Recently I had a curious thought pop into my mind about how the Dispensation of the Fulness of Times (DFT) is actually counted. Basically, the thought was that the DFT began to be ushered in
Neither can they nor we be made perfect without those who have died in the gospel also; for it is necessary in the ushering in of the dispensation of the fulness of times, which dispensation is now beginning to usher in, that a whole and complete and perfect union, and welding together of dispensations, and keys, and powers, and glories should take place, and be revealed from the days of Adam even to the present time. And not only this, but those things which never have been revealed from the foundation of the world, but have been kept hid from the wise and prudent, shall be revealed unto babes and sucklings in this, the dispensation of the fulness of times. (D&C 128:18)
with Joseph Smith’s First Vision and was then put on hold upon his death, but that it would be resumed with the appearance of the fully empowered Josephite. In the interim, the Dispensation of the Last Days and Last Times would be in force, which is the dispensation we are in right now.
For unto you, the Twelve, and those, the First Presidency, who are appointed with you to be your counselors and your leaders, is the power of this priesthood given, for the last days and for the last time, in the which is the dispensation of the fulness of times, which power you hold, in connection with all those who have received a dispensation at any time from the beginning of the creation; for verily I say unto you, the keys of the dispensation, which ye have received, have come down from the fathers, and last of all, being sent down from heaven unto you. (D&C 112:30-32)
Unto whom I have committed the keys of my kingdom, and a dispensation of the gospel for the last times; and for the fulness of times, in the which I will gather together in one all things, both which are in heaven, and which are on earth; (D&C 27:13)
So this got me wondering how long Joseph Smith’s ministry actually lasted. In JS—H 1:3, Joseph Smith writes of his birthday:
I was born in the year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred and five, on the twenty-third day of December…
and D&C 135:1,6 says this about his death day:
…we announce the martyrdom of Joseph Smith the Prophet, and Hyrum Smith the Patriarch. They were shot in Carthage jail, on the 27th of June, 1844…
…Joseph Smith was thirty-eight in December, 1843…
Joseph Smith wrote this (in JS—H 1:14) about when his First Vision took place:
It was on the morning of a beautiful, clear day, early in the spring of eighteen hundred and twenty.
So, he was born on 23 December, 1805, and he was a little more than 14 years old “early in the spring of” 1820. He died on 27 June, 1844, at the age of about 38 and a half. So, the visions and revelations that Joseph Smith received lasted a little more than 24 years.
Then I remembered D&C 130:14-17:
I was once praying very earnestly to know the time of the coming of the Son of Man, when I heard a voice repeat the following:
Joseph, my son, if thou livest until thou art eighty-five years old, thou shalt see the face of the Son of Man; therefore let this suffice, and trouble me no more on this matter.
I was left thus, without being able to decide whether this coming referred to the beginning of the millennium or to some previous appearing, or whether I should die and thus see his face. I believe the coming of the Son of Man will not be any sooner than that time.
and I wondered whether the answer that Joseph received was, in fact, the answer to his inquiry. (Notice that Joseph had three options presented to him as to the meaning of this revelation and he chose to interpret it as option number one: the Second Coming.) In other words, had Joseph not died on 27 June, 1844, the Millennium would have begun when he was 85 years old, because of the way the DFT is counted.
Now, I guess I ought to say this, by way of explanation. My understanding is that Joseph Smith had a choice: avoid death and continue on with the restoration, with all the hindering going on, or take a rest and allow his enemies to kill him, and thus let the second seer (Joseph-Nephi) to finish the work, which seer, because of the working of miracles, etc., would not be hindered like Joseph was. Joseph Smith chose, of course, to rest from his labors and to let the next guy finish the restoration. He would still receive all the honor coming to him as the one who single-handedly laid the foundation, despite all the opposition and hindrance, without the working of miracles or any of the other useful gifts the next guy would have.
Okay, so, assuming that 85 years is the actual number of years, and given that Joseph died at age 38 and 1/2, the remaining years would be 85 minus 38.5, which is 46 and 1/2 years. The counting, then, of the DFT prior to the Second Coming, would be the 24 years of Joseph Smith’s ministry (the foundation of the restoration of all things) plus the remaining 46 and 1/2 years (the finishing of the restoration of all things), making 70 and 1/2 years total. The counting of the 46 and 1/2 years would resume with the advent of the fully empowered Josephite. In other words, once the Josephite makes his appearance, we can expect the Second Coming to happen about 46 and 1/2 years later.
Then I got to thinking about the sixth thousand years, given that there are now less than 17 years left of it (as of 6 April, 2016.) In order for the prophecies to be fulfilled, the Josephite must show up at some point during the next 17 years. He cannot show up in the seventh thousand years. That would be too late. So, whenever he appears, we can count from that point on to the end of the sixth thousand years, and then whatever amount is left of the 46 and 1/2 years must be counted as occurring during the beginning of the seventh thousand years.
Again, when I looked at the total number of years (70 and 1/2), I thought, “That’s pretty close to 70,” seventy being a number used often in end time and other prophecy.
One last thing, there is also the curious manifested belief I received on 2 January 2009, about Joseph Smith being back in the flesh. (See this comment.) I still don’t have any confirmation on that. (In other words, I don’t know if it is true or not.) But if it turns out to be true, or if it is assumed to be true, I wondered if the DFT should be counted as resumed from that date? I would have said, “Yes,” had the proclamation been issued, but it never was. And there have been no new revelations or anything, from any quarter, since that date (not counting my own revelations, of course, which are received from time to time, but which only apply to myself.) So, based upon this dearth of heavenly manifestations, I have to say, “No.” So, the DFT will be resumed with the Josephite and his revelations, I suppose, and not merely with the return of Joseph Smith from the land of the dead. Given that Joseph Smith must appear to the Josephite and appoint him as the next seer, I suppose that Joseph-Nephi will then turn around and send Joseph Smith to issue his proclamation. In other words, the Josephite will be the man in charge, and so the proclamation will be issued on his order. The return of Joseph Smith in the flesh may still have occurred on or by 2 Jan. 2009, but all is still waiting until the Josephite becomes strong.
Anyway, none of this means anything. These were just curious thoughts that I wanted to record on this blog and also to see where they lead. In other words, I have received no revelations or manifestations confirming any of this stuff.