The “dispensational counting” thought

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.

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  1. Okay, so I guess I’ll flesh out the post a bit…

    70 years of Restoration

    The Dispensation of the Fulness of Times (DFT) encompasses the Restoration of All Things and the great Millennium. The Restoration is to be a period of 70 years that precede the Millennium. Two Eliases were to be sent to perform the work of restoration, as seers, preparing the way before the Lord through restoration. The two Elias seers were to be patterned after Elijah and Elisha, or after John the Baptism and Jesus Christ, in that the second one was to be more powerful than the first one. (Elisha had a double portion of the spirit given to Elijah; John the Baptist did no miracle, whereas Jesus performed lots of miracles.)

    The 70 years comprise the time in which the two Elias seers work, and not the time in which they are on the earth. Thus, the Restoration didn’t begin on the date of Joseph Smith’s birth (23 Dec., 1805) but when he first started operating as a restoring seer (beginning of spring, 1820.) Once Joseph Smith stopped operating as a restoring seer (upon his death on 27 June 1844), the Restoration stopped, and will remain stopped until the second seer begins operating as a restoring seer (whenever that happens.) At that point, the counting will continue, until the full 70 years have been reached. At the 70 year point, the Restoration will be complete (i.e., there will be nothing left to restore) and Jesus will return and the Millennium will officially begin.

    85 years, not 84

    The Lord told Joseph Smith, “if thou livest until thou art eighty-five years old, thou shalt see the face of the Son of Man,” because the 70 year period of Restoration didn’t begin with Joseph Smith’s birth, but with his First Vision. Had Joseph Smith not died, but had he lived to age 85, continuing to work on (and then finish) the Restoration, 70 years would have ended in the beginning of the spring of 1890. Joseph would have celebrated his 85th birthday on 23 December 1890 and his 84th birthday on 23 December 1889. By Joseph Smith’s 85th birthday, he would have seen “the face of the Son of Man” coming earlier in the year during the spring time. But at his 84th birthday, he would not have seen the Lord, because that coming would still be three or four months away. So, the number 85 given by the Lord is specific, to indicate that there are, or will be, 70 years of the Restoration, beginning with Joseph Smith’s First Vision.

    Moroni’s visit

    Moroni’s words to Joseph Smith makes a little more sense if we view the Restoration in this way, breaking it up into two parts: Part One being from Mar-Apr of 1820 to 27 June 1844 (a period of 24 years and a few months); and Part Two being from the beginning of the ministry of Joseph-Nephi to the remaining time of the 70 years (45 years and about 9 or 10 months.) The 70 years is, essentially, a generation.

    So, when Moroni started quoting Malachi and Joel and Acts and Isaiah and all the other scriptures, all of which scriptural quotations deal with the time of the ministry of Joseph-Nephi and the beginning of the Millennium, he says that these prophecies are going to soon be fulfilled:

    In addition to these, he quoted the eleventh chapter of Isaiah, saying that it was about to be fulfilled. He quoted also the third chapter of Acts, twenty-second and twenty-third verses, precisely as they stand in our New Testament. He said that that prophet was Christ; but the day had not yet come when “they who would not hear his voice should be cut off from among the people,” but soon would come.

    He also quoted the second chapter of Joel, from the twenty-eighth verse to the last. He also said that this was not yet fulfilled, but was soon to be. And he further stated that the fulness of the Gentiles was soon to come in.

    He commenced, and again related the very same things which he had done at his first visit, without the least variation; which having done, he informed me of great judgments which were coming upon the earth, with great desolations by famine, sword, and pestilence; and that these grievous judgments would come on the earth in this generation. (JS-H 1:40, 41, 45)

    So, “this generation” that Moroni spoke of could be the 70 year period of time of the Restoration of All Things.

  2. “of that day, and hour, no one knoweth”

    It is interesting that Joseph Smith did not give the precise date in which the First Vision took place, whereas he did give the dates of Moroni’s visits. Had Joseph given the date, we might then be able to calculate the date that the Son of Man would come in the clouds of glory, by simply adding 70 years to it, with adjustment for the interim between the ministries of Joseph Smith and Joseph-Nephi. As a result, no one will know the day, until the day comes, nor the hour, until the hour comes. But, we should be able to calculate the year and the season, and perhaps even the month and week…

    False restoration movements

    I’ve already written about false restoration movements on this blog, but if this “dispensational counting” thought proves to be correct, then it gives yet another reason why we should be wary of imposters. Although the saints are free to conform their lives to the revelations and commandments that Joseph Smith received, as they are written, they are not free to innovate, or to add to them, or to remove from them, under the guise of “continuing” the Restoration. Joseph-Nephi will be the only one authorized to resume the Restoration and he will be out among the people performing a work of miracles, so there need not be any reason to be deceived by impostors. To my knowledge, nobody has come forth professing to be Joseph-Nephi and claiming to work miracles, yet. But there have been people claiming to be the “One Mighty and Strong,” or to be messengers of the Lord delivering this or that message to the people, etc., who have given new church practices which do not conform to the revelations of Joseph Smith. The Lord is not going to send any prophet among His people to work a reformation of Joseph’s revelations or “to continue” the Restoration. So nobody ought to be so anxious to get the Restoration re-started and to “establish Zion” that they are willing to introduce false practices, or to follow those who introduce false practices, to the saints.

  3. Hey anarchist,

    Why do you postulate Joseph’s return having maybe occurred in 2009? Do you have a post somewhere in regards to that?

  4. I received a manifested belief on January 2nd, 2009. It was a really strange experience, as I have never had the Holy Ghost manifest a belief before. So, as this wasn’t knowledge communicated to me, to this very day I can’t say that I know that Joseph Smith, Jun., is back in the flesh. But I believe that he is, solely due to that manifestation I received.

  5. As there are less than 17 years left of the sixth thousand years, and as the six seals must be opened during that time, it seems to me that the bulk of restoration must take place in this very short period, and the feeling I’m getting now is that this coming seer is going to be working at a blistering speed to get everything restored before the Lord comes, and specifically, to get these six revelations of the seals in place on earth. The whole thing looks to me to be a big, fat joke to the Lord, as if He is setting up a bunch of impossible scenarios just to show that He can accomplish everything with this one seer, even though time is rapidly running out. In other words, it appears to me to be made frantic on purpose, to give the seer something to do with all that dang faith he’s gonna get. Notice this scripture:

    19 Then came the disciples to Jesus apart, and said, Why could not we cast him out?

    20 And Jesus said unto them, Because of your unbelief: for verily I say unto you, If ye have faith as a grain of mustard seed, ye shall say unto this mountain, Remove hence to yonder place; and it shall remove; and nothing shall be impossible unto you.
    (Matt. 17)

    Joseph-Nephi will have a whole lot more faith than a grain of mustard seed, so why the need for so much faith if you can do everything with a grain? So, something strange is going to happen with this guy and his task needs to be enormous to match the faith he’s gonna get, I suppose.

  6. I found this quotation on the Upward Thought blog today:

    “The Savior said when these tribulations should take place, it should be committed to a man who should be a witness over the whole world: the keys of knowledge, power and revelations should be revealed to a witness who should hold the testimony of the world…..All testimony is that the Lord in the last days would commit the keys of the Priesthood to a witness over all people. Has the Gospel of the kingdom commenced in the last days? And will God take it from the man until He takes him Himself? I have read it precisely as the words flowed from the lips of Jesus Christ John the Revelator saw an angel flying through the midst of heaven, having the everlasting Gospel to preach unto them that dwell on the earth. The scripture is ready to be fulfilled when great wars, famines, pestilence, great distress, judgments, &c., are ready to be poured out on the inhabitants of the earth. John saw the angel having the holy Priesthood, who should preach the everlasting Gospel to all nations God had an angel—a special messenger—ordained and prepared for that purpose in the last days. Woe, woe be to that man or set of men who life up their hands against God and His witness in these last days: for they shall deceive almost the very chosen ones!” (TPJS 364)

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