The five stages of the church


There are five church stages

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Stage #1: The restored church

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

Stage #2: The out of order church

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

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

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

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

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

Getting out of order

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

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

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

The standing orders of the Brethren

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

And again, verily thus saith the Lord:

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

saith the Lord of Hosts. (D&C 127:4)

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

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

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

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

For the LORD had spoken unto Moses, saying,

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Not even Joseph Smith could do it

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

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

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

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

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

saith the LORD. (Jeremiah 30:21)

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

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

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

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

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

Moses, son of man, worship me.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

“Out of order” is not “apostate”

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

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

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

Stage #3: The set in order church

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

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

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

It will not consist of:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

A glory age of prosperity

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

When the book of the Lamb of God appears

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

Perhaps the Josephite goes away?

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

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

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

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

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

And Aaron said unto them,

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

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

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

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

To morrow is a feast to the LORD.

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

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

The wheat and tares grow together and ripen, showing themselves

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

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

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

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

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

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

Stage #4: The apostate church

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

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

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

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

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

What causes the apostasy

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

saith the Lord.

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

saith the Lord,

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

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

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

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

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

saith the Lord.

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

Also, there’s this scripture:

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

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

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

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

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

saith the LORD.

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

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

saith the LORD. (Jeremiah 23:1-2)

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

The great and abominable church and the tribulation of the wheat

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

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

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

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

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

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

And the angel said unto me:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The return of the Josephite

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

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

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

Stage #5: The perfected church

In this stage, the following things will happen:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

A furious Josephite

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Because ye have said,

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

And the Lord said unto Moses,

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

And Moses besought the Lord his God, and said,

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

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

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

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

And Moses returned unto the Lord, and said,

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

saith the Father,

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

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

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

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

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

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

And he said unto me:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

From few to many

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The sealed portion pertains to the book of Revelation

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

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

A key: always keep in mind the first sign

And his disciples asked him, saying,

Why then say the scribes that Elias must first come?

And Jesus answered and said unto them,

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

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

Another key: the leaders will tell the people

Paul wrote:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Wrapping up the post with a stage review

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

Complete List of Articles authored by LDS Anarchist

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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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Nothing From Without Can Defile You


there is nothing
from outside of a person
that upon entering into them
could possibly defile them
but
the things which come out of them
those are they that can defile
if any have ears to hear
let them hear

Mark 7:15-16

Well, how does this sway with our understanding that the body is a “temple of God” and that by consuming tea, coffee, alcohol, tobacco, or other drugs we’ll “defile” that temple of God [which we are]?  Jesus said:

do you not perceive
that whatsoever thing from the outside
that enters into a person
cannot possibly defile them
because it does not enter into their heart
but enters into their belly
where it goes out into the toilet
making all foods the same

and he said

that which comes out of a person
that will be what defiles them
because from within
coming out of the heart
proceed all of one’s evil thoughts
adulteries and fornications
murders
thefts
covetousness
wickedness
deceit
lasciviousness
an evil eye
evil speaking
pride
foolishness
etc.
all these evil things come out of the body
from within
and these are what defile a person

Mark 7:18-23

What goes into the body goes right back out again.  The more important thing that Jesus was worried about is what comes out of the mouth — because our words betray the condition of our heart, and that’s the thing that makes our “temple of God” clean or unclean [not the food/drinks we consume].

Peter was told in a dream:

that which God has cleansed
thou shalt not call unclean

Acts 11:8-9

And what has God “cleansed”?

and God
having made peace through the blood of his cross
by him
to reconcile all things unto himself
by him
whether they be things in earth
or things in heaven

Colossians 1:20

Worrying about outward observances, such as “appropriate” foods and drinks, is worrying about making clean the outside of the cup and the plate — when what we’ve been called to do with the liberty given to us by Christ is to invest our efforts in making sure the inward part isn’t full of ravening and wickedness [Luke 11:37-40].

The liberty we have in Christ is the confidence that “all things are clean unto you” [Luke 11:41].  No food or drink that enters into your “temple of God” [meaning your body] can defile it.  What “defiles” that place is what occupies the attention of your heart:  the thoughts you entertain, the fantasies you imagine, the motivations/drives you act from, etc.  And that is shown by what comes out of your mouth:

a good person
out of the good treasure of their heart
brings forth that which is good
and an evil person
out of the evil treasure of their heart
brings forth that which is evil
for the mouth speaks out of the abundance of the heart

Luke 6:45

So we must beware of any “false brethren” who’ve gotten into the midst of the church of Christ unawares, who detest this liberty which we have in Christ Jesus — seeking instead to “bring us into bondage” with doctrines and commandments that aren’t from our Lord [Galatians 2:4].  We must be free to “stand fast therefore in the liberty wherewith Christ hath made us free, and be not entangled again with the yoke of bondage” [Galatians 5:1].

I know
and am persuaded by the lord Jesus
that there is nothing unclean of itself
but to one that believes a thing to be unclean
to them alone is it unclean

for the kingdom of God is not about food and drink
but righteousness and peace
and joy in the Holy Ghost
for he that
with these things
serves Christ
is acceptable to God
and approved by others
let us
therefore
follow after the things which make peace
and things wherewith we can edify each other
instead of worrying about food
which does not affect the work of God
all things indeed are pure
it is only evil for one who eats with offense

Romans 14:14-20

And what is this liberty for?  To consume all the booze we want simply because “it’s okay to drink wine“?

brothers and sisters
we have been called unto liberty
only do not use this liberty to serve your fleshly desires
but rather
by love
use it to serve one another
for all of the law is fulfilled in one word
even this
LOVE

Galatians 5:13-14

Next Article by Justin:  Sustaining Judas

Previous Article by Justin:  We are all the Rich, Young Ruler

No middle ground and no middle kingdoms


All Nephite dissenters were potential sons of perdition.  This was because they had, according to Lehi, “all the commandments from the beginning” (2 Ne. 1:10).  These commandments were on the plates of brass.  Additionally, Lehi and Nephi received more commandments, which Nephi engraved on the large plates of Nephi.  He also engraved some of them in the abridged account found on the small plates of Nephi.

When Nephite prophets and missionaries preached the gospel, or when Nephite priests and teachers taught it, they did so by teaching all the commandments which were found written upon the plates of brass and the large plates of Nephi.  All the Nephites, then, were taught these things from the very beginning.

To become a son of perdition, you have to have a certain degree of knowledge.  All Nephites had this knowledge, for the plates of God contained the mysteries of God.  This left them without excuse.  If they kept the commandments of God, which they were taught, they would receive eternal life in the celestial kingdom of God.  If they did not keep His commandments, they would receive eternal damnation, to be cast out into the lake of fire and brimstone with the devil and his angels.  They were incapable of receiving an inheritance in the terrestrial kingdom, or in the telestial kingdom, for they all had the required knowledge of the sons of perdition.

This is why all Nephite prophets and missionaries—who went out to reclaim the transgressors and dissenters—continually threatened them with “repent or perish!” language.  This is also why every transgressor and dissenter became super hard-hearted.  Transgression—after having all the commandments taught to them, after keeping all those commandments and receiving prosperity and power to do all things by faith, thus becoming convinced of the power of God—caused the good spirit to leave them and the former unclean spirit to return to them with seven other more wicked spirits, so that the last state was worse than the first, even as the Savior taught in JST Matt. 12:36-39.

Then came some of the scribes and said unto him,

Master, it is written that,

Every sin shall be forgiven;

but ye say,

Whosoever speaketh against the Holy Ghost shall not be forgiven.

And they asked him, saying,

How can these things be?

And he said unto them,

When the unclean spirit is gone out of a man, he walketh through dry places, seeking rest and findeth none; but when a man speaketh against the Holy Ghost, then he saith,

I will return into my house from whence I came out;

and when he is come, he findeth him empty, swept and garnished; for the good spirit leaveth him unto himself.  Then goeth the evil spirit, and taketh with himself seven other spirits more wicked than himself, and they enter in and dwell there: and the last state of that man is worse than the first.

In other words, Nephite transgression always resulted in full on demonic possession, in which a legion of devils took up residence in their now empty souls.

Gentile readers of the Book of Mormon get confused over the actions of the Nehors of Ammonihah, who burned women and children to death in front of Alma and Amulek.  They also get confused over the wickedness and impenitence and unbelief of Laman and Lemuel and all the other dissenters throughout Nephite history.  They simply cannot understand how transgression and ceasing to believe the truth caused all these people to become such hardened, murderous sinners.  From our terrestrial kingdom perspective, people stop attending church or believing in the gospel all of the time, and they don’t go to our enemies to try to stir them up to battle against us, to kill us and take our possessions.  So why did this happen among the Nephites?

Gentiles also get confused at the “fire and brimstone” language of the Book of Mormon.  We have the vision of the three degrees of glory.  We know that there is more than just a heaven and a hell.  So why isn’t this three-degrees doctrine in the Book of Mormon?  Those among us who do not have the Spirit of God in them merely ascribe it to Joseph Smith, saying that he hadn’t, yet, developed that doctrine, therefore he didn’t put it in the Book of Mormon.  Others ascribe it to the Nephites being primitive, or less advanced and enlightened than us Gentiles, so that they were unaware of these middle kingdoms.  All these theories are false.

As I stated in my previous post, the Nephites were at the pinnacle, and when you are at the pinnacle, and you fall, you fall the entire distance.  This is why Lucifer, when he fell, became a devil.  He was an angel in authority in the presence of God, therefore, having such a high position, he didn’t fall into the terrestrial or telestial kingdoms, but swept right past them into hell.  All Nephite dissenters did the same.

A knowledge of this—which I’m giving now to whomever reads this post—allows us to more fully understand what the prophets and missionaries were up against, when they tried to reclaim the dissenters.  They had to, essentially, convert Satan back to the truth of God.  They had to perform exorcisms upon all the dissenters, getting the legion of unclean spirits out of them, and bring these spiritually dead people back to life, through the power of the Holy Ghost working miracles in them.  Even one convert, in such a situation, is miraculous and astounding.  The fact that Nephite preaching was so exceedingly powerful and their faith was so exceedingly strong, that they reclaimed thousands of such dissenters, shows that the Nephites were the master preachers.  They were at the very pinnacle of preaching.  (See, for example, what I wrote about Mormon’s preaching in Mormon as a restoration prophet.)

Now, why is this important to us?  Precisely because the Book of Mormon was written in the “fire and brimstone” manner because it will have special application to the Gentiles of the last days.  Right now the vision of the three degrees is applicable to us, for we do not have “all the commandments from the beginning.”  But at some point, Joseph-Nephi-Lehi will be raised up, and he will have the same convincing power that these ancient Nephite prophets, missionaries, priests and teachers had.  And he will translate the plates of brass and the large plates of Nephi into our languages, and send them forth.  Then the Gentiles will be left without excuse, just as the Nephites were without excuse.  Then the wo pronounced by Jacob will apply to the Gentiles:

But wo unto him that has the law given, yea, that has all the commandments of God, like unto us, and that transgresseth them, and that wasteth the days of his probation, for awful is his state!  (2 Ne. 9:27)

Then Nephi’s words will condemn us:

And you that will not partake of the goodness of God, and respect the words of the Jews, and also my words, and the words which shall proceed forth out of the mouth of the Lamb of God, behold, I bid you an everlasting farewell, for these words shall condemn you at the last day.  For what I seal on earth, shall be brought against you at the judgment bar; for thus hath the Lord commanded me, and I must obey. Amen.  (2 Ne. 33:14-15)

And the angel’s words will condemn us:

And moreover, I say unto you, that the time shall come when the knowledge of a Savior shall spread throughout every nation, kindred, tongue, and people.

And behold, when that time cometh, none shall be found blameless before God, except it be little children, only through repentance and faith on the name of the Lord God Omnipotent.

And even at this time, when thou shalt have taught thy people the things which the Lord thy God hath commanded thee, even then are they found no more blameless in the sight of God, only according to the words which I have spoken unto thee.  (Mosiah 3:20-22)

And Alma’s words in Alma 5 and Mormon’s words in Moroni 8 and so on and so forth.  All the Book of Mormon words will be fully applicable to the Gentiles at that day and the doctrine of the three degrees of glory will no longer apply to us.  We will finally be brought to the two-handed condition spoken of in 1 Ne. 14:7:

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.

And thus we, also, will have no middle ground and no middle kingdoms.

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They did it for prosperity, dominion, discovery, diversity, defense and memorial


When Lehi left Jerusalem, he went from having a permanent dwelling, on a permanent piece of land (his land of inheritance), to traveling around and living in a tent:

And it came to pass that the Lord commanded my father, even in a dream, that he should take his family and depart into the wilderness.

And it came to pass that he was obedient unto the word of the Lord, wherefore he did as the Lord commanded him.

And it came to pass that he departed into the wilderness. And he left his house, and the land of his inheritance, and his gold, and his silver, and his precious things, and took nothing with him, save it were his family, and provisions, and tents, and departed into the wilderness.

And it came to pass that when he had traveled three days in the wilderness, he pitched his tent in a valley by the side of a river of water.

And my father dwelt in a tent.  (1 Ne 2:2-4,6,15)

He took tents with him and began living in a tent because it was a commandment of the Lord. Living in a tent is permissible in the gospel when you are not on the place of your permanent dwelling.

His group ceased being (for a time) an agricultural society and became, for the 8-year journey to Bountiful, hunter-gatherers.  But when he sent his boys back to get Ishmael’s group they also brought back all manner of seeds:

And it came to pass that we had gathered together all manner of seeds of every kind, both of grain of every kind, and also of the seeds of fruit of every kind.  (1 Ne. 8:1)

They did this because it was a commandment of the Lord, for hunting and gathering is permissible in the gospel only insofar as you are traveling.  Once you get to the place of your permanent dwelling, you are commanded to cease hunting and gathering and to put seed into the ground.  This is, in fact, exactly what Lehi’s group ended up doing when they got to the promised land:

And it came to pass that we did begin to till the earth, and we began to plant seeds; yea, we did put all our seeds into the earth, which we had brought from the land of Jerusalem. And it came to pass that they did grow exceedingly; wherefore, we were blessed in abundance.   (1 Ne. 18:24)

Again, they did this because they were commanded to do it.

Initially they pitched their tents when they got to the promised land, but only initially, for they needed a temporary place to dwell while they built their permanent houses:

And I did teach my people to build buildings, and to work in all manner of wood, and of iron, and of copper, and of brass, and of steel, and of gold, and of silver, and of precious ores, which were in great abundance.  (2 Ne. 5:16)

Nephi taught his people to build permanent structures because this was the commandment of the Lord, for the gospel requires that when you are on the place of your permanent dwelling, you are to construct a permanent house and cease living in a tent.

Lazy Laman and Lemuel and the sons of Ishmael

Laman and Lameul were lazy and idle.  They complained about leaving Jerusalem because the land and house they would have inherited was already built.  They didn’t have to do anything.  They just had to inhabit it and live off the rich inheritance their father would give them.  When Lehi moved everyone into tents (for 8 full years!) they eventually grew accustomed to the hunter-gatherer lifestyle and to living in tents.  It wasn’t so bad after all.  They could do this easily and they became expert at finding food.  It was actually kind of fun to hunt and gather and not have to work the land or raise animals. Also, there were other perks, for they did not have to even cook their food or make any type of light and their women were strong like the men were and didn’t complain:

And so great were the blessings of the Lord upon us, that while we did live upon raw meat in the wilderness, our women did give plenty of suck for their children, and were strong, yea, even like unto the men; and they began to bear their journeyings without murmurings.

And thus we see that the commandments of God must be fulfilled. And if it so be that the children of men keep the commandments of God he doth nourish them, and strengthen them, and provide means whereby they can accomplish the thing which he has commanded them; wherefore, he did provide means for us while we did sojourn in the wilderness.

For the Lord had not hitherto suffered that we should make much fire, as we journeyed in the wilderness; for he said:

I will make thy food become sweet, that ye cook it not; and I will also be your light in the wilderness; and I will prepare the way before you, if it so be that ye shall keep my commandments; wherefore, inasmuch as ye shall keep my commandments ye shall be led towards the promised land; and ye shall know that it is by me that ye are led.  (1 Ne. 17:2-3,12-13)

In Bountiful, they pitched their tents and were happy, because Bountiful had a lot of food that could be gathered and it had a seaside view.  They could live out their lives in Bountiful and be happy:

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.

And it came to pass that we did pitch our tents by the seashore; and notwithstanding we had suffered many afflictions and much difficulty, yea, even so much that we cannot write them all, we were exceedingly rejoiced when we came to the seashore; and we called the place Bountiful, because of its much fruit.  (1 Ne. 17:5-6)

To have Nephi, then, announce that they weren’t going to stay in Bountiful, but that they had to cross the sea, and to top it off, that there wasn’t a ship already built for them by the Lord, but that they actually had to build it themselves!, was cause for a scene.  For Laman and Lemuel, more than anything else, were lazy:

And when my brethren saw that I was about to build a ship, they began to murmur against me, saying:

Our brother is a fool, for he thinketh that he can build a ship; yea, and he also thinketh that he can cross these great waters.

And thus my brethren did complain against me, and were desirous that they might not labor, for they did not believe that I could build a ship; neither would they believe that I was instructed of the Lord.  (1 Ne. 17:17-18)

This was the reason why Laman and Lemuel, and the sons of Ishmael and their families, and also the Ishmaelitish women that became wives of Laman and Lemuel, never converted to the Lord.  The Lord requires some labor in order to be saved, and they were too lazy to even look or pray.

Eventually, though, they did build the ship and cross the sea and arrive at the promised land.  But their laziness and idleness continued to follow them, for Nephi and his group continued to obey these commandments of God and so they began to sow seed and construct buildings and raise animals, etc., while Laman’s group continued to live in tents and hunt and gather.

Lehi’s death resulted in a major schism, for Laman’s tradition was based upon what they had been doing, begin lazy and idle, while Nephi’s tradition was based upon what he had been doing, obeying the commandments of God, which required that they start working the land and constructing permanent structures, etc.  In Laman’s view, it was one thing to lose the land and house of your inheritance in Jerusalem, but it was quite another to have to start from scratch and build civilization all over again in this new land.  Being hunter-gatherers was working for the group, or had been working for the past 8 years, so there was no reason to go back to the old ways, which was a lot of work.  Let’s just live in tents and forage like we’ve been doing.

“Nope,” said Nephi.  “The Lord commands that the group start building up a vast civilization to His name.  If you don’t start building according to the instructions I got from the Lord, you are a vile sinner and are going to hell.”  Now, there was no way that Laman and his group were going to undertake such a project, nor were they going to let Nephi slide, for this was not just a difference of opinion, but a situation in which Nephi was yet again claiming to know God’s divine will for the group and condemning those who didn’t heed his commands, so Nephi had to “go,” as in dead go.  And Nephi did go, taking with him everyone in the group that believed in the commandments of God, as they were received by Nephi through his revelations, who were all those that were willing to labor and build up a civilization to the Lord’s name, and taking with him all the records and artifacts, too.

And all those who would go with me were those who believed in the warnings and the revelations of God; wherefore, they did hearken unto my words.  (2 Ne. 5:6)

When Nephi got to the new place, called the land of Nephi, he began again to keep all the commandments of God that they had received:

And the Lord was with us; and we did prosper exceedingly; for we did sow seed, and we did reap again in abundance. And we began to raise flocks, and herds, and animals of every kind.

And it came to pass that we began to prosper exceedingly, and to multiply in the land.

And I did teach my people to build buildings, and to work in all manner of wood, and of iron, and of copper, and of brass, and of steel, and of gold, and of silver, and of precious ores, which were in great abundance.

And it came to pass that I, Nephi, did cause my people to be industrious, and to labor with their hands.  (2 Ne. 5:11,13,16-17)

What industrious means

Before going any further, let’s look up the definitions of the words industry and industrious from the 1828 Dictionary:

IN’DUSTRY, n. [L. industria.]

Habitual diligence in any employment, either bodily or mental; steady attention to business; assiduity; opposed to sloth and idleness.

We are directed to take lessons of industry from the bee.

Industry pays debts, while idleness or despair will increase them.

INDUS’TRIOUS, a. [L. industrius, from industria.]

1. Diligent in business or study; constantly, regularly or habitually occupied in business; assiduous; opposed to slothful and idle.

Frugal and industrious men are commonly friendly to the established government.

2. Diligent in a particular pursuit, or to a particular end; opposed to remiss or slack; as industrious to accomplish a journey, or to reconcile contending parties.

3. Given to industry; characterized by diligence; as an industrious life.

4. Careful; assiduous; as the industrious application of knowing men.

The Merriam-Webster Online Dictionary gives this origin:

Origin of INDUSTRY

Middle English (Scots) industrie, from Middle French, from Latin industria, from industrius diligent, from Old Latin indostruus, perhaps from indu in + -struus (akin to Latin struere to build)

First Known Use: 15th century

So, their industry wasn’t just “the process of making products by using machinery and factories” or “manufacturing activity as a whole,”, but “steady application in business of any kind; constant effort to accomplish what is undertaken; exertion of body or mind without unnecessary delay or sloth” applied to all aspects of their lives.  And this wasn’t just a tradition of Nephi’s, but an actual gospel principle, for they were to pray always, asking for whatsoever they needed, repeatedly, until they got it.  In like manner, they were to steadily apply themselves in all their efforts until they prevailed, for this is what faith is all about, and this is what Israel is all about, for Israel is “he who prevails,” which is the same as saying “the faithful one.”

Okay, so back to that scriptural list that Nephi had them do.  These things that Nephi mentioned were not just his workaholic obsession passed on to his people as tradition, but were bona fide gospel principles and commandments of God.  We can see this clearly in the Book of Mormon text because the newly converted Anti-Nephi-Lehies actually covenanted with God to labor abundantly with their hands:

And it came to pass that they called their names Anti-Nephi-Lehies; and they were called by this name and were no more called Lamanites.  And they began to be a very industrious people; yea, and they were friendly with the Nephites; therefore, they did open a correspondence with them, and the curse of God did no more follow them.  (Alma 23:17-18)

And this they did, it being in their view a testimony to God, and also to men, that they never would use weapons again for the shedding of man’s blood; and this they did, vouching and covenanting with God, that rather than shed the blood of their brethren they would give up their own lives; and rather than take away from a brother they would give unto him; and rather than spend their days in idleness they would labor abundantly with their hands.  (Allma 24:18)

It must be understood that the Nephites were blessed beyond anything the other tribes of Israel had received, almost beyond belief.  This is why Lehi states:

Wherefore, I, Lehi, have obtained a promise, that inasmuch as those whom the Lord God shall bring out of the land of Jerusalem shall keep his commandments, they shall prosper upon the face of this land; and they shall be kept from all other nations, that they may possess this land unto themselves. And if it so be that they shall keep his commandments they shall be blessed upon the face of this land, and there shall be none to molest them, nor to take away the land of their inheritance; and they shall dwell safely forever.

But behold, when the time cometh that they shall dwindle in unbelief, after they have received so great blessings from the hand of the Lord—having a knowledge of the creation of the earth, and all men, knowing the great and marvelous works of the Lord from the creation of the world; having power given them to do all things by faith; having all the commandments from the beginning, and having been brought by his infinite goodness into this precious land of promise—behold, I say, if the day shall come that they will reject the Holy One of Israel, the true Messiah, their Redeemer and their God, behold, the judgments of him that is just shall rest upon them.  (2 Ne. 1:9-10.  Note: The full implications of “having all the commandments from the beginning” will not be expounded in this post since it is a topic worthy of its own separate post, which, if I remember to, I will write and publish at some point.)

And also why Alma states:

For he will not suffer you that ye shall live in your iniquities, to destroy his people. I say unto you, Nay; he would rather suffer that the Lamanites might destroy all his people who are called the people of Nephi, if it were possible that they could fall into sins and transgressions, after having had so much light and so much knowledge given unto them of the Lord their God; yea, after having been such a highly favored people of the Lord; yea, after having been favored above every other nation, kindred, tongue, or people; after having had all things made known unto them, according to their desires, and their faith, and prayers, of that which has been, and which is, and which is to come; having been visited by the Spirit of God; having conversed with angels, and having been spoken unto by the voice of the Lord; and having the spirit of prophecy, and the spirit of revelation, and also many gifts, the gift of speaking with tongues, and the gift of preaching, and the gift of the Holy Ghost, and the gift of translation; yea, and after having been delivered of God out of the land of Jerusalem, by the hand of the Lord; having been saved from famine, and from sickness, and all manner of diseases of every kind; and they having waxed strong in battle, that they might not be destroyed; having been brought out of bondage time after time, and having been kept and preserved until now; and they have been prospered until they are rich in all manner of things—  (Alma 9:19-22)

(As Alma mentioned above, the righteous Nephties were also kept from diseases, for what joy is there in wealth if you have no health?  The unrighteous Nephites, on the other hand, became not only poor, but also sick.  Those who repented were healed and then baptized, baptized and then healed, and also healed upon baptism, possibly forming the basis of Joseph Smith’s baptism for healing, a topic for another post, I suppose.  Those who did not have faith to be healed, or who did not repent of their sins and receive miraculous healing, were administered to in other ways, according to their condition.  The commandments we have in D&C 42:43-52 are thus possibly Nephite in origin.)

When the modern latter-day saint reads the promise which is repeated again and again in the Book of Mormon:

And inasmuch as ye shall keep my commandments, ye shall prosper  (1 Ne. 2:20)

he tends to think that the text is speaking of, perhaps, obeying the law of tithing, or attending church, or living a chaste life, etc.  No latter-day saint believes that it is a sin to not build a permanent structure if you own land and can do so.  Nor does anyone believe that it is a sin to not work the land and instead to hunt and gather and live in a tent upon your land.  This is because, unlike the Nephites, the latter-day saints do not have all the commandments from the beginning.

Everything that the Nephites did, while in their righteousness, was not just a custom or tradition, but was according to the commandments of God that they had received.  For their traditions were correct,

And it came to pass that whosoever would not believe in the tradition of the Lamanites, but believed those records which were brought out of the land of Jerusalem, and also in the tradition of their fathers, which were correct, who believed in the commandments of God and kept them, were called the Nephites, or the people of Nephi, from that time forth—  (Alma 3:11)

meaning that they were in accordance with the commandments of God.  In other words, these traditions were given to them by God.  The traditions of the Lamanites, on the other hand, were not correct, but were mere philosophies of men:

And it came to pass that the Lord began to bless them, insomuch that they brought many to the knowledge of the truth; yea, they did convince many of their sins, and of the traditions of their fathers, which were not correct.  (Alma 21:17)

And it came to pass that they journeyed many days in the wilderness, and they fasted much and prayed much that the Lord would grant unto them a portion of his Spirit to go with them, and abide with them, that they might be an instrument in the hands of God to bring, if it were possible, their brethren, the Lamanites, to the knowledge of the truth, to the knowledge of the baseness of the traditions of their fathers, which were not correct.  (Alma 17:9)

I say unto you, my sons, were it not for these things, which have been kept and preserved by the hand of God, that we might read and understand of his mysteries, and have his commandments always before our eyes, that even our fathers would have dwindled in unbelief, and we should have been like unto our brethren, the Lamanites, who know nothing concerning these things, or even do not believe them when they are taught them, because of the traditions of their fathers, which are not correct.  (Mosiah 1:5)

And this was done that their seed might be distinguished from the seed of their brethren, that thereby the Lord God might preserve his people, that they might not mix and believe in incorrect traditions which would prove their destruction.  (Alma 3:8)

Yea, I say unto you, were it not for these things that these records do contain, which are on these plates, Ammon and his brethren could not have convinced so many thousands of the Lamanites of the incorrect tradition of their fathers; yea, these records and their words brought them unto repentance; that is, they brought them to the knowledge of the Lord their God, and to rejoice in Jesus Christ their Redeemer.  (Alma 37:9)

This is the same sense in which Joseph Smith uses the word “correct”:

Concerning this record the Prophet Joseph Smith said: “I told the brethren that the Book of Mormon was the most correct of any book on earth, and the keystone of our religion, and a man would get nearer to God by abiding by its precepts, than by any other book.”  (Introduction to the Book of Mormon)

The 1828 dictionary gives this definition of the word “correct”:

CORRECT, a. [L., to set right; right, straight. See Right.] Literally, set right, or made straight. Hence, right; conformable to truth, rectitude or propriety, or conformable to a just standard; not faulty; free from error.

A correct edition of a book is exactly according to the original copy.

Correct manners correspond with the rules of morality and received notions of decorum.

Correct principles coincide with the truth.

Correct language is agreeable to established usage.

The Book of Mormon isn’t correct in that it is factual, it is correct in that the principles (precepts) that the righteous Nephites and righteous Jaredites acted under were actually commandments of God.

So, the agricultural society, in which we grow and raise our own food, is a principle given by God.  So is erecting permanent houses, public buildings (temples, sanctuaries, synagogues, etc.), making streets and roads, constructing cities, and the host of other things that the Nephites did.  They did these things to keep the commandments of God.  With this principle in mind, that these projects weren’t just mere traditions, but were actually correct traditions, let’s review what they did and what the purposes of God were in these things.

For prosperity

Right off the bat, we learn that if they keep the commandments of God, that they will prosper in the land.  They wanted this prosperity, for God is rich and to become like Him we must also be rich.  As He also wants us to become like Him, His children must also be prosperous (rich), but the promise is that they will obtain this prosperity only insofar as they keep His commandments.

As they were commanded to sow seed, raise animals, build cities, build houses and buildings and roads, make weapons of war, make clothing and work in all manner of everything they found upon the earth or in the earth, their lives were full of activity.  Not busy-body work, like the Gentiles, but creative work, for God is a Creator, and all things that the Nephites did were creative, making all kinds of things.

They were also appointed, or commanded, the very times in which they had to perform these labors, and also the time in which they had to rest:

Remember the sabbath day, to keep it holy.

Six days shalt thou labor, and do all thy work; but the seventh day, the sabbath of the Lord thy God, thou shalt not do any work, thou, nor thy son, nor thy daughter, thy man-servant, nor thy maid-servant, nor thy cattle, nor thy stranger that is within thy gates; for in six days the Lord made heaven and earth, and the sea, and all that in them is; wherefore the Lord blessed the sabbath day, and hallowed it.  (Mosiah 13:16-19)

The Gentiles and latter-day saints work five days a week, breaking the commandment each and every week.  The righteous Nephites kept the commandment and labored in these efforts with all diligence for six days.  On the seventh day, they rested, according to the commandment.  The Gentiles use the sixth day as a day of recreation.  Sometimes they even use the seventh day as a day of recreation, too.  For the Gentile Christians and Mormons, resting on the seventh day is the important thing, not the laboring for six days, but to the Nephites, keeping a commandment of God could only be done with exactness:

And we did observe to keep the judgments, and the statutes, and the commandments of the Lord in all things, according to the law of Moses.  (2 Ne. 5:10)

It was precisely because they exactly kept this commandment, laboring for exactly six days and resting only on the seventh, that God prospered them to an astonishing degree, in a miraculous manner, for the thing was a miracle, indeed.

An abundance of crops

For example, when they put the seeds into the ground, they all germinated.  They also had accelerated growth rates, enormous yields, and vastly superior crop quality and nutritional content.  As a comparison, it should be noted that we have technologies which have shown that you can cause a plant to grow really fast, increase in yield and become a much healthier and superior plant.  For example, Sonic Bloom, magnetized water, mycorrhizal fungi, etc., all do these things.  And each succeeding generation of plants that are treated with these things is even better than the previous generation, showing that we have not yet seen nor yet do we know the genetic potential of plants.  Still, what we have seen is quite impressive, at least to a Gentile.  But everything we have discovered about plants is a mere drop compared to what the Nephites had, for God unlocked the full plant genetic potential for them, as a miracle, because they kept His commandments and sowed their seeds.

Also, it must be said that they weren’t just to simply sow their seeds, but had to keep all the rest of the commandments, too, including this most important one:

Cry unto him over the crops of your fields, that ye may prosper in them.  (Alma 34:24)

An abundance of flocks

The “flocks, and herds, and animals of every kind” which they raised were also genetically unlocked, so that their full potential was unleashed.  Now, we can’t even begin to conceive of what that genetic potential actually is, but to the Nephites, this was their normal life existence.  If a Nephite, who lived back then, were suddenly transported to this day and age to observe the “abundance” that the Gentiles have obtained by their technology, he would break out in hysterical laughter, thinking someone was making some kind of practical joke, for our abundance is not true abundance, for our animals and plants remain largely unlocked, despite the application of our many technologies.

Again, in addition to raising flocks, they also had to diligently exercise their faith unto prayer:

Cry over the flocks of your fields, that they may increase.  (Alma 34:25)

An abundance of everything else

The whole thing (their prosperity) must be looked at as a miracle, for this is what it was.  It wasn’t just that they were hard workers and were able to amass vast fortunes.  It was that they kept the commandments of God and fortune smiled upon them.  The modern Gentiles understands that no matter how good your idea is, and how hard you work, there is always luck involved.  Sometimes lady luck smiles on you, sometimes she doesn’t.  For obedient Nephites, in all their endeavors, luck always went their way, for God caused that the laws of luckprobabilityrandomness, indeterminism, etc., changed favorably for them, so that nothing was left to chance, everything becoming ordered and predictable:

And they began again to prosper and to wax great; and the twenty and sixth and seventh years passed away, and there was great order in the land; and they had formed their laws according to equity and justice.  And now there was nothing in all the land to hinder the people from prospering continually, except they should fall into transgression.  (3 Ne. 6:4-5.  Randomness had altogether ceased at this point in their history.)

This is why they were such damnable souls when they began to be lifted up in their pride and set their hearts upon their riches, as if they themselves were the ones responsible for obtaining them!  God alone provided the miracle and He alone was to be acknowledged as the one responsible for the blessing, for no one can force luck upon themselves.  Yet, for the Nephites, if they obeyed God’s commandments, this is essentially what they did, forcing lady luck to smile upon them, obtaining the Midas touch, through God’s almighty power and their diligent obedience and faith.

Again, because the blessing of prosperity was so obviously a miracle that no one could deny, and because all Nephites knew that it was a guaranteed miracle, available to all, (you just needed to keep the commandments), this scripture makes a little more sense:

 And also, ye yourselves will succor those that stand in need of your succor; ye will administer of your substance unto him that standeth in need; and ye will not suffer that the beggar putteth up his petition to you in vain, and turn him out to perish.

Perhaps thou shalt say:

The man has brought upon himself his misery; therefore I will stay my hand, and will not give unto him of my food, nor impart unto him of my substance that he may not suffer, for his punishments are just—

But I say unto you, O man,

whosoever doeth this the same hath great cause to repent; and except he repenteth of that which he hath done he perisheth forever, and hath no interest in the kingdom of God.

For behold, are we not all beggars? Do we not all depend upon the same Being, even God, for all the substance which we have, for both food and raiment, and for gold, and for silver, and for all the riches which we have of every kind?

And behold, even at this time, ye have been calling on his name, and begging for a remission of your sins. And has he suffered that ye have begged in vain? Nay; he has poured out his Spirit upon you, and has caused that your hearts should be filled with joy, and has caused that your mouths should be stopped that ye could not find utterance, so exceedingly great was your joy.

And now, if God, who has created you, on whom you are dependent for your lives and for all that ye have and are, doth grant unto you whatsoever ye ask that is right, in faith, believing that ye shall receive, O then, how ye ought to impart of the substance that ye have one to another.

And if ye judge the man who putteth up his petition to you for your substance that he perish not, and condemn him, how much more just will be your condemnation for withholding your substance, which doth not belong to you but to God, to whom also your life belongeth; and yet ye put up no petition, nor repent of the thing which thou hast done.

I say unto you,

wo be unto that man, for his substance shall perish with him;

and now, I say these things unto those who are rich as pertaining to the things of this world.  (Mosiah 4:16-23)

Has the man brought upon himself his own misery?  Why, yes he has, for all righteous Nephites were prospered and blessed by the hand of the Lord.  The man was an obvious sinner.  He has obviously not kept the commandments of God and this is the reason he has not prospered and is found begging people for his sustenance.  The sin, then, is not that this man has said “the man has brought upon himself his misery,” (for such was indeed the case), but in that the man stayed his hand and did not administer to his needs and wants.

Remember, this prosperity was so that they could become like God, and since God, the rich Man, is charitable and sends His rain upon both the just and the unjust, therefore, these riches that God gave them were not to be hoarded, but to be freely given to others, whether they were sinners or not:

And they [the church] did impart of their substance, every man according to that which he had, to the poor, and the needy, and the sick, and the afflicted; and they did not wear costly apparel, yet they were neat and comely.

And now, because of the steadiness of the church they began to be exceedingly rich, having abundance of all things whatsoever they stood in need—an abundance of flocks and herds, and fatlings of every kind, and also abundance of grain, and of gold, and of silver, and of precious things, and abundance of silk and fine-twined linen, and all manner of good homely cloth.

And thus, in their prosperous circumstances, they did not send away any who were naked, or that were hungry, or that were athirst, or that were sick, or that had not been nourished; and they did not set their hearts upon riches; therefore they were liberal to all, both old and young, both bond and free, both male and female, whether out of the church or in the church, having no respect to persons as to those who stood in need.  (Alma 1:27,29-30)

Think of your brethren like unto yourselves, and be familiar with all and free with your substance, that they may be rich like unto you.

But before ye seek for riches, seek ye for the kingdom of God.

And after ye have obtained a hope in Christ ye shall obtain riches, if ye seek them; and ye will seek them for the intent to do good—to clothe the naked, and to feed the hungry, and to liberate the captive, and administer relief to the sick and the afflicted.  (Jacob 2:17-19)

We see in this then that God’s laws and commandments required that the rich give away their riches (surplus) to the needy and the poor, which humbled the rich to the poverty level (so that they had sufficient for one’s needs, but no more surplus) and exalted the poor and the needy to the level of the rich (so that they now had a surplus).  These new rich were then required by the same gospel laws to give away their riches to other needy and poor.  In the gospel, then, all are to become rich, through God’s miracle of prosperity and through charitable donations (by the rich) and then all such who are blessed are to become poor, by giving away their riches.  This shows that God has appointed unto man both when it is appropriate to be rich and also when it is appropriate to be poor, both states having a place in the divine economy.  He has also appointed unto man the time for being needy, which is when a man travels around preaching the gospel, without purse or scrip, relying upon the mercies of the world and upon God’s mercy for his sustenance, suffering hunger, thirst, fatigue and all manner of afflictions and in patience and long-suffering, to “show forth good examples” (Alma 17:11) to the world in Christ.

(It was also important to give to the wicked poor because should the righteous rich not give, that wicked man might die of hunger, thirst, fatigue, exposure to elements, etc., which would be a cause for mourning, for he would die in his sins.  Therefore, it was imperative (and also a commandment of God), to freely give to these wicked people, to extend as much as possible their probationary and preparatory state, that they might have more time to repent, lest they perish in their sins from their poor and needy condition.)

A divinely made economy

Nephites, then, had no business cycle (boom-bust cycle), nor did they subscribe to any particular school of economic thought.  Their prosperity was merely a miracle provided by God and they could never, nor would ever, cease prospering, if they would remain fixed in keeping the commandments of God.  It didn’t matter what their chosen profession was, for, for as long as they kept the commandments, they became grotesquely rich.  The righteous man who provided a service found that he always had customers who needed the service he provided.  And when he took his earnings and invested them in this or that, it brought him unbelievable profits, each and every time.  The righteous artisan that created something new out of gold or some other metal, and made a bunch of them to sell at market, found that he returned home having sold every last one of them at great profits.  This is how the miracle worked for them.  They had no way to explain what they saw except that somehow God was changing the laws of chance and luck for them, because of their obedience to His commandments.

So, Nephite prosperity was an impossible miracle and does not apply to Gentile life, for Gentile life does not have this bizarre miracle attend us.  Instead, the Gentiles use Korihor’s doctrine to amass fortunes, which I will get to in a moment. First, let it be fully understood and believed that Nephite prosperity was solely the result of righteousness:

And thus they [the church] did prosper and become far more wealthy than those who did not belong to their church.

For those who did not belong to their church did indulge themselves in sorceries, and in idolatry or idleness, and in babblings, and in envyings and strife; wearing costly apparel; being lifted up in the pride of their own eyes; persecuting, lying, thieving, robbing, committing whoredoms, and murdering, and all manner of wickedness; nevertheless, the law was put in force upon all those who did transgress it, inasmuch as it was possible.  (Alma 1:31-32)

To a Gentile, this scripture makes absolutely no economic sense.  The non-believers did not prosper because they were iniquitous?  What does that have to do with economics, Mormon?  Absolutely nothing.  And that’s the point that Mormon is trying to make, for Nephite prosperity was a miracle and not based upon economics, but on righteousness.  But your average Gentile or Mormon reading this scripture will think, “Well, they must have been less wealthy because they spent their riches on wicked practices that used up their wealth or caused them to become sick, or put them in jail, etc.”  Nope, that ain’t the point.  The point is that they were wicked, meaning that they engaged in wicked practices, breaking the commandments of God, and so when they went to market, their products didn’t sell, or when they raised their flocks, they suddenly had become sterile and infertile, or their crops didn’t grow, etc.  In other words, the miracle didn’t happen for the wicked.

Okay, so here’s Korihor’s doctrine:

And many more such things did he say unto them, telling them that there could be no atonement made for the sins of men, but every man fared in this life according to the management of the creature; therefore every man prospered according to his genius, and that every man conquered according to his strength; and whatsoever a man did was no crime.  (Alma 30:17)

This is, in plain speak, simply man-made economic theory.  Korihor was saying, “You stupid Nephites!  There ain’t no miracle!  It is just that the rich people manage their finances better than the poor ones.  The rich guys are smarter than the dumb poor ones.  God has NOTHING to do with it!”

The LDS church teaches proper management of one’s finances according to modern economic principles.  We teach, then, Korihor’s doctrine.  “Go to school so you can become smarter (getting an education).  In this way you’ll get a better job and make more money, thus prospering by your genius (education).  If you manage your finances correctly, you’ll be able to save money and get ahead, etc.  Oh, yeah, and it is also important that you have a proper Protestant work ethic and abide by the current Mormon teachings on work and personal responsibility.”  All these principles are based upon Korihor’s man-made principles.

The Nephites simply obeyed all God’s commandments with diligence and exercised mighty faith to obtain the miracle of prosperity, and God gave it to them.  They didn’t have to worry about saving for a rainy day, for there was never any rainy day for the righteous.  They could give away all their riches (their surplus) freely, because they knew that the miracle was going to replenish the coffers again to overflowing.  It happened all the freaking time.  It was so totally obvious a miracle that Korihor and his stupid doctrine must have looked like an utter fool to the righteous.  To the wicked, or to those righteous who secretly desired to hoard their wealth, which would cause them to cease to be righteous, Korihor’s doctrine sounded appealing, because they didn’t have to give their surplus away but could just retire on their wealth, like the Gentiles currently do.  But that wickedness always caused God’s anger to kindle against them and the Lamanites were always soon sent upon the people for such iniquity.  Plus it cut them off from the miracle of prosperity.

The anti-miracle

When the people sinned against the Lord, He didn’t just remove the miracle of prosperity from them, so that they were left to their own devices, as the Gentiles are, but instead He provided an anti-miracle, or a miracle which had the opposite effect:

For behold, the Lord hath said:

I will not succor my people in the day of their transgression; but I will hedge up their ways that they prosper not; and their doings shall be as a stumbling block before them.  (Mosiah 7:29)

A righteous, prosperous Nephite that turned around and began to break God’s commandments, essentially cut his own throat, committing financial suicide.

The Gadianton plans

It was because of the anti-prosperity miracle that the wicked sought out the plans of Gadianton.  As the wicked Nephites could not prosper via the Lord’s prosperity miracle and the anti-miracle hedged up their way, they sought to obtain gain via the secret oaths and combinations of Gadianton.  This allowed them to remain in their wickedness, and also do more wickedness, and to obtain power, too, while still getting gain.  So, it was a way the wicked used to “get around” the anti-miracle. This might clear up any confusion about why the Gadianton robbers kept popping up throughout Nephite history and why these secret societies grew so fast.  The wicked couldn’t prosper unless they repented of their sins, therefore they had three choices if they wanted to avoid becoming rapidly poor: 1) they could humble themselves before the Lord and obtain the prosperity miracle or 2) they could remain in their pride and wickedness and become Lamanites, and rob and plunder like they did, or 3) they could remain in their pride and wickedness as Nephites, and obtain gain by robbing and plundering, via the secret combination.  The prospect of continuing to make money while remaining in one’s sins was a very strong temptation, hence the growth of these societies.

Defection to the Lamanites was inevitable

Before Gadianton got the secret combination plans revealed to him by the devil, they were found written in the scriptural records, but the prophets and seers were forbidden to reveal these things to the people.  So the wicked Nephites, prior to the release of these ancient plans, inevitably became Lamanites.  The only way to get gain in wickedness was to plunder and rob.  They couldn’t do it among the Nephites because the law would take hold of them, therefore they defected to the Lamanites and then incited them to wage war on the Nephites, (for plunderers target the wealthy).  It was simply inevitable once the anti-miracle took effect on the wicked and their riches dried up, and all Nephites knew this:

Now the Nephites greatly feared that the Zoramites would enter into a correspondence with the Lamanites, and that it would be the means of great loss on the part of the Nephites.  (Alma 31:4)

The wicked defectors would tell the Lamanites of all the wealth that the Nephites had and how easy it would be to take it all, for the Lamanites were much more numerous than the Nephites, plus they could tell them of any weaknesses that the Nephites had.  The Lamanites, plunderers themselves, almost always went for the carrot when it was dangled by these defectors in front of them.  The Nephites were RICH beyond belief and the defectors knew this, but could not lay their hands upon it unless they got the Lamanites to engage in another war of plunder.  So, any time the Nephites became wicked and separated themselves from the body, the prophets of God had to immediately go and preach to them, to try to get them to speedily repent, because if that didn’t happen, the sound of war would very soon be in the land again.  Thus, we see that a knowledge of the prosperity and anti-prosperity miracles clears up yet another Book of Mormon mystery.

A word on the Zoramite poor

When Alma went to the Zoramites to preach, the poor Zoramites were those on whom the anti-miracle had already taken effect and their poverty had humbled them, putting them in a state in which they were prepared to hear, accept and receive the word, through their repentance.  The anti-miracle, then, was not a punishment, per se, but a means to reclaim and save the wicked, by humbling them.  Dissension to the Lamanites or uniting with the Gadianton robbers aborted that process.

There were no homeless among the Nephites

All of the homeless were given lands upon which to reside:

And he breathed out many threatenings against them. And now the people of Ammon did not fear their words; therefore they did not cast them out, but they did receive all the poor of the Zoramites that came over unto them; and they did nourish them, and did clothe them, and did give unto them lands for their inheritance; and they did administer unto them according to their wants.  (Alma 35:9)

This is why all the passages in the Book of Mormon that speak of the giving of one’s substance to the poor and the needy, and the thirsty, hungry, naked, etc., do not ever mention the homeless.  The wicked poor, although they had lands and houses, could not grow anything, due to the anti-prosperity miracle, and so still needed to beg.

The reason for wanting more wives

In chapter 2 of Jacob we learn that the Nephites had found gold and silver and had grown quite rich.  We also learn that they had begun to desire to have more than one wife.  Why?  Because they had grown quite rich and they thought to “raise up seed unto the Lord.”  The Nephites could now afford to have as many wives as they wanted, through this prosperity miracle, and as the Lord had prospered them in all things, He could likewise prosper them so that they became much more numerous than the Lamanites, so that the Nephites became even as numerous as the sands of the seashore.  The virility of Nephite men and fertility of Nephite women could be as blessed as everything else, and thus, in their numerous state, the Lamanites would never even dare to attack.  All this seed would be raised up unto the Lord and how great would such a thing be?  Such was the thinking of these men.

But the Lord knew that the Nephites would go through very many periods of wickedness, in which many men would die, and instead of having a certain number of monogamous widows and fatherless in the land, in plural marriage you’d end up with a an almost endless sea of polygamous widows and fatherless, and the Lord was not going to have it.  Even if the men did not die, but became beggars because of the anti-miracle, this, too, would create a tidal wave of misery among the wives and children.  It was a wicked desire, also, because they wanted something that the Lord had already expressly forbidden them to have (unless He commanded it through another of His appointed seers).  But to understand the desire, one must understand that there was a prosperity miracle in play among the Nephites, for no man wanted the financial burden of having more than one wife, unless he had exceptional finances (or could plunder the people via taxation, see the Re: taxation section below).

Modern practices

The LDS cannot obtain the prosperity miracle by their current practices, but would have to adopt the Nephite ways to get it.  This is why the LDS are not the richest people on the planet.  If we could do what the Nephites did and obey with exactness all of the commandments received through God’s seer, Joseph Smith, Jun., then God would provide the very same prosperity miracle to us as He did to the Nephites and we would become richer than everyone else.  But we do not comply with our scriptures, the commandments, nor fulfill our duties, so on Korihor we must rely for wealth.

Korihor also taught:

ye lead away this people after the foolish traditions of your fathers, and according to your own desires; and ye keep them down, even as it were in bondage, that ye may glut yourselves with the labors of their hands, that they durst not look up with boldness, and that they durst not enjoy their rights and privileges.

Yea, they durst not make use of that which is their own  (Alma 30:27-28)

In other words, Korihor taught that a person’s property and substance was his own, to use as he saw fit, and that he need not give to the poor and needy, that staying one’s hand from giving was no crime nor sin.  This directly contradicted king Benjamin’s teaching:

how much more just will be your condemnation for withholding your substance, which doth not belong to you but to God  (Mosiah 4:22)

Korihor’s end is interesting, in that after he became dumb, he began begging for food, and a proclamation was sent out:

And it came to pass that the curse was not taken off of Korihor; but he was cast out, and went about from house to house begging for his food.

Now the knowledge of what had happened unto Korihor was immediately published throughout all the land; yea, the proclamation was sent forth by the chief judge to all the people in the land, declaring unto those who had believed in the words of Korihor that they must speedily repent, lest the same judgments would come unto them.

And it came to pass that they were all convinced of the wickedness of Korihor; therefore they were all converted again unto the Lord; and this put an end to the iniquity after the manner of Korihor. And Korihor did go about from house to house, begging food for his support.  (Alma 30:56-58)

The entire populace was convinced that Korihor was a wicked man, nevertheless, they still gave him of their substance when he went around to them begging for food, for it is a commandment of God to give to the poor of your surplus substance, even if they are wicked sinners.  But when he went to the Zoramites begging, they, being wicked and not disposed to give to the poor, trod him down to death, for they considered all the poor dross.

Re: taxation

Some, who continue to subscribe to Korihor’s doctrine and so believe that the Nephites prospered according to economic principles, such as those which are taught to us by the LDS church, and not by the miracle I am describing in this post, might point to the lack of Nephite taxation as the real reason they prospered so much.  It is true that the Nephites had no taxation among them, save during their times of wickedness (such as during wicked king Noah’s reign, in which he laid a 20% tax upon his wicked people; see Mosiah 11:3,6) or in periods of bondage (such as during righteous king Limhi’s reign, whose people paid a 50% tributary tax to the Lamanite king; see Mosiah 19:15).  The Book of Mormon refers to the levy of taxes as “the laying of that which is grievous to be borne upon men’s shoulders”.

I say unto you that as I have been suffered to spend my days in your service, even up to this time, and have not sought gold nor silver nor any manner of riches of you; neither have I suffered that ye should be confined in dungeons, nor that ye should make slaves one of another, nor that ye should murder, or plunder, or steal, or commit adultery; nor even have I suffered that ye should commit any manner of wickedness, and have taught you that ye should keep the commandments of the Lord, in all things which he hath commanded you—and even I, myself, have labored with mine own hands that I might serve you, and that ye should not be laden with taxes, and that there should nothing come upon you which was grievous to be borne—and of all these things which I have spoken, ye yourselves are witnesses this day.  (Mosiah 2:12-14)

And all this he did, for the sole purpose of bringing this people into subjection or into bondage. And behold, we at this time do pay tribute to the king of the Lamanites, to the amount of one half of our corn, and our barley, and even all our grain of every kind, and one half of the increase of our flocks and our herds; and even one half of all we have or possess the king of the Lamanites doth exact of us, or our lives.

And now, is not this grievous to be borne? And is not this, our affliction, great? Now behold, how great reason we have to mourn.  (Mosiah 7:22-23)

And it came to pass that Riplakish did not do that which was right in the sight of the Lord, for he did have many wives and concubines, and did lay that upon men’s shoulders which was grievous to be borne; yea, he did tax them with heavy taxes; and with the taxes he did build many spacious buildings.

And he did erect him an exceedingly beautiful throne; and he did build many prisons, and whoso would not be subject unto taxes he did cast into prison; and whoso was not able to pay taxes he did cast into prison; and he did cause that they should labor continually for their support; and whoso refused to labor he did cause to be put to death.

And after that he had established himself king he did ease the burden of the people, by which he did gain favor in the eyes of the people, and they did anoint him to be their king.  (Ether 10:5-6,10)

And king Mosiah did cause his people that they should till the earth. And he also, himself, did till the earth, that thereby he might not become burdensome to his people, that he might do according to that which his father had done in all things.  (Mosiah 6:7)

Taxation, then, was always considered by the Nephites as a “burden” and thus, as an iniquity.  But even under the heavy 50% tributary tax levied by the Lamanite king, Limhi’s people, (once they began to repent), started to prosper:

And they did humble themselves even in the depths of humility; and they did cry mightily to God; yea, even all the day long did they cry unto their God that he would deliver them out of their afflictions.

And now the Lord was slow to hear their cry because of their iniquities; nevertheless the Lord did hear their cries, and began to soften the hearts of the Lamanites that they began to ease their burdens; yet the Lord did not see fit to deliver them out of bondage.

And it came to pass that they began to prosper by degrees in the land, and began to raise grain more abundantly, and flocks, and herds, that they did not suffer with hunger.  (Mosiah 21:14-16)

So taxation, or the lack thereof, had nothing to do with their prosperity.  Prosperity was always directly related to their righteousness alone.

Laboring with your hands

As you might have guessed, this, too, is a commandment of God.  And like all other things the Nephites did, it is patterned after God Himself.  The Bible teaches that God spoke and the world was made, by the power of His word alone.  However, the Book of Mormon has an additional teaching, and that is that the Liahona was prepared by the hand of the Lord.  Thus, as the Lord also prepares things with His hand, so the Nephites, who could not create with their voice (other than songs), used their hands to make things, just as the Lord used His hand to prepare the Liahona.

The Book of Mormon writers were careful to always point out that they complied with this commandment.  For example, on the Title Page, Moroni wrote, “Sealed by the hand of Moroni.”  He could have just stated, “Sealed by Moroni,” but that would not have communicated to us that He was obeying the commandment to labor with his hands.  Another example: right off the bat, in the third verse of the Book of Mormon, Nephi writes, “and I make it with mine own hand” (1 Ne. 1:3).

No matter how rich and powerful a Nephite got, he was still required by God’s law to perform a daily (six days a week) labor with his own hands.  Not even the Nephite kings were exempt from this commandment:

And even I, myself, have labored with mine own hands that I might serve you, and that ye should not be laden with taxes, and that there should nothing come upon you which was grievous to be borne—and of all these things which I have spoken, ye yourselves are witnesses this day.  (Mosiah 2:14)

The Gentiles, in comparison, labor with their own hands until they get rich enough to employ others to do the labors required by their business.  Then they merely manage the business and employees, ceasing to labor with their hands, until they get rich enough to employ competent managers who can manage the business in their absence.  Then they spend their days playing golf, traveling around and buying stuff.  Occasionally they drop in to make sure the business is still turning a profit.

Such practices, to a Nephite, was wickedness, for they broke God’s commandment to labor with one’s own hands.  Now, that doesn’t mean Nephites didn’t have employees, or servants in their employ.  They did, for many business ventures or enterprises require the labor of more than one person to make them work.  Nevertheless, they either labored with their employees, side-by-side with them, or in some other labor.  Management of employees, in which all you did was tell people with your mouth what to do, and they performed the labor, while you didn’t lift a finger, was considered laziness and a sin and was not what the righteous Nephites did.  Even during their times of war, their captains and chief captains, which were the equivalent of our Gentile generals, came down at the head of their armies (see Alma 2:16) and fought side-by-side with the rest of the troops.  They didn’t stay in the back of the army, directing the rest how to fight and die for them, while they remained safe and alive.  Such was considered wickedness, idleness, laziness and cowardice.

Thus, the Nephites were taught to labor with their own hands for their own support, regardless of how many employees or agents they may have had, or soldiers under their command.  The Lamanites, as usual, did not follow this correct tradition:

And assuredly it was great, for they had undertaken to preach the word of God to a wild and a hardened and a ferocious people; a people who delighted in murdering the Nephites, and robbing and plundering them; and their hearts were set upon riches, or upon gold and silver, and precious stones; yet they sought to obtain these things by murdering and plundering, that they might not labor for them with their own hands.  (Alma 17:14)

For dominion

The 1828 Dictionary entry on dominion:

DOMINION, n. [L. See Dominant.]

1. Sovereign or supreme authority; the power of governing and controlling.

The dominion of the Most High is an everlasting dominion. Daniel 4.

2. Power to direct, control, use and dispose of at pleasure; right of possession and use without being accountable; as the private dominion of individuals.

3. Territory under a government; region; country; district governed, or within the limits of the authority of a prince or state; as the British dominions.

4. Government; right of governing.

Jamaica is under the dominion of Great Britain.

5. Predominance; ascendant.

6. An order of angels.

Whether they be thrones, or dominions, or principalities, or powers. Colossians 1.

7. Persons governed.

Judah was his sanctuary; Israel his dominion. Psalm 114.

Adam and Eve were given dominion:

And God said,

Let us make man in our image, after our likeness: and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth.

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: and have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over every living thing that moveth upon the earth.  (Gen. 1:26-28)

The children of Adam and Eve also have dominion, even the same dominion as their first parents.  The Nephites then, who, in their righteousness, were obedient to all the commandments of God, saw five (5) commandments in the above scripture:

1) Be fruitful

2) Multiply

3) Replenish the earth

4) Subdue the earth

5) Have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth, and over every living thing that moveth upon the earth.

Having dominion meant that they were to be lord and master of all that they surveyed; that they were the supreme authority of all creation and were to direct, control, use, dispose of and govern everything around them.

The word dominion comes from the Latin dominant, which means:

DOMINANT, a. [L., to rule; lord, master; a house; to overcome, to subdue.]

1. Ruling; prevailing; governing; predominant; as the dominant party, or faction.

Thus, they were to rule and overcome and subdue all things.  In other words, they were to be the dominant entity in the land, dominating all other things.  To dominate means:

DOMINATE, v.t. [L. See Dominant.] To rule; to govern; to prevail; to predominate over.

We every where meet the Slavonian nations either dominant or dominated.

DOMINATE, v.i. To predominate. [Little used.]

Now I will give my own definition, according to my understanding of how the Nephites understood the commandment to have dominion over all things:

To have dominion means “to cause someone or something—which does not conform in its natural state—to conform to oneself, to one’s ideas, to one’s desires, to one’s plans and to one’s purposes.”

As with everything, the Nephites took God as their pattern, for they were trying to be like Him.  So, as God took the Nothing, which in its natural state had no purpose, and made it conform to Himself, His ideas, His desires, His plans and His purposes, by altering it—splitting it, so that He caused the opposition in all things, creating something new, even a new, unnatural state out of the old natural state, giving it a new purpose, according to His plan and idea, so that it conformed to Him—so, in like manner, the Nephites looked upon all of the creation of God, both plants, animals and the earth itself, and undertook plans to alter it to conform to themselves, their ideas, their plans and their purposes, taking it out of its natural state, (which was the first unnatural state that God had put it in), and putting it into a second unnatural state.

Why did they do this?  Because this was the commandment of God, for it was His purpose that they (and all His children), become like Him, doing the same types of things He does.

Now, the pattern of what to build was the city, even the heavenly city, for the vision of heaven turns out to be the vision of a city:

These are they who are come unto Mount Zion, and unto the city of the living God, the heavenly place, the holiest of all.  (D&C 76:66)

But ye are come unto mount Sion, and unto the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem, and to an innumerable company of angels,  (Hebrews 12:22)

But now they desire a better country, that is, an heavenly: wherefore God is not ashamed to be called their God: for he hath prepared for them a city.  (Hebrews 11;16)

So the Nephites, with their view to the heavens showing that mankind dwells in a city there, sought to build cities here.  Again, they didn’t do it just because they were following a pattern, but because they were commanded to build cities up unto the name of the Lord, even as we latter-day saints have been commanded to do the same:

Verily, thus saith the Lord, I say unto you, if those who call themselves by my name and are essaying to be my saints, if they will do my will and keep my commandments concerning them, let them gather themselves together unto the places which I shall appoint unto them by my servant Joseph, and build up cities unto my name, that they may be prepared for that which is in store for a time to come.  (D&C 125:2)

(I must mention Rodney Cluff, a forward-thinking latter-day saint, who took the commandment to build up cities unto the name of the Lord so seriously that he designed the layout of his very own city, which he calls a City of Light.  Regardless of whether you like his plan or not, it is commendable that he took the time to design a city unto the Lord’s name.  All latter-day saints ought to be doing the same.  I myself have also designed a city and, interestingly enough, it is circular, like Rodney’s, with a central plaza, circular roads and streets that emanate outward at the eight points of the compass, just like his.  The rest of the layout, though, is different.)

Unlike the latter-day saints, though, the Nephites were obedient to the Lord’s commandments, and built cities just about everywhere in this land.

So, a Nephite man, coming into a plain or valley for the first time, being the very first settler, would set up his tent and begin planning out his permanent dwelling, and where his crops and flocks would go, and he would also plan out the layout of the city that would bear his name.  Others that came into his land, then, would take up his plan, and work with him to complete the city, even his city, which would end up bearing his name.  The whole thing was done unto the name of the Lord, but bore the name of the first settler, for the city plan was drawn out by his hand, and those that came afterward simply followed the plan, filling it out and expanding the city as needed, according to the circumstances and number of inhabitants.  Nevertheless, the cities were centrally planned from the very get-go, by the first settler, and were not built after the fashion of the Gentiles, who do not centrally plan cities, but allow cities to “grow up” around settlers in a more or less random order.

Anything that came in the way of that plan, was subdued and overcome.  In other words, all things were made to conform to the plan, idea and purpose of the first settler.  If there was a hill in the way and the plan called for a flat plaza to be there, that hill was leveled.  If a location called for a commercial district, but animals inhabited the place, the animals were moved.  It was the plan that was important, not the local conditions.  The Nephites dominated everything, causing all things in their view to conform to their plan.  They did not conform to anything, at all, for they were commanded to be the dominant force in the land, and they were.

This is why when the Nephites became prideful, they became exceedingly prideful, for they literally were like gods upon the earth, doing as they pleased with God’s creation, in order to become like Him and fulfill His commandments.  They left just about nothing unchanged, or in its natural state, except as it suited their purpose.  The Jaredites also did the same, leaving nothing untouched or unchanged, except insofar as it suited their purposes.  The righteous Jaredite king Lib, whose reign was attended to by unmatched prosperity from the Lord, left all the land south of the narrow neck of land as a hunting preserve:

And they built a great city by the narrow neck of land, by the place where the sea divides the land.

And they did preserve the land southward for a wilderness, to get game.  (Ether 10:20-21)

As it served their purpose, they left it unchanged.  Otherwise, they would have used that land for other purposes and altered it.

Leaving things in its unaltered, natural state, for no purpose other than to leave it be, was a sin, for that was not complying with the commandment to have dominion.  They could only leave things be for a purpose, according to their plan:

And the people who were in the land northward did dwell in tents, and in houses of cement, and they did suffer whatsoever tree should spring up upon the face of the land that it should grow up, that in time they might have timber to build their houses, yea, their cities, and their temples, and their synagogues, and their sanctuaries, and all manner of their buildings.  (Hel. 11:16)

But they did not let the lack of timber stop them:

And it came to pass as timber was exceedingly scarce in the land northward, they did send forth much by the way of shipping.

And thus they did enable the people in the land northward that they might build many cities, both of wood and of cement.  (Hel. 11:17-18)

The Lamanites, on the other hand, built nothing and changed nothing, leaving everything more or less in its natural state.  Although they inhabited the land, they did not have dominion, thus they broke this commandment, as well.

Nephite dominion was not patterned after Gentile capitalism:

Verily I say,

that inasmuch as ye do this, the fulness of the earth is yours, the beasts of the field and the fowls of the air, and that which climbeth upon the trees and walketh upon the earth; yea, and the herb, and the good things which come of the earth, whether for food or for raiment, or for houses, or for barns, or for orchards, or for gardens, or for vineyards; yea, all things which come of the earth, in the season thereof, are made for the benefit and the use of man, both to please the eye and to gladden the heart; yea, for food and for raiment, for taste and for smell, to strengthen the body and to enliven the soul.

And it pleaseth God that he hath given all these things unto man; for unto this end were they made to be used, with judgment, not to excess, neither by extortion.  (D&C 59:16-20)

Whereas the Gentile capitalists have, historically, raped the land of resources, creating great pollutions (and still do), the Nephites were commanded to use all things “with judgment, not to excess, neither by extortion.”  Thus, they didn’t rape the land nor create pollutions, save during their times of wickedness.  (They also made sure that they replenished the earth, which was another commandment of God.) The above scripture pertains to the commandment to “have dominion over all things” and was directed to the latter-day saints, showing that the Lord expects the latter-day saints to have dominion just as the Nephites did.  In fact, the dominions of the latter-day saints are prophesied to eventually be established:

And it came to pass that I beheld the church of the Lamb of God, and its numbers were few, because of the wickedness and abominations of the whore who sat upon many waters; nevertheless, I beheld that the church of the Lamb, who were the saints of God, were also upon all the face of the earth; and their dominions upon the face of the earth were small, because of the wickedness of the great whore whom I saw.  (1 Ne. 16:12)

which dominions I prophesied last year would be brought to pass by the latter-day saints using the Bartering Currency.  Currently, though, no latter-day saint has dominion and thus we break this commandment, as well.

For discovery

As I stated above, God has put everything on and in this earth in a more or less locked state.  The natural state of things has purpose, given by God, but within each thing is a puzzle, which when unfolded, allows everything to be used for multiple purposes, in fact, essentially infinite purposes.  God, of course, knows each and ever use of everything He has created and put upon this planet, but the natural state keeps things hidden.  This allows the commandment to “seek and you shall find” to be fulfilled, through discovery of all the possible uses of things.  It pleases God that man is inquisitive about His creations and seeks to alter them in order to discover other uses, for these other uses and their discovery allow His children to become like Him, for this is, in fact, what He did with the Nothing.  It had no purpose whatsoever, and He took it and made it be used in an infinite number of ways, merely by making the one thing two things, and from those two things an infinite number of things, with an infinite number of purposes.

The Nephites, then, saw all things as a puzzle to be unlocked and discovered.  The question, “What else can this be uses for?” was always on their minds.  They never were content with what they had, but always sought more.  More stuff, more answers, more knowledge about things, etc.  They diligently applied themselves to know everything about everything, so that they could become like God.  Therefore, they never ceased their creations.  Even when their cities were essentially built, they continued building them.  To stop was a sin, unless God Himself commanded it, which He never did, for the building was never finished nor ever would be.

The modern Gentiles are like the Nephites in their inquisitiveness, except that the Gentiles are often “set in their ways” and get comfortable with age and riches, and so slow down.  The Nephites never slowed down, except when they became wicked, but continued to amass knowledge about their surrounding at an alarming, miraculous rate, discovering things much faster than anything we are able to do, even in our computer age.  Now, I have written about this at length years ago in an unpublished post, but it is still not yet time to release it, so I will forbear talking on this and proceed to the next point, with just a slight aside.

And it came to pass after I, Nephi, having heard all the words of my father, concerning the things which he saw in a vision, and also the things which he spake by the power of the Holy Ghost, which power he received by faith on the Son of God—and the Son of God was the Messiah who should come—I, Nephi, was desirous also that I might see, and hear, and know of these things, by the power of the Holy Ghost, which is the gift of God unto all those who diligently seek him, as well in times of old as in the time that he should manifest himself unto the children of men.

For he is the same yesterday, today, and forever; and the way is prepared for all men from the foundation of the world, if it so be that they repent and come unto him.

For he that diligently seeketh shall find; and the mysteries of God shall be unfolded unto them, by the power of the Holy Ghost, as well in these times as in times of old, and as well in times of old as in times to come; wherefore, the course of the Lord is one eternal round.  (1 Ne. 10:17-19)

And now behold, my brethren, this is the word which I declare unto you, that many of you have begun to search for gold, and for silver, and for all manner of precious ores, in the which this land, which is a land of promise unto you and to your seed, doth abound most plentifully.  And the hand of providence hath smiled upon you most pleasingly, that you have obtained many riches;  (Jacob 2:12-13)

And they did work in all manner of ore, and they did make gold, and silver, and iron, and brass, and all manner of metals; and they did dig it out of the earth; wherefore, they did cast up mighty heaps of earth to get ore, of gold, and of silver, and of iron, and of copper. And they did work all manner of fine work.  (Ether 10:23)

The aside is this: the Nephites took Nephi’s teaching to diligently seek in order to find and applied it in all areas of their life.  The Jaredites also did the same.  So, whereas a Gentile will consult with a geologist before beginning a mining operation, the Nephites and Jaredites simply exercised their faith in their prayers and started digging, confident that whether there was gold or silver or other types of ore in the spot or not did not matter, for they would find what they were seeking, for God Himself would provide the miracle, just as He provided the principle and promise that “whoso diligently seeketh shall find.”  The promise was a divine guarantee, as long as they kept His commandments and diligently sought as the principle called for.

For diversity

God, when He created all things, didn’t just make one type of each thing, one type of tiger, one type of ant, one type of this, that or the other, etc., but created an astoundingly diverse array of each type of thing.  The Nephites, then, again taking God as their pattern, and also being commanded to do it, made all manner of things of every type.  The phrase “all manner of” is found in 120 verses of the Book of Mormon.  They were commanded to make every imaginable thing they could of everything they could find upon the planet, and they did.  (The reign of the righteous Jaredite king Lib is probably the standard set for diversity.  See Ether 10:18-29.)

Just as a kid in a candy store gets giddy upon entering it and, seeing the wide variety and assortment of candies—most of which are basically composed of the very same sweet ingredients, yet they all look a bit different and taste a bit different and have a different feel in the hands and mouth, producing a different effect upon the sense—will naturally want to purchase and taste each and every one, so the Nephites rejoiced in their society and were filled with desire, for all they saw was an endless variety of things of all types and shapes and sizes and tastes and smells.  This assault upon the senses by the sheer magnitude of diversity was evidence of God’s blessings upon them, and they sought to find more ways to increase the diversity, each succeeding generation outdoing the previous generation, for they made the stuff that went before, plus new things.

Unlike the Gentile economy, which discards the old to make place for the new, the Nephites never discarded anything old, but kept everything and added to it.  This is as it should be, if you think about it, and this is how it was for them.  How many Gentiles say that they “miss the good old days when such-and-such a thing” was around.  The Nephites never said this, for their society only added, never subtracted things.

Think about that for a moment.  Imagine if every good, safe product or service that was ever produced or offered in the previous century, from 1900-2000, was still available to purchase today in 2015, at the very same price, and every store that ever existed during that time period still existed today, offering the very same products they did back then, as well as new ones.  The previous century offered a great deal of diversity to Americans, but it was supplanted diversity: out with the old and in with the new.  If the previous American century were patterned after the Nephites, nothing would get supplanted and all old products and services would still sell, due to God’s miraculous blessing of prosperity.  Most Americans would call that a capitalistic paradise, a commercial heaven on earth.  Yet, as many new products and services that came out during 1900-2000, it still doesn’t compare to the numbers that the Nephites produced in any hundred year period of their history.  They were prolific in creating new things.  They were as obsessed with new things as I am.  But they were also obsessed with preserving and retaining old things, so that their diversity multiplied endlessly.

Can you imagine if every car ever produced was still being manufactured and available as new models?  Same with computers and games and toys and everything else.  Or if all the different types of musical genres and bands of the previous century still existed and toured?  There would be a hundred different radio stations to broadcast each type of music.  There would be every type of media: vinyl records, audiocassettes, 8-tracks, CD’s, MP3’s, etc.  There would be switchboard operators, candlestick phones, rotary phones, touch-tone phoces, cell phones, smart phones, etc.  As time went on, your choices would increase, because new things would be created while the old was still available.  The diversity of Nephite society, then, increased their agency year by year.  American society, by comparison, has its agency decreased each year, because our choices become more limited, due to old products being phased out, competition going out of business, mergers, etc.

In the Gentile economies, businesses come and business go, but the Nephite businesses operated on miraculous principles and simply prospered and remained for as long as the man or his posterity remained righteous.  They were permanent fixtures, for about a 1000 years.  But new businesses and new products and new services were constantly being introduced, with miraculous success.  In short, the Nephites had absolutely no reason to complain about anything.  They had it all, given to them on a silver platter, which platter came in hundreds of different styles and sizes to choose from.  That they actually turned from their righteousness and disinherited themselves from all this diversity and prosperity is both astounding and heart-breaking.

The law of consecration and stewardship of properties patterned after Nephite diversity

As I said, Gentile businesses come and go, but under God’s law of consecration and stewardship of properties, each stewardship was meant to exist in perpetuity, for the man and his seed after him, throughout all his generations, for God is all about permanence, and these stewardship properties are His.

And again, a commandment I give unto you concerning your stewardship which I have appointed unto you.

Behold, all these properties are mine, or else your faith is vain, and ye are found hypocrites, and the covenants which ye have made unto me are broken; and if the properties are mine, then ye are stewards; otherwise ye are no stewards.  (D&C 104:54-56)

Doctrine and Covenants section 104 gives a list of stewardships appointed to various brethren, which was “for them, and their seed after them.”  Over and over again the revelation states, of each of these stewards, “I will multiply blessings upon him and his seed after him, even a multiplicity of blessings.”  The phrase is curious and likely no one knows what the Lord was talking about so I guess I’ll briefly unfold it to the reader by saying that the Lord intended to unlock and unleash upon the latter-day saints, through this law of consecration and stewardship of properties, the same blessing of prosperity and diversity that He bestowed upon the Nephites.  From 1834, (the date of the revelation), to 2015, a period of 181 years—had they not screwed up—we would have had permanent stewardships fill up the land, each new generation of latter-day saints receiving new stewardships, the old stewards passing on their stewardships to an heir, so that the old stewardships continued, and our prosperity and diversity—(for old and new would be side-by-side, like Nephite diversity)—would have been the envy of the Gentiles.  This church and people would have been the very richest on the planet.  But they transgressed and it didn’t happen.  Se la vie.

For defense

The cities they built had walls around them, and were fortified from time to time by the various deliverers that came along, such as that deliverer of deliverers, captain Moroni.  These walls were made of stone and there were works of timbers and towers and other defensive measures built into each city, such as mounds of earth and very deep ditches, etc.  They were meant to be impregnable.  In time, they essentially were.

These weren’t just temporary measures to deal with the Lamanites of the time, but were patterned after the New Jerusalem, or Zion, which was to be a place of security, for defense, and also her stakes, which likewise would be places of security, defense and refuge.

Verily I say unto you all:

Arise and shine forth, that thy light may be a standard for the nations; and that the gathering together upon the land of Zion, and upon her stakes, may be for a defense, and for a refuge from the storm, and from wrath when it shall be poured out without mixture upon the whole earth.  (D&C 115:5-6)

And it shall be called the New Jerusalem, a land of peace, a city of refuge, a place of safety for the saints of the Most High God; and the glory of the Lord shall be there, and the terror of the Lord also shall be there, insomuch that the wicked will not come unto it, and it shall be called Zion.  And it shall come to pass among the wicked, that every man that will not take his sword against his neighbor must needs flee unto Zion for safety.  (D&C 45:66-68)

For it is ordained that in Zion, and in her stakes, and in Jerusalem, those places which I have appointed for refuge, shall be the places for your baptisms for your dead.  (D&C 124:36)

Again, they also did this because it was a commandment, for they were to pattern themselves after God, after how He builds and designs cities, and as the city of Zion would be designed by revelation, meaning by God Himself, and would be a defense, therefore the Nephite cities must also have defensive structures in place, to exactly conform to and follow the pattern.

So mighty did the Nephite cities become, essentially becoming impregnable, that the wicked at one time scoffed at a prophecy that their cities would become desolate, saying:

For behold he doth condemn all this people, even unto destruction; yea, and also that these our great cities shall be taken from us, that we shall have no place in them.  And now we know that this is impossible, for behold, we are powerful, and our cities great, therefore our enemies can have no power over us.  (Hel. 8:5-6)

These mighty cities did, in fact, end up being taken from them shortly thereafter, by the almighty power of God Himself, He exerting the very powers of heaven and sending down fire from heaven, as He did with Sodom and Gomorrah, and burning many of these cities to dust, via cosmic plasma bolt (interplanetary electrical discharge), which can incinerate even the mightiest of materials, and burying other cities in earth and seas, so that all their mighty defenses came to naught, when compared to the power of God.  Although they were like gods on earth, they weren’t gods indeed.  They were just His children.

Gentile cities, including Mormon cities, typically have no defensive structures whatsoever around them.  They are open and easily invaded.  Why build defenses when there is no foreseeable enemy around, right?

And now, I will show unto you a parable, that you may know my will concerning the redemption of Zion.

A certain nobleman had a spot of land, very choice; and he said unto his servants:

Go ye unto my vineyard, even upon this very choice piece of land, and plant twelve olive trees; and set watchmen round about them, and build a tower, that one may overlook the land round about, to be a watchman upon the tower, that mine olive trees may not be broken down when the enemy shall come to spoil and take upon themselves the fruit of my vineyard.

Now, the servants of the nobleman went and did as their lord commanded them, and planted the olive trees, and built a hedge round about, and set watchmen, and began to build a tower.

And while they were yet laying the foundation thereof, they began to say among themselves:

And what need hath my lord of this tower?

And consulted for a long time, saying among themselves:

What need hath my lord of this tower, seeing this is a time of peace?  (D&C 101:43-48)

Again, what enemy do the Americans have that can come here and molest them in their cities?  But God sees the enemy from afar, way before we can see him, and He knows that cities must be constructed with defenses, to keep the enemy out.  But the Gentiles do not plan that far ahead into the future, and so their cities will be taken from them.

The Nephites, though, saw the future and they saw the need for defenses in their cities, both against the Lamanites and also against other, future enemies.  As long as they stayed righteous, their cities and the defenses in them would remain in their possession and they would remain secure in them.

Interestingly enough, though, the secret combinations of our day see our cities not as places of defense and security, to keep the enemy out, but as potential secure prisons, to keep the inmates in, to more easily slaughter undesirables and control the population.  Thus, measures are being put into place to spy on Americans at all times and provide means whereby Americans can be trapped in their own cities.  This is completely the opposite of Nephite cities, which had all defenses pointed outward, nothing whatsoever was pointed inward at the citizens.

For memorial

Behold, the Lord hath created the earth that it should be inhabited; and he hath created his children that they should possess it.  (1 Ne. 17:36)

There ain’t nothing more precious than a child making something new and giving it to his father as a present.  “Look, Father.  See what I made for you?”  That thing, whatever it is, that the child made, is sanctified in the sight of the parent and acts as a memorial, by which the parent remembers the innocence and development of the child, and the child himself.  We are children of God and He has everything.  There is nothing we can give Him that he doesn’t already have, except memorials from us, for those are unique gifts that He cherishes.

The commandment to build up cities unto His name, and make all manner of other stuff unto His name, is the commandment to create memorials to God.  Memorials are meant to be permanent, that we always be in the memory of God, that every time He looks upon that thing we created, He thinks of us, and His heart is softened towards us.  All parents, including the heavenly Parent, desire to preserve a child’s memorial.  Every parent knows that throwing away a child’s memorial is like cutting off a part of your body.  No one wants to do it.  No one likes to do it.  If we could, we would preserve every last thing our children make forever, regardless of how primitive its construction.  It is evidence of the child’s stage of development at that point and of its love for the parent and of its discovery of a new use and purposes for the item.  Parents are compelled to keep these things and love to look at them.

God is no different.  Thus the Nephites, those righteous children of God that He loved so much, when they built up their cities and roads and houses and structures and made all their stuff, all unto His name, they did it as a memorial to Him, knowing full well that He would preserve these things of theirs forever, by His own power.  So, when the Nephites built things, they did it to last forever.  Not figuratively, but literally.

Every single time they sinned and their structures and cities and roads were damaged, they rebuilt them.  The memorials had to be rebuilt.  Always.  This was a commandment of God, for these were God’s gifts, given to Him by the Nephites, and it was a sin to leave God’s memorials in a state of disrepair if the opportunity and means to repair and rebuild them presented itself.

The memorials (cities, buildings, roads, etc.) were the mark they left on the land.  They announced, “We came, we saw, we had dominion, and we built unto the Lord.”  Even if they left, their memorials were to remain there as evidence that they were there and that they had left memorials to the Lord. If they ever returned to the place, they had to rebuild, repair and renew the memorials, if they had fallen into disrepair.

The Lamanites, on the other hand, built nothing.  They left no mark. They lived and died and there is nothing to show that they were ever here.  No memorials to the Lord.  No discoveries.  They kept everything in its unchanged, natural state.

The perpetual nature of these Nephite memorials requires that they be restored at some point.  As Joseph-Nephi-Lehi, (the one who will perform this restoration), will be a Nephite—i.e., he will not be at all like the Lamanites, nor like the Indians, their descendants, for he will not be a tree-hugger,  an environmentalist, or anybody whose main purpose will be to keep everything, as much as possible, in its natural, untouched state—he will be inciting the people to be industrious, to centrally plan things, as the ancients did their cities, to dominate all things and make wise use of everything. Permanent building, structures, roads, monuments, city walls and defenses, etc., will be his push.  All Nephite cities will be restored, repaired, renewed, whether they were sunken in the earth or in the ocean, they will rise again and be rebuilt, to be inhabited again by a righteous branch:

But if not, O house of Israel, the places of your dwellings shall become desolate until the time of the fulfilling of the covenant to your fathers.  (3 Ne. 10:7)

Where are the Nephite cities?

The Lord buried them in the earth, for Mormon prayed to the Lord the following:

Behold, my heart cries:

Wo unto this people. Come out in judgment, O God, and hide their sins, and wickedness, and abominations from before thy face!  (Moroni 10:15)

and the Lord answered his prayer by burying all evidence that the Nephites ever existed, for burial in the earth is one of the ways the Lord uses to hide a people’s sins:

And behold, that great city Moronihah have I covered with earth, and the inhabitants thereof, to hide their iniquities and their abominations from before my face, that the blood of the prophets and the saints shall not come any more unto me against them.

And behold, the city of Gilgal have I caused to be sunk, and the inhabitants thereof to be buried up in the depths of the earth; yea, and the city of Onihah and the inhabitants thereof, and the city of Mocum and the inhabitants thereof, and the city of Jerusalem and the inhabitants thereof; and waters have I caused to come up in the stead thereof, to hide their wickedness and abominations from before my face, that the blood of the prophets and the saints shall not come up any more unto me against them.

And behold, the city of Gadiandi, and the city of Gadiomnah, and the city of Jacob, and the city of Gimgimno, all these have I caused to be sunk, and made hills and valleys in the places thereof; and the inhabitants thereof have I buried up in the depths of the earth, to hide their wickedness and abominations from before my face, that the blood of the prophets and the saints should not come up any more unto me against them.  (3 Ne. 9:5-8)

It is useless to search for the cities and roads and structures they built.  They are all underground, under mountains and valleys and lakes and rivers and also the sea.  The Nephites and their riches—which was all of their possessions and all that they built; cities, roads, everything—and the land itself, were cursed by God for their wickedness, so that “all things are become slippery” (Helaman 13:36; see the entire chapter for the curse) and their entire civilization slipped into the earth, never to be found or redeemed again, save by righteous men.  There are only two men capable of finding them: Joseph Smith, Jun. and Joseph-Nephi-Lehi.  The first saw these cities in vision and knew where they were by revelations, but was not called to raise them up.  The second, though, will fulfill this scripture:

Surely, your turning of things upside down shall be esteemed as the potter’s clay.  (2 Ne. 27:27)

by reversing the placement order of the Gentile and Nephite cities, turning things upside down by the working of miracles, so that the Gentile cities on top of the land get buried and the Nephite cities below the land are raised up, to be repaired, renewed and rebuilt, according to the original plans of the first settlers of these cities, for even these plans will be revealed.  But all these cities will remain hidden and buried and desolate until Joseph-Nephi-Lehi brings them forth.  Then the remnant will inhabit them, as prophesied by the Lord in 3 Ne. 10:7.  This means, then, that all those who believe the ruins of Central America, or South America, must be those of the Nephites, are in error.  These and all such ruins neither proceeded from the Nephites, whose ruins are buried and cursed, nor from the Lamanites, who never built anything, but are of other people who were brought here by the hand of the Lord.  These people may have had interaction with Nephites and Lamanites, and thus some of their customs and knowledge may have transferred over, but they are not, nor were they ever, the people mentioned in the Book of Mormon.  (Jaredite structures and cities, likewise, were buried.)  So the latter-day saints must simply wait (and pray) for the appearance of Joseph-Nephi-Lehi.

The reason the Lord buried the memorials

When a child is obedient, the sight of his memorial brings joy and remembrance of his good behavior, but when a child is rebellious, the sight of his memorial—that he made when he was obedient and innocent—brings pain and anguish to a parent, for the bad behavior is remembered along with the time when the child was obedient, and the sense of loss is great.  Therefore, God buried the memorials of both the Jaredites and the Nephites, essentially “putting them away” into His “earth closet,” so that His pain goes away, according to the principle: out of sight, out of mind.  His focus, now, is on another group of children: the Gentiles, and more specifically, the latter-day saints.  But because of the promise He gave to the ancients that He would, at some point, remember them and their seed, (when the Gentiles reject the fullness of the gospel, found in the plates of brass and large plates of Nephi), then He will fulfill His promise to the ancients and remember them again.  How?  By taking out their memorials from His “earth closet.”  Once the memorials are again in His sight, the Nephites will again be in His mind and His focus will shift from the Gentiles to the house of Israel.

The Nephites were the pinnacle of civilization

They were the apex, or standard, by which all other civilizations were and are to be measured.  This is why the Book of Mormon, which will convert the world, is a book of Nephite scripture.  The Lord chose His most blessed people to be the instruments in His hands to bless all the tribes of the earth.  Although there have been many great and good and blessed societies, all the others have either self-destructed or have been translated away, the latter ones to return during the Millennium.  It is true that Nephite society withered away and perished, but so great was the faith of their mighty ones, that they received a promise that their civilization would be restored to earth again, prior to the Millennium, to be the society that establishes the Millennium, setting the standard for the Millennium to follow.  This is because the blessings that the Nephites received were akin to the blessings to be received by world society during the Millennium.  The Nephite era, itself, lasted about 1000 years (600 BC – 400 AD) and was very much like a Millennial era, at least insofar as the righteous Nephites were concerned.  Gentiles who read the Book of Mormon, then, ought to humble themselves to the dust, as a student humbles himself before his master or teacher, and not presume to know more than Mormon or the other Book of Mormon writers, or to ascribe to them the same human weaknesses seen in Gentiles society, putting them on the same level as the Gentiles.  Gentiles who view the Nephites as a secular civilization or who make them equal to other, baser, man-made societies, will miss the mark and not learn the lessons being taught.  The greater teaches the lesser.  The Nephite civilization, then, must be viewed as superior to anything we have yet known (for so it was) and we must set aside our pride and preconceived notions and learn from it.

(Over the years on other blogs I have repeatedly rebuked those who tried to “bring the Book of Mormon down to earth,” who tried to interpret its passages as having a human, as opposed to a divine source, in an effort to, essentially, “humanize the text” so that we can more readily connect to it, since we are imperfect, frail humans and it, supposedly, is helpful to view these authors through the same lens.  This is the claim that is made, but it is bogus, (for the Book of Mormon was written by God’s power, not man’s and is God’s word and not man’s), and all who follow such man-made interpretations and philosophies will continue to misunderstand the text and will remain clueless about the Nephites, their history and their future.  As my rebukes have been in vain, I will stick to this blog and elaborate on the true history and future of the Nephites here, speaking only to only this readership.)

In conclusion

I used to think Nephite prosperity was Nephite centric, meaning that you had to be Nephite in order to get it.  But I was wrong.

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.

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.  (1 Ne. 13:15,20)

So, the believing Gentiles, at some point in the future, will obtain these same blessings, even before they are numbered with the Nephites.  How can you get this blessing now?  You just have to do what the Nephite did—keeping all the commandments of God, as diligently and as exactly as they did—and for the same reasons.  They did it for prosperity, dominion, diversity, discovery, defense and memorial.  And so should we.

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LOUD LAUGHTER


LAUGHTER-DAY SAINTS

Initiates of the endowment ceremony which takes place in LDS temples accept a charge to:

“avoid all lightmindedness, loud laughter, evil speaking of the Lord’s anointed, the taking of the name of God in vain, and every other unholy and impure practice”

This charge is to be accepted by covenant “as it has been explained to you” but in reality it is never fully explained. It is assumed that we know what we are promising when we foreswear these things, but few ever bother to raise any questions as to what constitutes unholy and impure practices. Beside the fact that these oaths are to be made between a man and his maker, there have been more or less official interpretations put forth by LDS leadership in regards to taking God’s name in vain, and of course, evil speaking of the Lord’s anointed. But, although I am sure I am not the only one whom is struck a little strangely by the phrase “loud laughter,” rarely if ever have I heard any type of commentary offered by the clergy or the laity as far as what “loud laughter” entails and why it ought to be avoided.

For many it may seem a very straightforward phrase and spark neither uncertainty nor curiosity. Laughter is what people do when they think something is funny, and loud laughter is simply doing it at a volume of high decibels. But if that is the case then there can be no louder laughter than that of the crowd. The throng transforms the softest revelry issued as reverently and politely as possible into the loudest collective roar. The loudest laughter peals out like the laugh track that follows every one of Thomas S. Monson’s silly jokes, or like the obligatory laughter which Crown Prince Frederick Hoepnick queues from his court in the 1965 comedy The Great Race.

I am sure that the guys at Comedy Sportz in Provo, Utah aim to evoke the loudest laughter possible from their paying customers. Are they guilty of promoting covenant-breaking among the college students at B.Y.U.? If you are sure that you are complying with your oath to avoid loud laughter then I would ask you: what is laughter really? Can you explain it, or tell us why it happens?

LAUGHTER IS LANGUAGE

Laughter is a part of our native language, not the languages which we learn and inherit from our parents, but the native language of raw emotion which all humans speak fluently at birth, and which unfortunately gets suppressed and all but forgotten in favor of the limited language of the oppressor. What do I mean by “language of the oppressor”? It has been discussed in detail elsewhere on this blog, and bears repeating, that the priesthood of God is a language. Prior to the point where we are beseeched to avoid loud laughter, the temple drama introduces us to the rebellious character of the Devil in the form of a man wearing an apron. Adam as representative of mankind asks in his innocence and ignorance, what the meaning of that apron is and is told that it is an emblem of the Devil’s power and his priesthoods/languages. The Languages of Lucifer get placed over the holy garments of the endowment we receive from Heaven. Throughout the ceremony we are sure to always place the Devil’s Apron on top.IMG_0028smaller

In life we do the same, insisting proudly on outward expression through the means of so much psychobabble in one or another of the many mixed up languages/priesthoods in use since the confounding and corrupting of man’s relationship to his fellow man in the days of Babel. That the Devil’s A-Pron representing his many languages/priesthoods takes A-Priori precedence in our symbolic, or spiritual manner of dress, can be clearly seen in the way we address one another. Laughter, though it certainly may stem from deep in our pre-conscious, is not randomly scattered throughout speech. For example, a speaker may say “What is that?…ha-ha,” but rarely, “What is…ha-ha…that?” For the most part, our laughter seldom interrupts the sentence structure of our speech. Rather it punctuates speech. Curiously we only laugh during pauses when we might typically cough or breathe. The occurrence of speaker laughter at the end of phrases suggests that a neurologically based process governs the placement of laughter in speech, and that different brain regions are involved in the expression of cognitively oriented speech and the more emotion-laden vocalization of laughter.

During conversation, speech tends to trump, and inhibit laughter. This is evidence of “the punctuation effect” – the tendency to laugh almost exclusively at phrase breaks in speech. This pattern indicates that worldly speech has priority over laughter which is a manifestation of the tongue of angels. Laughter is an unexpected resurfacing eruption of emotion, our first language. So laughter is in a sense a “speaking in tongues” in which we’re moved not by religious fervor but by a spiritual pre-conscious response to social and linguistic cues. Stripped of its variation and nuance, laughter is a regular series of short vowel-like syllables usually transcribed as “ha-ha,” “ho-ho” or “hee-hee.” These syllables are part of the universal human vocabulary, produced and recognized by all God’s people, the House of Israel, no matter where we find ourselves scattered across the diaspora of the world’s many cultures.

If emotion is the native language of little angels freshly arrived from Heaven and born into bondage where they must quickly adapt by adopting the language of their oppressors, then anyone with a genuine interest in establishing Heaven on Earth, or Zion as it is called, should be equally interested in the revival of the almost dead language of emotion. Note that as chaotic, unorganized, and broken as their attempts may be, still the meetings in which the gift of tongues most often manifests are called revivals. Dying languages among many indigenous tribes and cultures around the world today are a grave concern. But it is absolutely shameful, totally unacceptable, that all mankind become totally ignorant of and non-conversant in our first language – the language of the new-born – which connects us all as family. Feeling should not only come at the beckon call of words, our words should come as an answer to our feelings so that the two may share an egalitarian relationship. An obligation to feel can freeze feelings. If we let our native language of raw emotion die then we will be “past feeling”. The Book of Mormon warns against this and makes a direct correlation between spoken language and feeling.

“…and he spake unto you; yea, ye have heard his voice from time to time; and he hath spoken unto you in a still small voice, but ye were past feeling, that ye could not feel his words.” – 1 Nephi 17:45

It is not that languages like English, Chinese, Tagalog, or Arabic are inherently evil or serve no purpose in helping us to effectively reform and revolt till the world and its people are able to achieve Zion. However, to push certain communication skills over and onto the native language of human emotion is to enforce a backwards stereotype of superiority when it comes to the invader, and inflict a false burden of inferiority upon those meek ones whose birthright it is to inherit the earth. What we consider language may be a tool which is extremely effective, but without emotion it is not affective. Affective means – relating to moods, feelings, and attitudes. We cannot deliberately activate the brain’s mechanisms for affective expression. Try laughing on command, it is nearly impossible. To produce any authentic emotion on demand does not come naturally. Crying and laughing are usually considered opposites and thus are closely related, both audibly and emotionally. Mosiah 18:9 gives us the idea that we need to be “willing to mourn with those that mourn,” and other scriptures give the impression that we should also be willing to rejoice with those who rejoice in righteousness.

“Blessed are ye that hunger now: for ye shall be filled. Blessed are ye that weep now: for ye shall laugh.

Woe unto you that are full! for ye shall hunger. Woe unto you that laugh now! for ye shall mourn and weep.”  – Luke 6:21,25

Obviously Jesus is letting us know that laughter can be good or evil. There exists what we could call living laughter and there is also lying laughter. Laughter is a part of our native language, not the languages which we learn and inherit from our parents, but the native language of raw emotion which all humans speak fluently at birth, and which unfortunately gets suppressed and all but forgotten in favor of the limited language of the oppressor. True laughter is not a learned group reaction but an instinctive behavior we carry intact with us from Heaven for the preservation of the Heavenly Family during our sojourn here on Earth. Most people think of laughter as a simple response to comedy, or a cathartic mood-lifter. After more than 10 years of research on this little-studied topic, Robert Provine, PhD. concluded that laughter is primarily a social vocalization that binds people together. It does this bonding through the pre-learned heavenly order of humor and sacred play. True and pure laughter is an energetic ripple that runs through and cleanses the DNA strands. Were they to remain filthy the very links of our own DNA would pull us down to hell like the chain which the Devil is seen holding in Moses 7:26.

“…and he had a great chain in his hand, and it veiled the whole face of the earth with darkness; and he looked up and laughed, and his angels rejoiced.”

Cachinnation’ is a word that long ago fell out of use. It means “loud laughter”. It comes from Latin ‘cachinnationem’ – “violent laughter, excessive laughter,” a noun of action from the past participle stem of ‘cachinnare’ – “to laugh immoderately or loudly.” The word is of imitative origin, meaning it is a type of onomonaepia, a word which imitates the sound of the thing it describes. Its oldest root is in the Sanskrit word for ‘laughs’ –  ‘kakhati,’ from where the English word ‘cackle’ as well as the modern “ha, ha, ha!” ultimately derives. People often laugh using words like “Ha!” or “Hee hee!” Long ago, followers of geloscopy as a divinatory art believed the word you used to laugh revealed part of your personality. People who said “Ha!” when they laughed were considered to be honest but undependable, while people who said “Hee!” were considered to be sad or simpleminded, while people who said “Huu!” were supposed to be untrustworthy. People who said “Ho!” were thought of as brave and generous. That is why “Ho, ho, ho!” is the slogan of Santa Claus and the Jolly Green Giant – both products of the false prophets of a propaganda machine whose intent it is to coax mankind into giving life to the evil spirit of consumerism till it has consumed everything in its path. Remember to watch other people carefully when they laugh. Researchers have found that if a person is really laughing, he will close his eyes for a moment. If a person laughs without closing his eyes, he’s faking it!

Fake or disingenuous laughter is about the worst sound I can think of, yet it is all too common in today’s society. Having been subject to it from the earliest days of our childhood, on T.V. and in person, we are very susceptible to falsehoods. False laughter has the opposite effect of pure laughter. It will firm up the grasp that Satan has on us via that chain of our biological and fallen natures. Whether our laughter enforces or corrects the false traditions of our fathers comes as a revelation as to what we find funny. What we find funny is a revelation as to who is holding onto the other end of that long line of linkage that is our DNA make-up. Whether it is God or Satan in whom we place our trust and honor, either way, laughter can strengthen those bonds. Both Plato and Aristotle were concerned with the power of laughter to undermine authority, however – in the case of defying the general claim of authority that Satan lays to this world – this could be a very useful tactic. Diabolical laughter has the effect of paralyzing which is a type of binding spell. But on the other hand, righteous laughter invites to bind together freely, willfully, in love and cooperation. And this makes laughter by far the best banishing spell one can use when threatened, taunted, or tempted by the devil. So apparently laughter is a two-edged sword, and we will have to view it in the same way that C.S. Lewis, a Pentecostal, explains the phenomenon of glossolalia (the gift of tongues) – as something natural, in some instances pathological, at other times an organ of the Holy Ghost.

LAUGHTER IS LIGHT  article-2356591-1AAB5C62000005DC-930_964x641

If laughter is language, then laughter is light. On the day of Pentecost, not only is the gift of tongues manifest but also tongues of flame above the affected participants in that group gathering. The two major Semitic languages, Arabic and Hebrew, are both said to have been born of flame. John explains the link between language and light when as a special witness he says that “The Word” was with God in the beginning and was God – then goes on to say that “The Word” contained life, and “The Life” he contained was “The Light” in men. This light, we are told, shines in darkness, but the darkness “comprehended it not” (John 1:1-5). The verb ‘comprehend’ comes from the Latin words, ‘com’ – meaning “together, with” and ‘prehendere’ – meaning “to catch hold of, to ignite.”  Thus, to comprehend means literally to catch fire, or to light together with a counterpart. This, the darkness failed to do, at least so far. But as an all-loving, all-wise father, God has his ways to cause capitulation to occur. He may preside above all creation, but he is not above tickling his children till they double up in laughter and confess that they are at his mercy. It is said that the laughter of little ones lights a home. This textual imagery may be more literal than we think.

A phosphene is a phenomenon characterized by the experience of seeing light without light actually entering the eye from any external source. The word ‘phosphene’ comes from the Greek words ‘phos’ (light) and ‘phainein’ (to show). Phosphenes are flashes of light, induced by movement or sound. These are what we see when we say we are “seeing stars”. Deep in our darkest moments the tickling movements of the Hand of God may provoke sudden sounds of laughter from us, which release in turn shows us the light we had stored inside us all along. Such light shows are divine displays that may be enhanced and more fully comprehended through consecrated use of psychedelics in concert with meditative practices and other reverent, but pro-active work within our temporal temples. Laughter can be a very healthy way of releasing the light within us. Giggles possess the power and potential of gigawatts if harnessed properly. Perhaps it is the proper mode of harnessing the latent and sacred spiritual voltage in laughter to which the officiator at the temple altar is referring when he tells LDS patrons to avoid loud laughter. “Loud laughter” in terms of volume would translate to “bright light”. Could it be that we are to avoid the flashy lights of this world, and turn our life’s focus toward true enlightenment, like Carl Jung said, by “making the darkness conscious”? If the light that is in thee be darkness, how great is that darkness! (Matt 6:23, 3 Nephi 13:23) We live in a jail called “Liberty”. The life of a prisoner can wear the spirit down, so to keep our minds sharp and clear, we should do as Joseph wrote to us from the confines of Liberty Jail, in Missouri. If our souls are going to get worn down while on this Prison Planet, let our lives at least not be a waste. Instead of drowning in misery, “we should waste and wear out our lives in bringing to light all the hidden things of darkness, wherein we know them; and they are truly manifest from heaven.” (D&C 123:13)

Laughter can light up our life. Used appropriately it can make us more aware of our surroundings. Used inappropriately it can actually leave us more delirious than ever, unconscious of the truth of our dire situation. Laughter as light may seem a ridiculous concept at first glance. But looking at the science we will see that laughter is much more visual than we Foolish Virgins tend to be aware of. As anyone who has ever laughed at the sight of someone doubled over can attest, laughter is contagious. Since our laughter is under minimal conscious control, it is spontaneous and relatively uncensored. Contagious laughter is a compelling display of homo sapiens, and we are a social mammal. Laughter strips away our veneer of culture ie. the false traditions/creeds of the fathers which have been riveted upon the hearts of the children (D&C 123:7) and challenges the hypothesis that we are in full control of our behavior.

From these synchronized vocal outbursts come flashes of insight into the neurological roots of human social behavior and speech. And from the same area of origin of humankind’s mitochondrial matriarch comes some possible insight into the revolutionary roots of the real Zion movement, and how we might cause it to spread like a contagion of hope from Ethiopia’s outstretched hands to the ends of the earth. Consider the extraordinary 1962 outbreak of contagious laughter in a girls’ boarding school in Tanzania. The first symptoms appeared on January 30, when three girls got the giggles and couldn’t stop laughing. The symptoms quickly spread to 95 students, forcing the school to close on March 18. The girls sent home from the school were vectors for the further spread of the epidemic. Related outbreaks occurred in other schools in Central Africa and spread like wildfire, ceasing two-and-a-half years later and afflicting nearly 1,000 people.

The irresistibility of others’ laughter has its roots in the neurological mechanism of laugh detection. The fact that laughter is contagious raises the intriguing possibility that humans have a neural circuit in the brain that responds exclusively to laughter. Scientists speculate that it may be triggered by auditory means, (similar to the way they think contagious yawning may involve a process in the visual domain), but I feel that there may be more than meets the physical eye in the case of laughter, (and possibly more meets the ear in the case of yawning). Spiritual ears to hear and eyes to see aside, what is clear is that once triggered, the laugh detector activates a laugh generator, a neural circuit that causes us in turn to produce laughter.

But how do we harness the power of the gigglewatt? How do we direct the laughter-laser so that it might work for the good of Zion? The awkwardly obvious answer presents itself in the form of our neighbors, our fellow beings. After all, Dr. Robert Provine’s research concluded that laughter is primarily a social vocalization that binds people together. And his work is corroborated by the findings of Dr. Robin Dunbar, another investigator in the field of geloscopy (the science of laughter). He suggests that social laughter, relaxed and contagious, is like “grooming at a distance,” an activity that fosters closeness in a group the way one-on-one grooming, patting and delousing promote and maintain bonds between individual primates of all sorts. In other words: it is a ritual that cleans our spirit bodies and promotes unity. God’s goals for Zion are achieved through this kind of laughter, not the tyrant’s cackle or the “polite titter” of awkward conversation. When we laugh, we’re often communicating playful intent. So laughter has a bonding function within individuals in a group. It’s often positive, but as we have seen, it can be negatively used as well. There’s a difference between “laughing with” and “laughing at.” People who laugh at others may be trying to force them to conform or casting them out of the group. Zion is Heaven on Earth, Zion is inclusive, not exclusive. If we want to establish Zion, one thing is for sure: we need each other.

For the Word to be made flesh it is necessary for the Light and the Dark to comprehend, or activate and discharge in harmony with, one another. Light made material manifests in many hues. Hue-manity is just that – the many hues of mankind in the flesh. For Mormons, the gathering of the 12 Tribes of Israel is a necessary precursor to the establishment of Zion and the return of Christ. In color theory there is a family of only 12 Original Hues, the purest and brightest, which form the basis for all the Many Colors which decorate the Coats of Man. White is not one of them, and neither is black. But there is no such thing as a truly black person or a truly white person. These are only general expressions which do not come close to describing the endlessly nuanced beauty and variety within the Hue-Man race.

color wheel

Hue is a physically perceptible product of the dominant wavelength of light as it “shineth in darkness.” White Light can only be produced by combining all twelve tribes in spirit. What does the combining or gathering of the Twelve Tribes look like on a literal level? Black is the Color resulting on a physical level from an equal combination of all the 12 Tribes. The concept of one perfect pigmentation is a lie, and those who view themselves and others in terms of a gradient of glory somehow determined by pigment wallow in a pigmentality. To admire one look above another is to add mire to the trough of racist thought which causes God’s black and white pearls alike to go unnoticed and unappreciated by swine and by their very selves. The only thing that will finally end this war between tints and shades is a mixing of the Twelve Tribes, which does not make an end of either side but simply ‘tones’ down the tension by adding both black and white.

When only white paint is added to a mixture it produces what we call pastel colors. ‘Pastel’ is derived from Italian ‘pastello’ – a word that means “material reduced to a paste” and is a diminutive form of the word ‘pasta’. A person who has a very light skin tone may be described as “pasty” and likely comes from multiple gene-rations of people who have subsisted off of a grain-based diet. (In Cain & Abel, Die-It & Diet, I cover the connections between the Mark of Cain and the grain-based diet) So-called white people live in a culture which in modern times has developed a serious addiction to sweetness. They pride themselves on their knowledge of good and evil obtained from years of rigorous scientific taste-testing of that forbidden fruit while seeking for a way to isolate and separate the bitter from the sweet.  Their “pasty” European forefathers advanced the art of “pastry” with their nutrient-low, bleached flour that tries to pass itself off as “enriched,” aristocratic, and enlightened even. Glazed over in icing, their collective voice clearly and coldly says: “Let them eat cake!” And masses of modern mankind are born sugar addicts under this white supremacy. The sugar, they claim, is “refined”. Granulated or Powdered, Crack or pure Cocaine; it has the same physiological affects, only on a much more subtle and devilishly delicious level.

The elements of art and design provide us with an excellent likeness of our cultural identity. Art can therefore help us dissect our own heads and heart to analyze and hopefully overcome the faulty phrenology of our schizoid social constructs and our relish for pseudo-sciences that segregate rather than integrate the spirit with the flesh, man with his fellow man, and mankind with their God. Within the context of art, we see the fraternal feeling makes itself known with bold strokes that strew the surreal landscape of a soft sororal sentiment with quasi pornographic classical Greek torsos and bloody foot prints leading away from abandoned pedestals where lesbian ladies of liberties once stood. It may not be a pretty picture, but seeing the canvas dripping with our true hues – blood red, washed out whites, and deep delta blues; allows us to come to terms with this Guernica of a dying Age of the Gentiles. Look upon it!

24 And when that day shall come, shall a remnant be scattered among all nations;

25 But they shall be gathered again; but they shall remain until the times of the Gentiles be fulfilled.

26 And in that day shall be heard of wars and rumors of wars, and the whole earth shall be in commotion, and men’s hearts shall fail them, and they shall say that Christ delayeth his coming until the end of the earth.

27 And the love of men shall wax cold, and iniquity (inequity) shall abound.

28 And when the times of the Gentiles is come in, a light shall break forth among them that sit in darkness, and it shall be the fullness of my gospel;

29 But they receive it not; for they perceive not the light, and they turn their hearts from me because of the precepts of men.

30 And in that generation shall the times of the Gentiles be fulfilled.

31 And there shall be men standing in that generation, that shall not pass until they shall see an overflowing scourge; for a desolating sickness shall cover the land.

32 But my disciples shall stand in holy places, and shall not be moved; but among the wicked, men shall lift up their voices and curse God and die.

33 And there shall be earthquakes also in divers places, and many desolations; yet men will harden their hearts against me, and they will take up the sword, one against another, and they will kill one another.

D&C 45:24-33

The Devil is laughing loudly indeed as the Time of the Gentiles nears its inglorious end, but most do not seem to hear him. They are too busy laughing loudly themselves, mocking others from within that great and spacious building which has been condemned and is slated for destruction. Their laughter is Lucifer’s laughter. Among those who do hear it, many find themselves petrified with fear. They fail to realize that, just as in the movies, if the villain is “monologuing” it only means that he has not yet done what he says he will do. As the enemy gloats over his successes to this point, the real heroes always take the opportunity to act and change their fate at the last minute. We can overcome the Evil One and be Saviors on Mount Zion if we will but pull ourselves together – first individually, then collectively. To this end, we have at our disposal the underrated but valuable bonding agent of pure laughter. Long has laughter been used as a weapon in the hands of the wicked. And no doubt we will be laughed to scorn like the Sons of Mosiah should we seriously propose unification as those brave souls sought with their dark-skinned Lamanite brethren despite the ridicule of their fair-skinned Nephite brethren at Zarahemla (Alma 26:23). But, as promised by Jesus, we will surely have the last laugh.

HUE-MOORING HUE-MANITY

All these scattered points of light need not be lost to the New World Order. We shall use the pure laughter of children as hue-moorings with which the 12 Hues of Israel in the House of Israel may draw themselves in from the ocean of emotion and anchor themselves to the land. It may sound like some corny line from a Care Bear cartoon, but truly, laughter links us together by building rainbow bridges. We have to be hue-moored with this rainbow-rigging – spirit bodies to mortal bodies, and one to another in a Zion network. Rainbows show up frequently in folk traditions from Yoruban to Celtic, from Taiwanese to Nordic, as the bridge we must pass to reach together with our ancestors the perfect world of the New Earth. We need no more rearranged orders of this world, always doing “that which has been done in other worlds.” We want the New Heaven and New Earth that the New World could never give us. The “rainbow connection” between body and soul, ka and ba, is welded tight with an arc of light. Luminous laughter can send an electrical connection surging up through our kabod.  The medium, by which the gap is bridged between dense darkened bodies of dirt and dazzling bodies of light, is water from the emotional body. That is the way of the ancients whereby the perishable will clothe itself with the imperishable, and the mortal with immortality as per 1 Corinthians 15:53. Through mystical mists of emotion a person’s aura can be seen to adorn him or her like a “coat of many colors”. But it takes both sunshine and rain to make a rainbow. The rain is our emotion, the sunshine our eternal spirit.

Plutchik-wheel.svg

The appropriately named Japanese energy scholar, Dr. Emoto showed through his experiments how human emotion has an effect on the molecular structure of water. His work specifically illustrates the energetic link between light and sound through language, and the role that water plays as a resonance retainer for any energy emoted at it. It should be understood that E-motion is nothing more or less than energy in motion. Laughter, being essentially erratic displacement of air, can bubble or burst through the watery current of emotion and affect its flow and direction. It can let the world in, or it can let Zion out. The fluidity of emotion makes it a difficult thing to map but that has not stopped many from trying. Theorists have come up with both somatic and mental models for attempting to locate the causation of emotion. But emotion washes over both body and mind and does not originate nor meet an end with either side. It is not easily managed by either side, neither is it unidirectional. E-motion is simply energy in motion and it is meant to flow like water. Positive and negative energy waves push and tug at the body, upwards of 70% of which is composed of water.

Like any body of water, the emotive body can become polluted with debris lodged in it. These emotional contaminants block energy from flowing smoothly and are felt as concomitants accompanying unpleasant emotion. In reality the movement of energy is neither good nor bad, but changes in bodily sensations can greatly alter our initial perception and experienced intensity of E-motion. Biofeedback between the brain and the rest of the body is all that can be tracked or explained by neuroscientists, but the cortex is only a middle-man (Dr. of chemistry Francoise Tibika likens it to a traffic cop) that can either function as a dam or an open gate for the constant tide of energy-motion forever flooding to and from mind and matter. In the case of laughter, which is generally associated with positive energy flow, the mind can unfortunately play the role of a party-pooper, or an outright tyrant. Mindful cherubim may see themselves as honorable life-guards along Life’s Beach who keep vigilant watch and prevent us from drowning in emotion, when in fact they are blocking the pearly gates and barring entrance into the Kingdom just like Jesus accused the Scribes and Pharisees, religious leaders in his day of doing. Sometimes we have to do as Brigham Young taught in his quote which is still repeated today at the veil in LDS temples. That is, we must slip past the “angels who stand as sentinels there” and dive in with joy and laughter. You will recall that the research reveals we only laugh during pauses when we might typically cough or breathe. Is it the laughter which threatens to drown us, or the stifling, and choking back of emotion that poses the real danger to our souls?

In the LDS temple endowment session we are admonished to avoid “lightmindedness” lest we judge lightly the things of the Lord. But that directive in no way ought to interfere with Christ’s command to “be of good cheer”. Lightheartedness should never be prohibited, for it is according to our hearts that we are judged at the pleading bar, as depicted on ancient temple walls. Those whose hearts are as light as a feather are granted entrance to the Kingdom of Heaven, those who’s hearts exceed that weight are judged too heavy for the Land of the Light. Laughs are like gasps for fresh air – the spirit of freedom – which fill our lungs and our heart with love and light that then shoots out to surrounding brothers and sisters like so many delightful sparks.

From a purely physical standpoint, hue-man laughter evolved from the panting behavior of our ancient primate ancestors. Apes laugh with a panting sound in the same conditions in which human laughter is produced, like tickle, rough and tumble play, and chasing games. From a spiritual standpoint, the laughter of hue-mans is capable of lighting the sky like fire-works. Light laughter is like a safety flare that can attract good spirits to our aid and ward off evil spirits. Remember I said laughter was an excellent banishing spell, and laughter coupled with colorful light is even better. Many are familiar with Holi, the Hindu springtime festival also known as festival of colors, but not many may be familiar with its origins. Holi celebrations start with a Holika bonfire on the night before Holi where people gather, sing and dance. The next morning is a free-for-all carnival of colors,where everyone chases and plays with each other, throwing brightly colored powder and colored water. One of the chief scriptural bases for this ancient celebration comes from a story in the Bhavishyottara Purana.

25VZMPHOLI_34502f

The legend says that there once was a good king named Raghu who was endowed with all good qualities, a kind speaker, and deep read in the Vedas. He treated his subjects as if they were his own children and during his reign there was neither famine, nor sickness, nor any iniquity, nor departure from the precepts of religion. So the man was a perfect picture of the LDS temple initiate who strives to live up to every covenant made within those hallowed walls, supposing he knows what it is to truly be of a regal caste. But despite his exceeding righteousness, one day a female demon appeared and started terrorizing the people, especially the little children of his kingdom. The demon could not be driven out by charmed bracelets, or magic garments; not even with water, olive oil, or by holy home teachers skilful in exorcisms. When the report came from the people to King Raghu, he consulted the Muni Narada. Narada replied:

“I will tell you by what means the fiend is to be destroyed. This day is the fifteenth of the light fortnight of Phalguna; the cold season has departed, the warm weather will commence with dawn. Let the people, freed from terror, laugh and sport; let the children go forth rejoicing, like soldiers delighted to go to battle, equipped with wooden swords. Let also a pile of dry wood and stones be prepared, and let it be lighted according to rule, while incantations are recited destructive of wicked fiends. Then let the people, fearless, thrice circumambulate the fire, exclaiming, ‘Kila, kila!’ (Flame, flame!) and clapping their hands. And let them sing and laugh, and let every one utter, without fear, whatever comes into his mind. In various ways and in their own speech, let them freely indulge their tongues, and sing and sing again a thousand times, whatever songs they will. Appalled by those vociferations, by the oblation to fire, and by the attahasa (loud laughter) of the children, that wicked Rakshasi shall be destroyed, and thenceforth the festival of the Holika shall be renowned among mankind.”

HOLI_IN_INDIA_-_ENJOYED_BY_ALL

In Sanskrit ‘hasa’ means laughter, ‘atta’ means loud…‘attatta’ means very loud. So perhaps only ‘attattahasa’ – very loud laughter – was to be avoided in ancient times. Or perhaps more likely the moral of the story is that: even loud laughter has its appropriate time and place. Superstition and false traditions will over time attract and even create devastating demons which can be difficult to root out using the same religious dogma and social order that attributed to their being in the first place. The Church would have us guard against every unholy and impure practice. But while we are attending to all the do’s and don’ts, administering in complete righteousness like King Raghu, and avoiding the appearance of evil, then evil itself will sneak in and reek havoc – particularly among our poor children. I include this story, not only because of the striking use of the word ‘attahasa’ meaning “loud laughter,” plus various other more subtle parallels to Mormon culture, but to call attention to the observance of and credence given superstitions in the broader context of our cherished Christ-Shun cult-sure.

Attahasa is somewhat commonly used in India as a boy’s name as it is another name for Lord Shiva in Hindu religion. But of course, a good Christian must assume that Lord Shiva is the name of a pagan god, and possibly even one of the many titles of the Devil himself. There was a group of religious fanatics circulating a rumor recently on the internet; that when one types the letters ‘L-O-L’ they are really typing “Lucifer Our Lord” and thus unconsciously evoking the Lord of Darkness. Most people of course considered the idea humorous and took it and ran with it as a joke. I do not think that usage of this common communication trend is tantamount to summoning Satan. But like many things in the drama of life, while the practice may not be insidious, there is a comedic side, as well as a tragic side to it.

NO LAUGHING MATTER

The acronym LOL stands for “Laughing Out Loud” and is used online or in text messages to express the feeling or at least the idea of amusement. While thousands of people are prone to use this internet slang item multiple times weekly or even daily, of the countless occasions where one might type ‘LOL’ only a small number of those occasions are likely to actually involve any real laughter escaping the vocal cords. The initialism has crept into even our face to face speech in this spiritually dull digital age which is chock full of meaningless exchange. Is feeling going to become completely taken over by banality? If the Christian fanatics were right, then the irony for LDS would be that Lucifer actually helped them to stay true to their temple covenant not only to avoid loud laughter but to virtually avoid laughter altogether. LOL! Even though Jesus in the Book of Mormon explicitly states that anything more or less than his simple doctrine of believing on his name, repenting, and being baptized, comes of evil, still, going above and beyond is what Latter-Day Stains excel at as members of the broader scheme of Christ-Shun culture. Laughing in silence is just another extreme, every bit as unholy and unhealthy as laughing too loudly.

While these matters of silly superstition are surely to be laughed at with lighthearted laughter, I would hope we might simultaneously take the opportunity to reflect with a sober mind on the deterioration in the quality of feeling among men in today’s world. This deteri-oration is a detour-oration, an onslaught of empty speech steering us away from our hearts and our emotions. The coldest, longest emotional winter is setting in upon us with each passing year. It may be felt more harshly in some places than others but it is, on the spiritual plane, a bona fide ice age that calls for the ritual igniting of bonfires, bond-fires to ensure the survival of the huddling hue-man race. These cold days upon us have been prophesied for many centuries now. In Christian scripture it is known by the general title of the Last Days. Mormon scripture more specifically calls it the End of the Time of the Gentiles. And Old Norse prophecy gives it the name of Ragnarok – Final Fate of the Gods of the Nordic Peoples. All of these speak of the love of man “waxing cold.” In the Poetic Edda poem Völuspá goes into gory detail and tells us that:

“Brothers will fight and kill each other, sisters’ children will defile kinship. It is harsh in the world, whoredom rife – an axe age, a sword age – shields are riven – a wind age, a wolf age – before the world goes headlong. No man will have mercy on another.”

Stanza 46 of the same Scandinavian scripture states that the “Sons of Mím” are “at play” while “fate burns”. Though no further information about these “sons” has survived we can understand the reference to mean those mortals whose personalities correspond to the symbolic attributes of that god. Mímir is Old Norse for the “The Rememberer”. Mimir’s head is stuffed with knowledge, for which he is renowned and sought after. But, he ends up loosing his head, literally, in a battle; after which Odin carries it around with him and it recites secret knowledge to him whenever he seeks counsel. When the individual becomes enamored with the knowledge he amasses and the intellect he dispenses, then the head can easily become severed from the rest of the body. The “Sons of Mím” are the intelligentsia of our day. Whether they are the college educated fools, the YouTubeversity graduates, or the intelligence gathering NSA, and CIA agents on the other end – The Book of Mormon slams them all saying:

“When they are learned they think they are wise…their wisdom is foolishness and it profiteth them not. And they shall perish.” (2 Nephi 9:28)

Nephi’s doomsday prophecy often goes overlooked as simply hyperbole by the Mormon “Sons of Mím” who function in life as headless bodies, and who serve as bodyless heads in various Church and State positions. When Nephi tells them that “it profiteth them not” they know very well that he is not speaking of profit in the sense of money. But their heads are so immersed in the world of business, and so anxiously engaged, gainfully employed in the world of business that there there develops a detri-mental disconnect between so-called religious life and so-called real life. Neither realm is real in this derangement. For most Mímirs of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints either their dismembered body is “at play” while the head is “at work” or their haughty heads are play while their bodies slave away. Nephi continues in verses 29 and 30…

“To be learned is good if they hearken unto the counsels of God. But wo unto the rich, who are rich as to the things of the world.”

Some may think it is unfair and even inaccurate to make a particular case for these things against the LDS people, however there is undeniable corollary. When Nephi says: “Wo unto him that has the law given, yea, that has all the commandments of God, like unto us” (2 Nephi 9:27), when Nephi says: “Wo unto the rich, who are rich as to the things of the world” he is specifically addressing the LDS who are rich as to things of the world, not anyone else. If God arranges for your voice to cry from the dust through the words of a book entitled with the name of Mormon, then it is because your message is especially for Mormons. Mormons have for many years been numbered among the rich and today they are even to be found in no small representation among the elite ranks of the super-rich. And, contrary to Zeezrom Daft Benson’s eleventh point in his 14 Fun-dumb-mentals for Following the Profit, we’re not talking about ex-mormons or even inactive members here. The rich and super-rich LDS are our very own Snake Presidents and Area Fauxthorities. 3 Nephi 6:12 further establishes the connection between the learned and the rich. It says that:

“The people began to be distinguished by ranks, according to their riches and their chances for learning; yea, some were ignorant because of their poverty, and others did receive great learning because of their riches.”

So a societal portrait of the false god Mím begins to emerge with the working class as his body and the educated elite as the talking head. This specifically applies to Mormondom because from Brigham Young to Gordon B. Hinckley the Mormon people have placed a very high value on receiving a college education. Hinckley expressed it most succinctly when he said:

“The world will in large measure pay you what it thinks you are worth, and your worth will increase as you gain education and proficiency in your chosen field.”

Hinckley knew that we the people are classified by ranks, according to their riches and their chances for learning, just like the Nephites were only a few chapters before the pending destructions, and he honored that dishonest social order. He established the Perpetual Education Fund and in so doing, he put the money where the mouth is, where the hungry head and the mouth of Mím is. Hinckley’s Perpetual Debt-U-Cation Fund is undeniably poised to feed the rich while offering better training to the poor as their servants. In 1964 the Church established the Benemerito school in Mexico. In 1999 Church News referred to it as the “BYU of Mexico”. But by 2013, just over a decade after the PEF had been founded, the Church decided to discontinue the education of all the students of Benemerito to convert the facility into what the Church Office had determined to be the more lucrative venture of another missionary training center. What Hinckley meant when he said:

“You belong to a church that teaches the importance of education.”

was more explicitly expounded by J. Craig McIlroy as president of the BYU Alumni Association in his commencement address given to graduates on April 26, 2007. He prefaced the main body of his remarks with these words:

“Might I suggest that you consider wealth creation as a commodity made up of financial, human, and intellectual capital. Business people know that they must spend 70 to 80 percent of their time growing assets. In families, growing the human and intellectual assets is often overlooked. The members in the family are the human capital.”

Then McIlroy referenced the founder of the secret combination known as the Illuminati:

“Mayer Amschel Rothschild understood that two important elements of a family’s wealth are its human and intellectual capital. He saw to it that all family members were well educated and that they worked. He also provided specialized mentorship opportunities as his sons entered the workforce.

Like the Rothschild children, you have been given a figurative loan, if you will, in the form of a financial subsidy of your tuition by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. You represent the human and intellectual capital of your own families and, in a broader sense, of the Church.”

Hinckley himself was in attendance when these words were spoken, along with Vice President Dick Cheney. The presence of the Profit of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints at that commencement ceremony, his actions while there, as also his inaction, speak volumes, and voluminously. In short it said:

“You BELONG to a CHURCH that teaches the impotence of education.”

It is all a big joke. It’s okay to laugh. They are certainly laughing at you, and LOUDLY!

All of this ties in strongly with Ragnarok – The Final Fate of the Gods of the Nordic Peoples in many ways. Firstly, the Gods of the Nordic Peoples are just that, they are the Gods of Nordic people. They could be land and riches, or whatever else people of Nordic descent idolize. They could be the various names of the Old Norse pantheon, Odin, or Thor, or Mím (who we have discussed in detail here). But most importantly, they are the Nordic people themselves. We all have our heavenly counterparts dwelling in dimensions high above us. Something similar to the basic plot for the 2012 film, Upside Down – they live an existence of relative luxury while we struggle to survive here below in the lone and dreary physical world. For now we, like the characters in that movie who were inhabitants of “Down Below”, scavenge for bits of “inverted matter” from that better world overhead to warm our furnaces during the dead of winter.

upside down

The Bible foretells the day when Heaven and Earth will be rolled together as a scroll. It says that the stars will fall as they are shook from the sky. Literally this will come about as a result of a reversal of the Earth’s poles. Inter-dimensionally and spiritually speaking, this means that the hosts of Heaven will have to come down from their high places. If there are spiritual powers of wickedness in high places as Paul warned, and we do not struggle against them, then those forces will take us over as they fold into us, their mortal counterparts here below. I’ve written of the Lorentzian Manifold in What Makes the Book of Mormon a L.I.T.M.U.S. Test? pt. 2, and in We Are The Weather about the pole shift set to occur for this planet. Eurocentric interpretations of verses describing the Lost Tribes of Israel as returning from the “Countries of the North” will be shook. Even those few LDS who hold that Inner Earth beings resembling Nordic Gods will come to the rescue may want to do as Isaiah says and consider that which they have not heard (Isaiah 52:15). They can start with considering what ancient Norse prophecies like the tale of Ragnarok have to say about these matters.

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The world tree Yggdrasil shudders and groans. The gnomes groan by the stone doors which are entrances to their inner earth dwellings. Rocky cliffs open and the Jötunn women sink. All this may seem like very strange and foreign imagery, but a side by side comparison between the legend of Ragnarok and Christian/Mormon scripture and even modern American news documents should serve to clarify. First of all, Yggdrasil is the World Tree of Norse mythology. In What Makes the Book of Mormon a L.I.T.M.U.S. Test? pt. 2, I make mention of the simple and universal concept of the Axis Mundi, and I endeavor to emphasize that this fractal fact applies not only to the planet but to individual people too. When the Old Norse legends tell us that the World Tree will shudder and groan, they are testifying to the same truth that the apostle Paul spoke upon in Romans 8. For, said he:

“I reckon that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us.

For the earnest expectation of the creature waiteth for the manifestation of the sons of God.

For we know that the Earth and all creation groaneth and travaileth in pain together until now.

And not only they, but ourselves also, which have the firstfruits of the Spirit, even we ourselves groan within ourselves, waiting for the adoption, to wit, the redemption of our body.

Likewise the Spirit also helpeth our infirmities: for we know not what we should pray for as we ought: but the Spirit itself maketh intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered.”

Crying and Laughing are parts of that vibratory language which can not be uttered with words. These actions cause our sides to shake and our personal axis to align with the Spiritual North. This allows for smooth assimilation of the spirit body which is, esoterically speaking, the Nordic Man. Until perfect alignment is achieved, there is an unequal distribution of power between the world of the Fathers and that of the Children. The prophet Elijah was sent to remedy this injustice, and set things straight. Perhaps you will recall that the prophet Elijah laughed loudly in the faces of those priests of Baal when, in a showdown against the God of Israel, they failed to produce fire with which to light the sacrificial altar. We have apparently forgotten the power of the One God, and have subscribed to dumb idols who deny us that heavenly flame we all need. Under these present circumstances, as it says in D&C 123:7…

“The whole earth groans under the weight of its iniquity.”

Gnomes are also heard to groan at the onset of Ragnarok. There are good and bad gnomes. Gnomes are creatures which hide treasures deep in the Earth, either by placing them there, or by preventing those treasures naturally contained within Her from surfacing to see the light of day. They work in huge underground halls, away from the eyes of the world, but very much affecting events upon the face of the earth on a geological plus geopolitical scale. Many major cities have underground catacombs and some of these are very extensive and elaborate. There is a subterranean network of halls and rooms known to exist underneath the streets of Salt Lake City. It is also no secret that the Church has immense cavernous vaults in the mountains where they hide many treasures.

And speaking of mountainous country, according to the Norse eschatology, rocky cliffs are to open and the Jötunn (pronounced Yotun) women will sink. The Jötnar are a race of frosty, gluttonous, man-eating giants who live in Jötunheim. But why would their women specifically take such a hard fall during this apocalyptic scene? I believe that one reason has to do with the schemes of the Evil One in these last days which are specifically targeted at young women. The strange sounding name of the World Tree in Norse Mythology – Yggdrasil – may hold the answer to the mystery. Though its etymology is disputed, its pronunciation is indubitably known to be – ɪɡdrəsɪl. Without removing or adding any letters to the word, and by reversing the sequence of the first two letters, then flipping the third and fourth around, we get – ɡɪrdəsɪl – nearly an exact phonetic match for “Gardasil”, the Merck manufactured vaccine against HPV, the cancer-causing human papilloma virus. Gardasil received FDA approval in the summer of 2006, and by 2008 had been accepted in 41 states of the U.S. The vaccine garnered a great deal of controversy from the start. It was thought to be the cause of many cases of illness and several deaths even when it was first released and marketed for females ages 9 to 26. Since that time it has been shown to damage young girls’ ovaries to the point of being rendered useless, and causing premature menopause.

Within the first two years after the vaccine was introduced, the federal Vaccine Adverse Events Reporting System, run by the FDA and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, collected 8,000 reports of problems after Gardasil shots, including paralysis, seizures and miscarriages. Earlier this month, national talk show host Katie Couric featured a woman on daytime TV who was the mother of the first girl whose life was claimed by this vile vaccine. Jessica Ericzon, 17, collapsed dead in her bathroom on Feb. 22, 2008. On the advice of her family doctor, Jessie had taken a series of three Gardasil shots. jessySeeing such uncanny parallels between Yggdrasil and Gardasil, it is chilling to note that the blond-haired, blue-eyed honors student bore the most famous and common Scandinavian surname of all time. And even more eerie is the fact that she died on Feb. 22nd, the last day of the feast of Jolablot, the third of a series of tri-annual feasts celebrated by the Vikings. This is also the date when experts in Norse mythology estimate that Ragnarok will begin. The first two feasts of the Viking calendar – Sigrblot and Vetrarblot – happen to coincide with the summer season and harvest time. Jessica Ericzon got the first injection in July 2007 followed by her second shot in September.  Her mother, Lisa, said she complained of a pain in the back of her head which would subside after some time, but grew progressively worse with each injection.

In Utah, the controversy over Gardasil takes on very Mormon moralistic overtones which aren’t always distinctly addressed by members of the medical establishment poised to make decisions related to the issue. Utah’s Southwest Health Department says Gardasil is too expensive and questions its effectiveness while the Utah Scientific Immunization Advisory Committee pushes for its implementation state-wide. However, the generally conservative public does not particularly like the idea of issuing a vaccine designed to counter sexually transmitted disease to girls so young. They fear that it might reflect poorly on their morals. But this defense does not truly have the young women of Utah’s best interest in mind or at heart, nor does it truly provide for their safety and well-being. The LDS people are very open to the idea of vaccines as they are led by men who laud the so-called modern miracle of western medicine. As soon as the cunning doctors of death can find a presentation for their poison more in keeping with the people’s Victorian ideals, they will administer it and the Utahn/Jötunn women of the land in the mountains will fall.

gardasil

Descendants of Scandinavians settled in the United States during the 19th and 20th centuries. There are about 2 million Americans of Danish descent. Like other groups of Americans of Scandinavian descent, many of them are Lutherans. However, they contrast with Norwegian and Swedish Americans in that a large percentage of them are Mormon converts who settled in Utah and southeastern Idaho. Early Mormon missionaries were particularly successful in Denmark, but there are also many families in Utah with Swedish ancestry. Nordic blood runs through the veins of many Utahns. What might be the effects when the blood of the slain Norse gods runs through their vain brains in the form of false traditions passed down from their fathers? Shall all of their “work for their dead” in Valhalla, the Hall of the Slain, amount to nothing more than “dead works” in defiled temples when their false gods finally die?

asgard temple of doom

In 2010, former member of the 3rd Quorum of the Seventy, Elder Hans Mattsson and his wife Birgitta made news when they came forward and expressed serious doubts and dismay about the history of the Church and how it has handled faithful and honest members who have questions. Many Swedish Mormons including a stake president then also opened up about their feelings and formed a group to discuss the faith crisis they were facing. This group seriously alarmed Salt Lake and a special “emergency” fireside was held for local leaders. Church historian Elder Marlin Jensen and his assistant Elder Richard Turley were sent from Salt Lake to Stockholm to attend the meeting and deal with the “problem”. It can not be denied that major stirrings are awakening many of the Scandinavian people. Whether they are stirred up to anger or to spiritual strength and liberty remains to be seen.

Vikings believed that as a prelude to the Ragnarok apocalypse, three freezing winters would follow each other with no summers in between. In The Thermodynamics and Eternodynamics of Desire – Continued, I touch on the elementary connection between temperature and time. In We Are The Weather pts. 1 & 2, I try to explain the spiritual, multigenerational and multidimensional facets of weather phenomena. Time cycles and weather patterns mirror each other, and can offer clues to those who know what to look for. Last year Utah experienced its coldest winter temperatures since 1978. Now as winter sets in again official statements from Salt Lake echo that time when the Church altered its policy on priesthood regarding non Caucasian males. Of course the Saltican city is only trying to keep in step with the Vatican city as they vie for publi-city. Their statements do not represent repentance in the present and therefore have no effect on the past. As for the future, the forecast looks grim.

What bitter winds blow from Angel Moroni’s horn? And do they portend a similar fate for European emigrants as that signaled by the blowing of the mythical Gjallerhorn said to herald the approach of Ragnarok? Solar activity as recorded by astronomers has entered a period of freefall, always a precursor to a cooling cycle, and scientists say 2014 could be the harbinger of a mini or even a full-scale ice age. Europe’s Little Ice Age was a period of cooling that took place between 1550 and 1850 AD. It brought about catastrophic consequences for peoples all across the European continent but was most drastic for the Vikings who suffered much death and total loss of their holdings in Greenland. Today people may not think that they are as susceptible to death and disease due to changes in the weather, but despite our modern lifestyle, the environment still has a way of adversely affecting our health by stealth.

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In some accounts of Ragnarok it is foretold that: the soil and the sky will be stained with poison. As the spirits of deceased warriors gather on the ethereal battlefield, we see the militaristic and industrial forces of mortal men take to the sky in planes spilling mass amounts of poison which affects and infects not only the air quality but also the soil. Swedish parliamentarian Pernilla Hagberg has stood up and voiced growing concern over chemtrails on behalf of her constituents. She personally vows to do all she can to put a stop to the spraying of tiny particles of aluminum and barium chaff in the skies over Sweden. The U.S. military admits that “cloud seeding” as they call it has been going on since the late 90s. The expanding program was launched with the purpose of creating “clouds of microscopic computer particle all communicating with each other to form an intelligent fog that could be used for various purposes” according to a research paper produced for the U.S. Air Force. As chemtrails rapidly grow ever more prevalent in the skies over Utah, the Mormon people below would do well to review their scriptures and read in Mosiah 7:30 where the Lord says:

“If my people shall sow filthiness they shall reap the chaff thereof in the whirlwind; and the effect thereof is poison.”

Norse legend and Chrisian lore both tell us that an angel in heaven shall sound the trump. The sons of Odin are called to the battlefield, the whole of earth and creation anxiously awaits the manifestation of the sons of God. Apocalypse simply means revelation, and that which is to be revealed is our own future form. John 3:1-2 reminds us….

“Behold, what manner of love the Father hath bestowed upon us, that we should be called the sons of God: therefore the world knoweth us not, because it knew him not.

Beloved, now are we the sons of God, and it doth not yet appear what we shall be: but we know that, when he shall appear, we shall be like him; for we shall see him as he is.”

After the gloom and doom comes light and life! After the death of the Norse gods, after the Time of the Gentiles is finished, then a new and glorious earth will emerge.

THE SIDE (SPLITTING) EFFECTS OF LAUGHTER

Yes, Zion will E-merge, but before the new Heaven-N-Earth energy merge is possible, the world will be submerged in cataclysm, and all worldly creatures will be divided by multiple schisms. Mankind will be split into various opposing sides. Laughter plays a significant role in this societal side-splitting. This should be no surprise after examining its dual nature as a tool for simultaneous connectivity and corrosiveness. The charge to avoid loud laughter should make us aware of the powerful electromagnetic charge inherent in laughter. And with a basic understanding of electromagnetic principles we ought to recognize its potential for repelling as well as attracting, energizing as well as zapping. If we would tap into laughter’s healing properties and potential we have to be aware of the delicate nature of this spiritual technique.

Laughter is an energetic activity that raises our heart rate and blood pressure, but these physiological effects are incompletely documented and their medicinal benefits are even less certain. Lennart Levi, of the Karolinska Institute in Stockholm, reported that comedy activates the body’s “fight or flight” system, increasing catecholamine levels in urine, a measure of activation and stress. Lee Berk, DHSc, of the Loma Linda School of Medicine, countered with a widely cited study that reported that laughter reduced catecholamines and other hormonal measures of sympathetic activation. This reduction in stress and associated hormones is the mechanism through which laughter is presumed to enhance immune function. Unfortunately, Berk’s studies show at best a biological response to comedy. His reports included only five experimental subjects, never stated whether those subjects actually laughed, and were presented in only three brief abstracts. Does a sense of humor or a lighthearted personality add years to your life? Not necessarily.

A large-scale study by Howard Friedman, Ph.D., professor of psychology at the University of California at Riverside, found optimism and sense of humor in childhood to be inversely related to longevity. This may be because people with untempered optimism indulge in risk-taking, not so much believing, but thinking that the system of slavery we live under in this present physical reality will somehow not affect them adversely. And ultimately, not loving and valuing their souls enough because of long-term abuse, they do not care if their brash rebellious reaction does effectively free them or not. Of course the parable of the talents, if anything, teaches us that risk taking is crucial. But to indulge in untempored emotion is not in line with the scriptures which warn us to bridle our passions so that that they can be to us, tempered tools with which to build Zion. The warning against defiling one’s garments with “untempored mortar” was very prevalent in freemasonic teachings during the early part of the nineteenth century in the United States, and this provides a very accurate analogy and important lesson in regards to “loud laughter”. It is not good for building, and certainly not fit for building the type of familial bonds necessary to sustain Zion.

Pain reduction is one of laughter’s promising applications. Rosemary Cogan, Ph.D., a professor of psychology at Texas Tech University, found that subjects who laughed at a Lily Tomlin video or underwent a relaxation procedure tolerated more discomfort than other subjects. Humor may help temper intense pain. James Rotton, Ph.D., of Florida International University, reported that orthopedic surgery patients who watched comedic videos requested fewer aspirin and tranquilizers than the group that viewed dramas. Humor may also help us cope with stress. In a study by Michelle Newman, Ph.D., an assistant professor of psychology at Penn State University, subjects viewed a film about three grisly accidents and had to narrate it either in a humorous or serious style. Those who used the humorous tone had the lowest negative affect and tension. A problem with these studies is that none of them separate the effects of laughter from those of humor. None allow for the possibility that presumed effects of laughter or humor may come from the playful settings associated with these behaviors. And none evaluate the uniqueness of laughter by contrasting it with other vocalizations like shouting.

Loud laughter, similar to copious amounts of alcohol, might drown out pain entirely, in which case we are sure to miss the pricking effects of the Holy Spirit upon our soul. Loud Laughter could well be classified as laughter which solidifies a lie, rather than gently helping us cope with reality while we work to change it for the better. Laughter was developed in our species as it was adopted from heavenly helpers for beneficial bonding between brothers and sisters. It is not to be used as a drug. Yet this has become its primary usage in today’s society. The larger the group gathering these days, the louder the laughter – and we are not speaking in terms of mere volume. The more recreational our bouts of laughter, the less reconciliatory it becomes in its effects. A purely wreck-creation-all approach to laughter, like most of modern medicine, often ignores the side(splitting)effects. It only re-creates a false atmosphere of comradery by forcibly inducing mass release of endorphins. If we use comedy as a pill to mask the symptoms of social ills, then, like an anti-depressant with a 99% success rate, 1% of the time the built-up depression will suddenly erupt from the unconscious mind in violent fits as we have seen with the alarming, and growing frequency of infanticide and suicide in the U.S. lately, where a very high percentage of cases involve some kind of anti-depressant medication.

Mass media promotes laughter as medicine, and it certainly is. But today’s decadent culture does not promote responsible use of powerful medicine. Print and broadcast reporters produce upbeat, often frothy stories like “A Laugh a Day Keeps the Doctor Away.” A best-selling Norman Cousins book and a popular Robin Williams film Patch Adams amplified this feel-good message. But left unsaid in such reports is a jarring truth: Laughter did not evolve to make us feel good or improve to our health. Certainly, laughter unites people, and social support has been shown in studies to improve mental and physical health. But the presumed health benefits of laughter may be coincidental consequences of its primary goal: bringing people together. Bringing people together as family must be our focus. Without this focus, laughter is improperly used, and sorely abused to keep people from feeling sorrow for the sins of the world. Since laughter was intended to hold the human race together then any other use can eventually lead to condemnation in the spirit. This condemnation is hastened in our day by a new trend: Laughter as a carelessly administered vaccine or drug.

Laughter, in many ways, can be observed to behave similarly to a virus. A virus is a small infectious agent that replicates only inside the living cells of other organisms. Laughter can be highly contagious. In a study conducted by Dr. Robert Provine and associates, 1,200 people were observed laughing spontaneously in their natural environments. The results of their study surprised them because they suggested that the critical stimulus for laughter is not a joke, but the presence of another person. While we usually think of laughter as coming from an audience after a wisecrack from a single speaker, contrary to expectation, the speakers observed laughed almost 50% more than their audiences. The study also showed that laughter mostly follows comments which are not particularly clever or comical. Only 15% of laughter followed anything joke-like. Excluded from the study were all vicarious social effects of media (television, radio, books, etc.). The direct social nature of laughter was striking: Laughter was almost 50 times more frequent in social than solitary situations. In fact, a person laughing alone is sometimes judged to be mentally unstable. We’re much more likely to talk to ourselves or even smile when alone than to laugh. However happy we may feel, laughter is a signal we send to others and it virtually disappears when we lack an audience. Like a virus, the ripples of laughter can only ripple-cate themselves in other living organisms.

Just as live viruses are used in many vaccines, laughter is used similarly in modern social media. Earlier I mentioned that laughter has the potential to let the world in, as well as bring Zion out of us. In appropriate doses one’s external environment should be let in for purposes of building a spiritual immunity, but always through the filter of laughter, never taking in quantities that would prove lethal. For this reason we are told to avoid loud laughter and be prudent in our use of this potent practice. Most people these days do not go to God for their laughs. They go to mass media, and here laughter is isolated and mass produced like the active ingredients in most modern medicine. Technologically triggered mini-epidemics are produced by television laugh tracks. Laugh tracks have accompanied most television sitcoms since September 9, 1950. At 7:00 that evening, “The Hank McCune Show” used the first laugh track to compensate for being filmed without a live audience.

Canned laughter may sound artificial, but it coaxes TV viewers to laugh as if they were part of a live audience. Lying laughter promotes disconnection from our fellow man. Not only have live audiences become extremely rare, but viewing of live performances, up-close and in person, have become largely a thing of the past in today’s virtual world. We can see this same trend leading away from life-promoting laughter towards increasingly dead forms of social interaction in the area of LDS ritual. Live temple sessions are extremely rare, and dead works are rampant. Of course we may say that laughter seems completely inappropriate to us in such a sacred setting. I admit that laughter has been conspicuously absent from any temple session I have ever attended, but I am not entirely certain that this is as it should be, or as it was intended. God’s people are always infamous for missing the point of God’s teachings.

Joseph Smith’s sense of humor comes out very strongly in the lines of the original temple drama which has been slowly but significantly edited over the years. Joseph’s sense of humor reflected his sense of humanity. Here, through the symbolism of the Adam and Eve story, Joseph addresses the spiritual and physical beginnings of humans. Comical characters like the Preacher play along side the Lucifer character that constantly spews forth wickedly witty lines. We sit in complete silence, many of the audience members, from the geriatric to the youthful; experience acute drowsiness in the darkness of the theatre while watching the viral program which is projected on the video screen many times a day in temples throughout the world. Up till recently the Church had two temple “vids” catering to a corrupted race dominated by males who are in turn dominated by “visual” stimulation. Initiates basking in the soft glow of the video screen, illuminated by illusion, were offered the options of blonde or brunette to appeal to their vain and false sense of individuality. So-called individuals have been reduced to Indy-Visuals who are not independent, nor are they capable of seeing truth.

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One truth that the temple drama was originally intended to convey was that humanity, as in physical mankind, can become separated by our minds from the spirit of humanity. Or in other words, humanity as a heavenly attribute may be either attained and expressed or suppressed and lost through cultural practices. The temple drama, like life was meant to rotate with the Prayer Circle of Life, not remain rote and mechanical. Once upon a time in humanity’s distant past, all the performers, including the witness couple, formed one interactive whole with the audience members. The whole point of RITUAL is to en-RICH-YOU-ALL! In the beginning, the ancient temple drama was infused with LIGHT and LIFE! Call and response chants, and raw animated acts kept the participants from simply “acting” as we see the practically emotionless figures do in the previously used LDS temple movies, or in the pretend emotion portrayed by the actors of the new temple film. I don’t know which is worse, but I know there is a more excellent way, and so do you.

When dealing with laughter our minds must remain sober if our hearts are to be freed. We need to always retain a remembrance of laughter’s sacred purpose – to connect human beings to one another. In his post, Connecting With Pixels, Justin explains that pornography addiction is so prevalent in this age, especially in places like the U.S., and it reaches its highest rates in the Mormon state of Utah. Justin says that pornography’s prevalence in latter-day culture is a question of technology making it so readily accessible and even pushed. And he identifies pornography addiction as a symptom of larger underlying social problems – namely: “poor socialization by parents on sexuality, unaddressed childhood abuse, an addictive personality, or feelings of insecurity.” LDS men may acknowledge pornography as a plague, they may even take measures to restrict online access and guard against such images, but sadly, for the most part it is their pre-dis-position to remain locked into and tied down by various aspects of the bigger pornographic picture projected by Satan onto humankind as they sit like a captive audience in Plato’s Cave. Sports, military service, and even manual labor are highly addictive hero-porn for the body. Schooling, political debate, and even reading can all be forms of intellectual porn for the mind. Church and temple attendance is religious porn for the spirit. Porn in all of its forms channels real energy into fake settings, encourages complacency, and replaces authentic human exchange of energy with holographic projections – hollow graphics dancing provocatively across the walls of our private porn prison cell. plato-cave

Porn, like anything else, can be impproperly used to prop up imppersonal personas. Our persons are poisons, and should be used with a certain degree of precaution. But the point is not to imagine that we may cast them off permanently, or cover ourcellves and our sins with pretentious priesthood garments of our own make. They may be more holy for a time, but over time they also may become more holey, moth bitten, and vain than the Emperor’s New Clothes – vain because of vanity, and vain in their ridiculously failed attempt to cover our nakedness. Holy and protective layers of being “may be conferred upon us, it is true; but when we undertake to cover” up…then we are not sealed as Heaven’s own but are left to ourselves (D&C 121:37). Why do we revel in a con-sealing when we could strip down to the bare-naked truth of all things as revealed by the see-through robes of the Holy Ghost? True success is never achieved by outward means, and herein lies the real power to protect and strengthen. Focus on outward appearances will only bring us suck-cess, and will forever be susceptible to spiritual and physical sickness. King Benjamin tells the people:

“And finally, I cannot tell you all the things whereby ye may commit sin; for there are divers ways and means, even so many that I cannot number them.” – Mosiah 4:29

But through shifting our awareness into the all-encompassing true order based on the first-born flow of the inward being, we are able to not only justify, but purify and eventually sanctify every action, and everything around us.

Ancient life-affirming ways have been hacked by a wedge shaped virus that is perverting sacred r-i-t-u-a-l into v-i-r-t-u-a-l reality. Virtue is lost in the present virtual reality, and the people are not even aware. Mankind and males in particular are spoken of as predominantly unaware beings in the Doctrine & Covenants section 121 in the succinct lecture on the rights of the priesthood that falls between verses 36-40. Why is man not aware when it comes to his inimical, enemy stance towards God? Man is not aware because he is not man enough to be. The simple and eternal truth is hidden from us behind the etymology of the word ‘man’ and the word ‘virus’. Although not “aware” in literal terms, literary examples from Anglo-Saxon writers in the 5th to 12th century show us that, in Old English, a ‘man’ was a ‘wer’. ‘Wer’ meant man, and from this word we get the modern English word werewolf (literally man-wolf). From the Old Norse – verr, through the Caucasian Mountains to the Ossetian – ир (ir), and Latin – vir, on back to its Proto-Indo-European root – wiHrós, and all the way back to the original Sanskrit cognate – वीर (vīrá); earlier linguistic roots all held the same simple meaning. And this ancient root word for man or male can be found today in the word ‘virility’, meaning manhood, or masculinity. It can not be ignored that it is also part of the word ‘virus’. The Latin word ‘virus’ means poison, venom, or slime. Its more ancient roots lie in the Sanskrit – विषम् (víṣam), which means “anything active” but has the connotation of “anything actively pernicious” such as poison, venom, or bane. विषम् (víṣam) is only a masculine a-stem declension of विष (víṣa), meaning ‘servant’.

Following a similar trail as the linguistics from the Indian subcontinent to the Mediterranean culture of ancient Palestine, Jesus, the greatest/least Master/Servant Teacher of all, brought us wisdom and presented us with the concept that:

“No man can serve two masters: for either he will hate the one, and love the other; or else he will hold to the one, and despise the other.” (Matt. 6:24)

If a man is aware, Christ is awareness. Awareness is a virus. A virus spreads. It can spread in one direction or another. If a virus is aware of its self as awareness it knows it has the power to save or it can ravish, but it can not do both simultaneously. It can not serve God (All) and Mammon (Some/$um). Complete companionship with the Christ means at-one-ment, true enlightenment, or lightening the load rather than weighing one’s self down with more and more of “that which doth canker”. The difference between a lifestyle driven by the principle of seeking the Kingdom of Heaven first and a deathstyle driven by the habit of taking care of bu$ine$$ before tending to things of the spirit, is the same as the subtle yet decisive difference between all, and most. All/Most knowing God does not count. Mankind can either identify its self with God or it is an enemy to God. We are either fully aware or else we are at least partially unaware of the extent of our actions. From moment to moment in time we are either being human or we are acting as  poison. There are of course varying degrees in either direction, but generally speaking, when we are acting as poison we are acting prideful and we tend to Euro-neously call Original Hue-manity slime and despise it when we “see” it. The truth is we can’t see humanity for what we are while in the service of Mammon. Only while in the service of our fellow man are we in service to our God, like King Benjamin taught in Mosiah 2:17. PathoGen-tiles who remain unrepentant have a deadly effect on the Blood of Abraham, and they act as a scourge upon the House of Israel wherever they are found throughout the Earth. The extreme damage that an unaware man is capable of is truly devastating.

“Behold, ere he is aware, he is left unto himself, to kick against the pricks, to persecute the saints, and to fight against God.” – D&C 121:38

“Kicking against the pricks” paints the picture of a person whose awareness has become numbed to the point of not feeling the pain caused by his actions in either direction. Unwittingly fighting against one’s own creator and the sustainer of all life is a sign of a very pathogenic pathos. Unaware human beings are virulent in their emotional illiteracy. Father may forgive them, for they know not what they do. But when there is willful ignorance and a conscious acceptance of falsehood over real emotion, then those germs will be utterly eradicated in their physical form by the Mother’s immune system.

The modern phrase “going viral” has no greater consummation than the Biblical prophesy of Christ’s ultimate sovereignty, that: “Every knee shall bow, and every tongue confess.” In fact this scripture (Romans 14:11) is an expression of the viral nature of Truth. Like an unstoppable live Virus of Veritas, the Lord sayeth:

“As I live, every knee shall bow to me, and every tongue shall give praise to God.”

And the preceding verse talks of the futility in resisting the Virus of Veritas, the True and Living Church of the Firstborn. In it Paul asks:

“why do you judge your brother? Why do you regard your brother with contempt?”

When one stops seeking his life, he then finds it (Luke 17:33). As soon as he succumbs to the Christ, the Virus of God, he instantly recognizes that there is no difference between his brother and his self. Through Christ we become aware that self does not end where our skin begins. When we awaken we abandon our destructive vices. We join as part of King Benjamin’s greater audience. His audience was surely wrought upon by a spiritually viral epidemic of conversion. Envision it; a whole huge crowd spontaneously crying out with one voice, and suddenly feeling “no more disposition to do evil” (Mosiah 5:2). We will no longer behave like vicious virions for we are at one with our environs. The Love of God exceeds even the speed of light and it completely takes us over as it explodes from our hearts and assimilates all creation. But until that moment when one feels and understands his unique position in the universe, then he is literally dis-positioned towards unrighteous dominion and all manner of evil. This is the unfortunate state of almost all men in the world as a study of D&C 121 will tell you. The study of viruses is known as virology and it has revealed to us that viruses are found in almost every ecosystem on Earth and are the most abundant type of biological entity.If man’s nature tends toward that of a vile, havoc-wreaking virus how then are we to be redeemed from our toxic attitude? What could possibly reconcile a man’s violently torn soul? Well, another hallmark of those who are found possessed of the Love of Christ in these latter days is recorded in Doctrine & Covenants 84:71, also known as the Oath & Covenant of the Priesthood.

“If any man (vir) shall administer poison (vir) unto them it shall not hurt them”

The Bible also testifies to the divine protection and immunity experienced by God’s servants. Harriet Tubman, who not only led over a thousand slaves to freedom at great personal peril, but also administered to Civil War soldiers who lay sick and dying with dysentery and small pox, was unafraid of death in any of its forms because she was on the errand of the Lord and stayed busy about her Father’s work. She acquired quite a reputation for her skill in curing dysentery with a medicine she prepared from roots which grew near the waters that gave the disease. She never once suffered even the slightest symptom of the diseases she was treating and it was said of her that the Lord was with her. The Hevajna Tantra contains several verses referring to men and their relationship with poison. On page 93 we read:

“With the very poison, a little of which would kill any other being, a man who understands poison would dispel another poison.”

Then on page 107 it says:

“If he drinks strong poison, the simple man who does not understand it, falls senseless. But he who is free from delusion with his mind intent on the truth destroys it altogether”

One more reference on page 117 delivers what it calls, “the profoundest secret of the beauteous purifier of existence”….

“Useless is a gem uncut, but once cut, it gives forth its brilliance. Likewise this gem of the saṃsāra (continuous flow), possessed of the properties of the five desires (five carnal senses), becomes like poison in its unpurified state, but when purified it becomes ambrosia (food or drink of the gods).”

The profound truth in all these scriptures, LDS, Christian, and Buddhist, is that a man of god may partake of the same things which an impure man does, but the effect will not be the same. One of the great mysteries of God is how holy men and women arrive at consecration and subsist by purifying themselves, by purifying poison. Transmutation is the key.

It may sound weird to hear the Word of God-to-Man articulated in terms of the Virus. But think of it; a virus is an active strain of DNA-altering particles and “As man is, God once was, as God is, man may become”. Even if Lorenzo Snow, who coined that phrase, and was in many ways a prideful product of his gene-ration, never considered it; the fact remains that at some point the agent that offers to take him from manhood to godhood is going to require some altering of those prideful genes. On April 6, 1844, Joseph Smith preached to a congregation of 20,000 saying:

“Here then is eternal life – to know the only wise and true God; and you have got to learn how to be Gods yourselves, and to be kings and priests to God the same as all Gods have done before you” (JOD 6:4; TPJS p.346)

Of those who have gone before us, few ever thought to attain to godhood, and of those few even fewer obtained it. I believe this is because, like the Founding Fathers, they too died holding firmly to a freemasonic belief in the “pursuit of happiness” which is perhaps the main lie underlying all of the Devil’s false doctrine. God suffers us to conduct experiments with life and liberty, hoping and trusting that we will one day tire of experimenting and desire now to enter his presence. From the Colonial English of the U.S. Constitution to the Latin of the Magna Carta, we should remember that in Old English ‘Wer’ meant ‘Man’, and “We the People” being a vir-us, must remember that our ancestors were-us and we are them. This is the real meaning of priesthood lineage.

Until we succeed in bringing past and future gene-rations into alignment the present will remain a perpetual prison to us. That is the curse with which the earth is to be smitten if not for the Spirit of Elijah. Only a turning/tuning of the heart signals of the Fathers to the heart signals of the Children and visa versa will result in the meeting in the middle which is necessary to eliminate the phase effect of sometimes constructive and other times destructive interference that varies with frequency, giving a series of peaks and troughs in the frequency response of the god-man system which in general do not occur in a harmonic series. Such are the uneven and troubled waves of spirit produced by the dis-positioning of all-most-all-most-all men, or the patronizing pattern-all pattern lamented in D&C 121:39 where it speaks about the patriarchal passing of priesthood. But there is hope. For, as verse 33 says:

“How long can rolling waters remain impure?”

Whether surface water waves, sound, or light; the ripples of laughter can be grasped to displace air waves which essentially help us begin to freely ripple-cate ourselves as children of the Divine rather than children of the Matrix. There is a way for us to dial in our hearts, and sync the radio receiver of mind. A way to shift our physical body to resonate in harmony with the high and low pitches of the Yahweh frequency as it goes, “EEAAOOAAEEAAOOAAEEAAOOAAEEAAOOAAEE.” In audio engineering the technique is known as flanging. Flanging is done by taking the original signal and adding a uniform time-delayed copy of itself, which results in an output signal with peaks and troughs which are in a harmonic series. 200px-Flanging_vs_Phasing_effectThe flange effect was developed in the days of tape reels at EMI’s Abbey Road Studio. And it was first featured in the recording of the symbolically titled Beatles track, Tomorrow Never Knows from the album Revolver, which was recorded on April 6, 1966. This is symbolic of what Joseph Smith had proclaimed precisely 122 years prior to the date. He said that we have got to learn how to be Gods ourselves, and to be kings and priests to God the same as all Gods before us. He said that eternal life is here, now. It requires direct action in the present, or else you will be forever stuck in the revolving doors. As the Beatles sing; “Tomorrow Never Knows.”

THE LAST LAUGH

If tomorrow never knows then certainly the past is equally ignorant. The present is the true point of origin and the ultimate destination of all beings. The first shall be last and the last shall be first, and he who laughs last laughs best. We are all the same, age means nothing. Life’s pilgrim-age is cyclical like the Haj of the Muslims who come from far and wide to Mecca only to run in circles around a big black cube with a piece of meteorite in it.   milky hajThis metaphor extends to (or from) the center of the galaxy. The galactic center is a dark void from our perspective. Around it spin stars and star systems, billions like (or unlike) our own. All of life, in this way, is a-void-dance – a dance around a void. But within the dark abyss is God. Light within dark, surrounded by swirling light enshrouded in more darkness, and so on and so forth, this is the fractal nature of reality. This cosmic dance around the throne of God is repeated throughout the Universe, and is addressed in the book of Job.

Is not God in the height of heaven? And behold the height of the stars, how high they are!

And thou sayest, How doth God know? Can he judge through the dark cloud?

Thick clouds are a covering to him, that he seeth not; and he walketh in the circuit of heaven.

Job 22:12-14

This was the laughable reasoning of earlier empires upon the face of the earth in the time of Noah. They laughed at Noah for counseling with an inner voice. But that global network of civilizations was cut off right at its peak. It was not the first time this had happened and would not be the last, but as far as the Earth’s cycles go, we are told that: As it was in the time of Noah, so shall it be in the end (Matt 24:37). Today we hear the loud laughter of the wicked, but who will have the last laugh?

Hast thou marked the old way which wicked men have trodden?

Which were cut down out of time, whose foundation was overflown with a flood:

Which said unto God, Depart from us: and what can the Almighty do for them?

Yet he filled their houses with good things: but the counsel of the wicked is far from me.

The righteous see it, and are glad: and the innocent laugh them to scorn.

Job 22:15-19

Our persons are our people self-replicated over time. Those fathers farthest removed from the present into our past are those most closely acquainted with our future. Our people are the peep-hole through which per-ception filters as per the con-ception of each individual being, who in turn subjects his or herself to new and everlasting in-ception of old ideas and revolving IDs which have been changed to protect The Innocent children; perSONS and perDAUGHTERS of the G.O.D.s in the whirl-P-O-O-L of consciousness which is one big L-O-O-P-whole of eternity and reality. We could liken it to a donut with a jelly-filled center of plasma discharging simultaneously in arc and dark mode. It is to that center that we must go if we wish to comprehend the whole configuration. Joseph Smith once likened it to a ring. Said he:

I take my ring from my finger and liken it unto the mind of man-the immortal part, because it has no beginning. Suppose you cut it in two; then it has a beginning and an end; but join it again, and it continues one eternal round. So with the spirit of man.”

Being only a fraction of divine mind, the psyche of man sometimes suffers a fraction in its perception of the eternal round. To help us stay centered we can do as the Book of Mormon advises:

Cry unto him when ye are in your fields, yea, over all your flocks.

Cry unto him in your houses, yea, over all your household, both morning, mid-day, and evening.

Yea, cry unto him against the power of your enemies.

Yea, cry unto him against the devil, who is an enemy to all righteousness.

Cry unto him over the crops of your fields, that ye may prosper in them.

Cry over the flocks of your fields, that they may increase.

But this is not all; ye must pour out your souls in your closets, and your secret places, and in your wilderness.

Yea, and when you do not cry unto the Lord, let your hearts be full, drawn out in prayer unto him continually for your welfare, and also for the welfare of those who are around you.

Alma 34:20-27

Laughter is intimately linked with crying. Of course the verb crying is used in these passages to mean vocalize out loud and not necessarily to cry as in shed tears. Still, the point is to pray with emotion and out loud whenever and wherever possible. The last verse above deals with what we should do when it is not possible to cry out and it is a perfect description of Zen Buddhism. Zen Buddhist Thích Nhất Hạnh says:

“The moment of awakening may be marked by an outburst of laughter, but this is not the laughter of someone who has won the lottery or some kind of victory. It is the laughter of one who, after searching for something for a long time, suddenly finds it in the pocket of their coat.”

The reason why the wicked, whether in times past or times to come think that God is ignorant of their evil deeds, is because they themselves are not present to the fact that God exists in the midst of everyone and everything. They never think to look inside. They are convinced that there is nothing there in the dark pockets of life. Well, not exactly convinced, but the fear of the unknown keeps them from penetrating that cloud under which they go about in circles like the Israelites in the desert region around Sinai, afraid of their own God and unable to enter the Promised Land. Moses beckoned them, but they preferred to keep God at bay, and opted to obey Ten Commandments written on their stone hard hearts instead. Until we jump into the thick dark clouds mentioned in Job 22 and connect with God, our obedience is abeyance. We avoid the void and thereby keep God in a state of suspension, in a state of dormancy, in a state of uncertainty, up in the air. It is a classic case of the childish notion that: If I can’t see him he must not be able to see me. Oh, but he CAN judge through the thick dark cloud! It is only we who fool ourselves as we walk round and round in the circuit of heaven.

samsara wheel

To testify of Christ is to be a prophet (Rev. 19:10). When we speak as prophets we have to understand that in many or most instances along this big spinning people-WHEEL one functions simply as a SPOKES-person for and in behalf of the ante-sensors (ancestors) as well as the un-born. I can’t expect people to always listen or even understand what I am saying until they actually disregard “me” altogether and look/listen past me, beyond the messenger to get the message its self. Alma 26:23 tells us that the Sons of Mosiah were laughed to scorn by their brethren back home. So, to all those who are or have desires to be traveling teachers of the gospel, I say: Be of good cheer. Learn to love and laugh at yourself, and when you have learned that all is self, you will laugh and love your way through life. Job 5:22 makes this grand promise:

“At destruction and famine thou shalt laugh: neither shalt thou be afraid of the beasts of the earth.”

I’m sure you have heard it said that God has a sense of humor. The figure of the Laughing Buddha is fairly well known. The Laughing Christ portrayed so often in the Gnostic Gospels, which were never admitted into our censored and perverted bibles, may be less well known; files.phpnevertheless we must come to know this laughing Christ. The name Isaac means ‘laughter’ and his character and back story in the bible reveal much about the Love/Laugh of God. Upon first hearing of foretelling of Isaac’s birth, both his parents’ first reaction is to laugh. Surely the idea of begetting a son in their extreme old age tickled their souls. Genesis 17:17 says that:

“Abraham fell upon his face, and laughed, and said in his heart, Shall a child be born unto him that is an hundred years old? and shall Sarah, that is ninety years old, bear?”

In the book Arcana Coelestia, Emanuel Swedenborg – a Swedish philosopher, theologian, chemist, anatomist, and visionary whose writings had a profound influence on the mind of Joseph Smith Jr. – wrote the following commentary on this bible verse.

“[…and laughed] That this signifies the affection of truth, may be seen from the origin and essence of laughter, for its origin is nothing but the affection of truth, or else the affection of what is false, from which come the gladness and merriment that in laughter display themselves in the face, which shows that the essence of laughter is nothing else. Laughter is indeed an external thing that belongs to the body because to the face; but in the Word interior things are expressed and signified by exterior things; just as all the interior affections of the mind are expressed and signified by means of the face, interior hearing and obedience being signified by the ear, interior sight or understanding by the eye, power and strength by the hand and arm, and so on, and in the same way the affection of truth by laughter.”

Swedenborg, who influenced Joseph Smith, was himself influenced by Ibn Sina aka Avicenna, author of Canonica Medica and The Book of Healing, to whom I make extensive reference in my Making SENSE of it All series. Each of these men did not rely solely upon the words or his predecessor for an understanding of these heavenly secrets, but were inspired by one another’s works to “experiment upon the word” in a direct, and personal, spiritually scientific manner as Alma advises and as all true men and women of God do. Remember we are talking about the curious and wonderful relationship between spiritual and physical, immaterial and material, being and form, and so these things are very literally a matter of life and death. In the previous section we looked at life and death on a microbial level and determined how spiritual intent begins to manifest on the physical plane at that microscopic level. It is wisdom to know the essentially viral nature of all things so that we may be conscious and choose either to operate for good or evil, to be one with God or an enemy to Him. Avicenna illustrates this in his Treatise on Love:

 “Every being which is determined by a design strives by nature toward its perfection, ie., that goodness of reality which ultimately flows from the reality of the Pure Good, and by nature it shies away from its specific defect which is the evil in it, ie., materiality and non-being. Therefore, it is obvious that all beings determined by a design possess a natural desire and an inborn love, and it follows of necessity that in such beings love is the cause of their existence. For everything that can be signified as existing belongs into one of these three categories” (i) either it has arrived at the specific perfection, (ii) or it has reached the maximum of defect, (iii) or it vacillates between these two states with the result that it is essentially in an intermediate position between two things….Beings in the real sense, then, are either such as are prepared for the maximum of perfection or such as are in a position intermediate between a defect occurring by reason of some cause and a perfection existing in the  nature itself. Therefore, no being is ever free from some connection with a perfection, and this connection with it is accompanied by an innate love and desire for that which may unite it with its perfection.

This becomes clear also from another aspect, that of causality and the “why”; since (i) no being which is determined by a design is devoid of a perfection specific to it; since (ii) such a being is not in itself sufficient cause for the existence of its perfection, because the perfections of the beings determined by a design emanate from the per se Perfect; and since (iii) one must not imagine that this Principle from which perfection emanates intends to cause a loss to any one of the particular beings….”

I want to interject here and demonstrate how Avicenna’s treatise is in alignment with the teachings of Father Lehi. I also intend to show how Lehi’s words borrow from the Asian tradition with which the Lord had brought him into contact along the way to the Americas, and how that ancient wisdom corroborates the new discoveries we have made here in our study of laughter as a poison which must be administered expertly – neither too much nor to little will do. Avicenna is firm on the point that all real beings must be determined by a design. Lehi reiterates this fact as he attempts to explain his Grand Theory of Unified Opposition in All Things. He says:

“Wherefore, the ends of the law which the Holy One hath given, unto the inflicting of the punishment which is affixed, which punishment that is affixed is in opposition to that of the happiness which is affixed, to answer the ends of the at-one-ment— For it must needs be [so], that there is [be] an opposition in all things. If not so….righteousness could not be brought to pass, neither wickedness, neither holiness nor misery, neither good nor bad. Wherefore, all things must needs be a compound in one; wherefore, if it should be one body it must needs remain as dead, having no life neither death, nor corruption nor incorruption, happiness nor misery, neither sense nor insensibility. Wherefore, it must needs have been created for a thing of naught; wherefore there would have been no purpose in the end of its creation. Wherefore, this thing must needs destroy the wisdom of God and his eternal purposes, and also the power, and the mercy, and the justice of God.” – 2 Nephi 2:10-12

When Avicenna defines real beings as: “such as are prepared for the maximum of perfection or such as are in a position intermediate between a defect occurring by reason of some cause and a perfection existing in the nature itself,” the “cause” to which he alludes and ascribes blame for the intermediate position, or “opposition” as Lehi calls it, between Per-Fect and De-Fect, is in fact poison and more specifically its mode of administration. We could identify it as “forbidden fruit in opposition to the tree of life; the one being sweet and the other bitter” for so does Lehi a little later in verse 15 of 2 Nephi chapter 2. We might suppose that the ‘bitter one’ is the forbidden fruit and comes from the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil, and we could suppose that the ‘sweet one’ is the Love of God and comes from an entirely different tree – the Tree of Life. However these things are supposed to have played out in physical reality, the lesson is ONE, one of deadly poison and its anecdote. The “only way” we really have of discerning between the two is by noting the key difference between hurting and healing.

Thus we come to know the “Sun of Righteousness with healing in his wings” that is referred to in Malachi 4:2. And we may see that the rendering of this bible verse with the word “Sun” not “Son” purposely points back to the trunk of the Tree of Theology, the religion of ancient Egypt based on a firm understanding of the “Aten” sometimes called the Winged Sun Disc. Ancient Egyptian religion having stemmed from a deeper, Sub-Saharan root system of sacred regard for the interaction between the bright Sun and the dark Soil, it is vital to The Restoration of the health of hue-manity that we continue digging and reaching where the Prophet Joseph left off when his life was taken at Carthage. As Latter-Day Saints we take upon ourselves a vow more sacred than the Hippocratic Oath, to do no harm, but to build up Zion. Let us no longer mock God with hypocritical oaths. Let us compare the latter-day scripture of the Doctrine & Covenants side-by-side with the ancient teachings of Afrika, India, China, Scandinavia, Ancient America, etc. to discover just how long these devils have been doctoring covenants with malfeasance and priest craft.

aten

Avicenna continues his treatise with these words:

“It is a necessary outcome of His wisdom and the excellence of His governance to plant into everything the general principle of love. The effect is that He thus indirectly preserves the perfection which He gave by emanation, and that He thus expresses His desire to bring them into being when they are absent, the purpose being that the administration [of the universe] should run according to a wise order. The never-ceasing existence of this love in all beings determined by a design is, therefore, a necessity. If this were not so, another love would be necessary to preserve this general love in its existence, to guard against its non-being and to retrieve it when it has lapsed, anxious lest it might disappear. But one of these two loves would be superfluous, and the existence of something superfluous in nature – which is divinely established – is impossible. Therefore, there is no principle of love other than this absolute and general love. And we can conclude that the existence of every being determined by a design is invariably accompanied by inborn love.”

Laughter and love are much more closely related than we may typically think, even at the basest of levels. Studies found that in cross-gender conversations, females laughed 126% more than their male counterparts, meaning that women tend to do the most laughing while males tend to do the most laugh-getting. Men seem to be the main instigators of humor across cultures, and this usually begins in early childhood. Think back to your high school class clown – most likely he was a male. Typically, women seek men who make them laugh, and men are eager to comply with this request. In 3,745 ads placed on April 28, 1996 in eight papers from the Baltimore Sun to the San Diego Union-Tribune, females were 62% more likely to mention laughter in their ads, and women were more likely to seek out a “sense of humor” while men were more likely to offer it. When Karl Grammar and Irenaus Eibl-Eibesfeldt studied spontaneous conversations between mixed-sex pairs of young German adults meeting for the first time, they noted that the more a woman laughed aloud during these encounters, the greater her self-reported interest in the man she was talking to. In the same vein, men were more interested in women who laughed heartily in their presence.

We may not always know why we laugh. Certainly there is a deep mysterious quality to the way in which our facial and abdominal muscles react to the unification of outward and inward stimuli from this world and the spirit world. But if we are in tune with the love of God then our laughter will have an uplifting effect. Laughter, like orgasm, should not be faked or forced. It should not be used to elicit self effacing techniques; rather it should come from a free heart shared in love. Laughter is a pressure valve and can let things in or out. When we laugh we are made vulnerable to higher powers and impregnable to seeds of faith. At the same time, some part of us is energized and empowered by the forceful release of raw emotion which pours out of us almost uncontrollably. Some knowing and confident presence deep inside us consoles and comforts us when we confront fear with faith. It is hard not to laugh when we feel our power, which is the power of love and goodness God has planted in our hearts. It is hard not to laugh when we realize the stupidity of society and its dictatorial die-wreck-tors. As it says in Psalms 37:13….

“The Lord shall laugh at him: for he seeth that his day is coming.”

laughing-jesus

May those who find themselves in a situation similar to Job – who complained that “Children despise me and laugh when they see me” – find comfort in knowing that after these Gentile brat oppressors which Isaiah spoke of have all died from off the face of the Earth, then will the laughter of children born to you during the glorious millennial reign of Christ fill your ears. From God the Father embedded like a seed of light within clouds of darkness, followed by the starry whirlpool of the Milky Way, then pro-seeded by more ominous darkness, etc. – the pattern is a playful one, and energy moves along best through the lovely vehicle of holy laughter.

“The Universe is the Practical Joke of the General
at the expense of the Particular, quoth Frater
Perdurabo, and laughed.
But those disciples nearest to him wept, seeing the
Universal Sorrow.
Those next to them laughed, seeing the Universal Joke.
Below these certain disciples wept,
Then certain laughed.
Others next wept.
Others next laughed.
Next others wept.
Next others laughed.
Last came those that wept because they could not
see the Joke, and those that laughed lest they
should be thought not to see the Joke, and thought
it safe to act like Frater Perdurabo.
But though Frater Perdurabo laughed
openly, He also at the same time wept secretly;
and in Himself He neither laughed nor wept.
Nor did He mean what He said.”

― Aleister Crowley, The Book of Lies

The doctrine against dissent


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

Unity is required of the saints

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

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

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

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

The commandment to be one makes dissenting behavior a sin

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

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

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

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

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

No one can righteously dissent from the true church of God

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

All dissenters from the true church of God are sinners

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

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

Unbelief is the cause of dissenting behavior

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Unrepentant dissenters must be silenced and cut off

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

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

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

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

And there were no contentions, save it were a few that began to preach, endeavoring to prove by the scriptures that it was no more expedient to observe the law of Moses. Now in this thing they did err, having not understood the scriptures. But it came to pass that they soon became converted, and were convinced of the error which they were in, for it was made known unto them that the law was not yet fulfilled, and that it must be fulfilled in every whit; yea, the word came unto them that it must be fulfilled; yea, that one jot or tittle should not pass away till it should all be fulfilled; therefore in this same year were they brought to a knowledge of their error and did confess their faults. (3 Nephi 1:24-25)

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

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

Repentance, disfellowship or excommunication

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

The door is left open to return to the flock

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

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

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

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

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

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

A difference of opinion does not constitute dissenting behavior

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

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

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

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

A case in point: Korihor

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

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

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

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

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

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

What saints do when unrepentant sinners are around

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Pahoran wrote:

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

But Jesus commanded:

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

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

The following instructions were given to saints:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Separating goats from sheep is a gospel principle based on obedience

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Church trials

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

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

The six types of judges

The witnesses

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

The bishop

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

The two elders

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

The church congregation

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

The stake president

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

The high council

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

The three types of church courts or councils

Bishop’s court or council

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

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

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

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

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

Elder’s court or council

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

High priests’ court or council

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

Scriptural patterns are no longer followed

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

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

Church courts and the rights of a member

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

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

The Fifth Amendment says,

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

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

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

The Wikipedia says this about due process:

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

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

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

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

There is also the Seventh Amendment:

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

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

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

D&C 42 and D&C 102

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

D&C 42:78-93

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

D&C 102

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

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

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

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

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

Okay, so let me unfold the errors.

Modern church disciplinary councils operate under color of law

The following document,

Church Disciplinary Councils

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

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

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

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

Here is what the section actually says,

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

In behalf of

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

BEHALF, n. behaf. [See Behoof.]

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Veto power

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Impartiality

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

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

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

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

Guilty until proven penitent is a bastardization of the law

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

Evidence alone is not enough

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

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

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

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

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

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

Excommunication is supposed to be a congregational affair

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

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

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

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

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

Let the saints do their duty

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

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

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

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

The purpose of this post

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

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

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