But, behold, verily, verily, I say unto thee,
no one shall be appointed to receive commandments and revelations in this church excepting my servant Joseph Smith, Jun.,
for he receiveth them even as Moses. (D&C 28:2)
For I have given him the keys of the mysteries, and the revelations which are sealed, until I shall appoint unto them another in his stead. (D&C 28:7)
And I have sent forth the fulness of my gospel by the hand of my servant Joseph; and in weakness have I blessed him; and I have given unto him the keys of the mystery of those things which have been sealed, even things which were from the foundation of the world, and the things which shall come from this time until the time of my coming, if he abide in me, and if not, another will I plant in his stead. Wherefore, watch over him that his faith fail not, and it shall be given by the Comforter, the Holy Ghost, that knoweth all things. (D&C 35:17-19)
O hearken, ye elders of my church, and give ear to the words which I shall speak unto you. For behold, verily, verily, I say unto you,
that ye have received a commandment for a law unto my church, through him whom I have appointed unto you to receive commandments and revelations from my hand.
And this ye shall know assuredly-
that there is none other appointed unto you to receive commandments and revelations until he be taken, if he abide in me.
But verily, verily, I say unto you,
that none else shall be appointed unto this gift except it be through him; for if it be taken from him he shall not have power except to appoint another in his stead.
And this shall be a law unto you,
that ye receive not the teachings of any that shall come before you as revelations or commandments;
And this I give unto you that you may not be deceived, that you may know they are not of me. For verily I say unto you,
that he that is ordained of me shall come in at the gate and be ordained as I have told you before, to teach those revelations which you have received and shall receive through him whom I have appointed. (D&C 43:1-7)
So, here is what I get out of these scriptures:
The gift of receiving revelations and commandments for the church and also the gift of the mysteries and sealed revelations were given to Joseph Smith alone. This means that while Joseph lived in righteousness, no one else would possess them. He would keep them for the rest of his life, and though all eternity, as long as he did not transgress in mortality. Nevertheless, it was always the intention of the Lord that someone else would have these gifts at some point, presumably after Joseph died. But while he lived righteously, he alone would possess them. If, however, he transgressed, he would lose them, but would have power to appoint someone else to them. Even if Joseph did not transgress, but lived a life of righteousness, and then died, no one else would have these gifts unless and until Joseph appointed them to that person.
This shows that there were always two men God had in mind to possess these gifts. The first was Joseph Smith, Jun. The second man is still unidentified, but what is known is that he either would be appointed by Joseph Smith while Joseph was still alive (if Joseph transgressed), or he would be appointed by Joseph Smith after Joseph died (if Joseph did not transgress.)
Joseph Smith, Jun., and the other guy are the only men appointed to the church to receive revelations, commandments, mysteries and sealed stuff. Everyone else in the church, regardless of title, position or office, can only teach the revelations and commandments that come through Joseph and the other man. The church is commanded to receive as commandments and revelations and mysteries only that which comes through either Joseph Smith or the other, unidentified man.
We can conclude from this, then, that Joseph abided in the Lord until the day of his martyrdom, for he never appointed these gifts in life, to anyone else, which he was supposed to do if he lost them. Those who say, then, that Joseph was a fallen prophet, due to polygamy, etc., are in error. (We also have no record of Joseph appointing the gifts to any other man after his death.)
As there were only going to be two men appointed to the church, having these gifts, we can conclude that the second man would not die like Joseph, but would remain alive until all things had been revealed, all commandments had been given, all mysteries had been opened, all sealed things had been unsealed and the restoration of all things had taken place. The second man would have to do everything else that Joseph did not do, to complete the restoration of all things. Thus, from Brigham Young to Thomas S. Monson, none of the church presidents fit the bill for the second man, for they all died (or will die, in the case of brother Thomas) and they restored nothing more than Joseph did. None of these men, then, are prophets, seers, revelators or translators, like Joseph was. Their calling is merely to teach what came through the first bona fide seer, Joseph Smith, and when the second man makes his appearance, to teach what comes through him. He will be a bona fide prophet, seer, revelator and translator, just like Joseph was.
It may be that this second seer, who will be appointed unto the church, is the Josephite restorer:
Joseph Smith’s mission
And again, verily I say unto thy brethren, Sidney Rigdon and Frederick G. Williams, their sins are forgiven them also, and they are accounted as equal with thee in holding the keys of this last kingdom; as also through your administration the keys of the school of the prophets, which I have commanded to be organized; that thereby they may be perfected in their ministry for the salvation of Zion, and of the nations of Israel, and of the Gentiles, as many as will believe; that through your administration they may receive the word, and through their administration the word may go forth unto the ends of the earth, unto the Gentiles first, and then, behold, and lo, they shall turn unto the Jews. (D&C 90:6-9)
The Josephite restorer’s mission
And then cometh the day when the arm of the Lord shall be revealed in power in convincing the nations, the heathen nations, the house of Joseph, of the gospel of their salvation.
For it shall come to pass in that day, that every man shall hear the fulness of the gospel in his own tongue, and in his own language, through those who are ordained unto this power, by the administration of the Comforter, shed forth upon them for the revelation of Jesus Christ. (D&C 90:10-11)
If so, then all the splinter groups which claim to be restoring this or that in the church, which are led by a man, and that man is not a miracle worker, nor a seer like Joseph was (i.e., he does not possess a Urim and Thummim), are in error. The only duty of the latter-day saints is to abide by the revelations and commandments that come through Joseph Smith. They are not to listen to or obey the commandments and revelations that come from anyone else, excepting only the second seer. The second seer will be like Joseph: seeing visions, translating ancient records, possessing a Urim and Thummim, receiving revelations, prophesying, having angels minister and restoring the rest, therefore no one need be deceived.
Again, if the second seer is the Josephite restorer—and there is every reason to believe that they are one and the same person–he will also be performing miracles, setting up the conditions for the fulfillment of 2 Ne. 28:6:
Behold, hearken ye unto my precept; if they shall say there is a miracle wrought by the hand of the Lord, believe it not; for this day he is not a God of miracles; he hath done his work.
The latter-day saints, then, need not be deceived by impostors.
False prophets will turn the people’s attention away from the Doctrine and Covenants. This is why Moroni states,
Behold, look ye unto the revelations of God, for behold, the time cometh at that day when all these things must be fulfilled (Moroni 8:33.)
Although he was principally referring to the revelations of God that would come from the Josephite restorer, who would be the second seer, his words are also applicable to the revelations of God that came through the first seer, Joseph Smith. Therefore, if a professed prophet focusses on the Book of Mormon, or on the Bible, or on something else, to the exclusion or downplay of the Doctrine and Covenants, he is not of God. If he accepts some of Joseph’s revelations, but not the others, he is not of God. If he wants you to obey a church policy or procedure or tradition, which conflicts with the revealed law and commandments found in the Doctrine and Covenants, he is not of God.
For, behold, these things have not been appointed unto him, neither shall anything be appointed unto any of this church contrary to the church covenants. (D&C 28:12)
So, if you don’t want to obey the law of tithing, as it is written in D&C 119, because you think the Bible tithing laws are better, or if you don’t believe in polygamy and want to remove section 132 from the canon, or if you feel that the baptismal wording given to the Nephites in the Book of Mormon is more valid than the baptismal wording given to the Gentiles in the Doctrine and Covenants, these and many other beliefs are inspired of the evil one to get people looking away from the revelations of God, that they may be deceived, confounded and destroyed by him.
The Doctrine and Covenants (and other canonized revelations given through Joseph Smith) is the word of the Lord to the Gentiles. It is Gentile-specific. It is the fulfillment of: “and I shall also speak unto all nations of the earth and they shall write it” (2 Ne. 29:12.)
Out of the books which shall be written I will judge the world, every man according to their works, according to that which is written. (2 Ne. 29:11)
A true prophet, then, that comes among the people, will encourage the Gentiles to more fully conform to the Book of Doctrine and Covenants. More conformity, not less, is the mark of a true prophet. It is also the mark of a true saint, and so all those Mormons who clamor for their leaders to reveal more, to change policies and doctrines, and more or less to alter the Book of Doctrine and Covenants to fit their worldview and philosophies, are under a deception of the devil.
Restoration is to be done by the two seers alone. The presidents and leaders of the church have no authority to make any changes to the revelations of God, nor to add to them. (But we know by Moroni’s prophecy in Mormon 8:33 that wicked people in the church will eventually end up transfiguring the holy word of God.) Their only duty is to teach the revelations, while our duty, the duty of the membership, is to live and abide by those same revelations, conforming our lives to them. And thus, pretty much everyone is under condemnation, for even the mainstream members, who have no desire to change the revelations, sin, by their conformity to what their leaders say, contrary to the revelations. They do not “look to God” (Alma 37:47) like Alma taught, nor do they “look unto the revelations of God” as Moroni taught. They merely look unto their leaders.
The second seer’s appearance will cause a change in current conditions, for, like the prophets that precede him, or are contemporary to him, he will insist upon acceptance of all of Joseph’s revelations and full compliance with them. Unlike the prophets, though, he will take up the work of restoration where Joseph left off, receiving another Urim and Thummim and creating quite the dilemma for people, for they will wonder who they should follow. Those who use the keys of discernment I am giving in this post will not be deceived, for they will know a true from a false prophet, a true from a false seer and a true from a false teacher.
Oliver and Hyrum were not the second seers
I suppose that some will point to Oliver Cowdery and later to Hyrum Smith as the seers who were appointed by Joseph, fulfilling the scriptures quoted at the beginning of this post, but neither Oliver nor Hyrum were seers like unto Moses, as Joseph was, but were appointed seers like unto Aaron. The second seer that would come after Joseph would be like both Joseph and Moses, and not like Aaron. It can be expected that this man will also have an Aaron-like assistant seer, just as Joseph had an assistant president (Oliver and later Hyrum.) In other words, Joseph Smith and his actions and revelations were a type, foreshadowing the work and revelations the second seer would do and receive.
Joseph only laid the foundation; the second seer will complete the entire structure
The word, “fundamental,” means, “of or pertaining to the foundation.” Joseph Smith was a fundamentalist, for his entire work and calling was simply to lay a foundation for the restoration of all things.
Behold, there shall be a record kept among you; and in it thou shalt be called a seer, a translator, a prophet, an apostle of Jesus Christ, an elder of the church through the will of God the Father, and the grace of your Lord Jesus Christ, being inspired of the Holy Ghost to lay the foundation thereof, and to build it up unto the most holy faith. (D&C 21:1-2)
Therefore, marvel not at these things, for ye are not yet pure; ye can not yet bear my glory; but ye shall behold it if ye are faithful in keeping all my words that I have given you, from the days of Adam to Abraham, from Abraham to Moses, from Moses to Jesus and his apostles, and from Jesus and his apostles to Joseph Smith, whom I did call upon by mine angels, my ministering servants, and by mine own voice out of the heavens, to bring forth my work; which foundation he did lay, and was faithful; and I took him to myself. (D&C 136:37-38)
It was his mission merely to start things and not to finish anything. And, in fact, Joseph finished absolutely nothing, though he started many projects, which remain incomplete to this very day. Unless one has a proper understanding of Joseph’s foundational mission, it would appear that his work was an utter failure, for he failed to bring forth the entire Book of Mormon, he failed to retain the Kirtland temple, he failed to build the Nauvoo temple, he failed to build the city of Zion and other cities, and so on and so forth. Nevertheless, Joseph’s mission was, in point of fact, a total success.
The second seer will also be a fundamentalist, like Joseph. Whatsoever Joseph did, will also be done by the second seer, except that this time it will be done to completion and with permanence. Whereas Joseph was hindered by enemies both within the church and outside of it, to the point that he couldn’t finish anything, the second seer’s enemies will also try to hinder him, but will fail miserably. The second seer will return to the foundation, finish it, and then build the rest of the structure. We can expect, therefore, to see a return to polygamy, to the Kirtland-type of temple and outpouring of gifts, as at the day of Pentecost, to Nauvoo-type temples, also, but with more to them, to re-baptism and all other practices Joseph engaged in, which have either been abandoned or altered. We can also expect to see city-building as a chief latter-day saint occupation. And so on and so forth.
Thus, the second seer will be very much like Joseph Smith. Fundamentalist Mormons, then, may find the new seer quite to their liking, whereas the LDS Mormon, who rejects polygamy and the rest of the early practices, may have a harder time following his leadership.
No one, except the second seer, is to build on the foundation
Since Joseph’s death to now, the church’s standing orders are simply to stick to the revelations he received and wait for further instructions from the Lord via the second seer. Building upon the foundation Joseph laid, by adding new revelations (which did not proceed from Joseph) to the canon, or altering the canonized revelations of Joseph, or even just innovating—through policy, procedure and sustaining vote—a new doctrine that contradicts, nullifies, or goes beyond the limits established in, the revelations of Joseph, is all prohibited to the saints. The saints are commanded to be bound, or are to bind themselves, only to the canonized revelations of Joseph Smith and to those of his successor, the second seer.
And now, behold, I give unto you a commandment,
that when ye are assembled together ye shall instruct and edify each other, that ye may know how to act and direct my church, how to act upon the points of my law and commandments, which I have given.
And thus ye shall become instructed in the law of my church, and be sanctified by that which ye have received, and ye shall bind yourselves to act in all holiness before me—
That inasmuch as ye do this, glory shall be added to the kingdom which ye have received. Inasmuch as ye do it not, it shall be taken, even that which ye have received. (D&C 43:8-10)
It is the second seer alone that will expand the canon. No one else is authorized to do so. Everything currently in the canon, which did not proceed from Joseph Smith, is non-binding upon the saints (although it may be quite useful for instruction.) Specifically, they are sections 134, 135, 136, 138, OD-1 and OD-2. (Section 102 passes muster because it was the pattern given for the high council and was approved by Joseph Smith.) The saints, then, can set these six sections and declarations aside, considering them either as words of wisdom, or as further light from the Lord, sent not by commandment nor by constraint, or as useful bits of history, instruction and advice. The vision recorded in D&C 138 is merely an interesting personal revelation, canonized, so that everyone can read it.
No one, not even the second seer, is authorized to alter Joseph’s revelations. He may only add to them, either with new sections, or by expanding the wording of one of Joseph’s revelations, as Joseph often did with his own revelations from one edition of the Doctrine and Covenants, to the next. This is because the revelations of God are a continuous thought, like a divine radio talk show. Even when the radio is turned off, the show transmits through the airwaves. A revelation is the turning on of the divine radio and a recording of the words perceived, and then the radio is turned off again. A seer can know of things past, present and future, meaning that a seer can turn on, or has the gift or capability of turning on, the divine radio, at any point of the program he desires, allowing a seer to add words to a revelation received years ago, even hundreds or thousands of years ago, or even to a revelation of the future. Time is of no consequence to a seer. Thus, the second seer is authorized to expand, even significantly expand, Joseph’s revelations, if desired (just as Joseph significantly expanded the Bible with the JST.) Or, he may simply add his own revelations to the canon as new sections. Or he may do both (for this is the prerogative of a seer.) But he will not alter a revelation of Joseph, so that doctrines, commandments and principles have been transfigured.
Impostors, on the other hand, will alter Joseph’s revelations, changing doctrines and principles and commandments. They will also add their own revelations to the canon and make them binding upon the saints. The Community of Christ, for example, has a D&C that is a lot larger than ours, for they have added many things above and beyond Joseph’s revelations. Their church is filled to the brim with impostors.
Our church, (the church of God), has less impostors than the splinter groups. Although the saints routinely sustain the First Presidency and 12 apostles as prophets, seers and revelators, these 15 men do not go around publishing revelations and trying to get the saints bound to them through canonization. They are content at their rock-star status and do not pretend to actually be the things they are sustained as being (prophets, seers and revelators.) It is true that many members complain about the lack of new revelations, prophecies, visions, angelic ministrations, etc., from these men, but it is better to have the canon devoid of anything but Joseph’s true revelations, than filled up with false ones. All saints, then, that read my words, ought to thank the Lord that we have only four sections and two declarations that do not proceed from the first or second seers, and also that our leaders do not pretend to receive that which they, in actuality, do not receive. If the day ever comes that the leadership starts to claim to have received revelations and commandments “from the Lord” and seeks to canonize them, and to bind the saints to them, that is the day the Spirit of God has departed from them.
Everyone is entitled to personal revelations, and we can share them with others, if we want. Personal revelation does not bind the saints, nor alter or add to the canon. The instant anyone in this church tries to bind anyone else in this church to their personal revelation, is the instant the Spirit withdraws from that person. A saint that has the spirit of prophecy and revelation can prophesy to his heart’s content, can call people to repentance, can reveal mysteries, etc., but he cannot bind the saints, nor even the sinners, to his revelations. The standard of judgment for the Gentiles will only be the revelations of Joseph Smith and the second seer.
Now, these are keys to discern impostors, for many dissenters have claimed to have angels minister to them, or to have even seen the Lord, or to have received many revelations and prophesied many things. “So what?” I say. All of that, all of it, is personal. The Lord will not send a man to preach to the latter-day saints anything other than the commandments of God that came through Joseph the seer.
Additionally, the Lord will not gather his saints out of the church until after the Gentiles have rejected the fullness of the gospel, as given by the second seer. So all splinter groups that have departed from the main body of the saints, claiming the church is apostate, are in error and need to repent and come back. The wheat will ripen among the tares only after the second seer shows up.
The revelations that the second seer receives, even his personal revelations, will be applicable to others. In other words, he’ll be receiving revelations and commandments that others must abide by, otherwise they commit the sin of “denying the revelations of God.” So, he is the sole exception to the general rule.
(I might also add, concerning personal revelations, that if you receive personal revelation that instructs you to alter or ignore God’s commandments in Joseph’s revelations, then that personal revelation proceeds from the evil one. And any personal revelations that add new principles which contradict Joseph’s revelations, are also devil-inspired.)
James Strang and other impostors
James Strang (of the Strangites) came closest, I suppose, to making the proper claims of being the second seer. He claimed Joseph appointed him prior to his death via a letter. He claimed to see angels, to translate the Book of the Law of the Lord, he practiced polygamy, founded a city (Voree), etc. But Strang died and never completed the restoration, thus his claims are and were bogus. Others have also made similar claims of using a Urim and Thummim, translating ancient records, seeing angles (or even the Lord), etc. Some claim to be the “one might and strong,” and some have published many new revelations. None of these men, though, have done what Joseph did, nor are they like him. They simply do not fit as the second seer.
Nevertheless, all of these false seers are instructive to the latter-day saints, for it shows that the devil believes in the very interpretation I am giving in this post, hence all the imitation second seers he sends. The devil does not know when the second seer will appear and so immediately after Joseph’s death, in the midst of all the confusion as to who should lead the church, he immediately brought forth a second seer impostor (James Strang), in case the Lord raised up His second seer to the church at once. Strang is instructive because he came with a claim of having been appointed by Joseph Smith. Had the second seer really appeared at that time, he would have claimed the same, and so the devil needed to put forth a counter-claim. Strang was rejected by the body and soon this “appointed by Joseph” principle was disbelieved until it was entirely forgotten about by the saints. Now, when someone brings it up, the saints merely think that Hyrum was the one appointed, and he died with Joseph, so they just don’t think about a “second seer” doctrine anymore, choosing to believe, instead, that their 15 general leaders are all seers. As a result, the devil has changed his strategy. He still brings forth, from time to time, impostor second seers, but they never claim appointment by Joseph Smith, for nobody believes in that anymore. When the real second seer shows up, he will make the proper claim of appointment by Joseph, which people will think is ridiculous and preposterous, therefore all impostor seers have ceased making such a claim, yet the devil still brings them forth, for he is still expecting the man’s appearance and needs false seers on the scene.
(Interestingly enough, because I am now publishing this post which re-teaches the saints about the requirement of appointment by Joseph of a second seer, if the saints believe my words, the devil will have to change his strategy once again, and return to another Strang-type impostor.)
The silliness must stop
Prophets will prophesy, revelators will receive revelations and seers will use a Urim and Thummim, therefore it is simply silly to “sustain” a man as a prophet, seer and revelator—who doesn’t manifest the spirit of prophecy and revelation, nor the gift of seership—simply because of his priesthood office and title. The First Presidency and 12 apostles have the gift of the Holy Ghost, as we all do as latter-day saints, and they are entitled to receive heavenly guidance in their office and calling, to perform their duties, like the rest of us. Let’s leave it at that. There is no reason to make them equal to Joseph or to the second seer. In fact, there is a very great danger to making them equal to these seers.
This scripture refers to Joseph, not to the office
And again, the duty of the President of the office of the High Priesthood is to preside over the whole church, and to be like unto Moses—behold, here is wisdom; yea, to be a seer, a revelator, a translator, and a prophet, having all the gifts of God which he bestows upon the head of the church. (D&C 107:91-92)
Joseph Smith was “the President of the office of the High Priesthood” at the time this revelation was received, and he was the head of the church. These verses do not mean that every man ordained to this office is a prophet, seer, revelator and translator, only that this was Joseph’s duty while occupying the office. The duty of all those that came after Joseph, who occupied this office, would be to teach Joseph’s revelations.
It is perfectly okay to say, “No.”
When the saints are asked, “Do you sustain so-and-so or such-and-such men as prophets, seers and revelators?” it is proper and reasonable and wise to say, “No,” or to raise the hand in opposition. No one but Joseph Smith and the second seer ought to be sustained by hand or voice as seers, revelators, translators or prophets to the church. It simply should not be done, ever. Doing so opens the door to a false seer or prophet or revelator corrupting the revelations and the church. This practice, then, must stop, but people are naturally timid and do not want to make waves, so I suppose it will continue unabated, at least until the second seer shows up and starts making waves.
Why seership is the greatest gift of God
Now Ammon said unto him:
I can assuredly tell thee, O king, of a man that can translate the records; for he has wherewith that he can look, and translate all records that are of ancient date; and it is a gift from God. And the things are called interpreters, and no man can look in them except he be commanded, lest he should look for that he ought not and he should perish. And whosoever is commanded to look in them, the same is called seer. And behold, the king of the people who are in the land of Zarahemla is the man that is commanded to do these things, and who has this high gift from God.
And the king said
that a seer is greater than a prophet.
And Ammon said
that a seer is a revelator and a prophet also; and a gift which is greater can no man have, except he should possess the power of God, which no man can; yet a man may have great power given him from God.
But a seer can know of things which are past, and also of things which are to come, and by them shall all things be revealed, or, rather, shall secret things be made manifest, and hidden things shall come to light, and things which are not known shall be made known by them, and also things shall be made known by them which otherwise could not be known.
Thus God has provided a means that man, through faith, might work mighty miracles; therefore he becometh a great benefit to his fellow beings.
And now, when Ammon had made an end of speaking these words the king rejoiced exceedingly, and gave thanks to God, saying:
Doubtless a great mystery is contained within these plates, and these interpreters were doubtless prepared for the purpose of unfolding all such mysteries to the children of men. (Mosiah 8:13-19)
Since all things can be revealed through a seer, including all the laws and mysteries of God—which laws and mysteries allow men to know how to be saved and exalted and how to obtain all the blessings that come from God—a seer is of greater benefit to his fellow man than a prophet, a miracle worker, a healer, or any other gift. Seership not only is of greater benefit to men than other gifts, but seership also has a wider sphere of influence, meaning it benefits more men, than any other gift. In other words, more men can be saved through the gift of seership than through any other gift. (This shows the general ignorance of the latter-day saints, for we emphasize the lesser gift of prophecy and de-emphasize the greater gift of seership, when referring to Joseph Smith, routinely referring to him as “the Prophet Joseph Smith” or simply as “the Prophet”—with a capital “P,” as if that makes it a greater gift—instead of taking Iddo the Seer as our pattern and calling Joseph, “Joseph Smith the Seer.” No one had any idea of what a seer was or what the difference between a seer and a prophet was, until Joseph came along, and it is apparent that the latter-day saints are still clueless, confused and befuddled, preferring to use the less mysterious and more known title of, “prophet,” than, “seer.”)
If a society is blessed with a seer, it means that God has favored them above all others. The way we show our gratitude towards God for His bestowal of this high gift is by providing for the seer, that he may dedicate all of his time to the work of obtaining the laws and mysteries of God, and by living by the revelations and commandments he receives.
Purge ye out the iniquity which is among you; sanctify yourselves before me; and if ye desire the glories of the kingdom, appoint ye my servant Joseph Smith, Jun., and uphold him before me by the prayer of faith.
And again, I say unto you,
that if ye desire the mysteries of the kingdom, provide for him food and raiment, and whatsoever thing he needeth to accomplish the work wherewith I have commanded him;
and if ye do it not he shall remain unto them that have received him, that I may reserve unto myself a pure people before me. (D&C 43:11-14)
Then the Lord would be pleased and would pour out his laws and mysteries to that people, and they would retain that seer with them, or would always have a seer among them, like the Nephites had through much of their history.
If, however, a society is not blessed with a seer, the way to obtain a seer is by living by the revelations and commandments given to the previous seer, with exactness, and then praying to God—in faith, believing He will hear and answer your prayers, nothing doubting—for a seer. (If the saints were to do this, the second seer would be sent or would appear among the people, lickety-split.)
It takes a seer
The double seer pattern is historical and is based upon patterns found in the Book of Mormon. Lehi was a seer and received new revelations and commandments for his people, which added to what a previous seer, Moses, had revealed. Nephi, his son, was another seer and he instituted a monarchy among the people, through new revelations. Jacob and the Jacobites were a genealogical line of prophets and we read that the Nephites had exceedingly many prophets among them, who merely preached repentance, but when Mosiah comes along, he is singled out because he’s not just a prophet, but a seer, and he ends up making a major change, moving the people off of the promised land, through many revelations that he received and by the power of the Lord’s arm (which is a type of how the people of the Lord will return to that land.) Benjamin, his son, is also of note, though the record doesn’t specify whether he’s a seer or not. But when Mosiah, Benjamin’s son, becomes king, he is spoken of in definite terms as a seer. And Mosiah the seer ends up ending the monarchy and establishing a government of judges, all through new revelations of God.
Seers, not prophets, are what God uses to make known new divine laws and principles. A prophet is used to call people to repentance, so that they comply with the laws of God revealed by His seers. Seers are sent to restore something old which was lost, or to build something new, which was never known. This knowledge of the difference between a seer and a prophet ought to cause the latter-day saints to relax and feel safe, for they need not be deceived by anyone making false claims, for no mere prophet can build upon the foundation Joseph laid.
God set up the two-seer pattern for the latter-day saints so that they could just focus their daily energies on fully complying with Joseph’s revelations. They need not worry about being led astray, neither by church leadership, nor by church dissenters, nor by outside influences. If the person or group, whether inside or outside of the church, was attempting to lead them contrary to the revelations, they could set him or them aside and ignore them, for no one is authorized to go contrary to the revelations, regardless of priesthood authority or office. Joseph’s revelations, then, are a safety feature of seers, given by God to His saints that they may dwell safely and in peace and not be deceived. The only exception is when God sends another seer to reveal more laws, but in the case of the latter-day saints, there will be only two seers sent, and one has already come.
A saint need only ask himself one question when dealing with the revelatory claims of another: “Is this the second seer?” If the answer to that question is an obvious, “no,” then get back to the business of keeping the commandments of God as found in Joseph’s revelations. If the answer to the question is an obvious, “yes,” then you had better start complying with the new seer’s revelations, too. The answer will always be obvious, for the second seer’s appearance will be dramatic and dynamic, just as Joseph’s calling and work was. The second seer’s work will “feel” like the restoration had been re-started from where it left off, as if the saints of today were suddenly thrust back in time to Joseph’s day. This is because, like I said, time is irrelevant to seers (and also to God), for they operate on God’s level or perspective, seeing things as He sees them. That’s why they are called seers. They don’t get a bird’s eye view, they get a God’s eye view. So the second seer will cause the saints to feel like they are in a time warp.
Again, it is the jot-and-tittle principle. Everything said about the law of Moses in the following scripture applies to the revelations given through Joseph Smith:
And there were no contentions, save it were a few that began to preach, endeavoring to prove by the scriptures that it was no more expedient to observe the law of Moses. Now in this thing they did err, having not understood the scriptures. But it came to pass that they soon became converted, and were convinced of the error which they were in, for it was made known unto them that the law was not yet fulfilled, and that it must be fulfilled in every whit; yea, the word came unto them that it must be fulfilled; yea, that one jot or tittle should not pass away till it should all be fulfilled; therefore in this same year were they brought to a knowledge of their error and did confess their faults. (3 Ne. 1:24-25)
So, when the Lord told the saints to build a city opposite of Nauvoo and to call it, Zarahemla, and the saints didn’t do it, it doesn’t mean that the Lord then said, “Oh, okay, well, then, just forget about it.” Guess what? The saints still need to build that city of Zarahemla! It is still His will that it be built and this jot or tittle found in D&C 125:3 must still be fulfilled. Or, when Joseph wrote of his First Vision,
He again forbade me to join with any of them; and many other things did he say unto me, which I cannot write at this time. (JS—H 1:20)
Guess what? Joseph never ended up writing the full vision, but it’s got to be written, or restored, and who will do it? The second seer will. Who will cause the saints to build Zarahemla? The second seer will. All these revelatory frays, unfinished accounts and projects, abbreviations and abridgments and failures need to be successfully completed and restored. And they will be, but the experience of taking up these previous labors and projects will feel unreal to the modern-day saints. So the appearance and work of the second seer will be unmistakable.
Come back to the fold
All those who have left the church of God (the LDS church) will be called back into her by the second seer, for building up the church (kingdom) of God has always been the work of seers. But there is no need to wait for his appearance. If you believe in Joseph’s revelations and desire to comply with them, then repent of your sins and return to the fold and comply with them. Again, comply with the revelations, not necessarily with the contrary dictates of church leadership. It may be that if the second seer shows up without the church being properly prepared for his advent, the shock might cause many members to reject him. If those—who have resigned their membership, or those who have simply stopped attending, or the splinter groups that have never been LDS, except for some distant ancestor—return to the fold, to the body of the saints, and start complying with the letter of the law, this may act as a preparation for the church, and many more saints may recognize him for what he is.