by the will of the Father. Although that great work was hindered, it will begin again in the 3rd watch.

The first laborers of the last kingdom will return and this power will be restored to them. It will manifest itself at an appointed time in the third watch. This greatest endowment will begin to happen to many people in the third watch and it is what constitutes the “WORK OF THE FATHER” mentioned in the Book of Mormon! (more on this later)

Again, this greatest priesthood is different from the lesser and higher priesthoods that were previously restored by John the Baptist and Peter, James and John.

Those priesthoods are bestowed by men according to lineage, according to mother and father, based on an earthly genealogy with an earthly beginning and ending. The lesser and higher priesthoods are bestowed according to the “will of men” as they are inspired of the Holy Ghost. There is certainly nothing wrong with recipients of the priesthood desiring to serve and receive the priesthood and their is nothing wrong with priesthood holders bestowing the Aaronic and Partriarchal priesthoods on others as inspired by the Holy Ghost!

The point that is being made, however, is that there is a third priesthood that is the greatest priesthood, and it is not bestowed on men according to their desire or by inspiration of priesthood leaders…. but rather they are called by the literal voice of God out of heaven It is bestowed by the will of the Father… It is not determined by the promptings of the holy Ghost it is ordained by His voice  out of the heavens.

Perhaps one of the most profound and revealing passages of scripture which distinguishes the highest priesthood from the first two, is found in the JST of the Old Testament;

And thus, having been approved of God, he was ordained an high priest after the order of the covenant which God made with Enoch, It being after the order of the Son of God; which order came, not by man, nor the will of man; neither by father nor mother; neither by beginning of days nor end of years; but of God

And it was delivered unto men by the calling of his own voice, according to his own will, unto as many as believed on his name. For God having sworn unto Enoch and unto his seed with an oath by himself; that every one being ordained after this order and calling should have power, by faith, to break mountains, to divide the seas, to dry up waters, to turn them out of their course; to put at defiance the armies of nations, to divide the earth, to break every band, to stand in the presence of God; to do all things according to His will, according to his command, subdue principalities and powers; and this by the will of the Son of God which was from before the foundation of the world” JST Gen 14:25-40

Unlike the lesser and higher priesthoods, the highest priesthood is delivered unto men according to the voice of God the Father.

This amazing scripture in the JST Genesis 14 reveals the grand difference in how priesthood is bestowed between the highest portion of Melchizedek priesthood and the other two priesthoods. It also shows the fruits that come forth from the highest priesthood.

This is a great distinguishing factor of what was taking place at the special conference at the Morley Farm vs what had taken place with John the Baptist and Peter, James and John.

The first two priesthoods are ordained according to lineage and/or according to the will of man as directed by the Holy Ghost. The highest priesthood is ordained according to the voice of God out of heaven!

The protocol that was followed at the Morley Farm was very distinct.

According to the record kept by John Whitmer, only those chosen by God as revealed through Joseph Smith were to be ordained and they must be called and/or chosen by the voice of God out of heaven, not by the will of men.

God was speaking directly to Joseph smith and identifying who was being called and chosen. (as we shall discuss later, there is a difference between being called vs. being called and chosen)

Can you see how this protocol of bestowing the priesthood differs from the restoration of the Lesser (Aaronic) priesthood and higher (patriarchal) priesthood that was restored to Joseph and Oliver by angels and then bestowed to others by Joseph and Oliver and other elders of the church, as they determined by inspiration who should be called to the priesthood?

Joseph Smith had said, “…the authority of the Melchizedek Priesthood was manifested and conferred for the first time upon several of the Elders.” History of The Church, 1:175-177

He wasn’t confused and he wasn’t deceived.

He knew exactly what he was talking about. The authority of the Melchizedek priesthood was indeed manifested and conferred for the first time on that occasion at the Morley Farm.

People like Ezra Booth were wrong, the restoration of the Melchizedek priesthood at the Morley Farm was not part of an elaborate fraud orchestrated by Joseph Smith.

People like David Whitmer were wrong, office of the high priest did not end with Christ in the meridian of time. The restoration of the Melchizedek priesthood at the Morley Farm was not a deception orchestrated by the devil because Sidney and Joseph sinfully petitioned the Lord about a third level of priesthood.

People like Brigham Young and the modern general authorities are wrong, the restoration of the Melchizedek priesthood at the Morley Farm did not simply constitute the restoration of a priesthood office in the priesthood that Peter James and John had previously restored. Indeed, there was at least on of the 23 high priests that had only previously held the Aaronic Priesthood and were not even elders when they were called by God to the Melchizedek Priesthood!

Once you have been ordained unto the highest or greatest priesthood, you then need to prove yourself in the eyes of God and go on to make your calling and election sure.

Many are called but few are chosen. You must receive of its fullness by becoming purified. Finally, you become a “possessor of all things” indeed you have power over all things and the elements obey your command! All spirits in heaven and on earth obey your commands.

This is the priesthood that gives you power to command the elements! All of the spirits in heaven and earth become subject to you.

This is the priesthood that Enoch and Melchizedek and Elijah and several of the book of Mormon prophets had when they were moving mountains and commanding the elements and translating the righteous Saints.

When one becomes a possessor of all things, one has received the “fulness of the father”… in other words, you have access to all of the power that the father has!

This priesthood could be called the priesthood of the “Father”, not to be confused with the priesthood of the “fathers” which is patriarchal priesthood passed down from Abraham and Jacob and Moses and others of the patriarchal “fathers”.

Each of the three levels of priesthood have been named after some of the great prophets and patriarchs who held them;

  • The lesser patriarchal priesthood is often referred to as the priesthood of Aaron
  • The higher patriarchal priesthood is referenced as the priesthood past down by Abraham or Moses. That is the priesthood that Peter James and John bestowed upon Joseph and Oliver. It contains within it, the apostolic priesthood and the keys to administer all of the earthly ordinances of the fullness of the Gospel. It is sometimes called the evangelical priesthood.
  • The highest priesthood which is not directly predicated upon a person’s genealogy and therefore does not take into consideration who ones mother and father is, is sometimes called the priesthood of Enoch or Melchizedek. This priesthood can be obtained by a gentile, after one has shown forth faith and magnified one or both of the first two patriarchal priesthoods of Aaron and Abraham, one can become the ELECT OF GOD. (see section 84:33-34) This final priesthood that makes you the elect of God is delivered by the voice of God out of the heavens. Although it is not necessary to have in order to govern the church of Christ, it is necessary to govern the Church of God and establish Zion. (more later about the three churches Joseph restored) This highest priesthood is only attained by experiencing the final spiritual baptisms of “fire” and the “Holy Ghost” which is bestowed by the Father.

The Baptism which is bestowed by the Father

One of the keys to understanding what was taking place with Lyman Wight and others as they beheld the Father and the Son, has to do with the baptisms of fire and the Holy Ghost that follows the baptism of water when one exercises the proper faith.

Verily, verily, I say unto you, that this is my doctrine, and I bear record of it from the Father; and whoso believeth in me believeth in the Father also; and unto him will the Father bear record of me, for he [God the Father] will visit him with fire and with the Holy Ghost.” 3 Ne 11:35

After a worthy person is baptized with water, God the Father baptizes them with fire to completely cleanse them from all sin. Following that, he blesses them with the constant companionship of the Holy Ghost which is the promise of eternal life.

We shall address this further, later on.

A possible distinction between the miracles performed by the patriarchal priesthood and those performed by the highest priesthood is that patriarchal priesthood exercises faith and calls upon God to command the elements.

The highest priesthood, however, does not need to petition God to command the elements. All of those who are possessors of all things have the power to command the elements themselves. They are possessors of all things, they have been given all of the power that the Father has.

The scriptures sometimes seem to characterize the first two priesthoods as having “authority” usually pertaining to priesthood ordinances, in conjunction with faith to call upon God for miraculous blessings, while characterizing the third and highest priesthood as having both “authority” and “power” over the elements.

Section one of the D&C is only the first listed revelation because of commandment. It was given AFTER the restoration of the Melchizedek priesthood. That section now takes on much more significance with the proper context provided by the restoration of the highest priesthood. Keep in mind that the revelation now known as section one was given just four or five months following the special conference.

Realizing what we have just reviewed about the greatest priesthood having power over the elements, lets look at some of the declarations contained in section one;

And the voice of warning shall be unto all people, by the mouths of my disciples, whom I have chosen in these last days. And they shall go forth and NONE SHALL STAY THEM. BEHOLD THIS IS MY AUTHORITY, AND THE AUTHORITY OF MY SERVANTS…. TO THEM IS POWER GIVEN TO SEAL BOTH ON EARTH AND IN HEAVEN, THE UNBELEIVING AND REBELLIOUS…”

That is another description of the fullness of the priesthood! Section one describes the power the first laborers of the last kingdom will have when the return in the 3rd watch to go forth for the last time. This is the priesthood that was being bestowed at the Morley Farm.

When the first laborers of the last kingdom go forth in power for the last time, they will be unharmed by any of the wicked that try to stay them from their course of missionary work. They control the elements. All things are subject to them. They have power to seal on earth and in heaven!

The True Melchizedek Endowment
Steps or Phases in attaining the FULNESS of the Highest Priesthood

One of the amazing things you need to realize is that everything pertaining to the highest priesthood was revealed and introduced in 1831 and 1832! The Nauvoo years were not about introducing the highest priesthood in this dispensation for the first time, they were about trying to RESTORE the highest priesthood that had been introduced in Kirtland and then LOST!

Sections 1 through 88 appear to provide a detailed explanation and protocol of the highest Melchizedek priesthood endowment! The TRUE original endowment. ( please notice it has nothing to do with robes, secret handshakes, penalties of death, secret oaths of vengeance or swearing by ones neck!)

From the initial experience of Lyman Wight when the heavens parted and he saw the Father and the Son, to the additional information and promises contained in the revelations known as sections 84 and 88, we can reconstruct several, if not all of the steps or phases of the Melchizedek priesthood endowment.

The initial ordination to the highest priesthood does not entitle the candidate to all of the associated powers of that priesthood.

It appears that the greatest priesthood is achieved in steps or phases and it is predicated on faith and magnifying what priesthood the candidate already has. (See section 84)

Here are several of the steps of the endowment I can see according to the events at the special conference and those provided in the scriptures. Please feel free to respond if you see additional ones in your research.

Let us begin with the CALLING. There is a calling of the candidate according to the voice of God out of heaven though his anointed prophet, such as took place at the Morley Farm. Among those who are called, there are also some that are chosen or elected. Those that are chosen are those who God, in his infinite foreknowledge knew that they would be faithful. It is at a later time, after demonstrating their willingness to sacrifice all things, that the candidate makes their calling and election SURE, or secured.

After some of the original 23 apostacized the Lord acknowledged that “But behold, verily I say unto you, that there are many who have been ordained among you, whom I have called but few of them are chosen. They who are not chosen have sinned a very grievous sin, in that they are walking in darkness at noon-day.” (96:5-6)

That passage is referring exclusively to those ordained to be Melchizedek High Priests, not just Patriarchal Elders. Again, context is everything.

In the protocol provided at the Morley Farm, God identified, through his anointed prophet, who he wants to ordain to the greatest priesthood. God then ordains them through the process of “divine investiture” or, perhaps more accurately, “divine possession”, through his anointed prophet and seer or another designated High Priest.

This amazing process of divine possession that enables God to ordain people with his own hand through the mortal hand of one of his anointed prophets is revealed in section 36;

And I will lay my hand upon you by the hand of my servant Sidney Rigdon, and you shall receive my Spirit, the Holy Ghost, even the Comforter, which shall teach you the peaceable things of the kingdom” D&C 36:2,5

OK, getting back to the Morley Farm experience… God first revealed to Joseph that he wanted to ordain Lyman Wight.

The candidate, if sufficiently prepared and faithful, has the heavens opened and sees the Father and the Son. (there were only two of the 23 who were called that saw the Father and the Son on that occasion. The others were admonished to keep seeking the face of God)

God then conferred the priesthood on Lyman Wight with his own hand through the hand of Joseph Smith.

(Eventually God began revealing who was to be ordained through Joseph but using the hand of Lyman Wight to do the ordaining via divine possession.)

After having the priesthood conferred and seeing the Father and the Son, a period of time transpired during which the worthiness of the individual in magnifying his calling is examined by the Lord, those that have been faithful become cleansed from all sin and their priesthood endowment is confirmed by the voice of God out of heaven as took place and recorded in section 84;

And wo unto all those who come not unto this priesthood which ye have received,[at the Morley Farm] which I now confirm upon you who are present this day, by mine own voice out of the heavens; and even I have given the heavenly hosts and mine angels charge concerning you. And I now give unto you a commandment to beware concerning yourselves, to give diligent heed to the words of eternal life. For you shall live by every word that proceedeth forth from the mouth of God… And the Father teacheth him of the covenant which he has renewed and confirmed upon you, which is confirmed upon you for your sakes, and not for your sakes only, but for the sake of the whole world.”

After having been elected to the highest priesthood by God the Father, and seen him and Christ, and being conferred and then confirmed, and after continuing in grace, offering  up a sacrifice of humble heart and a contrite spirit, they become totally sanctified. This is demonstrated in section 88;

Verily, thus saith the Lord unto you who have assembled yourselves together to receive his will concerning you:

Behold, this is pleasing unto your Lord, and the angels rejoice over you; the alms of your prayers have come up into the ears of the Lord of Sabaoth, and are recorded in the book of the names of the sanctified, even them of the celestial world.”

Once you have been elected, seen God and had the highest endowment conferred and confirmed and become sanctified (and had it documented in the book of the names of the sanctified) the worthy recipient then receives the constant companionship of the Holy Ghost otherwise known as another comforter. This portion of the endowment is the promise of eternal life. It is the promise that one will enter into the glory of the celestial kingdom where one is a member of the Church of the First Born;

Wherefore, I now send upon you another Comforter, even upon you my friends, that it may abide in your hearts, even the Holy Spirit of promise; which other Comforter is the same that I promised unto my disciples, as is recorded in the testimony of John.

This Comforter is the promise which I give unto you of eternal life, even the glory of the celestial kingdom;

Which glory is that of the church of the First born, even of God, the holiest of all, through Jesus Christ his Son

In section 39 we are reminded that the comforter is what teacheth the “peaceable things of the kingdom“;

And this is my gospel—repentance and baptism by water, and then cometh the baptism of fire and the Holy Ghost, even the Comforter, which showeth all things, and teacheth the peaceable things of the kingdom“. D&C 39: 6

Once a person has completed those steps of the Melchizedek priesthood endowment, they are completely purified and sanctified. At some point after that they inherit all that the Father has, they become equal with Christ and they become a possessor of all things, possessing the fullness of the Father.

All spirits in heaven and earth are subject to them. They can command the elements, if that falls within their calling and stewardship upon this earth. This is the priesthood power by which Enoch, Melchizedek and Elijah commanded the elements and translated the righteous Saints.

It was not my intent to get so far into the doctrine of the priesthood in this post as we will provide a summary pertaining to the priesthood in part 5, however it was unavoidable inasmuch as the sections pertaining to the conference, which preceded the conference, specifically laid out and revealed that the coming priesthood endowment to be revealed at the conference would be the greatest priesthood and would make the faithful recipient a “possessor of all things”.

PLEASE NOTE THAT BY 1831-2 THE FULNESS OF THE GOSPEL CONTAINING THE MELCHIZEDEK PRIESTHOOD ENDOWMENT HAD BEEN REVEALED AND BESTOWED UPON SOME OF THE SAINTS OF THIS DISPENSATION!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

This is incredibly important to understand because it gives the proper context to what would later transpire in Nauvoo.

Once in Nauvoo, the Saints were trying to restore this highest priesthood which the Lord had taken away from them after!

By understanding the truth about the fulness of the priesthood and understanding what the true Melchizedek priesthood endowment consisted of, we are better prepared to discern the actions of Saints and the doctrines they taught during and after the Nauvoo era.

With this information we can see the folly in what took place in Nauvoo pertaining to the Spiritual Wife doctrine and the Masonic Temple Endowment, both of which contradict the book of Mormon and the revelations previously received by the Prophet Joseph Smith.

With this information we can identify the fact that the Church ultimately had lost the two higher priesthoods and had been downgraded to the Aaronic level of priesthood when they had to flee from Nauvoo. They had built their house on a sandy foundation prior and were forced to flee from the cornerstone of Zion and to wander into the wilderness of Utah.

How could the Saints fall so far in such a short period of time?

The problem is that the Saints began to doubt and question the experiences that took place at the Morley Farm! In the words of John Corrill “some doubting took place“. It was this doubting that led to the rejection of the highest priesthood of the Father and therefore, the rejection of the fulness of the gospel.

Lets review how the Lord characterizes the doubting that took place. A little over a year after the Morley Farm experience the Lord reprimanded the leading elders of the church;

And your minds in times past have been darkened because of unbelief and because you have treated lightly the things you have received- which vanity and unbelief have brought the whole church under condemnation.

And this condemnation resteth upon the children of zion even all. And they shall remain under this condemnation until they repent and remember the new [and everlasting] covenant, even the book of Mormon and the former commandments which I have given them, not only to say, but to do according to that which I have written-

that they may bring forth fruit meet for their Fathers kingdom; otherwise there remaineth a scourge and judgment to be poured out upon the children of Zion. For shall the children of Zion pollute mine holy land? Verily, I say unto you nay!”

There you have it.

The Lord himself rebukes the leading elders for having “darkened minds”, “unbelief”, vanity and treating the Melchizedek priesthood, law of consecration and associated truths lightly.

Again, I’ll bet you have read those passages many times in the past without realizing that they were referring specifically to those who had been ordained to the Melchizedek priesthood and rejected the greater light and responsibility that was being offered.

The condemnation put upon the church at that time (and in another published but canonized revelation) would not be lifted until they remembered the commandments contained in the book of Mormon and the revelations received by Joseph Smith including the commandment to magnify their priesthood and to consecrate and redeem Zion.

The initial endowment of the Highest Priesthood had been restored. It was the spiritual equivalent of entering into the “gate”. It contained the spiritual power for establishing Zion.

Now the Saints and the leading elders of the church had come under condemnation for doubting the endowment they had been given and for not keeping the everlasting covenant which they had been commanded to keep.

Again, they were fulfilling the prophecy of Christ and the prophecy the Lord gave to Moses. The Gentiles were rejecting the fullness of the Gospel, even the priesthood of the Father.

They were also fulfilling the prophecy of Isaiah, they were breaking the New and Everlasting Covenant.

The Saints were given the greatest endowment of priesthood in Kirtland and they lost it and fell under condemnation.

The Fulness of the Priesthood was “taken away” and “lost” but it will be restored again in the 3rd watch.

When the Saints finally broke the covenant and fled Jackson, then defiled the Kirtland Temple and fled Kirtland, they attempted gathering in Far West and Adam-ondi-Ahman. Shortly after they fled from those cities, they gathered to Nauvoo. Shortly after arriving in Nauvoo, section 124 was given. In it the Lord revealed that the fullness of the priesthood had been lost;

“..build a house to my name for the most high to dwell therein. For there is not a place found on earth that he may come to and RESTORE AGAIN that which was LOST UNTO YOU, or which he hath TAKEN AWAY, even the fullness of the priesthood.” (124:28)

The Lord had “taken away… the fullness of the priesthood“. Now that the Saints had defiled the Kirtland Temple and were no longer “poor” as a group, having the means to build a temple quickly, the Lord made it clear to them that he would not “restore again” the Highest priesthood “which was lost…” until a temple was built.

If you are wondering why the ominous implications of verse 28 was not fully expounded upon by Joseph Smith, the simple fact of the matter is that IT WAS!

In a sermon given on May 16th 1841, first published in the Times and Seasons (vol 2:429-30) and later published in the History of the Church (4:358-60) and eventually in TPJS (187-189) The prophet Joseph Smith taught;

The election of the promised seed still continues and in the last days they shall have the Priesthood RESTORED unto them and they shall be Saviors on Mount Zion and be the ministers of our God.”

He added that “If it were not for a remnant of Israel which was left then might we be as Sodom and as Gomorrha.” Of course his reference was verifying that Isaiah chapter one was referring to America as the “sinful nation” and to the latter day Saints as those who “forsake the Lord” and “are gone away backward“.

This is certainly not the first time the prophet Joseph Smith acknowledged that the highest priesthood had been taken from the Saints.

In 1838, while in Far West, shortly after the Saints defiled the temple and fled Kirtland the Prophet Joseph Smith interpreted Isaiah 52: 1-2 thusly;

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

In the above passages notice how the “AUTHORITY” of the priesthood is patriarchal which Zion has a right to by lineage but the scattered remnants ALSO needed to RETURN to the “POWER” of the priesthood which refers to the highest Melchizedek priesthood power which is required to redeem Zion.

He further interpreted Isaiah as prophesying that the latter day Saints would need to “return to the Lord from whence they had fallen” at which time God would once again “speak to them or give them revelation“.

He explained that the “bands of her neck” are the “curses of God upon her” as a result of not consecrating and remaining in a “scattered condition among the Gentiles” (D&C 113)

To those who are watching the events of the restoration movement and searching the words of Joseph Smith, it becomes apparent that the highest priesthood received by many at the Morley Farm had been lost by the beginning of 1835 and that the 2nd priesthood (of Abraham) would eventually be lost in Nauvoo if the Saints failed to be obedient and finish the Temple.

Following the failure to successfully consecrate in Jackson and Kirtland, the Saints lost the greatest priesthood. Now they were left with the two priesthoods that had been restored in 1829 by angels, the two priesthoods they held before the special conference at the Morley Farm.

On August 27th 1843 the prophet Joseph Smith gave a discourse regarding the three priesthoods. We will get into detail on that discourse in a later part of this series however there is one statement from that discourse out of the Joseph Smith diary that deserves mention here.

The Prophet indicates that it was the 2nd priesthood, or “patriarchal” priesthood that was being used to build the temple in Nauvoo. The promise was that when finished, God would fill it with power, referring to the fact that the Highest, Melchizedek Priesthood endowment would be restored to the Saints after the temple was completed.

2d Priesthood, patriarchal authority finish that temple and god Will fill it with power.”

As you can see, the second, patriarchal priesthood was sufficient to build the Nauvoo Temple. Once the temple was finished, the highest priesthood which had been lost could be restored.

September 11th The Appointed Time for the Redemption of Zion

If there is an approximate identifiable date on which the highest priesthood was lost, it would probably be sometime in 1834.

God, in his infinite mercy and longsuffering continued to speak to the saints. He had previously promised, in section 64 that Kirtland would be a stronghold until September 11th 1836.

On August 16th 1834, Joseph Smith wrote a letter to Lyman Wight and the brethren on the High Council in Missouri telling them that the spirit had informed him that the leaders of the Church in Zion must use-

..every effort to prevail on the churches to gather to those regions and situate themselves to be in readiness to move into Jackson Co. in two years from the Eleventh of September next which is the appointed time for the redemption of Zion“.

As you can see, the Lord gave a set time when the redemption of Zion was to take place in the 2nd watch!

Critics of the Latter-day Saints often refer to these statements in the letter to demonstrate that Joseph Smith was a false prophet since the redemption of Zion never took place at the appointed time.

If one reads the entire letter and puts his statements in context it is clear that Joseph Smith was not prophesying that Zion would be redeemed on that date, but rather he was giving a conditional promise from the Lord based on obedience.

IF the Saints were faithful in exerting themselves, the redemption of the Saints would be accomplished on or before September 11 1836. On the other hand, if they failed in this attempt, they would be scourged!

In the letter, Joseph Smith warned them that;

if we don’t exert ourselves to the utmost in gathering up the strength of the Lords house that this thing may be accomplished behold there remaineth a scourge.

The date that Joseph Smith gave for the redemption of Zion coincides with the word of the Lord in section 64 which was also given on September 11th, in 1831:

…I the Lord will to retain a strong hold in the land of Kirtland, for the space of five years in the which I will not overthrow the wicked, that thereby I may save some. And after that day, I the Lord will not hold any guilty that shall go with an open heart up to the land of Zion; for I, the Lord require the hearts of the children of men.”

We see from section 64 that three years prior to the letter Joseph Smith wrote to the brethren in Zion, the Lord had revealed that Kirtland would no longer remain a stronghold for the members of the church after September 11th 1836 and that if any were to enter the land of Zion at that appointed time, they would not be held guilty for their actions.

Section 64 is an amazing prophecy. How could anyone have known that Kirtland would remain as a spiritual and temporal stronghold for the Saints for 5 years and that after that, apostasy would break out, the temple would be defiled and the Saints would need to flee shortly thereafter?

Little did the Saints realize that after that period of time, they would fail to redeem Zion, enemies of the church would prevail, the Temple would be defiled, the highest priesthood that was given, in part to be a protective hedge against the enemy and a stronghold, would be lost and the Saints would need to flee from Kirtland?

Needless to say, the redemption of Zion never materialized on September 11th 1836 and the saints failed to restore again the Melchizedek priesthood that had been lost a few year before.

One of the main reason why the Melchizedek priesthood was restored was for the purpose of redeeming Zion.. A feeble attempt at restoring the Saints to their lands in Jackson County had taken place in the form of “Zions Camp” in 1832 but it failed in it’s mission and the Saints ultimately failed to redeem Zion at the appointed time in Jackson County.

Although the greatest Pentecostal event that took place was undoubtedly the restoration of the highest priesthood in 1831, September 11th 1836 appears to have been the apex of the restoration movement. Just months before that appointed time, the Savior appeared to Joseph and Oliver to accept the temple. It appears that the darkened minds of the Saints regarding the restoration of the Melchizedek priesthood and their failure to live consecration and redeem Zion would ultimately result in the closing of the heavens shortly before Joseph would be martyred.

The Patriarchal Priesthood was also lost, leaving only the Aaronic

While the Highest priesthood was restored in 1831 and lost on or before September 11th 1836 in Kirtland, it appears the 2nd priesthood, or Patriarchal priesthood which was restored in 1829 by Peter James and John was lost sometime between January 19th 1841, when the revelation known as section 124 was given and the martyrdom of Joseph and Hyrum in 1844.

In that revelation the Saints were warned that they only had a short designated period of time in which to complete the temple and if they did not complete the temple within that period of time they would be “rejected as a Church with their dead”.

Since the main purpose of the 2nd priesthood is to govern the church and dispense the saving ordinances of the gospel, it follows that, that priesthood would also be lost to the Saints if God rejects the Church and hides his face and stops giving revelation to them.

The time period during which the Saints were to complete the temple was identified by the grace period during which they were able to do baptisms for their dead in the river.

but I command you, all ye my saints, to build a house unto me; and I grant unto you a sufficient time to build a house unto me; and during this time your baptisms shall be acceptable unto me. But behold, at the end of this appointment your baptisms for your dead shall not be acceptable unto me; and if you do not these things at the end of the appointment ye shall be rejected as a church, with your dead, saith the Lord your God

It is very interesting that the Lord did not give a specific date by which time the temple was to be built, instead, he assured them he was giving the a “sufficient time” if they “labored with all their might

If ye labor with all your might, I will consecrate that spot that it shall be made holy. And if my people will hearken unto my voice, and unto the voice of my servants whom I have appointed to lead my people, behold, verily I say unto you, they shall not be moved out of their place..”

He did however provide two time line markers that would indicate if the Church was ultimately rejected.

One marker was to be when the baptisms for the dead were not longer acceptable.

The other prophetic marker was if the Saints were forced to flee from Nauvoo as they had been forced to flee Jackson, Kirtland, and Far West. the promise provided in section 124 was that they would not be moved out of their place this time if they were obedient.

Those two events would testify that the Church was rejected by the Lord God.

On 3 October 1841, the Prophet Joseph announced that “there shall be no more baptisms for the dead until the ordinance can be attended to in the Lord’s House” (History of the Church, 4:426).

This statement from the prophet indicated that either the Saints had had a sufficient period of time to build the Lords house OR they had already defiled the undertaking by their “follies and abominations” that they were practicing before the Lord (D&C124:48)

It is not clear if the sanitizers of the History of the church diluted the ominous implications of the announcement by adding “until the ordinance can be attended to in the Lords House” but we know from reading the exact language from the revelation that God’s grace period for accomplishing the task at hand had expired regardless of whether it was ended by the Saints not laboring with all their might or whether it was ended by other abominations that were being practiced.

The following statement was made by Lyman Wight who became convinced that the Lord rejected the church because of their leisurely slothfulness in completing the temple-

The church mostly went from there Kirtland Ohio to Missouri where they commenced another house from which they were driven to the State of Illinois where we were commanded to build a house or temple to the Most High God.

We were to have a sufficient time to build that house during which time our baptisms for our dead should be acceptable in the river.

If we did not build within this time we were to be rejected as a church we and our dead together.

Both the temple and baptizing went very leisurely till the temple was somewhere in building the second story when Bro Joseph from the Stand announced the alarming declaration that baptism for our dead was no longer acceptable in the river,  as much to say the time for building the temple had passed by and both we and our dead were rejected together.

The church now stands rejected together with their dead The church being rejected now stands alienated from her God in every sense of the wordChurch History Vol 2 p 790

We know that the Saints failed to build the temple in the “sufficient time” for two reasons. One is that the Temple was never completed in the designated time period because it is a historical fact that it was never completed at all before the Saints fled Nauvoo.

Although historical revisionists sometimes imply that it was finished, we have many testimonies including the journal entry of Brigham Young in his diary verifying that it was not finished when the Saints fled Nauvoo.

The other reason we know it was not finished is because Joseph Smith gave a discourse revealing that the tower (temple) referred to in the parable of the redemption of Zion in section 101 was referring to the Nauvoo Temple, and the parable reveals the remarkable prophecy that the Saints would fail to complete the temple because the Saints would not labor with all their might, questioning among themselves;

what need hath the Lord of this tower….”

It is a curious fact that the Saints quickly resumed doing baptisms for the dead BEFORE the temple was finished and properly dedicated. Although several attempts to dedicate portions of the temple were made, none of the accompanying pentecostal endowments that accompany the acceptance of a holy temple were ever enjoyed.

Regarding the resumption of baptisms for the dead before the temple was completed, the following journal entry informs us that “The following month, a temporary font was constructed and dedicated in the temple basement, and ordinance work resumed. At least 11,500 proxy baptisms were performed between 1840 and 1845.” (See M. Guy Bishop)

We don’t have enough information to determine if the Saints were authorized by revelation to resume the work for the dead in the unfinished temple or if this was one of the abominations which the Saints were practicing before God during this dark time in the history of the Saints;

For instead of blessings, ye by your own works, bring cursings, wrath, indignation, and judgments upon your own heads, by your follies, and by all your abominations, which you practice before me, saith the Lord.” (124:48)

Of course the fact that the Saints had to flee Nauvoo shortly after the martyrdom, is the second sign and witness that the Church was rejected with their dead and the patriarchal priesthood necessary for governing the church and dispensing the saving ordinances of the fulness of the Gospel had, most probably, like the highest priesthood, been taken away.

This left the leaders of the church with the Aaronic priesthood with which to take the preparatory gospel to the inhabitants of the earth.

Summary

Now then, it has been shown from the history of the church in conjunction with the holy and infallible word of God that the calling of the conference at the Morley Farm was indeed inspired and that it did represent the restoration of the highest order of the Melchizedek priesthood for the first time in that dispensation.

It has been shown that the restoration of the Melchizedek priesthood interrelates to virtually every other event that took place during the Kirtland years.

With this new context for background, the D&C should take on a much greater meaning.

It has been shown that the highest priesthood and the law of consecration were essential for being protected from the secret combination that had already combined and was plotting the destruction of the Church.

It has been shown that there is a great distinction between being called to the highest priesthood by the voice of God out of heaven vs, the ordinations to the two lesser priesthoods made according to lineage or the will of men.

It has been proven that the priesthood endowment given at the Morley Farm was greater than the lesser and higher priesthoods previously given by John the Baptist and Peter James and John and that it is defined as making the recipient a “possessor of all things”, which is the power of creation, or Godhood.

We have detailed and itemized the several steps of the true Melchizedek priesthood endowment in attaining a fullness of power after the initial ordination to the Melchizedek priesthood.

It has been shown by the scriptures and the events of LDS church history that because of the cumulative wickedness of the Saints, the Lord God of Israel took his anointed servant out of the midst of the people along with the holy partriarchal priesthood of Abraham as well as the fulness of the holy Melchizedek priesthood, just as Moses had been taken out of the midst of ancient Israel.

Unfortunately the length of this post  does not allow me to cover the absolute necessity of living consecration and the associated consequences of not living it. That will come in the next post.

As you can see, the holy order of the priesthood and the law associated with it were given very early in the history of the church… within the first three years after it was restored.

As discussed in this and some of my previous posts, the fullness of the gospel was rejected by the gentile church by about 1834, followed by the Kirtland apostasy which resulted in the failure to redeem Zion on or before September 11 1836 and resulted in the defiling of the Kirtland Temple and the Kirtland apostasy.

Joseph Smith notified the Saints that God had revealed to him that “something new much be done for the salvation of the church”. He then established foreign missions to take the Preparatory gospel to the outcasts of Israel and the dispersed of Judah.

We have demonstrated according to modern revelation and church history that the appointed time for the redemption of Zion was September 11th 1836 and that the failure on the part of the Saints to magnify the highest priesthood, redeem Zion and live the law of Consecration resulted in the withdrawing of the fullness of the Priesthood as ominously pointed out by the Lord in section 124;

For there is not a place found on earth that he may come to and restore again that which was lost unto you, or which he hath taken away, even the fulness of the priesthood.”

From this we see that it was game, set and match before the Saints were forced to flee Kirtland. The prophecies of Christ and Moses had been fulfilled and the Latter day Saints had rejected the fullness of the Gospel long before the Saints even got to Nauvoo.

The Saints had been weighed in the balance and found wanting at the end of the first six years of the restored church. After that, the greater light they had been given was taken from them.

LDS fundamentalists that think God would continue to give a greater laws to the Saints in Nauvoo when in fact they had already sinned against the greatest law and the greatest light there is, in Kirtland, are gravely mistaken. Indeed the Lord sent a “strong delusion” to those who “received not the love of the truth”, that they might “believe a lie.” (See 2 thes 2)

The rejection of the fullness of the gospel by the Gentiles on or before September 11, 1836 and the taking of the preparatory gospel from the gentiles to the Jews after that date is a great mystery that few people understand. We shall touch on that later.

But there is another mystery that is even deeper.

The restoration of the highest priesthood at the special conference at the Morley Farm was not done in vain.

God, in his infinite wisdom and foreknowledge had a plan “B” in mind when he bestowed the highest priesthood. That plan would prevent the Saints from being wiped off the face of the earth. …more on that when we resume with part 5.

Keep watching

Searching for the Holy Order and 23 High Priests- Part 5

Patriarchal Priesthood Administers New and Everlasting Covenant
(originally titled Patriarchal Priesthood)


Searching for the Holy Order and 23 High Priests Part 1

November 29, 2008

Joseph, Lyman & Harvey See
the Father and the Son

By OneWhoIsWatching

www.threewatches.blogspot.com

From JST Exodus 34 we learn that as a result of the wickedness and idolatry of the children of Israel Moses breaks the first set of plates that contained the higher law and he was commanded to hew two other tablets containing the lesser law;

And the Lord said unto Moses, Hew thee two other tables of stone, like unto the first, and I will write upon them also, the words of the law, according as they were written at the first on the tables which thou brakest; but it shall not be according to the first, for I will take away the priesthood out of their midst; therefore my holy order, and the ordinances thereof, shall not go before them; for my presence shall not go up in their midst, lest I destroy them.” Exodus 34: 1-2, 14

From this and modern revelation we can surmise that the fulness of the Gospel and the LAW OF ZION sometimes referred to as GOSPEL LAW and the LAW OF CONSECRATION as contained in section 42 of the D&C, was contained in the first set of plates that Moses broke.

We are also informed that it is the Holy Order of the Priesthood according to the Son of God that must administer the LAW of ZION and ESTABLISH ZION.

Section 84 provides additional clarity pertaining to the holy order or highest portion of the Priesthood that was taken out of the midst of the Children of Israel.

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

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

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

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

Which gospel is the gospel of repentance and of baptism, and the remission of sins, and the law of carnal commandments, which the Lord in his wrath caused to continue with the house of Aaron among the children of Israel until john, whom God raised up, being filled with the Holy Ghost from his mother’s womb.”

It is evident that Moses was endeavoring to implement the LAW OF CONSECRATION, sanctify his people and establish ZION just as Enoch and Melchizedek had done among their peoples.

As a result of the rebelliousness of the people, Moses was taken out of their midst along with the Holy Melchizedek Priesthood, the higher law and the ability to establish Zion..

Old Testament Prophets however prophesied that in the latter days, the Highest Priesthood would be restored and Zion would be re-established after becoming “captive” for a period of time;.

Awake, awake; put on thy strength, O Zion; put on thy beautiful garments, O Jerusalem, the holy city: for henceforth there shall no more come into thee the uncircumcised and the unclean. Shake thyself from the dust; arise, and sit down, O Jerusalem: loose thyself from the bands of thy neck, O captive daughter of Zion.” href=”http://scriptures.lds.org/en/isa/52/1#1″>Isa. 52: 1

Providing additional clarity and context the prophet responded to a question about the above verses;

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

He had reference to those whom God should call in the last days, who should hold the power of priesthood to bring again Zion, and the redemption of Israel; and to put on her strength is to put on the authority of the priesthood, which she, Zion, has a right to by lineage; also to return to that power which she had lost.” href=”http://scriptures.lds.org/en/dc/113/7-8#7″>D&C 113: 7-8

It appears from ancient and modern scripture that God will send one like Moses to offer the higher law once again and bring again Zion in the end times. He will enable the daughter of Zion who had previously lost the priesthood power to redeem Zion to put on their former strength and complete the final establishment of Zion!

If someone were to ask you to name the most significant penticostal events of spiritual endowment in the history of the Church between 1830 and 1836 what would you say?

Before studying this topic in depth, I would have suggested

However, I would submit to you that there is another event that took place in 1831 that rivals all of the amazing events listed above.

Curiously, it is not covered in lesson manuals nearly as often, or spoken of as frequently by LDS scholars and the details are not as widely known among members of the church.

I am speaking about the restoration of the Highest Priesthood upon the earth in 1831 at the Morley Farm in Kirtland Ohio.

On that occasion, the heavens were opened and people saw the Father and the Son. Additionally, 23 priesthood holders were ordained to the High Priesthood after the Holy order of God according to the voice of God out of the heavens. It appears they were ordained to the same High Priesthood that Melchizedek and Enoch had been ordained to. Even the same priesthood that is required to establish Zion.

As we shall see as this story unfolds, it appears the restoration of this priesthood upon the earth in 1831 was necessary for the establishment of Zion. That is why Section 52 was given the day after this conference, detailing the commission God gave to these High Priests and other Elders to travel to Jackson County and begin the holy order of consecration at the designated place, even the center stake of Zion. Shortly after that, those not commanded to plant themselves in Zion were to also establish the holy order of the law of consecration in Kirtland.

In late spring of 1831 Joseph Smith called a conference in Kirtland, Ohio. At this special conference 23 men were called to the 3rd and highest order of priesthood.

The elders of the church were commanded to assemble for this special conference by commandment from God. The revelation which is known as section 44 promises a spiritual endowment IF the elders are FAITHFUL;

1 Behold, thus saith the Lord unto you my servants, it is expedient in me that the elders of my church should be called together, from the east and from the west, and from the north and from the south, by letter or some other way.
2 And it shall come to pass, that inasmuch as they are faithful, and exercise faith in me, I will pour out my Spirit upon them in the day that they assemble themselves together.
3 And it shall come to pass that they shall go forth into the regions round about, and preach repentance unto the people.
4 And many shall be converted, insomuch that ye shall obtain power to organize yourselves according to the laws of man;
5 That your enemies may not have power over you; that you may be preserved in all things; that you may be enabled to keep my laws; that every bond may be broken wherewith the enemy seeketh to destroy my people.
6 Behold, I say unto you, that ye must visit the poor and the needy and administer to their relief, that they may be kept until all things may be done according to my law which ye have received. Amen.

Regarding the event that took place at the Morley Farm Joseph Smith said, “the authority of the Melchizedek Priesthood was manifested and conferred for the first time upon several of the Elders. It was clearly evident that the Lord gave us power in proportion to the work to be done, and strength according to the race set before us, and grace and help as our needs required.” History of The Church, 1:175-177

Several others including Lyman Wight stated that the Melchizedek priesthood was bestowed for the first in this dispensation at that conference.

Church apologists such as Elder B.H. Roberts and others conclude that the statement made by the prophet and others concerning the bestowal of the “Melchizedek Priesthood for the first time” is not accurate and that it the special conference deals with the restoration of the “office” of high priest for the first time, not the bestowal of the “Melchizedek Priesthood” for the first time. (History of The Church,1:176)

As we review the events pertaining to this special conference in the context of ancient and modern scripture and the words of those involved in it we shall be better prepared to determine if Joseph Smith, Lyman Wight and others were correct in his declaration that the Melchizedek Priesthood was being bestowed for the first time in this dispensation.

This controversial event that took place at the Morley Farm created a lot of indigestion for several leaders of the Church back at that time and, I suspect, based on the lack of interest in this event in contemporary lesson manuals, articles and books by LDS gospel scholars, it continues to create indigestion for some clear up to today.

A few years ago on one of my pilgrimages to Kirtland, while talking to a guide, he confided in me that there was a “secret document” circulating around, in the possession of some of the tour guides that listed who the 23 people were that were called and ordained to the high priesthood on that fateful day.

The list graded each of the 23 as either an “F” for “faithful” or “A” for “Apostate”.

The apostates were then categorized into one of three sub-categories depending, according to the creator of the document, on how much light they had previously received and how far they fell, judging by how much they eventually persecuted Joseph Smith and the Church, and, ultimately, whether they supported Brigham Young during and after the succession crises.

The secrecy of the document intrigued me and I pleaded with him to obtain a copy of it for me which he did.

I didn’t really see the significance of the event back then so I simply cataloged the document for future reference.

Recently, as I have been studying some priesthood issues, it occurred to me how significant that event was and I desired to review the document.

Unfortunately I could not find it so I tried to find out who these 23 men were by googling the topic. To my surprise, I was not able to easily find who these 23 High Priests were on the internet by simply doing key word searches. (and I am not too shabby with key word searches)

I then called the Visitors Center in Kirtland Ohio and asked the tour guides. They were not aware of the document I had previously obtained from their predecessors and did not have any record of who the 23 High Priests were.

They did, however, give me the phone number of the Visitors Center at the Morley Farm. I called there and asked the guide.

He did not know either and he commented how strange it is that such information its not easily found and that the event that took place there at the Morley Farm is not as highly profiled as the visitations of John the Baptist and Peter James and John, the vision Joseph and Sidney had in section 76 or the visitation of Christ and Moses, Elijah and Elias in the Kirtland Temple.

He asked me to send him the names of the 23 High Priests if I ever found out who they were.

Still not wanting to go through the many religious documents that I have collected over the years in search of the missing document, I decided to simply go to the greatest source of information I had pertaining to the early history of the Church in Kirtland Ohio. I dug out my book entitled “Joseph Smiths Kirtland”, a book I highly recommend. This book is one of my prized possessions because it details so many of the incredible Pentecostal events that took place in Kirtland.

It was written by Karl Anderson, a member of the church who, as I recall, was a stake president in the Kirtland area and who has spent much of his life researching the events that took place in Kirtland Ohio. He is affectionately referred to a “Mr. Kirtland” by some members of the church.

To my surprise and utter amazement, the book did not list the 23 High Priests, in fact, it didn’t even detail the events that took place on the occasion in which the ordinations of the first High Priests in this dispensation that took place at the Morley Farm!

Very strange indeed!

Luckily, I eventually found the missing document I had obtained in Kirtland. Since finding it, I have been informed that the names of all the priesthood leaders attending the conference and the names of the 23 men given the High Priesthood are contained in the Far West Record. I was able to get a copy of that and verify that the names in the document that I had been given were accurate.

[Update: the old link is no longer good however I have found the original paper with the names if the 23 High Priests and grading system that I was given in Kirtland. The pdf scan can new be viewed online on the links below. Please remember, I did not create the grading system nor do I agree with it!]

23-11

23-22

23-33

23-44

23-55

23-66

A great resource for this topic is found at this link

In part one and part two of this post I want to summarize from seven credible corroborating historical sources what took place on that remarkable day and also the dynamics that may have been taking place between the strong personalities involved.

Fortunately we have a pretty good record of what transpired from the diaries and journal entries of Levi Hancock, Ezra Booth, Zebedee Coltrin, Philo Dibble, John Whitmer, John Murdock, John Corrill and Lyman Wight.

John Whitmer was the conference clerk.

Admittedly, Ezra Booth and John Corrill had apostatized by the time they wrote their remarks and became skeptics and enemies of Joseph Smith and the Church. Ezra Booth’s remarks are tainted a little bit from his bias which, in my opinion makes his recollection just as important as the others in getting a balanced corroboration of testimony of what took place on that occasion.

In future parts of this series, we will review the role that the third and highest priesthood was to play in implementing the law of consecration and establishing Zion.

I will also detail what we learn about the three different divisions of priesthood from this event and other teachings of the scriptures and the words of Joseph Smith.

I will use this event and a discourse on priesthood given by Joseph Smith as a context in which the concept of priesthood can be viewed and the three different levels of priesthood can be examined.

The results of this summary and the implications of what was taking place at that conference at the Morley Farm may surprise you. It may challenge your current assumptions about the priesthood. Most importantly, we can learn from history what to expect in the prophetic future, when the first laborers of the last kingdom return.

Here is a brief outline of what happened during the first part of at that amazing conference.

According to John Whitmer, a conference was called by Joseph Smith which promised a “blessing” if the Elders were faithful.

June 3, 1831. A general conference was called, and a blessing promised, if the elders were faithful, and humble before him. Therefore the elders assembled from the East, and the West, from the North and the South. And also many members.”

Others remembered the “blessing” that was to be poured out as being referred to as an “endowment“. This is the early and more accurate use of the term endowment in LDS theology;

“… About this time Solomon Came to see me and brought Zebedee Coltrin along he held some metings and wanted I should go to Kirtland with him we started the latter part of May got there by the Last of the month I lerned that on the fourth of June there was to be an indowment of some Elders” Levi Hancock

Others described the promised events as the beginning of the “great and mighty work” and that it would involve the “work of miracles“. (spelling corrections from these accounts have not been made. Many of these good people spell the same way I do!)

As the 4th of June last was appointed for the sessions of the conference, it was ascertained, that that was the time specified, when the great and mighty work was to be commenced, and such was the confidence of some, that knowledge superceded their faith, and they did not hesitate to declare themselves perfectly assured that the work of miracles would commence at the ensuing conference. With such strong assurances, and with the most elevated expectations, the conference assembled at the time appointed. To give, if possible, energy to expectation, Smith, the day before the conference, professing to be filled with the spirit of prophecy, declared, that “not three days should pass away, before some should see their Savior, face to face.” (Ezra Booth)

In his introduction, the Prophet likened the kingdom of God to a grain of a mustard seed and that some would live to see it put forth its branches.

He prophesied that some of those present would become martyrs.

The fourth of June came and we all met in a little string of Buildings under the hill nere Isaac Morleys in Kirtland Geauga County Ohio we all went to a school house on the hill about one fourth of a mile asending nearly all the way it was builded of logs they was filled with slab benches here the elders were seated . the meeting was opened as usual Joseph began to speak he said that the kingdom that Christ spoke of that was like a grain of musterd seed was now before him and some should see it put forth its branches And the angels of heaven would some day come like Birds to its branches just as the Saviour had said and Some of you shall live to see it come with great glory some of you must die for the testimony of this work” (Levi handcock)

Philo dibble testified that in Joseph’s opening remarks he prophesied that there were some in their midst that would see the heavens opened and bear record of the coming of the Son of Man before the conference came to a close.

The Prophet also prophesied that the “Man of Sin” would be revealed during the conference as well.

I saw Joseph Smith the Prophet when he first came to Kirtland, and was with him in the first conference held in that place, which was in a small school house. When he arose in our midst he said that before the conference closed there were those present who should see the heavens open and bear record of the coming of the Son of Man, and that the man of sin should be revealed

Apparently Joseph had prophesied of these events the previous day as well. John Whitmer notes that “Joseph Smith Jr. Prophesied the day Previous that the man of Sin should be revealed”

According to Ezra booth, the Prophet cautioned those in attendance in his preliminary remarks tonot be overcome with surprise”

According to Jared Carter, Joseph Smith, who was not a gifted speaker, became a talented speaker as he became filled with Spirit;

“Before this [i.e., June 6, 1831] was that memorable day when God first gave the fullness of the high priesthood to the elders of the Church of Christ. At the interview, Brother Joseph, notwithstanding he is not naturally talented for a speaker yet he was filled with the power of the Holy Ghost so that he spoke as I never heard man speak for God, by the power of the Holy Ghost spoke in him and marvelous was the display of the power of the spirit among the elders present..” Journal of Jared Carter, typescript copy, LDS Church Archives, Salt Lake City, Utah

John Whitmer noted that;

“The Lord made manifest to Joseph that it was necessary that such of the elders as were considered worthy, should be ordained to the high priesthood.”

Lyman Wight becomes the First High Priest of this Dispensation

Next, Lyman Wight takes the spotlight as the first man in this dispensation to be ordained to the High Priesthood after the order of the Son of God, also referred to as the highest division of the Melchizedek Priesthood.

This of course seems contradictory to those who thought that the “higher” priesthood that Joseph and Oliver had previously received by Peter James and John, which included the calling of Apostles, was the highest division of the Melchizedek Priesthood.

As we will see in later parts of this article, there are three divisions of the priesthood;

1- The “lesser” priesthood (Aaronic or Levitical, named after Aaron)

2- The “Higher” priesthood(Patriarchal named after Abraham & Moses)

3- The “Highest” priesthood (Named after Melchizedek)

Joseph Smith has stated that “all priesthood is Melchizedek”, nevertheless, there was obviously a higher division of priesthood than what Joseph and Oliver had received previously from Peter James and John.

According to section 84, the lesser priesthood after the order of Aaron and the higher priesthood after the order of Abraham and Moses are the two priesthoods necessary to govern the church, dispense the ordinances of salvation and reveal the mystery of Godliness.

Those two priesthoods are bestowed according to lineage and/or according to the “will of man”.

The highest priesthood which is called the Melchizedek Priesthood which was bestowed anciently and at the Morley Farm however, according to the scriptures, is not given based on a man’s lineage nor is it given according to the will of man. Rather, it is given according to the voice of God out of the heavens as we shall see from the following accounts of this amazing event that happened at the Morley Farm.

And it was delivered unto men by the calling of his own voice, according to his own will..” (see href=”http://scriptures.lds.org/en/jst/4″>JST Gen. 14: 25-40 )

Opening events during the Conference at Morley’s Farm-

First let us review the recollection of Ezra Booth who states that Lyman Wight was the first to be ordained to the High Priesthood and to be given the honor of ordaining 16 of the 23 men who would be given the high priesthood, including Joseph and Sidney. It was Joseph’s privilege and responsibility to have it revealed to him from God who should be ordained to the high priesthood;

He then laid his hands on the head of Elder Wight, who had participated largely in the warm feeling of his leader, and ordained him to the High Priesthood. He was set apart for the service of the Indians, and was ordained to the gift of tongues, healing the sick, casting out devils, and discerning spirits and in like manner he ordained several others;

and then called upon Wight to take the floor Wight arose, and presented a pale countenance, a fierce look, with his arms extended, and his hands cramped back, the whole system agitated, and a very unpleasant object to look upon.

He exhibited himself as an instance of the great power of God, and called upon those around him “if you want to see a sign, look at me.” He then stepped upon a bench, and declared with a loud voice, he saw the Savior… It, however, procured Wight the authority to ordain the rest. So said the spirit, and so said Smith. The spirit in Smith selected those to be ordained, and the spirit in Wight ordained them…”.

Here is the recollection of John Witmer regarding the ordination of Lyman Wight

After he had prophecied, he laid his hands upon Lyman Wight (h) (swh) [and ordained him] to the High Priesthood after the holy order of God. And the Spirit [blank] fell upon Lyman and he prophecied concerning the coming of Christ He said that there were some in this congregation that should live until the Savior shoud decend from heaven with a shout, with all the holy angels with him.

He said the coming of the Savior should be like the Sun rising in the east and will cover the whole earth. So will the coming of the Son of man be. Yea, he will appear in his brightness and consume all before him. And the hills will be laid low, and valies be exalted, and the crooked be made straight, and the rough Smooth. And some of my brethren Shall suffer marterdom for the sake of the religion of Jesus Christ and seal the testimony of Jesus with their blood He saw the hevans opened, and the Son of man sitting on the right hand of the Father, Making intercession for his brethren, the Saints He said that God would work a work in these last days that tongue cannot express, and the mind {of} is not capable to conceive.

The glory of the Lord shone around At this conferen[c]e these were ordained to the high priesthood, namely Lyman Wight (h) (swh), Sidney Rigdon, John Murdock, Reynolds Cahoon, Harvey Whitlock, and Hyrum Smith were ordained by Lyman Wight excet S Joseph Smith Jr except Sidney Rigdon. The following [were ordained] by Lyman Wight by commandment. Parley P. Pratt (h), Thomas B. Marsh (h), Isaac Morley, Edward Partridge, Joseph Wakefield, Ezra Thayer, Martin Harris, Ezra Booth who denied the faith, Harvey Whitlock denied the faith, also Joseph Wakefield, Joseph Smith Sr., Joseph Smith Jr., John Whitmer. [In the Far West Record, Sidney Rigdon is ordained by Lyman Wight.

Levi Hancock recalled that Joseph “looked at Lyman Wight and said you shall see the Lord and met him nere the Corner of the house and laid his hands upon him and blessed him with the visions of heaven he then stepped out on the floor and said I now see God, and Jesus Christ at his right hand let them kill me, I should not feel death as I am now”

Zebedee Coltrine stated; “Then Lyman Wight was ordained a High Priest. Joseph told him he should see the heavens opened and after he was ordained he stood on his feet and testified that he could see the heavens open and Jesus standing at the right hand of God.”

Following this conference, the majority of the 23 High Priests would be called upon to travel to Jackson County, preaching the gospel along the way. As Elder Wight traveled on this mission and others he would inform people that “he was a preacher of the gospel after the order of Melchizedek”

It should be noted that we have documentation of at least one other person besides Joseph Smith and Lyman Wight who also testified of having the heavens opened and of seeing the Father and the Son on that occasion.It was Harvey Whitlock. In fact Joseph Smith had specifically promised both Lyman and Harvey that they would see the heavens opened. According to the testimony of Zebedee Coltrin, Harvey was first paralyzed after his ordination but Joseph rebuked the power that siezed him and it left him “and he testified as Lyman had done, that he saw the heavens open, and Jesus standing on the right hand of the Father. This was the beginning in our day of ordinations to the office of high priest.”

This testimony of Joseph, Lyman and Harvey is very significant because the scriptures say that by the mouth of two or three witnesses shall every word be established. At the Morley Farm restoration of the highest priesthood we have the testimony of three people who actually saw the heavens opened and saw the Father and the Son at that time.

In the next part of this article we shall consider the dramatic turn of events at this special conference that took place after Lyman Wight was ordained and bore witness of the Father and Son. After that, the power of the adversary was displayed and the “Man of Sin” was revealed.

To be continued…

[ click here for journal and diary references of the seven witnesses who provided testimonies about the events that took place at the special conference ]

Searching for the Holy Order and 23 High Priests Part 2

The Man of Sin is revealed

July 7, 2009

Categories: Articles by OWIW, Priesthood, Uncategorized . . Author: onewhoiswatching Edit this entry

23 Comments

  1. Comment by Troy on July 7, 2009 2:54 pm

    I am very much looking forward to the rest. This is fascinating! I personally have been thinking about priesthood a lot recently.

  2. Comment by NEPT on July 7, 2009 6:50 pm

    Watcher, pardon my bluntness, but it seems that you contradict yourself when referring to the division of the priesthood described in D&C 84. You state:

    According to section 84, the lesser priesthood after the order of Aaron and the higher priesthood after the order of Abraham and Moses are the two priesthoods necessary to govern the church, dispense the ordinances of salvation and reveal the mystery of Godliness.

    Those two priesthoods are bestowed according to lineage and/or according to the “will of man”.

    While I agree with that assessment–especially given the “line of authority” (or lineage-based conferral) described in the section just prior to the all important verse 25, “Therefore, he took Moses out of their midst, and the Holy Priesthood also;–I don’t understand how you then jump to the proposal you put forth at the very beginning of the essay in which you claim that the priesthood spoken about in section 84 regarding that which was taken from the midst of the children of Israel is nothing but the highest order, aka Melchizedek.

    It seems like it should be one or the other. Or maybe there is a transition from one to the other that I am just missing. Could you help me figure this out?

  3. Comment by onewhoiswatching on July 7, 2009 7:23 pm

    NEPT

    I am not sure I understand your question, or the contradiction you are seeing.

    Hopefully this will make more sense as the priesthood doctrine is developed in later parts of this article. I plan on providing a much more detailed breakdown of the three priesthoods.

    It may be that you are assuming I am saying something about section 84 that I am not

    I would submit that while section 84 does a great job of detailing the first two degrees of priesthood, explaining the lessor and higher priesthoods, it also addresses the highest priesthood as well, although you don’t notice it and separate it out as being distinct from the first two unless you are familiar with what Joseph Smith taught about the three categories of priesthood and are looking for it.

    So just keep watching

  4. Comment by NEPT on July 7, 2009 7:47 pm

    After going back to section 84, I can be a little more specific in my question.

    Verse 6 states that Moses received the Holy Priesthood under the hand of Jethro. I assume that this refers to a patriarchal priesthood (sons of Moses/Abraham; my assumption is also based on the further explanation of the Lord given in verse ). And in verse 25 the Lord says he took Moses and the Holy Priesthood from the midst of Israel. A keyword search would bring “Holy Priesthood” up in both instances here. To me, Holy Priesthood refers to the same aforementioned division.

    I’m guessing that in your response to my question you are implying that verse 22 is a transition between the high and the highest priesthoods, for I believe JS taught that the Melchizedek PH was required to behold the face of God and live, with consequent sanctification. But if that is the case, it is not self-evident to me, since the word “this” in verse 22, regarding a division of the priesthood I assume, appears to reference “this greater priesthood” in verse 19, which would be the lineage-based PH described previously.

    So, while you succeeded in answering my question, it only brought out another! :)

  5. Comment by NEPT on July 7, 2009 7:49 pm

    Oops, I left out the verse number in my post above.

    The parenthetical statement should read:

    (sons of Moses/Abraham; my assumption is also based on the further explanation of the Lord given in verse 31)

  6. Comment by onewhoiswatching on July 7, 2009 8:47 pm

    NEPT-

    At the risk of getting a little ahead of myself and the development of the article, I shall dance around your comments the best I can

    My responses in caps-

    “Verse 6 states that Moses received the Holy Priesthood under the hand of Jethro. I assume that this refers to a patriarchal priesthood (sons of Moses/Abraham”

    [Yes that is correct]

    “And in verse 25 the Lord says he took Moses and the Holy Priesthood from the midst of Israel. A keyword search would bring “Holy Priesthood” up in both instances here. To me, Holy Priesthood refers to the same aforementioned division.”

    [Not necessarily. There are places where “holy priesthood” is associated with the Melchizedek Priesthood ie, “Before his day it was called the Holy Priesthood, after the Order of the Son of God. But out of respect or reverence to the name of the Supreme Being, to avoid the too frequent repetition of his name, they, the church, in ancient days, called that priesthood after Melchizedek, or the Melchizedek Priesthood” section 107]

    “I’m guessing that in your response to my question you are implying that verse 22 is a transition between the high and the highest priesthoods, for I believe JS taught that the Melchizedek PH was required to behold the face of God and live, with consequent sanctification. But if that is the case, it is not self-evident to me, since the word “this” in verse 22, regarding a division of the priesthood I assume, appears to reference “this greater priesthood” in verse 19, which would be the lineage-based PH described previously.”

    [No. I was not implying a transition there. The Patriarchal Priesthood named after Moses (which Joseph and Oliver got from Peter James and John and which contains the keys of the Apostleship) has all the keys necessary to administer the fulness of the Gospel and the ordinances thereof.

    That patriarchal priesthood authority and the ordinances thereof have the keys necessary to unlock the heavens and see and converse with God. In fact it was this Patriarchal Priesthood that Joseph used, to unlock the heavens at the Morley Farm and to find out from God who was to be ordained to this High Priesthood.

    If Joseph had already held the High Priesthood, he would not have needed to be ordained to it by Lyman Wight under the infinite and infallible direction of God .]

    There are some other cryptic references in this section that refer to the High Priesthood. i want you to have the joy of looking for them between now and when I return to this topic in a later part of the article.

    I will point one other interesting thing. Later in the section, God refers to the Highest Priesthood which these seven servants had received at the Morley Farm according to the voice of God out of heaven… and he, at this time, during this revelation, “confirms” their previous ordinations as High Priests, according to his voice out of the heavens!]

  7. Comment by onewhoiswatching on July 7, 2009 9:16 pm

    PS

    I should have said “highest Priesthood” in the statements I made above to avoid confusion;

    In fact it was this Patriarchal Priesthood that Joseph used, to unlock the heavens at the Morley Farm and to find out from God who was to be ordained to this High[est] Priesthood.

    If Joseph had already held the High[est] Priesthood, he would not have needed to be ordained to it by Lyman Wight under the infinite and infallible direction of God .]

  8. Comment by TruthSeekerToo on July 8, 2009 12:51 pm

    So, if you need the Melc. PH to see the face of God and live where does that leave Joseph and his first vision? This seems very contradictory to me. It has bothered the edges of my brain before but I never really thought about it in depth.

    Plus, isn’t there an account of Joseph and Sidney seeing Christ and the Father during a school of the prophets session in Nauvoo? Did they, or didn’t they have the Melc. PH at that time? I thought it had been lost and I’m far too lazy to look up the account.

  9. Comment by onewhoiswatching on July 8, 2009 2:07 pm

    TruthSeekerToo

    The use of Melchizedek is very confusing because it means different things to different people.

    all priesthood is Melchizedek” in the sense that all priesthood is an appendage of Melchizedek priesthood.

    I don’t recall saying you needed to have the highest priesthood to see the face of God, although that conference at the Morley Farm may well have been the first time that Lyman saw God.

    We need to keep in mind that there may have been something more substantive, in addition to him seeing God that may have been going on… it may have something to do with what he was prophesying about, or it may have been a sanctifying process he was experiencing in front of everyone or it may have had something to do pertaining to and oath and a covenant that was taking place…

    We may need to look at the things transpiring that are not quite as obvious as other things taking place.

    Here are a couple things to keep in mind regarding you question.

    As I mentioned to NEPT, the second priesthood (”higher, patriarchal priesthood) holds the keys of the apastalic priesthood. It can administrate and dispense all of the saving ordinances of the fulness of the gospel, including the mystery of God.

    That is the priesthood by which Joseph Smith was conducting the conference initially, and receiving revelation on WHO God wanted to ordain to the highest priesthood.

    You can part the heavens and communicate with God with patriarchal priesthood. You don’t need the “highest” priesthood, which is named after Melchizedek to see the face of God.

    Secondly, people like Joseph and Sidney who are the literal seed and the literal Sons of Moses and Aaron, held patriarchal priesthood by lineage. That, plus FAITH is all they needed to see the face of God. No physical ordination was required as demonstrated by the first vision.

    Their physical “ordinations” from John the Baptist and Peter James and John pertained to administration in Gods church and kingdom.

    The following statement in section 84 seems to contradict Joseph Smiths ability to see God in the first vision since he had not recieved the ordinances;

    “And without the ordinances thereof, and the authority of the priesthood, the power of godliness is not manifest unto men in the flesh”

    It may be that according to eternal law, once the church is set up on earth, people must submit to the ordinances thereof and the administering priesthood before they can see the face of God.

    Lastly, JS pointed out that;

    it is one thing to be on the mount & hear the excellent voice &c &c. and another to hear the voice declare to you, you have a part & lot in the kingdom”

    Perhaps that is part of the distinction between the higher and highest priesthoods, one enables us to be on the mount and hear his voice, see converse with him, see his face, etc., the other enables us to eventually have our calling and election made sure.

    In a related statement he said; “It is one thing to see the Kingdom of God, and another thing to enter into it.”

    If I have not completely confused you, please let me know so that I can try again.

    Watcher

  10. Comment by TruthSeekerToo on July 14, 2009 12:52 am

    You have yet to completely confuse me. ;-) I am still not seeing the order of the thing, though. It isn’t resonating with me and I’m not getting any spiritual confirmation.

    I promise I am studying! I just have sooo many questions.

    You said:

    “I don’t recall saying you needed to have the highest priesthood to see the face of God, although that conference at the Morley Farm may well have been the first time that Lyman saw God.”

    You’re right, you didn’t. D&C 84:19-22 seems to say it. Even if it is talking about the middle PH, I don’t see how it is true. Joseph had no priesthood ordinances before the first vision that I am aware of. These verses seem to be saying that the priesthood ordinances are necessary for seeing God.

    “Secondly, people like Joseph and Sidney who are the literal seed and the literal Sons of Moses and Aaron, held patriarchal priesthood by lineage. That, plus FAITH is all they needed to see the face of God. No physical ordination was required as demonstrated by the first vision.”

    I still can’t reconcile this with D&C 84:19-22. It clearly states that the ordinances are needed. What are these ordinances???

    I also have to ask, if this is true, how does a woman see the face of God? Is by her faith and/or through receiving ordinances of the priesthood or something else? How was Mary able to withstand whatever she went through to conceive the Holy Child? Had she received the ordinances by proper authority or was she an inheritor of the priesthood by lineage.

    II have more questions, but I really wonder why I am up at 1:45 in the morning trying to figure this stuff out. LOL

    ACK! I’m so stinkin’ confused!

    When D&C 84 speaks of God taking the Holy PH and Moses out of the midst of the children of Isreal and leaving only the lesser/Aaronic PH what does that mean? They were left with ONLY the Aaronic PH or did they have 2 divisions still. Did Moses ever have the 3rd and highest PH-is that what was taken?

    Oh my goodness. I’ll stop now.

  11. Comment by onewhoiswatching on July 14, 2009 1:56 pm

    TruthSeekerToo

    Part 5 should address all of these questions and prove to you beyond any reasonable doubt that it is possible for you to be even more confused than you are now.

    Watcher

  12. Comment by weeping on July 14, 2009 2:28 pm

    Great post! I am looking forward to the rest.

    Another thought about joseph seeing God as a young boyperhaps we are defining the terms too strictly.

    Refering to section 88 and the parable in there,

    “Behold, all these are kingdoms, and any man who hath seen any or the least of these hath seen God moving in his majesty and power.”

    As discussed in an earlier blog here, the kingdoms are the planets, the Lords creations.

    BUT, the whole of them and the work they are doing is literally GOD, moving in his majesty and power. We live in the mind of God and this is the order of things. Therefore, he that sees His face and contemplates it, receives the vision of all. All things, past present and future are before him, having ‘plugged-in’ to the mind of God who comprehends all things, at the speed of light, a urim and thummim himself. So, seeing his face and living requires a vision on the level of Nephi, Lehi, Moses, Enoch, Abraham, John etc… Wherein all things are made known.

    so, Josephs first vision where he talked the Lord in the Garden was only a personal visitation. It was not the time, space and mind expanding event that it requires to

    comprehend even God, being quickened in him and by him”

    This HIGHEST order of the priesthood transcends any earthly limitations of church organization, it is the order of the Gods given to man to perform the work of Saviors on mount Zion, as Enoch did so well.

  13. Comment by onewhoiswatching on July 14, 2009 3:08 pm

    Weeping-

    Very well said!

    I think there is sufficient evidence in the scriptures and the words of joseph Smith to justify the supposition that the;

    “HIGHEST order of the priesthood transcends any earthly limitations of church organization, it is the order of the Gods given to man to perform the work of Saviors on mount Zion, as Enoch did so well.”

    I believe this is, in part why Lyman Wight had the mindset to go off and organize his own church and kingdom after the martyrdom. Once you have the highest priesthood, you have the power to start your own kingdom.

    In a Zion society, even though the concept of equality is practiced, autonomy is as well. Each high priest that has received their earthly and spiritual inheritance is ready to rule over their own kingdom and preparing themselves to become Gods..

    And yet it is interesting how God continues to utilize the high priests within the church organization within a consecrated order while the process of establishing Zion and performing the work of Saviors on Mt Zion is in process.

    Watcher

  14. Comment by TruthSeekerToo on July 14, 2009 4:25 pm

    Okay Watcher, I’ll try not to pout while you make me wait. Is this to try my patience? I’m not sure if I should be anxious to become more confused, though. LOL

    Weeping-I like much of your post.

    You wrote:

    “This HIGHEST order of the priesthood transcends any earthly limitations of church organization, it is the order of the Gods given to man to perform the work of Saviors on mount Zion, as Enoch did so well.”

    I agree and add my belief that the highest PH would have to transcend ALL earthly limitations including gender. I believe it has to be accessable to each and every one of God’s children.

  15. […] A Forgotten Event in LDS History? Filed under: History, Scripture — mahonri @ 2:31 pm OneWhoIsWatching is “Searching for the Holy Order and 23 High Priests“: […]

  16. Comment by onewhoiswatching on July 16, 2009 9:04 am

    LOL

    Anarchist- I don’t know if “Mahonri” plans on posting all of the parts of this series, but if he does, it looks like you get the last laugh!

  17. Comment by Derek P. Moore on August 3, 2009 11:37 am

    I tried to provide these quotes on the , onewhoiswatching, but they would rather not have this information about Peter, James, and John, and the keys of the kingdom and the Melchizedek priesthood which they restored…

    Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith

    p. 157: The Priesthood was first given to Adam; he obtained the First Presidency, and held the keys of it from generation to generation. … Then to Noah, who is Gabriel: he stands next in authority to Adam in the Priesthood; he was called of God to this office, and was the father of all living in this day, and to him was given the dominion. These men held keys first on earth, and then in heaven. … Adam delivers up his stewardship to Christ, that which was delivered to him as holding the keys of the universe, but retains his standing as the head of the human family. … The Priesthood is an everlasting principle, and existed with God from eternity, and will to eternity, without beginning of days or end of years. The keys have to be brought from heaven whenever the Gospel is sent. When they are revealed from heaven, it is by Adam’s authority.

    p. 158: The Priesthood is everlasting. The Savior, Moses, and Elias, gave the keys to Peter, James and John, on the mount, when they were transfigured before him. The Priesthood is everlasting—without beginning of days or end of years; without father, mother, etc. … How have we come at the Priesthood in the last days? It came down, down, in regular succession. Peter, James, and John had it given to them and they gave it to others. Christ is the Great High Priest; Adam next.

    p. 237: Wednesday, 4.—I spent the day in the upper part of the store, that is in my private office in council… In this council was instituted the ancient order of things for the first time in these last days. … (May 4, 1842.)

    1st Ed. Doctrine & Covenants—Section L.—Sept. 1830

    3. And also with Peter, and James, and John, whom I have sent unto you, by whom I have ordained you and confirmed you to be apostles and especial witnesses of my name, and bear the keys of my ministry: and of the same things which I revealed unto them: unto whom I have committed the keys of my kingdom, and a dispensation of the gospel for the last times; and for the fullness of times, in the which I will gather together in one all things both which are in heaven and which are on earth: and also with all those whom my Father hath given me out of the world…

    Joseph Smith—History

    72. The messenger who visited us on this occasion and conferred this Priesthood upon us, said that his name was John, the same that is called John the Baptist in the New Testament, and that he acted under the direction of Peter, James and John, who held the keys of the Priesthood of Melchizedek, which Priesthood, he said, would in due time be conferred on us, and that I should be called the first Elder of the Church, and he (Oliver Cowdery) the second. It was on the fifteenth day of May, 1829, that we were ordained under the hand of this messenger, and baptized.

    Latter Day Saints’ Messenger and Advocate—Vol. 1, No. 10—Jul. 1835

    When Peter, and James, and John went up into the mount with the Savior, Moses and Elias were there; and the keys of the mysteries of the kingdom were conferred upon them, Peter being at the head.—It is written in the first chapter of the Acts of the Apostles, that after he (Jesus) ascended into heaven, he gave commandments, thro’ the Holy Ghost, unto the apostles whom he had chosen, that is, to Peter, James and John, they forming the first presidency of the church of Christ, after the meridian of time: hence we have a sample of the way and manner which God uses to give the scriptures to man…

    The Latter-day Saints’ Millennial Star—Oct. 1846

    His [J. J. Strang’s] last position is no better than the first, for he admits Joseph holds the keys of the kingdom in this world, and in the world to come. Well, how did brother Joseph get the keys conferred upon him? By Peter, James, and John, because they held them last on earth. Well, if Joseph had the keys conferred upon him by Peter, James, and John, and he (Strang) admits that Joseph holds them in the world to come, I ask how can Strang get the keys, or receive them from any other personage? He cannot, no more than Joseph could from any other than Peter, James, and John, for they held that authority.

  18. Comment by LDS Anarchist on August 3, 2009 12:43 pm

    LOL

  19. Comment by onewhoiswatching on August 3, 2009 1:42 pm

    LOL

    Regarding your comments, as i previously mentioned to you on my blog this AM, I don’t recall ever getting those comments. I had invited you to resubmit them.

    I’ll be happy to respond to them later on a post

    Watcher

  20. Comment by NEPT on August 3, 2009 5:02 pm

    Should be rather easy to respond, Watcher. Looks like you can formulate a rebuttal from the material that you’ve already posted in the High Priesthood series. There doesn’t appear to be any new issues.

    As already discussed, all priesthood is Melchizedek; the fact that one has received the highest priesthood doesn’t preclude him from conferring “lesser” (or subordiante) keys. Thus, Peter, having received the power to bind on earth and in heaven, is not rendered incapable of dispensing the keys of the Patriarchal, or apostolic, priesthood.

  21. Comment by NEPT on August 3, 2009 6:38 pm

    Hey Watcher, I suppose a simple rebuttal, but certainly not exhaustive, might include the oft spoken refrain…’all priesthood is Melchizedek’. LOL

    Striking a more serious tone, do you agree, Watcher, that possessing keys of the highest priesthood (being sons of God) does not preclude one from conferring keys of a ‘lesser’ priesthood? In other words, even if we assume that Peter was a High Priest of Melchizedek given that he had conferred upon him power to bind on earth and in heaven, that would not prohibit him from dispensing the apostolic keys of the Patriarchal priesthood. After all….

    .Peter, and James, and John, whom I have sent unto you, by whom I have ordained you and confirmed you to be apostles and especial witnesses of my name, and bear the keys of my ministry….

    And didn’t Joseph say something to the effect that there is a greater priesthood than that of an apostle or prophet? I can’t find the reference right now, maybe you can help me out!

  22. Comment by NEPT on August 3, 2009 6:39 pm

    Sorry, I didn’t realize my former post had been accepted. I thought it got lost in cyberspace!


Searching for the Holy Order and 23 High Priests Part 2

November 29, 2008

The Man of Sin is Revealed

By OneWhoIsWatching
www.threewatches.blogspot.com

In part one of this article we reviewed corroborating accounts of the calling of Lyman Wight and others to the High Priesthood of Melchizedek and his testimony of the Father and the Son.

He was the first Elder in this dispensation to be given the Holy Priesthood after the order of the Son of God, which has been named after Melchizedek, a great High Priest who established Zion and translated his people.

As we saw from the testimony provided, the spirit in Joseph would reveal who God wanted to ordain and then the spirit within Lyman would ordain that person. Lyman ordained 16 people including Joseph and Sidney. Joseph ordained Lyman and the remaining elders of the 23 who were ordained. Some were called by the voice of the Lord out of heaven and others were chosen by the voice of the Lord out of heaven.

The Man of Sin is Revealed

Shortly after Lyman Wight was filled with the Spirit and had the heavens opened to him, bearing witness of the Father and the Son, the spirit of Satan entered the room and possessed several of the brethren.

Interestingly, according to some of the testimony given, various people at the conference struggled with possession and evil spirits for the next two days!

Joseph put his hands on Harvey Whitlock and Ordained him to the high Priesthood he turned as black as Lyman was white his fingers was set like Claws he went round the Room and showed his hands and tried to speak his eyes was in the shape of Ovil Oes. [Spelling?]

Hyrum Smith said Joseph that is not of God Joseph said do not speak against this I will not believe said Hyrum unless you inquire if God owns it Joseph bowed his head a short time got up and Commanded Satan to leave Harvey laying his hands upon his head at the same time.

At that very instant an Old man said to way two hundread and fourteen pounds sitting in the window turned a complete summersett in the house and came his back across a bench and lay helpless Joseph told Lyman to cast Satan out he did.

The man’s name was Leman Copley formaly a Shaker The evil spirit left him and as quick as lightning Harvey Green fell bound and screamed like a Panther.

Satan was cast out of him but imediately entered so I heared it continued all day and the greater part of the knight“. (Levi Handcock)

Here is the recollection of Ezra Booth;

Another Elder, who had been ordained to the same office as Wight, at the bidding of Smith, stepped upon the floor. Then ensued a scene, of which you can form no adequate conception; and which, I would forbear relating, did not the truth require it.

The Elder moved upon the floor, his legs inclining to a bend; one shoulder elevated above the other, upon which the head seemed disposed to recline, his arms partly extended; his hands partly clenched; his mouth partly open, and contracted in the shape of an italic O;

his eyes assumed a wild ferocious cast, and his whole appearance presented a frightful object to the view of the beholder.— “Speak, Brother Harvey” said Smith. But Harvey intimated by signs, that his power of articulation was in a state of suspense, and that he was unable to speak.

Some conjectured that Harvey was possessed of the devil, but Smith said, “the Lord binds in order to set at liberty.

After different opinions had been given, and there had been much confusion, Smith learnt by the spirit, that Harvey was under a diabolical influence, and that Satan had bound him; and he commanded the unclean spirit to come out of him.

It now became clearly manifest, that “the man of sin was revealed,” for the express purpose that the elders should become acquainted with the devices of Satan; and after that they would possess knowledge sufficient to manage him. This, Smith declared to be a miracle, and his success in this case, encouraged him to work other and different miracles.” (Ezra Booth)

John Whitmer’s recollection is consistent with the others;

While the Lord poured out his spirit upon his servants, the Devil took occation to make known his power. He bound Harvey Whitlock <and John Murdock> > so that he could not speak and others were affected, but the Lord showed to Joseph the Seer the design of this thing, he commanded the devil in the name of Christ and he departed to our joy and comfort

Zebedee Coltrin recalled;

Harvey Whitlock was ordained next with the same promise but after his ordination, when standing on his feet, he seemed paralyzed. His mouth was drawn into the shape of an italic O, and his arm was stretched out as if nailed to a cross. Joseph rebuked the power that had seized him, and it left him”

Philo Dibble recalled;

Then Harvey Whitlock stepped into the middle of the room with his arms crossed, bound by the power of Satan, and his mouth twisted unshapely. Hyrum Smith arose and declared that there was an evil spirit in the room. Joseph said, “Don’t be too hasty,” and Hyrum sat down.

Hyrum rose the second time, saying,

“I know my duty and will do it,” and stepping to Harvey, commanded the evil spirits to leave him, but the spirits did not obey, Joseph then approached Harvey and asked him if he believed in God. Then we saw a change in Harvey

After the evil spirit was cast out of Harvey, he had the heavens opened and he saw the Son standing on the right hand of the Father just as Lyman had done.

The above accounts of this event seem to highlight both the powers of light and darkness that were manifest during the first bestowal of this highest priesthood.

Great miracles and the opening of the heavens and the testimony of Jesus Christ took place.

Conversely, as promised, the “man of sin” was revealed. The power of Satan possessing the bodies of some of the brethren was revealed in great power and those who had been given the priesthood and were faithful, now had power to discern and overcome evil spirits.

The Dynamics of Ego

Statements from leaders of the church in later years would indicate that jealousies and contentions would eventually evolve and manifest themselves as a result of this event. One can only imagine the amount of pressure everyone felt, realizing that those who were “worthy” would receive the endowment of the highest priesthood while everyone else watched.

Additionally, some of the Elders had a hard time accepting the experience as being from God and “some doubting took place“.

John Corrill makes reference of this in his reminiscence of the event;

“… there was a revelation received, requiring the prophet to call the elders together, that they might receive an endowment. This was done, and the meeting took place some time in June.

About fifty elders met, which was about all the elders that then belonged to the church. The meeting was conducted by Smith. Some curious things took place. The same visionary and marvellous spirits spoken of before, got hold of some of the elders;

it threw one from his seat to the floor; it bound another, so that for some time he could not use his limbs nor speak; and some other curious effects were experienced, but, by a mighty exertion, in the name of the Lord, it was exposed and shown to be from an evil source.

The Melchizedek priesthood was then for the first time introduced, and conferred on several of the elders. In this chiefly consisted the endowment—it being a new order—and bestowed authority.

However, some doubting took place among the elders, and considerable conversation was held on the subject. The elders not fairly understanding the nature of the endowments, it took some time to reconcile all their feelings.”

Doubts about the High Priesthood

Some characterized this holy event as not being of God, claiming that the New Testament and Book of Mormon Churches never had High Priests in them.

Oliver Cowdery and his brother in law David Whitmer became very jealous of Sidney Rigdon when he joined the Church and became so influential. They felt he had undue influence over Joseph Smith and that he was the instigator of this event.

Below are the remarks of David Whitmer after he left the church. He is among those who eventually rejected the introduction of the Highest Priesthood;

The next grievous error which crept into the church was in ordaining high priests in June, 1831. This error was introduced at the instigation of Sydney Rigdon. The office of high priests was never spoken of, a revelation would always come just as they desired it. Rigdon finally persuaded Brother Joseph and never thought of being established in the church until Rigdon came in.

Remember that we had been preaching from August 1829, until June, 1831—almost two years—and had baptized about 2,000 members into the Church of Christ, and had not one high priest. During 1829, several times we were told by Brother Joseph that an elder was the highest office in the church….

In Kirkland, Ohio, in 1831, Rigdon would expound the Old Testament scriptures of the Bible and Book of Mormon (in his way) to Joseph, concerning the priesthood, high priests, etc., and would persuade Brother Joseph to inquire of the Lord about this doctrine, and of course to believe that the high priests which had such great power in ancient times, should be in the Church of Christ to-day. He had Brother Joseph inquire of the Lord about it, and they received an answer according to their erring desires..

High Priests were only in the church before Christ; and to have this office in the “Church of Christ” is not according to the teachings of Christ in either of the sacred books: Christ himself is our great and last High Priest.

Brethren—I will tell you one thing which alone should settle this matter in your minds; it is this: you cannot find in the New Testament part of the Bible or Book of Mormon where one single high priest was ever in the Church of Christ. It is a grievous sin to have such an office in the church. As well might you add to the teachings of Christ—circumcision—offering up the sacrifice of animals—or break the ordinances of Christ in any other way by going back to the old law of Moses..

In Kirtland, Ohio, in June, 1831,… the first High Priests were ordained…. When they were ordained, right there at the time, the devil caught and bound Harvey Whitlock so he could not speak, his face twisted into demon-like shape. Also John Murdock and others were caught by the devil in a similar manner. Now brethren, do you not see that the displeasure of the Lord was upon their proceedings, in ordaining High Priests? Of course it was” (An address to All Believers in Christ)

Whitmer brings up a great point about no High Priests being present in the New Testament Church. However what he didn’t grasp is that Joseph Smith was not just restoring the New Testament Church of Christ.

He was restoring many of the Old Testament priesthood gifts and preparing the Saints to establish Zion, just as it had been prophesied in the book of Mormon. He was doing just as the High Priest Enoch did with his people, just as the High Priest Melchizedek did with his people, just as the High Priest Jesus Christ did with the Nephites.

In order for the Church of Christ to establish Zion, the office of high Priest needed to be restored.

Brigham Young, like David Whitmer is another that struggled with the concept of a third and “highest” priesthood.

He had been comfortable with the first two priesthoods that had been restored in 1829. He was in a dubious position 3 ½ years after the martyrdom when he and the twelve created a first Presidency, having himself never been ordained a High Priest!

Undoubtedly, he was under intense pressure to explain how he could claim to be president over the Church and the High Priesthood when in fact, he had never been ordained a high priest.

He made the following statement;

“Now will it cause some of you to marvel that I was not ordained a High Priest before I was ordained an apostle? It was William McLellin who told Joseph that I and Heber were not ordained High Priests, and wanted to know if it should not be done.

Said Joseph, “Will you insult the priesthood? Is that all the knowledge you have of the office of an Apostle? Do you not know that the man who receives the apostleship receives all the keys that ever were, or that can be conferred upon mortal man?

When a man is ordained to be an Apostle, his Priesthood is without beginning of days, or end of life, like the Priesthood of Melchizedek; for it was his Priesthood that was spoken of in this language, and not the man. Ref Here

Brigham Young’s reminiscence that Joseph smith made the above remark and the claim that the Apostleship holds all the keys that ever were, is not consistent with the events that transpired in the history of the church or the teachings of Joseph Smith, or the scriptures.

Of course, it was not Joseph’s perogative to give the highest priesthood to Brigham or any other man. That priesthood is not given on the basis of lineage or according to “the will of man”. God alone determines who he wants to give that priesthood to.

Brigham makes it sound like an amazing thing that he could be ordained an apostle first, and therefore have no need to be ordained a high priest, priesthood, however, the simple fact of the matter is the Joseph Smith was an apostle in 1829 BEFORE the highest priesthood was conferred in 1831, yet God still saw a need to call Joseph Smith to be ordained a high priest, proving that there is more priesthood authority than that of the apostleship.

Joseph Smith made it clear that the office of High Priest indeed held a greater priesthood than that of a prophet or Apostle;

That of Melchizedek who had still greater power even power of an endless life of which was our Lord Jesus Christ which also Abraham obtained by the offering of his son Isaac which was not the power of a Prophet nor apostle nor patriarch only, but of King & Priest to God to open the windows of heaven and pour out the peace & Law of endless Life to man &No man can attain to the Joint heirship with Jesus Christ with out being administered to by one having the same power and authority of Melchizedek.” Words of Joseph Smith 245

Clearly, what Brigham Young taught about the priesthood was not accurate or congruent with what the Prophet Joseph Smith had revealed. Although the Apostolic Priesthood holds all the keys necessary to govern the Church and dispense the ordinances of salvation, it is not as great as the priesthood that Melchizedek held.

This event that took place at the first conference held in Kirtland Ohio was very disruptive. Not only did it demonstrate the literal power of the the man of sin, it challenged the existing doctrine of the priesthood.

Additionally, one can only imagine the dynamics that took place between so many strong personalities and the egos involved in experiencing this amazing event.

Keep in mind that the promise had been made that those who were worthy would be given the high priesthood.

What kind of pressure would that put on those attending?

How would you feel if you were one of the ones attending that got passed over for the endowment of High Priesthood? Would that mean that you were not worthy?

What if you were one of the ones that became possessed? Does that mean you are less righteous than others? Or was that experience an endowment in and of itself that gifts a person with discernment?

Lots of questions come to mind as one reviews the listing of those who are present and who were called to the High Priesthood and what transpired that day.

Why does this event create indigestion for many LDS scholars, authors and members?

One possible reason is that it contradicts our current two levels of priesthood belief system that has been perpetuated in the Church down to this very day.

David Whitmer brings up a very important point when he said; “During 1829, several times we were told by Brother Joseph that an elder was the highest priesthood office in the church..

That statement was true at the time Joseph made it prior to the restoration of the Highest Priesthood at the Morley Farm. Things changed when the highest priesthood was restored. Yet even today it is taught in the Church that the Apostolic Priesthood is the greatest priesthood there is.

Another possible reason that the restoration of the highest priesthood causes indigestion is that several of the elders ordained to the High Priesthood almost immediately rejected the fulness of the gospel and the priesthood they had been given, and became critics of Joseph Smith and the Church. Others fell away later.

That is disturbing.

Yet, as we are told in the Book of Mormon, there must be opposition in all things.

The falling away of some who were called to the high priesthood gives greater insight into the Lords declaration that some were called and some were chosen.

Lyman Wight, however, had the heavens opened to him, testifies of God the Father and his Son and then spends the remainder of Joseph Smiths ministry as one of Joseph’s most loyal associates and passionate witnesses of Christ and the LDS restoration movement. With that resume, he then rejects Brigham Young’s leadership.

It is surprising that he was not considered an obvious candidate to lead the church during the succession crisis.

The fact that Lyman had been ordained to the Highest Priesthood and had seen the Father and the Son, while Brigham had not been so privileged seemed to be lost upon the majority of the Saints at the time of the succession issue. It did however, apparently seem significant to Lyman, who seems to have had very little regard for Brigham.

That reason alone would cause some to want to downplay the significance of this event and the role that Lyman Wight played in the work of the Lord up to the time of the Martyrdom.

But there are other issues pertaining to the restoration of the office of the High Priest that are curious as well.

What about high profile Elders who played such an important role in very early stages of the restoration such as William Smith, Levi Hancock, Orson Pratt, Zebedee Coltrin and Newel Knight that were present but passed over for the Highest Priesthood?

What about Zebedee Coltrin, who would eventually see God and Christ while attending the school of the prophets, why was he passed over? Was he later born of due time like Paul? BTW, the school of the prophets was not introduced until AFTER the HIGH PRIESTHOOD was introduced! Indeed these men were the designated prophets for which the school was instituted.

Apparently, Oliver Cowdery, one of the three witnesses and co-presidents of the Church, was not even present at this meeting, how odd it that? (was he to be the 24th High Priest to complete the quorum?)

How is it possible that word went out about this meeting enabling elders from the east, south, north and west to gather, yet Oliver could not be there?

Although the Far West Record records David Whitmer as being present, he apparently denies having been present in one of his later writings. Is his name in the Far West Record just a mistake made by some of the clerks, including his own brother who was the conference historian? If so, it is very strange that his name is listed in the Far West Record and stranger still that he is called as one of the Elders who is to travel to Missouri in section 52, the day after the conference is completed.

Curiously, Martin Harris, another of the three witnesses, who the Lord had previously referred to as a “wicked man” in one of the revelations, is the only one of the three witnesses that was ordained a High Priest on that occasion!

Of the 23 that were ordained High Priests, all had previously been ordained Elders except for Martin Harris who had been ordained a Priest… this takes on even greater significance when one remembers that his two brethren of the three witnesses of the Book of Mormon, Oliver and David had previously been called by revelation to choose and ordain the 12 apostles.

Was there a reason why Oliver and David should not have the highest priesthood in their stewardship in calling the Twelve Apostles? Since the quorum of the Twelve were going to take the preparatory gospel to the dispersed of Judah, one has to wonder.

How strange that Martin is ordained a High Priest, yet is not invited to participate with Oliver and David who were not High Priests, in choosing the Twelve Apostles!

What about Brigham Young?

Why was he missing when the Highest Priesthood was revealed at the Morley Farm?

It is interesting to note that Brigham Young learned about the Book of Mormon and the restoration of the Church of Christ and the fulness of the gospel in 1830, about the same time that Lyman Wight did. Yet Brigham Young did not participate in this great event at the Morley Farm because it took him two years to think things over before joining the church.

Young was eventually drawn to Mormonism after reading the Book of Mormon shortly after its publication in 1830. Samuel Smith, brother to the Prophet Joseph, tracted through the area where the Young family lived with a knapsack of the newly printed scripture.

Two of these copies made their way into the hands of Brigham’s siblings and began to circulate through the family.

Brigham Young later reminisced his lengthy conversion process;

When the [B]ook of Mormon was first printed, it came to my hands in two or three weeks afterwards. Did I believe, on the first intimation of it? . . . ‘Hold on,’ says I. . . . ‘Wait a little while; what is the doctrine of the book, and of the revelations the Lord has given? Let me apply my heart to them. . . . I considered it to be my right to know for myself, as much as any man on earth. I examined the matter studiously for two years before I made up my mind to receive that book. . . . I wished time sufficient to prove all things for myself.” He later recalled: “I was not baptized on hearing the first sermon, nor the second, nor during the first year of my acquaintance with this work.”

Besides studying the Book of Mormon, Brigham wanted to learn the character of those who professed to believe in it. He apparently found it important to judge the messengers as well as the message;

I watched to see whether good common sense was manifest; and if they had that, I wanted them to present it in accordance with the Scriptures. . . . [W]hen I had ripened everything in my mind, I drank it in, and not till then.”

We can only assume that Brigham’s absence at the special conference and God’s unwillingness to have him ordained to the highest priesthood in later years was all part of Gods plan for him.

Perhaps one of the most curious things about this event is the order in which people were called and ordained to the High Priesthood. We know that God is a God of order. The very first man ordained obviously had a very significant position in this newly ordained quorum of High Priests. It seems probably that he would be the president of the quorum.

The fact that Lyman Wight was the first to be ordained to the High Priesthood and the first to have the heavens parted and to testify of seeing the Father and the Son after his ordination, instead of Joseph Smith, Oliver Cowdery or Sidney Rigdon is very, very significant!

Here is Lyman’s reminiscence of the event;

On the 4th of June 1831, a conference was held at Kirtland, <Ohio> represented by all the above mamed [named] branches; Joseph Smith our modern Prophet presided; and here I again saw the visible manifestations of the power of God as plain as could have been on the day of pentecost and here for the first time I saw the Melchisedec priesthood introduced into the church of Jesus Christ as anciently; whereunto I was ordained under the hands of Joseph Smith, and I then ordainded Joseph and Sidney and sixteen others such as he chose unto the same priesthood. The spirit of God was made manifest to the heeling of the sick, cast<ing> out devils, speaking in unknown tongues, discerning of spirits, and prophesying with mighty power, After the two days the conference broke up receiving the revelation which appointed 28 elders their Mission to Missouri

Lyman Wight is one of the best kept secrets of the restoration movement.

Few members of the Church have any comprehension of who he was and the sacrifices he made for the kingdom.

If you have not taken the time to familiarize yourself this amazing disciple of Christ who became known as the “Wild Ram of the Mountains” and who was given the cryptic title and military/priesthood title of “baneemy” in one of the revelations, please click here. He is among the first laborers of the last kingdom that will be returning soon. I strongly suggest you get to know him.

He probably expended more energy in trying to live the law of consecration for the duration of his life than any other personality in the movement. In a revelation given after his ordination as a high Priest the Lord said;

And again, I say unto you that it is my will that my servant Lyman Wight should continue in preaching for Zion, in the spirit of meekness, confessing me before the world; and I will bear him up as on eagles’ wings; and he shall beget glory and honor to himself and unto my name.” Doctrine and Covenants 84: 21-26)

This revelation reminds us that the high priests were called to “preach for Zion”

If there is one major theme interwoven throughout Wight’s life-long ministry, it was his continual personal attempt to live consecration and facilitate others to do it.

He was passionate about living it and was quite critical of other leaders growing out of the succession debate such as Strang, Thompson and Young for their inability to personally live consecration, as well as their acquisition of wealth which he felt was extracted from their followers.

One writer made the following observation about Wight;

There is one significant thing about Lyman Wight’s community efforts, which deserves attention because of its extreme rarity in Utopian experiments. Wight, as acknowledged leader, never desired or sought temporal or spiritual advantage over his fellows.

When he received letters from Strang, “King James I, president of the church”; from Brigham Young, telling of ecclesiastical honors acquired since the death of Joseph, and Thompson with his many titles, he was wont to sign his answer with profound sarcasm, “Lyman Wight, and nothing else.”

In scathing denunciation of those who he thought were acquiring wealth at the expense of their brethren, he wrote of the Melchisedec priesthood:

‘But those who aspire after this priesthood, and seek to obtain it while rolling in luxuries, and seeking the applause of men, I would simply ask them these questions, Have you drunk of the cup whereof Christ drank, and have you been baptized with the baptism wherewith he was baptized?

Have you followed the commandment that he gave to the young man and sold all that thou hadst, and give it to the poor?

Have you sold the last coat you had, and traveled in your shirt sleeves sooner than you would see the poor left to the ravages of a ruthless mob?

Have you traveled on foot hundreds and hundreds of miles and sought a place for the Saints to camp at, night after night, that they might seclude themselves from the hands of wicked and evil designing men, and then roll yourself in a blanket, and lay yourself in an open prairie, under the open canopy of heaven, in the cold night dews?

If you have not done all these, you have not yet fulfilled the saying of the Saviour where he says, If you would be greatest you must first become the least and servant of all….I again ask, when did the church flourish?

When the Nephites that dwelt upon this land did not call “aught they possessed their own; but it all belonged to the Lord.”

When did the people mourn and lament, and howl and weep?

I answer, when their priests were lifted up in the pride of their hearts, to the wearing of fine apparel and oppressing the poor and the hireling in his wages, riding in fine carriages, with cushioned seats, bristled carpets, leaving the poor to work out their own salvation among those who are their vital enemies; while the rich and opulent were permitted to increase in opulence by tithing and wringing from the hands of the peasant his hard-earnings.”

Lyman Wight was one of the few personalities that  practiced what he preached… and one of the few that other leaders with strong personalities could not intimidate or control. His boss was a Jewish Carpenter!

The timing of the special conference at the Morley Farm is very significant. We must remember that it was the first conference of the church in Kirtland. The church was in its infancy and had just migrated to Kirtland as a result of the Lord’s admonition to gather there so that he could give them the law of consecration and an endowment which would enable them to escape the power of the enemy;

And that ye might escape the power of the enemy, and be gathered unto me a righteous people, without spot and blameless— Wherefore, for this cause I gave unto you the commandment that ye should go to the Ohio; and there I will give unto you my law; and there you shall be endowed with power from on high

It is amazing to realize that today the Saints are in a scattered condition among the gentiles and are now at the mercy of secret combinations because we failed back then to live consecration and enjoy the protective priesthood hedge that was being offered.

The LAW of consecration was given to the Saints shortly after they arrived in Kirtland on January 2nd 1831. This law is what will enable the Saints to establish Zion once they are endowed again with the highest priesthood. That is why it is called the law of the celestial kingdom and it is the law upon which Zion is built;

And Zion cannot be built up unless it is by the principles of the law of the celestial kingdom; otherwise I cannot receive her unto myself.” D&C 105: 5, 32, 34

Now, in this first conference of the Church held just two months after the law of the Gospel was given, the Lord was restoring the priesthood that Enoch and Melchizedek held. Why? So that the Saints could be gathered, sanctified and establish Zion just as the people of Enoch and Melchizedek did.

Having detailed what happened at the special conference having to do with the restoration of the Highest Priesthood and the revealing of the “man of sin“, we need to review the content in sections 52 through 65 now that we have the proper context for these revelations.

Amazingly, section 52 which is given the day after the conference ended, and was specifically addressing the conference attendees, begins by saying;

Behold, thus saith the Lord unto the elders whom he hath called and chosen in these last days, by the voice of his spirit- saying: I, the Lord, will make known unto you what I will that ye shall do from this time until the next conference, which shall be held in Missouri, upon the land which I will consecrate unto my people, which are a remnant of Jacob, and those who are heirs according to the covenant

How many times have you read section 52 without realizing that those elders who had just been called and chosen were the 23 High Priests that had just receive the Melchizedek Priesthood?

Context is critical. Read this section now with the information you have just read about this amazing conference at the Morley Farm and it will become much more meaningfully to you!

In part three we will briefly review sections 52-65 in the context of what had just happened at that conference.

Following that, we will address the seriousness of the failure on the part of the Saints to successfully consecrate and establish Zion.

We, Latter day Saints, have been lulled into a sleepy state of believing that our inability to ultimately live the law of consecration back at that period of time was unfortunate, but not really that big of a deal.

We just assume that things moved forward without any significant consequences. I even had a visitor to one of my blogs postulate that the law of consecration is optional. He opined that one can still repent and be baptized and make it into the celestial kingdom without choosing to live the higher law of consecration.

In part three of this article we are going to have a sobering reality check. We are going to review what God has told the church about the law of consecration. We are going to find out that it is not optional and the consequences upon the church for not living it were immediate and harsh, with long reaching ramifications that continue to affect the posterity of the Saints unto the third and fourth generation.

To be continued…

Searching for the Holy Order and 23 High Priests- Part 3

Melchizedek Priesthood required to Establish Zion

July 9, 2009
Categories: Articles by OWIW, Church History, Priesthood, Uncategorized . . Author: onewhoiswatching Edit this entry

31 Comments

  1. Comment by Troy on July 9, 2009 7:33 pm

    Great continuation. I have to admit that your first post piqued my interest and motivated me to do some personal study on Lyman Wight. I found a great site that has a ton of the info that you wrote on (it was still very nice to hear you put it in your words).

    It was interesting to me to discover how devoted Lyman was to living consecration and also to living so that no man had more than his neighbor.

    Describing his community in Texas Lyman said:

    “When one has enough, all have the same. Our houses are as near alike as they can well be” (they wanted to live consecration so much that they even built their houses the same=))

    I remember reading a blurb on Lyman Wight in the green colored church history manual on my mission and it said that he had apostatized after the death of Joseph. I was glad to get nearer the true story with what you have written and with my own (albeit small) research.

    I was also fascinated to learn that Lyman and his group that traveled to Texas actually built the first temple west of the Mississippi river in Zodiac, Texas.

    On an unrelated note:

    How could someone truly study the gospel and not believe that consecration was a requirement for exaltation? That astounds me. Consecration being optional for entry into the celestial kingdom, now I have heard it all.

    Troy

  2. Comment by NEPT on July 9, 2009 8:34 pm

    Great post Watcher!

    I was just hoping to clear my head a bit. The “Apostolic Priesthood holds all the keys necessary to govern the Church and dispense the ordinances of salvation.” However, High Priests of Melchizedek are needed to establish a consecrated Zion, which is necessary for entrance into the celestial kingdom. Given these two criteria, it seems that “salvation” and the glory of the celestial kingdom are not equivalent. Now, this is a no-brainer for mainstreamers (salvation < exaltation), but I thought we heretics had broken down those walls. That is, when Nephi claims that if we “do the things which I have told you I have seen that your Lord and your Redeemer should do; for, for this cause have they been shown unto me, that ye might know the gate by which ye should enter. For the gate by which ye should enter is repentance and baptism by water; and then cometh a remission of your sins by fire and by the Holy Ghost. And then are ye in this strait and narrow path which leads to eternal life;”then shouldn’t we believe that these are the true requirements for eternal life?

    Now, let me go on record as stating that I also believe consecration is essential for entrance into the celestial kingdom, for we must live the laws of that kingdom. I’m only trying to reconcile the two aforementioned thoughts. Are we saying that, while the Apostolic Priesthood maintains authority to DISPENSE the ordinances of salvation, it does not have the authority to DELIVER salvation? In this case, salvation = eternal life, which would be dependent on dispensing of the ordinances and deliverance through consecration under the Melchizedek Priesthood. Or are we defining salvation as something less than eternal life, like modern LDS thought? In that case, apostolic authority would be sufficient for deliverance into the terrestrial and telestial kingdoms (aka salvation). Anybody get what I’m attempting to ask?

  3. Comment by onewhoiswatching on July 9, 2009 9:08 pm

    Troy

    Thank you for doing that research and sharing that statement from Lyman about the houses. That really gives us a glimpse into how detailed and how serious they were about living the principle of consecration and equality.

    I really think he and his group came closer to successfully living in temporal equality than any other LDS splinter groups I am familiar with.

    Brigham kept sending groups of the Saints away from the main body to experiment with it, but few of them had success for very long.

    I have a great quote somewhere by Brigham where he assured the Saints that he would live it as soon as he could find a Bishop that he could trust. LOL

  4. Comment by onewhoiswatching on July 9, 2009 9:41 pm

    NEPT

    You said;

    “Are we saying that, while the Apostolic Priesthood maintains authority to DISPENSE the ordinances of salvation, it does not have the authority to DELIVER salvation?”

    That is an interesting question.

    I love how analytical you are and how deeply you are dissecting the distinction between the patriarchal/apostolic priesthood and the highest priesthood named after Melchizedek.

    It is interesting how some of the scriptures address the concept of “individual salvation” and other focus on “group salvation”.

    When I get to the part in this series where I break things down as far as the three priesthoods, it will be interesting to see what your take on it is.

    I am evolving in my comprehension and views of this most important topic of priesthood.

    I think we need to remember that both of those priesthoods can be bestowed through an ordinance, but the degree of power that comes from it is totally dependant on the righteousness of the candidate.

    I think there is much more power available through the 2nd priesthood than what was normally being exibited during those very trying times in the early history of the Church.

    I currently believe that the apostolic priesthood has the ability to provide us with all of the ordinances of salvation to make it into the celestial kingdom if we are righteous.

    In other words, if one truly has been baptized by the proper authority and been born of fire and the Holy Ghost and has the gift of the holy ghost and is righteous, one can have the “constant companionship” of the holy ghost and make it into the “gate”.

    One could speculate that making it into the gate incorporates the highest priesthood, but regardless, entrance into the gate is the ultimate goal from the eternal perspective.

    We hear the term “constant companionship of the Holy Ghost” frequently in the church but frankly, I don’t think I have ever met anyone who has the constant companionship of the Holy Ghost. I don’t think there is anyone on the earth at this time that has it. Anyone that has it would, by definition be holy, and very probably translated within a matter of a very short time, in my opinion.

    I think we live during a time of “hidden darkness” when we all have the “constant oscillation of the Holy Ghost”, at best. Where we have the promptings of the Spirit come and go as we struggle with the preparatory gospel which constantly reminds us how badly we need a deliverer and the fulness of the Gospel.

    I speculate that there have been periods when the fulness of the gospel was on the earth but Zion was not necessarily required. During those times the apostolic priesthood was adequate in dispensing everything necessary for salvation.

    Having said all of that, I am still trying to unlearn what I have been taught all of my life by well meaning people so that I can open my spiritual eyes to this amazing endowments that will be returning to the earth in the near future.

    Watcher

  5. Comment by TruthSeekerToo on July 10, 2009 8:19 pm

    That is some crazy *ahem* stuff goin’ on at that conference! I seriously understand why people would doubt or have issues with it. Wow.
    I would really like to know if they partook of the sacrament before the spiritual manifestations occured. Is that recorded in any of the journals or documents?

    I find this all confusing and look forward to the next article.

  6. Comment by onewhoiswatching on July 10, 2009 10:02 pm

    TruthSeekerToo

    The conference lasted several days so I wouldn’t be surprised if they had the sacrament, however, the journal entries that describe the ordinations and the demonic possessions did not make mention of it.

    I think that as we discuss the revelations that followed and look at the bigger picture of what took place and why, it will make more sense and you will feel more comfortable with it.

    Watcher

  7. Comment by Derek P. Moore on July 14, 2009 11:11 am

    I can’t find the reference right now, but it is either in the Book of Commandments or the 1st Edition D&C. The scripture refers to apostles, I think. Saying that there is an apostle for every hour, and each apostle in his hour, etc. I took it to mean there are to be 24 apostles, as when Christ came to the Nephites and established 12 apostles in the New World, totaling 24 including the 12 apostles he had established in the Old World.

    The Quorum of the Twelve wasn’t established until after all this stuff you’re talking about, right?

    If Joseph Smith was a high priest also, would that make 24?

    Also, I don’t see the distinction you’re trying to make about when exactly the Melchizedek priesthood was established. If the fulness of that priesthood wasn’t established until the bestowal of the office of high priest, then that would be the first time the Melchizedek priesthood was bestowed on Earth in fulness since ancient times, even if they had been given office of elder so as to possess the office of bishoprics in the priesthood of Aaron (for men not descended from Aaron can only hold the post of bishop through their authority and office in the higher priesthood).

    Our own version of D&C refers to a third priesthood that will be expounded upon at a later date, which it refers to a patriarchal priesthood.

    Certain Gentile royal dynasties claim lineal descent from Melchizedek. The Crusades were much about these bloodlines and regaining authority over Jerusalem. I can possess the Melchizedek priesthood by lineal right even if I am not ordained to an office in that priesthood (as a matter of fact, I am only ordained to offices in the Aaronic priesthood).

  8. Comment by onewhoiswatching on July 14, 2009 2:13 pm

    Derek

    You said;

    “The Quorum of the Twelve wasn’t established until after all this stuff you’re talking about, right?”

    That is correct, the quorum of the 12 that was called in 1835 by Oliver and David had not yet been called, however, section 20 indicates that Joseph already held the apostleship. Oliver and others did as well, before the high priesthood was bestowed at the Morley Farm.

    It is interesting to note that on the day that the quorum of the 12 was called they were warned that the fulness of their apostleship would not be achieved until they saw Christ and were ordained personally by him.

    “If Joseph Smith was a high priest also, would that make 24?”

    Actually, Joseph was included in the 23. Shortly after his return from Independence, Oliver was ordained a high priest by Sidney Rigdon and shortly after that David Whitmer was ordained a high priest by Oliver Cowdery.

    I have not really done a study on everyone that was ordained a high priest after that point in time.

    “Also, I don’t see the distinction you’re trying to make about when exactly the Melchizedek priesthood was established. If the fulness of that priesthood wasn’t established until the bestowal of the office of high priest, then that would be the first time the Melchizedek priesthood was bestowed on Earth in fulness since ancient times, even if they had been given office of elder so as to possess the office of bishoprics in the priesthood of Aaron (for men not descended from Aaron can only hold the post of bishop through their authority and office in the higher priesthood).”

    The distinction I am making is simply that according to the understanding of Joseph, Lyman and others, the fulness of the Melchizedek priesthood was bestowed for the first time in this dispensation at the Morley Farm, not at the time that Joseph and Oliver got the patriarchal priesthood.

    Watcher

    BTW part 3 is located here https://onewhoiswatching.wordpress.com/2009/07/12/in-search-of-the-holy-order-and-23-high-priests-part-three/

  9. Comment by weeping on July 15, 2009 8:41 am

    man, you gotta comment quick to get a word in around here.

    Like troy, I found the lyman wight stuff interesting also, though I have a couple of thoughts.

    Considering that the highest priesthood is not a church called and chosen priesthood, being appointed by the word of God literally and ordained directly so there is no mistake, it is also not an office ‘within’ the church, but without. Succession issues etc would seem irrelevant, as the Apostolic priesthood is all that is necessary to run the church of Christ. Brigham and the 12 later organized hold that priesthood. However, the church of the firstborn which was organized some time later would need these high priests as missionaries for Zion.

  10. Comment by weeping on July 15, 2009 8:43 am

    In that church, consecration and autonomy would hold serve, as kings and priest duly annointed have their own inheritance.

    eh?

  11. Comment by LDS Anarchist on July 15, 2009 9:29 am

    Watcher, you really gotta stop doing this. Just put up your articles. Don’t worry about taking exposure away from others’ postings. Posts will sink or swim on their own. You do not need to promote others. Capeesh?

  12. Comment by Derek P. Moore on July 15, 2009 11:28 am

    I don’t see any problems with onewhoiswatching’s reply to my comment… Maybe we’re reading his words differently.

    onewhoiswatching: Joseph & Oliver didn’t receive the patriarchal priesthood, they received the office of elder after the order of Melchizedek. As far as I know, it was Joseph’s father Joseph who received some semblance of the patriarchal priesthood and then Hyrum (which priesthood is not yet fully understood, at least not publicly). The Melchizedek priesthood was restored in two phases, first partially to Oliver & Joseph, and second in its fulness at John’s farm.

    I was mistaken in saying our own D&C talks about the 3 priesthoods; it doesn’t. It is the Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith that touches upon the subject, p. 323:

    “The Melchizedek Priesthood holds the right from the eternal God, and not by descent from father and mother; and that priesthood is as eternal as God Himself, having neither beginning of days nor end of life.

    “The 2nd Priesthood is Patriarchal authority. Go to and finish the temple, and God will fill it with power, and you will then receive more knowledge concerning this priesthood.

    “The 3rd is what is called the Levitical Priesthood, consisting of priests to administer in outward ordinances, made without an oath; but the Priesthood of Melchizedek is by an oath and covenant.”

    Here’s how I see it: The Presiding Patriarch as head of the Patriarchal priesthood is to be considered the pater familias who holds the potestas or imperium of the church. The Prophet as head of the Melchizedek priesthood is to be considered the auctoritas or authority of the church.

    In the first days of the church it worked like this: Joseph Smith, Jr., would reveal what the church was to do. Joseph Smith, Sr., would say, “Okay, this is what the church is going to do.” When Senior passed away and Hyrum took his stead, Hyrum played the same role of commanding the church to do as his younger brother revealed they should do.

  13. Comment by Derek P. Moore on July 15, 2009 11:55 am

    Er… I mean:

    The Melchizedek priesthood was restored in two phases, first partially to Oliver & Joseph, and second in its fulness at Isaac’s farm.

  14. Comment by Derek P. Moore on July 15, 2009 11:58 am

    Concerning the two stages in which the High Priesthood was restored, the Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith has this to say, p. 21:

    “The duty of a High Priest is to administer in spiritual and holy things, and to hold communion with God; but not to exercise monarchial government, or to appoint meetings for the Elders without their consent. And again, it is the High Priests’ duty to be better qualified to teach principles and doctrines, than the Elders; for the office of Elder is an appendage to the High Priesthood, and it concentrates and centers in one.”

  15. Comment by LDS Anarchist on July 15, 2009 12:24 pm

    Derek, I was referring to Watcher’s tendency to not put up his articles on this blog because he doesn’t want to take the first position away from another contributor. He put his next installment on another blog so that the split brain post could stay at the top spot. I asked, “Capeesh?” to see if he understood what I was referring to. As you didn’t get what I was saying, he also may have misunderstood my words. Hopefully this new comment has cleared it up.

  16. Comment by onewhoiswatching on July 15, 2009 1:59 pm

    Yes I understood what you were saying Anarchist, and I know it drive you crazy when I do this, however, let me remind you that my nasty habit of putting different parts of the same article on different blogs fits the “anarchy” protocol quite nicely. Additionally, it fits nicely with my mantra that everyone needs to continually be on the alert and be “watching” so as to not miss anything.

  17. Comment by Derek P. Moore on July 15, 2009 2:09 pm

    “Baneemy” appears to be an Old English (beneme) and Irish Gaelic (bainimdh) word meaning “to deprive of”, “to take away from”, “to remove”, or “to cut or strip off”.

    In the first reference to Lyman Wight in the Book of Commandments it reads (54:5-6,12):

    “5 And inasmuch as they are not faithful, they shall be cut off, even as I will, as seemeth me good. 6 And again, verily I say unto you, let my servant Lyman (W.,) and my servant John (C.,) take their journey speedily: 12 And let my servant Lyman beware, for satan desireth to sift him as chaff.”

  18. Comment by LDS Anarchist on July 16, 2009 11:08 am

    Watcher, as you have made an appeal to anarchy, so be it.

  19. Comment by Greg on July 16, 2009 10:59 pm

    Concerning the statement above that “It is surprising that he was not considered an obvious candidate to lead the church during the succession crisis” see Succession in the LDS First Presidency.

  20. Comment by onewhoiswatching on July 17, 2009 8:31 am

    Greg

    At the risk of summarizing the remaining portions of part 4 and 5 before publishing them….

    Regarding the following statement you referenced in your reply;

    “The polygamy angle is practically a moot point when critiquing the Venn diagram as Joseph did not give the fulness of the priesthood (the inner-most circle in the Venn diagram) to anyone who was opposed to polygamy in theory or practice. In other words, only those who were either practicing polygamists or who at that time (1843-1844) assented to the doctrine were given the fulness of the priesthood by ordinance.”

    I strongly beg to differ.

    Although that statement does in fact reflect the wishful thinking of both the mainstream apologists and the LDS fundamentalists, it has no connection with reality.

    The profound significance of the event at the Morley Farm is apparently not resonating with you.

    That was the fulness of the priesthood that was given.

    In fact, as I recall, Joseph Smith referred to the Melchizedek priesthood that was bestowed that day as the “fulness of the priesthood”.

    That phrase is extremely significant. It only shows up one time in the four standard works. I suggest you do a key word phrase search on that phrase to see what it says… it may surprise you what it brings up and the associated implications of it.

    BTW NONE of the 23 high priests were living polygamy in 1831 when the fullness of the priesthood was restored… nor were they commanded to live it.

    As will be further pointed out and documented in parts 4 or 5 of the article, the fullness of the priesthood that was restored at that conference in 1831 was lost once the Saints failed to accomplish the very purpose for which it was restored.

    I invite you to be patient and wait for the conclusion of the series at which time I will be fascinated to hear any rebuttal you may have.

  21. Comment by Derek P. Moore on July 17, 2009 10:53 am

    All the rebuttal needed is contained within the first seven sections of the 1st Edition of the Doctrine & Covenants. There are six offices in the priesthoods of which we know a great deal, three offices in each of the two priesthoods. The offices of the high priesthood are highpriest, elder, and bishop. The offices of the lesser priesthood are priest, teacher, and deacon. A third priesthood is little understood in this day, and this priesthood is patriarchal. A highpriest after the order of Melchizedek is still bound to the hierarchy of the those who hold the keys on Earth, and he must be set apart, anointed, and ordained by those who have the authority to do so (and those who have the ability to receive his appointment from the parted heavens and the voice of God [that is, by the still small voice of the Holy Ghost]).

    The 3 priesthoods necessarily work in concert, and the only priesthood neglected today is patriarchal, which priesthood gave the Smith family something akin to monarchic power and the authority to part the heavens and to speak on behalf of God.

  22. Comment by Derek P. Moore on July 17, 2009 11:56 am

    Also, there are 3 independent bodies within the high priesthood of Melchizedek that possess the highest authority in the church, to which bodies all highpriests are subject to be obedient: 1st) the quorum of three presidents or highpriests, 2nd) the quorum of twelve apostles or elders, and 3rd) the quorum of seventy highpriests. Other bodies also possess the same authority, but over the stakes organized and over Zion only, and not over all the church: the quorum of the high councils of the stakes and the quorum of the high council of Zion.

    “The order of this priesthood was confirmed to be handed down from father to son, and rightly belongs to the literal descendants of the chosen seed, to whom the promises were made.” — 1st Ed. D&C 3:19

  23. Comment by Derek P. Moore on July 17, 2009 11:59 am

    Oops… Er: 1st Ed. D&C 3:18

  24. Comment by onewhoiswatching on July 17, 2009 1:48 pm

    For those wanting a good foundation to prepare them for parts 4 and 5, read the words of Joseph Smith from his discourse on the priesthood which was building on the foundation provided by Hebrews 7, which is consistent with everything that happened in the history of the church-

    The Patriarchal priesthood is NOT the highest priesthood. It is the second highest priesthood.

    http://www.boap.org/LDS/Parallel/1843/27Aug43.html

  25. Comment by TruthSeekerToo on July 17, 2009 2:43 pm

    Watcher, thanks for the awesome link…..of course I’m even more confused and at the same time enlightened. LOL

  26. Comment by weeping on July 17, 2009 3:08 pm

    Greg has a point. There is more to this than just the calling and choosing that we are witnesses of at the Morley farm. I am in no way “mainstream” yet he has a point. The point though has more to do with temple rites, ordinances and covenants than with conferral of priesthood, though they are rather inseparable. This highest priesthood is meant to transcend even gender, as another comment stated. But, this doesn’t happen till the fulness of the priesthood ordinances are administered, which is done in a temple and not till the last 2 years of Josephs life, finally he had done what he needed and left for a future time.
    In September 1843, in an upper room of Joseph Smith’s new mansion, the ultimate powers and highest ordinances of the Gospel — “even the fulness of the priesthood” (D&C 124:23) — were first administered.

    Also he stated,
    “If a man gets a fullness of the priesthood of God he has to get it in
    the same way that Jesus Christ obtained it, and that was by keeping all
    the commandments and obeying all the ordinances of the house of the Lord.
    Where there is no change of priesthood, there is no change of
    ordinances, says Paul. If God has not changed the ordinances and the
    priesthood, howl, ye sectarians! If he has when and where has He revealed
    it? Have ye turned revelators? Then why deny revelation?” (TPJS)

    And this conferral of the fullness via temple ordinance and anointing was only given to those prepared to live polygamous marriages. He even waited for Emmas and hyrums acquiescence before revealing it.

    So, the ‘Fullness of the Priesthood’ requires eternal union in celestial marriage, as the second anointing is one of the ordinances performed.

    Those who were anointed and received this fullness were part of “quorum”, even the women.

  27. Comment by NEPT on July 17, 2009 7:31 pm

    Allow me to interrupt the back-and-forth for a moment to diverge into a little subtlety I noticed in one of our poster’s comments, which originates from TPJS, p.323, “The MIssion of Elijah” (under “Three Grand Orders”). In the sermon to which Watcher alluded, JS suggested that if the saints were to have finished the Nauvoo temple, God would have filled it with power and they would have received more knowledge concerning the Patriarchal order of the priesthood. Given that most of us here seem to agree that very little is known about this “2nd Priesthood”, that would suggest the Nauvoo temple never was finished, much less, filled with power. Hence the confusion about why subsequent temple dedications failed to meet pentecostal expectations.

  28. Comment by Derek P. Moore on July 17, 2009 8:05 pm

    I’m not trying to say the Patriarchal priesthood is the #1/1st/highest priesthood (there is not highest vs. high, onewhoiswatching). The Patriarchal priesthood is not the high or the lesser, is my point, and it is what onewhoiswatching seems to not get by insisting upon calling the high priesthood the highest priesthood.

    Like the lineal Aaronic high priests have legal right to the presidency of the lesser priesthood and the bishopric thereof, I might speculate that the lineal Patriarchal high priest has legal right to the presidency of the high priesthood (of Melchizedek) and the theocracy thereof, but that does not suggest that the Patriarchal equals the “highest” priesthood. It suggests the Patriarchal priesthood’s role in the “highest” high priesthood, just as the Aaronic priesthood is suggested to have a specific role in the “highest” high priesthood.

    Anyways: The “highest” high priesthood (of Melchizedek) is a lineal priesthood, we have it by right of our Father in the spirit, God, and by right of our father in the flesh, Adam; we have it by right of our eternal race. So Joseph says it is not by father or mother because anyone can attain it regardless of bloodline specifically because we are all of the bloodline (it is everyone, whereas the so-called 2nd & 3rd are not everyone, but they still have right to certain offices in the 1st). So Joseph Smith picked a different semantics to argue the same the point that everybody was born of the Father and descends from Adam, is all.

  29. Comment by Derek P. Moore on July 17, 2009 8:08 pm

    Oops: Like the lineal Aaronic high priests have legal right to the presidency of the lesser priesthood and the bishopric of the highest priesthood