Cheerfully Doing All Things


In the beginning, there was man — and for a time, it was good.  But humanity’s civilization soon fell victim to materialism and covetousness.  Then man made a System in his own likeness — man becoming the architect of his own demise.  But for a time, it was good.

The Cynics were a philosophical group in Greece and Rome around two to three centuries before and after Christ.  They were named, by their critics, after dogs [The Greek kynikos] because of their shameless rejection of conventional manners, mores, and values.  They were a group of indifference towards the normality enforced by Luciferian control systems.  They were known for eating with hands, going naked and having intercourse in public, walking barefoot, sleeping outside, etc.  As dogs, who have a very discerning nature, they could recognize as friends and receive kindly those ready for their teachings and lifestyle – while they would drive away any unfitted or unfriendly.

I share, with the Cynics, a similar understanding of how happiness is attained in mortal life:

  • The goal of life is happiness, or joy – which is to live in harmony with Nature.
  • Happiness depends on freeing yourself from influences such as wealth, fame, materialism, or power – things that have no value in Nature.
  • Suffering is caused by assigning value falsely – striving after the wrong things leads to negative emotions and vicious character traits.

Paleoanarchism, or Anarcho-primitivism, is a critique of the origins and progress of human civilization.  As I studied human history I noticed a common trend, the shift from hunter-gatherer tribes to sedentary agrarian communities gave rise to the social stratification, coercion, and alienation from God, fellow humans, and Nature that have been the main reasons behind every success Satan has had with the human race.  Anarcho-primitivists advocate a return to non-“civilized” ways of life thru deindustrializing society, abolishing the division of labor, and abandoning large-scale organization power into states.

Satan’s first success story with using a mortal to alter conditions on earth was Cain.  Notice that Cain brought forth “of the fruit of the ground an offering unto the Lord,” signifying his lifestyle of sedentary agrarianism.  He was the first to “build a city,” thereby establishing a rule of statism over his posterity.  His family initiated the first secret craft guild societies when they became “instructors of every artificer in brass and iron.”

This continued beyond the deluge in Noah’s time – with the great amalgamating power represented by Nimrod’s Babel.  As any statist, Nimrod was working to concentrate all power and knowledge at the top of his pyramid -archie.  Had the Lord not gone down and encrypted the human language, either Nimrod or someone following in his footsteps, would have succeeded.

Today, were are nearing that point again.  Babylon has brought all nations and people,

“to bow down with grief, sorrow, and care, under the most damning hand of murder, tyranny, and oppression, supported and urged on and upheld by the influence of that spirit which hath so strongly riveted the creeds of the fathers, who have inherited lies, upon the hearts of the children, and filled the world with confusion, and has been growing stronger and stronger, and is now the very mainspring of all corruption, and the whole earth groans under the weight of its iniquity.”

Her “iron yoke” and “strong bands” represent the “very handcuffs, chains, shackles, and fetters of hell.”  The innocent are murdered by this System – and we, as the ones awakened to it – have an “imperitive duty” to “work with great earnestness” – even “that we should waste and wear out our lives in bringing to light all the hidden things of darkness.”

Babylon has entrapped us to an unbelievable extent.  There is no way to be truly pure in the world today.  Babylon provides all who suck at her breast a simulated sameness that removes humans from the natural cycles of life.  Our planet has boasted extraordinary longevity because she has been allowed to go thru the cycles of waxing and waning, decay and renewal.  These cycles are necessary for humans too – for the rejuvenation of our cells.  However, we are provided food produced in industrial factories without respect to seasons, water on tap at any time without respect to seasons, housing at the same temperature and amount of light without respect to seasons – but everything comes at a cost.  Urbanization and industrialization of human life has resulted in persistent stress, rampant responsibilities, less sleep, less play, less sunlight, creation of new environmental toxins, new pathogens, and reduced fertility.

We have falsely assigned value to monogamy, body modesty, consumption of things, “cheap” food, allopathic medicine, statism, hierarchies, and public education [Note that in that last link, LDS are half as likely as the general population to homeschool].  These manifestations of the Luciferian control system are intended to entice and derail the energies of the saints – until we come to lose agency and consciousness.  Humans are only truly happy when we embrace that which is designed into our constitution and nature – this means rejection of all things that are the result of convention or earthly -archies.

I believe firmly that if we “cheerfully do all things that lie in our power” – we can then “stand still, with the utmost assurance, to see the salvation of God, and for his arm to be revealed.”  In Acts 2, when the Holy Spirit came upon the believers gathered in that upper room — they immediately got up, left the room, and went to work.  Likewise, let us not focus on preaching to the choir, but instead focus on creating a little anarchy in the local congregations each of us has been placed into by the Lord [Examples of this can be found here, here, and here].

All things that lie in our power, which can restore humanity’s natural order, include:

 

Previous Article by Justin:  The World I See

Next Article by Justin:  Seeking the Good of Others

See also:  Zo-ma-rah’s Week in Faith October 17, 2010, comments at Tom’s Church Finance – Part III, and D&C 123: 7-15, 17

Body modesty is not a principle of the gospel


This blog is going to have its 3rd birthday next month, October 7th, and since its inception one subject that I have intentionally avoided is the topic of body modesty. From what I’ve read on other Mormon blogs, I’ve always come to the conclusion that Mormons are, essentially, prudes. How, then, could I speak of my understanding of body modesty without offending the sensibilities of my audience? Hence the silence.

Recently, though, I was searching for information on the Maitreya and I came across a different Maitreya whose organization was seeking to change the laws of the land to put the sexes on a more equal standing. I found the legal arguments fascinating and began to write a blog post on just that topic alone. But then I stopped again, realizing that I was mentioning body modesty without going into any depth, as I probably should. It would inevitably come up in the comment section, but without a proper treatment in the post.

So, as is usual for me, after giving it sufficient re-consideration, I made a split-second decision and with a verbal, “oh, what the hell,” I’m now diving head first into this topic.

What I teach my children

I knew that eventually, as my children attended church, they would be taught by their Sunday school teachers and advisers that body modesty is a part of the law of chastity, so I have been especially careful that they are instructed on that law so as to be able to discern truth from error. (I have covered the law of chastity previously on this blog, so I won’t go back into that topic, but I’ll just say here and now that it doesn’t mention how one is supposed to dress.) They understand that body modesty is a man-made societal norm that changes over time to suit the conditions among men, their customs, cultures, climate, biases, preconceived notions and so on and so forth. It has no basis in the gospel of Jesus Christ.

The Wikipedia has an excellent entry on modesty and I don’t want to extensively quote from it, so please click here to read it and learn about how the standards of body modesty have varied and changed over time.

From here on out I will just use the term “modesty” with the understanding that I am referring only to “body modesty,” meaning that modesty which deals with the covering up of the body with clothing. Okay, back to what my kids are taught.

Heavenly Father’s rule of modesty

I teach my children to hold up the pattern of modesty given by their Father in heaven as the ideal standard. Usually, when my kids ask me a question, I’ll answer them with another question and have them figure out the answer themselves. In this case, I’ll do the same to explain the heavenly pattern:

Question: How does heavenly Father clothe us when He sends us here to Earth?

Answer: He sends us here naked, or clothed in flesh.

 

Question: Is any part of our physical bodies clothed or covered when we get here?

Answer: Yes, the male penis is covered by a foreskin and the female clitoris is covered by a hood.

 

Question: As the body matures into adulthood, does anything become covered?

Answer: Yes, the genitals and armpits of both sexes becomes covered in hair. The face of males also becomes covered in hair.

This is the standard of modesty I give my children. As long as you still have your pubic hair and clitoral hood and penile foreskin coverings, there is no need for shame, for you are dressed modestly.

Everything above and beyond that standard is man-made.

Moroni the naked angel

Said Joseph of the angel Moroni:

He had on a loose robe of most exquisite whiteness. It was a whiteness beyond anything earthly I had ever seen; nor do I believe that any earthly thing could be made to appear so exceedingly white and brilliant. His hands were naked, and his arms also, a little above the wrist; so, also, were his feet naked, as were his legs, a little above the ankles. His head and neck were also bare. I could discover that he had no other clothing on but this robe, as it was open, so that I could see into his bosom. (Joseph Smith-History 1: 31)

So, Joseph could see that Moroni was totally naked, except for the open robe he was wearing. Why in the world would God allow Moroni to show Joseph his nakedness? Didn’t he know that robes need to be tied closed, so that no one can see the chest and genital area? Why wasn’t Moroni ashamed to show his nakedness to Joseph?

Isaiah, the naked prophet

In the year that Tartan came unto Ashdod, (when Sargon the king of Assyria sent him,) and fought against Ashdod, and took it; at the same time spake the Lord by Isaiah the son of Amoz, saying, Go and loose the sackcloth from off thy loins, and put off thy shoe from thy foot. And he did so, walking naked and barefoot. And the Lord said, Like as my servant Isaiah hath walked naked and barefoot three years for a sign and wonder upon Egypt and upon Ethiopia; so shall the king of Assyria lead away the Egyptians prisoners, and the Ethiopians captives, young and old, naked and barefoot, even with their buttocks uncovered, to the shame of Egypt. (Isaiah 20: 1-4)

Shouldn’t Isaiah have felt ashamed to show his nakedness for three straight years?

Our first parents naked

Adam and Even “were both naked, the man and his wife, and were not ashamed.”

“And I, the Lord God, said unto Adam: Who told thee thou wast naked?”  (Moses 4: 17)

Let’s answer the question. Who told them that they were naked? Who taught them to be ashamed of their nakedness? Who originated body modesty?

LUCIFER: See–you are naked. Take some fig leaves and make you aprons. Father will see your nakedness. Quick! Hide!  (Source: The Garden.)

Satan did.

Why Satan told our first parents to clothe themselves

I think Bette Davis said it best:

“I often think that a slightly exposed shoulder emerging from a long satin nightgown packed more sex than two naked bodies in bed.”

She is right, of course. And Satan knew this from the beginning. It is his intention to have everyone break the law of chastity. If everyone were naked, the law of chastity would be broken less, not more. He needed to first cover our parents up and create the illusion of shame, so that the enticement of sin could allure people into uncovering “the sinful parts,” followed by the guilt of acting shameful.

Satan works by using secrets. Occult knowledge is secret knowledge. Secret combinations can only work in the dark. Devilish logic follows that genital parts must become “secret parts.” Thus, we have the (apparently) strange command of the devil to our first parents to abide by the principle of modesty!

Notice, though, that now the devil has made even the breast a “secret part.” Adam and Eve originally covered up only their genitals with fig leaves. Now, society will have us believe the exposure of the female (not male) breast is immodest.

The Lord looks upon the heart

But the Lord said unto Samuel, Look not on his countenance, or on the height of his stature; because I have refused him: for the Lord seeth not as man seeth; for man looketh on the outward appearance, but the Lord looketh on the heart. (1 Samuel 16: 7)

Neither is there any creature that is not manifest in his sight: but all things are naked and opened unto the eyes of him with whom we have to do.  (Hebrews 4: 13)

Such truth, though, is not very useful to the devil. So, clothing is used to entice, to create the illusion of sexiness, to flaunt power and prestige and money, to say I am better than you, more beautiful than you. It is used to create situations of judgment, so that mankind judges each other based upon what they are, or are not, wearing. It is used to despise the poor who cannot afford the better garments, or any garments, at all. Etc.

The Lord, though, uses clothing for other, righteous purposes. Clothing can protect from the elements, hence we find the Lord making coats of skins for Adam and Eve so that when they enter the fallen world they can survive. It can convey spiritual symbolism, hence the priesthood garment. And there are other righteous purposes, as well, that do not necessarily equate to “hiding one’s nakedness”, which was Satan’s deceptive intention for clothing. (Remember, the angel Moroni wore a robe that did not hide his nakedness from Joseph. What, then, was the purpose of the robe?)

Not all Mormons are prudes

For example:

LDS Skinny Dippers Forum

These are LDS who are “interested in chaste, wholesome, recreational nudity.” They have no problem with privately or publicly going completely nude. They are, however, most likely a very small minority.

The rest of the LDS are prudes, pure and simple, who quibble over the length of a sleeve or pant leg or skirt. Who are shocked when there is an exposed shoulder. Who cannot even conceive of a painting of a bare chest, stripling warrior whose nipple hasn’t been airbrushed out.

The audience of all modesty talks

The target of virtually all modesty talks is the female population. She is told how and how not to dress. She is taught this by her mother, by her Sunday school teachers and advisers, and by her priesthood leadership. All of this repression, if ever let out, leads to rampant breaking of the law of chastity (Satan’s plan). And if it isn’t let out, it leads to depression (again, Satan’s plan, the misery of all).

Guys, for the most part, hardly get a mention in modesty talks. I don’t recall ever being told I had to cover up my chest or nipples, or had to wear shorts below a certain length, or keep my shoulders and back covered, etc. Modesty oppression is mainly a girl thing.

Of course, the males get oppressed in other ways, such as the insistence on wearing white shirts, flaxen cords about their necks (ties), being clean-shaven and having short hair.

Legal public nudity is coming soon to a city near you

Now this brings me to that web site I spoke of above, about equalizing the sexes. If you click the below link, be forewarned that you will see pictures of top free men and women.

GoTopless.org

Here are some quotes from the web site:

Welcome to GoTopless.org! – We are a US organization, claiming that women have the same constitutional right to be bare chested in public places as men.

Maitreya, Rael, spiritual leader and founder of GoTopless.org states: “As long as men can be topless, constitutionally women should have the same right, or men should also be forced to wear something hiding their chest.”

Why a National GoTopless Protest day? Gotopless.org claims constitutional equality between men and women on being topless in public. Currently, women who dare to be topless in public in the US are repeatedly being arrested, fined, humiliated, criminalized. On SUNDAY AUGUST 22nd, 2010, topless women will rally in great numbers across the USA to protest this gross inequality in the law and will demand that their fundamental right to be topless be acknowledged where men already enjoy that right according to the 14th amendment of the Constitution (please see our exact legal argument on the right to be topfree for women under “14th amendment” in news section.)

Why in August? On August 26, 1920, following a 72-year struggle, the U.S. Constitution was amended to grant women the right to vote. And in 1970, as an ongoing reminder of women’s equality, Congress declared August 26 “Women’s Equality Day.” But even in the 21st century, women need to stand up and demand that equality in fact – not just in words. Note that in 2010, GoTopless will have a large rally nationwide in honor of the 90th anniversary of the 19th Amendment and Women’s Equality Day.

Why having GoTopless actions in cities where top-less freedom for women is already legal? Those programmed with puritanical values find it difficult to change. This “mentality hurdle” applies to both women and men.

How are we helping women? GoTopless is committed to helping women perceive their breasts as noble, natural parts of their anatomy (whether they are nursing or not). Breasts shouldn’t have to be “modestly” or shamefully hidden from public view any more than arms, legs or feet.

How are we helping men? GoTopless is also committed to helping men differentiate between nudity and sexuality. If the presence of a topless woman in public triggers a sexual impulse, it can easily be controlled in the same way men control themselves when they see a woman wearing a mini skirt or revealing ample cleavage. Men manage to appreciate these things while still showing respect! Choosing consciousness above hormones leads to a peaceful, respectful society providing additional freedom and beauty.

Why do you talk about femininity rather than feminism? In the past, women often had to act like men when fighting for their rights, so they repressed their femininity. Today, GoTopless women see their femininity as a powerful asset as they struggle for equal rights in a masculine-dominated world.

What happens on National GoTopless day? Across America, topless women and men peacefully rally in the streets, parks, on the beaches of their towns and cities. Topfree performances are given by various artists to honor women’s right to be top free, body painting is be available. Chalk street artists also paint Art works from Old Masters (or new ones) without any nipple censure. The aim is to convey that the sight of a top free women in public is as natural as the sight of top free men. Please write to us if you are an artist (performance or visual) who would like to participate in one of future events.

Participating cities for Go Topless Day 2010 are : Please see our news section to learn the details about the events in each city.

NEW YORK CITY, NEW YORK

VENICE BEACH, CALIFORNIA

CHICAGO, ILLINOIS

MIAMI BEACH, FLORIDA

AUSTIN, TEXAS

SEATTLE, WASHINGTON

OAHU, HAWAII

DENVER, COLORADO

SAN FRANCISCO, CALIFORNIA

14th Amendment to the US Constitution The 14th amendment guarantees equal protection under law and properly interpreted it guarantees women the right to be top-free where men are allowed to be topfree. Unfortunately, some jurisdictions do not recognize that right, and there is a less stringent test in the courts (called intermediate scrutiny) for gender based differential treatment than for e.g., racial classifications (which are analyzed under what’s called strict scrutiny).

Our rights under the 14th Amendment guarantee and include the one to be top free where men are allowed to – We seek to see legislation (or court decisions where arrests are made for being top free) in all jurisdictions to make explicit what should already be understood as implicit within the meaning of equal rights.

Please see the above web site for information about the states and cities where being top free (or even totally nude, such as Portland, Oregon) in public is legal.

What will the LDS ever do?

In the changing legal environment, I wonder what the LDS will do if suddenly they find themselves living in a city where anyone can legally walk around stark naked or bare-chested. Our arguments about skirt length seem kind of silly faced with legal public nudity, as in the right to be nude. Will we be champions of people’s rights, or shame them all as sinners?

And what I really wonder is this: if this changing legal environment is setting the stage for the appearance of naked prophets and angels, are we going to be among those who reject them because of their immodest appearance?

Eyelids, necks and feet to the rescue

Don’t like what you see? Don’t like how that person is dressed? Don’t like it that a woman is going around topfree? Don’t like that that man or woman is walking around in the nude? Well, have no fear. God gave us eyelids with which to close our eyes, and necks with which to turn our head, and feet with which to walk away. This is the proper response.

Don’t make laws to force people to conform to your standards. Don’t make laws to remove people’s rights. Don’t do the devil’s work for him.

Complete List of Articles authored by LDS Anarchist

So John the Baptist Smoked Pot, What of It?


Recent evidence has surfaced which reveals that John the Baptist was high on pot—descending in a cloud of marijuana smoke—when he conferred the priesthood upon Joseph and Oliver.  Some may feel this is unbecoming of an angelic prophet, but I want to state for the record that I support John 100%.

To all the prudes and misinformed:

So John smoked pot.  So what?

A List of Evidences in Favor of Pot

Latest CBS News Polls Finds Majority Of Western Voters, Californians, Back Marijuana Legalization by Paul Armentano, April 27, 2010

End Insanity Of The War on Drugs—Start With Decriminalizing Marijuana at The Federal Level by Ron Paul, April 20, 2010

Marijuana: Recreational drug or natural health miracle? by Kevin Genovario, April 19, 2010

Anti-Pot Propaganda As Stupid As Ever – Yet Our Alarmist Media Continues to Hype It by Paul Armentano, March 10, 2010

The Feds Are Addicted to Pot – Even If You Aren’t by Paul Armentano, December 18, 2009

Marijuana Is Safer: So Why Are We Driving People To Drink? by Mark Thornton, December 1, 2009

Marijuana Is Safer: So Why Are We Driving People to Drink? by Paul Armentano, August 12, 2009

Why Condemn Phelps, When We Ought to Condemn the Laws That Brand Him a Criminal by Paul Armentano, February 4, 2009

Drug War’s Latest Tally: 872,721 Pot Arrests, an All-Time High by Paul Armentano, September 17, 2008

Pot Versus the ‘Superbug’ by Paul Armentano, September 2, 2008

So Where Did All The Ditchweed Go? by Paul Armentano, August 11, 2008

20 Years for Pot Possession? by Paul Armentano, July 29, 2008

The Death of Rachel Hoffman by Paul Armentano, July 28, 2008

When It Comes To Medical Pot, Rats Are Smarter Than Our Politicians by Paul Armentano, July 22, 2008

So What If Pot Can Cure Cancer; That’s No Reason For You To Use It by Paul Armentano, July 19, 2008

What the Government Knows About Cannabis and Cancer – and Isn’t Telling You by Paul Armentano, June 26, 2008

Is Senator Kennedy a Victim of Pot Prohibition? by Paul Armentano, May 22, 2008

It’s Official: Gordon Brown and Jacqui Smith Have Lost Their Minds by Paul Armentano, May 15, 2008

How to Tell If the Drug Czar Is Lying? His Lips Are Moving by Paul Armentano, May 14, 2008

Setting the Record Straight on Marijuana and Addiction by Paul Armentano, March 31, 2008

Pot Makes You Lose Your Mind! by Paul Armentano, March 21, 2008

Outrageous Anti-Pot Lies: Media Uses Disgraceful Cancer Scare Tactics by Paul Armentano, March 11, 2008

Ending America’s Domestic Quagmire by Paul Armentano, March 10, 2008

The Lies of the Drug War by Paul Armentano, March 1, 2008

Making Pot Legal: We Can Do It – Here’s How by Paul Armentano, February 13, 2008

What’s the Going Price for a Joint? by Paul Armentano, February 5, 2008

‘Pot 2.0’: Where Can I Get Some? by Paul Armentano, November 2, 2007

Could Cannabis Quell Americans Addiction to Pain Meds? by Paul Armentano and Chris Goldstein, September 20, 2007

Nothing’s Either Good or Bad – Unless the State Says So by William Norman Grigg, July 2, 2007

It’s Been an ‘All Out War’ on Pot Smokers for 35 Years by Paul Armentano, March 23, 2007

White House Requests Increased Funding for Failed Student Drug-Testing, Discredited Anti-Pot Ads by Paul Armentano, February 10, 2007

A Billion Dollars a Year for Pot? by Paul Armentano, October 19, 2006

Medical Marijuana and the Ninth and Tenth Amendments byAnthony Gregory, October 5, 2006

Another Marijuana Myth Goes Up In Smoke by Paul Armentano, June 9, 2006

Cannabis and the Brain: A User’s Guide by Paul Armentano, March 2, 2006

NFL’s Buzzkill: No Beer at Giants Stadium by Paul Armentano, January 14, 2006

Here’s Your Cup, Junior by Paul Armentano, October 12, 2005

Bad Trip by Paul Armentano, March 22, 2005

Crimes of the Other War by Paul Armentano, February 8, 2005

High Court Must Take Lead in Medical Marijuana Debate Because Politicians Will Not by Paul Armentano, November 30, 2004

Terror War Takes a Back Seat to War on Drugs by Paul Armentano, October 30, 2004

Exposing Potent Pot Myths by Paul Armentano, October 21, 2004

Federal Drug Use Surveys and Fuzzy Math by Paul Armentano, September 22, 2004

Unlocking a Cure for Cancer – With Pot by Paul Armentano, August 17, 2004

Complete List of Articles authored by LDS Anarchist

Anarchism


On September 14, 2008, Derek P. Moore made the following comment on this blog:

“Peter Kropotkin wrote the Anarchism article for the 1911 Encylopædia Britannica.”

Yesterday, I realized that the blog doesn’t really have any deep, scholarly explanation of anarchism and its history and so I started reading the anarchism entry in that Encylopædia.  I very much liked what I read and felt that it would be an outstanding reference post.  Should someone question me about what anarchism is and isn’t, I could just point them to the post (and you could, too, should you feel so inclined).  So, I am including it here, along with the entry on its author, Prince Kropotkin.

Entry on Anarchism from the 11th Edition (1910-1911) of the Encylopædia Britannica:

ANARCHISM (from the Gr. àv-, and àρχη, contrary to authority), the name given to a principle or theory of life and conduct under which society is conceived without government—harmony in such a society being obtained, not by submission to law, or by obedience to any authority, but by free agreements concluded between the various groups, territorial and professional, freely constituted for the sake of production and consumption, as also for the satisfaction of the infinite variety of needs and aspirations of a civilized being. In a society developed on these lines, the voluntary associations which already now begin to cover all the fields of human activity would take a still greater extension so as to substitute themselves for the state in all its functions.  They would represent an interwoven network, composed of an infinite variety of groups and federations of all sizes and degrees, local, regional, national and international—temporary or more or less permanent—for all possible purposes: production, consumption and exchange, communications, sanitary arrangements, education, mutual protection, defence of the territory, and so on; and, on the other side, for the satisfaction of an ever-increasing number of scientific, artistic, literary and sociable needs. Moreover, such a society would represent nothing immutable. On the contrary—as is seen in organic life at large—harmony would (it is contended) result from an ever-changing adjustment and readjustment of equilibrium between the multitudes of forces and influences, and this adjustment would be the easier to obtain as none of the forces would enjoy a special protection from the state.

If, it is contended, society were organized on these principles, man would not be limited in the free exercise of his powers in productive work by a capitalist monopoly, maintained by the state; nor would he be limited in the exercise of his will by a fear of punishment, or by obedience towards individuals or metaphysical entities, which both lead to depression of initiative and servility of mind.  He would be guided in his actions by his own understanding, which necessarily would bear the impression of a free action and reaction between his own self and the ethical conceptions of his surroundings.  Man would thus be enabled to obtain the full development of all his faculties, intellectual, artistic and moral, without being hampered by overwork for the monopolists, or by the servility and inertia of mind of the great number.  He would thus be able to reach full individualization, which is not possible either under the present system of individualism, or under any system of state-socialism in the so-called Volkstaat (popular state).

The Anarchist writers consider, moreover, that their conception is not a Utopia, constructed on the a priori method, after a few desiderata have been taken as postulates.  It is derived, they maintain, from an analysis of tendencies that are at work already, even though state socialism may find a temporary favour with the reformers.  The progress of modern technics, which wonderfully simplifies the production of all the necessaries of life; the growing spirit of independence, and the rapid spread of free initiative and free understanding in all branches of activity—including those which formerly were considered as the proper attribution of church and state—are steadily reinforcing the no-government tendency.

As to their economical conceptions, the Anarchists, in common with all Socialists, of whom they constitute the left wing, maintain that the now prevailing system of private ownership in land, and our capitalist production for the sake of profits, represent a monopoly which runs against both the principles of justice and the dictates of utility.  They are the main obstacle which prevents the successes of modern technics from being brought into the service of all, so as to produce general well-being.  The Anarchists consider the wage-system and capitalist production altogether as an obstacle to progress.  But they point out also that the state was, and continues to be, the chief instrument for permitting the few to monopolize the land, and the capitalists to appropriate for themselves a quite disproportionate share of the yearly accumulated surplus of production.  Consequently, while combating the present monopolization of land, and capitalism altogether, the Anarchists combat with the same energy the state, as the main support of that system.  Not this or that special form, but the state altogether, whether it be a monarchy or even a republic governed by means of the referendum.

The state organization, having always been, both in ancient and modern history (Macedonian empire, Roman empire, modern European states grown up on the ruins of the autonomous cities), the instrument for establishing monopolies in favour of the ruling minorities, cannot be made to work for the destruction of these monopolies.  The Anarchists consider, therefore, that to hand over to the state all the main sources of economical life—the land, the mines, the railways, banking, insurance, and so on—as also the management of all the main branches of industry, in addition to all the functions already accumulated in its hands (education, state-supported religions, defence of the territory, &c.), would mean to create a new instrument of tyranny.  State capitalism would only increase the powers of bureaucracy and capitalism.  True progress lies in the direction of decentralization, both territorial and functional, in the development of the spirit of local and personal initiative, and of free federation from the simple to the compound, in lieu of the present hierarchy from the centre to the periphery.

In common with most Socialists, the Anarchists recognize that, like all evolution in nature, the slow evolution of society is followed from time to time by periods of accelerated evolution which are called revolutions; and they think that the era of revolutions is not yet closed.  Periods of rapid changes will follow the periods of slow evolution, and these periods must be taken advantage of—not for increasing and widening the powers of the state, but for reducing them, through the organization in every township or commune of the local groups of producers and consumers, as also the regional, and eventually the international, federations of these groups.

In virtue of the above principles the Anarchists refuse to be party to the present state organization and to support it by infusing fresh blood into it.  They do not seek to constitute, and invite the working men not to constitute, political parties in the parliaments.  Accordingly, since the foundation of the International Working Men’s Association in 1864-1866, they have endeavoured to promote their ideas directly amongst the labour organizations and to induce those unions to a direct struggle against capital, without placing their faith in parliamentary legislation.

The Historical Development of Anarchism.The conception of society just sketched, and the tendency which is its dynamic expression, have always existed in mankind, in opposition to the governing hierarchic conception and tendency—now the one and now the other taking the upper hand at different periods of history.  To the former tendency we owe the evolution, by the masses themselves, of those institutions—the clan, the village community, the gild, the free medieval city—by means of which the masses resisted the encroachments of the conquerors and the power-seeking minorities.  The same tendency asserted itself with great energy in the great religious movements of medieval times, especially in the early movements of the reform and its forerunners.  At the same time it evidently found its expression in the writings of some thinkers, since the times of Lao-tsze, although, owing to its non-scholastic and popular origin, it obviously found less sympathy among the scholars than the opposed tendency.

As has been pointed out by Prof. Adler in his Geschichte des Sozialismus and Kommunismus, Aristippus (b. c. 430 B.C.), one of the founders of the Cyrenaic school, already taught that the wise must not give up their liberty to the state, and in reply to a question by Socrates he said that he did not desire to belong either to the governing or the governed class.  Such an attitude, however, seems to have been dictated merely by an Epicurean attitude towards the life of the masses.

The best exponent of Anarchist philosophy in ancient Greece was Zeno (342-267 or 270 B.C.), from Crete, the founder of the Stoic philosophy, who distinctly opposed his conception of a free community without government to the state-Utopia of Plato.  He repudiated the omnipotence of the state, its intervention and regimentation, and proclaimed the sovereignty of the moral law of the individual—remarking already that, while the necessary instinct of self-preservation leads man to egotism, nature has supplied a corrective to it by providing man with another instinct—that of sociability.  When men are reasonable enough to follow their natural instincts, they will unite across the frontiers and constitute the Cosmos.  They will have no need of law-courts or police, will have no temples and no public worship, and use no money—free gifts taking the place of the exchanges.  Unfortunately, the writings of Zeno have not reached us and are only known through fragmentary quotations.  However, the fact that his very wording is similar to the wording now in use, shows how deeply is laid the tendency of human nature of which he was the mouth-piece.

In medieval times we find the same views on the state expressed by the illustrious bishop of Alba, Marco Girolamo Vida, in his first dialogue De dignitate reipublicae (Ferd. Cavalli, in Mem. dell’ Istituto Veneto, xiii.; Dr E. Nys, Researches in the History of Economics).  But it is especially in several early Christian movements, beginning with the 9th century in Armenia, and in the preachings of the early Hussites, particularly Chojecki, and the early Anabaptists, especially Hans Denk (cf. Keller, Ein Apostel der Wiedertäufer), that one finds the same ideas forcibly expressed—special stress being laid of course on their moral aspects.

Rabelais and Fénelon, in their Utopias, have also expressed similar ideas, and they were also current in the 18th century amongst the French Encyclopaedists, as may be concluded from separate expressions occasionally met with in the writings of Rousseau, from Diderot’s Preface to the Voyage of Bougainville, and so on.  However, in all probability such ideas could not be developed then, owing to the rigorous censorship of the Roman Catholic Church.

These ideas found their expression later during the great French Revolution.  While the Jacobins did all in their power to centralize everything in the hands of the government, it appears now, from recently published documents, that the masses of the people, in their municipalities and “sections,” accomplished a considerable constructive work.  They appropriated for themselves the election of the judges, the organization of supplies and equipment for the army, as also for the large cities, work for the unemployed, the management of charities, and so on.  They even tried to establish a direct correspondence between the 36,000 communes of France through the intermediary of a special board, outside the National Assembly (cf. Sigismund Lacroix, Actes de la commune de Paris).

It was Godwin, in his Enquiry concerning Political Justice (2 vols., 1793), who was the first to formulate the political and economical conceptions of Anarchism, even though he did not give that name to the ideas developed in his remarkable work.  Laws, he wrote, are not a product of the wisdom of our ancestors: they are the product of their passions, their timidity, their jealousies and their ambition.  The remedy they offer is worse than the evils they pretend to cure.  If and only if all laws and courts were abolished, and the decisions in the arising contests were left to reasonable men chosen for that purpose, real justice would gradually be evolved.  As to the state, Godwin frankly claimed its abolition.  A society, he wrote, can perfectly well exist without any government: only the communities should be small and perfectly autonomous.  Speaking of property, he stated that the rights of every one “to every substance capable of contributing to the benefit of a human being” must be regulated by justice alone: the substance must go “to him who most wants it.”  His conclusion was Communism.  Godwin, however, had not the courage to maintain his opinions.  He entirely rewrote later on his chapter on property and mitigated his Communist views in the second edition of Political Justice (8vo, 1796).

Proudhon was the first to use, in 1840 (Qu’est-ce que la propriété? first memoir), the name of Anarchy with application to the no-government state of society.  The name of “Anarchists” had been freely applied during the French Revolution by the Girondists to those revolutionaries who did not consider that the task of the Revolution was accomplished with the overthrow of Louis XVI., and insisted upon a series of economical measures being taken (the abolition of feudal rights without redemption, the return to the village communities of the communal lands enclosed since 1669, the limitation of landed property to 120 acres, progressive income-tax, the national organization of exchanges on a just value basis, which already received a beginning of practical realization, and so on).

Now Proudhon advocated a society without government, and used the word Anarchy to describe it.  Proudhon repudiated, as is known, all schemes of Communism, according to which mankind would be driven into communistic monasteries or barracks, as also all the schemes of state or state-aided Socialism which were advocated by Louis Blanc and the Collectivists.  When he proclaimed in his first memoir on property that “Property is theft,” he meant only property in its present, Roman-law, sense of “right of use and abuse “; in property-rights, on the other hand, understood in the limited sense of possession, he saw the best protection against the encroachments of the state.  At the same time he did not want violently to dispossess the present owners of land, dwelling-houses, mines, factories and so on.  He preferred to attain the same end by rendering capital incapable of earning interest; and this he proposed to obtain by means of a national bank, based on the mutual confidence of all those who are engaged in production, who would agree to exchange among themselves their produces at cost-value, by means of labour cheques representing the hours of labour required to produce every given commodity.  Under such a system, which Proudhon described as “Mutuellisme,” all the exchanges of services would be strictly equivalent.  Besides, such a bank would be enabled to lend money without interest, levying only something like 1%, or even less, for covering the cost of administration.  Every one being thus enabled to borrow the money that would be required to buy a house, nobody would agree to pay any more a yearly rent for the use of it.  A general “social liquidation” would thus be rendered easy, without violent expropriation.  The same applied to mines, railways, factories and so on.

In a society of this type the state would be useless.  The chief relations between citizens would be based on free agreement and regulated by mere account keeping.  The contests might be settled by arbitration.  A penetrating criticism of the state and all possible forms of government, and a deep insight into all economic problems, were well-known characteristics of Proudhon’s work.

It is worth noticing that French mutualism had its precursor in England, in William Thompson, who began by mutualism before he became a Communist; and in his followers John Gray (A Lecture on Human Happiness, 1825; The Social System, 1831) and J. F. Bray (Labour’s Wrongs and Labour’s Remedy, 1839).  It had also its precursor in America.  Josiah Warren, who was born in 1798 (cf. W. Bailie, Josiah Warren, the First American Anarchist, Boston, 1900), and belonged to Owen’s “New Harmony,” considered that the failure of this enterprise was chiefly due to the suppression of individuality and the lack of initiative and responsibility.  These defects, he taught, were inherent to every scheme based upon authority and the community of goods.  He advocated, therefore, complete individual liberty.  In 1827 he opened in Cincinnati a little country store which was the first “Equity Store,” and which the people called “Time Store,” because it was based on labour being exchanged hour for hour in all sorts of produce.  “Cost—the limit of price,” and consequently “no interest,” was the motto of his store, and later on of his “Equity Village,” near New York, which was still in existence in 1865.  Mr Keith’s “House of Equity ” at Boston, founded in 1855, is also worthy of notice.

While the economical, and especially the mutual-banking, ideas of Proudhon found supporters and even a practical application in the United States, his political conception of Anarchy found but little echo in France, where the Christian Socialism of Lamennais and the Fourierists, and the State Socialism of Louis Blanc and the followers of Saint-Simon, were dominating.  These ideas found, however, some temporary support among the left-wing Hegelians in Germany, Moses Hess in 1843, and Karl Grün in 1845, who advocated Anarchism.  Besides, the authoritarian Communism of Wilhelm Weitling having given origin to opposition amongst the Swiss working men, Wilhelm Marr gave expression to it in the ‘forties.

On the other side, Individualist Anarchism found, also in Germany, its fullest expression in Max Stirner (Kaspar Schmidt), whose remarkable works (Der Einzige and sein Eigenthum and articles contributed to the Rheinische Zeitung) remained quite overlooked until they were brought into prominence by John Henry Mackay.

Prof. V. Basch, in a very able introduction to his interesting book, L’Individualisme anarchiste: Max Stirner (1904), has shown how the development of the German philosophy from Kant to Hegel, and “the absolute” of Schelling and the Geist of Hegel, necessarily provoked, when the anti-Hegelian revolt began, the preaching of the same “absolute” in the camp of the rebels.  This was done by Stirner, who advocated, not only a complete revolt against the state and against the servitude which authoritarian Communism would impose upon men, but also the full liberation of the individual from all social and moral bonds—the rehabilitation of the “I,” the supremacy of the individual, complete “a-moralism,” and the “association of the egotists.”  The final conclusion of that sort of Individual Anarchism has been indicated by Prof. Basch.  It maintains that the aim of all superior civilization is, not to permit all members of the community to develop in a normal way, but to permit certain better endowed individuals “fully to develop,” even at the cost of the happiness and the very existence of the mass of mankind.  It is thus a return towards the most common individualism, advocated by all the would-be superior minorities, to which indeed man owes in his history precisely the state and the rest, which these individualists combat.  Their individualism goes so far as to end in a negation of their own starting-point,—to say nothing of the impossibility for the individual to attain a really full development in the conditions of oppression of the masses by the “beautiful aristocracies.”  His development would remain uni-lateral.  This is why this direction of thought, notwithstanding its undoubtedly correct and useful advocacy of the full development of each individuality, finds a hearing only in limited artistic and literary circles.

Anarchism in the International Working Men’s Association.—A general depression in the propaganda of all fractions of Socialism followed, as is known, after the defeat of the uprising of the Paris working men in June 1848 and the fall of the Republic.  All the Socialist press was gagged during the reaction period, which lasted fully twenty years.  Nevertheless, even Anarchist thought began to make some progress, namely in the writings of Bellegarrique (Cœurderoy), and especially Joseph Déjacque (Les Lazaréennes, L’ Humanisphère, an Anarchist-Communist Utopia, lately discovered and reprinted).  The Socialist movement revived only after 1864, when some French working men, all “mutualists,” meeting in London during the Universal Exhibition with English followers of Robert Owen, founded the International Working Men’s Association.  This association developed very rapidly and adopted a policy of direct economical struggle against capitalism, without interfering in the political parliamentary agitation, and this policy was followed until 1871.  However, after the Franco-German War, when the International Association was prohibited in France after the uprising of the Commune, the German working men, who had received manhood suffrage for elections to the newly constituted imperial parliament, insisted upon modifying the tactics of the International, and began to build up a Social-Democratic political party.  This soon led to a division in the Working Men’s Association, and the Latin federations, Spanish, Italian, Belgian and Jurassic (France could not be represented), constituted among themselves a Federal union which broke entirely with the Marxist general council of the International.  Within these federations developed now what may be described as modern Anarchism.  After the names of “Federalists ” and ” Anti-authoritarians” had been used for some time by these federations the name of “Anarchists,” which their adversaries insisted upon applying to them, prevailed, and finally it was revindicated.

Bakunin (q.v.) soon became the leading spirit among these Latin federations for the development of the principles of Anarchism, which he did in a number of writings, pamphlets and letters.  He demanded the complete abolition of the state, which—he wrote—is a product of religion, belongs to a lower state of civilization, represents the negation of liberty, and spoils even that which it undertakes to do for the sake of general wellbeing.  The state was an historically necessary evil, but its complete extinction will be, sooner or later, equally necessary.  Repudiating all legislation, even when issuing from universal suffrage, Bakunin claimed for each nation, each region and each commune, full autonomy, so long as it is not a menace to its neighbours, and full independence for the individual, adding that one becomes really free only when, and in proportion as, all others are free.  Free federations of the communes would constitute free nations.

As to his economical conceptions, Bakunin described himself, in common with his Federalist comrades of the International (César De Paepe, James Guillaume Schwitzguébel), a “Collectivist Anarchist”—not in the sense of Vidal and Pecqueur in the ‘forties, or of their modern Social-Democratic followers, but to express a state of things in which all necessaries for production are owned in common by the Labour groups and the free communes, while the ways of retribution of labour, Communist or otherwise, would be settled by each group for itself.  Social revolution, the near approach of which was foretold at that time by all Socialists, would be the means of bringing into life the new conditions.

The Jurassic, the Spanish, and the Italian federations and sections of the International Working Men’s Association, as also the French, the German and the American Anarchist groups, were for the next years the chief centres of Anarchist thought and propaganda.  They refrained from any participation in parliamentary politics, and always kept in close contact with the Labour organizations.  However, in the second half of the ‘eighties and the early ‘nineties of the 19th century, when the influence of the Anarchists began to be felt in strikes, in the 1st of May demonstrations, where they promoted the idea of a general strike for an eight hours’ day, and in the anti-militarist propaganda in the army, violent prosecutions were directed against them, especially in the Latin countries (including physical torture in the Barcelona Castle) and the United States (the execution of five Chicago Anarchists in 1887).  Against these prosecutions the Anarchists retaliated by acts of violence which in their turn were followed by more executions from above, and new acts of revenge from below.  This created in the general public the impression that violence is the substance of Anarchism, a view repudiated by its supporters, who hold that in reality violence is resorted to by all parties in proportion as their open action is obstructed by repression, and exceptional laws render them outlaws.  (Cf. Anarchism and Outrage, by C. M. Wilson, and Report of the Spanish Atrocities Committee, in “Freedom Pamphlets “; A Concise History of the Great Trial of the Chicago Anarchists, by Dyer Lum (New York, 1886); The Chicago Martyrs: Speeches, &c.).1

Anarchism continued to develop, partly in the direction of Proudhonian “Mutuellisme,” but chiefly as Communist-Anarchism, to which a third direction, Christian-Anarchism, was added by Leo Tolstoy, and a fourth, which might be ascribed as literary-Anarchism, began amongst some prominent modern writers.

The ideas of Proudhon, especially as regards mutual banking, corresponding with those of Josiah Warren, found a considerable following in the United States, creating quite a school, of which the main writers are Stephen Pearl Andrews, William Grene, Lysander Spooner (who began to write in 1850, and whose unfinished work, Natural Law, was full of promise), and several others, whose names will be found in Dr Nettlan’s Bibliographie de l’anarchie.

A prominent position among the Individualist Anarchists in America has been occupied by Benjamin R. Tucker, whose journal Liberty was started in 1881 and whose conceptions are a combination of those of Proudhon with those of Herbert Spencer.  Starting from the statement that Anarchists are egotists, strictly speaking, and that every group of individuals, be it a secret league of a few persons, or the Congress of the United States, has the right to oppress all mankind, provided it has the power to do so, that equal liberty for all and absolute equality ought to be the law, and “mind every one your own business ” is the unique moral law of Anarchism, Tucker goes on to prove that a general and thorough application of these principles would be beneficial and would offer no danger, because the powers of every individual would be limited by the exercise of the equal rights of all others.  He further indicated (following H. Spencer) the difference which exists between the encroachment on somebody’s rights and resistance to such an encroachment; between domination and defence: the former being equally condemnable, whether it be encroachment of a criminal upon an individual, or the encroachment of one upon all others, or of all others upon one; while resistance to encroachment is defensible and necessary.  For their self-defence, both the citizen and the group have the right to any violence, including capital punishment.  Violence is also justified for enforcing the duty of keeping an agreement.  Tucker thus follows Spencer, and, like him, opens (in the present writer’s opinion) the way for reconstituting under the heading of “defence” all the functions of the state.  His criticism of the present state is very searching, and his defence of the rights of the individual very powerful.  As regards his economical views B. R. Tucker follows Proudhon.

The Individualist Anarchism of the American Proudhonians finds, however, but little sympathy amongst the working masses.  Those who profess it—they are chiefly “intellectuals”—soon realize that the individualization they so highly praise is not attainable by individual efforts, and either abandon the ranks of the Anarchists, and are driven into the Liberal individualism of the classical economists, or they retire into a sort of Epicurean a-moralism, or super-man-theory, similar to that of Stirner and Nietzsche.  The great bulk of the Anarchist working men prefer the Anarchist-Communist ideas which have gradually evolved out of the Anarchist Collectivism of the International Working Men’s Association.  To this direction belong—to name only the better known exponents of Anarchism—Elisée Reclus, Jean Grave, Sebastien Faure, Emile Pouget in France; Enrico Malatesta and Covelli in Italy; R. Mella, A. Lorenzo, and the mostly unknown authors of many excellent manifestos in Spain; John Most amongst the Germans; Spies, Parsons and their followers in the United States, and so on; while Domela Nieuwenhuis occupies an intermediate position in Holland. The chief Anarchist papers which have been published since 1880 also belong to that direction; while a number of Anarchists of this direction have joined the so-called Syndicalist movement—the French name for the non-political Labour movement, devoted to direct struggle with capitalism, which has lately become so prominent in Europe.

As one of the Anarchist-Communist direction, the present writer for many years endeavoured to develop the following ideas: to show the intimate, logical connexion which exists between the modern philosophy of natural sciences and Anarchism; to put Anarchism on a scientific basis by the study of the tendencies that are apparent now in society and may indicate its further evolution; and to work out the basis of Anarchist ethics.  As regards the substance of Anarchism itself, it was Kropotkin’s aim to prove that Communism—at least partial—has more chances of being established than Collectivism, especially in communes taking the lead, and that Free, or Anarchist-Communism is the only form of Communism that has any chance of being accepted in civilized societies; Communism and Anarchy are therefore two terms of evolution which complete each other, the one rendering the other possible and acceptable.  He has tried, moreover, to indicate how, during a revolutionary period, a large city—if its inhabitants have accepted the idea—could organize itself on the lines of Free Communism; the city guaranteeing to every inhabitant dwelling, food and clothing to an extent corresponding to the comfort now available to the middle classes only, in exchange for a half-day’s, or a five-hours’ work; and how all those things which would be considered as luxuries might be obtained by every one if he joins for the other half of the day all sorts of free associations pursuing all possible aims—educational, literary, scientific, artistic, sports and so on.  In order to prove the first of these assertions he has analysed the possibilities of agriculture and industrial work, both being combined with brain work.  And in order to elucidate the main factors of human evolution, he has analysed the part played in history by the popular constructive agencies of mutual aid and the historical role of the state.

Without naming himself an Anarchist, Leo Tolstoy, like his predecessors in the popular religious movements of the 15th and 16th centuries, Chojecki, Denk and many others, took the Anarchist position as regards the state and property rights, deducing his conclusions from the general spirit of the teachings of the Christ and from the necessary dictates of reason.  With all the might of his talent he made (especially in The Kingdom of God in Yourselves) a powerful criticism of the church, the state and law altogether, and especially of the present property laws.  He describes the state as the domination of the wicked ones, supported by brutal force.  Robbers, he says, are far less dangerous than a well-organized government.  He makes a searching criticism of the prejudices which are current now concerning the benefits conferred upon men by the church, the state and the existing distribution of property, and from the teachings of the Christ he deduces the rule of non-resistance and the absolute condemnation of all wars.  His religious arguments are, however, so well combined with arguments borrowed from a dispassionate observation of the present evils, that the anarchist portions of his works appeal to the religious and the non-religious reader alike.

It would be impossible to represent here, in a short sketch, the penetration, on the one hand, of Anarchist ideas into modern literature, and the influence; on the other hand, which the libertarian ideas of the best comtemporary writers have exercised upon the development of Anarchism.  One ought to consult the ten big volumes of the Supplement littéraire to the paper La révolte and later the Temps nouveaux, which contain reproductions from the works of hundreds of modern authors expressing Anarchist ideas, in order to realize how closely Anarchism is connected with all the intellectual movement of our own times.  J. S. Mill’s Liberty, Spencer’s Individual versus The State, Marc Guyau’s Morality without Obligation or Sanction, and Fouillée’s La morale, l’art et la religion, the works of Multatuli (E. Douwes Dekker), Richard Wagner’s Art and Revolution, the works of Nietzsche, Emerson, W. Lloyd Garrison, Thoreau, Alexander Herzen, Edward Carpenter and so on; and in the domain of fiction, the dramas of Ibsen, the poetry of Walt Whitman, Tolstoy’s War and Peace, Zola’s Paris and Le travail, the latest works of Merezhkovsky, and an infinity of works of less known authors,—are full of ideas which show how closely Anarchism is interwoven with the work that is going on in modern thought in the same direction of enfranchisement of man from the bonds of the state as well as from those of capitalism.

1 It is important to remember that the term “Anarchist” is inevitably rather loosely used in public, in connexion with the authors of a certain class of murderous outrages, and that the same looseness of definition often applies to the professions of “Anarchism” made by such persons.  As stated above, a philosophic Anarchist would repudiate the connexion.  And the general public view which regards Anarchist doctrines indiscriminately is to that extent a confusion of terms.  But the following résumé of the chief modern so-called “Anarchist” incidents is appended for convenience in stating the facts under the heading where a reader would expect to find them.

Between 1882 and 1886, in France, Prince Kropotkin, Louise Michel and others were imprisoned.  In England, Most, one of the German Anarchist leaders, founded Die Freiheit, and, for defending in it the assassination of Alexander II. at St Petersburg, was sentenced to eighteen months’ imprisonment with hard labour.  After this he moved to the United States, and re-established his paper there in New York, in May 1886.  During this period there were several Anarchist congresses in the United States.  In one at Albany, in 1878, the revolutionary element, led by Justus Schwab, broke away from the others; at Allegheny City, in 1879, again there was a rupture between the peaceful and the revolutionary sections.  The Voice of the People at St Louis, the Arbeiter Zeitung at Chicago, and the Anarchist at Boston, were the organs of the revolutionary element.  In 1883, at Pittsburg, a congress of twenty-eight delegates, representing twenty-two towns, drew up an address to the working men of America.  The programme it proposed was as follows:—

First, Destruction of the existing class rule by all means, i.e. energetic, relentless, revolutionary and international action.

Second, Establishment of a free society, based upon co-operative organization of production.

Third, Free exchange of equivalent products by and between the productive organizations, without commerce and profit-mongery.

Fourth, Organization of education on a secular, scientific and equal basis for both sexes.

Fifth, Equal rights for all, without distinction of sex or race.

Sixth, Regulation of all public affairs by free contracts between the autonomous (independent) communes and associations, resting on a federalistic basis.

This, together with an appeal to the working men to organize, was published in Chicago, November 1883, by a local committee of four, representing French, Bohemian, German and English sections, the head of the last being August Spies, who was hanged in 1887 for participation in the Haymarket affair in Chicago, 4th May 1886.  This affair was the culmination of a series of encounters between the Chicago working men and the police, which had covered several years.  The meeting of 4th May was called by Spies and others to protest against the action of the police, by whom several working men had been killed in collisions growing out of the efforts to introduce the eight hours’ day.  The mayor of the city attended the meeting, but, finding it peaceful, went home.  The meeting was subsequently entered by the police and commanded to disperse.  A bomb was thrown, several policemen being killed and a number wounded.  For this crime eight men were tried in one panel and condemned, seven—Spies, Parsons, Engel, Fischer, Fielden, Schwab, and Ling—to death, and one—Neebe—to imprisonment for fifteen years.  The sentences on Fielden and Schwab were commuted by Governor Oglesby to imprisonment for life, on the recommendation of the presiding judge and the prosecuting attorney.  Ling committed suicide in jail, and Spies, Parsons, Engel and Fischer were hanged, 11th November 1887.  On 26th June 1893 an unconditional pardon was granted the survivors, Fielden, Schwab and Neebe, by Governor Altgeld.  The reasons for the pardon were stated by the governor to be that, upon an examination of the records he found that the jury had not been drawn in the usual manner, but by a special bailiff, who made his own selection and had summoned a “prejudiced jury”; that the “state had never discovered who it was that threw the bomb which killed the policemen, and the evidence does not show any connexion whatever between the defendants and the man who did throw it,” or that this man “ever heard or read a word coming from the defendants, and consequently fails to show that he acted on any advice given by them.”  Judge Gary, the judge at the trial, published a defence of its procedure in the Century Magazine, vol. xxiii p. 803.

A number of outbreaks in later years were attributed to the propaganda of reform by revolution, like those in Spain and France in 1892, in which Ravachol was a prominent figure.  In 1893 a bomb was exploded in the French Chamber of Deputies by Vaillant.  The spirit of these men is well illustrated by the reply which Vaillant made to the judge who reproached him for endangering the lives of innocent men and women: “There can be no innocent bourgeois.”  In 1894 there was an explosion in a Parisian café, and another in a theatre at Barcelona.  For the latter outrage six men were executed.  President Carnot of the French Republic was assassinated by an Italian at Lyons in the same year.  The empress Elizabeth of Austria was assassinated in September 1898.  These events, all associated by the public with “Anarchism,” led to the passage by the United States Congress of a law, in 1894, to keep out foreign Anarchists, and to deport any who might be found in the country, and also to the assemblage of an international conference in Rome, in 1898, to agree upon some plan for dealing with these revolutionists.  It was proposed that their offences should no longer be classed as political, but as common-law crimes, and be made subject to extradition.  The suppression of the revolutionary press and the international co-operation of the police were also suggested.  The results of the conference were not, however, published; and the question of how to deal with the campaign against society fell for a while into abeyance.  The attempt made by the youth Sipido on the (then) prince of Wales at Brussels in 1900 recalled attention to the subject.  The acquittal of Sipido, and the failure of the Belgian government to see that justice was done in an affair of such international importance, excited considerable feeling in England, and was the occasion of a strongly-worded note from the British to the Belgian government.  The murder of King Humbert of Italy in July 1900 renewed the outcry against Italian Anarchists.  Even greater horror and indignation were excited by the assassination of President McKinley by Czolgoscz on the 6th of September 1901, at Buffalo, U.S.A.  And a particularly dastardly attempt was made to blow up the young king and queen of Spain on their wedding-day in 1906.           (ED. E.B.)

BIBLIOGRAPHY.—William Godwin, An Enquiry concerning Political Justice and its Influence on General Virtue and Happiness, 1st edition, 2 vols. (1793).  Mutualism:—John Gray, A Lecture on Human Happiness (1825); The Social System, a Treatise on the Principles of Exchange (1831); Proudhon, Qu’est-ce que la propriété? 1er mémoire (1840) (Eng. trans. by B. Tucker); Idée générale sur la révolution (1851); Confession d’un révolutionnaire (1849); Contradictions économiques (1846); Josiah Warren, Practicable Details of Equitable Commerce (New York, 1852); True Civilization (Boston, 1863); Stephen Pearl Andrews, The Science of Society (1851); Cost, the Limit of Price; Moses Hess, “Sozialismus und Communismus, Philosophie der That” (on Herwegh’s Ein-und-Zwanzig Bogen aus der Schweiz, 1843); Karl Grün, Die soziale Bewegung in Frankreich und Belgien (1845); W. Marr, Das junge Deutschland (1845).  Anarchist Individualism:—Max Stirner (J. K. Schmidt), Der Einzige und sein Eigenthum (1845) (Fr. trans., 1900); J. H. Mackay, Max Stirner, sein Leben und sein Werk (1898); V. Basch, L’ Individualisme anarchiste (5904).  Transition period:—J. Dejacque, Les Lazaréennes (1851); Le Libertaire, weekly, New York, 1858-1861, containing L’ Humanisphère (re-edited at Brussels, Bibl. des temps nouveaux).  Anarchist Collectivism of the International:—The papers Egalité, Progrès (Locle), Solidarité; James Guillaume, Idées sur l’organisation sociale (1876); Bulletin de la fedération jurassienne (1872-1879); A. Schwitzguébel, Œuvres; Paul Brousse, Le Suffrage universel (1874); L’ État à Versailles et dans l’association internationale (1874); newspaper L’ Avant-garde (suppressed 1878); Arthur Arnould, L’ État et la révolution (1877); Histoire populaire de la commune (3 vols., 1878); César de Paepe, in Rive gauche and La liberté (1867-1883).  Many others are in the Comptes rendus of the congresses of the International Working Men’s Association.  All these ideas, conceived as a whole, may be found in Bakunin’s Fédéralisme, socialisme et anti-théologisme, published first in portions under the names of L’Empire knouto-germanique, Dieu et l’ état, The State-Idea and Anarchy (Russian), and only now reproduced in full in his Œuvres (Paris, 1905 and seq.); Sozialpolitischer Briefwechsel (1894); Statuts de l’alliance internationale (1868); Proposition motivée au comité central de la ligue de la paix et de la liberté (1868).  The famous Revolutionary Catechism attributed to Bakunin, was not his work.  Biographie von Michael Bakunin, by Dr M. Nettlan, 3 large vols., contains masses of letters, &c. (hectographed in 50 copies; in all chief libraries).

MODERN ANARCHISM.—The best sources are the collections of newspapers which, although compelled sometimes to change their names, were run for considerable lengths of time and are appearing still: J. Most, Freiheit, since 1878; Le Révolté—La Révolte—Temps nouveaux, since 1878; Domela Nieuwenhuis, Recht voor Allen, since 1878; Freedom, since 1886; Le Libertaire; Pouget’s Père Pèsuard; Réveil-Risveglio; see Nettlan’s Bibliographie.  These papers and a great number of pamphlets are indispensable for those who intend to know anarchism, as the works published in book form are not numerous.  Of the latter only a few will be mentioned:—Elisée Reclus, Evolution and Revolution, many editions in all languages; “Anarchy by an Anarchist,” in Contemp. Review (May, 1884); The Ideal and Youth (1895); Jean Grave, La Société au lendemain de la révolution, many editions since 1882; La Société mourante et l’anarchie (1893); L’Autonomie selon la science (1882) La Société future (1895); L’Anarchie, son but, ses moyens; Sébastien Faure, La Douleur universelle (1892); A. Hamon, Les Hommes et les théories de l’anarchie (1893); Psychologie de l’anarchiste-socialiste (1895); Enrico Malatesta, Fra Contadini, transl. in all languages—Eng. trans. A Talk about Anarchist Communism, in “Freedom Pamphlets” (1891); Anarchy (do. 1892); Au café and many other Italian pamphlets, as also several papers started at various times in Italy under different names: F. S. Merlino, Socialismo ò Monopolismo? (1887).  Pamphlets, reviews and papers by P. Gori, L. Molinari, E. Covelli, &c.  The manifestos of the Spanish Federations contain excellent expositions of Anarchism; cf. also many books, pamphlets and papers by J. Lluñas y Pujals, J. Serrano y Oteiza, Ricardo Mella, A. Lorenzo, &c.  John Most, the paper Freiheit, of which a few articles only have been reprinted as pamphlets in the Internationale Bibliothek (“The Deistic Pestilence,” “The Beast of Property” in English); Memoiren, 3 fascicules. F. Domela Nieuwenhuis, Le Socialisme en danger (1895); C. Malato, Philosophie de l’anarchie (1890); Charlotte Wilson, Anarchism (“Fabian Tracts,” 4); Anarchism and Violence (“Freedom Pamphlets”); Albert Parsons, Anarchism, its Philosophy and Scientific Basis (Chicago, 1888); The Chicago Martyrs: Speeches in Court; P. Kropotkin, Paroles d’un révolté (1884); Conquest of Bread (1906) (1st French ed. in 1890); Anarchist Morality; Anarchy, its Philosophy and Ideals; Anarchist Communism; The State, its Historic Rôle; and other “Freedom Pamphlets”; Fields, Factories and Workshops (5th popular edition, 1807); Mutual Aid: a Factor of Evolution (1904).  Modern Individualist Anarchists:—B. Tucker, the paper Liberty (1892 sqq.); Instead of a Book, by one too busy to write one (Boston, 1893); Dyer Lum, Social Problems (1883); Lysander Spooner, Natural Law, or the Science of Justice (Boston, 1891). Religious Anarchists:—Leo Tolstoy, The Kingdom of God Yourselves; My Faith; Confession; &c.

The best work on Anarchism, and in fact the only one written with full knowledge of the Anarchist literature, and quite fairly, is by a German judge Dr Paul Eltzbacher, Anarchismus (transl. in all chief European languages, except English).  Prof. Adler’s article “Anarchismus” in Conrad’s Handwörterbuch der Staatswissenschaften, vol. i., is less accurate for modern times than for the earlier periods.  G. v. Zenker, Der Anarchismus (1895); and Prof. Edmund Bernatzik, “Der Anarchismus,” in Schmoller’s Jahrbuch, may also be mentioned—the remainder being written with absolute want of knowledge of the subject.

A most important work is the reasoned Bibliographie de l’anarchie, by Dr M. Nettlan (Brussels, 1897, 8vo, 294 ff.), written with a full knowledge of the subject and its immense literature. (P. A. K.)

Entry on Prince Peter Kropotkin from the 11th Edition (1910-1911) of the Encylopædia Britannica:

KROPOTKIN, PETER ALEXEIVICH, PRINCE (1842-), Russian geographer, author and revolutionary, was born at Moscow in 1842. His father, Prince Alexei Petrovich Kropotkin, belonged to the old Russian nobility; his mother, the daughter of a general in the Russian army, had remarkable literary and liberal tastes. At the age of fifteen Prince Peter Kropotkin, who had been designed by his father for the army, entered the Corps of Pages at St Petersburg (1857).  Only a hundred and fifty boys—mostly children of the nobility belonging to the court—were educated in this privileged corps, which combined the character of a military school endowed with special rights and of a Court institution attached to the imperial household. Here he remained till 1862, reading widely on his own account, and giving special attention to the works of the French encyclopaedists and to modern French history. Before he left Moscow Prince Kropotkin had developed an interest in the condition of the Russian peasantry, and this interest increased as he grew older. The years 1857-1861 witnessed a rich growth in the intellectual forces of Russia, and Kropotkin came under the influence of the new Liberal-revolutionary literature, which indeed largely expressed his own aspirations. In 1862 he was promoted from the Corps of Pages to the army. The members of the corps had the prescriptive right of choosing the regiment to which they would be attached. Kropotkin had never wished for a military career, but, as he had not the means to enter the St Petersburg University, he elected to join a Siberian Cossack regiment in the recently annexed Amur district, where there were prospects of administrative work.  For some time he was aide de camp to the governor of Transbaikalia at Chita, subsequently being appointed attaché for Cossack affairs to the governor-general of East Siberia at Irkutsk. Opportunities for administrative work, however, were scanty, and in 1864 Kropotkin accepted charge of a geographical survey expedition, crossing North Manchuria from Transbaikalia to the Amur, and shortly afterwards was attached to another expedition which proceeded up the Sungari River into the heart of Manchuria.  Both these expeditions yielded most valuable geographical results.  The impossibility of obtaining any real administrative reforms in Siberia now induced Kropotkin to devote himself almost entirely to scientific exploration, in which he continued to be highly successful.  In 1867 he quitted the army and returned to St Petersburg, where he entered the university, becoming at the same time secretary to the physical geography section of the Russian Geographical Society.  In 1873 he published an important contribution to science, a map and paper in which he proved that the existing maps of Asia entirely misrepresented the physical formation of the country, the main structural lines being in fact from south-west to north-east, not from north to south, or from east to west as had been previously supposed.  In 1871 he explored the glacial deposits of Finland and Sweden for the Russian Geographical Society, and while engaged in this work was offered the secretaryship of that society.  But by this time he had determined that it was his duty not to work at fresh discoveries but to aid in diffusing existing knowledge among the people at large, and he accordingly refused the offer, and returned to St Petersburg, where he joined the revolutionary party.  In 1872 he visited Switzerland, and became a member of the International Workingmen’s Association at Geneva. The socialism of this body was not, however, advanced enough for his views, and after studying the programme of the more violent Jura Federation at Neuchâtel and spending some time in the company of the leading members, he definitely adopted the creed of anarchism (q.v.) and, on returning to Russia, took an active part in spreading the nihilist propaganda.  In 1874 he was arrested and imprisoned, but escaped in 1876 and went to England, removing after a short stay to Switzerland, where he joined the Jura Federation.  In 1877 he went to Paris, where he helped to start the socialist movement, returning to Switzerland in 1878, where he edited for the Jura Federation a revolutionary newspaper, Le Révolté, subsequently also publishing various revolutionary pamphlets.  Shortly after the assassination of the tsar Alexander II. (1881) Kropotkin was expelled from Switzerland by the Swiss government, and after a short stay at Thonon (Savoy) went to London, where he remained for nearly a year, returning to Thonon towards the end of 1882.  Shortly afterwards he was arrested by the French government, and, after a trial at Lyons, sentenced by a police-court magistrate (under a special law passed on the fall of the Commune) to five years’ imprisonment, on the ground that he had belonged to the International Workingmen’s Association (1883).  In 1886 however, as the result of repeated agitation on his behalf in the French Chamber, he was released, and settled near London.

Prince Kropotkin’s authority as a writer on Russia is universally acknowledged, and he has contributed largely to the Encyclopaedia Britannica.  Among his other works may be named Paroles d’un révolté (1884); La Conquête du pain (1888); L’ Anarchie: sa philosophie, son idéal (1896); The State, its Part in History (1898); Fields, Factories and Workshops (1899); Memoirs of a Revolutionist (1900); Mutual Aid, a Factor of Evolution (1902); Modern Science and Anarchism (Philadelphia, 1903); The Desiccation of Asia (1904); The Orography of Asia (1904); and Russian Literature (1905).

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The Priesthood


Background on this post

I wish to thank Jahnihah for his essay on priesthood, which made me realize that I had always just accepted the standard definition of priesthood without actually verifying it with the scriptures.  I was then inspired to search the Standard Works with priesthood as my research topic, which, I’m embarrassed to say, I had never done before.  This post contains the findings of that research.

As a general outline for this topic, I used (loosely) Chapter 13 of the new Melchizedek Priesthood/Relief Society Manual, Gospel Principles.  Click the link to compare versions.

What Is the Priesthood?

The priesthood is a language that only God speaks. It is as eternal as God Himself is.

Which priesthood continueth in the church of God in all generations, and is without beginning of days or end of years. (D&C 84: 17)

Priesthood rights “are inseparably connected [to] the powers of heaven” (D&C 121: 36), and thus priesthood is all powerful when spoken.  Priesthood possesses the authority (keys) of God, which is recognized by the entire universe as valid in locking (sealing) and unlocking (loosing) all things.

For the firstborn holds the right of the presidency over this priesthood, and the keys or authority of the same.  (D&C 68: 17)

Through the priesthood, God created and governs the heavens and the earth.

For behold, by the power of his word [priesthood] man came upon the face of the earth, which earth was created by the power of his word [priesthood]. Wherefore, if God being able to speak [priesthood] and the world was, and to speak [priesthood] and man was created, O then, why not able to command the earth, or the workmanship of his hands upon the face of it, according to his will and pleasure?  (Jacob 4: 9)

I am the same which spake [priesthood], and the world was made, and all things came by me.  (D&C 38: 3)

By the power (agency) and authority (keys) of the priesthood, the universe is kept in perfect order.  Through this God-language, God accomplishes His work and glory, which is “to bring to pass the immortality and eternal life of man.”

And as one earth shall pass away, and the heavens thereof even so shall another come; and there is no end to my works, neither to my words [priesthood].  For behold, this is my work and my glory—to bring to pass the immortality and eternal life of man.  (Moses 1: 38-39)

Priesthood is a combination of the spoken (audible) word and a gesture (silent) language.  There are three other components to priesthood (to be explained later), which, when present, make it validly “spoken.”

Although the priesthood is a language that only God speaks, He may, and often does, allow worthy sons of His to obtain the right to speak it.  Because the priesthood is a language specific to God alone, when men who hold this right speak it with all 5 components, it is as if God himself is the speaker and the very powers of heaven attend to the pronouncement.

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. (D&C 1: 38)

And calling upon the name of God, he beheld his glory again, for it was upon him; and he heard a voice, saying: Blessed art thou, Moses, for I, the Almighty, have chosen thee, and thou shalt be made stronger than many waters; for they shall obey thy command as if thou wert God. (Moses 1: 25)

And he shall be thy spokesman unto the people: and he shall be, even he shall be to thee instead of a mouth, and thou shalt be to him instead of God. (Ex. 4: 16)

And the Lord said unto Moses, See, I have made thee a god to Pharaoh: and Aaron thy brother shall be thy prophet.  (Ex. 7: 1)

All priesthood is centered in, comes from, and points to Christ.  Christ is known as the Word (the Priesthood), even the Priesthood made flesh.

For in the beginning was the Word, even the Son, who is made flesh, and sent unto us by the will of the Father, And as many as believe on his name shall receive of his fulness. And of his fullness have all we received, even immortality and eternal life, through his grace.  (JST John 1: 16)

Christ is the physical embodiment of the priesthood, therefore, as Christ saves all things, the priesthood likewise has as its purpose the salvation of all things.  When God confers the rights of the priesthood upon men, it enables them to act in Christ’s name for the salvation of the human family.  Through it, they can be authorized to preach the gospel, administer the ordinances of salvation, and teach the members of God’s kingdom on earth, so that they govern themselves.

Again, Christ is the Priesthood, therefore, to receive the priesthood is synonymous with receiving Christ.

And also all they who receive this priesthood receive me, saith the Lord;  (D&C 84: 35)

Those who receive the priesthood become like Christ, even priesthood made flesh.

For ye are lawful heirs, according to the flesh, and have been hid from the world with Christ in God—  (D&C 86: 9)

And I will make of thee a great nation, and I will bless thee above measure, and make thy name great among all nations, and thou shalt be a blessing unto thy seed after thee, that in their hands they shall bear this ministry and Priesthood unto all nations; and I will bless them through thy name; for as many as receive this Gospel shall be called after thy name, and shall be accounted thy seed, and shall rise up and bless thee, as their father; and I will bless them that bless thee, and curse them that curse thee; and in thee (that is, in thy Priesthood) and in thy seed (that is, thy Priesthood), for I give unto thee a promise that this right shall continue in thee, and in thy seed after thee (that is to say, the literal seed, or the seed of the body) shall all the families of the earth be blessed, even with the blessings of the Gospel, which are the blessings of salvation, even of life eternal.  (Abr. 2: 9-11; in other words, whoever receives the Priesthood, becoming priesthood made flesh, becomes the seed of Abraham, who was also priesthood made flesh; see also D&C 84: 34)

As Christ is Savior, through the reception of the priesthood, men also become a savior.

Therefore, blessed are ye if ye continue in my goodness, a light unto the Gentiles, and through this priesthood, a savior unto my people Israel. The Lord hath said it. Amen.  (D&C 86: 11)

Why Do We Need the Priesthood on the Earth?

We must have priesthood authority (keys) to act in the name of God when performing the sacred ordinances of the gospel, such as baptism, confirmation, administration of the sacrament, and temple marriage.  If a man does not have the priesthood, even though he may be sincere, the Lord will not recognize ordinances he performs (see Matthew 7: 21-23; Articles of Faith 1: 5).  These important ordinances must be performed on the earth by men who have obtained the rights of the priesthood.

Men need the priesthood to preside in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and to direct the work of the church in all parts of the world.  When Christ lived on the earth, He chose His apostles and ordained them so that they could lead His church.  He gave them the power and authority of the priesthood to act in His name.  (See Mark 3: 13-15; John 15: 16.)

Another reason the priesthood is needed on the earth is to teach the plan of salvation so that we can understand the will of the Lord.

And again, my brethren, I would cite your minds forward to the time when the Lord God gave these commandments unto his children; and I would that ye should remember that the Lord God ordained priests, after his holy order, which was after the order of his Son, to teach these things unto the people. (Alma 13: 1)

Priesthood is also needed to carry out the purposes of God.  For example, it is the purpose of God that every husband and father in Israel receive the priesthood, thus becoming like Christ.  This benefits the husband/father (as he receives exaltation), as well as his wife and children (as they obtain within their very home a type of Christ, pointing the way to Christ.)

And those priests were ordained after the order of his Son, in a manner that thereby the people might know in what manner to look forward to his Son for redemption. (Alma 13: 2)

It also benefits the world in general, for they, like the wives and children, learn how to be saved.

Now these ordinances were given after this manner, that thereby the people might look forward on the Son of God, it being a type of his order, or it being his order, and this that they might look forward to him for a remission of their sins, that they might enter into the rest of the Lord. (Alma 13: 16)

Also, with the husbands/fathers of Israel as priesthood made flesh (Christ types), God can show forth His arm of power, His wonders, in the eyes of all the nations, as priesthood is “inseparably connected with the powers of heaven” (D&C 121: 36).

Why Do Only Men Obtain Priesthood?

Although this question is not explicitly answered in the scriptures, one implicit reason is that the priesthood is meant to point mankind to Christ.  By design, then, one who receives the priesthood not only behaves like Christ, but also looks like Christ. All men, when they grow their hair long and allow their beards to grow full and bushy, bear the image of Christ.  The deep voice and manly physique also contribute to the perception that each man is in the similitude of the Son of God.  This similitude, coupled with the reception of the priesthood, works upon the hearts and minds of men, women and children and turns their attention to Christ.

How Do Men Receive the Priesthood?

Obtaining the rights of the priesthood is not the same as receiving the priesthood.  Let’s talk first about how the rights of the priesthood are obtained.

The Lord has prepared an orderly way for the rights of His priesthood to be conferred upon His sons on the earth.  A worthy male obtains the priesthood “by the laying on of hands by those who are in authority, to preach the Gospel and administer in the ordinances thereof” (Articles of Faith 1: 5).  Usually, it is only a worthy male member of the church who can obtain the priesthood, but sometimes the priesthood is conferred upon worthy male non-members.  Only those who have had the rights of the priesthood conferred upon them can ordain others, and they can do so only when authorized by those who hold the keys (authority) for that ordination.

The first part to receiving the priesthood is obtaining the rights to officiate.

High priests after the order of the Melchizedek Priesthood have a right to officiate in their own standing, under the direction of the presidency, in administering spiritual things, and also in the office of an elder, priest (of the Levitical order), teacher, deacon, and member.  An elder has a right to officiate in his stead when the high priest is not present.  The high priest and elder are to administer in spiritual things, agreeable to the covenants and commandments of the church; and they have a right to officiate in all these offices of the church when there are no higher authorities present.  (D&C 107: 10-12)

This happens by the laying on of hands and requires only that the man being ordained is righteous (worthy), meaning that he is justified (guiltless) before the Lord, being right according to the law of God, having received a remission of his sins.

Using the rights of the priesthood requires more than justification (righteousness).

That the rights of the priesthood are inseparably connected with the powers of heaven, and that the powers of heaven cannot be controlled nor handled only upon the principles of righteousness. (D&C 121: 36)

It also requires purification and sanctification.

Now, as I said concerning the holy order, or this high priesthood, there were many who were ordained and became high priests of God; and it was on account of their exceeding faith and repentance, and their righteousness before God (justification), they choosing to repent and work righteousness rather than to perish; therefore they were called after this holy order, and were sanctified (sanctification), and their garments were washed white through the blood of the Lamb (purification).  Now they, after being sanctified by the Holy Ghost (sanctification), having their garments made white (purification), being pure and spotless before God (purification), could not look upon sin save it were with abhorrence (purification); and there were many, exceedingly great many, who were made pure (purification) and entered into the rest of the Lord their God.  (Alma 13: 10-12)

When the rights of the priesthood are exercised by a justified (righteous), purified and sanctified (holy) man, the powers of heaven manifest themselves.  This is according to the promise of God.

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.  And men having this faith, coming up unto this order of God, were translated and taken up into heaven. (JST Gen. 14: 30-32)

A man who has obtained the rights of the priesthood through justification may receive the priesthood itself by purifying and sanctifying himself, through the operation of the baptism of fire and of the Holy Ghost, because of his exceeding faith, hope and charity.  (See Moroni 7.)  In this manner, the man becomes like Christ (see Moroni 7: 48) and qualifies himself for receiving the priesthood and being “ordained by the Lord God” Himself, “by the calling of His own voice, according to His own will.”

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. (JST Gen. 14: 29)

And again, my brethren, I would cite your minds forward to the time when the Lord God gave these commandments unto his children; and I would that ye should remember that the Lord God ordained priests, after his holy order, which was after the order of his Son, to teach these things unto the people.  (Alma 13: 1)

Thus, the last part to receiving the priesthood, the bestowal of priesthood power, is solely performed by the Lord and depends upon whether the priest magnifies his calling through sanctification by the Spirit unto the renewing of his body (priesthood made flesh).

For whoso is faithful unto the obtaining these two priesthoods of which I have spoken, and the magnifying their calling, are sanctified by the Spirit unto the renewing of their bodies.  (D&C 84: 33)

Men who receive the priesthood have it confirmed upon them by the Lord’s own voice out of the heavens.

And wo unto all those who come not unto this priesthood which ye have received, 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.  (D&C 84: 42)

In this way, the Lord reserves to Himself the final ordination necessary for priesthood reception, just as He alone is the one who baptizes with fire and the Holy Ghost.

And it came to pass that when Jesus had spoken these words unto Nephi, and to those who had been called, (now the number of them who had been called, and received power and authority to baptize, was twelve) and behold, he stretched forth his hand unto the multitude, and cried unto them, saying: Blessed are ye if ye shall give heed unto the words of these twelve whom I have chosen from among you to minister unto you, and to be your servants; and unto them I have given power that they may baptize you with water; and after that ye are baptized with water, behold, I will baptize you with fire and with the Holy Ghost; therefore blessed are ye if ye shall believe in me and be baptized, after that ye have seen me and know that I am.  (3 Ne. 12: 1)

All men, then, are “on the same standing” (Alma 13: 5).  Those who wish to qualify themselves for reception of the priesthood “on account of their exceeding faith and repentance” (Alma 13: 10) will receive it, while those who “would reject the Spirit of God on account of the hardness of their hearts and blindness of their minds” (Alma 13: 4) will not receive it, though they may have the rights of the priesthood conferred upon them.

We have been told that there are many called to the priesthood, who have obtained the rights to the priesthood, but few among them are chosen to receive it.

Behold, there are many called, but few are chosen. And why are they not chosen?

•  •  •

Hence many are called, but few are chosen.  (D&C 121: 34, 40)

Men cannot buy and sell the power and authority of the priesthood.  Nor can they take this authority upon themselves.  In the New Testament we read of a man named Simon who lived when Christ’s apostles presided over (served) the church.  Simon became converted and was baptized into the church.  Because he was a skillful magician, the people believed he had the power of God.  But Simon did not have the priesthood, and he knew it.

Simon knew that the apostles and the other priesthood leaders of the church had received the priesthood, for the powers of heaven were manifest among them.

Then Simon himself believed also: and when he was baptized, he continued with Philip, and wondered, beholding the miracles and signs which were done. (Acts 8: 13)

He saw them use their priesthood to do the Lord’s work, and he wanted this power for himself.  He offered to buy the priesthood.  (See Acts 8: 9-19.)  But Peter, the chief apostle, said, “Thy money perish with thee, because thou hast thought that the gift of God may be purchased with money” (Acts 8: 20).

Ecclesiastical Abuse: How the Priesthood Is Misused and What to Do About It

The priesthood is to be used to serve our Heavenly Father’s children here on earth, converting the priest into a servant or minister of all.  Priesthood holders should serve in love and kindness, not rule like Gentile kings.

But Jesus called them to him, and saith unto them, Ye know that they which are accounted to rule over the Gentiles exercise lordship over them; and their great ones exercise authority upon them.  (Mark 10: 42)

Any attempt to convert the minister-servant role of priest into the pomp and prestige of a Gentile ruler by undertaking “to cover our sins, or to gratify our pride, our vain ambition, or to exercise control or dominion or compulsion upon the souls of the children of men, in any degree of unrighteousness” (D&C 121: 37) results in immediate condemnation by the Lord, even if the ecclesiastical abuse is not known or corrected by the church.  Ecclesiastical abuse in any form or degree brings immediate damnation upon the priesthood officer and, even before the abuser is aware, he is left alone without the Spirit and subject to the spirit of the devil, to persecute the saints within his congregation, who have been placed within his care and ministry.  He then becomes a wolf in sheep’s clothing, fighting against God.  (In the view of the abuser, it is the saints who are the wolves and he is doing “God’s work.”)

Those who engage in ecclesiastical abuse will use the high-sounding title of their priesthood office (bishop, stake president, etc.) to engage in power-plays and submission tests to try to force or compel the members of the congregation to submit to their authority and do what they want them to do.  They will gratify their pride and label all those saints who resist such tyranny as apostates and accuse them of the sin of rebellion.  Ecclesiastical abuse takes many forms, but the following are listed in scripture:

1) undertaking to cover our sins

2) undertaking to gratify our pride

3) undertaking to gratify our vain ambition

4) undertaking to exercise control or dominion or compulsion upon the souls of the children of men

The saints of God within any ward or branch of the church, being sanctified (made holy) by the Spirit of God, naturally resist tyranny in all of its forms.  Like captain Moroni, they “seek not for power, but to pull it down” (Alma 60: 36).  They do not follow the precepts of men except when those precepts are given by the Holy Ghost.  This puts them directly at odds with any ecclesiastical abuser who is a priesthood leader that presides over them.  The rank and file (unsanctified) member is accustomed to following the brethren, not the Spirit, and will blindly follow the precepts of men given by an ecclesiastical abuser regardless of whether it is inspired or not.  These rank and file members will put the priesthood tyrant on a pedestal, gratifying his pride and vain ambition, covering his sins, and will, like the tyrant, look upon the saints resisting compulsion as disobedient apostates and trouble-makers.

These conditions are to be expected among the church for as long as it remains unsanctified and under condemnation, for “it is the nature and disposition of almost all men, as soon as they get a little authority, as they suppose, they will immediately begin to exercise unrighteous dominion” (D&C 121: 39).

Which vanity and unbelief have brought the whole church under condemnation.And this condemnation resteth upon the children of Zion, even all.  And they shall remain under this condemnation until they repent and remember the new covenant, even the Book of Mormon and the former commandments which I have given them, not only to say, but to do according to that which I have written—  (D&C 84: 55-57)

This means that almost all men who hold the rights of the priesthood, including those who hold leadership positions and high offices, are by nature predisposed to act like tyrants.  There are but few (see D&C 121: 40) of the vast ensemble that do not engage in ecclesiastical abuse.  It is these few who pattern their lives after Christ, aspiring to be like Him and setting their hearts upon Him.  The rest (“almost all men”), which are the many, set their hearts “upon the things of this world, and aspire to the honors of men” (D&C 121: 35).  So the church, by and large, is led by ecclesiastical abusers, even tyrants, with the occasional man of Christ appearing among them, yet all these men have obtained the rights of the priesthood.

Because of the nature and disposition of men to be tyrants and the condition of the unsanctified and condemned (damned) church, the saints of God are to follow the admonition of Alma, which is to “trust no one to be your teacher nor your minister, except he be a man of God, walking in his ways and keeping his commandments” (Mosiah 23: 14) and the warning of Nephi:

Cursed is he that putteth his trust in man, or maketh flesh his arm, or shall hearken unto the precepts of men, save their precepts shall be given by the power of the Holy Ghost.  (2 Ne. 28: 31)

The Lord has left two means of dealing with ecclesiastical abuse: the law of common consent and the church courts.  If there are two or three witnesses to abuse, the procedure described in D&C 42: 78-93 may be used.  If there are no witnesses (or no willing witnesses), or if the church court system becomes entirely corrupt because the priesthood leadership will not allow a court to be convened or otherwise impedes the process (undertaking to cover up the sins of their fellow ecclesiastical abuser), the law of common consent can be used to de-fang tyrants.  If, however, the law of common consent fails due to rubber-stamping by the general membership, saints of God must resort solely to Alma and Nephi’s counsel, leaving the matter in the Lord’s hands.

Priesthood Organization: An Inverted Hierarchy

A hierarchy is defined as “a ruling body of clergy organized into orders or ranks, each subordinate to the one above it.”  It is true that the priesthood is organized into orders and ranks, but instead of rulers, it consists of servants.  The Lord’s “rulers” (Abr. 3: 23) are not rulers in the typical sense.  They are ministers and servants.

He that is ordained of God and sent forth, the same is appointed to be the greatest, notwithstanding he is the least and the servant of all. (D&C 50: 26)

In a typical rich household, the servants do not get the chief seats, do not get the first meal, are not the ones put up on a pedestal.

Then spake Jesus to the multitude, and to his disciples, saying, The Scribes and the Pharisees sit in Moses’ seat.  All, therefore, whatsoever they bid you observe, they will make you observe and do; for they are ministers of the law, and they make themselves your judges. But do not ye after their works; for they say, and do not.  For they bind heavy burdens and lay on men’s shoulders, and they are grievous to be borne; but they will not move them with one of their fingers.  And all their works they do to be seen of men. They make broad their phylacteries, and enlarge the borders of their garments, and love the uppermost rooms at feasts, and the chief seats in the synagogues, and greetings in the markets, and to be called of men, Rabbi, Rabbi, (which is master.) But be not ye called Rabbi; for one is your master, which is Christ; and all ye are brethren.  (JST Matt. 23: 1-5)

The priesthood is designed to be an inverted pyramd, or inverted hierarchy, with the greatest servants, meaning the meekest, most charitable servants, at the very bottom.  These are the least of all the kingdom of God, being servants of all.  Thus, the First Presidency is really the Last Presidency, or Bottom Presidency, being below all other presidencies, nevertheless, all priesthood offices and callings are placed by the Lord below, not above, the body of the church (the saints).

And are built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ himself being the chief corner stone; (Eph. 2: 20)

Not By Virtue of the Priesthood

By the Lord’s design, “no power or influence can or ought to be maintained by virtue of the priesthood” (D&C 121: 41), therefore, for instance, when any president or counselor of the First Presidency enters a room full of people or speaks before an audience, he is to be treated as a title-less servant, not as royalty.  His words and actions alone are to be taken into consideration, without considering, at all, his priesthood rank.  If his words and/or actions are persuasive, long-suffering, gentle, meek, kind and given with genuine love and in pure knowledge, we are to allow them to influence us or to have power over us, otherwise, we are to ignore them. This does him a great service, as people who are treated like royalty eventually begin acting as royalty.  This principle applies to every priesthood calling in the church: branch president, bishop, quorum president, high priest group leader, stake president, mission president, area authority, seventy, apostle, First Presidency counselor or prophet.  They are all to be treated as if they had no title or office, whatsoever.

The next priesthood body, the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, is not below the First Presidency, but above them, in the inverted hierarchy.  Yet, the Twelve are still just servants of the church body and are to be treated as such, just like the First Presidency.  The difference, though, lies in how the Twelve and First Presidency interact with each other, for the First Presidency is to serve the Twelve and not the other way around.

This pattern of the greater serving those who are lesser is to apply to all quorums of the priesthood, for even as “the Son of man came not to be ministered unto, but to minister” (Mark 10: 45), so are holders of the priesthood not to be ministered unto, but to minister, in their respective jurisdictions.

How Do Men Properly Use the Priesthood?

The word “minister” comes from the Latin minister, which means “servant.”  Our word “servant” comes from the Old French servir, which comes from the Latin servire, which means “to be a slave” or “to be a servant,” which comes from the Latin servus, which means “slave” or “servant.”  The only difference between a slave and a servant is that the servant is engaged in voluntary servitude while the slave is engaged in involuntary servitude.  With this in mind, we can think of a servant as a “voluntary slave.”  To properly use the priesthood, then, one must consider himself a servant, or voluntary slave, of all and act accordingly.  Even when called to preside, the use of the word “president” means, in the vernacular of the Lord, servant (or voluntary slave).

Which ordinance is instituted for the purpose of qualifying those who shall be appointed standing presidents or servants over different stakes scattered abroad;  (D&C 124: 134)

This is why the Lord uses the word “yoke.”

Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.  Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls.  For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.  (Matt. 11: 28-30)

We are yoked (as servants) with priesthood.  We are voluntarily enslaved.

Entering the priesthood with the proper mindset requires that one consider himself as nothing (see Mosiah 4: 11), even less than “the dust of the earth” (see Mosiah 2: 25-26).  This prepares a man to “enter the priesthood” and not merely “get the priesthood.”  Often we speak of the priesthood as something you get, receive, hold, as if it were a thing you could stick in your pocket.  It is true that the priesthood is “the gift of God” (see Acts 8: 20), but it is also true that it is an order that is entered into by ordination.  “Entering the priesthood” is meant to be a life-changing event, for it is through the priesthood that men can become like Christ, even priesthood made flesh. In that vein, entering the priesthood is synonymous with entering a life of selfless service, in which you use the rights of the priesthood, and the powers of heaven that are inseparably connected to them, to bless and minister to all the living creatures around you, and even to those who have died, through the work for the dead.

Priesthood Is the Antidote to “Natural Man Syndrome”

When priesthood functions as it was intended to function, as a corps of humble servants who are unable to maintain any power or influence by virtue of their priesthood office and calling, because all look upon them as title-less servants and listen to their counsel and follow their examples only to the degree that their counsel and examples square up with the scriptures, priesthood becomes an antidote to the natural disposition that men have to exercise unrighteous dominion upon others.  Only when priesthood offices and callings are lifted up in the eyes of the LDS people to the point where they give their leaders special treatment, like royalty, and they heed and “follow the brethren,” their leaders, because they have such high and holy callings, in other words, when the LDS people begin to give more weight to what a General Authority says because he is a General Authority, or more weight to what a stake president or bishop or branch president or any other president says, because of their titular callings, at that point the priesthood ceases to be the antidote and becomes, instead, the poison.  When the honors of men are found within the priesthood ranks and men begin to list the high priesthood offices they’ve held as merit badges and honorable ribbons, or as a job resume, it ceases to function as the true priesthood of God and becomes, instead, but a form of godliness, and not the real thing.

At that point, the powers of heaven will have withdrawn from these men and the work of miracles would have ceased.  No more angels, no more open visions, no more prophecies and revelations, no more miraculous power manifested.

I was answered that I must join none of them, for they were all wrong; and the Personage who addressed me said that all their creeds were an abomination in his sight; that those professors were all corrupt; that: “they draw near to me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me, they teach for doctrines the commandments of men, having a form of godliness, but they deny the power thereof.”  (JS-H 1: 19)

False Priesthoods: Royal In Nature

The transformation of the minister-servant status of priesthood into royalty status can be seen by examining how the priesthood operated during the time of Christ and how it has morphed over generations into the Catholic priesthood today.  The pope, cardinals and bishops dress, act and are treated as royalty.  Mormon priesthood appears to be following the same evolution.  Although Mormons don’t, yet, kiss their bishop’s rings (like Catholics do), Mormon priesthood leadership has many of the trappings of royalty, including getting the chief seats, partaking of the sacrament first, having people stand when a GA enters a room, etc.

How Keys are Lost (or Taken Away)

Both Mormon and Catholic priests claim a priesthood line of ordination that leads directly to Peter.  In the case of the Catholics, they claim an unbroken line of ordination to mortal Peter, while the Mormons claim an unbroken line of ordination to the angel Peter.  Each asserts that they have the keys (authority) of the priesthood, while the others do not.  The assertion, then, is that the priesthood of the other church is false because they have no keys.  So, by definition, a false priest, even though proper ordination has occurred, is one that asserts to have keys, but in reality has no keys.

A priest’s keys (authority) is immediately lost or taken away when a priest undertakes “to exercise control or dominion or compulsion upon the souls of the children of men” (D&C 121: 37) by virtue of the priesthood.  When authority is asserted because of an office of the priesthood, the Lord says, “Amen to…the authority (keys) of that man” (D&C 121: 37).

A man who has obtained the rights and keys of the priesthood, who acts in this manner, loses his keys (or has his keys taken away), becoming a false priest. For example, although the Catholic priests trace their priesthood back to Peter, they are false priests, for they assert their authority by virtue of their priesthood ordination and thus have no keys. They may have had the keys at one time, but due to wholesale, unrepentant, generational corruption, they have since lost them entirely, for you can not pass on what you no longer have.

Mormon priesthood keys can also be just as easily lost.  It matters not that one was ordained by someone with real priesthood authority who correctly conferred the rights and keys of the priesthood.  Regardless of how correct was the ordination, if priesthood is used contrary to the order of heaven, both the keys and powers of priesthood are instantly lost.  With repentence, they can be obtained again, but while a man persists in influencing others by virtue of the priesthood, that man has no valid authority and is a fraud, even a false priest.  When that happens, priesthood, in the hands of a false priest, instead of being a great blessing, becomes a curse to the people and church of God.

False priests “teach with their learning, and deny the Holy Ghost, which giveth utterance” (2 Ne. 28: 4), which makes them “false teachers.”  It is “because of false (priest) teachers” that “churches have become corrupted” (2 Ne. 28: 12).  It is important, then, to be able to discern a false from a true priest/teacher.  In this area, Jesus gave us some counsel:

Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves.  Ye shall know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes of thorns, or figs of thistles?  Even so every good tree bringeth forth good fruit; but a corrupt tree bringeth forth evil fruit.  A good tree cannot bring forth evil fruit, neither a corrupt tree bring forth good fruit.  Every tree that bringeth not forth good fruit is hewn down, and cast into the fire.  Wherefore, by their fruits ye shall know them.  (3 Ne. 14: 15-20)

This advice equally applies to false priests.  Notice that Jesus doesn’t say that “ye shall know them by their improper priesthood ordination.”  How they are ordained is not the most important thing in detecting ravening wolves.  How they use the priesthood shows them as being true or false priests.

The Priesthood and Women

It is through priesthood that men become exalted, for when they receive it, they receive Christ and the Father and all that the Father has.  This is according to the oath and covenant of the priesthood.  The doctrine of exaltation requires the union of man and woman in eternal marriage, but men must also receive the priesthood.  Women, however, obtain their exaltation by their union with their priest-husband.  A priest-husband who has received the priesthood, meaning he has become priesthood made flesh, in similitude of the Son of God, when he “cleaves to his wife,” becomes one flesh with her.  In this way, the wife shares in all of the exalting benefits of the priesthood and enters into her exaltation, just as does the husband.  This is according to the principle of charity.

The prize is the same for both of them: all that the Father has is given to her husband and to her, for she is one flesh with her husband and he is priesthood made flesh. As he has received the priesthood, and she has become one flesh with him, she has also received the priesthood.

This does not mean that she must perform the ordinances of the priesthood.  Each office of the priesthood has duties that vary from another office of the priesthood.  A deacon does not do what an elder does.  In like manner, a woman, wife and mother has duties different than any of the offices of the priesthood.  She is not ordained to these duties like a priest, for her calling begins at her birth.  She is given from the start the natural abilities and gifts needed to bear and nurture the souls of men and has no need for priesthood rights to be conferred upon her to magnify her calling.  She only needs the saving ordinances of the gospel, including the temple rites, the gift of the Holy Ghost, and the baptism of fire and of the Holy Ghost, to magnify her calling.  Nevertheless, the promise of exaltation lies with the priesthood, and for this matter she must enter into eternal marriage with a man who has received the priesthood and become one flesh with him to obtain her exaltation.

The Lord is merciful to all His daughters, as well to all His sons, and will not allow a disobedient husband who refuses to receive the priesthood to stop a wife worthy of exaltation from receiving it.  Nor will He allow a rebellious wife to prohibit her worthy-of-exaltation husband from receiving it.  Each man who justifies, purifies and sanctifies himself before God and obeys His commandments, will enter into his exaltation regardless of what his spouse does.  The same applies to women.

What Priests Really Hold

Although we “confer the priesthood,” in reality we are not conferring priesthood, but are conferring the rights to the priesthood.  The rights to the priesthood are the rights to administer the priesthood, or the rights to officiate in an office of the priesthood, meaning the rights to use the priesthood, or to speak this language of God. (See Abr. 1: 2-3, 27, 31; Abr. 2: 11; D&C 121: 36-37; D&C 107: 10-12.)  This pattern also applies to the ordinance of confirmation, in which it is said, “Receive the Holy Ghost!”  Are we really bestowing the Third Member of the Godhead upon the newly baptized member?  Of course, not.  We are merely giving them the gift of the Holy Ghost, which is the right to have the constant companionship of the Spirit.

The Key-words of the Priesthood

Facsimile #2 of the Book of Abraham has the following explanations of figures #3 and #7:

3. “representing also the grand Key-words of the Holy Priesthood”

7. “revealing through the heaven the grand Key-words of the Priesthood”

The Key-words of the priesthood are not some secret, magic words that, once known and spoken, grant the man speaking them unlimited access to the heavens and the powers thereof.  They are not secret words known only to the living prophet or Twelve apostles, or to other secret initiates.  No, the Key-words of the priesthood is the priesthood itself.

The priesthood is a language that is specific to, and spoken only by, God Himself.  It is the original tongue, the mother and father tongue, the words that brought everything into existence, including other languages (the languages of men).  The priesthood is the key-words that lock or unlock all things, or seal and unloose all things.  These are the words of power (agency), the words of authority (keys).  It is through the Key-words (the Priesthood) that every other word of God has come forth.  For example, the scriptures found in our Standard Works contain the Word of God revealed through the Key-words (Priesthood) of God.

Joseph added “of the Holy Priesthood” and “of the Priesthood” to his explanation of Key-words, because Key-words is a common term and could refer to many things.  So, he added that to indicate or clarify that he was talking of the Priesthood Key-words.  The term Key-words itself is used to indicate that the Priesthood is a language which holds authority (keys) in the universe.  Joseph says that “all to whom the Priesthood was revealed” have “the Key-words of the Holy Priesthood” revealed (see Fig. 3).  So, if you have had the Priesthood revealed to you, then you have also had the Key-words of the Priesthood revealed to you, for they are one and the same.

What Blessings Come When We Use the Priesthood Properly?

Answer: Faith, the presence of God, knowledge of God and exaltation.

Let thy bowels also be full of charity towards all men, and to the household of faith, and let virtue garnish thy thoughts unceasingly; then shall thy confidence wax strong in the presence of God; and the doctrine of the priesthood shall distil upon thy soul as the dews from heaven.  The Holy Ghost shall be thy constant companion, and thy scepter an unchanging scepter of righteousness and truth; and thy dominion shall be an everlasting dominion, and without compulsory means it shall flow unto thee forever and ever.  (D&C 121: 45-46)

The decisions of these quorums, or either of them, are to be made in all righteousness, in holiness, and lowliness of heart, meekness and long suffering, and in faith, and virtue, and knowledge, temperance, patience, godliness, brotherly kindness and charity; because the promise is, if these things abound in them they shall not be unfruitful in the knowledge of the Lord. (D&C 107: 30-31)

Now, what do we hear in the gospel which we have received? A voice of gladness! A voice of mercy from heaven; and a voice of truth out of the earth; glad tidings for the dead; a voice of gladness for the living and the dead; glad tidings of great joy. How beautiful upon the mountains are the feet of those that bring glad tidings of good things, and that say unto Zion: Behold, thy God reigneth! As the dews of Carmel, so shall the knowledge of God descend upon them!  (D&C 128: 19)

And also all they who receive this priesthood receive me, saith the Lord; for he that receiveth my servants receiveth me; and he that receiveth me receiveth my Father; and he that receiveth my Father receiveth my Father’s kingdom; therefore all that my Father hath shall be given unto him. And this is according to the oath and covenant which belongeth to the priesthood.  (D&C 84: 35-39)

Notice, also, that while the gift of the Holy Ghost gives us the right to the constant companionship of the Holy Ghost, receiving the priesthood actually causes the Holy Ghost to be one’s constant companion.  The meaning of this is that we become one (united) with God, meaning that we enter into the Godhead.  This is according to the Lord’s intercessory prayer.  (See John 17.)

Mormon Gentile Priesthood: A Temporary Measure

The priesthood given by God to the Gentile Mormons today is temporary in nature.  The first priesthood given, the Priesthood of Aaron, is a modified form of the original Priesthood of Aaron.  It has been tailored to fit the conditions (see D&C 46: 15) among the Gentile Mormons and will only remain with them until the Levites begin again to perform the Levitical Priesthood rites.

Upon you my fellow servants, in the name of Messiah I confer the Priesthood of Aaron, which holds the keys of the ministering of angels, and of the gospel of repentance, and of baptism by immersion for the remission of sins; and this shall never be taken again from the earth, until the sons of Levi do offer again an offering unto the Lord in righteousness.  (D&C 13: 1)

The second priesthood given, which is the Melchizedek Priesthood, will remain with the Gentile Mormons only until the restoration of all things, at which point it will be transferred to the tribes of Israel.

Therefore your life and the priesthood have remained, and must needs remain through you and your lineage until the restoration of all things spoken by the mouths of all the holy prophets since the world began.  (D&C 86: 10)

So, at some point in the future, the Melchizedek Priesthood will be restored to the tribes of Israel and the Levitical/Aaronic Priesthood will be restored to the Levites and the priesthoods among the Gentiles will be phased out so that Gentiles will no longer be able to obtain priesthood unless they renounce their Gentile status and become numbered with the house (tribes and Levites) of Israel.

Turn, all ye Gentiles, from your wicked ways; and repent of your evil doings, of your lyings and deceivings, and of your whoredoms, and of your secret abominations, and your idolatries, and of your murders, and your priestcrafts, and your envyings, and your strifes, and from all your wickedness and abominations, and come unto me, and be baptized in my name, that ye may receive a remission of your sins, and be filled with the Holy Ghost, that ye may be numbered with my people who are of the house of Israel. (3 Ne. 30: 2)

Next Priesthood article: An alternate view of the keys

Previous Priesthood article: Let the Aaronic Priesthood Do Home Teaching and Let the Elders Administer the Sacrament

Complete List of Articles authored by LDS Anarchist

Agency: The Single Principle of a Continuous War


Note: I found this essay while surfing the Internet this past week.  I took it from the mormon_anarchy Yahoo group.  Wake_Up posted it there on Sun Oct 6, 2000, as the seventh message and now I’m re-posting it here in a slightly edited fashion (I tried to correct some typos). I have also re-posted three more of his essays.  (See Why Father is an Anarchist, What the Priesthood Is, and Congruence vs. Obedience.)

Please keep in mind that I did not write this article. I tried to contact the author, (whose real name, according to Stirling D. Allen, is Jahnihah Wrede), but my email was returned as “Undelivered Mail Returned to Sender.”  If you want more information about him or his views, I suggest you visit his (now defunct) web site, which you can view by using the Way Back Machine.

Agency: The Single Principle of a Continuous War

Freedom of choice. Free agency. The absolute ability to choose.  Isaiah taught us about a great war in Heaven between Christ and Lucifer over which of two plans were to be implemented here on earth; one of freedom to choose to sin and repent to become congruent, and the other of compulsion to live only in obedience.  Both were presented to ‘save’ mankind. Both were based upon adherence to righteousness. Both recognized the availability of free choice prior to coming to earth, but only one attempted to violate that eternal principle. Lucifer’s plan of compelled righteousness was rejected by God, and he was cast down to earth according to Isaiah.

Today we have BOTH plans available to choose from. We are either exerting compulsion or refraining from exerting compulsion during our progression here. The principle of free agency can not be violated without violating Heaven itself for they are co-eternal (see: D&C 121 & King Follett Discourse). Lucifer’s attempt to end free agency violated eternal congruence and harmony as it always existed. His own end of congruence to those principles were available, ironically, only because he had the freedom of choice and exercised it.

According to all of Holy Writ, we have no other indication as to any other principle being of any issue or cause for this War in Heaven, except for that of free agency.

Today we have the opportunity to gravitate towards either compulsion, or freedom, as a matter of fulfilling our potential to become like Lucifer or to become like God, respectively. All of it has its foundation in the principle of freedom of choice. Without it, all of us could not experience either good or evil, and choose which one we would be congruent to, and consequently which Master we choose.

There is a grand Key in understanding free agency as a principle. It allows one to discern by what means a person or system is operating, and hence who it is they follow. If free agency is the single principle that Lucifer fell over, and caused a War to be waged in Heaven, then certainly it is a serious issue worthy of a great deal of attention and understanding.

Because agency is available to everyone, it is necessary to determine the parameters and boundaries someone’s agency extends before it violates another’s agency, else we may violate this eternal principle even as Lucifer did, and fall ourselves.

D&C 121: 34-46 (emphasis & colors, mine)

121:34 Behold, there are many called, but few are chosen. And why are they not chosen?

(Please remember the context Father is speaking in, is to the Elders & High Priests, not gentiles who don’t even read the BoM.)

121:35 Because their hearts are set so much upon the things of this world, and aspire to the honors of men, that they do not learn this ONE lesson–

121:36 That the rights of the priesthood are inseparably connected with the powers of heaven, and that the powers of heaven cannot be controlled nor handled only upon principles of righteousness.

(This means that righteousness alone – which [is] a correct attribute – is NOT the ‘controlling’ or ‘handling’ power of Heaven & Priesthood, but there IS SOMETHING ELSE.)

121:37 That they may be conferred upon us, it is true; but when we undertake to cover our sins, or to gratify our pride, our vain ambition, or to exercise control or dominion or compulsion upon the souls of the children of men, in any degree of unrighteousness, behold, the heavens withdraw themselves; the Spirit of the Lord is grieved; and when it is withdrawn, Amen to the priesthood or the authority of that man.

121:38 Behold, ere he is aware, he is left unto himself, to kick against the pricks, to persecute the saints, and to fight against God.

(He is an enemy to God at this point.)

121:39 We have learned by sad experience that it is the nature and disposition of almost all men, as soon as they get a little authority, as they suppose, they will immediately begin to exercise unrighteous dominion.

(Remember, this is spoken by Father to the High Priesthood, not to the world although the principles still apply there, too, in secular positions of ‘authority’.)

121:40 Hence many are called, but few are chosen.

Now we have the parameters within which the congruent operations of the ‘Priesthood’ can function on earth, and in Heaven. But now we need to find out what this ‘Priesthood’ is, so that we can operate it in the parameters congruent to Father’s will, and in Harmony with Heaven itself.  Continuing:

121:41 No power or influence can or ought to be maintained by virtue of the priesthood, only by persuasion, by long-suffering, by gentleness and meekness, and by love unfeigned;

(Again, “That they may be conferred upon us, it is true; but…”, in any degree of unrighteous dominion, the Priesthood is immediately withdrawn – no ‘vote’ or court hearing’ is needed – and the conference is rendered invalid for the Priesthood is WITHDRAWN, and no man may by mere name of the ‘office’ – BY ‘VIRTUE’ – they now hold ultra vires officiate or exercise any authority without blaspheming Father, and condemning themselves.)

121:42 By kindness, and pure knowledge, which shall greatly enlarge the soul without hypocrisy, and without guile–

121:43 Reproving betimes with sharpness, when moved upon by the Holy Ghost; and then showing forth afterwards an increase of love toward him whom thou has reproved, lest he esteem thee to be his enemy;

(This is an excellent verse, but it distracts from the focus of the attributes themselves, and their POWER, so try reading past this verse a few times before letting it enlighten you with it’s rich intent)

121:44 That he may know that thy faithfulness (Charity) is stronger than the cords of death.

(Faith is an attribute of Charity, and Charity never faileth, so ‘faithfulness’ does not convey the intent as accurately as ‘Charity’ does.)

121:45 Let thy bowels also be full of charity towards all men, and to the household of faith, and let virtue garnish thy thoughts unceasingly; then shall thy confidence wax strong in the presence of God; and the doctrine of the priesthood shall distill upon thy soul as the dews from heaven.

(These verses are the beginning of the ‘doctrine of the priesthood’.)

121:46 The Holy Ghost shall be thy constant companion, and thy scepter an unchanging scepter of righteousness and truth; and thy dominion shall be an everlasting dominion, and without compulsory means it shall flow unto thee forever and ever.

In this is contained the fallacy of ‘obedience’ and ‘righteousness’ as the sole means whereby typical ‘Priesthood leaders’ rely to exert their will. It is time to uncover that darkness with Light and Truth.  Congruence and Free agency in operating Priesthood is the only way Father allows, withstanding all the traditions of men – be they called ‘prophets, seers, or revelators,’ or ‘president, father, or patriarch’.

To ignore this is to deny that Eternal foundation upon which men may become even as He is. This single principle of free agency is what the War in Heaven is fought over, and continues even now, because upon it hinges the Priesthood, it’s Rights, and Power both in Heaven and on Earth. They are all as Eternal as the rest, but to destroy free agency is to destroy everything; including saving every living soul without compulsory means.

Holding fast to free agency FIRST, and applying Priesthood only in the manner described above shall ensure being congruent to Father, for this is how He is Himself. Just as stated above, any degree – which includes INTENT – of violation of free agency, will IMMEDIATELY result as if they never had Priesthood in the first place, but because they HAD IT, and violated the covenant and Trust inherent in using it, they are accountable and left unto themselves as an ENEMY to God, until they fully repent.

There are only two verses of scripture that are identical, excepting ONE WORD, when discussing being an ‘enemy’ to God.

“Satan is an enemy to God….”
“Carnal man is an enemy to God…”

[Note by LDS Anarchist: the scripture being referred to appears to be Mosiah 16: 5.  There are other scriptures, though, that also speak of being an enemy to God.]

In this light, on a personal level of understanding, the ‘man of sin (enemy to God) revealed in the Temple (body) of God’ IS the man/woman who violates the free agency of another, and repents not; being that the principle of free agency is the discerning Key to true or false Priesthood. Hence the War in Heaven continues with every choice; yea, even every intent of a man/woman’s heart. We wage war inside of ourselves to obtain congruence, and we manifest that outwardly in all of our choices. Are we violating free agency and thereby becoming an enemy to God as Satan? OR, are we taking seriously the weightiness of all our intents and choices, being careful to truly allow all men/women their agency, and thereby keep from falling and able to hold fast to the Holy Priesthood, and have the Holy Ghost as our constant companion?

I suspect a very serious and honest introspection is long overdue upon this one issue. I hope that we are filled with Charity to overcome the temptation to deny the strong delusion we’ve deeply slept under, in condemnation, and to fully repent of the awful situation that has come upon us to ourselves personally, and also to the world affected by the choices we each have made, that we are reconciled to the Father, that we are seen to BE even as He is: congruent.

Wake_Up

Previous Guest Contributor article: Congruence vs. Obedience

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3 Nephi 21, expounded


This is my understanding of this chapter, expounded verse by verse, beginning with the chapter heading.

The chapter heading

The chapter heading reads as follows:

Israel shall be gathered when the Book of Mormon comes forth—The Gentiles shall be established as a free people in America—They shall be saved if they believe and obey; otherwise they shall be cut off and destroyed—Israel shall build the New Jerusalem, and the lost tribes shall return. [A.D. 34]

For the most part, whoever wrote this heading got it right.  However, the first statement is incorrect.  Israel shall not be gathered when the Book of Mormon comes forth.  The Book of Mormon came forth (or was published) in 1830.  That was about 179 years ago.  Now, ask yourself, during the past 179 years, was/is Israel gathered?  (The answer is no.)  How about the church?  Is the church in a gathered or scattered state presently?  (The answer is scattered.)  So, this heading is obviously incorrect.

Verse 1 – A sign unto the remnant of Jacob

And verily I say unto you, I give unto you a sign, that ye may know the time when these things shall be about to take place—that I shall gather in, from their long dispersion, my people, O house of Israel, and shall establish again among them my Zion;

“these things” — The Lord here is talking about the gathering, in which Israel is restored to the lands of their inheritance and Zion is established among them.  The sign will show to the remnant of Jacob that the gathering of Israel and the establishment of Zion is about to take place. In other words, the sign occurs first, the gathering of Israel and establishment of Zion occurs second. (The Lord began talking about this gathering in 3 Nephi 20.)  Note: the description of the sign takes up seven verses (3 Nephi 21: 1-7.)

Verse 2 – The unabridged record of the Savior’s Nephite ministry

And behold, this is the thing which I will give unto you for a sign—for verily I say unto you that when these things which I declare unto you, and which I shall declare unto you hereafter of myself, and by the power of the Holy Ghost which shall be given unto you of the Father, shall be made known unto the Gentiles that they may know concerning this people who are a remnant of the house of Jacob, and concerning this my people who shall be scattered by them;

“these things which I declare unto you, and which I shall declare unto you hereafter of myself, and by the power of the Holy Ghost which shall be given unto you of the Father” — The “these things” referred to by the Savior is not the abridgment of the Savior’s Nephite ministry which we have in the Book of Mormon, which apparently was the assumption made by whoever wrote the chapter heading, but the unabridged record found on the Large Plates of Nephi.

“shall be made known unto the Gentiles” — The unabridged record of the Savior’s ministry among the Nephites is to first go to the Gentiles.

Verse 3 – Unabridged record goes first to Gentiles

Verily, verily, I say unto you, when these things shall be made known unto them of the Father, and shall come forth of the Father, from them unto you;

“from them unto you” — The unabridged record is to first come forth and be shown to the Gentiles and then the Gentiles will bring it to the remnant of Jacob.

Verse 4 – Anarchy must reign among Gentiles

For it is wisdom in the Father that they should be established in this land, and be set up as a free people by the power of the Father, that these things might come forth from them unto a remnant of your seed, that the covenant of the Father may be fulfilled which he hath covenanted with his people, O house of Israel;

“established in this land” — At some point the Gentiles would come into the land and become established here.  This has already occurred.

“be set up as a free people by the power of the Father” — The government of the Gentiles would be broken up at some point and they would be brought into tribal anarchy.  This is still a future event. Some have assumed that this event referred to the establishment of the Constitution of the United States and the independence of Americans from Great Britain.  However, the Lord here is talking about the Second Act (the Strange Act), not the First Act.

“that these things might come forth” — Tribal anarchy must first come to the Gentiles because their system of government and their man-made laws are incompatible with the laws of the Savior given in the unabridged record of his Nephite ministry.  The Lord’s people would not be able to live the laws in that record while under the Gentile governmental system because that system would prohibit them from doing so.  So, the order of the prophecy is that first the Gentiles come here and establish themselves (erecting their own forms of government), then their governments are broken up and they enter into the freedom of tribal anarchy, and finally the unabridged record comes forth.

“a free people” — Here are some other prophecies that speak of the same time and event when the Gentiles shall become a free people:

“And it shall come to pass, after many days, slaves shall rise up against their masters, who shall be marshaled and disciplined for war.”  (D&C 87: 4)

“Wherefore, hear my voice and follow me, and you shall be a free people, and ye shall have no laws but my laws when I come, for I am your lawgiver, and what can stay my hand?”  (D&C 38: 22)

Verse 5 – Unabridged record taken by Gentiles to remnant of Jacob

Therefore, when these works and the works which shall be wrought among you hereafter shall come forth from the Gentiles, unto your seed which shall dwindle in unbelief because of iniquity;

“these works and the works which shall be wrought among you hereafter” — This refers to the unabridged record.

Verse 6 – Gentiles given a last chance to repent

For thus it behooveth the Father that it should come forth from the Gentiles, that he may show forth his power unto the Gentiles, for this cause that the Gentiles, if they will not harden their hearts, that they may repent and come unto me and be baptized in my name and know of the true points of my doctrine, that they may be numbered among my people, O house of Israel;

“that they may be numbered among my people” — This is the final chance of the Gentiles to peacefully repent, prior to the gathering of Israel.  If they believe the unabridged record and repent, they become Israelites and are gathered with the remnant.  If they do not believe the record, they are to be bound into bundles and burned.  Everything hinges upon the reaction to the unabridged record.  Nephi had view of this last, unabridged record coming forth when he wrote:

For the time cometh, saith the Lamb of God, that I will work a great and a marvelous work among the children of men; a work which shall be everlasting, either on the one hand or on the other—either to the convincing of them unto peace and life eternal, or unto the deliverance of them to the hardness of their hearts and the blindness of their minds unto their being brought down into captivity, and also into destruction, both temporally and spiritually, according to the captivity of the devil, of which I have spoken.  (1 Nephi 14: 7)

When Nephi wrote the following, he had view of the numbering of Israel in that day when the unabridged record (and other records which will come forth) would be shown to the Gentiles and Jews:

For behold, I say unto you that as many of the Gentiles as will repent are the covenant people of the Lord; and as many of the Jews as will not repent shall be cast off; for the Lord covenanteth with none save it be with them that repent and believe in his Son, who is the Holy One of Israel.  (2 Nephi 30: 2)

Verse 7 – When remnant receives unabridged record, it will be a sign to them

And when these things come to pass that thy seed shall begin to know these things—it shall be a sign unto them, that they may know that the work of the Father hath already commenced unto the fulfilling of the covenant which he hath made unto the people who are of the house of Israel.

Verse 8 – The reaction of kings

And when that day shall come, it shall come to pass that kings shall shut their mouths; for that which had not been told them shall they see; and that which they had not heard shall they consider.

“when that day shall come” — The day referred to here is the day that the remnant of Israel receives the unabridged record, which is the day that the sign is manifest.

“it shall come to pass” — This is after the sign is manifest.

“kings shall shut their mouths” — The Savior here is paraphrasing Isaiah 52: 15, which says:

So shall he sprinkle many nations; the kings shall shut their mouths at him: for that which had not been told them shall they see; and that which they had not heard shall they consider.

The reason why the kings will be so awed into silence is because they will witness the gathering of Israel, which must come by the miraculous power of the Father.

Verse 9 – The marvelous work occurs during this time period, not before

For in that day, for my sake shall the Father work a work, which shall be a great and a marvelous work among them; and there shall be among them those who will not believe it, although a man shall declare it unto them.

“in that day” — The day referred to here is the day that the unabridged record comes forth.  The Lord here is referring to the Second Act (the Strange Act).  The First Act is when the Book of Mormon comes forth, which is a preparatory (D&C 133: 58 ) record.  It is the Strange Second Act which is known as the great and marvelous work, or the marvelous work and a wonder, etc., not the First Act.

“and there shall be among them those who will not believe it” — Despite the convincing power of the unabridged record (see 1 Nephi 14: 7) and the many signs and manifestations of the power of God, as well as the testimony of prophets, leaving them without excuse, there will be many who will disbelieve the record.

“although a man shall declare it unto them” — Prophets will again be in the land.

Verse 10 – Angels and messengers of heaven will be sent

But behold, the life of my servant shall be in my hand; therefore they shall not hurt him, although he shall be marred because of them. Yet I will heal him, for I will show unto them that my wisdom is greater than the cunning of the devil.

“my servant” — The Savior is here expounding upon Isaiah 52: 13-14.  Although the noun is singular, it encompasses every Elias that will participate in gathering Israel and restoring all things, including the Elias who heads up this dispensation.  Isaiah 52: 7, although singular, is read the same way:

How beautiful upon the mountains are the feet of him that bringeth good tidings, that publisheth peace; that bringeth good tidings of good, that publisheth salvation; that saith unto Zion, Thy God reigneth!

Verse 11 – Already expounded here

Verses 12 and 13 -Unrepentant Gentiles shall be vexed by remnant of Jacob

And my people who are a remnant of Jacob shall be among the Gentiles, yea, in the midst of them as a lion among the beasts of the forest, as a young lion among the flocks of sheep, who, if he go through both treadeth down and teareth in pieces, and none can deliver.  Their hand shall be lifted up upon their adversaries, and all their enemies shall be cut off.

This will happen after the Gentiles reject the words of Christ found in the unabridged record.  This is to stir them up to repentance.  The Lord has used the Lamanites in this manner before.  (See 2 Nephi 5: 25.)  Another prophecy that talks of the same event is found here:

And it shall come to pass also that the remnants who are left of the land will marshal themselves, and shall become exceedingly angry, and shall vex the Gentiles with a sore vexation.  (D&C 87: 5)

(Not all Gentiles, though, will reject the words of Christ.  The above will only happen to those Gentiles who are unrepentant and reject the Lord’s words.  The other Gentiles, who repent, become numbered with Israel and gathered.)

Verses 14 to 21 – Utter destruction upon the still unrepentant Gentiles

Yea, wo be unto the Gentiles except they repent; for it shall come to pass in that day, saith the Father, that I will cut off thy horses out of the midst of thee, and I will destroy thy chariots; and I will cut off the cities of thy land, and throw down all thy strongholds; and I will cut off witchcrafts out of thy land, and thou shalt have no more soothsayers; thy graven images I will also cut off, and thy standing images out of the midst of thee, and thou shalt no more worship the works of thy hands; and I will pluck up thy groves out of the midst of thee; so will I destroy thy cities.

And it shall come to pass that all lyings, and deceivings, and envyings, and strifes, and priestcrafts, and whoredoms, shall be done away.

For it shall come to pass, saith the Father, that at that day whosoever will not repent and come unto my Beloved Son, them will I cut off from among my people, O house of Israel; and I will execute vengeance and fury upon them, even as upon the heathen, such as they have not heard.

“wo be unto the Gentiles except they repent — After the vexation, which will be to stir the Gentiles up to repentance, which will be their very last chance to turn from their evil ways, the Gentiles who still remain unrepentant will be destroyed.

“whosoever will not repent” — This destruction will come upon the unrepentant among both the Jews and Gentiles.  It will be even according to Nephi’s words in 2 Nephi 30: 2.

Verse 22 – Establishment of church and covenant people of the Lord

But if they will repent and hearken unto my words, and harden not their hearts, I will establish my church among them, and they shall come in unto the covenant and be numbered among this the remnant of Jacob, unto whom I have given this land for their inheritance;

“establish my church among them” — The repentant Gentiles, for this verse is speaking of the Gentiles, who believe the unabridged record will become the church of the Lamb of God spoken of by Nephi (see 1 Nephi 14) and will be numbered with with Israel and become part of the covenant (to be gathered) that the Father made with Israel.  This land (America) will be their land of gathering.

Verse 23 – The repentant Gentiles will assist the remnant of Jacob in building the New Jerusalem, not the other way around

And they shall assist my people, the remnant of Jacob, and also as many of the house of Israel as shall come, that they may build a city, which shall be called the New Jerusalem.

“they shall assist my people” — It is commonly thought among LDS that it will be the Lamanites who assist the Gentile LDS to build the New Jerusalem, despite what the Savior says here.  In other words, that the LDS will be the chief builders of the New Jerusalem while the Lamanites will be their helpers.  This is because interpreters of this scripture cannot see that conditions will change among men and that this scripture will be literally fulfilled, as it is written.  The converted Lamanites and others of the house of Israel (by lineage) will be the chief builders of the New Jerusalem, while the Gentile converts (Israelites by adoption) will be their assistants.

“that they may build a city” — The New Jerusalem will be built prior to the Lord’s Second Coming, not after as many LDS believe.  It must and will be built first, before the Israelites are gathered in under the Lord’s wings, as a place of refuge and defense from the storms that will usher in the Lord’s Second Coming.

Verse 24 -The Gentiles will assist the remnant of Jacob in gathering those scattered

And then shall they assist my people that they may be gathered in, who are scattered upon all the face of the land, in unto the New Jerusalem.

This work of gathering happens after the New Jerusalem is built, not before.  All of these events occur prior to the Lord’s Second Coming.

Verse 25 -The saints will be endowed with power and enter into presence of the Lord

And then shall the power of heaven come down among them; and I also will be in the midst.

This is when the following scripture will be fulfilled:

And it shall be called the New Jerusalem, a land of peace, a city of refuge, a place of safety for the saints of the Most High God; and the glory of the Lord shall be there, and the terror of the Lord also shall be there, insomuch that the wicked will not come unto it, and it shall be called Zion.

And it shall come to pass among the wicked, that every man that will not take his sword against his neighbor must needs flee unto Zion for safety.

And there shall be gathered unto it out of every nation under heaven; and it shall be the only people that shall not be at war one with another.

And it shall be said among the wicked: Let us not go up to battle against Zion, for the inhabitants of Zion are terrible; wherefore we cannot stand.

And it shall come to pass that the righteous shall be gathered out from among all nations, and shall come to Zion, singing with songs of everlasting joy.

For when the Lord shall appear he shall be terrible unto them, that fear may seize upon them, and they shall stand afar off and tremble.

And all nations shall be afraid because of the terror of the Lord, and the power of his might. Even so. Amen.  (D&C 45: 66-71, 74-75)

Verse 26 – Back to the sign, the lost tribes of Israel

And then shall the work of the Father commence at that day, even when this gospel shall be preached among the remnant of this people. Verily I say unto you, at that day shall the work of the Father commence among all the dispersed of my people, yea, even the tribes which have been lost, which the Father hath led away out of Jerusalem.

“at that day” — The Lord here is coming back to the sign.  The day He is indicating is the day that the unabridged record goes to the remnant of Jacob.

“among all the dispersed of my people, yea, even the tribes which have been lost” — The Lost Ten Tribes must return with their prophets and their scriptures before the Lord’s Second Coming.  Nephi spoke of this in 2 Nephi 29.  The gathering of Israel, all of Israel, will occur prior to the Lord’s advent.

Verse 27 – First, Israel to be restored to Christ

Yea, the work shall commence among all the dispersed of my people, with the Father to prepare the way whereby they may come unto me, that they may call on the Father in my name.

“all the dispersed of my people” — This is Israel in its scattered state, prior to the gathering.

“with the Father to prepare the way” — The Book of Mormon and events of the First act are part of that preparation.

“whereby they may come unto me, that they may call on the Father in my name” — The records that go forth to the scattered Israelites will convert them to Christ.

Verse 28 – Second, converted Israelites to be restored (gathered) to lands of inheritance

Yea, and then shall the work commence, with the Father among all nations in preparing the way whereby his people may be gathered home to the land of their inheritance.

The gathering does not occur until Israel is converted to Christ.  Only after their conversion does the Father covenant to gather them, not before. (See 2 Nephi 30: 2.)  Once they are in the covenant, and have accepted the new records, they will be gathered.

“with the Father among all nations in preparing the way” — Again, the First Act is a preparatory act, but there will be a further preparation during the Second Act.

Verse 29 – The Gathering

And they shall go out from all nations; and they shall not go out in haste, nor go by flight, for I will go before them, saith the Father, and I will be their rearward.

I think that verse is fairly plain.  No exposition needed, except maybe to say that the gathering will not occur by car or plane (“not go out in haste, nor go by flight.”)

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