What It Means to Bind Up the Testimony and Seal Up the Law


The outer vessel

It is the word of God that saves:

Search the scriptures; for in them ye think ye have eternal life: and they are they which testify of me.  (John 5:39)

When it is planted in our hearts as a seed, and nourished with great care, it takes root and springs up as a tree of everlasting life, bringing forth lots of good fruit. This requires, then, that we be “doers of the word” (James 1:22), and not just hearers of it, giving place in our hearts by our belief, that the seed can be planted, and then living the word, allowing it to transform our lives accordingly.  The Christians understand this part of the gospel, as well as many Mormons who have become “Christianified,” meaning they have taken the fulness of the restored gospel and reduced it down to a single requirement: the word of God must be found in us.

The truth of the matter is that the word of God must be found in us as well as upon us.  There is an inner component of the gospel—which applies to the inner man, the inward man, the inward vessel, the inward parts, the hidden part, the heart—that deals with inward performances, such as justice, mercy, faith and love, and also inward ordinances, such as the baptism of fire and of the Holy Ghost:

And thus he [Adam] was baptized, and the Spirit of God descended upon him, and thus he was born of the Spirit, and became quickened in the inner man.  And he heard a voice out of heaven, saying:

Thou art baptized with fire, and with the Holy Ghost.  (Moses 6:65-66)

Behold, thou desirest truth in the inward parts: and in the hidden part thou shalt make me to know wisdom.  (Psalms 51:6)

But this shall be the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel;

After those days,

saith the Lord,

I will put my law in their inward parts, and write it in their hearts; and will be their God, and they shall be my people.  (Jer. 31:33)

Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye pay tithe of mint and anise and cummin, and have omitted the weightier matters of the law, judgment, mercy, and faith: these ought ye to have done, and not to leave the other undone.  (Matt. 23:23)

Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye make clean the outside of the cup and of the platter, but within they are full of extortion and excess.  Thou blind Pharisee, cleanse first that which is within the cup and platter, that the outside of them may be clean also.  Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye are like unto whited sepulchres, which indeed appear beautiful outward, but are within full of dead men’s bones, and of all uncleanness.  Even so ye also outwardly appear righteous unto men, but within ye are full of hypocrisy and iniquity.  (Matt.23:25-28)

And the Lord said unto him,

Now do ye Pharisees make clean the outside of the cup and the platter; but your inward part is full of ravening and wickedness.  Ye fools, did not he that made that which is without make that which is within also?  (Luke 11:39-40)

But if ye would rather give alms of such things as ye have; and observe to do all things which I have commanded you, then would your inward parts be clean also.  (JST Luke 11:42)

But woe unto you, Pharisees! for ye tithe mint and rue and all manner of herbs, and pass over judgment and the love of God: these ought ye to have done, and not to leave the other undone.  (Luke 11:42)

For I delight in the law of God after the inward man:  (Romans 7:22)

For which cause we faint not; but though our outward man perish, yet the inward man is renewed day by day.  (2 Cor. 4:16)

That he would grant you, according to the riches of his glory, to be strengthened with might by his Spirit in the inner man;  (Eph. 3:16)

And now I read unto you the remainder of the commandments of God, for I perceive that they are not written in your hearts; I perceive that ye have studied and taught iniquity the most part of your lives.  (Mosiah 13:11)

Do ye suppose that God will look upon you as guiltless while ye sit still and behold these things? Behold I say unto you, Nay. Now I would that ye should remember that God has said that the inward vessel shall be cleansed first, and then shall the outer vessel be cleansed also.  (Alma 60:23)

But there is also an outer component—which applies to the outward man, the outer vessel, “the outside of the cup,” “that which is without”—that deals with outward performances, such as tithing, and also outward ordinances, such as water baptism:

Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye pay tithe of mint and anise and cummin, and have omitted the weightier matters of the law, judgment, mercy, and faith: these ought ye to have done, and not to leave the other undone.  (Matt. 23:23)

Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye make clean the outside of the cup and of the platter, but within they are full of extortion and excess.  Thou blind Pharisee, cleanse first that which is within the cup and platter, that the outside of them may be clean also.  Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye are like unto whited sepulchres, which indeed appear beautiful outward, but are within full of dead men’s bones, and of all uncleanness.  Even so ye also outwardly appear righteous unto men, but within ye are full of hypocrisy and iniquity.  (Matt.23:25-28)

And the Lord said unto him,

Now do ye Pharisees make clean the outside of the cup and the platter; but your inward part is full of ravening and wickedness.  Ye fools, did not he that made that which is without make that which is within also?  (Luke 11:39-40)

But woe unto you, Pharisees! for ye tithe mint and rue and all manner of herbs, and pass over judgment and the love of God: these ought ye to have done, and not to leave the other undone.  (Luke 11:42)

For which cause we faint not; but though our outward man perish, yet the inward man is renewed day by day.  (2 Cor. 4:16)

Yea, and they did keep the law of Moses; for it was expedient that they should keep the law of Moses as yet, for it was not all fulfilled. But notwithstanding the law of Moses, they did look forward to the coming of Christ, considering that the law of Moses was a type of his coming, and believing that they must keep those outward performances until the time that he should be revealed unto them.  (Alma 25:15)

Do ye suppose that God will look upon you as guiltless while ye sit still and behold these things? Behold I say unto you, Nay. Now I would that ye should remember that God has said that the inward vessel shall be cleansed first, and then shall the outer vessel be cleansed also.  (Alma 60:23)

The power and authority of the lesser, or Aaronic Priesthood, is to hold the keys of the ministering of angels, and to administer in outward ordinances, the letter of the gospel, the baptism of repentance for the remission of sins, agreeable to the covenants and commandments.  (D&C 107:20)

Man, then, is like a potted plant.

Be ye clean that bear the vessels of the Lord. (D&C 38:42)

The pot (or vessel) has an inside surface and an outside surface.  Within the pot is our heart-sol, into which the good seed of the word of God is supposed to be planted.  But no one hides a seed into a pot of soil without making sure to identify what kind of a seed is growing in the pot.  Therefore, our outer* vessel is used by God as a label, to write the identity of the plant growing in the soil, its purpose, and any other instructions pertaining to it.  These words of God, attached to the outer vessel of man via priesthood power, authority and ordinances, constitute the outer component of the gospel.  Both inner and outer components of the gospel must be present for salvation to go forth:

Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye pay tithe of mint and anise and cummin, and have omitted the weightier matters of the law, judgment, mercy, and faith: these ought ye to have done, and not to leave the other undone.  (Matt. 23:23)

But woe unto you, Pharisees! for ye tithe mint and rue and all manner of herbs, and pass over judgment and the love of God: these ought ye to have done, and not to leave the other undone.  (Luke 11:42)

*Note: We are dual beings, composed of spirit and element, which two bodies are connected.  Although there are two bodies, or two vessels, the connection makes them act as one body, or as one vessel with an inner and outer surface, yet it is still spoken of as two vessels.  Thus, the inner surface is the “inward vessel” and the outer surface is the “outer vessel” or “outward man.”  Hence, the inward vessel holds things on the inside, whereas the outer vessel holds things on the outside.

The sealing and binding power

Bind up the testimony, seal the law among my disciples. (Isa. 8:16)

The church of Christ, with its authorized, valid priesthood, is the instrument by which God attaches his word to the outer vessel of man.  The sealing and binding power of the priesthood refers to the ability of the priesthood to bind or seal the word of God to the outward man, or to the outer vessel of man, so that when God looks upon us, He sees His word.  If God looks upon us and sees His word, which is sealed to our outer vessel, and if He then looks within us and sees His word, in our inward vessel, and the two match, then we will appear to Him to be like His Only Begotten Son, who is the Word of God:

Wherefore, my beloved brethren, pray unto the Father with all the energy of heart, that ye may be filled with this love, which he hath bestowed upon all who are true followers of his Son, Jesus Christ; that ye may become the sons of God; that when he shall appear we shall be like him, for we shall see him as he is; that we may have this hope; that we may be purified even as he is pure. Amen.  (Moro. 7:48)

Jesus is fully the Word, both in His inward and outer vessels.  We must also be likewise.  This is how salvation and exaltation is obtained.

Joseph Smith wrote:

It may seem to some to be a very bold doctrine that we talk of—a power which records or binds on earth and binds in heaven. Nevertheless, in all ages of the world, whenever the Lord has given a dispensation of the priesthood to any man by actual revelation, or any set of men, this power has always been given. Hence, whatsoever those men did in authority, in the name of the Lord, and did it truly and faithfully, and kept a proper and faithful record of the same, it became a law on earth and in heaven, and could not be annulled, according to the decrees of the great Jehovah. This is a faithful saying. Who can hear it?

And as are the records on the earth in relation to your dead, which are truly made out, so also are the records in heaven. This, therefore, is the sealing and binding power, and, in one sense of the word, the keys of the kingdom, which consist in the key of knowledge.  (D&C 128:9,14)

When a person is baptized with valid priesthood authority, the word of God is bound to the person’s outer vessel.  Specifically, the gospel law is bound or sealed to the outer vessel.  The law, which is a written form of God’s word, has promised blessings associated with obedience to it.

There is a law, irrevocably decreed in heaven before the foundations of this world, upon which all blessings are predicated—and when we obtain any blessing from God, it is by obedience to that law upon which it is predicated.  (D&C 130:20-21)

There are also promised curses associated with non-compliance.  Both the law, its blessings and its curses are bound up to the outer vessel, making a covenant between God and the man.  If God looks in the inward vessel and sees conformity to the word of God that is sealed to the outer vessel, He is bound to bestow the promised blessing.  Contrariwise, if He sees non-conformity, He is likewise bound to bestow the curse.  This is how we bind God.

I, the Lord, am bound when ye do what I say; but when ye do not what I say, ye have no promise.  (D&C 82:10)

The promise referred to in the above scripture does not come from the inward vessel word alone, but consists of the outer vessel law sealed by priesthood power and then complicity with that law by application of the word found in the inward vessel.

And again, verily I say unto you, that which is governed by law is also preserved by law and perfected and sanctified by the same. That which breaketh a law, and abideth not by law, but seeketh to become a law unto itself, and willeth to abide in sin, and altogether abideth in sin, cannot be sanctified by law, neither by mercy, justice, nor judgment. Therefore, they must remain filthy still. (D&C 88:34-35)

Only the word of God is eternal, therefore, to inherit eternal life, we’ve got to be bound to it.

And everything that is in the world, whether it be ordained of men, by thrones, or principalities, or powers, or things of name, whatsoever they may be, that are not by me or by my word,

saith the Lord,

shall be thrown down, and shall not remain after men are dead, neither in nor after the resurrection,

saith the Lord your God.

For whatsoever things remain are by me; and whatsoever things are not by me shall be shaken and destroyed. Therefore, if a man marry him a wife in the world, and he marry her not by me nor by my word, and he covenant with her so long as he is in the world and she with him, their covenant and marriage are not of force when they are dead, and when they are out of the world; therefore, they are not bound by any law when they are out of the world. (D&C 132:13-15)

Binding the promises of God’s word to our outer vessel, then, is essential to our salvation.  Without the word of God on the outside, as well as on the inside, we are doomed.

There’s also testimony

In addition to binding or sealing up law upon the Lord’s disciples, which is the written form of His word, there is also testimony, which is a spoken form given by the power of the Holy Ghost:

And I fell at his feet to worship him. And he said unto me,

See thou do it not: I am thy fellowservant, and of thy brethren that have the testimony of Jesus: worship God: for the testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy.  (Rev. 19:10)

The man, then, speaking by the power of the Holy Ghost, testifies that such-and-such a thing is going to happen, or that such-and-such a blessing is going to be received, and these prophecies, which are also promises, are bound or sealed to the outer vessel, as attachments or addendums to the initial sealing of the law there.  Thus, after baptism, we have hands laid on our hands to get the Holy Ghost and additional promises can be attached to the individual’s outer vessel, according to the inspiration received by the one speaking.  A patriarchal blessing is also a sealing of testimony, as are other priesthood blessings.

Frontlets and phylacteries

These priesthood sealings of promises upon our outer vessel is what Peter was referring to when he wrote, “Whereby are given unto us exceeding great and precious promises” (2 Pet. 1:4.)  No promises are extended to anybody via the inward vessel alone, therefore the Christians, and any Mormons who think likewise, who think that confessing Jesus and living a Christian life of service is sufficient for salvation, i.e. that the word on the inside alone is sufficient, is going to be sorely disappointed, for no one can be saved by works alone, and the grace of God is only activated by obeying His commandments, which includes getting His word attached to our outer vessel, so that He essentially “sees Himself.”  Even the language of the marriage sealing attests that the promises are attached only to the outer vessel: “it shall be done unto them in all things whatsoever my servant hath put upon them” (D&C 132:19.)

We also have a type of this principle with the practice of frontlets and phylacteries:

(Bible Dictionary entries follow)

Phylacteries

(See Frontlets.) Amulets fastened on the forehead or on the left arm. They were small strips of parchment inscribed with texts (see Ex. 13:1–10, 11–16; Deut. 6:4–9; 11:13–21) and enclosed in leather cases (see Matt. 23:5).

Frontlets or phylacteries

Strips of parchment on which were written four passages of scriptures (Ex. 13:1–10, 11–16; Deut. 6:5–9; 11:13–21) and that were rolled up and attached to bands of leather worn (as an act of obedience to Ex. 13:9, 16; Deut. 6:8; 11:18) around the forehead or around the arm. The Jews called them tephillin. The Pharisees wore them broader than other people in order to make them as conspicuous as possible (Matt. 23:5).

These are the four passages of scriptures that were written in the strips of rolled up parchment:

#1: (Ex. 13:1–10)

And the Lord spake unto Moses, saying,

Sanctify unto me all the firstborn, whatsoever openeth the womb among the children of Israel, both of man and of beast: it is mine.

¶And Moses said unto the people,

Remember this day, in which ye came out from Egypt, out of the house of bondage; for by strength of hand the Lord brought you out from this place: there shall no leavened bread be eaten.  This day came ye out in the month Abib.

¶And it shall be when the Lord shall bring thee into the land of the Canaanites, and the Hittites, and the Amorites, and the Hivites, and the Jebusites, which he sware unto thy fathers to give thee, a land flowing with milk and honey, that thou shalt keep this service in this month.  Seven days thou shalt eat unleavened bread, and in the seventh day shall be a feast to the Lord.  Unleavened bread shall be eaten seven days; and there shall no leavened bread be seen with thee, neither shall there be leaven seen with thee in all thy quarters.

¶And thou shalt shew thy son in that day, saying,

This is done because of that which the Lord did unto me when I came forth out of Egypt.

And it shall be for a sign unto thee upon thine hand, and for a memorial between thine eyes, that the Lord’s law may be in thy mouth: for with a strong hand hath the Lord brought thee out of Egypt.  Thou shalt therefore keep this ordinance in his season from year to year.

#2: (Ex. 13:11–16)

¶And it shall be when the Lord shall bring thee into the land of the Canaanites, as he sware unto thee and to thy fathers, and shall give it thee, that thou shalt set apart unto the Lord all that openeth the matrix, and every firstling that cometh of a beast which thou hast; the males shall be the Lord’s.  And every firstling of an ass thou shalt redeem with a lamb; and if thou wilt not redeem it, then thou shalt break his neck: and all the firstborn of man among thy children shalt thou redeem.

¶And it shall be when thy son asketh thee in time to come, saying,

What is this?

that thou shalt say unto him,

By strength of hand the Lord brought us out from Egypt, from the house of bondage: and it came to pass, when Pharaoh would hardly let us go, that the Lord slew all the firstborn in the land of Egypt, both the firstborn of man, and the firstborn of beast: therefore I sacrifice to the Lord all that openeth the matrix, being males; but all the firstborn of my children I redeem.

And it shall be for a token upon thine hand, and for frontlets between thine eyes: for by strength of hand the Lord brought us forth out of Egypt.

#3: (Deut. 6:4–9)

And thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thine heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy might.  And these words, which I command thee this day, shall be in thine heart: and thou shalt teach them diligently unto thy children, and shalt talk of them when thou sittest in thine house, and when thou walkest by the way, and when thou liest down, and when thou risest up.  And thou shalt bind them for a sign upon thine hand, and they shall be as frontlets between thine eyes.  And thou shalt write them upon the posts of thy house, and on thy gates.

#4: (Deut. 11:13–21)

¶And it shall come to pass, if ye shall hearken diligently unto my commandments which I command you this day, to love the Lord your God, and to serve him with all your heart and with all your soul,

that I will give you the rain of your land in his due season, the first rain and the latter rain, that thou mayest gather in thy corn, and thy wine, and thine oil.  And I will send grass in thy fields for thy cattle, that thou mayest eat and be full.

Take heed to yourselves, that your heart be not deceived, and ye turn aside, and serve other gods, and worship them; and then the Lord’s wrath be kindled against you, and he shut up the heaven, that there be no rain, and that the land yield not her fruit; and lest ye perish quickly from off the good land which the Lord giveth you.

¶Therefore shall ye lay up these my words in your heart and in your soul, and bind them for a sign upon your hand, that they may be as frontlets between your eyes.  And ye shall teach them your children, speaking of them when thou sittest in thine house, and when thou walkest by the way, when thou liest down, and when thou risest up.  And thou shalt write them upon the door posts of thine house, and upon thy gates: that your days may be multiplied, and the days of your children, in the land which the Lord sware unto your fathers to give them, as the days of heaven upon the earth.

God’s word was literally bound to the outside of their bodies, and it contained promised blessings and curses, according to their obedience.  The sealing and binding power of the priesthood, then, is a sort of spiritual frontlet or phylactery.

Conditional promises

And unto every kingdom is given a law; and unto every law there are certain bounds also and conditions.  All beings who abide not in those conditions are not justified.  (D&C 88:38-39)

Sealing up the law and binding up the testimony among the disciples can be of two types of promises: conditional and unconditional.  Conditional promises require that a condition be fulfilled before the promised blessing is bestowed.  For example, we must keep our baptismal covenant in order to obtain the promised blessing of eternal life, yet baptism also contains the unconditional promise of the Holy Ghost, just for being baptized, which we receive at confirmation.  Another example is the endowment and marriage sealing, which are all conditional promises.

Unconditional promises

Some promises are given unconditionally, because the conditions for the fulfillment of the promise have already been met.  The more sure word of prophecy falls into this category:

The more sure word of prophecy means a man’s knowing that he is sealed up unto eternal life, by revelation and the spirit of prophecy, through the power of the Holy Priesthood. (D&C 131:5)

Non-priesthood sealings

God has power to seal additional promises to the outer vessel without using a priesthood administrator, merely by using the power of the Holy Ghost, through revelation and prophecy.  These additional promises are obtained by faith and are attached to the law or testimony already found sealed to the outer vessel, or to that which will be found sealed there in the future.  (There is no getting around the necessity of a priesthood administrator and this sealing and binding power.)  Thus, Joseph obtained promises of a righteous branch of his posterity, of Moses, and of the Josephite, and the Nephites obtained promises of the restoration of the Nephites, etc.  Also, Joseph Smith had his exaltation unconditionally sealed upon him:

For I am the Lord thy God, and will be with thee even unto the end of the world, and through all eternity; for verily I seal upon you your exaltation, and prepare a throne for you in the kingdom of my Father, with Abraham your father. (D&C 132:49)

None of this was done via a priesthood administrator.

Past, present and future

“The” more sure word of prophecy is nothing more than an unconditional promise given through a priesthood administrator by the power of the Holy Ghost in which a present condition or state is manifest.  In other words, it means that you have successfully endured to the end, passed the test of mortality, overcome the world by your faith in Christ and made your calling and election sure.  You can now die, confident that all will be well in the last day for you.  But there is also “a” more sure word of prophecy, or “other” more sure words of prophecy, which are likewise unconditional promises, but concerning the future or the past.  To illustrate the future type, I will use my wife as an example.

About two years after my wife was baptized, and more than a year after I met her, and in the very instant that I began pursuing her, the Holy Ghost manifested a prophetic revelation to her, in which she was told that I would be her “eternal companion.”  This was the second time she had received a manifestation of the Holy Ghost—the first being a knowledge that her sins had been remitted, received after her baptism—and she was unfamiliar and inexperienced with the gift to prophesy, and so she kept it to herself, thinking that if it were a true prophecy, nothing could stop its fulfillment.  It was many years later that she finally told it to me.

Her revelation is exemplary of an unconditional promise—for no conditions were attached, the Holy Ghost merely declaring the future—yet it was remarkable in that it essentially guaranteed that not one, but two people would be sealed up to their exaltation.  In order for the prophecy to come to pass, three things would have to happen: 1) the two people in question would have to be sealed in the temple for time and all eternity, 2) the two people in question would have to be saved, and 3) the two people in question would have to enter into their exaltation.  Her prophecy, then, was unconditionally guaranteeing that all three things would occur.

Notice the similarity of her prophecy to Joseph Smith’s definition of the more sure word of prophecy.  Her revelation certainly wasn’t “the” more sure word of prophecy, for although it was given by revelation and prophecy, it was not done by the power of the priesthood, nor was it a declaration that nothing else needed to be done.  It wasn’t a declaration of a present state, but of a future state.  It wasn’t “the” more sure word, but it was certainly “a” more sure word.

Unconditional prophecies are given after conditions have been met.  The man receiving “a” more sure word of prophecy has already set in motion the sequence of events, through the exercise of his faith in Christ, that will inevitably lead to the fulfillment of the prophecy.  No conditions are attached to the promise because the necessary condition—a sufficiently mighty exercise of faith—has already occurred, and so God Himself guarantees the prophecy’s fulfillment, for when there is faith, it binds Him to act in the man’s behalf.  Thus, regardless of the agency of the two individuals in question in my wife’s prophecy, God would use His almighty power (His own agency) to get those two together, sealed, saved and exalted, by pushing the appropriate “buttons” that would cause them to act in the manner required for them to “get together, be sealed, saved and exalted.”

Was this a true revelation?

In order to be true, faith must have been exercised prior to the Holy Ghost uttering the guarantee, and in point of fact, that is exactly what had happened.  Unbeknownst to my wife, I had been earnestly pleading with God, for over a year, for Him to give her to me as my wife forever, fully believing I was going to get what I was asking for (and never realizing that God would have to guarantee us exaltation in order to grant my petition.)  So, on my own part, there appeared to be present the required condition of faith.  Also, a few months later I received my own prophetic revelation concerning her, which confirmed that I had, indeed, prayed in faith.  And my prophecy turned out to be yet another more sure word, without conditions.  As for her, I only know what I perceived in her by the gift of the discerning of spirits when I first met her, which caused me to immediately begin asking God for her—for I perceived a degree of faith I had never seen in any other woman—and I also know that she has always claimed to have done “everything that was required” of her by God during the first two years of her membership in the church.

This shows that God is not limited in declaring more sure words of prophecy.  He can unconditionally declare a present state, as well as a future state, and, in fact, all of the many promises that I have obtained from God directly, via revelation and the spirit of prophecy, without priesthood administration, have been more sure words, declaring a future state.  But God can also declare a possible past state:

I saw Father Adam and Abraham; and my father and my mother; my brother Alvin, that has long since slept; and marveled how it was that he had obtained an inheritance in that kingdom, seeing that he had departed this life before the Lord had set his hand to gather Israel the second time, and had not been baptized for the remission of sins.  Thus came the voice of the Lord unto me, saying:

All who have died without a knowledge of this gospel, who would have received it if they had been permitted to tarry, shall be heirs of the celestial kingdom of God; also all that shall die henceforth without a knowledge of it, who would have received it with all their hearts, shall be heirs of that kingdom; for I, the Lord, will judge all men according to their works, according to the desire of their hearts. (D&C 137:5-9)

Here we see that Joseph received a more sure word of prophecy concerning his brother Alvin, not due to a condition of faith that Alvin presently fulfilled, or one which he would fulfill in the future, but one which he would have fulfilled in the past, had he lived.  Alvin’s disposition to receive the gospel with all his heart caused the Lord to view him as if he had a “seal of righteousness” upon him.  Alvin still needed the ordinances of salvation and exaltation—in other words, a priesthood administrator still needed to seal up the law and bind up the testimony, upon Alvin’s outer vessel, vicariously—but this more sure word concerning him was attached to those future sealings regardless of their futurity in point of time.

The Holy Spirit of promise

Being sealed by the Holy Spirit of promise is required for exaltation:

And again we bear record—for we saw and heard, and this is the testimony of the gospel of Christ concerning them who shall come forth in the resurrection of the just—they are they who received the testimony of Jesus, and believed on his name and were baptized after the manner of his burial, being buried in the water in his name, and this according to the commandment which he has given—that by keeping the commandments they might be washed and cleansed from all their sins, and receive the Holy Spirit by the laying on of the hands of him who is ordained and sealed unto this power; and who overcome by faith, and are sealed by the Holy Spirit of promise, which the Father sheds forth upon all those who are just and true. (D&C 76:50-53)

Paul also wrote of this sealing:

In whom ye also trusted, after that ye heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation: in whom also after that ye believed, ye were sealed with that holy Spirit of promise, which is the earnest of our inheritance until the redemption of the purchased possession, unto the praise of his glory.  (Eph. 1:13-14)

The NKJV render it, “the guarantee of our inheritance.”  Concerning the Holy Spirit of promise, the Lord said,

Verily, thus saith the Lord unto you who have assembled yourselves together to receive his will concerning you:

Behold, this is pleasing unto your Lord, and the angels rejoice over you; the alms of your prayers have come up into the ears of the Lord of Sabaoth, and are recorded in the book of the names of the sanctified, even them of the celestial world.  Wherefore, I now send upon you another Comforter, even upon you my friends, that it may abide in your hearts, even the Holy Spirit of promise; which other Comforter is the same that I promised unto my disciples, as is recorded in the testimony of John.  This Comforter is the promise which I give unto you of eternal life, even the glory of the celestial kingdom; which glory is that of the church of the Firstborn, even of God, the holiest of all, through Jesus Christ his Son—he that ascended up on high, as also he descended below all things, in that he comprehended all things, that he might be in all and through all things, the light of truth; which truth shineth.  (D&C 88:1-7)

John, who was mentioned by the Lord in the revelation, did, in fact, write that the promise they received was of eternal life:

And this is the promise that he hath promised us, even eternal life.  (1 John 2:25)

So the Holy Spirit of promise is the promise or guarantee of eternal life, or, to put it another way, it is the Holy Ghost promising or guaranteeing eternal life.  This promise or guarantee can be conditional or unconditional, and it can be bestowed via priesthood administration or without such, being given merely by revelation and prophecy.

The Holy Spirit of promise, administered (or sealed upon us) via priesthood is done through the temple marriage ceremony, and such sealings are all conditional:

And verily I say unto you, that the conditions of this law are these:

All covenants, contracts, bonds, obligations, oaths, vows, performances, connections, associations, or expectations, that are not made and entered into and sealed by the Holy Spirit of promise, of him who is anointed, both as well for time and for all eternity, and that too most holy, by revelation and commandment through the medium of mine anointed, whom I have appointed on the earth to hold this power (and I have appointed unto my servant Joseph to hold this power in the last days, and there is never but one on the earth at a time on whom this power and the keys of this priesthood are conferred), are of no efficacy, virtue, or force in and after the resurrection from the dead; for all contracts that are not made unto this end have an end when men are dead.

And again, verily I say unto you, if a man marry a wife, and make a covenant with her for time and for all eternity, if that covenant is not by me or by my word, which is my law, and is not sealed by the Holy Spirit of promise, through him whom I have anointed and appointed unto this power, then it is not valid neither of force when they are out of the world, because they are not joined by me, saith the Lord, neither by my word; when they are out of the world it cannot be received there, because the angels and the gods are appointed there, by whom they cannot pass; they cannot, therefore, inherit my glory; for my house is a house of order, saith the Lord God.

And again, verily I say unto you, if a man marry a wife by my word, which is my law, and by the new and everlasting covenant, and it is sealed unto them by the Holy Spirit of promise, by him who is anointed, unto whom I have appointed this power and the keys of this priesthood; and it shall be said unto them—Ye shall come forth in the first resurrection; and if it be after the first resurrection, in the next resurrection; and shall inherit thrones, kingdoms, principalities, and powers, dominions, all heights and depths—then shall it be written in the Lamb’s Book of Life, that he shall commit no murder whereby to shed innocent blood, and if ye abide in my covenant, and commit no murder whereby to shed innocent blood, it shall be done unto them in all things whatsoever my servant hath put upon them, in time, and through all eternity; and shall be of full force when they are out of the world; and they shall pass by the angels, and the gods, which are set there, to their exaltation and glory in all things, as hath been sealed upon their heads, which glory shall be a fulness and a continuation of the seeds forever and ever.

Verily, verily, I say unto you, if a man marry a wife according to my word, and they are sealed by the Holy Spirit of promise, according to mine appointment, and he or she shall commit any sin or transgression of the new and everlasting covenant whatever, and all manner of blasphemies, and if they commit no murder wherein they shed innocent blood, yet they shall come forth in the first resurrection, and enter into their exaltation; but they shall be destroyed in the flesh, and shall be delivered unto the buffetings of Satan unto the day of redemption, saith the Lord God.  (D&C 132:7,18,19,26)

Such priesthood administrations, however, actually cause the people being sealed to be written in the Book of Life (which is found in heaven), and their names remain there unless they violate the conditions:

Verily, verily, I say unto you, if a man marry a wife according to my word, and they are sealed by the Holy Spirit of promise, according to mine appointment, and he or she shall commit any sin or transgression of the new and everlasting covenant whatever, and all manner of blasphemies, and if they commit no murder wherein they shed innocent blood, yet they shall come forth in the first resurrection, and enter into their exaltation; but they shall be destroyed in the flesh, and shall be delivered unto the buffetings of Satan unto the day of redemption, saith the Lord God.

And verily, verily, I say unto you, that whatsoever you seal on earth shall be sealed in heaven; and whatsoever you bind on earth, in my name and by my word, saith the Lord, it shall be eternally bound in the heavens; and whosesoever sins you remit on earth shall be remitted eternally in the heavens; and whosesoever sins you retain on earth shall be retained in heaven.  (D&C 132:19,46)

This conditional promise of eternal life allows them to weather the storms of temptation and adversity, giving them comfort during the trial of mortality, hence it being called another Comforter:

First, I give unto you Hyrum Smith to be a patriarch unto you, to hold the sealing blessings of my church, even the Holy Spirit of promise, whereby ye are sealed up unto the day of redemption, that ye may not fall notwithstanding the hour of temptation that may come upon you.  (D&C 124:124)

It is entirely appropriate, then, for endowed members fo the church who have received the marriage sealing to say that they have been sealed by the Holy Spirit of promise.

Unconditional manifestations of the Holy Spirit of promise can come via priesthood administration, such as “the” more sure word of prophecy, or merely by revelation and the spirit of prophecy, without any priesthood administration.  Doctrine and Covenants section 88 is an example of the latter form.  D&C 88:1-7 (quoted above) unconditionally guarantees eternal life to the people who were present with Joseph Smith when he received that revelation.  It is stated that their prayers “are recorded in the book of the names of the sanctified, even them of the celestial world.”  During the rest of the revelation, they are always associated with the celestial glory, but when speaking of other glories, the Lord associates other people:

And they who are not sanctified through the law which I have given unto you, even the law of Christ, must inherit another kingdom, even that of a terrestrial kingdom, or that of a telestial kingdom.

They who are of a celestial spirit shall receive the same body which was a natural body; even ye shall receive your bodies, and your glory shall be that glory by which your bodies are quickened.  Ye who are quickened by a portion of the celestial glory shall then receive of the same, even a fulness.  And they who are quickened by a portion of the terrestrial glory shall then receive of the same, even a fulness.  And also they who are quickened by a portion of the telestial glory shall then receive of the same, even a fulness.  And they who remain shall also be quickened; nevertheless, they shall return again to their own place, to enjoy that which they are willing to receive, because they were not willing to enjoy that which they might have received.   (D&C 88:21,28-32)

Yet despite this unconditional guarantee of eternal life, they were not perfect.  They were deficient in their thoughts, even though their actions were more or less right before the Lord.  Therefore, the Lord gave them further commandments and instructions, so that they could become perfect, both inside and out, and He continued to remind them of the promise of eternal life which they had just received:

And again, verily I say unto you, my friends, I leave these sayings with you to ponder in your hearts, with this commandment which I give unto you, that ye shall call upon me while I am near—draw near unto me and I will draw near unto you; seek me diligently and ye shall find me; ask, and ye shall receive; knock, and it shall be opened unto you.  Whatsoever ye ask the Father in my name it shall be given unto you, that is expedient for you; and if ye ask anything that is not expedient for you, it shall turn unto your condemnation.
Therefore, sanctify yourselves that your minds become single to God, and the days will come that you shall see him; for he will unveil his face unto you, and it shall be in his own time, and in his own way, and according to his own will.  Remember the great and last promise which I have made unto you; cast away your idle thoughts and your excess of laughter far from you.
And I give unto you, who are the first laborers in this last kingdom, a commandment that you assemble yourselves together, and organize yourselves, and prepare yourselves, and sanctify yourselves; yea, purify your hearts, and cleanse your hands and your feet before me, that I may make you clean; that I may testify unto your Father, and your God, and my God, that you are clean from the blood of this wicked generation; that I may fulfil this promise, this great and last promise, which I have made unto you, when I will.  Also, I give unto you a commandment that ye shall continue in prayer and fasting from this time forth.  And I give unto you a commandment that you shall teach one another the doctrine of the kingdom.   (D&C 88:62-65,68-69,74-77)

So this was “a” more sure word of prophecy, in which they were promised that they would eventually obtain eternal life.  There still were more things they needed to do, yet the faith they had already exercised was sufficient to get the Lord to manifest the Holy Spirit of promise unconditionally.

The Josephite’s role in this

Some people think that sealing up the law and binding up the testimony is something that does not happen today, but will happen when the Josephite, and others who are prophesied to appear, show up.  But they are wrong.  These things are done routinely in the church, via the priesthood, but much of it is conditional in nature.  The advent of the two-handed condition may cause unconditional sealings to be the norm during the ministry of the Josephite, simply because faith will increase among the righteous.  Also, the sealing of the 144,000 may be more than just a spiritual sealing; in fact, it may be the re-introduction, or restoration, of actual frontlets and phylacteries.  We shall see.

In conclusion

Sealing up the law and binding up the testimony is something that happens to those in the gospel, via priesthood administration, and allows other promises to be attached to the outer vessel according to one’s faith.  This is how Christ is able to seal us as His.

Therefore, I would that ye should be steadfast and immovable, always abounding in good works, that Christ, the Lord God Omnipotent, may seal you his, that you may be brought to heaven, that ye may have everlasting salvation and eternal life, through the wisdom, and power, and justice, and mercy of him who created all things, in heaven and in earth, who is God above all. Amen. (Mosiah 5:15)

These sealings do not occur among the wicked.  Instead, it is the devil who seals them as his own, using his own seal.

For behold, if ye have procrastinated the day of your repentance even until death, behold, ye have become subjected to the spirit of the devil, and he doth seal you his; therefore, the Spirit of the Lord hath withdrawn from you, and hath no place in you, and the devil hath all power over you; and this is the final state of the wicked. (Alma 34:35)

This shows that the church’s emphasis on getting these ordinances is the correct stance and that all those who downplay the importance of these things have no idea of the requirements of salvation.

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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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Re-assignment of Parentage


In 2009 I received a revelation which dealt with the doctrine of re-assignment of parentage.  I told a few people privately and, as expected, no one believed it.  Unfortunately, I also got kind of a backlash from its private release, in which some denounced it as “of the devil,” while others said I was just a lunatic.

After I received the revelation, I believed it at once—(for all my revelations are true)—but then, upon pondering it afterward, I decided to see if there was scriptural precedence for it.  So I pulled out the scriptures and started searching.  Sure enough, this doctrine was written all over the freaking place.  In particular, this scripture stood out:

¶Now there stood by the cross of Jesus his mother, and his mother’s sister, Mary the wife of Cleophas, and Mary Magdalene.

When Jesus therefore saw his mother, and the disciple standing by, whom he loved, he saith unto his mother,

Woman, behold thy son!

Then saith he to the disciple,

Behold thy mother!

And from that hour that disciple took her unto his own home.  (John 19:25-27)

In this case, the disciple received a new mother, and the woman received a new son.  Neither was biologically related, yet there occurred a re-assignment of parentage. I thought, “Okay, good.  When I tell people this revelation, and when they inevitably refuse to believe it, surely they will ask me for scriptural ‘proof’ that the doctrine is sound, so I’ll just turn to this passage and expound the doctrine to them.”

Unfortunately, instead of hearing the revelation and then asking questions concerning it, about its doctrinal basis and so forth, people just got offended by it, passed judgment upon me, and not a single one of them ever asked me to expound it.  Instead, they merely pondered it and then came to their own (unscriptural) conclusions based on their own false assumptions, without consulting with either the scriptures or myself.  I suppose this was to be expected, as I have a tendency of convincing people of my way of viewing things if they reach for the scriptures to try to prove me wrong, so the unspoken rule is that the scriptures are never to be consulted whenever I’m involved in any controversy.

Anyway, so 6 years have gone by and I’ve never explained the doctrine to anyone.  However, earlier this year I was contacted by email by one of the readers of this blog, who, after reading some of my writings about the Josephite restorer, was beginning to wonder whether this man might be himself.  He detailed many interesting facts about his life in his emails to me, one of which in particular caught my attention.  Now, I received his emails through my cupholder account, which I no longer have access to, so I’m just going on memory here, which might be off.  If he still visits this blog and reads what I write, according to my memory, and if it turns out my memory is wrong, he can correct me.  But, if my memory serves me right, I recall that he wrote in his emails that he was given a patriarchal blessing in which he was told he was of the tribe of Ephraim, but then he got an emendation of the blessing, and his tribe was switched from Ephraim to Manasseh.

I did not tell him of this revelation I received in 2009; but, as I have “two sets” of scriptures—the canon the standard LDS uses and my own personal “canon” of revelations—I could not help but compare what he told me to what the Holy Ghost told me in 2009.  The switch from Ephraim to Manasseh is the re-assignment of parentage, from one father (Ephraim) to a different father (Manasseh).

Now, re-assignment of parentage is what the gospel is all about.  Sin and death cuts us off (disinherits us) from God the Father, but, through the atonement and resurrection of Christ, and on condition of faith and repentance, we are allowed to become restored to the Father, through the re-assignment of parentage, Jesus Christ becoming our new Father.  In this way, we still inherit the blessings we lost through death and disobedience.

If we continue to rebel against God, again we get re-assigned parentage, the devil becoming our new father.  If we repent and exercise faith, we Gentiles get re-assigned parentage, Abraham becoming our mortal father, through whom we inherit the promises.  And so on, with each of the 12 tribes of Israel.  All of this is the doctrine of re-assignment of parentage.

Even in a contemporary setting, this doctrine plays out.  For example, if we adopt children, who are not literally our seed, they may be sealed to us for time and all eternity, as if they were our literal seed.  Thus they get re-assigned new parents, for this life and the next.

Okay, so recently I was thinking about what this man wrote to me about his switch from Ephraim to Manasseh, and I wondered about the Josephite, whether some kind of re-assignment of parentage would indeed take place for him, like what happened to this man.  The lineage of the Josephite is of three kinds: Gentile, Lamanitish and Josephite.  (My understanding is that he was raised as a Gentile, so I will count that as a “lineage.”)  Then, I suppose, when he gets into the church of God (the Mormon church), the Lamanitish lineage would manifest.  After all, the Nephites, when they self-destructed, were assimilated into the Lamanites (those Nephites who remained alive, that is), so they became Lamanites, and this Lamanitish lineage has stayed strong for more than a thousand years.

But then at some point this guy is going to have the Nephite part of him manifest, right?  And when that part of him starts to manifest, might there not be a corresponding lineage switch?  In other words, while he is still in “Lamanite-mode,” his parentage consists of these parents, but when he goes into “Nephite-mode,” his parentage changes to those parents.  It all corresponds to the level of faith exercised.  It takes a certain level of faith to go from unbelieving Gentile to believing LDS (re-assigned into the house of Israel as a “Lamanite.”)  And it takes an even greater level of faith to go from a believing LDS “Lamanite” to a bona fide Nephite.  When any of these levels of faith are manifested or exercised, God changes the lineage accordingly, to match that faith.  Thus, the Josephite will journey from Gentile, to Abrahamic covenant (through baptism into the church of God), to Lamanite (starting to suspect his lineage), to Nephite covenant, as a full blown Josephite.

Thus, it seems to me entirely possible that we are going to hear of some kind of re-assignment of parentage from this guy, such as what this blog visitor wrote to me about, or perhaps like what happened to that disciple of Jesus.

P.S.

Do not ask me about the revelation.  I am not going to release it in any form publicly.

Complete List of Articles authored by LDS Anarchist

1 Nephi 13 & 14 commentary, using CTC’s view


On June 17th, 2008, Anthony E. Larson uploaded a post to this blog called, The Great and Abominable Church.  A couple of weeks later a visitor called CTC claimed that 1 Nephi 13 & 14 spoke of a literal great and abominable church that had yet to make its appearance and that much of both of these chapters was yet to be fulfilled.  He said he got this information from someone who he believed was a bona fide prophet of God.  CTC did not use a chronological approach to Nephi’s prophecy.  This made it easy for him to get around certain parts which posed problems to him as a future fulfillment.  But I’m not going to take that approach.  I’m going to read it chronologically and literally, and see where it takes me.

I’m doing this because it interests me, not because I subscribe to this view, so please don’t take this as my interpretation of this chapter.  As I’ve said before, my understanding of prophecy is that it is plain and speaks of real things, and also that it often has shadows or types.  When CTC first posted his comments, I did not respond, because I hadn’t taken the time to really look at 1 Nephi 13, to see if the fulfillment that we normally assign to it could be a mere shadow.  So, I remained silent and let others respond to him.  However, recently I have found myself mentioning time and time again about a coming future captivity of the saints, which brought to my mind what Nephi had stated in 1 Nephi 13, which then brought to my mind what CTC had written in his comments.

All of which leads me to this post, in which I look at these chapters and attempt to interpret them as if their literal fulfillment was still future.  So, let’s begin.

Chapter Thirteen of First Nephi

I will quote a part of the chapter, then give what is commonly assumed as its fulfillment, but as a shadow, and then I will give its literal future fulfillment.  I will try to convincingly show why the shadow fulfillment does not satisfy the prophecy, meaning why the prophecy is not fulfilled every whit by the shadow, necessitating a future, literal fulfillment.  I am using this as my Book of Mormon text.

The times of the Gentiles

and it came to pass | that the angel spake unto me | saying |

look |

and i looked | and beheld many nations and kingdoms | and the angel said unto me |

what beholdest thou |

and i said |

i behold many nations and kingdoms |

and he said unto me |

these are the nations and kingdoms of the gentiles |

This is obviously talking about the times of the Gentiles.  But which times?  The times of the primitive church with the twelve apostles, the times right after the death of the apostles, the times of Joseph Smith, the current times, or a future time of the Gentiles?  Nephi isn’t clear on this point, but I will interpret this as a future time.

The formation of a church

and it came to pass | that i saw | among the nations of the gentiles | the formation of a great 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 |

Shadow past fulfillment: Some have stated that this is the Roman Catholic Church, a literal church, which would put its formation after the death of the apostles.  Others have stated that this is the “church” of science, a metaphorical church, which would put its formation after the Roman Catholic Church.  Others believe this is speaking metaphorically about all churches that are not the true saints of God, per the later verse of 1 Ne. 14:10, giving it a metaphorical “formation” and a metaphorical “captivity.”  These must all be shadows because they do not fulfill the prophecy every whit.

Literal future fulfillment: This a real church, not a figurative or metaphorical church.  And it exists among other, real churches.  It literally kills and tortures real saints—or sanctified people who have entered into a covenant with God, witnessed by baptism—and literally binds them, puts real iron yokes upon them and brings them down into literal (not metaphorical) captivity.

To literally fulfill this prophecy every whit, living saints of God must be present during, or after, the formation of this church, and they must be killed, tortured, bound, yoked with iron, and brought into captivity.  Also, there must be other, real churches present, which do not pertain to the abominable church.

This has not occurred, yet, for although there were people tortured, killed, put into iron yokes and brought into captivity, by various religious organizations in the past, these tortured souls were not saints of God, for the church of God was already non-existent by then and the saints and apostles were already dead.  Therefore, this prophecy must pertain to the future.

Devil, materialism, worldy praise

and it came to pass | that i beheld this great and abominable church |

and i saw the devil | that he was the founder of it |

and i also saw gold | and silver | and silks | and scarlets | and fine-twined linen | and all manner of precious clothing |

and i saw many harlots | and the angel spake unto me | saying |

behold | the gold | and the silver | and the silks | and the scarlets | and the fine-twined linen | and the precious clothing | and the harlots | are the desires of this great and abominable church |

and also | for the praise of the world do they destroy the saints of god | and bring them down into captivity |

The previous commentary applies to this section, as well, for if the church of God is not present, in order for this abominable church to bring God’s saints down into captivity and destroy them, it cannot be fulfilled literally.

Many waters

and it came to pass | that i looked | and beheld many waters | and they divided the gentiles from the seed of my brethren |

Shadow past fulfillment:  The Gentiles of Europe are divided (separated) from the American Indians (Lamanites) by the Atlantic Ocean.

Literal future fulfillment: The Gentiles of Asia are divided (separated) from the American Indians (Lamanites) by “many waters.”  The term “many waters” refers to that body of water called by the Nephites, Irreantum, which is the Pacific Ocean.

And we did come to the land which we called Bountiful, because of its much fruit and also wild honey; and all these things were prepared of the Lord that we might not perish. And we beheld the sea, which we called Irreantum, which, being interpreted, is many waters.  (1 Ne. 17:5)

The Spirit of God upon a man

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 |

Shadow past fulfillment:  The European Gentile, Christopher Columbus, “believed himself chosen by God to find [a new] land and deliver the light of Christianity to the natives there.”  He sailed upon the Atlantic Ocean to the New World, all the way to the Lamanite remnant.

Literal future fulfillment:  A man among the Asian Gentiles (not necessarily a Gentile man, nor Asian) will have the Spirit of God come down and work upon him.  This man will be a holy prophet of God and will travel from Asia to North America, upon the Irreantum or Pacific Ocean, until he reaches the Lamanite remnant.

The Spirit of God upon captive Gentiles

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 |

Shadow past fulfillment:  European Gentiles (Puritans) leave Europe and their religious “captivity” for America to partake of religious freedom.  (Never mind that Europe was one of the freest places on the planet at the time.)  They travel over the Atlantic Ocean.

Literal future fulfillment:  Asian Gentiles are wrought upon by the Spirit of God, becoming saints of God, and leave Asian captivity, meaning that they leave the captivity of the tyrannical Chinese, North Korean and other communist regimes and dictatorships, which bind the people down in literal captivity.  They travel over the Irreantum (Pacific Ocean.)

The scattering of the Lamanites

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 |

Shadow past fulfillment:  Lots of European Gentiles are in America.  The European Gentiles partially scatter the American Indians and gather them into reservations.  The European Gentiles take possession of Indian and American land.  Some prosper, some do not.  The European Gentiles are white, fair and beautiful.

Literal future fulfillment:  Lots of different Gentiles are in America.  An unnamed group of (European?) Gentiles fully scatter the American Indians, off of the reservations, and smite them, so that the Lamanites are completely landless.  The Spirit of the Lord comes upon a righteous group of (Asian?) Gentiles (saints) and they prosper and inherit the land.  This righteous group of Gentiles is white, fair and beautiful.

Former captors wage war against former captives; God saves former captives

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 |

and i beheld | that their mother gentiles were gathered together upon the waters | and upon the land | also | to battle against them |

and i beheld | that the power of god was with them | and also | that the wrath of god was upon all those | that were gathered together against them to battle |

and i | nephi | beheld | that the gentiles | that had gone out of captivity | were delivered by the power of god out of the hands of all other nations |

Shadow past fulfillment:  Many European Gentiles (in the American British colonies) are either deists or believe in God, Christianity and the Bible.  The American Revolutionary War ensues.  Despite hardships, lack of supplies, training, etc., the American Continental Army defeats the British.

Literal future fulfillment:  The Asian Gentiles (who are converted saints of God)—who left their Asian communist countries, who traveled over the Irreantum (Pacific Ocean), who are now living upon the land of America—humble themselves before the Lord and obtain the gifts and powers of the Holy Ghost.  Their mother countries (China, Russia and the rest) send warships upon the waters to battle them and gather together upon the water and also gather together upon the land.  Divine intervention (miracles of God) takes place and the armies of the mother Gentile nations, as well as the armies of all those nations who were gathered with them to battle the former Asian Gentile captives, are defeated by the power of God, and not by any power of man.

A book, the record of the Jews

and it came to pass | that i | nephi | beheld | that they did prosper in the land |

and i beheld a book | and it was carried forth among them | and the angel said unto me |

knowest thou the meaning of the book |

and i said unto him |

i know not |

and he said |

behold | it proceedeth out of the mouth of a jew |

and i | nephi | beheld it | and he said unto me |

the book | that thou beholdest | is a record of the jews | which contains the covenants of the lord | which he hath made unto the house of israel |

and it also containeth many of the prophecies of the holy prophets |

and it is a record like unto the engravings | which are upon the plates of brass | save there are not so many | nevertheless | they contain the covenants of the lord | which he hath made unto the house of israel | wherefore | they are of great worth unto the gentiles |

and the angel of the lord said unto me |

thou hast beheld | that the book proceeded forth from the mouth of a jew |

and when it proceeded forth from the mouth of a jew | it contained the fulness of the gospel of the lord | of whom the twelve apostles bear record | and they bear record | according to the truth which is in the lamb of god | wherefore | these things go forth from the jews in purity unto the gentiles | according to the truth which is in god |

and after they go forth by the hand of the twelve apostles of the lamb from the jews unto the gentiles | thou seest the formation of a great and abominable church | which is most abominable | above all other churches |

for behold | they have taken away from the gospel of the lamb many parts | which are plain and most precious |

and also | many covenants of the lord have they taken away |

and all this have they done | that they might pervert the right ways of the lord | that they might blind the eyes | and harden the hearts | of the children of men | wherefore | thou seest | that after the book hath gone forth through the hands of the great and abominable church | that there are many plain and precious things taken away from the book | which is the book of the lamb of god |

and after these plain and precious things were taken away | it goeth forth unto all the nations of the gentiles |

and after it goeth forth unto all the nations of the gentiles | yea | even across the many waters | which thou hast seen with the gentiles | which have gone forth out of captivity | thou seest | because of the many plain and precious things | which have been taken out of the book | which were plain unto the understanding of the children of men | according to the plainness which is in the lamb of god | because of these things | which are taken away out of the gospel of the lamb | an exceedingly great many do stumble | yea | insomuch that satan hath great power over them | nevertheless | thou beholdest | that the gentiles | who have gone forth out of captivity | and have been lifted up by the power of god | above all other nations upon the face of the land | which is choice | above all other lands | which is the land | that the lord god hath covenanted with thy father | that his seed should have for the land of their inheritance | wherefore | thou seest | that the lord god will not suffer | that the gentiles will utterly destroy the mixture of thy seed | which are among thy brethren | neither will he suffer | that the gentiles shall destroy the seed of thy brethren | neither will the lord god suffer | that the gentiles shall forever remain in that awful state of blindness | which thou beholdest | they are in | because of the plain and most precious parts of the gospel of the lamb | which have been kept back by that abominable church | whose formation thou hast seen |

wherefore |

saith the lamb of god |

i will be merciful unto the gentiles | unto the visiting of the remnant of the house of israel in great judgment |

Shadow past fulfillment:  The European Gentiles (now called American citizens) have a Bible—written by multiple authors, not a single Jew—which has been corrupted by that great and abominable church, you know, the Roman Catholic Church, or the science non-church, or the vast assembly of non-saint churches “church.”  That church.  Anyway, that church/non-church takes some plain and precious parts away from the Bible and then sends it out to all the European Gentiles, which then makes its way to America, since the European Gentiles have traveled there over the Atlantic Ocean.  And because of this faulty Bible, many of the European Gentiles stumble and sin.  But hope is not lost, for the Lord has a plan.

Literal future fulfillment:  The Asian Gentiles saints living in America have a book, written by a singular Jew, which contains a record of the Jews, the covenants of the Lord and many of the prophecies of the prophets.  This book is like the plates of brass, except it doesn’t contain as much information as the plates of brass.  It contains the fulness of the gospel of Jesus Christ and the testimony of all twelve apostles of the Lord.

When the book first appears, written by the singular Jew, it will go to the Gentiles, presumably to the Asian Gentiles who were in captivity, since they will be carrying the book.  After it goes to the Gentiles, the great and abominable church will be formed.  That church apparently will get a copy of the book and make drastic changes to it, taking out plain and precious parts.  Then they will publish the book far and wide, so that it ends up in every Gentile nation, including in America.

There will be, then, two editions of the book.  One which is pure, carried by the Asian Gentile saints living in America, and the other which is corrupted, carried by the other Gentiles (living in America and elsewhere).  Because of the corrupted version, many Gentiles stumble and sin.  But hope is not lost, for the Lord has a plan.

Another book, the record of the Nephites

and it came to pass | that the angel of the lord spake unto me | saying |

behold |

saith the lamb of god |

after i have visited the remnant of the house of israel |

and this remnant | of whom i speak | is the seed of thy father |

wherefore | after i have visited them in judgment | and smitten them by the hand of the gentiles | and after the gentiles do stumble exceedingly | because of the most plain and precious parts of the gospel of the lamb | which have been kept back by that abominable church | which is the mother of harlots |

saith the lamb |

i will be merciful unto the gentiles in that day | insomuch that i will bring forth unto them in mine own power much of my gospel | which shall be plain and precious |

saith the lamb |

for behold |

saith the lamb |

i will manifest myself unto thy seed | that they shall write many things | which i shall minister unto them | which shall be plain and precious | and after thy seed shall be destroyed | and dwindle in unbelief | and also the seed of thy brethren |

behold | these things shall be hid up |

to come forth unto the gentiles by the gift and power of the lamb |

and in them shall be written my gospel |

saith the lamb |

and my rock | and my salvation |

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 |

Shadow past fulfillment:  The Book of Mormon, an abridged record of the Nephites, was written, and came forth to the Gentiles that were stumbling, by the gift and power of God, and in it is God’s rock, salvation and gospel, and it contains the many plain and precious parts that have been taken out of the Bible, as well as an abridgment of the ministry of the Savior to the Nephites.  Those during the time of Joseph Smith were blessed with the gift and power of the Holy Ghost as they sought to establish Zion.

Future literal fulfillment:  An unabridged Nephite record (not the Book of Mormon) will be written, to come forth to the Gentiles that stumble, by the gift and power of God, and in it will be God’s rock, salvation and gospel, and it will contain the many plain and precious parts that have been taken out of the book that is carried by the Asian Gentile saints.  In the Nephite record will be “many things” that the Savior personally ministered to the Nephites.  In other words, it will be an unabridged account of that ministry.  Those during the time of the appearance of this unabridged Nephite record will be blessed with the gift and power of the Holy Ghost as they seek to establish Zion.

Two records established in one

and it came to pass | that i beheld the remnant of the seed of my brethren | and also the book of the lamb of god | which had proceeded forth from the mouth of the jew | that it came forth from the gentiles unto the remnant of the seed of my brethren |

and after it had come forth unto them | i beheld other books | which came forth by the power of the lamb from the gentiles unto them | unto the convincing of the gentiles | and the remnant of the seed of my brethren | and also | the jews | who were scattered upon all the face of the earth | that the records of the prophets | and of the twelve apostles of the lamb | are true | and the angel spake unto me | saying |

these last records | which thou hast seen among the gentiles | shall establish the truth of the first | which are of the twelve apostles of the lamb |

and shall make known the plain and precious things | which have been taken away from them |

and shall make known to all kindreds | tongues | and people | that the lamb of god is the son of the eternal father | and the savior of the world | and that all men must come unto him | or they cannot be saved | and they must come according to the words | which shall be established by the mouth of the lamb |

and the words of the lamb shall be made known in the records of thy seed | as well as in the records of the twelve apostles of the lamb | wherefore | they both shall be established in one | for there is one god | and one shepherd over all the earth |

and the time cometh | that he shall manifest himself unto all nations | both unto the jews | and also unto the gentiles |

and after he has manifested himself unto the jews | and also unto the gentiles | then he shall manifest himself unto the gentiles | and also unto the jews |

and the last shall be first | and the first shall be last |

Shadow past fulfillment:  The Bible written by multiple Jews went to the Lamanites.  Later, the Book of Mormon, Doctrine and Covenants and Pearl of Great Price went to the Lamanites, and these last records established the truth of the Bible (as far as it is translated correctly), which is a record of the four apostles of the Lord, and made known the plain and precious parts missing in it.  Both volumes of scripture were established in one, by being bound up as a quadruple combination.

Literal future fulfillment:  The unchanged book carried by the Asian Gentile saints, written by a singular Jew, will go to the Lamanites.  Later, the unabridged Nephite record (as well as other records) will go to the Lamanites and will establish the truth of the unadulterated book that is carried about by the Asian Gentile saints, which is a record of all twelve apostles of the Lord, and will make known the plain and precious parts that are missing in the perverted edition of that record.  Both volumes of scripture will be established in one.

Chapter Fourteen of First Nephi

The whole of 1 Nephi 14 is still future, according to my understanding, but since I’m using CTC’s view to interpret the prophecy, I will try to bring up anything that may coincide with what I wrote about chapter thirteen.

Numbering

and it shall come to pass | that if the gentiles shall hearken unto the lamb of god | in that day that he shall manifest himself unto them in word | and also in power | in very deed | unto the taking away of their stumbling blocks | and harden not their hearts against the lamb of god | they shall be numbered among the seed of thy father | yea | they shall be numbered among the house of israel |

and they shall be a blessed people upon the promised land forever |

they shall be no more brought down into captivity |

and the house of israel shall no more be confounded |

and that great pit | which hath been digged for them by that great and abominable church | which was founded by the devil and his children | that he might lead away the souls of men down to hell | yea | that great pit | which hath been digged for the destruction of men | shall be filled by those who digged it | unto their utter destruction |

saith the lamb of god |

not the destruction of the soul | save it be the casting of it into that hell | which hath no end |

for behold | this is according to the captivity of the devil | and also according to the justice of god upon all those | who will work wickedness and abomination before him |

Shadow past/present fulfillment:  I suppose latter-day saints could interpret numbering among the house of Israel as fulfilled by getting their patriarchal blessings, which tell them what tribe they have been assigned to.

Literal future fulfillment:  Numbering is a tribal function.  I’ve already gone over this on this blog before, so I’m not going to elaborate on this topic again.  Let it suffice that my understanding is that this pertains to the future and has not yet been fulfilled in any part, whatsoever.

The great and marvelous work

and it came to pass | that the angel spake unto me | nephi | saying |

thou hast beheld | that if the gentiles repent | it shall be well with them |

and thou also knowest | concerning the covenants of the lord unto the house of israel |

and thou also hast heard | that whoso repenteth not | must perish | therefore | wo be unto the gentiles | if it so be | that they harden their hearts against the lamb of god |

for the time cometh |

saith the lamb of god |

that i will work a great and a marvelous work among the children of men | a work which shall be everlasting | either on the one hand | or on the other | either to the convincing of them unto peace and life eternal | or unto the deliverance of them to the hardness of their hearts | and the blindness of their minds | unto their being brought down into captivity | and also into destruction | both temporally and spiritually |

according to the captivity of the devil | of which i have spoken |

Shadow past fulfillment:  The times of Joseph Smith in which he restored many lost truths and layed the foundation of the kingdom is often thought as the great and marvelous work.

Literal future fulfillment:  The great and marvel work takes places after the numbering of the Gentiles among the house of Israel, therefore, it is still a future event.

The covenants of the Father to the house of Israel

and it came to pass | that when the angel had spoken these words | he said unto me |

rememberest thou the covenants of the father unto the house of israel |

i said unto him |

yea |

I don’t really need to comment on this.

Two churches only

and it came to pass | that he said unto me |

look | and behold that great and abominable church | which is the mother of abominations | whose founder is the devil |

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 |

Shadow past fulfillment:  Some use this scripture retroactively, to apply to the thirteenth chapter of First Nephi.  So, they define the great and abominable church as everything that isn’t the LDS church.

Literal future fulfillment:  The great and marvelous work, which is still future, will cause a division among the people, so that there are no longer a multiplicity of churches on earth.  Everything will either align itself with the great and abominable church, being absorbed by her, or join the saints of God in the now-called church of the Lamb of God.  The church of the Lamb of God will be using, if you remember, the Book of the Lamb of God.  In other words, that unchanged book written by a singular Jew, carried by the Asian Gentile saints, which contains the writings of the twelve (not four) apostles of the Lamb.  Just as Mormons are called Mormons because of the book they carry and use and believe, so the Lamb of God church will be called by the name of their main book.

Headquarters in the midst of Irreantum

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 |

Shadow past fulfillment:  Bad (non-LDS) churches are all over the planet.

Literal future fulfillment:  The great and abominable church will be headquartered somewhere in the Pacific Ocean and will have global reach.

The church of the Lamb of God

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 |

Shadow past fulfillment:  Good (LDS) churches are all over the planet.

Literal future fulfillment:  The church of the Lamb of God will have global reach, but small membership, due to the other church’s wickedness.

Gathering of the whore to fight the Lamb

and it came to pass | that i beheld | that the great mother of abominations did gather together multitudes upon the face of all the earth among all the nations of the gentiles to fight against the lamb of god |

I ain’t gonna interpret this.

Power of God upon the saints and covenant people

and it came to pass | that i | nephi | beheld the power of the lamb of god | that it descended upon the saints of the church of the lamb | and upon the covenant people of the lord | who were scattered upon all the face of the earth | and they were armed with righteousness | and with the power of god in great glory |

Nor will I interpret this.  But do notice that at this point in the prophetic timeline, the covenant people of the Lord are still in their scattered state.

Worldwide wars

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 |

Nor will I interpret this.  But do notice that only now, after there are wars and rumors of war everywhere, after the numbering, after the unabridged Nephite record and the record of the twelve apostles of the Lamb come forth, etc., only after all these things happen does the work of the Father commence in preparing the way for the fulfilling of His covenants with Israel!

The apostle John

and it came to pass | that the angel spake unto me | saying |

look |

and i looked | and beheld a man | and he was dressed in a white robe | and the angel said unto me |

behold | one of the twelve apostles of the lamb |

behold | he shall see and write the remainder of these things | yea | and also many things which have been | and he shall also write concerning the end of the world | wherefore | the things | which he shall write | are just and true |

and behold | they are written in the book | which thou beheld proceeding out of the mouth of the jew | and at the time they proceeded out of the mouth of the jew | or at the time the book proceeded out of the mouth of the jew | the things | which were written | were plain | and pure | and most precious | and easy to the understanding of all men |

and behold | the things | which this apostle of the lamb shall write | are many things | which thou hast seen |

and behold | the remainder shalt thou see | but the things | which thou shalt see hereafter | thou shalt not write | for the lord god hath ordained the apostle of the lamb of god | that he should write them | and also others | who have been | to them hath he shown all things | and they have written them | and they are sealed up to come forth in their purity | according to the truth which is in the lamb | in the own due time of the lord | unto the house of israel |

and i | nephi | heard | and bear record | that the name of the apostle of the lamb was john | according to the word of the angel |

and behold | i | nephi | am forbidden | that i should write the remainder of the things | which i saw and heard | wherefore | the things | which i have written | sufficeth me | and i have written but a small part of the things | which i saw |

and i bear record | that i saw the things | which my father saw | and the angel of the lord did make them known unto me |

Shadow past fulfillment:  John the apostle wrote the Book of Revelation, which contains some of the things that Nephi saw and the Book of Revelation is found in the Bible, which was written by multiple Jews.

Literal future fulfillment:  John the apostle will appear in the future, with a mission to gather the tribes of Israel, as a Jewish Elias, meaning an Elias of the tribe of Judah, and he will come and restore all things pertaining to the Jews.

Q. What are we to understand by the little book which was eaten by John, as mentioned in the 10th chapter of Revelation?
A. We are to understand that it was a mission, and an ordinance, for him to gather the tribes of Israel; behold, this is Elias, who, as it is written, must come and restore all things.  (D&C 77:14)
As part of his commission, John will prophesy among many nations, kings, tongues and people.

And I saw another mighty angel come down from heaven, clothed with a cloud; and a rainbow was upon his head, and his face was at it were the sun, and his feet as pillars of fire; and he had in his hand a little book open; and he set his right foot upon the sea, and his left foot on the earth, and cried with a loud voice, as when a lion roareth; and when he had cried, seven thunders uttered their voices.

And when the seven thunders had uttered their voices, I was about to write; and I heard a voice from heaven saying unto me,

Those things are sealed up which the seven thunders uttered, and write them not.

And the angel which I saw stand upon the sea and upon the earth lifted up his hand to heaven, and sware by him that liveth forever and ever, who created heaven, and the things that therein are, and the earth, and the things that therein are, and the sea, and the things which are therein, that there should be time no longer; but in the days of the voice of the seventh angel, when he shall begin to sound, the mystery of God should be finished, as he hath declared to his servants the prophets.

And the voice which I heard from heaven spake unto me again, and said,

God and take the little book which is open in the hand of the angel which standeth upon the sea and upon the earth.

And I went unto the angel, and said unto him,

Give me the little book.

And he said unto me,

Take it, and eat it up; and it shall make thy belly bitter, but it shall be in thy mouth sweet as honey.

And I took the little book out of the angel’s hand, and ate it up; and it was in my mouth sweet as honey; and as soon as I had eaten it, my belly was bitter.

And he said unto me,

Thou must prophesy again before many peoples, and nations, and tongues, and kings.  (Revelations 10, Inspired Version)

It was for this reason that John was translated, that he might perform this latter-day work.

And the Lord said unto me:

John, my beloved, what desirest thou? For if you shall ask what you will, it shall be granted unto you.

 And I said unto him:

Lord, give unto me power over death, that I may live and bring souls unto thee.

 And the Lord said unto me:

Verily, verily, I say unto thee, because thou desirest this thou shalt tarry until I come in my glory, and shalt prophesy before nations, kindreds, tongues and people.

 And for this cause the Lord said unto Peter:

If I will that he tarry till I come, what is that to thee? For he desired of me that he might bring souls unto me, but thou desiredst that thou mightest speedily come unto me in my kingdom.   I say unto thee, Peter, this was a good desire; but my beloved has desired that he might do more, or a greater work yet among men than what he has before done.   Yea, he has undertaken a greater work; therefore I will make him as flaming fire and a ministering angel; he shall minister for those who shall be heirs of salvation who dwell on the earth.   And I will make thee to minister for him and for thy brother James; and unto you three I will give this power and the keys of this ministry until I come.   Verily I say unto you, ye shall both have according to your desires, for ye both joy in that which ye have desired.  (D&C 7)

John, then, is the Jew, out of whose mouth the book, which Nephi saw in vision, would proceed.  He is the “hand of the twelve apostles of the Lamb” which will write this book.  Through John will proceed the record and testimony of all twelve apostles of the Lamb, and all the things which Nephi saw will be written by John, “and also many things which have been,” meaning that John will write things which preceded Nephi.  The writings of John in the Bible do not cover all the things that the angel told Nephi John would write, which would be written in the book that proceeded out of the mouth of the Jew, which is called “the Book of the Lamb of God.”

And this is the very reason why the angel prohibited Nephi from writing the rest of his vision.  The Book of Revelation does not contain the vision that Nephi saw.  If anything, it only contains a part of the vision, or an abridgement.  Nephi could not write what he saw because it was not the proper time for that information to come forth.  When John re-appears on the scene, he will dictate the book that Nephi saw the Asian Gentile saints carrying, which will contain the full vision of Nephi, as well as the covenants of the Lord, many of the prophecies of the prophets, the testimony of all twelve apostles, a record of the Jews and “many things which have been.”  Yet, despite all that, it will still be less material than what the plates of brass contain.

John may, in fact, be the man who is wrought upon by the Spirit of God, who goes forth upon the many waters (Irreantum) to the promised land, who is followed by the Asian Gentile saints.  John may be that man among the Asian Gentiles, who preaches to them and gives them the book that he will write, which they will carry with them to the promised land.  John may be the very one who frees them from captivity, allowing them to leave their countries and come over the Irreantum to America.

Wrapping this up

Is any of this true?  Could our standard interpretation of these two chapters be mere shadows?  I will leave it up to the reader to figure that out for him or herself.  One thing is for sure, if 1 Nephi 13 has yet to be literally fulfilled, we know what the very first thing mentioned is: the formation of a great and abominable church and the death, torture and captivity of the saints.  Let us hope that none of the things I wrote above have any basis in prophetic reality.

Complete List of Articles authored by LDS Anarchist

The Tribal Church


Rebecca [from the-exponent blog] once asked me:

In your ideal world, I’d assume there is no church outside of the family unit.  Is this the primary appeal of anarchy within the LDS context for you?

It is evidence of the “Catholic-ization” of the LDS church that members refer to the leadership in Salt Lake as “the Church” – as opposed to the group of believers that meet together.  Like the Catholics – I often hear LDS refer to “What the Church has said” about such-and-such or what “Our leaders haven’t taken a position” on such-and-such.  LDS will speak of “the Church” as if it is some entity completely removed and separate from the members.  Where was there ever a body without parts?  The church is the people who make it up.

The church is a tribe; your tribe is the church:

As LDSA outlined in the Wives, follow your husbands! – Patriarchy, androcracy and the egalitarian tribe post:

Because of the gospel’s tribal nature, the organization of the priesthood mimics that of the egalitarian tribe.  Bishops, bishoprics, counselors, common judges, higher judges, lower judges, high councils, presidencies, apostles, seventies, quorums, etc., all have their counterpart in egalitarian tribal organization.

The principle described here is entirely correct.  What most LDS understand as the church structure is actually a tribal structure.  Currently, the Gentile Mormon church uses the structure of wards and stakes with presiding bishops and presidents over congregations and quorums – however this is a mere copy [an incomplete/improper copy] of the tribal structure in which the gospel is designed to be lived — a structure of clans and tribes with presiding husbands and tribal elders.

This is seen as LDS refer to their local congregation as the “ward family”, their fellow-members as “brother” and “sister” so-and-so, etc.  This is also why even official Church™ policy is to acknowledge [in word at least – though not in deed], that the family is the central unit in the gospel of Jesus Christ, with the Church being only an appendage.

Therefore, the priesthood holder in the home is the central priesthood leader – and the church priesthood holders are appendage leaders – in other words they are secondary as compared to a woman’s husband.

Much of what is wrong in the LDS church originates with wives not considering their husbands to be their priesthood/church leader – which itself originates with the Church™.

In the eyes of the Church™, the husband is not a priesthood leader with keys – only a quorum member without keys.  Leaders have keys, and members do not.  Because, in the eyes of the Church™, husbands do not have keys – they could not leaders.  Quorum members report directly to quorum leaders, and as a quorum member, the husband is an agent of his quorum president.

This view is then passed on to the wife, so that when a wife thinks of a priesthood leader, she will think of someone who holds keys, such as a bishop or stake president.  Thus, it becomes that in the eyes of a wife, her husband is subordinate to the priesthood leaders found in the Church™.

This is why we find wives by-passing their husbands and going behind his back to a bishop or stake president [see comment #87 and #102 here].  Any LDS wife who does view her husband as her priesthood leader typically does so insofar as the husband is following the direction of the Church™ leaders.  An easy way to discern this is to have the husband do something different than what the church leaders council him to do [like baptize children or administer the sacrament without a bishop’s approval].  Then the wife’s true loyalties will manifest and she will likely side with the Church™ authority.  Only when there is conflict between a Church™ leader with “keys” and a husband without them can it be seen who a wife really believes her church leader to be.

The Church™ is actually a religion:

What most LDS refer to as “the Church” is, therefore, not actually a church at all [it not being bound by covenant bonds between members].  It is a religion.  When seen from the tribal point-of-view [where church = tribe], the church is an entirely new people-group, nation, or tribe separate from any of the nations or tribes of the earth – the church of Jesus Christ being the tribes of Israel.  A tribe is merely a form a human organization that is based on two features:   kinship and shared belief.  Where these two things exist, there exits a tribe.  Where one or both of these things lack, there is no tribe.

Currently, in the LDS church, we have shared beliefs, but not kinship.  We may call others in our “ward family” by the names “brother” or “sister” so-and-so, and we may tend to all be of the same tribe [that of Ephraim] – but most members will view their blood family [kinship] as distinct from other LDS.

The purpose of the restoration of the gospel in the latter-days was to convert a diverse assortment of people [from every nation, tribe, and people-group] into a new kind of people.  The vision is a tribe, united under the bonds of a new and everlasting covenant, and restored to the ancient Hebrew notion of a holy nation/separate people-group.  No matter what the former culture was, any converts are adopted into a new family – formed on the basis tribal covenant bonds and shared beliefs.  Status in this group is not determined be virtue of what you believe or how many people you could tell what to do – but instead by the covenants a person has assumed and how many people you serve.

Without both kinship bonds and shared beliefs, we are not fully organized as the Lord’s tribes of Israel.  Groups that are bound by only shared belief are referred to as “religions”.  When Adam was praying, after having been removed from the Garden of Eden, there entered the god of this world in answer to his prayer:

So, you want religion, do you?

Religion is what Satan has been offering as a substitute for tribal relationships with our Heavenly Parents, Jesus Christ, and our fellowman since the beginning.  It is religion and the associated creeds that have prevented humans from coming to Jesus and the Father individually – instead forcing people to jump thru hoops, observances, rituals, classes, advancements, programs, etc.  Satan will always give a people religion, and it will be largely based in the left-brain-mind, professing God with the mouth [the left-brain-mind words] but having [right-brain-] hearts is far from Him.

A religion is just a branded belief.  Two people can be of different religions – and still be of the same nationality, work for the same companies, belong to the same social groups, etc.  There is nothing really distinct between the two, other than what they are doing for a few hours on Sunday.

The LDS church has taken direct action to remove any of the original elements of being a separate tribe/people-group, which are an impediment to popular acceptance.  Distinctions are minimized to remove any conflict between LDS and the state they reside in.  Any commitment to public relations will cause any movement, idea, or product to become less distinct – to boil down further and further, trying to find a least common-denominator and mass appeal/acceptance.  This is the story of Correlation™ and it has been handled in detail elsewhere.

Joseph Smith said that he:

cannot believe in any of the creeds of the different denominations [religions], because they all have some things in them I cannot subscribe to, though all of them have some truth.  I want to come up into the presence of God, and learn all things; but the creeds set up stakes, and say, ‘Hitherto shalt thou come, and no further’; which I cannot subscribe to.

Establishing an institution with orthodoxy and checklists – and then requiring uniformity of belief/thought in order to belong to the orthodox religion is the way of the Christians.  They are bound together not by tribal family bonds but instead by their confessions of faith and their creeds.

If we really want to come up “into the presence of God, and learn all things,” then we’d be wise to seek out and avoid the creeds of religions that “set up stakes” and demand that we “come no further.”

Within such an institution, one will find that if he/she:

wants to have the manifestations of the spirit in the place where I go to church, then I had better go to a church where we share all things in common… When you attend a church which spends $3 billion on building a shopping/commercial center right close to the temple and exactly $[zero] on implementing the law of consecration, I would hazard a guess that the odds are pretty close to 3 billion-to-zero that an abundance of the gifts of the spirit are [not] going to [be] in that church.

So now you may say well there isn’t any church or group that lives with all things in common.  How about forming your tribal organization and getting on with living that way?  That is what I am going to do.

I want to live the full gospel of Jesus Christ. I am going to start by having all things in common in my tribe so I can claim the blessings God has offered to those who obey the law given for that blessing.

Truly, one can not do this within the LDS church.  Such blessings are found only in communal worship that adheres to the word of God, the spirit of expediency, and the law of common consent.  Currently, this can only be achieved within tribal organizations.

Two ways to grow your tribe:

The discussion on plural marriage at Wheat and Tares taught me that most LDS will consider any discussion on organizing multihusband-multiwife tribes as “communes for unbridled secret sex at night.”

However, a tribe is merely a form a human organization based on two features:   kinship and shared belief.  This is the earliest form of human community – predating cities, states, churches, and even recorded history.  Tribal affiliations exist naturally among humans – when states don’t exist to break them up.  God does not look upon an individual as an isolated creation, all alone.  He sees people as they are connected to everyone else.  He sees all the tribal bonds and recognizes the tribal affiliations – even if we ourselves are not even aware of them or allow their functions to remain dormant.

God and the gospel are tribal in nature – always working to connect humans together into His tribe [which is composed of the tribes of Israel].  Our lineage is plainly manifest to Him and so when we begin to act tribally, He recognizes the tribal authority because it has been there all along, among the other conventional things we place upon it [e.g. political affiliations culture, religion].  All that is necessary for us to obtain tribal authority is to exercise it.  If we just need to assert it, God will recognize/validate it because it really is there and has been there all along.  We just haven’t been aware of it or acknowledged it.

The steward of a tribe is free to grow/enlarge his tribe or allow it to stay dormant.  While I intertwine multihusband-multiwife marriage systems together with my tribal understanding of the gospel, there are functions of tribalism that can be activated currently with a one-husband:one-wife tribe. Tribal plural marriage is simply the means whereby a tribe grows or is enlarged horizontally.  In like manner, having children is the means whereby a tribe grows or is enlarged vertically.

Growing horizontally:

Tribes are grown horizontally as new adult members are converted and desire to join.  As tribes must be bound by both kinship and shared belief, once conversion to the gospel takes place [shared belief], he/she must then be married into the tribe [kinship] as a part of the other entrance ordinances, e.g. baptism.

Growing horizontally is a function of tribal missionary work.  This has been discussed in the comments of dyc4557’s CHI #5 post.  Currently, LDS missionary work is comprised of sending never married, non-father elders into the mission field – following the pattern of the celibate, Catholic priesthood.  These celibate elders are sent by an “across the board” calling of all 19 year-old young men – instead of having any elder with the desire to travel, and calling of the Spirit to preach the gospel, approach their bishops to obtain license to do so by church vote.

In the comments on that post, LDSA touches on some principles for initiating the preaching of the gospel from a tribal point-of-view.  Briefly, they include:

  • A married man with children having an advantage over a never-married, non-father young man with regards to relating to families [husbands, wives, fathers, and mothers].
  • Distraction not being an issue when a person goes on a preaching mission only when he has a desire to go and feels called to do so by the Spirit.
  • Leaving the length of a traveling mission open, instead of a fixed two-years, so that the Spirit can have flexibility in keeping a man in the mission field for short or long time periods.
  • Utilizing all married men within a tribe [the priests, bishops, elders, seventy, apostles, high priests, and patriarchs], who are under the same commandment to travel and preach when their circumstances allow, to open up a larger pool from which to fill a mission field.
  • Multihusband-multiwife tribes having less of a burden with traveling missionary work because when husbands leave to preach, wives and children will be taken care of by the tribe or other husbands.
  • Not leaving converts [harvest] in the care of others who, hopefully, will take care of them – instead, either sending these people back to the tribe or, after the mission is complete, returning with them to the tribe, so that tribal integration can be complete.
  • Marrying converts while still in the mission field so that, while there, a tribal missionary will have new tribal members to support him, giving him food, drink, clothing, shelter, and a family love and environment – fulfilling the commandment to travel with purse or scrip.  Also – retaining and building on the connection that a missionary makes with the converts he or she has taught.

Growing a tribe horizontally is essentially founded on multihusband-multiwife plural marriages.  It is this aspect that would likely make converting non-LDS into a tribe easier than converting LDS.  Many LDS come with cultural indoctrination [as both Americans and Mormons] that state-sanctioned monogamy is superior to any other form of marriage.  Polygyny is either valid insofar as it is state-sanctioned and First Presidency™-approved or was valid in the mid/late 19th century but is now just a relic of a less-enlightened time gone by.  Polyandry is completely unheard of or considered and makes a mockery of God’s ordered system of paternity [which is why most LDS will always use “polygamy” when they really mean “polygyny” – polyandry not even being a consideration for them].

Monogamy is not sin.  If one spouse [or both] has emotional needs that necessitate him/her requiring a spouse to commit to not loving any other people, then [if the other spouse is willing to submit to that] they may take vows of exclusivity upon themselves. These vows are ordained of God, as long as both persons consent, and are in accordance with the new and everlasting covenant revealed in D&C 132.  As I stated previously, there are functions of tribalism that can be activated currently with a one-husband:one-wife tribe – however such a tribe will be limited horizontally.

Polygyny is not sin given that a woman gives her consent to the husband to take additional wives [releasing him from any vows of exclusivity he may have been under] – he is justified in taking on additional wives, for it is marriage with consent and thus a marriage ordained of God.

Polyandry is not sin.  In the new and everlasting covenant, there are two ways in which a woman get take an additional husband:

Outside of the new and everlasting covenant, a woman [in the same manner as stated in the polygyny section] may obtain a second marriage thru the consent of her current husband or husbands.  This [like polygyny] is ordained of God insofar as all parties involved give consent.

Not giving consent to marry is the sin. When a man wishes to take an additional wife and his current wife or wives do not give their consent [which are the keys of this power], then they become sinners because they are forbidding him from marrying, making them not ordained of God.  Likewise, were a woman to desire an additional husband and her current husband or husbands do not give consent, then the husbands become sinners by virtue of forbidding her to marry.

This is the law of Sarah [in the new and everlasting covenant of marriage] and it is applicable to both men and women. “Wrongness” consists in forbidding marriage, which makes the person doing the forbidding not ordained of God – whether the forbidder is the state, the Church™, parents, or a spouse.

Growing vertically:

Tribes can also grow vertically.  This is done as married couples come together via sexual intercourse and provide physical life to children.  The two methods [horizontal and vertical] are related.  Just as parents are capable of loving more than one child with all of their heart – spouses are capable of loving more than one spouse with all of their heart.  Just as parents are commanded to have as many children as possible, not forbidding any spirits from entering their family – spouses ought to seek as many additionally spouses as possible, never forbidding one another from loving other people.

The Lord has commanded parents to be fruitful and multiply:

So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them.  And God blessed them, and God said unto them, Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth, and subdue it:

The secret combinations of central planners all establish two children per woman as their goal.  They have achieved this goal in the countries referred to as “developed”, and they are approaching success on a global scale.  The reason being that two children [replacement reproduction] breaks the commandment to multiply and “fill” the earth with humans – only replacing the two parents with two children.  The scriptural minimum for the number of children per family would therefore be three, with there being no associated maximum.

They have used various tools to achieve their satanic goal.  One need only search [population control eugenics] in a search engine to find plenty of resources on the subject.  To be brief, they would include:  barrier and hormonal methods of birth control, drugged hospital birthing experiences, circumcision, bottle-feeding, abortion, vasectomies and elective hysterectomies, focusing on “equal” employment for women, reducing sperm counts thru administered chemicals and diet, and sterilants in food/vaccines/water/etc.

A tribe based on the gospel of Jesus Christ will never restrict themselves to a set number of children – utilizing hormonal, barrier, or surgical forms of birth control thereafter.  They will not plan their number of children around their desired lifestyle, but will plan a lifestyle around the number of children they have.  They shall also teach their children to pray, and to walk uprightly before the Lord.  They will teach their children to read and write, having a language which is pure and undefiled.  They will teach their children diligently and freely to understand the doctrine of repentance, faith in Christ the Son of the living God, and of baptism, and the gift of the Holy Ghost by the laying on of the hands – before the age of eight [lest the sin be upon their heads and it be the cause of their affliction].  Then shall their children be baptized for the remission of sins when eight years old, and receive the laying on of the hands.  They will engage in continual tribal rituals to strengthen the common morphic field that exists among disciples of Jesus Christ.

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Manasseh’s future leadership role


Note: I suppose I could have gone further with this exposition, but I’m trying to keep my posts down in size.  Hopefully, there is enough here to generate a lively discussion, or at least give food for thought.  Click the links to see the scriptural references.

An overlooked prophecy

I like to think of the tribe of Ephraim as the Gentile dumping ground.  If you are a Gentile that joins the church of Christ, chances are pretty good that when you get your patriarchal blessing, you’ll be given the tribal lineage of Ephraim.  This, of course, fulfills prophecy, as Ephraim was blessed by Jacob (father of Joseph who was sold into Egypt) to become a multitude of nations (Gentiles).

However, there is a prophecy spoken by an angel to Nephi that indicates there will come a time when the Gentiles that repent will be put into the tribe of Manasseh:

And the angel spake unto me, saying: These last records, which thou hast seen among the Gentiles, shall establish the truth of the first, which are of the twelve apostles of the Lamb, and shall make known the plain and precious things which have been taken away from them; and shall make known to all kindreds, tongues, and people, that the Lamb of God is the Son of the Eternal Father, and the Savior of the world; and that all men must come unto him, or they cannot be saved.

And they must come according to the words which shall be established by the mouth of the Lamb; and the words of the Lamb shall be made known in the records of thy seed, as well as in the records of the twelve apostles of the Lamb; wherefore they both shall be established in one; for there is one God and one Shepherd over all the earth.

And the time cometh that he shall manifest himself unto all nations, both unto the Jews and also unto the Gentiles; and after he has manifested himself unto the Jews and also unto the Gentiles, then he shall manifest himself unto the Gentiles and also unto the Jews, and the last shall be first, and the first shall be last.

And it shall come to pass, that if the Gentiles shall hearken unto the Lamb of God in that day that he shall manifest himself unto them in word, and also in power, in very deed, unto the taking away of their stumbling blocks—and harden not their hearts against the Lamb of God, they shall be numbered among the seed of thy father; yea, they shall be numbered among the house of Israel; and they shall be a blessed people upon the promised land forever; they shall be no more brought down into captivity; and the house of Israel shall no more be confounded.  (1 Nephi 13: 40-42 & 1 Nephi 14: 1-2)

To clarify: “they [the Gentiles] shall be numbered among the seed of thy father [Lehi].”  As Lehi was of the tribe of Manasseh, the seed of Lehi would also be of the tribe of Manasseh.

First to be last and then last to be first

Manasseh was the firstborn, elder son of Joseph, while Ephraim the next born, a younger son.  However, Ephraim was blessed with the birthright and was made greater (in number, as the Gentiles would be put into his tribe) than, and set before (or made first over), Manasseh.  Nevertheless, both Manasseh and Ephraim had the charge of pushing the people together in the last days (the gathering).

Today, the Gentile Ephraimites are still first over (or set before) Manasseh, meaning that it is the tribe of (Gentile) Ephraim that leads in the church and that is more numerous than Manasseh, which takes a secondary place among church membership, assisting the Gentile Ephraimites in all things.  In fact, any non-Gentile converts (actual seed of Israel) that come into the church also act as assistants to the Gentile Ephraimitish leadership.

However, the angel’s prophecy is such that at some future point in time—specifically, in the words of the angel, “in that day that [the Lamb of God] shall manifest himself unto [the Gentiles] in word, and also in power, in very deed, unto the taking away of their stumbling blocks”—the Gentiles that a) “shall hearken unto the Lamb of God” and b) “harden not their hearts against the Lamb of God” will be numbered among the tribe of Manasseh. The angel also says, “yea, they shall be numbered among the house of Israel.”  As the tribe of Manasseh is also numbered among the house of Israel, both enumerations fit.  So, when the Gentiles are numbered among the tribe of Manasseh, they are also automatically numbered among the house of Israel.

This is a future prophecy

My understanding is that this prophecy is yet to be fulfilled.  It means that when the marvelous work and a wonder takes place (read the rest of 1 Nephi 14), and new records are brought forth through the Gentiles, to the Gentiles, and then taken to the remnant of Jacob (the seed of Lehi, which are Manassehites), most Gentiles will reject them.  There will be some Gentiles, though, that will accept the records, and these will be numbered among the tribe of Manasseh.  These Gentile Manassehites will then assist the remnant of Jacob in America (the real tribe of Manasseh) in building Zion and gathering the house of Israel.  (It is real Israel that will build and gather, while grafted-in, adopted Israel—the Gentiles—will assist them, and not vice versa.)  Thus, the first (Ephraim) shall be last and the last (Manasseh) shall be first.

Numbering is a future, tribal event

The Ephraimitish Gentiles, meaning those Gentiles whose patriarchal blessings indicate they pertain to the tribe of Ephraim (which fulfills prophecy), who repent after these new records are revealed will be numbered among the (now functioning) tribe of Manasseh, along with the non-Ephraimitish Gentiles who repent.  Currently, although our patriarchal blessings indicate tribal affiliations, none of the LDS function as bona fide tribes, nor have any of them been numbered among a tribe. Numbering is a future event that pertains to bona fide, functioning tribes.  This is why in General Conference, when the church numbers are given, we never hear an enumeration of any of the tribes that make up the church membership.  Instead, we are told how the church membership is a “united nation,” such as President Uchtdorf recently told LDS at a multi-stake conference.

Destruction among the unbelieving Ephraimitish Gentiles

When the angel’s prophecy that “the house of Israel shall no more be confounded” comes to pass, real Israel, the remnant of Jacob (the real tribe of Manasseh) shall go through the unbelieving Ephraimitish Gentiles (who are not numbered among the seed of Lehi, as they do not believe the new records) as a lion among flocks of sheep, treading them down and tearing them in pieces.  They shall literally be cut off from among the people for rejecting Christ’s words.  These slated-to-be-destroyed people will not be the unbelieving Gentiles who never had the gospel, but the salt that has lost its savor (see 3 Nephi 16: 15 and D&C 101: 39-40), meaning Gentiles who have already entered into the covenant relationship with Christ.

What of real Ephraim and the other real tribes?

They will also play a part in the last days, but as for us Gentiles, there are only two tribes with which we have anything to do: first Ephraim and second Manasseh and then (later) first Manasseh and second Ephraim.  But, although Manasseh will get thousands injected into it from the Gentile converts, when the real tribe of Ephraim returns and functions tribally, the nations of the earth that repent during the ensuing preaching of the word (found in the new records) will be adopted into and numbered among Ephraim, fulfilling the prophecy (of Ephraim being more numerous than Manasseh) a second time.

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Establishing the tribes of Israel: the real reason for plural marriage


Background

I haven’t ventured into any of the other the LDS blogs in a very long time. I usually just confine myself to this blog. However, on July 28th, 2009, while viewing the LDS Anarchy blog stats, I backtracked a referral link and found myself on the Mormon Heretic blog. Apparently OWIW had commented over there back in November and linked to one of his posts here.

Anyway, as it had been a really long time since I’d been at Mormon Heretic’s blog, I thought I would check out what was new. That’s when I saw he had two recent posts on polygamy. (See My perspective on polygamy—he also has the same post at Mormon Matters—and Bushman’s Perspective on Polygamy, Alger and Snow.) I was impressed by the number of comments that both posts contained. Granted, these comments were from just a handful of people, but still the fervor of the individuals indicated a great interest in the subject matter. I also found a link to The Faithful Dissident’s recent post on polygamy entitled, What Would You Do If Polygamy Came Back?, which also had a lot of comments (from many different people, this time).

I skimmed through the comments on all three posts (but didn’t read every word) and found the viewpoints interesting. I was struck by how much interest polygamy still garners among the people and how divisive a topic it still is, both the doctrine itself and how Joseph Smith practiced it. The Faithful Dissident’s post, in particular, seemed to confirm my assertion that most LDS would reject polygamy if it returned as an allowable practice among the membership.

A little while later, I came across another article, written by TruthSeekerToo entitled, Why I don’t believe in Polygamy. For the record, both TruthSeekerToo (obviously) and Mormon Heretic disbelieve that D&C 132 was a revelation inspired of God. And The Faithful Dissident and her commenters also seem to tend towards rejection of the revelation.

The elephant in the room

I had no plans on visiting the topic of plural marriage again on this blog. I thought what I had written already was sufficient. (See The Return of Polygamy, The many definitions of adultery, How the Lord will clean his church: a possible scenario, and Scriptural Discussion #16: David and Solomon.) But reading these other LDS blog posts on polygamy, and seeing just how uncomfortable a doctrine it was to them, I felt to explain one of the reasons why I find the revelation consistent with what I know about God and His gospel. I won’t tackle every aspect of this elephant, just one that I believe most have overlooked, and which may throw a fresh perspective on it.

I’m an open anarchist

Contrary to what you may believe, anarchists are not very accepting. There is every shade of anarchist out there and they bicker and fight among themselves as to which flavor is the best or proper one. Just saying you are an anarchist is not good enough for most of them. They want to know what kind of an anarchist you are. Are you an anarcho-syndicalist? An anarcho-capitalist? A green anarchist? An anarcho-primitivist? Etc. If you aren’t the “proper” type of anarchist, they will reject your believe system and argue with you over why it is wrong.

Fortunately, there are also other anarchists who are tired of such designations and who simply call themselves “anarchists without adjectives.” These are just anarchists, period. They accept all forms of anarchism.

I align myself more with the “anarchists without adjectives” and am accepting of all forms of anarchism, however, I do put a designation on my particular type. It’s called tribal anarchism and so I’m a tribal anarchist. I follow this principle because it is both scriptural and according to the nature of man.

Tribal anarchism may be on the rise

During a recent search on YouTube, I found some videos on tribal anarchism. Some of these videos are promoting what they call “national anarchism,” but it is really just a modified form of tribal anarchism. I find the appearance of these videos fascinating, as people (other than myself) are starting to understand the tribal nature of humanity and that tribal anarchy, and not any other type of anarchy, is the fundamental kind. This makes me wonder if tribal anarchism is gaining traction among the anarchists of the world. At any rate, it is encouraging to find anarchists promoting scriptural, tribal anarchism.

Here are the links to the YouTube videos and also to a web site of national anarchists (tribal anarchists) that are located in San Francisco, California.

I’m listing these with a disclaimer: Although the principles of tribal anarchy are contained therein, you may also notice a racist element that I don’t condone. If you can learn to filter out the racism and focus on the principles of tribal anarchism, this information may be of use as a learning tool. If you can’t, then don’t click on any of the following links.

The following five videos were posted by DSuploads:

Tribal Anarchism 1

Tribal Anarchism 2

Tribal Anarchism 3

Tribal Anarchism 4

Tribal Anarchism 5

Bay Area National Anarchists

You may ask, “What does this have to do with polygamy?”

Pretty much everything. The tribal aspect of the gospel, as well as the tribal anarchy aspect, is currently in a state of suspended animation. Through our patriarchal blessings, we LDS are told that we are members of this or that tribe of Israel, but the tribal functions are not in place. We are tribes in word, but not in deed, action or function. The Lord attempted, with Joseph Smith’s D&C 132 revelation, to begin to activate the tribal functions. In order to explain this, we need to come to some understanding of what a tribe is.

What is a tribe?

From Wikipedia:

A tribe, is a social group of humans connected by a shared system of values and organized for mutual care, defense, and survival beyond that which could be attained by a lone individual or family. A ‘tribe’ is defined in anthropology. When viewed historically or developmentally, a tribe is a mutual care system which, unlike a kingdom or state or other schema, is oriented around kinship and shared beliefs. Tribes can well exist simultaneously with other schema (see Schema (psychology)) such as states or other systems. They might consist of a social group existing before the development of, or outside of, states. Tribes are the most enduring and successful social survival system that has ever existed on earth. Tribes can exist within or without a state or kingdom and may or may not depend on the state or kingdom to endure.

Many anthropologists use the term to refer to societies organized largely on the basis of kinship, especially corporate descent groups (see clan and lineage).

Emphasis mine.

It is kinship that makes a tribe a tribe. Keep this in mind, as it is the key to understanding the revelation that is D&C 132 and Joseph Smith’s interesting polygamous marriages. Shared belief alone does not a tribe make. There must be shared belief and kinship.

Kinship

In his blog post, Mormon Heretic quoted from Bushman’s Rough Stone Rolling book:

The personal anguish caused by plural marriage did not stop Joseph Smith from marrying more women. He married three in 1841, eleven in 1842, and seventeen in 1843. Historians debate these numbers, but the total figure is most likely between twenty-eight and thirty-three. Larger numbers have been proposed based on the sealing records in the Nauvoo temple. Eight additional women were sealed to Joseph in the temple after his death, possibly implying a marriage while he was still alive. Whatever the exact number, the marriages are numerous enough to indicate an impersonal bond. Joseph did not marry women to form a warm, human companionship, but to create a network of related wives, children, and kinsmen that would endure into the eternities…. He did not lust for women so much as he lusted for kin.

The implication, again, is that the Lord’s revelation to Joseph was designed to make the Gentile converts, now called Ephraimites, an actual tribe, meaning that everyone in the tribe needed to be related to each other by blood, adoption or marriage.

The tribal view of polygamy

FireTag, an RLDS member, commenting on Mormon Heretic’s My perspective on polygamy post, stated:

Our denomination’s crisis with polygamy came in about 1970. We began baptizing in an Indian-subculture in which the tribesmen were already living in polygamous marriages. After struggling so hard for a century to disassociate ourselves from this particular LDS belief, what were we to do?

The revelation brought to the church and confirmed by the general conference established for us the principle that “monogamy is the basic principle on which Christian married life is built” and authorized the First Presidency and the Quorum of 12 (Apostles) in their field jurisdictions to interpret that principle as directed by the Spirit.

The implementation ultimately meant that newly baptized polygamous people were allowed to remain in those marriages for the rest of their lives, but were not allowed to take additional marital partners into the marriage. The latter act would be treated as adultery or fornication under church law (I forget which).

This ruling became a schismatic issue for a number of people.

Emphasis mine. Notice that the problem only came when the non-tribal RLDS church came in contact with an actual tribe. Keep this in mind. We’ll revisit this dilemma later on down the post.

Tribes and polygamy go hand in hand

Polygamy may be abhorrent to most Americans, but in the global community it is common, normal and accepted.

Although the percentage of men in the world who have more than one wife is relatively small, as many as a third of the world’s population belongs to a community that allows it, says Israeli anthropologist Joseph Ginat.

There are many plural marriages in Africa, the Middle East and in Asia, said Ginat, professor of social and culture anthropology at the University of Haifa.

Many American Indian tribes allow polygamy; several experimental Christian groups practice it. And, of course, there are those famous offshoots of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

American Indians: Polygamy was fairly widespread among American Indian tribes, said Patricia Albers, chairman of American Indian studies at the University of Minneapolis. There were plural marriages among the Dakota of Southern Minnesota, Ojibway of northern Wisconsin, Mesquakia of Iowa, and the Ho-chunk (formerly Winnebago). In the Intermountain West, plural marriage was common among the Shoshone and Paiute tribes; it was also practiced by the Utes and Navajos. “I don’t know any tribal nation in this general region that didn’t have it or disallowed it,” Albers said. At the beginning of the 19th century, the Blackfoot Indians of the Dakotas, Wyoming and Montana were increasingly involved in buffalo-hide trade, and “families were more successful when they had more women engaged in processing of buffalo hides,” she said.

In many American Indian tribes, polygamy “was not a sign of subordinate position,” Albers said. “It occurred where women stood on fairly equal footing with the men in their communities.” Many tribes expected women to have responsibility, not only for her own children, but for those of her sisters as well. That could be one reason why the most common type of polygamy practiced by American Indians was sororal polygamy, or two sisters married to the same man. If a woman’s husband died, it was not uncommon for her to then marry her sister’s husband, Albers said. It was a way of “melding family units.”

(Excerpts from Globally, Polygamy Is Commonplace, by Peggy Fletcher Stack, The Salt Lake Tribune, Sunday, September 20, 1998. Emphasis mine.)

If you take a look at the FLDS or other LDS offshoots that practice polygamy, who can say that these groups do not functions as tribes?

The only child left in state custody after being swept from a polygamist sect’s West Texas ranch was placed permanently with a relative on Thursday, ending one of the largest custody cases in U.S. history.

Texas District Judge Barbara Walther signed an order giving permanent custody of the 15-year-old girl to a relative who is a member of the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. The girl is not allowed to communicate with jailed sect leader Warren Jeffs, whom she allegedly married when she was 12, but is otherwise allowed to stay with church members.

The girl was among 439 children taken from the Yearning For Zion Ranch in April 2008 after authorities responded to bogus calls to a domestic abuse hotline. Texas child welfare authorities removed all the children from the Eldorado ranch, and they were placed in foster care until the state Supreme Court ruled authorities had overreached.

The 15-year-old initially was returned to her mother, but she went back to foster care last August after her mother refused during a court hearing to guarantee the girl’s safety. The girl has been allowed to live with a relative for several months, but Thursday’s order made the arrangement permanent and resolved the last of the Child Protective Services’ cases involving FLDS members.

“It’s clearly a huge relief. We’re extremely happy to get all the children back,” said FLDS spokesman Willie Jessop. “It’s been a long road for her, but we made it.”

He said the girl has been much happier living with relatives, who understand the insular sect’s culture, pioneer-style dress and religious beliefs.

(Excerpt from Judge resolves final Texas polygamist custody case, by Michelle Roberts, The Associated Press, July 23, 2009. Emphasis mine.)

The last sentence could have been worded just as accurately, “He said the girl has been much happier living with [her tribe, which understands the tribal ways she is accustomed to].”

The polygamy of heaven

D&C 132 is not precisely the Biblical polygamy. There are aspects of it, but it adds the additional dimension of polyandry. This makes the polygamy practiced in Joseph’s day more egalitarian than that practiced by Brigham and others. In fact, it resembles the unity of the heavens, in which all have all things common. This makes sense, as it is Joseph’s mission in the Dispensation of the Fulness of Times to gather together all things in one, in Christ, both things in heaven and on Earth. (See Ephesians 1: 10 and D&C 27: 13.) So, going beyond the Bible is definitely a sign of the times we are living in.

Had Joseph succeeded in promoting D&C 132’s full doctrine among the people, the Gentile Ephraimites would have been converted into a bona fide tribe, but a tribe stronger and unlike any other tribe on Earth, as all would have been related to all through marriage sealings. It would have resembled the tribal family of the heavens. (See 379 Yah’shua the Messiah (Jesus Christ), an article on the nccg.org web site, which talks about the heavenly family of God, His work of expanding it and the importance God places on family relations, or kin. Had the author used the word ‘tribe’ instead of family, he would have been closer to the truth, as the ‘family’ of God is infinite in number and complexity, resembling more a tribe than a nuclear family.)

Brigham Young’s polygamy was a diluted or limited form of what Joseph and his wives are said to have practiced. Brigham (and others) practiced polygyny, without the polyandrous aspects of the revelation. Although this did serve to create strong tribal relationships, it was not the heavenly ideal Joseph was striving to gather to the saints.

Modern LDS are not currently tribal, but soon will be

It is true that we call the people at church brother and sister so-and-so, and even though they may be of the same tribe as we (usually of Ephraim), we still view them differently than our real kin. They are members of our tribe in name only. They are our brothers and sisters in name only. Our real brothers and sisters, those of blood, take precedence over our church brother and sisters. We distinguish between our blood family and our church family. This is natural and normal in society and true for just about everyone.

Be that as it may, we must always remember that the gospel of Jesus Christ is designed to be lived by genuine tribes (composed of kin) and not just tribes in name only. (See The tribal nature of the gospel.) This means that there will be a tribal movement among the saints at some time in the future, which will activate the tribal functions. This also means that D&C 132, which is a tribal key, will likely at some point be lived again in its fulness.

Twelve tribes, not one tribe, under Christ

There’s one more point that I wish to address with this post. (This really is what4anarchy’s job as he is the resident tribist among the blog contributors, but I’ll do it for him anyway.) And that point is the tendency of Ephraimites to believe that their tribe is the main tribe of the restoration, meaning the leadership tribe, or tribe in which all or most of the church leadership will come from, in the time preceding the Second Coming. Also, the tendency of Ephraimites to believe that it matters not which tribe you belong to, that the important thing is that you are of the house of Israel. (This is said to non-Ephraimites to placate them into not minding that the Ephraimites lead the church.)

The truth of the matter is, though, that all of the tribes will have vitally important roles in the restoration and gathering and there will be an equal division of the leadership, each tribe directing itself under Christ. Once this tribal aspect of the gospel is understood, then the revelations given in this dispensation can be looked through tribal filters and be shown as being directed principally to the tribe of Ephraim. There are still more revelations that must come that will be for Ephraim, through the Ephraimitish prophets, but there also will be plenty of revelations that must come to the other tribes, through their own prophets.

Remember, the gospel is divided into twelve tribes, not one single tribe. Therefore, each tribe must have its own set of prophets, its own set of scriptures, its own leaders. (See, for example, 2 Nephi 29: 13.) Were this not so, there would be no point in having twelve tribes. One single tribe would suffice. And there would be no point in saying that the people of God even belong to a ‘tribe” if they were never to function as a tribe (composed of actual kin), but as just a group of unrelated people who believe in Christ (a church).

Polygamy ties into this because it is polygamy that activates the tribal functions of all the tribes. Also, as we know that other tribes are coming, and by this I mean literal tribes, composed of people related to each other, it is possible that these other tribes are living polygamy already. If the Gentile, Ephraimitish church is rejecting polygamy and the other eleven tribes show up and they are living polygamy, this creates quite a problem, as the Gentile church will end up spurning the literal seed of Abraham. Thus, D&C 132 prepares and allows the Gentile converts to act as the literal seed of Ephraim in all its tribal functions and to become assimilated among the other eleven tribes.

Conclusion

Tribalism is the nature of the gospel. The sooner we realize this, the easier it will be to enact the plan of salvation and fulfill the revelations of God that have already come forth and that will come forth, including that revelation contained in D&C 132. By getting a tribal view of the gospel, certain mysteries, such as polygamy, can make a little more sense.

The American Gentiles have a saying, when referring to what is really important in politics, “It’s the economy, stupid!” It might be appropriate for LDS to adopt a similar one, “It’s the tribe, unlearned one!”

(After all, we really shouldn’t be calling people stupid, now should we?) 😉

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