Introducing a new bartering currency—the first coin: 1/2 Troy oz pure silver .999 fine


For the past several weeks, the Spirit has been guiding me through strange paths.  It all began a week or two prior to November 1st…

Guidance Sought

A crisis was happening in my family which required a solution that I couldn’t provide.  As I analyzed the situation, it became apparent that I could not proceed further without guidance from the Lord.  So, I began to fast (no food or water for days) and to pray in earnest, even retiring to a local mountain to pray openly to the Lord at midday and evening hours.  In addition to the family crisis, though, the country’s economic situation was pressing upon my mind.  With these mental burdens, I asked for a specific solution to my family crisis and also a way to escape the economic bombs beginning to explode around us all.

(In case the reader is unaware of what is coming down the pike, I refer you to LEAP/Europe2020’s latest economic prediction along with their 27 other previous predictive announcements concerning the Global Systemic Crisis that we are currently in.)

Prophecy Received

My family, and especially my wife, were all getting nervous, as I had no solution to the family crisis and could only reply, “I am waiting for an answer from the Lord.”  Each day that went by I expected to receive an answer in one form or another, yet nothing came.  No dream, no vision, no whisperings, no angelic visits, no divinely-inspired human intervention, nothing.  In fact, not only were there no prophetic or revelatory dreams, but there were no dreams whatsoever.  I was receiving a complete blank, as if the heavens had closed themselves, yet the Spirit of the Lord had not left me and I was still full of faith and confident that the Lord had a solution to our family crisis.

Nevertheless, my poor wife had to endure day after day of me telling her that the Lord had not yet spoken to me and that we needed to wait a little longer.  And then, sometime during the last week of October, I suddenly received three prophecies from the Spirit, which had nothing whatsoever to do with solving our family crisis.  Yet, these prophecies confirmed to me that I was still right before the Lord and that I was going to receive an answer.  And so I patiently waited…

My Prayer Answered

On the 28th of October, a friend emailed me and out of the blue asked me a question concerning silver.  I hadn’t spoken to him about silver in a long time, so it was quite unexpected.  I called him back to answer his question and we talked at length about the silver situation.  During that conversation he said something that triggered a confirmation of the Spirit, meaning that as he spoke the words the Spirit indicated to me that I was to pursue a course that would focus all my time, means and efforts on silver.

After the telephone conversation, I breathed a sigh of relief and joyously told my wife the good news that the Lord had finally responded and that He was to going to direct me in a course that had something to do with silver.

The next day, I did some research, and made some additional discoveries concerning silver.  These discoveries were likewise learned with confirmatory manifestations from the Spirit.  Apparently, I was going to be guided step-by-step and day-by-day in what I was to do and where I was to go and was to be given a little bit here and a little bit there, with doors opening up miraculously when they seemed to be impossibly shut.  The Spirit plainly indicated that this was the Lord’s work, not mine.

Each day that went by, the strangeness of it all started to become clearer.  I found myself traveling south of the border several times, in search of silver.  To illustrate just how bizarre it all has been, let me mention one incident.  I had a married couple give great sums of cash money to me, as in three thousand dollars taped to my abdomen (in case I was robbed), to get silver for them in a foreign country.  How strange is that?  Who in their right mind would hand over 3 grand cash to someone and send them into another country to purchase silver for them?  Yet, despite the risk of dishonesty on my part and the risk of me being robbed by someone (either taking the money or taking the silver from me), they had implicit trust in me and in my abilities to get them what they wanted.  And by the grace of God I was successful.

A follow-up trip down south in search of silver came up empty, though.  As I walked down the streets, having nearly exhausted my places to search, I thought, “How is it the the Lord sends me here and doesn’t provide me with what I was told to seek?  He must direct me to its location!”  And as I thought these very thoughts, with a determination to continue looking until the Spirit revealed to me the location of the metal, I found myself at an establishment that caught my eye, which, upon entering and making the acquaintance of the owner, I discovered that he was the man that the Lord had provided for me to supply me with the silver.

And then over the next days, in my interactions with this man, I met another man, who had also been prepared by the Lord to provide me with something.  And this gift from this second man, upon looking it over, was the last piece of the puzzle that I needed to finally grasp what the Lord wanted me to do.  None of these people knew, or even now know, any of the others, yet they had all been prepared by the Lord to facilitate the way.

The Mission

After looking over the gift by this last man, the Spirit impressed upon my mind that I needed to create a silver-based bartering currency and that I had to do it with urgency.  That manifestation occurred on Saturday night, the 15th of November.  I decided to base the new currency upon the Zcoin designs, according to my memory of those designs (as that website is no longer in operation), with a few changes.  That night I scribbled down some quick designs and went to sleep, with the plan that on Monday I would seek a minting company.

Sunday the 16th of November I again took up the designs and made further modifications.

Monday the 17th of November came and I began to search and call many of the major mints in the nation.  I had planned on minting a 1/20 ounce coin initially, so as I called these places I discovered that virtually no one would mint such a small coin.  Then I started to call lesser-sized mints, leaving messages for people to call me back.  As evening approached, I told my wife that I couldn’t find an appropriate mint, but not to worry, as the Lord would provide one.  I still had the ever present sense of urgency from the Spirit and despite coming up with nothing, yet I was confident that the Lord was going to push this thing through.  A short time later that same day, one particular mint called back, and as we talked, it became apparent they were the mint that the Lord had intended all along to use.

Tuesday the 18th of November brought forth another man, also prepared by the Lord, whose advice caused me to change my initial coin size from 1/20 ounce to 1/2 ounce.  Like on other occasions, the Spirit indicated to me to follow this man’s advice.

Wednesday the 19th of November finalized the details with the mint, along with the revised 1/2 ounce images, and set a price for the creation of the dies.  It was more than I could afford. I told my wife, “We are going to tighten our belts and buy nothing but the bare necessities, while I seek out the money to create the dies.  I will use every spare dime we have and add that to whatever else I can obtain to get this thing started, as I am certain this is the word of the Lord and that I must perform this thing quickly.”  I set out that night to obtain the money and came back empty-handed.

On Thursday morning, the 20th of November, I set my mind to diligently doing everything I could to obtain the rest of the funds needed, even if I needed to work seven days a week for two straight weeks to accomplish the task, yet all the while with the understanding that the Lord wanted this begun now, not in two weeks.

Thursday evening I returned home with a 1 oz gold coin in my hand.  A donor had decided to give it to me to use to purchase the dies.  I never asked for it.  I merely recounted to this person many of the strange occurrences that had happened on a daily basis to me over the last three or so weeks.  The Lord did the rest.

Friday the 21st of November (today), I sent off the check to the mint and finalized all the details so that they could start making the dies and also begin receiving pre-orders from people who desired to mint this currency.

My current understanding

The Lord still hasn’t revealed to me everything concerning this work, but I believe, based upon the revelations and experiences I’ve had in the past 3-5 weeks, that He intends to use this bartering currency to monetize silver and to set up a way to frustrate the secret combination’s attempt at destroying the people by destroying the government currency.  Although it does appear that the Lord is going to allow the secret combination to destroy the government currency, their plan of making it so that there will be no viable alternative (non sc-controlled) currency whereby people can transact will be frustrated by the introduction of these silver coins.

It appears that this currency will remain hidden from the view of the secret combination until they make their move to utterly destroy the dollar, at which time it will come to their attention that these silver coins are being used by people to barter and that a portion of the population is totally independent from their monetary control and power.

I foresee that the distribution of these coins will ultimately lead to the opening up of silver mines in America again, perhaps because it will be profitable to monetize the silver taken from the mines.

I foresee the time coming when the minting company will no longer accept dollars in payment of their minting operations, but will ask a percentage of the output as payment, just like me.  This will allow them to remain in business while other mints around them close their doors.  It will also make it cheaper for someone to mint coins.

The currency will ultimately be expanded to include various sizes and more than one private mint.

It may be that this is the currency that will fulfill the prophecies concerning money found in the Doctrine and Covenants.  (See The Root Cause of the Current Financial (Monetary) Crisis and Its Solution.)

That is about all I can see forward, so far.

About the Currency and How to Get It

[Updated Info: To see more photographs of the coins, visit the blog post, Bartering Currency Pictures.] Here is what the 1/2-oz coin looks like:

[Note: The “AN” is the mint mark of the American National Mint.  Both the American National Mint and The Collector’s Mint are divisions of the same company: The Money Company.]

Obverse of a Proof Condition Silver 1/2-oz Bartering Currency Coin - Contrast Increased

Obverse of a Proof Condition Silver 1/2-oz Bartering Currency Coin - Contrast Increased

Reverse of a Proof Condition Silver 1/2-oz Bartering Currency Coin - Contrast Increased

Reverse of a Proof Condition Silver 1/2-oz Bartering Currency Coin - Contrast Increased

You’ll notice that I’ve got an anarchy symbol there (after all, I am LDS Anarchist!)  I put that symbol there so that people understand that this currency can function with or without an existing government (a State.)  Also, as it is my understanding that we are slated to be brought into tribal anarchy, I wanted that symbol to serve as a reminder to those using the currency to remain in anarchy, so that if ever the temptation to re-establish a State enters the mind of man, a glance at the coins may cause them to think twice about it and change their minds.

You can obtain the coins by ordering minting runs.  Just contact the following mint:

The Collector’s Mint

Tarzana, CA

Email: moneyco1@aol.com

Phone: 818-609-7666

Ask for Nancy or Richard

(Tarzana is in the Los Angeles area.)

When you call them up, tell them you want to “strike coins using the bartering currency dies.”  They will explain to you their striking prices.  They will also explain that the cost of using the bartering currency dies is that the die owner (me) gets one hundredth of the output.  This means that if you strike 100 coins, 1 of them gets set aside for me.  I will use this hundredth part to repair the dies if they ever break or need repair, to create new coin sizes and for other purposes.

You can bring your own .999 fine silver to the mint or you can purchase .999 fine silver from them.  They get silver at something like 15 cents above spot, so it is really cheap.  Also, you can strike coins for as low as $2.00 a coin.  For larger orders (5,000 or above), you can strike at an even cheaper price.  You can pick up your order yourself or you can have them ship it out to you.  Shipping is extra.  If you have silver, but it isn’t .999 fine, they will take it, but they must assay it and refine it, which are additional costs.  It takes about 1-2 days to strike coins, once they have the silver and planchets needed.

They will accept pre-orders now, meaning that even though it will take two weeks from today (the 21st of November) for the manufacture of the dies to be completed, anyone can call them up today and order a minting run, locking in today’s spot price of silver, and when the dies are ready, production of your order will commence.

It’s Cost-effective and Wise

If you plug in the numbers, it costs nearly the same price to purchase a 1 ounce .999 silver bullion coin as it does to mint two of these 1/2 ounce bartering coins, if you buy the silver from the mint and pick up the coins yourself.  If silver is at $10 an ounce spot price, because of its scarcity these days, you may find it sold at $14 or $15 or even more per ounce.  If you mint two of the 1/2 ounce .999 silver bullion bartering coins, you pay $10.15 for an ounce plus two $2.00 minting fees, bringing your total cost per ounce to $14.15.  Now, that is not subtracting the cost of the hundredth part which is taken out of your output, but even taking that out, were you to mint 100 pieces (ending up with 99 because of the hundredth part taken out), your total cost per ounce would still only be $14.29, which is still pretty close to the cost of a 1-ounce piece.

1/2-ounce pieces are better than 1-ounce pieces because they can purchase smaller items.  If ever we need to use this currency as actual money, smaller denominations will always be more useful than larger denominations.

Currently, in this country, you would be hard-pressed to find any silver bullion coins in the 1/2-ounce range.  Not any more, though, as I’m now introducing this first piece to the LDS public.  Use it as you wish.

As for me, I’ve accomplished this first part of the mission given me of the Lord.

Updated Info (updated on 2 Dec 2008 )

I’ve changed the above wording to reflect a hundredth part taken out instead of the original tenth part taken out as payment for use of my dies.  This makes the currency competitively priced to any 1-oz or 1/2-oz bullion silver coin.  I made this change after talking to an individual (who will remain nameless) and learning of the capitalistic endeavors being promoted now that the economy is tanking.  Although I commend them for trying to introduce silver-based money into society, and wish them the best of luck, hearing how “everybody had to get their cut” didn’t sit well with me.  The Spirit again rested upon me and gave me a great sense of urgency, so, although they invited me to participate in their scheme, it became clear that these dies must follow a different, less profit-motivated path.

So, effective immediately, with the die payment changes I’ve made, the bartering currency is now the best-priced 1/2-ounce piece in existence and can also compete with any 1-oz bullion coin out there, either beating their price, matching their price, or coming really close to matching it.  Here are the new numbers:

Minimum order = 100 coins
50 oz produces 100 1/2-oz coins
$2.00 minting charge per coin
100 coins times $2.00 = $200
50 oz of $10/oz silver = $500
1/100 of produced coins = 1 coin (this goes to the die owner)
99/100 of produced coins = 99 coins (this goes to you)

Equation: Total Minting Cost ($200) + Total Silver Cost ($500) divided by 99/100 of produced coins (99) = Total Cost Per 1/2-oz Coin ($7.07). This means that two 1/2-oz coins = $14.14 per oz (at $10/oz silver.) This is a very good price as normally two 1/2-oz coins would cost you $10 per coin with premiums, or $20 total per ounce. (For comparison to another 1/2-oz bullion coin, see how much it costs you to buy a 1/2-oz Mexican Libertad. Use a currency converter to convert pesos to dollars. Also, remember to factor in an exchange commission. You’ll see that the bartering coins are the better deal.)

Production costs are always higher for smaller denomination coins. Keep this in mind so that you don’t compare apples to oranges. Nevertheless, even comparing these 1/2-oz coins to 1-oz bullion coins, you can see that they are competitively priced. For calculations using other silver prices, see the following:

$5/oz silver = $9.09 per oz.
$6/oz silver = $10.10 per oz.
$7/oz silver = $11.11 per oz.
$8/oz silver = $12.12 per oz.
$9/oz silver = $13.13 per oz.
$10/oz silver = $14.14 per oz.
$11/oz silver = $15.15 per oz.
$12/oz silver = $16.16 per oz.
$13/oz silver = $17.17 per oz.
$14/oz silver = $18.18 per oz.
$15/oz silver = $19.19 per oz., etc.

[November 6, 2010 Update: Anyone can now purchase these coins from the mint in rolls of 25 coins, instead of having to strike 100 coins.  This should make it easier for people to obtain them.]

Next Anarchism/Anarchy article: Bartering Currency Pictures

Previous Anarchism/Anarchy article: The Root Cause of the Current Financial (Monetary) Crisis and Its Solution

Complete List of Articles authored by LDS Anarchist

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Seven Shepherds and an Angel


Seven Shepherds and an Angel
By OneWhoIsWatching www.threewatches.blogspot.com

There are numerous channels by which personal revelation comes to each of us.

When studying and searching the scriptures, my wife provides one of these conduits for me.

She brings many things to my attention that I don’t catch… possibly this is because of her simple childlike faith and unassuming nature. It is probably also because she doesn’t allow preconceived notions to color her view of the scriptures. Of course the main reason is that she has been blessed with a spiritual gift in this area.

I will sometimes share a principle or some knowledge with her and then she will turn around at a later time and show me how to use that knowledge as a key to unlock additional knowledge. I sometimes refer to her as a Sibyl.  (“…women of antiquity reputed to posses powers of prophecy or divination… a female prophet…”)

While studying prophecy years ago I showed her Rev 12:14 and told her that some prophecy scholars believed that the word “time” = “one year”, the word “times” = “two years” and the phrase “half a time” = ½ year” hence, the Church would be nourished for 3 ½ years at some point in time:

“And to the woman were given two wings of a great eagle, that she might fly into the wilderness, into her place, where she is nourished for a time, and times, and half a time, from the face of the serpent.”

She quietly cataloged that information. It would come up many years later in a scripture study.

Fast forward several years later…. we were studying Micah and noticing how he refers to the Seven Shepherds that are upon the earth at the time that invading armies come into the latter day land of Israel. This is also the general time period when the remnant of Jacob shall be among the Gentiles and among many people as a lion among the beasts of the forest to tread them down.

We wondered if these seven shepherds were the same seven servants of God mentioned in the 3rd and 4th chapter of Zechariah which are referred to as the seven eyes of the Lord who run to and fro in the whole earth.

We also wondered if these seven Shepherds that acted as the eyes of the Lord running to and fro in all the world could be the seven angels which had the seven trumpets and prepared themselves to sound in Rev 8 and/or the seven thunders that uttered their voices in Rev 10 or the seven angels having the seven last plagues that bring judgment upon the whore in Rev 15, 16 & 17 etc.

We could not help but wonder if these seven angelic beings lived on this earth in mortality prior to their missions in the last generation… in the 3rd Watch….And if so, is it possible that they had been part of the LDS restoration movement?

Possibly they were the first laborers in the last kingdom that lived during the Kirtland, Jackson County and Nauvoo eras of the Church.

We were aware of the LDS fundamentalist beliefs that there had been a secret quorum of six Apostles/High Priests functioning under the direction of Joseph Smith which makes a quorum of 7 Apostles. This cryptic Quorum was also known as the Friends of God.

This tradition, as with many corrupted legends and traditions, appears to originate from a true principle/event. It appears to come from the revelation known as section 84 of the D&C which states in the first verse:

A revelation of Jesus Christ unto his servant Joseph Smith, Jun., and six elders, as they united their hearts and lifted their voices on high” (D&C 84:1)

We found it very strange that the entry of this revelation into the history of the Church and the Doctrine and Covenants did not document who the six other elders were yet it did document how many elders were present… very curious.

It seemed odd to us that such an important revelation containing very specific promises to and about these six elders who had the higher priesthood confirmed upon them by the voice of God out of heaven would not bother to document who these elders were.

We perused various historical documents attempting to verify exactly who these six elders were but it is not an easy task to get an identity of these six players.

In section 88 these six elders are referred to as the “first elders” of the Church and the “first laborers in the last kingdom”.

In section 88 the Lord commands those who are not the first elders of the Church to continue laboring in the vineyard but he promises the first elders that he will send them into the vineyard again at a later time to bind up the law, seal up the testimony and prepare the Saints for the hour of judgment which is to come.

We thought that it would be fun to search section 84 to see if this quorum of Apostles will have a role in the 3rd Watch when the dispensation of the fullness of times and the Marvelous Work are ushered in.

It is worth noting that section 88 was given several years before the quorum of the 12 Apostles were called, Joseph Smith and these six elders were referred to as apostles by the Lord. He even calls them his friends. A favored status that few people other than Abraham ever achieved in the scriptures:

And as I said unto mine apostles, even so I say unto you, for you are mine apostles, even God’s high priests; ye are they whom my Father hath given me; ye are my friends.”

The thought that these brethren might return as a quorum to play an important role in the winding up scenes was intriguing to us.

As we poured over section 84 searching for hidden treasures of knowledge pertaining to the events of the very last days we were ecstatic when we read the incredible unconditional promise that Bishop Newel K. Whitney will return to warn the inhabitants of New York, Albany and Boston of the desolation and utter abolishment that await them if they reject the gospel.

Every time I hear of reports about nuclear suitcase bombs that have been strategically hidden in major cities like these and orchestrated terrorist attacks that are going to be taking place, I can’t help but think of this incredible promise and associated prophecy given to Bishop Whitney. He will come back and warn the people in these cities.

I think this warning must take place before major desolation takes place.

The Lord then gives an unconditional prophecy that the rest of the first Elders being spoken to in this revelation will also “go to the great and notable cities and villages reproving the world in righteousness of all their unrighteous and ungodly deeds setting forth clearly and understandably the desolation of abomination in the last days

And then the Lord reveals this most remarkable promise to these First Elders who are the First Laborers of the Last Kingdom:

For with YOU saith the Lord Almighty, I will rend their kingdoms; I will not only shake the earth, but the starry heavens shall tremble..”

The Lord who knows all things and cannot lie… the Lord who has infinite foreknowledge because all time, past, present and future is continually before his eyes, promised these specific brethren that they would be the ones to return to the vineyard at the time of the last generation to shake the earth and bring down the kingdoms of the world!

While we were pondering these amazing promises and studying this section my wife and I began pondering the following verses:

And your minds in times past have been darkened because of unbelief and because you have treated lightly the things you have received. Which vanity and unbelief have brought the whole church under condemnation.  And this condemnation resteth upon the children of Zion, even all.”

We were aware of the several statements President Benson had made concerning the above verses and that he had inferred that the church was still under condemnation.

Dallin H. Oaks had given a talk at the Church Educational system Satellite fireside on June 1993 and had quoted President Benson regarding these verses. He claimed that President Benson had declared that the Saints had brought the whole Church under condemnation and that it was still under condemnation:

” President Benson had been stressing the reading of the Book of Mormon. Repeatedly he had quoted these verses from the Doctrine and Covenants, including the Lord’s statement that the Saints’ conduct had “brought the whole church under condemnation” (D&C 84:55). In that temple meeting, President Benson reread those statements and declared, “This condemnation has not been lifted, nor will it be until we repent.”

As we pondered the verses in section 84, it occurred to me that a the word of God was not saying that the conduct of all of the Saints in the Church had brought the whole church under condemnation, but rather God was saying it was the unbelief and vanity of those specific Apostles that had brought the whole church under condemnation! This revelation was being directed specifically to the first elders to whom the revelation was being given: And YOUR minds in times past have been darkened because of unbelief and because you have treated lightly the things you have received. Which vanity and unbelief have brought the whole church under condemnation.  And this condemnation resteth upon the children of Zion, even all.”

As I was making this observation, my wife was making an additional one. She said something to the effect of:

Yes, I agree. Those specific Elders brought the Church under condemnation… And it appears that the Lord gave these specific apostles’ another revelation two years before he had given them this one. In that revelation he must have told them some things they took lightly… perhaps it was difficult for them to believe some of the things he had told them.”

I was really taken back by her observation. “How did you divine that deduction from those verses?” I asked. “What makes you think the Lord had given Joseph Smith and these six Apostles a revelation two years prior to section 84?”

That’s what it says” she replied. “Remember how the prophetic definition of the word “times” = two years?”

I looked at the verses again in context of how the word “times” was used in Rev 12:14 and then I realized what she was seeing:

And your minds in times past [two years ago] have been darkened because of unbelief and because you have treated lightly the things you have received. Which vanity and unbelief have brought the whole church under condemnation.  And this condemnation resteth upon the children of Zion, even all.”

I was shocked at her interpretation and began chiding her: “What have you been smoking? That is a HUGE stretch… Just because the word “times” had a prophetic interpretation in the vision of St John 2,000 years ago, in the New Testament, that does not mean that the same word would have the same definition in modern revelation!”

Finally, after brow-beating her for a while I decided to really drive my point home by showing her how easy it would be to prove that there was no revelation directed through Joseph Smith to six elders two years prior to section 84.

I said to her:

If your interpretation is correct, it would be easy to prove because such a revelation would be important enough to canonize in the Doctrine and Covenants. Such a revelation would clearly be directed to Joseph Smith and six elders just as section 84 was, and it would undoubtedly contain prophetic information about their ministry

I then went to the beginning of section 84 to verify what month and year the revelation was given. It was given in September of 1832. I then turned to the beginning of the Doctrine and Covenants to view the “Chronological Order of the Contents” section. I noticed that four revelations had been given two years prior to section 84. Section 28, 29, 30, and 31 were all given in September of 1830.

I then turned to section 28 to see if it was addressed to six elders… Just as I thought, it was given directly to Oliver Cowdery… no other elders were involved in receiving the revelation.

I then turned to section 29 and looked at the section heading. What I saw sent chills up my spine…


Revelation through Joseph Smith Jr. in the presence of six elders


Unbe-freakin-lieveable!


Again, the identity of these six elders is withheld… why? Why did Joseph Smith choose to withhold the identity of these chosen servants yet document the number of them that God was talking to?

I didn’t have much time for ingesting much humble pie at that moment as my wife and I were both quite anxious to devour section 29 to see what the Lord had revealed to Joseph Smith and these six elders! We were hoping that this section would reveal additional information regarding the role of these seven apostles during the 3rd Watch.

When we got to verses 7 & 8 we could hardly believe our eyes:

And ye are called to bring to pass the gathering of mine elect: for mine elect hear my voice and harden not their hearts; Wherefore the decree hath gone forth from the Father that they shall be gathered in unto one place upon the face of the this land, to prepare their hearts and be prepared in all things against the day when tribulation and desolation are sent forth upon the wicked.”

Wow…

These first laborers of the last kingdom will return to the earth as ministering angels to gather the elect to prepare them against the day when tribulation and desolation are sent forth upon the earth!

Could it possibly be that Joseph Smith and these six elders that will give the final warning, gather the elect and bring about the fall of the kingdoms of the world are the ones being referred to in Zechariah, Micah and the Book of Revelation?

Are these the ones that run to and fro in all the world as the eyes of the Lord?

Are these the Seven Shepherds that are the “peace” when God’s Promised Land is invaded by foreign armies and the remnants of the land tread down the unrepentant gentiles as a lion among sheep?

What an incredible thought, that Joseph Smith and the first elders of the Church would return to the earth to gather the elect.

Notice the promise given in Matthew 24 that before Christ returns in his glory he will send his angles to gather the elect:

For the Son of Man shall come and he shall send his angels before him with the great sound of a trumpet and they shall gather together the remainder of the his elect from the four winds and from one end of heaven to the other…” (JST Matt 1:37)

Just as Gabriel returned to the earth as a ministering angel to minister to the father of John the Baptist, just as Moses and Elijah returned to the earth to minister to Christ at the Mount of Transfiguration and just as John the Baptist and Peter, James, and John returned to the earth as ministering angels to minister to Joseph and Oliver, priesthood keys were given to Joseph Smith and Oliver Cowdery in the Kirtland Temple. These keys enable them and the other first laborers of the last kingdom to return to this earth to minister unto all those who are found waiting, watching and willing.

Do you believe in angels?

I do..

I am married to one.



[Editorial note: It is not uncommon for the Lord to use the key words within differing sections of the four standard works to point to each other and help those who are searching to connect the dots, particularly when both sections of scripture are speaking about the same topic. Therefore it is possible if not likely that the 3 ½ year period of time spoken of in Revelation 12 is literally or typologically related to the last gathering that is to be done by the first laborers of the last kingdom.

I want to clarify that section 84 is actually a composite of two separate revelations given on consecutive days, the 22nd and 23rd of September. On the first day there were six elders present, on the following day, it is not clear if there were additional elders that were invited to participate in the promises the Lord was making to the leading elders of the Church.

The first laborers of the last kingdom more than likely consisted of more than just those seven elders being addressed during the revelation given on the first day. Interestingly enough, it appears according to the “Historical Development of the Doctrine and Covenants by Woodford that in the original manuscript of the second part of the revelation given on the 23rd, the following phrase was included and has since been taken out:

“The 23rd day of September AD 1832 Eleven High Priests save one”.

It is not clear what this statement is referring to. It could be referring to  the fact that Judas would be missing when the 12 Apostle from New Testament times return to judge Israel. Another possibility is the implication that four additional Elders were present on the 23rd bringing the total count to 11 and one member of the quorum of the 12 was not present.

There is evidence to suggest that the quorum of seven was part of a quorum of 12 Apostles that had been chosen by the Lord by 1832. This quorum appears to have more power and authority than the quorum chosen by the three witnesses. In fact at least two of the three witnesses were very likely part of the first, mystical quorum of the 12.

From historical sources it appears that there was some type of quorum of special witnesses long before the three witnesses was commanded to choose another quorum of the twelve:

“It was also announced that “twelve chosen witnesses, had been allowed to see the gold plates” (The life of David Marks, pg.340).  Also, there were newspaper references from 1829-1831 to twelve apostles in Mormonism.  September 1829 a Palmyra newspaper noted:  “the number of the gold bible apostles is said to be complete.”  (Palmyra Reflector, 23 September 1829. The issues of 19 April and 1, 22 June 1830 also make reference to Mormon apostles.)”  Mormon Hierachy: Origins of Power by Quinn]

One last thing on note pertaining to section 84, in the original manuscripts of the revelation it states that John the Baptist had been baptized from the womb, not at the age of eight days. This is consistent with the various scriptures stating that he was the transmigration of Elijah the Prophet and had previously been baptized before being born into the world as John the Baptist.]

I Have Dreamed a Dream


I have dreamed a dream…

 

As he and his family tarried in the wilderness, Lehi was presented with a message from God. He told his family, “Behold, I have dreamed a dream; or, in other words, I have seen a vision. He then relayed his dream of the tree of life, the iron rod, and the strait and narrow path. Lehi was presented with a narrative which held much meaning to him. As he recited his dream to his family, he expressed great joy for Nephi and Sam and great concern for Laman and Lemuel.

After he listened to his father’s vision of the night, Nephi expressed the desire of his heart (1 Nephi 10:17-19):

“I, Nephi, was desirous also that I might see, and hear, and know of these things, by the power of the Holy Ghost, which is the gift of God unto all those who diligently seek him, as well in times of old as in the time that he should manifest himself unto the children of men.

For he is the same yesterday, to-day, and forever; and the way is prepared for all men from the foundation of the world, if it so be that they repent and come unto him.

For he that diligently seeketh shall find; and the mysteries of God shall be unfolded unto them, by the power of the Holy Ghost…”

Nephi sought the gift of God; to see what his father saw and hear what his father heard. He also was blessed a grand experience. The angel, not only took him through the same experience but also provided Nephi with an understanding of the symbols used in the dream/vision. The tree of life is the love of God, the iron rod is the word of God; the spacious building is the pride of man; all powerful symbols helping us understand the language of God.

Dreams have been used throughout the scriptures to convey important information about spiritual matters. Joseph was warned to take Mary and the baby Jesus to Egypt to preserve the life of the Savior. Another Joseph was able to discern the meaning of the symbols of Pharoah’s dreams and save his family.

If we are to take these dreams and their interpretations as examples, our dreams can be used by God to present us with valuable information.  Nephi understood this when he said (2 Nephi 4:23):

“Behold, he hath heard my cry by day, and he hath given me knowledge by visions in the night-time.”

Perhaps we, too, should learn how to take advantage of this mechanism of spiritual communication by pouring out our hearts to God and allowing him to answer our prayers in our visions of the night-time.

As I learned this principle, I have become more diligent in my preparation to retire, using the time to frame my questions concerns and doing my best to shed outside distractions. When the opportunity presents itself upon waking, I strive to quickly rehearse the dream in my mind and, as soon as possible, commit it to text. I can then prayerfully consider those dreams which seem to hold a message and ask God for the meaning. Sometimes my dreams are fairly long narratives with significant action. Other times, I am left only with a concise image or short segment. In either case, they are deep in symbols. God seems to speak to each of us in a language we can relate to, using items that reflect on our understanding. For example, in my dreams, a mode of transportation can represent a way of thinking. I suppose that each one of us will develop their own spiritual vocabulary, our communications with God.

As I have begun to treat these visions of the night with more careful consideration, I can see more of their value in my life. I, also, have discovered that I have a difficult time pretending. In my dreams, I am who I am. I project those thoughts that are, during my normal waking hours, hidden from public view. The real ‘me” seems to be easily portrayed in my dreams I cannot hide my true desires and inclinations. In this light, dreams can easily be used to spotlight my weaknesses found in my mind and my heart.

 

So… dreams… are they solely product of the pepperoni from the night before or can they be an underutilized conduit to our Maker?

 

What think ye?

The Bridegroom Tarried…


The Bridegroom Tarried …

September 11th….A literal interpretation of the Parable of the Ten Virgins

© Sept 2006 Onewhoiswatching www.threewatches.blogspot.com

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

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

Giving a set time when the redemption of Zion was to take place was quite a bold thing to do!

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

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

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

In the letter he warned them that;

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

It is interesting that church historians and gospel scholars have very little to say about Joseph Smiths declaration prior to the failure of the Saints to redeem Zion at the appointed time. Most Latter-day Saints are unfamiliar with this quote.

If we as Latter-day Saints really believe that Joseph Smith was acting under the influence of the spirit and that God really had designated the appointed time and place for the redemption of Zion it seems likely that prophets from previous dispensations would have uttered prophetic statements about it.

I would submit to you that Old Testament prophets did make reference to this event in the LDS restoration movement and in fact, Christ himself offered a parable that would profile the restored church of God in the later days.

The remarkable thing about the appointed time of September 11th 1836 for the redemption of Zion is that while it is used in anti-Mormon literature to discredit Joseph Smith and the restoration movement, it actually provides one of the most compelling prophetic arguments for identifying the Church of Christ that Joseph Smith restored as the people of God that are depicted in the parable of the Ten Virgins!

The purpose of this paper is to submit that in fact Joseph Smith was acting prophetically when identifying the appointed time and place for the redemption of Zion during that generation in the 2nd Watch.

If indeed this hypothesis is true, his statement and the related events of LDS Church History have huge implications and they would actually identify the literal fulfillment of the parable of the Ten Virgins and explain WHY the Bridegroom tarried… providing a powerful historical witness that the Church of Christ that was restored to the earth by Joseph Smith was indeed the true Church of Christ!

Prophetic utterances in Isaiah appear to have been referring to the Kirtland Saints and the passing of the appointed time of redemption in some of his writings:

“…when I called, ye did not answer; when I spake, ye did not hear; but did evil before mine eyes, and did choose that wherein I delighted not… I also will choose their delusions, and will bring their fears upon them; because when I called, none did answer; when I spake, they did not hear: but they did evil before mine eyes, and chose that in which I delighted not.” Isa 50:2

As we have discussed before, virtually all prophecies have at least a dual fulfillment and sometimes more than two fulfillments. Modern Revelation reiterates the words of Isaiah and informs us they refer to at least two specific and separate events in religious history that take place prior to the Second Coming. Notice the response of the Lord in the scripture above from Isaiah and compare it to the scripture below in the D&C. Does this not apply to the unfaithful Saints in all three watches?

“In that day when I came unto mine own, [LDS Restoration Movement?] no man among you received me, and you were driven out. When I called again [time of the Marvelous Work?] there was none of you to answer; yet my arm was not shortened at all that I could not redeem, neither my power to deliver….And this shall ye have of my hand—ye shall lie down in sorrow. Behold, and lo, there are none to deliver you; for ye obeyed not my voice when I called to you out of the heavens; ye believed not my servants, and when they were sent unto you ye received them not.” D&C 133:66-71

Isaiah also speaks of an unsuccessful attempt in harvesting fruit in his vineyard:

“What could have been done more to my vineyard that I have not done in it? wherefore, when I looked that it should bring forth grapes, brought it forth wild grapes?” Isa 5:4

Again, latter-day revelation provides clarification to the words of Isaiah by explaining the parable of the wheat and tares. The redemption of Zion at the time the foundation was being laid in Kirtland and Jackson needed to be delayed because wild grapes (tares) were among the natural grapes (wheat) See section 86

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

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

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

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

Little did the Saints realize that after that period of time, they would fail to redeem Zion, enemies of the church would prevail, the Temple would be defiled, the stronghold would be dissolved and the Saints would need to flee from Kirtland?

Needless to say, the redemption of Zion never materialized on September 11th 1836.. A feeble attempt at restoring the Saints to their lands in Jackson County had taken place in the form of “Zions Camp” in 1832 but it failed in it’s mission and the Saints ultimately failed to find their redemption at the appointed time in Jackson County, four years after the Zions Camp episode.

The hopes of the Saints were dashed. The appointed time came and went and Zion was not redeemed.

One could postulate that the scourging pronounced upon the Saints in the letter and some of the revelations, took place in the form of the persecutions they experienced as they were driven by their enemies from Kirtland, Far West, Nauvoo and eventually the trek to Utah. Others would argue that the scourging upon the Saints is yet a future event… or at least a dual fulfillment.

September 11th 1836 appears to have been the apex of the restoration movement. Just months before that appointed time, the Savior appeared to Joseph and Oliver to accept the temple. A strong case can be made for the possibility that the failure of the Saints to redeem Zion by the appointed time was one of the major things that resulted in the closing of the heavens.

The prophet Isaiah notes that the wickedness of the Latter-day Saints in closing their eyes and rejecting the words of the prophets results in the covering of the eyes of the seers:

“For behold, the Lord hath poured out upon you the spirit of deep sleep. For behold, ye have closed your eyes, and ye have rejected the prophets; and your rulers, and the seers hath he covered because of your iniquity.” (Book of Mormon version of Isaiah 29:10)

It is an amazing concept that when God’s people reject God’s prophets, God will cover the eyes of the Prophet and sometimes even use that prophet to lead the people into further delusion.

The following chart illustrates the closing of the heavens during the restoration movement after the defiling of the Kirtland Temple and the failure of the Saints to consecrate.

During the first eight years of Joseph Smiths public ministry he received over 100 revelations that were canonized.

He only received about 12 revelations after September 11th 1836, during the remaining eight years prior to the martyrdom. Of those 12 revelations, one was section 112 which announced that the whole world (including the Saints) had been overcome by gross darkness and all flesh had become corrupt.

Another was section 124 which announced that the higher priesthood had been lost and promised the Saints that they would not be moved out of Nauvoo if they were obedient.

No canonized revelations were received by him during the last three years of his life. Even his brother Hyrum who the Lord called to be a co-President of the Church and eventually his successor, did not receive any canonized revelations during those last years. Was that because God made a mistake in picking Hyrum? Was it because Hyrum was disobedient? It is much more likely because the Saints had rejected the words of Joseph and Hyrum and because the Saints had rejected Hyrum as Joseph Smith’s successor.


(Click on the graphic to enlarge)

The revelations highlighted in yellow contained strong language concerning the importance of living the law of consecration and the consequences of not living it.

If we were to take the parable of the Ten Virgins literally, it would appear to be a prophecy about a group of believers who receive an invitation from Christ to come and be united with him.

Although the parable begins partway through the story line with the virgins going forth to the marriage, it is obvious that an invitation had previously been extended to the Saints who, in the parable are depicted as ten virgins.

A wedding invitation must have an appointed place and an appointed time in order for all of the guests to congregate together at the same time for the marriage feast and ceremony.

The parable informs us however that the Bridegroom tarried and did not show up at the appointed time.

Sometime after the appointed time, all of the virgins eventually fell asleep without realizing the blessings of the marriage reunion with Christ on this earth.

Although some might postulate that the falling asleep of the ten virgins’ represents spiritual digression or apostasy from the truth, ( Rom 11:8, Isa 29:10, Matt 13:14, 2 Ne 16:10, 15:27, 27:6,9) a stronger scriptural case can be made that sleep in this context represents death.

A strong biblical euphemism for death is sleep. In Matthew we are told that the graves were opened; (Matt 27:52) and many bodies of the saints which slept arose, Paul explains that many had died for taking the Passover unworthily:

“For this reason many are weak and sick among you, and many sleep.” (1 Cor 11:30)

He uses this euphemism similarly in Acts:

“For David, after he had served his own generation by the will of God, fell asleep, was buried with his fathers, and saw corruption” (Acts 13:36)

In Corinthians he states:

“But now is Christ risen from the dead, and become the firstfruits of them that slept.” (Cor 15:20)

Latter day revelation supports the biblical reverences above:

“But before the arm of the Lord shall fall, an angel shall sound his trump and the saints that have slept shall come forth to meet me in the cloud …” (D&C 45:45-46)

” they who have slept in their graves shall come forth, for their graves shall be opened; and they also shall be caught up to meet him in the midst of the pillar of heaven.” (D&C 88:97)

“I saw Father Adam and Abraham and my father and my mother; my brother Alvin, that has long since slept;” (D&C 137:5)

It is not uncommon for prophetic scriptural words to have multiple layered meanings. There is a strong probability that both definitions of the term sleep apply in this parable. The Virgins appear to have gone into a spiritual digression and eventually died without making it to the wedding. The interpretation that seems to have the greatest relevance in the prophetic context and seems to be the primary definition is that of death.

Perhaps the most pertinent and compelling key in discerning that the primary meaning of sleep is death, is provided in section 86, wherein keys to understanding the parable of the wheat and the tares are given by the Lord.

” …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.”

The Cry is Made by the Davidic Servant

Sometime after falling asleep however, the parable tells us a cry was made which raised the sleeping virgins from the dead. This is consistent with Davidic Servant texts wherein Gods last Witness who holds the Keys of the kingdom returns to the vineyard to prepare the way of the Lord. He makes the loud cry and awakes the sleeping virgins from the sleep of death. ( and apostasy?)

The mysterious resurrection of the sleeping virgins that takes place just prior to the second coming is spoken of in many places in the Old and New Testament. One account is in Daniel;

“And many of them that sleep in the dust of the earth shall awake, some to everlasting life, and some to shame and everlasting contempt.”

Perhaps one of the most vivid accounts of people awaking from death when the last watchman lifts his voice upon the mountains is contained in the 52nd chapter of Isaiah.

Awake, awake; put on thy strength, O Zion…Shake thyself from the dust; arise, and sit down… loose thyself from the bands of thy neck…, O captive daughter of Zion.”

This Chapter speaks about the Davidic Servant with the marred visage and the other watchmen that publish good tidings and bring again Zion at the time that people are coming forth out of their graves.

If we were to search all of the Christian religions to see if there was a movement in religious history that fits the pattern and storyline of this parable, we would need to find a group that literally claimed revelation from Christ inviting them to the Marriage.

Their prophet would need to have publicly announced an appointed place where the great marriage would take place and an appointed time that the marriage would take place. Furthermore they, as a group would need to have gone forth to meet Christ at the appointed time and place and then failed in the attempt causing the Bridegroom to tarry!

If such a religious movement could be found to fit that description, it would need to be a matter of public record that the Bridegroom tarried and failed to come at the appointed time and the Saints of that generation lingered and eventually all passed away without realizing their dream of uniting with the Bridegroom in mortality.

I would submit that the Church of Christ that was restored to the earth by the Prophet Joseph Smith  is the only Church on the face of the earth that can document the parable of the Ten Virgins within their own religious history.

He shall come in the first watch, in the second and again in the third.

In section 45 the Lord gave further clarity to the events of the last generation that are contained in Matthew 24, however he revealed that greater information pertaining to the end times would be provided once the inspired translation was completed. (Section 45:60-62) Latter-day Saints have been given critical information pertaining to the second coming of Christ that no other Christian religion has! We need to do is search the inspired version for this cryptic information.

In addition to the further clarity of Matthew 24 provided in the inspired translation, other mysteries about the coming of Christ are also revealed in other chapters as well. Let us now consider some of the secrets that the JST reveals about the end times.

In the inspired version of Matthew 21 We are informed that Christ mystically visits the world in secret, like a thief in the night three different times prior to his final coming in Glory.

Each of these gospel dispensations is referred to as a watch. We are informed that the first watch was in the meridian of time during Christ’s earthly ministry when the Jews were expecting a messianic military leader to come in power and free them from the bondage of a foreign tax collector, typological to Moses and the Children of Israel.

Only the LDS restoration movement and the ancient and modern scriptures they brought forth, clearly identifies and explains what the other two watches refer to.

Here is an excerpt from the inspired version which gives additional information about the three watches, showing that the second watch is when the gospel is restored through the gentiles and that the gentiles ultimately reject the gospel just as the Jews did. Finally, the third watch is the Marvelous Work when the Lord returns to reign in his vineyard:

“Behold, there was a certain householder, who planted a vineyard, and hedged it round about, and digged a wine-press in it; and built a tower, and let it out to husbandmen, and went into a far country.

And when the time of the fruit drew near, he sent his servants to the husbandmen, that they might receive the fruits of it. And the husbandmen took his servants, and beat one, and killed another, and stoned another. Again, he sent other servants, more than the first; and they did unto them likewise. But last of all, he sent unto them his son, saying, They will reverence my son.

But when the husbandmen saw the son, they said among themselves, This is the heir; come, let us kill him, and let us seize on his inheritance. And they caught him, and cast him out of the vineyard, and slew him.

And Jesus said unto them, When the Lord therefore of the vineyard cometh, what will he do unto those husbandmen? They say unto him, He will destroy those miserable, wicked men, and will let out the vineyard unto other husbandmen, who shall render him the fruits in their seasons.

Jesus said unto them, Did ye never read in the Scriptures, The stone which the builders rejected, the same is become the head of the corner; this is the Lord’s doings, and it is marvelous in our eyes.

Therefore say I unto you, The kingdom of God shall be taken from you, and given to a nation bringing forth the fruits thereof [The gentile church and kingdom will bring forth the same wicked fruits as the Jewish church and kingdom brought forth] . For whosoever shall fall on this stone, shall be broken; but on whomsoever it shall fall, it will grind him to powder.

And when the chief priests and Pharisees had heard his parables, they perceived that he spake of them. And they said among themselves, Shall this man think that he alone can spoil this great kingdom?

And they were angry with him But when they sought to lay hands on him, they feared the multitude, because they learned that the multitude took him for a prophet. And now his disciples came to him, and Jesus said unto them, Marvel ye at the words of the parable which I spake unto them?

Verily, I say unto you, I am the stone, and those wicked ones reject me. I am the head of the corner. These Jews shall fall upon me, and shall be broken.

And the kingdom of God shall be taken from them [The Jews], and shall be given to a nation bringing forth the fruits thereof; (meaning the Gentiles.)

Wherefore, on whomsoever this stone shall fall, it shall grind him to powder. And when the Lord therefore of the vineyard cometh, he will destroy those miserable, wicked men, and will let [ during the second watch the vineyard is leased to wicked rulers- they have the legal right to preside for a time but are destroyed when the Lord returnes in the third watch] again his vineyard unto other husbandmen, even in the last days, who shall render him the fruits in their seasons.

And then understood they the parable which he spake unto them, that the Gentiles should be destroyed also, when the Lord should descend out of heaven to reign in his vineyard, which is the earth and the inhabitants thereof.” (Mat 21 & JST Mat 21)

Christ’s coming during the first watch in the meridian of time was not recognized by the Jewish nation because they had inaccurate expectations. They were not found watching and waiting.

A Second watch (dispensation) was to take place prior to the last watch. It was the LDS restoration movement herein the Saints failed to redeem Zion.

The Third and final Watch (dispensation) is about to be ushered in. It is referred to as the dispensation of the fulness of times. Isaiah refers to it as the Marvelous Work and a Wonder.

…Fall on them like a stone

Adding further clarity to the doctrine of three watches taught in JST Luke, the inspired version of Matthew explains that the first watch represented the preaching of the gospel to the Jewish Church and Kingdom. It informs us that within a very short time the Jewish nation rejected the light so the gospel was taken from the Jews to the Gentiles. It further explains that the Second watch represents the Gospel being preached to the Gentiles:

“Let your loins be girded about and have your lights burning; That ye yourselves may be like unto men who wait for their Lord, when he will return from the wedding; that, when he cometh and knocketh, they may open unto him immediately.

Verily I say unto you, Blessed are those servants, whom the Lord when he cometh shall find watching; for he shall gird himself, and make them sit down to meat, and will come forth and serve them.

For, behold, he cometh in the first watch of the night, and he shall also come in the second watch, and again he shall come in the third watch.

And verily I say unto you, He hath already come, [in the meridian of time] as it is written of him; and again when he shall come in the second watch, or come in the third watch, blessed are those servants when he cometh, that he shall find so doing; For the Lord of those servants shall gird himself, and make them to sit down to meat, and will come forth and serve them.

And now, verily I say these things unto you, that ye may know this, that the coming of the Lord is as a thief in the night. And it is like unto a man who is an householder, who, if he watcheth not his goods, the thief cometh in an hour of which he is not aware, and taketh his goods, and divideth them among his fellows.

And they said among themselves, If the good man of the house had known what hour the thief would come, he would have watched, and not have suffered his house to be broken through and the loss of his goods.

And he said unto them, Verily I say unto you, be ye therefore ready also; for the Son of Man cometh at an hour when ye think not.

Then Peter said unto him, Lord, speaketh thou this parable unto us, or unto all? And the Lord said, I speak unto those whom the Lord shall make rulers over his household, to give his children their portion of meat in due season.

And they said, Who then is that faithful and wise servant? And the Lord said unto them, It is that servant who watcheth, to impart his portion of meat in due season. [watching for the appointed time to consecrate]

Blessed be that servant whom his Lord shall find, when he cometh, so doing. Of a truth I say unto you, that he will make him ruler over all that he hath.

But the evil servant is he who is not found watching. And if that servant is not found watching, he will say in his heart, My Lord delayeth his coming; and shall begin to beat the menservants, and the maidens, and to eat, and drink, and to be drunken. The Lord of that servant will come in a day he looketh not for, and at an hour when he is not aware, and will cut him down, and will appoint him his portion with the unbelievers.

And that servant who knew his Lord’s will, and prepared not for his Lord’s coming, neither did according to his will, shall be beaten with many stripes. But he that knew not his Lord’s will, and did commit things worthy of stripes, shall be beaten with few. For unto whomsoever much is given, of him shall much be required; and to whom the Lord has committed much, of him will men ask the more.” (See Luke 12:35 & JST Luke 12:41-57)

We are informed that the Gentiles bring forth the same evil fruits that the Jews brought forth in the first watch.

Typological to the first watch, the Gospel light is rejected by the Gentiles and goes forth to the Jews during the second watch.

Finally in the third watch, the gospel light shines upon the Gentiles again and then goes to the Jews. The third watch is referred to in other scriptures as the strange act, the marvelous work, the fullness of times, the time of refreshing and the times of restitution of all things.

Within one generation after the Jews of the first watch reject the gospel, their church and kingdom is destroyed. It appears, from latter-day revelation that in the second watch, the Lord destroys the Gentiles church and kingdom after four generations.( D&C 98:46, 103:26, 105:30, 124:50,52)

The throwing down of the gentile Church and the destruction of the gentile nations of the earth takes place at about the time that the gospel light shines forth in the third and final watch… when the marvelous work comes forth.

From these two sections in the inspired version we are informed that there would be three separate and distinct gospel dispensations leading up to the Second Coming in Glory:

The meridian dispensation

The latter-day restoration of the Church

The Dispensation and the Marvelous Work dispensation.

The first shall be last and the last shall be first

And the time cometh that he shall manifest himself unto all nations, both unto the Jews and also unto the Gentiles; and after he has manifested himself unto the Jews and also unto the Gentiles, then he shall manifest himself unto the Gentiles and also unto the Jews, and the last shall be first, and the first shall be last.” (1 Nephi 13:42 See also Jacob 5:63 & Ether 13:12)

First Watch: The Gospel is first preached to the Jews then lastly to the Gentiles

Second Watch: The Gospel is first preached to the Gentiles lastly to the Jews

Third Watch: The Gospel is first preached to the Gentiles lastly to the Jews

The Jews were the first to receive the gospel in the first watch. They are the last to receive it in the last watch. The Gentiles are the last to receive it in the first watch but are the first to receive it in the last watch. The first shall be last and the last shall be first.

We know from scripture that the foundation movement (when the church was restored to the earth in the 1830s) represents the second watch mentioned in the inspired version of Mark. The Marvelous Work that precedes the Second Coming represents the third watch.

First Watch: Christ comes mystically to his vineyard during meridian of time

Second Watch: Christ comes mystically to his vineyard to lay the foundation for the third watch in the 1800″s

Third Watch: 4 Generations later, Christ comes mystically to his vineyard to bring about the Marvelous Work

Christ’s coming in secret, in the third watch will culminate in Christ’s coming in glory, not likened unto a thief in the night; a more correct analogy would be as a robber in the full light of day.

Joseph Smith clearly understood and taught that at the time that the tribulations of the last generation mentioned in Matthew 24 take place; a new dispensation of the gospel would be committed to God’s last witness. A different dispensation than the one given to Joseph Smith to restore the church:

“…I shall read the 24th. ch of Matthew and give it a litteral rendering and reading, and when it is rightly understood it will be edifying (he then read & translated it from the German) I thought the very oddity of its rendering would be edifying any how-“And it will preached be; the Gospel of the Kingdom in the whole world, to a witness over all people, and then will the end come.” 5 I will now read it in German-(which he did, and many Germans who were present said he translated it correct) the Savior said, when those tribulations should take place, it should be committed to a man, who should be a witness over the whole world, the keys of knowledge, power, and revelations, should be revealed to a witness who should hold the testimony to the world; 6 it has always been my province to dig up hidden mysteries, new things, for my hearers-just at the time when some men think that I have no right to the keys of the Priesthood 7 just at that time, I have the greatest right-the Germans are an exalted people. the old German translators are the most correct; most honest of any of the translators, and therefore I get testimony to bear me out in the revelations that I have preached for the last 14 years-the old German, Latin, Greek and Hebrew translations all say it is true, they cannot be impeached, and therefore I am in good company-all the testimony is, that the Lord in the last days would commit the keys of the Priesthood to a witness over all people-has the Gospel of the Kingdom commenced in the last days? and will God take it from the man, until he takes him, himself? 8 I have read it precisely as the words flowed from the lips of Jesus Christ-John the Revelator saw an angel flying thro’ the midst of heaven, having the everlasting Gospel to preach unto them that dwell on the earth, &c. 9 the Scripture is ready to be fulfilled when great wars, famines, pestilence, great distress, judgements, &c are ready to be poured out on the Inhabitants of the Earth-John saw the angel having the holy Priesthood who should preach the everlasting gospel to all nations,-God had an angel, a special messenger, ordained, & prepared for that purpose in the last days-Woe! Woe! be to that man, or set of men, who lift up their hands against God and his Witness in these last days. 10-for they shall deceive almost the very chosen ones-my apostate enemies say that I have been a true prophet-& I had rather be a fallen true prophet, than a false prophet” (12 May 1844, Thomas Bullock Report)

This explains why section 45 tells us that at the time of the very last dispensation, (third watch) the times of the gentiles needs to come in AGAIN even though the times of the gentiles had previously come in during the 2nd watch:

“and when the times of the Gentiles comes in, a light will shine forth among those who sit in darkness and it shall be the fullness of my gospel, but they receive it not for they perceive not the light and they turn their hearts from me because of the precepts of men”

An understanding that Christ comes three different times, during three different dispensations as a thief in the night prior to his coming in glory is essential in understanding the parable of the Ten Virgins. The parable is speaking about the virgins being invited to the wedding feast during the second watch but the wedding is delayed until the third and final watch.

At the appointed time, the Bridegroom tarries and the feast is delayed and the Saints of the second watch miss out on the marriage at the appointed time and eventually die off or fall asleep.

When the cry is made in the third watch, the sleeping virgins wake up and the wise virgins go into the marriage where they find a place of refuge during a time of great distress.

We know from multiple prophecies that the call goes forth at a time when great wars are about to take place.

Latter day revelation makes it clear that the Latter Day Saints represent the ten virgins in the parable:

“Wherefore, be faithful, praying always, having your lamps trimmed and burning, and oil with you, that you may be ready at the coming of the Bridegroom—” (33:17)

Latter-day Saint leaders have also stated that the parable of the ten virgins makes exclusive reference to the Latter-day Saints:

“I believe that the Ten Virgins represent the people of the Church of Jesus Christ and not the rank and file of the world. All of the virgins, wise and foolish, had accepted the invitation to the wedding supper; they had knowledge of the program and had been warned of the important day to come.” Spencer W. Kimball. “In the last days, before the Son of Man comes, his church is likened unto ten virgins, all of whom have accepted the gospel invitation to attend the marriage feast of the Lamb. But the bridegroom delays his coming.” Bruce R. McConkie

Realizing that the parable of the Ten Virgins begins with the virgins of the Second Watch missing their appointment with the bridegroom and going to sleep until they arise to enter into the wedding feast at the time of the third watch, let us now analyze the major points of the parable to see if the Latter-day Saints can really provide a religious historical movement that could meet the requirements to fulfill this parable.

1- Then shall the Kingdom of Heaven be likened to…

What exactly is the Kingdom of Heaven being likened to in this parable? Many people assume that the answer is given in the first verse and therefore they assume that the kingdom of Heaven is being likened to Ten Virgins; however this cannot be the case. Certainly the foolish virgins cannot represent what the kingdom of heaven is like. The answer is clarified later in the parable.

The scriptures teach that God refers to his kingdom on earth as the Kingdom of God and to his kingdom in Heaven as the Kingdom of Heaven. We also know that we are to pray for his kingdom to come on earth preparatory to his second coming in glory. The Lords prayer in the New Testament includes the phrase, thy kingdom come, thy will be done, on earth as it is in heaven.

The same prayer that Christ taught the Nephites excludes the phrase Thy kingdom come and simply petitions thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven. The reason that verse was not included in the Lords prayer in the Book of Mormon appears to be because he was in the act of setting up his kingdom on earth among the Nephites and it was therefore no longer necessary to pray for it to come.

Christ set up the law of Consecration among the Nephite Nation which is also known as Celestial Law and the Law of Zion. This is why they were not required to pray for the return of Christ’s kingdom as the New Testament disciples were. Because of the Book of Mormon and modern revelation, Latter-day Saints have an understanding of the obscure New Testament scriptures that inform us that the New Testament Church held all things in common after the crucifixion.

While Christians pass these verses off as intriguing but not significant to the gospel, Latter-days Saints understand that consecration is a required aspect of the gospel for the organized church of Christ. We shall see as we progress in the parable that the polarization that takes place at the end of time between the forces of good and evil include the choosing between two very different economies.

Modern revelation informs us that at the Second Coming, the Zion from earth below is caught up to be united with Christ and the city of Zion from above. The Prophet Joseph Smith taught that the fathers cannot be saved without the children neither the children without the fathers. In other words, the Old Testament patriarchal fathers suspended in Enoch’s Zion cannot ultimately progress in their exaltation and receive their final salvation until they are reunited with the children of Zion from the meridian dispensation and the last dispensation which includes the dispensation of the fullness of times. This would include the righteous Saints in the meridian of time, the righteous Nephites, the righteous Saints at the time the church was restored through Joseph Smith and all of the righteous up to our time. Verse 1 & verse 10 of the Parable of the Ten Virgins teach that the kingdom of heaven is likened to the marriage of Christ to the wise virgins that awake and arise from the dust. Additional information in the scriptures informs us that Christ has the city of Enoch with him when he comes to the marriage. The marriage is the reuniting of Zion from above with Zion from beneath at Christ’s coming.

2- Which went forth to meet the Bridegroom…

Again, it is apparent the parable begins part way through the storyline. We know that you must first receive an invitation before you may go forth to a marriage feast. The fact that the virgins were going forth to meet the Bridegroom at the marriage feast indicates that they had received an invitation. An invitation to a wedding feast has an appointed time as previously demonstrated, and an appointed place (51:7).

Any church claiming to be the true church mentioned in this parable would need to be able to demonstrate through their history and from their revelations that they had indeed been invited to the marriage feast, that he had given them an appointed time and an appointed place. They would also need to demonstrate as we will see later on in the parable that the Bridegroom tarried at the appointed time and that the marriage feast was postponed to a later time!

3- And five of them were wise and five of them were foolish…

We have been informed by leaders of the Church that the ten virgins refer to the portion of Latter-day Saints that have a testimony of Jesus Christ and were going forth to the marriage. This indicates that only half of the believing portion of the Virgins will make it to the marriage feast.

4- The Wise took oil in their vessels with their lamps

Of those that believe in Christ and have intentions of being included in the marriage, half of them are wise and have taken oil in their lamps. We are informed in modern revelation that having oil in your lamp refers to taking the Holy Spirit as your guide, receiving the truth and not being deceived.

5- While the Bridegroom tarried they all slumbered and slept

The bride groom tarried! He delayed his arrival and did not show up at the appointed time! Very few Mormons are very familiar with their own church history and the significance of many of the events of the restoration movement. In 1831, AFTER the restoration of the church and the restoration of the priesthood & the saving ordinances of the gospel, the Lord gave a revelation commanding the church to go to the Ohio where he would give them the LAW!

It seems odd that there was still a law that needed to be revealed and lived AFTER the church had been restored and the ordinances of salvation had already been given. It seems stranger yet that the law needed to be received at a designated geographical place. After the Church moved to Kirtland Ohio and received the LAW of the Celestial Kingdom, they were informed that Jackson County Missouri was also a holy place, even the appointed place where Zion was to be established and where the Saints needed to go to meet the Savior.

Zion to be Redeemed on September 11th

Specific geographical areas were identified as holy places and constituted important parts of LDS church doctrine in the revelations God gave to the Saints. In a revelation given on September 11 1831, the Lord revealed that Kirtland was to be a stronghold for the Saints for five years. According to this revelation the stronghold in Kirtland would come to an end on September 11, 1836. On August 16th 1834 Joseph Smith publicly stated to the Saints that the Saints needed to be ready to move to Jackson County Missouri by September 11 1836 because it is the appointed time for the redemption of Zion.

When September 11th 1836 arrived, the Saints had failed to establish Zion in Jackson County Missouri and they were forced to flee from Kirtland, as it was no longer a safe stronghold and refuge from enemies of the church.

Although anti-Mormon literature criticizes Joseph Smith as being a false prophet since Zion was not redeemed in 1836 at the appointed time, it should be remembered that Joseph Smith never prophesied that Zion would be established on that date, he simply stated that September 11 1836 was the appointed time, predicated on the Saints faithfulness in establishing Zion based on the principles of the law of consecration.

Despite the spin that is put on the historical events by critics and historical revisionists, the failure of the Church to establish Zion at the appointed place and at the appointed time is an astonishing fulfillment of the parable of the Ten Virgins. Not only does it fulfill that part of the parable where the Bridegroom tarries, it even explains why he tarries! Indeed the Bridegroom postpones the wedding feast because the invited guests are not faithful in living the higher law and gathering to Jackson County. The Bridegroom doesn’t come because the Bride fails to show up!

It is ironic that critics ridicule the church for this failed event when in fact it provides one of the most amazing biblical proofs of the validity of the Latter-day Saint foundation movement!

The bridegroom delayed the marriage because the work was hindered

“Verily verily I say unto you, that when I give a commandment to any of the sons of men to do a work unto my name, and those sons of men go with all their might and with all they have to perform that work, and cease not their diligence, and their enemies come upon them and HINDER them from performing that work, behold, it behooveth me to require that work no more at the hands of those sons of men, but to accept of their offerings. And the iniquity and transgression of my HOLY LAWS and COMMANDMENTS I will visit upon the heads of those who HINDERED my work, unto the THIRD and FOURTH GENERATION, so long as they repent not, and hate me, saith the Lord God. Therefore, for this cause have I accepted the offerings of those whom I commanded to build up a city and a house unto my name, in Jackson County, Missouri, and were HINDERED by their enemies, saith the Lord your God. And I will answer JUDGMENT, WRATH, and INDIGNATION, WAILING and ANGUISH, and GNASHING of TEETH upon their heads, unto the THIRD and FOURTH GENERATION, so long as they repent not, and hate me, saith the Lord your God.” (See section 124)

According to the 1828 Websters Dictionary Hindered means Stopped; impeded; obstructed; retarded.

In addition to enemies of the church hindering the work, the Lord revealed that Zion was not redeemed because of transgressions of his people:

“Behold, I say unto you, were it not for the transgressions of my people, speaking concerning the church and not individuals, they might have been redeemed even now. But behold, they have not learned to be obedient to the things which I required at their hands, but are full of all manner of evil and do not impart of their substance; as becometh saints, to the poor and afflicted among them and are not united according to the union required by the law of the celestial kingdom and Zion cannot be build up unless it is by the principles of the law of the celestial kingdom; otherwise I cannot receive her unto myself” (105:2-5)

Clearly the work was stopped for a time because of the unfaithfulness of the church and the enemies of the church both from within and outside of the Church.

The Work is “Cut Short in Righteousness”

It may seem strange that right after the glorious manifestations at the Kirtland Temple and the righteousness surrounding the related events that the work of the Lord was cut short but it was prophesied-


“For thus saith the Lord, I will cut my work short in righteousness, for the days come that I will send forth judgment unto victory.” (52:11)

Websters Definition of “to cut short”: To hinder from proceeding by sudden interruption.

LDS history makes it clear why the Bridegroom tarried. The work was suddenly hindered and cut short…. but what exactly does the parable mean when it says that ALL of the virgins slept after the Bridegroom failed to meet them at the appointed time?

According to latter-day revelation and the parable of the wheat and the tares in section 64, the primary meaning of the prophetic term sleep means, death. (86:3) It is a historical fact that all of the Saints of that generation died off between the appointed time when the Bridegroom tarried and the actual wedding feast that is yet to take place at a future time… in the 3rd Watch.

The secondary meaning of sleep as used in the parable appears to be apostasy.

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. (86:3)

Modern revelation refers to the church as coming out of the wilderness when it comes out of the darkness of apostasy. Notice how modern revelation identifies the church beginning to come out of the wilderness in 1830 just before the church is restored. Then in 1830, it has come out of the wilderness. Finally in 1836 the Lord reveals that the church will come out of the wilderness again at a future time!

1829 In this the beginning of the rising up and the coming forth of my church out of the wilderness 5:15)

1830- this church have I established and called forth out of the wilderness. (33:5)

1836- That thy church may come forth out of the wilderness of darkness, and shine forth fair as the moon, clear as the sun, and terrible as an army with banners; (109:73

Latter-day revelation makes specific mention of the fact that the Lords work had been delayed for two reasons. First because of the transgressions of the Saints when they first went to Jackson County and secondly because of enemies of the church who hindered the work by persecuting the Saints and forcing them to leave Jackson. (5:15)

5- At midnight there was a cry made, Behold the Bridegroom cometh, go ye out to meet him

In an article on the internet by a fringe Catholic group, they refer to the parable of the ten virgins and very astutely identify the apocalyptic messenger flying through the heavens in the Book of Revelation as the one who makes the midnight cry, warning the virgins to wake up and prepare for the Bridegroom. Other protestant websites make the same profound observation. Unfortunately, protestants and Catholics have no way of knowing who the apocalyptic messenger flying in the midst of heaven is, only those believing in the Latter-day restoration movement have the key of knowledge to know who the messenger of the Lord is that holds the key of David.

6 Go ye rather to them that buy and sell

We have already identified that much of this parable has to do with Gods Celestial Economy and the establishment of Zion based on the law of consecration. At the time that the forces of good and evil are warring with each other on the earth during the 3rd and final watch, preparatory to the Second Coming in Glory, the fall of Babylon the great is immanent and the second beast kingdom is coming into power.

This is a time of great division and testing. People must choose between Babylon’s capitalism, greed and class distinction vs Zion’s consecration and equality. Those that have not taken the Holy Ghost as their guide are not able to overcome the beast and his kingdom and are not allowed into the wedding feast but rather are instructed to go to those who buy and sell. This is a direct reference to those who take upon themselves the mark of the beast so that they can continue relying on the arm of flesh and participating in Satan’s economy/slavery.

The Book of Mormon refers to this period time in which people will either choose to labor for MONEY or for ZION. Those that labor for money will perish.

7- And while they went to buy, the bridegroom came; and they that were ready went in with him to the marriage: and the door was shut.

Remarkably, latter-day revelation tells us that the Latter-day Saints restoration movement was instrumental in laying the foundation preparatory to the feast of fat things of the supper of the Lord that takes place at the marriage of the Lamb!

Behold, verily I say unto you, for this cause I have sent you—that you might be obedient, and that your hearts might be prepared to bear testimony of the things which are to come; And also that you might be honored in laying the foundation, and in bearing record of the land upon which the Zion of God shall stand; And also that a feast of fat things might be prepared for the poor; yea, a feast of fat things, of wine on the well refined, that the earth may know that the mouths of the prophets shall not fail; Yea, a supper of the house of the Lord, well prepared, unto which all nations shall be invited. First, the rich and the learned, the wise and the noble And after that cometh the day of my power; then shall the, the lame, and the blind, and the deaf, come in unto the marriage of the Lamb, and partake of the of the supper of the Lord, prepared for the great day to come.

The above scripture has a cryptic meaning embedded within it. Will you be numbered among the rich and learned?

The remarkable thing about Joseph Smiths conditional promise about the appointed time of September 11th 1836 for the redemption of Zion is that it legitimizes the restored Church.

It actually provides one of the most compelling prophetic arguments for identifying the Church of Christ that the Lord restored to the earth through the prophet Joseph Smith as the people of God that were depicted in the parable of the Ten Virgins!

(Numbers and dates are integral in how and when God communicates to us. Dates have significant meanings. You can actually study gospel topics in the D&C according to dates that events and revelations took place. There are certain dates upon which religious events repeatedly take place. April 6th is such a date. September 21-22 in another. It is no coincidence that section section 64 was given on September 11 1831. It is no coincidence that the appointed time for the redemption of Zion was September 11 1836. It is interesting to note that Sept 11th has become a day associated with murder, destruction and Gods wrath. There are probably over 20 major events in history including the Mountain Meadows Massacre and the Fall of the Twin Towers that fall on this ominous date. Is this just a coincidence? Will there be future prophetic events on this date?)

Called to Be Saints


Paul opened his first letter to the Corinthians by addressing the church and directing his words “to them that are sanctified in Christ Jesus, called to be saints.” It is interesting to note that the word “saint” is found throughout the scriptures, both in the old and new testaments and in most abundance in the Doctrine and Covenants.

 

Paul was speaking to those who belonged to the church in Corinth, noting that they had been sanctified (past tense) and, as such, could be called saints. Throughout the New Testament, Paul addressed his letters to the saints and spoke of them in favorable terms.

 

Today, members wear the title of Latter Day Saints, connoting the difference from those that lived at the meridian of time. As with Paul, those in the church today are considered saints. Can we consider, as in the case of the Corinthians, those who were in the church and called saints have been sanctified as suggested in Paul’s address to the Corinthians?

 

Sanctification, by definition, is to be made holy or purified. In fact, the original Greek term ‘hagios’ was most often translated as holy in the New Testament. While the New Testament contains little in regards to the process of sanctification, the Book of Mormon and Doctrine and Covenants adds critical detail to this important process.

 

In defining His gospel, the Lord spoke of the critical nature of this process. In 3rd Nephi Chapter 27: 19-21 one reads:

“And no unclean thing can enter into his kingdom; therefore nothing entereth into his rest save it be those who have washed their garments in my blood, because of their faith, and the repentance of all their sins, and their faithfulness unto the end.

Now this is the commandment: Repent, all ye ends of the earth, and come unto me and be baptized in my name, that ye may be sanctified by the reception of the Holy Ghost, that ye may stand spotless before me at the last day.

Verily, verily, I say unto you, this is my gospel…”

In order to enter the kingdom of God, one must be sanctified or cleansed from sin. This is done through the blood of Christ, which was shed for us. The path here is defined as repentance, coming unto Christ, followed by baptism. Once these conditions are met, we can then be sanctified. Christ tells us in 3rd Nephi 12:1: “after that ye are baptized with water, behold, I will baptize you with fire and with the Holy Ghost…”

 

This baptism of fire and the Holy Ghost is the means to receive a remission of our sins (3rd Nephi 12:3, 2nd Nephi 31:17)

 

Some in the church has suggested that the process of sanctification is the result of a life-long quest to live a Christ-like life. The idea expressed is that we, day by day, become more holy until, imperceptibly, we have achieved this state of purity. Is this what Paul suggested in his address of the Corinthians; identifying those to whom he spoke as sanctified? Perhaps not.

Moroni provides an interesting checklist for those who are to be considered members of the church of God. In Moroni 6:1-4 we find:

“Behold, elders, priests, and teachers were baptized; and they were not baptized save they brought forth fruit meet that they were worthy of it.

Neither did they receive any unto baptism save they came forth with a broken heart and a contrite spirit, and witnessed unto the church that they truly repented of all their sins.

And none were received unto baptism save they took upon them the name of Christ, having a determination to serve him to the end.

And after they had been received unto baptism, and were wrought upon and cleansed by the power of the Holy Ghost, they were numbered among the people of the church of Christ; and their names were taken, that they might be remembered and nourished by the good word of God, to keep them in the right way, to keep them continually watchful unto prayer, relying alone upon the merits of Christ, who was the author and the finisher of their faith.”

This passage outlines the steps to be numbered with the church of Christ:

  • Bring forth fruit
  • Broken heart and a contrite spirit
  • Witness to the church that they have truly repented
  • Take the name of Christ and determine to serve him to the end

These steps are defined as prerequisites to baptism. Following baptism by water, the candidate is then cleansed by the power of the Holy Ghost. This cleansing is the same as sanctification and precedes membership in the church.

 

How could sanctification be a life long pursuit if Moroni defines it as a requirement for membership in the church of Christ? This message is consistent with Paul’s comments on the saints of his era. Can we truly call ourselves saints if we have not been sanctified?

 

Sanctification through the remission of our sins, according to 2nd Nephi 31:17-18, is the gate:

“For the gate by which ye should enter is repentance and baptism by water; and then cometh a remission of your sins by fire and by the Holy Ghost. And then are ye in this strait and narrow path which leads to eternal life…”

 

Can sanctification be the result of a life long effort when the scriptures define it as the GATE to the strait and narrow path?

 

We are called to be saints, to purify our hearts and minds, to sanctify ourselves in preparation to be numbered with the church of Christ and entry into the kingdom of God.

 

What think ye?

Why have ye transfigured the Holy Word of God?


Why have ye transfigured the Holy Word of God?
By OneWhoIsWatching www.threewatches.blogspot.com

In the 8th chapter of Mormon the Prophet Moroni speaks of the sacred records that he has been entrusted with that were to come forth at a future time.

He notes that a Prophet will bring them forth by the power of God with an eye single to the glory of God:

“For none can have power to bring it to light save it be given him of God; for God wills that it shall be done with an eye single to his glory, or the welfare of the ancient and long dispersed covenant people of the Lord. And blessed be he that shall bring this thing to light; for it shall be brought out of darkness unto light, according to the word of God; yea, it shall be brought out of the earth, and it shall shine forth out of darkness, and come unto the knowledge of the people; and it shall be done by the power of God.”  (Mormon 8:15)

He then promises that those who accept it when it first comes forth shall know of greater things:

“And whoso receiveth this record, and shall not condemn it because of the imperfections which are in it, the same shall know of greater things than these. Behold, I am Moroni; and were it possible, I would make all things known unto you.”

When I think of the greater things that are promised to the righteous… I cannot help but think not only of the sealed portion of the plates that will come forth to those of the gentiles that repent, but also I am reminded that the more righteous portion of the Saints that were blessed with visions and spiritual manifestations after accepting the Book of Mormon when it came forth among the gentiles.

There was a small portion of the Saints that embraced the truth whole heartedly and accepted the gospel by entering into the waters of baptism and receiving the baptism of fire and the Holy Ghost. A notable example would be Zebedee Coltrin who was one of several early converts that experienced the greater things in Kirtland. For a detailed listing of those who were blessed to have visions and to see God or Christ, “Joseph Smith’s Kirtland” by Anderson is a must read.

In the 8th chapter of Mormon, Moroni reveals that the Lord allowed him to see into the future and view the LDS restoration movement that took place at the time that the Book of Mormon came forth.

It appears that he was allowed to see the restoration of the Church of Christ in 1830.

As with virtually all prophesies, the ones contained in Mormon 8 will have a dual fulfillment. Many items contained therein are applicable to both the 1st commission in the 2nd Watch and the 2nd commission in the 3rd Watch. However the primary, literal fulfillment appears to take place in the 1st commission when the Book of Mormon first came forth among the Gentiles and the Church was restored to the earth. That is the context that we shall use for the purposes of this article:

“Behold, the Lord hath shown unto me great and marvelous things concerning that which must shortly come, at that day when these things shall come forth among you.  Behold, I speak unto you as if ye were present, and yet ye are not. But behold, Jesus Christ hath shown you unto me, and I know your doing.”

Moroni was shown the future events pertaining to those Saints who accepted the Book of Mormon when it was translated by the Prophet Joseph Smith and it came forth among the Gentiles.

After Christ shows Moroni what the Saints of the restoration did, he was appalled at what he saw and he characterized the Saints as people who walk after the pride of their hearts…. Unto the wearing of very fine apparel, unto envying, strifes, malice and all manner of iniquities.

“For behold ye do love money, and your substance, and your fine apparel, and the adorning of your churches, more than ye love the poor and the needy, the sick and the afflicted.”

So excruciating was the content of the vision given to the Prophet Moroni that he was led to exclaim:

O ye pollutions, ye hypocrites, ye teachers, who sell yourselves for that which will canker, why have ye polluted the holy church of God? (Mormon 8:38)

What a sobering rebuke to the first generation of Saints that accepted the Book of Mormon and joined the restored Church at the time the Book of Mormon came forth

We are left to wonder what Moroni saw and what he was referring to…

I wonder if Moroni observed that the Saints failed to redeem Zion in Jackson County.

I wonder it he observed the declaration of the Lord in section 84 that the Saints fell under condemnation in Kirtland for taking lightly the Book of Mormon and the other revelations which included the law of consecration, which were brought forth by the Prophet Joseph Smith.

I wonder if Moroni witnessed that the Saints of the restoration failed to live the law of consecration as contained in section 42 in Kirtland after being commanded to live it.

I wonder if he saw all of the events in the early days of the restoration including the fact that the Saints failed to fund the publishing of the Joseph Smith Translation of the Bible which needed to be done for the salvation of the Church.

I shudder to think that he saw the fight that broke out in the Lords Holy Temple in Kirtland between some of the leading Elders of the Church and the apostasy that resulted in up to 50% of the Saints leaving the Church when the Kirtland Safety Society Failed. Some have estimated that about 30% of the leadership of the Church apostatized at that time.

In the words of Joseph Smith; “No quorum in the Church was entirely exempt from the influence of those false spirits who are striving against me for the mastery; even some of the Twelve were so far lost to their high and responsible calling as to begin to take sides secretly with the enemy”.

Perhaps Moroni saw the Lords declaration in section 112 of the doctrine and Covenants shortly after the Kirtland apostasy that all flesh had become corrupted and the entire world was in gross darkness.

After the Temple was defiled Moroni might possibly have seen the Saints flee to Far West and other places as they plundered and took the spoils of the non-believing gentiles along the way feeling justified because of the unjust acts that had taken place against them in Kirtland and Jackson Co. (The autobiography of John D Lee and other diaries provide documentation that the Saints were desperate at this time and doing things they would not normally do)

I wonder if Moroni witnessed the long arm of God’s mercy extended unto the Saints giving them yet another chance to have that which had been lost,as a result of the Kirtland apostasy, restored if they would repent and be obedient in completing the construction of the Nauvoo Temple by the appointed time.

The Lord promised the Saints that if they were obedient in Nauvoo, they would not be moved out of their place. But the Prophet Joseph Smith warned the Saints:

“If the Temple and Nauvoo House are not finished you must run away..” (Words of Joseph Smith pg 179)

The Lords warning was a little more ominous. He warned in section 124 that if they failed to finish the temple by the appointed time they would be rejected as a Church with their dead…

I wonder if Moroni saw the First Presidency and the 12 Apostles plead with the Saints in Nauvoo to consecrate their time and substance to the building of the temple and petition the Saints for funds to publish the Joseph Smith Translation of the Bible.

I wonder if he observed that many of the Saints were more concerned about other things such as building their own homes and building Masonic temples. I wonder if Moroni saw many of the early Saints swapping secret hand shakes, swearing by their throats and entering into secret oaths for the purpose of getting gain even though the Bible and Book of Mormon forbid us to do that. (Mat 5:36 , 3rd Nephi 12:36 )

I wonder if Moroni saw that the Saints were moved out of their place after they failed to complete the temple by the appointed time. I wonder it he saw that a secret combination composed of members and non-members conspired to murder Joseph and Hyrum. (see The Nauvoo Conspiracy printed in the Contributor Vol V pp 251-260)

I wonder if he witnessed the Saints flee from Nauvoo and return back into a scattered condition among the gentiles.

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Of course we don’t know if the window of time that Moroni was looking at was limited to that first generation of Saints or if it included all four generations that were to follow the restoration of the Church prior to the ushering in of the Marvelous Work and a Wonder.

It leaves those of us living four generations after the restoration of the Church why, after 160 years we are no longer attempting to live the law of consecration as we were commanded to live it. Why is the establishment of Zion no longer a current objective of the Church?

Perhaps we should ask ourselves if we are justified in paying some tithing and some fast offerings each month while we set our hearts upon accumulating wealth, cabins, boats, vacations and toys without feeling guilty about the poor, needy, sick and afflicted that are among us. I wonder if Jesus Christ is showing Moroni our doing?

But that is a topic for another post.

The topic and focus of this post has to do with how the restored church has transfigured the holy word of God that was revealed through the Prophet Joseph Smith.

This brings us to the curious observation Moroni makes:

O ye wicked and perverse and stiffnecked people, why have ye built up churches unto yourselves to get gain? Why have ye transfigured the holy word of God…” (Mormon 8:33)

Moroni observes that the Saints would receive the word of God and then would transfigure it.

The 1828 Websters Dictionary defines the word “transfigured” to mean Changed in Form.

I suppose Moroni could have been talking about changing ordinances but I suspect that he could have also been referring to some changes that have taken place in the Book of Mormon and the Modern Revelations contained in the Book of Commandments and the Doctrine and Covenants.

It is very difficult to believe that anyone would have the audacity to change or alter the punctuation or words of a revelation, or cut and paste verses in a different order in such a way as to change the meaning of the holy and infallible word of God.

“Search the Scriptures; for in them ye think ye have eternal life…” John 5:39

We have lots of techniques and tools that we use to help us study the scriptures. One is the strong’s concordance that allows us to look up the meanings of words in the New Testament in the Greek and in the Old Testament in the Hebrew.

I have also found the 1828 version of the Webster’s Dictionary to be extremely helpful when studying the revelations given to Joseph Smith since the English language has evolved during the last 180 years.

Another invaluable reference that I have blogged about before is the importance of the Joseph Smith Translation of the Bible. I suspect many who read this article use these same tools.

I also have copies of the original Book of Commandments and the Original Book of Mormon which have been invaluable in searching the scriptures and some of the changes therein. (You can purchase these at Deseret Book)

Perhaps one of the most incredible resources that I have come across for searching the modern revelations contained in the D&C is a dissertation on the changes that have taken place in the D&C by a BYU student back in 1974.

I first became aware of the many changes in the D&C about 18 years ago when I was walking around a used book store looking for hidden treasures and I came across a booklet entitled “The Doctored Covenants” by Greg Anderson.

As I perused that publication, I was unable to believe that people in high places would change or allow others to change Gods word. Besides, it did not look very credible to me. But it did get me thinking and wondering if in fact some of the modern revelations that came through the Prophet Joseph Smith had been tampered with and transfigured by mortal man.

I began doing research on the topic and found that indeed there had been some changes made. I wanted to find the best and most unbiased and credible resource for learning about the alterations to the Doctrine and Covenants. (Perhaps it would be more honest to say that I was looking for the most credible resource that had a bias in favor of the LDS Church) Eventually I learned about a magnificent six volume work done by a fellow named Robert J. Woodford.

Brother Woodford did a Dissertation in 1974 which he presented to the Department of Ancient Scripture at Brigham Young University in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the Degree of Doctor of Philosophy.

Melvin J. Peterson had previously done a Masters Thesis on a comparison between the text of the Book of Commandments and the sections in the D&C, however Woodford wanted to go further. He wanted to trace the history of the D&C from hand-written revelations to its current format and analyze the text of each revelation from the earliest sources available to the present composition.

He wanted to make a detailed study of the historical background of the D&C and a textual evaluation of each of the revelations.

One of the really helpful and extremely fascinating aspects of this work is that he uses the History of the Church, Times and Seasons, Millennial Star and other historical works and manuscript materials from the Historical Department of the Church as part of this work to provide context to the revelations given.

The name of this work is The Historical Development of the Doctrine and Covenants (Ann Arbor, Mich.: University Microfilms International, 1980 I have heard you can order it in electronic format at the BYU Book Store)

In my humble opinion it is an absolute must for any serious student of the Doctrine and Covenants.

I think one of Brother Woodford’s desires in choosing this undertaking was to provide documentation for LDS apologists to combat the accusations made by anti Mormons regarding the changes in our modern revelations. Apparently he got the endorsement of the LDS Church and they allowed him to view virtually all of the available originals and copies of hand written revelations that the Church has in its possession.

His work is an amazing effort to document all of the places where the revelations contained in the Doctrine and Covenants have been changed or transfigured since they were originally given through the Prophet Joseph Smith.

I was so appreciative of the work this man did I just had to go meet him and shake his hand. At the time I met him he was serving in a Bishopric in a singles ward at the University of Utah.

I have been greatly edified in reading and studying this incredible work by Woodford.

There have been numerous times when I and my wife would be reading the D&C and the Spirit would indicate that something is not right. We would then reference this work by Woodford to view the original verse. After seeing how a verse was transfigured, everything would make sense.

It has been eloquently said by one of the contributors on this blog site that one of the callings of the Holy Ghost is to confirm to us that the scriptures are true. I would submit to you that the Holy Ghost also confirms when a scripture is NOT true.

I want to end this post by sharing two examples of where credible historical documentation makes it appear that the word of God in modern revelation has been transfigured and another similar example pertaining to the Book of Mormon. I will provide a fourth example pertaining to modern revelation where it may have been transfigured based on doctrinal evidence.. But first, let’s review how important the revelations are that Joseph Smith received. Here is an excerpt from a conference that was held concerning the publishing of the revelations

After deliberate consideration in the consequences of the Book of Revelations  now to be printed being the foundation of the Church and the salvation of the world and the keys of the mysteries of the Kingdom and the riches of Eternity to the Church. Voted that they be prized by this conference to be worth to the church the riches of the whole earth, speaking temporally….” (Far West Record p 22, 23)

The importance of the Book of Mormon is possibly better known and better accepted than that of the modern revelations.

EXAMPLE ONE

It is common knowledge that there have been many changes in the Book of Mormon but that most of them have been punctuation related changes.

I frankly feel that most of the changes I have seen in the Book of Mormon, both punctuation and textual, appear to have been minor and insignificant, however the changes I want to spotlight have to do with the nature and character of God as well as the nature of Jesus Christ’s Godhood during his earthly ministry on this earth.

I have blogged about the true Godhood of Jesus Christ in his earthly ministry on this earth. I have also blogged about how leaders of the Church have taught unsound doctrines pertaining to who God is.

The first example of how scriptures have been transfigured that I want to point out has to do with some alterations in the Book of Mormon that took place in 1981, approximately 152 years after the Book of Mormon was published to the world.

I suspect some will feel that the following changes are not significant; I personally feel they are, nevertheless, I think it is a very serious thing to change Gods holy word in the scriptures if it is done without his authorization. I will not provide any other commentary on these changes other than to simply show the changes that took place in 1 Nephi 11 and also 1 Nephi 13:

1 Nephi 11:18- 1830 Edition of the Book of Mormon

“And he said unto me, Behold, the virgin which thou seest, is the mother of God, after the manner of the flesh”

1 Nephi 11:18 1981 Edition of the Book of Mormon

“And he said unto me: Behold, the virgin whom thou seest is the mother of the Son of God, after the manner of the flesh.”

1 Nephi 11:21 1830 Edition of the Book of Mormon

“And the angel said unto me, behold the Lamb of God, yea, even the Eternal Father!…”

1 Nephi 11:21 1981 Edition of the Book of Mormon

“And the angel said unto me: Behold the Lamb of God, yea, even the Son of the Eternal Father!…”

1 Nephi 11:32- 1930 Edition of the Book of Mormon

“…And I looked and beheld the Lamb of God, that he was taken by the people; yea, the Everlasting God, was judged of the world…”

1 Nephi 11:32- 1981 Edition of the Book of Mormon

“…And I looked and beheld the Lamb of God, that he was taken by the people; yea, the Son of the everlasting God was judged of the world…”

1 Nephi 13:40- 1830 Edition of the Book of Mormon

“…and shall make known to all kindreds, tongues, and people, that the Lamb of God is the Eternal Father and the Savior of the world…”

1 Nephi 13:40- 1981 Edition of the Book of Mormon

“…and shall make known to all kindreds, tongues, and people that the Lamb of God is the Son of the Eternal Father, and the Savior of the World…”


EXAMPLE TWO

Many years ago there was an interesting fellow that went around giving seminars on the importance of a vegetarian diet. He claimed he had died and returned to life after being taught the truth about the word of wisdom. While dead, it was revealed to him that it is a sin to eat meats… ever!

In fact he said that you must get the animals you have killed to forgive you before you can enter into heaven. We listened to one of his lectures and invited him to speak to some of our friends. This caused us to focus on the Word of Wisdom at great length.

One day my wife was conversing with a friend who was agreeing with what the above mentioned brother had been teaching and my wife invited the person to read section 89 with her. While reading it my wife had a distinct impression that the comma in verses13 should not be there!

Yea, flesh also of beast and of the fowls of the air, I, the Lord, have ordained for the use of man with thanksgiving; nevertheless they are to be used sparingly; And it is pleasing unto me that they should not be used, only in times of winter, or of cold, or famine.”

You will notice that the use of the comma (in red) reverses the meaning of those verses.

With the comma the verse is saying that flesh of beasts and fowls should only be used in times of winter, cold or famine. Yet without the comma it is saying that it is not ordained for such limited use, although it should be used sparingly.

Having recently read several statements from the prophets, noticing that many of the people in the scriptures seemed to use meat during all seasons and also having recently read the following warning from the Apostle Paul my wife and I felt something was wrong:

“Now the Spirit speaketh expressly, that in the latter times some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits, and doctrines of devils; Speaking lies in hypocrisy; having their conscience seared with a hot iron;  Forbidding to marry, and commanding to abstain from meats, which God hath created to be received with thanksgiving of them which believe and know the truth. For every creature of God is good, and nothing to be refused, if it be received with thanksgiving” (1 Tim 4:3)

Feeling that there was an apparent discrepancy in this verse she checked the Historical Development of the D&C by Woodford and this is what she found:

“…the only other variation in this section of any consequence is the comma following verse 13. It was never found in any text prior to the 1921 edition of the Doctrine and Covenants. According to T. Edgar Lyons, Joseph Fielding Smith, when shown this addition to the text, said: Who put that in there?

This is a significant statement since Elder Smith served on the committee to publish that edition of the D&C. Thus the comma may have been inserted by the printer and has been retained ever since.” (Volume 2 part 2 pg 1175)

Those verses have created lively discussions between many members of the church and have caused some members to feel guilty about eating meat in all seasons.

It is disconcerting to me that someone inserted a comma that would reverse the meaning of God’s word, it is perhaps even more disconcerting in this case that the Church has never corrected this error.

(For the record, I personally feel better when I eat less meat. I have no personal agenda as far as encouraging people to eat meat. I do believe we are to eat meat sparingly. I am simply showing the facts as I see them with regard to what the original intent of the scriptures in question was verses what they appear to say after being transfigured)

EXAMPLE THREE

The 3rd example I want to share with you of a scripture that has been altered is one where part of the text has simply been deleted from the original revelation.

If you are not aware of this particular example, I hope you are sitting down because this is a whopper!

First, let me lay a little ground work.

In previous posts we have discussed how JST Luke 12 refers to three watches or three separate and distinct gospel dispensations. The1st Watch was the Meridian of Time. The 2nd Watch was the LDS Restoration Movement when the Church of Christ was restored to the earth through the Prophet Joseph Smith and the 3rd Watch will be the Marvelous Work.

We have also discussed how JST Matt 21 reveals that the First Watch represents the gospel going to the Gentiles after being rejected by the Jews and 2nd Watch represents the gospel going to the Jews after being rejected by the Gentiles.

JST Mat 21 seems to reveal that the gospel would be taken from the Gentiles and given to the Jews shortly after the Church was restored in the 1830’s so I began to look for another witness that the Lord had warned the restored Church about this in modern revelation. One wherein the Lord gives a stern warning to the Gentiles that they will be led into darkness just like the Jews in Jerusalem were if they don’t repent and accept the gospel..

I always like to get the testimony of at least two scriptural witnesses.

I felt that if I was interpreting JST Mat 21 correctly that the Lord would have given a warning to the Gentiles in modern revelation. There are actually lots of these types of warnings in the D&C but I was looking for something with stronger language.

Sure enough, using the Historical Development of the Doctrine and Covenants by Woodford I discovered that when it was time to publish the revelations that Joseph Smith had received again, the name of the cannon of scripture was changed from the Book of Commandments to the Doctrine and Covenants. At the time of that printing, the text in some of the revelations was also changed.

One of the changes that I found does in fact warn the Gentile Church with very strong language that they would be delivered over to Satan if they harden their hearts. He told the Saints that he was warning them of the sword of justice just as he had warned the people about the destruction of Jerusalem.

The following verses were taken out of what is now section 5 in our current Doctrine and Covenants. The part I red was deleted from the current editions of the D&C:

And thus, if the people of this generation harden not their hearts, I will work a reformation among them, and I will put down all lyings, and deceivings, and priestcrafts, and envyings, and strifes, and idolatries, and sorceries, and all manner of iniquities, and I will establish my church, like unto the church which was taught by my disciples in the days of old.

And now if this generation do harden their hearts against my word, behold I will deliver them up unto Satan, for he reigneth and hath power at this time, for he hath got great hold upon the hearts of the people of this generation: and not far from the iniquities of Sodom and Gomorrah, do they come at this time: and behold the sword of justice hangeth over their heads, and if they persist in the hardness of their hearts, the time cometh that it must fall upon them. Behold I tell you these things even as I also told the people of the destruction of Jerusalem, and my word shall be verified at this time as it hath hitherto been verified..”

Wow. That is quite an ominous warning.

I chose this example to spotlight a very sobering principle, that if the Saints harden their hearts against Gods word, he will turn them over to Satan.. a similar warning is given to the Saints in the New Testament:

And with all deceivableness of unrighteousness in them that perish; because they received not the love of the truth, that they might be saved. And for this cause God shall send them strong delusion, that they should believe a lie: That they all might be damned who believed not the truth, but had pleasure in unrighteousness.Thes 2:11

Again, it is a hard doctrine that if we reject the truth from God’s servants, God will send us a strong delusion.

I do want to mention that the above change in section 5 appears to have been done under the direction of the Prophet Joseph Smith and I personally believe that he did it under the direction of God.

Therefore, I don’t necessarily believe this is one of the changes that Moroni was upset about when he asked the Saints of the restoration “Why have you transfigured the word of God?”

Documenting the reasons why I don’t see this alteration in the scriptures to be a problem would take too long for the purposes of this article. Suffice it to say, I think the Book of Commandments may have been primarily addressing the remnants of the Kingdom of Israel mingled among the Gentiles while the Doctrine and Covenants may have been written primarily to the remnants of the Kingdom of Judah mingled among the Gentiles. For additional info on this click here

Nevertheless, it is important for us to understand that the above text was in the original Book of Commandments, yet removed when the Doctrine and Covenants was published and we need to know about it in order to better understand what took place in the restoration movement. It obviously wasn’t removed from the chapter because God made a mistake when the revelation was first given… God is all knowing and infallible and simply does not make mistakes.

I personally believe that it was removed because something had taken place in the Church that made that warning no longer applicable as something that might happen in the future. I wish I had time to explain why I feel the Lord wanted the above text in the Book of Commandments but not in the Doctrine and Covenants but I have already made this post too long.

EXAMPLE FOUR

The last example is purely speculation and based on what I deem to be a doctrinal inconsistency pertaining to church government. It is not based on clear cut historical proof that the scripture in question was changed or fabricated. I simply offer this as something worth searching out for those who are curious about the issue of succession.

The doctrine pertaining to succession is a very sensitive subject. I made a few random observations, particularly in a recent article but have never covered this topic in depth and I don’t know that I ever will attempt to.

Before spotlighting my fourth example, let me first reiterate what I have stated before in various posts…. I believe the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints represents Gods people and Gods Church today on the earth. I accept the literal interpretation of the following declaration of the Lord in section 115:

And also unto my faithful servants who are of the high council of my church in Zion, for thus it shall be called, and unto all the elders and people of my Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, scattered abroad in all the world; For thus shall my Church be called in the last days, even the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints” (D&C 115)

I interpret the above verses to say that when Gods people are gathered under his direction into stakes of Zion, his church is called the Church of Zion.

I also believe that when his people are living in a scattered condition in the last days, they are called the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

I believe section 115 promises that Gods Church will be in existence in the last days and I believe we are living in the last days.

I believe the Church that has the legal claim on the above name, which I believe happens to be in a scattered condition at the present time, is in fact Gods Church.

I believe the current Apostles in the First Presidency and the quorum of the Twelve of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints are striving to continue the mission and calling that was given to the original quorum of the Twelve that was called in 1835.

The primary commission given to them, as contained in section 112 of the Doctrine and Covenants is to “Bear testimony of my name and to send it abroad among all nations, kindreds, tongues, and people” and to “send forth my word unto the ends of the earth.”

I believe the above commission that was given to those who were not the First Laborers of the Last Kingdom is not the same Apostolic Commission given to the Apostles in the New Testament or to the Disciples in the Book of Mormon, or to the First set of Apostles appointed after the Church was restored, who were referred to as “Apostles” and “Friends” of God (see section 84).

Nevertheless, the current brethren are clearly striving, in there own way, to fulfill the mission and calling given to Brigham Young and his brethren. They are contuing to labor in the vineyard until the return of the First Elders into the vineyard.. And that commission is to bear testimony of the name of Christ and to send forth the Word of God.

To me it is not a question of whether the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints is the True Church; the real question is; what is the current state of the true Church?

Section 84 could be interpreted as identifying us as the True Church which is under condemnation.

Section 112 could be interpreted as identifying us as the True Church membership whose flesh has all become corrupt.

Section 124 could be interpreted as the True Church that has been rejected with our dead for four generations.

In the words of the Prophet Moroni who was watching the early events of the restored church: Why have ye polluted the Holy Church of God?

The scriptures often refer to God people as an unfaithful wife that is put away. Nevertheless, she is still the wife!

With those characterizations of the latter day church in mind, I now offer the following possible example of a scripture that needs to be scrutinized because of its doctrinal content. Historical documents don’t categorically prove it is authentic one way or the other:

One day while studying the succession issue I noticed an apparent discrepancy in the doctrinal content of the following revelation:

Dear and well-beloved brother, Brigham Young, verily thus saith the Lord unto you: My servant Brigham, it is no more required at your hand to leave your family as in times past, for your offering is acceptable to me. I have seen your labor and toil in journeyings for my name. I therefore command you to send my word abroad, and take especial care of your family from this time, henceforth and forever. Amen.” (section 126)

It seemed odd to me that the Lord would release Brigham Young from traveling forth into the world as a member of the Quorum of the Twelve after only being a member of the Quorum of the Twelve or six years and traveling abroad on missions for only about two or three years! Being a traveling missionary is the very definition of what the Twelve Apostles are supposed to do:

The Twelve are a Traveling Presiding High Council, to officiate in the name of the Lord, under the direction of the Presidency of the Church, agreeable to the institution of heaven; to build up the church, and regulate all the affairs of the same in all nations, first unto the Gentiles and secondly unto the Jews.” (D&C 107)

Joseph Smith gave the following clarification of the above scripture:

The apostles have no right to go into Zion or any of its stakes where there is a regular high council established, to regulate any matter pertaining thereto: But it is their duty to go abroad and regulate and set in order all matters relative to the different branches of the church of the Latter Days Saints. No standing high council has the authority to go into the churches abroad and regulate the matters thereof, for the this belongs to the Twelve” (Minutes of the Grand High Council, 2 May 1835. See also Patriarchal Blessing Book, p. 2, Church Archives)

It is true that Joseph Smith did give members of the Twelve assignments to do in Nauvoo between their missionary assignments, but I don’t think those assignments overlapped into the administrative callings of the First Presidency or the Presidency of the Stake or of the High Council of the Stake. These responsibilities were temporary assignments to do until they were sent into the mission field again.

Clearly, the Quorum of the Twelve is a traveling missionary quorum that has not right to officiate in an organized stake of Zion.

I have more documentation that I do not want to take the time to present here that would indicate that the content in section 126 is not congruent with the Word of God and the words of Joseph Smith regarding Brigham Young’s role as an Apostle and as the President of that Quorum.

Perhaps the 64 dollar questions is; was the traveling quorum of the twelve equal in authority with the First Presidency of the Church or were they functioning under the direction of the First Presidency of the Church

The apparent doctrinal discrepancy I saw in in section 126 caused me to research the available documentation on that revelation. What I found was very curious to me.

1- There were no witnesses to this revelation other than Brigham Young.

2- The revelation was never published or included in the Doctrine and Covenants by Joseph Smith.

3- The oldest known manuscript of the revelation was written by Thomas Bullock in about April of 1845. There are no known manuscripts of it in existence that were written within four years of July 9th 1841, when the revelation was purportedly given. The earliest manuscript in existence of this revelation that was purportedly given by Joseph Smith was written AFTER the death of Joseph Smith.

4- The oldest known manuscript of this revelation was created shortly after the succession crisis and just a few years prior to the re-establishment of the First Presidency… When according to Wilford Woodruff, Brigham Young posed the following question:  “I had a question put to me by President Young: What my opinion was concerning one of the Twelve Apostles being appointed as the President fo the Church with his two counselors. I answered that a quorum like the Twelve who had been appointed by revelation, confirmed by revelation from time to time – I thought it would require a revelation to change the order of that quorum..” HC Vol 7:621)

5- Another historical item that does not seem congruent with the revelation that Brigham claims to have received is the fact that after the Lord tells Brigham that his offering is acceptable and he no longer needs to leave his family, the Lord called Brigham on a political mission in 1844, after the revelation date in 1841. This is where he was when the martyrdom took place:

. In May 1844, Brigham and other apostles left on summer missions. While they were gone, events in Nauvoo deteriorated. Joseph Smith was arrested and, on June 27, was killed with his brother Hyrum when a mob stormed the jail at Carthage, Illinois, where they were being held. Brigham began to hear rumors of the murders while in the Boston area, but did not hear definite word of the assassination until July 16 in Peterboro, New Hampshire. He and his companions immediately rushed back to Nauvoo, arriving August 6.”

6- The revelation was never included in the D&C until 1876!

I present this possible discrepancy in doctrine and the events of LDS history to illustrate the importance of using doctrine, as well as documentation in the searching process when one is testing the authenticity of the various scriptures.

Again, I do not have conclusive evidence to show that section 126 is or is not authentic; the key becomes one of discernment after searching out the events in LDS history, the words of God in the scriptures, the word of God from Joseph Smith, the Lords anointed, and most important, the guidance of the Holy Ghost in revealing what all of the evidence points to.

Again, I accept Brigham Young as the Presiding officer and President of the Church based on the principle of Common Consent because he was elected President of the Church by the voice of the people. The question is whether the keys of the kingdom as held by the First Presidency had been passed on to him as required in the law of succession as stated in section 43 and whether he was a prophet seer and revelator.

These issues are critical in determining if the current church membership is in spiritual and temporal bondage and needs to be delivered. They are critical in determining if Zion has been redeemed or if there still needs to be a future redemption and re-establishment of Zion. Does there need to be another restoration and refreshing or have we already arrived?

This concludes the examples.

Did you know that you can get copies of the original Book of Commandments and the Original Book of Mormon, with the original punctuation and without the current verse format?

I have friends who prefer to study the scriptures using the original texts and original verses and original punctuation because they feel it is easier to understand and has a much better spirit.

There you have it. I have provided three examples of where the infinite, eternal and infallible word of God in modern revelation has been transfigured and one example of an apparent discrepancy to chew on.

Although example one did not take place at very close to the time of the restoration, I used it because it provided one of the most vivid and pertinent illustrations of how the meaning of Gods word can be changed by the improper use of punctuation.

These changes represent just a few of the changes that took place. I will leave it up to those of you with inquiring minds to search, dig out and find the changes that have taken place….