The Proclamation: An Appeal for Prayer


Another president-elect: here we go again

Five elections left—Between now and April of 2033, there are five presidential elections left.

Date: Nov. 2016 Nov. 2020 Nov. 2024 Nov. 2028 Nov. 2032 Apr. 2033
Approximate Number of Years Left of 6th Thousand Years 16 ½ 12 ½ 8 ½ 4 ½ ½ 0

The Proclamation still has not gone forth

Back in 2008, I gained the understanding that the proclamation commanded by the Lord in D&C 124 to be made by Joseph Smith “to all the kings of the world, to the four corners thereof, to the honorable president-elect, and the high-minded governors of the nation in which you live, and to all the nations of the earth scattered abroad” (D&C 124:3), still had to be issued by Joseph Smith and given to some president-elect of the nation under the U.S. Constitution. Joseph Smith never made that proclamation because he died before he could do so, so the Twelve Apostles wrote up their own proclamation in 1845 to obey the instructions found in that revelation. Their proclamation, though, was addressed to “all the King’s of the World; To the President of the United States of America;  To the Governors of the several States; And to the Rulers and People of all Nations.” Most Mormons would say that the deed was fully done as the apostles had the keys of the kingdom of heaven, and I would have agreed with that assessment, except that, as I said, in 2008 I got a new understanding, which indicated that Joseph Smith needed to come back from the dead and make that proclamation still. Not to a President of the United States, but to a president-elect of the United States.

2008 was an election year and Barack Obama was the new president-elect, so I wondered and waited and watched to see if Joseph Smith, newly risen from the dead, would show up and issue the proclamation. In January of 2009 I even received a manifested belief that Joseph Smith was now back in the flesh somewhere. This manifestation served to increase my anticipation of the release of the proclamation, but Joseph never showed up.  After the botched swearing in ceremony, in which President Obama could still, technically, be called the president-elect, I still continued to wait and watch. Eight years have now gone by and no proclamation has been made. There has been a suggestion that maybe it was issued in secret or privately, but I do not believe that. There is no evidence, whatsoever, that Joseph has returned or that the proclamation was issued to president-elect Obama. So, the prophecy remains unfulfilled.

This turns my attention, then, to the next five presidential elections.

I didn’t know

In 2008 I didn’t know anything about the Josephite, nor about the future Confederacy, nor about the April 2033 date for the end of the 6th thousand years, nor about the need for Joseph Smith to appoint Joseph-Nephi as his successor. A lot of new information, and clarification, about the prophecies has come forth in the last eight years. Back in 2008 I thought that Joseph Smith would make the proclamation, being sent only by the Lord. Now, however, having learned about the Josephite, it is my understanding that when the Josephite is empowered, Joseph Smith will appear to him and appoint him as his successor, and then the Josephite will send Joseph Smith to make the proclamation. So, the proclamation cannot go forth until the Josephite is empowered.

While the proclamation waits for the Josephite, the Confederacy waits for the proclamation. So, a New set of Articles of Confederation (NAC) cannot be installed until Joseph Smith makes the proclamation to a president-elect of the nation under the United States Constitution (for there is no president-elect under the NAC.) The proclamation is all important because it will prophesy of the future events of the 6th thousand years (and perhaps also of the 7th thousand years), that concern the kingdoms and nations of the world.

Let it be written in the spirit of meekness and by the power of the Holy Ghost, which shall be in you at the time of the writing of the same; for it shall be given you by the Holy Ghost to know my will concerning those kings and authorities, even what shall befall them in a time to come.  (D&C 124:4-5)

This leaves them all “without excuse” (D&C 124:7), for they will know exactly what will happen and the consequences of their actions.

Given the great number of things that must occur between now and April of 2033, and the fact that it all starts with the empowerment of the Josephite and the release of Joseph Smith’s proclamation—which must be issued to a president-elect of the U.S. Constitution—that leaves only the aforementioned five elections as possible times the proclamation can be issued.

Narrowing it down to one

There are approximately 16 ½ years left of the 6th thousand years. According to my understanding, here are some of the things that have to happen in this time frame—(not listed in chronological order) : The Josephite must be empowered; The Proclamation must be made by Joseph Smith to the president-elect under the U.S. Constitution; The State of Israel must cease to exist; The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints must be broken up (by an earthquake); The Book of the Lamb of God must appear; The Church of the Lamb of God must be established; The United States of America must be established as a Confederacy; The promised land must be fortified; The Great and Abominable Church must be formed; The Great and Abominable Church must remove many plain and precious parts from the Book of the Lamb of God; The saints of God must be brought down into captivity by the Great and Abominable Church; The Gentiles must go out of captivity to the promised land; The Remnant must be scattered and smitten; A great war must occur between the nations of the world and the Gentiles on the promised land; The Gentiles must stumble; The Book of Mormon and Small Plates of Nephi must be re-translated; The Large Plates of Nephi, the Plates of Brass, and the Plates of Ether must be translated; The world must split into two churches; Zion must be redeemed; The House of Israel must begin to gather; The first six seals must be opened via the translation of 6/7 parts of the Sealed Portion; The Josephite must perform all the work for the dead (of the first 4000 years) and resurrect these people prior to 1823, changing the past; The 144,000 must be sealed; Wars must ensue among the wicked; Saints must be martyred; The Sun must turn black, the moon to blood, the stars fall, and mountains and islands must be moved out of their places; etc.

Right off the bat the fifth election can be crossed off. 2032 leaves only half a year, which is not enough time for all these many prophecies to be fulfilled. Even the third (2024) and fourth (2028) strike me as too little time (8 ½ and 4 ½ years, respectively.) That leaves this year (2016, giving about 16 ½ years) and the next presidential election (2020, giving 12 ½ years.) Of the two dates, my mind cannot help but think it must be 2016.

16 ½ years seems to me to be the perfect amount of time to accomplish everything. It can be broken down into three parts. First, there is half a year. In this period of time, the Josephite can be empowered, Joseph can issue the proclamation (before the swearing in ceremony in January of 2017), and the Confederacy can be installed by April of 2017. That gives us a full decade (ten years) under the NAC, from April 2017 to April 2027, in which all of the prophecies can be fulfilled minus the opening of the six seals. The last six years, then, are reserved for the opening of the seals, one seal opened per year.

Again, it seems to me that God would give the Gentiles no less than a decade (ten years) to repent, before He started opening the seals. That invalidates the 2024, 2028 and 2032 elections, because they don’t even leave ten years. Also, it seems to me that God would open one seal per year, requiring an additional six years. That invalidates the 2020 election. Which leaves this year’s election (2016) as the likeliest time when the proclamation would be made.

I may be the only one

I may be the only one that believes all this stuff. If so, then this post will have no effect, whatsoever. If, however, there are others who believe these things, then I will speak to those who believe, and perhaps some good will come of the post.

To the believers: let’s empower the Josephite

I don’t know about you, but I am tired of the status quo. I’m dying for the Josephite to be empowered, for the proclamation to go forth, for the Confederacy to be established, for the new scriptures to be translated, for the angels to start descending from heaven, for the miracles to start happening and for the prophecies to be fulfilled. Yet it all begins with the empowerment of the Josephite. There is an ideal window of about three months, between now and December, in which if he gets empowered, the proclamation can go forth and the prophecies can start to be fulfilled and we won’t have to wait until the next election in 2020.

So, let’s pray for this guy. Let’s pray that he gets empowered NOW. Let’s pray that the proclamation goes out to the president-elect this year.

It may be that the Josephite is even weaker than first thought. It may be that he needs our daily prayers and supplications, perhaps even our fasting. Pouring out our souls to God in his behalf day and night wouldn’t hurt, either. It may be that the hold up isn’t the Josephite. The hold up may be us. There are scriptural precedents for all these things.

And behold, their prayers were also in behalf of him that the Lord should suffer to bring these things forth.  (Morm. 8:25)

The ancients knew that the Josephite would be raised up and would accomplish his mission, yet they still prayed for him. How many of us believing in him are doing the same? God received the prayers of His ancient saints in behalf of His miracle-working seer. Has He received the same from His modern saints? Perhaps God requires of us the same offering of prayers that was given by the ancient saints before He empowers His seer.

We know Jesus is coming back, and yet the saints of the future will be praying for it anyway:

Calling upon the name of the Lord day and night, saying:

O that thou wouldst rend the heavens, that thou wouldst come down, that the mountains might flow down at thy presence.

And it shall be answered upon their heads; for the presence of the Lord shall be as the melting fire that burneth, and as the fire which causeth the waters to boil.  (D&C 133:40-41)

James taught:

The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much.  (James 5:16)

This is increased when there are more people involved.

Verily, verily, I say unto you, as I said unto my disciples, where two or three are gathered together in my name, as touching one thing, behold, there will I be in the midst of them—even so am I in the midst of you.  (D&C 6:32)

For verily I say, as ye have assembled yourselves together according to the commandment wherewith I commanded you, and are agreed as touching this one thing, and have asked the Father in my name, even so ye shall receive.  (D&C 42:3)

In this case, the one thing touched, upon which all are agreed, is the empowerment of the Josephite in the next few months. When groups of people do this, God takes notice and action.

And again, I say unto you that ye shall not go until ye have preached my gospel in those parts, and have strengthened up the church whithersoever it is found, and more especially in Colesville; for, behold, they pray unto me in much faith.  (D&C 37:2)

Behold, verily, verily, I say unto you, that the people in Ohio call upon me in much faith, thinking I will stay my hand in judgment upon the nations, but I cannot deny my word.  (D&C 39:16)

The saints were instructed to uphold Joseph Smith, and also the First Presidency, by the prayer of faith.

And if ye desire the glories of the kingdom, appoint ye my servant Joseph Smith, Jun., and uphold him before me by the prayer of faith.  (D&C 43:12)

Of the Melchizedek Priesthood, three Presiding High Priests, chosen by the body, appointed and ordained to that office, and upheld by the confidence, faith, and prayer of the church, form a quorum of the Presidency of the Church.  (107:22)

This same principle may apply to the Josephite.

According to my understanding, the Josephite is already among the LDS population, but maybe because no one is upholding him by the prayer of faith, the Lord is leaving him in his weakness. This accords to the law and doctrine of deliverance, which requires exact obedience to the deliverer, by those being delivered. If we do not do what the Josephite (who is a deliverer) says, with exactness, the Lord will not empower him to deliver us. The Josephite hasn’t said anything, for he is unknown, but the fact that he is among the people already may put the law of deliverance into effect, through our prayers.

So, let’s cause the Lord to empower him by praying to God in much faith, and get the end time events started.

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Recent Thoughts on the Prophecies


Here are some of my recent thoughts on different prophecies.

Gathered together

And I looked and beheld a man among the Gentiles, who was separated from the seed of my brethren by the many waters; and I beheld the Spirit of God, that it came down and wrought upon the man; and he went forth upon the many waters, even unto the seed of my brethren, who were in the promised land.  (1 Ne. 13:12)

When I read this passage, I cannot help but think that the Indian tribes seem gathered together in one, central location, such as the place of the first treaties for the Five Civilized Tribes and other Indians living east of the Mississippi River, in which the Indians were removed to west of that river.

1280px-trails_of_tears_en

Article X, Section 3 of the New Articles of Confederation allows for just such a scenario, which would bring us back to 1830 in the timeline, putting the Indians exactly back where they were when Joseph Smith received his revelations.

Captivity and bondage

Wherefore, Joseph truly saw our day. And he obtained a promise of the Lord, that out of the fruit of his loins the Lord God would raise up a righteous branch unto the house of Israel; not the Messiah, but a branch which was to be broken off, nevertheless, to be remembered in the covenants of the Lord that the Messiah should be made manifest unto them in the latter days, in the spirit of power, unto the bringing of them out of darkness unto light—yea, out of hidden darkness and out of captivity unto freedom.  (2 Ne. 3:5)

My understanding of this passage is that the remnant will be literally in captivity. It may be their scattering will be due to some rebellion on their part, and into prison they will go. And thus the spiritual and physical prisoners will go free, fulfilling Isaiah’s prophecy:

To open the blind eyes, to bring out the prisoners from the prison, and them that sit in darkness out of the prison house.  (Isa. 42:7)

The saints also, at some point, will be in bondage

Behold, I say unto you, the redemption of Zion must needs come by power; therefore, I will raise up unto my people a man, who shall lead them like as Moses led the children of Israel. For ye are the children of Israel, and of the seed of Abraham, and ye must needs be led out of bondage by power, and with a stretched-out arm. And as your fathers were led at the first, even so shall the redemption of Zion be.  (D&C 103:15-18)

and in captivity:

And the angel said unto me:

Behold the formation of a church which is most abominable above all other churches, which slayeth the saints of God, yea, and tortureth them and bindeth them down, and yoketh them with a yoke of iron, and bringeth them down into captivity.  (1 Ne. 13:5)

The Josephite will act as a deliverer of many of these people, though the blood of many saints will still be shed, per both Nephi’s and John’s testimony of martyrs among the saints.

“much of my gospel”

And it came to pass that the angel of the Lord spake unto me, saying:

Behold,

saith the Lamb of God,

after I have visited the remnant of the house of Israel—and this remnant of whom I speak is the seed of thy father—wherefore, after I have visited them in judgment, and smitten them by the hand of the Gentiles, and after the Gentiles do stumble exceedingly, because of the most plain and precious parts of the gospel of the Lamb which have been kept back by that abominable church, which is the mother of harlots,

saith the Lamb

—I will be merciful unto the Gentiles in that day, insomuch that I will bring forth unto them, in mine own power, much of my gospel, which shall be plain and precious,

saith the Lamb.  (1 Ne. 13:34)

The Book of Mormon is always referred to as a “part” or as “parts” of the Lord’s gospel.

And, behold, all the remainder of this work does contain all those parts of my gospel which my holy prophets, yea, and also my disciples, desired in their prayers should come forth unto this people.

….

And now, behold, according to their faith in their prayers will I bring this part of my gospel to the knowledge of my people. Behold, I do not bring it to destroy that which they have received, but to build it up.  (D&C 10:46,52)

Also, it is referred to as a “lesser part.”

And these things have I written, which are a lesser part of the things which he taught the people; and I have written them to the intent that they may be brought again unto this people, from the Gentiles, according to the words which Jesus hath spoken.  (3 Ne. 26:8)

Although we have the fulness of the gospel, it is only of these parts, not of the other parts (that we don’t have.) In other words, we have a fulness of the gospel parts that the Lord has currently given us. This applies equally to the Doctrine and Covenants and other scriptures we have. So, “much of my gospel” can only refer to the records that still need to come forth.

The records that must appear

The Josephite will need to retranslate the Small Plates of Nephi, to make the language “strong.”

Because of their faith their words shall proceed forth out of my mouth unto their brethren who are the fruit of thy loins; and the weakness of their words will I make strong in their faith, unto the remembering of my covenant which I made unto thy fathers.  (2 Ne. 3:21)

And the words which I have written in weakness will be made strong unto them  (2 Ne. 33:4)

He will need to retranslate the Book of Mormon (to make the language strong) and also restore the Book of Lehi (the lost 116 manuscript pages) to the text. This will fulfill the prophecies concerning the Book of Mormon coming forth. (See, for example, 2 Ne. 3 and 2 Ne. 27.) He will need to translate the Large Plates of Nephi. This will fulfill the Savior’s prophecy, recorded in 3 Ne. 21. He will need to translate the Plates of Brass. This will fulfill Lehi’s prophecy, made in 1 Ne. 5, and Alma’s prophecy, made in Alma 37. And he will need to translate the Plates of Ether (leaving out the vision of the brother of Jared.) This will fulfill Alma’s prophecy, found in Alma 37.

When must these records appear?

They must appear within the 6th thousand years, which ends in April of 2033. In other words, they must come forth sometime in the next 16 and a half years. These records constitute “much of my gospel” and also the “other books” (1 Ne. 13:39) that Nephi saw coming forth.

The Sealed Portion

The Sealed Portion of the Plates of Mormon will be translated after these other records appear. The first group of “other books” (which is everything mentioned above minus the Sealed Portion) will cause the remnant and many Gentiles to repent, to become sanctified and to exercise faith “even as the brother of Jared did” (Ether 4:7.) When that happens, the first part of the Sealed Portion, or first seal, dealing with the 1st thousand years, will be translated by the Josephite. Thus the restoration of all things will begin in earnest, consisting of seven parts, or seals, in which all things begin to be revealed. The first part of the Sealed Portion will trigger the events spoken of by John in Revelation 6, with wars going out among the wicked.

The book “sealed with seven seals,” seen by John in Revelation 5:1; the “vision of all,” which is “the words of a book that is sealed,” seen by Isaiah in Isaiah 29:11; and the Sealed Portion of the Plates of Mormon, are one and the same book. The Sealed Portion of the plates is “sealed by the power of God” (2 Ne. 27:10), therefore only God can open it. Which He will do, as John saw in Revelation 5 and 6, and then the Josephite will translate it and make it available to the saints.

When will these things occur?

The first six parts of the Sealed Portion get loosed and translated in the 6th thousand years, so sometime in the next 16 and a half years. The seventh part gets translated in the 7th thousand years. In other words, after April of 2033. Joseph Smith needs to come back and appoint his successor, Joseph-Nephi, because Joseph Smith alone holds the keys to the Sealed Portion, and the Josephite needs those keys to accomplish his mission.

And I have given unto him the keys of the mystery of those things which have been sealed, even things which were from the foundation of the world, and the things which shall come from this time until the time of my coming, if he abide in me, and if not, another will I plant in his stead.  (D&C 35:18)

When the Sealed Portion gets read upon the house tops

And the day cometh that the words of the book which were sealed shall be read upon the house tops; and they shall be read by the power of Christ; and all things shall be revealed unto the children of men which ever have been among the children of men, and which ever will be even unto the end of the earth.  (2 Ne. 27:11)

This occurs when Jesus comes back and it is my understanding that Moroni is the one who reads it to everyone. But before then, it gets translated and given to the saints.

John’s scriptures

The Bible as it currently stands appears to be composed largely of abridgements. In John’s Revelation, he heard “seven thunders” (Rev. 10:3-4) utter their voices and he was commanded not to write what he heard, because it was sealed. Daniel was told (in Dan. 12:4) to seal up his vision, too. When John brings forth his Book of the Lamb of God, it will be an unabridged text, without anything sealed or hidden. This, too, must come forth in the 6h thousand years, sometime in the next 16 and a half years. In fact, John’s Book of the Lamb of God is the first new record that comes forth. Afterward, Joseph-Nephi does his translations. The Book of Abraham that we have, is only a part of Abraham’s writings. The full record will undoubtedly be on the Plates of Brass. The text of the Book of Joseph scroll, which got destroyed, is also likely on those plates in its entirety. The Joseph Smith Translation, Book of Moses and Joseph Smith—Matthew scriptures, will be supplanted with better, functional translations, with the full, unabridged texts, as found in the Book of the Lamb of God and/or on the Plates of Brass. Mormons, essentially, are going to lay aside The Standard Works and start using a brand new set of scriptures.

The new scriptures will likely be voluminous, requiring a great many volumes, perhaps as many or even more than all the heavy volumes of the Oxford English Dictionary or the Encyclopedia Britannica. We can print the scriptures of the Standard Works into a single volume of normal-sized text and hold it in a single hand, but we won’t be able to do that with the scriptures brought forth by the Josephite, except electronically, using an e-reader. The printed version of the Josephite scriptures will require a cart to transport them all. The New Multi-Volume Standard Works will also be translated by the Josephite into all the languages of the world, so that you would need the biggest library on the planet to hold all the various language versions.

Now this doesn’t include the Sealed Portion of the Plates of Mormon. When you factor that in, then you end up with the understanding that Isaiah was making a direct comparison when he said, “The earth shall be filled with the knowledge of the Lord, as the waters cover the sea” (Isa. 11:9.) John wrote:

And there are also many other things which Jesus did, the which, if they should be written every one, I suppose that even the world itself could not contain the books that should be written.  (John 21:25)

And yet, Mormon tells us that all those very works have already been written:

And if ye had all the scriptures which give an account of all the marvelous works of Christ, ye would, according to the words of Christ, know that these things must surely come.  (3 Ne. 28:33)

Mormon had access to the 24 Plates of Ether, which not only contained a history of the world from the beginning, as well as the entire, unabridged, Jaredite history, but also “the vision of all,” given to the brother of Jared, which revealed all things. But the language it was written in was able to communicate all the information in a very little bit of writing space. When Moroni translated it into the Nephite language, it took up almost all of the space on the Plates of Mormon, yet the Nephite language was information-rich enough to hold it all in a single volume. Not so with modern languages. We can expect, then, that when the Josephite turns to the task of translating the Sealed Portion into all the modern languages, the world will fill up with books and, at that point, all human knowledge will be supplanted. All of this must happen in the next 16 and a half years.

The angels mentioned by John

My understanding is that the “angel ascending from the east” (Rev. 7:2) is the Josephite, while the four angels “holding the four winds” (Rev. 7:1) are other Nephites, namely, the Three Nephite Disciples who were translated, plus one more. The fourth angel may be Alma the Younger (who desired to be an angel in Alma 29, or Nehi the son of Helaman. (See 3 Ne. 1:2-3.)

About the work of angels

When the restoration of all things resumes with the Josephite’s ministry, it seems to me that there will be a lot of angelic ministrations among the people. With Joseph Smith, the main angel involved was Moroni, but with Joseph-Nephi, the main angel appears to be Gabriel.

And also with Elias, to whom I have committed the keys of bringing to pass the restoration of all things spoken by the mouth of all the holy prophets since the world began, concerning the last days;  (D&C 27:6)

Moroni, though, will also be involved, as he holds the keys of the record of the stick of Ephraim (which is the Plates of Brass)

Behold, this is wisdom in me; wherefore, marvel not, for the hour cometh that I will drink of the fruit of the vine with you on the earth, and with Moroni, whom I have sent unto you to reveal the Book of Mormon, containing the fulness of my everlasting gospel, to whom I have committed the keys of the record of the stick of Ephraim;  (D&C 27:5)

Also Raphael, Michael and many other angels will be ministering to the Josephite, as he works furiously against the dwindling time to “gather together in one all things in Christ, both which are in heaven, and which are on earth” (Eph. 1:10.) These angels will play a major part, but no angelic trumpet will sound until after April of 2033.

Signs above and below

The Great and Abominable Church must make its appearance in the next 16 and a half years and we can also expect the heavens to become active with incoming planets and comets. And so on and so forth. A lot has to go down in a surprisingly short period of time but I ain’t gonna list it all. Suffice it to say that we are living in the moment just before the end time roller coaster ride begins its rapid launch into the stratosphere.

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What It Means to Bind Up the Testimony and Seal Up the Law


The outer vessel

It is the word of God that saves:

Search the scriptures; for in them ye think ye have eternal life: and they are they which testify of me.  (John 5:39)

When it is planted in our hearts as a seed, and nourished with great care, it takes root and springs up as a tree of everlasting life, bringing forth lots of good fruit. This requires, then, that we be “doers of the word” (James 1:22), and not just hearers of it, giving place in our hearts by our belief, that the seed can be planted, and then living the word, allowing it to transform our lives accordingly.  The Christians understand this part of the gospel, as well as many Mormons who have become “Christianified,” meaning they have taken the fulness of the restored gospel and reduced it down to a single requirement: the word of God must be found in us.

The truth of the matter is that the word of God must be found in us as well as upon us.  There is an inner component of the gospel—which applies to the inner man, the inward man, the inward vessel, the inward parts, the hidden part, the heart—that deals with inward performances, such as justice, mercy, faith and love, and also inward ordinances, such as the baptism of fire and of the Holy Ghost:

And thus he [Adam] was baptized, and the Spirit of God descended upon him, and thus he was born of the Spirit, and became quickened in the inner man.  And he heard a voice out of heaven, saying:

Thou art baptized with fire, and with the Holy Ghost.  (Moses 6:65-66)

Behold, thou desirest truth in the inward parts: and in the hidden part thou shalt make me to know wisdom.  (Psalms 51:6)

But this shall be the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel;

After those days,

saith the Lord,

I will put my law in their inward parts, and write it in their hearts; and will be their God, and they shall be my people.  (Jer. 31:33)

Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye pay tithe of mint and anise and cummin, and have omitted the weightier matters of the law, judgment, mercy, and faith: these ought ye to have done, and not to leave the other undone.  (Matt. 23:23)

Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye make clean the outside of the cup and of the platter, but within they are full of extortion and excess.  Thou blind Pharisee, cleanse first that which is within the cup and platter, that the outside of them may be clean also.  Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye are like unto whited sepulchres, which indeed appear beautiful outward, but are within full of dead men’s bones, and of all uncleanness.  Even so ye also outwardly appear righteous unto men, but within ye are full of hypocrisy and iniquity.  (Matt.23:25-28)

And the Lord said unto him,

Now do ye Pharisees make clean the outside of the cup and the platter; but your inward part is full of ravening and wickedness.  Ye fools, did not he that made that which is without make that which is within also?  (Luke 11:39-40)

But if ye would rather give alms of such things as ye have; and observe to do all things which I have commanded you, then would your inward parts be clean also.  (JST Luke 11:42)

But woe unto you, Pharisees! for ye tithe mint and rue and all manner of herbs, and pass over judgment and the love of God: these ought ye to have done, and not to leave the other undone.  (Luke 11:42)

For I delight in the law of God after the inward man:  (Romans 7:22)

For which cause we faint not; but though our outward man perish, yet the inward man is renewed day by day.  (2 Cor. 4:16)

That he would grant you, according to the riches of his glory, to be strengthened with might by his Spirit in the inner man;  (Eph. 3:16)

And now I read unto you the remainder of the commandments of God, for I perceive that they are not written in your hearts; I perceive that ye have studied and taught iniquity the most part of your lives.  (Mosiah 13:11)

Do ye suppose that God will look upon you as guiltless while ye sit still and behold these things? Behold I say unto you, Nay. Now I would that ye should remember that God has said that the inward vessel shall be cleansed first, and then shall the outer vessel be cleansed also.  (Alma 60:23)

But there is also an outer component—which applies to the outward man, the outer vessel, “the outside of the cup,” “that which is without”—that deals with outward performances, such as tithing, and also outward ordinances, such as water baptism:

Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye pay tithe of mint and anise and cummin, and have omitted the weightier matters of the law, judgment, mercy, and faith: these ought ye to have done, and not to leave the other undone.  (Matt. 23:23)

Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye make clean the outside of the cup and of the platter, but within they are full of extortion and excess.  Thou blind Pharisee, cleanse first that which is within the cup and platter, that the outside of them may be clean also.  Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye are like unto whited sepulchres, which indeed appear beautiful outward, but are within full of dead men’s bones, and of all uncleanness.  Even so ye also outwardly appear righteous unto men, but within ye are full of hypocrisy and iniquity.  (Matt.23:25-28)

And the Lord said unto him,

Now do ye Pharisees make clean the outside of the cup and the platter; but your inward part is full of ravening and wickedness.  Ye fools, did not he that made that which is without make that which is within also?  (Luke 11:39-40)

But woe unto you, Pharisees! for ye tithe mint and rue and all manner of herbs, and pass over judgment and the love of God: these ought ye to have done, and not to leave the other undone.  (Luke 11:42)

For which cause we faint not; but though our outward man perish, yet the inward man is renewed day by day.  (2 Cor. 4:16)

Yea, and they did keep the law of Moses; for it was expedient that they should keep the law of Moses as yet, for it was not all fulfilled. But notwithstanding the law of Moses, they did look forward to the coming of Christ, considering that the law of Moses was a type of his coming, and believing that they must keep those outward performances until the time that he should be revealed unto them.  (Alma 25:15)

Do ye suppose that God will look upon you as guiltless while ye sit still and behold these things? Behold I say unto you, Nay. Now I would that ye should remember that God has said that the inward vessel shall be cleansed first, and then shall the outer vessel be cleansed also.  (Alma 60:23)

The power and authority of the lesser, or Aaronic Priesthood, is to hold the keys of the ministering of angels, and to administer in outward ordinances, the letter of the gospel, the baptism of repentance for the remission of sins, agreeable to the covenants and commandments.  (D&C 107:20)

Man, then, is like a potted plant.

Be ye clean that bear the vessels of the Lord. (D&C 38:42)

The pot (or vessel) has an inside surface and an outside surface.  Within the pot is our heart-sol, into which the good seed of the word of God is supposed to be planted.  But no one hides a seed into a pot of soil without making sure to identify what kind of a seed is growing in the pot.  Therefore, our outer* vessel is used by God as a label, to write the identity of the plant growing in the soil, its purpose, and any other instructions pertaining to it.  These words of God, attached to the outer vessel of man via priesthood power, authority and ordinances, constitute the outer component of the gospel.  Both inner and outer components of the gospel must be present for salvation to go forth:

Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye pay tithe of mint and anise and cummin, and have omitted the weightier matters of the law, judgment, mercy, and faith: these ought ye to have done, and not to leave the other undone.  (Matt. 23:23)

But woe unto you, Pharisees! for ye tithe mint and rue and all manner of herbs, and pass over judgment and the love of God: these ought ye to have done, and not to leave the other undone.  (Luke 11:42)

*Note: We are dual beings, composed of spirit and element, which two bodies are connected.  Although there are two bodies, or two vessels, the connection makes them act as one body, or as one vessel with an inner and outer surface, yet it is still spoken of as two vessels.  Thus, the inner surface is the “inward vessel” and the outer surface is the “outer vessel” or “outward man.”  Hence, the inward vessel holds things on the inside, whereas the outer vessel holds things on the outside.

The sealing and binding power

Bind up the testimony, seal the law among my disciples. (Isa. 8:16)

The church of Christ, with its authorized, valid priesthood, is the instrument by which God attaches his word to the outer vessel of man.  The sealing and binding power of the priesthood refers to the ability of the priesthood to bind or seal the word of God to the outward man, or to the outer vessel of man, so that when God looks upon us, He sees His word.  If God looks upon us and sees His word, which is sealed to our outer vessel, and if He then looks within us and sees His word, in our inward vessel, and the two match, then we will appear to Him to be like His Only Begotten Son, who is the Word of God:

Wherefore, my beloved brethren, pray unto the Father with all the energy of heart, that ye may be filled with this love, which he hath bestowed upon all who are true followers of his Son, Jesus Christ; that ye may become the sons of God; that when he shall appear we shall be like him, for we shall see him as he is; that we may have this hope; that we may be purified even as he is pure. Amen.  (Moro. 7:48)

Jesus is fully the Word, both in His inward and outer vessels.  We must also be likewise.  This is how salvation and exaltation is obtained.

Joseph Smith wrote:

It may seem to some to be a very bold doctrine that we talk of—a power which records or binds on earth and binds in heaven. Nevertheless, in all ages of the world, whenever the Lord has given a dispensation of the priesthood to any man by actual revelation, or any set of men, this power has always been given. Hence, whatsoever those men did in authority, in the name of the Lord, and did it truly and faithfully, and kept a proper and faithful record of the same, it became a law on earth and in heaven, and could not be annulled, according to the decrees of the great Jehovah. This is a faithful saying. Who can hear it?

And as are the records on the earth in relation to your dead, which are truly made out, so also are the records in heaven. This, therefore, is the sealing and binding power, and, in one sense of the word, the keys of the kingdom, which consist in the key of knowledge.  (D&C 128:9,14)

When a person is baptized with valid priesthood authority, the word of God is bound to the person’s outer vessel.  Specifically, the gospel law is bound or sealed to the outer vessel.  The law, which is a written form of God’s word, has promised blessings associated with obedience to it.

There is a law, irrevocably decreed in heaven before the foundations of this world, upon which all blessings are predicated—and when we obtain any blessing from God, it is by obedience to that law upon which it is predicated.  (D&C 130:20-21)

There are also promised curses associated with non-compliance.  Both the law, its blessings and its curses are bound up to the outer vessel, making a covenant between God and the man.  If God looks in the inward vessel and sees conformity to the word of God that is sealed to the outer vessel, He is bound to bestow the promised blessing.  Contrariwise, if He sees non-conformity, He is likewise bound to bestow the curse.  This is how we bind God.

I, the Lord, am bound when ye do what I say; but when ye do not what I say, ye have no promise.  (D&C 82:10)

The promise referred to in the above scripture does not come from the inward vessel word alone, but consists of the outer vessel law sealed by priesthood power and then complicity with that law by application of the word found in the inward vessel.

And again, verily I say unto you, that which is governed by law is also preserved by law and perfected and sanctified by the same. That which breaketh a law, and abideth not by law, but seeketh to become a law unto itself, and willeth to abide in sin, and altogether abideth in sin, cannot be sanctified by law, neither by mercy, justice, nor judgment. Therefore, they must remain filthy still. (D&C 88:34-35)

Only the word of God is eternal, therefore, to inherit eternal life, we’ve got to be bound to it.

And everything that is in the world, whether it be ordained of men, by thrones, or principalities, or powers, or things of name, whatsoever they may be, that are not by me or by my word,

saith the Lord,

shall be thrown down, and shall not remain after men are dead, neither in nor after the resurrection,

saith the Lord your God.

For whatsoever things remain are by me; and whatsoever things are not by me shall be shaken and destroyed. Therefore, if a man marry him a wife in the world, and he marry her not by me nor by my word, and he covenant with her so long as he is in the world and she with him, their covenant and marriage are not of force when they are dead, and when they are out of the world; therefore, they are not bound by any law when they are out of the world. (D&C 132:13-15)

Binding the promises of God’s word to our outer vessel, then, is essential to our salvation.  Without the word of God on the outside, as well as on the inside, we are doomed.

There’s also testimony

In addition to binding or sealing up law upon the Lord’s disciples, which is the written form of His word, there is also testimony, which is a spoken form given by the power of the Holy Ghost:

And I fell at his feet to worship him. And he said unto me,

See thou do it not: I am thy fellowservant, and of thy brethren that have the testimony of Jesus: worship God: for the testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy.  (Rev. 19:10)

The man, then, speaking by the power of the Holy Ghost, testifies that such-and-such a thing is going to happen, or that such-and-such a blessing is going to be received, and these prophecies, which are also promises, are bound or sealed to the outer vessel, as attachments or addendums to the initial sealing of the law there.  Thus, after baptism, we have hands laid on our hands to get the Holy Ghost and additional promises can be attached to the individual’s outer vessel, according to the inspiration received by the one speaking.  A patriarchal blessing is also a sealing of testimony, as are other priesthood blessings.

Frontlets and phylacteries

These priesthood sealings of promises upon our outer vessel is what Peter was referring to when he wrote, “Whereby are given unto us exceeding great and precious promises” (2 Pet. 1:4.)  No promises are extended to anybody via the inward vessel alone, therefore the Christians, and any Mormons who think likewise, who think that confessing Jesus and living a Christian life of service is sufficient for salvation, i.e. that the word on the inside alone is sufficient, is going to be sorely disappointed, for no one can be saved by works alone, and the grace of God is only activated by obeying His commandments, which includes getting His word attached to our outer vessel, so that He essentially “sees Himself.”  Even the language of the marriage sealing attests that the promises are attached only to the outer vessel: “it shall be done unto them in all things whatsoever my servant hath put upon them” (D&C 132:19.)

We also have a type of this principle with the practice of frontlets and phylacteries:

(Bible Dictionary entries follow)

Phylacteries

(See Frontlets.) Amulets fastened on the forehead or on the left arm. They were small strips of parchment inscribed with texts (see Ex. 13:1–10, 11–16; Deut. 6:4–9; 11:13–21) and enclosed in leather cases (see Matt. 23:5).

Frontlets or phylacteries

Strips of parchment on which were written four passages of scriptures (Ex. 13:1–10, 11–16; Deut. 6:5–9; 11:13–21) and that were rolled up and attached to bands of leather worn (as an act of obedience to Ex. 13:9, 16; Deut. 6:8; 11:18) around the forehead or around the arm. The Jews called them tephillin. The Pharisees wore them broader than other people in order to make them as conspicuous as possible (Matt. 23:5).

These are the four passages of scriptures that were written in the strips of rolled up parchment:

#1: (Ex. 13:1–10)

And the Lord spake unto Moses, saying,

Sanctify unto me all the firstborn, whatsoever openeth the womb among the children of Israel, both of man and of beast: it is mine.

¶And Moses said unto the people,

Remember this day, in which ye came out from Egypt, out of the house of bondage; for by strength of hand the Lord brought you out from this place: there shall no leavened bread be eaten.  This day came ye out in the month Abib.

¶And it shall be when the Lord shall bring thee into the land of the Canaanites, and the Hittites, and the Amorites, and the Hivites, and the Jebusites, which he sware unto thy fathers to give thee, a land flowing with milk and honey, that thou shalt keep this service in this month.  Seven days thou shalt eat unleavened bread, and in the seventh day shall be a feast to the Lord.  Unleavened bread shall be eaten seven days; and there shall no leavened bread be seen with thee, neither shall there be leaven seen with thee in all thy quarters.

¶And thou shalt shew thy son in that day, saying,

This is done because of that which the Lord did unto me when I came forth out of Egypt.

And it shall be for a sign unto thee upon thine hand, and for a memorial between thine eyes, that the Lord’s law may be in thy mouth: for with a strong hand hath the Lord brought thee out of Egypt.  Thou shalt therefore keep this ordinance in his season from year to year.

#2: (Ex. 13:11–16)

¶And it shall be when the Lord shall bring thee into the land of the Canaanites, as he sware unto thee and to thy fathers, and shall give it thee, that thou shalt set apart unto the Lord all that openeth the matrix, and every firstling that cometh of a beast which thou hast; the males shall be the Lord’s.  And every firstling of an ass thou shalt redeem with a lamb; and if thou wilt not redeem it, then thou shalt break his neck: and all the firstborn of man among thy children shalt thou redeem.

¶And it shall be when thy son asketh thee in time to come, saying,

What is this?

that thou shalt say unto him,

By strength of hand the Lord brought us out from Egypt, from the house of bondage: and it came to pass, when Pharaoh would hardly let us go, that the Lord slew all the firstborn in the land of Egypt, both the firstborn of man, and the firstborn of beast: therefore I sacrifice to the Lord all that openeth the matrix, being males; but all the firstborn of my children I redeem.

And it shall be for a token upon thine hand, and for frontlets between thine eyes: for by strength of hand the Lord brought us forth out of Egypt.

#3: (Deut. 6:4–9)

And thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thine heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy might.  And these words, which I command thee this day, shall be in thine heart: and thou shalt teach them diligently unto thy children, and shalt talk of them when thou sittest in thine house, and when thou walkest by the way, and when thou liest down, and when thou risest up.  And thou shalt bind them for a sign upon thine hand, and they shall be as frontlets between thine eyes.  And thou shalt write them upon the posts of thy house, and on thy gates.

#4: (Deut. 11:13–21)

¶And it shall come to pass, if ye shall hearken diligently unto my commandments which I command you this day, to love the Lord your God, and to serve him with all your heart and with all your soul,

that I will give you the rain of your land in his due season, the first rain and the latter rain, that thou mayest gather in thy corn, and thy wine, and thine oil.  And I will send grass in thy fields for thy cattle, that thou mayest eat and be full.

Take heed to yourselves, that your heart be not deceived, and ye turn aside, and serve other gods, and worship them; and then the Lord’s wrath be kindled against you, and he shut up the heaven, that there be no rain, and that the land yield not her fruit; and lest ye perish quickly from off the good land which the Lord giveth you.

¶Therefore shall ye lay up these my words in your heart and in your soul, and bind them for a sign upon your hand, that they may be as frontlets between your eyes.  And ye shall teach them your children, speaking of them when thou sittest in thine house, and when thou walkest by the way, when thou liest down, and when thou risest up.  And thou shalt write them upon the door posts of thine house, and upon thy gates: that your days may be multiplied, and the days of your children, in the land which the Lord sware unto your fathers to give them, as the days of heaven upon the earth.

God’s word was literally bound to the outside of their bodies, and it contained promised blessings and curses, according to their obedience.  The sealing and binding power of the priesthood, then, is a sort of spiritual frontlet or phylactery.

Conditional promises

And unto every kingdom is given a law; and unto every law there are certain bounds also and conditions.  All beings who abide not in those conditions are not justified.  (D&C 88:38-39)

Sealing up the law and binding up the testimony among the disciples can be of two types of promises: conditional and unconditional.  Conditional promises require that a condition be fulfilled before the promised blessing is bestowed.  For example, we must keep our baptismal covenant in order to obtain the promised blessing of eternal life, yet baptism also contains the unconditional promise of the Holy Ghost, just for being baptized, which we receive at confirmation.  Another example is the endowment and marriage sealing, which are all conditional promises.

Unconditional promises

Some promises are given unconditionally, because the conditions for the fulfillment of the promise have already been met.  The more sure word of prophecy falls into this category:

The more sure word of prophecy means a man’s knowing that he is sealed up unto eternal life, by revelation and the spirit of prophecy, through the power of the Holy Priesthood. (D&C 131:5)

Non-priesthood sealings

God has power to seal additional promises to the outer vessel without using a priesthood administrator, merely by using the power of the Holy Ghost, through revelation and prophecy.  These additional promises are obtained by faith and are attached to the law or testimony already found sealed to the outer vessel, or to that which will be found sealed there in the future.  (There is no getting around the necessity of a priesthood administrator and this sealing and binding power.)  Thus, Joseph obtained promises of a righteous branch of his posterity, of Moses, and of the Josephite, and the Nephites obtained promises of the restoration of the Nephites, etc.  Also, Joseph Smith had his exaltation unconditionally sealed upon him:

For I am the Lord thy God, and will be with thee even unto the end of the world, and through all eternity; for verily I seal upon you your exaltation, and prepare a throne for you in the kingdom of my Father, with Abraham your father. (D&C 132:49)

None of this was done via a priesthood administrator.

Past, present and future

“The” more sure word of prophecy is nothing more than an unconditional promise given through a priesthood administrator by the power of the Holy Ghost in which a present condition or state is manifest.  In other words, it means that you have successfully endured to the end, passed the test of mortality, overcome the world by your faith in Christ and made your calling and election sure.  You can now die, confident that all will be well in the last day for you.  But there is also “a” more sure word of prophecy, or “other” more sure words of prophecy, which are likewise unconditional promises, but concerning the future or the past.  To illustrate the future type, I will use my wife as an example.

About two years after my wife was baptized, and more than a year after I met her, and in the very instant that I began pursuing her, the Holy Ghost manifested a prophetic revelation to her, in which she was told that I would be her “eternal companion.”  This was the second time she had received a manifestation of the Holy Ghost—the first being a knowledge that her sins had been remitted, received after her baptism—and she was unfamiliar and inexperienced with the gift to prophesy, and so she kept it to herself, thinking that if it were a true prophecy, nothing could stop its fulfillment.  It was many years later that she finally told it to me.

Her revelation is exemplary of an unconditional promise—for no conditions were attached, the Holy Ghost merely declaring the future—yet it was remarkable in that it essentially guaranteed that not one, but two people would be sealed up to their exaltation.  In order for the prophecy to come to pass, three things would have to happen: 1) the two people in question would have to be sealed in the temple for time and all eternity, 2) the two people in question would have to be saved, and 3) the two people in question would have to enter into their exaltation.  Her prophecy, then, was unconditionally guaranteeing that all three things would occur.

Notice the similarity of her prophecy to Joseph Smith’s definition of the more sure word of prophecy.  Her revelation certainly wasn’t “the” more sure word of prophecy, for although it was given by revelation and prophecy, it was not done by the power of the priesthood, nor was it a declaration that nothing else needed to be done.  It wasn’t a declaration of a present state, but of a future state.  It wasn’t “the” more sure word, but it was certainly “a” more sure word.

Unconditional prophecies are given after conditions have been met.  The man receiving “a” more sure word of prophecy has already set in motion the sequence of events, through the exercise of his faith in Christ, that will inevitably lead to the fulfillment of the prophecy.  No conditions are attached to the promise because the necessary condition—a sufficiently mighty exercise of faith—has already occurred, and so God Himself guarantees the prophecy’s fulfillment, for when there is faith, it binds Him to act in the man’s behalf.  Thus, regardless of the agency of the two individuals in question in my wife’s prophecy, God would use His almighty power (His own agency) to get those two together, sealed, saved and exalted, by pushing the appropriate “buttons” that would cause them to act in the manner required for them to “get together, be sealed, saved and exalted.”

Was this a true revelation?

In order to be true, faith must have been exercised prior to the Holy Ghost uttering the guarantee, and in point of fact, that is exactly what had happened.  Unbeknownst to my wife, I had been earnestly pleading with God, for over a year, for Him to give her to me as my wife forever, fully believing I was going to get what I was asking for (and never realizing that God would have to guarantee us exaltation in order to grant my petition.)  So, on my own part, there appeared to be present the required condition of faith.  Also, a few months later I received my own prophetic revelation concerning her, which confirmed that I had, indeed, prayed in faith.  And my prophecy turned out to be yet another more sure word, without conditions.  As for her, I only know what I perceived in her by the gift of the discerning of spirits when I first met her, which caused me to immediately begin asking God for her—for I perceived a degree of faith I had never seen in any other woman—and I also know that she has always claimed to have done “everything that was required” of her by God during the first two years of her membership in the church.

This shows that God is not limited in declaring more sure words of prophecy.  He can unconditionally declare a present state, as well as a future state, and, in fact, all of the many promises that I have obtained from God directly, via revelation and the spirit of prophecy, without priesthood administration, have been more sure words, declaring a future state.  But God can also declare a possible past state:

I saw Father Adam and Abraham; and my father and my mother; my brother Alvin, that has long since slept; and marveled how it was that he had obtained an inheritance in that kingdom, seeing that he had departed this life before the Lord had set his hand to gather Israel the second time, and had not been baptized for the remission of sins.  Thus came the voice of the Lord unto me, saying:

All who have died without a knowledge of this gospel, who would have received it if they had been permitted to tarry, shall be heirs of the celestial kingdom of God; also all that shall die henceforth without a knowledge of it, who would have received it with all their hearts, shall be heirs of that kingdom; for I, the Lord, will judge all men according to their works, according to the desire of their hearts. (D&C 137:5-9)

Here we see that Joseph received a more sure word of prophecy concerning his brother Alvin, not due to a condition of faith that Alvin presently fulfilled, or one which he would fulfill in the future, but one which he would have fulfilled in the past, had he lived.  Alvin’s disposition to receive the gospel with all his heart caused the Lord to view him as if he had a “seal of righteousness” upon him.  Alvin still needed the ordinances of salvation and exaltation—in other words, a priesthood administrator still needed to seal up the law and bind up the testimony, upon Alvin’s outer vessel, vicariously—but this more sure word concerning him was attached to those future sealings regardless of their futurity in point of time.

The Holy Spirit of promise

Being sealed by the Holy Spirit of promise is required for exaltation:

And again we bear record—for we saw and heard, and this is the testimony of the gospel of Christ concerning them who shall come forth in the resurrection of the just—they are they who received the testimony of Jesus, and believed on his name and were baptized after the manner of his burial, being buried in the water in his name, and this according to the commandment which he has given—that by keeping the commandments they might be washed and cleansed from all their sins, and receive the Holy Spirit by the laying on of the hands of him who is ordained and sealed unto this power; and who overcome by faith, and are sealed by the Holy Spirit of promise, which the Father sheds forth upon all those who are just and true. (D&C 76:50-53)

Paul also wrote of this sealing:

In whom ye also trusted, after that ye heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation: in whom also after that ye believed, ye were sealed with that holy Spirit of promise, which is the earnest of our inheritance until the redemption of the purchased possession, unto the praise of his glory.  (Eph. 1:13-14)

The NKJV render it, “the guarantee of our inheritance.”  Concerning the Holy Spirit of promise, the Lord said,

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

Behold, this is pleasing unto your Lord, and the angels rejoice over you; the alms of your prayers have come up into the ears of the Lord of Sabaoth, and are recorded in the book of the names of the sanctified, even them of the celestial world.  Wherefore, I now send upon you another Comforter, even upon you my friends, that it may abide in your hearts, even the Holy Spirit of promise; which other Comforter is the same that I promised unto my disciples, as is recorded in the testimony of John.  This Comforter is the promise which I give unto you of eternal life, even the glory of the celestial kingdom; which glory is that of the church of the Firstborn, even of God, the holiest of all, through Jesus Christ his Son—he that ascended up on high, as also he descended below all things, in that he comprehended all things, that he might be in all and through all things, the light of truth; which truth shineth.  (D&C 88:1-7)

John, who was mentioned by the Lord in the revelation, did, in fact, write that the promise they received was of eternal life:

And this is the promise that he hath promised us, even eternal life.  (1 John 2:25)

So the Holy Spirit of promise is the promise or guarantee of eternal life, or, to put it another way, it is the Holy Ghost promising or guaranteeing eternal life.  This promise or guarantee can be conditional or unconditional, and it can be bestowed via priesthood administration or without such, being given merely by revelation and prophecy.

The Holy Spirit of promise, administered (or sealed upon us) via priesthood is done through the temple marriage ceremony, and such sealings are all conditional:

And verily I say unto you, that the conditions of this law are these:

All covenants, contracts, bonds, obligations, oaths, vows, performances, connections, associations, or expectations, that are not made and entered into and sealed by the Holy Spirit of promise, of him who is anointed, both as well for time and for all eternity, and that too most holy, by revelation and commandment through the medium of mine anointed, whom I have appointed on the earth to hold this power (and I have appointed unto my servant Joseph to hold this power in the last days, and there is never but one on the earth at a time on whom this power and the keys of this priesthood are conferred), are of no efficacy, virtue, or force in and after the resurrection from the dead; for all contracts that are not made unto this end have an end when men are dead.

And again, verily I say unto you, if a man marry a wife, and make a covenant with her for time and for all eternity, if that covenant is not by me or by my word, which is my law, and is not sealed by the Holy Spirit of promise, through him whom I have anointed and appointed unto this power, then it is not valid neither of force when they are out of the world, because they are not joined by me, saith the Lord, neither by my word; when they are out of the world it cannot be received there, because the angels and the gods are appointed there, by whom they cannot pass; they cannot, therefore, inherit my glory; for my house is a house of order, saith the Lord God.

And again, verily I say unto you, if a man marry a wife by my word, which is my law, and by the new and everlasting covenant, and it is sealed unto them by the Holy Spirit of promise, by him who is anointed, unto whom I have appointed this power and the keys of this priesthood; and it shall be said unto them—Ye shall come forth in the first resurrection; and if it be after the first resurrection, in the next resurrection; and shall inherit thrones, kingdoms, principalities, and powers, dominions, all heights and depths—then shall it be written in the Lamb’s Book of Life, that he shall commit no murder whereby to shed innocent blood, and if ye abide in my covenant, and commit no murder whereby to shed innocent blood, it shall be done unto them in all things whatsoever my servant hath put upon them, in time, and through all eternity; and shall be of full force when they are out of the world; and they shall pass by the angels, and the gods, which are set there, to their exaltation and glory in all things, as hath been sealed upon their heads, which glory shall be a fulness and a continuation of the seeds forever and ever.

Verily, verily, I say unto you, if a man marry a wife according to my word, and they are sealed by the Holy Spirit of promise, according to mine appointment, and he or she shall commit any sin or transgression of the new and everlasting covenant whatever, and all manner of blasphemies, and if they commit no murder wherein they shed innocent blood, yet they shall come forth in the first resurrection, and enter into their exaltation; but they shall be destroyed in the flesh, and shall be delivered unto the buffetings of Satan unto the day of redemption, saith the Lord God.  (D&C 132:7,18,19,26)

Such priesthood administrations, however, actually cause the people being sealed to be written in the Book of Life (which is found in heaven), and their names remain there unless they violate the conditions:

Verily, verily, I say unto you, if a man marry a wife according to my word, and they are sealed by the Holy Spirit of promise, according to mine appointment, and he or she shall commit any sin or transgression of the new and everlasting covenant whatever, and all manner of blasphemies, and if they commit no murder wherein they shed innocent blood, yet they shall come forth in the first resurrection, and enter into their exaltation; but they shall be destroyed in the flesh, and shall be delivered unto the buffetings of Satan unto the day of redemption, saith the Lord God.

And verily, verily, I say unto you, that whatsoever you seal on earth shall be sealed in heaven; and whatsoever you bind on earth, in my name and by my word, saith the Lord, it shall be eternally bound in the heavens; and whosesoever sins you remit on earth shall be remitted eternally in the heavens; and whosesoever sins you retain on earth shall be retained in heaven.  (D&C 132:19,46)

This conditional promise of eternal life allows them to weather the storms of temptation and adversity, giving them comfort during the trial of mortality, hence it being called another Comforter:

First, I give unto you Hyrum Smith to be a patriarch unto you, to hold the sealing blessings of my church, even the Holy Spirit of promise, whereby ye are sealed up unto the day of redemption, that ye may not fall notwithstanding the hour of temptation that may come upon you.  (D&C 124:124)

It is entirely appropriate, then, for endowed members fo the church who have received the marriage sealing to say that they have been sealed by the Holy Spirit of promise.

Unconditional manifestations of the Holy Spirit of promise can come via priesthood administration, such as “the” more sure word of prophecy, or merely by revelation and the spirit of prophecy, without any priesthood administration.  Doctrine and Covenants section 88 is an example of the latter form.  D&C 88:1-7 (quoted above) unconditionally guarantees eternal life to the people who were present with Joseph Smith when he received that revelation.  It is stated that their prayers “are recorded in the book of the names of the sanctified, even them of the celestial world.”  During the rest of the revelation, they are always associated with the celestial glory, but when speaking of other glories, the Lord associates other people:

And they who are not sanctified through the law which I have given unto you, even the law of Christ, must inherit another kingdom, even that of a terrestrial kingdom, or that of a telestial kingdom.

They who are of a celestial spirit shall receive the same body which was a natural body; even ye shall receive your bodies, and your glory shall be that glory by which your bodies are quickened.  Ye who are quickened by a portion of the celestial glory shall then receive of the same, even a fulness.  And they who are quickened by a portion of the terrestrial glory shall then receive of the same, even a fulness.  And also they who are quickened by a portion of the telestial glory shall then receive of the same, even a fulness.  And they who remain shall also be quickened; nevertheless, they shall return again to their own place, to enjoy that which they are willing to receive, because they were not willing to enjoy that which they might have received.   (D&C 88:21,28-32)

Yet despite this unconditional guarantee of eternal life, they were not perfect.  They were deficient in their thoughts, even though their actions were more or less right before the Lord.  Therefore, the Lord gave them further commandments and instructions, so that they could become perfect, both inside and out, and He continued to remind them of the promise of eternal life which they had just received:

And again, verily I say unto you, my friends, I leave these sayings with you to ponder in your hearts, with this commandment which I give unto you, that ye shall call upon me while I am near—draw near unto me and I will draw near unto you; seek me diligently and ye shall find me; ask, and ye shall receive; knock, and it shall be opened unto you.  Whatsoever ye ask the Father in my name it shall be given unto you, that is expedient for you; and if ye ask anything that is not expedient for you, it shall turn unto your condemnation.
Therefore, sanctify yourselves that your minds become single to God, and the days will come that you shall see him; for he will unveil his face unto you, and it shall be in his own time, and in his own way, and according to his own will.  Remember the great and last promise which I have made unto you; cast away your idle thoughts and your excess of laughter far from you.
And I give unto you, who are the first laborers in this last kingdom, a commandment that you assemble yourselves together, and organize yourselves, and prepare yourselves, and sanctify yourselves; yea, purify your hearts, and cleanse your hands and your feet before me, that I may make you clean; that I may testify unto your Father, and your God, and my God, that you are clean from the blood of this wicked generation; that I may fulfil this promise, this great and last promise, which I have made unto you, when I will.  Also, I give unto you a commandment that ye shall continue in prayer and fasting from this time forth.  And I give unto you a commandment that you shall teach one another the doctrine of the kingdom.   (D&C 88:62-65,68-69,74-77)

So this was “a” more sure word of prophecy, in which they were promised that they would eventually obtain eternal life.  There still were more things they needed to do, yet the faith they had already exercised was sufficient to get the Lord to manifest the Holy Spirit of promise unconditionally.

The Josephite’s role in this

Some people think that sealing up the law and binding up the testimony is something that does not happen today, but will happen when the Josephite, and others who are prophesied to appear, show up.  But they are wrong.  These things are done routinely in the church, via the priesthood, but much of it is conditional in nature.  The advent of the two-handed condition may cause unconditional sealings to be the norm during the ministry of the Josephite, simply because faith will increase among the righteous.  Also, the sealing of the 144,000 may be more than just a spiritual sealing; in fact, it may be the re-introduction, or restoration, of actual frontlets and phylacteries.  We shall see.

In conclusion

Sealing up the law and binding up the testimony is something that happens to those in the gospel, via priesthood administration, and allows other promises to be attached to the outer vessel according to one’s faith.  This is how Christ is able to seal us as His.

Therefore, I would that ye should be steadfast and immovable, always abounding in good works, that Christ, the Lord God Omnipotent, may seal you his, that you may be brought to heaven, that ye may have everlasting salvation and eternal life, through the wisdom, and power, and justice, and mercy of him who created all things, in heaven and in earth, who is God above all. Amen. (Mosiah 5:15)

These sealings do not occur among the wicked.  Instead, it is the devil who seals them as his own, using his own seal.

For behold, if ye have procrastinated the day of your repentance even until death, behold, ye have become subjected to the spirit of the devil, and he doth seal you his; therefore, the Spirit of the Lord hath withdrawn from you, and hath no place in you, and the devil hath all power over you; and this is the final state of the wicked. (Alma 34:35)

This shows that the church’s emphasis on getting these ordinances is the correct stance and that all those who downplay the importance of these things have no idea of the requirements of salvation.

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Sustaining Judas


To be frank, I’ve always known that my position with how I exist as a member of the church is idiosyncratic.  My opinion about the present order of things is far too critical for most of the mainstream members I attend church with [e.g., I admit there are problems with how Mormonism is governed by a bunch of old men in Salt Lake and I admit there are alternate ways for people to legitimately be “LDS”] — but I’m far too generous for any among the critical crowd I might talk to [e.g., I believe that the LDS church is still literally the true church of Jesus Christ, and I don’t support an “All is lost, corrupt-apostasy, JUMP ship” view of things].

My mind was recently drawn to an interview with Hugh Nibley about this very topic:

Hugh Nibley was once asked, “Are you concerned with the leadership of the Church?”  His answer:

Nope, not a bit. I certainly am not. The leadership of the church is Jesus Christ, and he knows what he is doing. Don’t worry.

The interviewer pressed-on, “I am tempted to ask you if you would sustain Judas?”

Of course I would sustain Judas. He was on of the apostles.

“But he was a devil,” as any person would have replied.

Remember what the Lord said. “I have chosen you twelve, and one of you is a devil” (John 6:70).

But he chose him.  The Lord has his purposes in these things.  If we sustained only perfect people, we wouldn’t sustain anybody.  The Lord has his purposes in these things.

I’ve worked with church leaders who really believed and taught some silly [at best] crap.  Some of “the brethren” have said some out-right foolish and incorrect things as a part of their callings as prophets, seers, and revelators.  Now, I don’t think we’re at the point where any of them are “Judas” (we are not in the final stage of the church were the leaders are doing the works of Satan), but — let’s say they were — should I sustain them?  Isn’t it the church of Jesus Christ?  Even if Christ calls someone who is out-right wicked, who am I to oppose it?

The prophecies given to Joseph Smith concerning the Lord’s work in the last days cannot be fulfilled unless the church of Jesus Christ gets out of order.  Any people who believe that pointing out problems with church leadership or general practice somehow indicates that it’s worth abandoning are deceived and do not understand the revelations that founded the restoration of the church of Jesus Christ.

It’s simply too hard for either side [mainstream or anti-] to understand that the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints remains the church of Jesus Christ, despite being out of order and condemned.  They either reject the claim that it’s out of order [“all is well in Zion”, you see] or they reject it as the true church of Christ altogether.

It may very well be that the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is on the way to playing the role of the Judas in this latter-day restoration of all things — wherein it is the apostle that the Lord has chosen to work His miraculous work before the very eyes of humanity.

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A First Resurrection Has Already Occurred


A First Resurrection

Abinadi said the following:

And behold, I say unto you, this is not all.

For O how beautiful upon the mountains are the feet of him that bringeth good tidings, that is the founder of peace, yea, even the Lord, who has redeemed his people; yea, him who has granted salvation unto his people; for were it not for the redemption which he hath made for his people, which was prepared from the foundation of the world, I say unto you, were it not for this, all mankind must have perished.  But behold, the bands of death shall be broken, and the Son reigneth, and hath power over the dead; therefore, he bringeth to pass the resurrection of the dead.  And there cometh a resurrection, even a first resurrection; yea, even a resurrection of those that have been, and who are, and who shall be, even until the resurrection of Christ—for so shall he be called.

And now, the resurrection of all the prophets, and all those that have believed in their words, or all those that have kept the commandments of God, shall come forth in the first resurrection; therefore, they are the first resurrection.  They are raised to dwell with God who has redeemed them; thus they have eternal life through Christ, who has broken the bands of death.  And these are those who have part in the first resurrection; and these are they that have died before Christ came, in their ignorance, not having salvation declared unto them. And thus the Lord bringeth about the restoration of these; and they have a part in the first resurrection, or have eternal life, being redeemed by the Lord.  And little children also have eternal life.

But behold, and fear, and tremble before God, for ye ought to tremble; for the Lord redeemeth none such that rebel against him and die in their sins; yea, even all those that have perished in their sins ever since the world began, that have wilfully rebelled against God, that have known the commandments of God, and would not keep them; these are they that have no part in the first resurrection.  (Mosiah 15:19-26)

Alma said the following, paraphrasing and expanding upon the teaching of Abinadi:

Now, there are some that have understood that this state of happiness and this state of misery of the soul, before the resurrection, was a first resurrection. Yea, I admit it may be termed a resurrection, the raising of the spirit or the soul and their consignation to happiness or misery, according to the words which have been spoken.

And behold, again it hath been spoken, that there is a first resurrection, a resurrection of all those who have been, or who are, or who shall be, down to the resurrection of Christ from the dead.

Now, we do not suppose that this first resurrection, which is spoken of in this manner, can be the resurrection of the souls and their consignation to happiness or misery. Ye cannot suppose that this is what it meaneth.

Behold, I say unto you, Nay; but it meaneth the reuniting of the soul with the body, of those from the days of Adam down to the resurrection of Christ.

Now, whether the souls and the bodies of those of whom has been spoken shall all be reunited at once, the wicked as well as the righteous, I do not say; let it suffice, that I say that they all come forth; or in other words, their resurrection cometh to pass before the resurrection of those who die after the resurrection of Christ.

Now, my son, I do not say that their resurrection cometh at the resurrection of Christ; but behold, I give it as my opinion, that the souls and the bodies are reunited, of the righteous, at the resurrection of Christ, and his ascension into heaven.

But whether it be at his resurrection or after, I do not say; but this much I say, that there is a space between death and the resurrection of the body, and a state of the soul in happiness or in misery until the time which is appointed of God that the dead shall come forth, and be reunited, both soul and body, and be brought to stand before God, and be judged according to their works. (Alma 40:15-21)

Notice, in particular, these words of Alma:

Now, whether the souls and the bodies of those of whom has been spoken shall all be reunited at once, the wicked as well as the righteous, I do not say; let it suffice, that I say that they all come forth; or in other words, their resurrection cometh to pass before the resurrection of those who die after the resurrection of Christ.  (Alma 40:19)

So, all those who died before the resurrection of Christ, both the righteous and the wicked, get resurrected before all those who die after the resurrection of Christ. The resurrection of those who die before Jesus’s resurrection, then, is termed a first resurrection.  (And within this first resurrection, the resurrection of the just is called the first resurrection.)  The resurrection of those who die after Jesus’s resurrection, then, might be termed a second resurrection.  (And within this second resurrection, the resurrection of the just is still called the first resurrection.)

21 September 1823

Moroni appeared to Joseph Smith, Jun., on 21 September 1823, as a resurrected personage.  As Moroni died after the resurrection of Christ and was now resurrected, this means that every single person who died before the resurrection of Christ, both the righteous as well as the wicked, had already been resurrected.  So, all those dead souls that lived during that approximately 4000 years were alive by that date.

After resurrection comes judgment

Alma taught that there is a “time which is appointed of God that the dead shall come forth, and be reunited, both soul and body, and be brought to stand before God, and be judged according to their works.”  After you get resurrected, then, you get brought to stand before God and you get judged.  As far as I can recall, there is no indication in any scripture that there is a space of time or waiting period between the resurrection and your judgment.

So far we know from this that between the resurrection of Christ and 21 September 1823, all the people who lived and died in the first 4000 or so years must have come forth and, if the logic follows, must have been subsequently judged by God.  But they didn’t necessarily come forth at the same moment during this span of 1,823 years.  Alma also said:

Now my son, here is somewhat more I would say unto thee; for I perceive that thy mind is worried concerning the resurrection of the dead.  Behold, I say unto you, that there is no resurrection—or, I would say, in other words, that this mortal does not put on immortality, this corruption does not put on incorruption—until after the coming of Christ.  Behold, he bringeth to pass the resurrection of the dead. But behold, my son, the resurrection is not yet.

Now, I unfold unto you a mystery; nevertheless, there are many mysteries which are kept, that no one knoweth them save God himself. But I show unto you one thing which I have inquired diligently of God that I might know—that is concerning the resurrection.  Behold, there is a time appointed that all shall come forth from the dead. Now when this time cometh no one knows; but God knoweth the time which is appointed.  Now, whether there shall be one time, or a second time, or a third time, that men shall come forth from the dead, it mattereth not; for God knoweth all these things; and it sufficeth me to know that this is the case—that there is a time appointed that all shall rise from the dead.

Now whether there is more than one time appointed for men to rise it mattereth not; for all do not die at once, and this mattereth not; all is as one day with God, and time only is measured unto men. (Alma 40:1-5,8)

The First Resurrection

We obviously know that the righteous (Celestial and Terrestrial souls) came forth first, inheriting the first resurrection, whereas the Telestial souls and the sons of perdition were resurrected afterward.  So, the scriptures that speak of the many saints rising at the resurrection of Christ in the land of Jerusalem and also among the Nephites were those of the first resurrection.  This may have been only a part of those of the first resurrection, for some righteous souls needed to remain in Paradise to perform the missionary labors in the spirit world until more saints died after the resurrection of Christ, who could then take over these labors for them, allowing those who died before the resurrection of Christ to now leave Paradise without the missionary work suffering.  As to the resurrection of all the rest among this group, we have no information about when this occurred, except that it was finished by 21 September 1823.

Judged by the books

Here’s where it gets particularly interesting, for we learn from Joseph Smith that the dead must be judged out of the records which have been kept concerning the dead, and in particular the records of the ordinances which they have received, whether these were done while they were yet alive or done vicariously by someone else:

And further, I want you to remember that John the Revelator was contemplating this very subject in relation to the dead, when he declared, as you will find recorded in Revelation 20:12—

And I saw the dead, small and great, stand before God; and the books were opened; and another book was opened, which is the book of life; and the dead were judged out of those things which were written in the books, according to their works.

You will discover in this quotation that the books were opened; and another book was opened, which was the book of life; but the dead were judged out of those things which were written in the books, according to their works; consequently, the books spoken of must be the books which contained the record of their works, and refer to the records which are kept on the earth. And the book which was the book of life is the record which is kept in heaven; the principle agreeing precisely with the doctrine which is commanded you in the revelation contained in the letter which I wrote to you previous to my leaving my place—that in all your recordings it may be recorded in heaven.

Now, the nature of this ordinance consists in the power of the priesthood, by the revelation of Jesus Christ, wherein it is granted that whatsoever you bind on earth shall be bound in heaven, and whatsoever you loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven. Or, in other words, taking a different view of the translation, whatsoever you record on earth shall be recorded in heaven, and whatsoever you do not record on earth shall not be recorded in heaven; for out of the books shall your dead be judged, according to their own works, whether they themselves have attended to the ordinances in their own propria persona, or by the means of their own agents, according to the ordinance which God has prepared for their salvation from before the foundation of the world, according to the records which they have kept concerning their dead.

It may seem to some to be a very bold doctrine that we talk of—a power which records or binds on earth and binds in heaven. Nevertheless, in all ages of the world, whenever the Lord has given a dispensation of the priesthood to any man by actual revelation, or any set of men, this power has always been given. Hence, whatsoever those men did in authority, in the name of the Lord, and did it truly and faithfully, and kept a proper and faithful record of the same, it became a law on earth and in heaven, and could not be annulled, according to the decrees of the great Jehovah. This is a faithful saying. Who can hear it?  (D&C 128:6-9)

Now surely many of the righteous saints of this 4000 year period had their ordinances done while alive, and these records were kept somewhere, and thus there was no lag time needed for their resurrection and judgment, for the records already existed, but what of the others of the same period, who had not had their ordinance work done, yet?  If they got resurrected, there could be no subsequent judgment, for judgment must be “out of the books.”  If, then, judgment does, indeed, immediately follow resurrection, then none of these could be resurrected until the ordinance work was done for them, for none of them could be judged.

We know that the Jewish church performed baptisms for the dead in the land of Jerusalem after Christ was resurrected, and we can assume the same with all the other sheep of the fold, but the Jewish church didn’t last long.  Could they do all the ordinances that needed to be done during that time?  Maybe the lost tribes church had more time.  We don’t have this information.

What we do know, though, is that the Nephites had a sort of Millennium experience after Christ visited them, and they got the whole thing, the entire revelation of the brother of Jared, which revealed all things.  It is possible, then, that it was the Nephites, those ultra diligent, miracle-working people of the Lord, that performed these labors, doing all the ordinance work and writing all the records, recording and doing everything and completing the work for all those of the first 4000 years.  As they had all the information, and they lasted for quite some time, and they were super diligent, more so than any other branch of Israel, they might have finished this enormous task in record time.  But we don’t yet know if this was the case.

Setting in order the house of God

This leads to an even more bizarre scenario.  If the resurrection of the dead must wait for the ordinance work to be done, and we have a resurrection coming up, even the first resurrection, which will happen at the Second Coming of Christ, and this resurrection will be for all those Celestial and Terrestrial souls who died after the resurrection of Christ, which is a period of about 2000 years, then that would mean that all these ordinances for the dead must be done before Christ comes back, not during the Millennium.

Our common LDS belief is that the work for the dead will be an ongoing task of the Millennium.  This is not a scriptural understanding, but was put forth by Brigham Young, I believe.  Doctrine and Covenants section 85, though, is curious, because it says, “I, the Lord God, will send one mighty and strong…to set in order the house of God,” which I have interpreted to mean putting the temple and other church records in perfect order.  As this will be done by the miraculous power of God working in this servant, the apparent impossibility of doing all the vicarious work for the dead and making the records complete before the Second Coming of Christ is not an issue.  In other words, just because there ain’t enough time or even enough people to get all the work done and all the records filled out and perfected before Christ comes doesn’t matter.  This servant will be able to do it, anyway.  If, in fact, these ordinances and records need to be done before the first resurrection (which takes place at the Second Coming)—otherwise all these people can’t be resurrected—then it makes sense that God must send someone endowed with seemingly unlimited power to accomplish the feat.

I am not saying that this is the case.  I am just saying that if this is the case, then we’ve got things wrong concerning the Millennium and the vicarious work for the dead and the resurrection and judgment.  And I am also saying that if this turns out to be true, then this servant is going to have the biggest work load (impossibly big) of anyone who ever lived and he will have to accomplish it all in an impossibly small amount of time, which is getting smaller all the time (since he apparently hasn’t even started working, yet.)

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The Testimonies of Denver Snuffer and Louis Steiner Naegle


The A Little Peace in Paradise blog published the correspondence between Louis Steiner Naegle and his stake president regarding his recent (May 13, 2016) excommunication for apostasy, and Naegle included both Denver Snuffer’s testimony, as well as his own, in his letters.  I thank Naegle that he has allowed them to be openly and freely viewed.  The whole story can be found here: Excommunication of Louis Steiner Naegle.

I am publishing these two testimonies on this blog because I feel they are instructive.  As I had never read them before, I couldn’t make any assessment one way or another, but now that I have read them, I can.

My purpose in posting these is not to “spread the word,” but to give an open forum to people to discuss their merits.  They were previously published in books—which people bought, took home, and read alone, coming to their own conclusions about them alone, without discussing them with other saints—and now they can be viewed and read here, in this post, and openly discussed by those who believe that they are true, and also by those who believe that they are false.

My intention is not to create an atmosphere of contention, in which people divide into two sides and a shouting match ensues, but of discussion, in which saints who think they know the scriptures will use them to show why these testimonies are true, or why they are false.  It may be that this exercise will bring greater clarity to those who are still undecided about the testimonies of the men in question, and perhaps also persuade those whose opinions are currently fixed to change their minds, one way or another.

I feel this might be an important exercise (if people actually participate in it) because the prophecies speak of false preachers, teachers, prophets and Christs that will appear in the latter days, so unless the saints can figure this stuff out, they will be as susceptible to deception as the rest of the world.  The saints will judge all things, the scriptures say, so a group of latter-day saints, with these testimonies laid before them, and with access to the scriptures, ought to be able to arrive at the correct conclusion concerning them.  (And I’m hoping that people will keep the discussion scriptural, showing by the scriptures their reasons for belief or disbelief, and not resort to merely saying, “I’ve got a feeling,” or “the Holy Ghost told me such-and-such about this.”)

I myself will not engage in any discussion on this post.  I think that what I have written about these topics in previous posts is sufficient for anyone to already know my opinion on these matters.  So, I will not try to sway anyone one way or another.  The post, then, is for others to do the talking and convincing, not me.

So, without further adieu, I ask the following questions of this blog’s readership:

What, if anything, is wrong with these accounts;

and what, if anything, is right?

Do you notice anything “off” about them;

or are they in conformity with the revealed word of God?

Okay, so to start, here’s Denver Snuffer’s testimony, as published in Chapter 12 of his book, Come, Let Us Adore Him:

Gethsemene

I knew a man in Christ about four years ago [ca. 2008; see 2 Cor. 12:2-3; D&C 137:1 brackets mine], who, being overshadowed by the Spirit, had the Lord appear to him. And the Lord spoke to him face to face, in plain humility, as one man speaks to another, calling him by name. As they spoke the Lord put forth His hand and touched the eyes of the man and said, “Look!”

The man had opened before him a view of the Lord kneeling in prayer. It was in a dark place. The air was heavy and overcast with sorrow. The man beheld the Lord praying in Gethsemene on the night of His betrayal and before His crucifixion.

All the Lord had previously done in His mortal ministry by healing the sick, rasing the dead, giving sight to the blind, restoring hearing to the deaf, curing the leper and ministering relief to others as He taught was but a prelude to what the Lord was now to do on this dark, oppressive night.

As the Lord knelt in prayer, His vicarious suffering began. He was overcome by pain and anguish. He felt within Him, not just the pains of sin, but also the illnesses men suffer as a result of the Fall, and their foolish and evil choices. The suffering was long and the challenge difficult.

The Lord suffered the afflictions. He was healed from the sickness. He overcame the pains, and patiently bore the infirmities until, finally, He returned to peace of mind, and strength of body. It took an act of will and hope for Him to overcome the affliction which had been poured upon Him. He overcame the separation caused by these afflictions and reconciled with His Father. He was at peace with all mankind.

He thought His sufferings were over, but to His astonishment another wave overcame Him. This one was much greater than the first. The Lord, who had been kneeling, fell forward onto His hands at the impact of the pain that was part of a greater, second wave.

This second wave was so much greater than the first that it seemed to entirely overcome the Lord. The Lord was now stricken with physical injuries, as well as spiritual affliction. As He suffered anew, His flesh was torn which He healed using the power of the charity within Him. The Lord had such life within Him, such power and virtue within Him, that although He suffered in His flesh, these injuries healed and His flesh restored. His suffering was both body and spirit, and there was anguish of thought, feeling and soul.

The Lord overcame this second wave of suffering, and again found peace of mind and strength of body; and His heart filled with love despite what He had suffered. Indeed, it was charity or love that allowed Him to overcome. He was at peace with His Father, and with all mankind, but it required another, still greater act of will and charity than the first for Him to do so.

Again, the Lord thought His suffering was over. He stayed on His hands and knees for a moment to collect Himself when another wave of torment burst upon Him. This wave struck Him with such force He fell forward upon His face.

He was afflicted by this greater wave. He was then healed only to then be afflicted again as the waves of torment overflowed. Wave after wave poured out upon Him, with only moments between them. The Lord’s suffering progressed from a lesser to a greater portion of affliction; for as one would be overcome by Him, the next, greater affliction would then be poured out. Each wave of suffering was only preparation for the next, greater wave.

The pains of mortality, disease, injury and infirmity, together with the sufferings of sin, transgressions, guilt of mind, and unease of soul, the horrors of recognition of the evils men had inflicted upon others were all poured out upon Him; with confusion and perplexity multiplied upon Him.

He longed for it to be over, and thought it would end long before it finally ended. With each wave He thought it would be the last but then another came upon Him, and then yet another.

The one beholding this scene was pained by what he saw, and begged for the vision of the Lord’s suffering to end. He could not bear to see his Lord suffering in this manner. The petition was denied and the vision did not end, for the Lord required him to witness it.

The man saw that the Lord pleaded again with the Father that “this cup may pass” from Him. But the Lord was determined to suffer the Father’s will, and not His own. Therefore, a final wave came upon Him with such violence as to cut Him at every pore. It seemed for a moment that He was torn apart, and that blood came out of every pore. The Lord writhed in pain upon the ground as this great final torment was poured upon Him.

All virtue was taken from Him. All the great life force in Him was stricken and afflicted. All the light turned to darkness. He was humbled, drained and left with nothing. It is not possible for a man to bear such pains and live, but with nothing more than will, hope in His Father, and charity toward all men, He emerged from the final wave of torment, knowing He had suffered all this for His Father and His brethren. By His hope and great charity, trusting in the Father, the Lord returned from this dark abyss and found grace again, His heart being filled with love toward the Father and all men.

These great burdens were born by the Lord not only on behalf of mankind, but also as a necessary prelude to His death upon a Roman cross. Had He not been so physically weakened by these sufferings, and drained of power from within, the scourging and crucifixion He suffered at the hands of men could not have taken His life.

It was many hours after this vision closed before the one who witnessed this suffering could compose himself again. He wept because of the vision shown him, and he wondered at the Lord’s great suffering for mankind.

The witness reflected for many days upon this scene of the Lord’s great suffering. He read many times the account of the Lord’s agony given to Joseph Smith, which reads: “Therefore I command you to repent—repent, lest I smite you by the rod of my mouth, and by my wrath, and by my anger, and your sufferings be sore—how sore you know not, how exquisite you know not, yea, how hard to bear you know not. For behold, I, God, have suffered these things for all, that they might not suffer if they would repent; But if they would not repent they must suffer even as I; Which suffering caused myself, even God, the greatest of all, to tremble because of pain, and to bleed at every pore, and to suffer both body and spirit—and would that I might not drink the bitter cup, and shrink—Nevertheless, glory be to the Father, and I partook and finished my preparations unto the children of men.” He pondered and asked: Why were there waves of torment? Why did they increase in difficulty? How were they organized as they seemed to fit a pattern?

After long inquiring into the things which he had seen, the Lord, who is patient and merciful and willing to instruct those who call upon Him, again appeared to the man again. He made known unto him that the waves of torment suffered by the Lord came in pairs which mirrored each other. The first of each wave poured upon the Lord those feelings, regrets, recriminations and pains felt by those who injured their fellow man. Then followed a second wave, which mirrored the first, but imposed the pains suffered by the victims of the acts committed by those in the first wave. Instead of the pains of those who inflict hurt or harm, it was now the anger, bitterness and resentments felt by those who suffered these wrongs.

From each wave of suffering, whether as the one afflicting or as the victim of those wrongs, the Lord would overcome the evil feelings associated with these wrongs, and find His heart again filled with peace. This was why, in the vision of the suffering of the Lord it was in the second waves that there appeared oftentimes to be injuries to His body.

The greater difficulty in these paired waves of torment was always overcoming the suffering of the victim. With these waves, the Lord learned to overcome the victims’ resentments, to forgive, and to heal both body and spirit. This was more difficult than overcoming the struggles arising from the one who committed the evil. This is because the one doing evil knows he has done wrong, and feels a natural regret when he sees himself aright. The victim, however, always feels it is their right to hold resentment, to judge their persecutor, and to withhold peace and love for their fellow men. The Lord was required to overcome both so that He could succor both.

In the pairing of the waves, the first torment was of the mind and spirit, and the second was torment of mind, spirit and body.

The Lord experienced all the horror and regret wicked men feel for their crimes when they finally see the truth. He experienced the suffering of their victims whose righteous anger and natural resentment and disappointment must also be shed, and forgiveness given, in order for them to find peace. He overcame them all. He descended below them all. He comprehends it all. And He knows how to bring peace to them all. He knows how to love others whether they are the one who has given offense or the one who is a victim of the offense.

In the final wave, the most brutal, most evil, most heinous sins men inflict upon one another were felt by Him as a victim of the worst men can do. He knew how it felt to wrongly suffer death. He knew what it was like to be a mother holding a child in her arms as they are both killed by those who delight in their suffering. He knew how it was for ambitious men to rid themselves of a rival by conspiracy and murder. He knew what it was to have virtue robbed from the innocent. He knew betrayal, treachery, and abuse in all its worst degrading horror. There was no cruelty, no offense, no evil that mankind has suffered or will suffer that was not put upon Him.

He knew what it is like for men to satisfy their ambition by clothing their hypocrisy in religious garb. He also felt what it was like to be the victim of religious oppression by those who pretend to practice virtue while oppressing others. He knew the hearts of those who would kill Him. Before confronting their condemnation of Him in the flesh, He suffered their torment of mind when they recognized He was the Lord, and then found peace for what they would do by rejecting Him. In this extremity there was madness itself as He mirrored the evil which would destroy Him, and learned how to come to peace with the Father after killing the Son of God, and to love all those involved without restraint and without pretense even before they did these terrible deeds. His suffering, therefore, encompassed all that has happened, all that did happen, and all that would happen in the future.

As a result of what the Lord suffered, there is no condition – physical, spiritual or mental – that He does not fully understand. He knows how to teach, comfort, succor and direct any who come to Him seeking forgiveness and peace. This is why the prophet wrote: “by his knowledge shall my righteous servant justify many; for he shall bear their iniquities.” (Isa. 53: 11.) And again: “Surely he hath borne our griefs, and carried our sorrows: yet we did esteem him stricken, smitten of God, and afflicted. But he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and with his stripes we are healed.”  He obtained this knowledge by the things he suffered. He suffered that we might avoid sin by being obedient to His commandments. None of us need harm another, if we will follow Him. He knows fully the consequences of sin. He teaches His followers how to avoid sin.

The prophet Alma taught and understood our Lord’s sufferings as he wrote:

And he shall go forth, suffering pains and afflictions and temptations of every kind; and this that the word might be fulfilled which saith he will take upon him the pains and the sicknesses of his people. And he will take upon him death, that he may loose the bands of death which bind his people; and he will take upon him their infirmities, that his bowels may be filled with mercy, according to the flesh, that he may know according to the flesh how to succor his people according to their infirmities.” (Alma 7: 11–12.)

He can bring peace to any soul. He can help those who will come to Him love their fellow man. He alone is the Perfect Teacher because He alone has the knowledge each of us lack to return to being whole and at peace with the God and Father of us all after our transgression of His will. He is wise to what is required for each man’s salvation.

As the Lord made these terrible things known to the man he cried out: “Hosanna to the Lamb of God! He has trodden the winepress alone! Glory, honor and mercy be upon the Chosen One forever and ever! I will submit unto anything you see fit to require of me! I will bend my knee in obedience to you! Let thy will, not mine be done! For worthy is the Lamb!” Then, thinking upon how trifling his difficulties and disappointments had been in comparison with the suffering he saw imposed upon his Lord, the man added: “Surely goodness and mercy have been mine all the days of my life!”

And the Lord responded: “And you shall dwell in the house of the Lord forever.”

Then the man wept.

I write these things with permission, and not on my own. For those who receive a knowledge of these things are not always permitted to make them known, nor should they do so. But the Lord requires that some must bear testimony so that others may read or hear, and be edified by them, that faith may increase among mankind. If none of those who receive these things were ever permitted to make them known, then mankind could not come to their Lord and be healed. It is not important to know why the Lord chooses to make these things known to some and then instructs them to testify of them to another. It is only necessary to understand that the Lord is the One to whom all should look in their trials and afflictions for succor. He is mighty and able to save. You do not and will not suffer from any affliction, any dilemma, disappointment or pain which He does not already understand. He has overcome it all. He is worthy to be trusted with your burdens. Come to Him and be healed! Come to Him and be understood! When all others move away, He will come to you! There is nothing wretched that you must confront that He did not first confront and overcome! Take your burdens to Him!

The great Atonement of the Lord allowed Him to know our weaknesses and troubles, and to understand how to bring us back to peace. Christ, as the Atoning One, knows how to bring every troubled soul back to peace. The Lord can tutor us and help us lay down any burden we may be bearing. We are all required to come to peace with our sins and with the offenses we have suffered. To be fully redeemed, we must leave this life having peace through a clear conscience before God and all mankind. This can only be obtained by forgiving others their trespasses. As was recorded about Joseph Smith, before his death: “When Joseph went to Carthage to deliver himself up to the pretended requirements of the law, two or three days previous to his assassination, he said: ‘I am going like a lamb to the slaughter; but I am calm as a summer’s morning; I have a conscience void of offense towards God, and towards all men.’” (D&C 135: 4) He was able to do this because Joseph had forgiven in advance, those who he expected would kill him. It was by these means he was able to have a clear conscience, void of any offense toward all men. Though others would cry revenge for Joseph’s death, Joseph himself obtained the fullness of his reconciliation to God through the act of forgiving those who would kill him.

Christ taught His followers to forgive, that they may in turn merit forgiveness. He said: “For if ye forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you: But if ye forgive not men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses.” (Matt. 6: 14–15.) He taught this because of the atoning power of forgiving others. As a result of the things He suffered, He understood that men must forgive others in order to be able to obtain forgiveness. There are many things men do that they lack the capacity to make amends. The price they must pay for their own transgressions are paid by forgiving all others of their offenses.

Christ was asked by Peter how often men ought to forgive one another. “Then came Peter to him, and said, Lord, how oft shall my brother sin against me, and I forgive him? till seven times?” (Matt. 18: 21.) In response Christ taught this, saying:

Jesus saith unto him, I say not unto thee, Until seven times: but, Until seventy times seven. Therefore is the kingdom of heaven likened unto a certain king, which would take account of his servants. And when he had begun to reckon, one was brought unto him, which owed him ten thousand talents. But forasmuch as he had not to pay, his lord commanded him to be sold, and his wife, and children, and all that he had, and payment to be made. The servant therefore fell down, and worshipped him, saying, Lord, have patience with me, and I will pay thee all. Then the lord of that servant was moved with compassion, and loosed him, and forgave him the debt. But the same servant went out, and found one of his fellowservants, which owed him an hundred pence: and he laid hands on him, and took [him] by the throat, saying, Pay me that thou owest. And his fellowservant fell down at his feet, and besought him, saying, Have patience with me, and I will pay thee all. And he would not: but went and cast him into prison, till he should pay the debt. So when his fellowservants saw what was done, they were very sorry, and came and told unto their lord all that was done. Then his lord, after that he had called him, said unto him, O thou wicked servant, I forgave thee all that debt, because thou desiredst me: Shouldest not thou also have had compassion on thy fellowservant, even as I had pity on thee? And his lord was wroth, and delivered him to the tormentors, till he should pay all that was due unto him. So likewise shall my heavenly Father do also unto you, if ye from your hearts forgive not every one his brother their trespasses(Matt. 18: 22–35)

He taught this to show how offering forgiveness was in turn obtaining forgiveness. His disciples continued to misunderstand how these two are related. They did not understand that forgiveness is the means by which the Lord enables men to take advantage of His “preparations unto the children of men.” (D&C 19: 19.) To forgive is to atone.

The Lord taught elsewhere: “And when ye stand praying, forgive, if ye have ought against any: that your Father also which is in heaven may forgive you your trespasses. But if ye do not forgive, neither will your Father which is in heaven forgive your trespasses.” (Mark 11: 25–26.) The Father cannot give to men what they ask of Him until they first forgive all offenses among one another.

The voice of the Lord came to Alma, also, and said unto him: “And ye shall also forgive one another your trespasses; for verily I say unto you, he that forgiveth not his neighbor’s trespasses when he says that he repents, the same hath brought himself under condemnation.” (Mosiah 26: 31.) Alma taught this to the people of Mosiah, so they might abide the conditions to obtain forgiveness for their own sins.

When instructing those who assembled in the land of Bountiful, Christ taught: “For, if ye forgive men their trespasses your heavenly Father will also forgive you; But if ye forgive not men their trespasses neither will your Father forgive your trespasses.” (3 Ne. 13: 14–15.) He said this so they may understand the means by which men are redeemed. All mankind must redeem themselves by permitting others to escape condemnation for the offenses they have committed against them. In this way men are no longer their brother’s accuser; and the Accuser of Mankind is without means to keep men from redemption. For justice cannot have hold on those who have claim on mercy. Mercy comes to those who give mercy, and men are restored to that which they have become. The merciful are entitled to mercy.

In revelations to Joseph Smith the Lord has commanded: “Verily, verily, I say unto you, my servants, that inasmuch as you have forgiven one another your trespasses, even so I, the Lord, forgive you.” (D&C 82: 1.) And, again: “Wherefore, I say unto you, that ye ought to forgive one another; for he that forgiveth not his brother his trespasses standeth condemned before the Lord; for there remaineth in him the greater sin.” (D&C 64: 9.)

To enter into the kingdom of heaven, all men must lay down their sins. But this they cannot do when they claim the right to restitution for any offense from their brother. All claims must be set aside, the greater and more difficult being the righteous claim against another for their deliberate offense. Yet in asking for justice for yourself, you always require justice be answered in turn for all of your offenses A man will not be given mercy if he is not merciful. Alma taught this plainly to his son, Corianton, so he might be redeemed. Mormon preserved this teaching that all men who read the Book of Mormon may be redeemed and have claim on mercy:

Now, there was a punishment affixed, and a just law given, which brought remorse of conscience unto man. Now, if there was no law given—if a man murdered he should die—would he be afraid he would die if he should murder? And also, if there was no law given against sin men would not be afraid to sin. And if there was no law given, if men sinned what could justice do, or mercy either, for they would have no claim upon the creature? But there is a law given, and a punishment affixed, and a repentance granted; which repentance, mercy claimeth; otherwise, justice claimeth the creature and executeth the law, and the law inflicteth the punishment; if not so, the works of justice would be destroyed, and God would cease to be God. But God ceaseth not to be God, and mercy claimeth the penitent, and mercy cometh because of the atonement; and the atonement bringeth to pass the resurrection of the dead; and the resurrection of the dead bringeth back men into the presence of God; and thus they are restored into his presence, to be judged according to their works, according to the law and justice. For behold, justice exerciseth all his demands, and also mercy claimeth all which is her own; and thus, none but the truly penitent are saved. What, do ye suppose that mercy can rob justice? I say unto you, Nay; not one whit. If so, God would cease to be God. And thus God bringeth about his great and eternal purposes, which were prepared from the foundation of the world. And thus cometh about the salvation and the redemption of men, and also their destruction and misery. Therefore, O my son, whosoever will come may come and partake of the waters of life freely; and whosoever will not come the same is not compelled to come; but in the last day it shall be restored unto him according to his deeds. If he has desired to do evil, and has not repented in his days, behold, evil shall be done unto him, according to the restoration of God.” (Alma 42: 18–28.)

Now I know these things to be true, and the Lord has permitted them to be made known to anyone who will believe so they may repent and forgive one another, and may in turn have claims on mercy for themselves. It is certain Christ is able to heal us of any affliction which this life may visit upon any of us, but only if we will forgive one another and come to Him. He can teach all how to forgive. No matter how terrible the offense, He has the knowledge to lead us to peace.

When men come to the Lord seeking forgiveness, He will prepare the means for each of them to obtain forgiveness. The way will be opened for them to forgive so they in turn may be forgiven. In this way all may come to know their Lord.

Do not depart this life while still harboring resentment against any person. It does not matter how just the claim may be, we must surrender our claims for justice to merit mercy. Find a way to forgive all those who transgress against you before leaving mortality and, by showing mercy to them, you will find mercy for yourself. As Joseph Smith put it:

I charged the Saints not to follow the example of the adversary in accusing the brethren, and said, “If you do not accuse each other, God will not accuse you. If you have no accuser you will enter heaven, and if you will follow the revelations and instructions which God gives you through me, I will take you into heaven as my back load. If you will not accuse me, I will not accuse you. If you will throw a cloak of charity over my sins, I will over yours-for charity covereth a multitude of sins.” (TPJS p. 193.)

This path to knowing God’s goodness has been made known to every people in every generation. It can be felt whenever any man has shown mercy to his fellowman. Christ taught this, but the light of Christ leads all those who seek wisdom to find this truth. God is no respecter of persons. Blessed are the merciful, for they will always obtain mercy. More blessed are those who love, for God is love.

To obtain perfect charity, however, a man must make intercession for those who offend him. Christ taught: “I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you; That ye may be the children of your Father which is in heaven[.]” (Matt. 5: 44–45.) He wants us to go beyond merely forgiving others. He wants us to become like Him, and atone or cover the sins of others. Through intercession on behalf of our enemies, we not only learn to understand Him, we also learn to be like Him. This is what Christ did. This is what Stephen did. All those who have the hope of Christ within them will do likewise. 

And now here is Naegle’s testimony, as published in the book, Preserving the Restoration:

Testimony of Louis Naegle

At the time of this writing I am a member in good standing of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. I was born and raised in Salt Lake City, entirely a direct descendant of ‘proud Nauvoo’ and pioneer ancestors. To my knowledge, every one of my direct predecessors were active members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saint while Brigham Young was president, and most were members before that time. My forefathers include John Conrad Naegle, Levi Savage, Joseph Leland Heywood, John D Lee, Thomas Ross, Levi Bracken, James McFate, Joseph Cadwallader Davis, George Zimmerman, John Harvey, George Prince, James Jackson, Joseph Woolsey, James Bell, Owen Williams, John Davies, and James Crawford. All of my great-great-grandparents were church members.

As far as bloodline heritage is concerned, I think it would be impossible to be more “Mormon” than am I. I say this not to boast but as part of a solemn testimony and declaration:

I am not a dissenter trying to “destroy the kingdom”. I am instead a descendant of those who built “the kingdom” and I am attempting to make the pathway straight and the record clear. I believe this is in the best tradition of the pioneers who were trying to live a true religion. I reject the notion that I am apostate, I know I will answer to my forefathers and to my Father for the testimony I give, and therefore I want most of all to be true to the faith once held by my fathers.

Anyone with a rudimentary understanding of the current church management and culture will understand what publishing this testimony will mean to me and my family. I anticipate retaliation from the church, and although it saddens me, I am resigned to facing those consequences. I do not claim to be righteous, but I am a witness.

I testify that the Lord has set His hand a second time to restore the truth through His servant before the great and dreadful day that fast approaches. I have known Denver Snuffer since 2007. I have attended every public talk he has given since that time, including all ten lectures of the Forty Years in Mormonism series. I have read what he has written. I am a witness that events he now shares in public concerning his interactions with his stake presidents and church leaders were shared with me by Denver at the time they were happening and while he was in good standing with the church. He valued his church membership greatly and the events he now shares publicly have not been fabricated or reconstructed after the fact to support an agenda of his own design.

I know God the Father and Jesus Christ live. I have seen them. I know Joseph Smith was a prophet of God. I have been in his presence also. I believe the Book of Mormon to be the word of God. I have had my eyes opened and my life changed through its message. I also know from my own sense of reason, from the testimony of the Holy Ghost, and from God declaring it to me by His own Voice that Denver C. Snuffer, Jr. is an honest messenger, sent by Him, and telling the truth.

Please do not ignore what is written in this book. Please do not take this warning lightly. I implore all who read this testimony to repent and return to Jesus Christ, the God of Israel and savior of the world. Receive the words of a true prophet, but follow no man! Do not allow any man or group to come between you and your Savior. To the extent you do so, you are laboring in idolatry and you will damn yourself and any who follow you in doing likewise. (D&C 76:100).

Jesus Christ alone is the Holy One. He employs no servant at that gate through which we all must pass. The fullness of the gentiles is now fulfilled except for our impending destruction. Who cannot see that all is not well in so-called “Zion.” Only a few repentant gentiles will be gathered. Only the penitent of the House of Israel will establish the New Jerusalem. Will you be among them?

Save what was given through the Prophet and Seer Joseph Smith, what is offered in this book contains the most light and truth that has been presented in writing in almost 2,000 years.

Denver has openly testified that Jesus Christ has ministered to him. I testify this is true, and that he has been called as a servant to declare the heavens are open again for all to freely partake of the Heavenly Gift.

If you will consider the message of this book from a servant sent to deliver it, with a sincere heart and real intent, you will also know that what is presented is true and faithful. If you will not consider it, but instead harden your heart, you will be damned. God is working to save us, and this book is part of God’s kindness in forewarning us about our present state. Even if you find it hard to believe, it is important for us to see and understand our circumstances.

I leave this testimony with you in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost;

Amen.

-Louis Naegle
August 29, 2015”

Complete List of Articles authored by LDS Anarchist

Shutting the mouths of false teachers


And..the church…had peace…save it were a few contentions concerning the points of doctrine which had been laid down by the prophets…  (Hel. 11:21-22)

And it came to pass that after there had been false Christs, and…after there had been false prophets, and false preachers and teachers among the people…  (Words of Mormon 1:15-16)

…and their mouths had been shut, and…all these having been punished according to their crimes…  (Words of Mormon 1:15-16)

…there began to be much strife. But it came to pass that…many of [the] brethren who knew concerning the true points of doctrine, having many revelations daily, therefore they did preach unto the people, insomuch that they did put an end to their strife…  (Hel. 11:23)

In other words, for this post, in addition to the scriptures, I’m going to use my own revelations to correct the errors promoted by false teachers currently found among the saints.

There have only been three known churches of Christ

The first church of Christ was founded by Alma Nephi, when he baptized Helam (and also himself) in the waters of Mormon, followed by the subsequent baptism of the rest of the group.  This church was formed about 147–145 B.C. and began with about 204 people.  The account of its establishment is found in Mosiah 18.

The second church of Christ was founded by Jesus Christ during his ministry among the Jews.

The third church of Christ was founded by Joseph Smith, Jun., which was organized and established in Manchester, Ontario County, New York, USA, with six people, on 6 April, 1830.

Three verses of scripture mention an ancient church

Here is the first part of the entry of “Church” from the Bible Dictionary:

From the Greek, Ecclesia, meaning “an assembly called together.” The church is the organized body of believers who have taken upon themselves the name of Jesus Christ by baptism and confirmation.  To be the true church it must be the Lord’s church and must have His laws, His name, and be governed by Him through representatives whom He has appointed (3 Ne. 27:1–12; D&C 115:4).

This is true.  God Himself must recognize it as His church, it must bear His name, have His revealed word as its foundational text, be built upon His gospel and rock, and possess His priesthood.  Every latter-day saint understands this definition of the church.  So far so good.  Now let’s look at the next part of this Bible Dictionary entry:

In this sense, the church began with the days of Adam and has been on the earth among mankind whenever there were a group of believers who had the priesthood and revelations of heaven.

This is false.  If you take up the Standard Works, and look at the Old Testament (whether you look in the King James Version, or in the Joseph Smith Translation, it doesn’t matter), you will find no mention of any church during that period of time.  This is because there was no church of Jesus Christ during those times.  Prior to the establishment of Jesus Christ’s church in the Old World, and to the establishment of Alma Nephi’s church in the New World, the laws and ordinances of God were administered to the people tribally.  Continuing on with this BD entry:

The word church is used only twice in the four Gospels (Matt. 16:18; 18:17) but is frequently mentioned in Acts, the epistles, and Revelation.

This is true.  This is because Jesus organized and established a church among the Jews and it continued after His resurrection under the direction of His apostles.

The Old Testament uses the term congregation for church.

This is false.  The Old Testament uses the term congregation to mean “an assembly of persons” and more specifically, “an assembly of persons met for the worship of God, and for religious instruction.”  An assembly of persons, belonging to a tribe or tribes, meeting together to offer sacrifice to their God (to worship God) or meeting in a synagogue for religious instruction is not a church.  Nor does it constitute a church of Christ.  Such assemblies need not have entered into any covenant with God, witnessed by baptism, nor received any laying on of hands, etc., to congregate and worship or to receive and give religious instruction.  Thus, the Old Testament uses the term congregation, not church, for these gatherings.  More of the BD entry:

The word kingdom is often used in the scriptures to mean the church, since the church is literally the kingdom of God on the earth.

This is false.  The word kingdom means kingdom.  (Duh!)  A kingdom is “the inhabitants or population subject to a king.”  The kingdom of God, then, are the people that submit to the law of God as administered by His priests, whether it is administered tribally, or via the church of Christ.  Thus, in the Book of Mormon, we find that the Nephites, when they were established under kings—from the reign of first Nephi, who consecrated his brothers Joseph and Jacob as priests and teachers, all the way to the last Nephite king, Mosiah, who also had his consecrated priests—all Nephite kings had priests, for these patriarchal orders were patterned after the kingdom of God, and God Himself, who is the King of the Universe, has priests.  And these priests, in pre-Alma days, or in pre-Jesus days, operated tribally, administering the ordinances and laws of God to the people under a tribal protocol.  These tribal orders, then, were as much the kingdom of God as were the churches of Christ, which also had ordained priests to administer the gospel ordinances and laws.  Kingdom, then, can apply to both the tribal and church protocols, and does not automatically mean or indicate that a functioning church of Christ is present.

Here’s more of the BD entry:

The Book of Mormon, as it speaks of Old Testament events, uses the word church (1 Ne. 4:26), and the Doctrine and Covenants speaks of the church in Old Testament times (D&C 107:4).

The first part is true and the second part is a supposition.  It is true that Joseph Smith translated the Egyptian word found in 1 Ne. 4:26 into church, but this did not mean a church of Christ, but merely “an assembly of believers.”  In other words, a “congregation of believers.”  The Jews in the land of Jerusalem at that time cast out, killed by stoning and other means, or tried to kill all those who believed in this prophesied Messiah that would suffer and die for the sins of the world.  They in no way, shape or form belonged to any church of Christ.  But they certainly professed a belief in Moses and his law, and also the prophets (the ones that didn’t prophesy of Christ or of the Jews’ destruction, that is), therefore, this was a congregation of believers in Moses and the law and the prophets, but not in Christ, who attended the Jewish synagogue.  Joseph translated it as church, for a church is an Ecclesia, meaning “an assembly called together,” and that’s what this congregation was.  But this wasn’t a church of Christ, but merely a gathering under tribal authority and protocols.  Here is the scripture in question:

And he spake unto me concerning the elders of the Jews, he knowing that his master, Laban, had been out by night among them.  And I spake unto him as if it had been Laban.  And I also spake unto him that I should carry the engravings, which were upon the plates of brass, to my elder brethren, who were without the walls.  And I also bade him that he should follow me.  And he, supposing that I spake of the brethren of the church, and that I was truly that Laban whom I had slain, wherefore he did follow me.  And he spake unto me many times concerning the elders of the Jews, as I went forth unto my brethren, who were without the walls.  (1 Ne. 4:22-27)

Now look at the Bible Dictionary entry for Synagogue:

A Jewish meetinghouse for religious purposes. The furniture was generally simple, consisting of an ark containing the rolls of the law and other sacred writings, a reading desk, and seats for the worshippers. Its affairs were managed by the local council of elders, who decided who should be admitted and who should be excluded (Luke 6:22; John 9:22; 12:42; 16:2). The most important official was the Ruler of the Synagogue (Mark 5:22; Luke 13:14), who was generally a scribe, had care of the building, and superintended the various services. There was also an attendant who performed clerical duties (Luke 4:20). The Sabbath morning service was the most important in the week and included a fixed lesson (Num. 15:37–41; Deut. 6:4–9; 11:13–21) and two lessons for the day, one from the law and the other from the prophets. A sermon was generally preached in explanation of one of the lessons (Luke 4:17; Acts 13:15). The existence of synagogues in every town in which Jews were living, both in Palestine and elsewhere, was a great help to the spread of the gospel, early Christian missionaries being generally able to get a hearing there (see Acts 13:5, 14; 14:1; 17:1, 10; 18:4), and the synagogue worship provided in many respects a model for early Christian worship.

Okay, so hopefully that explains the use of the word church in 1 Ne. 4:26.  So now to address D&C 107:4.  Here are the first four verses of that section:

There are, in the church, two priesthoods, namely, the Melchizedek and Aaronic, including the Levitical Priesthood.  Why the first is called the Melchizedek Priesthood is because Melchizedek was such a great high priest.  Before his day it was called the Holy Priesthood, after the Order of the Son of God.  But out of respect or reverence to the name of the Supreme Being, to avoid the too frequent repetition of his name, they, the church, in ancient days, called that priesthood after Melchizedek, or the Melchizedek Priesthood.

The Bible Dictionary author supposes that this mention of a church in ancient days in “the Doctrine and Covenants speaks of the church in Old Testament times,” but that is just an assumption, a supposition, a mere guess.  There is no evidence, whatsoever, that any church of Christ was found in Old Testament times, whether before Melchizedek, during his times (and he was a contemporary of Abraham, who likewise mentions no church), or after him.  As the most ancient church of Christ established on this earth was the one formed by Alma Nephi on this American continent, this D&C verse may be speaking of Alma’s church.  It need not apply to anything more ancient than that.

Stephen’s testimony in Acts 7 also mentioned a church in the times of Moses, but again, this wasn’t a church of Christ, but a congregation of the tribes.  Non-KJV bible translations use assembly or congregation, instead of church.  Here are his words in the KJV:

This is that Moses, which said unto the children of Israel,

A prophet shall the Lord your God raise up unto you of your brethren, like unto me; him shall ye hear.

This is he, that was in the church in the wilderness with the angel which spake to him in the mount Sina, and with our fathers: who received the lively oracles to give unto us: to whom our fathers would not obey, but thrust him from them, and in their hearts turned back again into Egypt, saying unto Aaron,

Make us gods to go before us: for as for this Moses, which brought us out of the land of Egypt, we wot not what is become of him. (Acts 7:37-40)

So there you have it.  There are only three verses in all of the scriptures that speak of a church in pre-Jesus or pre-Alma times, and two of the verses (1 Ne. 4:26 and Acts 7:38) are really talking of a tribal congregation or assembly, while the other passage (D&C 107:4) is speaking, in all likelihood, of either Alma’s church or Jesus’ church.  That is the extent of all the “evidence” for the existence of a church of Christ before Christ and Alma.

Nonetheless, as latter-day saints know absolutely nothing about the gospel administered tribally, to deal with the apparent operation of God’s priesthoods in antiquity, they have taken the church model and protocols and applied them to the past.  Even though there is no church mentioned or found in the ancient text, they, nevertheless, using their “church filters,” cause their eyes to see an ancient church everywhere, in every time period.  “It’s there, in the word congregation!  Or it’s over there, in the word kingdom!  Lo!  The church of Christ is everywhere!  It has been here since the very beginning!  This isn’t a restoration of the church of Christ that was established in Jesus’ day, but a restoration of the church of Christ from Adam’s time!  Our religion is that ancient!”  And so the sayings go.

How the false teachers use Abinadi and Alma

False teachers, working from the same false church-from-the-beginning reference point, have crafted a false narrative by superimposing the gospel as administered tribally upon the gospel as administered by the church.  Specifically, the application of Abinadi’s prophecy to Noah and his priests and people, by false teachers and false prophets—who attempt to use it as an example that God can, and does, use outsiders to correct and call the ministers of His church to repentance—is a misapplication.  Where these false teachers err is in their assumption that Abinadi and Noah and his priests and people were actually in any church of Christ.  They weren’t.  They weren’t living under church protocols, but under tribal protocols, which are different.

The only model that can be applied to the current church of Christ, founded by Joseph Smith, is a church model.  In other words, you must use a church example, not a tribal one, to show how the church of Christ is supposed to function.  So, we’ve got three churches: one founded by Alma the Nephite (the most ancient one), one founded by Jesus the Jew, and one founded by Joseph the Gentile of Ephraimite lineage.  You can look at the Nephite church, which begins with the baptism of Helam, or at the Jewish church, which begins with Jesus’ church, and apply those to the Gentile church, but you cannot turn to Abinadi and Noah and his priests and say, “See?  Abinadi wasn’t in the priesthood hierarchy and yet God used him to call them to repentance!”   So what?  There was a tribal protocol in place during that time that provided for that and Abinadi followed it precisely.

Tribal rights are passed on through literal lineage

Not all tribal functions have been revealed, as yet, but we do know a few things.  For example, lineage played a part in tribal priesthood.  Therefore, Aaron and his firstborn sons had (and still have) a right to the bishopric, by birth.  That’s a tribal protocol which is currently found in the church of Christ.  There is literal lineage (father to son) and priesthood lineage (priesthood father to priesthood son.)  In other words, priesthood rights can be passed on tribally, through literal seed (father to son, or for Aaron and all his firstborn sons), and that is a tribal operation, but also they can be passed on via the laying on of hands, from one unrelated man to another unrelated man.  The first man becomes the “priesthood father” of the second man, who becomes the “priesthood son.”  Thus, this conferral of priesthood by the laying on of hands is spoken of as having a lineage and seed.  So, I can trace my Aaronic “priesthood lineage” from the man who ordained me (who is my priesthood father), to the man who ordained him (my priesthood grandfather), and so on, back to Oliver Cowdery, and thus back to John the Baptist.  And so forth with the Melchizedek priesthood.

An example of the two kinds of seed (literal and priesthood) can be seen from the following scripture:

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)

Another example is of evangelical ministers, which is a tribal office that is currently found in the church (since we need it here until the tribal functions are fully restored) :

It is the duty of the Twelve, in all large branches of the church, to ordain evangelical ministers, as they shall be designated unto them by revelation—the order of this priesthood was confirmed to be handed down from father to son, and rightly belongs to the literal descendants of the chosen seed, to whom the promises were made.  (D&C 107:39-40)

And again, verily I say unto you, let my servant William be appointed, ordained, and anointed, as counselor unto my servant Joseph, in the room of my servant Hyrum, that my servant Hyrum may take the office of Priesthood and Patriarch, which was appointed unto him by his father, by blessing and also by right; that from henceforth he shall hold the keys of the patriarchal blessings upon the heads of all my people, that whoever he blesses shall be blessed, and whoever he curses shall be cursed; that whatsoever he shall bind on earth shall be bound in heaven; and whatsoever he shall loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven. (D&C 124:91-93)

Not only were priesthood rights transmitted by birth under the tribal model, but so were gifts.  In the Nephite society, it was the seed of Jacob, all the Jacobite sons, who had a right to the gift to prophesy.  As such, any male Jacobite, filled with the Spirit, was duly authorized to preach repentance to anyone, including priests, teachers and kings.  As they were Jacobites—their surname being Jacob-Nephi—they were within the Nephite tribal congregations, therefore they weren’t from the outside.  Also, as they were Jacobites, they had a right to prophesy.

Abinadi was likely a Jacobite, descended from Abinadom.  Thus, he was fully within his rights to call these people to repentance.  The whole thing followed tribal protocols, but not church protocols, for under church protocols, we are not to command him who is at our head.

But thou shalt not write by way of commandment, but by wisdom; and thou shalt not command him who is at thy head, and at the head of the church; for I have given him the keys of the mysteries, and the revelations which are sealed, until I shall appoint unto them another in his stead. (D&C 28:5-7)

Also, the elders of the church are not to be taught by others, but are to be the ones who do the teaching.

Again I say, hearken ye elders of my church, whom I have appointed:

Ye are not sent forth to be taught, but to teach the children of men the things which I have put into your hands by the power of my Spirit; and ye are to be taught from on high.  (D&C 43:15-16)

So, God will not use outsiders to call any of the church elders to repentance.  God will only use church ministers to call them to repentance.  (This means that if you’ve been excommunicated, repent and come back in.  If you start calling any part of the church to repentance, that is evidence that you do not have the Spirit of God.)

Additionally, the record states that “there was a man among them whose name was Abinadi” (Mosiah 11:20), so Abinadi was actually a part of Noah’s people and kingdom.  So, he was in no way an outsider.

An affront to the king’s right to judge

After Abinadi gave his prophecy to the people, they were livid, and when king Noah learned of his words, he also was fuming mad, and he said,

Who is Abinadi, that I and my people should be judged of him, or who is the Lord, that shall bring upon my people such great affliction?  I command you to bring Abinadi hither, that I may slay him, for he has said these things that he might stir up my people to anger one with another, and to raise contentions among my people; therefore I will slay him.  (Mosiah 11:27-28)

The reason for all this anger was two-fold.  The first reason was because, under tribal prototol, it was up to the kings to judge the people.  King Mosiah later would say,

Therefore, if it were possible that you could have just men to be your kings, who would establish the laws of God, and judge this people according to his commandments… (Mosiah 29:13)

Also, when there was iniquity in the church, Alma went to the king to have him judge them, according to tribal protocol:

And he said unto the king:

Behold, here are many whom we have brought before thee, who are accused of their brethren; yea, and they have been taken in divers iniquities. And they do not repent of their iniquities; therefore we have brought them before thee, that thou mayest judge them according to their crimes. (Mosiah 26:11)

Secondly, it was the prerogative of the kings to call upon the prophets, priests, teachers and other leaders, as helps, in their mission of judging the people and establishing peace:

…behold, it came to pass that king Benjamin, with the assistance of the holy prophets who were among his people—for behold, king Benjamin was a holy man, and he did reign over his people in righteousness; and there were many holy men in the land, and they did speak the word of God with power and with authority; and they did use much sharpness because of the stiffneckedness of the people—wherefore, with the help of these, king Benjamin, by laboring with all the might of his body and the faculty of his whole soul, and also the prophets, did once more establish peace in the land. (Words of Mormon 1:16-18)

This was the tribal protocol for just kings. And in the whole history of the Nephite people, there had only been just kings. Jarom said, “our kings and our leaders were mighty men in the faith of the Lord; and they taught the people the ways of the Lord” (Jarom 1:7.) But Noah was an anomaly. He was an iniquitous king.  In the case of an iniquitous king, judgment reverted to the LORD under tribal protocol, but this had never happened before, for Noah was the first wicked Nephite king.

This is why Noah’s question is two-fold: “Who is Abinadi, that I and my people should be judged of him, or who is the Lord, that shall bring upon my people such great affliction?”  When Noah asks, “Who is Abinadi?” it isn’t because Abinadi is an unknown person, some passerby that happened to enter into the land, and it isn’t because Abinadi isn’t a part of the priests of Noah, like many of the false teachers like to assert.  No, what Noah is saying is, “Is Abinadi king, or am I king?  Who has the right to judge this people, him or me?”

Assuming that Abinadi was, indeed, a Jacobite (and if so, his name would have been Abinadi Jacob-Nephi), Abinadi had the right to prophesy, but this always happened with the king’s advance notice and approval, and under the king’s guidance, not out-of-the-blue, without any notification whatsoever to the reigning king.  So, king Noah felt affronted.

Additionally, the prophecy of Abinadi went contrary to what the king and his priests were saying.  They proclaimed celebration and prosperity, while Abinadi’s prophecy was of affliction and bondage.  Noah assumed, therefore, that as the people appeared to be prosperous and content, and they gave their common consent to all he did(!), that he must be a just king, and therefore Abinadi must be the one out of sorts.  Therefore Abinadi must be a false prophet.  And also the name of “the Lord” that Abinadi invoked must not be the real Lord, but a false god.  (This is why king Noah asks, “Who is the Lord?”)  Abinadi, then, was the obvious guilty party, under tribal protocol (assuming a just king, that is.)  And so he and his people did not believe the prophecy.  They thought it was all made up:

And it came to pass that they were angry with him; and they took him and carried him bound before the king, and said unto the king:

Behold, we have brought a man before thee who has prophesied evil concerning thy people, and saith that God will destroy them.  And he also prophesieth evil concerning thy life, and saith that thy life shall be as a garment in a furnace of fire.  And again, he saith that thou shalt be as a stalk, even as a dry stalk of the field, which is run over by the beasts and trodden under foot.  And again, he saith thou shalt be as the blossoms of a thistle, which, when it is fully ripe, if the wind bloweth, it is driven forth upon the face of the land. And he pretendeth the Lord hath spoken it. And he saith all this shall come upon thee except thou repent, and this because of thine iniquities.  And now, O king, what great evil hast thou done, or what great sins have thy people committed, that we should be condemned of God or judged of this man?  And now, O king, behold, we are guiltless, and thou, O king, hast not sinned; therefore, this man has lied concerning you, and he has prophesied in vain.  And behold, we are strong, we shall not come into bondage, or be taken captive by our enemies; yea, and thou hast prospered in the land, and thou shalt also prosper.  Behold, here is the man, we deliver him into thy hands; thou mayest do with him as seemeth thee good.

So none of this has anything, whatsoever, to do with Abinadi not being a part of the body of Noah’s priests, but this is how the false teachers would like to spin it.

Okay, so my point is that Abinadi acted under proper tribal protocols.

A brief aside

It is not my intention to fully expound this Abinadi episode, but I will point out a couple of things, before moving on to Alma’s actions.

First, Noah, priests and people were focused on the law of Moses, thinking that salvation came by it, and they discarded the Ten Commandments, whereas Abinadi pointed to the Ten Commandments, saying that those who obeyed those commandments would be saved.

The people essentially broke every single one of the Ten Commandments.  They all “became idolatrous” (Mosiah 11:6-7.)  That broke the Second Commandment.  The king and priests spoke “vain words” (Mosiah 11:7,11) to the people.  That might indicate that they broke the Third Commandment.  The king and priests did not work, but were “supported in their laziness” (Mosiah 11:6.)  That broke the Fourth Commandment.  King Noah “did not walk in the ways of his father” (Mosiah 11:1.)  That indicates that he broke the Fifth Commandment.  The people “did delight in blood, and the shedding of the blood of their brethren” (Mosiah 11:19) and also they consented to the death of Abinadi.  This broke the Sixth Commandment.  They had “many wives and concubines” (Mosiah 11:2,4,6,14) and spent time with harlots and committed whoredoms.  That broke the Seventh Commandment.  They returned from war with the Lamanites, “rejoicing in their spoil” (Mosiah 11:18.)  That might indicate that they didn’t just get their own stuff back from the Lamanites, but took (stole) additional things that the Lamanites possessed.  That would break the Eighth Commandment.  The high priests would “speak lying” (Mosiah 11:11) words to the people.  That would violate the Ninth Commandment.  Finally, king Noah levied a tax upon the people (see Mosiah 11:4,6,13.)  This would violate the Tenth Commandment (per the post, Thou shalt not “covet”.)

Second, despite breaking pretty much every single commandment of God, notice that Abinadi does not say to them that their priesthood was now null and void, that they had no more keys, that because of their apostasy and sinful ways, the “church was no longer true,” etc., as the false teachers like to spin it, but instead, Abinadi continues to recognize the authority of these corrupt priests to the very end, ending his sermon in this fashion:

Therefore, if ye teach the law of Moses, also teach that it is a shadow of those things which are to come—teach them that redemption cometh through Christ the Lord, who is the very Eternal Father. Amen. (Mosiah 16:14-15)

So, this was not a case of “Amen to the priesthood or the authority of that man!” that the false teachers would like it to be.  Now, let’s look at Alma.

Alma, the priest of Noah

Alma repented of his sins, ran away when Noah tried to kill him, wrote the words of Abinadi, and then began preaching in private.

Keep in mind that the tribal protocols were still intact under Noah and his priests.  But Alma couldn’t return, because they would just try to kill him again.  He was now an outsider, but he still had priesthood authority.  He was also under the obligation to teach the people the truth of Abinadi’s words.  He couldn’t teach them tribally and then tell them to go back and submit to the tribal authority of Noah as believers in Christ, because once it came out that they believed as Abinadi did, they would likely be killed, as well. So, what was Alma to do?

The answer is that he used his priesthood to form a church of Christ.  Noah and his priests operated under the tribal model, so Alma used his faith to have his converts operate under the church model.  This would protect them from the oppressions of king Noah, for they could meet in secret, be baptized in secret and so forth.  On the one hand, they would still participate in tribal functions, under Noah and priests, as well as in church functions, under Alma.

The church rises, the tribe goes away

But notice that once the church comes into existence, Satan inspires the king to destroy it, so they run away.  Then they are found by the Lamanites and finally escape to king Mosiah.  King Mosiah, a seer with his own tribal priests, seeing that Alma’s immense faith has caused a church of Christ to be formed before Christ had come to establish it(!), starts to set in motion the cessation of the priesthood within the tribal protocols.  He turns the monarchy into a system of judges without priests, gives Alma full authority over the church and the ordination of priesthood, and hands all sacred items to Alma’s son Alma.  Alma the younger then becomes first chief judge, high priest of the church, and all priesthood is now centered in the church.  From this point on, the priesthood no longer operates tribally, but within the church of Christ, exclusively.  The church of Christ has full sway over which ordinances are salvific, and which are not.

This pattern follows with the other two churches, too.  The church established by Jesus had exclusive authority.  The church established by Joseph Smith has exclusive authority.  No ordinances are salvific without church authorization, for either of these three churches.  All those who claim that they can baptize without church authorization, using Mormon priesthood, and that those baptisms are legitimately salvific in the Lord’s view, are wrong.  The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints possesses the keys over all the ordinances of salvation, exclusively.

Three published revelations given to me

Okay, hopefully that covers the Abinadi-Alma point that is always brought up by false teachers.

As the cry of false teachers and false prophets is always the same—the church is apostate, the keys are no longer valid, the practices of the church no longer conform to the revelations, etc.—I am going to use Abinadi logic to deal with these assertions:

And it came to pass that after Abinadi had made an end of these sayings that he said unto them:

Have ye taught this people that they should observe to do all these things for to keep these commandments? I say unto you,

Nay;

for if ye had, the Lord would not have caused me to come forth and to prophesy evil concerning this people. (Mosiah 13:25-26)

Joseph Smith organized and established the church of Christ on 6 April, 1830.  I joined The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in 19__, at the age of nine.  About a month before my baptism, I received a revelation from the Holy Ghost, in which the Spirit said to me:

“This [The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints] is the ONLY true church!”

This revelation was received while I was attending a Mormon church service for the very first time, and it was accompanied by a baptism of fire and of the Holy Ghost.  The meaning of the revelation was that the members of this particular church had valid ordinances of salvation.  In other words, that their priesthood authority was the only priesthood which was valid and authorized by God.

Now, all those who say that this church is apostate, or that the priesthood is no longer here, or some of it is missing, or the ordinances have changed, or that the keys are not valid, etc., and point to any point of time between 1830 and 19__, the year I received this revelation, are in error.  I say to them like Abinadi said to those priests:

Did the church become false at any time during this period from 1830 to 19__?  I say to you,

No, it didn’t;

for if it did, the Lord would not have caused me to receive a revelation that the church was true in 19__.

Now, either the church was true in 1830, and then became false, and then was restored back to true by 19__, or it has remained true the entire time, from 1830 to 19__.  As we have no record of any restoration that has occurred after Joseph Smith’s death, and, in fact, no such restoration will occur, except by the hand of the Josephite, then the church must have been true during this entire time.

So, that covers the period from 1830 to 19__, but what about the period since 19__?  Could there have been an apostasy since then?  Could the keys have been lost since the year I received that revelation?

No, because there is also this revelation, which I received in 2014:

Behold! Thus saith the Lord:

Thou shalt shut thy mouth, for none of my saints shall be authorized to speak against the leaders of my church, to criticize and correct them publicly, unless I send them. And thou shalt be sent, but the time is not yet, neither for thee, nor for any others, therefore, thou shalt heed these words and hold thy tongue.

Notice in particular that the Lord says, “the leaders of my church.”  Again,

Did the church become false at any time during this period from 19__ to 2014?  I say to you,

No, it didn’t;

for if it did, the Lord would not have caused me to receive a revelation that this was still His church in 2014.

So, this Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is still the Lord’s church, as of 2014.  And since 2014, there has been no indication from the Spirit, whatsoever, that the church has ceased being the Lord’s church, therefore, it’s still true, the keys are still here, the priesthood is still valid, and the Lord still recognizes it as His.

Anybody, then, who goes around saying this church no longer holds the keys, or is apostate, or does not have the priesthood (or not all the priesthood), or the ordinances have been changed or corrupted, or the Lord has rejected the church, and so forth—anyone who teaches such doctrine is a false teacher, because they go against these revelations of mine.

There is only one response that a false teacher can say to this, and that is, “These revelations are not true.”  But they are true, and this can be demonstrated by anyone praying to God about them.  God will tell any earnest seeker of truth that the above two revelations are true, and as they are true, these other phonies are false teachers.

Now, before I address the final point that false teachers always bring up, which is the fact that the practices of the church do not match the revelations of Joseph Smith in a great many instances, I will put up the third revelation, which is the tribal revelation, to show that this tribal doctrine and protocol, in which the kingdom of God was administered to the people tribally, is not something I made up on my own, but which was revealed to me by the Holy Ghost in 2010:

Be of good comfort, for verily, thus saith the Lord:

The priesthood existed before the organization of the church and is to serve both church and tribe. Although the tribes of Israel are not gathered, yet they are known to me, along with all the tribes of the earth.

For the Lord beholds no man alone, but sees the lineage of all families, of all the children of men, and of these lines form tribes.

I have yet to restore tribal functions,

saith the Lord,

nevertheless, the church ordinances of baptism, confirmation, administration of the sacrament, and priesthood ordinations, may be performed within a tribe, as tribal ordinances, under tribal authority or keys. Thus the priesthood may operate within a tribe, independently from the church, and within the church, independently from a tribe.

Nevertheless, thou shalt not substitute the church for the tribe, nor the tribe for the church.

Yet thou mayest establish thy tribe using these priesthood ordinances, and conform your tribal practices to the revelations of my servant Joseph Smith, Jun.,

saith the Lord.

¶ Because thou fearest to sin, thou shalt not administer of the sacrament at home to thy family, as a church ordinance, unless the bishop permitteth it.

For it is not meet nor right to establish a home church, apart from the body of the saints; nevertheless, thou art permitted to administer of the sacrament, as a tribal ordinance, to those that pertain to thy tribe.

For I require the saints of my church to meet together often, to worship me as a group, and thou shalt also worship me at all times, and the church is ordained and established unto this end,

saith the Lord.

Likewise the tribe is to worship me, as a group and individually. Wherefore, establish thy tribe, if thou wilt, using the priesthood, that ye may worship me as a group, in conformity to my revelations, given to my servant Joseph, that I may pour out my Spirit and gifts upon thee and thine, that thou shalt have no more cause to mourn and murmur concerning the meetings of my church. But take care not to go beyond the bounds I have set, until I have seen fit to reveal the tribal functions. Amen.

This shows that the priesthood “is to serve both church and tribe,” which means that before the churches established by Alma and Jesus, the kingdom of God was administered tribally, for that is what existed back then: tribes of Israel and tribes of the earth.

Two published revelations given to Joseph Smith

There are also two revelations which were given to Joseph Smith that show that the church still has all of its keys.  The first is:

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)

Those are the words of John the Baptist to Joseph Smith and Oliver Cowdery when he gave them the Aaronic Priesthood. Notice that he says that that priesthood will remain on earth until the sons of Levi offer a sacrifice to the Lord in righteousness. Have the sons of Levi done this, yet? No, they haven’t. Therefore, this priesthood and all its keys are still here in the Lord’s church.

Here is another revelation of Joseph Smith:

Therefore, thus saith the Lord unto you, with whom the priesthood hath continued through the lineage of your fathers—for ye are lawful heirs, according to the flesh, and have been hid from the world with Christ in God—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 86:8-10)

This does not refer to the literal seed, but to the priesthood seed and priesthood lineage and priesthood fathers. So, the fathers of Joseph and Oliver were John the Baptist and also Peter, James and John, and Joseph and Oliver were lawful heirs, according to the flesh, for these priesthoods were conferred by the laying on of hands, of flesh and bone people, therefore it was done “according to the flesh.” Some people go way out in left field and think this scripture is speaking of the literal seed, or that Joseph and Oliver had priesthood rights by birth, from their mortal fathers, etc., but no such imaginary scenario exists, for they were Gentiles and had no right by birth to the priesthood, but via ordination by the hand of these resurrected personages. And so the lineage spoken of here is not the literal seed of Joseph and Oliver, but their priesthood seed. For example, owing to my priesthood lineage, Oliver Cowdery is one of my priesthood fathers. And I am one of his priesthood sons. And so forth. I am a part of his priesthood posterity.

Now, this priesthood (which includes both priesthoods) was to remain “until the restoration of all things.”  Again,

Has the restoration of all things occurred, yet?  I say to you,

No, it hasn’t;

therefore, this priesthood and all its keys are still with the church.

There is no getting around these revelations, neither mine nor Joseph’s.  If the false teachers are teaching correct doctrines, then both my revelations and also Joseph Smith’s are false.  If Joseph’s and my revelations are true, then the false teachers are in error.  It can’t be both ways.  As all these revelations are true, everyone can expect these two priesthoods, and their keys, to remain in this church until the restoration of all things.

These are the keys

As for what keys they have, this is what the Lord says about that:

For unto you, the Twelve, and those, the First Presidency, who are appointed with you to be your counselors and your leaders, is the power of this priesthood given, for the last days and for the last time, in the which is the dispensation of the fulness of times, which power you hold, in connection with all those who have received a dispensation at any time from the beginning of the creation; for verily I say unto you, the keys of the dispensation, which ye have received, have come down from the fathers, and last of all, being sent down from heaven unto you. (D&C 112:30-32)

So, it is to the Twelve and First Presidency that we should look as key holders.  Now, notice what they have done with their keys since the death of Joseph Smith:

The church is out of order

According to the law of expediency, the church leadership must operate according to what is expedient.  In the absence of the revelations of a seer (Joseph Smith or Joseph-Nephi) they are to use this law and their keys, to keep the work moving forward, building up the church upon the foundation Joseph Smith laid, until the next seer (Joseph-Nephi) arrives to add to the body of revelation and restore the rest of all the things.

Because of hinderment, and especially if the hinderment is continual, things can quickly get out of order.  So, let’s say you start with 10 numbered blocks, from 1 to 10, which Joseph Smith restored, and let’s say that there are, in total, 1000 blocks to be restored.  Those 10 blocks represent the foundation of the restoration of all things, as well as the foundation of the church, which was accomplished by Joseph.  The order is from 1 to 10, but even in Joseph’s time, there was hinderment, so, for example, the law of consecration and stewardship had to be put on hold, and we got a new revealed block, which was the law of tithing.  After Joseph’s death, the leadership, holding the keys, had to move the work forward as best they could, under whatever inspiration they could get.

But again, hinderment comes, for Satan opposes this work, and maybe the order must be changed a little, so that there is no halt in the work.  Maybe blocks number 4 and 5 get swapped.  Later, there is more opposition, and the law of expediency requires that to keep the work moving forward, blocks 2 and 7 must be swapped.  Maybe with so much opposition, block 10 must have its practice ceased, but the block must remain, so it is hid under block 9.  And so on, as time goes on the blocks get more and more out of order.  Yet they are all still there.

The uninspired man, and in particular the false teachers and false prophets, will say that this is not the true church, for look at all the blocks.  They are out of order!  They no longer conform to the revelations of Joseph Smith!  But remember, these are uninspired, false teachers.  They cannot see the hand of God if it was placed right in front of their blind faces.

And it shall come to pass that I, the Lord God, will send one mighty and strong, holding the scepter of power in his hand, clothed with light for a covering, whose mouth shall utter words, eternal words; while his bowels shall be a fountain of truth, to set in order the house of God, and to arrange by lot the inheritances of the saints whose names are found, and the names of their fathers, and of their children, enrolled in the book of the law of God; while that man, who was called of God and appointed, that putteth forth his hand to steady the ark of God, shall fall by the shaft of death, like as a tree that is smitten by the vivid shaft of lightning. (D&C 85:7-8)

This prophecy cannot be fulfilled unless the house of God first gets out of order.  This is really, then, two prophecies: one of the house of God getting out of order, and one of the house of God being set in order.  Those who say: “That the house of God being out of order, or it not conforming to the revelations of Joseph Smith, is evidence that it is no longer the house of God” are false teachers, for this prophecy of Joseph Smith prophesies that the house of God will first get out of order, yet it still will be the house of God, for later on it (the house of God) will be set in order.  It never ceases to be the house of God during this process.  Therefore, all those who seek to “steady the ark of God” to restore order to it, are the ones who are uninspired.  The house of God getting out of order is a state which conforms to the revelations of Joseph Smith.  And the leadership, acting under the law of expediency, and getting this house more and more out of order, are acting under inspiration of God.

It was always the intention of God to have the house get all jumbled up, and then one day He had always planned that this guy, called a mighty and strong one, would come and set the whole mess right.  So, if you want to follow a false teacher out of this church, do it with the understanding that these people haven’t got a clue as to the workings of the Spirit.

A key to discerning the time of apostasy

When did the most ancient church of Christ (the one established by Alma Nephi) go into apostasy and cease to exist?  The answer is when God took away His twelve disciples.  (Later, under Mormon, it was when He took away all of His disciples.)  And when did the church established by Jesus among the Jews go into apostasy?

Verily, thus saith the Lord unto you my servants, concerning the parable of the wheat and of the tares:

Behold, verily I say, the field was the world, and the apostles were the sowers of the seed; and after they have fallen asleep the great persecutor of the church, the apostate, the whore, even Babylon, that maketh all nations to drink of her cup, in whose hearts the enemy, even Satan, sitteth to reign—behold he soweth the tares; wherefore, the tares choke the wheat and drive the church into the wilderness. (D&C 86:1-3)

Once again, the answer is when the apostles were taken away. (The tares had been sown in the church while the apostles were still ministering, but only when they were taken away did the tares become capable of choking the wheat and driving the church into the wilderness.) And in our day, when will the church go into apostasy?

Now, I say unto you, and what I say unto you, I say unto all the Twelve:

And again, I say unto you, that whosoever ye shall send in my name, by the voice of your brethren, the Twelve, duly recommended and authorized by you, shall have power to open the door of my kingdom unto any nation whithersoever ye shall send them—inasmuch as they shall humble themselves before me, and abide in my word, and hearken to the voice of my Spirit.

Verily, verily, I say unto you, darkness covereth the earth, and gross darkness the minds of the people, and all flesh has become corrupt before my face.

Behold, vengeance cometh speedily upon the inhabitants of the earth, a day of wrath, a day of burning, a day of desolation, of weeping, of mourning, and of lamentation; and as a whirlwind it shall come upon all the face of the earth,

saith the Lord.

And upon my house shall it begin, and from my house shall it go forth,

saith the Lord;

first among those among you,

saith the Lord,

who have professed to know my name and have not known me, and have blasphemed against me in the midst of my house,

saith the Lord. (D&C 112:14,21-26)

Again, the answer is the same: the day of vengeance, wrath, burning, desolation, weeping, mourning and lamentation will begin first among the Twelve apostles.  (And this day has not come, yet.)  So, when the Lord removes the twelve Gentile apostles, that is the day when the tares, which are already sown among the wheat of this church, will begin to choke the wheat. But as long as we have the twelve apostles among us, the church is not apostate, it still has the priesthood, the keys are still here, the ordinances are still valid, and so forth. Even my prophecies concerning the breakup of the church and of the descent into wickedness (by the tares of this church) bear out this principle, for the church breakup and wickedness of the tares only occurs when the quorum of the Twelve are taken out of the picture. So, all of this shows that a key to know whether this church is still valid in God’s eyes, is the existence of the quorum of the twelve apostles. If that quorum exists, the church is still true.  And since we do have the Twelve among us still, this (The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints) is still the Lord’s church and believe it or not, all the expedient disordering that is being done with their keys is under inspiration of God.  So, hopefully this post will do something to help shut the mouths of the false teachers who are spreading lies among the saints.

Complete List of Articles authored by LDS Anarchist