Establishing the tribes of Israel: the real reason for plural marriage


Background

I haven’t ventured into any of the other the LDS blogs in a very long time. I usually just confine myself to this blog. However, on July 28th, 2009, while viewing the LDS Anarchy blog stats, I backtracked a referral link and found myself on the Mormon Heretic blog. Apparently OWIW had commented over there back in November and linked to one of his posts here.

Anyway, as it had been a really long time since I’d been at Mormon Heretic’s blog, I thought I would check out what was new. That’s when I saw he had two recent posts on polygamy. (See My perspective on polygamy—he also has the same post at Mormon Matters—and Bushman’s Perspective on Polygamy, Alger and Snow.) I was impressed by the number of comments that both posts contained. Granted, these comments were from just a handful of people, but still the fervor of the individuals indicated a great interest in the subject matter. I also found a link to The Faithful Dissident’s recent post on polygamy entitled, What Would You Do If Polygamy Came Back?, which also had a lot of comments (from many different people, this time).

I skimmed through the comments on all three posts (but didn’t read every word) and found the viewpoints interesting. I was struck by how much interest polygamy still garners among the people and how divisive a topic it still is, both the doctrine itself and how Joseph Smith practiced it. The Faithful Dissident’s post, in particular, seemed to confirm my assertion that most LDS would reject polygamy if it returned as an allowable practice among the membership.

A little while later, I came across another article, written by TruthSeekerToo entitled, Why I don’t believe in Polygamy. For the record, both TruthSeekerToo (obviously) and Mormon Heretic disbelieve that D&C 132 was a revelation inspired of God. And The Faithful Dissident and her commenters also seem to tend towards rejection of the revelation.

The elephant in the room

I had no plans on visiting the topic of plural marriage again on this blog. I thought what I had written already was sufficient. (See The Return of Polygamy, The many definitions of adultery, How the Lord will clean his church: a possible scenario, and Scriptural Discussion #16: David and Solomon.) But reading these other LDS blog posts on polygamy, and seeing just how uncomfortable a doctrine it was to them, I felt to explain one of the reasons why I find the revelation consistent with what I know about God and His gospel. I won’t tackle every aspect of this elephant, just one that I believe most have overlooked, and which may throw a fresh perspective on it.

I’m an open anarchist

Contrary to what you may believe, anarchists are not very accepting. There is every shade of anarchist out there and they bicker and fight among themselves as to which flavor is the best or proper one. Just saying you are an anarchist is not good enough for most of them. They want to know what kind of an anarchist you are. Are you an anarcho-syndicalist? An anarcho-capitalist? A green anarchist? An anarcho-primitivist? Etc. If you aren’t the “proper” type of anarchist, they will reject your believe system and argue with you over why it is wrong.

Fortunately, there are also other anarchists who are tired of such designations and who simply call themselves “anarchists without adjectives.” These are just anarchists, period. They accept all forms of anarchism.

I align myself more with the “anarchists without adjectives” and am accepting of all forms of anarchism, however, I do put a designation on my particular type. It’s called tribal anarchism and so I’m a tribal anarchist. I follow this principle because it is both scriptural and according to the nature of man.

Tribal anarchism may be on the rise

During a recent search on YouTube, I found some videos on tribal anarchism. Some of these videos are promoting what they call “national anarchism,” but it is really just a modified form of tribal anarchism. I find the appearance of these videos fascinating, as people (other than myself) are starting to understand the tribal nature of humanity and that tribal anarchy, and not any other type of anarchy, is the fundamental kind. This makes me wonder if tribal anarchism is gaining traction among the anarchists of the world. At any rate, it is encouraging to find anarchists promoting scriptural, tribal anarchism.

Here are the links to the YouTube videos and also to a web site of national anarchists (tribal anarchists) that are located in San Francisco, California.

I’m listing these with a disclaimer: Although the principles of tribal anarchy are contained therein, you may also notice a racist element that I don’t condone. If you can learn to filter out the racism and focus on the principles of tribal anarchism, this information may be of use as a learning tool. If you can’t, then don’t click on any of the following links.

The following five videos were posted by DSuploads:

Tribal Anarchism 1

Tribal Anarchism 2

Tribal Anarchism 3

Tribal Anarchism 4

Tribal Anarchism 5

Bay Area National Anarchists

You may ask, “What does this have to do with polygamy?”

Pretty much everything. The tribal aspect of the gospel, as well as the tribal anarchy aspect, is currently in a state of suspended animation. Through our patriarchal blessings, we LDS are told that we are members of this or that tribe of Israel, but the tribal functions are not in place. We are tribes in word, but not in deed, action or function. The Lord attempted, with Joseph Smith’s D&C 132 revelation, to begin to activate the tribal functions. In order to explain this, we need to come to some understanding of what a tribe is.

What is a tribe?

From Wikipedia:

A tribe, is a social group of humans connected by a shared system of values and organized for mutual care, defense, and survival beyond that which could be attained by a lone individual or family. A ‘tribe’ is defined in anthropology. When viewed historically or developmentally, a tribe is a mutual care system which, unlike a kingdom or state or other schema, is oriented around kinship and shared beliefs. Tribes can well exist simultaneously with other schema (see Schema (psychology)) such as states or other systems. They might consist of a social group existing before the development of, or outside of, states. Tribes are the most enduring and successful social survival system that has ever existed on earth. Tribes can exist within or without a state or kingdom and may or may not depend on the state or kingdom to endure.

Many anthropologists use the term to refer to societies organized largely on the basis of kinship, especially corporate descent groups (see clan and lineage).

Emphasis mine.

It is kinship that makes a tribe a tribe. Keep this in mind, as it is the key to understanding the revelation that is D&C 132 and Joseph Smith’s interesting polygamous marriages. Shared belief alone does not a tribe make. There must be shared belief and kinship.

Kinship

In his blog post, Mormon Heretic quoted from Bushman’s Rough Stone Rolling book:

The personal anguish caused by plural marriage did not stop Joseph Smith from marrying more women. He married three in 1841, eleven in 1842, and seventeen in 1843. Historians debate these numbers, but the total figure is most likely between twenty-eight and thirty-three. Larger numbers have been proposed based on the sealing records in the Nauvoo temple. Eight additional women were sealed to Joseph in the temple after his death, possibly implying a marriage while he was still alive. Whatever the exact number, the marriages are numerous enough to indicate an impersonal bond. Joseph did not marry women to form a warm, human companionship, but to create a network of related wives, children, and kinsmen that would endure into the eternities…. He did not lust for women so much as he lusted for kin.

The implication, again, is that the Lord’s revelation to Joseph was designed to make the Gentile converts, now called Ephraimites, an actual tribe, meaning that everyone in the tribe needed to be related to each other by blood, adoption or marriage.

The tribal view of polygamy

FireTag, an RLDS member, commenting on Mormon Heretic’s My perspective on polygamy post, stated:

Our denomination’s crisis with polygamy came in about 1970. We began baptizing in an Indian-subculture in which the tribesmen were already living in polygamous marriages. After struggling so hard for a century to disassociate ourselves from this particular LDS belief, what were we to do?

The revelation brought to the church and confirmed by the general conference established for us the principle that “monogamy is the basic principle on which Christian married life is built” and authorized the First Presidency and the Quorum of 12 (Apostles) in their field jurisdictions to interpret that principle as directed by the Spirit.

The implementation ultimately meant that newly baptized polygamous people were allowed to remain in those marriages for the rest of their lives, but were not allowed to take additional marital partners into the marriage. The latter act would be treated as adultery or fornication under church law (I forget which).

This ruling became a schismatic issue for a number of people.

Emphasis mine. Notice that the problem only came when the non-tribal RLDS church came in contact with an actual tribe. Keep this in mind. We’ll revisit this dilemma later on down the post.

Tribes and polygamy go hand in hand

Polygamy may be abhorrent to most Americans, but in the global community it is common, normal and accepted.

Although the percentage of men in the world who have more than one wife is relatively small, as many as a third of the world’s population belongs to a community that allows it, says Israeli anthropologist Joseph Ginat.

There are many plural marriages in Africa, the Middle East and in Asia, said Ginat, professor of social and culture anthropology at the University of Haifa.

Many American Indian tribes allow polygamy; several experimental Christian groups practice it. And, of course, there are those famous offshoots of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

American Indians: Polygamy was fairly widespread among American Indian tribes, said Patricia Albers, chairman of American Indian studies at the University of Minneapolis. There were plural marriages among the Dakota of Southern Minnesota, Ojibway of northern Wisconsin, Mesquakia of Iowa, and the Ho-chunk (formerly Winnebago). In the Intermountain West, plural marriage was common among the Shoshone and Paiute tribes; it was also practiced by the Utes and Navajos. “I don’t know any tribal nation in this general region that didn’t have it or disallowed it,” Albers said. At the beginning of the 19th century, the Blackfoot Indians of the Dakotas, Wyoming and Montana were increasingly involved in buffalo-hide trade, and “families were more successful when they had more women engaged in processing of buffalo hides,” she said.

In many American Indian tribes, polygamy “was not a sign of subordinate position,” Albers said. “It occurred where women stood on fairly equal footing with the men in their communities.” Many tribes expected women to have responsibility, not only for her own children, but for those of her sisters as well. That could be one reason why the most common type of polygamy practiced by American Indians was sororal polygamy, or two sisters married to the same man. If a woman’s husband died, it was not uncommon for her to then marry her sister’s husband, Albers said. It was a way of “melding family units.”

(Excerpts from Globally, Polygamy Is Commonplace, by Peggy Fletcher Stack, The Salt Lake Tribune, Sunday, September 20, 1998. Emphasis mine.)

If you take a look at the FLDS or other LDS offshoots that practice polygamy, who can say that these groups do not functions as tribes?

The only child left in state custody after being swept from a polygamist sect’s West Texas ranch was placed permanently with a relative on Thursday, ending one of the largest custody cases in U.S. history.

Texas District Judge Barbara Walther signed an order giving permanent custody of the 15-year-old girl to a relative who is a member of the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. The girl is not allowed to communicate with jailed sect leader Warren Jeffs, whom she allegedly married when she was 12, but is otherwise allowed to stay with church members.

The girl was among 439 children taken from the Yearning For Zion Ranch in April 2008 after authorities responded to bogus calls to a domestic abuse hotline. Texas child welfare authorities removed all the children from the Eldorado ranch, and they were placed in foster care until the state Supreme Court ruled authorities had overreached.

The 15-year-old initially was returned to her mother, but she went back to foster care last August after her mother refused during a court hearing to guarantee the girl’s safety. The girl has been allowed to live with a relative for several months, but Thursday’s order made the arrangement permanent and resolved the last of the Child Protective Services’ cases involving FLDS members.

“It’s clearly a huge relief. We’re extremely happy to get all the children back,” said FLDS spokesman Willie Jessop. “It’s been a long road for her, but we made it.”

He said the girl has been much happier living with relatives, who understand the insular sect’s culture, pioneer-style dress and religious beliefs.

(Excerpt from Judge resolves final Texas polygamist custody case, by Michelle Roberts, The Associated Press, July 23, 2009. Emphasis mine.)

The last sentence could have been worded just as accurately, “He said the girl has been much happier living with [her tribe, which understands the tribal ways she is accustomed to].”

The polygamy of heaven

D&C 132 is not precisely the Biblical polygamy. There are aspects of it, but it adds the additional dimension of polyandry. This makes the polygamy practiced in Joseph’s day more egalitarian than that practiced by Brigham and others. In fact, it resembles the unity of the heavens, in which all have all things common. This makes sense, as it is Joseph’s mission in the Dispensation of the Fulness of Times to gather together all things in one, in Christ, both things in heaven and on Earth. (See Ephesians 1: 10 and D&C 27: 13.) So, going beyond the Bible is definitely a sign of the times we are living in.

Had Joseph succeeded in promoting D&C 132’s full doctrine among the people, the Gentile Ephraimites would have been converted into a bona fide tribe, but a tribe stronger and unlike any other tribe on Earth, as all would have been related to all through marriage sealings. It would have resembled the tribal family of the heavens. (See 379 Yah’shua the Messiah (Jesus Christ), an article on the nccg.org web site, which talks about the heavenly family of God, His work of expanding it and the importance God places on family relations, or kin. Had the author used the word ‘tribe’ instead of family, he would have been closer to the truth, as the ‘family’ of God is infinite in number and complexity, resembling more a tribe than a nuclear family.)

Brigham Young’s polygamy was a diluted or limited form of what Joseph and his wives are said to have practiced. Brigham (and others) practiced polygyny, without the polyandrous aspects of the revelation. Although this did serve to create strong tribal relationships, it was not the heavenly ideal Joseph was striving to gather to the saints.

Modern LDS are not currently tribal, but soon will be

It is true that we call the people at church brother and sister so-and-so, and even though they may be of the same tribe as we (usually of Ephraim), we still view them differently than our real kin. They are members of our tribe in name only. They are our brothers and sisters in name only. Our real brothers and sisters, those of blood, take precedence over our church brother and sisters. We distinguish between our blood family and our church family. This is natural and normal in society and true for just about everyone.

Be that as it may, we must always remember that the gospel of Jesus Christ is designed to be lived by genuine tribes (composed of kin) and not just tribes in name only. (See The tribal nature of the gospel.) This means that there will be a tribal movement among the saints at some time in the future, which will activate the tribal functions. This also means that D&C 132, which is a tribal key, will likely at some point be lived again in its fulness.

Twelve tribes, not one tribe, under Christ

There’s one more point that I wish to address with this post. (This really is what4anarchy’s job as he is the resident tribist among the blog contributors, but I’ll do it for him anyway.) And that point is the tendency of Ephraimites to believe that their tribe is the main tribe of the restoration, meaning the leadership tribe, or tribe in which all or most of the church leadership will come from, in the time preceding the Second Coming. Also, the tendency of Ephraimites to believe that it matters not which tribe you belong to, that the important thing is that you are of the house of Israel. (This is said to non-Ephraimites to placate them into not minding that the Ephraimites lead the church.)

The truth of the matter is, though, that all of the tribes will have vitally important roles in the restoration and gathering and there will be an equal division of the leadership, each tribe directing itself under Christ. Once this tribal aspect of the gospel is understood, then the revelations given in this dispensation can be looked through tribal filters and be shown as being directed principally to the tribe of Ephraim. There are still more revelations that must come that will be for Ephraim, through the Ephraimitish prophets, but there also will be plenty of revelations that must come to the other tribes, through their own prophets.

Remember, the gospel is divided into twelve tribes, not one single tribe. Therefore, each tribe must have its own set of prophets, its own set of scriptures, its own leaders. (See, for example, 2 Nephi 29: 13.) Were this not so, there would be no point in having twelve tribes. One single tribe would suffice. And there would be no point in saying that the people of God even belong to a ‘tribe” if they were never to function as a tribe (composed of actual kin), but as just a group of unrelated people who believe in Christ (a church).

Polygamy ties into this because it is polygamy that activates the tribal functions of all the tribes. Also, as we know that other tribes are coming, and by this I mean literal tribes, composed of people related to each other, it is possible that these other tribes are living polygamy already. If the Gentile, Ephraimitish church is rejecting polygamy and the other eleven tribes show up and they are living polygamy, this creates quite a problem, as the Gentile church will end up spurning the literal seed of Abraham. Thus, D&C 132 prepares and allows the Gentile converts to act as the literal seed of Ephraim in all its tribal functions and to become assimilated among the other eleven tribes.

Conclusion

Tribalism is the nature of the gospel. The sooner we realize this, the easier it will be to enact the plan of salvation and fulfill the revelations of God that have already come forth and that will come forth, including that revelation contained in D&C 132. By getting a tribal view of the gospel, certain mysteries, such as polygamy, can make a little more sense.

The American Gentiles have a saying, when referring to what is really important in politics, “It’s the economy, stupid!” It might be appropriate for LDS to adopt a similar one, “It’s the tribe, unlearned one!”

(After all, we really shouldn’t be calling people stupid, now should we?) 😉

Next Anarchism/Anarchy article: Let Us Unite Our Efforts to Establish Gift Societies Based Upon Tribal Anarchism

Previous Anarchism/Anarchy article: (No Uncle) S.A.M.M.s

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The Split-Brain Model of the Gospel


About this article: It was the book Drawing on the Right Side of the Brain by Dr. Betty Edwards that first got me comparing split-brain research with the gospel.  I had developed some ideas about it, but never wrote them down, though I did verbalize them to what4anarchy.  Recently, though, at the library, I picked up an old Stanislaw Lem book, Peace on Earth, which brought the research back into my mind.  So I again took the subject up, this time going a whole lot deeper.  Afterward, I passed it through what4anarchy and told him I was thinking of writing an article on this topic.  He suggested I do so immediately.  So, I put pen to paper and came up with the following…

Two Brains, Not One

Modern brain research has discovered that what we term our brain is really two brains working together. One brain resides in the right hemisphere, which I will call the right-brain, while the other resides in the left hemisphere, which I will call the left-brain. The right-brain controls the left side of the body, while the left-brain controls the right side of the body.

Each brain is the mirror image of the other, and like mirror images, they express themselves and perceive reality in opposing ways. However, the two brains are joined by a bridge of connecting tissue, called the corpus callosum, which allows them to communicate with each other and to combine their individual expressions, so that outside observers perceive a single message.

Inner Conflict

We all know that there is an inner conflict or turmoil within us, though no one else may be aware. We often desire two conflicting things at the same time and must make instantaneous decisions to suppress one desire over another. What we may not be aware of is that these conflicting thoughts, feelings, desires and impulses are coming from our opposing brains.

Observing the Conflict

The conflicting messages transmitted by the two brains are largely unobservable by outsiders. However, when a callotomy is performed, which severs the corpus callosum, neither brain can communicate with the other and thus they become incapable of coordinating all of their actions. Once this main communication line is cut, and by using specific tests, the independence of each brain can then plainly be seen.

Through these tests and observations of callotomized humans, modern research into the differences between the left and right brains has so far revealed the following:

Left and Right Brains Compared

The left-brain uses intellect.
The right-brain uses intuition.
The left-brain is convergent.
The right-brain is divergent.
The left-brain is digital.
The right-brain is analogic.
The left-brain is secondary.
The right-brain is primary.
The left-brain is abstract.
The right-brain is concrete.
The left-brain is directed.
The right-brain is free.
The left-brain is propositional.
The right-brain is imaginative.
The left-brain is analytic.
The right-brain is relational.
The left-brain is lineal.
The right-brain is nonlineal.
The left-brain is rational.
The right-brain is intuitive.
The left-brain is sequential.
The right-brain is multiple.
The left-brain is analytic.
The right-brain is holistic.
The left-brain is objective.
The right-brain is subjective.
The left-brain is successive.
The right-brain is simultaneous.

Thus, we see with the above list that there are “two ways of knowing.”

Left and Right Brains, Another Comparison

Here is another comparison between the left and right brains:

The left-brain is verbal; using words to define.
The right-brain is nonverbal; using non-verbal cognition to process perceptions.
The left-brain is analytic; figuring things out step-by-step and part-by-part.
The right-brain is synthetic; putting things together to form wholes.
The left-brain is symbolic; using a symbol to stand for something else. For example, the + sign stands for the process of addition.
The right-brain is actual, real; relating to things as they are, at the present moment.
The left-brain is abstract; taking out a small bit of information and using it to represent the whole thing.
The right-brain is analogic; seeing likeness among things; understanding metaphoric relationships.
The left-brain is temporal; keeping track of time, sequencing one thing after another, doing first things first, second things second, etc.
The right-brain is nontemporal; without a sense of time.
The left-brain is rational; drawing conclusions based on reason and facts.
The right-brain is nonrational; not requiring a basis of reason or facts; willingness to suspend judgment.
The left-brain is digital; using numbers as in counting.
The right-brain is spatial; seeing where things are in relation to other things and how parts go together to form a whole.
The left-brain is logical; drawing conclusions based on logic; one thing following another in logical order; for example, a mathematical theorem or a well-stated argument.
The right-brain is intuitive; making leaps of insight, often based on incomplete patterns, hunches, feelings, or visual images.
The left-brain is linear; thinking in terms of linked ideas, one thought directly following another, often leading to a convergent conclusion.
The right-brain is holistic (meaning ‘wholistic’); seeing whole things all at once; perceiving the overall patterns and structures, often leading to divergent conclusions.

Chinese Comparisons

The Chinese description of yin and yang is but a description of the brains, too. Notice in particular, those of you who subscribe to the notion that we were initially created as dual, composite beings, male and female, that one brain is female, while the other is male.

The yin (right-brain) is feminine.
The yang (left-brain) is masculine.
The yin (right-brain) is negative.
The yang (left-brain) is positive.
The yin (right-brain) is the moon.
The yang (left-brain) is the sun.
The yin (right-brain) is darkness.
The yang (left-brain) is light.
The yin (right-brain) is yielding.
The yang (left-brain) is aggressive.
The yin (right-brain) is the left side.
The yang (left-brain) is the right side.
The yin (right-brain) is cold.
The yang (left-brain) is warm.
The yin (right-brain) is autumn.
The yang (left-brain) is spring.
The yin (right-brain) is winter.
The yang (left-brain) is summer.
The yin (right-brain) is unconscious.
The yang (left-brain) is conscious.
The yin (right-brain) is emotion.
The yang (left-brain) is reason.

Two Ways of Seeing – Convergence and Divergence

Human eyesight has elements of both right and left brain characteristics.

Convergence Our eyes focus on a single point, the smaller and more defined that point, the clearer the vision. This is known as central fixation and is the key to superior eyesight. Thus, your eye must be single, or centrally fixated, to be able to see the light. Central fixation is typical of left-brain convergence, converging the attention on a single point.

Divergence However, we also see what surrounds that point. This is known as eccentric vision. Eccentric vision takes in the whole picture, the whole view, with less clarity than the central point we are fixating our eyes upon. With eccentric vision, we get a sense of where everything is in relation to everything else. None of what we see with eccentric vision is very clear.  In fact, it could almost be termed “dark.” This dark, eccentric vision is typical of right-brain divergence, as attention is diverged among all points and not just one.

In this way, using centric and eccentric vision simultaneously, we are able to see the one and the all at the same time. Both are necessary for proper vision, otherwise blindness, to a greater or lesser degree, results.

Two types of blindness If you were to become eccentrically blind, so that all you could perceive was a single point, you would not be able to determine where that point was in relation to everything else. You would literally be lost, having no idea (spatially) where anything was. And if your centric vision became blind, so that you could only see everything around the point you fixated your eyes upon, you would be able to determine that there were things around you, knowing (spatially) where everything was, but you wouldn’t be able to see it with any clarity, meaning that you wouldn’t really know what it was with any detail, nor would you know what the point you were focusing on was.

A Cerebral Struggle for Dominance

Just as both centric and eccentric vision are necessary for proper perception, so are the left-brain and right-brain necessary, yet modern man tends to favor the left-brain processes over the right-brain ones. In fact, the left-brain almost always dominates the right-brain in adults because the speech centers are typically located there, whereas the right-brain is mute. In a debate between a highly articulate man and a mute man, the articulate one wins every time.

As both brains are essentially opposites in every way, and compete for dominance over the man, it is not surprising that the left-brain has ridiculed the right-brain in every language. All words and verbal expressions come from the left-brain. It names everything. It also controls the right hand. So, it is not surprising that everything good is associated with the right hand, whereas everything evil is associated with the left hand, which is controlled by the right-brain. To give you two examples of how the left-brain builds itself up while putting the right-brain down, consider the words “sinister” and “adroit.” The etymology of “sinister” is left, while that of “adroit” is right. Sinister has a bad connotation, while adroit has a good one. The left-brain, in control of speech, takes every opportunity, in every language, to aggrandize itself and belittle the right-brain.

Again, I say, that such behavior is not surprising because, invariably, the right-brain actions—the messages it communicates to the outside world—are always believed over the words verbalized by the left-brain. The right-brain, being mute, communicates through gestures and body language. When a man talks to someone else, and his words do not match his body language, invariably the listener will believe the message communicated by the body language, over what is spoken in words. The left-brain’s words only gain credibility if the right-brain’s body language and gestures match them. Each brain, though, is independent and wants to make itself heard and to dominate, so the necessity of working together can be frustrating, which frustration is manifested by the left-brain calling the (right-brain controlled) left hand names.

In the gospel, we are taught to be one and we tend to think of that in terms of two or more people.  However, in its most fundamental practice, it means to harmonize the two brains so that they work in unity, instead of fighting between each other.

The term “one,” used in the scriptures to describe the Godhead and us in relation to God, should (says I) be translated “united.”  “United” is a more descriptive term; it recognizes the individuality of the parts while showing the harmonious relationship of the whole.  The left-brain, however, is the one that chooses the words of the scriptures and so it is understandable that “one” is the word used.  The left-brain does not want to even recognize the existence of the right-brain, therefore, according to its thought, we are to become one homogenized being, centered smack dab in the left hemisphere!

What the Left-Brain and Right-Brain Actually Are

If you were to ask a person to point with their finger where they are in their body, they would eventually figure it out and point to their brain.  For example, although they control their knee and can see and feel it, it is “over there,” not “in here” where they are.  If you ask where their mind is, they will point to their brain (either hemisphere).  When you ask where their heart is, they will point to their chest.  When you ask where their sentimental heart is, not the physical heart, they will point to the same location, the chest.

For most people, the sentimental heart and the physical heart are located, like the knee, “over there,” not “in here” where they are.  Yet, all sensations are sensed in the brain, not in the extremities.  It is the brain that interprets the signals coming from without as pleasure, pain, etc.  The organs at those extremities are designed to collect information about the inner and outer environments and to transmit the information to the brain, which then interprets it as “feeling.”  We can see physical organs at every location of the body, but the sentimental heart, which we say is located in the bosom somewhere, has no physical organ that collects sentimental information.  Where, then, is the location of the sentimental heart?  Where is the organ of the sentimental heart?  It is the right-brain.

In its quest for dominance of the brain, the mind of man (the left-brain), has named the location of the heart of man (the right-brain), as “out there,” somewhere in the bosom or chest area.  In the reality of the left-brain—which is the dominant brain in adults—the heart is something that is to be subject to the mind, like any other part of the body.  It, the left-brain, wants the man to believe that his mind (which is the left-brain) occupies the whole region of the cerebral area, both left and right hemispheres, while the heart (which is his right-brain) is in a nether region.

The truth of the matter is, though, that the left-brain, which deals in symbols, has created a symbolic location for the sentimental heart.  The actual location is unnervingly close to the mind, right across the corpus callosum bridge, and it, the heart, is every bit as big and complex as the mind.  In fact, the heart of man is not just the equal of the mind of man, but is actually the primary brain organ, while the left-brain is a secondary brain organ.

From this point on, I will refer to each brain by what they actually are: the left-brain-mind and the right-brain-heart.

Man is from the Beginning Right-Brain-Heart Dominant

We come into this world right-brain-heart dominant.  Over time the speech and other centers of the left-brain-mind develop and, due to the mastery of speech and writing, the left-brain-mind often and largely takes control of the man, dominating the right-brain-heart.  The return to a heavenly state, such as our pre-mortal state, indicates a return to right-brain-heart dominance.

In one of the lists above, the left-brain-mind is called the secondary brain, while the right-brain-heart is called the primary brain.  Let’s explore why this is.

Right-Brain-Heart: Primary; Left-Brain-Mind: Secondary

When Jesus visited the Nephites, he was complying with the commandments of the Father, who had given him a to-do list (and a to-say list.)  After finishing the list of tasks, he was to return to the Father and then to go to the lost tribes but he changed plans, because his right-brain-heart, the primary brain, which contains the emotional centers, felt compassion towards the Nephites.  He then stayed longer, said more and performed more acts than he had been instructed to by the Father.  In other words, Jesus took initiative and expressed his individuality.

The right-brain-heart trumps the left-brain-mind every time.  It takes precedence over the logic of the left-brain-mind.  We left-brain-mind dominant humans, when thinking of the oneness of the Gods, tend to think in mathematical logic like a computer program which gives the proper response to every conceivable situation, as if the Gods were robots.  Such thinking is uniquely left-brain-minded, in other words, it is convergent.  Although the Gods utilize their left-brain-minds, and thus are capable of convergent thought, they are right-brain-heart dominant, which is divergent.  There is not one proper response or solution, but an infinite number of proper responses and solutions.  Diversification and variety are functions of the right-brain-heart.

So, despite going beyond what the Father had told him to do, Jesus acted properly.

The Nonverbal Gesture Language of the Right-Brain-Heart

The right-brain-heart of man, although mute, possesses the language of gestures.  No matter what language you look at on this planet, you will find that human verbal expressions are often accompanied by hand and body gestures.  Try telling someone to describe a spiral staircase to you and see if they don’t make a spiral gesture with their hand as they give their description.  The gesture language of the right-brain-heart appears to be more or less the same regardless of language or culture.  We all use the same or similar gestures, with some variance among the like generalities.  When picking a mate, gestures or body language is virtually identical in every culture.  This is known as the pair-bonding sequence.  All of this mute body language is the right-brain-heart communicating with another right-brain-heart.

In the heavens, as everyone there is right-brain-heart dominant, the principal language is a gesture language.  The language given to Adam was also a gesture language.  (Think back to Adam’s prayer in the temple.)  The gospel ordinances consist of bodily movements and gestures.  This is the language of the right-brain-heart.

The language of the right-brain-heart cannot be expressed in words or written down.  The verbal left-brain-mind cannot understand the expressions of the right-brain-heart.  It is all a mystery, unknowable to the left-brain-mind.  That is, perhaps, why we find such curious passages of scripture in which Jesus prays to the Father and no one can speak or write “the things” they both saw and heard him speak.  Part of the reason could very well be because Jesus used the gesture language of his right-brain-heart in front of the multitude.

Later, on the second day of his visit, Jesus again prays a prayer that was impossible to speak or write.  Finally, on the third day, the babes and little children spoke unspeakable things, as did many of the later church converts.  (The children, still right-brain-heart dominant, were already in the proper dominance state, so right-brain-heart speak would come first and easiest to them.)  All of this may be indicative of the gesture language of the right-brain-heart.

A built-in lie detector; a built-in lying machine

The right-brain-heart always tells the truth that it perceives, whereas the left-brain-mind is capable of lying.  (The left-brain-mind has the ability of lying through its rationalization processes.)  If the left-brain-mind speaks a lie, even to the point where it attempts to control the person’s body language to make the deception complete, the right-brain-heart will nevertheless cause a body part to manifest that the words spoken and body language shown are untrue.  As much as the left-brain-mind tries to control the right-brain-heart’s bodily gestures, the message of truth always gets through, via so-called involuntary functions, such as pupil dilation/constriction, etc.  A person trained in these right-brain-heart body signs can always tell when someone is lying, just by careful observation of the body signals.

The Spiritual Center of Man: the Right-Brain-Heart

The residence of the Holy Ghost All spirituality is centered in the right-brain-heart.  When explaining how the spirit of revelation operates, the Lord said, “I will tell you in your (left-brain-) mind and in your (right-brain-) heart, by the Holy Ghost, which shall come upon you and which shall dwell in your (right-brain-) heart.”  (D&C 8: 2.)

In addition to residing in the right-brain-heart, the Holy Ghost utilizes the peculiar processes of that hemisphere to communicate divine knowledge.

Dreams As the right-brain-heart controls the subconscious, many prophets and seers, such as Lehi, received divine dreams.

Timelessness The right-brain-heart has no concept of time, so we find Joseph Smith matter-of-factly stating, after his visions with the angel Moroni, “After this third visit, he again ascended into heaven as before, and I was again left to ponder on the strangeness of what I had just experienced, when almost immediately after the heavenly messenger had ascended from me the third time, the cock crowed, and I found that day was approaching, so that our interviews must have occupied the whole of that might.”  (JS-H 1: 47)

Children, in particular, routinely demonstrate the timelessness of the right-brain-heart.  Being right-brain-heart dominant, they have the innate ability to immerse themselves in the reality of the right-brain-heart, without very much input from their left-brain-minds.  Such a brain state might be termed R-mode.  Only by activating the time keeping function of their left-brain-minds, can R-mode be broken.

For example, when my youngest son is engaged in an enjoyable activity, which I need to interrupt because it is time to go, there is no way to disengage him without him becoming upset.  This is because he has no concept of time while in R-mode and feels cheated to be suddenly taken out of it.  Even if he has been playing for hours on end, to him it wasn’t enough time, since he wasn’t aware of time while doing it.  What I need to do in order to avoid a scene is to engage his left-brain-mind (or L-mode), which does keep time, by saying, “Okay, we’re leaving in 15 minutes!”  Instantly, the left-brain-mind of the boy starts a countdown, which overrides the right-brain-heart’s timelessness.  At intervals, he will ask me, “How much time is left?” because his left-brain-mind still has no concept of how long a minute is, let alone 15, and it needs information to pace the countdown.  When the time is up there is no scene when leaving because his rational left-brain-mind is telling his right-brain-heart that he was given “enough” time to play and “fair warning.”

As things really are The right-brain-heart is concrete, seeing things as they really, actually are, and not projecting symbolic relationships, so, when the Lord wishes to reveal truth, which is “knowledge of things as they are, and as they were, and as they are to come” (see D&C 93: 24), he does so through the right-brain-heart of man.

More on Timelessness: Patience is Centered in the Right-Brain-Heart

Patience takes on a new meaning when in a timeless state.  There is no sooner or later in eternity or timelessness.  You either get something or you do not.  The right-brain-heart will ask God for something, believing that it will receive it.  “I do not know when I will get it, I just believe that I will get it,” says the right-brain-heart.  The right-brain-heart is, by nature, patient, because waiting an eternity to receive something is the same as waiting one day.  Without a concept of time, it is all the same.

The Exaltation of the Left-Brain-Mind (by Man)

Modern man, being left-brain-mind dominant, tends to idolize the left-brain-mind attributes, whereas the right-brain-heart attributes are considered inferior.  So, a man with strong intellectual powers, rational and analytic in thought, with strong verbal skills, who is punctual and can follow instructions precisely, is lifted up on a pedestal as ideal.  Such a man is a thinker, thinking things through and figuring things out, linking things together like a Sherlock Holmes detective until he comes to the “only logical conclusion.”  Logic, reason, intellect, mathematical concepts, with emotions being held in check at all times, so as not to cloud one’s thoughts, these are the qualities of the scientific, left-brain-mind dominant man.

The Use of the Right-Brain-Heart (by God)

Unfortunately, such a man, whose right-brain-heart is largely neglected, while the left-brain-mind becomes over-developed, misses every opportunity to hear the voice of God, because God dwells only in the right-brain-heart.

Spatiality God shows the spatial relationships of the heavens to man in vision through the right-brain-heart, not the left-brain-mind.  “These are the governing ones,” the Lord said to Abraham (in Abr. 3: 3), as he showed him the planets and their spatial relationships.  The left-brain-mind must rely upon telescopes and math to get a picture of where everything is, whereas the right-brain-heart has the built-in capacity to see the whole picture at once, so God uses it when giving vision.

Intuition When we have an “a-ha!” moment, that is the right-brain-heart in action.  We finally understand something, though we may not be able to put it into words, or the words we use to describe the understanding is inadequate.  Although the left-brain-mind processes, like advanced mathematical equations, are very complex, they still only deal with the one point or thought that is in the mind.  The right-brain-heart has the job of dealing with everything other than that one point or thought.  In other words, the right right-brain-heart sees the whole picture (eccentric vision), while the left-brain-mind sees only one point of the picture (centric vision).  Right-brain-heart processes embrace the all or infinite, while the left-brain-mind embraces the one or singular.  The left-brain-mind sees one thing at a time, sequentially; the right-brain-heart sees multiple things at a time, simultaneously.  As a result, the right-brain-heart is vastly more complex than the left-brain-mind.  Its processes are much too fluid and complex to be put into words.

Miracles As LDS, we often fall into the left-brain-mind track and approach the gospel in a left-brain-mind way.  Each side is to be fully developed and harmonized, or united, becoming “one.”  If one or the other must dominate, the right-brain-heart, the primary brain, is to be the one in the control seat, not the left-brain-mind.  If the order is reversed, we may find ourselves going through a list of gospel actions, which is inherently left-brained, without experiencing any of the miracles, visions, dreams, tongues, angelic visitations, etc., which are associated with right-brain development and dependence.

Gospel principles Faith, hope, charity and all the rest of the gospel principles are right-brain-heart centered.  It is impossible to exercise these principles utilizing the ordered left-brain-mind.  To the left-brain-mind, the right-brain-heart appears disordered, chaotic, anarchic, much too free and unrestrained.  The left-brain-mind likes to be told what to do, to be directed, guided, and confined into limitative schedules and restrictive borders.  This is because the left-brain-mind only sees one thing at a time and the dot or point it sees has specific boundaries, everything converging at the center.  The right-brain-heart, though, sees everything at once, and there are no boundaries to what it sees, all things diverging in all directions.  It enjoys the freedom of boundless space and the natural order that the things it sees “settle into.”  It doesn’t like to be confined and it has no sense of propriety.  All it sees is infinite variety, all of which it deems “proper.”

The Return to Right-Brain-Heart Dominance

Our task here on earth is to return to right-brain-heart dominance so that God can reveal the way to become one, so that both brains act in harmony, firmly under the control of the right-brain-heart, which sees the big picture.  This is why the scriptures state that God requires the heart of man.  Once God gets a man’s right-brain-heart, He can show man the big picture and man can see where he fits in the universe, what his potential is and how to obtain it.

As I said before, all mankind is born with a dominant right-brain-heart.  As infants, babes, toddlers and little children, we learn chiefly using the right-brain-heart processes.  At some point we learn how to speak, read, write and do arithmetic (which are left-brain-mind processes) and the left-brain-mind overpowers the right-brain-heart, suppressing the imaginative and creative right.  Such left-brain-mind dominance impedes our spiritual progression.  What then becomes necessary is that we become as little children, repent and be baptized (see 3 Nephi 11: 37) and also repent, be baptized and become as little children (see 3 Nephi 11: 38).  We must become as little children both before and after baptism.  In other words, we must become again right-brain-heart dominant.

Often many of the instructions given by the Lord to LDS are switched by the LDS, so that we try to perform a right-brain-heart function with the left-brain-mind and vice versa.  For example, when the Lord told the Nephite disciples to cease praying but not to cease praying in their hearts, we might confuse “praying in the heart” with praying with the mind.  The (left-brain-) mind uses words, while the (right-brain-) heart is mute.  It can feel and make gestures, but it cannot express itself in words.  Therefore, to pray in one’s heart is to express a feeling towards God.  It is entirely possible to continually pray in one’s heart to God while performing other tasks.

Likewise, pondering in one’s left-brain-mind and pondering in one’s right-brain-heart are two separate things and have different results.  Left-brain-mind pondering is analytic, abstract, propositional, temporal, rational, digital, logical and linear and leads to intellectual stimulation. Right-brain-heart pondering is synthetic, analogic, imaginative, nontemporal, nonrational, spatial, intuitive, holistic and nonlineal and leads to spiritual stimulation and revelation. Unless one ponders with the right-brain-heart, it may result in no spiritual progress.

Many of the “techniques” we are taught to use for gospel study are nothing more than left-brain-mind processes.  In fact, any and all studying engages only the left-brain-mind.  This is why the Lord said to Oliver Cowdery, “You must study it out in your mind.”  (See D&C 9: 8.)  Faith is right-brain-heart based and study is left-brain-mind based.  And so the Lord said, “And as all have not faith…seek learning, even by study (left-brain-mind) and also by faith (right-brain-heart).”  (See D&C 109: 7.)

To maximize gospel progression, the right-brain-heart must be engaged.  The more it is engaged, the more rapid the progress.  The right-brain-heart has the capacity to dwell on something continually, night and day.  Ask any broken-hearted fool if he feels the effect of his lost love continually and he’ll tell you.  By placing the affections of the heart upon the Lord (see Alma 37: 36), we keep it open to receive communications from that quarter.

United Brains – or, One Brain under (the Right-Brain-Heart, It Being under) God

The Lord has said that “children are whole from the foundation of the world.”  (Moses 6: 54.)  Another way of saying “whole” is “united,” “complete,” “not missing any parts,” “with no divisions or separations among the parts,” meaning that the two brains are united, each one working as they are supposed to work, in other words, with the right right-brain-heart in the dominant position.  Then they enter earth life, in which all the adults have brains in which the left-brain-mind is dominant, and as they grow up, “sin conceiveth in their (right-brain-) hearts” (Moses 6: 55.)  The effect of sin is that it separates us from God, so, as the right-brain-heart is our pathway to the divine, as soon as children allow their left-brain-minds to dominate or ignore the right-brain-heart, they begin to cut themselves off from Heavenly Father.

Satanic Strategies

The devil has a few strategies to “deal with” the right-brain-heart.  As the right-brain-heart is the conduit to God, one strategy is to get people to completely ignore it.  Using the left’s power of words, the attributes of the left-brain-mind are exalted while those of the right-brain-heart are ridiculed as foolishness.  In this way, no one wants to develop the right-brain-heart qualities because of its stigma in the popular mind-set.  Right-brain-heart dominant artists, creators, visionaries, and prophets are looked upon as slackers, knaves, vagabonds, lazy, crazies, etc.  Their “heads are in the clouds” and they need to “get their feet on the ground” and “face the realities of (left-brain-mind dominant) life.”  Right-brain-heart dominant individuals are not punctual, can’t follow a set of instructions precisely (they are prone to change the order of a sequenced plan on the spur of the moment), they can’t focus on any one thing at a time, instead thinking of everything at once, they are irrational (nonrational), etc.  Who wants to be like that?!  Just about every right-brain-heart process has been marginalized and made unpopular by the left-brain-mind so that hardly anyone wants to develop it.

The universities are especially adept at atrophying the right-brain-heart so that a man can enter a university with faith in God (the right-brain-heart functioning) and leave it as an atheist, with near total reliance upon the left-brain-mind.  Universities and most schooling in general teach left-brain-mind development almost exclusively.

Another strategy of the devil is to inflame the desire and emotion centers of the right right-brain-heart so that hate, anger and rage pour out instead of the love and goodwill that is supposed to be there.  He will also incite desires for sex, power, fame and money because the desires of the right-brain-heart never tire as do the thought processes of the left-brain-mind.  So, if he can’t get a person to ignore the right-brain-heart entirely, he will try to get the individual to spend right-brain-heart energy in anything other than God.

If all of this fails and the person still seeks God and continues to develop the right-brain-heart, he will give them religion, a religion that is largely left-brain-minded, that professes God with its mouth (the left-brain-mind words) but whose (right-brain-) heart is far from Him.  Or, if a person’s right-brain-heart is very developed so that left left-brain-mind dominant religion has no appeal, the devil will present spiritualism and other esoteric religions and paths to the individual, causing him or her to divert right-brain-heart energy to something other than God.  Women, in particular, are susceptible to this latter strategy.

The Right-Brain-Heart, the Key to Combating the Devil

The way to combat these devilish deceptions is to open up the right-brain-heart to God and to develop it despite the stigma.  “Yielding up the (right-brain-) heart to God” (Hel. 3: 35) is how the scriptures describe it.  This causes the right-brain-heart to become sanctified by the reception of the Holy Ghost which will then dwell there and deposit the gifts of the Spirit, which gifts will discern the deceptions of the devil (see D&C 46: 8) and will reveal the truth via miraculous manifestations.  So, the right-brain-heart is the key to everything.

Belief, Doubt and Prayer

The right-brain-heart is the believing brain, whereas the left-brain-mind is the doubter, unless the belief is based upon logic, facts, peer-reviewed evidence, etc.  So, when the Lord instructs us to pray in faith, believing that we will receive, nothing doubting, he is explaining the manner of using both hemispheres of the brain.  Verbal prayers require the left-brain-mind, while faith and belief both originate in the right-brain-heart.  And by saying “nothing doubting” He is explaining that the left-brain-mind is to speak but do nothing more.  So, there is to be no conflict between left-brain-mind and right-brain-heart.  Belief and faith are to come from the right-brain-heart without any doubt from the left-brain-mind.  In our prayers, then, we are to be one, meaning that our left-brain-mind and right-brain-heart are to be united, with the right-brain-heart in its proper role as the primary and dominant brain.  Prayer, then, becomes a means whereby we may train our left-brain-minds to be subservient to our right-brain-hearts.

Revelation and the Right-Brain-Heart

By changing our approach to the gospel from left-brain-mind to right-brain-heart dominant, suddenly one-way communication (prayer) turns into two-way communication (revelation) and God starts pouring down information about the nature of the Universe, expanding our horizons accordingly.  Joseph Smith, Jun., is the poster boy for what happens when you develop the right-brain-heart and turn it over to God: God fills it with visions of eternity.  Joseph’s left-brain-mind was in no way as developed as his right-brain-heart, which fact bothered him, but this did not present any obstacle whatsoever to him receiving messages from God.  The reason?  Because the left-brain-mind is not needed by God to communicate to us.  Only the right-brain-heart is. The Holy Ghost speaks to the left-brain-mind when the message needs to be put into words, as that is where the speech center is found.  If the message is only for the individual, the right-brain-heart alone can be used, but if the message is to be told to others, the left-brain-mind is also activated.

The Eternal Destiny of Man Requires an Organ that Can See Eternity: the Right-Brain-Heart

All of this talk of the importance of the right-brain-heart is not meant to imply that the left-brain-mind plays no part in the gospel.  It does, but it was always the intention that the left-brain-mind have a secondary, not primary role, in the gospel.  We are here on earth to learn to walk by faith (right-brain-heart) and not by sight (left-brain-mind).  The left-brain-mind, being of a limited nature, with narrow confines, boundaries, rules, etc., is designed to be a tool in the hand of the right-brain-heart to perform certain limited, sequential tasks.  The right-brain-heart has no limits, being as wide as eternity itself, and thus is designed to control the eternal destiny of man because its vision is large enough to see the big picture and man’s spatial relationship to all other things in the Universe.  The left-brain-mind is unsuited to control the eternal destiny of man because of its limited vision, seeing only one thing at a time and not knowing where it fits in the Universe.  But it is especially useful during mortality, to construct houses and perform other mortal tasks.

In eternity, the left-brain-mind is also used to perform tasks, but always in subjection to the right-brain-heart, which directs all things.  If you look on the lists above of left and right attributes, you’ll see the left hemisphere is “directed” while the right is “free.”  By nature and by design, the left-brain-mind is meant to be directed or to be given orders, whereas the right-brain-heart is meant to be free of direction.  Thus we see the resurrected Christ following the orders of the Father, performing left-brain-mind tasks, but when the right-brain-heart expresses itself, suddenly plans change.  Again, I repeat, the right-brain-heart is designed to do what it wants to do (freedom or anarchy, in other words, self-government); it is not designed to be directed.  Whereas the left-brain-mind is designed to be directed, and not to be free.  (The devil perverts this design by getting everyone’s left-brain-mind in the dominant position, with the devil doing the directing.  The Savior corrects this perversion with the Sermon on the Mount, whose instructions, if followed precisely, would put the right-brain-heart again in the dominant position.)

The Gospel of Jesus Christ is Appealing to Both Brains

The gospel contains elements meant to appeal to both left and right brains.  Gospel symbols, sequential commandments, prophetic directions, linear progression, the emphasis on study, the word of God, etc., all appeal to the left-brain-mind, while Gospel literalism, illogical and irrational commandments, faith and belief, the innumerability of the worlds (infinity), spatial relationships of kingdoms (planets), etc., all appeal to the right-brain-heart.  So, the gospel addresses the needs of both brains, but puts the major emphasis on the right-brain-heart as the primary organ that determines our eternal destiny.

The Lord’s Bountiful Sermon to the Nephites Corrects Brain Disunity

The pre-eminence of the right-brain-heart, the importance of it, cannot be over-stated.  The Sermon on the Mount given to the Jews and the Bountiful Sermon given to the Nephites, speak almost exclusively of the re-enthroning of the right-brain-heart, giving irrational, illogical rules to live by, such as turning the other cheek, etc., which rules fly in the face of the left-brain-mind’s sense of justice.  For example, “blessed are the poor in spirit who come unto me” is contrary to left-brain-mind pride.  “Blessed are all they that mourn” is contrary to left-brain-mind concepts of happiness.  “Blessed are the meek” is contrary to left-brain-mind aggression.  To the left-brain-mind, these instructions given by the Savior are irrational.  To the left-brain-mind, it is the strong that inherits the earth, not the meek.  The left-brain-mind cannot see how being persecuted can be of any benefit.  Left-brain-mind dominant people, therefore, do not obey the principles found in the Sermon on the Mount, only insofar as the left-brain-mind sees a rational benefit associated with them.  To the degree that it views no rational benefit, it avoids this sermon like the plague.

The Sermon on the Mount is designed to present principles which are intentionally contrary to the nature of the left-brain-mind so that mankind can learn to obtain control over it, to re-enthrone the right-brain-heart as the director and to become as a little child.

In particular, the Bountiful Sermon is a test, given to LDS, as to whether they will receive the “greater things” that were ministered to the Nephites by the Savior.  Of all the scriptures in the entire Standard Works, the four chapters found in 3 Nephi 11-14 are the most important. If a person were to throw away every other scripture and just read and live every principle found in these four chapters, the Lord would open up the heavens to that man and would re-reveal the rest of the scriptures, including scriptures the man never had, so that he would obtain, through the door of his right-brain-heart the keys of his salvation and enter into the rest of the Lord.  The fact that all these years have gone by and we still have not received the complete Nephite record shows that LDS are largely ignoring the Bountiful Sermon, perhaps complying with left-brain-mind commandments, but avoiding those that target the right-brain-heart.

As a result of this failure to comply with the Bountiful Sermon, choosing instead to let our left-brain-minds direct us, our right-brain-hearts have become hardened or atrophied.  All mankind begins life with dominant, soft hearts which, over time, grow hard and give up dominance to the left-brain-mind.  Like stones, hard hearts need to be broken open through repentance (a “broken heart and contrite spirit”) so that the Spirit of God can finally get in.  In other words, we need to become as little children again, with soft, dominant right-brain-heartsThe Bountiful Sermon is the way to achieve that goal.

(For The Anarchist Version of the Bountiful Sermon, see the post, The Words of Jehovah-Saves Anointed One, Spoken During His Nephite Ministry: DAY ONE.  That post is also my answer to the question posed in the post, If you could only read 3 chapters or sections…)

Hardness of Heart, Blindness of Mind and Looking Beyond the Mark

The scriptures refer to the left and right brains as being in a state of wickedness with the expressions “hardness of heart” and “blindness of mind.”  The left-brain-mind becomes blind only when it “looks beyond the mark.”  It can see, by design, only one single point or dot (mark).  If it attempts to see two or more things simultaneously, or if it attempts to see outside of the boundaries of its centrally fixated point, it cannot and becomes blind.  In other words, if the left-brain-mind attempts to see what the right-brain-heart can see, it fails and sees nothing, becoming blind.

Two Brains, Two Realities

The left-brain-mind and right-brain-heart perceive life in opposing ways.

A Circle Within a Circle The reality of the left-brain-mind consists of two circles, one smaller circle within a larger circle.  Within the smaller circle are all things the left-brain-mind has deemed “possible and probable.”  Outside of the small circle, but within the larger circle are all things it has deemed “possible, but improbable.”  Outside of the larger circle are all things it calls “impossible.”  The left-brain-mind sees reality in this way because, by nature, it is incapable of viewing it any other way.  It is designed by God to be an organ whose view of the Universe is limited, that is, it can focus only on the one and not the many.  It deals only in absolutes such as on or off, right or wrong, true or false, etc.

No Circles The reality of the right-brain-heart has no such labels, as it uses no words.  It merely sees all things at once as they are, or as they really look, and perceives their various spatial locations in relation to everything else.  It also perceives the similarities of the objects, as well as the differences or divergent paths.  As there is no end to the things it views, its view contains no boundaries, no symbolic circles, etc.  The reality of the right-brain-heart, therefore, is the reality of limitless eternity and infinite variety, in which “all things are possible.”  If all things are possible, then nothing is impossible or improbable.

The realities of the left-brain-mind and right-brain-heart are conflicting and create a clash within us.  “Which view is correct?” you may ask yourself.  But such a question comes from the left-brain-mind, which sees things as right and wrong, correct and incorrect, proper and improper.  In other words, for the left-brain-mind everything is either a 1 or a 0, either on or off, whereas the right-brain-heart sees everything in infinite gradations and variations.  Because the gospel of Christ is one of eternity, it must be lived in the reality of the right-brain-heart.  Therefore, the real answer to such a question is that both perspectives are correct.

Possible, probable, improbable and impossible If we are ever on our knees for some miracle to occur, and we think any of the following thoughts—

“I’m just engaging in wishful thinking.”

“I don’t really believe this will happen.”

“Do I really believe this will happen?”

“Maybe I should state this as a hope, not a belief.”

etc.

—all of these doubtful thoughts are coming from the left-brain-mind.  To the left-brain-mind, if what you are petitioning the Lord for falls into the “possible, but improbable” category of its reality—or even worse, the “impossible” category—you are engaging in “wishful thinking,” “delusion,” or some other designation of an irrational mind.  The left-brain-mind is incapable of comprehending the reality of the right-brain-heart, in which all things are possible, and must label the right-brain-heart’s reality in left-brain-mind terms.

The Four Modes of Existence

There are four modes of existence: 1) L-mode and R-mode expressing themselves simultaneously, with the left-brain-mind dominant, 2) L-mode and R-mode expressing themselves simultaneously, with the right-brain-heart dominant, 3) L-mode expressing itself with the right-brain-heart silent and 4) R-mode expressing itself with the left-brain-mind silent.

The gospel of Jesus Christ teaches us that only modes #2 and #4 are acceptable.  God is always to be a part of our existence (the main part) and as He manifests Himself through right-brain-heart dominance, only #2 and #4 put Him in His proper place.  The natural man, forever an enemy to God, chiefly expresses himself in modes #1 and #3.  Our task on earth is to switch #1 to #2 and #3 to #4.  Again, this is accomplished by applying the principles found in 3 Nephi 11-14.

The Split-Brain Model Applied to God and the Universe

The Universe is a finite sphere of light with well defined, but ever-expanding limits.  It is composed of kingdoms of glory (light) and space.  All of creation exists within the Universal sphere.  Beyond it nothing exists.  This nothing region outside is called “outer darkness” in contrast to the inner light of the Universal sphere.  Outer darkness has no limits or boundaries to it.  It is truly infinite.  (See the post, Deep Waters: Lehi’s model of the universe, for more info on this topic.)

God can see all created things within the Universal sphere through the capacity of His right-brain-heart, which sees everything simultaneously, but He also has the capacity to focus on the one, the individual creation, through the ability of His left-brain-mind, which sees only one thing at a time sequentially.

We know that God has already seen all things individually with His left-brain-mind, including each one of us, because He has stated that He has numbered every single thing that exists.  Numbering is a left-brain-mind process which requires centric vision, focusing on the thing being counted.

The capacity of God’s left-brain-mind to number things appears to be unlimited because we are told that the process of creation is ongoing and never-ending (“my works never cease”) and that He numbers all of His creations (“all things are numbered to me”).  We are also told that although all things in the Universal sphere are of finite number, the number is so very great that to man they are essentially infinite in number (“all things are numberless to man”).  This shows that the left-brain-mind of God, which is designed to deal only with the finite, is beyond the scope of comprehension of man and it, alone, is worthy of man’s worship and endless devotion.

Nevertheless, the left-brain-mind of God, though awe-inspiring and dumbfounding in its perfection and complexity, like the ultimate computer, is sub-ordinate to the right-brain-heart of God, which is designed to comprehend the infinite.  And where is the truly infinite?  Outer darkness.

God’s left-brain-mind does not gaze into outer darkness because that region is infinite and God would not use an instrument designed for finite measurements and counting to deal with the infinite, but if it did look, what would it see?  It would see nothing.  Why?  Because nothing is there.  The “mark” of God is the Universal sphere of light.  God’s left-brain-mind is not designed to “look beyond the mark.”  Were it to do so, it would become blind and see nothing.  Thus, to God’s left-brain-mind, outer darkness literally is dark.

Yet God does gaze into outer darkness.  And He sees an infinite number of things of infinite variety surrounded by boundless space.  He sees all these uncreated, non-existent things through the capacity of His right-brain-heart to imagine.  These are the future creations of God.

Thus, through the finite yet ever-expanding Universal sphere of light, God is able to fully engage the numbering and naming capacity of His left-brain-mind, while the infinite and divergent nothingness outside of the sphere fully engages the infinite imagination and eccentric vision of His right-brain-heart.  In fact, in a very real sense, God’s left-brain-mind is the Universal sphere of light (as mormonmilkman was cleverly able to determine), and, in like manner, His right-brain-heart is outer darkness.   See the post, Deep Waters: Creatio ex nihilo, creation ex material and creation ex deo are all true doctrines, for more on this topic.

(It is telling that God has His right-brain-heart’s eccentric vision continuously gazing into outer darkness, as it is His right-brain-heart and not His left-brain-mind that brings us into existence.  But that is a topic worthy of its own post, so I will take it up in the next installment of the Faith of God series.)

Finally, the Universal sphere of light converges at the center point where God resides “in the midst” of all things.  Outer darkness, though, is best described as divergent.

Justice and Mercy

Justice is a characteristic of the left-brain-mind, which sees things as black or white, on or off, good or bad, righteous or wicked.  Mercy is a characteristic of the right-brain-heart, which sees things as diversified and varied.  The gospel of Jesus Christ allows us to obtain the mercy that resides in God’s right-brain-heart by developing our own right-brain-heart to match that of God’s, so that He can speak to us heart to heart.  If we do not take advantage of the gospel, God will speak to us mind to mind and we will then be exposed to the justice that resides in God’s left-brain-mind.  The sense of justice of our left-brain-mind is patterned after the sense of justice of God’s left-brain-mind, so those who receive God’s judgment will find themselves confessing that God’s judgments are all just and that they are guilty of their crimes.  The key to avoiding God’s justice and obtaining His mercy is by using the gospel to submit our right-brain-hearts to God.

Conclusion

When the gospel is viewed through the split-brain model, many of the human and Godly behavioral mysteries suddenly clear up.  Once informed by this model, no longer need we spurn the characteristics of the right-brain-heart as embarrassing, primitive, unnecessary and unwanted, but can heartily embrace them as just as much a part of the human nature as any aspect of the left-brain-mind, for such they are.  Application of the model allows us to more accurately ascertain where we are on the gospel path, based upon the left or right processes we regularly use.  By taking inventory of how we act, we can determine whether we are directed by our left-brain-minds or by our right-brain-hearts.  And by using the Savior’s corrective Bountiful Sermon, we can unite our brains and re-enthrone the right-brain-heart as the dominant organ, allowing the Lord to open up a direct channel to us and pour light and truth into our right-brain-hearts.

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


By OneWhoIsWatching
www.threewatches.blogspot.com

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

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

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

The Man of Sin is Revealed

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Here is the recollection of Ezra Booth;

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

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

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

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

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

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

John Whitmer’s recollection is consistent with the others;

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

Zebedee Coltrin recalled;

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

Philo Dibble recalled;

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

Hyrum rose the second time, saying,

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

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

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

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

The Dynamics of Ego

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Doubts about the High Priesthood

Some characterized this holy event as not being of God, claiming that the New Testament and Book of Mormon Churches never had High Priests in them.

Oliver Cowdery and his brother in law David Whitmer became very jealous of Sidney Rigdon when he joined the Church and became so influential. They felt he had undue influence over Joseph Smith and that he was the instigator of this event.

Below are the remarks of David Whitmer after he left the church. He is among those who eventually rejected the introduction of the Highest Priesthood;

The next grievous error which crept into the church was in ordaining high priests in June, 1831. This error was introduced at the instigation of Sydney Rigdon. The office of high priests was never spoken of, a revelation would always come just as they desired it. Rigdon finally persuaded Brother Joseph and never thought of being established in the church until Rigdon came in.

Remember that we had been preaching from August 1829, until June, 1831—almost two years—and had baptized about 2,000 members into the Church of Christ, and had not one high priest. During 1829, several times we were told by Brother Joseph that an elder was the highest office in the church….

In Kirkland, Ohio, in 1831, Rigdon would expound the Old Testament scriptures of the Bible and Book of Mormon (in his way) to Joseph, concerning the priesthood, high priests, etc., and would persuade Brother Joseph to inquire of the Lord about this doctrine, and of course to believe that the high priests which had such great power in ancient times, should be in the Church of Christ to-day. He had Brother Joseph inquire of the Lord about it, and they received an answer according to their erring desires..

High Priests were only in the church before Christ; and to have this office in the “Church of Christ” is not according to the teachings of Christ in either of the sacred books: Christ himself is our great and last High Priest.

Brethren—I will tell you one thing which alone should settle this matter in your minds; it is this: you cannot find in the New Testament part of the Bible or Book of Mormon where one single high priest was ever in the Church of Christ. It is a grievous sin to have such an office in the church. As well might you add to the teachings of Christ—circumcision—offering up the sacrifice of animals—or break the ordinances of Christ in any other way by going back to the old law of Moses..

In Kirtland, Ohio, in June, 1831,… the first High Priests were ordained…. When they were ordained, right there at the time, the devil caught and bound Harvey Whitlock so he could not speak, his face twisted into demon-like shape. Also John Murdock and others were caught by the devil in a similar manner. Now brethren, do you not see that the displeasure of the Lord was upon their proceedings, in ordaining High Priests? Of course it was” (An address to All Believers in Christ)

Whitmer brings up a great point about no High Priests being present in the New Testament Church. However what he didn’t grasp is that Joseph Smith was not just restoring the New Testament Church of Christ.

He was restoring many of the Old Testament priesthood gifts and preparing the Saints to establish Zion, just as it had been prophesied in the book of Mormon. He was doing just as the High Priest Enoch did with his people, just as the High Priest Melchizedek did with his people, just as the High Priest Jesus Christ did with the Nephites.

In order for the Church of Christ to establish Zion, the office of high Priest needed to be restored.

Brigham Young, like David Whitmer is another that struggled with the concept of a third and “highest” priesthood.

He had been comfortable with the first two priesthoods that had been restored in 1829. He was in a dubious position 3 ½ years after the martyrdom when he and the twelve created a first Presidency, having himself never been ordained a High Priest!

Undoubtedly, he was under intense pressure to explain how he could claim to be president over the Church and the High Priesthood when in fact, he had never been ordained a high priest.

He made the following statement;

“Now will it cause some of you to marvel that I was not ordained a High Priest before I was ordained an apostle? It was William McLellin who told Joseph that I and Heber were not ordained High Priests, and wanted to know if it should not be done.

Said Joseph, “Will you insult the priesthood? Is that all the knowledge you have of the office of an Apostle? Do you not know that the man who receives the apostleship receives all the keys that ever were, or that can be conferred upon mortal man?

When a man is ordained to be an Apostle, his Priesthood is without beginning of days, or end of life, like the Priesthood of Melchizedek; for it was his Priesthood that was spoken of in this language, and not the man. Ref Here

Brigham Young’s reminiscence that Joseph smith made the above remark and the claim that the Apostleship holds all the keys that ever were, is not consistent with the events that transpired in the history of the church or the teachings of Joseph Smith, or the scriptures.

Of course, it was not Joseph’s perogative to give the highest priesthood to Brigham or any other man. That priesthood is not given on the basis of lineage or according to “the will of man”. God alone determines who he wants to give that priesthood to.

Brigham makes it sound like an amazing thing that he could be ordained an apostle first, and therefore have no need to be ordained a high priest, priesthood, however, the simple fact of the matter is the Joseph Smith was an apostle in 1829 BEFORE the highest priesthood was conferred in 1831, yet God still saw a need to call Joseph Smith to be ordained a high priest, proving that there is more priesthood authority than that of the apostleship.

Joseph Smith made it clear that the office of High Priest indeed held a greater priesthood than that of a prophet or Apostle;

That of Melchizedek who had still greater power even power of an endless life of which was our Lord Jesus Christ which also Abraham obtained by the offering of his son Isaac which was not the power of a Prophet nor apostle nor patriarch only, but of King & Priest to God to open the windows of heaven and pour out the peace & Law of endless Life to man &No man can attain to the Joint heirship with Jesus Christ with out being administered to by one having the same power and authority of Melchizedek.” Words of Joseph Smith 245

Clearly, what Brigham Young taught about the priesthood was not accurate or congruent with what the Prophet Joseph Smith had revealed. Although the Apostolic Priesthood holds all the keys necessary to govern the Church and dispense the ordinances of salvation, it is not as great as the priesthood that Melchizedek held.

This event that took place at the first conference held in Kirtland Ohio was very disruptive. Not only did it demonstrate the literal power of the the man of sin, it challenged the existing doctrine of the priesthood.

Additionally, one can only imagine the dynamics that took place between so many strong personalities and the egos involved in experiencing this amazing event.

Keep in mind that the promise had been made that those who were worthy would be given the high priesthood.

What kind of pressure would that put on those attending?

How would you feel if you were one of the ones attending that got passed over for the endowment of High Priesthood? Would that mean that you were not worthy?

What if you were one of the ones that became possessed? Does that mean you are less righteous than others? Or was that experience an endowment in and of itself that gifts a person with discernment?

Lots of questions come to mind as one reviews the listing of those who are present and who were called to the High Priesthood and what transpired that day.

Why does this event create indigestion for many LDS scholars, authors and members?

One possible reason is that it contradicts our current two levels of priesthood belief system that has been perpetuated in the Church down to this very day.

David Whitmer brings up a very important point when he said; “During 1829, several times we were told by Brother Joseph that an elder was the highest priesthood office in the church..

That statement was true at the time Joseph made it prior to the restoration of the Highest Priesthood at the Morley Farm. Things changed when the highest priesthood was restored. Yet even today it is taught in the Church that the Apostolic Priesthood is the greatest priesthood there is.

Another possible reason that the restoration of the highest priesthood causes indigestion is that several of the elders ordained to the High Priesthood almost immediately rejected the fulness of the gospel and the priesthood they had been given, and became critics of Joseph Smith and the Church. Others fell away later.

That is disturbing.

Yet, as we are told in the Book of Mormon, there must be opposition in all things.

The falling away of some who were called to the high priesthood gives greater insight into the Lords declaration that some were called and some were chosen.

Lyman Wight, however, had the heavens opened to him, testifies of God the Father and his Son and then spends the remainder of Joseph Smiths ministry as one of Joseph’s most loyal associates and passionate witnesses of Christ and the LDS restoration movement. With that resume, he then rejects Brigham Young’s leadership.

It is surprising that he was not considered an obvious candidate to lead the church during the succession crisis.

The fact that Lyman had been ordained to the Highest Priesthood and had seen the Father and the Son, while Brigham had not been so privileged seemed to be lost upon the majority of the Saints at the time of the succession issue. It did however, apparently seem significant to Lyman, who seems to have had very little regard for Brigham.

That reason alone would cause some to want to downplay the significance of this event and the role that Lyman Wight played in the work of the Lord up to the time of the Martyrdom.

But there are other issues pertaining to the restoration of the office of the High Priest that are curious as well.

What about high profile Elders who played such an important role in very early stages of the restoration such as William Smith, Levi Hancock, Orson Pratt, Zebedee Coltrin and Newel Knight that were present but passed over for the Highest Priesthood?

What about Zebedee Coltrin, who would eventually see God and Christ while attending the school of the prophets, why was he passed over? Was he later born of due time like Paul? BTW, the school of the prophets was not introduced until AFTER the HIGH PRIESTHOOD was introduced! Indeed these men were the designated prophets for which the school was instituted.

Apparently, Oliver Cowdery, one of the three witnesses and co-presidents of the Church, was not even present at this meeting, how odd it that? (was he to be the 24th High Priest to complete the quorum?)

How is it possible that word went out about this meeting enabling elders from the east, south, north and west to gather, yet Oliver could not be there?

Although the Far West Record records David Whitmer as being present, he apparently denies having been present in one of his later writings. Is his name in the Far West Record just a mistake made by some of the clerks, including his own brother who was the conference historian? If so, it is very strange that his name is listed in the Far West Record and stranger still that he is called as one of the Elders who is to travel to Missouri in section 52, the day after the conference is completed.

Curiously, Martin Harris, another of the three witnesses, who the Lord had previously referred to as a “wicked man” in one of the revelations, is the only one of the three witnesses that was ordained a High Priest on that occasion!

Of the 23 that were ordained High Priests, all had previously been ordained Elders except for Martin Harris who had been ordained a Priest… this takes on even greater significance when one remembers that his two brethren of the three witnesses of the Book of Mormon, Oliver and David had previously been called by revelation to choose and ordain the 12 apostles.

Was there a reason why Oliver and David should not have the highest priesthood in their stewardship in calling the Twelve Apostles? Since the quorum of the Twelve were going to take the preparatory gospel to the dispersed of Judah, one has to wonder.

How strange that Martin is ordained a High Priest, yet is not invited to participate with Oliver and David who were not High Priests, in choosing the Twelve Apostles!

What about Brigham Young?

Why was he missing when the Highest Priesthood was revealed at the Morley Farm?

It is interesting to note that Brigham Young learned about the Book of Mormon and the restoration of the Church of Christ and the fulness of the gospel in 1830, about the same time that Lyman Wight did. Yet Brigham Young did not participate in this great event at the Morley Farm because it took him two years to think things over before joining the church.

Young was eventually drawn to Mormonism after reading the Book of Mormon shortly after its publication in 1830. Samuel Smith, brother to the Prophet Joseph, tracted through the area where the Young family lived with a knapsack of the newly printed scripture.

Two of these copies made their way into the hands of Brigham’s siblings and began to circulate through the family.

Brigham Young later reminisced his lengthy conversion process;

When the [B]ook of Mormon was first printed, it came to my hands in two or three weeks afterwards. Did I believe, on the first intimation of it? . . . ‘Hold on,’ says I. . . . ‘Wait a little while; what is the doctrine of the book, and of the revelations the Lord has given? Let me apply my heart to them. . . . I considered it to be my right to know for myself, as much as any man on earth. I examined the matter studiously for two years before I made up my mind to receive that book. . . . I wished time sufficient to prove all things for myself.” He later recalled: “I was not baptized on hearing the first sermon, nor the second, nor during the first year of my acquaintance with this work.”

Besides studying the Book of Mormon, Brigham wanted to learn the character of those who professed to believe in it. He apparently found it important to judge the messengers as well as the message;

I watched to see whether good common sense was manifest; and if they had that, I wanted them to present it in accordance with the Scriptures. . . . [W]hen I had ripened everything in my mind, I drank it in, and not till then.”

We can only assume that Brigham’s absence at the special conference and God’s unwillingness to have him ordained to the highest priesthood in later years was all part of Gods plan for him.

Perhaps one of the most curious things about this event is the order in which people were called and ordained to the High Priesthood. We know that God is a God of order. The very first man ordained obviously had a very significant position in this newly ordained quorum of High Priests. It seems probably that he would be the president of the quorum.

The fact that Lyman Wight was the first to be ordained to the High Priesthood and the first to have the heavens parted and to testify of seeing the Father and the Son after his ordination, instead of Joseph Smith, Oliver Cowdery or Sidney Rigdon is very, very significant!

Here is Lyman’s reminiscence of the event;

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

Lyman Wight is one of the best kept secrets of the restoration movement.

Few members of the Church have any comprehension of who he was and the sacrifices he made for the kingdom.

If you have not taken the time to familiarize yourself this amazing disciple of Christ who became known as the “Wild Ram of the Mountains” and who was given the cryptic title and military/priesthood title of “baneemy” in one of the revelations, please click here. He is among the first laborers of the last kingdom that will be returning soon. I strongly suggest you get to know him.

He probably expended more energy in trying to live the law of consecration for the duration of his life than any other personality in the movement. In a revelation given after his ordination as a high Priest the Lord said;

And again, I say unto you that it is my will that my servant Lyman Wight should continue in preaching for Zion, in the spirit of meekness, confessing me before the world; and I will bear him up as on eagles’ wings; and he shall beget glory and honor to himself and unto my name.” Doctrine and Covenants 84: 21-26)

This revelation reminds us that the high priests were called to “preach for Zion”

If there is one major theme interwoven throughout Wight’s life-long ministry, it was his continual personal attempt to live consecration and facilitate others to do it.

He was passionate about living it and was quite critical of other leaders growing out of the succession debate such as Strang, Thompson and Young for their inability to personally live consecration, as well as their acquisition of wealth which he felt was extracted from their followers.

One writer made the following observation about Wight;

There is one significant thing about Lyman Wight’s community efforts, which deserves attention because of its extreme rarity in Utopian experiments. Wight, as acknowledged leader, never desired or sought temporal or spiritual advantage over his fellows.

When he received letters from Strang, “King James I, president of the church”; from Brigham Young, telling of ecclesiastical honors acquired since the death of Joseph, and Thompson with his many titles, he was wont to sign his answer with profound sarcasm, “Lyman Wight, and nothing else.”

In scathing denunciation of those who he thought were acquiring wealth at the expense of their brethren, he wrote of the Melchisedec priesthood:

‘But those who aspire after this priesthood, and seek to obtain it while rolling in luxuries, and seeking the applause of men, I would simply ask them these questions, Have you drunk of the cup whereof Christ drank, and have you been baptized with the baptism wherewith he was baptized?

Have you followed the commandment that he gave to the young man and sold all that thou hadst, and give it to the poor?

Have you sold the last coat you had, and traveled in your shirt sleeves sooner than you would see the poor left to the ravages of a ruthless mob?

Have you traveled on foot hundreds and hundreds of miles and sought a place for the Saints to camp at, night after night, that they might seclude themselves from the hands of wicked and evil designing men, and then roll yourself in a blanket, and lay yourself in an open prairie, under the open canopy of heaven, in the cold night dews?

If you have not done all these, you have not yet fulfilled the saying of the Saviour where he says, If you would be greatest you must first become the least and servant of all….I again ask, when did the church flourish?

When the Nephites that dwelt upon this land did not call “aught they possessed their own; but it all belonged to the Lord.”

When did the people mourn and lament, and howl and weep?

I answer, when their priests were lifted up in the pride of their hearts, to the wearing of fine apparel and oppressing the poor and the hireling in his wages, riding in fine carriages, with cushioned seats, bristled carpets, leaving the poor to work out their own salvation among those who are their vital enemies; while the rich and opulent were permitted to increase in opulence by tithing and wringing from the hands of the peasant his hard-earnings.”

Lyman Wight was one of the few personalities that  practiced what he preached… and one of the few that other leaders with strong personalities could not intimidate or control. His boss was a Jewish Carpenter!

The timing of the special conference at the Morley Farm is very significant. We must remember that it was the first conference of the church in Kirtland. The church was in its infancy and had just migrated to Kirtland as a result of the Lord’s admonition to gather there so that he could give them the law of consecration and an endowment which would enable them to escape the power of the enemy;

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

It is amazing to realize that today the Saints are in a scattered condition among the gentiles and are now at the mercy of secret combinations because we failed back then to live consecration and enjoy the protective priesthood hedge that was being offered.

The LAW of consecration was given to the Saints shortly after they arrived in Kirtland on January 2nd 1831. This law is what will enable the Saints to establish Zion once they are endowed again with the highest priesthood. That is why it is called the law of the celestial kingdom and it is the law upon which Zion is built;

And Zion cannot be built up unless it is by the principles of the law of the celestial kingdom; otherwise I cannot receive her unto myself.” D&C 105: 5, 32, 34

Now, in this first conference of the Church held just two months after the law of the Gospel was given, the Lord was restoring the priesthood that Enoch and Melchizedek held. Why? So that the Saints could be gathered, sanctified and establish Zion just as the people of Enoch and Melchizedek did.

Having detailed what happened at the special conference having to do with the restoration of the Highest Priesthood and the revealing of the “man of sin“, we need to review the content in sections 52 through 65 now that we have the proper context for these revelations.

Amazingly, section 52 which is given the day after the conference ended, and was specifically addressing the conference attendees, begins by saying;

Behold, thus saith the Lord unto the elders whom he hath called and chosen in these last days, by the voice of his spirit- saying: I, the Lord, will make known unto you what I will that ye shall do from this time until the next conference, which shall be held in Missouri, upon the land which I will consecrate unto my people, which are a remnant of Jacob, and those who are heirs according to the covenant

How many times have you read section 52 without realizing that those elders who had just been called and chosen were the 23 High Priests that had just receive the Melchizedek Priesthood?

Context is critical. Read this section now with the information you have just read about this amazing conference at the Morley Farm and it will become much more meaningfully to you!

In part three we will briefly review sections 52-65 in the context of what had just happened at that conference.

Following that, we will address the seriousness of the failure on the part of the Saints to successfully consecrate and establish Zion.

We, Latter day Saints, have been lulled into a sleepy state of believing that our inability to ultimately live the law of consecration back at that period of time was unfortunate, but not really that big of a deal.

We just assume that things moved forward without any significant consequences. I even had a visitor to one of my blogs postulate that the law of consecration is optional. He opined that one can still repent and be baptized and make it into the celestial kingdom without choosing to live the higher law of consecration.

In part three of this article we are going to have a sobering reality check. We are going to review what God has told the church about the law of consecration. We are going to find out that it is not optional and the consequences upon the church for not living it were immediate and harsh, with long reaching ramifications that continue to affect the posterity of the Saints unto the third and fourth generation.

To be continued…

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


By OneWhoIsWatching
www.threewatches.blogspot.com

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Before studying this topic in depth, I would have suggested

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

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

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

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

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

In late spring of 1831 Joseph Smith called a conference in Kirtland, Ohio. Without any known previous recorded revelation directing the Prophet Joseph Smith to ordain individuals to the office of high priest, the office was restored and bestowed upon 22 elders and one priest.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Very strange indeed!

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

You can view a copy of the transcript of the Far West Record as well as the document I obtained in Kirtland by clicking here.

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

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

John Whitmer was the conference clerk.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

He prophesied that some of those present would become martyrs.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

John Whitmer noted that;

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

Lyman Wight becomes the First High Priest of this Dispensation

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

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

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

1- The “lesser” priesthood (Aaronic or Levitical, named after Aaron)
2- The “Higher” priesthood
(Patriarchal named after Abraham & Moses)
3- The “Highest” priesthood (Named after Melchizedek)

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

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

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

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

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

Opening events during the Conference at Morley’s Farm-

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

To be continued…

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

(No Uncle) S.A.M.M.s


S.A.M.M.s

Yesterday, as I pondered what an anarchist could do to celebrate the 4th of July, the idea of S.A.M.M.s popped into my head. S.A.M.M. stands for either Silver Anarchist Midnight Market or Silver Anarchist Mid-day Market.

An Open Market

Essentially, an anarchist would pull out a map of his or her town and determine an outdoor place where a spontaneous market could be brought together. It could be on someone’s private land (a large front yard, for example) or public land such as an abandoned field, lot, clearing, etc. It could be within the city limits or just outside of it. Basically, any outdoor place where a makeshift market could be quickly set up.

Promotion

The anarchist would pick a day and a time. It could be one day a week (for example, Monday) or several days a week (Mon, Wed, Fri). The time would be either at midnight or at mid-day. The anarchist would then use networking sites such as Facebook, Myspace, Twitter and blogs, emailing, word-of-mouth and other means to get the word out. There would be no need to organize anything. It could even be a spontaneous thing, so that on the day the S.A.M.M. took place, people would start telling others where it would be.  The anarchist who picked the place could attend it and report via Facebook, etc., on the attendance and outcome, letting others know if/that it was a success, as well as the next planned S.A.M.M.

Silver Barter

These markets would be for buying and selling using silver as barter. Businesses, whether licensed or not, would bring the goods or services they wish to peddle and barter for silver bullion coins. Entrepreneurs and inventors, with or without business licenses, would bring their ideas, concepts and products to the market. Individuals would go with their silver bullion coins to purchase without paying sales taxes (it’s just swapping). Employers would be there, looking to hire independent contractors and to pay them in silver barter, and people out of work would attend, desirous to find a job that will pay them in silver. Absolutely nothing in the market would deal with dollars or any other government currency.

Anarchism Schools

In addition to a market of goods and services, it would be a market of ideas. Anarchists could set themselves up there, freely explaining the principles of anarchism to those that show up. Undoubtedly, non-anarchists would show up, as there are plenty of people who would love a market where silver was the currency, none of whom consider themselves anarchists.

Organizational Tools

Like-minded people could use the markets to organize themselves into United Efforts, pooling their wisdom, knowledge and resources, including their silver, towards common goals and ends.  Those so inclined could even use them to organize themselves into anarchic clans or tribes.  Even DRO’s could be formed at these markets.

Music

Musicians may want to attend to provide music and sell their CDs. Obviously, if noise becomes a factor, the location must be determined wisely.

In large cities, there might be multiple S.A.M.M.s on various days and at various times. S.A.M.M.s can also transcend national boundaries. Any anarchist in any nation could promote a local S.A.M.M.

A Celebration of Anarchy

(No Uncle) S.A.M.M.s would celebrate the right of people to peaceably assemble and to interact with each other in anarchic ways, without having to bring government onto the scene.  By spreading S.A.M.M.s around America, it may have a leavening effect in the minds of the people, so that they truly comprehend what anarchism is all about and its possibilities.

Of course, this is just an idea, and perhaps it is a lame one at that.  But if there are any anarchists out there who would like to take this and run with it, let me know where and when your S.A.M.M. will take place.  I will use my Twitter and Facebook accounts to spread the word.

Oh, yeah, one last thing: Happy Independence Day, America!

[July 16, 2009 Update]

Free-B S.A.M.M.s

Derek has brought to my attention the concept of Really Really Free Markets and I’ve decided to incorporate them into the S.A.M.M.s.  So, all you freegans are invited to bring your surplus or unneeded things to give them out freely to anyone who wants them.  That is the freebie aspect of the market.

Next Anarchism/Anarchy article: Establishing the tribes of Israel: the real reason for plural marriage

Previous Anarchism/Anarchy article: A sign of the times?

Complete List of Articles authored by LDS Anarchist