The five stages of the church


There are five church stages

The church of Jesus Christ will go through five distinct stages prior to the Second Coming of Christ.

The first two stages happen during a period which I call, the times of types and shadows. During this period, the last days prophecies are fulfilled solely in shadow forms, as types, so that they never fulfill literally and completely, nor does their chronology ever perfectly match the chronology set out in the scriptures. To give an example of a shadow fulfillment, consider the prophecies of Nephi found in 1 Nephi chapters 13 and 14. The prophetic order is:

  • The book of the Lamb of God appears and goes from the Jews to the Gentiles in purity
  • A great and abominable church (GAAC) is afterward formed
  • The GAAC alters the book of the Lamb of God and then sends it out to all the nations of the world
  • The GAAC also slays the saints of God and tortures them and binds them down into captivity
  • The saints of God go out of captivity, to the promised land, carrying the altered book of the Lamb of God
  • Many Gentile churches stumble because of the altered book of the Lamb of God
  • New records are brought forth, starting with the complete and functionally translated Book of Mormon

Now that’s a play-by-play of some of the end time prophecies as they are going to be literally fulfilled, and that is the actual prophetic order given in the scriptures. What happened in the shadow? This:

  • The primitive church apostles are killed and the church apostatizes—the saints of God cease to exist
  • The Great Apostasy ensues
  • The scriptures are collected and the ones considered authentic and binding are compiled into a single book, called The Bible
  • One of the many Christian churches punishes heretics (not saints, for they no longer exist) in harsh ways
  • Joseph Smith brings forth an incomplete and word-for-word translation of the Book of Mormon, but the other records (plates of brass, etc.) are not brought forth

In the shadow, there is no book of the Lamb of God present on the scene; however, there is a type of the altered version of the book of the Lamb of God, which is called the Bible. In the shadow, there is no great and abominable church corrupting the book of the Lamb of God and torturing and killing saints; however, there is a type of the GAAC which tortures and kills heretics to their church. In the shadow, the Book of Mormon isn’t brought forth in its entirety, nor translated functionally and powerfully; however, a part of it is brought forth and translated word-for-word. And so on.

The third stage is a reset or correction stage, a sort of preparatory stage which sets everything back in order and lays the foundation for the literal fulfillment of all the prophecies, so that all shadows and types cease at this point. Finally, in the last two stages all end time prophecies will be fulfilled every whit, literally and in their exact scriptural order. Okay, so let’s get into the details of each stage.

Stage #1: The restored church

The church was restored back to the earth on 6 April 1830. Lots of heavenly laws were revealed and initiated during the administration of Joseph Smith, such as the law of consecration, the principle of united firms (united orders), plural marriage, the law of tithing, church organization, priesthood offices and duties, two types of temples (Kirtland and Nauvoo) and so on. Problems with living all these principles and laws began almost immediately, but on November 27, 1832, Joseph Smith received a prophecy by revelation in which he learned that “the house of God” would eventually be set in order:

Stage #2: The out of order church

And it shall come to pass that I, the Lord God, will send one mighty and strong, holding the scepter of power in his hand, clothed with light for a covering, whose mouth shall utter words, eternal words; while his bowels shall be a fountain of truth, to set in order the house of God, and to arrange by lot the inheritances of the saints whose names are found, and the names of their fathers, and of their children, enrolled in the book of the law of God; while that man, who was called of God and appointed, that putteth forth his hand to steady the ark of God, shall fall by the shaft of death, like as a tree that is smitten by the vivid shaft of lightning. (D&C 85:7-8)

Per this scripture, at some point the Father (who is the Lord God) will send the Josephite (who is the one mighty and strong) to set the house of God in order. The term “house of God” specifically refers to the temple (and thus church) priesthood records, but it can also refer in general to all the practices and beliefs and policies and organization, etc., of the church, so that after they are set in order they perfectly match the laws and revelations given in the scriptures. In other words, the term “house of God” can be taken to mean the “household of God,” which is composed of the saints themselves. This latter meaning is how Peter used the term:

For the time is come that judgment must begin at the house of God: and if it first begin at us, what shall the end be of them that obey not the gospel of God? (1 Peter 4:17)

For the purposes of this post, then, I will be using the general meaning of “house of God.”

Now, the house of God cannot be set in order unless it is first out of order, therefore the Doctrine and Covenants section 87 prophecy presupposes that that first condition must exist. Once the church is out of order, then at some point the Josephite restorer will show up and correct everything, top to bottom, using the power of God.

Getting out of order

The church began to get out of order during the time of Joseph Smith. Here are some examples of things that got out of order nearly from the get-go:

  • The law of consecration. Its practice was abandoned, although the saints who go to the temple still covenant to keep it.
  • The law of tithing. The initial practice of beginning tithing by consecrating one’s surplus was abandoned, and its original practice of paying $6 for every $1000 of net worth was abandoned and replaced with the current practice of one tenth of one’s gross income.
  • United Firms (United Orders.) This practice was altogether abandoned.
  • Plural marriage. The beginning of this practice was resisted by Joseph Smith from the time it was revealed to him (around 1831.) When he finally began practicing, after being threatened with destruction by an angel with drawn sword, it was limited to a select number of brethren among the leadership, instead of applied across the board to all members. Later the practice was altogether abandoned, but the sealing of multiple spouse has been continued upon the deaths of the spouses.
  • The Word of Wisdom. Originally given without constraint and it allowed the membership to drink wine and beer. Later this was altered to prohibit consumption of all alcoholic beverages and the membership was constrained to follow it, otherwise be barred from entering the temple.
  • Kirtland type of temples. The first temple to be built was of the Kirtland type. The saints had a huge outpouring of the Spirit at its dedication, and then many of them apostatized soon afterward. For the second temple, instead of building another Kirtland type of temple at Nauvoo, Joseph Smith introduced a new type of temple (the Nauvoo type), which has been used as the pattern for all subsequent temples ever since. The Kirtland type of temple is no longer existent.
  • The quorum of the Twelve apostles as a missionary force. The original quorum operated as a missionary force to the world. It now operates as a regulatory quorum to the church.
  • The high councils to settle all difficult matters between members. They now settle only matters of spiritual concerns.
  • Preaching without purse and scrip. This practice has been abandoned. In its place the church provides for the missionaries.
  • No priesthood ban. Originally there was no priesthood ban during the times of Joseph Smith, given that a black man, Elijah Abel, had been ordained to the priesthood. Later this policy was changed and the ban was implemented, and various doctrinal theories were invented to explain the ban. (In 1978 the entire First Presidency and Quorum of the Twelve all received a revelation for lifting the ban, and the policy was subsequently changed back to what it was previously. This technically was not a “steadying of the ark” because it was merely a church policy being altered. In other words, the Brethren were fully in their rights to prohibit giving the priesthood to whomever they wanted, but it still took 150 years and a revelation received simultaneously by all 15 men to get them to make the alteration. Prior to that, they all feared to sin by altering the policy.)
  • Gathering to the land of Zion. This was abandoned and the saints were told to gather to the stakes found in their own lands.
  • The building of the city of Zion. Abandoned.
  • The building of stake cities. Abandoned.
  • The Melchizedek Priesthood administering the sacrament when present. This practice was abandoned and now the Aaronic Priesthood administers the sacrament, even when an elder is present.
  • The use of wine in the sacrament. Abandoned. We now use water.
  • The ordination of men to the Aaronic Priesthood. Abandoned. Now pre-teens and teenagers are ordained to the Aaronic Priesthood.
  • The various Melchizedek Priesthood quorums doing local preaching, even when they are married. Abandoned. Now unmarried 18 and 19 year old teen-aged elders go on two year missions, never again to go on a mission until they can go as a couple missionary when they are older.
  • And so on and so forth.

Each abandoned or altered practice of the church that no longer exactly matches the scriptures and laws and revelations we have in the church covenants is yet another thing that is out of order. Nevertheless, inasmuch as the works of God continue, none of this indicates a state of apostasy, but merely a disordered state.

The standing orders of the Brethren

During the time period in which the church is out of order (which is prior to the arrival of the Josephite), the Brethren, who are the leaders of the Lord’s church, have the role of keeping the works of the Lord ongoing, so that the spiritual ark of God keeps moving in a forward direction. The Brethren, then, are guided by the following scripture:

And again, verily thus saith the Lord:

Let the work of my temple, and all the works which I have appointed unto you, be continued on and not cease; and let your diligence, and your perseverance, and patience, and your works be redoubled, and you shall in nowise lose your reward,

saith the Lord of Hosts. (D&C 127:4)

These works are likened to an ark on the backs of oxen:

And when they came to Nachon’s threshingfloor, Uzzah put forth his hand to the ark of God, and took hold of it; for the oxen shook it. And the anger of the LORD was kindled against Uzzah; and God smote him there for his error; and there he died by the ark of God. (2 Samuel 6:6-7)

And when they came unto the threshingfloor of Chidon, Uzza put forth his hand to hold the ark; for the oxen stumbled. And the anger of the LORD was kindled against Uzza, and he smote him, because he put his hand to the ark: and there he died before God. (1 Chronicles 13:9-10)

The ark of God (the tabernacle of testimony) could only be handled by certain people: the Levites. Anyone else who came near to it or touched it had to be put to death:

For the LORD had spoken unto Moses, saying,

Only thou shalt not number the tribe of Levi, neither take the sum of them among the children of Israel: but thou shalt appoint the Levites over the tabernacle of testimony, and over all the vessels thereof, and over all things that belong to it: they shall bear the tabernacle, and all the vessels thereof; and they shall minister unto it, and shall encamp round about the tabernacle. And when the tabernacle setteth forward, the Levites shall take it down: and when the tabernacle is to be pitched, the Levites shall set it up: and the stranger that cometh nigh shall be put to death. (Numbers 1:48-51)

In like manner, the latter day spiritual ark of God could only be taken down and set up by certain people, namely, the two seers (Joseph Smith and Joseph-Nephi), and of the two seers, only one of them had authority and power to set it back in order (Joseph-Nephi.) All the other leadership in the church, as well as the membership, were likened unto the oxen, the leadership themselves being the lead oxen, who had nothing more to do than bearing the ark of God on their backs, moving it forward no matter what circumstance might come their way, and they were to use the spirit of expediency (which is the Holy Ghost) to accomplish that singular task.

Now, it doesn’t matter if the ark sways to the right or to the left upon their backs (thus getting out of order), as long as it is moving forward, that is all that God requires of the leadership of the church.

The Brethren, then, are not to concern themselves with how the ark is positioned upon their backs, whether it is exactly centered or diagonal or facing the wrong direction or leaning to one side. They are not to make any attempt at putting the ark centered perfectly back on the back of the oxen, for the ark is holy like God is holy, being a representation of His holiness, and thus cannot be touched by just any person, not even a person with priesthood keys. It takes a special kind of person, possessing the power of God, to approach and touch the ark, and to set it precisely back in order upon the backs of the oxen.

God the Father does not want the Brethren to die, therefore in order to protect them, so that they do not attempt to set the ark in order and perish, the Father expressly warns them of the destruction that will be theirs should they make the attempt:

And it shall come to pass that I, the Lord God, will send one mighty and strong, holding the scepter of power in his hand, clothed with light for a covering, whose mouth shall utter words, eternal words; while his bowels shall be a fountain of truth, to set in order the house of God, and to arrange by lot the inheritances of the saints whose names are found, and the names of their fathers, and of their children, enrolled in the book of the law of God; while that man, who was called of God and appointed, that putteth forth his hand to steady the ark of God, shall fall by the shaft of death, like as a tree that is smitten by the vivid shaft of lightning. (D&C 85:7-8)

Thus, the leadership is expressly prohibited from steadying the ark.

Now, the Brethren understand this scriptural warning. They understand that the warning is specifically addressed to them. And so they make no attempt, whatsoever, to re-center the ark. No matter how different the practices of the church become from the actual written laws of God, they will make no move, whatsoever, to bring the ark back into conformity with the scriptures. They are deathly afraid of this warning, and for good reason.

(This is why it took all 15 Brethren simultaneously receiving the same revelation for the priesthood ban to be rolled back. It was a “We all got the same revelation, right?” moment that allowed them to venture forth and alter the policy without fear of getting struck down by God. These men feared for their lives, probably because of all the doctrinal theories that had been put forth to explain the ban and show why it would be in place practically forever, but in that moment of revelation, they were assured by the Holy Ghost that they wouldn’t be killed, and could safely alter the policy.)

Not even Joseph Smith could do it

If you look at the practices of Joseph Smith, while he was still alive, he never attempted to set the house of God in order after it had gotten itself out of order. Instead, he introduced new principles, which would keep the work moving forward. For example, when the law of consecration was introduced, and the saints failed to live it, he was inspired to introduce instead the law of tithing. Joseph’s duty was as a pure seer, restoring and installing as much of Elias’s shadow as he could, but when things went wrong, like the apostasy at the Kirtland temple, he would just restore yet another thing and move on to build yet another temple (Nauvoo), of a different type. He never attempted to recover things, to set things back in order. To do that job required a gift he didn’t have: the working of miracles.

Moving the ark of God back to its original position is like moving God Himself. It simply cannot be done. God is immovable, and His ark is likewise immovable. God allows it to move forward on the backs of the oxen, but it cannot be re-positioned. Whatever position it settles into, is the position it will remain in, until it settles into another position, by the continual shifting and stumbling of the oxen. It settles into these various positions according to the will of God, and nobody can bend God’s will. To even attempt to re-position it is an affront to God and God’s will.

However, the working of miracles can do the impossible, and God allows miracles to re-position the ark, but it requires more faith than anyone has, because it is like moving God Himself. And nobody can move God, right? Well, almost nobody.

The miracle-working seer known as the Josephite will be a person capable of walking right up the Father, and have dealings directly with Him (without the intermediary of Christ), and this will greatly impress the Father:

And their nobles shall be of themselves, and their governor shall proceed from the midst of them; and I will cause him to draw near, and he shall approach unto me: for who is this that engaged his heart to approach unto me?

saith the LORD. (Jeremiah 30:21)

The Father is impressed because the Josephite doesn’t know what impossible is. In other words, to this guy there is no such thing as impossible. His faith is so vastly great that the gift of the working of miracles can move even God Himself, and therefore, moving God’s ark is no sweat off his back. And he doesn’t wither and die before the Father, nor require hours of recuperation like Moses:

And the presence of God withdrew from Moses, that his glory was not upon Moses; and Moses was left unto himself. And as he was left unto himself, he fell unto the earth.

And it came to pass that it was for the space of many hours before Moses did again receive his natural strength like unto man; and he said unto himself:

Now, for this cause I know that man is nothing, which thing I never had supposed. But now mine own eyes have beheld God; but not my natural, but my spiritual eyes, for my natural eyes could not have beheld; for I should have withered and died in his presence; but his glory was upon me; and I beheld his face, for I was transfigured before him.

And it came to pass that when Moses had said these words, behold, Satan came tempting him, saying:

Moses, son of man, worship me.

And it came to pass that Moses looked upon Satan and said:

Who art thou? For behold, I am a son of God, in the similitude of his Only Begotten; and where is thy glory, that I should worship thee? For behold, I could not look upon God, except his glory should come upon me, and I were transfigured before him. But I can look upon thee in the natural man. Is it not so, surely? (Moses 1:9-14)

Therefore only the Josephite can make the correction to the ark without perishing.

In order, then out of order, then back in order

To recap: the sequence of Elias’s shadow (Mormonism) is this: first it arrives on earth and Joseph Smith (the first seer) starts setting everything in order. But soon things start to get out of order. After Joseph Smith dies, they get ever more out of order with the passage of time, but the Brethren keep the ark moving forward, nonetheless. Then the Josephite (the second seer) is born and is later put into a spiritual box by the Father. Later he comes out of his box fully empowered and sets in order the house of God.

A natural seer, multiple office seers, then back to a natural seer

Again, Elias’s shadow starts out with a natural seer (Joseph Smith), who possessed the gift of seership independent of any priesthood office. This allowed him to use all the gifts associated with the gift of seership, including the gift of the word of wisdom, the gift of the word of knowledge and the gift to prophesy, even when there wasn’t any church of God established on the earth. Joseph Smith’s gifts weren’t tied to any priesthood office. They were merely natural gifts given of God.

Then the church of Christ was established and Elias’s shadow contained office prophets, office revelators and office seers. These were men called to various offices in the church who, in their respective offices, had access to the spirit of prophecy and the spirit of revelation. They could see visions, too, making them seers according to that definition. But outside of those offices, they no longer had these gifts. The gifts were tied to the office. Each man that entered the office got a bestowal of the gifts needed for that particular office, and made use of the modes of the gifts that likewise fit that particular office.

To put it another way, a natural prophet is a prophet regardless whether he is sustained as such or not, whereas an office prophet is a sustained prophet, only being a prophet as long as the church sustains him as such. Thus, Joseph Smith initiated the practice of sustaining stake leaders as “prophets, seers and revelators” in his day, and then later the Brethren adopted that practice and applied it to the 15 apostles, so that by sustaining their leaders in this manner, the Lord would pour out the office gifts that were tied to those offices. This reinforcing act would also give confidence both to the membership and to the Brethren, everyone remaining confident that the Lord would bestow the needed gifts.

But then the Josephite would be born, and this man would be, like Joseph Smith before him, a natural seer, except on steroids, having all the best spiritual gifts of God, as well as all the physical gifts of God (such as the Urim and Thummim.) Once out of his box, the fully empowered Josephite would then go to the church leadership, just as Moses went to the elders of Israel when he was called:

And Moses and Aaron went and gathered together all the elders of the children of Israel: and Aaron spake all the words which the Lord had spoken unto Moses, and did the signs in the sight of the people. And the people believed: and when they heard that the Lord had visited the children of Israel, and that he had looked upon their affliction, then they bowed their heads and worshipped. (Exodus 4:29-31)

At that point, the church would again have a natural prophet, seer, revelator and translator guiding it, as well as multiple office prophets, seers and revelators.

“Out of order” is not “apostate”

Apostates like to use the “set in order” scripture of D&C 85:7 in order to show that the church was always destined to one day be apostate. They point to all the discrepancies found between the current practices of the church and the actual text of the Doctrine and Covenants, which prove that the church is currently (and has been for some time) out of order. Afterward, they conflate this state of being out of order with a state of apostasy.

Where the apostates go wrong in their thinking is that if the church were apostate, and not merely out of order, the scripture wouldn’t call it “the house of God.” The fact that the house is still claimed by God as His own, indicates that it is not apostate, but merely out of order. The two terms are not synonymous in the eyes of God. If the church were, in fact, apostate, the Josephite wouldn’t be sent to set it in order, but to destroy it.

All apostates, then, who hold to this false idea that the current state of the church indicates that the church is in a state of apostasy, are in error. The scriptures do speak of an apostasy, but that prophesied apostasy does not consist of the out of order state of the church.

Stage #3: The set in order church

When the Josephite goes to the church leadership, he will demonstrate the power of God to the Brethren, just as Moses did with the elders of Israel, showing them signs and wonders, and he will humble them to the very dust and begin correcting them. They will then give him all their keys. He will then tell them to “go tell the saints” all the things they have seen and heard and the leadership will stand up before the saints and apologize for all their errors and teach them of the corrections they have received from him.

This setting in order will consist, at the very least, of:

  • Practicing the law of consecration and stewardship of properties
  • The proper application of the law of tithing
  • Establishment of United Firms (United Orders)
  • Practicing plural marriage
  • The proper application of the Word of Wisdom
  • The saints gathered to Independence, Missouri
  • The saints receiving their inheritances by consecration in Independence, Missouri
  • Using wine in the sacrament
  • Twelve apostles as missionaries
  • Quorums of the seventies as missionaries
  • Establishment of high council at Zion

It will not consist of:

  • The building of the city of Zion (the New Jerusalem)
  • The coming forth of the complete and functional translation of the Book of Mormon
  • The coming forth of the plates of brass
  • The coming forth of the large plates of Nephi
  • The coming forth of the plates of Ether
  • The coming forth of the sealed portion of the plates of Mormon

The Josephite will establish all the things that Joseph Smith attempted but failed to establish among the saints, except that the Josephite will succeed at everything. This “setting in order” will, essentially, reset the restoration, so that it is redone properly, the kingdom of God seed being replanted properly among the saints, so that it begins to grow and thrive and take root. Nevertheless, not everything Joseph Smith did will be accomplished during the “setting in order” phase, because what Joseph Smith did was a mere shadow (and shadows never follow the proper prophetic order of things), whereas the Josephite will perform this work in perfect order, according to God’s infinite wisdom:

Give ye ear, and hear my voice; hearken, and hear my speech. Doth the plowman plow all day to sow? doth he open and break the clods of his ground? When he hath made plain the face thereof, doth he not cast abroad the fitches, and scatter the cummin, and cast in the principal wheat and the appointed barley and the rie in their place? For his God doth instruct him to discretion, and doth teach him. For the fitches are not threshed with a threshing instrument, neither is a cart wheel turned about upon the cummin; but the fitches are beaten out with a staff, and the cummin with a rod. Bread corn is bruised; because he will not ever be threshing it, nor break it with the wheel of his cart, nor bruise it with his horsemen. This also cometh forth from the LORD of hosts, which is wonderful in counsel, and excellent in working. (Isaiah 28:23-29)

So the LORD will use His staff/rod (the Josephite) to re-do what Joseph did, not in the shadow order but in the correct literal order, so that this time everything sown in the hearts of the saints will fully germinate. All the abandoned practices, once practiced again under the ideal conditions the Josephite will establish, will rapidly nourish and germinate and transform whatever seeds are found there into their mature forms, be they seeds of wheat or seeds of tares.

Because the laws of the land prohibit many of these practices, the Josephite’s correction will also apply to the United States of America, in which he will restore us back to 1776 conditions, when we operated under the Articles of Confederation, by installing a new set of perfected articles of confederation as the law of the land. This new, revealed and perfected law will allow all church doctrines, laws and principles to be practiced.

He will also reset conditions back to where they were at during the 1830’s and 1840’s, thus resetting the prophecies themselves. The American Indians, then, will be gathered back onto the Missouri lands, as they were previously. All the prophetic shadows will cease, the prophecies will reset and will proceed literally from that point on.

In addition to all of the above, which deals with the church and the nation, he will perform yet another work of restoration, with application for the entire world. I will not get into the many details of that particular work, save to say that all of this “setting in order” business he will be doing will be so that he can obtain his carrot and perform his own work, without any legal or ecclesiastical obstacles. In other words, although these things will affect the entire world for the betterment of mankind, he will be doing these things as part of his own work, not the work of the Lord. It will be just the fully empowered Josephite making the world conform to his own image.

A glory age of prosperity

This setting in order of the house of God, and of the world at large, will shift the world into a glory age of prosperity, unheard of in modern times. Perhaps even unheard of in ancient times. It will happen rapidly, via a series of many mighty miracles, so that the inhabitants of the world will have their minds fully blown. Everyone will be dazzled and astounded and wondering if the great Millennium has been ushered in.

When the book of the Lamb of God appears

I do not exactly know when the book of the Lamb of God will appear. I know, per 1 Nephi 13:26, that it appears before the great and abominable church is formed (which is formed in stage #4), and I also know that it appears after the Josephite gets out of his box (which happens in stage #3.) It may be that it will appear while he is setting the church in order, or after he has set the church in order, or even during the time of the apostasy, but before the great and abominable church is formed. I suppose, though, that it will appear while Joseph-Nephi is setting the church in order.

Perhaps the Josephite goes away?

After the church has been set in order, the church will apostatize, but the presence of the Josephite seems to make that all but impossible, therefore I suspect that the Josephite, seeing that all his works have taken root throughout the world, and seeing the world prospering and the gospel going forth everywhere, etc., might just leave for a bit. In the previous post I wrote:

This means that the Josephite, once out of his box, will divide his time between both sides of the world, outside here with us, where he was born in America, and also inside where the kingdom he will establish will be. This is absolutely necessary, for he will be performing a work of salvation that must save the whole world, both inside and out, but it also means that from time to time the Josephite will “go missing,” and during these times nobody will be able to figure out where he’s gone to.

So, to me it appears likely that the Josephite will go missing for a time, perhaps for a long time, and during his extended absence we will get a repeat of the pattern of the molten calf apostasy that happened when Moses went to talk with God on the mount but delayed coming back:

And when the people saw that Moses delayed to come down out of the mount, the people gathered themselves together unto Aaron, and said unto him,

Up, make us gods, which shall go before us; for as for this Moses, the man that brought us up out of the land of Egypt, we wot not what is become of him.

And Aaron said unto them,

Break off the golden earrings, which are in the ears of your wives, of your sons, and of your daughters, and bring them unto me.

And all the people brake off the golden earrings which were in their ears, and brought them unto Aaron. And he received them at their hand, and fashioned it with a graving tool, after he had made it a molten calf: and they said,

These be thy gods, O Israel, which brought thee up out of the land of Egypt.

And when Aaron saw it, he built an altar before it; and Aaron made proclamation, and said,

To morrow is a feast to the LORD.

And they rose up early on the morrow, and offered burnt offerings, and brought peace offerings; and the people sat down to eat and to drink, and rose up to play. (Exodus 32:1-6)

The apostate church, then, appears only after the church is set in order, and apparently only after the Josephite goes missing. During the time that the Josephite is gone, both the wheat and the tares finally ripen.

The wheat and tares grow together and ripen, showing themselves

When the saints have received their inheritances by consecration, and entered into all the temple covenants, including the eternal marriage covenant and the principle of plural marriage, and have also entered into united firms (united orders), plus have witnessed the power of God manifested in the Josephite, and perhaps also had outpourings of the spiritual gifts upon them like what happened at Kirtland—if, after all of that, they apostatize, the following scripture will apply to them:

And we saw a vision of the sufferings of those with whom he made war and overcame, for thus came the voice of the Lord unto us:

Thus saith the Lord concerning all those who know my power, and have been made partakers thereof, and suffered themselves through the power of the devil to be overcome, and to deny the truth and defy my power—

They are they who are the sons of perdition, of whom I say that it had been better for them never to have been born; for they are vessels of wrath, doomed to suffer the wrath of God, with the devil and his angels in eternity; concerning whom I have said there is no forgiveness in this world nor in the world to come—having denied the Holy Spirit after having received it, and having denied the Only Begotten Son of the Father, having crucified him unto themselves and put him to an open shame. These are they who shall go away into the lake of fire and brimstone, with the devil and his angels—and the only ones on whom the second death shall have any power; yea, verily, the only ones who shall not be redeemed in the due time of the Lord, after the sufferings of his wrath. (D&C 76:30-38)

The Josephite, then, having set the house of God in order, brings them into the two-handed condition, in which from that point on they either get blessed for their righteousness or cursed for their iniquities and wickedness. While the Josephite is around, they remain righteous and the prosperity miracle goes out, so that the world’s riches endlessly increase, but once he leaves them to themselves, so that they no longer can rely upon him, but must now rely solely upon the Holy Ghost, it is at that point that all the planted seeds begin to ripen.

Once the Josephite has left, and all the seeds begin to ripen, we will finally find out who are the wheat and who are the tares. As the wheat and the tares must grow together until they are fully ripe, the law of consecration and other “growing together” or unifying laws that the Josephite will implement will allow just such a thing to happen.

Stage #4: The apostate church

At some point, iniquity will enter the church and the people will reject the office prophets, their leaders:

For behold, ye have closed your eyes, and ye have rejected the prophets; (2 Nephi 27:5)

Because of that iniquity, and because of the two-handed condition in which curses must go out immediately, the Lord will take away the leadership of the church, by covering them:

and your rulers, and the seers hath he covered because of your iniquity. (2 Nephi 27:5)

Now, as I have prophesied before on this blog, the break up of the church will occur by an earthquake which will destroy the conference center, covering and killing the Brethren and leaving the body of the church in disarray. The saints will then split into different churches, the remaining leaders vying for the top position. The church will then descend into a deep state of apostasy, entering into all manner of wickedness.

What causes the apostasy

I suppose that the initial reason for the apostasy will be a repeat of the Amalickiah situation and the rise of a new set of king-men:

And now it came to pass that after Helaman and his brethren had appointed priests and teachers over the churches that there arose a dissension among them, and they would not give heed to the words of Helaman and his brethren; but they grew proud, being lifted up in their hearts, because of their exceedingly great riches; therefore they grew rich in their own eyes, and would not give heed to their words, to walk uprightly before God. (Alma 45:23-24)

And it came to pass that as many as would not hearken to the words of Helaman and his brethren were gathered together against their brethren. And now behold, they were exceedingly wroth, insomuch that they were determined to slay them.

Now the leader of those who were wroth against their brethren was a large and a strong man; and his name was Amalickiah. And Amalickiah was desirous to be a king; and those people who were wroth were also desirous that he should be their king; and they were the greater part of them the lower judges of the land, and they were seeking for power. And they had been led by the flatteries of Amalickiah, that if they would support him and establish him to be their king that he would make them rulers over the people. Thus they were led away by Amalickiah to dissensions, notwithstanding the preaching of Helaman and his brethren, yea, notwithstanding their exceedingly great care over the church, for they were high priests over the church. And there were many in the church who believed in the flattering words of Amalickiah, therefore they dissented even from the church; and thus were the affairs of the people of Nephi exceedingly precarious and dangerous, notwithstanding their great victory which they had had over the Lamanites, and their great rejoicings which they had had because of their deliverance by the hand of the Lord. Thus we see how quick the children of men do forget the Lord their God, yea, how quick to do iniquity, and to be led away by the evil one. (Alma 46:1-8)

So, I must suppose that the prosperity miracle upon the saints, and upon the world at large, will heap the world’s riches right up into the stratosphere, and the saints in particular will become much richer than those who don’t belong to the church, and given this enormous wealth poured out upon the saints—the saints now being ripened into wheat and tares—the tares will finally make their move, showing themselves. And instead of imparting all this immense wealth to the poor, consecrating it, disbursing it through united firms, etc., they will want to retain it and lord it over their fellow man. The tares will not only set their hearts upon their riches, but they also will seek for power, desiring to alter the new articles of confederation to allow for a king.

And how will the church leadership react to this brazen dissent by the tares? By cracking down on them, calling them sinners in need of repentance, disfellowshipping and excommunicating them. And in response the tares will reject their leaders, fulfilling Isaiah’s prophecy. Given the anger they will feel towards them, there might even be assassination attempts by the tares upon their leaders, just as Amalickiah and his people were determined to slay Helaman and the church brethren of his time. All of this dissent, though, won’t be done by a small segment of the church population, like what occurs today among Mormon apostates, but it will be the overwhelming majority, for the wheat found within the church will suddenly and alarmingly find that they are literally surrounded by ultra wicked tares, because the prophecies of Nephi and Moroni say that the humble followers of Christ during the coming apostasy will be few in number:

And it came to pass that I beheld the church of the Lamb of God, and its numbers were few, because of the wickedness and abominations of the whore who sat upon many waters; nevertheless, I beheld that the church of the Lamb, who were the saints of God, were also upon all the face of the earth; and their dominions upon the face of the earth were small, because of the wickedness of the great whore whom I saw. (1 Nephi 14:12)

They wear stiff necks and high heads; yea, and because of pride, and wickedness, and abominations, and whoredoms, they have all gone astray save it be a few, who are the humble followers of Christ; nevertheless, they are led, that in many instances they do err because they are taught by the precepts of men. (2 Nephi 28:14)

And I know that ye do walk in the pride of your hearts; and there are none save a few only who do not lift themselves up in the pride of their hearts, unto the wearing of very fine apparel, unto envying, and strifes, and malice, and persecutions, and all manner of iniquities; and your churches, yea, even every one, have become polluted because of the pride of your hearts. (Mormon 8:36)

Because the tares will hold the majority, having the voice of the people, they will have clout in the church, causing the church to descend into deep wickedness, repeating more Book of Mormon patterns:

And if the time comes that the voice of the people doth choose iniquity, then is the time that the judgments of God will come upon you; yea, then is the time he will visit you with great destruction even as he has hitherto visited this land. (Mosiah 29:27)

And it came to pass in the commencement of the ninth year, Alma saw the wickedness of the church, and he saw also that the example of the church began to lead those who were unbelievers on from one piece of iniquity to another, thus bringing on the destruction of the people. Yea, he saw great inequality among the people, some lifting themselves up with their pride, despising others, turning their backs upon the needy and the naked and those who were hungry, and those who were athirst, and those who were sick and afflicted. Now this was a great cause for lamentations among the people, while others were abasing themselves, succoring those who stood in need of their succor, such as imparting their substance to the poor and the needy, feeding the hungry, and suffering all manner of afflictions, for Christ’s sake, who should come according to the spirit of prophecy; looking forward to that day, thus retaining a remission of their sins; being filled with great joy because of the resurrection of the dead, according to the will and power and deliverance of Jesus Christ from the bands of death.

And now it came to pass that Alma, having seen the afflictions of the humble followers of God, and the persecutions which were heaped upon them by the remainder of his people, and seeing all their inequality, began to be very sorrowful; nevertheless the Spirit of the Lord did not fail him. (Alma 4:11-15)

The iniquity entering the church might not be just among the general membership but also among the leadership, including even the highest councils (the Brethren.) There are scriptures that indicate that even the apostles will become infected with this apostasy:

Behold, vengeance cometh speedily upon the inhabitants of the earth, a day of wrath, a day of burning, a day of desolation, of weeping, of mourning, and of lamentation; and as a whirlwind it shall come upon all the face of the earth,

saith the Lord.

And upon my house shall it begin, and from my house shall it go forth, saith the Lord; first among those among you,

saith the Lord,

who have professed to know my name and have not known me, and have blasphemed against me in the midst of my house, saith the Lord. (D&C 112:25-26)

The Lord, in the above passage, was referring to the quorum of the Twelve. Notice verses 14 and 27 to 30:

Now, I say unto you, and what I say unto you, I say unto all the Twelve:

Arise and gird up your loins, take up your cross, follow me, and feed my sheep.

Therefore, see to it that ye trouble not yourselves concerning the affairs of my church in this place,

saith the Lord.

But purify your hearts before me; and then go ye into all the world, and preach my gospel unto every creature who has not received it; and he that believeth and is baptized shall be saved, and he that believeth not, and is not baptized, shall be damned. For unto you, the Twelve, and those, the First Presidency, who are appointed with you to be your counselors and your leaders,… (D&C 112:14,27-30)

Also, there’s this scripture:

Behold, I, the Lord, have made my church in these last days like unto a judge sitting on a hill, or in a high place, to judge the nations. For it shall come to pass that the inhabitants of Zion shall judge all things pertaining to Zion. And liars and hypocrites shall be proved by them, and they who are not apostles and prophets shall be known. And even the bishop, who is a judge, and his counselors, if they are not faithful in their stewardships shall be condemned, and others shall be planted in their stead. (D&C 64:37-40)

So, it may be that as the apostasy progresses, the tares will vote in a new class of leaders, an iniquitous class, like what happened with king Noah:

For he put down all the priests that had been consecrated by his father, and consecrated new ones in their stead, such as were lifted up in the pride of their hearts. (Mosiah 11:5)

And thus the leadership, perhaps, would become compromised as well, bringing about the fulfillment of the prophecies of Jeremiah and others which speak of pastors and prophets and priests who are entirely corrupt, such as what is found written in Jeremiah 23:

Woe be unto the pastors that destroy and scatter the sheep of my pasture!

saith the LORD.

Therefore thus saith the LORD God of Israel against the pastors that feed my people;

Ye have scattered my flock, and driven them away, and have not visited them: behold, I will visit upon you the evil of your doings,

saith the LORD. (Jeremiah 23:1-2)

I must suppose, then, that all these patterns, as well as the appearance of king-men desiring to consolidate the confederacy into a kingdom, will repeat during this apostasy, and the iniquity of the tares, being widespread, and the Brethren (that part of them still righteous) unable to hold it all in check—for the tares will outnumber them by a long shot—will cause the Lord to bring a curse upon the church, hence the conference center falling via an earthquake, removing the Brethren in an instant and causing the church to break up. After the break up there will be many churches professing to be the Lord’s church, claiming to possess the priesthood and keys (and thus the power of God.)

The great and abominable church and the tribulation of the wheat

At some point during this ongoing apostasy—whether before or after the earthquake, I do not, as yet, know (but I suspect it will be prior to the earthquake)—the great and abominable church will form. This church will form, apparently, overseas, not upon the mainland of America, and I suppose it will be formed by the most diabolical of the Mormon apostates, who have become, themselves, sons of perdition. It will be a sort of state church, except that instead of it being under the control of the state, it will have control of the states under its jurisdiction. This great and abominable church will have the distinction of killing and torturing and binding down the saints, and bringing them down into captivity, overseas. It will also be perverting the word of the Lord, specifically, the book of the Lamb of God, taking away many plain and precious parts of it and then sending this now corrupted edition to all the nations of the world under its jurisdiction.

Here in this land of America the few remaining saints (the wheat) will be scattered off the land of Zion (just as they were scattered off during the time of Joseph Smith, for all prophecies reset and then fulfill literally.) Apparently they will also be placed into bondage, for the tares will be unhinged in their wickedness. This will be a time of tribulation for the wheat, for the Lord must test His saints, to see if they will obey Him even when they are placed in the midst of a population overflowing with murderous tares. But the tribulation will come to an end when the Josephite returns:

But verily I say unto you, I have decreed that your brethren which have been scattered shall return to the lands of their inheritances, and shall build up the waste places of Zion. For after much tribulation, as I have said unto you in a former commandment, cometh the blessing. Behold, this is the blessing which I have promised after your tribulations, and the tribulations of your brethren—your redemption, and the redemption of your brethren, even their restoration to the land of Zion, to be established, no more to be thrown down. Nevertheless, if they pollute their inheritances they shall be thrown down; for I will not spare them if they pollute their inheritances. Behold, I say unto you, the redemption of Zion must needs come by power; therefore, I will raise up unto my people a man, who shall lead them like as Moses led the children of Israel. For ye are the children of Israel, and of the seed of Abraham, and ye must needs be led out of bondage by power, and with a stretched-out arm. And as your fathers were led at the first, even so shall the redemption of Zion be. Therefore, let not your hearts faint, for I say not unto you as I said unto your fathers: Mine angel shall go up before you, but not my presence. But I say unto you: Mine angels shall go up before you, and also my presence, and in time ye shall possess the goodly land. (D&C 103:11-20)

In addition to being placed in bondage, some of the saints (wheat) will be killed:

And the blood of the saints shall cry from the ground against them. (2 Nephi 28:10)

And some of the saints (wheat) will be tortured by the great and abominable church:

And the angel said unto me:

Behold the formation of a church which is most abominable above all other churches, which slayeth the saints of God, yea, and tortureth them and bindeth them down, and yoketh them with a yoke of iron, and bringeth them down into captivity. (1 Nephi 13:5)

Also, given that the two-handed condition also enacts the anti-prosperity miracle, secret combinations will also be rampant, because these societies will be the only way for the wicked to obtain money and power.

Thus, apostasy will be widespread and rampant, throughout the world, just as Nephi prophesied:

But, behold, in the last days, or in the days of the Gentiles—yea, behold all the nations of the Gentiles and also the Jews, both those who shall come upon this land and those who shall be upon other lands, yea, even upon all the lands of the earth, behold, they will be drunken with iniquity and all manner of abominations— (2 Nephi 27:1)

This prophecy (and other scriptural prophecies of the apostasy of the latter days) is not speaking of The Great Apostasy that occurred after the death of the primitive church apostles—and which was ended by the three-fold restoration performed by Joseph Smith—but of this fourth stage church apostasy, which will infect the whole world, all nations, so that the now ripe wheat will be fully tested by the now ripe tares. Notice, for example, how the apostasy Paul speaks of in 2 Thessalonians ends:

Now we beseech you, brethren, by the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ and by our gathering together unto him, that ye be not soon shaken in mind or be troubled by letter, except ye receive it from us, neither by spirit nor by word, as that the day of Christ is at hand. Let no man deceive you by any means; for there shall come a falling away first and that man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition; who opposeth and exalteth himself above all that is called God or that is worshiped, so that he as God sitteth in the temple of God, showing himself that he is God. Remember ye not, that when I was yet with you, I told you these things? And now ye know what withholdeth, that he might be revealed in his time. For the mystery of iniquity doth already work, and he it is who now worketh; and Christ suffereth him to work until the time is fulfilled that he shall be taken out of the way. And then shall that wicked one be revealed, whom the Lord shall consume with the spirit of his mouth and shall destroy with the brightness of his coming, yea, the Lord, even Jesus, whose coming is not until after there cometh a falling away, by the working of Satan with all power, and signs, and lying wonders, and with all deceivableness of unrighteousness in them that perish, because they received not the love of the truth, that they might be saved. (JST 2 Thessalonians 2:1-10)

So, this apostasy that Paul speaks of will end with the destruction of the apostates at the Lord’s Second Coming. It also has a “man of sin,” who is a “son of perdition,” sitting in “the temple of God.” When the stage #4 church of God is broken up, the temples of God will fall into the hands of apostates, allowing the literal fulfillment of this scripture. In the meantime, though, this passage is shadow fulfilled by The Great Apostasy.

The return of the Josephite

The Josephite, upon his return, will find that the church has been broken up, that there are now many apostate churches, that there’s a great and abominable church and that people have entered into secret combinations and into whoredoms and drunken revelries and all manner of abominations. He will also find that the saints who kept their covenants while this enormous apostasy was going down are few compared to all the rest, that they have been scattered off the lands of their inheritance, which he gave them (which was upon the land of Zion), and that they are now in bondage. He will also discover that some of them have been killed and others tortured. This will surely infuriate him.

On the other hand, he will also find that everything has ripened, and despite the land being full to capacity with tares, there is now beautiful, glorious wheat on earth, having been ripened by keeping their covenants throughout these tribulations. This will surely make him pleased.

These two conflicting emotions—one towards the tares and one towards the wheat—will cause him to act in a big way, shifting the church into its final stage.

Stage #5: The perfected church

In this stage, the following things will happen:

  • The wrath of God will be upon the gathered Indian remnant in the promised land
  • A man with the Spirit of God will travel upon many waters to the gathered Indian remnant
  • The scattered saints will be freed from their captivity and travel upon the many waters
  • The Indian remnant will be scattered off their lands and smitten by the Gentiles
  • The Gentiles will inherit the land of promise

The Holy Ghost has not, as yet, told me who the man with the Spirit of God is. I had previously thought that maybe it was the beloved apostle John, but a lot of time has passed and the Holy Ghost never confirmed that. Now, as I look at these scriptures, I think that perhaps it may be Joseph-Nephi. The reason is because I was recently pondering over President Trump’s acknowledgment of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, and while I was talking to a friend about it, the Spirit manifested something new about the Josephite, something that he would do in the future, something I had never considered. (And don’t bother asking me about it, because I don’t intend to reveal on this blog what the Spirit said.) Now when I read over the following passage of scripture, I cannot help but filter it through that manifestation:

And it came to pass that the angel said unto me:

Behold the wrath of God is upon the seed of thy brethren.

And I looked and beheld a man among the Gentiles, who was separated from the seed of my brethren by the many waters; and I beheld the Spirit of God, that it came down and wrought upon the man; and he went forth upon the many waters, even unto the seed of my brethren, who were in the promised land.

And it came to pass that I beheld the Spirit of God, that it wrought upon other Gentiles; and they went forth out of captivity, upon the many waters.

And it came to pass that I beheld many multitudes of the Gentiles upon the land of promise; and I beheld the wrath of God, that it was upon the seed of my brethren; and they were scattered before the Gentiles and were smitten. And I beheld the Spirit of the Lord, that it was upon the Gentiles, and they did prosper and obtain the land for their inheritance; and I beheld that they were white, and exceedingly fair and beautiful, like unto my people before they were slain. (1 Nephi 13:11-15)

The Josephite will be returning from a far away land, possibly even from the interior of the Earth. And there are many waters that separate the interior from the exterior, so his return from that place actually fits the scripture. Nephi says he “beheld a man among the Gentiles,” and I have previously taught that the Josephite will be setting up a kingdom in the interior of the Earth, and that he will be bringing Gentiles with him. Therefore, if Nephi saw the Josephite in his kingdom, he would have seen him “among the Gentiles.”

But even if Nephi saw the man on the exterior of the planet, among the Gentile nations that are overseas, it still could be the Josephite. The Josephite, returning from the interior, might not go first to America, but to those captive saints that are overseas, in order to liberate them.

The problem with this interpretation is that the saying, “and he went forth upon the many waters,” indicates sea travel, and nobody travels by boat anymore, except for transporting goods or taking a pleasure cruise. The standard mode of transportation for long distances across continents is the aeroplane, not the boat or ship. So, most Mormons reading this passage just chalk it up to Christoper Columbus’s travels by ship, which is its shadow fulfillment. However, there’s a lot more that I know about the Josephite, which I have not told on this blog, some of which I have told to a handful of people in private. What I will say here is that the Josephite will be restoring a lot of conditions that are no longer found in society. Boat travel will surely be one of them. If, in fact, the scripture does refer to the Josephite, then either it will be a boat of his own making, or it will be the very same boat that Nephi and his brothers constructed. And given that he is the restorer, it wouldn’t surprise me if it’s the latter one.

And it came to pass that I beheld the Spirit of God, that it wrought upon other Gentiles; and they went forth out of captivity, upon the many waters. (1 Nephi 13:13)

This scripture doesn’t say how these Gentiles who have the Spirit of God working upon them escaped their captivity. If the Josephite is the man that had the Spirit of God work upon him, spoken of in the preceding verse, then surely once he finds out that the saints are in captivity, he will deliver them at once. The following scripture, which speaks of the Josephite, even says that he will do this:

Behold, I say unto you, the redemption of Zion must needs come by power; therefore, I will raise up unto my people a man, who shall lead them like as Moses led the children of Israel. For ye are the children of Israel, and of the seed of Abraham, and ye must needs be led out of bondage by power, and with a stretched-out arm. (D&C 103:15-17)

The man with the power who delivers the people out of bondage is the Josephite. He performs this mission in the fifth stage of the church. Therefore, he seems the likeliest candidate to liberate the captive saints from the great and abominable church. Yet Nephi writes his vision in very general terms, almost as if he’s trying to hide the fact that a miracle-working seer is on the scene, so that people will read the text and mistake the shadow fulfillment for the literal fulfillment. It’s almost as if God wanted this whole thing to be a huge surprise. If Nephi had written, instead, “And I looked and beheld a miracle-working seer among the Gentiles, who was separated from the seed of my brethren by the many waters; and I beheld the power of God, that it came down and wrought upon the man; and he went forth upon the many waters, even unto the seed of my brethren, who were in the promised land,” that would have changed everything. Nobody, but nobody would have thought that that referred to Christopher Columbus, and everyone would have looked at this chapter as being a prophecy still future to us. His use of “man” and not “prophet” or “seer”, and “Spirit of God” and not “power of God” allows the shadow of Columbus to exist and keeps the Josephite hidden.

Again, when Nephi speaks of the Gentiles going forth out of captivity, he gives no details as to how they were delivered. If the Josephite and the power of God was involved, and he stated so explicitly, then the shadow of the Puritans could not exist. Writing what he wrote allows the Puritan shadow to exist, while keeping the Josephite hidden. And so it goes, throughout the narrative.

The text says that the Gentiles go “forth out of captivity, upon the many waters.” This indicates that they traveled by boat. Whose boat? Perhaps the Josephite’s boat. According to D&C 61, boat travel during the fifth stage will be dangerous, but God also said:

For I, the Lord, have decreed in mine anger many destructions upon the waters; yea, and especially upon these waters. Nevertheless, all flesh is in mine hand, and he that is faithful among you shall not perish by the waters.

Behold, I, the Lord, in the beginning blessed the waters; but in the last days, by the mouth of my servant John, I cursed the waters. Wherefore, the days will come that no flesh shall be safe upon the waters. (D&C 61:5-6,14-15)

So, it may be that these faithful saints, who have passed through the tribulation heaped upon them by the great and abominable church, and thus have ripened into wheat, may be brought across the many waters, in safety, by the Josephite.

Then we get the scattering of the Indian remnant off of the lands of their inheritance and them being smitten by the Gentiles:

And it came to pass that I beheld many multitudes of the Gentiles upon the land of promise; and I beheld the wrath of God, that it was upon the seed of my brethren; and they were scattered before the Gentiles and were smitten. (1 Nephi 14:14)

Why is God so angry with the Indian remnant? Nephi doesn’t say. But I find it awfully coincidental that a man appears and then right afterward the captive saints are freed and the Indians are scattered. The man seems to me to be the cause of all these things happening. God sees His saints suffering in captivity, being tortured and killed. Suddenly a man appears with the Spirit of God, and the saints right afterward are freed. God is angry with the Indian remnant, and right after the text says that “the wrath of God” is upon the Indians, the man with the Spirit of God shows up and goes right to the remnant, and soon afterward, they get scattered and smitten (by the Gentiles.) It is almost as if the man with the Spirit of God is the one causing the Gentiles to scatter and smite the Indian remnant, as if the man cursed the Indian remnant. The destroyer fits both as a person who has the power to perform such miracles, and who has the gumption to do it. So, maybe it’s Joseph-Nephi, after all?

The text then says that the Gentiles inherit the land, and this is something that the Josephite would actually do for the saints. They were scattered off their lands by the tares, and once he returns, he would put them right back onto their lands:

And I beheld the Spirit of the Lord, that it was upon the Gentiles, and they did prosper and obtain the land for their inheritance; and I beheld that they were white, and exceedingly fair and beautiful, like unto my people before they were slain. (1 Nephi 13:15)

Finally it says that the power of the Lord was with them, and it is my manifested understanding that at this point the Josephite is definitely on the scene with them:

And it came to pass that I, Nephi, beheld that the Gentiles who had gone forth out of captivity did humble themselves before the Lord; and the power of the Lord was with them. (1 Nephi 13:16)

Okay, so I will continue with the list of things that occur during this fifth stage:

  • The Josephite delivers the Gentiles out of the hands of all other nations
  • The Josephite first translates the Book of Mormon
  • The Josephite later translates the plates of brass, the large plates of Nephi and the plates of Ether
  • The saints take these records to the Indian remnant
  • The Indian remnant believe the records and repent
  • Many of the Gentiles do not believe the new records, and ditch using the corrupt version of the book of the Lamb of God and they go back to using the Bible
  • The Josephite gathers the righteous, splitting the world into two territories: those of the righteous and those of the wicked
  • The city of Zion (the New Jerusalem) is built
  • Other cities of refuge (stakes of Zion) are also built
  • And so on.

After delivering the American Gentiles out of the hands of all other nations, the Josephite will then proceed to re-organize and gather the wheat, who are the remnant saints, into another church of Christ, calling them the church of the Lamb of God, initiating the last phase of the church. As part of his commission, he will bring forth the additional records, to prepare the wheat for their perfection and the tares for their destruction.

A furious Josephite

Joseph-Nephi, being the destroying angel, is by nature altogether destructive. Although he’s slow to anger, when he does get angry, it knows no bounds, and nothing sets him off quite like finding that his works have been undone in his absence by wicked tares, or that the saints he has been assigned to gather together, as the fold’s sheepdog, have been scattered, tortured and killed. All of this wickedness, done in his absence, will cause his anger to spiral out of control.

A normal servant of God would desire, in such a situation, to try to reclaim the apostates. A normal servant would want to show compassion and mercy and not do anything that would destroy the tares, for the tares will be found absolutely everywhere at that time, and given the two-handed condition which will be in place, any improper move on the part of a servant of the Lord and they would become fully ripened, and thus ready for destruction, and thus lost. So, a normal servant would shrink and not want to be the means of destroying these tare-ish souls.

But Joseph-Nephi is not a normal servant of God. Upon seeing all of this wickedness, Joseph-Nephi’s only desire will be to destroy the tares. And how do you destroy the tares? By fully ripening them unto destruction. And how do you fully ripen them? By performing the Lord’s strange work, His strange act. By releasing all the records, all of them, upon the population, so that they spiritually perish, thus ripening them for temporal destruction.

Now, the records can safely be released upon the wheat, for the wheat are already ripened, and they won’t spiritually perish, but all others around them will either spiritually perish as tares, upon contact with the records, or the records will cause them to instantly repent, on the spot, so that they become instantly ripened wheat. Either way, the two-handed condition is kept intact, so that they will either be brought into salvation and exaltation, or into perdition and destruction.

So, the Josephite, in his anger against the tares, will push forward and begin the Lord’s work, even the great and marvelous work, and he will begin bringing forth the records, starting with the Book of Mormon, thus fulfilling 2 Nephi 27. And he will bring forth the large plates of Nephi, thus fulfilling 3 Nephi 21, and also the plates of brass, thus fulfilling 2 Nephi 29. And he will bring forth the plates of Ether, thus fulfilling Alma 37.

And in his anger, he will trigger the fulfillment of the prophesy of Isaiah in chapter 28, so that plagues of tempests of hail, destroying storms, floods of mighty waters overflowing, an overflowing scourge (a desolating sickness) and even eventually unleashing the Lamanite remnants upon the people so that the Gentiles are vexed with a sore vexation (see D&C 87:5) and are trodden down, all occurs:

Woe to the crown of pride, to the drunkards of Ephraim, whose glorious beauty is a fading flower, which are on the head of the fat valleys of them that are overcome with wine! Behold, the Lord hath a mighty and strong one, which as a tempest of hail and a destroying storm, as a flood of mighty waters overflowing, shall cast down to the earth with the hand. The crown of pride, the drunkards of Ephraim, shall be trodden under feet: and the glorious beauty, which is on the head of the fat valley, shall be a fading flower, and as the hasty fruit before the summer; which when he that looketh upon it seeth, while it is yet in his hand he eateth it up. (Isaiah 28:1-4)

The whole of Isaiah chapter 28 is speaking of the return of the Josephite into this environment of apostasy, after he has set the church in order.

Now, the drunkards of Ephraim in this chapter are the apostate Mormons. In Isaiah 28 the Lord says He has given line upon line to the drunkards of Ephraim, but then they apostatized:

But the word of the Lord was unto them precept upon precept, precept upon precept; line upon line, line upon line; here a little, and there a little; that they might go, and fall backward, and be broken, and snared, and taken. (Isaiah 28:13)

The Lord only gives line upon line to the faithful, who are the saints, not to the unbelieving:

For he will give unto the faithful line upon line, precept upon precept; and I will try you and prove you herewith. (D&C 98:12)

Therefore these people are Mormon apostates that have entered into a pact with the devil, even into secret combinations:

Because ye have said,

We have made a covenant with death, and with hell are we at agreement; when the overflowing scourge shall pass through, it shall not come unto us: for we have made lies our refuge, and under falsehood have we hid ourselves: (Isaiah 28:15)

But this pact will be annulled by the Lord, because He intends to send the Josephite back, to destroy these people:

Judgment also will I lay to the line, and righteousness to the plummet: and the hail shall sweep away the refuge of lies, and the waters shall overflow the hiding place. And your covenant with death shall be disannulled, and your agreement with hell shall not stand; when the overflowing scourge shall pass through, then ye shall be trodden down by it. From the time that it goeth forth it shall take you: for morning by morning shall it pass over, by day and by night: and it shall be a vexation only to understand the report. (Isaiah 28:17-19)

Given that the Lord’s servant is the destroying angel, when He sends the Josephite back to see all the ensuing apostasy, the Josephite’s anger will be kindled, and his destroying nature will manifest, and it is this fierce anger that will cause him to push forward right into the Lord’s work, which is the great and marvelous work and the restoration of all things, even the strange act and strange work:

For the LORD shall rise up as in mount Perazim, he shall be wroth as in the valley of Gibeon, that he may do his work, his strange work; and bring to pass his act, his strange act. Now therefore be ye not mockers, lest your bands be made strong: for I have heard from the Lord GOD of hosts a consumption, even determined upon the whole earth. (Isaiah 28:21-22)

The consumption is a destruction. So, the Josephite’s anger sends out these plagues upon the wicked and then, in his anger, instead of saying with mercy, “If I push ahead and restore all things, all these people will die, therefore I will not push ahead,” he says with justice, “I will push ahead and restore all things and whoever doesn’t repent and get in line, let them die.” It is the Josephite’s destroying nature that allows him to push ahead, even in the midst of worldwide apostasy. Any other prophet would have pulled back, not wanting to have so many people perish, but the Josephite is different, and will be motivated by anger.

It is the anger of the Father, through His appointed emissary of justice (the Josephite), that gets the ball rolling, that allows the strange act to occur:

And if the president heed them not, then will the Lord arise and come forth out of his hiding place, and in his fury vex the nation; and in his hot displeasure, and in his fierce anger, in his time, will cut off those wicked, unfaithful, and unjust stewards, and appoint them their portion among hypocrites, and unbelievers; even in outer darkness, where there is weeping, and wailing, and gnashing of teeth.

Pray ye, therefore, that their ears may be opened unto your cries, that I may be merciful unto them, that these things may not come upon them. What I have said unto you must needs be, that all men may be left without excuse; that wise men and rulers may hear and know that which they have never considered; that I may proceed to bring to pass my act, my strange act, and perform my work, my strange work, that men may discern between the righteous and the wicked, saith your God. (D&C 101:89-95)

And it is the wrath of the Father upon the Gentiles that causes the restoration of Israel to happen:

And it came to pass that I beheld that the wrath of God was poured out upon that great and abominable church, insomuch that there were wars and rumors of wars among all the nations and kindreds of the earth. And as there began to be wars and rumors of wars among all the nations which belonged to the mother of abominations, the angel spake unto me, saying:

Behold, the wrath of God is upon the mother of harlots; and behold, thou seest all these things—and when the day cometh that the wrath of God is poured out upon the mother of harlots, which is the great and abominable church of all the earth, whose founder is the devil, then, at that day, the work of the Father shall commence, in preparing the way for the fulfilling of his covenants, which he hath made to his people who are of the house of Israel. (1 Nephi 14;15-17)

Now, notice Moses’s reaction when the Israelites made the molten calf:

And the Lord said unto Moses,

I have seen this people, and, behold, it is a stiffnecked people: now therefore let me alone, that my wrath may wax hot against them, and that I may consume them: and I will make of thee a great nation.

And Moses besought the Lord his God, and said,

Lord, why doth thy wrath wax hot against thy people, which thou hast brought forth out of the land of Egypt with great power, and with a mighty hand? Wherefore should the Egyptians speak, and say,

For mischief did he bring them out, to slay them in the mountains, and to consume them from the face of the earth?

Turn from thy fierce wrath, and repent of this evil against thy people. Remember Abraham, Isaac, and Israel, thy servants, to whom thou swarest by thine own self, and saidst unto them,

I will multiply your seed as the stars of heaven, and all this land that I have spoken of will I give unto your seed, and they shall inherit it for ever. (Exodus 32:9-13)

And Moses returned unto the Lord, and said,

Oh, this people have sinned a great sin, and have made them godsof gold. Yet now, if thou wilt forgive their sin—; and if not, blot me, I pray thee, out of thy book which thou hast written. (Exodus 32:31-32)

We see from this that Moses tried to save them, whereas the Josephite will seek to destroy the wicked from off the face of the planet, via the great and marvelous work and the restoration of all things.

The Josephite’s anger will wax hotter and hotter and eventually even the Indian remnant will be sent to vex the Gentiles:

And it shall come to pass also that the remnants who are left of the land will marshal themselves, and shall become exceedingly angry, and shall vex the Gentiles with a sore vexation. (D&C 87:5)

All of this anger, and the ensuing curses and vexation, is what prepares the world for the Second Coming of the Lord, for it preps the wicked for their impending destruction, continuing to ripen them until they are finally fully ripened in iniquity and quite ready to be burned as tares.

The records unleashed upon the world, then, perfect the wheat, so that Ether 4 is fulfilled, so that they become sanctified like the brother of Jared was sanctified, so that the Lord is enabled to finally reveal all the records to His saints. In other words, the very sealed portion itself. And so the Josephite, after translating the Nephite records, will translate the sealed portion, the “vision of all,” so that all things are unleashed upon the world (i.e., the restoration of all things occurs), causing the wicked to fully spiritually perish, and bringing the righteous to the very heights of heavenly bliss.

The wicked Gentiles, on the other hand, will reject the gospel fulness found in all the new records:

And thus commandeth the Father that I should say unto you:

At that day when the Gentiles shall sin against my gospel, and shall reject the fulness of my gospel, and shall be lifted up in the pride of their hearts above all nations, and above all the people of the whole earth, and shall be filled with all manner of lyings, and of deceits, and of mischiefs, and all manner of hypocrisy, and murders, and priestcrafts, and whoredoms, and of secret abominations; and if they shall do all those things, and shall reject the fulness of my gospel, behold,

saith the Father,

I will bring the fulness of my gospel from among them. (3 Nephi 16:10)

Once the new records are rejected, the Josephite will initiate the “great division” of the people:

For the time speedily cometh that the Lord God shall cause a great division among the people, and the wicked will he destroy; and he will spare his people, yea, even if it so be that he must destroy the wicked by fire. (2 Nephi 30:10)

The fifth phase is when the separation and two-church status happens

The fifth stage of the church, in which it gets perfected, is when the separation occurs between the righteous and the wicked. In the first, second, third and fourth stages, the righteous and the wicked dwelt together, but when the Josephite returns and begins to perfect the church, he will split the world into two territories: the territories of the righteous, controlled by the righteous, and the territories of the wicked, controlled by the wicked.

This territorial division will cause all apostate churches to join the great church, it being an “umbrella” or “mother” church, in which will be found all apostate doctrines. At that point, there will be only two churches on the planet:

And he said unto me:

Behold there are save two churches only; the one is the church of the Lamb of God, and the other is the church of the devil; wherefore, whoso belongeth not to the church of the Lamb of God belongeth to that great church, which is the mother of abominations; and she is the whore of all the earth. (1 Nephi 14:10)

Thus, the two territories will be ruled by two churches. Each church will have dominion over their respective territories:

And it came to pass that I looked and beheld the whore of all the earth, and she sat upon many waters; and she had dominion over all the earth, among all nations, kindreds, tongues, and people.

And it came to pass that I beheld the church of the Lamb of God, and its numbers were few, because of the wickedness and abominations of the whore who sat upon many waters; nevertheless, I beheld that the church of the Lamb, who were the saints of God, were also upon all the face of the earth; and their dominions upon the face of the earth were small, because of the wickedness of the great whore whom I saw. (1 Nephi 14:11-12)

All the wicked, who live in wicked-controlled territory, who repent, will become instantly ripened wheat, and like the wheat that ripened during the fourth stage of the church, in which they were surrounded by tares and had to go through a period of tribulation, so the newly repented and ripened wheat living in the territory of the wicked will be surrounded by tares and have to go through tribulation from them. The Lord puts them into the very same trial of faith, so that they can show themselves as true wheat, having endured persecution, torture and even death, by the hands of the tares. The following passage refers to this very event occurring in wicked-controlled territories during the fifth stage:

And when he had opened the fifth seal, I saw under the altar the souls of them that were slain for the word of God, and for the testimony which they held: and they cried with a loud voice, saying,

How long, O Lord, holy and true, dost thou not judge and avenge our blood on them that dwell on the earth?

And white robes were given unto every one of them; and it was said unto them, that they should rest yet for a little season, until their fellowservants also and their brethren, that should be killed as they were, should be fulfilled. (Revelation 6:9-11)

This tribulation continues until either the wheat can escape into the cities of refuge (the stakes of Zion) that the Josephite will build, which will be in righteous-controlled territory, or until the angels are sent to pluck them out from the cities of the wicked, just before the burning.

From few to many

Although the faithful saints who survive the fourth stage will be few, once the Josephite returns in the fifth stage and starts working his mighty wonders and convincing the world, both Jew and Gentile, through his powerful translation of the Book of Mormon and other scriptures, he will miraculously turn those few stalks of wheat into many stalks by his exceeding faith:

And now behold, my beloved brethren, I would speak unto you; for I, Nephi, would not suffer that ye should suppose that ye are more righteous than the Gentiles shall be. For behold, except ye shall keep the commandments of God ye shall all likewise perish; and because of the words which have been spoken ye need not suppose that the Gentiles are utterly destroyed. For behold, I say unto you that as many of the Gentiles as will repent are the covenant people of the Lord; and as many of the Jews as will not repent shall be cast off; for the Lord covenanteth with none save it be with them that repent and believe in his Son, who is the Holy One of Israel. And now, I would prophesy somewhat more concerning the Jews and the Gentiles. For after the book of which I have spoken shall come forth, and be written unto the Gentiles, and sealed up again unto the Lord, there shall be many which shall believe the words which are written; and they shall carry them forth unto the remnant of our seed. (2 Nephi 30:1-3)

These many Gentiles who repent, along with all the house of Israel that repents, will be gathered together into either the city of Jerusalem, the city of New Jerusalem (which is the city of Zion) or into the stakes of Zion, which will not be like the current non-city stakes, but will be filled-to-the-brim cities of refuge stakes; and all these cities of refuge will be the territories of the righteous, into which these many righteous souls will be gathered. But compared to the territory of the great whore of all the earth, the dominion of the church of the Lamb will be geographically small and compact.

And it came to pass that I beheld the church of the Lamb of God, and its numbers were few, because of the wickedness and abominations of the whore who sat upon many waters; nevertheless, I beheld that the church of the Lamb, who were the saints of God, were also upon all the face of the earth; and their dominions upon the face of the earth were small, because of the wickedness of the great whore whom I saw. (1 Nephi 14:12)

This scripture shouldn’t be taken to mean that there will be few righteous on the earth at that time. It only means that the righteous will be gathered into specific cities of refuge that the Josephite will build, which will be places safe from the desolation and plagues that the Lord will pour out prior to His coming. The region outside of those specific cities will be inhabited by the wicked and will be vast in comparison, but the scripture is only giving a territorial comparison, not a comparison of population size. There will be many righteous on the earth at that time.

The city of Zion gets built in the fifth stage, after the records come forth

All the saints who are alive now, in this second stage of the church, who pine for Zion, long for it, and think it might be built some time soon, or when the Josephite gets out of his box, are mistaken. Zion gets built by the remnants of Israel, with whatever portion of the Gentiles that repent assisting, and that city will be built during the perfected church stage, which is the fifth stage. It won’t happen until after the church is set in order, until after the apostasy happens, and until after the Josephite gets back and begins perfecting the church and performing the great and marvelous work, bringing forth the new records:

And blessed are they who shall seek to bring forth my Zion at that day, for they shall have the gift and the power of the Holy Ghost; and if they endure unto the end they shall be lifted up at the last day, and shall be saved in the everlasting kingdom of the Lamb; and whoso shall publish peace, yea, tidings of great joy, how beautiful upon the mountains shall they be. (1 Nephi 13:37)

The last days prophecies of Gentile apostasy speak only of the fourth and fifth stages

Only the fourth and fifth stages contain the Gentile apostasy spoken of in the last days prophecies. Prior to those stages, any apostasy that happens among the Gentiles is a shadow fulfillment. The Mormon dissenters who have continually claimed (from the beginning of the restoration to now) that the LDS church is apostate have been deceived. They have no understanding of these scriptures, nor of these stages. Even the mainstream Mormon mixes things up, not understanding that we are only in the second stage, and this is merely a time of types and shadows.

The sealed portion pertains to the book of Revelation

The book of Revelation begins its narrative with the opening up of the sealed book, which contains the “vision of all.” In other words, chapter 4, 5 and 6 is when the book is finally opened, and then the prophetic events ensue. The sealed portion is the revelation of all things, followed by the restoration of all things, all performed by the Josephite. All of these events happen in the fifth stage of the church, after the other records have come forth, after the world has split into two territories and into two churches. With this post, then, there is no more need for anyone to wonder, “When will the sealed portion be opened?” I have just told you when that happens. It happens in the fifth stage. Nobody need be confused by any of these things anymore.

And nobody who reads and believes this post need wonder if the things written in the book of Revelation are happening around us, yet. They are surely not. We are merely in the second stage. Also, given this new information about the stages, nobody need harp on the church leadership as being “out of tune” with the signs of the times. The literal fulfillment of all these prophecies is still to come. All we see around us are mere shadows and types.

A key: always keep in mind the first sign

And his disciples asked him, saying,

Why then say the scribes that Elias must first come?

And Jesus answered and said unto them,

Elias truly shall first come, and restore all things. (Matthew 17:10-11)

As long as Elias has not gotten out of his box, we will continue to remain in the second stage.

Another key: the leaders will tell the people

Paul wrote:

Now we beseech you, brethren, by the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ and by our gathering together unto him, that ye be not soon shaken in mind or be troubled by letter, except ye receive it from us, neither by spirit nor by word, as that the day of Christ is at hand. (JST 2 Thessalonians 1-2)

The standard that the primitive church lived under was to not be shaken in mind or troubled by letter or by spirit or by word, as that the day of Christ was at hand, unless the Brethren of that time sent a letter to them informing them of the new condition. This principle—the leadership informing the membership of the prophetic timeline—is had among the latter-day saints, too. Yet I find very many Mormons shaken in mind and troubled, thinking the Second Coming of our Lord Jesus Christ is at hand. Many Mormons take the scriptural prophecies of the end times and apply them to our times, as if they have literally been fulfilled already or are literally being fulfilled before our very eyes, even though the Brethren have made no such pronouncements. Has the First Presidency or Quorum of the Twelve issued a letter or said that these times we are living in are the “end times?” No, they haven’t. All they say is that these are the last days and the latter days. The “last days” and “latter days” covers everything that happens after the resurrection of Christ, including the times of types and shadows. Saying we are in the “last days” or “latter days” does not necessarily mean we are in the “end times,” meaning those times in which the last days prophecies are fulfilled literally. The Brethren never use the term “end times” because they have received no information from God that we are in the end times. Why haven’t they received such information? Because we aren’t in the end times. If we were in the end times, they would receive the information and then tell us, per the principle given by Paul.

The Brethren will receive such information from the Josephite. When the Josephite comes out of his box and makes his announcement, he will afterward go to the church leadership to set the house of God in order and he will make the Brethren eat humble pie. He will demonstrate the power of God to them, in mighty signs, that will astonish them so that they are convinced that he is “the one mighty and strong” that was prophesied to appear, just as Moses and Aaron did to the elders of Israel:

And Moses and Aaron went and gathered together all the elders of the children of Israel: and Aaron spake all the words which the Lord had spoken unto Moses, and did the signs in the sight of the people. And the people believed: and when they heard that the Lord had visited the children of Israel, and that he had looked upon their affliction, then they bowed their heads and worshipped. (Exodus 4:29-31)

He will receive all their keys from them, and then he will make his corrections, setting the house of God in order from top to bottom, teaching them things they never knew, explaining things they misunderstood, and so forth, and then those now humbled to the dust leaders will stand in front of the pulpit in general conference, and they will admit all their errors, in doctrine and in practice and in policy, and they will confess all their sins and faults, and they will say that a new era has officially started, that the times of types and shadows has ceased and now the prophecies will proceed literally. They will tell the saints each and every detail of the correction, as they receive it from the Josephite. And thus, the end times will be officially announced from the pulpit when it begins, for the Josephite will tell them, “The end times has now officially begun. Go and tell the saints.” So, nobody needs to guess at these things.

The Lord will not make the saints guess at the signs of the times, but will very clearly tell them these things, so that no one is left with any excuse that they didn’t know.

Call ye, therefore, upon them with loud proclamation, and with your testimony, fearing them not, for they are as grass, and all their glory as the flower thereof which soon falleth, that they may be left also without excuse—and that I may visit them in the day of visitation, when I shall unveil the face of my covering, to appoint the portion of the oppressor among hypocrites, where there is gnashing of teeth, if they reject my servants and my testimony which I have revealed unto them. (D&C 124:7-8)

What I have said unto you must needs be, that all men may be left without excuse; that wise men and rulers may hear and know that which they have never considered; that I may proceed to bring to pass my act, my strange act, and perform my work, my strange work, that men may discern between the righteous and the wicked, saith your God. (D&C 101:93-95)

And perhaps a committee can be appointed to find out these things, and to take statements and affidavits; and also to gather up the libelous publications that are afloat; and all that are in the magazines, and in the encyclopedias, and all the libelous histories that are published, and are writing, and by whom, and present the whole concatenation of diabolical rascality and nefarious and murderous impositions that have been practiced upon this people—that we may not only publish to all the world, but present them to the heads of government in all their dark and hellish hue, as the last effort which is enjoined on us by our Heavenly Father, before we can fully and completely claim that promise which shall call him forth from his hiding place; and also that the whole nation may be left without excuse before he can send forth the power of his mighty arm. (D&C 123: 4-6)

Therefore, they are left without excuse, and their sins are upon their own heads. (D&C 88:82)

All the people who have left this church believing that the end times are upon us—for a recent example, consider those who have held up the teachings of Denver Snuffer—have not understood the principle that Paul wrote about. They have thought that the church leadership is out of tune with the Spirit, out of line and unaware of the signs of the times. They have supposed that they know better than the leadership and that the end times are now upon us and have looked at the leadership as out of touch, for they say nothing concerning the end times signs. But they say nothing about this because we are not in the end times! If we were in the end times, our leaders would open their mouths, because as the above scriptures explain, it is a gospel principle that the Lord must leave all men, including His saints, without excuse.

Wrapping up the post with a stage review

Here’s a breakdown of some of the last days prophecies according to the church stage in which they will be literally (not shadow) fulfilled, and notice that not a single one of them pertains to Stage 2, which is the stage we are currently in:

Complete List of Articles authored by LDS Anarchist

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Shutting the mouths of false teachers


And..the church…had peace…save it were a few contentions concerning the points of doctrine which had been laid down by the prophets…  (Hel. 11:21-22)

And it came to pass that after there had been false Christs, and…after there had been false prophets, and false preachers and teachers among the people…  (Words of Mormon 1:15-16)

…and their mouths had been shut, and…all these having been punished according to their crimes…  (Words of Mormon 1:15-16)

…there began to be much strife. But it came to pass that…many of [the] brethren who knew concerning the true points of doctrine, having many revelations daily, therefore they did preach unto the people, insomuch that they did put an end to their strife…  (Hel. 11:23)

In other words, for this post, in addition to the scriptures, I’m going to use my own revelations to correct the errors promoted by false teachers currently found among the saints.

There have only been three known churches of Christ

The first church of Christ was founded by Alma Nephi, when he baptized Helam (and also himself) in the waters of Mormon, followed by the subsequent baptism of the rest of the group.  This church was formed about 147–145 B.C. and began with about 204 people.  The account of its establishment is found in Mosiah 18.

The second church of Christ was founded by Jesus Christ during his ministry among the Jews.

The third church of Christ was founded by Joseph Smith, Jun., which was organized and established in Manchester, Ontario County, New York, USA, with six people, on 6 April, 1830.

Three verses of scripture mention an ancient church

Here is the first part of the entry of “Church” from the Bible Dictionary:

From the Greek, Ecclesia, meaning “an assembly called together.” The church is the organized body of believers who have taken upon themselves the name of Jesus Christ by baptism and confirmation.  To be the true church it must be the Lord’s church and must have His laws, His name, and be governed by Him through representatives whom He has appointed (3 Ne. 27:1–12; D&C 115:4).

This is true.  God Himself must recognize it as His church, it must bear His name, have His revealed word as its foundational text, be built upon His gospel and rock, and possess His priesthood.  Every latter-day saint understands this definition of the church.  So far so good.  Now let’s look at the next part of this Bible Dictionary entry:

In this sense, the church began with the days of Adam and has been on the earth among mankind whenever there were a group of believers who had the priesthood and revelations of heaven.

This is false.  If you take up the Standard Works, and look at the Old Testament (whether you look in the King James Version, or in the Joseph Smith Translation, it doesn’t matter), you will find no mention of any church during that period of time.  This is because there was no church of Jesus Christ during those times.  Prior to the establishment of Jesus Christ’s church in the Old World, and to the establishment of Alma Nephi’s church in the New World, the laws and ordinances of God were administered to the people tribally.  Continuing on with this BD entry:

The word church is used only twice in the four Gospels (Matt. 16:18; 18:17) but is frequently mentioned in Acts, the epistles, and Revelation.

This is true.  This is because Jesus organized and established a church among the Jews and it continued after His resurrection under the direction of His apostles.

The Old Testament uses the term congregation for church.

This is false.  The Old Testament uses the term congregation to mean “an assembly of persons” and more specifically, “an assembly of persons met for the worship of God, and for religious instruction.”  An assembly of persons, belonging to a tribe or tribes, meeting together to offer sacrifice to their God (to worship God) or meeting in a synagogue for religious instruction is not a church.  Nor does it constitute a church of Christ.  Such assemblies need not have entered into any covenant with God, witnessed by baptism, nor received any laying on of hands, etc., to congregate and worship or to receive and give religious instruction.  Thus, the Old Testament uses the term congregation, not church, for these gatherings.  More of the BD entry:

The word kingdom is often used in the scriptures to mean the church, since the church is literally the kingdom of God on the earth.

This is false.  The word kingdom means kingdom.  (Duh!)  A kingdom is “the inhabitants or population subject to a king.”  The kingdom of God, then, are the people that submit to the law of God as administered by His priests, whether it is administered tribally, or via the church of Christ.  Thus, in the Book of Mormon, we find that the Nephites, when they were established under kings—from the reign of first Nephi, who consecrated his brothers Joseph and Jacob as priests and teachers, all the way to the last Nephite king, Mosiah, who also had his consecrated priests—all Nephite kings had priests, for these patriarchal orders were patterned after the kingdom of God, and God Himself, who is the King of the Universe, has priests.  And these priests, in pre-Alma days, or in pre-Jesus days, operated tribally, administering the ordinances and laws of God to the people under a tribal protocol.  These tribal orders, then, were as much the kingdom of God as were the churches of Christ, which also had ordained priests to administer the gospel ordinances and laws.  Kingdom, then, can apply to both the tribal and church protocols, and does not automatically mean or indicate that a functioning church of Christ is present.

Here’s more of the BD entry:

The Book of Mormon, as it speaks of Old Testament events, uses the word church (1 Ne. 4:26), and the Doctrine and Covenants speaks of the church in Old Testament times (D&C 107:4).

The first part is true and the second part is a supposition.  It is true that Joseph Smith translated the Egyptian word found in 1 Ne. 4:26 into church, but this did not mean a church of Christ, but merely “an assembly of believers.”  In other words, a “congregation of believers.”  The Jews in the land of Jerusalem at that time cast out, killed by stoning and other means, or tried to kill all those who believed in this prophesied Messiah that would suffer and die for the sins of the world.  They in no way, shape or form belonged to any church of Christ.  But they certainly professed a belief in Moses and his law, and also the prophets (the ones that didn’t prophesy of Christ or of the Jews’ destruction, that is), therefore, this was a congregation of believers in Moses and the law and the prophets, but not in Christ, who attended the Jewish synagogue.  Joseph translated it as church, for a church is an Ecclesia, meaning “an assembly called together,” and that’s what this congregation was.  But this wasn’t a church of Christ, but merely a gathering under tribal authority and protocols.  Here is the scripture in question:

And he spake unto me concerning the elders of the Jews, he knowing that his master, Laban, had been out by night among them.  And I spake unto him as if it had been Laban.  And I also spake unto him that I should carry the engravings, which were upon the plates of brass, to my elder brethren, who were without the walls.  And I also bade him that he should follow me.  And he, supposing that I spake of the brethren of the church, and that I was truly that Laban whom I had slain, wherefore he did follow me.  And he spake unto me many times concerning the elders of the Jews, as I went forth unto my brethren, who were without the walls.  (1 Ne. 4:22-27)

Now look at the Bible Dictionary entry for Synagogue:

A Jewish meetinghouse for religious purposes. The furniture was generally simple, consisting of an ark containing the rolls of the law and other sacred writings, a reading desk, and seats for the worshippers. Its affairs were managed by the local council of elders, who decided who should be admitted and who should be excluded (Luke 6:22; John 9:22; 12:42; 16:2). The most important official was the Ruler of the Synagogue (Mark 5:22; Luke 13:14), who was generally a scribe, had care of the building, and superintended the various services. There was also an attendant who performed clerical duties (Luke 4:20). The Sabbath morning service was the most important in the week and included a fixed lesson (Num. 15:37–41; Deut. 6:4–9; 11:13–21) and two lessons for the day, one from the law and the other from the prophets. A sermon was generally preached in explanation of one of the lessons (Luke 4:17; Acts 13:15). The existence of synagogues in every town in which Jews were living, both in Palestine and elsewhere, was a great help to the spread of the gospel, early Christian missionaries being generally able to get a hearing there (see Acts 13:5, 14; 14:1; 17:1, 10; 18:4), and the synagogue worship provided in many respects a model for early Christian worship.

Okay, so hopefully that explains the use of the word church in 1 Ne. 4:26.  So now to address D&C 107:4.  Here are the first four verses of that section:

There are, in the church, two priesthoods, namely, the Melchizedek and Aaronic, including the Levitical Priesthood.  Why the first is called the Melchizedek Priesthood is because Melchizedek was such a great high priest.  Before his day it was called the Holy Priesthood, after the Order of the Son of God.  But out of respect or reverence to the name of the Supreme Being, to avoid the too frequent repetition of his name, they, the church, in ancient days, called that priesthood after Melchizedek, or the Melchizedek Priesthood.

The Bible Dictionary author supposes that this mention of a church in ancient days in “the Doctrine and Covenants speaks of the church in Old Testament times,” but that is just an assumption, a supposition, a mere guess.  There is no evidence, whatsoever, that any church of Christ was found in Old Testament times, whether before Melchizedek, during his times (and he was a contemporary of Abraham, who likewise mentions no church), or after him.  As the most ancient church of Christ established on this earth was the one formed by Alma Nephi on this American continent, this D&C verse may be speaking of Alma’s church.  It need not apply to anything more ancient than that.

Stephen’s testimony in Acts 7 also mentioned a church in the times of Moses, but again, this wasn’t a church of Christ, but a congregation of the tribes.  Non-KJV bible translations use assembly or congregation, instead of church.  Here are his words in the KJV:

This is that Moses, which said unto the children of Israel,

A prophet shall the Lord your God raise up unto you of your brethren, like unto me; him shall ye hear.

This is he, that was in the church in the wilderness with the angel which spake to him in the mount Sina, and with our fathers: who received the lively oracles to give unto us: to whom our fathers would not obey, but thrust him from them, and in their hearts turned back again into Egypt, saying unto Aaron,

Make us gods to go before us: for as for this Moses, which brought us out of the land of Egypt, we wot not what is become of him. (Acts 7:37-40)

So there you have it.  There are only three verses in all of the scriptures that speak of a church in pre-Jesus or pre-Alma times, and two of the verses (1 Ne. 4:26 and Acts 7:38) are really talking of a tribal congregation or assembly, while the other passage (D&C 107:4) is speaking, in all likelihood, of either Alma’s church or Jesus’ church.  That is the extent of all the “evidence” for the existence of a church of Christ before Christ and Alma.

Nonetheless, as latter-day saints know absolutely nothing about the gospel administered tribally, to deal with the apparent operation of God’s priesthoods in antiquity, they have taken the church model and protocols and applied them to the past.  Even though there is no church mentioned or found in the ancient text, they, nevertheless, using their “church filters,” cause their eyes to see an ancient church everywhere, in every time period.  “It’s there, in the word congregation!  Or it’s over there, in the word kingdom!  Lo!  The church of Christ is everywhere!  It has been here since the very beginning!  This isn’t a restoration of the church of Christ that was established in Jesus’ day, but a restoration of the church of Christ from Adam’s time!  Our religion is that ancient!”  And so the sayings go.

How the false teachers use Abinadi and Alma

False teachers, working from the same false church-from-the-beginning reference point, have crafted a false narrative by superimposing the gospel as administered tribally upon the gospel as administered by the church.  Specifically, the application of Abinadi’s prophecy to Noah and his priests and people, by false teachers and false prophets—who attempt to use it as an example that God can, and does, use outsiders to correct and call the ministers of His church to repentance—is a misapplication.  Where these false teachers err is in their assumption that Abinadi and Noah and his priests and people were actually in any church of Christ.  They weren’t.  They weren’t living under church protocols, but under tribal protocols, which are different.

The only model that can be applied to the current church of Christ, founded by Joseph Smith, is a church model.  In other words, you must use a church example, not a tribal one, to show how the church of Christ is supposed to function.  So, we’ve got three churches: one founded by Alma the Nephite (the most ancient one), one founded by Jesus the Jew, and one founded by Joseph the Gentile of Ephraimite lineage.  You can look at the Nephite church, which begins with the baptism of Helam, or at the Jewish church, which begins with Jesus’ church, and apply those to the Gentile church, but you cannot turn to Abinadi and Noah and his priests and say, “See?  Abinadi wasn’t in the priesthood hierarchy and yet God used him to call them to repentance!”   So what?  There was a tribal protocol in place during that time that provided for that and Abinadi followed it precisely.

Tribal rights are passed on through literal lineage

Not all tribal functions have been revealed, as yet, but we do know a few things.  For example, lineage played a part in tribal priesthood.  Therefore, Aaron and his firstborn sons had (and still have) a right to the bishopric, by birth.  That’s a tribal protocol which is currently found in the church of Christ.  There is literal lineage (father to son) and priesthood lineage (priesthood father to priesthood son.)  In other words, priesthood rights can be passed on tribally, through literal seed (father to son, or for Aaron and all his firstborn sons), and that is a tribal operation, but also they can be passed on via the laying on of hands, from one unrelated man to another unrelated man.  The first man becomes the “priesthood father” of the second man, who becomes the “priesthood son.”  Thus, this conferral of priesthood by the laying on of hands is spoken of as having a lineage and seed.  So, I can trace my Aaronic “priesthood lineage” from the man who ordained me (who is my priesthood father), to the man who ordained him (my priesthood grandfather), and so on, back to Oliver Cowdery, and thus back to John the Baptist.  And so forth with the Melchizedek priesthood.

An example of the two kinds of seed (literal and priesthood) can be seen from the following scripture:

And I will make of thee a great nation, and I will bless thee above measure, and make thy name great among all nations, and thou shalt be a blessing unto thy seed after thee, that in their hands they shall bear this ministry and Priesthood unto all nations; and I will bless them through thy name; for as many as receive this Gospel shall be called after thy name, and shall be accounted thy seed, and shall rise up and bless thee, as their father; and I will bless them that bless thee, and curse them that curse thee; and in thee (that is, in thy Priesthood) and in thy seed (that is, thy Priesthood), for I give unto thee a promise that this right shall continue in thee, and in thy seed after thee (that is to say, the literal seed, or the seed of the body) shall all the families of the earth be blessed, even with the blessings of the Gospel, which are the blessings of salvation, even of life eternal. (Abr. 2:9-11)

Another example is of evangelical ministers, which is a tribal office that is currently found in the church (since we need it here until the tribal functions are fully restored) :

It is the duty of the Twelve, in all large branches of the church, to ordain evangelical ministers, as they shall be designated unto them by revelation—the order of this priesthood was confirmed to be handed down from father to son, and rightly belongs to the literal descendants of the chosen seed, to whom the promises were made.  (D&C 107:39-40)

And again, verily I say unto you, let my servant William be appointed, ordained, and anointed, as counselor unto my servant Joseph, in the room of my servant Hyrum, that my servant Hyrum may take the office of Priesthood and Patriarch, which was appointed unto him by his father, by blessing and also by right; that from henceforth he shall hold the keys of the patriarchal blessings upon the heads of all my people, that whoever he blesses shall be blessed, and whoever he curses shall be cursed; that whatsoever he shall bind on earth shall be bound in heaven; and whatsoever he shall loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven. (D&C 124:91-93)

Not only were priesthood rights transmitted by birth under the tribal model, but so were gifts.  In the Nephite society, it was the seed of Jacob, all the Jacobite sons, who had a right to the gift to prophesy.  As such, any male Jacobite, filled with the Spirit, was duly authorized to preach repentance to anyone, including priests, teachers and kings.  As they were Jacobites—their surname being Jacob-Nephi—they were within the Nephite tribal congregations, therefore they weren’t from the outside.  Also, as they were Jacobites, they had a right to prophesy.

Abinadi was likely a Jacobite, descended from Abinadom.  Thus, he was fully within his rights to call these people to repentance.  The whole thing followed tribal protocols, but not church protocols, for under church protocols, we are not to command him who is at our head.

But thou shalt not write by way of commandment, but by wisdom; and thou shalt not command him who is at thy head, and at the head of the church; 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 28:5-7)

Also, the elders of the church are not to be taught by others, but are to be the ones who do the teaching.

Again I say, hearken ye elders of my church, whom I have appointed:

Ye are not sent forth to be taught, but to teach the children of men the things which I have put into your hands by the power of my Spirit; and ye are to be taught from on high.  (D&C 43:15-16)

So, God will not use outsiders to call any of the church elders to repentance.  God will only use church ministers to call them to repentance.  (This means that if you’ve been excommunicated, repent and come back in.  If you start calling any part of the church to repentance, that is evidence that you do not have the Spirit of God.)

Additionally, the record states that “there was a man among them whose name was Abinadi” (Mosiah 11:20), so Abinadi was actually a part of Noah’s people and kingdom.  So, he was in no way an outsider.

An affront to the king’s right to judge

After Abinadi gave his prophecy to the people, they were livid, and when king Noah learned of his words, he also was fuming mad, and he said,

Who is Abinadi, that I and my people should be judged of him, or who is the Lord, that shall bring upon my people such great affliction?  I command you to bring Abinadi hither, that I may slay him, for he has said these things that he might stir up my people to anger one with another, and to raise contentions among my people; therefore I will slay him.  (Mosiah 11:27-28)

The reason for all this anger was two-fold.  The first reason was because, under tribal prototol, it was up to the kings to judge the people.  King Mosiah later would say,

Therefore, if it were possible that you could have just men to be your kings, who would establish the laws of God, and judge this people according to his commandments… (Mosiah 29:13)

Also, when there was iniquity in the church, Alma went to the king to have him judge them, according to tribal protocol:

And he said unto the king:

Behold, here are many whom we have brought before thee, who are accused of their brethren; yea, and they have been taken in divers iniquities. And they do not repent of their iniquities; therefore we have brought them before thee, that thou mayest judge them according to their crimes. (Mosiah 26:11)

Secondly, it was the prerogative of the kings to call upon the prophets, priests, teachers and other leaders, as helps, in their mission of judging the people and establishing peace:

…behold, it came to pass that king Benjamin, with the assistance of the holy prophets who were among his people—for behold, king Benjamin was a holy man, and he did reign over his people in righteousness; and there were many holy men in the land, and they did speak the word of God with power and with authority; and they did use much sharpness because of the stiffneckedness of the people—wherefore, with the help of these, king Benjamin, by laboring with all the might of his body and the faculty of his whole soul, and also the prophets, did once more establish peace in the land. (Words of Mormon 1:16-18)

This was the tribal protocol for just kings. And in the whole history of the Nephite people, there had only been just kings. Jarom said, “our kings and our leaders were mighty men in the faith of the Lord; and they taught the people the ways of the Lord” (Jarom 1:7.) But Noah was an anomaly. He was an iniquitous king.  In the case of an iniquitous king, judgment reverted to the LORD under tribal protocol, but this had never happened before, for Noah was the first wicked Nephite king.

This is why Noah’s question is two-fold: “Who is Abinadi, that I and my people should be judged of him, or who is the Lord, that shall bring upon my people such great affliction?”  When Noah asks, “Who is Abinadi?” it isn’t because Abinadi is an unknown person, some passerby that happened to enter into the land, and it isn’t because Abinadi isn’t a part of the priests of Noah, like many of the false teachers like to assert.  No, what Noah is saying is, “Is Abinadi king, or am I king?  Who has the right to judge this people, him or me?”

Assuming that Abinadi was, indeed, a Jacobite (and if so, his name would have been Abinadi Jacob-Nephi), Abinadi had the right to prophesy, but this always happened with the king’s advance notice and approval, and under the king’s guidance, not out-of-the-blue, without any notification whatsoever to the reigning king.  So, king Noah felt affronted.

Additionally, the prophecy of Abinadi went contrary to what the king and his priests were saying.  They proclaimed celebration and prosperity, while Abinadi’s prophecy was of affliction and bondage.  Noah assumed, therefore, that as the people appeared to be prosperous and content, and they gave their common consent to all he did(!), that he must be a just king, and therefore Abinadi must be the one out of sorts.  Therefore Abinadi must be a false prophet.  And also the name of “the Lord” that Abinadi invoked must not be the real Lord, but a false god.  (This is why king Noah asks, “Who is the Lord?”)  Abinadi, then, was the obvious guilty party, under tribal protocol (assuming a just king, that is.)  And so he and his people did not believe the prophecy.  They thought it was all made up:

And it came to pass that they were angry with him; and they took him and carried him bound before the king, and said unto the king:

Behold, we have brought a man before thee who has prophesied evil concerning thy people, and saith that God will destroy them.  And he also prophesieth evil concerning thy life, and saith that thy life shall be as a garment in a furnace of fire.  And again, he saith that thou shalt be as a stalk, even as a dry stalk of the field, which is run over by the beasts and trodden under foot.  And again, he saith thou shalt be as the blossoms of a thistle, which, when it is fully ripe, if the wind bloweth, it is driven forth upon the face of the land. And he pretendeth the Lord hath spoken it. And he saith all this shall come upon thee except thou repent, and this because of thine iniquities.  And now, O king, what great evil hast thou done, or what great sins have thy people committed, that we should be condemned of God or judged of this man?  And now, O king, behold, we are guiltless, and thou, O king, hast not sinned; therefore, this man has lied concerning you, and he has prophesied in vain.  And behold, we are strong, we shall not come into bondage, or be taken captive by our enemies; yea, and thou hast prospered in the land, and thou shalt also prosper.  Behold, here is the man, we deliver him into thy hands; thou mayest do with him as seemeth thee good.

So none of this has anything, whatsoever, to do with Abinadi not being a part of the body of Noah’s priests, but this is how the false teachers would like to spin it.

Okay, so my point is that Abinadi acted under proper tribal protocols.

A brief aside

It is not my intention to fully expound this Abinadi episode, but I will point out a couple of things, before moving on to Alma’s actions.

First, Noah, priests and people were focused on the law of Moses, thinking that salvation came by it, and they discarded the Ten Commandments, whereas Abinadi pointed to the Ten Commandments, saying that those who obeyed those commandments would be saved.

The people essentially broke every single one of the Ten Commandments.  They all “became idolatrous” (Mosiah 11:6-7.)  That broke the Second Commandment.  The king and priests spoke “vain words” (Mosiah 11:7,11) to the people.  That might indicate that they broke the Third Commandment.  The king and priests did not work, but were “supported in their laziness” (Mosiah 11:6.)  That broke the Fourth Commandment.  King Noah “did not walk in the ways of his father” (Mosiah 11:1.)  That indicates that he broke the Fifth Commandment.  The people “did delight in blood, and the shedding of the blood of their brethren” (Mosiah 11:19) and also they consented to the death of Abinadi.  This broke the Sixth Commandment.  They had “many wives and concubines” (Mosiah 11:2,4,6,14) and spent time with harlots and committed whoredoms.  That broke the Seventh Commandment.  They returned from war with the Lamanites, “rejoicing in their spoil” (Mosiah 11:18.)  That might indicate that they didn’t just get their own stuff back from the Lamanites, but took (stole) additional things that the Lamanites possessed.  That would break the Eighth Commandment.  The high priests would “speak lying” (Mosiah 11:11) words to the people.  That would violate the Ninth Commandment.  Finally, king Noah levied a tax upon the people (see Mosiah 11:4,6,13.)  This would violate the Tenth Commandment (per the post, Thou shalt not “covet”.)

Second, despite breaking pretty much every single commandment of God, notice that Abinadi does not say to them that their priesthood was now null and void, that they had no more keys, that because of their apostasy and sinful ways, the “church was no longer true,” etc., as the false teachers like to spin it, but instead, Abinadi continues to recognize the authority of these corrupt priests to the very end, ending his sermon in this fashion:

Therefore, if ye teach the law of Moses, also teach that it is a shadow of those things which are to come—teach them that redemption cometh through Christ the Lord, who is the very Eternal Father. Amen. (Mosiah 16:14-15)

So, this was not a case of “Amen to the priesthood or the authority of that man!” that the false teachers would like it to be.  Now, let’s look at Alma.

Alma, the priest of Noah

Alma repented of his sins, ran away when Noah tried to kill him, wrote the words of Abinadi, and then began preaching in private.

Keep in mind that the tribal protocols were still intact under Noah and his priests.  But Alma couldn’t return, because they would just try to kill him again.  He was now an outsider, but he still had priesthood authority.  He was also under the obligation to teach the people the truth of Abinadi’s words.  He couldn’t teach them tribally and then tell them to go back and submit to the tribal authority of Noah as believers in Christ, because once it came out that they believed as Abinadi did, they would likely be killed, as well. So, what was Alma to do?

The answer is that he used his priesthood to form a church of Christ.  Noah and his priests operated under the tribal model, so Alma used his faith to have his converts operate under the church model.  This would protect them from the oppressions of king Noah, for they could meet in secret, be baptized in secret and so forth.  On the one hand, they would still participate in tribal functions, under Noah and priests, as well as in church functions, under Alma.

The church rises, the tribe goes away

But notice that once the church comes into existence, Satan inspires the king to destroy it, so they run away.  Then they are found by the Lamanites and finally escape to king Mosiah.  King Mosiah, a seer with his own tribal priests, seeing that Alma’s immense faith has caused a church of Christ to be formed before Christ had come to establish it(!), starts to set in motion the cessation of the priesthood within the tribal protocols.  He turns the monarchy into a system of judges without priests, gives Alma full authority over the church and the ordination of priesthood, and hands all sacred items to Alma’s son Alma.  Alma the younger then becomes first chief judge, high priest of the church, and all priesthood is now centered in the church.  From this point on, the priesthood no longer operates tribally, but within the church of Christ, exclusively.  The church of Christ has full sway over which ordinances are salvific, and which are not.

This pattern follows with the other two churches, too.  The church established by Jesus had exclusive authority.  The church established by Joseph Smith has exclusive authority.  No ordinances are salvific without church authorization, for either of these three churches.  All those who claim that they can baptize without church authorization, using Mormon priesthood, and that those baptisms are legitimately salvific in the Lord’s view, are wrong.  The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints possesses the keys over all the ordinances of salvation, exclusively.

Three published revelations given to me

Okay, hopefully that covers the Abinadi-Alma point that is always brought up by false teachers.

As the cry of false teachers and false prophets is always the same—the church is apostate, the keys are no longer valid, the practices of the church no longer conform to the revelations, etc.—I am going to use Abinadi logic to deal with these assertions:

And it came to pass that after Abinadi had made an end of these sayings that he said unto them:

Have ye taught this people that they should observe to do all these things for to keep these commandments? I say unto you,

Nay;

for if ye had, the Lord would not have caused me to come forth and to prophesy evil concerning this people. (Mosiah 13:25-26)

Joseph Smith organized and established the church of Christ on 6 April, 1830.  I joined The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in 19__, at the age of nine.  About a month before my baptism, I received a revelation from the Holy Ghost, in which the Spirit said to me:

“This [The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints] is the ONLY true church!”

This revelation was received while I was attending a Mormon church service for the very first time, and it was accompanied by a baptism of fire and of the Holy Ghost.  The meaning of the revelation was that the members of this particular church had valid ordinances of salvation.  In other words, that their priesthood authority was the only priesthood which was valid and authorized by God.

Now, all those who say that this church is apostate, or that the priesthood is no longer here, or some of it is missing, or the ordinances have changed, or that the keys are not valid, etc., and point to any point of time between 1830 and 19__, the year I received this revelation, are in error.  I say to them like Abinadi said to those priests:

Did the church become false at any time during this period from 1830 to 19__?  I say to you,

No, it didn’t;

for if it did, the Lord would not have caused me to receive a revelation that the church was true in 19__.

Now, either the church was true in 1830, and then became false, and then was restored back to true by 19__, or it has remained true the entire time, from 1830 to 19__.  As we have no record of any restoration that has occurred after Joseph Smith’s death, and, in fact, no such restoration will occur, except by the hand of the Josephite, then the church must have been true during this entire time.

So, that covers the period from 1830 to 19__, but what about the period since 19__?  Could there have been an apostasy since then?  Could the keys have been lost since the year I received that revelation?

No, because there is also this revelation, which I received in 2014:

Behold! Thus saith the Lord:

Thou shalt shut thy mouth, for none of my saints shall be authorized to speak against the leaders of my church, to criticize and correct them publicly, unless I send them. And thou shalt be sent, but the time is not yet, neither for thee, nor for any others, therefore, thou shalt heed these words and hold thy tongue.

Notice in particular that the Lord says, “the leaders of my church.”  Again,

Did the church become false at any time during this period from 19__ to 2014?  I say to you,

No, it didn’t;

for if it did, the Lord would not have caused me to receive a revelation that this was still His church in 2014.

So, this Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is still the Lord’s church, as of 2014.  And since 2014, there has been no indication from the Spirit, whatsoever, that the church has ceased being the Lord’s church, therefore, it’s still true, the keys are still here, the priesthood is still valid, and the Lord still recognizes it as His.

Anybody, then, who goes around saying this church no longer holds the keys, or is apostate, or does not have the priesthood (or not all the priesthood), or the ordinances have been changed or corrupted, or the Lord has rejected the church, and so forth—anyone who teaches such doctrine is a false teacher, because they go against these revelations of mine.

There is only one response that a false teacher can say to this, and that is, “These revelations are not true.”  But they are true, and this can be demonstrated by anyone praying to God about them.  God will tell any earnest seeker of truth that the above two revelations are true, and as they are true, these other phonies are false teachers.

Now, before I address the final point that false teachers always bring up, which is the fact that the practices of the church do not match the revelations of Joseph Smith in a great many instances, I will put up the third revelation, which is the tribal revelation, to show that this tribal doctrine and protocol, in which the kingdom of God was administered to the people tribally, is not something I made up on my own, but which was revealed to me by the Holy Ghost in 2010:

Be of good comfort, for verily, thus saith the Lord:

The priesthood existed before the organization of the church and is to serve both church and tribe. Although the tribes of Israel are not gathered, yet they are known to me, along with all the tribes of the earth.

For the Lord beholds no man alone, but sees the lineage of all families, of all the children of men, and of these lines form tribes.

I have yet to restore tribal functions,

saith the Lord,

nevertheless, the church ordinances of baptism, confirmation, administration of the sacrament, and priesthood ordinations, may be performed within a tribe, as tribal ordinances, under tribal authority or keys. Thus the priesthood may operate within a tribe, independently from the church, and within the church, independently from a tribe.

Nevertheless, thou shalt not substitute the church for the tribe, nor the tribe for the church.

Yet thou mayest establish thy tribe using these priesthood ordinances, and conform your tribal practices to the revelations of my servant Joseph Smith, Jun.,

saith the Lord.

¶ Because thou fearest to sin, thou shalt not administer of the sacrament at home to thy family, as a church ordinance, unless the bishop permitteth it.

For it is not meet nor right to establish a home church, apart from the body of the saints; nevertheless, thou art permitted to administer of the sacrament, as a tribal ordinance, to those that pertain to thy tribe.

For I require the saints of my church to meet together often, to worship me as a group, and thou shalt also worship me at all times, and the church is ordained and established unto this end,

saith the Lord.

Likewise the tribe is to worship me, as a group and individually. Wherefore, establish thy tribe, if thou wilt, using the priesthood, that ye may worship me as a group, in conformity to my revelations, given to my servant Joseph, that I may pour out my Spirit and gifts upon thee and thine, that thou shalt have no more cause to mourn and murmur concerning the meetings of my church. But take care not to go beyond the bounds I have set, until I have seen fit to reveal the tribal functions. Amen.

This shows that the priesthood “is to serve both church and tribe,” which means that before the churches established by Alma and Jesus, the kingdom of God was administered tribally, for that is what existed back then: tribes of Israel and tribes of the earth.

Two published revelations given to Joseph Smith

There are also two revelations which were given to Joseph Smith that show that the church still has all of its keys.  The first is:

Upon you my fellow servants, in the name of Messiah I confer the Priesthood of Aaron, which holds the keys of the ministering of angels, and of the gospel of repentance, and of baptism by immersion for the remission of sins; and this shall never be taken again from the earth, until the sons of Levi do offer again an offering unto the Lord in righteousness. (D&C 13:1)

Those are the words of John the Baptist to Joseph Smith and Oliver Cowdery when he gave them the Aaronic Priesthood. Notice that he says that that priesthood will remain on earth until the sons of Levi offer a sacrifice to the Lord in righteousness. Have the sons of Levi done this, yet? No, they haven’t. Therefore, this priesthood and all its keys are still here in the Lord’s church.

Here is another revelation of Joseph Smith:

Therefore, thus saith the Lord unto you, with whom the priesthood hath continued through the lineage of your fathers—for ye are lawful heirs, according to the flesh, and have been hid from the world with Christ in God—therefore your life and the priesthood have remained, and must needs remain through you and your lineage until the restoration of all things spoken by the mouths of all the holy prophets since the world began. (D&C 86:8-10)

This does not refer to the literal seed, but to the priesthood seed and priesthood lineage and priesthood fathers. So, the fathers of Joseph and Oliver were John the Baptist and also Peter, James and John, and Joseph and Oliver were lawful heirs, according to the flesh, for these priesthoods were conferred by the laying on of hands, of flesh and bone people, therefore it was done “according to the flesh.” Some people go way out in left field and think this scripture is speaking of the literal seed, or that Joseph and Oliver had priesthood rights by birth, from their mortal fathers, etc., but no such imaginary scenario exists, for they were Gentiles and had no right by birth to the priesthood, but via ordination by the hand of these resurrected personages. And so the lineage spoken of here is not the literal seed of Joseph and Oliver, but their priesthood seed. For example, owing to my priesthood lineage, Oliver Cowdery is one of my priesthood fathers. And I am one of his priesthood sons. And so forth. I am a part of his priesthood posterity.

Now, this priesthood (which includes both priesthoods) was to remain “until the restoration of all things.”  Again,

Has the restoration of all things occurred, yet?  I say to you,

No, it hasn’t;

therefore, this priesthood and all its keys are still with the church.

There is no getting around these revelations, neither mine nor Joseph’s.  If the false teachers are teaching correct doctrines, then both my revelations and also Joseph Smith’s are false.  If Joseph’s and my revelations are true, then the false teachers are in error.  It can’t be both ways.  As all these revelations are true, everyone can expect these two priesthoods, and their keys, to remain in this church until the restoration of all things.

These are the keys

As for what keys they have, this is what the Lord says about that:

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)

So, it is to the Twelve and First Presidency that we should look as key holders.  Now, notice what they have done with their keys since the death of Joseph Smith:

The church is out of order

According to the law of expediency, the church leadership must operate according to what is expedient.  In the absence of the revelations of a seer (Joseph Smith or Joseph-Nephi) they are to use this law and their keys, to keep the work moving forward, building up the church upon the foundation Joseph Smith laid, until the next seer (Joseph-Nephi) arrives to add to the body of revelation and restore the rest of all the things.

Because of hinderment, and especially if the hinderment is continual, things can quickly get out of order.  So, let’s say you start with 10 numbered blocks, from 1 to 10, which Joseph Smith restored, and let’s say that there are, in total, 1000 blocks to be restored.  Those 10 blocks represent the foundation of the restoration of all things, as well as the foundation of the church, which was accomplished by Joseph.  The order is from 1 to 10, but even in Joseph’s time, there was hinderment, so, for example, the law of consecration and stewardship had to be put on hold, and we got a new revealed block, which was the law of tithing.  After Joseph’s death, the leadership, holding the keys, had to move the work forward as best they could, under whatever inspiration they could get.

But again, hinderment comes, for Satan opposes this work, and maybe the order must be changed a little, so that there is no halt in the work.  Maybe blocks number 4 and 5 get swapped.  Later, there is more opposition, and the law of expediency requires that to keep the work moving forward, blocks 2 and 7 must be swapped.  Maybe with so much opposition, block 10 must have its practice ceased, but the block must remain, so it is hid under block 9.  And so on, as time goes on the blocks get more and more out of order.  Yet they are all still there.

The uninspired man, and in particular the false teachers and false prophets, will say that this is not the true church, for look at all the blocks.  They are out of order!  They no longer conform to the revelations of Joseph Smith!  But remember, these are uninspired, false teachers.  They cannot see the hand of God if it was placed right in front of their blind faces.

And it shall come to pass that I, the Lord God, will send one mighty and strong, holding the scepter of power in his hand, clothed with light for a covering, whose mouth shall utter words, eternal words; while his bowels shall be a fountain of truth, to set in order the house of God, and to arrange by lot the inheritances of the saints whose names are found, and the names of their fathers, and of their children, enrolled in the book of the law of God; while that man, who was called of God and appointed, that putteth forth his hand to steady the ark of God, shall fall by the shaft of death, like as a tree that is smitten by the vivid shaft of lightning. (D&C 85:7-8)

This prophecy cannot be fulfilled unless the house of God first gets out of order.  This is really, then, two prophecies: one of the house of God getting out of order, and one of the house of God being set in order.  Those who say: “That the house of God being out of order, or it not conforming to the revelations of Joseph Smith, is evidence that it is no longer the house of God” are false teachers, for this prophecy of Joseph Smith prophesies that the house of God will first get out of order, yet it still will be the house of God, for later on it (the house of God) will be set in order.  It never ceases to be the house of God during this process.  Therefore, all those who seek to “steady the ark of God” to restore order to it, are the ones who are uninspired.  The house of God getting out of order is a state which conforms to the revelations of Joseph Smith.  And the leadership, acting under the law of expediency, and getting this house more and more out of order, are acting under inspiration of God.

It was always the intention of God to have the house get all jumbled up, and then one day He had always planned that this guy, called a mighty and strong one, would come and set the whole mess right.  So, if you want to follow a false teacher out of this church, do it with the understanding that these people haven’t got a clue as to the workings of the Spirit.

A key to discerning the time of apostasy

When did the most ancient church of Christ (the one established by Alma Nephi) go into apostasy and cease to exist?  The answer is when God took away His twelve disciples.  (Later, under Mormon, it was when He took away all of His disciples.)  And when did the church established by Jesus among the Jews go into apostasy?

Verily, thus saith the Lord unto you my servants, concerning the parable of the wheat and of the tares:

Behold, verily I say, the field was the world, and the apostles were the sowers of the seed; and after they have fallen asleep the great persecutor of the church, the apostate, the whore, even Babylon, that maketh all nations to drink of her cup, in whose hearts the enemy, even Satan, sitteth to reign—behold he soweth the tares; wherefore, the tares choke the wheat and drive the church into the wilderness. (D&C 86:1-3)

Once again, the answer is when the apostles were taken away. (The tares had been sown in the church while the apostles were still ministering, but only when they were taken away did the tares become capable of choking the wheat and driving the church into the wilderness.) And in our day, when will the church go into apostasy?

Now, I say unto you, and what I say unto you, I say unto all the Twelve:

And again, I say unto you, that whosoever ye shall send in my name, by the voice of your brethren, the Twelve, duly recommended and authorized by you, shall have power to open the door of my kingdom unto any nation whithersoever ye shall send them—inasmuch as they shall humble themselves before me, and abide in my word, and hearken to the voice of my Spirit.

Verily, verily, I say unto you, darkness covereth the earth, and gross darkness the minds of the people, and all flesh has become corrupt before my face.

Behold, vengeance cometh speedily upon the inhabitants of the earth, a day of wrath, a day of burning, a day of desolation, of weeping, of mourning, and of lamentation; and as a whirlwind it shall come upon all the face of the earth,

saith the Lord.

And upon my house shall it begin, and from my house shall it go forth,

saith the Lord;

first among those among you,

saith the Lord,

who have professed to know my name and have not known me, and have blasphemed against me in the midst of my house,

saith the Lord. (D&C 112:14,21-26)

Again, the answer is the same: the day of vengeance, wrath, burning, desolation, weeping, mourning and lamentation will begin first among the Twelve apostles.  (And this day has not come, yet.)  So, when the Lord removes the twelve Gentile apostles, that is the day when the tares, which are already sown among the wheat of this church, will begin to choke the wheat. But as long as we have the twelve apostles among us, the church is not apostate, it still has the priesthood, the keys are still here, the ordinances are still valid, and so forth. Even my prophecies concerning the breakup of the church and of the descent into wickedness (by the tares of this church) bear out this principle, for the church breakup and wickedness of the tares only occurs when the quorum of the Twelve are taken out of the picture. So, all of this shows that a key to know whether this church is still valid in God’s eyes, is the existence of the quorum of the twelve apostles. If that quorum exists, the church is still true.  And since we do have the Twelve among us still, this (The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints) is still the Lord’s church and believe it or not, all the expedient disordering that is being done with their keys is under inspiration of God.  So, hopefully this post will do something to help shut the mouths of the false teachers who are spreading lies among the saints.

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I’ve changed my mind


I used to think that the latter-day saints could self-correct and bring the current church practices back into conformity to the revelations of Joseph, and to that end I advocated, among other things, the use of the law of common consent to put a stop to practices that went contrary to the scriptures.  (See, for example, Is our procedure for sustaining a rubber stamp?)  But over the years of this blog’s existence it has become apparent to me that the latter-day saints are incapable of self-correcting.  This used to cause me consternation, but I’m not worried about it anymore.  And neither should anybody else be.  There is going to be a major correction, but it won’t come from the body of the saints doing it of their own volition under inspiration of the Holy Ghost.  The saints need to be convinced to self-correct, but they aren’t convinced.  I certainly haven’t been able to convince anyone, or at least, not enough people, to make any difference.  But also, the leadership needs to be convinced that they need to self-correct, and once again, they aren’t convinced.

So, although I still recommend that everyone should conform their lives, as best they can, to the revelations of Joseph Smith, within the context of the current church practices, I no longer believe that there will be enough people doing that to alter the church course and bring it back into conformity to the revelations.  Therefore, here is my recommendation: don’t go against the keys.  If whatever you are doing is brought into question by the authorities, submit to those keys.  If they say, “Either you wear purple socks or you are out of here,” then by all means, wear purple socks!  Go to the Lord in prayer and say, “Well, this doesn’t exactly accord with Your written word in the revelations, but they have the keys which You gave them, so I will submit to those keys.”

Perhaps you will say of me, “That’s kind of a cop-out, don’t you think?”  Not really, though.  You see, I’ve got a new view of things, of how things are going to go down, or how the church correction is going to be effected.  Those who say, “I’m going to conform to the revelations as I see fit and understand them, these leaders be damned!” are not being led by the Holy Ghost.  But the Holy Ghost is most definitely leading me.  And if you don’t believe me, then ask God, “Is the guy who calls himself LDS Anarchist led by the Holy Ghost?” And if you are capable of receiving revelation, God will manifest to you that I am.  So, anyone, from any quarter, that says the LDS leadership has apostatized and their keys are null and void is either mistaken or telling an outright lie.  The keys are here.  The church is still true.  We, the LDS church, have the only baptism of John found anywhere on the earth, John having appeared and conferred this authority upon Joseph Smith and Oliver Cowdery.

And it came to pass, that on one of those days, as he taught the people in the temple, and preached the gospel, the chief priests and the scribes came upon him with the elders, and spake unto him, saying,

Tell us, by what authority doest thou these things? or who is he that gave thee this authority?

And he answered and said unto them,

I will also ask you one thing; and answer me:

The baptism of John, was it from heaven, or of men?

And they reasoned with themselves, saying,

If we shall say,

From heaven;

he will say,

Why then believed ye him not?

But and if we say,

Of men;

all the people will stone us: for they be persuaded that John was a prophet.

And they answered, that they could not tell whence it was.  And Jesus said unto them,

Neither tell I you by what authority I do these things. (Luke 20:1-8)

And they come again to Jerusalem: and as he was walking in the temple, there come to him the chief priests, and the scribes, and the elders, and say unto him,

By what authority doest thou these things? and who gave thee this authority to do these things?

And Jesus answered and said unto them,

I will also ask of you one question, and answer me, and I will tell you by what authority I do these things.

The baptism of John, was it from heaven, or of men?

answer me.

And they reasoned with themselves, saying,

If we shall say,

From heaven;

he will say,

Why then did ye not believe him?

But if we shall say,

Of men;

they feared the people: for all men counted John, that he was a prophet indeed.  And they answered and said unto Jesus,

We cannot tell.

And Jesus answering saith unto them,

Neither do I tell you by what authority I do these things. (Mark 11:27-33)

Also, there is the revelation (D&C 22) Joseph Smith received concerning non-church baptisms, so those who say a non church-authorized baptism is good enough to satisfy the requirements of the gospel are lying through their teeth, or deceived by the devil, or just misunderstanding the scriptures.  Whatever the case, they are in error and in need of correction.

Now, although the church practices do not fully conform to the revelations of Joseph Smith, that is not enough reason to warrant abandoning the ship or making claims of the leadership or membership apostatizing.  And, in fact, it turns out that no one is authorized to correct the leadership.  (See “Keep your mouth shut and hold your tongue!”  (Leave the leadership alone.).)

Again, let me be perfectly clear: 1) Anyone that claims the current LDS church is no longer God’s church is not inspired of the Holy Ghost.  Period.  This is still, indeed, God’s church.  2) Anyone that claims that the LDS church ceased being God’s church long ago, during Joseph Smith’s life, or right after he died, is not inspired of the Holy Ghost.  3) Anyone that claims that church ordinances performed without church authorization are binding as ordinances of salvation, is not inspired of the Holy Ghost.  4) Anyone that claims that the LDS church leadership no longer hold the keys, is not inspired of the Holy Ghost.  5) Anyone that claims that the LDS church’s departure from the precise conformity to Joseph Smith’s revelations nullifies their priesthood and church keys, is not inspired of the Holy Ghost.  6) Anyone advocating leaving the LDS church, or advocating that people not join this church, are not inspired of the Holy Ghost.  7) Anyone advocating that people who have left the LDS church are better off apart from it, or that they ought to stay where they are and not come back in and submit to the keys, is not inspired of the Holy Ghost.

Here is what the Holy Ghost will inspire a saint to do: conform to the revelations of Joseph Smith with exactness, but if the leadership of the church conflict with that conformity, then the Holy Ghost will inspire that person to conform to the keys.

The reason why the Holy Ghost operates after this fashion, or will operate after this fashion, is because the Lord already has the Josephite prepared to make the correction.  He will and must convince the world, right?  And how will he convince?  Through the manifestations of the Holy Ghost, working mighty miracles.  The leadership is going to be convinced.  The church is going to be convinced.  The whole world will be convinced.  And the correction will be made seemingly over-night.  It will be the now convinced LDS leadership telling the people, “Yesterday that was how we did it, but today we have received new divine instructions, and we are now doing it by the book, even by the revelations of Joseph, with exactness.”  And the church will correct in an instant.

But not even the Josephite is authorized, or empowered, to make the correction now.  While in his weakness, he doesn’t and can’t convince anybody.  It’s just his word without any divine manifestations of heavenly approval in attendance, which word is just as good as anybody else’s.  So, for all intents and purposes, the weak Josephite is just like any other member of the church, completely useless to make any church corrections.

That being true, that the Josephite is powerless at this present time to correct the church, why in the world would anyone else think they could do it?

Once again, I want to be perfectly clear, so I’ll give more details: the Lord’s authorized servant, the Josephite, who will be the one to actually make the correction, 1) will be a man already in this church, but not in the LDS church leadership; 2) will not be someone who has been kicked out of the church; 3) will say the church or priesthood keys are still in and with the church; 4) will not advocate non church-authorized baptism or other ordinances as ordinances of salvation; 5) will not be against the current church leadership, at any point; and 6) will convince the church leadership (and entire church) by working mighty signs and miracles such as Moses did when he began his ministry, going to the elders of Israel to perform signs, so that they knew that the time had come for a course alteration (see Exodus 4.)  And then the church will correct.

Now, what happens after that, I do not know, for there is still the prophecy I received about the earthquake and the break-up of the church, which prophecy will come to pass, but how and when and in what order all these things will play out, I haven’t a clue.  And there are a whole mess of other things I’ve received concerning the future and the Josephite, which have me completely baffled as to how they will play out, but all this stuff is real, so it will happen when it happens, and that’s good enough for me.  Let it suffice that I am saying that I have prophesied a great many things, but none of them match the “church as currently organized has apostatized” scenario.  My point is this: I know my prophecies are real, so if you are following a man or woman who claims to be a prophet and inspired of God, and they are going against what I have prophesied or received in revelation, ditch ’em quick.  Don’t follow that person.  They are in error and you are in error if you believe them.  And if you don’t believe me, then ask God about my prophecies.  It doesn’t matter that you don’t know all of what I have prophesied.  Ask God and He will tell you that my prophecies are true.  And when He does, repent and come back in to the fold, and conform as I stated above, and wait patiently upon the Lord until He sends the Josephite to make the correction.

I swear I think I’m probably speaking to the wall when I write these words—for my experience is that people just refuse to ask God about me and my revelations and prophecies.  But those who do, get answers only in the affirmative (confirmations of their truth.)  So, I will try once again, and say that the Lord will not send any mere prophet to correct the church.  What we are looking and waiting for is a seer, not a prophet.  And he won’t be a mere seer, he will be a miracle-working seer, even the greatest miracle worker of all time.  So cast all these wannabe phonies aside.  There will be no church correction until this seer shows up fully empowered.

One last thing: those who are no longer members of this church, many of whom have good intentions and truly believe what they believe, who have been “excommunicated” not by the (now defunct) elder’s court, but by the high council, although this has been done in error, in contradiction to the revelations, nevertheless, these people, if they turn around and criticize and correct and ridicule (revile), etc., they are not inspired of the Holy Ghost.  As I see it, there is only one impediment found in the church questions, and that is the one dealing with the claim that they are seers.  But even there, they do have a seer stone (although they don’t know how to use it.)  But all other questions, concerning keys and beliefs and the revelations of Joseph and so forth, are reasonable to expect of a person who wants back in.  So, if these corrections from the leadership are not accepted, that ain’t the leadership’s fault.  But if the excommunicant believes the keys are here, and believes the revelations and the doctrine, and submits to the keys, but cannot accept that the leadership are seers, and the leadership won’t let them in for that single reason alone, then that ain’t that man’s fault, that comes upon the leadership’s head.  And the Josephite will correct that.

But from my vantage point, that is not what is going on.  These people who get “excommunicated” express views of unbelief on various important points, and no longer accept the keys.  My understanding (which may be entirely wrong) is that the leadership really isn’t so much concerned with the titles, “prophet, seer and revelator,” as they are with the assertion that they have the keys.  I can only suppose that if someone says, “I fully believe that the leaders have the keys, and I will submit to them, and I believe that they have the seer stone, and that they are capable of receiving prophecies and revelations for their respective callings,” I can only assume that if those exact words were said, that the leadership would let them back in.  But if a person says this, repenting and humbly accepting whatever correction is given to them, and the leadership still refuses to let them in, then that’s a horse of a different color.  But I don’t think that is what is happening, at all.  But even if that does happen, the saint should just continue to meet with the saints and wait for the correction to come via the Josephite.  He or she should not go on a mission to correct the leadership publicly.

Okay, enough of this pointless rant.  I usually only like to put up posts that contain new information, and this post doesn’t seem to have anything new (to me, at least), but I feel like it needed to be said anyway.

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The USC Sucks, etcetera: Part 13 of an Open Debate—The NAC’s Article XIII (The Rules of the League)


Altering the pact

Article XIII. Section 1.  Every State shall abide by the determination of the united States in congress assembled, on all questions which by this confederation are submitted to them. And the Articles of this confederation shall be inviolably observed by every State, and the union shall be perpetual; nor shall any alteration at any time hereafter be made in any of them, unless such alteration be agreed to by the voice of the citizens of the several States, for as it was the voice of the citizens of the several States that ordained these articles as the league pact for the States of this Confederacy, neither the several State legislatures and governors, nor the united States in Congress assembled, shall have power to alter these articles in any way, for such power and authority is reserved solely to the citizens of the several States, who shall wield it by their voice at whatsoever time they see fit.

Once the New Articles of Confederation (NAC) have been installed as the Supreme Law of the land, those who have been deposed of their positions of power in the former national government, and those who were seeking such positions, will unite in an effort to amend or alter the NAC to either bring the Confederacy back to a national government or otherwise to consolidate power into a singular head which can act as a king or as a president exercising kingly authority over men.  These men will prefer to alter or amend the NAC by a Congressional vote or by a vote of the State legislatures, because both Congress and the State legislatures are smaller groups of people than the general populace, and it is easier to bribe with money or promises of power, benefit and gain the 540 or so members of Congress, or the State legislatures, than the entire population.  The NAC anticipates an immediate push for amendment or alteration by these people, but puts this right squarely in the hands of the people of the States, making it impossible for it to be corrupted through closed-door deals.  Thus, conspiring men will have to convince more than half of the American people that altering the NAC is in their best interest.  The chances of that happening are slim to none.

It is possible to transfer an already captured bird from a smaller bird cage to a larger one or from a larger bird cage to a smaller one, for the captured bird is already accustomed to being in a cage and, being confined, can be fairly easily corralled into the new more confining, or less confining, cage.  In like manner, it is possible to cause a people living under an oppressive government to accept the alteration of the government into a more oppressive, or less oppressive, form, for the people are already accustomed to living under an oppressive government, and more oppression or less oppression are just degrees of what they are already used to.  In other words, the situation hasn’t drastically changed, thus the behavior of the people won’t drastically change, either.  But when you free the bird entirely from the cage, allowing it to fly off into the wild blue yonder, you’ve drastically altered conditions and no amount of coaxing will get the bird back in a cage.  Once out, it’s gone.  Similarly, if a people go from an oppressive government to a free government, it is next to impossible to get them to choose of their own free will to go back into oppression.  Once they’ve been acclimated to freedom, the only way to get them back under your thumb is through force of arms.

The NAC establishes a free government, not merely a less oppressive one than the former national government.  For this reason the push to alter the NAC must come almost immediately after its passage, before the population has time to acclimate to the new free environment.  I suppose the threat of war, through an exterior invasion, will be used as a fearmongering tool to try to cause the people to alter the NAC so that a president and standing army can be allowed, perhaps under the false guise of a “temporary measure.”  Whatever the strategy, these efforts to alter must come soon after the installment of the NAC.  If they wait too long, the people will never be able to be tricked into giving up their freedom and liberties again.

This section, then, is a safeguard against the re-establishment of tyranny and oppression in America.

The rules of the club

Article XIII.

Section 2.  All of the fifty States of the previous union, which was formed under the United States Constitution, are invited to enter this league by sending authorized delegates to the gathering at Liberty Bell at the day and time which has been appointed to sign them, and such signing will enter them; but if any of these fifty States neglect to send delegates at that time, yet desire to be admitted into the league afterward, they shall be admitted by the voice of the citizens of their States, first, by the voice of Congress, second, and upon them sending authorized delegates to sign the pact, third, all within a year’s time.

Section 3.  Apart from the fifty States which were united under the United States Constitution, no foreign State or nation shall be admitted into this league, except by the voice of the citizens of the several States, and the voice of Congress, and the voice of the citizens of said foreign State or nation, all within a year’s time; and if the voice of all these is for admittance, the foreign State or nation shall send authorized delegates to sign the pact before the year’s time has expired, and thus shall be admitted; but no foreign State or nation shall be admitted that has a king over men, or that exerts kingly authority over them, or that in any way violates these articles.

Section 4.  No State shall be removed from this Confederacy, except by the voice of Congress and the voice of the citizens of the several States, all within a year’s time. Any State which has been removed from this league shall be considered a foreign State and treated as such; and if the removed State requests re-admittance, the third section of this article shall apply.

The Confederacy established by the NAC is a free league, of free States.  Any State can voluntarily enter the league, and voluntarily exit it, whenever they want.  Peaceful provisions are provided to that end, making a repeat of the Civil War, or War Between the States, highly unlikely.  However, owing that the league is to be of free States, oppressive ones that exercise kingly authority over their people, and also monarchies, are banned from it.  This Confederacy is not to be patterned after the United Nations, allowing all sorts of oppressive regimes in, but an exclusive club of free governments.  If any nation does not make the grade, they are barred from entering.  If any member State turns oppressive, they can be kicked out.  The NAC does not play favorites and no State is indispensable.

Installing the NAC

Once America has decided to install the NAC, the only text that needs to be altered are the dates listed in the Preamble and Conclusion,

Preamble

Whereas the Delegates of Fifty of the United States of America in Congress assembled at Liberty Bell, Independence National Historical Park, in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, did on the fifteenth day of November in the Year of our Lord Two Thousand Fifteen, and in the Two Hundred Thirty-Ninth Year of the Independence of America, agree to certain new articles of Confederation and perpetual Union between the sovereign, free and independent States of Maine, New Hampshire, Vermont, Massachusetts, Connecticut, Rhode Island, New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Delaware, Maryland, Virginia, Florida, Texas, Kentucky, Tennessee, North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia, Alabama, Mississippi, Arkansas, Louisiana, Missouri, Oklahoma, Ohio, Nebraska, Michigan, Indiana, Wisconsin, Illinois, Minnesota, Iowa, North Dakota, South Dakota, Kansas, Colorado, New Mexico, Arizona, Nevada, California, Wyoming, Montana, Utah, Idaho, Washington, Oregon, Alaska, Hawaii, and West Virginia, in the words following, viz:

New articles of Confederation and perpetual Union between the States of Maine, New Hampshire, Vermont, Massachusetts, Connecticut, Rhode Island, New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Delaware, Maryland, Virginia, Florida, Texas, Kentucky, Tennessee, North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia, Alabama, Mississippi, Arkansas, Louisiana, Missouri, Oklahoma, Ohio, Nebraska, Michigan, Indiana, Wisconsin, Illinois, Minnesota, Iowa, North Dakota, South Dakota, Kansas, Colorado, New Mexico, Arizona, Nevada, California, Wyoming, Montana, Utah, Idaho, Washington, Oregon, Alaska, Hawaii, and West Virginia.

Conclusion

In Witness whereof we have hereunto set our hands in Congress. Done at Philadelphia in the State of Pennsylvania the ninth day of July in the Year of our Lord two thousand Sixteen, and in the two hundred Fortieth Year of the independence of America.

and also the listing of the States, according to which States choose to enter the pact.  Everything else can and should remain untouched, just as it is written now.  This allows for very easy installation, as whatever date chosen only needs to be one that occurs after the election and on a day and time that the Liberty Bell park is open to the public.

Peaceful government transitions codified

Article XIII. Section 5.  Recognizing that the Confederacy derives its powers from its constituent States, and that each State derives its Powers from its people, should the citizens of any of the member States of this Confederacy decide, by their voice, with or without the approval of their State government officials, to abolish the government of their State, or to remove their State from the Confederacy, or to revert their State to the previous form of government as a British Colony, or to alter their republican form of State government into some other form, this Confederacy shall acknowledge their decision as legitimate, valid, effective, final and binding, and shall consider them and their lands as no longer residing within the jurisdictional bounds of, and no longer part of, the Confederacy; and should they choose removal from the Confederacy, they shall be viewed as a free and independent State; and should they choose anarchism, they shall be viewed as a free and independent people and Territory; and should they choose to revert to British rule, they shall be viewed as part of Great Britain; and should they choose some other form of government, they shall be viewed as a foreign entity and nation.

The NAC includes the right to peacefully abolish, revert and replace, which is essentially the same text of the proposed amendment attached to the NAC, which amendment will allow the NAC to be installed.  As good a law as the NAC is, being far superior to the United States Constitution, or any other man-made law found throughout the world, this does not preclude the future existence of something even better, of ever greater wisdom, therefore the NAC provides for this contingency, too.

Final Conclusion of the 13 Parts

These thirteen essays adequately show the superiority of the New Articles of Confederation to the United States Constitution, demonstrating to America that the Constitution is not the be-all and end-all of laws.  It certainly served its purposes for more than 200 years, and as far as man-made laws go, it was one of the most innovative, and far ahead of its time.  But it is an old man and it is time to put it to rest.  Nevertheless, the principles in the Constitution, which were not man-made, namely, the Bill of Rights, are carried over into the new plan (the NAC), for these were inspired of God, and must not be set aside.  And they have been expanded in the NAC, as if in an unabridged form.  Also, a few of the Constitutional innovations have been retained in the NAC.  But, other than that, the NAC is a new tool for a new millennium, to combat and eradicate a new group of tyrants and tyrannies, the march of which the Constitution has been unable to stop or even slow down.  But that is okay, because now there is the NAC, and it is fully armed and ready to deal with the current and future environments of tyranny.  So, let’s let go of the Constitution and replace it with the NAC.  Let’s let the NAC do its tyranny-destroying thing.  As it is unwise to enter a gunfight armed with only a knife, why should we fight the tyranny and oppression of today with a 200+ year law that the enemy has already figured out how to by-pass and corrupt?  That route only leads to defeat, slavery and totalitarianism.  The NAC offers an alternative future, one of victory, freedom and the destruction of tyranny.  It does so by offering a proper tool, one meet for the task at hand, even a modern tool for a modern problem, which, strangely enough, is really a set of exceedingly ancient principles, far older than the Constitution.  So the NAC is new only in the sense that we have never seen its like before, but in reality it is an older, extremely strong, street-wise man, who has been around the block more times than we can count, and the Constitution is the relatively new kid who is getting beat up by the neighborhood bullies.  The NAC man has returned from his lengthy walkabout and now sees and targets the bullies.  He’s ready and poised to kick some major bully butt.  Do we put forth our hand to hold the NAC back and say, “No.  Let the bullies continue to destroy the little kid.”  Of course not.  We pull up a chair, grab a bag of popcorn, and watch the action fly, cheering as the bullies get their comeuppance.

Feel free to disagree on any point mentioned in this post. Bring your strongest reasons against the NAC and let’s have an open debate. And for those who like the NAC and want to install it as the Supreme Law of the land, here is my advice and prediction (and also see this comment, and this comment and this comment) :

A continual strategy of debate will install the NAC in this country and I challenge anyone to prove me wrong. I say that Americans will jump at the chance to debate the NAC and to show that the Constitution is better, but, according to the rules of the debate, they will have to read the NAC first, and once read, they will be hard pressed to defend the Constitution. Thus, everyone who hears, or watches, or reads, or participates in, a NAC debate, will become convinced that the NAC is what this country needs.

To read the other parts of this series, click any of these links:

Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, Part 4, Part 5,

Part 6, Part 7, Part 8, Part 9, Part 10,

Part 11, Part 12, Part 13.

Also see: The New Articles of Confederation (NAC) and The Right to Abolish, Revert and Replace Amendment.

Complete List of Articles authored by LDS Anarchist

The U.S. Constitution (USC) Sucks, The New Articles of Confederation (NAC) is Better: Part 6 of an Open Debate—NAC’s Article IV Confederacy vs. USC’s National Government


From the Articles of Confederation entry on Wikipedia:

On January 21, 1786, the Virginia Legislature, following James Madison’s recommendation, invited all the states to send delegates to Annapolis, Maryland to discuss ways to reduce interstate conflict. At what came to be known as the Annapolis Convention, the few state delegates in attendance endorsed a motion that called for all states to meet in Philadelphia in May 1787 to discuss ways to improve the Articles of Confederation in a “Grand Convention.” Although the states’ representatives to the Constitutional Convention in Philadelphia were only authorized to amend the Articles, the representatives held secret, closed-door sessions and wrote a new constitution.

So, they were supposed to fix the Articles of Confederation (AOC) but the nationalists among them decided to scrap the Confederacy that the AOC established and write something new, without authorization from their States, which thing would create a national government.  Most Americans say, “So, what?  The U. S. Constitution (USC) is the greatest political document in the world.”

You must look at the Constitution in this way

Those who defend the USC do so without understanding, for they do not separate the USC, which was written by the nationalists, from the Bill of Rights, which was a product of the minds of the federalists.  The nationalists who wrote the USC in secret wanted to impose a strong national (centrist) government upon the States and saw no need for a Bill of Rights to protect the people from the monster they were creating.  In fact, they argued that having a Bill of Rights would be bad!  Luckily, (or speaking more truthfully), by divine grace, God inspired the federalists to insist upon a Bill of Rights, which were added as the first 10 Amendments.  But the nationalists ever thought their creation (the USC) was perfect as is, without the Bill of Rights.

When you look at history, think about how abusive the national government has been, encroaching on the rights of the people just about every chance it has had.   Now, think about what is the only thing that has somewhat checked these tyrannical abuses of power.  Has it not been the Bill of Rights?  Yes, of course it has.  Now, imagine how history would have been different had those nationalist conspirators—who usurped their delegated States’ authority and wrote the USC in secret—had their way, and released it upon the American people without a Bill of Rights.  Can you imagine the horrors we would have had from the very beginning?  We see horrors among us today and say that the government has grown too large and too centralized, but this growth took hundreds of years to occur because of the restraints the Bill of Rights put upon government.  Without the Bill of Rights, government would have ballooned overnight and the horrors we see today would have existed two hundred years ago.

When you look at the USC, then, you must see it as its creators saw it: sans a Bill of Rights and about as perfect as mortal man could make it.  And that, in fact, is the problem with the USC.  It is man-made law, which God has said brings men into bondage, for this is what the laws of men have always done and been designed to do: to bring men into all types of bondage, so that men can rule over their fellow man and enrich themselves with other men’s goods.

So, all those who extoll the virtues of the USC are not praising the USC, for there is nothing particularly good about it, but their praise is for the Bill of Rights, which is cause for celebration.  And that is the part that was inspired of God.  For God needed to restrain this thing that had been created in secret, for a time, until, when it became the behemoth it now is, gobbling up every right and power it can find, God could work a work of restoration and bring us back to where we first went awry.

The NAC is a reset

It was always the intention of God that those delegates fix the AOC, but they didn’t do it.  So, God is going to fix the AOC with the NAC (or something like it), because God’s purposes are never frustrated.  In the end, He always get what He wants.  In this case, we are going to be taken back to a Confederacy, as if we were transported back in time to May 1787.  It is going to be as if those unfaithful delegates actually did their appointed job and corrected the AOC under inspiration of God.  It is going to be as if the USC never existed (save for all the history we had under it).  It will be a complete reset.

A Confederacy is superior to a National Government

The NAC’s Confederacy has token similarities to the national government established by the USC.  There is a bicameral Congress composed of a Senate and a House of Representatives.  There are two Senators per State and multiple Representatives per population apportionment.  But that is pretty much where the similarities end.

In essence the NAC is a pure Confederacy of States.  The Congress represents the States and their interests, not the people.  No one is popularly elected, like under the USC, but all are appointed by the State governments.  Nevertheless, there is interaction with the people because they (the people) get to approve or disapprove of all those appointments.  This corresponds, basically, to the law of common consent.  Thus, the NAC’s Confederacy has perfect legitimacy on all levels.

Unlike the USC, which has enormous powers, the NAC’s Confederacy has extremely limited powers that deal with State issues.  The Confederacy is mainly concerned with defense, but also has power to make treaties, regulate the border crossings of foreigners, provide a sound monetary source, a post office, resolve disputes between States, and little else.  This Confederacy, in fact, might seem weak on the surface, but it makes for an extremely dynamic and diverse society, which is fully protected from any foe, whether foreign or domestic.

The so-called “dynamic” American economy currently under the USC is but the symbol or shadow of the economy that would exist literally under the NAC.  The USC has the economy under a whole lot of restraints at present, yet it still chugs along “dynamically” (so-called).  The NAC, though, unleashes the full American economy, freeing it from its restraints, allowing the Lord to finally give the Gentiles a taste of what the Nephites had.  Everything becomes, or will become, literally dynamic, on all levels, in a never-ending spiral of (non-miraculous) prosperity.  (And yet, even this won’t be what God has in store for us.  But you have to start somewhere, right?  So, the NAC shouldn’t be considered the prosperity miracle, but just a set-up for the prosperity miracle which is to come.)

Again, the national government under the USC restrains, while the Confederacy under the NAC will set all things free of restraints.  Yet it also will keep us safe and secure, so there is no trade-off.  We need not choose between the security of the USC and the freedom of the NAC.  The NAC will secure us more fully than the USC does and will also give us greater freedoms, so it is superior to the USC on literally every point.

Secret combinations, political parties and special interests

Do you remember what happened a mere five years after king Mosiah did away with the monarchy and established a system of judges?  Sure, the people rejoiced in their new-found freedom, but a certain set of men were ticked off at this change of events because there was no longer a centralized position of power in the government from which to rule over men.  They wanted to be kings over men, but they couldn’t because king Mosiah changed the dang laws!  Everything was too decentralized for power hungry people to be able to control anything.  So, just five years into the reign of the judges, Amlici of the Nehors appeared on the scene:

And it came to pass in the commencement of the fifth year of their reign there began to be a contention among the people; for a certain man, being called Amlici, he being a very cunning man, yea, a wise man as to the wisdom of the world, he being after the order of the man that slew Gideon by the sword, who was executed according to the law—now this Amlici had, by his cunning, drawn away much people after him; even so much that they began to be very powerful; and they began to endeavor to establish Amlici to be a king over the people.  (Alma 2:1-2)

In like manner, there are to be wicked and conspiring men among the Gentiles:

Behold, verily, thus saith the Lord unto you:

In consequence of evils and designs which do and will exist in the hearts of conspiring men in the last days, I have warned you, and forewarn you, by giving unto you this word of wisdom by revelation—  (D&C 89:4)

These same conspiring men, who have genetically modified our food, who have poisoned our water supplies, who have conspired to put toxic chemicals into our bodies and the bodies of our children, in the name of science and medicine, who have promoted sexual liberation and abortion that they might be able to farm human body parts (of the aborted children), etc., all for gain, fame, honors of men and power, these very same men (and also women) have a vested interest in the national government, for although it is not a monarchy with a king, it still nevertheless represents kingly authority over men, which is what these conspiring men need and desire in order for them to obtain their riches and dominion over men.

So, it should not come as a surprise that there will be intense opposition to the NAC once it starts to gain traction among the people.  And it should not come as a surprise that even after the NAC (or something like it) is installed as the Supreme Law of the land, that just a short time afterward there will be calls for it to be changed into something that allows for either a king-type of office or kingly authority over men.  In other words, these same men aren’t going to go away without a fight, and even after their power and control is taken away from them by the NAC, they will use every means in their power to re-gain the lost ground and powerful positions they had, even if it means conspiring with our enemies to wage war against America, to bring it back to a national government.

This means that on the one hand the NAC will destroy secret combinations and conspiring men, during the time that it is the law, but on the other hand, so all-pervasively destructive will the NAC be to tyranny that all would-be tyrants will be forced to use excessive measures to restore their thrones, so war will be inevitable under the NAC.  There will be forces both within our borders and also outside of them trying to take the NAC out.  Even if the conspirators in this country are all arrested and put down, the conspirators in other countries will not sit idly by and watch the great prize of America be literally snatched from their fingers by the NAC.

The NAC foresees all of this

Although it could be technically correct to say that the NAC’s Confederacy is weaker than the national government under the USC, the powers vested in the Confederacy by the NAC are specific and sufficiently powerful to deal with these conspiring enemies of the people.  The NAC already foresees that such secret combinations will exist, and that they will attempt to destroy the NAC and return the people to the USC, or to bring about an even stronger government, such as a world government, and the NAC plans for these conspiracies.  In other words, although the specific powers of the Confederacy are extremely limited, they are also extremely powerful and perfectly requisite in dealing with all enemies whether foreign and domestic.  Even if the entire world conspires against America under the NAC, and decides to wage war against us, the NAC provides for this contingency and will be able to see us through it.

The USC’s national government has no power to restrain conspirators

In contrast, the national government under the USC is a breeding ground for conspiring men and corruption.  Not only is there a continual push to consolidate all power under the executive branch (the President), for that is the office that most closely matches a king, but all branches of government routinely grab at whatsoever new power and authority they can steal from the people, representing the continuous manifestation of kingly authority over men.  Additionally, although having a real king would be magnificent to these evil people, they would really love to have a world king, and so they also push for world government and to do away altogether with the sovereign nation-state.  These things happen, or can happen, under the USC, because it is man-made and has no foresight whatsoever.  In other words, fore-sight comes of the Spirit of freedom, even the Holy Ghost, which is the spirit of prophecy and revelation.  Man-made documents can’t see the future and so must just guess as to what is actually needed.  Most times these guesses are all wrong because of the change in conditions that inevitably comes, which no one ever saw coming.

The USC doesn’t provide for conspiring men because why should it?  It was crafted by conspiracy and conspiring men, after all!  Why in the world would conspiring men put safeguards in the very document they are creating to make it impossible for conspiring men to take control?  The USC, then, as a creation of conspiring men, was designed to be a vehicle that could be used to control the States, not to free them or the people.  (The Bill of Rights, on the other hand, was designed to be a vehicle that could be used to control the USC.)  The USC didn’t make the States or their people any freer than they already were under the AOC.  Its sole function was to consolidate stolen State power in the hands of a few men (Congress, the Justices and the President) under the guise as this would make us safer or more protected, militarily, and also more prosperous if commerce could be regulated.

But all of this was just false propaganda playing on men’s fears.  This is even the tactic used by evil men today.  If you can instill a false fear in the population, you can make them give up anything, even their rights and privileges.

The NAC keeps State rights intact, the USC doesn’t

The States are sovereign and were ever meant to be.  Contrary to what people might think, God does not approve of sameness.  He likes diversity.  Thus a male is a male and a female is a female.  They are not designed or intended to be unisex, or the same.  Diversity is the name of the game in the divine economy of God.  “Sovereign States in a Confederacy” creates diversity among the States.  They become more nation-like under a Confederacy, while under a national government there is a certain conformity that takes place with much less diversity and no sovereignty.  The rights and independence and sovereignty of the States is fully intact under the NAC.  They can freely enter the pact and freely leave it, all done peacefully.

Not so under the USC.  The national government is over the States, just as kings were over men.  It is the same principle.  The national government, then, exerts kingly authority over the States and also over their people.  When a State tries to break away, we end up having a civil war or a war between the States.  Thus, the national government doesn’t give a hoot about the States or their people.  The Feds are in charge and as each day passes, they are more and more in charge, stealing authorities from both the States and their people.

But make no mistake about it, the States are just as tyrannical as the national government, and those in State governments are also trying to do what the Feds are doing, creating their own police state and trying to consolidate what they can steal from the people, under their own authority.  This is why the NAC doesn’t just abolish the national government, but also restrains the States from exerting kingly authority over men, like the national government does.

A final word

One more thing about Article IV that makes it stand out is the fact that Congress under the NAC is paid by their respective States.  In other words, Congress under the NAC won’t be able to vote themselves a pay raise.  Some States will pay more and some States will pay less, to their respective Representatives and Senators.  Thus, each State will get what it pays for.

In my next installment I will discuss Article V, which covers monetary issues.  Feel free to disagree on any point mentioned in this post. Bring your strongest reasons against the NAC and let’s have an open debate. And for those who like the NAC and want to install it as the Supreme Law of the land, here is my advice and prediction (and also see this comment, and this comment and this comment) :

A continual strategy of debate will install the NAC in this country and I challenge anyone to prove me wrong. I say that Americans will jump at the chance to debate the NAC and to show that the Constitution is better, but, according to the rules of the debate, they will have to read the NAC first, and once read, they will be hard pressed to defend the Constitution. Thus, everyone who hears, or watches, or reads, or participates in, a NAC debate, will become convinced that the NAC is what this country needs.

To read the other parts of this series, click any of these links:

Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, Part 4, Part 5,

Part 6, Part 7, Part 8, Part 9, Part 10,

Part 11, Part 12, Part 13.

Also see: The New Articles of Confederation (NAC) and The Right to Abolish, Revert and Replace Amendment.

Complete List of Articles authored by LDS Anarchist

The Right to Abolish, Revert and Replace Amendment


An Amendment to the U.S. Constitution

The right of the people to peacefully abolish the Constitution, to peacefully revert to the Articles of Confederation, and to peacefully replace the Constitution with some other form of government, shall not be abridged. Each state shall allow its citizens to place a measure to abolish the Constitution, or a measure to replace the Constitution, on any state ballot, according to prescribed state laws and rules. Where no such laws and rules exist, a state shall create the same, so that its citizens may exercise these rights within one year of passage of this amendment.

In any given year in which the citizens of a majority of the states vote in favor of abolishment, Constitutional authority and jurisdiction shall be immediately revoked in said majority states. Those majority states which are mentioned in the Articles of Confederation shall revert to it, while those majority states not mentioned in it shall be free and independent. If the vote is, instead, to replace the Constitution with some other form of government, all the aforementioned majority states shall immediately be bound by the newly adopted form. In either case, the minority states shall no longer be bound by Constitutional authority and jurisdiction, but shall be free and independent, unless mentioned in the Articles of Confederation, in which case they shall revert to the former form of government.

The above proposed amendment allows Americans to exercise the rights to peacefully abolish their government, to peacefully revert to a former government, and to peacefully replace their current government with some other form. It takes its authority from the Declaration of Independence. That document asserts these very rights, but without the peaceful adjective, so that men must exercise these rights by bloodshed and force of arms. A more enlightened way of doing this is through the relatively peaceful means of ballot voting. The effect, in either case, is the same, except that in the peaceful latter case, nobody dies or is physically harmed in any way. Should any future generation of Americans feel the need to exercise their rights to abolish, revert or replace, this amendment will allow them to do it without loss of life or limb.

The Declaration of Independence

IN CONGRESS, July 4, 1776.

The unanimous Declaration of the thirteen united States of America,

When in the Course of human events, it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another, and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature’s God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.–That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, –That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness. Prudence, indeed, will dictate that Governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shewn, that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed. But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security.–Such has been the patient sufferance of these Colonies; and such is now the necessity which constrains them to alter their former Systems of Government. The history of the present King of Great Britain is a history of repeated injuries and usurpations, all having in direct object the establishment of an absolute Tyranny over these States. To prove this, let Facts be submitted to a candid world.

He has refused his Assent to Laws, the most wholesome and necessary for the public good.
He has forbidden his Governors to pass Laws of immediate and pressing importance, unless suspended in their operation till his Assent should be obtained; and when so suspended, he has utterly neglected to attend to them.
He has refused to pass other Laws for the accommodation of large districts of people, unless those people would relinquish the right of Representation in the Legislature, a right inestimable to them and formidable to tyrants only.
He has called together legislative bodies at places unusual, uncomfortable, and distant from the depository of their public Records, for the sole purpose of fatiguing them into compliance with his measures.
He has dissolved Representative Houses repeatedly, for opposing with manly firmness his invasions on the rights of the people.
He has refused for a long time, after such dissolutions, to cause others to be elected; whereby the Legislative powers, incapable of Annihilation, have returned to the People at large for their exercise; the State remaining in the mean time exposed to all the dangers of invasion from without, and convulsions within.
He has endeavoured to prevent the population of these States; for that purpose obstructing the Laws for Naturalization of Foreigners; refusing to pass others to encourage their migrations hither, and raising the conditions of new Appropriations of Lands.
He has obstructed the Administration of Justice, by refusing his Assent to Laws for establishing Judiciary powers.
He has made Judges dependent on his Will alone, for the tenure of their offices, and the amount and payment of their salaries.
He has erected a multitude of New Offices, and sent hither swarms of Officers to harrass our people, and eat out their substance.
He has kept among us, in times of peace, Standing Armies without the Consent of our legislatures.
He has affected to render the Military independent of and superior to the Civil power.
He has combined with others to subject us to a jurisdiction foreign to our constitution, and unacknowledged by our laws; giving his Assent to their Acts of pretended Legislation:
For Quartering large bodies of armed troops among us:
For protecting them, by a mock Trial, from punishment for any Murders which they should commit on the Inhabitants of these States:
For cutting off our Trade with all parts of the world:
For imposing Taxes on us without our Consent:
For depriving us in many cases, of the benefits of Trial by Jury:
For transporting us beyond Seas to be tried for pretended offences
For abolishing the free System of English Laws in a neighbouring Province, establishing therein an Arbitrary government, and enlarging its Boundaries so as to render it at once an example and fit instrument for introducing the same absolute rule into these Colonies:
For taking away our Charters, abolishing our most valuable Laws, and altering fundamentally the Forms of our Governments:
For suspending our own Legislatures, and declaring themselves invested with power to legislate for us in all cases whatsoever.
He has abdicated Government here, by declaring us out of his Protection and waging War against us.
He has plundered our seas, ravaged our Coasts, burnt our towns, and destroyed the lives of our people.
He is at this time transporting large Armies of foreign Mercenaries to compleat the works of death, desolation and tyranny, already begun with circumstances of Cruelty & perfidy scarcely paralleled in the most barbarous ages, and totally unworthy the Head of a civilized nation.
He has constrained our fellow Citizens taken Captive on the high Seas to bear Arms against their Country, to become the executioners of their friends and Brethren, or to fall themselves by their Hands.
He has excited domestic insurrections amongst us, and has endeavoured to bring on the inhabitants of our frontiers, the merciless Indian Savages, whose known rule of warfare, is an undistinguished destruction of all ages, sexes and conditions.

In every stage of these Oppressions We have Petitioned for Redress in the most humble terms: Our repeated Petitions have been answered only by repeated injury. A Prince whose character is thus marked by every act which may define a Tyrant, is unfit to be the ruler of a free people.

Nor have We been wanting in attentions to our Brittish brethren. We have warned them from time to time of attempts by their legislature to extend an unwarrantable jurisdiction over us. We have reminded them of the circumstances of our emigration and settlement here. We have appealed to their native justice and magnanimity, and we have conjured them by the ties of our common kindred to disavow these usurpations, which, would inevitably interrupt our connections and correspondence. They too have been deaf to the voice of justice and of consanguinity. We must, therefore, acquiesce in the necessity, which denounces our Separation, and hold them, as we hold the rest of mankind, Enemies in War, in Peace Friends.

We, therefore, the Representatives of the united States of America, in General Congress, Assembled, appealing to the Supreme Judge of the world for the rectitude of our intentions, do, in the Name, and by Authority of the good People of these Colonies, solemnly publish and declare, That these United Colonies are, and of Right ought to be Free and Independent States; that they are Absolved from all Allegiance to the British Crown, and that all political connection between them and the State of Great Britain, is and ought to be totally dissolved; and that as Free and Independent States, they have full Power to levy War, conclude Peace, contract Alliances, establish Commerce, and to do all other Acts and Things which Independent States may of right do. And for the support of this Declaration, with a firm reliance on the protection of divine Providence, we mutually pledge to each other our Lives, our Fortunes and our sacred Honor.

Background on this post

My recent comment about the Josephite restorer bringing back the Articles of Confederation had me wondering about how this might be accomplished. One idea I had was that he could possibly introduce a Constitutional amendment, that would actually pass, which would allow a peaceful transition from the present Constitution to a new, revised (perfected) set of Articles of Confederation, authored by himself. As I wondered about this, I decided to try my hand at both re-writing the Articles of Confederation, so as to perfect them, and also at writing an amendment that would allow the smooth transition. This post contains my “proposed amendment.” The notes I took for The New Articles of Confederation (NAC) might be put up later, once I consolidate them into a single cohesive document. Feel free, anyone, to take this amendment, modify it as you please, and run with it. Who knows? Maybe the Josephite isn’t needed, after all, to accomplish this part of the task.

Note: I wrote another article on this very topic some years ago. See A basic right denied.

Complete List of Articles authored by LDS Anarchist

The doctrine against dissent


I say unto you, be one; and if ye are not one ye are not mine. (D&C 38:27)

Unity is required of the saints

We are commanded to “be one” (D&C 51:9) in Christ, even “as [Jesus is] one in the Father” (D&C 35:2), for the gospel principle of unity is patterned after the Father, Son and Holy Ghost, “which is one Eternal God” (Alma 11:44). The required oneness is to “be perfect” (2 Cor. 13:11), the saints being commanded to be “of one mind” (1 Pet. 3:8), “of one heart and of one soul” (Acts 4:32), “of one accord” (Philip. 2:2), of “one faith and one baptism, having their hearts knit together in unity” (Mosiah 18:21), as “one body in Christ” (Rom. 12:5), being “united in all things” (2 Ne. 1:21) and “united in mighty prayer and fasting” (3 Ne. 27:1).

The “one body in Christ” refers to the church of God, meaning that the saints have a “duty to unite with the true church” (D&C 23:7), to worship as a group and “agree upon [God’s] word” (D&C 41:2). This is a physical gathering of saints in which they are to “meet together often” (D&C 20:55,75).

Just as the resurrection of the dead will dress the naked spirits again, restoring the body “unto its perfect frame, bone to his bone, and the sinews and the flesh upon them, the spirit and the body to be united never again to be divided, that they might receive a fulness of joy” (D&C 138:17), so the physically gathered church, or corporate body of the church, is designed to never be divided into schisms, so that it becomes “a whole and complete and perfect union” (D&C 128:18).

Such unity is only to be of like things, thus the saints have been taught by Paul “that a believer should not be united to an unbeliever” (D&C 74:5) and every man of the church has been commanded by the Lord to “be alike among this people, and receive alike” (D&C 51:9).

The commandment to be one makes dissenting behavior a sin

There are nine instances of the word dissent in the scriptures, all of which occur in the Book of Mormon. The word never appears as a noun, only as a verb. It is also always portrayed as a sin.

For the modern reader, using modern dictionaries, the idea of dissenting behavior being a sin makes no sense, whatsoever. A review of the modern definitions and the definitions at the time of the publication of the Book of Mormon (taken from Webster’s 1828 Dictionary) will quickly show why there is so much confusion on this issue.

According to the modern definition of the intransitive verb to dissent, it means “to withhold assent” or “to differ in opinion.” (Assent means “an act of agreeing to something especially after thoughtful consideration : an act of assenting : acquiescence, agreement”.) The verb has no religious connotation, however if we look at the noun dissent, we find that although it can be used generally to mean a “difference of opinion”, it also can be used more specifically to mean either “religious nonconformity,” “a justice’s nonconcurrence with a decision of the majority,” or “political opposition to a government or its policies.”

The current religious meaning (“religious nonconformity”) is a nonspecific version of what the word used to mean during the times of Joseph Smith. In Joseph’s time, to religiously dissent specifically meant “to differ from an established church, in regard to doctrines, rites or government.”

So, for example, if all the men who attend my ward dress in white shirts and ties (not because of church doctrines, rites or government, but just because that is the customary attire) and I attend wearing a blue shirt with no tie, I am guilty of nonconformity (and some might call it religious nonconformity since it is nonconformity to a custom that occurs in a religious setting), but not guilty of differing from the established doctrines, rites or government of my ward, for none of that gives a dress code for attending the ward. Dissent in the modern sense could be any religious nonconformity, regardless of how insignificant it is, whereas dissenting behavior in Joseph’s time specifically meant nonconformity to the doctrines, rites or government of an established church.

No one can righteously dissent from the true church of God

The scriptures brought forth by Joseph Smith teach that dissenting behavior is a sin, but this must be understood by the definition used in Joseph’s time. Here are all nine instances in which the word dissent is used in the scriptures, all of which are found only in the Book of Mormon:

And the people of Ammon did give unto the Nephites a large portion of their substance to support their armies; and thus the Nephites were compelled, alone, to withstand against the Lamanites, who were a compound of Laman and Lemuel, and the sons of Ishmael, and all those who had dissented from the Nephites, who were Amalekites and Zoramites, and the descendants of the priests of Noah. (Alma 43:13)

And there were many in the church who believed in the flattering words of Amalickiah, therefore they dissented even from the church; and thus were the affairs of the people of Nephi exceedingly precarious and dangerous, notwithstanding their great victory which they had had over the Lamanites, and their great rejoicings which they had had because of their deliverance by the hand of the Lord. (Alma 46:7)

And now who knoweth but what the remnant of the seed of Joseph, which shall perish as his garment, are those who have dissented from us? Yea, and even it shall be ourselves if we do not stand fast in the faith of Christ.

And now it came to pass that when Moroni had said these words he went forth, and also sent forth in all the parts of the land where there were dissensions, and gathered together all the people who were desirous to maintain their liberty, to stand against Amalickiah and those who had dissented, who were called Amalickiahites. (Alma 46:27-28)

Nevertheless, they could not suffer to lay down their lives, that their wives and their children should be massacred by the barbarous cruelty of those who were once their brethren, yea, and had dissented from their church, and had left them and had gone to destroy them by joining the Lamanites. (Alma 48:24)

Behold, can you suppose that the Lord will spare you and come out in judgment against the Lamanites, when it is the tradition of their fathers that has caused their hatred, yea, and it has been redoubled by those who have dissented from us, while your iniquity is for the cause of your love of glory and the vain things of the world? (Alma 60:32)

And I write this epistle unto you, Lachoneus, and I hope that ye will deliver up your lands and your possessions, without the shedding of blood, that this my people may recover their rights and government, who have dissented away from you because of your wickedness in retaining from them their rights of government, and except ye do this, I will avenge their wrongs. I am Giddianhi.

And now it came to pass when Lachoneus received this epistle he was exceedingly astonished, because of the boldness of Giddianhi demanding the possession of the land of the Nephites, and also of threatening the people and avenging the wrongs of those that had received no wrong, save it were they had wronged themselves by dissenting away unto those wicked and abominable robbers. (3 Ne. 3:10-11)

Now there was one among them who was a Nephite by birth, who had once belonged to the church of God but had dissented from them. (Hel. 5:35)

All dissenters from the true church of God are sinners

According to our modern dictionaries, a dissenter is “one that dissents”, and since we know what it means to religiously dissent, that means that a religious dissenter is one that does not religiously conform. But in the time of Joseph Smith, a dissenter was “one who separates from the service and worship of any established church.”

The words dissent and dissenters, as found in the standard works, carry the meanings the words had during the time of Joseph Smith. So, when we read in the Book of Mormon that there were people in the church who dissented, it doesn’t mean that there was a difference of opinion or general religious nonconformity, but that those who dissented were advocating a change in the church’s doctrines, rites or government. And when we read of dissenters from the church in the same record, it does not mean that they were just people who had a difference of opinion, but that they were people who had separated from the church and had begun performing worship services that were different from those of the church.

Unbelief is the cause of dissenting behavior

Now it came to pass that there were many of the rising generation that could not understand the words of king Benjamin, being little children at the time he spake unto his people; and they did not believe the tradition of their fathers. They did not believe what had been said concerning the resurrection of the dead, neither did they believe concerning the coming of Christ.

And now because of their unbelief they could not understand the word of God; and their hearts were hardened. And they would not be baptized; neither would they join the church. And they were a separate people as to their faith, and remained so ever after, even in their carnal and sinful state; for they would not call upon the Lord their God. (Mosiah 26:1-4)

Although the above scripture speaks of non-members who never ended up joining the church, the dissenting process is the same for members of God’s church. Any believing member who chooses to begin to doubt the word of God will begin to dissent in his heart, meaning that he will begin to desire that the doctrines, rites and/or government of the church of God be changed (in conformity with his new belief system). This state of heart, in which the man spiritually separates himself from those who choose to not doubt the word of God, can lead to contention and disputations, and if not resolved by a restoration of belief (through repentance), ultimately will end in the member becoming a dissenter, so that he now physically separates from the body of the church and engages in worship services of another church or belief system. The Zoramites present a prime example of this process:

And it came to pass that as he [Korihor] went forth among the people, yea, among a people who had separated themselves from the Nephites and called themselves Zoramites, being led by a man whose name was Zoram—and as he went forth amongst them, behold, he was run upon and trodden down, even until he was dead. (Alma 30:59)

Now it came to pass that after the end of Korihor, Alma having received tidings that the Zoramites were perverting the ways of the Lord, and that Zoram, who was their leader, was leading the hearts of the people to bow down to dumb idols, his heart again began to sicken because of the iniquity of the people. (Alma 31:1)

Now the Zoramites were dissenters from the Nephites; therefore they had had the word of God preached unto them. But they had fallen into great errors, for they would not observe to keep the commandments of God, and his statutes, according to the law of Moses. Neither would they observe the performances of the church, to continue in prayer and supplication to God daily, that they might not enter into temptation. Yea, in fine, they did pervert the ways of the Lord in very many instances; therefore, for this cause, Alma and his brethren went into the land to preach the word unto them. (Alma 31:8-11)

We see from this that Zoramite dissenters had separated themselves from both the church of God and also the Nephite nation itself, creating a new religion which rejected the established doctrines, rites and government of God. This separation occurred because they stopped believing in the things of God, as taught and practiced by God’s church:

Holy God, we believe that thou hast separated us from our brethren; and we do not believe in the tradition of our brethren, which was handed down to them by the childishness of their fathers; but we believe that thou hast elected us to be thy holy children; and also thou hast made it known unto us that there shall be no Christ. (Alma 31:16)

All dissenters from the church of God make the same claim: that the church of God is apostate and thus its doctrines, rites or government must be modified in order to bring it back into God’s good graces. This claim may be made because the church does not sufficiently change with the times or it may be made because the church has made a change that the dissenters feel was not authorized by God. When the saints of God inevitably refuse to permit the dissenters from altering God’s current callings, laws and ordinances to conform to a more modern philosophy or to a more ancient or earlier practice, the dissenters separate and do their own thing, becoming a law unto themselves.

Now, from the perspective of the church body, to dissent is to advocate heresy and thus a dissenter is an apostate heretic (someone who advocates heresy and has separated from the church), whereas from the perspective of the dissenter, the church is too corrupt (apostate) to improve and thus must be abandoned and perhaps even actively criticized and fought.

We see from this that both sides make, essentially, the same claim: that the other party is in error and refuses to be corrected.

Unrepentant dissenters must be silenced and cut off

Unbelief is an infectious plague, that if left unchecked will affect the entire church body, causing both spiritual and temporal destruction to come upon the church. Spiritual destruction happens because unbelief and dissenting behavior are sins, thus subjecting the man to the devil’s power and captivation. And temporal destruction happens because the church body no longer qualifies for temporal deliverance from the Lord, which requires unity.

Because of these real dangers to the church, when a dissenting voice is heard among the church, it must be silenced as soon as possible. Thus we read,

And it came to pass that after there had been false Christs, and their mouths had been shut, and they punished according to their crimes; and after there had been false prophets, and false preachers and teachers among the people, and all these having been punished according to their crimes (WoM 1:15-16)

False Christs, false prophets, false preachers and false teachers cause people to doubt the word of God, creating dissenting behavior, which could grow into church schisms, in which people become dissenters, separating from the church of God. There are three valid (authorized) ways that men of God use to silence dissenting voices.

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 Nephi 1:24-25)

So, the first way to silence false ideas and teachings is to have the high priests correct the errors, showing them their faults, so that such people repent of their sins and turn from their errors and become, again, converted to the true faith and doctrines and rites and government of God, confessing their faults. This first step allows people who made honest, doctrinal mistakes to self-correct and remain in safety with the body of the saints.

If, however, the false teachers do not repent, but persist in their dissenting behavior, endeavoring to preach and teach the same errors (heresies) to other members of the church, the high priests are required to shut their mouths by cutting them off from the church. Although the now non-member is free to preach as he sees fit to the members, excommunication removes his legitimacy in the eyes of the body, so that they may more readily see that the false teacher is in error, and thus should not be listened to.

Repentance, disfellowship or excommunication

In the modern church of God, the saints have been give three ways to deal with dissenting behavior: the leadership can correct the errors and those who dissent can repent and be restored to full fellowship, or, if the dissenter needs more time to repent and come to a proper understanding of the word of God, he may be disfellowshipped, so that he is not permitted to teach false doctrine to the church, until such time as he fully repents and becomes, again, a believer in God’s word, understanding it by the Spirit. Disfellowship really is for those who are still confused over the word of God, but who desire to come to an understanding that allows them to remain with the church. The last way is excommunication, which is for dissenters who refuse to repent or even acknowledge that they have done anything wrong.

The door is left open to return to the flock

Jesus told His twelve disciples, concerning the member of the church that was unworthy of partaking of the sacrament, because of transgression,

But if he repent not he shall not be numbered among my people, that he may not destroy my people, for behold I know my sheep, and they are numbered. Nevertheless, ye shall not cast him out of your synagogues, or your places of worship, for unto such shall ye continue to minister; for ye know not but what they will return and repent, and come unto me with full purpose of heart, and I shall heal them; and ye shall be the means of bringing salvation unto them. Therefore, keep these sayings which I have commanded you that ye come not under condemnation; for wo unto him whom the Father condemneth. (3 Nephi 18:31-33)

Excommunication, then, is a true principle of the gospel, one which must be performed on all those church members who do not repent of their sins after they have been admonished of them. Following this commandment keeps those who are in charge of regulating the church justified before the Lord, and also keeps the flock safer from the effects of false teachings and bad examples, which effects or fruit is spiritual and temporal destruction. The commandment to excommunicate unrepentant sinners was also given to the modern church, with the same promise of justification for the leadership if they obey the same.

And him that repenteth not of his sins, and confesseth them not, ye shall bring before the church, and do with him as the scripture saith unto you, either by commandment or by revelation. And this ye shall do that God may be glorified—not because ye forgive not, having not compassion, but that ye may be justified in the eyes of the law, that ye may not offend him who is your lawgiver—verily I say, for this cause ye shall do these things. (D&C 64:12-14)

So, even if the judges (who are charged to judge whether the sinner will remain in the church) forgive the man who refuses to repent of his sins, and would rather release him without any discipline applied, doing so would break the commandment given to the leadership, of excommunicating (cutting off) unrepentant sinners. The only way to remain justified before the Lord is to obey the commandment and cut off all those who refuse to repent, regardless of what the sin is.

Nevertheless, after being cut off, they (the leadership) must keep an open door policy, allowing the dissenters who repent of their sins to come back into the fold.

A difference of opinion does not constitute dissenting behavior

Scriptural dissenting behavior deals only with church doctrines, rites and government. Some people, though, cannot differentiate between scriptural dissenting behavior and the modern, generic definition of dissent, which merely means “a difference of opinion.” So any censuring they see, of any kind, is viewed as morally wrong, a violation of one’s right to free speech, as put down in the First Amendment.

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.

The problem with that view, is that a church is not a public institution, but a private one, and like all private institutions, it has certain rules which its membership is expected to obey.

We believe that all religious societies have a right to deal with their members for disorderly conduct, according to the rules and regulations of such societies; provided that such dealings be for fellowship and good standing; but we do not believe that any religious society has authority to try men on the right of property or life, to take from them this world’s goods, or to put them in jeopardy of either life or limb, or to inflict any physical punishment upon them. They can only excommunicate them from their society, and withdraw from them their fellowship. (D&C 134:10)

A case in point: Korihor

In December of 2011, I wrote on the Times and Seasons blog the following:

Korihor was not a religious freedom advocate battling an oppressive central government.

Korihor was a liar couching his lies under the guise of belief. He did this because liars were punished, it being against the law to lie (see Alma 1:16-17.) So, he pretended to preach according to his belief. Everyone who heard him preach, knew he was lying, for he told blatant lies (see Alma 30:35) but pretended it was merely his belief. He was repeatedly bound and taken before the authorities because it was obvious to everyone that he was breaking the law by lying, but no one knew what to do with him because of his stubbornness in always couching it in belief, for the law had no hold upon anyone for their belief. In other words, atheists had freedom in their society, but not pretended atheists, only people who truly believed that there was no God. Korihor, though, from his speech, revealed himself to be a liar and showed that his intention was to merely deceive the people.

Now the text clearly shows that this was Korihor’s crime: lies. Repeatedly when questioned by Alma, the topic of lies is brought up. He is on trial for lying, or intentionally deceiving people, which was a punishable crime among them. The people of Ammon, who first bound him, “were more wise” (Alma 30:20) than those at Zarahemla because they were more righteous. The Nephites at Zarahemla could see that he was a liar and deceiver, but they just let him go about breaking the law and deceiving the people. Not so with the Lamanite people of Ammon.

Again, Korihor was bound and sent up to the authorities with testimony of his lies, for there must be witnesses. Nevertheless, they couldn’t do anything to him because he pretended he was entitled to his own beliefs, therefore, he was, each time, set free, outside of the lands that he preached among, until he finally came to Alma, who, through the power of God, put a stop to his destructive work of lies.

I could have worded that a bit better than I did, but it’s good enough for the point I am trying to make, which is that once you break the laws of a society, whether it is a public society like the Nephites or a private society like the church of God, you become subject to whatever penalty is attached to that broken law. In the case of religious dissenting behavior and dissenters, freedom of speech or of the press is allowed only insofar as you do not transgress the laws of God by your speech or writings. Once you are found promoting wickedness or falsehoods by your spoken or written words, the church has jurisdiction over you and also a responsibility to censure you (to shut your mouth) in the prescribed, scriptural manner (correction and repentance, disfellowship or excommunication). In public society, freedom of speech or of the press does not grant you the right to commit slander or libel.

What saints do when unrepentant sinners are around

We are free, then, to use our agency to do good, but when we use it to commit evil by our speech and the words we write, we come under condemnation of God and it is every saint’s duty to denounce and resist all the evils that are observed by them. This is why the witnesses came forth during the first trial of the original Mormon church:

And now in the reign of Mosiah they [the unbelievers] were not half so numerous as the people of God; but because of the dissensions among the brethren they became more numerous.

For it came to pass that they did deceive many with their flattering words, who were in the church, and did cause them to commit many sins; therefore it became expedient that those who committed sin, that were in the church, should be admonished by the church.

And it came to pass that they were brought before the priests, and delivered up unto the priests by the teachers; and the priests brought them before Alma, who was the high priest.

Now king Mosiah had given Alma the authority over the church.

And it came to pass that Alma did not know concerning them; but there were many witnesses against them; yea, the people stood and testified of their iniquity in abundance. (Mosiah 26:5-9)

Now, I will unfold this saintly duty and peculiarity a little farther down in this post, as it cannot be overemphasized.

Pahoran wrote:

Therefore, my beloved brother, Moroni, let us resist evil, and whatsoever evil we cannot resist with our words, yea, such as rebellions and dissensions, let us resist them with our swords, that we may retain our freedom, that we may rejoice in the great privilege of our church, and in the cause of our Redeemer and our God. (Alma 61:14)

But Jesus commanded:

But I say unto you, that ye shall not resist evil, but whosoever shall smite thee on thy right cheek, turn to him the other also (3 Ne. 12:39)

Which instructions are the saints of God supposed to obey? Both. (I only mention this in case some commenter says, “But Jesus said to not resist evil! So Pahoran was wrong!”) I will not explain this seeming contradiction as that is not the topic of this post. Just suffice it to say that a saint typically does not shut his mouth at iniquity, unless the Holy Ghost constrains him not to speak.

The following instructions were given to saints:

And if thy brother or sister offend thee, thou shalt take him or her between him or her and thee alone; and if he or she confess thou shalt be reconciled.

And if he or she confess not thou shalt deliver him or her up unto the church, not to the members, but to the elders. And it shall be done in a meeting, and that not before the world.

And if thy brother or sister offend many, he or she shall be chastened before many.

And if any one offend openly, he or she shall be rebuked openly, that he or she may be ashamed. And if he or she confess not, he or she shall be delivered up unto the law of God.

If any shall offend in secret, he or she shall be rebuked in secret, that he or she may have opportunity to confess in secret to him or her whom he or she has offended, and to God, that the church may not speak reproachfully of him or her.

And thus shall ye conduct in all things. (D&C 42:88-93)

Who does the chastening? Who does the rebuking? Who determines who has offended publicly or in secret? Who delivers the unrepentant sinners to the law of God? The saints do. More on this later.

Re: those who learn and obey the whats only if the whys suit them

And we will prove them herewith, to see if they will do all things whatsoever the Lord their God shall command them (Abr. 3:25)

Doing all things that the Lord commands includes bridling the tongue (see James 3), which means that the spoken and written word must likewise be put under gospel constraints. Intentionally false (heretical) teachings, then, break the commandments.

Some people in the church say that mortality is a school to learn the things of God, as if it were knowledge that saved us. They emphasize that we ought not to be blindly obedient, but ought to obey rationally, with understanding of why we are commanded to do whatever it is we are commanded to do. They are more concerned with the why than with the what.

Such people, if they cannot understand the reason behind a commandment or doctrine, may end up openly questioning its divinity. In other words, they may start to propose a theory that the doctrine or commandment has a non-divine source and begin to teach it among the people. If confronted by a saint and told that the alternate teaching is heretical, the proponent may do as Korihor and say it is merely a belief or a hypothesis which may or may not be true, and that there is no harm in questioning things which may be false. In other words, he or she will claim, like Korihor, that this is not a teaching, but just an interesting idea: to consider that a doctrine or commandment or teaching of the church is man-made and not divinely given.

Ye say that those ancient prophecies are true. Behold, I say that ye do not know that they are true….And ye also say that Christ shall come. But behold, I say that ye do not know that there shall be a Christ…I do not deny the existence of a God, but I do not believe that there is a God; and I say also, that ye do not know that there is a God; and except ye show me a sign, I will not believe. (Alma 30:24,26,48)

Such heresies come from putting knowledge before faith and requiring that one know and understand something before one will believe it to be true.

Although it is true that man is here to learn, he is only here to learn obedience to God.

And my people must needs be chastened until they learn obedience, if it must needs be, by the things which they suffer. (D&C 105:6)

Though he were a Son, yet learned he obedience by the things which he suffered (Heb. 5:8)

Separating goats from sheep is a gospel principle based on obedience

Obedience to the whats, not knowledge of the whys, is the deciding factor in determining where we go.

and they who keep not their first estate shall not have glory in the same kingdom with those who keep their first estate (Abr. 3:26)

So God separates those who keep His commandments from those who don’t, and puts them into separate kingdoms. This is why the church is charged with excommunicating all those who do not repent of their sins. This separation, or division, is based upon the heavenly pattern. Just as there was a separation in heaven between the 1/3 and the 2/3, and the 1/3 were cast out, so here on earth more separation is commanded to occur, for those who transgress the law of God and do not repent.

But there is a law given, and a punishment affixed, and a repentance granted (Alma 42:22)

Once you break the law, the punishment is not immediately inflicted, but you are granted a space to repent, resulting in two sets of commandments. The first commandment is to keep the law, which, if you disobey, you then get a second commandment, which is to repent. Only when you refuse to take advantage of repentance and the atonement, does the law require that you be cut off from the church by excommunication.

Cutting off the people by excommunication furthers the work of division that the Savior spoke of.

Think not that I am come to send peace on earth: I came not to send peace, but a sword. (Matt. 10:34)

Jesus gathers his elect into one body and then uses his sword to divide the sheep from the goats, and the wheat from the tares, pruning the body from time to time as fruit withers upon the branch, showing its true nature. In other words, the gospel net draws all sorts of fish into the church, and then it gets sorted, according to what type of fish it shows itself to be. If a man appears to be a sheep, or wheat, or good fish or fruit, he is to remain with the saints, but if he shows himself as a goat, a tare, rotten fruit or spoiled fish, he is to be cast out. The test of goathood, or tarehood, or rottenness is two-fold: does the man obey the commandments? If yes, he stays. If no, does he repent of his sins? If yes, he stays. If no, he must be cast off.

Pruning (excommunication) is to take place on an as needed basis, in order that the gospel tree does not perish.

Church trials

Before anyone can be excommunicated in this church, they must first be tried for their membership. As everyone is considered innocent before being proven guilty, the Lord has given in His scriptures the divine pattern of church trials and courts.

There are three types of church courts or trials that the scriptures speak of, and six types of judges.  The pattern is designed around checks and balances, in order that power is not concentrated in the hands of any one person or group and so that everyone who is accused has a fair, balanced trial, in which everyone’s rights are upheld.

The six types of judges

The witnesses

Two or three (or more) church members in good standing become judges when they act as witnesses. This is the law of witnesses and it is based upon the righteousness and holiness of a saint. It is the saints who will judge the nations and all things pertaining to Zion, for they are sanctified (holy) and are duly qualified to determine whether someone has transgressed.

The bishop

The bishop judges the good standing of the membership, and thus the saints, because a bishop is to receive an accounting of everyone’s stewardship.

The two elders

The two elders judge the case laid before them by the two or three (or more) saintly witnesses, the bishop attesting to their good standing. If there are sufficient witnesses, the two elders judge whether the accused has confessed and repented. If the accused refuses, then the elders pass judgment upon the accused, as required by the scriptures.

The church congregation

After the two elders come to a guilty verdict, they must lay the case before the congregation, which then must take a vote to sustain the action or oppose it. If the majority agrees, the decision is ratified and valid and the accused is excommunicated. If the majority disagrees, no action is taken. The congregation, then, judges the decision of the two elders, and decides whether it was correct or not.

The stake president

The stake president, like the two elders, judges the case laid before him by the witnesses and makes a decision concerning which party is right or whether both are wrong.

The high council

The twelve high council members vote to ratify (make valid) the decision of the president. If a majority does not agree with his decision, it does not go through.

The three types of church courts or councils

Bishop’s court or council

The bishop is to receive an accounting of everyone’s stewardship and is to know who is consecrating properties and moneys, or donating funds as tithing or fast offerings, etc., to the Lord. This gives him a unique perspective into who is and is not a wise and just steward. Nevertheless, his judgment and jurisdiction are not independent but only activate with just testimony.

And whoso standeth in this mission is appointed to be a judge in Israel, like as it was in ancient days, to divide the lands of the heritage of God unto his children; and to judge his people by the testimony of the just, and by the assistance of his counselors, according to the laws of the kingdom which are given by the prophets of God. (D&C 58:17-18)

And it shall come to pass, that after they are laid before the bishop of my church, and after that he has received these testimonies concerning the consecration of the properties of my church (D&C 42:32)

And also to be a judge in Israel, to do the business of the church, to sit in judgment upon transgressors upon testimony as it shall be laid before him according to the laws, by the assistance of his counselors, whom he has chosen or will choose among the elders of the church. (D&C 107:72)

Because of this, a sinner who confesses to a bishop cannot be tried by the bishop, nor his testimony used against him, because the testimony is of a sinner, not a saint. In other words, only the testimony of the just (someone who hasn’t broken the laws) can be used in trials. Nevertheless, with just testimony, the bishop and bishopric are authorized to judge only whether someone is in good standing or not, and is contributing to the upkeep of the poor and the kingdom. In other words, the bishop’s jurisdiction deals primarily in temporal matters.

Elder’s court or council

The elders’ jurisdiction to judge is activated by witnesses coming forth and testifying of the wickedness of some member. The bishop, if available, is required to be present that he may attest to the good standing of the witnesses. If two witnesses in good standing testify against a member, that is sufficient to condemn. If there is no confession and repentance afterward, the elders must lay it before the members, to ratify the excommunication. The elder’s council is designed to be used for matters of transgression only, to try a person for his or her membership.

High priests’ court or council

This court, known as a high council, is to settle difficult and important matters, and like the other courts, only receives jurisdiction when two or more saints testify as witnesses. For example, if there is a property dispute, one saying that his property line extends 15 feet down the hill and his neighbor saying that it only extends 10 feet, the high council can be used to address these matters, if there are sufficient witnesses.

Scriptural patterns are no longer followed

The above are the scriptural patterns, which are no longer precisely followed. For example, the elder’s council has been completely done away with. Instead, the high council now tries the men of the church who have had Melchizedek priesthood conferred on them, and the bishopric tries everyone else, for membership. Nothing outside of transgression is brought to trial anymore. You can’t take a property dispute to the church courts and receive a judgment. Instead, everyone is told to settle the matter amongst themselves, or to use the man-made court system.

The checks and balances that were present in the three-court pattern have been removed and power has been concentrated into fewer and fewer hands. Many of the rights guaranteed to all the members have been weakened or altogether removed. If we compare the scripturally revealed pattern of church courts with today’s current practice, it can plainly be seen that today’s practice and procedure makes the word of God, as written in the scriptures, of none effect, effectively removing the justice that was inherent in the original pattern. In other words, the current church court system is no longer based upon just principles, but is corrupt.

Church courts and the rights of a member

Disfellowship and excommunication is to occur in the church according to prescribed laws given of God in the scriptures. The procedure itself is divine and designed to preserve the rights of every accused member in the church, that justice prevail at all times. As I explained in another post, the Bill of Rights may be used in a church setting to protect one’s rights:

Because the Lord has approved of, or justified, the Bill of Rights, latter-day saints are fully authorized to include it as part of their scriptural canon. This is not to say that it is scripture, for it was not written by the power of the Holy Ghost, nor does it contain the revealed words of God, nevertheless, as an inspired and approved writing, it may be used to defend or safeguard one’s rights in a church setting.

The Fifth Amendment says,

No person shall be held to answer for a capital, or otherwise infamous crime, unless on a presentment or indictment of a Grand Jury, except in cases arising in the land or naval forces, or in the Militia, when in actual service in time of War or public danger; nor shall any person be subject for the same offence to be twice put in jeopardy of life or limb; nor shall be compelled in any criminal case to be a witness against himself, nor be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor shall private property be taken for public use, without just compensation.

The twelve high councilors are, essentially, a type of grand jury, charged with investigating the merits of any accusations, witnesses and evidence. Their duty is to judge whatever is presented to them according to the canonized word of God. Church courts, then, were intended by God to incorporate this principle.

An accused latter-day saint cannot be a witness against himself because according to the law of God, only church members in good standing can act as witnesses. A confession, then, is insufficient to convict. Church courts, as detailed in the scriptures, cannot use someone’s confessed testimony as evidence against them, yet that is exactly what is done today by the church bishops, and also for high councils (disciplinary councils), if the accused allows the testimony into evidence. Such practices are completely at odds with the word of God.

The Wikipedia says this about due process:

Due process is the legal requirement that the state must respect all of the legal rights that are owed to a person. Typically, “Due process” means 1) NOTICE, generally written, but some courts have determined, in rare circumstances, other types of notice suffice. Notice should provide sufficient detail to fully inform the individual of the decision or activity that will have an effect on his/her rights or property or person. 2) right to GRIEVE (that being the right to complain or to disagree with the governmental actor/entity which has decision making authority) and 3) the right to APPEAL if not satisfied with the outcome of the grievance procedure. Due process balances the power of law of the land and protects the individual person from it. When a government harms a person without following the exact course of the law, this constitutes a due-process violation, which offends against the rule of law.

The church court system is supposed to incorporate the principals of due process, requiring notice, granting a right to grieve and also to appeal. Current practice has kept these safeguards more or less intact. Now let’s turn to the Sixth Amendment.

In all criminal prosecutions, the accused shall enjoy the right to a speedy and public trial, by an impartial jury of the State and district wherein the crime shall have been committed, which district shall have been previously ascertained by law, and to be informed of the nature and cause of the accusation; to be confronted with the witnesses against him; to have compulsory process for obtaining witnesses in his favor, and to have the Assistance of Counsel for his defence.

All of these principles are supposed to be incorporated into church courts. The trials are supposed to be speedy and are supposed to be public (when they are presented to the church congregation for a sustaining or opposing vote, which no longer happens). The jury, which is the 12 high councilors, are supposed to be impartial, which is often no longer the case. The accused is to be tried locally, in his branch, ward or stake, where the sins were allegedly committed. (Trials are still local, but accusations may come from outside of the branch, ward or stake, such as from Salt Lake.) The accused is to be informed of the nature and cause of the accusation. (This still happens.) The witnesses are to testify in front of the accused during the trial. (The law of witnesses, to my knowledge, has been almost completely phased out.) The accused has the right to call witnesses in his favor. (This is still allowed.) And lastly, one half of the high councilors that speak are to be the advocates of the accused. (This no longer happens.)

There is also the Seventh Amendment:

In suits at common law, where the value in controversy shall exceed twenty dollars, the right of trial by jury shall be preserved, and no fact tried by a jury, shall be otherwise re-examined in any court of the United States, than according to the rules of the common law.

All high councils were designed to be, in fact, trials by jury, requiring a ratification vote by the high councilors to validate the president’s decision. This is no longer the case. In current practice, the stake president can convict regardless of what the other men say about the case. Therefore, the right to trial by jury has been denied to the saints. But this right is found in the scriptural pattern, like the others listed above.

So, we see from this that the church court system, as detailed in the revelations, incorporates many of the same principles found in the Bill of Rights.

D&C 42 and D&C 102

The patterns of the two main court (trial) systems, the elders’ council and the high council, are given in D&C 42 and 102.

D&C 42:78-93

Section 42 gives the pattern for the elders’ council, which dealt specifically with transgression, beginning with verse 78 through verse 93.

Verse 78 states that every church member must obey the church commandments and keep their church covenants.

And again, every person who belongeth to this church of Christ, shall observe to keep all the commandments and covenants of the church.  (D&C 42:78)

Now, that is the standard (obeying commandments and keeping covenants). But what does the church do if it transgresses? The previous section (41) said the following, but did not give the procedure for how one should be cast out or judged unworthy:

He that receiveth my law and doeth it, the same is my disciple; and he that saith he receiveth it and doeth it not, the same is not my disciple, and shall be cast out from among you; for it is not meet that the things which belong to the children of the kingdom should be given to them that are not worthy, or to dogs, or the pearls to be cast before swine. (D&C 41:5-6)

So, the rest of section 42 gives instructions on what the church should do when someone transgresses, or how to go about casting him or her off. We learn in verses 80-82 that when there is transgression in the church, the transgressors are to be tried in a church court trial before two elders of the church, and that if there are two church witnesses, that the accused shall be (not may be) condemned, and that after condemnation the congregation is to be informed of the case and of the decision and they are to vote on the matter by the raising of their hands, the Lord expecting them to uphold the decision and testimony of the witnesses:

And if any man or woman shall commit adultery, he or she shall be tried before two elders of the church, or more, and every word shall be established against him or her by two witnesses of the church, and not of the enemy; but if there are more than two witnesses it is better. But he or she shall be condemned by the mouth of two witnesses; and the elders shall lay the case before the church, and the church shall lift up their hands against him or her, that they may be dealt with according to the law of God. And if it can be, it is necessary that the bishop be present also.  (D&C 42:80-82)

We also learn that the bishop needs to be present, if possible.

The next verse (83) basically says that verses 80-82 is the pattern for all church trials for membership.

And thus ye shall do in all cases which shall come before you.  (D&C 42:83)

Verses 79-87 give the pattern for dealing with transgression in the church as follows: if a man breaks a law of the land, he is to be delivered up unto the law of the land, and if he breaks the law of God, he is to be tried in a church court.

Verses 88-89 explain that no member is to be tried in a church court unless he has offended someone and been confronted and rebuked and has refused to confess, repent and be reconciled. Also, that the first part of the trial is to take place in a private meeting with the elders, so that the accused has an opportunity to confess, repent and seek reconciliation, avoiding any judgment and embarrassment in front of the congregation. The second part of the trial (in front of the congregation) only takes place if the accused refuses to repent.

Verses 90-92 explain that public or open offenses require public or open rebuking, while secret offenses require secret rebuking.

Lastly, verse 93 says that this is the pattern in all things for behavior concerning rebuking, chastisement, offenses, confession, repenting, reconciliation, and church trials.

And thus shall ye conduct in all things.  (D&C 42:93)

D&C 102

Trials for membership due to transgression were designed by the Lord to be the jurisdiction of the local elders and congregation, since they would have much more knowledge about the individuals involved (accused and accusers) than would the high councilors and stake president, who potentially could live elsewhere, in another part of the stake. On the other hand, trials about other matters, such as property disputes and other similar matters, were designed by the Lord to be the jurisdiction of the high council because they would not have intimate knowledge of the details of the local disputes, and therefore would be more likely to be impartial judges, the outcomes not affecting them one way or another.

That said, let’s examine section 102. The heading to Doctrine and Covenants section 102 reads:

Minutes of the organization of the first high council of the Church, at Kirtland, Ohio, February 17, 1834. The original minutes were recorded by Elders Oliver Cowdery and Orson Hyde. The Prophet revised the minutes the following day, and the next day the corrected minutes were unanimously accepted by the high council as “a form and constitution of the high council” of the Church. Verses 30 through 32, having to do with the Council of the Twelve Apostles, were added in 1835 under Joseph Smith’s direction when this section was prepared for publication in the Doctrine and Covenants.

Although D&C 102 is not a revelation, it contains the information on how the first high council was organized and operated, which organization came of revelation, and which operation was given by the spirit of prophecy and revelation. So, although we don’t have the pattern dictated directly by the Spirit, we do have a recording of the pattern (the minutes) as witnessed by two men who were present when the pattern was shown. The minutes were later corrected by Joseph, so we can be sure they are reliable.

As I said before, the modern procedures for how church disciplinary councils are operated render the word of God of none effect, making modern courts fundamentally unjust. The error comes from a misreading of section 102, which gives the “form and constitution of the high council”, to be followed by all high councils.

Okay, so let me unfold the errors.

Modern church disciplinary councils operate under color of law

The following document,

Church Disciplinary Councils

gives the current procedures used in these courts. Here are a couple of quotes which manifest the errors:

“In a stake disciplinary council, the stake president is assisted by twelve high councilors. Their role is easily misunderstood. Uninformed persons are tempted to liken the high council to a jury. In view of the not well understood instructions in section 102 of the Doctrine and Covenants, there is also a tendency to view individual high councilors as prosecutors or defenders. Neither of these comparisons is appropriate. Members of the high council are present to “stand up in behalf of the accused, and prevent insult and injustice’ (Doc. & Cov 102:17). In other words, they are to give added assurance that the evidence is examined in its true light and that the procedures and treatment of the accused are consistent with equity and justice. Their roles are illumination and persuasion, not advocacy or decision.” (Dallin H. Oaks)

“After hearing any additional comments from the high council, the stake presidency withdraws from the council room to confer in private. After consultation and prayer, the stake president makes the decision and invites his counselors to sustain it. The stake presidency then returns and announces the decision to the high council. The stake president asks the high councilors as a group to sustain his decision. The high council cannot veto the decision; it is binding even if it is not sustained unanimously.” (Church Handbook of Instructions)

Neither of these quotes is correct. Or, in other words, they are correct in that the modern church procedure operates as they state it does, but they are not correct in that the procedure they use is entirely at odds with the written word of God.

Here is what the section actually says,

Whenever a high council of the church of Christ is regularly organized, according to the foregoing pattern, it shall be the duty of the twelve councilors to cast lots by numbers, and thereby ascertain who of the twelve shall speak first, commencing with number one and so in succession to number twelve.

Whenever this council convenes to act upon any case, the twelve councilors shall consider whether it is a difficult one or not; if it is not, two only of the councilors shall speak upon it, according to the form above written.

But if it is thought to be difficult, four shall be appointed; and if more difficult, six; but in no case shall more than six be appointed to speak. (D&C 102:12-14)

So everybody picks a number out of a hat, from one to twelve. If the case is easy, just two men speak; if difficult, four men speak; and if really difficult, six speak. The rest do not speak, but just listen.

The accused, in all cases, has a right to one-half of the council, to prevent insult or injustice.

And the councilors appointed to speak before the council are to present the case, after the evidence is examined, in its true light before the council; and every man is to speak according to equity and justice.

Those councilors who draw even numbers, that is, 2, 4, 6, 8, 10, and 12, are the individuals who are to stand up in behalf of the accused, and prevent insult and injustice. (D&C 102:15-17)

In behalf of

Now, here is where brother Dallin gets it wrong (and shame on him!, since he’s supposed to be a lawyer). The expression “to stand up in behalf of the accused” means “to stand up as an advocate of the accused.”

BEHALF, n. behaf. [See Behoof.]

1. Favor; advantage; convenience, profit; support, defense, vindication. The advocate pleads in behalf of the prisoner. The patriot suffers in behalf of his country.
2. Part; side; noting substitution, or the act of taking the part of another; as, the agent appeared in behalf of his constituents, and entered a claim.

AD’VOCATE, n. [L. advocatus, from advoco, to call for, to plead for; of ad and voco, to call. See Vocal.]

1. Advocate, in its primary sense, signifies, one who pleads the cause of another in a court of civil law. Hence,
2. One who pleads the cause of another before any tribunal or judicial court, as a barrister in the English courts. We say, a man is a learned lawyer and an able advocate.
3. One who defends, vindicates, or espouses a cause, by argument; one who is friendly to; as, an advocate for peace, or for the oppressed.

AD’VOCATE, v.t. To plead in favor of; to defend by argument, before a tribunal; to support or vindicate.

All of that is from Webster’s 1828 Dictionary, showing that this is the very meaning of the phrase, contrary to what brother Dallin would have us believe.

The reason why brother Dallin and the other church leaders feel the need to wrest this scripture into saying something it isn’t saying is because they have transfigured the high council into something it was never intended to be: a church court dealing with transgression and trials for church membership. So, they cannot conceive of a righteous man advocating the cause of someone who could be an unrepentant sinner, like the lawyers do. (Jesus is our advocate with the Father only if we are penitent, for the impenitent do not have Him as their advocate.)  The thought of advocating impenitence, then, is understandably repulsive to them, so they simply interpret the scripture another way, to make it work according to their procedure. But the very words themselves do not fit.

High councilors could advocate the cause of the accused because these were not meant to be matters dealing with transgression, but merely “important difficulties.” In other words, disputes over this and that private matter. In such cases, the accused may be right, or may be wrong. The high councilors who were chosen by lot to speak, could put themselves in the place of the accused, for they weren’t attempting to excuse sin, but to show a private matter from the perspective of the accused.

Veto power

The CHI says that the high council cannot veto the stake president’s decision, but that is flat out wrong.

After the evidences are heard, the councilors, accuser and accused have spoken, the president shall give a decision according to the understanding which he shall have of the case, and call upon the twelve councilors to sanction the same by their vote.

But should the remaining councilors, who have not spoken, or any one of them, after hearing the evidences and pleadings impartially, discover an error in the decision of the president, they can manifest it, and the case shall have a re-hearing.

And if, after a careful re-hearing, any additional light is shown upon the case, the decision shall be altered accordingly.

But in case no additional light is given, the first decision shall stand, the majority of the council having power to determine the same. (D&C 102:19-22)

Here is the meaning of the word sanction, from Webster’s 1828 Dictionary:

SANC’TION, v.t. To ratify; to confirm; to give validity or authority to.

Thus, the twelve high councilors vote to ratify, confirm, give validity or authority to the stake president’s decision. Without such validation, the president’s decision is non-binding. That is what ratification is all about.

Unanimity is not required for ratification, only a majority vote. In other words, the majority of the council has power to determine whether the first decision shall stand, as well as whether there is no additional light given. The reason for the re-hearing is not because some councilors disagree, or even that one councilor disagrees, with the president’s decision, but because one or more of them think there may have been an error, meaning that the stake president overlooked something. This is why the section talks about additional light.

Impartiality

But should the remaining councilors, who have not spoken, or any one of them, after hearing the evidences and pleadings impartially, discover an error in the decision of the president, they can manifest it, and the case shall have a re-hearing. (D&C 102:20)

IMP`ARTIAL, a. [in and partial, from part, L. pars.]

1. Not partial; not biased in favor of one party more than another; indifferent; unprejudiced; disinterested; as an impartial judge or arbitrator.
2. Not favoring one party more than another; equitable; just; as an impartial judgment or decision; an impartial opinion.

Current church practice in church courts creates a conflict of interest. The witnesses who present evidence or who make accusations and bear testimony, are biased, but the high council and stake presidency is supposed to be unbiased and impartial. That requires that none of them can act as witnesses, nor make accusations. Any church court that has any of the councilors or any of the stake presidency acting as a witness or making accusations, in any degree of bias, cannot be called impartial and thus is nothing but a farce.

Guilty until proven penitent is a bastardization of the law

Another practice in the church court system is the assumption of guilt upon the accused. In the Lord’s law, every saint is innocent until proven guilty, but the modern church court procedure assumes the accused is guilty and thus that the accused, in order to be in God’s good graces, must confess his sin and show penitence before the council, otherwise the council will see him as an impenitent sinner, instead of as a penitent sinner, and will have to apply the penalty the Lord’s law requires. This practice makes all those who say they are innocent of any charges appear impenitent, even if they really are innocent.

Evidence alone is not enough

It is called the law of witnesses for a reason. Evidence of wrongdoing, without an eyewitness testifying, is insufficient. The witnesses are the saints and it takes a saint to condemn anyone. Also, every word must be established by two or three witnesses. So if someone in the church, for example, publishes some literature or book, but none of the saints are offended by it or bring up accusations against the author, the high council has no jurisdiction to lay charges against the author, nor does the stake presidency, nor the bishopric. Charges or accusations can only come from a saint’s testimony and it requires two saints’ testimonies for any of these men to obtain jurisdiction to bring a judgment against a member. The Lord made it this way because it is the jurisdiction of His saints to have the first and final word, judging both the nations of the earth and also Zion.

Behold, I, the Lord, have made my church in these last days like unto a judge sitting on a hill, or in a high place, to judge the nations.

For it shall come to pass that the inhabitants of Zion shall judge all things pertaining to Zion.

And liars and hypocrites shall be proved by them, and they who are not apostles and prophets shall be known.

And even the bishop, who is a judge, and his counselors, if they are not faithful in their stewardships shall be condemned, and others shall be planted in their stead. (D&C 64:37-40)

The saints are given free reign to judge all things, both inside and outside the church, including all the leaders from top (apostles and prophets) to the bottom (bishops). The word of two or more saints against any man, woman or child of age in this church condemns that person, regardless of his or her office.

Excommunication is supposed to be a congregational affair

Excommunication (cutting off a person from the church) is in similitude to the cutting off from the presence of the Lord which will happen to all the sons of perdition at the last day. Since that last act of cutting off is, in actuality, a spiritual death, even a second death, cutting off is representative of death. In other words, excommunication represents the death penalty, or capital punishment. Only those who do not repent receive this penalty.

The authority to inflict (the similitude of) death upon a sinner was never meant or designed by God to be in the hands of one man (a stake president) nor three men (the stake presidency), nor twelve men (the high council). The final decision was meant to be in the hands of the saints who make up the congregation.

But he or she shall be condemned by the mouth of two witnesses; and the elders shall lay the case before the church, and the church shall lift up their hands against him or her, that they may be dealt with according to the law of God. (D&C 42:81)

Without such congregational ratification, we end up with secret trials like those of the Gadianton robbers.

Now there were many of those who testified of the things pertaining to Christ who testified boldly, who were taken and put to death secretly by the judges, that the knowledge of their death came not unto the governor of the land until after their death. (3 Ne. 6:23)

Let the saints do their duty

It is the duty of a saint to lay charges, make accusations and bear witness against all wickedness they see. If they see (scripturally-defined) dissenting behavior, they will resist it and seek to silence it. They are the Lord’s anointed and the only ones authorized to condemn; not the bishop, or high council or stake presidency. (See Evil speaking of the Lord’s anointed.)

And they were strict to observe that there should be no iniquity among them; and whoso was found to commit iniquity, and three witnesses of the church did condemn them before the elders, and if they repented not, and confessed not, their names were blotted out, and they were not numbered among the people of Christ. (Moroni 6:7)

And if any man or woman shall commit adultery, he or she shall be tried before two elders of the church, or more, and every word shall be established against him or her by two witnesses of the church, and not of the enemy; but if there are more than two witnesses it is better. But he or she shall be condemned by the mouth of two witnesses; and the elders shall lay the case before the church, and the church shall lift up their hands against him or her, that they may be dealt with according to the law of God. (D&C 42:80-81)

It is right and proper for them to prune the church and bear witness against unrepentant sinners. They would be remiss in their duty if they shut their mouths at the sight of wickedness. So do not harp on them or put obstacles in the way of their duty, otherwise they will end up condemning you.

The purpose of this post

I wrote this post to show that, according to the scriptural definition, there is no such thing as a sinless dissenter; that the church is commanded to be one; that dissenters should be silenced; and that excommunication is a divine principle. I never expected to get into the unrighteousness of current church court procedure. I never expected or intended to judge the courts and find them “wanting in the balance” (see Dan. 5:27). But I did and that’s that. Nevertheless, despite the courts being corrupt because they do not conform to the divine pattern, to dissent is still a sin, all dissenters still should be silenced, unrepentant sinners still must be cut off from the church and excommunication of unrepentant sinners is still a righteous thing to do.

The question that remains, then, is what do we do about the courts? How can they be reclaimed and made right and just again, according to God’s revealed pattern? What steps must be taken by saints, working in unison (as one in Christ) within the stakes and acting on the promptings of the Holy Ghost, to administer “judicial reform” and bring the courts back into conformity with God’s laws? I don’t, as yet, have an answer to these questions. But there is one thing that I am certain of: although the institutionalization of the current church court procedures, in defiance of the written word, poses an obstacle to change, God’s saints have power through faith to rebuke anything they deem offensive, and correct anything they deem incorrect, whether within or without the church, for it is their duty and prerogative to judge all things. So I guess it just comes down to this: will they also judge the church courts and find them wanting?

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