Recent Thoughts on the Prophecies


Here are some of my recent thoughts on different prophecies.

Gathered together

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.  (1 Ne. 13:12)

When I read this passage, I cannot help but think that the Indian tribes seem gathered together in one, central location, such as the place of the first treaties for the Five Civilized Tribes and other Indians living east of the Mississippi River, in which the Indians were removed to west of that river.

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Article X, Section 3 of the New Articles of Confederation allows for just such a scenario, which would bring us back to 1830 in the timeline, putting the Indians exactly back where they were when Joseph Smith received his revelations.

Captivity and bondage

Wherefore, Joseph truly saw our day. And he obtained a promise of the Lord, that out of the fruit of his loins the Lord God would raise up a righteous branch unto the house of Israel; not the Messiah, but a branch which was to be broken off, nevertheless, to be remembered in the covenants of the Lord that the Messiah should be made manifest unto them in the latter days, in the spirit of power, unto the bringing of them out of darkness unto light—yea, out of hidden darkness and out of captivity unto freedom.  (2 Ne. 3:5)

My understanding of this passage is that the remnant will be literally in captivity. It may be their scattering will be due to some rebellion on their part, and into prison they will go. And thus the spiritual and physical prisoners will go free, fulfilling Isaiah’s prophecy:

To open the blind eyes, to bring out the prisoners from the prison, and them that sit in darkness out of the prison house.  (Isa. 42:7)

The saints also, at some point, will be in bondage

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.  (D&C 103:15-18)

and in captivity:

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 Ne. 13:5)

The Josephite will act as a deliverer of many of these people, though the blood of many saints will still be shed, per both Nephi’s and John’s testimony of martyrs among the saints.

“much of my gospel”

And it came to pass that the angel of the Lord spake unto me, saying:

Behold,

saith the Lamb of God,

after I have visited the remnant of the house of Israel—and this remnant of whom I speak is the seed of thy father—wherefore, after I have visited them in judgment, and smitten them by the hand of the Gentiles, and after the Gentiles do stumble exceedingly, because of the most plain and precious parts of the gospel of the Lamb which have been kept back by that abominable church, which is the mother of harlots,

saith the Lamb

—I will be merciful unto the Gentiles in that day, insomuch that I will bring forth unto them, in mine own power, much of my gospel, which shall be plain and precious,

saith the Lamb.  (1 Ne. 13:34)

The Book of Mormon is always referred to as a “part” or as “parts” of the Lord’s gospel.

And, behold, all the remainder of this work does contain all those parts of my gospel which my holy prophets, yea, and also my disciples, desired in their prayers should come forth unto this people.

….

And now, behold, according to their faith in their prayers will I bring this part of my gospel to the knowledge of my people. Behold, I do not bring it to destroy that which they have received, but to build it up.  (D&C 10:46,52)

Also, it is referred to as a “lesser part.”

And these things have I written, which are a lesser part of the things which he taught the people; and I have written them to the intent that they may be brought again unto this people, from the Gentiles, according to the words which Jesus hath spoken.  (3 Ne. 26:8)

Although we have the fulness of the gospel, it is only of these parts, not of the other parts (that we don’t have.) In other words, we have a fulness of the gospel parts that the Lord has currently given us. This applies equally to the Doctrine and Covenants and other scriptures we have. So, “much of my gospel” can only refer to the records that still need to come forth.

The records that must appear

The Josephite will need to retranslate the Small Plates of Nephi, to make the language “strong.”

Because of their faith their words shall proceed forth out of my mouth unto their brethren who are the fruit of thy loins; and the weakness of their words will I make strong in their faith, unto the remembering of my covenant which I made unto thy fathers.  (2 Ne. 3:21)

And the words which I have written in weakness will be made strong unto them  (2 Ne. 33:4)

He will need to retranslate the Book of Mormon (to make the language strong) and also restore the Book of Lehi (the lost 116 manuscript pages) to the text. This will fulfill the prophecies concerning the Book of Mormon coming forth. (See, for example, 2 Ne. 3 and 2 Ne. 27.) He will need to translate the Large Plates of Nephi. This will fulfill the Savior’s prophecy, recorded in 3 Ne. 21. He will need to translate the Plates of Brass. This will fulfill Lehi’s prophecy, made in 1 Ne. 5, and Alma’s prophecy, made in Alma 37. And he will need to translate the Plates of Ether (leaving out the vision of the brother of Jared.) This will fulfill Alma’s prophecy, found in Alma 37.

When must these records appear?

They must appear within the 6th thousand years, which ends in April of 2033. In other words, they must come forth sometime in the next 16 and a half years. These records constitute “much of my gospel” and also the “other books” (1 Ne. 13:39) that Nephi saw coming forth.

The Sealed Portion

The Sealed Portion of the Plates of Mormon will be translated after these other records appear. The first group of “other books” (which is everything mentioned above minus the Sealed Portion) will cause the remnant and many Gentiles to repent, to become sanctified and to exercise faith “even as the brother of Jared did” (Ether 4:7.) When that happens, the first part of the Sealed Portion, or first seal, dealing with the 1st thousand years, will be translated by the Josephite. Thus the restoration of all things will begin in earnest, consisting of seven parts, or seals, in which all things begin to be revealed. The first part of the Sealed Portion will trigger the events spoken of by John in Revelation 6, with wars going out among the wicked.

The book “sealed with seven seals,” seen by John in Revelation 5:1; the “vision of all,” which is “the words of a book that is sealed,” seen by Isaiah in Isaiah 29:11; and the Sealed Portion of the Plates of Mormon, are one and the same book. The Sealed Portion of the plates is “sealed by the power of God” (2 Ne. 27:10), therefore only God can open it. Which He will do, as John saw in Revelation 5 and 6, and then the Josephite will translate it and make it available to the saints.

When will these things occur?

The first six parts of the Sealed Portion get loosed and translated in the 6th thousand years, so sometime in the next 16 and a half years. The seventh part gets translated in the 7th thousand years. In other words, after April of 2033. Joseph Smith needs to come back and appoint his successor, Joseph-Nephi, because Joseph Smith alone holds the keys to the Sealed Portion, and the Josephite needs those keys to accomplish his mission.

And I have given unto him the keys of the mystery of those things which have been sealed, even things which were from the foundation of the world, and the things which shall come from this time until the time of my coming, if he abide in me, and if not, another will I plant in his stead.  (D&C 35:18)

When the Sealed Portion gets read upon the house tops

And the day cometh that the words of the book which were sealed shall be read upon the house tops; and they shall be read by the power of Christ; and all things shall be revealed unto the children of men which ever have been among the children of men, and which ever will be even unto the end of the earth.  (2 Ne. 27:11)

This occurs when Jesus comes back and it is my understanding that Moroni is the one who reads it to everyone. But before then, it gets translated and given to the saints.

John’s scriptures

The Bible as it currently stands appears to be composed largely of abridgements. In John’s Revelation, he heard “seven thunders” (Rev. 10:3-4) utter their voices and he was commanded not to write what he heard, because it was sealed. Daniel was told (in Dan. 12:4) to seal up his vision, too. When John brings forth his Book of the Lamb of God, it will be an unabridged text, without anything sealed or hidden. This, too, must come forth in the 6h thousand years, sometime in the next 16 and a half years. In fact, John’s Book of the Lamb of God is the first new record that comes forth. Afterward, Joseph-Nephi does his translations. The Book of Abraham that we have, is only a part of Abraham’s writings. The full record will undoubtedly be on the Plates of Brass. The text of the Book of Joseph scroll, which got destroyed, is also likely on those plates in its entirety. The Joseph Smith Translation, Book of Moses and Joseph Smith—Matthew scriptures, will be supplanted with better, functional translations, with the full, unabridged texts, as found in the Book of the Lamb of God and/or on the Plates of Brass. Mormons, essentially, are going to lay aside The Standard Works and start using a brand new set of scriptures.

The new scriptures will likely be voluminous, requiring a great many volumes, perhaps as many or even more than all the heavy volumes of the Oxford English Dictionary or the Encyclopedia Britannica. We can print the scriptures of the Standard Works into a single volume of normal-sized text and hold it in a single hand, but we won’t be able to do that with the scriptures brought forth by the Josephite, except electronically, using an e-reader. The printed version of the Josephite scriptures will require a cart to transport them all. The New Multi-Volume Standard Works will also be translated by the Josephite into all the languages of the world, so that you would need the biggest library on the planet to hold all the various language versions.

Now this doesn’t include the Sealed Portion of the Plates of Mormon. When you factor that in, then you end up with the understanding that Isaiah was making a direct comparison when he said, “The earth shall be filled with the knowledge of the Lord, as the waters cover the sea” (Isa. 11:9.) John wrote:

And there are also many other things which Jesus did, the which, if they should be written every one, I suppose that even the world itself could not contain the books that should be written.  (John 21:25)

And yet, Mormon tells us that all those very works have already been written:

And if ye had all the scriptures which give an account of all the marvelous works of Christ, ye would, according to the words of Christ, know that these things must surely come.  (3 Ne. 28:33)

Mormon had access to the 24 Plates of Ether, which not only contained a history of the world from the beginning, as well as the entire, unabridged, Jaredite history, but also “the vision of all,” given to the brother of Jared, which revealed all things. But the language it was written in was able to communicate all the information in a very little bit of writing space. When Moroni translated it into the Nephite language, it took up almost all of the space on the Plates of Mormon, yet the Nephite language was information-rich enough to hold it all in a single volume. Not so with modern languages. We can expect, then, that when the Josephite turns to the task of translating the Sealed Portion into all the modern languages, the world will fill up with books and, at that point, all human knowledge will be supplanted. All of this must happen in the next 16 and a half years.

The angels mentioned by John

My understanding is that the “angel ascending from the east” (Rev. 7:2) is the Josephite, while the four angels “holding the four winds” (Rev. 7:1) are other Nephites, namely, the Three Nephite Disciples who were translated, plus one more. The fourth angel may be Alma the Younger (who desired to be an angel in Alma 29, or Nehi the son of Helaman. (See 3 Ne. 1:2-3.)

About the work of angels

When the restoration of all things resumes with the Josephite’s ministry, it seems to me that there will be a lot of angelic ministrations among the people. With Joseph Smith, the main angel involved was Moroni, but with Joseph-Nephi, the main angel appears to be Gabriel.

And also with Elias, to whom I have committed the keys of bringing to pass the restoration of all things spoken by the mouth of all the holy prophets since the world began, concerning the last days;  (D&C 27:6)

Moroni, though, will also be involved, as he holds the keys of the record of the stick of Ephraim (which is the Plates of Brass)

Behold, this is wisdom in me; wherefore, marvel not, for the hour cometh that I will drink of the fruit of the vine with you on the earth, and with Moroni, whom I have sent unto you to reveal the Book of Mormon, containing the fulness of my everlasting gospel, to whom I have committed the keys of the record of the stick of Ephraim;  (D&C 27:5)

Also Raphael, Michael and many other angels will be ministering to the Josephite, as he works furiously against the dwindling time to “gather together in one all things in Christ, both which are in heaven, and which are on earth” (Eph. 1:10.) These angels will play a major part, but no angelic trumpet will sound until after April of 2033.

Signs above and below

The Great and Abominable Church must make its appearance in the next 16 and a half years and we can also expect the heavens to become active with incoming planets and comets. And so on and so forth. A lot has to go down in a surprisingly short period of time but I ain’t gonna list it all. Suffice it to say that we are living in the moment just before the end time roller coaster ride begins its rapid launch into the stratosphere.

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The Baptism of Fire


The following is my current understanding of the baptism of fire.

One baptism in three parts

The gospel of Jesus Christ has one, tripartite baptism consisting of the baptism of water, the baptism of fire and the baptism of the Holy Ghost. The purpose of baptism is to witness that there exists a covenant between God and the man being baptized. Unless all three witnesses have occurred, the covenant between him and God is not binding.

The doctrine of re-baptism applies equally to all three

Anyone who enters into an agreement with another is free to witness or affirm the fact of the agreement by attestation for as many times as desired. There is no law of man or God against this. In fact, under the law of God, we are to “stand as witnesses of God at all times and in all things, and in all places” that we may be in, even until death. So, the principle of witnessing and re-witnessing is a part of the gospel of Jesus Christ.

The manner in which man witnesses of his covenant to serve God is through water baptism. This means that in order to re-witness his covenant, he must be re-baptized. Therefore, he may receive the baptism of water whenever and as many times as he desires and must, per his covenant, be ever ready to be re-baptized at all times and in all places, to re-attest of the validity of his covenant. This is the doctrine or principle of re-baptism and it applies equally to both water, fire and Holy Ghost baptisms.

Order: fire and Spirit, then water, then fire and Spirit, etc.

Re-baptism being a principle of the gospel, the order in which these baptisms are received is not all that important. The only necessary thing is that each one is received, for these are really three parts of one baptism. Nevertheless, the scriptural, ideal order is first the baptism of fire and of the Holy Ghost (see D&C 20: 37), followed by the baptism of water, followed by another baptism of fire and of the Holy Ghost, and thereafter, any part may be repeated multiple times throughout one’s life.

Another thing that the gospel states is that after a baptism of water, the baptism of fire and of the Holy Ghost is supposed to follow on its heels, either right after coming out of the water, or right after confirmation by the laying on of hands.

To demonstrate these principles, Joseph Smith received a baptism of fire during the First Vision, then a baptism of fire during each of Moroni’s visits and during the visit of John the Baptist, then a water baptism by the hand of Oliver Cowdery, followed by a baptism of the Holy Ghost after he came out of the water. Later he received other baptisms of fire with the visits of Peter, James, John, Moses, Elijah, etc. He also received another water baptism after the church was legally organized, etc.

Simultaneity

A baptism of fire is always accompanied with a baptism of the Holy Ghost, but a person may be baptized with the Holy Ghost without an accompanying baptism of fire. This is why the baptism of fire is always called the baptism (singular) of fire and of the Holy Ghost, and not the baptisms (plural) of fire and of the Holy Ghost. These two parts of the tripartite baptism occur simultaneously as a single baptismal event whenever there is a baptism of fire.

Jesus alone performs the baptism of fire

Unlike the baptism of water, which can be performed by the hand of a mortal man under priesthood power and authority, the baptism of fire is reserved for Deity alone to accomplish and is based upon the state of a man’s heart and his faith in Him. (See 3 Ne. 12: 1-2; 3 Ne. 9: 20; Matt. 3: 11; Luke 3: 16; JST Mark 1: 6; JST John 1: 28.)

Confirmation is not the baptism of fire

The scriptures say that elders are “to confirm those who are baptized into the church, by the laying of of hands for the baptism of fire and the Holy Ghost.” This is the ordinance of confirmation. Laying hands on someone’s head for the baptism of fire does not baptize anyone with fire. Only the Lord can do that.

When the scriptures say that this ordinance is “for” the baptism of fire, it is using that word “for” to mean “indicating the end with reference to which anything is, acts, serves or is done.” Specifically, the word “for” in that sentence means “as a preparation for” or “with the object of.” So, elders lay hands as a preparation for the baptism of fire, or they lay hands with the object of the baptism of fire.

The ordinance of confirmation, then, is a preparatory ordinance, which precedes an actual baptism of fire. This ordinance is called confirmation because it is intended to confirm the believers’ faith, both that of the one being confirmed and that of those doing the confirming. This is because true priesthood is “inseparably connected with the powers of heaven,” so when true priesthood is exercised as an ordinance of the gospel, there will be a corresponding manifestation of heavenly power. So, after the ordinance of confirmation, there is supposed to be a baptism of fire that occurs, showing that the covenant of the newly baptized person is accepted of God, as well as the priesthood of the one who is doing the confirming.

Binding and accepted covenants

The baptism of fire serves to witness to the new member, to the priesthood holder(s) confirming, and to the church that is present, that the covenant that the man has entered into with his God, witnessed by his water baptism, is accepted by God and is now in force. In other words, that it is binding, both upon the man and his God.

To put another way, water baptism is man’s way of witnessing to God that he has entered into a covenant to serve Him, whereas fire baptism is God’s way of witnessing to man that He has accepted that covenantal relationship.

(Jesus said, “Whoso believeth in me believeth in the Father also; and unto him will the Father bear record (witness) of me, for he will visit him with fire and with the Holy Ghost.” See 3 Ne. 11: 35.)

Plasma is the medium

To serve as a witness to all these people, the baptism of fire must be a visual sign. The medium used is not the fire of a gas stove or match, but discharging plasma in appearance as fire. Depending upon where one is located in relation to the plasma display, it may look like the flame of fire, like a palpable or living light, like lightning, or just as immense glory or brightness.

Specifically, the baptism of fire consists of twin plasma filaments, rapidly rotating around a central axis, creating a plasma tube or sheath, or plasma column, in other words, a cylindrical shape around the person being baptized. When viewed from the outside, it appears to be “a pillar of fire.” When viewed from within the tube, the fire aspects may or may not be discerned, but its bright light or glory is apparent. Thus we have the various accounts of Joseph Smith’s First Vision, which was a baptism of fire, using the words “fire,” “flame,” “light,” “brightness” and “glory” to describe the discharging plasma he was witnessing.

Sometimes the twin filaments themselves can be discerned, and so we get a description of “cloven tongues of fire,” meaning twin tongues (or filaments) of plasma flame. Other descriptions are of fire “encircling” the persons being baptized, showing that the filaments rotate around the person.

All of these scriptural accounts are describing the same plasma manifestation observed from different spatial perspectives, and so accounts vary. But even with everything before a person, sometimes details can still be missed, as in 1 Ne. 15: 27.

Other aspects

Fire baptism is by complete, or cellular, immersion. Plasma both surrounds and enters the man, so that he becomes “filled with fire.” The fire can be seen and felt. To the one immersed in it, it initially feels like he is burning to death, in an incomprehensibly complete and rapid manner, as every part of the body seems to have caught on fire. Great fear instantly comes upon the man as he fully believes he is about to die. But in the next instant his mind realizes that death has not occurred, that there is no pain and that there is no apparent cellular damage or harm. The fear leaves just as suddenly as it comes, only to be replaced with a feeling of awe and gratitude as the mind realizes that this same destroying fire, which should have instantly atomized the body, is somehow keeping the body protected from its own destructive power.

The divine plasma has the effect of cleansing the heart of man, purifying it of all dross (sinful desires), so that he no longer desires to sin, but instead abhors it. In this swept clean condition, the Holy Ghost then unexpectedly and suddenly enters the man and causes the individual bits of his soul to shout for joy, because of the presence of Deity.

Fire baptism allows other heavenly manifestations to occur

The baptism of fire purifies a person’s heart and Jesus said that all the pure in heart shall see God. So, whenever a person receives a baptism of fire, chances are real good that they will also see either an angel, vision or God Himself. At the very least some revelation or prophecy will occur along with the baptism of fire, or some other manifestation of one of the gifts of the Spirit.

Fire remits sin

Whenever a person receives a baptism of fire, his sins are automatically remitted. In other words, he becomes justified, or guiltless, before the Lord. Nephi said, “For the gate by which ye should enter is repentance and baptism by water; and then cometh a remission of your sins by fire and by the Holy Ghost.”

Fire brings forth a new tongue

Nephi also said that when a man receives the baptism of fire he then can speak with a new tongue, even the tongue of angels, and that “angels speak by the power of the Holy Ghost; wherefore, they speak the words of Christ.”

There are only two, definitive, scriptural examples

There are plenty of scriptural verses that mention the doctrine of baptism of fire, but there are only two accounts in our current standard works in which it is definitively stated that actual baptisms of fire occurred. Of those two accounts, only one applies to us in the latter days. They are:

Adam’s baptism of fire
After Adam was baptized by the Spirit of the Lord, as recorded in Moses 6: 64-68, he heard a voice saying, “Thou art baptized with fire, and with the Holy Ghost.” Nevertheless, there is no mention of any manifestation of fire in the account. Although quite interesting, this experience was, apparently, Adam specific and is not the template for the baptism of fire among the modern masses.

The Lamanites’ baptism of fire
When the Nephite missionaries Nephi and Lehi preached among the Lamanites and were imprisoned, about 300 souls received a baptism of fire, as recorded in Hel. 5: 20-49. This is the scriptural template of a baptism of fire for all mankind. We know this because the voice of Jesus Christ said so:

And ye shall offer for a sacrifice unto me a broken heart and a contrite spirit. And whoso cometh unto me with a broken heart and a contrite spirit, him will I baptize with fire and with the Holy Ghost, even as the Lamanites, because of their faith in me at the time of their conversion, were baptized with fire and with the Holy Ghost, and they knew it not. (3 Ne. 9: 20)

So, the Lord categorically states in the above scripture that the experience of the 300 souls was a baptism of fire. Additionally, He states that all baptisms of fire that He performs will be “even as the Lamanites… were baptized with fire.” The Lamanites’ baptism of fire, then, is the standard, the rule, and NOT the exception. It is the event that the Lord points to for us to determine whether a baptism of fire has occurred.

(The word “even” in the phrase “even as the Lamanites” means “in or to such (indicated) degree or kind.”)

What the baptism of fire consists of

Based upon the Lamanites’ experience, there are six characteristics of any baptism of fire. They are:

1. Fire encircling an individual, forming a cylindrical shape, such as a column or “pillar of fire” or plasma tube. This would be twin Birkeland currents (plasma cables or filaments) rotating rapidly around a central axis, in appearance like a fire tornado. This is the visual sign to all those witnessing the baptism.

2. The presence and ministration of angels.

3. Justification, meaning a remission of sins.

4. Purification, by fire entering the heart.

5. Sanctification, by becoming filled with (baptized in) the Holy Ghost.

6. Speaking with a new tongue (the tongue of angels, meaning speaking by the power of the Holy Ghost.)

Two more scriptural examples

Using the six characteristics above, we find two more scriptural examples of baptisms of fire which exactly match that of the Lamanites, although the text does not specifically say that they were fire baptisms. They are:

The Nephite little children’s baptism of fire
Jesus baptized little children with fire, as recorded in 3 Ne. 17: 21-25 and as witnessed by 2500 people. These children were encircled by fire, had angels minister to them and spoke in new tongues (see 3 Ne. 26: 14, 16.) Also, we know that they were justified, purified and sanctified, for they were little children and all little children are alive in Christ.

The 12 disciples’ baptism of fire
The fire baptism of these men is recorded in 3 Ne. 19: 11-15. They were encircled about by fire, filled with fire, had angels minister to them and prayed by the power of the Holy Ghost. From the text it is clear that they were justified, purified and sanctified.

Other intimated baptisms of fire

Joseph Smith’s baptisms of fire
As mentioned above, each of Joseph’s angelic ministrations was attended by a baptism of fire (plasma), including the First Vision.

For example, one First Vision account says, “A pillar of fire appeared above my head; which presently rested down upon me, and filled me with un-speakable joy. A personage appeared in the midst of this pillar of flame, which was spread all around and yet nothing consumed…I saw many angels in this vision.”

Another First Vision account says, “while in [the] attitude of calling upon the Lord [in the 16th* year of my age] a pillar of {fire} lightabove the brightness of the Sun at noon day come down fromabove and rested upon me and I was filld with the Spirit of God”. In this account Joseph couldn’t decide whether what he saw was fire or light. He finally decided on light and crossed out fire. The reason for his confusion was that he was witnessing discharging plasma.

I believe that it is reasonable to conclude that the plasma nature of the angel Moroni’s visit (see The plasma aspects of the First Vision and Moroni’s visit) was typical of all angelic ministrations to Joseph, and thus all such events in his life were likely baptisms of fire.

Moses’ vision of God
In Moses chapter 1 it says that “the glory of God was upon Moses.” That sounds to me like a plasma event and that he received a baptism of fire.

Lehi’s pillar of fire
1 Ne. 1: 6 mentions Lehi seeing a pillar of fire. It is obviously a super-duper abridgment of all that occurred, but it sounds like a baptism of fire.

Nephi’s visit from the Lord
Nephi mentions in 1 Ne. 2: 16 that he was visited by the Lord. He doesn’t elaborate but my guess is that this was Nephi’s first baptism of fire. Jesus states in 3 Ne. 11: 35 that when the Father visits people, He visits them with fire and with the Holy Ghost.

Cloven tongues on day of Pentecost
As recorded in Acts chapter 2, there appeared “cloven tongues like as of fire, and it sat upon each of them.” They were filled with the Spirit, spoke other tongues and spoke by the power of the Holy Ghost. It’s not an exact match of the Lamanite experience (angels are missing), but pretty darn close.

Gentile cloven tongues
In Acts 11: 15 we read Peter’s words about how the Gentiles also received the Holy Ghost. He said, “And as I began to speak, the Holy Ghost fell on them, as on us at the beginning.” That, to me, seems to be saying that the Holy Ghost fell on the Gentiles in the same way that the Holy Ghost fell on the Jews, namely, with accompanying manifestation of cloven tongues like as of fire. This could explain the astonishment of the Jews who witnessed the manifestation of tongues among the Gentiles. (See Acts 10: 44-47.)

Downgrading the baptism of fire

Now, when you compare the scriptural accounts of the baptism of fire to our modern, LDS definitions, it becomes obvious that we have downgraded the sudden, rapid changes effectuated by the marvelous, visual, power displays of the real deal to something gradual, drawn out, imperceptible and nondescript. For example:

While one definition of this expression (the baptism of fire and the Holy Ghost) refers to a cleansing by the Holy Spirit as if by fire, still the scriptures and the writings of the prophets indicate there is something more.

The new convert who has accepted the gift of the Holy Ghost with the right spirit will experience not only a cleansing but a feeling that will give him a new heart and make of him a new person. Sometimes this is immediate, and sometimes it happens over a period of time.

The scriptures, and even our church history, record miraculous instances when visible flames encircled the humble followers of Christ—literal manifestations of fire and the Holy Ghost—but more often this fire works quietly and unseen in the hearts of those who have received the gift of the Holy Ghost.

The witness, the change, the cleansing that comes gradually is no less powerful to the person with the right heart, and he or she is impelled to action whether the experience was a sudden, miraculous manifestation or the quiet workings of the Spirit.

(Fire and the Holy Ghost, Loren C. Dunn, Ensign, June 1995)

We have taken away the majesty of the Father’s witness and replaced it with something that goes entirely against nature. Nature is cyclic, cycling between periods of rest and periods of activity. All things work on this principle, including spiritual things. Baptism (all three parts) are designed to be moments of spiritual intensity. You cannot perform a baptism of water over a period of time, or gradually, quietly and unseen. No, you are outside of the water (which can be visually discerned), then you are immersed, and then you come out of the water. There is nothing gradual about it. A single water baptism cannot be performed over days and years. In like manner, the baptism of fire is a punctuated, spiritually intense event.

No one’s spirituality is designed to grow gradually. Gradual spiritual growth is the same as no spiritual growth. There is no such animal as gradual spiritual growth. You either have intense spiritual experiences from time to time or you are spiritually dying. This is why we are commanded to come together often, to intensify the Spirit so as to be capable of growing spiritually.

Joseph Smith’s life was meant to be an example to us. He had multiple, very intense spiritual experiences. It began with a baptism of fire, it continued with more baptisms of fire and it ended in a volley of gun fire. John Taylor said that Joseph lived for glory, died for glory and glory is his eternal reward. Glory = plasma = the baptism of fire. Joseph did, indeed, live for those fire baptism experiences. He had a lot of them, he saw a lot of angels and who knows how many visions, and he wanted to have more of the same. And he tried ceaselessly to get the saints to experience what he was experiencing. So did Moses and all true prophets.

You are either immersed in plasma or you are not. You are either in an intensity phase or in a rest phase of the cycle. There is no such thing as non-cyclic gradualness. If you think you are growing spiritually for the past ten years without any intense spiritual experiences, you are kidding yourself. It means that you have been in a spiritual rest phase of the cycle during this time. No one can remain at spiritual rest for any extended period of time before spirituality begins to decay. It is an impossibility. So, the LDS concept of a gradual, life-long, imperceptible baptism of fire is patently false and leads to spiritual death.

Everyone will receive a baptism of fire

It is not a question of if, but when and how. If a man humbles himself before the Lord and enters into a covenant to serve Him, he’ll receive a baptism of fire in this life, one that will purify and justify him. But there are other baptisms of fire that can be received. For example, one is the baptism of fire that the earth and all those that do wickedly upon her will receive at the Second Coming. Another is the baptism of fire that occurs when the sons of perdition are immersed in the lake of fire and brimstone. One way or another, we are all eventually going to have to go through some type of baptismal fire.

And they knew it not

In closing, let me address one other thing. Jesus said that the Lamanites “were baptized with fire and with the Holy Ghost, and they knew it not.” Some have taken that to mean that the Lamanites experienced a change upon their hearts which they did not perceive, because it happened gradually, over time. In other words, that the Lord meant that there was no great manifestation during the Lamanites’ fire and Holy Ghost baptism. And also that the Lord was not referring to the 300 Lamanites who were in prison with Nephi and Lehi, but was referring instead to other Lamanite converts.

This is an incorrect interpretation.

The real meaning of the Lord’s words is that the Lamanites (the 300 souls in that prison) had a magnificent, visual baptism of fire and of the Holy Ghost, but did not know what it was. That is all that the Lord meant by what He said.

Any time someone experiences a baptism of fire without first being taught about it, they go through the experience without knowing what it is. Joseph’s First Vision fire baptism was performed on him while he was still a boy totally ignorant of such a thing as a baptism of fire. In my own life, I remember that the first time that I had a baptism of fire (prior to my water baptism) I was blown away and didn’t know what it was. The missionaries that had taught me the gospel had not explained this doctrine, so it came as a complete surprise to me and it was only years later, as I studied and learned more of the gospel on my own, that I was able to determine what the hell it was. Prior to that time, it was always an anomaly to me and when talking to others about the various spiritual experiences I had had over the years, I would always set it apart by saying something like, “The second time the Holy Ghost manifested itself to me was quite different than the other times. It was, well, a really big manifestation with a lot of power and I thought I was going to die, or I did die and came back to life. I’m not really sure what happened. All I know is I was consumed in fire but somehow survived unharmed.” Such were my ignorant descriptions. But of course it was a different manifestation than the others. It was a baptism of fire, for crying out loud! But I knew it not.

And in the same manner, neither did the Lamanites.

Complete List of Articles authored by LDS Anarchist

Body modesty is not a principle of the gospel


This blog is going to have its 3rd birthday next month, October 7th, and since its inception one subject that I have intentionally avoided is the topic of body modesty. From what I’ve read on other Mormon blogs, I’ve always come to the conclusion that Mormons are, essentially, prudes. How, then, could I speak of my understanding of body modesty without offending the sensibilities of my audience? Hence the silence.

Recently, though, I was searching for information on the Maitreya and I came across a different Maitreya whose organization was seeking to change the laws of the land to put the sexes on a more equal standing. I found the legal arguments fascinating and began to write a blog post on just that topic alone. But then I stopped again, realizing that I was mentioning body modesty without going into any depth, as I probably should. It would inevitably come up in the comment section, but without a proper treatment in the post.

So, as is usual for me, after giving it sufficient re-consideration, I made a split-second decision and with a verbal, “oh, what the hell,” I’m now diving head first into this topic.

What I teach my children

I knew that eventually, as my children attended church, they would be taught by their Sunday school teachers and advisers that body modesty is a part of the law of chastity, so I have been especially careful that they are instructed on that law so as to be able to discern truth from error. (I have covered the law of chastity previously on this blog, so I won’t go back into that topic, but I’ll just say here and now that it doesn’t mention how one is supposed to dress.) They understand that body modesty is a man-made societal norm that changes over time to suit the conditions among men, their customs, cultures, climate, biases, preconceived notions and so on and so forth. It has no basis in the gospel of Jesus Christ.

The Wikipedia has an excellent entry on modesty and I don’t want to extensively quote from it, so please click here to read it and learn about how the standards of body modesty have varied and changed over time.

From here on out I will just use the term “modesty” with the understanding that I am referring only to “body modesty,” meaning that modesty which deals with the covering up of the body with clothing. Okay, back to what my kids are taught.

Heavenly Father’s rule of modesty

I teach my children to hold up the pattern of modesty given by their Father in heaven as the ideal standard. Usually, when my kids ask me a question, I’ll answer them with another question and have them figure out the answer themselves. In this case, I’ll do the same to explain the heavenly pattern:

Question: How does heavenly Father clothe us when He sends us here to Earth?

Answer: He sends us here naked, or clothed in flesh.

 

Question: Is any part of our physical bodies clothed or covered when we get here?

Answer: Yes, the male penis is covered by a foreskin and the female clitoris is covered by a hood.

 

Question: As the body matures into adulthood, does anything become covered?

Answer: Yes, the genitals and armpits of both sexes becomes covered in hair. The face of males also becomes covered in hair.

This is the standard of modesty I give my children. As long as you still have your pubic hair and clitoral hood and penile foreskin coverings, there is no need for shame, for you are dressed modestly.

Everything above and beyond that standard is man-made.

Moroni the naked angel

Said Joseph of the angel Moroni:

He had on a loose robe of most exquisite whiteness. It was a whiteness beyond anything earthly I had ever seen; nor do I believe that any earthly thing could be made to appear so exceedingly white and brilliant. His hands were naked, and his arms also, a little above the wrist; so, also, were his feet naked, as were his legs, a little above the ankles. His head and neck were also bare. I could discover that he had no other clothing on but this robe, as it was open, so that I could see into his bosom. (Joseph Smith-History 1: 31)

So, Joseph could see that Moroni was totally naked, except for the open robe he was wearing. Why in the world would God allow Moroni to show Joseph his nakedness? Didn’t he know that robes need to be tied closed, so that no one can see the chest and genital area? Why wasn’t Moroni ashamed to show his nakedness to Joseph?

Isaiah, the naked prophet

In the year that Tartan came unto Ashdod, (when Sargon the king of Assyria sent him,) and fought against Ashdod, and took it; at the same time spake the Lord by Isaiah the son of Amoz, saying, Go and loose the sackcloth from off thy loins, and put off thy shoe from thy foot. And he did so, walking naked and barefoot. And the Lord said, Like as my servant Isaiah hath walked naked and barefoot three years for a sign and wonder upon Egypt and upon Ethiopia; so shall the king of Assyria lead away the Egyptians prisoners, and the Ethiopians captives, young and old, naked and barefoot, even with their buttocks uncovered, to the shame of Egypt. (Isaiah 20: 1-4)

Shouldn’t Isaiah have felt ashamed to show his nakedness for three straight years?

Our first parents naked

Adam and Even “were both naked, the man and his wife, and were not ashamed.”

“And I, the Lord God, said unto Adam: Who told thee thou wast naked?”  (Moses 4: 17)

Let’s answer the question. Who told them that they were naked? Who taught them to be ashamed of their nakedness? Who originated body modesty?

LUCIFER: See–you are naked. Take some fig leaves and make you aprons. Father will see your nakedness. Quick! Hide!  (Source: The Garden.)

Satan did.

Why Satan told our first parents to clothe themselves

I think Bette Davis said it best:

“I often think that a slightly exposed shoulder emerging from a long satin nightgown packed more sex than two naked bodies in bed.”

She is right, of course. And Satan knew this from the beginning. It is his intention to have everyone break the law of chastity. If everyone were naked, the law of chastity would be broken less, not more. He needed to first cover our parents up and create the illusion of shame, so that the enticement of sin could allure people into uncovering “the sinful parts,” followed by the guilt of acting shameful.

Satan works by using secrets. Occult knowledge is secret knowledge. Secret combinations can only work in the dark. Devilish logic follows that genital parts must become “secret parts.” Thus, we have the (apparently) strange command of the devil to our first parents to abide by the principle of modesty!

Notice, though, that now the devil has made even the breast a “secret part.” Adam and Eve originally covered up only their genitals with fig leaves. Now, society will have us believe the exposure of the female (not male) breast is immodest.

The Lord looks upon the heart

But the Lord said unto Samuel, Look not on his countenance, or on the height of his stature; because I have refused him: for the Lord seeth not as man seeth; for man looketh on the outward appearance, but the Lord looketh on the heart. (1 Samuel 16: 7)

Neither is there any creature that is not manifest in his sight: but all things are naked and opened unto the eyes of him with whom we have to do.  (Hebrews 4: 13)

Such truth, though, is not very useful to the devil. So, clothing is used to entice, to create the illusion of sexiness, to flaunt power and prestige and money, to say I am better than you, more beautiful than you. It is used to create situations of judgment, so that mankind judges each other based upon what they are, or are not, wearing. It is used to despise the poor who cannot afford the better garments, or any garments, at all. Etc.

The Lord, though, uses clothing for other, righteous purposes. Clothing can protect from the elements, hence we find the Lord making coats of skins for Adam and Eve so that when they enter the fallen world they can survive. It can convey spiritual symbolism, hence the priesthood garment. And there are other righteous purposes, as well, that do not necessarily equate to “hiding one’s nakedness”, which was Satan’s deceptive intention for clothing. (Remember, the angel Moroni wore a robe that did not hide his nakedness from Joseph. What, then, was the purpose of the robe?)

Not all Mormons are prudes

For example:

LDS Skinny Dippers Forum

These are LDS who are “interested in chaste, wholesome, recreational nudity.” They have no problem with privately or publicly going completely nude. They are, however, most likely a very small minority.

The rest of the LDS are prudes, pure and simple, who quibble over the length of a sleeve or pant leg or skirt. Who are shocked when there is an exposed shoulder. Who cannot even conceive of a painting of a bare chest, stripling warrior whose nipple hasn’t been airbrushed out.

The audience of all modesty talks

The target of virtually all modesty talks is the female population. She is told how and how not to dress. She is taught this by her mother, by her Sunday school teachers and advisers, and by her priesthood leadership. All of this repression, if ever let out, leads to rampant breaking of the law of chastity (Satan’s plan). And if it isn’t let out, it leads to depression (again, Satan’s plan, the misery of all).

Guys, for the most part, hardly get a mention in modesty talks. I don’t recall ever being told I had to cover up my chest or nipples, or had to wear shorts below a certain length, or keep my shoulders and back covered, etc. Modesty oppression is mainly a girl thing.

Of course, the males get oppressed in other ways, such as the insistence on wearing white shirts, flaxen cords about their necks (ties), being clean-shaven and having short hair.

Legal public nudity is coming soon to a city near you

Now this brings me to that web site I spoke of above, about equalizing the sexes. If you click the below link, be forewarned that you will see pictures of top free men and women.

GoTopless.org

Here are some quotes from the web site:

Welcome to GoTopless.org! – We are a US organization, claiming that women have the same constitutional right to be bare chested in public places as men.

Maitreya, Rael, spiritual leader and founder of GoTopless.org states: “As long as men can be topless, constitutionally women should have the same right, or men should also be forced to wear something hiding their chest.”

Why a National GoTopless Protest day? Gotopless.org claims constitutional equality between men and women on being topless in public. Currently, women who dare to be topless in public in the US are repeatedly being arrested, fined, humiliated, criminalized. On SUNDAY AUGUST 22nd, 2010, topless women will rally in great numbers across the USA to protest this gross inequality in the law and will demand that their fundamental right to be topless be acknowledged where men already enjoy that right according to the 14th amendment of the Constitution (please see our exact legal argument on the right to be topfree for women under “14th amendment” in news section.)

Why in August? On August 26, 1920, following a 72-year struggle, the U.S. Constitution was amended to grant women the right to vote. And in 1970, as an ongoing reminder of women’s equality, Congress declared August 26 “Women’s Equality Day.” But even in the 21st century, women need to stand up and demand that equality in fact – not just in words. Note that in 2010, GoTopless will have a large rally nationwide in honor of the 90th anniversary of the 19th Amendment and Women’s Equality Day.

Why having GoTopless actions in cities where top-less freedom for women is already legal? Those programmed with puritanical values find it difficult to change. This “mentality hurdle” applies to both women and men.

How are we helping women? GoTopless is committed to helping women perceive their breasts as noble, natural parts of their anatomy (whether they are nursing or not). Breasts shouldn’t have to be “modestly” or shamefully hidden from public view any more than arms, legs or feet.

How are we helping men? GoTopless is also committed to helping men differentiate between nudity and sexuality. If the presence of a topless woman in public triggers a sexual impulse, it can easily be controlled in the same way men control themselves when they see a woman wearing a mini skirt or revealing ample cleavage. Men manage to appreciate these things while still showing respect! Choosing consciousness above hormones leads to a peaceful, respectful society providing additional freedom and beauty.

Why do you talk about femininity rather than feminism? In the past, women often had to act like men when fighting for their rights, so they repressed their femininity. Today, GoTopless women see their femininity as a powerful asset as they struggle for equal rights in a masculine-dominated world.

What happens on National GoTopless day? Across America, topless women and men peacefully rally in the streets, parks, on the beaches of their towns and cities. Topfree performances are given by various artists to honor women’s right to be top free, body painting is be available. Chalk street artists also paint Art works from Old Masters (or new ones) without any nipple censure. The aim is to convey that the sight of a top free women in public is as natural as the sight of top free men. Please write to us if you are an artist (performance or visual) who would like to participate in one of future events.

Participating cities for Go Topless Day 2010 are : Please see our news section to learn the details about the events in each city.

NEW YORK CITY, NEW YORK

VENICE BEACH, CALIFORNIA

CHICAGO, ILLINOIS

MIAMI BEACH, FLORIDA

AUSTIN, TEXAS

SEATTLE, WASHINGTON

OAHU, HAWAII

DENVER, COLORADO

SAN FRANCISCO, CALIFORNIA

14th Amendment to the US Constitution The 14th amendment guarantees equal protection under law and properly interpreted it guarantees women the right to be top-free where men are allowed to be topfree. Unfortunately, some jurisdictions do not recognize that right, and there is a less stringent test in the courts (called intermediate scrutiny) for gender based differential treatment than for e.g., racial classifications (which are analyzed under what’s called strict scrutiny).

Our rights under the 14th Amendment guarantee and include the one to be top free where men are allowed to – We seek to see legislation (or court decisions where arrests are made for being top free) in all jurisdictions to make explicit what should already be understood as implicit within the meaning of equal rights.

Please see the above web site for information about the states and cities where being top free (or even totally nude, such as Portland, Oregon) in public is legal.

What will the LDS ever do?

In the changing legal environment, I wonder what the LDS will do if suddenly they find themselves living in a city where anyone can legally walk around stark naked or bare-chested. Our arguments about skirt length seem kind of silly faced with legal public nudity, as in the right to be nude. Will we be champions of people’s rights, or shame them all as sinners?

And what I really wonder is this: if this changing legal environment is setting the stage for the appearance of naked prophets and angels, are we going to be among those who reject them because of their immodest appearance?

Eyelids, necks and feet to the rescue

Don’t like what you see? Don’t like how that person is dressed? Don’t like it that a woman is going around topfree? Don’t like that that man or woman is walking around in the nude? Well, have no fear. God gave us eyelids with which to close our eyes, and necks with which to turn our head, and feet with which to walk away. This is the proper response.

Don’t make laws to force people to conform to your standards. Don’t make laws to remove people’s rights. Don’t do the devil’s work for him.

Complete List of Articles authored by LDS Anarchist

So John the Baptist Smoked Pot, What of It?


Recent evidence has surfaced which reveals that John the Baptist was high on pot—descending in a cloud of marijuana smoke—when he conferred the priesthood upon Joseph and Oliver.  Some may feel this is unbecoming of an angelic prophet, but I want to state for the record that I support John 100%.

To all the prudes and misinformed:

So John smoked pot.  So what?

A List of Evidences in Favor of Pot

Latest CBS News Polls Finds Majority Of Western Voters, Californians, Back Marijuana Legalization by Paul Armentano, April 27, 2010

End Insanity Of The War on Drugs—Start With Decriminalizing Marijuana at The Federal Level by Ron Paul, April 20, 2010

Marijuana: Recreational drug or natural health miracle? by Kevin Genovario, April 19, 2010

Anti-Pot Propaganda As Stupid As Ever – Yet Our Alarmist Media Continues to Hype It by Paul Armentano, March 10, 2010

The Feds Are Addicted to Pot – Even If You Aren’t by Paul Armentano, December 18, 2009

Marijuana Is Safer: So Why Are We Driving People To Drink? by Mark Thornton, December 1, 2009

Marijuana Is Safer: So Why Are We Driving People to Drink? by Paul Armentano, August 12, 2009

Why Condemn Phelps, When We Ought to Condemn the Laws That Brand Him a Criminal by Paul Armentano, February 4, 2009

Drug War’s Latest Tally: 872,721 Pot Arrests, an All-Time High by Paul Armentano, September 17, 2008

Pot Versus the ‘Superbug’ by Paul Armentano, September 2, 2008

So Where Did All The Ditchweed Go? by Paul Armentano, August 11, 2008

20 Years for Pot Possession? by Paul Armentano, July 29, 2008

The Death of Rachel Hoffman by Paul Armentano, July 28, 2008

When It Comes To Medical Pot, Rats Are Smarter Than Our Politicians by Paul Armentano, July 22, 2008

So What If Pot Can Cure Cancer; That’s No Reason For You To Use It by Paul Armentano, July 19, 2008

What the Government Knows About Cannabis and Cancer – and Isn’t Telling You by Paul Armentano, June 26, 2008

Is Senator Kennedy a Victim of Pot Prohibition? by Paul Armentano, May 22, 2008

It’s Official: Gordon Brown and Jacqui Smith Have Lost Their Minds by Paul Armentano, May 15, 2008

How to Tell If the Drug Czar Is Lying? His Lips Are Moving by Paul Armentano, May 14, 2008

Setting the Record Straight on Marijuana and Addiction by Paul Armentano, March 31, 2008

Pot Makes You Lose Your Mind! by Paul Armentano, March 21, 2008

Outrageous Anti-Pot Lies: Media Uses Disgraceful Cancer Scare Tactics by Paul Armentano, March 11, 2008

Ending America’s Domestic Quagmire by Paul Armentano, March 10, 2008

The Lies of the Drug War by Paul Armentano, March 1, 2008

Making Pot Legal: We Can Do It – Here’s How by Paul Armentano, February 13, 2008

What’s the Going Price for a Joint? by Paul Armentano, February 5, 2008

‘Pot 2.0’: Where Can I Get Some? by Paul Armentano, November 2, 2007

Could Cannabis Quell Americans Addiction to Pain Meds? by Paul Armentano and Chris Goldstein, September 20, 2007

Nothing’s Either Good or Bad – Unless the State Says So by William Norman Grigg, July 2, 2007

It’s Been an ‘All Out War’ on Pot Smokers for 35 Years by Paul Armentano, March 23, 2007

White House Requests Increased Funding for Failed Student Drug-Testing, Discredited Anti-Pot Ads by Paul Armentano, February 10, 2007

A Billion Dollars a Year for Pot? by Paul Armentano, October 19, 2006

Medical Marijuana and the Ninth and Tenth Amendments byAnthony Gregory, October 5, 2006

Another Marijuana Myth Goes Up In Smoke by Paul Armentano, June 9, 2006

Cannabis and the Brain: A User’s Guide by Paul Armentano, March 2, 2006

NFL’s Buzzkill: No Beer at Giants Stadium by Paul Armentano, January 14, 2006

Here’s Your Cup, Junior by Paul Armentano, October 12, 2005

Bad Trip by Paul Armentano, March 22, 2005

Crimes of the Other War by Paul Armentano, February 8, 2005

High Court Must Take Lead in Medical Marijuana Debate Because Politicians Will Not by Paul Armentano, November 30, 2004

Terror War Takes a Back Seat to War on Drugs by Paul Armentano, October 30, 2004

Exposing Potent Pot Myths by Paul Armentano, October 21, 2004

Federal Drug Use Surveys and Fuzzy Math by Paul Armentano, September 22, 2004

Unlocking a Cure for Cancer – With Pot by Paul Armentano, August 17, 2004

Complete List of Articles authored by LDS Anarchist

Manasseh’s future leadership role


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

An overlooked prophecy

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

First to be last and then last to be first

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

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

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

This is a future prophecy

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

Numbering is a future, tribal event

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

Destruction among the unbelieving Ephraimitish Gentiles

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

What of real Ephraim and the other real tribes?

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

Complete List of Articles authored by LDS Anarchist

Damnation


I recently (Sept. 17) had the opportunity to participate in a discussion on The Millennial Star blog.  The topic was on the meaning of the word “damned” in D&C 132: 4-6.  I stopped participating when I realized that I needed more room than a comments section to explain my understanding of damnation.  So, I thought I’d take the topic up in earnest on this blog.

Bible Dictionary definition of damnation

BIBLE DICTIONARY
Damnation
As used in the KJV this word has a wider meaning than is at once apparent from modern usage. Damnation is the opposite of salvation, and exists in varying degrees. All who do not obtain the fulness of celestial exaltation will to some degree be limited in their progress and privileges, and hence be damned to that extent. See Matt. 23: 14, 33; Mark 3: 29; Mark 16: 16; John 5: 29; Rom. 13: 2; 1 Cor. 11: 29; 2 Ne. 9: 24; 3 Ne. 18: 28-29; D&C 58: 26-29; D&C 84: 74; D&C 112: 29; D&C 132: 4, 6, 27.

This is the definition that the modern Mormons have accepted, and which they routinely teach.  According to this interpretation, there are four degrees of damnation:

  • Sons of perdition. These are people who are cast into outer darkness, who inherit the kingdom of the devil.   They receive the full measure of damnation, being fully limited in their progress and privileges.  They are damned in that they do not partake of either the Telestial, Terrestrial or Celestial kingdoms of glory and the happiness which is found therein.  The kingdom of the devil is not a kingdom of glory, but a hell, and all who inherit it are miserable forever.
  • Telestials. These are people who inherit the Telestial kingdom of glory and the happiness found therein.  They escape the misery of outer darkness, but partake of the misery in knowing that they will eternally miss out on the glories of the Terrestrial and Celestial kingdoms.  Although this kingdom of glory is termed a heaven (see the section heading of D&C 76), because of the damnation of these individuals in what they might have received, but did not, they feel regret and longing and are miserable forever.  And thus their kingdom of glory is also a hell.
  • Terrestrials. These are people who inherit the Terrestrial kingdom of glory and the happiness found therein.  They escape the misery of outer darkness and the misery of the Telestial kingdom, but partake of the misery in knowing that they will eternally miss out on the glory of the Celestial kingdom.  Although this kingdom of glory is termed a heaven, because of the damnation of these individuals in what they might have received, but did not, they feel regret and longing and are miserable forever.  And thus their kingdom of glory is also a hell.
  • Celestial angels. These are people who inherit the Celestial kingdom of glory and the happiness found therein.  They escape the misery of outer darkness and the misery of the Telestial and Terrestrial kingdoms, but partake of the misery in knowing that they will eternally miss out on the glory of the exalted, those who are gods in the Celestial kingdom.  Although this kingdom of glory is termed a heaven, because of the damnation of these individuals in what they might have received, but did not, they feel regret and longing and are miserable forever.  And thus their kingdom of glory is also a hell.

Under this model, there is only one type of person that is not damned:

  • Celestial gods. These are people who inherit the Celestial kingdom of glory and the happiness found therein, and who are exalted.  They escape the misery of outer darkness and the misery of the Telestial and Terrestrial kingdoms, as well as the misery of Celestial angels.  This kingdom of glory is termed a heaven, and it verily is to these individuals, because they have no regrets and long for nothing, for they possess all things and thus are not miserable, but have a fulness of joy and happiness.

Salvation, who gets it and who doesn’t

As the Bible Dictionary mentions salvation in its definition of damnation, it might be helpful to give the Mormon understanding of who gets saved.  Specifically, we know of four types of people who receive salvation:

  • Celestial gods. These are people who inherit the Celestial kingdom of glory and the happiness found therein, and who are exalted.  They dwell in the presence of God and Christ and receive that salvation known as eternal life (exaltation), becoming like God.
  • Celestial angels. These are people who inherit the Celestial kingdom of glory and the happiness found therein, but who are not exalted.  They are servants to God and Christ and dwell in their presence, but are not exactly like them.  They are in a saved condition, like gods, but without exaltation.
  • Terrestrials. These are people who inherit the Terrestrial kingdom of glory and the happiness found therein.  They do not dwell in the presence of God, but receive of “the ministration of the celestial.”  Like the Celestials, these people are saved.
  • Telestials. These are people who inherit the Telestial kingdom of glory and the happiness found therein.  They do not dwell in the presence of God, nor receive of the fulness of Christ, but receive of the Holy Spirit through “the ministration of the terrestrial.”  These people are also “heirs of salvation.”

There is only one type of person that is not saved:

  • Sons of perdition. These are people who are cast into outer darkness, who inherit the kingdom of the devil, a kingdom which is not of glory.

Damned and saved at the same time?

The Bible Dictionary model creates a conflict in which it is possible to be damned and saved at the same time, to be eternally happy and eternally miserable at the same time. Despite damnation being “the opposite of salvation,” according to the Bible Dictionary these two opposite conditions will exist in Celestial angels, Terrestrials and Telestials.  This thought goes contrary to the principle of like things cleaving unto like things:

For intelligence cleaveth unto intelligence; wisdom receiveth wisdom; truth embraceth truth; virtue loveth virtue; light cleaveth unto light; mercy hath compassion on mercy and claimeth her own; justice continueth its course and claimeth its own; judgment goeth before the face of him who sitteth upon the throne and governeth and executeth all things.  (D&C 88: 40)

The way around this quandary is to redefine the word damnation (or damned) to mean something other than what it traditionally means.  The Bible Dictionary would have us believe that damnation means “to be limited in one’s progress and privileges” in certain passages of the scriptures, in other words, that “this word has a wider meaning than is at once apparent from modern usage.”

Acceptance of this theory creates an internal conflict of regret and longing, and a judgmental attitude, with comparisons of those “above us” and “below us,” and ultimately will and does lead to depression.  In other words, according to this model, happiness comes from knowing you got more than someone else and unhappiness comes from knowing you didn’t get as much as others.  This is what LDS look forward to in the eternities, having accepted this doctrinal theory, and this is what they routinely display in their mortal lives.

Correcting an error

The redefining of the words damnation and damned to fit certain passages of the scripture, assigning them a meaning of “a limiting of one’s progress and privileges,” has become systemic throughout the church.  Every LDS I know believes the Bible Dictionary assertion.  I do not know how or when it crept into the church, but I am a convert member of some decades and I have never heard another model other than this one since my baptism, so I know it’s been around a long time.

It is a bit embarrassing to admit that I not only accepted it myself from the beginning without question, but also preached it as a missionary to others. It wasn’t until September 17, 2009, that I actually got around to checking to see if the model held up to scriptural scrutiny.  It was then that I discovered that the standard LDS damnation model (of being saved and damned at the same time) is incorrect.  Many thanks go out to JA Benson and his/her Friday Forum post at The Millennium Star blog, as well as the comments of others on that post, for providing me the excuse and impetus to investigate this subject.

Although I don’t know the origins of this particular doctrinal theory, it seems apparent that it was the result of not understanding the scriptures.  So, to correct it, I will attempt to lay out the scriptures to the understanding of the reader and expound the real meaning of the words damned and damnation.  Perhaps with a proper understanding of these words, LDS won’t be such chronically depressed people.

Number of scriptural uses of damned and damnation

Damn In the scriptures, there are ZERO uses of the word damn.

Damning In the Doctrine and Covenants there is but ONE use of the word damning. (See D&C 123: 7Damning in this verse means detestable and so it doesn’t need to be addressed.)

Damned In the New Testament there are THREE uses of the word damned. (See Mark 16: 16; Rom. 14: 23; and 2 Thes. 2: 12.)  In the Book of Mormon there are EIGHT uses of the word damned. (See 2 Ne. 9: 24; Alma 14: 21; Alma 36: 16; 3 Ne. 11: 34; Morm. 2: 13; Morm. 9: 4, 23; and Ether 4: 18.)  In the Doctrine and Covenants there are TEN uses of the word damned. (See D&C 42: 60; 49: 5; 58: 29; 68: 9; 84: 74; 112: 29; and 132: 4, 6, 27.)  And in the Pearl of Great Price there is but ONE use of the word damned. (See Moses 5: 15.)  The total number of scriptural uses, then, of the word damned, comes to 21.

Damnation In the New Testament there are ELEVEN uses of the word damnation. (See Matt. 23: 14, 33; Mark 3: 29; 12: 40; Luke 20: 47; John 5: 29; Rom. 3: 8; 13: 2; 1 Cor. 11: 29; 1 Tim. 5: 12; and 2 Pet. 2: 3.)  In the Book of Mormon there are NINE uses of the word damnation. (See Mosiah 2: 33; 3: 18, 25; 16: 11; Alma 9: 28; Hel. 12: 26; 3 Ne. 18: 29; 26: 5; and Morm. 8: 33.)  In the Doctrine and Covenants there are THREE uses of the word damnation. (See D&C 19: 7; 29: 44; and 121: 23.)  The total number of scriptural uses, then, of the word damnation, comes to 23.

So, there are only 44 verses in the English Standard Works that mention damn or damnation.  It shouldn’t be too hard for us to figure this all out.

1828 Webster’s Dictionary definition of damned and damnation

First let’s establish what people understood these words to mean during the time of Joseph Smith:

DAM’NED, pp.

1. Sentenced to everlasting punishment in a future state; condemned.

2. a. Hateful; detestable; abominable;

A word chiefly used in profaneness by persons of vulgar manners.

(Taken from the damned entry of the 1828 Webster’s Dictionary.)

DAMNA’TION, n.

1. Sentence or condemnation to everlasting punishment in the future state; or the state of eternal torments.

How can ye escape the damnation of hell. Matt. xxiii

2. Condemnation.

(Taken from the damnation entry of the 1828 Webster’s Dictionary.)

From the same dictionary, here are the definitions of the words condemned and condemnation:

CONDEMNED, pp. Censured; pronounced to be wrong, guilty, worthless or forfeited; adjudged or sentenced to punishment.

(Taken from the condemned entry of the 1828 Webster’s Dictionary.)

CONDEMNATION, n.

1. The act of condemning; the judicial act of declaring one guilty, and dooming him to punishment.

For the judgment was by one to condemnation. Romans 5.

2. The state of being condemned.

Dost thou not fear God, seeing thou art in the same condemnation. Luke 23.

3. The cause or reason of a sentence of condemnation.  John 3.

(Taken from the condemnation entry of the 1828 Webster’s Dictionary.)

Okay, so the words damned, damnation, condemned and condemnation all deal with a judicial act of declaring one guilty (no mercy applied) and dooming him to punishment.  In the case of the words damned and damnation, this can refer to either eternal (everlasting) punishment or temporal punishment (condemnation).  Condemned and condemnation usually refer to temporal punishment unless the scriptural text is speaking specifically of the last day (day of judgment) and eternal punishment.  Regardless of which word you use, though, the meaning always is that a judgment has taken place, you have been found guilty because no mercy has been applied and you are to receive a punishment.

To condemn means to damn

In the scriptures, the verb to damn is never used.  Instead, the verb to condemn is used.  This makes sense from an etymological standpoint:

Etymology of condemn: Middle English, from Anglo-French condempner, from Latin condemnare, from com- + damnare to condemn

See that damnare? Damnare means damn, or to damn. So, the verb to condemn is really just the verb to damn with the prefix con- attached to it.

Damned and damnation in Spanish

Remember those 44 total verses listed above?  If you look them up in Spanish, you will find that in 40 of them the word damned is translated as condenado and the word damnation is translated as condenación.  The Spanish word condenado means condemned and condenación means condemnation.  Also, regardless of whether the word in English is damned or condemned, the Spanish word is almost always condenado (condemned). In the same manner, regardless of whether the word in English is damnation or condemnation, the Spanish word is almost always condenación (condemnation). So, in Spanish there is no distinction made between damnation and condemnation and the Spanish speaking population merely allows the context to indicate whether we are talking of temporal or eternal condemnation (judgment, verdict of guilty and punishment).

The other four verses are translated as follows:

Matt. 23: 33 reads in English, “damnation of hell,” but in Spanish it reads, “juicio del infierno” (judgment of hell).

Mark 3: 29 reads in English, “eternal damnation,” but in Spanish it reads, “juicio eterno” (eternal judgment).

1 Cor. 11: 29 reads in English, “damnation,” but in Spanish it reads, “juicio” (judgment).

2 Pet. 2: 3 reads in English, “judgment” and “damnation,” but in Spanish it reads, “condenación” (condemnation) and “perdición” (perdition).

All of this shows that in the scriptures, whenever it speaks of damnation (or condemnation), it is always talking about a judgment being passed, no mercy has been applied, a guilty verdict is the result and punishment is inflicted.  Always.

Abinadi’s definition of damnation

Even this mortal shall put on immortality, and this corruption shall put on incorruption, and shall be brought to stand before the bar of God, to be judged of him according to their works whether they be good or whether they be evil—if they be good, to the resurrection of endless life and happiness; and if they be evil, to the resurrection of endless damnation, being delivered up to the devil, who hath subjected them, which is damnation—having gone according to their own carnal wills and desires; having never called upon the Lord while the arms of mercy were extended towards them; for the arms of mercy were extended towards them, and they would not; they being warned of their iniquities and yet they would not depart from them; and they were commanded to repent and yet they would not repent.  (Mosiah 16: 10-12)

According to Abinadi’s definition, damnation consists of “being delivered up to the devil.”  Those who are damned are subject to the devil. Notice that Abinadi says that there is an endless damnation. There is also a damnation that ends.

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: 26)

So, we see from this verse that it is possible to be delivered up to the devil for a time, and then be redeemed when repentance occurs.

Two types of damnation

This shows that there are two types of damnation: eternal damnation (that damnation that comes after the resurrection) and temporal damnation (that damnation that comes prior to the resurrection and which has an end prior to the resurrection.)  This is why the scriptures speak of two time frames of forgiveness: this world and the world to come.

But whoso breaketh this covenant after he hath received it, and altogether turneth therefrom, shall not have forgiveness of sins in this world nor in the world to come. (D&C 84: 41)

And now, behold, I speak unto the church. Thou shalt not kill; and he that kills shall not have forgiveness in this world, nor in the world to come. (D&C 42: 18)

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.  (D&C 76: 30-35)

Those who do not have forgiveness in this world, but who receive forgiveness in the world to come are those who are temporally damned, meaning that they are delivered unto the buffetings of Satan until the day of their redemption.  They are subject to the devil in the mortal world or in the spirit world, being delivered up to him until the day that they finally have faith in Jesus and repent of their sins.  At that point, they are washed clean in the blood of the Lamb and are no longer damned.  In other words, at that point they no longer have a judgment with a guilty verdict and a punishment hanging over them, because mercy and forgiveness is extended to them and they become heirs of salvation.  This applies to all mankind who inherit any of the three glories.  None of these people will be among the “filthy still” because they will have accepted Christ and mercy will be applied to them.

Those who do not have forgiveness in this world, nor in the world to come are those who are eternally damned, meaning that they are delivered up to the devil, are in subjection to him and remain subjected to him, having no deliverance.  These are the sons of perdition.  (Remember the 2 Pet. 2: 3 Spanish scripture above, where condemnation was translated as perdition?)  These are the people who are cast into outer darkness, who inherit the kingdom of the devil.

Greater damnation, lesser damnation

Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye devour widows’ houses, and for a pretence make long prayer: therefore ye shall receive the greater damnation. (Matt. 23: 14)

Which devour widows’ houses, and for a pretence make long prayers: these shall receive greater damnation. (Mark 12: 40)

Which devour widows’ houses, and for a shew make long prayers: the same shall receive greater damnation. (Luke 20: 47)

What is the greater damnation?  It is eternal damnation. What is the lesser damnation?  It is temporal damnation.

It is impossible to be saved and damned at the same time

Remember that I wrote above that condemnation requires that no mercy is applied?  It is a judgment of guilty with punishment executed upon the party.  Well, consider Jacob’s words:

Wherefore, he has given a law; and where there is no law given there is no punishment; and where there is no punishment there is no condemnation; and where there is no condemnation the mercies of the Holy One of Israel have claim upon them, because of the atonement; for they are delivered by the power of him.  (2 Ne. 9: 25)

By the same token, where there is mercy, there is no condemnation and where there is no condemnation, there is no punishment.  Speaking of the day of judgment (the last day), there is only one punishment or penalty affixed to the law: death.  The spiritual death that is the second death means dying as to things pertaining to righteousness, meaning that those who receive it are banished from the kingdom of God and cast into outer darkness, where the devil will eternally subject them (Abinadi’s definition of damnation).

None of the inhabitants of the three degrees of glory receive this punishment.  In fact, it is impossible for them to receive it because Satan will be cast out into outer darkness.  Once out of the kingdom of God, he cannot subject anyone in the kingdom of God to himself.  Only those cast out with him (the filthy still) can be subject to him.  So, the inhabitants of the three kingdoms will be free forever from the power and influence of Satan.

For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.  For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved. He that believeth on him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.  (John 3: 16-18)

The above scripture shows that you are either saved or condemned (damned) based upon your acceptance of Christ.  It is one or the other, not both. If you do not accept Him now, you are condemned (damned) already (temporal damnation).  But once there is acceptance of Christ, there is salvation not damnation. This is why the inhabitants of the three glories are only spoken of as being saved.  There is not a single scripture that indicates that these people are eternally damned.  They may be temporally damned (for a time) but eventually they, too, will be redeemed and be heirs of salvation.

Mormonism is so much more excellent and merciful than apostate Christianity because the people they say are damned to hell, we say are saved in a kingdom of glory.  Unfortunately, we go awry of the pure doctrine of Christ by adopting the man-made precept found in the Bible Dictionary theory of damnation.

The misunderstood scripture

I believe the reason why people generally accept the Bible Dictionary model of damnation is due to a misunderstanding of D&C 132: 4-6.  Here are those verses, along with the comments I gave on them over at The Millenial Star blog:

For behold, I reveal unto you a new and an everlasting covenant; and if ye abide not that covenant, then are ye damned; for no one can reject this covenant and be permitted to enter into my glory.  For all who will have a blessing at my hands shall abide the law which was appointed for that blessing, and the conditions thereof, as were instituted from before the foundation of the world.  And as pertaining to the new and everlasting covenant, it was instituted for the fulness of my glory; and he that receiveth a fulness thereof must and shall abide the law, or he shall be damned, saith the Lord God.  (D&C 132: 4-6)

And now my comments:

The 1828 Webster’s Dictionary definitions, which gave how these words were used in Joseph Smith’s time, are consistent with the usage of the word damned in the above quotes.

I will break it down for you:

For behold, I reveal unto you a new and an everlasting covenant; and if ye abide not that covenant, then are ye damned; for no one can reject this covenant and be permitted to enter into my glory.

The key word here is “abide.” To “abide…that covenant” means “to endure or sustain” or “to bear or endure; to bear patiently” the covenant. You cannot abide a covenant without first entering the covenant, so the use of the word damned here refers to people who have entered the covenant and have not abided it, or, as the Lord states later in the same sentence, to people who have entered the covenant and then “reject” it. These people are damned. The verse does not refer to people who never enter the covenant.

Next, the following verse:

And as pertaining to the new and everlasting covenant, it was instituted for the fulness of my glory; and he that receiveth a fulness thereof must and shall abide the law, or he shall be damned, saith the Lord God.

The key here to understanding the verse are the words “he that receiveth a fulness thereof.” The Lord doesn’t say “he who would receive a fulness thereof,” but refers to people who already received a fulness thereof. These people must and shall abide the law or they shall be damned. In this particular verse, the damned people we are talking about have already entered the covenant and have received a fulness of the Lord’s glory, who then do not abide (or, in other words, they reject) the law. However, we are assured by the Lord that such people “shall abide the law,” so there is no danger of such being damned, because they will not reject it after receiving such a fulness.

However, those who enter the covenant and who have not yet received of this spoken fulness, who reject the covenant, are damned.

These verses, then, are explicitly referring to one type of damnation: that received by the sons of perdition (see verse 27) and not to merely not receiving exaltation (a stopping of progression.)

27 The blasphemy against the Holy Ghost, which shall not be forgiven in the world nor out of the world, is in that ye commit murder wherein ye shed innocent blood, and assent unto my death, after ye have received my new and everlasting covenant, saith the Lord God; and he that abideth not this law can in nowise enter into my glory, but shall be damned, saith the Lord.

My comments were meant to show that there is no need to invent another shade of meaning of the word damned to fit into these particular verses, as the normal shades of damned work just fine.  When the above scriptures are misunderstood to mean that “if you don’t enter the covenant, at all, you will miss out on the opportunity for exaltation,” then you must invent a new shade of meaning of the word damned, giving it the meaning of a “stopping or limiting of progress and privileges,” which is what LDS appear to have done.

Apparently, I am not the only one to come to this conclusion.  Another person commented on the same Millennial Star post, one Rob Osborn, and he essentially said the same thing:

As for defining “damnation”, in Joseph Smiths day he grew up with a protestant background and upbringing. In their day they used the word “damned” to mean “condemnation to hell”. I have done a lot of research on this noting how Joseph himself used the word outside of scriptural text. In every account I have run accross, Joseph uses it in the traditional protestant sense of condemnation to hell. To this day, that definition is what other Christian religions use. It is only our LDS religion that uses the word out of context. This is almost entirely due to a misunderstanding of the scriptural text. As has already been discusssed, section 132’s usage of the word “damned” literaly is used in the context of “condemantion to hell”. Verse 26 speaks of those who enter into the fulness and then perhaps sin in the new and everlasting covenant. It says they will be destroyed in the flesh and delivered over to the buffetings of Satan (in hell). This is the usage of “damned” in verses 4-6.

The three glories are not punishments; they are rewards

Only those who go into outer darkness receive punishment after the resurrection.

Wherefore, he saves all except them—they shall go away into everlasting punishment, which is endless punishment, which is eternal punishment, to reign with the devil and his angels in eternity, where their worm dieth not, and the fire is not quenched, which is their torment—  (D&C 76: 44)

So, if everyone else gets saved and receives a fulness of joy and endless happiness, why is everyone put into one of three glories?  Why not have one glory, instead of three?  Why do all the Telestials eventually receive a fulness of the Telestial glory, the Terrestrials a fulness of the Terrestrial glory and the Celestials a fulness of the Celestial glory, without being able “to go up a glory?”  If the assignment to a kingdom of glory is not a punishment for wicked deeds, but a reward, upon what principle is the reward based?

I will simply say that these questions and their answers have to do with the doctrine of the resurrection.  They could be explained with a review of D&C 76, D&C 88 and Alma 41, but I am done with expounding scripture for today.  This post is long enough already and I want to keep it on the topic of damnation and not delve into the mysteries of the resurrection.  However, I will say that assignments to one of the three glories has nothing to do with dishing out punishments.  None of the saved people long for something they could have had, but are eternally blissful, content, happy and joyful in their saved condition.  Assigning them to a kingdom of glory does not, and cannot, damn them.  I hope this post is sufficient to get that point across.  If there is still confusion, I will open it up further in the comments section.

I have listed above and hyper-linked all of the scriptures that mention damned and damnation. I invite everyone to read those verses again, with the information in this post fresh in your mind, and see if the scriptures are not more plainly unfolded to your view.

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“David and Solomon truly had many wives and concubines, which thing was abominable before me”


Recently, I made some comments on another blog concerning the LDS revelation on polygamy (D&C 132) and I thought that I would re-publish them here.  As Jacob 2: 22-35 always seems to come up whenever discussing D&C 132 with people who do not believe that that section is a revelation from God, I felt the need to expound those verses somewhat.  Here is my exposition:

Comment expounding Jacob 2: 22-35

[Note: Check out this comment and this comment below for my updated and current (Nov. 9, 2015) understanding of Jacob 2:23-24.LDS Anarchist.]

Let me attempt a brief explanation of what is going on in Jacob 2, as I understand it. The key to understanding the verses found in 22-35 is the word “whoredoms.” What is being condemned by the Lord is whoredom. And what is a whoredom? A whoredom is any illicit sexual commerce, in other words, whatever the Lord has said, “No,” to, is a whoredom. That is the key. So, with that in mind, let’s take yet another look at these verses:

22 And now I make an end of speaking unto you concerning this pride. And were it not that I must speak unto you concerning a grosser crime, my heart would rejoice exceedingly because of you.

23 But the word of God burdens me because of your grosser crimes. For behold, thus saith the Lord: This people begin to wax in iniquity; they understand not the scriptures, for they seek to excuse themselves in committing whoredoms [illicit sexual commerce], because of the things which were written concerning David, and Solomon his son.

Lehi had received commandments from the Lord modifying the law of Moses and taking away all the plural marriage provisions of it and causing monogamy with no concubinage to be the approved marriage doctrine for the Nephites. Because of this, from Lehi onward plural marriage became a whoredom (illicit sexual commerce.) The Nephite men thought to commence plural marriage anyway, as that was a part of the original law of Moses, and were using the same old prophet (good, righteous and pure, meaning undiluted or unmodified doctrine) – new prophet (modified doctrine, meaning apostate) tactic many people use nowadays. Specifically, they were pointing to David and Solomon and the righteous deeds these polygamous men had done.

24 Behold, David and Solomon truly had many wives and concubines, which thing was abominable before me, saith the Lord.

To counteract this, the Lord points to the unrighteous deeds of David and Solomon. He doesn’t point to plural marriage in general, but to the abominations David and Solomon committed in the name of plural marriage, meaning that they “had many wives and concubines” instead of “receiving many wives and concubines” from the Lord. In other words, they illicitly took wives which were forbidden them to take. In the case of David, this was the Uriah affair. In the case of Solomon, he took wives of a forbidden people. Again, to be even plainer in writing, the Lord here is pointing to the whoredoms of David and Solomon.

25 Wherefore, thus saith the Lord, I have led this people forth out of the land of Jerusalem, by the power of mine arm, that I might raise up unto me a righteous branch from the fruit of the loins of Joseph.

26 Wherefore, I the Lord God will not suffer that this people shall do like unto them of old.

A righteous branch is a branch that obeys the Lord. The Lord is not referring to polygamy here and equating righteousness with monogamy and unrighteousness with polygamy. Had the Jews of the Old World obeyed the Lord’s commands, they would have been a righteous branch even while practicing polygamy.

When the Lord says He doesn’t want the Nephites to do like them of old, He is not referring to the Old World practice of polygamy, but to the Old World practice of disobedience. So, the Lord is simply saying that this Nephite branch is to hearken to His words (obedience) or THEY WILL BE CURSED. He will not allow them to prosper in disobedience.

27 Wherefore, my brethren, hear me, and hearken to the word of the Lord: For there shall not any man among you have save it be one wife; and concubines he shall have none;

28 For I, the Lord God, delight in the chastity [approved sexual commerce] of women. And whoredoms [illicit sexual commerce] are an abomination before me; thus saith the Lord of Hosts.

These are the commandments given to Lehi, repeated here by Jacob. Whoredoms is not referring to polygamy but to all sexual commerce prohibited by the Lord. In the case of the Nephites, as they had received a law of monogamy (a modification of the law of Moses), polygamy in their case was a whoredom, whereas in the case of the Old World Jews, polygamy was not a whoredom, as it was permitted.

29 Wherefore, this people shall keep my commandments, saith the Lord of Hosts, or cursed be the land for their sakes.

The emphasis is on keeping the current commandments of the Lord. It is the current prophet’s words that are the most important, not the words of dead prophets. The Lord is not so much concerned with polygamy, as He is concerned with obedience.

30 For if I will, saith the Lord of Hosts, raise up seed unto me, I will command my people; otherwise they shall hearken unto these things.

This is self-explanatory, but I’ll explain it anyway. “Raise up seed unto me” refers to plural marriage. “I will command my people” means that plural marriage is illicit sexual commerce (a whoredom) to the Nephites unless the Lord commands its practice. “These things” refers to the new commandments received by Lehi, which modified the law of Moses for the Nephites.

31 For behold, I, the Lord, have seen the sorrow, and heard the mourning of the daughters of my people in the land of Jerusalem, yea, and in all the lands of my people, because of the wickedness and abominations of their husbands.

The abominations and wickedness that the Lord speaks of do not apply to the law of Moses-approved practice of plural marriage found among the Old World Jews (and those of other lands), but to their disobedience to His commandments. Again, the Lord is talking of disobedience to His commandments and not specifically of the general practice of polygamy.

32 And I will not suffer, saith the Lord of Hosts, that the cries of the fair daughters of this people, which I have led out of the land of Jerusalem, shall come up unto me against the men of my people, saith the Lord of Hosts.

33 For they shall not lead away captive the daughters of my people because of their tenderness, save I shall visit them with a sore curse, even unto destruction; for they shall not commit whoredoms, like unto them of old, saith the Lord of Hosts.

Remember, the Lord is still talking about whoredoms (illicit sexual commerce) and other disobedience, not about polygamy in general. Polygamy in the Old World was not whoredom, but in the New World it was.

34 And now behold, my brethren, ye know that these commandments were given to our father, Lehi; wherefore, ye have known them before; and ye have come unto great condemnation; for ye have done these things which ye ought not to have done.

35 Behold, ye have done greater iniquities than the Lamanites, our brethren. Ye have broken the hearts of your tender wives, and lost the confidence of your children, because of your bad examples before them; and the sobbings of their hearts ascend up to God against you. And because of the strictness of the word of God, which cometh down against you, many hearts died, pierced with deep wounds.

Okay, that seems self-explanatory to me. They did wrong not because polygamy was intrinsically wrong, but because the Lord made it wrong through Lehi for the Nephite people, until the Lord should make it right again (which He did later on in 4 Nephi.)

End of comment

Here’s another comment I made on the same post, concerning what I had mentioned above about 4 Nephi:

Comment expounding 4 Nephi polygamy

The Nephite branch became righteous when the Lord visited them and they “graduated” from the law of Moses to the law of Christ. Everybody still alive (after the destructions caused by His death) then converted to Christ. Interestingly enough, upon becoming a “righteous branch,” the record states the following:

And now, behold, it came to pass that the people of Nephi did wax strong, and did multiply exceedingly fast, and became an exceedingly fair and delightsome people.

And they were married, and given in marriage, and were blessed according to the multitude of the promises which the Lord had made unto them. (4 Nephi 1: 10-11)

These passages are referring to the doctrine of plural marriage and the promises made to those who enter therein. When the full Nephite record comes forth, it will show this. So, the Nephites were temporarily prohibited from entering into this practice while they lived the law of Moses, for reasons known only to the Lord, while the Jews in the Old World and the 10 Tribes of Israel in the Northern Countries, were allowed by the Lord to have plural marriage under the same law of Moses. In other words, these were three groups of contemporary people living different laws of the Lord. This doesn’t mean that one group’s laws were unjustified before the Lord. The Lord “commands and revokes” as He pleases. It is His privilege and as long as each group of people kept the commandments He gave to that particular group, they were justified.

Also, it should be kept in mind that the plural marriage under the law of Moses was not the plural marriage under the law of Christ. Plural marriage under the law of Christ is a doctrine of exaltation. Plural marriage under the law of Moses was not a doctrine of exaltation, however, it did prepare a people for the doctrine that came under the law of Christ. And that was what the law of Moses was for, to point people to Christ and to prepare them for Him and His doctrines.

So, the Nephites lived the doctrine of plural marriages under the law of Christ, from the visit of Christ to them onward, a period of 300+ years. Most people miss this and I can only believe that this is by the design of the Lord. When the Book of Mormon went forth at first, it was the intention of the Lord that it be the public doctrine, the milk, while the meat was to be revealed privately and over time revealed publicly as the public was ready for it. Had the Book of Mormon been exceedingly plain on this point of plural marriage, from the get-go, upon it being published, everyone would have rejected it, as the world was not ready for the doctrine of plural marriage.

As it is, the wording in the Book of Mormon was sufficiently obscure (on purpose) that people (even Joseph Smith!) mistook the Lord’s words in Jacob 2 as being a condemnation of all plural marriage. Most people completely missed the meaning of “For if I will, saith the Lord, raise up seed unto me, I will command my people; otherwise they shall hearken unto these things,” the meaning being that only the unauthorized practice of plural marriage was condemned. Now, after the doctrine of plural marriage has been publicly taught, the chapter heading expounds the principle plainly, but when first published, the meaning of Jacob 2 was “hidden in plain sight.”

Also, the verses in 4 Nephi were (and still are) obscure to many people and most did not understand that they spoke of authorized plural marriage being practiced among the Nephites according to the more excellent law of Christ.

Besides all of that, Jacob 2 served another purpose: that of getting Joseph to inquire about plural marriage, which ended up revealing some meat, so we see in this that the purposes of the Lord are fulfilled and none of this has anything to do with perversion or whoring spirits, but with how the Lord works among the children of men, meaning according to their conditions.

End of comment

As I mentioned above that even Joseph Smith, at first, did not understand the meaning of Jacob 2, I will next re-publish here another couple of my comments, from that same post, which talk about Joseph’s understanding.

First, some background.  A question had been asked,

Why would Joseph Smith, as the Seer of the Lord who translated the Book of Mormon be asking why God justified David and Solomon in taking multiple wives when in fact it was through his efforts in translating the Book of Mormon that he was able to reveal to the world that David and Solomon WERE NOT JUSTIFIED in having multiple wives[?]

This question was referring to D&C 132: 1.  As an answer, I responded with this:

Comment answering question concerning D&C 132: 1

Joseph approached the Lord concerning Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, not concerning Moses, David and Solomon. Jacob’s remarks about David and Solomon made him wonder about Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, and so he made inquiry about these three prophets. The Lord, though, in his answer to Joseph, threw in a surprise for Joseph, for he included three more justified servants in his answer, two of which Joseph was thinking (because of Jacob’s words in the Book of Mormon) were not justified. In fact, when the angel appeared to him with the answer to his question, Joseph quoted the Book of Mormon to him. Joseph knew it was a true angel from God, as he had already received the keys to discern true and false angels and had applied the keys. So, the Lord’s response was to not only explain Abraham, Isaac and Jacob’s justification, but also to expound a bit on the meaning of the Lord’s words to Jacob, which Joseph, at the time, did not fully comprehend. This is why the first verse reads like this:

Verily, thus saith the Lord unto you my servant Joseph, that inasmuch as you have inquired of my hand to know and understand wherein I, the Lord, justified my servants Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, [at this point there is a break of “as also” because the Lord is giving more than Joseph asked for, to teach him that David and Solomon were also justified, except in those things which they did not receive from the Lord, in other words, the Lord’s intention was to more fully explain Jacob’s words in the Book of Mormon] as also Moses, David and Solomon, my servants, as touching the principle and doctrine of their having many wives and concubines—

Had Joseph made inquiry of all six men, it would have read, “as you have inquired of my hand to know and understand wherein I, the Lord, justified my servants Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Moses, David and Solomon, as touching the principle and doctrine of their having many wives and concubines—”

End of comment

After this, I was asked a question:

“Why would the Lord reveal that David and Solomon were not Justified in the Book of Mormon and then say that they were justified in this revelation?”

My answer was the following:

Comment concerning Joseph’s understanding of Jacob 2

Because the Lord didn’t say that David and Solomon were not justified in the Book of Mormon, he said, “which thing was abominable before me.” He never mentioned justification. He just mentions a “thing” that was abominable before Him.

At first, Joseph (and currently yourself and others) misunderstood Jacob’s words and thought that David and Solomon were unjustified by the practice. He did not understand just what the “thing” the Lord was referring to was and erroneously thought that it referred to all instances of the practice of plural marriage. This is why Joseph quoted Jacob’s words to the angel when he was told of the principle of plural marriage.

And so we have one of Joseph’s wives saying the following:

An angel came to him and the last time he came with a drawn sword in his hand and told Joseph if he did not go into that principle [plural marriage], he would slay him. Joseph said he talked to him soberly about it, and told him it was an abomination and quoted scripture to him. He said in the Book of Mormon it was an abomination in the eyes of the Lord, and they were to adhere to these things except the Lord speak. (Mary Lightner 1905 Address, typescript, BYU, Pg.1 – Pg.2)

So, this shows that Joseph was confused over Jacob’s words in the Book of Mormon and inquired of the Lord about Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, and NOT Moses, David and Solomon, because he already believed David and Solomon were unjustified per the Book of Mormon. This is why the Lord phrased it “as also,” which means “and also,” to indicate to Joseph that not only were the first three justified, but the last three were also.

So, Joseph’s question was doctrinally sound and consistent with what we know of those times. The problem you are having, then, is not with Joseph’s question, but with the Lord’s answer to him. Joseph applied the keys to determine a real angel from a false angel, so a real angel from God appeared to him and delivered this real doctrine in answer to his honest inquiry.

Again:

I [Mary Lightner] asked him [Joseph Smith] if Emma knew about me, and he said, “Emma thinks the world of you.” I was not sealed to him until I had a witness. I had been dreaming for a number of years I was his wife. I thought I was a great sinner. I prayed to God to take it from me for I felt it was a sin; but when Joseph sent for me he told me all of these things. “Well,” said I, “don’t you think it was an angel of the devil that told you these things?” Said he, “No, it was an angel of God. God Almighty showed me the difference between an angel of light and Satan’s angels. The angel came to me three times between the years of 1834 and 1842 and said I was to obey that principle or he would slay me. “But,” said he, “they called me a false and fallen prophet but I am more in favor with my God this day than I ever was in all my life before.” (Mary Lightner 1905 Address, typescript, BYU, Pg.1 – Pg.2)

The answer made him recoil and resist, but he eventually was able to wrap his mind around it and embrace it.

End of comment

My next group of comments were originally split up into multiple comments, but I’m here putting them all together:

Comments concerning polygamy & the law of Moses

I find it interesting how the Lord’s words to Jacob are held up as the final word and the rest of the Lord’s words given in the Bible are discarded. That is what I see on this post and comments. Of course, anyone is free to do this, but this is the same sort of tactic used by apostate Christianity, but in reverse order: they throw out the Book of Mormon in favor of the Bible.

When both the Bible and Book of Mormon are held up, and both are accepted as the word of God, you cannot honestly take the Lord’s words of “which thing was abominable before me” as meaning a wholesale condemnation of the practice of plural marriage. It must mean something other than that. If you force such a meaning, you must throw the Bible out the window, for the Bible contradicts such an interpretation.

For example:

Paul said of the law of Moses: “Wherefore the law is holy, and the commandment holy, and just, and good.” (Romans 7: 12) And in verse 14 he said, “For we know that the law is spiritual.” So, the law of Moses is holy, just, good and spiritual. Paul’s words, not mine. To say, then, that the law of Moses, which was given by Yahweh, was abomination, or allowed abomination, or even commanded abomination, is contradictory.

We know, from the Bible, that King David married at least 4 women with the approval of the Lord:

David, king of Israel took Abigail and Ahinoam, “and they were also both of them his wives;” (1 Sam. 25: 42-43). Then he “took him more concubines and wives out of Jerusalem;” (2 Sam. 5: 13). With two wives and concubines (plural) he at this time had at least 4 wives. The Bible later says that “David did that which was right in the eyes of the Lord, and turned not aside from anything that he commanded him all the days of his life, save only in the matter of Uriah the Hittite;” (1 Kings 15: 5). In this passage we have an assurance that David done right in taking all his wives and concubines, except in one instance, for which he was severely chastised. In the case of Uriah the Hittite, David committed adultery with his wife, and then had Uriah killed in the Battlefield. This was adultery and murder and it was condemned by the Lord, but his prior marriages were, according to the Bible, approved as “right in the eyes of the Lord”.

This is consistent with D&C 132, which basically says the same thing. In order for Jacob 2: 24 to be consistent with the Bible, the abominable thing referred to by the Lord concerning David was the Uriah affair and not the general practice of polygamy.

The law of Moses both permitted polygamy AND COMMANDED IT, in certain instances.

When Moses took a second wife, he was not in violation of the Law given to him by the Lord. That law does not prohibit plural marriage and in fact, recognized the possibility of multiple wives:

If a man have two wives, one beloved, and another hated, and they have born him children, both the beloved and the hated; and [if] the firstborn son be hers that was hated: then it shall be, when he maketh his sons to inherit that which he hath, that he may not make the son of the beloved firstborn before the son of the hated, which is indeed the firstborn. (Deuteronomy 21: 15-16)

In fact, the Law of Moses sometimes may have commanded Plural Marriage. When a woman’s husband died, the Lord commanded that a brother of the husband was supposed to take her as his wife. (Deut. 25: 4-10.) If he was already married, then at that point he would have had two wives. The Law as given to Moses does not mind that.

So, in order to hold onto your pet theory that the Lord’s words in Jacob 2 negates D&C 132, you have to throw out the entire Old and New Testaments, too. Now, how badly do you want to keep to such a theory?

Btw, these quotes were taken from polygamy.com. Here is another interesting quote from the same source:

Many of the leading men of the Bible had more than one wife in some form of marriage relationship at the same time. This includes Abraham, Jacob (Israel), Moses, David and others. The Law that Moses gave also made provision for plural marriage and in some cases, it seems that plural marriage was even commanded by the Law of Moses. There is evidence that multiple wives was an acceptable practice all through ancient Israel, including the time of Christ and it was not until the end of the 1st Millennium AD that some Jews officially rejected polygyny. One branch of Jews never agreed to this and still accept the practice of plural wives to this day.

One last thing, the marriage doctrine given in D&C 42 is completely compatible with plural marriage. It is not a doctrine of monogamy, but a doctrine of fidelity. It is, in essence, the law of chastity, stated differently.

End of comment

As the above comment mentioned D&C 42, I might as well talk about that, too.

In addition to holding up Jacob 2 as the standard of monogamy and the reason why D&C 132 must be a false revelation, D&C 42 is also held up as contradictory to section 132.  So, here were my answers to such a proposition.

While speaking of D&C 42: 22 and D&C 132: 54, and comparing the two verses, it was stated in a comment,

The definition of “none else” is “not one beside” or “no other.” So, if the Lord meant “none else” to indicate the exclusion of all others in 132 then that is his precise meaning in 42. If you hold to the belief that 42 allows for multiple spouses then you have to believe that the Lord was not excluding Emma from multiple spouses in 132. In which case the verse becomes nonsense. Either way, according to the verse in 132 living this “law” was required for Emma’s salvation.

I replied:

Comment concerning D&C 42: 22 and D&C 132: 54

The Lord was excluding Emma from multiple spouses in 132. The wording in section 132 is different than in section 42. In D&C 42: 22, it is a command to “cleave unto [thy wife],” whereas in D&C 132: 54 the command is to “cleave unto my servant Joseph.” Had the Lord said to Emma, “cleave unto your husband,” it would have left open multiple husbands, but He didn’t say that. He stated a specific person, not a specific title. (”Wife” being a title, designation or office of a person.) This is why the early saints who practiced plural marriage had no problem with D&C 42: 22, at all. It is compatible and not contradictory.

End of comment

Later, came the rebuttal and question,

You focused on the term “cleave” without addressing the issue of the words “none else.” To me the words “none else” are more important in these two passages. Are you suggesting that in section 42 “none else” means something other than “no other” or “not one beside?”

My reply was the following:

Comment on why D&C 42: 22 is a doctrine of fidelity, not monogamy

I left out “none else” because the phrase, when combined with just “wife” does not indicate monogamy. It only indicates fidelity. Have you ever wondered why the Article on Marriage was even necessary, if D&C 42 put forth a doctrine of monogamy? The Article on Marriage would then be redundant in stating that the saints believed in monogamy, would it not?

If I marry a wife and then she dies, does D&C 42 prohibit me from taking another wife? If section 42 indicates that I am to cleave only to one wife, then I can only be married once and I can only cleave to her and to none else, even if she dies. I am to remain single and widowed forever more, for if I take another wife I would be cleaving unto someone other than my (first) wife.

Of course this is not the meaning of the scripture. It is a doctrine of fidelity, not monogamy, meaning that I am only to cleave to my wife, whether I have one wife or ten wives. Each woman married to me, whether in succession (after their deaths) or with all of them still living (in polygamy), is to have me cleave to her and to no one else who is not my wife.

End of comment

Note: the reason why I am placing these comments all together like this in a single post is because of my intention—should I ever again find myself talking to someone about D&C 132 and they bring up Jacob 2 (or D&C 42) as proof that D&C 132 is a false revelation—to point to this post.  If you agree with the above comments and also, like me, tire of hearing the same worn out Jacob 2/D&C 42 objections, feel free to use them, also.

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