The Real Missionary Discussions

The LDS missionary discussions (of my mission)

When I was a missionary, we had a series of six booklets, which we called the missionary discussions, which we had to memorize and then teach verbatim to our investigators, ideally over a period of three weeks, with one discussion given per visit. Each discussion came with a set of challenges or invitations that we made, such as attending church, reading scriptures, setting a baptismal date, etc. The booklets contained summarized principles of the restored gospel, with questions to ask the investigator and helps on when to testify, expound, challenge, etc. Also, after each discussion, there was a study guide that we gave out to the investigator, with scripture-reading assignments, prayer assignments, etc., that they were to perform on their own prior to our next visit.

Although the scripted nature of the discussions has changed with the appearance of the Preach My Gospel manual, the modern missionary still takes more or less the same approach, teaching the investigator over a series of visits, giving him a summary of the gospel principles, inviting him to read the Book of Mormon on his own time, etc.

After the investigator has committed to changing his life, by forsaking a sinful life and living the commandments of God, as explained to him by the missionaries, he is given an interview to determine whether he is ready for baptism and believes the church doctrines, and if everything is in order, he may get baptized and confirmed, even if he hasn’t read the entire Book of Mormon or any of the other scriptures. All that is required is the appropriate change of belief and lifestyle.

The result of such teaching typically produces very weak converts who cannot stand on their own, and who, if there is no support system in place to embrace the new members and get them active in the branch or ward, may end up only sticking around (after baptism) a matter of weeks or months, never to be heard from again. This is actually a common occurrence in a great many areas of the church.

How the ancient Nephites taught the gospel

The Nephite method of preaching and teaching was different than how the modern Gentile church does it, and went something like this:

A Nephite convert exercised faith in Jesus Christ, repenting of all his sins and seeing an angel*, who ministered unto him and declared the word of Christ to him. The convert then was baptized unto repentance as a witness that he had entered into a covenant with God to always keep His commandments, remember Him and take His name upon himself. Afterward, the convert, being endowed with the priesthood and power of God, and being called by the Holy Spirit to preach the gospel, went forth among the people, testifying to all that he had seen an angel and declaring the very words that the angel had declared to him.  All those who listened to his message and believed in his words, would then be taught (by the preacher) the gospel of Jesus Christ.

Now, this is the way the Nephites taught it to investigators:

Four examples of ancients teaching the gospel


when ammon had said these words
he began at the creation of the world
and also the creation of adam
and told him all the things
concerning the fall of man
and rehearsed
and laid before him the records
and the holy scriptures of the people
which had been spoken by the prophets
even down to the time
that their father lehi left jerusalem
and he also rehearsed unto them
for it was unto the king
and to his servants
all the journeyings of their fathers in the wilderness
and all their sufferings with hunger and thirst
and their travail
and so forth
and he also rehearsed unto them
concerning the rebellions of laman and lemuel
and the sons of ishmael
all their rebellions did he relate unto them
and he expounded unto them all the records and scriptures
from the time that lehi left jerusalem
down to the present time
but this is not all
for he expounded unto them the plan of redemption
which was prepared from the foundation of the world
and he also made known unto them
concerning the coming of christ
and all the works of the lord did he make known unto them
and it came to pass
that after he had said all these things
and expounded them to the king
that the king believed all his words


and it came to pass
that when aaron saw
that the king would believe his words
he began from the creation of adam
reading the scriptures unto the king
how god created man after his own image
and that god gave him commandments
and that because of transgression man had fallen
and aaron did expound unto him the scriptures
from the creation of adam
laying the fall of man before him
and their carnal state
and also the plan of redemption
which was prepared from the foundation of the world
through christ
for all
whosoever would believe on his name
and since man had fallen
he could not merit anything of himself
but the sufferings and death of christ atone for their sins
through faith and repentance and so forth
and that he breaketh the bands of death
that the grave shall have no victory
and that the sting of death should be swallowed up
in the hopes of glory
and aaron did expound all these things unto the king


now it came to pass
that i
did teach my brethren these things
and it came to pass
that i did read many things to them
which were engraven upon the plates of brass
that they might know
concerning the doings of the lord in other lands
among people of old


and now behold
i would speak unto you
concerning things
which are
and which are to come
i will read you the words of isaiah
and they are the words
which my brother has desired
that i should speak unto you
and i speak unto you for your sakes
that ye may learn
and glorify the name of your god

Read, expound, exhort and baptize

The pattern was fairly simple, really. They merely took the scriptures and read them to the investigators, expounding them as they went along, by the power of the Holy Ghost, exhorting the listeners to exercise faith in Jesus Christ, repent of all their sins and witness to God, by baptism, their willingness to take upon themselves the name of the Son of God.

The Nephite preachers did not assign to their listeners a scriptural assignment, but instead read the scriptures to them, expounding them to their understanding. This made sure that each potential convert had read the entire canon (or had it read to them) and thus knew of all the laws of God.

For the Nephites, their canon consisted of the plates of brass and all the Nephite scriptures that had been written since the time of Lehi. Once an investigator had exercised faith unto repentance—meaning that he had repented of all his sins and had had an angel minister to him, having begun to exercise his faith in this manner—and had expressed a desire to be baptized, then, and only then, (for “they were not baptized save they brought forth fruit meet that they were worthy of it,” and the fruit was the exercise of faith in the ministration of angels and repentance of all their sins), did they baptize him.

This process assured extremely strong converts.

Teaching the latter-day gospel

For those living in the latter days, the Lord has instructed us:

and again
the elders
and teachers
of this church
shall teach the principles of my gospel
which are in the bible and the book of mormon
in the which is the fulness of the gospel
and they shall observe the covenants
and church articles
to do them
and these shall be their teachings
as they shall be directed by the spirit
and the spirit shall be given unto you by the prayer of faith
and if ye receive not the spirit
ye shall not teach
and all this ye shall observe to do
as I have commanded
concerning your teaching
until the fulness of my scriptures is given

Thus, there is a division in the teaching. The investigator is to be taught the gospel out of the Book of Mormon and the Bible—the Book of Mormon first, because it contains the fulness of the gospel, is “the most correct of any book on earth,” and “a man [will] get nearer to God by abiding by its precepts, than by any other book”—and then those investigators who have entered into the baptismal covenant are to be taught about the church by having the revelations found in the Doctrine and Covenants read to them, so that they can keep them. These are our current standing orders.

Book of Mormon first, Bible second, D&C third

the duty of the members
after they are received by baptism
the elders or priests are to have a sufficient time
to expound all things
concerning the church of christ
to their understanding
previous to their partaking of the sacrament
and being confirmed
by the laying on of the hands of the elders
so that all thngs may be done in order

The Book of Mormon and Bible deal primarily with the gospel of Christ, while the Doctrine and Covenants primarily deals with the church of Christ. The preaching order, then, following the Nephite pattern—which was given by Mormon so that we would follow it—would be:

First, the preacher’s angelic witness; Second, read and expound the entire Book of Mormon to the investigator; Third, read and expound the entire Bible to the investigator. This teaches the investigator the gospel of Jesus Christ. If, during or after these readings, the investigator repents of his sins and obtains the witness that he has exercised faith in Christ—which witness is the ministration of an angel—and desires baptism, a priest or elder may then baptize him. Once the entire Book of Mormon and Bible have been read and expounded to the convert (who is now baptized and desirous of confirmation), he may not be confirmed or partake of the sacrament until an elder or priest has read and expounded to him the entire Doctrine and Covenants. This teaches him everything he needs to know concerning the church of Jesus Christ. He may now be confirmed and partake of the sacrament.

Breaking it down further

If you look at the current canon of scripture, there is a natural “reading order” to them, so that the investigator sees how the whole house is built, beginning with the foundation and working all the way up to the roof, “so that all things may be done in order” and he gets a very sound understanding of the entire work of the Lord in these latter days, as well in former days. That order goes like this:

First, the preacher’s own angelic witness; Second, Joseph Smith—History; Third, the Book of Mormon; Fourth, the Book of Moses; Fifth, Genesis to Abraham; Sixth, the Book of Abraham; Seventh, the rest of the Bible up to Matthew 24; Eighth, Joseph Smith—Matthew; Ninth, the rest of the Bible; Tenth, the Doctrine and Covenants in chronological order.

Now, I personally, would also add some things to that list. For example, before reading the Testimony of Three Witnesses to an investigator, I would first read to them D&C sections 5 & 17, which are revelations given to the Three Witnesses and which help to explain the importance of their witness. Also, before I started to read to an investigator the text of the Book of Mormon, I would also read to them D&C 20:1-36, which gives a greater understanding of the Book of Mormon and its role in the latter days, as well as a great summary of the gospel. Finally, if the Preface to the first edition of the Book of Mormon is read to the investigator, which talks of the lost 116 pages, I would first read to them D&C sections 3 & 10, which are revelations concerning the lost 116 manuscript pages.

A flood of witnesses

So, the investigator would hear the preacher’s own angelic witness; then Joseph Smith’s angelic witness (JS-H); then the Lord’s words to and about the Three Witnesses and about the Book of Mormon (found in D&C 5 & 17), as well as the Lord’s own witness about the truthfulness of the Book of Mormon (found in D&C 17); then the Testimonies of Three and Eight Witnesses; then the Lord’s words about the gospel and the importance of the Book of Mormon and how the Book of Mormon and the Three Witnesses (and all the other witnesses) prove to the world that there is a God in heaven that still speaks to men (found in D&C 20:1-36); then the two revelations concerning the 116 lost manuscript pages (found in D&C 3 & 10); then Joseph Smith’s Preface to the first edition of the Book of Mormon, which is a witness; then they would hear the entire Book of Mormon; then the Book of Moses; then the Bible (including the JST) with the Book of Abraham and JS-M read at the appropriate parts; finally, they would have the D&C read to them. All of these books of scriptures contain many more witnesses.

Now, this might sound like a lot of information to cover, since it would be reading the entire Standard Works to an investigator, but this is how the ancients did it and this is how we ought to do it, too. (Or, at least, this is how I will do it, if and when the Lord sends me out again to preach the gospel.) There is no other way to teach the gospel as Ammon did, except to follow his example, for the scriptures give his manner of teaching as:

and he expounded unto them all the records and scriptures
and all the works of the lord did he make known unto them

In other words, the scriptures themselves have always, historically, (meaning anciently,) been used as the real missionary discussions.


* There may be some who will dispute my assertion that Nephite converts all saw angels, etc. We are taught in the church that such miraculous experiences were the exception, not the rule, but such a teaching is a misunderstanding. The prophet Mormon had the task of teaching us the gospel of Jesus Christ, so that we could “come to the knowledge of [our] Redeemer and the very points of his doctrine, that [we might] know how to come unto him and be saved.” So, all the things that Mormon put into his Book of Mormon were the very rules of the gospel, not the exceptions. The only reason why such miraculous occurrences have become the exception among the latter-day saints is simply because we are not living the gospel of Jesus Christ.

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  1. It is not my intention to cause distress to any of the missionaries currently serving in one of the many church missions. If any of you were to attempt to read the entire Standard Works to your investigators, you would probably be assigned office duty or sent home, etc. I doubt your mission president would allow you to do it. And I am not encouraging anyone to rebel against their mission president.

    Really, I only had tribal missionaries in mind, as well as church elders and priests who were inspired by the Holy Ghost to preach the gospel, apart from authorized church channels. In other words, men who preached without having a mission president over them, to tell them what to do, but who only relied upon the Spirit to guide them. Such men might wonder how to go about teaching the people, and what was scripturally sufficient, hence the need for the post. Nevertheless, even if no one agrees with the post, this is my current understanding and how I intend to teach all those who wish to join my own gospel-based tribe. Again, this is based upon the Nephite model, which is what the Lord intented those of the latter days to use, because of the tremendous faith (or fruit) they demonstrated.

  2. King Benjamin converted his people by preaching the gospel as delivered by an angel as well.

    Chapter 3 of Mosiah starts with:

    and again
    my brethren
    I would call your attention
    for I have somewhat more to speak unto you
    for behold
    I have things to tell you concerning that which is to come
    and the things which I shall tell you are made known unto me by an angel
    from God

    And then Chapter 4, after his sermon, starts with:

    and now
    it came to pass
    that when king Benjamin had made an end of speaking the words which had been delivered unto him by the angel of the Lord
    that he cast his eyes round about on the multitude
    and behold they had fallen to the earth
    for the fear of the lord had come upon them
    and they had viewed themselves in their own carnal state
    even less than the dust of the earth
    and they all cried aloud with one voice
    o have mercy
    and apply the atoning blood of Christ
    that we may receive forgiveness of our sins
    and our hearts may be purified
    for we believe in Jesus christ
    the son of God
    who created heaven and earth
    and all things
    who shall come down
    among the children of men
    and it came to pass
    that after they had spoken these words
    the spirit of the lord came upon them
    and they were filled with joy
    having received a remission of their sin
    and having peace of conscience
    because of the exceeding faith
    which they had in Jesus christ
    who should come
    according to the words
    which king Benjamin had spoken unto them

  3. Those people also stated:

    and we ourselves also
    through the infinite goodness of god
    and the manifestations of his spirit
    have great views
    of that which is to come
    and were it expedient
    we could prophesy of all things

    I wonder what they saw? Could it have included angels? Also, they could prophesy all things. Angels often seem to be associated with things pertaining to the future. And, of course, prophecy pertains to the future. So, I wonder if when a person speaks with the tongues of angels, do they also always prophesy (or have the ability to prophesy?) For example, Joseph and Oliver, after being ministered to by the angel, baptized each other per the angel’s instructions. After Joseph baptized Oliver

    the Holy Ghost fell upon him, and he stood up and prophesied many things which should shortly come to pass. And again, so soon as I had been baptized by him, I also had the spirit of prophecy, when, standing up, I prophesied concerning the rise of this Church, and many other things connected with the Church, and this generation of the children of men. We were filled with the Holy Ghost, and rejoiced in the God of our salvation.

  4. this is interesting. im home from my mission now… i got witch hunted and sent home on just last week. but one thing i did notice while i was there is that we hardly ever actually used the scriptures in our teaching. its like the investigators knowing all that the scriptures have to say is way beside the point for today’s church missionaries. we would ask people to read chapters from the book of Mormon but when we returned we came to be like the chapter heading and tell them what they were supposed to learn from what they read. (god forbid they learn something new) whereas with this model of missionary work it seems that the scriptures are laid before the people for them to learn what the lord wants them to…
    great post

  5. Witch hunted? Do tell…

  6. well lets just say they really liked to ask everyone else what i thought believed and did, but were not really as interested in discussion with me about my thoughts. they thought i was starting some sort of underground resistance against the church. which is definitely not what was going on. ultimately the mission president was just tired of me answering questions from other missionaries in an honest manner.

  7. They weren’t ready for you, elder.

  8. A lot of folks will dispute the matter and say that the Nephites were only located in territories now within the U.S. Some say Lehi and company landed in Chile others assume it was Central America. I tend to think there is definitely something to LDSA’s reading of the record which would indicate Baja California. All I know is that the remnant must exist pretty heavily among the groups of Spanish speaking people in the Americas because it is very common for them to see angelic beings even in these modern times, when we find others to be generally non-believing. It is not necessarily a solely genetic trait, this propensity toward seeing angels. But the physical and spiritual are connected and I believe that nature and nurturing both factor in and ideally work together in facilitating more belief. I do feel that genes have their spiritual counterpart and things like spiritual eyesight may come a bit more naturally to some than others.

    In no way am I saying that a certain gene set would ever totally override spiritual law, enabling one to see without the proper degree of belief; nor that the individuals righteousness would not have an effect on the type of experiences one might have or not have as far as visual manifestations of divine messengers. (Although Alma the younger, the sons of Mosiah and Saul of Tarsus are some of the most notable missionaries of all time and all seem to have been leading unrighteous lives right up till the moment of their visitations). Matter of fact I think we always tend to be unfairly biased against Laman and Lemuel and their genes by focusing on the “remnant” as being of importance due mostly to the presence of very very small traces of Nephi’s or Jacob’s blood. Laman and Lemuel saw an angel but were not called to preach. There is a strong possibility that many non Semitic people joined Lehi’s party on his journeyings through Asia. Regardless of whether genetic diversity through intermarrying was prized or rejected by this original band of Jews, there is no doubt that the Asian converts ended up contributing very largely to the eventual make up of the promised land population. And there is even the possibility that Laman and Lemuel indeed mingled their own seed with Africans who were already in the Americas from before, (2Nephi 5:21 – Blackness, Alma 3:6 – Dark) making the remnant of surviving genes from anyone in the family of Lehi all the more diluted – All this before even throwing one European gentile into the mix.

    Now the repentant gentiles at least, will be numbered among the remnant. This means marrying into their tribes. Sexual contact alone can transmit much more than physical influences. Bodily fluids can and do serve as vehicles to transmit spiritual matter as well whether good or evil. So marriage would at least help to secure and reinforce a righteous lifestyle or wicked deathstyle throughout the gene-rations. Of course the true order of “things to act and things to be acted upon” will eventually override any temporary arrangements of the flesh. Thus the Nephites supposed that the dark skin of the Lamanites was a curse and also supposed that God had punished them for the actions of their fathers; supposedly all for the purpose of making them appear “loathsome” unto the “Fair Ones” who also supposed they could avoid destruction by avoiding mixing but instead ended up being swept off the face of the land in all their genetic purity, which thing, I suppose, they never supposed would or could happen. So much for Sub-Position or attempting to put [the spirit] under [the flesh]. The price for rebelling against The Pre-Stood Power is far greater than the dues paid for rebelling against Priestcraft.

    The reason why I bring up this biological element in such detail is because what is being observed in these scriptural accounts is typically multi-sensory, incorporating sounds, forms and sometimes shaking. But were these in every case detected by the physical senses or were they sometimes only perceived spiritually? Or is there in fact any real separation of the two? I believe that what we commonly refer to as the five carnal senses exist only as extensions of their spiritual counterparts. At church we have all heard mention of our spirit bodies but in our pride and ignorance we rarely pause to ask Sunday School teachers, Priesthood™ leaders or ourselves about them. What of our spiritual eyes (sight), spiritual ears (hearing) which we are admonished to activate in numerous teachings of the scriptures? Why is it that we are typically unaware/cut off from our spirit’s olfactory? How long does it usually take a baby to discover that he/she has a mouth. How much of the world are they already instinctively discovering through that mouth even before understanding that they have one? At this point we should not be “babes in the gospel” but sadly we have, at best, a severely limited concept of spiritual taste buds, even though these pre-seed the physical taste buds on our temporal tongues by who knows how many millennia. And they are spoken of by many of the mystics acknowledged in the original post as real missionaries.

    Alma the Younger – “It must needs be that this is a good seed, or that the word is good, for it beginneth to enlarge my soul; yea, it beginneth to enlighten my understanding, yea, it beginneth to be delicious to me.” -Alma 32:28

    Joseph Smith – “This is good doctrine. It tastes good. I can taste the principles of eternal life, and so can you. They are given to me by the revelations of Jesus Christ; and I know that when I tell you these words of eternal life as they are given to me, you taste them, and I know that you believe them. You say honey is sweet, and so do I. I can also taste the spirit of eternal life. I know it is good; and when I tell you of these things which were given me by inspiration of the Holy Spirit, you are bound to receive them as sweet, and rejoice more and more.” -King Follett Discourse

    Where clairgustance is manifest we can be sure to find clairessence since the temporal gifts reflect those of the spirit. Smell goes hand in hand with taste. Without it, prophets could not have been aware of the presence of brimstone (sulfur) in visions of Hell. Even Lehi, although he never claimed to have seen an angel outside of “visions and dreams” takes special pains to explain the vividness of his perceptions such as, “most sweet, above all that I ever before tasted” and “white, to exceed all the whiteness that I had ever seen.” It is interesting to note that these things were perceived in a dream state yet are unhesitatingly compared to things perceived in a waking state. What is the difference? If anything we can see that Lehi’s perception while in dream state was more intense than “normal” waking experiences typically are. Things seen, heard, felt, tasted or smelled while “in the spirit” are in this “sense” more real or true than those detected with the outer senses. Our mortal frame is only a shadow of our light/spirit body. The “five senses” are developing in their probationary state and are therefore inferior to the spiritual senses, commonly referred to as a “sixth sense”.

    The scriptures are very explicit on the fact that if we “have not the spirit” then we cannot teach (well not truth anyway). And yes, I believe it is saying that if we love the truth then we should refrain from opening our mouths when the spirit is not with us. I know we should seek the spirit and strive to keep it with us at all times. But what does it mean to have the spirit to be with us? We should open ourselves to the full array of spiritual information sensors. We should “awake and arouse [our] faculties, even to an experiment” as Alma invites. There is a lack of light within our lamps and danger along the path with the apostate church overemphasizing “burning in the bosom” and even downgrading this single form of clairsentience to mere “warm fuzzies”, then further diminishing the spiritual feeling by uprooting it completely out of the hearts and minds of mormon children and literally placing it in the physical plane to die as a pom-pom in a jar, a false form sealed off from the life sustaining air/ether/prana of the spirit realm. The children were ex-couraged to include a little note with each pom-pom declaring the good work they had done. This type of work oriented faith is very much linked to the world of the physical senses. Or as LDSA puts it, “Action faith is earthly…Were the elements here operating like they [do] in heaven, everyone would immediately die. [cease to exist in this sphere] We wouldn’t be able to even force air into our lungs, for the air would not allow itself to be forced into the lungs of a being it did not respect (a sinful being).” But there exists much more than is detectable to our earthly selves. Our temples may serve a holy purpose but are nonetheless TEMPles which when not understood, deteriorate to factories of “dead works” or “whitened sepulchers” wherein the “dead bury the dead” while vainly imagining they are doing some great service. This goes for LDS temple buildings as well as our physical persons. So whereas this world teaches us that “seeing is believing” the truth teaches us that “believing is seeing” and we might add that believing is hearing, tasting, etc. It may be that there is more to consider when speaking of angelic visitations than mere sightings.

    Comprehending the reality of the dream world and its connection to other realms through the Holy Spirit’s motherly influence in our right brains may be helpful in understanding why none of Joseph Smith Junior’s siblings awoke when Angel Moroni made multiple late night visits which filled the room with light or why Alma the younger and company felt as if the earth were shaking while no one else in the kingdom was subject to such quaking. . It may answer questions about Moses’ personal call such as “Why a burning bush when he on other occasions spoke face to face with God?” But more importantly, awakening our spiritual senses and limbering up our spirit bodies is crucial in recognizing angelic commissions to teach the word of God; not only for the recognition of real missionaries but recognizing ourselves as such. These are the signs and tokens that we as true messengers can exchange to communicate under the radar of the world, for only those who know themselves will be in tune to receive the transmission. Trusting inspiration (Being In the Spirit) is the only thing that can keep us safe from expiration (Being Controlled by False Spirits from without). Personal experience or rather in-perience (Peering Inward) with the powers of our own spirit bodies is often something very passive but will, more than any other activity, aid us in coming to know God and Christ when we see them because it shows us how we are and may become like them. Be still and know that you are God.

  9. Chantdown wrote:

    (Although Alma the younger, the sons of Mosiah and Saul of Tarsus are some of the most notable missionaries of all time and all seem to have been leading unrighteous lives right up till the moment of their visitations).

    Anti-Nephi-Lehi mentioned “the many murders which we have committed.” The Lamanites were murderers by custom. It was their custom to take their arms and try to kill and plunder and exterminate, if possible, the Nephites from time to time, despite the fact that the Nephite never, ever, did anything to offend the Lamanites. In fact, the Lamanites even slaughtered their own kind, as manifested by king Lamoni ordering the execution of his servants who had allowed his flocks to be scattered and also as manifested by the Lamanites who had killed the Anti-Nephi-Lehies who had refused to defend themselves against their brothers. I find it interesting that these wicked Lamanites, whose custom was to kill any Nephite they could, were able to repent so quickly and profoundly, that despite these horrendous sins of murder, they were visited by angels, according to Anti-Nephi-Lehi. Why, then, do the Gentile converts, who do not have such customs of killing other people, nor do they typically have blood on their hands like the Lamanites did, find it so hard to repent and see angels? Surely those ancient Lamanites had a much harder task of obtaining forgiveness of their sins than we do with our sins, which pale in comparison to theirs, yet, they didn’t take years to obtain these manifestations, but repented immediately upon hearing the word preached and then saw the angels. Could it be that our attitude of “my life is sinful, but not that bad” is holding us back, giving us a form of lip-service repentance without the actual signs which accompanying it? Could it be that their attitude of “we were the most lost of all mankind” was the reason for their ability to fully repent?

  10. Elder Chantdown:

    (Although Alma the younger, the sons of Mosiah and Saul of Tarsus are some of the most notable missionaries of all time and all seem to have been leading unrighteous lives right up till the moment of their visitations)

    I agree with LDSA’s observation above — maybe it’s not so much that they were in anyway more “unrighteous” — but that they were more keenly aware of their state of condemnation before the Lord.

    (2Nephi 5:21 – Blackness, Alma 3:6 – Dark)

    I’ve read an opinion that the darkness or blackness of skin mentioned pertaining to the Lamanites was life-style based — not genetic amount of melanin coded for in the skin tissue.

    Meaning, the reason it talks about the dark-skin coming upon the very person who “mixed seed” with Lamanites [instead just their offspring] — and then being able to “come off” a converted Lamanite was because it wasn’t the built-in melanin layer…

    …but was a mixture between dirt on the skin and a harder lifestyle that had them working outside more. Kinda like the difference between the wealthy-city dwellers vs. the tanned and hardened skin of the “country-folk” during the Victorian era.

    This makes sense to me in light of the Native American traditions that the color of their skin comes from being “people of the earth” — the tradition that it is literally the dirt of Mother Earth on their skin.

    A Nephite could [in a single generation] receive the darker skin of a Lamanite — because by inter-marrying with them, his skin would darken b/c of his change in lifestyle [instead of being genetic].

    But what does it mean to have the spirit to be with us?

    I think it relates to the left-brain mind operating in either dark-mode b/c of the chains of hell — or operating in arc-mode b/c the Spirit is there to enLIGHTen the mind.

  11. I want to put some information down here for future reference. I thought I had already placed it somewhere on this blog, but I did a search and came up empty, so I guess not. This pertains to the Doctrine and Covenants.

    D&C 20 states that the church was established in Fayette, New York. This is apparently erroneous. The church was actually organized in Manchester, Ontario County, New York. Also, the term “United Order” apparently is not the original term used in the revelations. Originally, it was written “United Firm.”

    Some time ago (I do not recall how long ago) I came across the Mormon Chronicles blog, which gives this information. You can get started researching this by visiting the following page and clicking on all the hyperlinked .pdf files that are found there:

    Why the name and organizational location of the church was changed

    Here is a quote from that page:

    The idea of breaking up the United Firm, changing the name of the Church and where the April 6, 1830 organizational location, was to steer creditors away from suing the Church or Firm members, if only for a short time. The use of pseudonyms in the 1835 D&C, changing “United Firm” to “United Order,” (1835 D&C sections 93 and 98; LDS D&C 92 and 104) shows the continue concern of debts after the firm was divided in 1834. …

    I recommend downloading all the .pdf files to your hard drive in case that blog ever goes down.

    Re: the United Firm revelations, see also this:

    “The Inspired Fictionalization of the 1835 United Firm Revelations” by Christopher C. Smith

  12. Future reference? For what? You plan on startin the church over from scratch? People wanna know one easy way to avoid being sued? Don’t incorporate.

  13. Derek P. Moore, if he is still around and visiting this site, can correct me if I’m wrong, but I don’t believe the church was incorporated at that time. As far as future reference goes, it’s for accurate teaching, so that prior errors are not perpetuated.

  14. I’m glad to see that the new edition of the scriptures have changed the D&C section headings to reflect the former use of “united firm” and “mercantile and publishing establishments” in the revelations. I certainly didn’t see that coming. (It’s kind of strange that I wrote about it though back in September.)

    Also, I’ve begun revamping the formatting of the 1st Act Scriptures site. (

    To give you an example of the new formatting, take a look at the first chapter of the Book of Mormon.

    The first 70 verses is the new formatting. The rest of the chapter is the old formatting. My daughter likes the new better than the old. So do I. Anyone who cares to give their opinion, just leave a comment on that site.

  15. Okay, for anyone who cares, I’ve finished the reformatting of BOM 1. BOM 2 and BOM 3 are still in the old format. (I’ll get to them eventually.) When I first started this project, I wanted to do the scriptures in the style you see in BOM 1 but I couldn’t get the theme to work like I wanted it to, so I settled for what you currently see in BOM 2 and BOM 3. However I’ve now changed to a different theme.

    BOM 1 has the capability of linking verses, but that’s a time-consuming endeavor which I’ll do after all the scriptures are online. But to give an example, I have hyper-linked one verse:

    behold | ye shall go up to jerusalem again | and the lord will deliver laban into your hands | (BOM 1:78d)

    The very last vertical line of the verse is hyper-linked in the text, which will allow anyone to easily obtain the link. Also, the verse numbers and hyper-links will be the same, so you’d just put the chapter url, for example, …/bom1/…, and then add a “#” and the verse number, which in this case is 78d. The url would look like this:

    I plan on doing the same for all verses.

    Here are links to the first two chapters to compare styles:

    The Book of Mormon–Chapter One (1 Nephi 1–1 Nephi 5)
    The Book of Mormon–Chapter Two (1 Nephi 6–1 Nephi 9)

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