“The Davidic Servant” Error


The erroneous doctrine of “the Davidic Servant”

There is a false, speculative doctrine—which is found among certain latter-day saints who are at the fringe, as well as among former members who have been excommunicated or who have resigned from the church, and also among the many break-away sects—which I call “the Davidic Servant” error, which takes

1) the scriptures that mention the Branch,

2) and the ones that mention an end-time servant named David,

3) and all the scriptures that speak of the Elias who restores all things (who is, in actuality, Joseph-Nephi),

4) and a few more scriptures that speak of Jesus Christ,

5) as well as Avraham Gileadi’s translation of Isaiah and his interpretations of the scriptures,

6) and then combines all of that with a teaching Joseph Smith gave on 10 March 1844,

7) along with three speculating paragraphs published in the Times and Seasons on 15 February 1842 (which is when “the Davidic Servant” error appears to have begun),

8) and also a sentence uttered by Orson Hyde on 22 November 1841 during his Prayer of Dedication on the Mount of Olives,

and from all of that it creates a fictional, end-time personage called, “the Davidic Servant” (who is an amalgamation of the real person, Jesus Christ, and the real person, Joseph-Nephi), and who is supposed to be a mortal man named David (who is descended from the ancient David) that will build the throne of David/Israel, and rebuild and restore Jerusalem and the temple, and gather and restore Israel and also the kingdom of Israel, and who will rule over the mortal population of Israel on the throne of David as its mortal king.

Additionally, according to “the Davidic Servant” error, when Jesus Christ returns at the Second Coming, He will rule over the immortal, resurrected population (which will not be present much, but which will come and go to and from other planets as they choose, thus being mostly absent from Earth), and Christ will rule over the mortal population only virtually, through this mortal Davidic king, who himself will continue to rule over the mortal population of Israel forever.  Thus, the error has two end-time kings, an immortal One (who is Christ) to reign over immortals and a mortal one (who is “the Davidic Servant”) to reign over mortals, and it dictates that the two populations (mortals and immortals) won’t mix much.

Now, those who accept this error take all of that as a starting point, swallowing it whole, and then begin to further speculate as to the identity of this fictional character, some ascribing John the apostle to “the DS” and adding in whatever scriptures speak of John, while others go even farther and assign the Holy Ghost as “the DS,” throwing in even more scriptures to shore up their theory. Others speculate that one of the top leaders of the church will be the man. Still others think there will be a “DS” over the Jews, Jerusalem and the Old World, while there will be a different end-time servant over the New World (America). Some believe that “the DS” will be Joseph Smith, returned from the dead. And so on and so forth, with endless speculations from all sorts of quarters of the disaffected and fringe elements of the latter-day saints.

Regardless of what version of “the Davidic Servant” error is subscribed to, all the followers use “Davidic Servant” or “DS” as an identifier of the doctrine. They don’t put “Davidic Servant” in quotations as I do because they believe it’s a real person, whereas I teach that it’s all a fiction. Thus, I state that it’s a quote unquote “Davidic Servant.” When I use quotation marks on this term, it is with the understanding that I am referring to this false doctrine, which assigns a non-Jesus Christ personage to an end-time servant named David. Regardless of who the adherent believes that “the DS” is, they all think it is not Jesus Christ. Thus, the words, “the Davidic Servant,” or merely, “the DS,” identify the error, as an encoded term, so that those who mention “the Davidic Servant” or “the DS”, trying to discuss what the man will do, or where he will be from, or what he will be like, or who his identity is, have already revealed themselves as having fallen into the error.

I teach that “the Davidic Servant,” as described by the different versions of this false doctrine, is non-existent. It’s entirely made-up by uninspired people who have allowed foolish and unfounded speculations to filter and replace the actual word of God, so that they imagine and believe a fantasy, and then teach that fable they’ve created to others, all the while scoffing and spurning at any attempt to correct the error and dislodge them from it. Like a drug, this particular delusion has proven to be addictive and those who have drunk of its poison become members of a sort of “DS” cult, who all believe they possess “eyes to see” and “ears to hear” what they consider is “the secret or hidden knowledge,” which in reality is just a falsehood built up from a misunderstanding of the scriptures.

Those who have read my words on this blog, published in my various posts and also in the comment sections, know that I have never once mentioned any “Davidic Servant.” Anyone can perform a search for this term on this blog and will discover that only One Who Is Watching (OWIW) mentioned the term in two of his own posts, and there have also been 7 comments left in the comment sections of various posts (as of today’s date) which mention it, none of which were authored by me. Why have I never mentioned “the Davidic Servant”? Because there is no such person.

Again, when speaking of the end-time servants who will be performing ministries among us, I have never used the incorrect term, “the Davidic Servant,” but have ever used the correct terms when referring to Christ:

the Stem of Jesse, the Branch, the Messiah, etc.,

and I have ever used the correct terms when referring to Christ’s forerunner, the Elias who restores all things:

the rod, the root of Jesse, Elias, the restoring Elias, the Elias who restores all things, the Elias restorer, the Elias destroyer, the Josephite, the Josephite restorer, the Josephite destroyer, Joseph-Nephi, the destroyer, the destroying angel, king Abaddon, king Apollyon, etc.

Thus the whole “Davidic Servant” error, from top to bottom, goes against what I teach and also contradicts what the LDS church officially teaches. In this post, then, I will correct the error by exposing its fallacies and refuting its foundation, put forth the correct doctrine and I will also publicly release some new teachings (’cause I might as well, right?) I will begin this task with the official teaching.

The official teaching: the end-time David is Christ

The official LDS church teaching is that the end-time Personage known in the scriptures as “my servant David”/”David my servant” is Jesus Christ. In Chapter 13 “The Establishment of Zion (Isaiah 1—12)” of the Old Testament Student Manual Kings-Malachi, published in 1982, we read:

(13-58) Isaiah 11:1. Who Is the “Branch”?

Elder Bruce R. McConkie wrote the following analysis of the meaning of the Branch:

“Since it takes a first and a second coming to fulfill many Messianic prophecies, we of necessity must consider them here, and in the case of the Davidic-Messianic utterances show also how they apply to our Lord’s Second Coming. Christ is the Son of David, the Seed of David, the inheritor, through Mary his mother, of the blood of the great king. He is also called the Stem of Jesse and the Branch, meaning Branch of David. Messianic prophecies under these headings deal with the power and dominion he shall wield as he sits on David’s throne, and have reference almost exclusively to his second sojourn on planet earth.

“Jesse was the father of David. Isaiah speaks of the Stem of Jesse, whom he also designates as a branch growing out of the root of that ancient worthy. He recites how the Spirit of the Lord shall rest upon him; how he shall be mighty in judgment; how he shall smite the earth and slay the wicked; and how the lamb and the lion shall lie down together in that day—all of which has reference to the Second Coming and the millennial era thereby ushered in. (Isa. 11.) As to the identity of the Stem of Jesse, the revealed words says: ‘Verily thus saith the Lord: It is Christ.’ (D&C 113:1–2.) This also means that the Branch is Christ, as we shall now see from other related scriptures.

“By the mouth of Jeremiah, the Lord foretells the ancient scattering and the latter-day gathering of his chosen Israel. After they have been gathered ‘out of all countries whither I have driven them,’ after the kingdom has been restored to Israel as desired by the ancient apostles in Acts 1:6, then this eventuality, yet future and millennial in nature, shall be fulfilled: ‘Behold the days come, saith the LORD, that I will raise unto David a righteous Branch, and a King shall reign and prosper, and shall execute judgment and justice in the earth. In his days Judah shall be saved, and Israel shall dwell safely: and this is his name whereby he shall be called, THE LORD OUR RIGHTEOUSNESS.’ (Jer. 23:3–6.) That is to say, the King who shall reign personally upon the earth during the Millennium shall be the Branch who grew out of the house of David. He shall execute judgment and justice in all the earth because he is the Lord Jehovah, even him whom we call Christ.

“Through Zechariah the Lord spoke similarly: ‘Thus saith the LORD of hosts: … I will bring forth my servant the BRANCH. … I will remove the iniquity of the land in one day [meaning that the wicked shall be destroyed and the millennial era of peace and righteousness commence]. In that day, saith the LORD of hosts, shall ye call every man his neighbour under the vine and under the fig tree.’ (Zech. 3:7–10.) Of that glorious millennial day the Lord says also: ‘Behold the man whose name is The BRANCH; and he shall grow up out of his place, and he shall build the temple of the LORD: Even he shall build the temple of the LORD; and he shall bear the glory, and shall sit and rule upon his throne.’ (Zech. 6:12–13.)

“That the Branch of David is Christ is perfectly clear. We shall now see that he is also called David, that he is a new David, an Eternal David, who shall reign forever on the throne of his ancient ancestor. ‘It shall come to pass in that day, saith the LORD of hosts, ‘that is, in the great millennial day of gathering, that ‘they shall serve the LORD their God, and David their king, whom I will raise up unto them.’ (Jer. 30:8–9.)

“‘In those days, and at that time, will I cause the Branch of righteousness to grow up unto David; and he shall execute judgment and righteousness in the land. In those days shall Judah be saved, and Jerusalem shall dwell safely: and this is the name wherewith she shall be called, The LORD our righteousness,’ which is to say that because the Great King himself reigns in her midst, even the city shall be called after him. ‘For thus saith the LORD; David shall never want a man to sit upon the throne of the house of Israel. … If ye can break my covenant of the day, and my covenant of the night, and that there should not be day and night in their season; Then may also my covenant be broken with David my servant, that he should not have a son to reign upon his throne.’ (Jer. 33:15–21.) David’s temporal throne fell long centuries before our Lord was born, and that portion of Israel which had not been scattered to the ends of the earth was in bondage to the iron yoke of Rome. But the promises remain. The eternal throne shall be restored in due course with a new David sitting thereon, and he shall reign forever and ever. …

“Through Ezekiel, the Lord speaks of this One Shepherd in this way: ‘I will save my flock. … And I will set up one shepherd over them, and he shall feed them, even my servant David; he shall feed them, and he shall be their shepherd. And I the LORD will be their God, and my servant David a prince among them.’ When that day comes, ‘I will make with them a covenant of peace,’ the Lord says, meaning they shall have again the fulness of the everlasting gospel. Then ‘there shall be showers of blessing’; all Israel shall dwell safely and know that the Lord is their God. (Ezek. 34:22–31.)

“Through Ezekiel, the Lord also tells of the coming forth of the Book of Mormon, which becomes the instrument in his hands to bring to pass the gathering of Israel. Of that day of gathering he says, ‘I will make them one nation in the land upon the mountains of Israel; and one king shall be king to them all.’ In that day he promises to ‘cleanse them,’ by baptism, ‘so shall they be my people, and I will be their God. And David my servant shall be king over them; and they all shall have one shepherd: they shall also walk in my judgments, and observe my statutes, and do them. And they shall dwell in the land that I have given unto Jacob my servant, wherein your fathers have dwelt; and they shall dwell therein, even they, and their children, and their children’s children for ever: and my servant David shall be their prince for ever.’

“Then the Lord restates that his gathered people shall have his everlasting gospel with all its blessings; that he will set his sanctuary, meaning his temple, in their midst forevermore (as Zechariah recorded); and all Israel shall know that the Lord is their God. (Ezek. 37:15–28.)

“How glorious shall be the coming day when the second David, who is Christ, reigns on the throne of the first David; when all men shall dwell safely; when the earth shall be dotted with temples; and when the gospel covenant shall have full force and validity in all the earth!” (The Promised Messiah, pp. 192–95).

Notice, in particular, that the apostle refers to the Branch as a “Branch of David.” He does this because the scripture says that the Lord will “cause the Branch of righteousness to grow up unto David” (Jer. 33:15.) In other words, the Branch will both be a descendant of David of old, as well as a new David.  Thus, the end times David and the Branch are one and the same and so when the apostle begins to teach about the Branch, he must, of necessity, explain about the end times David. We see from this lengthy quotation that this is the teaching that is given to church students in an officially approved manual; namely, that Jesus Christ is the very end times David spoken of in the scriptures. This teaching, given in the above quotation by elder Bruce R. McConkie, wasn’t just put into the church student manual, but also into the chapter headings of the official LDS edition of the Bible, for all the chapters that deal with the end times David. For example, for the chapters that elder McConkie quoted from, these are the pertinent chapter headings:

The Branch, who is the King (the Messiah), will reign in righteousness (Jeremiah 23); Zechariah speaks about the Messiah—The Branch will come (Zechariah 3); Zechariah crowns Joshua, the high priest, in similitude of Christ, the Branch, who will come—Christ will be a priest upon His throne forever (Zechariah 6); David, their king (the Messiah), will reign over them (Jeremiah 30); The Branch of Righteousness (the Messiah) is promised—The Seed of David (the Messiah) will reign forever (Jeremiah 33); The Messiah will be their Shepherd (Ezekiel 34); David (the Messiah) will reign over them (Ezekiel 37).

Some of the chapter headings of the chapters that the Topical Guide entry of Jesus Christ, Davidic Descent of mentions also give this same teaching:

Psalms 89
A messianic psalm—A song setting forth the mercy, greatness, justice, and righteousness of the Holy One of Israel—The Lord will establish David’s seed and throne forever—God’s Firstborn will be made higher than the kings of the earth.

Psalms 132
A messianic psalm—Of the fruit of David’s loins will the Lord set One upon His throne—The Lord will bless Zion, and her Saints will shout for joy.

Isaiah 9
Isaiah speaks about the Messiah—The people in darkness will see a great Light—Unto us a Child is born—He will be the Prince of Peace and reign on David’s throne

Isaiah 11
The stem of Jesse (Christ) will judge in righteousness—The knowledge about God will cover the earth in the Millennium—The Lord will raise an ensign and gather Israel

Acts 13
Saul and Barnabas are called to missionary service—Saul, now called Paul, curses a sorcerer—Christ is a descendant of David—Paul offers the gospel to Israel, then to the Gentiles.

This shows that the Brethren themselves believe that the end times “my servant David” and “David my servant” personage mentioned in the scriptures, who will reign as king and prince over the house of Israel, is none other than Jesus Christ, the King Messiah.

Now, in another part of that same Chapter 13 of that same manual, it says this:

(13-63) Isaiah 11:13–14. “Ephraim Shall Not Envy Judah, and Judah Shall Not Vex Ephraim”

Anciently, during the days of the divided kingdoms, Judah (the leading tribe of the Southern Kingdom) and Ephraim (the leading tribe of the Northern Kingdom) were often in competition. Sometimes they were even at war with each other. Isaiah prophesied that in the last days that conflict would come to an end. Ezekiel, in a similar prophecy, promised that the house of Israel would no longer be divided, but under their true king, the New David (see Notes and Commentary on Isaiah 11:1) there would be one united nation again. (See Ezekiel 37:15–25.) Jeremiah and Zechariah also spoke of the future reuniting of the house of Israel (see Jeremiah 3:18; Zechariah 10:6–7).

Emphasis mine. Notice that the manual points the student to the section that I quoted at the start, which talks about the New David and which identifies that Personage as Christ. Notice also that there is no equivocation in the teaching. It is made unmistakably crystal clear and plain as day in its meaning. And this is the official LDS teaching on the matter.

Understanding the official teaching: the name of God is Jehovah

Three connected, omnipotent, omniscient and perfect Persons are, when taken together as a group, called “the Godhead” (Col. 2:9), or just, “one God” (D&C 20:28): even the Father, the Son and the Holy Ghost. The Father and the Son are Personages of Spirit who also have bodies “of flesh and bones as tangible as man’s” (D&C 130:22) and both Their spirit bodies and Their physical bodies have “the form of man” (Mosiah 13:34; Ether 3:15-16; 1 Nephi 11:11.) The Holy Ghost, however, is a Personage of Spirit who does not have a body “of flesh and bones” (D&C 130:22.)

When one speaks of God, it is generally the Father who is referred to, for He is the Supreme Governor of the Universe, the Father of all mankind and the One to whom the Son and the Holy Ghost submit and from whom They derive Their power and authority. Nevertheless, because the Son and the Holy Ghost are connected to the Father in perfection, and partake of all His attributes and powers in fullness, thus forming the Godhead, or becoming “one God,” this oneness between Them in which they share all things, allows even the title of “God” to be shared and applied to the Son and the Holy Ghost. Thus each Person is called God: the Son is God and also the Holy Ghost is God, and not just the Father.

In Hebrew, the tetragrammaton (a specific 4-letter combination) identifies the covenant or proper name of the God of Israel. In English this name is written out as Jehovah, Yahweh or some other variation. (It is actually pronounced: EEAAOOAAEE.) In the King James Version, the Jewish custom of never speaking the name of God has been followed, and the name is generally denoted by LORD or GOD, printed in small capitals.  Following the pattern of oneness, in which They all share everything, so it goes with the name of Jehovah. Jehovah is the name of the Father and the name of the Son and the name of the Holy Ghost. Given that all three members of the Godhead have the same covenant name of Jehovah, we are commanded to baptize “in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost”:

Having been commissioned of Jesus Christ, I baptize you in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost. Amen. (D&C 20:73)

We don’t baptize in three names, but only in one name, which all three bear: Jehovah.

So, for example, in D&C 110:1-10 we find Jesus Christ referring to Himself as Jehovah. Yet in Luke 20:41-44 and in Mark 12:35-37 Jesus cites Psalms 110:1 and identifies Himself as “my Lord” and not as “The LORD” (Jehovah.) This implies that “The LORD” (Jehovah) in that verse refers to the Father and not to the Son.

In 3 Nephi chapters 20 and 21, Jesus applies the name of Jehovah to both Himself (the Son) and to the Father. Here Jesus mentions Micah 4:12, referring to Himself as Jehovah (the LORD) :

And I [Jesus] will gather my people together as a man gathereth his sheaves into the floor. (3 Nephi 20:18)

But they know not the thoughts of the LORD [Jehovah the Son], neither understand they his counsel: for he [Jehovah the Son] shall gather them as the sheaves into the floor. (Micah 4:12)

And here He mentions Micah 4:13, which is the very next verse, but this time Jesus refers to Jehovah (the LORD) as the Father:

For I [Jesus] will make my people with whom the Father hath covenanted, yea, I [Jesus] will make thy horn iron, and I [Jesus] will make thy hoofs brass. And thou shalt beat in pieces many people; and I [Jesus] will consecrate their gain unto the Lord [Jehovah the Father], and their substance unto the Lord of the whole earth. And behold, I [Jesus] am he who doeth it. (3 Nephi 20:19)

Arise and thresh, O daughter of Zion: for I [Jehovah the Son] will make thine horn iron, and I [Jehovah the Son] will make thy hoofs brass: and thou shalt beat in pieces many people: and I [Jehovah the Son] will consecrate their gain unto the LORD [Jehovah the Father], and their substance unto the Lord of the whole earth. (Micah 4:13)

Here Jesus says that it was Jehovah the Father who covenanted and spoke to Abraham:

And behold, ye are the children of the prophets; and ye are of the house of Israel; and ye are of the covenant which the Father made with your fathers, saying unto Abraham: And in thy seed shall all the kindreds of the earth be blessed. (3 Nephi 20:25)

Now the LORD [Jehovah the Father] had said unto Abram, Get thee out of thy country, and from thy kindred, and from thy father’s house, unto a land that I will shew thee: and I will make of thee a great nation, and I will bless thee, and make thy name great; and thou shalt be a blessing: and I will bless them that bless thee, and curse him that curseth thee: and in thee shall all families of the earth be blessed. (Genesis 12:1-3)

Here Jesus mentions Isaiah 52:9-10 and refers to Jehovah as the Father:

Then shall they break forth into joy—Sing together, ye waste places of Jerusalem; for the Father hath comforted his people, he hath redeemed Jerusalem. The Father hath made bare his holy arm in the eyes of all the nations; and all the ends of the earth shall see the salvation of the Father; and the Father and I are one. (3 Nephi 20:34-35)

Break forth into joy, sing together, ye waste places of Jerusalem: for the LORD hath comforted his people, he hath redeemed Jerusalem. The LORD hath made bare his holy arm in the eyes of all the nations; and all the ends of the earth shall see the salvation of our God. (Isaiah 52:9-10)

Here Jesus mentions Micah 5:8-15 and refers to Jehovah as the Father:

And my people who are a remnant of Jacob shall be among the Gentiles, yea, in the midst of them as a lion among the beasts of the forest, as a young lion among the flocks of sheep, who, if he go through both treadeth down and teareth in pieces, and none can deliver. Their hand shall be lifted up upon their adversaries, and all their enemies shall be cut off. Yea, wo be unto the Gentiles except they repent; for it shall come to pass in that day, saith the Father, that I will cut off thy horses out of the midst of thee, and I will destroy thy chariots; and I will cut off the cities of thy land, and throw down all thy strongholds; and I will cut off witchcrafts out of thy land, and thou shalt have no more soothsayers; thy graven images I will also cut off, and thy standing images out of the midst of thee, and thou shalt no more worship the works of thy hands; and I will pluck up thy groves out of the midst of thee; so will I destroy thy cities. And it shall come to pass that all lyings, and deceivings, and envyings, and strifes, and priestcrafts, and whoredoms, shall be done away. For it shall come to pass, saith the Father, that at that day whosoever will not repent and come unto my Beloved Son, them will I cut off from among my people, O house of Israel; and I will execute vengeance and fury upon them, even as upon the heathen, such as they have not heard. (3 Nephi 21:12-21)

And the remnant of Jacob shall be among the Gentiles in the midst of many people as a lion among the beasts of the forest, as a young lion among the flocks of sheep: who, if he go through, both treadeth down, and teareth in pieces, and none can deliver. Thine hand shall be lifted up upon thine adversaries, and all thine enemies shall be cut off. And it shall come to pass in that day, saith the LORD, that I will cut off thy horses out of the midst of thee, and I will destroy thy chariots: and I will cut off the cities of thy land, and throw down all thy strong holds: and I will cut off witchcrafts out of thine hand; and thou shalt have no more soothsayers: thy graven images also will I cut off, and thy standing images out of the midst of thee; and thou shalt no more worship the work of thine hands. And I will pluck up thy groves out of the midst of thee: so will I destroy thy cities. And I will execute vengeance in anger and fury upon the heathen, such as they have not heard. (Micah 5:8-15)

Again, we find Jesus saying to the Nephites (in 3 Nephi 24:1), “Thus said the Father unto Malachi:” and then He quotes Malachi 3:1, which reads:

Behold, I will send my messenger, and he shall prepare the way before me: and the Lord, whom ye seek, shall suddenly come to his temple, even the messenger of the covenant, whom ye delight in: behold, he shall come, saith the LORD of hosts. (Malachi 3:1)

This means that  “the LORD of hosts” (Jehovah) in this verse is the Father.

Or, when we turn to Numbers 27:16, we find Jehovah being called the God of the spirits of all flesh, which is a reference to the Father, not to the Son.

And Jesus said to the Jews, “I am come in my Father’s name” (John 5:43.) And what is that name? It is the name of Jehovah. Thus, both the Father and the Son bear the name of Jehovah.

It is Jehovah who covenanted with Israel, yet Jesus taught the Nephites in 3 Nephi 21:4 that the Father covenanted with His people Israel, but in 3 Nephi 15:5 Jesus says that He Himself covenanted with His people Israel. Who, then, is Jehovah: the Father or the Son? Again, it is both, for They both bear the same name. And so on for the rest of the scriptures.

The name Jehovah distinguishes

Now, all of a group having the same name so that they are distinguished from all others is a custom that is found among men:

And now it came to pass that the king and those who were converted were desirous that they might have a name, that thereby they might be distinguished from their brethren; therefore the king consulted with Aaron and many of their priests, concerning the name that they should take upon them, that they might be distinguished. (Alma 23:16)

The name may be a given name, such as what George Foreman did, in which he named all five of his sons, “George,” and also named one of his daughters, “Georgetta.” It is even customary to give the same name both to men and women, and thus you might have a man named Jose whose first child is a son and so he names him, “Jose,” and then his wife gives birth to another son and he names him, “Jose Maria,” and then his wife gives birth to a girl and he names her, “Maria Jose.” In this case, all four individuals bear the same given name of Jose: the father and two sons bearing it as their first given name, whereas the daughter bears the name as her second (middle) given name.

Or, the name may be a surname, such as how all the Nephites were surnamed Nephi, and all the Jacobites were surnamed Jacob, and all the Josephites were surnamed Joseph, and all the Zoramites were surnamed Zoram, and all the Lamanites were surnamed Laman, and all the Lemuelites were surnamed Lemuel, and all the Ishmaelites were surnamed Ishmael and so on and so forth. The Gentiles also distinguish their families by a common surname which all the members of that particular family bear.

Regardless of what the name Jehovah is, whether it is a given name or a surname, its purpose is to identify the group, which is the Godhead. All those who pertain to that particular group bear this particular name of Jehovah, which distinguishes Them from all others and from every other group.

Elohim is not the covenant or proper name of the Father

Elohim just means “God.” However, in the temple rites, Elohim is used as the Father’s name, to differentiate between the Personages of the Father and the Son, the latter being called Jehovah in the temple. The temple rites use symbolism and representations to teach principles, the principle here being that the Trinity doctrine is false and that the Father and the Son are two distinct Personages and not one nebulous mass of nothingness. The use of the name Elohim in the temple is not meant to be taken as the literal, personal name of God, but latter-day saints routinely make the mistake, anyway.

Jehovah is first the Father, then the Son

Latter-day saints, when they see the tetragrammaton written out in the King James Version of the Bible as LORD or GOD in small capitals, or as Jehovah or Yahweh, etc., in other versions, assume the name is referring to the Son unless the context of the passage indicates that the Father is the One who is being referred to, in which case they assume that the passage must be an instance of Jesus speaking as the Father with “divine investiture of authority.” But the proper way to read these passages is to first assume that the name refers to the Father, unless the context indicates that it refers to one of the other members of the Godhead. If the Father fits into the passage, then you interpret the name as referring to the Father. If the Father doesn’t fit, then you plug in the Son, or, lastly, the Holy Ghost, if the Son doesn’t fit.

This confusion on the part of the latter-day saints about the name of Jehovah is one of the reasons why there is conflict between us and the Christians and Jews, who all read the tetragrammaton as referring to the Father and are utterly confused as to why the latter-day saints insist that the pre-mortal Jesus Christ is Jehovah, and not the Father. In our rush to distance ourselves from the Trinity doctrine, which indeed is false, we have mistakenly tossed away an actual truth: that the Godhead is all named Jehovah.

It is the Father’s servant David

Returning with this knowledge of the name of God to all the passages that mention the end-time servant David, we now are able to clearly see that the one who is speaking in the passages is the LORD, who is Jehovah the Father. So, let’s review the scriptures cited by the apostle.

Behold, the days come, saith the LORD [Jehovah the Father], that I [Jehovah the Father] will raise unto David a righteous Branch, and a King shall reign and prosper, and shall execute judgment and justice in the earth. In his days Judah shall be saved, and Israel shall dwell safely: and this is his name whereby he shall be called, THE LORD OUR RIGHTEOUSNESS [Jehovah Our Righteous]. (Jeremiah 23:5-6)

In the above passage the Father says He will raise unto David a righteous Branch, a King that shall reign and prosper, in whose days Judah shall be saved and Israel dwell safely, and the name of this Branch King David will be Jehovah Our Righteousness.


Thus saith the LORD of hosts [Jehovah the Father]; If thou wilt walk in my ways, and if thou wilt keep my charge, then thou shalt also judge my house, and shalt also keep my courts, and I [Jehovah the Father] will give thee places to walk among these that stand by. Hear now, O Joshua the high priest, thou, and thy fellows that sit before thee: for they are men wondered at: for, behold, I [Jehovah the Father] will bring forth my servant the BRANCH. (Zechariah 3:7-8)

In the above passage the Father says He will bring forth His servant the Branch.


And speak unto him, saying, Thus speaketh the LORD of hosts [Jehovah the Father], saying, Behold the man whose name is The BRANCH; and he shall grow up out of his place, and he shall build the temple of the LORD [Jehovah]: even he shall build the temple of the LORD [Jehovah]; and he shall bear the glory, and shall sit and rule upon his throne; and he shall be a priest upon his throne: and the counsel of peace shall be between them both. (Zechariah 6:12-13)

In the above passage the Father says to behold the man whose name is the Branch, who shall bear the glory and sit and rule upon His throne, and who shall be a priest upon His throne. He also mentions the one who will grow up out of the Branch’s place and who will build the temple of Jehovah. Before continuing, I will take the time to expound the above scripture by explaining about prophetic switches.

Prophetic switches

“And there shall come forth a rod out of the stem of Jesse, and a Branch shall grow out of his roots:” (Isa. 11:1)

Jesse was the father of David; the Stem of Jesse and the Branch are one and the same person: Jesus Christ; and the rod that comes of the Stem of Jesse is Elias (Joseph-Nephi). So, in the following scripture:

“And speak unto him, saying, Thus speaketh the LORD of hosts, saying, Behold the man whose name is The BRANCH; and he shall grow up out of his place, and he shall build the temple of the LORD: even he shall build the temple of the LORD; and he shall bear the glory, and shall sit and rule upon his throne; and he shall be a priest upon his throne: and the counsel of peace shall be between them both.” (Zechariah 6:12-13)

it begins by speaking of the Branch (Jesus Christ) : “Behold the man whose name is The BRANCH;”

then it switches to speaking of Elias (Joseph-Nephi) : “and he shall grow up out of his place, and he shall build the temple of the LORD: even he shall build the temple of the LORD;”

then it switches back to speaking of the Branch (Jesus Christ) : “and he shall bear the glory, and shall sit and rule upon his throne; and he shall be a priest upon his throne:”

finally it ends by speaking of the covenant of peace that will exist between the Branch (Jesus Christ) and Elias (Joseph-Nephi) : “and the counsel of peace shall be between them both.”

An alternate translation from the Hebrew (found in the footnote of Zech. 6:12) of the first part reads:

“Behold the man: Branch is his name and from beneath him one shall branch forth and he shall build the temple of Jehovah.”

The one who builds the temple of Jehovah, who branches forth from beneath the Branch (Jesus Christ), is Elias (Joseph-Nephi), who is the rod that comes forth out of the Stem of Jesse (Jesus Christ):

“And there shall come forth a rod out of the stem of Jesse,” (Isa. 11:1)

and who is the rod of Christ’s strength:

“The LORD shall send the rod of thy strength out of Zion: ” (Ps. 110:2)

and who is “a servant in the hands of Christ…on whom there is laid much power” (D&C 113:4.)

Thus, there are two main end-time personages spoken of in the scriptures, one being Jesus Christ (the Stem of Jesse/the Branch) and the other being His forerunner, Elias (the rod/root of Jesse, who is Joseph-Nephi.) The prophetic switch between these two servants happens often in the scriptures. For example, in Isa. 11, Isaiah begins in verse 1 to speak of Elias (the rod), then switches to Jesus Christ (the Stem of Jesse/the Branch) and continues to speak of the Branch in verses 2-5, but then in verse 10 he switches back to speaking of Elias (the root of Jesse):

1 And there shall come forth a rod out of the stem of Jesse, and a Branch shall grow out of his roots:

2 And the spirit of the LORD shall rest upon him, the spirit of wisdom and understanding, the spirit of counsel and might, the spirit of knowledge and of the fear of the LORD;

3 And shall make him of quick understanding in the fear of the LORD: and he shall not judge after the sight of his eyes, neither reprove after the hearing of his ears:

4 But with righteousness shall he judge the poor, and reprove with equity for the meek of the earth: and he shall smite the earth with the rod of his mouth, and with the breath of his lips shall he slay the wicked.

5 And righteousness shall be the girdle of his loins, and faithfulness the girdle of his reins.

10 ¶ And in that day there shall be a root of Jesse, which shall stand for an ensign of the people; to it shall the Gentiles seek: and his rest shall be glorious. (Isaiah 11:1-5,10)

Zechariah does the same prophetic switch. In chapter 3 of his prophecy he speaks of the Branch (Jesus Christ), using Joshua the high priest as a type of the Branch. But in chapter 4 of his prophecy, he speaks of Elias (Joseph-Nephi), using Zerubbabel as the type of Elias. This shows that these two (the Son of God and His forerunner) are prophetically linked.

It is the Father’s servant David, continued

For it shall come to pass in that day, saith the LORD of hosts [Jehovah the Father]that I [Jehovah the Father] will break his yoke from off thy neck, and will burst thy bonds, and strangers shall no more serve themselves of him: but they shall serve the LORD [Jehovah the Father] their God, and David their king, whom I [Jehovah the Father] will raise up unto them. (Jeremiah 30:8-9)

In the above passage the Father says that the people will serve Him and also will serve David their King, whom the Father will raise up to them.


Behold, the days come, saith the LORD [Jehovah the Father], that I [Jehovah the Father] will perform that good thing which I [Jehovah the Father] have promised unto the house of Israel and to the house of Judah.

In those days, and at that time, will I [Jehovah the Father] cause the Branch of righteousness to grow up unto David; and he shall execute judgment and righteousness in the land. In those days shall Judah be saved, and Jerusalem shall dwell safely: and this is the name wherewith she shall be called, The LORD our righteousness [Jehovah Our Righteous].

For thus saith the LORD [Jehovah the Father]; David shall never want a man to sit upon the throne of the house of Israel; neither shall the priests the Levites want a man before me [Jehovah the Father] to offer burnt offerings, and to kindle meat offerings, and to do sacrifice continually.

And the word of the LORD [Jehovah the Father] came unto Jeremiah, saying, Thus saith the LORD [Jehovah the Father]; If ye can break my covenant of the day, and my covenant of the night, and that there should not be day and night in their season; then may also my covenant be broken with David my servant, that he should not have a son to reign upon his throne; and with the Levites the priests, my ministers. (Jeremiah 33:14-21)

In the above passage the Father says that He will cause the Branch of righteousness to grow up unto David and this Branch will execute judgment and righteousness, and in His days Judah shall be saved, Jerusalem will dwell safely, and Jerusalem will have the same name as the Branch King: Jehovah Our Righteousness. (See Jeremiah 23:5-6 where the Branch is also called Jehovah Our Righteousness.) The Father also affirms that the covenant He made with David of old about his throne always being occupied by one of his seed will be fulfilled.


Therefore thus saith the Lord GOD [Jehovah the Father] unto them; … And I [Jehovah the Father] will set up one shepherd over them, and he shall feed them, even my servant David; he shall feed them, and he shall be their shepherd. And I the LORD [Jehovah the Father] will be their God, and my servant David a prince among them; I the LORD [Jehovah the Father] have spoken it. (Ezekiel 34:20,23-24)

In the above passage the Father says He will set up one Shepherd over them and this one Shepherd is the Father’s servant David, who shall feed them and be their Shepherd. The Father will be their God and the Father’s servant David will be a Prince among them.


And say unto them, Thus saith the Lord GOD [Jehovah the Father]; … And David my servant shall be king over them; and they all shall have one shepherd: they shall also walk in my judgments, and observe my statutes, and do them. And they shall dwell in the land that I [Jehovah the Father] have given unto Jacob my servant, wherein your fathers have dwelt; and they shall dwell therein, even they, and their children, and their children’s children for ever: and my servant David shall be their prince for ever. (Ezekiel 37:21,24-25)

In the above passage the Father says that His servant David will be King over Israel and Israel will all have one Shepherd and the Father’s servant David shall be their Prince forever.

We see from this review that the apostle’s words are true, in which he wrote, “That the Branch of David is Christ is perfectly clear.” It is perfectly clear. Once a person understands that Jehovah in these passages is the Father, then it becomes self-evident that Jesus Christ “is also called David, that He is a new David, an Eternal David, who shall reign forever on the throne of His ancient ancestor,” just as the apostle and LDS church have taught.

The Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith quotation

There is a saying of Joseph Smith that people often quote regarding the end times David, which I will cite here in its original context. The bold type is the part people recite:

This spirit of Elijah was manifest in the days of the Apostles in delivering certain ones to the buffitings of Satan that they may be saved in the day of the Lord Jesus, they were sealed by the spirit of Elijah unto the damnaton of Hell untill the day of the Lord or revealtion of Jesus Christ [23] Here is the doctrin of Election that the world have quarreled so much about, but they do not know any thing about it, The doctrin that the Prysbeterians & Methodist have quarreled so much about once in grace always in grace, or falling away from grace I will say a word about, they are both wrong, truth takes a road between them both. for while the Presbyterian says once in grace you cannot fall the Methodist says you can have grace to day, fall from it to morrow, next day have grace again & so follow it, but the doctrin of the scriptures & the spirit of Elijah would show them both fals & take a road between them both for according to the scriptures if a man has receive the good word of God & tasted of the powers of the world to come if they shall fall away it is impossible to renew them again, seeing they have Crucified the son of God afresh & put him to an open frame shame [24], so their is a possibility of falling away you could not be renewed again, & the power of Elijah Cannot seal against this sin, for this is a reserve made in the seals & power of the priesthood, [25] I will make evry doctrin plain that I present & it shall stand upon a firm bases And I am at the defiance of the world for I will take shelter under the broad sheler cover of the wings of the work in which I am ingaged, it matters not to me if aIl hell boils over I regard it ownly as I would the crackling of thorns under a pot A murderer; for instance one that sheds innocent Blood Cannot have forgiveness, David sought repentance at the hand of God Carefully with tears, but he could ownly get it through Hell, he got a promise that his soul should not be left in Hell, [26] Although David was a King he never did obtain the spirit & power of Elijah & the fulness of the Priesthood, [27] & the priesthood that he received [28] & the throne & kingdom of David is to be taken from him & given to another by the name of David in the last days, raised up out of his linage [29] Peter refered to the same subject on the day of pentecost, [30] but the multitude did not get the endowment that Peter had but several days after the people asked what shall we do, Peter says I would ye had done it ignorantly speaking of crucifying the Lord &c He did not say to them repent & be baptized for the remission of your sins but he said repent therefore & be converted that your sins may be blotted out when the times of refreshing shall come from the presence of the Lord, Acts iii, 19 this is the case with murderers they could not be baptized for the remission of sins for they had shed innocent Blood. (10 March 1844 (Sunday). At Temple. See History of the Church, 6:249-54, and Teachings, pp. 335-41.)

Of these words, the apostle, Bruce R. McConkie, wrote:

‘Although David was a king, he never did obtain the spirit and power of Elijah and the fullness of the priesthood; and the priesthood that he received, and the throne and kingdom of David is to be taken from him and given to another by the name of David in the last days, raised up out of his lineage.’ (Teachings, p. 339.) Thus, even though a man’s calling and election has been made sure, if he then commits murder, all of the promises are of no effect, and he goes to a telestial kingdom (Rev. 21:8; D. & C. 76:103), because when he was sealed up unto eternal life, it was with a reservation. The sealing was not to apply in the case of murder.” (Doctrinal New Testament Commentary, 3:347.)

Joseph Smith’s words were spoken in the context of the doctrine of falling from grace. “The doctrin that the Prysbeterians & Methodist have quarreled so much about once in grace always in grace, or falling away from grace I will say a word about,” he said, and then he went on to say that the idea that “once in grace you cannot fall” is false, and also the idea that “you can have grace to day, fall from it to morrow, next day have grace again & so follow it” is also false. The real doctrine is that there are certain sins that you can commit and afterward repent from and still obtain the top reward (exaltation), but there are also sins that, once committed, prohibit you from obtaining the top reward (exaltation), even if you are truly sorry for having done them. The shedding of innocent blood (murder) is one such sin that stops a person from receiving exaltation, and thus, a person who commits murder falls from the exaltation they might have had. Such people do not receive forgiveness, but must suffer for their sins in hell. Only after such suffering, in which they themselves (and not just Christ) has paid the penalty for their sins, if they are sorry for their sins and have turned from them, they can inherit a telestial kingdom. So Joseph Smith said, “A murderer; for instance one that sheds innocent Blood Cannot have forgiveness, David sought repentance at the hand of God Carefully with tears, but he could ownly get it through Hell, he got a promise that his soul should not be left in Hell”. David, then, having fallen from grace by shedding the innocent blood of Uriah, had to go through, and suffer in, hell in order to obtain his full repentance and be accepted back into the kingdom of God, but the kingdom glory he could receive was telestial only, not any glory higher than that.

Joseph Smith also stated that “although David was a King he never did obtain the spirit & power of Elijah & the fulness of the Priesthood.” This means that David didn’t obtain what latter-day saints obtain in the temple, whereby they are sealed by the Holy Spirit of promise, by the Melchizedek priesthood, unto their exaltation. He received a priesthood, yes, but it wasn’t the fullness of the priesthood which latter-day saints receive, it wasn’t the fullness of the spirit and power of Elijah, therefore his shedding of innocent blood didn’t cause him to become a son of perdition, to be cast out into outer darkness at the last day, but was accounted as if a non-temple endowed and sealed member of the church committed murder. Such a person, who has never been through the temple rites, falls from their exaltation, being unable to gain it in any way, falling entirely from the grace that accompanies that reward, but they may suffer in hell for their sins and at the last day come forth, having repented and suffered the penalty, and still obtain a kingdom of glory, even in the telestial kingdom. David, then, was in this same situation.

All saints are promised eternal life on condition of enduring to the end, even those who have never gone through the temple:

But, behold, my beloved brethren, thus came the voice of the Son unto me, saying: After ye have repented of your sins, and witnessed unto the Father that ye are willing to keep my commandments, by the baptism of water, and have received the baptism of fire and of the Holy Ghost, and can speak with a new tongue, yea, even with the tongue of angels, and after this should deny me, it would have been better for you that ye had not known me. And I heard a voice from the Father, saying: Yea, the words of my Beloved are true and faithful. He that endureth to the end, the same shall be saved.

And now, my beloved brethren, I know by this that unless a man shall endure to the end, in following the example of the Son of the living God, he cannot be saved. Wherefore, do the things which I have told you I have seen that your Lord and your Redeemer should do; for, for this cause have they been shown unto me, that ye might know the gate by which ye should enter. 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. And then are ye in this strait and narrow path which leads to eternal life; yea, ye have entered in by the gate; ye have done according to the commandments of the Father and the Son; and ye have received the Holy Ghost, which witnesses of the Father and the Son, unto the fulfilling of the promise which he hath made, that if ye entered in by the way ye should receive.

And now, my beloved brethren, after ye have gotten into this strait and narrow path, I would ask if all is done? Behold, I say unto you, Nay; for ye have not come thus far save it were by the word of Christ with unshaken faith in him, relying wholly upon the merits of him who is mighty to save. Wherefore, ye must press forward with a steadfastness in Christ, having a perfect brightness of hope, and a love of God and of all men. Wherefore, if ye shall press forward, feasting upon the word of Christ, and endure to the end, behold, thus saith the Father: Ye shall have eternal life. (2 Nephi 31:14-20)

Had David endured in faith to the end, despite not receiving what latter-day saints who go through the temple rites receive, he still would have inherited his exaltation. But he blew it and lost all that was promised to him.

The covenant God made with David

Everything started with Saul, who would have had his kingdom established forever, if he hadn’t disobeyed God’s commandments and offered burnt offerings without actually possessing the authority to do so.

And Samuel said to Saul, Thou hast done foolishly: thou hast not kept the commandment of the LORD thy God, which he commanded thee: for now would the LORD have established thy kingdom upon Israel for ever. But now thy kingdom shall not continue: the LORD hath sought him a man after his own heart, and the LORD hath commanded him to be captain over his people, because thou hast not kept that which the LORD commanded thee. (1 Samuel 13:13-14)

But he blew it before he got that promise from God, so God put David in Saul’s place and David also ended up blowing it, but not before God made the above mentioned covenant with him, in which his throne would be established forever and his seed would occupy his throne forever. So, according to the foreknowledge of God, He had already planned that the Seed of David (Christ) would be raised up out of David’s lineage, into a new David, and all things that pertained to the first David, who was now fallen from grace, would be given to the last David, who would never fall from grace, and that last David would occupy the first David’s throne forever, as an immortal King Messiah, the King who was the Branch of David, and thus David’s throne and kingdom would be established forever. Thus, Joseph Smith taught:

“the throne & kingdom of David is to be taken from him & given to another by the name of David in the last days, raised up out of his linage”

The throne and kingdom of David is the throne and kingdom of Israel, and in the last days, that is, during the end times, another by the name of David, who would be a descendant of the ancient David, would receive David’s throne and kingdom. But David hasn’t yet lost his throne and kingdom. It’s still his and it’s still called his.  The throne and kingdom of the first David gets transferred to the last David only when the last David comes down from heaven and occupies it. And once occupied by the immortal King Messiah, who is the Branch of David, nothing and no one can ever dethrone Him, thus fulfilling the covenant.

Christ got and gets everything that pertained to David’s eternal reward

In addition to the throne and kingdom of David, which have not yet been given to Christ, David’s wives that were given to him by the hand of Nathan the prophet and other prophets, which pertained to the promise of exaltation (for only exalted people are married in the afterlife), have already been given to Christ:

David’s wives and concubines were given unto him of me, by the hand of Nathan, my servant, and others of the prophets who had the keys of this power; and in none of these things did he sin against me save in the case of Uriah and his wife; and, therefore he hath fallen from his exaltation, and received his portion; and he shall not inherit them out of the world, for I gave them unto another, saith the Lord. (D&C 132:39)

This another is the same another that Joseph Smith mentioned:

“the throne & kingdom of David is to be taken from him & given to another by the name of David in the last days, raised up out of his linage”

When the Lord removes the blessings He bestowed upon one man, He takes everything He removes and gives them to another servant. He doesn’t divvy up the loot among several servants. Thus, in both the parable of the talents and the parable of the pounds, everything that the unwise and foolish servant possessed was taken and the whole of it was given to only one other servant. Also, in the following scripture we see that when Saul transgressed, the Lord took from him the kingdom of Israel and his house and his wives and gave the whole lot to David:

And Nathan said to David, Thou art the man. Thus saith the LORD God of Israel, I anointed thee king over Israel, and I delivered thee out of the hand of Saul; and I gave thee thy master’s house, and thy master’s wives into thy bosom, and gave thee the house of Israel and of Judah; and if that had been too little, I would moreover have given unto thee such and such things. (2 Samuel 12:7-8)

Although David fell from his exaltation, his wives did not, and so Nathan or some other servant of God performed whatever ordinance was necessary to seal them to Christ, as His eternal brides. When Christ came to earth, then, He was already married and sealed to these women, who were at that time disembodied spirits dwelling in paradise. When He died, Christ went to paradise, where He met the righteous saints and prophets and also His wives.

For in the resurrection they neither marry, nor are given in marriage, but are as the angels of God in heaven. (Matthew 22:30)

A woman cannot be resurrected and then afterward be given to a husband, nor can a man marry a woman after his resurrection. As there is a finality to the resurrection, all gospel ordinances have to be done before it occurs. This means that the brides of Christ had to be sealed to Him before He, and they, were resurrected, and so this is what must have happened.

Upon His resurrection, then, these wives of His were also resurrected, and thus He was reunited with His brides, and the lot of them entered into their exaltation. When Christ returns, then, with ten thousand of His saints, among those saints will be His wives, and the people will wonder, “From whence did these women come? When did you marry them?” They were the wives of David, the first David, and also the wives of Saul who were given to David, all of which David lost through his transgression, whereby they were then given to the last David, who would never lose them, because He is Christ.

Orson Hyde’s Prayer of Dedication

On 22 November 1841, Orson Hyde, the latter-day saint apostle, dedicated the Holy Land for the gathering of Israel. The prayer he uttered on the Mount of Olives was, apparently, given to him by revelation. In one part of the prayer, he said the following:

Thou, O Lord, did once move upon the heart of Cyrus to show favor unto Jerusalem and her children. Do Thou now also be pleased to inspire the hearts of kings and the powers of the earth to look with a friendly eye towards this place, and with a desire to see Thy righteous purposes executed in relation thereto. Let them know that it is Thy good pleasure to restore the kingdom unto Israel — raise up Jerusalem as its capital, and constitute her people a distinct nation and government, with David Thy servant, even a descendant from the loins of ancient David to be their king.

Some have taken this statement as meaning a mortal end times servant named David, but they are mistaken. It refers to the Branch King David, who is King Messiah, the immortal, resurrected Christ.

The Times and Seasons article

Three months after elder Hyde’s prayer, there were three paragraphs of a Times and Seasons article published on 15 February 1842 that took up the topic of an end-time David. Here are the three paragraphs; and notice that I’ve put parts of the third paragraph in bold type to show that the ideas espoused are mere speculations put forth by the writer(s):

Ezekiel after giving a description of the resurrection of the House of Israel, and the coming forth of the stick of Joseph (Book of Mormon,) and its being united with the stick of Judah (the bible;) and also the restoration of the House of Israel, that are in a state of mortality, back upon their own lands, says: “Neither shall they defile themselves any more with their detestable things, nor with any of their transgressions; but I will save them out of all their dwelling places wherein they have sinned, and will cleanse them: so shall they be my people, and I will be their God. And David my servant shall be king over them: and they all shall have one shepherd: they shall also walk in my judgments, and observe my statutes, and do them. And they shall dwell in the land that I have given unto Jacob my servant, wherin our fathers have dwelt, and they shall dwell therein, even they and their children, and their children’s children, forever; and my servant David shall be their prince for ever. Moreover, I will make a covenant of peace with them; it shall be an everlasting covenant with them: and I will place them, and multiply them, and will set my sanctuary in the midst of them for evermore. My tabe[r]nacle also shall be with them; yea, I will be their God, and they shall be my people, and the heathen shall know that I the Lord do sanctify Israel, when my sanctuary shall be in the mid[s]t of them for evermore.”—Ezek. xxxvii. 23–28. The above quotation has a particular allusion to that portion of the righteous that will remain in the flesh, and dwell on the earth, and eat the fruit of it. But the difference that will be, satan will be cast out of the earth, and he will have no power to tempt or deceive them: they will a[l]l be righteous, and not defile themselves any more. The Lord will set his sanctuary in the midst of them, and they shall multiply and be increased in number,—which they will continue to do, during the Millennium. The fact that they will multiply and increase, shows that they will be in a state of mortality.

The immortal saints will be made kings and priests, and they shall reign with Christ; but is is not said that the mortal ones shall be made kings and priests, to hold authority with Christ like the immortal ones, while in a state of mortality; only they shall have a king, priests, and all other necessary officers, to administer all ordinances, and perform all necessary ceremonies. We mean a king that shall be chosen or proceed out of their midst. Isaiah speaking of this day says, the Lord will restore their judges as at first, and their counsellors as at the beginning. This will be the time that God will restore their kingdom unto them which the apostles alluded to when they inquired of Jesus, if he would then restore the kingdom to Israel. (See Acts, i. 6)

According to the prophets the name of this king shall be David; not the patriarch David who was the son of Jesse; but a literal descendant of his. Some suppose that the Psalmist David will be raised from his tomb, and again reign over Israel; but we consider this one of the most unreasonable ideas that could be advanced. He no doubt will be in the Lord’s own due time raised from the dead, but not to act the part of a prince in the midst of Israel who remain in the flesh. Neither will any of the patriarchs act the part of an earthly king; although they will reign with Christ. Indeed, we have no reason to believe that Christ himself will act the part of an earthly king, or priest, to any great extent. It is inconsistent for us to suppose that the immortal saints, who are glorified, will be perpetually confined in the midst of the mortal ones. Because it is said, they shall reign on the earth, is no reason why we should say they shall be constantly among the mortal saints. The idea is that the earth will be under the control of Christ and the glorified saints, and Christ will virtually reign over the whole earth, and this David will be subject to him. The redeemed saints will reign on earth, and perhaps have in many respects, authority over the mortal ones. We do not wish to be understood, that there will be a total or entire separation between [p. 690] the mortal, and immortal; but the object of the foregoing remarks is to show the distinction of privilege. The prophet says, that the Lord shall reign in Mount Zion, and in Jerusalem, and before his ancients gloriously; hence, when the redeemed saints dwell on earth, they will dwell in Mount Zion, and in Jerusalem, which places the Lord will fully prepare for them. We might dilate upon this part of the subject, that is, the reign, and dominion of the redeemed saints, till we fill a volume; but brevity admonishes us to hasten. Those who are anxious to learn more concerning this reign of the saints, can search the scriptures for themselves.

So these are speculations. In Mormonism we are free to speculate but these speculations aren’t correct. They are based upon the (incorrect) belief that resurrected and mortal beings will exist but not intermingle during the Millennium, and thus the (erroneously supposed) necessity for a mortal king David, along with an immortal resurrected King Messiah. Here’s a full breakdown of these three paragraphs:

Correcting the Times and Seasons: first paragraph

I will quote again parts of these three paragraphs, to make the correction. The parts in bold are incorrect:

Ezekiel after giving a description of the resurrection of the House of Israel, and the coming forth of the stick of Joseph (Book of Mormon,) and its being united with the stick of Judah (the bible;) and also the restoration of the House of Israel, that are in a state of mortality, back upon their own lands, says:

First, the Book of Mormon functions as a type or as a shadow fulfillment of the stick of Joseph, while the Bible functions as a type or shadow of the stick of Judah. The literal fulfillment of these prophecies will occur when the plates of brass (the real or literal stick of Joseph) and the Book of the Lamb of God (the real or literal stick of Judah) comes forth and are translated by the Josephite.

Secondly, the text of Ezekiel says nothing about them being mortal. That’s just an assumption. A false assumption. Will they be mortal when their King (and it’s King with a capital K, for this will be King Messiah) reigns over them? Nope. How do we know that they will not be mortal? Well, for starters, because of what happened to Moses:

And the presence of God withdrew from Moses, that his glory was not upon Moses; and Moses was left unto himself. And as he was left unto himself, he fell unto the earth. And it came to pass that it was for the space of many hours before Moses did again receive his natural strength like unto man; and he said unto himself: Now, for this cause I know that man is nothing, which thing I never had supposed. But now mine own eyes have beheld God; but not my natural, but my spiritual eyes, for my natural eyes could not have beheld; for I should have withered and died in his presence; but his glory was upon me; and I beheld his face, for I was transfigured before him. (Moses 1:9-11)

The Son of God will be returning at the Second Coming in His full glory. Nothing mortal can survive the Advent of the Son of God. All things mortal will be destroyed. This is why Elijah the prophet must come back to deliver the Priesthood to the Josephite before Jesus returns, because the Priesthood that will be delivered to him will be the same that causes transfiguration, or translation, for unless all things are transfigured or translated, the Earth and all things upon it will be destroyed in God’s presence. This is why Moroni stated:

Behold, I will reveal unto you the Priesthood, by the hand of Elijah the prophet, before the coming of the great and dreadful day of the Lord. And he shall plant in the hearts of the children the promises made to the fathers, and the hearts of the children shall turn to their fathers. If it were not so, the whole earth would be utterly wasted at his coming. (D&C 2:1-3)

“Utterly wasted” means destroyed. So, the Josephite will have to use this Priesthood of transfiguration and transfigure all things that will be saved and redeemed, before Jesus gets back, which will, in part, fulfill this scripture:

Q. What are we to understand by the sounding of the trumpets, mentioned in the 8th chapter of Revelation?

A. We are to understand that as God made the world in six days, and on the seventh day he finished his work, and sanctified it, and also formed man out of the dust of the earth, even so, in the beginning of the seventh thousand years will the Lord God sanctify the earth, and complete the salvation of man, and judge all things, and shall redeem all things, except that which he hath not put into his power, when he shall have sealed all things, unto the end of all things; and the sounding of the trumpets of the seven angels are the preparing and finishing of his work, in the beginning of the seventh thousand years—the preparing of the way before the time of his coming.

Q. When are the things to be accomplished, which are written in the 9th chapter of Revelation?

A. They are to be accomplished after the opening of the seventh seal, before the coming of Christ. (D&C 77:12-13)

So, the notion that these gathered people of the house of Israel will be mortal is patently false.The Josephite will gather all things and then redeem all things, saving them from the destruction which happens at the Second Coming, because all the things he has transfigured through this Priesthood (which will be delivered to him by Elijah the Tishbite, who himself was translated or transfigured) cannot be destroyed by the Lord’s glory. Thus they are protected from, or prepared for, His Coming. This is why the Lord told Joseph Smith the following:

Nevertheless, he that endureth in faith and doeth my will, the same shall overcome, and shall receive an inheritance upon the earth when the day of transfiguration shall come; when the earth shall be transfigured, even according to the pattern which was shown unto mine apostles upon the mount; of which account the fulness ye have not yet received. (D&C 63:20-21)

The day of transfiguration is the day of the Josephite, when all that will be saved with be transfigured or translated, prior to the Second Coming of the Lord. Thus, the writers of this article in the Times and Seasons didn’t have a clue of what they were talking about. The speculation about the house of Israel being mortal at the gathering and installment of their King is pure bunk. The house of Israel will be composed of resurrected personages, even those spoken of in Ezekiel 37, verses 1 through 14, while the rest will be translated personages, even those spoken of in verses 20 to 22 of the same chapter.

After citing Ezekiel 37:23-28, the Times and Seasons article says:

The above quotation has a particular allusion to that portion of the righteous that will remain in the flesh, and dwell on the earth, and eat the fruit of it. But the difference that will be, satan will be cast out of the earth, and he will have no power to tempt or deceive them: they will all be righteous, and not defile themselves any more. The Lord will set his sanctuary in the midst of them, and they shall multiply and be increased in number,—which they will continue to do, during the Millennium. The fact that they will multiply and increase, shows that they will be in a state of mortality.

Here we see that the writer or writers of this piece have continued their faulty reasoning, thinking that only mortal people can multiply and increase. No, not only mortal people can multiply and increase. Resurrected, translated and mortal people can all multiply and increase. Their is no evidence to back up the claim about “multiply and increase” meaning that they must be mortal. It is just thrown out there and assumed to be true. But it’s patently false.

God is a resurrected Personage. Does He have children? Does His seed multiply and increase? How about all the people who receive the promise of exaltation? Do they multiply and increase after their resurrection?

And again, verily I say unto you, if a man marry a wife by my word, which is my law, and by the new and everlasting covenant, and it is sealed unto them by the Holy Spirit of promise, by him who is anointed, unto whom I have appointed this power and the keys of this priesthood; and it shall be said unto them—Ye shall come forth in the first resurrection; and if it be after the first resurrection, in the next resurrection; and shall inherit thrones, kingdoms, principalities, and powers, dominions, all heights and depths—then shall it be written in the Lamb’s Book of Life, that he shall commit no murder whereby to shed innocent blood, and if ye abide in my covenant, and commit no murder whereby to shed innocent blood, it shall be done unto them in all things whatsoever my servant hath put upon them, in time, and through all eternity; and shall be of full force when they are out of the world; and they shall pass by the angels, and the gods, which are set there, to their exaltation and glory in all things, as hath been sealed upon their heads, which glory shall be a fulness and a continuation of the seeds forever and ever. Then shall they be gods, because they have no end; therefore shall they be from everlasting to everlasting, because they continue; then shall they be above all, because all things are subject unto them. Then shall they be gods, because they have all power, and the angels are subject unto them. Verily, verily, I say unto you, except ye abide my lawye cannot attain to this glory. For strait is the gate, and narrow the way that leadeth unto the exaltation and continuation of the lives, and few there be that find it, because ye receive me not in the world neither do ye know me.

Abraham received promises concerning his seed, and of the fruit of his loins—from whose loins ye are, namely, my servant Joseph—which were to continue so long as they were in the world; and as touching Abraham and his seed, out of the world they should continue; both in the world and out of the world should they continue as innumerable as the stars; or, if ye were to count the sand upon the seashore ye could not number them. (D&C 132:19-22,30)

Correcting the Times and Seasons: second paragraph

In this next part the article continues to insist that the scripture means that in the Millennium there will be mortal people:

The immortal saints will be made kings and priests, and they shall reign with Christ; but is is not said that the mortal ones shall be made kings and priests, to hold authority with Christ like the immortal ones, while in a state of mortality;

Actually, nothing is said about anyone being mortal. That is merely a false supposition made by the article’s writer(s). All who survive the Second Coming will be the ones who are saved and redeemed and sealed, per D&C 77:12, which I quoted above. Does anyone really think these saved people won’t be made kings and priests?

Once we make one error in understanding, like this “mortal” supposition, everything that builds upon that error will diverge further and further from the path of truth. You must correct the initial mistake first, as I have done, and then the rest can be seen to be fully wrong, and can then be tossed into the trash, because you must start over again upon the proper and true foundation, which will take you to a different and more correct conclusion: namely, that the king and shepherd mentioned in these scriptures is none other than the resurrected Christ, King Messiah.

Correcting the Times and Seasons: third paragraph

According to the prophets the name of this king shall be David; not the patriarch David who was the son of Jesse; but a literal descendant of his.

This is correct. But there are only two people in the scriptures who are spoken of as “the son of David.” One is Joseph, the step-father of Jesus. The other is Jesus Christ Himself. In fact, the New Testament stresses over and over again that Jesus Christ is a descendant of David, calling Him the Root of David twice. Thus, Jesus Christ is a literal descendant of David, and is also the King Messiah that was prophesied to reign over Israel one day. Jesus Christ matches all the prophecies perfectly. But if you have this error about the man needing to be mortal in your head, then you go awry and enter into “the Davidic Servant” error.

Some suppose that the Psalmist David will be raised from his tomb, and again reign over Israel; but we consider this one of the most unreasonable ideas that could be advanced.

This is true. It is unreasonable because David fell from his exaltation. His priesthood, throne and kingdom are to be given to a descendant of his in the last days, per Joseph Smith, therefore it cannot be the old David, but must be a new David:

Although David was a King he never did obtain the spirit & power of Elijah & the fulness of the Priesthood, & the priesthood that he received & the throne & kingdom of David is to be taken from him & given to another by the name of David in the last days, raised up out of his linage

Just as there was a first Adam and then a last Adam, so there was a first David and also will be a last David. Jesus Christ will fulfill both roles.

And so it is written, The first man Adam was made a living soul; the last Adam was made a quickening spirit. Howbeit that was not first which is spiritual, but that which is natural; and afterward that which is spiritual. The first man is of the earth, earthy: the second man is the Lord from heaven. As is the earthy, such are they also that are earthy: and as is the heavenly, such are they also that are heavenly. (1 Corinthians 15:45-48)

Okay, continuing on with this article:

He [the Psalmist David] no doubt will be in the Lord’s own due time raised from the dead, but not to act the part of a prince in the midst of Israel who remain in the flesh. Neither will any of the patriarchs act the part of an earthly king; although they will reign with Christ.

True enough, so far.

Indeed, we have no reason to believe that Christ himself will act the part of an earthly king, or priest, to any great extent.

This is not correct. We have plenty of reasons why Christ Himself will be a King over all Israel, namely: because this is what all the scriptures teach and preach.

It is inconsistent for us to suppose that the immortal saints, who are glorified, will be perpetually confined in the midst of the mortal ones.

Here again we see the persistent error of a division between mortal and immortal, which won’t exist, for all will be either translated (transfigured) people, or resurrected people, and no one will be mortal. Last I checked translated people fit in quite well among resurrected people, which is why Elijah was translated and went to heaven, as well as all the other people who have been translated. Resurrected people and translated people have no problem dwelling with each other.

Because it is said, they shall reign on the earth, is no reason why we should say they shall be constantly among the mortal saints.

Here again is mentioned the false division between mortal and immortal. Resurrected beings can come and go as they please, but this planet is where they will have their inheritance, so they will make their abode here, on planet Earth, as they were promised by God. The writers of the article are setting up this idea of traveling resurrected people who will be nominally present, so that they can put forth their false idea of a mortal king reigning over mortal Israel.

The idea is that the earth will be under the control of Christ and the glorified saints, and Christ will virtually reign over the whole earth, and this David will be subject to him.

Here we have the first mention of virtual reality! And we Mormons have the honor of having put forth the idea! No, Christ won’t “virtually reign” over Israel, He will literally and personally reign over the entire people. And David won’t be subject to Him, because Christ and the end-time David are one and the same Being, He being the new, or second, or last David. So, this idea of theirs might make for a good fictional movie, but it is not based upon the scriptures, nor upon truth, but upon an erroneous and speculative idea about mortals and immortals not mixing, and upon a mortal population needing a mortal king, while an immortal population needs an immortal King.

In truth, we have always had an immortal, or resurrected, King over us, even God the Father. God was our King in the heavens and He had a body of flesh and bones while we were mere spirits. That shouldn’t mix, right? But there we were, under our King who looked and was so vastly different from us. Down here on earth, we get clothed in mortal flesh. Who was our King? Still God the Father, who was an immortal or resurrected personage. Yet He still told us what to do. Or, if you want to say that the Son was our King, then before His First Advent, He was a Spirit. How’s that for incompatibility? We were mortals of flesh and blood, and our King was an immortal Spirit! Then He came down and partook of flesh and blood, but alas!, He didn’t reign over Israel! (Not yet, anyway.) Later He died and was resurrected, and now we had the same problem, for our King was a resurrected Personage of flesh and bone, like His Father, and we were still mortal beings. Next he’ll return in His resurrected body to reign over Israel and Israel will be both resurrected and translated. Is there a problem with any of this? The writers of the Times and Seasons article saw a problem, but the problem was in their own minds, for they were obsessed with privilege (as we will soon see) and they felt a need that that privilege remain intact:

The redeemed saints will reign on earth, and perhaps have in many respects, authority over the mortal ones. We do not wish to be understood, that there will be a total or entire separation between [p. 690] the mortal, and immortal; but the object of the foregoing remarks is to show the distinction of privilege. The prophet says, that the Lord shall reign in Mount Zion, and in Jerusalem, and before his ancients gloriously; hence, when the redeemed saints dwell on earth, they will dwell in Mount Zion, and in Jerusalem, which places the Lord will fully prepare for them. We might dilate upon this part of the subject, that is, the reign, and dominion of the redeemed saints, till we fill a volume; but brevity admonishes us to hasten. Those who are anxious to learn more concerning this reign of the saints, can search the scriptures for themselves.

Thank goodness for brevity! So, they were obsessed with the distinction of privilege and so erroneously divided the population into mortal and immortal, with a mortal king David and an immortal King Messiah, the one to be over the mortal population, and the other to be over the immortal one, but with the resurrected ones exercising authority (privilege) over the lowly mortal ones, etc. But despite all these errors, they give one good bit of advice: “search the scriptures for themselves.” That advice should have been the only words put into this article.

The name David (Beloved) identifies Christ

The name David means Beloved, and so when the Father says in the scriptures, “my servant David,” it is the same as if He were saying, “my servant Beloved,” or “my beloved servant.” The Beloved Servant of God the Father is Jesus Christ, who is also His Beloved Son, or, to put it another way, God’s Son David (Beloved.) Jesus Christ, then, is both the Beloved Son of God and also the Beloved Servant of God:

Yet it pleased the LORD [Jehovah the Father] to bruise him; he hath put him to grief: when thou shalt make his soul an offering for sin, he shall see his seed, he shall prolong his days, and the pleasure of the LORD [Jehovah the Father] shall prosper in his hand. He shall see of the travail of his soul, and shall be satisfied: by his knowledge shall my righteous servant justify many; for he shall bear their iniquities. Therefore will I [Jehovah the Father] divide him a portion with the great, and he shall divide the spoil with the strong; because he hath poured out his soul unto death: and he was numbered with the transgressors; and he bare the sin of many, and made intercession for the transgressors. (Isaiah 53:10-12)

The above passage is speaking of Jesus Christ, yet the Father calls Him “my righteous servant.” The prophetic use of the word “Beloved” or “David” in connection with a servant of God or a Son of God identifies Jesus Christ as the One in question. And so we get:

Now will I sing to my wellbeloved a song of my beloved touching his vineyard. My wellbeloved hath a vineyard in a very fruitful hill: (Isaiah 5:1)

and

Behold my Beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased, in whom I have glorified my name—hear ye him. (3 Nephi 11:7)

An analysis of the biblical name David

An excerpt from Abarim Publications’ Biblical Name Vault: David

The name David in the Bible
David is the youngest of eight (1 Samuel 16:10-13) or seven (1 Chronicles 2:15) sons of Jesse the Bethlehemite, and the first king of the united Kingdom of Israel. He was not the first king of Israel because that was Saul (1 Samuel 10:1). Saul, however, never managed to make peace in Israel.

Popular as this name is nowadays, in the Bible there is only one person named this way. Many names occur more than once, but David’s name was never repeated. Perhaps it was for venerative reasons that nobody named their child after the great king David of Israel. The Bible also only lists one Adam, Moses, Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, and the list goes on.

The name David (Δαβιδ; Dabid) appears frequently in the New testament, but solely in constructions: Both Joseph and Jesus are called “son of David” (Matthew 1:20, 9:27, Mark 10:47), and Jesus is additionally called the “root of David” (Revelation 5:5, 22:16). The Messiah’s reign is referred to as the “kingdom of David” (Mark 11:10) and the “throne of David” (Luke 1:32), and His reign would rebuild the “tent of David” (Acts 15:16). He who is holy can open and no one will shut and vice versa, using the “key of David” (Revelation 3:7). And once Paul refers to a statement occurring in Psalm 95:7, as being “in David,” meaning the work of David (Hebrews 4:7).

The name David occurs 59 times in the New Testament; SEE FULL CONCORDANCE.

Etymology and meaning of the name David
Most Bible translators and commentator will render the name David as Beloved, but as always with important names, the etymology of the name David is disputed. But we can’t help noticing the distinct similarity of this name with the Hebrew root דוד (dwd) that yields דוד (dod), generally meaning beloved. This word is also the Hebrew word for uncle — 1 Chronicles 27:32, for instance, speaks of דוד־דויד, or “David’s uncle”:

The entire web page on David can be read by clicking here.

Of particular note are these words:

The Messiah’s reign is referred to as the “kingdom of David” (Mark 11:10) and the “throne of David” (Luke 1:32), and His reign would rebuild the “tent of David” (Acts 15:16). He who is holy can open and no one will shut and vice versa, using the “key of David” (Revelation 3:7).

I will quote those referenced scriptures. First Mark:

And they brought the colt to Jesus, and cast their garments on him; and he sat upon him. And many spread their garments in the way: and others cut down branches off the trees, and strawed them in the way. And they that went before, and they that followed, cried, saying, Hosanna; Blessed is he that cometh in the name of the Lord: blessed be the kingdom of our father David, that cometh in the name of the Lord: Hosanna in the highest. (Mark 11:7-10)

Next, Luke:

And, behold, thou shalt conceive in thy womb, and bring forth a son, and shalt call his name JESUS. He shall be great, and shall be called the Son of the Highest: and the Lord God shall give unto him the throne of his father David: and he shall reign over the house of Jacob for ever; and of his kingdom there shall be no end. (Luke 1:31-33)

Notice the similarities of the above passage to this passage in Ezekiel:

And David my servant shall be king over them; and they all shall have one shepherd: they shall also walk in my judgments, and observe my statutes, and do them. And they shall dwell in the land that I have given unto Jacob my servant, wherein your fathers have dwelt; and they shall dwell therein, even they, and their children, and their children’s children for ever: and my servant David shall be their prince for ever. (Ezekiel 37:24-25)

and also to this passage in Isaiah:

For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace. Of the increase of his government and peace there shall be no end, upon the throne of David, and upon his kingdom, to order it, and to establish it with judgment and with justice from henceforth even for ever. The zeal of the LORD of hosts will perform this. (Isaiah 9:6-7)

Next, Acts:

And after they had held their peace, James answered, saying, Men and brethren, hearken unto me: Simeon hath declared how God at the first did visit the Gentiles, to take out of them a people for his name. And to this agree the words of the prophets; as it is written, After this I will return, and will build again the tabernacle of David, which is fallen down; and I will build again the ruins thereof, and I will set it up: that the residue of men might seek after the Lord, and all the Gentiles, upon whom my name is called, saith the Lord, who doeth all these things. (Acts 15:13-17)

Finally, Revelation:

And to the angel of the church in Philadelphia write; These things saith he that is holy, he that is true, he that hath the key of David, he that openeth, and no man shutteth; and shutteth, and no man openeth; (Rev. 3:7)

These scriptures do, in fact, support the Abarim Publications’ view that: King Messiah’s reign is referred to as the “kingdom of David” and the “throne of David,” and His reign would rebuild the “tent (tabernacle) of David,” and that King Messiah is the Holy One who can open and no one will shut and vice versa, using the “key of David.”

From these scriptures it appears that Jesus Christ, “the son of David” and “the Root of David,” even the King Messiah, will get all things that were given to David, doesn’t it? Here’s that Joseph Smith quotation again, for comparison:

Although David was a King he never did obtain the spirit & power of Elijah & the fulness of the Priesthood, & the priesthood that he received & the throne & kingdom of David is to be taken from him & given to another by the name of David in the last days, raised up out of his linage

More on the key of David

I taught the following in the King Abaddon post:

Now, the angel (Elias) Gabriel possessed keys, and keys are only obtained during a mortal probation. Notice again what Joseph Smith said:

While speaking in 1839 to members of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles and some Seventies prior to their leaving for missionary service, the Prophet Joseph Smith said: Noah, who is Gabriel, … stands next in authority to Adam in the Priesthood; he was called of God to this office, and was the father of all living in his day, and to him was given the dominion. These men held keys first on earth, and then in heaven.” (Quoted from History of the Church, 3:386. Cited in Noah, The Great Preacher of Righteousness by Joseph B. Romney, Ensign, February 1998.)

So, when we read that Elias (the angel Gabriel) possessed “the keys of bringing to pass the restoration of all things,” this means that Gabriel must have already had a mortal probation. The same principle applies to each and every angel that holds keys:

And the voice of Michael, the archangel; the voice of Gabriel, and of Raphael, and of divers angels, from Michael or Adam down to the present time, all declaring their dispensation, their rights, their keys, their honors, their majesty and glory, and the power of their priesthood; giving line upon line, precept upon precept; here a little, and there a little; giving us consolation by holding forth that which is to come, confirming our hope! (D&C 128:21)

Therefore, given that Moroni, Michael, John the Baptist, Peter, James, John the Beloved, Gabriel, Raphael, Moses, Elijah and Elias all came to Joseph Smith as angels possessing keys, all of these men had already had mortal probations. They obtained their keys in mortality, and then retained them when they died or were translated. Joseph Smith also obtained the keys of the mysteries and sealed things during his mortal ministry, and he retains those keys still, even after his death.

Jesus Christ, then, received the special key of David during His earthly ministry. Now, notice what Isaiah prophesied about the key of David:

And it shall come to pass in that day, that I will call my servant Eliakim the son of Hilkiah: and I will clothe him with thy robe, and strengthen him with thy girdle, and I will commit thy government into his hand: and he shall be a father to the inhabitants of Jerusalem, and to the house of Judah. And the key of the house of David will I lay upon his shoulder; so he shall open, and none shall shut; and he shall shut, and none shall open. And I will fasten him as a nail in a sure place; and he shall be for a glorious throne to his father’s house. And they shall hang upon him all the glory of his father’s house, the offspring and the issue, all vessels of small quantity, from the vessels of cups, even to all the vessels of flagons. In that day, saith the Lord of hosts, shall the nail that is fastened in the sure place be removed, and be cut down, and fall; and the burden that was upon it shall be cut off: for the Lord hath spoken it. (Isaiah 22:20-25)

The above words were spoken to Shebna, a government official. In the prophecy, Eliakim is made into a type of Christ, who will replace Shebna. Eliakim means “God shall cause to arise.” The prophecy points forward to the literal fulfillment, in which Christ receives the robe of Shebna, the girdle of Shebna and the government of Shebna is committed into His hand. Additionally, He will have the key of the house of David (the key of David), but will be fastened as a nail in a sure place, a reference to the crucifixion of Christ. Notice, in particular, that Christ will be “for a glorious throne to his father’s house.” Thus it is Jesus that inherits David’s throne. He has a right to that throne not just because He is a descendant of David through Mary, but specifically because He, and He alone, possesses “the key to the house of David.”

There can be no other “Davidic Servant” coming forth in the end times, to reign upon David’s throne, because no other person, except Christ, possesses the key of David necessary to establish that throne forever. The key of David is given to one repository only. So, either there is a mortal “Davidic Servant” who reigns upon the end-time throne of David, or there is an immortal Branch King David who reigns upon the end-time throne of David. There cannot be two Davids reigning upon two thrones of David, nor can there be two Davids reigning upon the same throne, for to reign on that throne requires the key of David, which only one person possesses.

To determine, then, which personage reigns, the fictitious “Davidic Servant,” or the real King Messiah, we just need to answer this question: Which one has the key of David? And that’s easy to answer because the Revelation of Saint John the Divine reveals that Christ has the key of David, therefore He has the right to rule on that throne and He is the one who will “be for a glorious throne” to both His father David, and His Father Jehovah, for He will establish that throne forever.

Now, the only way for “the DS” cult to get around this fact is to make the claim that Jesus Christ Himself will come to earth, before the Second Coming, and commit the key of David into the hand of a mortal descendant of David, whose name is also David, so that the mortal servant can reign upon the throne of David. But there is no prophecy or scripture of any king that supports such a claim. Should someone come forth making that claim, it will be readily seen as baseless. The only evidence of a pre-Second Coming appearance of Christ is the meeting to take place at Adam-ondi-Ahman. But in that meeting, Jesus won’t be delivering keys into the hands of others, but all the repositories of the various keys, even all the servants of God who were given unique keys, such as this unique key of David that Jesus possesses, will deliver those keys back to Christ. So, He will be the one receiving keys, not committing them to others.

This fact alone, then, that Jesus Christ holds the key of David, invalidates the whole “Davidic Servant” error.

Abaddon’s key

Now, one last thing about keys before moving on. The fact that “keys are only obtained during a mortal probation” proves that king Abaddon is a servant of God.

The idea among latter-day saints that king Abaddon is the devil (which idea is put forth in the Bible Dictionary entry of Abaddon) is unsupported in the scriptures because king Abaddon is the angel who possesses the key of the bottomless pit:

And the fifth angel sounded, and I saw a star fall from heaven unto the earth: and to him was given the key of the bottomless pit.

And they had a king over them, which is the angel of the bottomless pit, whose name in the Hebrew tongue is Abaddon, but in the Greek tongue hath his name Apollyon. (Revelation 9:1,11)

And I saw an angel come down from heaven, having the key of the bottomless pit and a great chain in his hand. And he laid hold on the dragon, that old serpent, which is the Devil, and Satan, and bound him a thousand years, and cast him into the bottomless pit, and shut him up, and set a seal upon him, that he should deceive the nations no more, till the thousand years should be fulfilled: and after that he must be loosed a little season. (Revelation 20:1-3)

All keys are obtained during the mortal probation, therefore this angel cannot be the devil, for the devil will never have a mortal probation. Therefore, this must be a divine angel (as I have taught on this blog) who has already been born into mortality. Okay, back to the topic at hand.

The ancient David as a type

The boy David, who later became king David, was given the name David (Beloved) because he functioned as a type of King Messiah, as a Beloved King type. Even after David’s transgression, he still performed the kingly functions in righteousness, so that he continued being the Beloved King type. The end times is not when types are brought forth, but when the literal things the types are patterned after finally appear. Thus, the prophecies of the end times David, are not of another David type, but of the literal David, the one that the king David type was patterned after, even the One who would not fall into transgression.

The Davidic Servant is real; “the Davidic Servant” is not

The word “Davidic” means “of David.” In the scriptures, there is an end times Personage that is prophesied to come forth who is “of David,” meaning that He will be a descendant of the ancient David. This Personage is the Branch:

In those days, and at that time, will I cause the Branch of righteousness to grow up unto David; and he shall execute judgment and righteousness in the land. (Jeremiah 33:15)

The Branch, then, is a Branch “of David,” or, to put it another way, a Davidic Branch. This Branch is the same as the end-time Personage called in the scriptures “my servant David” or “David my servant.” Therefore, the name of this Personage is Beloved (David.) Thus, there is, indeed, a Davidic Branch Servant named David, and this Beloved Davidic Branch Servant is Jesus Christ.

In addition to the Branch (Jesus Christ) being Davidic, so is everything that He is associated with. The kingdom of David, the throne of David, the tent or tabernacle of David, the key of David, the house of David, etc., all these terms can be re-termed as: the Davidic kingdom, the Davidic throne, the Davidic tent or tabernacle, the Davidic key, the Davidic house, etc. All of these Davidic properties belong to Jesus alone.

There is no mortal branch of ancient David, whose name is also David, who reigns upon David’s throne in the last days, as king of mortal Israel. Such a personage is that figment of speculating Mormons’s imagination which is known as “the Davidic Servant.” I put this imaginary personage in quotation marks as “the Davidic Servant” to indicate that I am speaking of the fictional entity, and not of the real Davidic Servant, who is Jesus Christ.

“The Davidic Servant” is a misnomer

By taking the scriptures that speak of the end-time Branch of David (Christ) and the ones that speak of the end-time “my servant David”/”David my servant” (also Christ) and combining them with the scriptures that speak of the end-time Elias and his ministry, “the DS” cult has invented a fantastical figure which resembles aspects of both Christ and Elias, yet isn’t exactly like either one. Almost all of the scriptures used to bolster this professed, but fictional entity come from the ones that speak of Elias. But Elias isn’t like Christ, at all, and any attempt to make him appear to be and act like the Savior shows that “the DS” cult has no idea, whatsoever, about this end times servant.

For starters, Elias is not even said to be Davidic! His lineage is only spoken of as coming from Jesse, not David, and there is no place in the scriptures, anywhere, that indicates this man will be a descendant of David. Thus, the labeling of him as “the Davidic Servant” is a misnomer. There isn’t a shred of evidence that Elias is descended of David. In fact, as the rod/root of Jesse, Elias’s lineage is given as of Jesse and of the house of Joseph, which includes two tribes (Ephraim and Manasseh), but nothing is ever said of David.

I teach that Elias is the same Josephite mentioned in 2 Nephi chapter 3, who will be the one mighty that is raised up from among the posterity of Joseph the son of Lehi, and therefore Elias will be a Nephite of the same lineages had among that ancient people, namely: Judah, Manasseh and Ephraim.

Elias, as I teach him, is the destroying angel, even the king Destroyer (Abaddon), and as a descendant of Jesse, we can assume that Jesse named his eight sons prophetically and that the destroyer is prophetically linked to the name of one of those sons. This isn’t so unusual, for I, myself, named my own sons prophetically, according to the spirit of prophecy which was upon me, and so the meaning of their names will be manifest in their lives, and we also have evidence that Jesse named at least one son prophetically, because David, which means Beloved, was so named because through him would come God’s Beloved Son, King Messiah, thus making David a type. If Jesse, then, named David prophetically, then we might assume that he did the same with all his sons (as I did my own).

Is there any son of Jesse whose name points prophetically to the destroyer? Yes, in fact, there is. Jesse’s third son was named Shammah. And what does Shammah mean? It means “Waste; Appalling Desolation.” Why would a father name his son, “Desolation?” Well, if the king Destroyer would be coming through that child’s loins, it makes perfect prophetic sense to call him that.

The Nephites came from the Lehi (Manasseh)/Ishmael (Ephraim) group, but later they also combined with the Mulek (Judah) group. Mulek was a son of Zedekiah, king of Judah, and thus a direct descendant of David. So, we know that the lineage of David was had among the Nephites, but what about Shammah? Was his lineage also found among the Nephites? Perhaps:

And it bordered upon the land which they called Desolation, it being so far northward that it came into the land which had been peopled and been destroyed, of whose bones we have spoken, which was discovered by the people of Zarahemla, it being the place of their first landing. And they came from there up into the south wilderness. Thus the land on the northward was called Desolation, and the land on the southward was called Bountiful, it being the wilderness which is filled with all manner of wild animals of every kind, a part of which had come from the land northward for food. And now, it was only the distance of a day and a half’s journey for a Nephite, on the line Bountiful and the land Desolation, from the east to the west sea; and thus the land of Nephi and the land of Zarahemla were nearly surrounded by water, there being a small neck of land between the land northward and the land southward. (Alma 22:30-32)

We typically think that the land Desolation—which was far to the north, strangely enough (for king Abaddon’s kingdom will likewise be in a far country to the north)—was named because of the destruction of the Jaredites, and perhaps that is the case, or perhaps that’s not the case:

Now it was the custom of the people of Nephi to call their lands, and their cities, and their villages, yea, even all their small villages, after the name of him who first possessed them; and thus it was with the land of Ammonihah. (Alma 8:7)

Shammah the son of Jesse may have had descendants among the Mulek party, and perhaps when they made their first landing, the descendant of Shammah put Shammah’s name (Desolation) upon the land. And where is the land Desolation in modern times? At least part of the land of the United States of America enters into the land Desolation. And where does Elias the destroyer come from? From Zion, which is found in the USA:

The LORD shall send the rod of thy strength out of Zion (Psalms 110:2)

We believe in the literal gathering of Israel and in the restoration of the Ten Tribes; that Zion (the New Jerusalem) will be built upon the American continent; (AoF 1:10)

Which part of the USA will Elias come from? Likely that part which resides within the borders of the ancient land Desolation.

Now, the Lord hasn’t revealed these mysteries, as yet. But suffice it to say that there is no scriptural evidence that the end-time Elias is a descendant of David, therefore it is incorrect to refer to the end-time Elias servant as “the Davidic Servant.”

Addressing Gileadi

Avraham Gileadi is a part of the group that believes in “the Davidic Servant” error. Given that he is widely considered an authority on the writings of Isaiah, those who also believe in “the Davidic Servant” error feel that they are now in good company. Unfortunately for them, even if the whole world believed in “the Davidic Servant” error, that still wouldn’t make it any less wrong than it already is.

From Gileadi’s FAQ page on his Isaiah Institute web site, it states:

Do other prophets besides Isaiah prophesy of God’s endtime servant?

Jeremiah, Ezekiel, Hosea, and others prophesy of God’s endtime servant who gathers Israel’s twelve tribes from dispersion and restores them to lands of inheritance on a parallel with the prophecies of Isaiah. As a descendant of David named David, God’s servant reunites Israel and Judah, builds the temple in Jerusalem, and establishes the political kingdom of God on the earth in preparation for Jehovah’s coming to reign among his elect people as King of Zion.

If Gileadi had left out the phrase “As a descendant of David named David” from the second sentence, the above would have been perfectly true and it would have been an apt description of part of Joseph-Nephi’s mission. But Gileadi shows himself as mixed up as the others by conflating the actual Davidic Servant (who is Jesus Christ) with the non-Davidic Servant forerunner (who is Joseph-Nephi) and by creating a non-existent entity named David who is a descendant of David of old, who does all the things Joseph-Nephi will do and who is not Jesus Christ.

Now, before I proceed, let me just say that Avraham Gileadi gets a lot right. I am actually quite impressed by how much he gets right. But in a sea of white, the single, solitary black spot gets all the attention, and so it is with me. I cannot help but hone in on the errors.

It is my belief that the correct things that Gileadi has come to are a result of diligent study and the use of the Jewish scriptural interpretation techniques. In other words, his writings and interpretations don’t come from the Holy Ghost. His teachings or interpretations aren’t manifested understandings, and so errors creep in, for no man-made interpretation technique is perfect.

Nevertheless, perhaps if he had had some of the keys I have given in this post, these errors would have been kept more or less at bay. For example, if only he had understood that special keys are obtained in mortality (as stated by Joseph Smith), then he would have known that Jesus Christ is the only One who could possibly be the Davidic Servant to reign upon the throne of David, because He is the only One who possesses the key of David. Thus, in the following passage of scripture, which speaks of a son reigning upon the throne of David forever, Gileadi would have instantly known that the passage speaks of Christ; but instead, he mistakes it as speaking of the fictional “Davidic Servant.”

For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace. Of the increase of his government and peace there shall be no end, upon the throne of David, and upon his kingdom, to order it, and to establish it with judgment and with justice from henceforth even for ever. The zeal of the Lord of hosts will perform this. (Isaiah 9:6-7, KJV)

For to us a child is born, a son appointed,
who will shoulder the burden of government.
He will be called
Wonderful Counsellor, One Mighty in Valor,
a Father for Ever, a Prince of Peace—
that sovereignty may be extended
and peace have no end;
that, on the throne of David
and over his kingdom,
his rule may be established and upheld
by justice and righteousness
from this time forth and forever.
The zeal of Jehovah of Hosts will accomplish it. (Isaiah 9:6-7, Gileadi’s translation)

Additionally, Gileadi believes that the KJV mistranslates the above verses, as he explains here:

Although Handel’s Messiah cites this prophecy of Isaiah in reference to Jesus—perhaps based in part on its mistranslation in the King James Version of the Bible—no scriptural writers do so because that would entirely remove it from its literary-scriptural context in the Book of Isaiah. As the exemplar of his people, Jehovah nevertheless embodies the divine attributes of counsel (Isaiah 25:1; 28:29); valor (1:24; 49:26); fatherhood (45:10; 63:16); and kingship (Isaiah 33:22; 43:15). Jehovah’s servant and his associates, too, therefore, evidence these same attributes (Isaiah 11:2; 13:3; 22:21; 46:11; 49:23).

It is strange that Gileadi would call this passage mistranslated by the KJV given that the same passage of Isaiah was found on the plates of Mormon and translated by Joseph Smith in a virtually identical manner as the KJV:

For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given; and the government shall be upon his shoulder; and his name shall be called, Wonderful, Counselor, The Mighty God, The Everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace. Of the increase of government and peace there is no end, upon the throne of David, and upon his kingdom to order it, and to establish it with judgment and with justice from henceforth, even forever. The zeal of the Lord of Hosts will perform this. (2 Nephi 19:6-7)

If we are to pick a translation, surely the KJV wins over the Gileadi one in this passage, given that the Book of Mormon translation is word-for-word the same as the KJV, and because we know that Joseph Smith’s translation is both correct and divinely given.

Again, if Gileadi had understood that the name Jehovah could refer to each of the three members of the Godhead, he would not force every single scripture that speaks of Jehovah to refer to Jesus Christ alone. To illustrate my point, Gileadi goes on to say the following in the same commentary on this chapter of Isaiah:

Other Hebrew prophets, too, predict the millennial rule of a descendant of David named David who is not identical with Jehovah, Israel’s divine King (Isaiah 33:17, 22; 43:15), but who prepares the way for Jehovah’s coming (cf. Isaiah 40:3-5; 52:7): “They shall serve Jehovah their God and David their king, whom I will raise up to them” (Jeremiah 30:9); “I Jehovah will be their God, and my servant David a prince among them” (Ezekiel 34:24); “David my servant shall be king over them, and they all shall have one shepherd. . . . and my servant David shall be their prince forever” (Ezekiel 37:24-25).

Here we see Gileadi’s inability to see that the name Jehovah in the passages refers to the Father, and not to the Son. The name David in the passages in fact refer to God’s Beloved, who is Christ.

A final example is from Isaiah 11: 1-5, which reads as follows in the KJV:

And there shall come forth a rod out of the stem of Jesse, and a Branch shall grow out of his roots: and the spirit of the Lord shall rest upon him, the spirit of wisdom and understanding, the spirit of counsel and might, the spirit of knowledge and of the fear of the Lord; and shall make him of quick understanding in the fear of the Lord: and he shall not judge after the sight of his eyes, neither reprove after the hearing of his ears: but with righteousness shall he judge the poor, and reprove with equity for the meek of the earth: and he shall smite the earth with the rod of his mouth, and with the breath of his lips shall he slay the wicked. And righteousness shall be the girdle of his loins, and faithfulness the girdle of his reins.

Gileadi translates this passage as follows:

A shoot will spring up from the stock of Jesse
and a branch from its graft bear fruit.
The Spirit of Jehovah will rest upon him—
the spirit of wisdom and of understanding,
the spirit of counsel and of valor,
the spirit of knowledge
and of the fear of Jehovah.
His intuition will be guided
by the fear of Jehovah;
he will not judge by what his eyes see,
nor establish proof by what his ears hear.
He will judge the poor with righteousness,
and with equity arbitrate for the lowly in the land;
he will smite the earth with the rod of his mouth
and with the breath of his lips slay the wicked.
Righteousness will be as a band about his waist,
faithfulness a girdle round his loins.

Joseph Smith said the following about this passage:

Who is the Stem of Jesse spoken of in the 1st, 2d, 3d, 4th, and 5th verses of the 11th chapter of Isaiah?

Verily thus saith the Lord: It is Christ. (D&C 113:1-2)

So, to be clearer, according to the Lord, as revealed to Joseph Smith, Christ is the one spoken of in verses two, three, four and five, as well as in verse one. But Gileadi sets this revelation completely aside, because he is stuck in his own interpretation, which he believes is correct. And so after citing verse two, he says:

Although all three messianic individuals in Isaiah’s olive tree allegory evidence the divine attributes here listed, grammatically they apply to the last one mentioned—the branchJehovah’s end-time servant. Word links confirm that identity: “My servant whom I sustain, my chosen one in whom I delight, him I have endowed with my Spirit; he will dispense justice to the nations” (Isaiah 42:1); “He will be called Wonderful Counsellor, One Mighty in Valor” (Isaiah 9:6); “Because of his knowledge, and by bearing their iniquities, shall my servant, the righteous one, vindicate many” (Isaiah 53:11).

Now, Gileadi is correct when he says, “grammatically they apply to the last one mentioned—the branch.” In other words, verse one mentions three individuals: the rod, the Stem and the Branch, but the last one mentioned is the Branch, and therefore the next verses (two to five) apply to the Branch. Yet Joseph Smith said that verses two to five apply to the Stem. Nevertheless, both Joseph Smith and Avraham Gileadi are correct because the Stem of Jesse and the Branch of David are one and the same individual: Christ.

Where Gileadi goes wrong is in his assumption that the Branch of David is “Jehovah’s end-time servant.” In other words, he assumes that the Branch is the end-time servant who prepares and restores all things. He says that “word links confirm that identity” and then cites Isaiah 42:1, which speaks of Joseph-Nephi; and he cites Isaiah 9:6, which speaks of Jesus Christ; and he cites Isaiah 53:11, which speaks of Jesus Christ. This shows how messed up one can get by falling into this “Davidic Servant” error, in which two distinct servants of God are conflated into a single, fictional entity.

And thus we see that it doesn’t matter how much scholarly knowledge you obtain, or how much diligence you apply in study, unless you are in possession of certain revealed keys, you will still fall into many errors, including this “Davidic Servant” error.

The gift of the word of knowledge is what is needed

The apostle, Bruce R. McConkie, who I quoted at the beginning of this post, has been shown to have been in actual possession of the gift of the word of knowledge, for his knowledge of these things far surpassed all the others. I myself also possess this same gift, and going back and reviewing what McConkie wrote I find myself amazed at just how much knowledge he was able to obtain using that gift. It is that gift that allows the scriptures to be understood and to have the things of God revealed, for God keeps His stuff in an unsearchable format:

Behold, great and marvelous are the works of the Lord. How unsearchable are the depths of the mysteries of him; and it is impossible that man should find out all his ways. And no man knoweth of his ways save it be revealed unto him; wherefore, brethren, despise not the revelations of God. (Jacob 4:8)

Through the use of this gift, then, all errors can be corrected, so that we may all end up having a correct understanding:

To another is given the word of knowledge, that all may be taught to be wise and to have knowledge. (D&C 46:18)

McConkie obviously made an attempt at a correction, or at least he gave the correct knowledge, but his correction didn’t stick. People persisted in “the Davidic Servant” just the same. He’s now dead and gone and nobody is attempting a correction. So with this post I will add knowledge to his correction, using my own gift, and who knows?, perhaps this time it will stick.

Complete List of Articles authored by LDS Anarchist

The faith of God, part fourteen: God is a miracle worker, not a scientist


Continued from part thirteen.

for behold [2 Ne. 27:23]

i am god

and i am a god of miracles

for behold [Mosiah 3:5]

the time cometh

and is not far distant

that with power the lord omnipotent

who reigneth

who was and is from all eternity to all eternity

shall come down from heaven among the children of men

and shall dwell in a tabernacle of clay

and shall go forth amongst men

working mighty miracles

Omnipotent defined by Webster

Here is the definition of omnipotent from Webster’s 1828 dictionary:

OMNIPOTENT, a. [supra.]

1. Almighty; possessing unlimited power; all powerful.

The being that can create worlds must be omnipotent.

2. Having unlimited power of a particular kind; as omnipotent love.

The more scholarly 1913 edition defines it in the following manner:

omnipotent, a. [F., fr. L. omnipotens, -entis; omnis all + potens powerful, potent. See POTENT.]

1. Able in every respect and for every work; unlimited, or indefinitely great, in power, ability, or authority; all-powerful; almighty.

God’s will…and his omnipotent power. Sir T. More.

2. Unequaled; arrant; mighty.

Humorous. Shak.

Webster (apparently) corrected

On Sunday, October 1st, 2000, m_turner wrote the following:

Time and time again, throughout philosophy and everything, people challenge the omnipotence of the Christian God. Being such a public figure, I am certain that He gets this a lot.

The standard argument against the omnipotence of God runs as follows:

1.  If God is omnipotent, then He can do anything.

2.  Therefore, God can create a rock so heavy that he cannot lift it.

3.  But if He cannot lift it, then He is not omnipotent.

4.  Likewise, if He cannot create such a rock, He is not omnipotent.

5.  Therefore, God cannot be omnipotent.

This paradox of omnipotence seems unsolvable. The main problem with this argument is the vagueness of the first premise – the definition of omnipotence.

The second premise of the argument is the main problem. It asks us to pit God’s omnipotence to create rocks against His ability to lift those rocks. For any rock that can be created it can be lifted. The existence of a rock too heavy for an omnipotent being to lift is a logical impossibility.

Some object that the nature of omnipotence allows one to create logical impossibility. If He cannot, then He is not omnipotent. Consider the following argument:

a.  If God is omnipotent, then God can create a square circle.

b.  God cannot create a square circle (according to theists).

c.  Therefore, God is not omnipotent.

Of course, premise (a) can be any logical paradox from round triangles to impossible rocks. This argument has the form:

  p -> q
  ~q
  ------
  ~p

This is a valid argument known as modus tollens, hence, we must turn to the soundness of the premises to see if the argument fails. Premise (x) is fair, and it is the one that is agreed upon. Premise (a) must therefore to be examined. Premise (a) can be broken into the following:

I.  God is omnipotent (according to theists).

II.  Thus God can create or do anything.

III.  A square circle is a thing.

IV.  Thus God can create a square circle.

Please note that draws a conclusion from the premises of theism. If theists do not accept these premises, then the reduction ad absurdum of theism fails. The only objection to this is that theists have weakened the concept of omnipotence.

First off, theists overwhelming agree with (I). The problems begin with (II). What is omnipotence? The ability to create or do anything? Contrary to Webster, when a theist asserts that God is omnipotent, they claim that

God is a maximally powerful being

This means that God is the most powerful being that can exist—He can do anything that can be done.

What about premise (III)? Can God create a square circle? A circle is a “plane curve at all points equidistant from a fixed point”, while a square is “a rectangle having four equal sides”. Let us now look at this again.

God can create a square circle.

A maximally powerful being can create a four equal sided curve at all points equidistant from a fixed point.

It is obvious to all that such a thing cannot exist. If such a thing cannot exist, then it cannot be created.

God cannot create that which cannot be created.

This is a contradiction of (IV) above and (1) from the original argument, thus they are unsound and the argument fails. Clearly (III) is false—it is not a thing, nor is it even a valid abstraction.

Returning to the nature of a maximally powerful being, this means that God can do anything that can be done. God can create things that exist now such as people, rocks, trees, stars, planets. God can create things which do not exist now, such as Martians—as long as their existence does not involve a contradiction.

Once again, returning to a previous topic, the maximally powerful nature might be seen as a weakened version of omnipotence. The question is on what grounds? Is being maximally powerful and having the ability to create logical impossibilities more powerful than just maximally powerful? This objection just returns back to the being that reasserts square circles which has been shown as unsound. No being can create logical impossibilities simply because they cannot be created.

Does this limit omnipotence? If a being cannot create that which cannot exist, is He limited? This question is suspect, it does not assert anything that is not evident by logical analysis, nor does it assert anything about the nature of the being. It is trivially true. While it does not assert anything about the nature of God, it fails to show a contradiction from the theistic premises and is itself reducible to absurdity. Simply, a Being cannot be faulted for creating that which cannot exist, because that which cannot exist cannot be created. God does not lack any ability to create things that cannot exist, because there is no such ability.

To sum it up:

God is a maximally powerful being.

That which cannot exist, cannot be created.

There is no contradiction from these two assertions, neither has the omnipotence of God been demonstrated to be a paradox, rather the arguments against omnipotence have been shown to rest on absurdity.

Omnipotent…

The traditional, dictionary defined view says,

God is omnipotent, meaning that He can create or do anything at all, no matter how impossible.

This means that God can create and do all things that are possible to create or do within the laws of nature, as well as all things that are impossible to create or do within those same laws, without limitations. In other words, His power is not constrained by natural law, whatsoever. This view corresponds to the Webster’s definition but runs into paradoxes.

…or a maximally powerful being?

To skirt around these problems, a new view of God’s power has emerged, which says,

God is omnipotent, meaning that He is a maximally powerful being.  This means that there are things that are impossible for even God to create or do, or that His power has limits.

Thus, God is as powerful as it is possible to be within the laws of nature and can create and do all things that it is possible to create and do within the laws of nature, but cannot create or do things which are impossible to create and do within the laws of nature. In other words, God’s power operates solely within, and is constrained by, the laws of nature. This view discards the dictionary definition of omnipotent and wherever the word appears in scripture it re-assigns to it the meaning, “maximally powerful (within the laws of nature).”

The scientist and the miracle worker

The scientist

The modern perspective corresponds to, and is represented by, man, who works within an already established body of natural laws, who we will call the scientist. For the scientist some things are possible and some things are impossible, according to the laws of nature he is working within. The power of the scientist is limited only by his knowledge of the natural laws and the limits those laws inherently possess.

The miracle worker

The former perspective is that of (the traditional) God, which we will designate as that of the miracle worker. For the miracle worker, natural law imposes no limitations, whatsoever, therefore there is no such thing as an impossibility from His perspective, all things being possible. The miracle worker, then, can work both within the bounds of natural law, in contradiction of them, as well as in areas where law is completely non-existent.  He is limited only by His faith, by which He works His miracles.

God as an advanced scientist

“Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic.”

At least since 1869, the LDS have been taught that God’s omnipotence only means that He is maximally powerful; that He operates only within natural law (including natural laws which preceded Him and constrain Him); that because He knows all the higher laws which are unknown to us, His miracles are just advanced science, but to us they appear to be magic because we are ignorant of these higher, natural laws He operates under. Therefore, in reality, there is no such thing as a miracle.

And so God has become a scientist to the modern Mormon.

The midi-chlorian menace

Remember the wonderful, mystical force of Star Wars, which had every kid from 9 to 90 giddy with excitement, imagining that they could wield light sabers and use the force? Remember the scene in Star Wars when Obi-Wan Kenobi feels, through the force, the death of a billion souls who were just killed by the Death Star? Even the atheists were enchanted by the mystical, spiritual force of Star Wars that permeated all things.

Now fast-forward to The Phantom Menace, when Qui-Gon Jinn reveals that the ability to use the force was based on the midi-chlorian count that people had in their bodies (i.e., on science) and not on something mystical. Well, that scene in The Phantom Menace caused the billion or so people who ended up seeing it to feel the death of their childhood romance with the Star Wars saga. The mystical, magical force had been converted into mere science and George Lucus caused a billion imaginations to die, killed in one fell swoop by The Phantom (Midi-chlorian) Menace.

The same collective death of the marvels of God can be said to have occurred fairly early in the Restoration due to speculative Mormonism, whose gung-ho leadership downgraded God’s wondrous, impossible omnipotence due to His faith into mere maximum, possible power due to His knowledge. I suppose their speculations were understandable, since they were trying to present a knowable God to people, so they tried to bring God down and package Him as something a bit more understandable to the common man. Thus, we got the following, “scientific” teachings:

Mormon speculations running rampant

Beginning, apparently, with Brigham Young in 1869, latter-day saints began speculating that God was a scientist operating under higher laws of nature, which were as yet unknown to mankind.

Brigham Young taught that “there is no such thing” as a miracle, and that “God is a scientific character, … he lives by science or strict law.”  (Testimony of David H. Bailey)

According to Brigham Young, “there is no such thing” as a miracle and only “the ignorant” see the works of God as miracles. In 1869 he taught the following:

Yet I will say with regard to miracles, there is no such thing save to the ignorant — that is, there never was a result wrought out by God or by any of His creatures without there being a cause for it. There may be results, the causes of which we do not see or understand, and what we call miracles are no more than this — they are the results or effects of causes hidden from our understandings.

A year later, in 1870, Brigham taught that “God is a scientific character, that he lives by science or strict law,” that He exists by this science or strict law and that “by law (science) he was made what He is,” which would mean that God was made a God by a science which preceded (existed prior to) His existence, and thus God is a scientific creation.

It is hard to get the people to believe that God is a scientific character, that He lives by science or strict law, that by this He is, and by law he was made what He is; and will remain to all eternity because of His faithful adherence to law. It is a most difficult thing to make the people believe that every art and science and all wisdom comes from Him, and that He is their Author.

(See Modern science and the LDS doctrine of natural law)

James E. Talmage, in his book The Articles of Faith, wrote that “Miracles are commonly regarded as occurrences in opposition to the laws of nature. Such a conception is plainly erroneous, for the laws of nature are inviolable.” (Testimony of David H. Bailey)

Talmage made the above statement in 1899. More leaders followed suit on these speculations.

Several LDS leaders have expressed that miracles are part of higher natural laws. In a 1928 conference, for instance, Elder Orson Whitney said, “Miracles are not contrary to law; they are simply extraordinary results flowing from superior means and methods of doing things.” (Conference Reports, Oct. 1928, pp. 64-65.) Likewise, James Talmage once said:

Miracles are commonly regarded as occurrences in opposition to the laws of nature. Such a conception is plainly erroneous, for the laws of nature are inviolable. However, as human understanding of these laws is at best but imperfect, events strictly in accordance with natural law may appear contrary thereto. The entire constitution of nature is founded on system and order; the laws of nature, however, are graded as are the laws of man. The operation of a higher law in any particular case does not destroy the actuality of an inferior one. (Talmage, 200.)

In a similar vein, LDS researchers, Smith & Sjodhal, have written:

It is assumed that the so-called laws of nature are immutable, and that nothing can take place that appears to be contrary to such laws. To this objection the answer is, that we do not know all the laws of nature. We can, therefore, not maintain that the miracles performed by the servants of the Lord are not in perfect accord with some law of which we are ignorant. All we can say is that they do not belong to any of the classes of ordinary events with which men are familiar. But that is far from saying that they are impossible. As a matter of fact, violations of the best established laws of nature appear to be occurring constantly. We raise a weight from the ground. That seems to be contrary to the law of gravitation. …God directs and controls His universe and all that pertains thereto, not contrary to, but in conformity with, laws and forces known to Him, even though unknown to us. (Smith and Sjodahl, 516.)

Lastly, to quote Parley P. Pratt:

     Among the popular errors of modern times, an opinion prevails that miracles are events which transpire contrary to the laws of nature, that they are effects without a cause.

     If such is the fact, then, there never has been a miracle, and there never will be one. The laws of nature are the laws of truth. Truth is unchangeable, and independent in its own sphere.

     That which, at first sight, appears to be contrary to the known laws of nature, will always be found, on investigation, to be in perfect accordance with those laws. For instance, had a sailor of the last century been running before the wind, and met with a vessel running at a good rate of speed, directly in opposition to the wind and current, this sight would have presented, to his understanding, a miracle in the highest possible sense of the term, that is, an event entirely contrary to the laws of nature as known to him. Or if a train of cars, loaded with hundreds of passengers or scores of tons of freight had been seen passing over the surface of the earth, at the rate of sixty miles per hour, and propelled seemingly, by its own inherent powers of locomotion, our fathers would have beheld a miracle—an event which would have appeared, to them to break those very laws of nature with which they were the most familiar.

     If the last generation had witnessed the conveyance of news from London to Paris, in an instant, while they knew nothing of the late invention of the electric telegraph, they would have testified, in all candor, and with the utmost assurance, that a miracle had been performed, in open violation of the well known laws of nature, and contrary to all human knowledge of cause and effect.

      …The terms miracle and mystery must become obsolete, and finally disappear from the vocabulary of intelligences, as they advance in the higher spheres of intellectual consistency. Even now they should be used only in a relative or limited sense, as applicable to those things which are not yet within reach of our powers or means of comprehension. (Pratt, 103 – 104.)

(Miracles by Michael R. Ash)

Btw, Pratt wrote the above in 1891.

According to this view, God is just a really smart scientist who does everything according to some higher natural laws, which are as yet unknown to man, and He performs these feats through His knowledge of all things. Therefore, there is no such thing as a miracle and anyone that calls the things that God does a miracle is simply ignorant themselves of the knowledge it took to do such things. God, then, is a God of miracles only insofar as the audience witnessing the miracle is ignorant. Also, nothing He does contradicts natural law and therefore, is not impossible. This, of course, precludes creatio ex nihilo, since that would clearly contradict natural law, thus making creatio ex materia the only Mormon standard.

Moroni asked,

who shall say [Morm. 9:17]

that it was not a miracle

that by his word the heaven and the earth should be

and by the power of his word man was created of the dust of the earth

and by the power of his word have miracles been wrought

and who shall say [Marm. 9:18]

that jesus christ did not do many mighty miracles

The answer to Moroni’s questions is: Brigham Young, James E. Talmage, Orson Whitney, Smith & Sjodhal, Parley P. Pratt and many other Mormons who believe what these men have taught on this issue.

The Bible Dictionary on miracles

Such speculations have systemically affected the entire membership. As evidence of this, consider the Bible Dictionary entry on Miracles:

“Miracles should not be regarded as deviations from the ordinary course of nature so much as manifestations of divine or spiritual power. Some lower law was in each case superseded by the action of a higher.”

The scientific trap: creation by knowledge

Thus, Mormons have fallen into what might be termed, the scientific trap, which glorifies the acquisition of knowledge over all other principles. We have wrested the scriptures and converted the pure doctrine of creation and miracles by faith

for it is by faith that miracles are wrought [Moro. 7:37]

into a false gospel of creation and miracles by knowledge.

The scientific age has brought out fantastic discoveries, fanciful theories and marvelous new inventions, and this age, coupled with the wonderful new revelations God has given during the Restoration, has inspired the Mormon man to wonder about God’s vast knowledge, whether perhaps His knowledge of all things could be the cause of these miracles. This wondering has led to speculation, which has led to indoctrination, and now all Mormons are taught the satanic gospel of knowledge, leaving aside the divine gospel of faith.

First things first: some definitions

The adjective potential means “existing in possibility : capable of development into actuality” and also “expressing possibility,” while the noun potential means “something that can develop or become actual.”

The adjective impossible means “incapable of being or of occurring.” An impossibility, then, is “the quality or state of being impossible” and also “something impossible”.

With all of this in mind, let’s go back in time, to before the creation of all things.

Creatio ex nihilo

In the beginning, prior to the creation of all things, there was a compound-in-one Nothing, from which we came into existence. In the compound-in-one, non-existent state, the Nothing was without purpose and perfectly useless. So, to make it (the Nothing) have a purpose, God caused an opposition in all things by dividing the compound-in-one into two parts.

This division was impossible to do, but God did it anyway.
Now, the impossibility of the division cannot be stressed enough. Non-existence has no potential, whatsoever. The Nothing wasn’t merely something with untapped potential, like a gaseous plasma which is inert in its natural state but when a voltage is applied, it suddenly lights up. A gaseous plasma is something, and may react to external stimuli, but the Nothing was, quite literally, the lack of any sort of something. External stimuli does not elicit a response from absolutely nothing.

Nevertheless, God shone in the darkness and the Nothing began to split. This was not based upon knowledge of any laws, for laws did not apply to the Nothing. In other words, laws were non-existent at this point but also, even if they could exist at this point, they could not apply to the Nothing, for laws do not work on non-existence, only on things that exist.  This division, then, was an impossibility, yet it occurred anyway. Under what principle did it occur? Under the principle of faith, for God had faith that the Nothing would begin to divide if He shone a light; He shone a light and the Nothing began to split. It was a bona fide miracle, beyond the scope of any natural law, and like all miracles, was accomplished by faith, not knowledge.

Inner sphere of light=unnatural state of existence;
outer darkness=natural state of non-existence

The non-existent, uncreated, compound-in-one, Nothing state we were in prior to the creation of all things is our natural state. God, through the creation of all things took us out of our natural, non-existing state and placed us in a sphere of light, even the created Universe.

all truth is independent in that sphere [D&C 93:30]

in which god has placed it

to act for itself

as all intelligence also

otherwise there is no existence

However, the created Universe is not a natural state for us. It is an unnatural state. As we all are still living within the confines of the created Universe, what we today call the natural state is in reality an unnatural state.

Everything in the Universe is kept within this unnaturally existing, created, divided or split or opposition-in-all-things state by the power of God.

as also he is in the sun [D&C 88:7]

and the light of the sun

and the power thereof

by which it was made

as also he is in the moon [D&C 88:8]

and is the light of the moon

and the power thereof

by which it was made

as also the light of the stars [D&C 88:9]

and the power thereof

by which they were made

and the earth also [D&C 88:10]

and the power thereof

even the earth upon which you stand

and the light which shineth [D&C 88:11]

which giveth you light

is through him

who enlighteneth your eyes

which is the same light

that quickeneth your understandings

which light proceedeth forth from the presence of god [D&C 88:12]

to fill the immensity of space

the light which is in all things [D&C 88:13]

which giveth life to all things

which is the law

by which all things are governed

even the power of god

who sitteth upon his throne

who is in the bosom of eternity

who is in the midst of all things

Should God ever withdraw His power, or cease to exist, all things in the Universe would revert back to their natural state and vanish away back into the Nothing.

and if there is no god [2 Ne. 2:13]

we are not

neither the earth

for there could have been no creation of things

neither to act

nor to be acted upon

wherefore

all things must have vanished away

God’s omnipotence

This short prayer, given by the Savior in the Garden of Gethsemane, embodies the omnipotence and nature of God:

and he said [Mark 14:36]

abba

father

all things are possible unto thee

take away this cup from me

nevertheless

not what i will

but what thou wilt

It stands to reason that if all things are possible to God, then nothing is impossible to Him. But I will go further than that and say that:

God is omnipotent, according to His will and pleasure

By this I mean both that God is omnipotent because it is His will and pleasure to be omnipotent and that God’s omnipotence is dispersed according to His will and pleasure, which dispersal reveals the very will and pleasure of God, or His nature. (I will elaborate on this later.)

Suffice it to say that this prayer shows that God had power to take the bitter cup away from Christ, which is why Jesus asked Him to do so.  In other words, God had power to work out the atonement through Christ, thus preparing the way for our salvation, or to work out the atonement in some other way without Christ having to suffer.  His power is omnipotent, or unlimited, therefore, Christ’s sacrifice was chosen not because it was the only way, but because it was the appointed way, according to God’s will and pleasure.

Nothing is impossible with God

God’s miraculous power does not come from His knowledge, but from His faith. He is omnipotent because He has a fullness (infinite amount) of perfect, unshaken faith. His knowledge is finite, but His faith is infinite. I will quote the scripture again in case you missed this fact.

all truth is independent in that sphere [D&C 93:30]

in which god has placed it

to act for itself

as all intelligence also

otherwise there is no existence

God has placed all truth—which is all knowledge, for

truth is knowledge of things [D&C 93:24]

as they are

and as they were

and as they are to come

—into a finite sphere. But His infinite faith extends beyond the boundaries of the sphere of light, into the infinite, eternal regions of outer darkness, where the non-existing, compound-in-one Nothing is found. Because of this, there are no limitations to His power, nor can there be. The only impossible thing to God, then, is a limitation to His power.

The greatest feat God can do

If you are purporting to be omnipotent and want to demonstrate your matchless strength, how do you do this? Is it by lifting more weight than any man can lift? No. Is it by lifting more weight than any group of men working together and pooling all their resources and technology could lift? No. Is it by lifting all the weight there is or was or will be? No. If you have unlimited strength, then all of these feats are well within your strength (non-)limits. No, the only way to truly demonstrate your omnipotence is to go beyond your limitations. That’s impossible, right? And that’s the point.

In order for God to demonstrate His omnipotence, He must do the impossible.

Because the scriptures call God the Lord God Omnipotent—which, according to Webster’s 1828 and 1913 dictionary editions does not mean “maximally powered” but literally possessing unlimited power—the only way for God to demonstrate His omnipotent power is by performing a feat which is impossible for Him to perform. Nevertheless, even such a feat would be easy for an omnipotent God.

ah lord god [Jer. 32:17]

behold

thou hast made the heaven and the earth by thy great power and stretched out arm

and there is nothing too hard for thee

Regardless of its ease, though, going beyond His own limitations would most definitely demonstrate the full extent of His matchless power. Now, we must ask, what is impossible to a God that has unlimited power? The answer: a limitation on His power.

To glorify God

The purpose of the creation of all things was to glorify God. God, in the midst of the Nothing, took His unlimited power and created a limitation to His power, in the shape of a sphere of light. His power extends beyond the sphere (for it is faith-based power, which extends into the Nothing), but by creating the Universal sphere, He “gathered up” a portion of His unlimited power and created divisions and limitations on what He could and could not do within the sphere.

Prior to the creation, from God’s perspective, there were only possible things, for His power was unlimited. After the creation, His power was divided between the infinite Nothing, in which His power was still unlimited, and the sphere of light, in which He created limitations. In regards to the sphere, God created an unnatural state in which now there were unnatural laws (what we call the laws of nature) and according to these unnaturally made laws, there were now things that were possible and things that were impossible, both for God and man and beast and all other things.

These limitations on His power were His way of demonstrating that His power was so great that He could even bind Himself, an absolutely impossible feat. Binding God, or creating limitations on His own unlimited power was the greatest feat that God could do, hence the creation of the Universal sphere. It was meant to cause all that was in the Universe to wonder at His greatness, and to give glory to Him.

Giving impossible purpose to the impossible Nothing

wherefore [2 Ne. 2:12]

it must needs have been created for a thing of naught

wherefore

there would have been no purpose in the end of its creation

wherefore

this thing must needs destroy the wisdom of god and his eternal purposes

and also the power and the mercy and the justice of god

The genius of God is that He does the impossible. The Nothing is “a thing of naught” with no apparent purpose, therefore, God could not have created it, for He creates all things with a designated purpose in mind, which shows His great wisdom, power, mercy and justice. If God had created the Nothing, a thing with no purpose, whatsoever, its very creation (by God) would have destroyed God. As God still exists, we know that He did not create the Nothing, therefore the Nothing must be in its natural state of purposeless, impossible to use, non-existence. Nevertheless, even though God did not create the Nothing, and even though in its current state of non-existence, it is impossibly useless stuff, He still thought up a use for it, anyway.

wherefore [D&C 76:44]

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

and the end thereof [D&C 76:45]

neither the place thereof

nor their torment

no man knows

neither was it revealed [D&C 76:46]

neither is

neither will be revealed unto man

except to them who are made partakers thereof

nevertheless [D&C 76:47]

i the lord show it by vision unto many

but straightway shut it up again

wherefore [D&C 76:48]

the end

the width

the height

the depth

and the misery thereof

they understand not

neither any man

except those who are ordained unto this condemnation

wherefore [D&C 29:28]

i will say unto them

depart from me ye cursed into everlasting fire

prepared for the devil and his angels

and now [D&C 29:29]

behold

i say unto you

never at any time have I declared from mine own mouth

that they should return

for where i am they cannot come

for they have no power

but remember [D&C 29:30]

that all my judgments are not given unto men

These scriptures show that God uses the Nothing as a holding place for the devil, his angels and the sons of perdition. This is, of course, impossible, for where is the Nothing? It is nowhere and everywhere at the same time. The most we can say is that it is outside of the sphere of light, but it contains no “end, width, height or depth” that man can understand, for outer darkness is a true eternal or infinite expanse. God can comprehend it, but we cannot.

Three impossible things, so far, and He’s just getting started

We see from this that God has accomplished, so far, three impossible feats. He created something from Nothing. He limited His own unlimited power by dividing it between within and without the sphere, and He has made use of the useless Nothing which He did not create.

None of these impossible miracles were accomplished by His knowledge, which remains in the sphere, but by His faith, which not only permeates the sphere but also penetrates into the darkness beyond.

But God doesn’t stop there, for He offers His children who now reside within the sphere the promise of eternal life, of receiving all He has. That includes His unlimited power. Now, this is entirely impossible, for how can we, who started out as the Nothing, go from the singular, undifferentiated, infinite Nothing to plural, differentiated, finite somethings to possessing unlimited power? We are finite beings in our current (unnatural) state, therefore it is impossible for us to comprehend the infinite.

and no man putteth new wine into old bottles [Mark 2:22]

else the new wine doth burst the bottles

and the wine is spilled

and the bottles will be marred

but new wine must be put into new bottles

neither do men put new wine into old bottles [Matt. 9:17]

else the bottles break

and the wine runneth out

and the bottles perish

but they put new wine into new bottles

and both are preserved

Thus, finite man must be made infinite again before the unlimited power of God can be put into him. Yet, such a conversion is also impossible, nevertheless, this is exactly what God intends to do, regardless.

To solve these impossibilities in our doctrine, those who have fallen into the scientific trap have opted to imagine that God’s power is finite, that He is merely maximally powered according to His knowledge, thus allowing for the possibility of man becoming like Him. According to this thinking, it will take a really long time and a lot of learning, but eventually we will be able to learn all that God knows, too, and become maximally powerful beings like Him.

The limitations created by God

Prior to the creation, all things were to God a set of infinite possibilities, a completely blank slate from which to do anything He desired. During the creation, God made a new set of possibles and also a set of impossibles, both for Himself and all created things.

Insofar as He Himself is concerned, the new set of impossibles consists of things in which He doesn’t exercise faith. Insofar as everything else is concerned, the impossibles set also follows the same principle and thus accord to the faith of God, meaning:

that the limitations of all things are the limitations that He has set by His faith upon all things;

that all things that we say God is able to do are still impossibilities made possible by His faith, meaning that it is all still a miracle;

that all things we say God is unable to do (or powerless to do) is another manifestation of his matchless power in creating impossible limitations in which there originally were no limitations; in other words, that the limitations of the Universal sphere and the laws given by God—along with all their bounds and conditions—are, themselves, miracles;

and that all talk of God being literally limited in what He can do comes from a limited understanding of how He wields His power, for He has all the power that exists in the Universe and uses all those powers according to the purposes He has given them, vicariously through agents, etc.

Now, having a power serves no purpose unless it is used. Therefore, God uses all of His powers, but not all of them Himself, for some of them He has delegated to agents who desire to use them, to further His many purposes. For example, God has the power to deceive and to destroy agency, but He has delegated this power to Satan and other agents. Because He has delegated these powers, we say and also read in the scriptures that God “cannot lie.”  Or that God cannot make slaves of people by destroying their agency, like Satan does.  These are true statements, but it merely attests to the delegated nature of these powers, they having been given to Satan and others inspired by the devil. This does not mean that God never had them, nor that He will never get them back, nor that He does not have power at this very moment to retrieve or take back these powers from Satan. He most certainly did, will and does. But it is the nature of God to use many agents to serve His many purposes.

Elder Chantdown recently wrote:

This is the strange act of the same Father who stood not in conflict but in conversation with Lucifer. Notice even in the super-sacred-secret, copyrighted, intellectual property of the Corporation of the President of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints (Corporation Sole) video production of the Temple Drama, how cool and collect Elohim is in his correspondence with Lucifer. Lucifer ap-PARENT-ly sees his own PARENT as an enemy. But, God The Father appears to not be distressed in the slightest. Lucifer says “If you do that then I’ll do this!” God responds with a “Works for me” tone. Everything and everyone, including, yes, The Devil, works for Elohim.

Emphasis mine.

and worlds without number have i created [Moses 1:33]

for behold [Moses 1:35]

many worlds have passed away by my power

Therefore the Creator possesses all power, both to create and destroy, both to enliven and to kill, both to set limits and remove limits, both to bind and unbind. And He utilizes all His powers according to His divine purposes. What we see as a “limitation on His power” is a created limitation, meaning one of His creations. So, whenever people say God can’t do this or God can’t do that, claiming that He is not omnipotent because of these limitations, they are revealing their ignorance of His very nature, for it is in His very nature to set limitations and bounds to all things. Those bounds cannot be passed because no one or no group is more powerful than He is, meaning that nobody has more faith than He does.

So, when we find scriptures that state that God can’t lie or else He will cease to be God, this doesn’t mean that some greater power than God has bound Him, but that He has bound Himself, or set a limitation even to Himself, according to His nature. This is why He is both all-powerful, but not a dictator or tyrant. All things love and obey Him voluntarily because of His magnanimity in binding Himself to all things in these ways.

Reality altering faith

God’s unlimited power (agency) comes of His infinite, perfect, unshaken faith. If God exercises His faith in any way, He has power (agency) to do whatsoever that thing is. Because of this, He cannot be backed into a corner in which He has no out. He always has an out, for if He exercises His faith, reality is altered.

The nature of His faith is such that after binding Himself with an oath and covenant that He would not lie, if so He would cease to be God, and afterward changing His mind about the oath and deciding to lie and not cease to be God, He could violate the oath and escape the penalties invoked. How? By exercising faith to that end. Because His faith alters reality, God always has an escape clause. Square circles, rocks too heavy for Him to lift, lying and not ceasing to be God, violating and destroying agency and creating slaves like Satan does, ceasing to be God and then coming back into existence as fully God, etc. None of these things pose difficulty to Him, for He does not ever lose faith and faith is where His power to alter reality comes from.

The ability to alter reality is what created the Universe, for the Nothing is the state of nature, or the original, real reality, whereas the created Universe is an unnatural, or altered reality, made real by God’s faith. Any and every time God uses His faith, the action is always the same: reality is again altered and a new reality is created. This shows that every act of God, every miracle He does, is a new creation.

they [miracles] are created now and not from the beginning [Isa. 48:7]

None of these creative acts are done by natural means, meaning by science or knowledge of natural laws and their manipulation, but are accomplished by the miraculous power of reality-altering faith. This keeps all the acts of God firmly planted in the realm of the impossible (from man’s perspective), in order to keep man and the angels wowed, wondering and marveling at God’s matchless power, that they might give glory to Him. All things that come to know God are in a continual state of astonishment because of this infinite faith of His.

The principle is this: all things that God proposes to do, He does. Whatever He exercises faith in doing, is accomplished. Therefore, God’s power isn’t really limited in any way. All His so-called limitations are self-imposed limitations.

The movie Hancock had a Greek god, played by Will Smith, arrested and incarcerated, due to drunkenness, destruction of property, etc. He stayed in prison voluntarily. At any moment he could leave, but chose not to. In like manner, only God has power to limit His power, by choosing not to exercise His faith.

The nature of God is unnatural

i the lord am bound [D&C 82:10]
when ye do
what i say
but when ye do not
what i say
ye have no promise

Given the awe-inspiring, reality-bending faith God has, it is impossible to bind Him down with a contract or covenant. He can quite easily alter reality and get out of it by exercising His faith. So, how is it that God is bound when we do what He says? It is because of His nature, in which it pleases Him to be bound and so it is His will that He be bound.

Perhaps it may seem strange that God, the quintessential anarchist, possessing untrammeled freedom and unlimited power to do anything, with no restraints upon Him, whatsoever, as His very first acts creates beings so that He can be bound to them. Yet, this should not seem so perplexing, for just as there is a pleasure that comes from unbounded freedom, represented by the eternal expanse of the Nothing, there is also a pleasure that comes from being wrapped (bound) up in a warm blanket, all cozy and warm, represented by the created Universe. God, having all power, wanted all things, for what good is having power to experience all things if you aren’t going to experience them all?

So, the nature of God (in the Nothing) is to experience everything and He has created His will (the sphere) and determined what will please Him within it, in order to utilize His power to the fullest extent, granting Him both direct and vicarious experience (through agents) in all things. In other words, He determined a plan to obtain the fullest possible experience and then created His nature (the sphere) to accomplish it, which plan also manifests that nature, both within and without the sphere.

The created aspect of His nature shows, yet again, that He is not bound by even His nature, for at any moment, should it please Him to change His nature, He can do so, and can create a new nature, merely by exercising His faith in that direction. This is the nature of godhood, to ”do what thou wilt” and to “do as you please.” He chooses, then, what will be His will and what will be His pleasure. In other words, He determines His own nature.

Again, because His nature is a creation, it is unnatural, just as the Universal sphere is unnatural, for the only natural state is the Nothing.  If God’s nature was in a state of nature, it would be non-existent, like the Nothing.  We see from this that God’s power is absolute in the most literal of senses, for He can recreate Himself from scratch.

jesus answered [John 2:19]

and said unto them

destroy this temple

and in three days i will raise it up

So, even if God were to be destroyed, or become non-existent, becoming one again with the Nothing, He has power to come back into existence.

no man taketh it from me [John 10:18]

but i lay it down of myself

i have power to lay it down

and i have power to take it again

this commandment have i received of my father

This is obviously impossible, yet God does it anyway.  How?  By exercising His infinite faith to that end.  There is no science involved, there is no mechanism set up to bring Him back into existence.  He merely becomes non-existent, believing that He will come back into existence at whatever appointed instant He has determined.  His surety that He will awake is absolute, His faith perfect and unshaken, and so at the set moment, He comes back into being.  This exercise of faith has no match, yet God can do this, has done this, and will yet do this, for this is a power that He has, even power over life and death and rebirth.

God, then, and all that pertains to Him, is unnatural, for the natural state is non-existence, or the Nothing.

Impossible any way you look at it

Now, it is just as unnatural (and impossible) to go from existence into non-existence (annihilation), as it is to go from non-existence to existence (creatio ex nihilo)—for the law of conservation of energy states that energy can be neither created nor destroyed; it merely changes form—yet the one scenario (the doctrine of annihilation) we Mormons readily accept,

god would cease to be god [Alma 42:13,22,25 & Morm. 9:19]

and if there is no god [2 Ne. 2:13]

we are not

neither the earth

for there could have been no creation of things

neither to act

nor to be acted upon

wherefore

all things must have vanished away

while the other (creatio ex nihilo) we reject.  We console ourselves by saying that although God would cease to be God under that set of circumstances, which would cause all created things to also cease to be, that set of circumstances will never occur, therefore it is impossible for that to happen.  Nevertheless, we assign its impossibility not to a limitation of God’s power, but to a choice that God has made.  In other words, He has power to lie and cease to be God, but chooses not to, for then He and everything He created would vanish away.  But we do not apply the same principle to creatio ex nihilo.  With that doctrine, we say that creatio ex nihilo is impossible not because God chooses not to do it, but because He has no (and cannot possibly have any) power to do it.

We think, in this reasoning, that there is a fundamental difference between the two impossibilities, but there really isn’t, for if God has a power to cease to be God, which would cause all creation to vanish away, so that there is nothing that acts or is acted upon, you have just described a power as impossible as creating something from nothing, for if something vanishes away, so that it neither acts nor can be acted upon, you are describing the Nothing, or non-existence, which Mormons claim is, itself, impossible.

(Again, I repeat, for the sake of those who are still locked into the creatio ex materia idea: the death of God and subsequent vanishment of all things cannot mean that all things go back into a state of primordial chaotic matter, because Lehi’s words indicate that the resulting state would be one in which it neither acts nor can be acted upon.  Primordial chaos can be acted upon, therefore, Lehi is describing a state of Nothing, or non-existence.)

The truth is that the doctrines of annihilation and of creatio ex nihilo and of creatio ex materia and of creatio ex deo, are all true, but they are played out at the appointed time and in the appointed manner that God has before determined.  Just because they are true doctrines does not make them any less impossible, for all the doctrines of God are as impossible and unnatural as He is.  And just because they are impossible, does not make them any less true.

Ceasing to be God

How do we know that God ceases to be God from time to time? Because there is no power that He does not have and there is no power that He does not use, for to have a power and not use it would serve no purpose, which would destroy all His works. So we know, since He has all power, that He has the power to cease to be God. And we already know how this in accomplished. All He need to do is create something that has no purpose. And what has no purpose? The Nothing. How, then, does God cease to be God? By creating the Nothing, which has no purpose. This destroys Him, or annihilates Him, so that He becomes one with the Nothing again. And the cycle endlessly repeats with rebirth, life, death, rebirth, life, death, etc.

The word of God says that He is infinite and eternal.

which father son and holy ghost are one god [D&C 20:28]

infinite and eternal without end

amen

and behold [Alma 34:14]

this is the whole meaning of the law

every whit pointing to that great and last sacrifice

and that great and last sacrifice will be the son of god

yea

infinite and eternal

by these things we know [D&C 20:17]

that there is a god in heaven

who is infinite and eternal

As the Universal sphere is finite, the infinite nature of God must deal with the Nothing, which is infinite. So, God is connected to the Nothing, meaning that the Nothing is the infinite part of God. God, then, is all there is, and also all there isn’t. Of what, then, does God create? Of Himself. Sure this defies logic, but that’s to be expected.

Even trusting God is an impossible miracle

If a man has the entire deck stacked in his favor; if he’s holding all the cards; if he’s the only business and game in town; if there is nobody double-checking or verifying his facts; if all verification comes from him; if there is no regulatory authority over him, nobody supervising him, no external force or entity that can keep him in check, or guarantee that he will keep his word; and if he can enter into a binding contract but change or violate the terms of it whenever he wants without any consequences to him, whatsoever; if at any moment he could force you to do anything that he wanted; if such a man existed and said to you, “Hey, just trust me! I won’t let you down!”; wouldn’t you find it absolutely impossible to put your trust in him?

This is the very situation we find ourselves in with God and His omnipotent, miraculous power to alter reality. He’s got a monopoly on everything. Heck, even the Nothing belongs to Him! These omnipotent, miraculous abilities do not instill confidence in Him, for He has power to do exactly the opposite of what He says and get away with it, without us even knowing it. Those who bring themselves to trust in God do so as a leap and act of faith. God’s omnipotence, then, serves to develop faith in us by creating an environment of distrust so that He can produce the miracle of trust.

In like manner, all gospel principles are impossible miracles, God turning things upside down from what we would expect as the normative way of doing things, all so that we might praise His greatness.

The works of God defy logic

Faith is not logic-based. Therefore, the logical paradoxes to God’s omnipotence pose no problem whatsoever to Him. That we cannot understand how such-and-such a deed can be possible, given the rules of our reality, does not limit God from working miracles through His faith. Perhaps it can be asked, “Can God work miracles through knowledge alone?” The answer would be, “Yes.” In fact, the principle of God’s omnipotence can be summed up with two questions and their answers.

Question: Does God have power to do [fill in the blank]?

Answer: Yes, He does.

Question: Does He exercise this power?

Answer: Yes, He does, either personally or vicariously.

Paradoxes do not matter because reality is created on a foreseen basis. So, no matter what scenario one comes up with to test the validity of God’s omnipotence, God has already foreseen it and accounted for it in the present reality, if need be. In other words, if the test is to have God do something impossible using only current reality laws, without the exercise of reality-altering faith or any other godlike “cheat,” such as by having Him work miracles through knowledge alone, without altering reality, He could still do it because His foreknowledge of all things would have seen the test beforehand and provided a way in the current reality (by creating the reality with an “impossible law” exception that only applies to Him or to whomever the test subject is to be) to accomplish the task under the assigned rules. There is simply no way to back God into a no-way-to-escape, paradoxical corner.

It is His will and pleasure to be omnipotent

The will of God corresponds to His left-brain-mind, which is the Universal sphere, while His pleasure corresponds to His right-brain-heart, which resides in the Nothing.  The one is infinite and the other finite.  The one boundless and free, the other bounded and limited.  Because of this dual nature to God, His omnipotence must, of necessity, please or appeal to both halves of His being, therefore, it remains unlimited outside of the sphere and limited within the sphere.  The will craves confinement and limitations and conditions and bounds, by giving a law to all things, whereas the pleasure craves just the opposite.  Nevertheless, the will (sphere) expands into pleasure (Nothing) territory and what occurs within the will (sphere) is always according to the pleasure, for all things that happen in the will (sphere) were pre-planned (foreordained) by God’s pleasure as He looked out into the Nothing with faith, bringing His will into existence.

God must, of necessity therefore, be omnipotent, because of His will and pleasure.  His pleasure demands omnipotence because the Nothing, being a true infinity, can only be split and made into all the endless varieties of things that God sees by His eye of infinite faith, which produces unlimited power.  And His will demands omnipotence because it is expanding into the Nothing in an ongoing creation of a never-ending variety of newly existent things.  Also, because the exercise of God’s faith within the sphere alters its reality, which transcends the already established laws found therein, His will requires that He be able to do any impossible thing, even within the confines of the sphere.

Therefore, because it is God’s will and pleasure to be omnipotent, He exercises His faith to that end.

Dispersing His omnipotence reveals His nature

Inside of the sphere, God’s omnipotence is dispersed according to His will and pleasure.  This dispersal, which we can observe or learn about through our mortal existence and also through the word of God and the manifestations of the Holy Spirit, reveals the very will and pleasure of God, or His nature.

The nature of something is determined by observation of what it does. We can view lots of lions and see patterns that they all follow and then, when we see one lone lion do something different, that no other lion does, then we are justified in saying that that lion went against the nature of lions. But in the case of God, what do we have to compare Him with? He is the only God that we know of, therefore, all that He does, even when He does something different than what we’ve seen before, must all be part of His nature. We are not ever justified in saying that what He does goes against His nature.

So what do we see?  We see the powers of God delegated to three groups of people: the devil and his angels, men and women, and God and His angels, with a subset of the godly powers reserved for the Supreme Being to use alone.

All of God’s creations use delegated powers of God to do whatsoever it is that they do, even Satan himself.  The demonic powers, then, are simply a subset of God’s infinite set of powers, which He loans to the devil because of an expressed desire that he had to use them.  While the devil remains within the sphere of light, he and his angels may use these powers to tempt man and destroy agency, captivating and compelling the souls of men.  But once they are evicted and cast into outer darkness, their powers remain in the sphere and return back to their rightful owner: God.

The same scenario plays out with man and the angels.  As long as they remain in the kingdom of light (the sphere), their delegated powers remain with them.  If ever they get evicted, whatever power was lent to them stays in the kingdom.

This shows us the nature of God by which powers He reserves to Himself for personal use and which He delegates.  Some powers he delegates to devils, some to men, some to angels and others He uses Himself.  Even though the delegated powers are not used personally by Himself, He ends up using them vicariously through the agent to whom the power was delegated.  In this way, God uses all His powers, even those that we would say are “off limits” to Him, such as the demonic powers.

So, God lies, steals, murders, breaks covenants, and does every other horrible thing it is possible to do, vicariously, through the power He has delegated to agents who have asked to receive and use such powers.  Although the agents have received authorization, or priesthoods, to use these demonic powers, they have been instructed not to use them, therefore they are not on the Lord’s errand when they use them.

ADAM: What is that apron you have on?

LUCIFER: It is an emblem of my power and priesthoods.

ADAM: Priesthoods?

LUCIFER: Yes, priesthoods.

Thus, the saying that “God cannot lie” does not mean that God has no power to lie.  He has such a power, but has delegated it to others.  Eventually, that power will return to him, but at any moment He can exercise faith and get it back immediately.  Nevertheless, the nature of God is to always delegate that particular power.  So, the saying, “God cannot lie” isn’t saying that God’s power is limited, but is attempting to reveal the nature of God, which is that He never, personally uses this power, or gives anyone else instruction to lie, but He does disperse this power to those who desire it.  The same principle applies to other dispersed powers.

Infinite faith produces unlimited power (omnipotence)

Every dispersed or reserved power that is found within the sphere was produced first by God exercising His infinite faith to obtain it. The principle of the Nephites

having power given them to do all things by faith [2 Ne. 1:10]

equally applies to God, for the principle is patterned after Him. No power ever came into existence without God first exercising His faith to bring it into existence.

ELOHIM: I will place enmity between thee and the seed of the woman. Thou mayest have power to bruise his heal, but he shall have power to crush thy head.

LUCIFER: Then with that enmity I will take the treasures of the earth, and with gold and silver I will buy up armies and navies, popes and priests, and reign with blood and horror on the earth!

Where did the devil get the enmity? From God. Who created the gold and silver? God did.

Taking the extreme example of the demonic powers, we see that the devil received all his powers from God, who first exercised His faith to obtain these powers, and then delegated them to those who desired to use them. Thus, even though the devil has no faith, the powers he uses are of God and came of God’s faith. Should God ever exercise His faith to remove those powers, the devil would be stripped of them. This shows that all things, even the kingdom of the devil, are dependent upon the sustaining will and faith of God. The dispersed powers are lent because it serves the purposes of God, to further His plan. When it no longer serves His purposes, that is the end of the probation and everything returns back to Him, to give an accounting of what they did with what He dispersed to them.

Not restricted in the least

It is inappropriate and a misunderstanding, then, to view the limitations that God has created on how He operates within the sphere as a restriction of His matchless power.  He still is not restricted in the least and He still gets to experience the exercise of every single power that He has.  Also, all the powers that He disperses to others, which are then used to fight Him and His work, have no effect on frustrating Him, but actually end up serving His purposes.

the works and purposes and designs of god cannot be frustrated [D&C 3:1]

How is this possible?  It isn’t.  In fact, it is impossible.  The whole plan of God is stacked against Him, for He works using only agency, allowing all of creation to vote Him out of existence and delegates a large portion of His powers to the devil so that he can fight and attempt to frustrate His work and then He takes a more or less hands off approach (except when men exercise faith in Christ).  Logically, God’s plan ought to be easily frustrated, but it never is nor can be.  Why can’t it be?  Because God’s faith is absolutely infinite and is the means by which He accomplishes His miraculous works and purposes and designs.

God as a miracle worker

Agency is defined in the scriptures as “power to act and not to be acted upon.” So God’s omnipotent power is agency, which, as I explained in a previous post, comes only of faith.  Since God has all power to act and nothing can act upon Him, or force Him to do something against His will, He has a fullness of agency, meaning He’s omnipotent.

Now, since the consent of the governed is needed in the kingdom of God in order for Him to remain just, which is the law of common consent, one must ask, when the vote was taken and one-third rebelled, did God lose 33% of His agency?  In other words, is God’s agency tied to the agencies of the things that make up the Universal sphere?

The answer is: No.

Agency is only tied to faith.  As God’s faith is infinite, anything He exercises His faith towards will come to pass, regardless of what it is.  Our faith is centered externally in Him, or in His Son, but God’s faith is centered internally, in Himself.  This means that His faith is independent of the environment He finds Himself in.

So, if the entire sphere should vote God off the throne, and afterward He were to exercise His faith to get them to vote Him back on, they would do it.  Not because He compels them to have a new election, but because His faith causes miracles to happen.

The faith of God is equally miraculous inside the sphere, among the things which have agency, as well as outside of it, where the non-existent Nothing is (not).  The Nothing does not act, nor can it be acted upon, thus it has no agency, yet when God exercises faith to make it split, it splits.  If non-reacting Nothing miraculously reacts to God’s faith, how much more would somethings, which have the innate ability to react (for they have agency), react to it?

Thus we see that God is only a miracle worker.  He does nothing but miracles.  There is no science involved in anything He does.  Although He knows all the finite things that exist within the Universal sphere, this knowledge does not translate into power, because He operates solely on faith, which produces agency.

Nevertheless, as He possesses unlimited power, He has power to work by knowledge.  Does He use this power?  Yes, vicariously.

The devil as an advanced scientist

Satan has no faith, therefore, he cannot obtain agency through faith.  Where, then, does his agency come from?  From the one-third, who voluntarily gave up their agency to him and also through all those who transgress the laws of God.  He also obtains agency through force, the application of scientific principles and deceit.

The spirit of the devil is likely patterned after the spirit of the Lord, which is in the shape of a sphere or expanded toroid (a doughnut shape).  Like hanging, rotten fruit, the one-third and sons of perdition are attached to it by filaments or branches.  All of the light and truth these spirits once had is taken away by the devil.

and that wicked one cometh [D&C 93:39]

and taketh away light and truth

through disobedience

from the children of men

and because of the tradition of their fathers

Now, light is wisdom, which the devil converts, through his devilish alchemy, into dark cunning.  And truth is knowledge, as explained above.  (Which truth he converts into partial truth, lies and other falsehoods.)  So, like a vacuum cleaner, the devil has sucked up the combined wisdom and knowledge of all the one-third and all the sons of perdition.  In addition, he has collected light and truth of varying degrees of every living mortal sinner.  Finally, every person who has died in their sins and gone to hell have been vacuumed, as well, of every last bit of light and truth they ever had, causing their spiritual deaths.

Given that the hosts of heaven are spoken of as being innumerable to man, just taking the one-third of them alone we arrive at a body of light and truth incomprehensibly great.  If 100% of the number is innumerable, then 1/3 of “innumerable” is probably not countable, either.  Added to that is the combined knowledge of all the sinners who died in their sins from the time of Adam to now, which knowledge concerns the earth and heavens, and you end up with a devil whose cunning and scientific knowledge might as well be considered godlike.

This would give the devil an almost perfect knowledge of the earth, as well as of the heavens.  Although he is trapped here, he is, for all intents and purposes, the god of this world.  Using scientific principles of knowledge, the devil would be able to imitate, to a degree, many of the miraculous works of God done by faith.

For example, whereas God has power to prophesy of the future using His eye of faith, whereby he sees all possible futures and chooses the future He has faith in, the devil has power to predict the future, using his knowledge of all the variables that make up the past and present, and also the prophecies of the Lord concerning the future.  One causes the appointed future to come to pass by His faith and the other predicts the most logical future, given all the facts.  One creates a miracle contrary to the facts or science, while the other predicts the logical outcome based on the facts or science alone.

The way the devil makes it appear that he “performs miracles” is by keeping his knowledge hidden.  This occult knowledge is the great secret that allows the audience to remain ignorant, like a magician’s trick.  The audience is not aware that a natural or technological occurrence has happened and the event is presented as a miracle, thus allowing them to be deceived.

Because of his vast knowledge of the earth sciences, the devil can send forth false prophets to predict many things with uncanny accuracy.  For example, the devil can use his knowledge to predict earthquakes, eruptions, and other disasters, because he has been working with a full data set since the time of Adam and has been tracking all of the patterns and systems of this planet.  Coupled with secret, advanced technology, that his servants in sin have been fervently working to develop, the “miracles” the servants of Satan will perform at the appointed times are sure to deceive the masses and almost even the very elect.

These deceptions come of science, not faith working miracles, for the god of this world is not a god of miracles.  He’s a phony baloney, a pretender.  Nevertheless, the cunning mind of the devil is so smart that he could best all the men who ever lived on this planet, and all the computing power on it, combined, in a test of logic, strategy or knowledge, for he draws on the combined brain power of an innumerable host of captured spirits, making his IQ beyond measure.

Demonic and divine technologies

Whenever God gives a “technological” device or “technological” instructions to mankind, He does so after a patterned manner.  First, the commandments to build (by the hand of man), when accompanied by detailed, revealed instructions, always produce something remarkable, curious (skillful) and “not after the manner of men.”  Second, whatever the build is, it only ever works according to the faith of the children of men using it.  So, ships designed by God (Noah’s ark, Jaredite barges, Nephi’s ship) work by faith.  Have faith and they float.  Lose faith and they sink.  Temples designed by God also work by faith.  Have faith, and the presence of the Lord and angels and other manifestations of His glory attends and the ordinances are accepted.  Lose faith, and the miracles cease, the ordinances are rejected and the temple is eventually destroyed.  (Not every commanded edifice comes with such detailed building instructions, so I’m only talking of those things which God, Himself, designs from start to finish.)  Then, there are the devices that God, Himself, prepares by His own hand.  For example, the Liahona, which operated according to the faith and heed and diligence Lehi’s party gave to it.  When they were slothful, it ceased working.

All these divine “technologies” were faith-based, created by the hand of man through miraculously-given revelations, which contained the divine building instructions, or by the hand of the Lord, through His faith, creating the miracle object,

the miraculous directors [D&C 17:1]

which were given to lehi while in the wilderness

and also the ball or compass [2 Ne. 5:12]

which was prepared for my father by the hand of the lord

according to that which is written

which, in turn, produced a structure or an object that operated contrary to the laws of nature.  The temples produced sealings that reached beyond death, the ships floated miraculously, the Liahona guided in a way that wasn’t possible, the Urim and Thummim allowed the seers to read languages that they didn’t know, etc.  Faith was required in their making and in their use.  The object, then, in all these divine “technologies” was and is always the development of faith.

The devices and edifices of man have no such faith-to-work-miracles requirement to build or design, nor require such faith to work, nor necessarily produce or develop faith in God when used.  So the bulk of all technology can only be ascribed as either human ingenuity or satanic inspiration.

Keeping in mind that the devil is this world’s resident scientific expert on all subjects, we can presume that at least some of today’s technologies have been inspired directly of the devil, either entirely or partially.  It plays into the devil’s hands if every device or technology spiritually or physically harms us in some way, even if the harm is minimal.  Devices that poison by degrees, through radiation, or that hypnotize, or that distract, or that create pride in man’s genius, all such technologies are useful to the devil’s plans and so we must expect him to take an active part in guiding man’s ingenuity in directions he would like it to go.

Among the LDS, there is an idea that the upswing in technological inventions and scientific knowledge corresponds with the restoration of the gospel through Joseph Smith, as if this was abundant evidence that the Spirit of the Lord was being poured out upon the people.  Another possibility, though, is that this apparent increase in technology may have been the devil’s response to the restoration.  The restoration restored the possibility of faith and miracles to the earth.  How does a devil respond to that?  Through imitations, by giving them “technological miracles” and thus keeping them firmly grounded and relying upon the arm of the flesh.

The scientific age in which we currently live may be a time when the spirit of the devil is poured out upon the people, giving them non faith-based technologies and precepts, in order to keep the masses turned away from faith.  Although we tend to idolize science as noble and pure, if this age has had as its main inspirational source that quintessential scientist, the devil, that assessment might be misguided.  Suffice it to say that God does not appear to be overly concerned about science or knowledge, only about faith and miracles.  It might not be entirely correct to ascribe God, the miracle worker, as the author of all this scientific knowledge and all these technological marvels.

But enough talk about the devil.  Let’s return to the topic of God’s faith.

Faith exercises faith

God corresponds to each man according to what He perceives. When He sees a man seeking faith in Christ, He corresponds by giving him a portion of His own faith. The faith obtained is a gift of God, had through His mercy, kindness and generosity, and not through the man’s own efforts. This takes away all cause a man might have to boast and allows him to fully acknowledge the greatness and hand of God in all things, which is one of the purposes of our creation, even that we might glorify His name. And when He sees a man seeking to exercise that given portion, He corresponds by exercising a portion of His own faith in their behalf so that they obtain the witness that they seek. The result is that God ends up doing everything, both supplying the needed faith and exercising it, too. All we are required to do is to show our own willingness. This principle is demonstrated by the following scriptures:

draw near unto me [D&C 88:63]

and i will draw near unto you

seek me diligently

and ye shall find me

ask

and ye shall receive

knock

and it shall be opened unto you

for intelligence cleaveth unto intelligence [D&C 88:40]

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

o god the eternal father [Moro. 4:3]

we ask thee in the name of thy son jesus christ

to bless and sanctify this bread to the souls of all those

who partake of it

that they may eat in remembrance of the body of thy son

and witness unto thee o god the eternal father

that they are willing

to take upon them the name of thy son

and always remember him

and keep his commandments

which he hath given them

that they may always have his spirit to be with them

amen

Conclusion

Knowledge (or law) requires existence, which requires a sphere, which did not exist before the creation, therefore God must not have created the Universe using knowledge, but by faith.  This shows that God is a miracle worker, capable of working outside of established law, and not a scientist, and also that God has faith.

Previous Faith of God article: The faith of God, part thirteen: How charity fits in

Complete List of Articles authored by LDS Anarchist

Ideas for fighting gun rights infringement


Note: Due to recent anti-American voices, which seem to have reached a fever pitch, and I feel constrained, yet again, to write about gun rights infringement.

To all American gun rights advocates

I am addressing my words to everyone who is a gun rights advocate, not just to the latter-day saints (Mormons), so the intended audience is much wider than usual. Use any of these ideas as you see fit, in your fight to protect American rights.

Use the proper terms

Gun control is a misnomer, so never use it. Instead, begin a conversation with the term, so-called “gun control,” and then label it correctly as gun rights infringement. Continue to use the proper term for the rest of the conversation. Remember, so-called “gun control” is not about controlling guns, but about controlling people by infringing on their right to keep and bear arms.

Gun control advocate is another misnomer. When someone says they are a gun control advocate, call them instead a gun rights infringer. (It does not matter that the word infringer is not in the dictionary, everyone will understand its meaning. Sometimes creating a new word is the best option. Shakespeare did it many times, so can you. Besides, used enough times, you can be sure it will eventually make it into the dictionary.)

When someone says that he or she is an American in favor of gun control, refer to him or her ever afterward as an anti-American in favor of gun rights infringement, or just as an anti-American gun rights infringer. The term anti-American fits, for only anti-Americans attack or seek to weaken the constitutional protections of the rights of American citizens.

When referring to behavior that undermines the Bill of Rights protections, call it un-American. That is, after all, what it is.

These terms: gun rights infringement, gun rights infringer, anti-American, and un-American, make people immediately think of criminals and communists seeking to undermine or subvert the American system and way of life. Because they themselves make the connection between infringement and crime and anti/un-American and communist, these terms have a more powerful effect upon the minds of the people hearing them. Never, ever, label someone a criminal or communist or socialist or whatever, for if you do, people’s doubt will come into play and they will not believe the rest of what you say.

Use the terms undermining and subversion liberally in a conversation when describing actions that promote gun rights infringement. No one wants their rights undermined, nor does anyone want the Constitution subverted. These are descriptive terms that paint an immediate picture in one’s mind of spies trying to overthrow the government.

Use the term subversive as a label for anyone who promotes gun rights infringement. When a person calls someone else a subversive and describes their actions as subversive behavior, those that listen to the conversation immediately think of cloak and dagger stuff, such as an enemy trying to destroy the American way of life.

These terms are effective because they are based upon word associations. The words criminal, communist, spy and enemy, all pop up in people’s mind automatically, as soon as you start using these terms. Because they themselves do the associations, or because they themselves make the connections, or think of the associated words themselves, they believe them. Now, everything you say about the person you have just labeled will be more receptive to the audience listening in, for they now will view the gun rights infringer with suspicion.

Use “no infringement” as the standard

Never call so-called “gun control laws,” gun control laws. They must always be called, gun rights infringement laws. Everything must be brought back to the central issue: the infringement of unalienable rights.

Every gun rights infringement law on the books must be regarded and labeled as illegal. Never, ever refer to them as legal. They are all illegal, unconstitutional laws, and always refer to them as such. As long as people think of these illegal gun rights infringement laws as legal, they will be accepting of so-called “legal” gun rights infringement. People need to be presented with contradictory information, before they wake up out of their sleep. They must be presented with two, opposing “realities,” one side saying, “gun control laws are legal” and the other side saying, “gun rights infringement laws are illegal.” They must understand that there is no such thing as “legal” gun rights infringement.

“No infringement” must be the standard. Partial infringement is unacceptable. A full infringement of one’s right to life would be immediate execution. A partial infringement of that same right might consist of poison administered over time so as to shorten one’s life. Full infringement of the right to property would be taking it all, partial infringement might consist of taking only half. The right to liberty could be partially infringed upon by requiring that you be confined three days out of every week. Partial infringement of the right to free speech might be that your mouth be taped shut every Monday and Tuesday. If this all sounds absurd, it is because it is. Infringement is infringement, whether it is partial or full, and it is all unacceptable, tyrannical behavior. This same principle applies to the right to keep and bear arms.

Needs have nothing to do with rights

If a person wanted to administer poison to you, to shorten your life span from 75 to 65 years old, while telling you, “Oh, but you don’t need those last ten years of life!” would you let him? Does your right to life have anything to do with your needs? Are not your years yours, to do with as you want? Does the argument that you don’t need 50% of your property, or you don’t need seven days of freedom because four days is enough, or you don’t need to speak your mind on Mondays and Tuesdays, make it alright to infringe upon these rights? Of course not! So, in like manner, no one has the right to infringe upon the right to keep and bear arms because a person doesn’t “need” another gun, or more ammo, or a bigger and more powerful weapon. His or her needs have nothing to do with the matter.

So, toss the needs argument right into the trash from the get-go and keep the conversation eternally focused on the rights of man.

Get yourself some weapons and keep them

Get enough firearms and ammunition for every able bodied person of age in your family. Get the weapons you feel are appropriate, including so-called assault weapons. (Notice I used “so-called.”) Make sure your family is trained in their proper use and safety.

Bear your weapons

Rights that are not asserted will inevitably be encroached upon and eventually taken away. Firearms must, of necessity, be borne. In other words, when you go around town to do your daily business, go packing heat. Now, there may be an illegal law against that in your area. If so, then another strategy must be taken. But if there is no illegal law against that, start doing it, and keep doing it.

Educate your neighbors on gun rights

The best means to do that is the following document:

REPORT of the SUBCOMMITTEE ON THE CONSTITUTION of the UNITED STATES SENATE, NINETY-SEVENTH CONGRESS, Second Session, February 1982, Printed for the use of the Committee on the Judiciary

Just print it out as a hard copy and hand it out or snail mail it, email it, or share it online using its 120+ share functions. The video, Innocents Betrayed: The True Story of Gun Control World Wide, is also an excellent teaching tool to use.

Meet with other gun rights advocates

Your local gun and ammo supply store may be able to hook you up with other local gun right advocates. This is an important step to take in order to begin the formation of citizen militias.

Begin to form and regulate a local citizen militia

In conjunction with other local gun rights advocates, begin to form a local citizen militia. It is necessary that citizen militias be “well-regulated.” That of course means that everyone needs to possess weapons, perhaps of a specific kind, and also sufficient ammo, but it may also mean that everyone should have the means to communicate with each other, perhaps through ham radio or whatnot. Each militia will decide how best to regulate itself.

When meeting together as a militia, to conduct business, bring your weapons with you. Bearing arms is the key to gun rights (and all other rights) protection.

Do not keep it local. In other words, seek to establish other “chapters” of citizen militias in the regions round about, and work to have each local militia capable of communicating and working with other militias. This is all part of being “well-regulated.”

Citizen militias are for both local and common defense, so they need to be able to co-ordinate efforts with other militias.

Let the Bill of Rights be the common thread that unites all the citizens in the various militias, so that race, color, creed, customs, dress and all other differences are set aside. The only requirement to unite with a citizen militia ought to be that one be law-abiding. Law-abiding should simply mean that a person supports a “no infringement” stance on the Bill of Rights.

Expect infiltration. G-men get antsy about the prospect of an armed citizenry, and especially about organized, citizen militias, so expect that some undercover agents may be joining your group, to spy on it or even to sabotage it or create false flags.

There is safety in numbers and weapons

When these militias grow in sufficiently large numbers, they ought to meet out in the public, packing heat, in peaceful assembly, exercising two of their rights simultaneously: bearing arms and peacefully assembling. In fact, at every public protest or peaceful assembly, of whatever group, the armed citizen militia ought to be there as a show of force, in support of the people’s rights to protest and assemble.

In areas where there are illegal laws on the books, prohibiting or restricting the right to bear arms in public, several local militias could organize peaceful assemblies using this principle*, with thousands or tens of thousands of armed militia men in attendance, as a public demonstration that illegal laws that prohibit or infringe upon the bearing of arms should not be obeyed. This ought to be done quite frequently and only in large numbers, until the police decide not to enforce the illegal laws and they are removed from the books.

*Btw, in case this comes up in the comments, yes, I am fully aware that Ghandi, who was a supporter of this principle, wrote in Chapter XXVII, “The Recruiting Campaign,” in his autobiography, My Experiments with Truth:

“I used to issue leaflets asking people to enlist as recruits. One of the arguments I had used was distasteful to the Commissioner: ‘Among the many misdeeds of the British rule in India, history will look upon the Act depriving a whole nation of arms as the blackest. If we want the Arms Act to be repealed, if we want to learn the use of arms, here is a golden opportunity. If the middle classes render voluntary help to Government in the hour of its trial, distrust will disappear, and the ban on possessing arms will be withdrawn.’ The Commissioner referred to this and said that he appreciated my presence in the conference in spite of the differences between us. And I had to justify my standpoint as courteously as I could.”

Solutions for statists

These ideas of mine will appeal to those who do not look to the government to solve gun rights infringement, but for any statists who read this blog, who want to change the government via legislation, you may wish to use the Gun Owners of America lobby group as a tool. By becoming a member and giving them money, they will lobby Congress for zero infringement of gun rights. If enough people join them, and if they get enough money, perhaps they will make a difference. Here is their web site:

gunowners.org

I suggest the GOA and not the NRA, because the NRA does not appear to have a strict, zero infringement policy. They are as likely to lobby for partial infringement, as for no infringement, which would be a waste of money.

The other thing you can do is contact your representatives and senators and tell them that if they support any infringement on gun rights, you will not vote for them. Personally, such tactics seem useless to me, but perhaps they are worth a try.

To latter-day saints

Now I would like to turn my attention to the latter-day saints who might read this blog.

The Lord has given us a charge to befriend the Bill of Rights, therefore, any LDS in a governmental position of authority cannot justifiably violate the rights of any law-abiding citizen while performing government duties. This means that latter-day saint police officers, FBI agents, CIA officials, military personnel, border patrol and any other position of government authority, takes second seat to the Bill of Rights. Should you confiscate a law-abiding citizen’s weapons (and the definition of a law-abiding citizen is one who does not infringe upon the Bill of Rights) by command of a superior, you have broken your covenant with God to obey His commandments, which includes His words about befriending these Constitutional protections.

Righteous LDS are prohibited, then, from infringing on a law-abiding citizen’s rights, by God’s laws. They still have their agency, of course, and can choose to sin, but in order to remain justified before the Lord, they must obey this instruction.

The Lord has said that if we keep His laws, we have no need break the laws of the land. This does not refer to the endless laws on the books, but to those justifiable laws that maintain rights and privileges, which are in the Constitution, which are known as the Bill of Rights. That is all He meant by that. (For more information on all of this, see these previous posts: It is a SIN to infringe on the people’s right to keep and bear arms, Talking to myself and What the Lord has said about the Constitution.)

However, the Lord has also said that we are to be subject to the powers that be until He reigns. The question must be asked, then, what are the powers that be?

The applicable gospel principle is the voice of the people, as taught by the seer Mosiah:

It is not common that the voice of the people desireth anything contrary to that which is right; but it is common for the lesser part of the people to desire that which is not right; therefore this shall ye observe and make it your law—to do your business by the voice of the people.

The voice of the people are the powers that be that the Lord referred to. We are to be subject to the voice of the people, we are to observe the voice of the people, and we are to make the voice of the people our law, to do all our business by that voice.  This commandment is an actual law of the Lord and must be obeyed for justification before the Lord.

This means that latter-day saints are only justified insofar as they submit to the voice of the people. If that voice is for the government, then latter-day saints must submit to the government. If the voice ever turns against the government, then latter-day saints must submit to the people and stand with the people against their government. Those who do not submit to the powers that be according to this pattern and principle must remain unjustified before the Lord.

Mosiah also said:

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

Therefore, if the time ever comes that the voice of the people chooses iniquity by turning against the Bill of Rights, then destruction will come upon the people, from the Lord. But as long as the voice of the people is in support of the Bill of Rights, latter-day saints can only remain free by aligning themselves with that voice. And by extension, all latter-day saints who oppose the just voice of the people will find themselves brought down into captivity.

Therefore, based on these principles, it is possible for latter-day saints to engage in every idea listed above while remaining justified before the Lord, if the voice of the people is with them. Nevertheless, even if the voice of the people has not spoken, no latter-day saint is justified in violating anyone’s rights, whether acting under government or citizen authority.

Citizen militias in Nephite times

To more fully explain why the Bill of Rights is justifiable before the Lord, it is necessary to look to the Book of Mormon. The Bill of Rights was inspired by the Spirit of freedom (see Talking to myself), meaning that it embodies principles that align with laws that the Lord Himself had given to His people who lived on this land anciently.

The Nephites were organized, from the beginning, as citizen militias. Thus, we find Nephi using the sword of Laban to create weapons of war for his people, so that everyone was armed. In the case of the Nephites, they had both a right and a duty to keep and bear arms. Nevertheless, they did not have a standing army. Whenever the Lamanites would invade their lands, the Nephites would stop their daily pursuits, take up their arms, and wage war. When the war was over, they would go back to their normal endeavors. (See The Strength of the Lord.)

The Nephites had no police force, only citizen militias. So, when Korihor was going around telling lies, which was a punishable crime in Nephite law, he was arrested by citizens. It was the citizens, not a police force, that was responsible for making sure that no one’s rights were infringed upon.

Mormon dissed the Nephites of Zarahemla because when Korihor first began spreading his lies there, the citizens did not arrest him, as was their duty. Instead, they left him free to roam about and deceive the people and he was able to cause many souls to sin. Later, he entered the land of Jershon, but the Lamanites who lived there arrested him because, according to Mormon, “they were more wise than many of the Nephites.” Later he went over to the land of Gideon and was again arrested by citizens (this time by Nephites.) Finally, he was arrested yet again and brought back to Zarahemla for trial and judgment.

No pacifism among the Nephites

The Nephites were operating under commandments of God, from the beginning, from the time of Lehi and Nephi, in which they were commanded to keep and bear arms. That they both kept and bore arms as a routine is shown by the fight between Nehor and Gideon, which began as two men talking religion and ended up with each one reaching for his sword, ending in Gideon’s death. Now, Gideon was a man of God, even a teacher in the church of God, yet he was armed, as were all the Nephites.

The law of the Lord, as given to the Nephites, is the same law that has been given to the latter-day saints, as recorded in D&C 98, which was given as the pattern for all Gentile nations to follow. (See D&C 98:38.) That section starts out by talking about justification before the Lord and befriending the Bill of Rights, which, as we know, includes the right to keep and bear arms. It then ends with a “fourth offense” warfare doctrine, giving latter-day saints warfare laws by which they might remain justified before the Lord. Thus, there is no pacifism in the section, nor was there any pacifism manifested among the Nephites.

The only so-called “pacifism” manifested in the Book of Mormon comes from the Anti-Nephi-Lehies, who took an oath not to take up arms against their brethren (the other Lamanites). This was an exception because they had not previously entered into the same covenant the Nephites had entered into, in regard to the laws given to the Nephites, which included warfare instructions. In other words, the Nephites had to take up arms in defense of their country, according to the covenant they made, otherwise they would be guilty of breaking their covenant and sinning.

The Lamanites, though, did not have such restrictions, so after they had entered into their covenant to take up no arms against their Lamanite brethren, and had joined the Nephites, they could not break their first oath without sinning, so exception was made for them and they were excused from the typical covenant that every Nephite had to make as a citizen, according to the laws given to the Nephites, as revealed to them by the Lord.

That pacifism was not considered a so-called “higher law” by these Lamanites is evidenced by what they taught their children, for they did not teach their children to enter into the same oath that they did, but they taught them to take the Nephite oath and covenant. Thus, the children of these Lamanites, even the 2000+ stripling warriors, were not taught to be pacifists by their fathers, but were taught the same laws given in D&C 98.

Additionally, the Lamanite Anti-Nephi-Lehies, who had taken this oath, voluntarily supported the war efforts of the Nephites with their sons, with their money and with supplies, including retreating inward towards the center of the land so that the Nephite armies could battle the Lamanites, their brethren.  At one point, in fact, the Lamanites became so concerned with how the war was going, and the destruction of their new Nephite brethren, that they considered breaking their oath and covenant and taking up arms to defend the Nephite nation against the Lamanites.  None of this behavior can be labelled as pacifism.  So, why did they lay down their weapons and never take them again?  It was because of the oath they took, not because of the philosophy we call pacifism.

This shows that the Anti-Nephi-Lehies were an exception to the rule, manifested under a different set of circumstances and conditions, and to a different group of people, and was never meant to be taken as a pattern for the Gentiles. They were held up by Mormon as a standard of keeping one’s oath and covenant even unto death, and of brotherly love, but not as a standard or pattern for Gentile pacifism.

The Gentiles must obey the instructions given to them by the Lord, which are the same ones given to the Nephites, otherwise they will incur the displeasure of God upon them. Mormons, then, cannot justifiably be pacifists, in the sense of refusing to bear arms in defense of their country, like the king-men did. They may choose not to bear arms for individual or family circumstances, as explained in D&C 98, but when their people is threatened by any nation, tongue or people, if, after the third time of offering peace, the offering is not accepted by the invaders, they cannot justifiably refuse to take up arms. They must defend the nation, just as the Nephites had to.

Modern pacifism, then, is a philosophy of men, and is not of God. All Mormons who claim to be pacifists, and who claim that the scriptures justify pacifism for the Gentiles, or who lift it up as the standard for the Gentiles, or who denounce the law of God as written in D&C 98, denying gun rights, self defense and our duty toward common defense, is either in error, having not understood the scriptures, or is intentionally trying to deceive people.

Befriend the Bill of Rights

I bring all of this up to show latter-say saints that they can justifiably befriend the Bill of Rights. They can justifiably keep and bear and use arms. They can justifiably engage in warfare, self defense and common defense. They can justifiably form themselves into citizen militias. And so on and so forth. It is not sin to do these things, but righteousness, for this is all according to the word of the Lord, as given in the scriptures.

Complete List of Articles authored by LDS Anarchist

Intimacy as the Opposite of Sin


The married Life:

Marriage proceeds from the mind first – and as a consequence results in a bodily, sexual event.  Satisfying sexual relationships are ones grounded on the trust, love, communication, and intimacy of two, real-life human beings who have covenanted to receive each other as husband and wife.  These intangible qualities exist first – and then spill-over into the bedroom.

This is because all creation consists of two basic aspects [2 Nephi 2:14]:

  • that which acts (called Spirit)
  • that which is acted upon (called Element).

The physical, the flesh, the Element is the component of existence that is acted upon.  Therefore, it cannot create any change in the Spirit.  The mind must be changed [“repentance”], the heart must be softened [“broken heart”], and the spirit must be crushed [“contrite spirit”] before anything genuine and lasting and joyful blossoms into material reality.

Adam and Eve were married before they even knew they were naked.  Their union as husband and wife was a solution to loneliness – not lust.

and the god YHVH said
it is not good that adam should be alone

[Genesis 2:18]

The sexual union is the chief means of physically expressing a genuine connection of Love between two people.  It is Love/unity dynamic of our sexual contact that distinguishes humans from other animals [who are sexual for procreation and pleasure].

In the garden, Adam and Eve lived in open-faced, fearless, and intimate fellowship:

  • with God
  • with each other

Once sin was conceived in the heart [Moses 6:55], it produced two alienations/separations:

  • from God
  • from each other

Thus, restoring the kingdom of God will:

  • restore the union of humans and God
  • restore the union of men and women

Intimacy [openness or “into-me-see”] is the opposite of what Satan suggested Adam and Eve do when they discovered their nakedness in the garden of Eden.  Before he found them – they were naked [Adam fully exposed to Eve and Eve to Adam],

and they were both naked
the man and his wife
and were not ashamed

[Genesis 2:25]

and it was Satan who taught them that such full-fellowship is shameful and showed them how to cover that shame with hiding and separation.

see
you are naked
take some fig leaves and make you aprons
father will see your nakedness
quick
hide

[The Garden]

It’s unfounded fears, rooted in this state-of-mind based on the concepts of sin, separateness, and shame – that keep us from having real community and bridging the gaps between the sexes.

An experience of Life that is founded on separateness:

The problem with any religious tradition that begins with the initial, out-right assumption that God is entirely separate from nature – is that it becomes impossible for the Mother and the Father to ever be one – because She is left with no voice and can never be His friend.

This idea that the “Supernatural” is something sitting on a throne, over-and-above our natural existence is killing any experiences of Joy.  Our lives just become a wasteland of stress and fear – where we all live out inauthentic lives, fulfilling purposes that are not truly our own, reliving and retelling the stories of a by-gone generation – having no Life.

We can never be one with God and with our neighbor from this perspective because we will always continue experiencing God and neighbor as something that is foreign and detached.  Attachment and connection become devalued – because they demand our vulnerability.  There is a fear that maybe if we really get into a relationship with another human that we might just start to care too darn much – or even worse, we might just lose our Self.  Like independence is the key to Life?  We are not separate one-person islands, our narratives are all intertwined with each other.

If your goal in life is Joy – then connectivity is key [see, Zion will not be Established by Unrelated Persons].  If you want to be “free” or “self-sufficient”, then you can knock yourself out with independence – but the way of Jesus is to stretch yourself out until you die to your “Self” as this all-alone and sufficient bag of skin.

Adam and Eve ate the fruit of a tree of duality and separation [see, The Tree of This-and-That] – and it’s the experience of being in Jesus Christ that is the fruit of Life that brings you back to non-duality [“I and the Father are one”] and interconnection [“all mine are thine”].

The revelation of God in the scriptures is that [instead of separateness], the most basic fabric of all existence is chesed, loving-kindness or compassion [“to be passionate with”].  It’s the image of a God who relates to the universe with the level of intimacy that is the result of berith, or a covenant.  It’s an image of existence that’s based on the single concept of unconditional love [call it chesed, agape, whatever].

All things are included, loved, gathered-up, forgiven, and knit together into a single, vast organism – God.  The only difference between God and humans is that humans still see a different between God and humans – because they are using a mind hardened by the basic concept of sin and separation to look [see, The Split-brain Model of the Gospel: The Fall of Man].

Having Life, or just having the image of it:

Religions become concerned with ethical behavior and doctrine – instead of changing people’s minds/hearts and how they view/experience their world.  The problem with approaching religion as though it were a method of relaying ethics and doctrines is that ethics only teach us how to live as though you were one with your neighbor.  You learn the modes of action that imply a compassionate relationship with another person.  It offers you incentive to act in a certain way – but it cannot generate the genuine feeling of it.

While there may be certain ethical implications of making a covenant with God – such things neither add to or subtract from current pool of human ethical wisdom.  It is not the domain of religion to be laying down specific “hither thou shalt come and no further” ethical guidelines for human behavior that transcendent time, space, culture, and circumstance.  Rather, religion is about providing the environment for people to experience the miraculous works of God and manifestations of the spiritual gifts – because once the experience is had – the very way in which a person approaches and experiences human problems/decisions will be altered.

The gospel is about that transcendent experience that smashes a hardened, left-brain sensation of separateness and opens a person up the fluid, right-brain awareness that all creation is a continuous and connected event that we are all a part of [see, Taking our Myths Literally].  The Supreme Being is all of creation – from beginning, until now, and on forever – as one continuous pattern, one symphonic arrangement.

Without the spiritual gifts, the power of God, the signs following the believers in Christ – Mormonism [or Christianity] is just another school of thought for civil policy and moral behavior.  When dead to the workings of the Holy Spirit – the gospel is used to work for people rather than working on them.  We use Jesus to meet our needs – rather than getting them judged by Him, falling to the earth and weeping at His feet.

It’s an approach to religion that mistakes the symbol for the Reality – the image for the Life – the stage-show act for the actual experience – the poetry for the prose.  It turns the preachers into the preached and pedestalizes the stories and experiences of someone else, making it into the one-and-only true formula.

It’s essentially idolatry [see, Making an Image out of God] – to look at the image that pointing and cling to and serve it, rather than to Look, Follow, and Live [see, …and the labor which they had to perform was to look…].

Next Article by Justin:

Previous Article by Justin:  Paul and the church at Judea

[In Search of a New Church Home].

Community, Intimacy, and Connection


The Mormon Archetype of Zion:

And the Lord called his people Zion, because they were of one heart and one mind, and dwelt in righteousness; and there was no poor among them.

The ever-present archetype in Mormon culture of the “City of Enoch” – of that first city of Zion that was taken up into heaven:

Zion, in process of time, was taken up into heaven.

and that is promised to return at a point when there is another city of Zion on the earth to meet them:

And the Lord said unto Enoch: As I live, even so will I come in the last days, in the days of wickedness and vengeance, to fulfil the oath which I have made unto you concerning the children of Noah; And the day shall come that the earth shall rest, but before that day the heavens shall be darkened, and a veil of darkness shall cover the earth; and the heavens shall shake, and also the earth; and great tribulations shall be among the children of men, but my people will I preserve;

And righteousness will I send down out of heaven; and truth will I send forth out of the earth, to bear testimony of mine Only Begotten; […] and righteousness and truth will I cause to sweep the earth as with a flood, to gather out mine elect from the four quarters of the earth, unto a place which I shall prepare, an Holy City, that my people may gird up their loins, and be looking forth for the time of my coming; for there shall be my tabernacle, and it shall be called Zion, a New Jerusalem.

And the Lord said unto Enoch: Then shalt thou and all thy city meet them there, and we will receive them into our bosom, and they shall see us; and we will fall upon their necks, and they shall fall upon our necks, and we will kiss each other; And there shall be mine abode, and it shall be Zion, which shall come forth out of all the creations which I have made; and for the space of a thousand years the earth shall rest.

This romantic archetype is played out in various historical instances throughout the scriptural record.

After Alma fled into the wilderness, the community of believers that joined with him:

were called the church of God, or the church of Christ, from that time forward. And it came to pass that whosoever was baptized by the power and authority of God was added to his church.

And it came to pass that Alma, having authority from God, ordained priests; even one priest to every fifty of their number did he ordain to preach unto them, and to teach them concerning the things pertaining to the kingdom of God.  And he commanded them that they should teach nothing save it were the things which he had taught, and which had been spoken by the mouth of the holy prophets.  Yea, even he commanded them that they should preach nothing save it were repentance and faith on the Lord, who had redeemed his people.

And he commanded them that there should be no contention one with another, but that they should look forward with one eye, having one faith and one baptism, having their hearts knit together in unity and in love one towards another.

And thus he commanded them to preach. And thus they became the children of God.

[…]

And the priests were not to depend upon the people for their support; but for their labor they were to receive the grace of God, that they might wax strong in the Spirit, having the knowledge of God, that they might teach with power and authority from God.

And again Alma commanded that the people of the church should impart of their substance, every one according to that which he had; if he have more abundantly he should impart more abundantly; and of him that had but little, but little should be required; and to him that had not should be given.  And thus they should impart of their substance of their own free will and good desires towards God, and to those priests that stood in need, yea, and to every needy, naked soul.

And this he said unto them, having been commanded of God; and they did walk uprightly before God, imparting to one another both temporally and spiritually according to their needs and their wants.

After the resurrection of Jesus Christ, the community of believers in Judea:

continued steadfastly in the apostles’ doctrine and fellowship, and in breaking of bread, and in prayers.  And fear came upon every soul: and many wonders and signs were done by the apostles.

And all that believed were together, and had all things common; And sold their possessions and goods, and parted them to all men, as every man had need.  And they, continuing daily with one accord in the temple, and breaking bread from house to house, did eat their meat with gladness and singleness of heart, Praising God, and having favor with all the people. And the Lord added to the church daily such as should be saved.

After Jesus’ visitation with Lehi’s descendents in the Americas, the disciples of Jesus there:

had formed a church of Christ in all the lands round about. And as many as did come unto them, and did truly repent of their sins, were baptized in the name of Jesus; and they did also receive the Holy Ghost.

And it came to pass […] the people were all converted unto the Lord, upon all the face of the land, both Nephites and Lamanites, and there were no contentions and disputations among them, and every man did deal justly one with another.  And they had all things common among them; therefore there were not rich and poor, bond and free, but they were all made free, and partakers of the heavenly gift.

Joseph Smith’s Desire for Zion:

These “Zions” where there are no rich and no poor, where all impart of their substance freely with one another, having no contentions, and having all things common [not “in common”, I think there’s a difference] have been a big part of Mormon history and collective culture.

The passion for that kind of community is behind a lot of what Joseph Smith was doing while he was alive – trying to get a united order of unrelated believers in Christ bound together by covenant into a whole new people-group.  A tribal community bound by covenant, in an effort to get away from the traditional order of a “church” of unrelated believers in this-or-that set of creeds.

For verily I say unto you, the time has come, and is now at hand; and behold, and lo, it must needs be that there be an organization of my people, in regulating and establishing the affairs of the storehouse for the poor of my people, both in this place and in the land of Zion — For a permanent and everlasting establishment and order unto my church, to advance the cause, which ye have espoused, to the salvation of man, and to the glory of your Father who is in heaven;

That you may be equal in the bonds of heavenly things, yea, and earthly things also, for the obtaining of heavenly things.  For if ye are not equal in earthly things ye cannot be equal in obtaining heavenly things;

For if you will that I give unto you a place in the celestial world, you must prepare yourselves by doing the things which I have commanded you and required of you.  And now, verily thus saith the Lord, it is expedient that all things be done unto my glory, by you who are joined together in this order;

[…]

Wherefore, a commandment I give unto you, to prepare and organize yourselves by a bond or everlasting covenant that cannot be broken.  And he who breaketh it shall lose his office and standing in the church, and shall be delivered over to the buffetings of Satan until the day of redemption.

But history has shown the Gentile church of God to be a hard-hearted and faithless bunch.  They are content with having one man sit atop the power-pyramid and habitually obey what he says – they receive equal “experience quotient” from images and representations compared to what’s being imaged and represented.

They rejected this consecration and never really got around to plural marriage as a genuine priesthood order of joining groups of like-minded strangers into bona-fide tribes of Israel – but rather kept it only as a social convention.

Polygamy became required for polygamy’s sake alone.  Polyandry was also out-right rejected, without which polygamy does not build joint-stewardships – just enlarges any one man’s single stewardship.  And so:

behold, they have not learned to be obedient to the things which I required at their hands, but are full of all manner of evil, and do not impart of their substance, as becometh saints, to the poor and afflicted among them; And are not united according to the union required by the law of the celestial kingdom; And Zion cannot be built up unless it is by the principles of the law of the celestial kingdom; otherwise I cannot receive her unto myself.

Failed Attempts to Recapture Zion:

Mormon history is full of examples of believers going off to form “United Orders” – communal groups where they attempt to live the “higher law” of consecration, meaning to share all that they have with everyone else in the community.  These endeavors have always met failure, and it’s because of one common feature that connects them all – they have always attempted to do so while keeping many small, separate families.

If they are monogamous LDS, then they’ll keep many small, separate monogamous families – and if Mormon fundamentalists, then it’ll be many, small separate polygynous ones.  But the separate-family feature is always the same.

However, without a covenant-based structure in which I may bind myself as a joint-steward with another to share our all commonly with each other according to the principle of charity – such a celestial, “Zion” community will never happen.  It’ll all go well so long as the circumstances go well, but by-and-by the end cometh.

For less-radical LDS, a common goal is to stay where they are and try to get their local ward to be the vehicle that produces a celestial community, or Zion.  One may see sacrament meeting talks and lessons on using fast offerings to “impart of our surplus”, on reminding us that there is no prohibition from leadership against using Welfare Services to live the “higher law” of consecration at a time when we’re only required to live the “lesser law” of tithing, and on trying to come up with way to make our church experience a more open place and have more of a “Zion-like” atmosphere.

Zion requires great intimacy and connection among the members.  The church lacks this intimacy and connection because we are all still strangers.  The only way to achieve Zion, or even a Zion-like atmosphere at church, is for members to all be connected to each other through covenants.  As it stands, the church only connects us to Christ through covenants, but not to each other.  As long as we remain unfettered by covenant relationships with each other, we will never achieve Zion and our words and deeds at church will never approach the level of intimacy and sharing required of that ideal.

So we may arrive at the point where we are no longer:

strangers and foreigners, but fellowcitizens with the saints, and of the household of God;

People desire this sense of community, connection, and intimacy – yet we are all still strangers.  I received this as a revelation last week, and I’m willing to state it here as a prophecy – and it’s that:

nothing we are currently doing with church will ever produce the kind of Zion-like community we read about in the scriptures.

The gathered body of believers is supposed to be the result of these feelings of community – it can never be the means we use to achieve it.

Why does he always end-up talking about polygamy?

The level of intimacy and connection required to have the kind of community where what’s mine is yours [and yours, mine], where we all deal with each other based on the principle of charity, having no contention, imparting of our substance freely one with another, etc. – is something only arising out of kinship [or family-bonds].

For example, my entire paycheck goes into one bank account that my wife is free to spend on whatever she feels will satisfy her needs and the needs of our children.  Her and I already share all things common, I impart of my substance [and my time, my attention, my affection, etc.] freely with her and our children, etc.  In other words,

The family is the basic unit of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and the most important social unit in time and eternity…

meaning, living in such a Zion-like community starts the moment a man marries a woman.  The two are gathered in Christ’s name, there He will be in the midst of them [Matthew 18:20] – and the twain shall be one flesh [D&C 49:16].

This connectivity is the key.  However, if such a community starts with the basic-unit of a man marrying a woman – then how can we expect to grow the community on any different sets of principles [other than men and women marrying]?

So that– if I had two wives, then the second wife would receive just as free of access to my time, talents, resources, and love as my current wife does.  If my wife receives a second husband, then I expect his entire paycheck to go into that same account – and for him to devote that same level of intimacy to my wife and her children, as I do.  Because this is the covenant-obligation we place ourselves under in marriage.

While I don’t think plural marriages need to be a “hill-to-die-on” for this whole idea [I’m all for anarchy, local solutions to local problems, letting people tailor their situation to particular circumstances, etc.] – I can state declaratively that any group that would out-right and from the get-go forbid plural marriages will always be limited — will always approach but never arrive.

Admittedly, one does not just generate a new spouse out of thin-air.  So I can agree that it’s good to start [perhaps] with a focus on getting people getting unplugged from wires and satellites, on getting outside more, on getting together with real human-beings more, etc.  That’s approaching a real kind of community with people in a positive way – people, who can then come to know each other well enough to begin to desire courting and joining together as plural spouses.

If the church actually wanted Zion, then I think most would be surprised over the number of both LDS and non-LDS who would be ready to sign on for it — if it meant living for a higher purpose.  But they don’t.  Marching orders are to get as much education as you can, so you can make as much income as you can, so you can pay more in tithes and offerings.  It’s to just stay where you are and live out as normal of a life as you can — but with just a bit of Mormon flare to it [e.g., serve a two-year mission, civilly marry in a temple, pay 10% of your paycheck to the church, do your home and visiting teaching, keep a current temple recommend, etc.]

Eternity is NOW, and we can make a heaven of it or we can make a hell of it:

The “idea of Zion” [just wanting to talk about Zion] is keeping us separate.  We see a paradisaical, Zion community as this pie-in-the-sky utopia that we can just sit around, occupy our time, and wait for Jesus to return and have it all fall in our laps.  We think our separateness is just fine to settle for here-and-now because one day we will have Zion in which to be together.  Just having the “idea” of it all is what’s keeping us apart and wasting all the life that we could be living, right now.

When I think Jesus has been the one just waiting –waiting on us to get a culture of heaven established here on earth – to have things “on earth” as they are “in heaven” – so He doesn’t end-up killing us with such a culture shock.  One should learn to swim before being plopped out in the ocean.  It would be best to know how to drive before getting behind the wheel of a car.

Instead of thinking, “Oh, we’ll just get it all figured out after we die [or after Jesus returns, etc.]” – we’re supposed to be doing it all here, all now – otherwise we’ll drown when we’re immersed in Zion in the future.

Next Article by Justin: The Adultery of Mary

Previous Article by Justin:  Making an Image out of God

Abrahamic Concubinage as an Inter-Tribal Function


Note: This is a GEMTAM chapter modified for publication on the LDS Anarchy blog. It contains more information than what is found in that chapter.

The Encyclopædia Brittannica, Eleventh Edition, says the following in its entry on concubinage:

CONCUBINAGE (Lat. concubina, a concubine; from con-, with, and cubare, to lie), the state of a man and woman cohabiting as married persons without the full sanctions of legal marriage. In early historical times, when marriage laws had scarcely advanced beyond the purely customary stage, the concubine was definitely recognized as a sort of inferior wife, differing from those of the first rank mainly by the absence of permanent guarantees. The history of Abraham’s family shows us clearly that the concubine might be dismissed at any time, and her children were liable to be cast off equally summarily with gifts, in order to leave the inheritance free for the wife’s sons (Genesis xxi 9 ff., xxv. 5 ff.).

The Roman law recognized two classes of legal marriage: (1) with the definite public ceremonies of confarreatio or coemptio, and (2) without any public form whatever and resting merely on the affectio maritalis, i.e. the fixed intention of taking a particular woman as a permanent spouse.1 Next to these strictly lawful marriages came concubinage as a recognized legal status, so long as the two parties were not married and had no other concubines. It differed from the formless marriage in the absence (1) of affectio maritalis, and therefore (2) of full conjugal rights. For instance, the concubine was not raised, like the wife, to her husband’s rank, nor were her children legitimate, though they enjoyed legal rights forbidden to mere bastards, e.g. the father was bound to maintain them and to leave them (in the absence of legitimate children) one-sixth of his property; moreover, they might be fully legitimated by the subsequent marriage of their parents.

In the East, the emperor Leo the Philosopher (d. 911) insisted on formal marriage as the only legal status; but in the Western Empire concubinage was still recognized even by the Christian emperors. The early Christians had naturally preferred the formless marriage of the Roman law as being free from all taint of pagan idolatry; and the ecclesiastical authorities recognized concubinage also. The first council of Toledo (398) bids the faithful restrict himself “to a single wife or concubine, as it shall please him”;2 and there is a similar canon of the Roman synod held by Pope Eugenius II. in 826. Even as late as the Roman councils of 1052 and 1063, the suspension from communion of laymen who had a wife and a concubine at the same time implies that mere concubinage was tolerated. It was also recognized by many early civil codes. In Germany “left-handed” or “morganatic” marriages were allowed by the Salic law between nobles and women of lower rank. In different states of Spain the laws of the later middle ages recognized concubinage under the name of barragania, the contract being lifelong, the woman obtaining by it a right to maintenance during life, and sometimes also to part of the succession, and the sons ranking as nobles if their father was a noble. In Iceland, the concubine was recognized in addition to the lawful wife, though it was forbidden that they should dwell in the same house. The Norwegian law of the later middle ages provided definitely that in default of legitimate sons, the kingdom should descend to illegitimates. In the Danish code of Valdemar II., which was in force from 1280 to 1683, it was provided that a concubine kept openly for three years shall thereby become a legal wife; this was the custom of hand vesten, the “handfasting” of the English and Scottish borders, which appears in Scott’s Monastery. In Scotland, the laws of William the Lion (d. 1214) speak of concubinage as a recognized institution; and, in the same century, the great Enlish legist Bracton treats the “concubina legitima” as entitled to certain rights.3 There seems to have been at times a pardonable confusion between some quasi-legitimate unions and those marriages by mere word of mouth, without ecclesiastical or other ceremonies, which the church, after some natural hesitation, pronounced to be valid.4 Another and more serious confusion between concubinage and marriage was caused by the gradual enforcement of clerical celibacy (see CELIBACY). During the bitter conflict between laws which forbade sacerdotal marriages and long custom which had permitted them, it was natural that the legislators and the ascetic party generally should studiously speak of the priests’ wives as concubines, and do all in their power to reduce them to this position. This very naturally resulted in a too frequent substitution of clerical concubinage for marriage; and the resultant evils form one of the commonest themes of complaint in church councils of the later middle ages.5 Concubinage in general was struck at by the concordat between the Pope Leo X. and Francis I. of France in 1516; and the council of Trent, while insisting on far more stringent conditions for lawful marriage than those which had prevailed in the middle ages, imposed at last heavy ecclesiastical penalties on concubinage and appealed to the secular arm for help against contumacious offenders (Sessio xxiv. Cap. 8).

AUTHORITES.–Besides those quoted in the notes, the reader may consult with advantage Du Cange’s Glossarium, s.v. Concubina, the article “Concubinat” in Wetzer and Welte’s Kirchenlexikon (2nd ed., Freiburg i/B., 1884), and Dr H. C. Lea’s History of Sacerdotal Celibacy (3rd ed., London, 1907).

(G. G. Co.)

1 The difference between English and Scottish law, which once made “Gretna Green marriages” so frequent, is due to the fact that Scotland adopted the Roman law (which on this particular point was followed by the whole medieval church).

2 Gratian, in the 12th century, tried to explain this away by assuming that concubinage here referred to meant a formless marriage; but in 398 a church council can scarcely so have misused the technical terms of the then current civil law (Gratian, Decretum, pars i. dist. xxiv. c. 4).

3 Bracton, De Legibus, lib. iii. tract. ii. c. 28, § 1, and lib. iv. tract. vi. c. 8, § 4.

4 F. Pollock and F. W. Maitland, Hist. of English Law, 2nd ed. vol. ii. p. 370. In the case of Richard de Anesty, decided by papal rescript in 1143, “a marriage solemnly celebrated in church, a marriage of which a child had been born, was set aside as null in favour of an earlier marriage constituted by a mere exchange of consenting words” (ibid. p. 367; cf. the similar decretal of Alexander III. on p. 371). The great medieval canon lawyer Lyndwood illustrates the difficulty of distinguishing, even as late as the middle of the 15th century, between concubinage and a clandestine, though legal, marriage. He falls back on the definition of an earlier canonist that if the woman eats out of the same dish with the man, and if he takes her to church, she may be presumed to be his wife; if, however, he sends her to draw water and dresses her in vile clothing, she is probably a concubine (Provinciale, ed. Oxon. 1679, p. 10, s.v. concubinarios).

5 It may be gathered from the Dominican C. L. Richard’s Analysis Conciliorum (vol. ii., 1778) that there were more than 110 such complaints in councils and synods between the years 1009 and 1528. Dr Rashdall (Universities of Europe in the Middle Ages, vol. ii. p. 691, note) points out that a master of the university of Prague, in 1499, complained openly to the authorities against a bachelor for assaulting his concubine.

The above write-up adequately shows the differences between a wife and a concubine.  On the one hand there was the wife, who had permanent guarantees.  The marriage contract or covenant she entered into bound her exclusively and permanently to her husband, the only way out being through death or divorce.  The wife received an inheritance and held rights to the husband’s rank or titles, as did the children she bore him.  So, for example, if he was a king,  she became a queen and the children she bore him became princes and princesses who also held rights to an inheritance.

On the other hand, the concubine’s marriage covenant had no permanent guarantees.  She was bound to her husband exclusively and temporarily and held no rights to an inheritance nor to any of his titles, nor did any the children she bore him.  Her marriage contract, being of a temporary nature, could have a stipulated duration of time after which it would end or a stipulated manner by which it could end, such as at the discretion of her husband or herself, and when it ended she was sent away with her children.

The husband leaves his tribe

It is impossible to comprehend Abrahamic concubinage without an understanding of the context of the ancient world, which was tribalism, meaning that the ancients lived in tribes.  Moses wrote:

Therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave unto his wife: and they shall be one flesh. (Genesis 2:24)

If there was a man who lived in one tribe and a woman who lived in a different one and the man desired to marry her, he was, per this standard, to leave his tribe and take up residence in his wife’s.  The woman was always to stay with her tribe, under the protection of her tribesmen, her father and her brothers when marrying a man from a different tribe.

No interfaith marriages

Husbands and wives were also to be of the same religious background.  Paul wrote, “Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers” (2 Corinthians 6:14.)  Interfaith marriages, then, were prohibited by the Lord because such permanent unions would tend to turn the believing spouse’s heart away from Him.  This was especially detrimental in the case of a believing husband and a non-believing wife, for the husband would leave his believing tribe and would be immersed in the unbelieving tribe of his wife.  The marrying of believing husbands to only believing wives would make gospel tribes somewhat insular, or set apart, from the tribes of the world, for they would end up taking wives and husbands only from other gospel tribes.

Concubines did things in reverse

Concubinage worked differently than normal, permanent marriage unions.  A concubine did not remain with her tribe, but left it to live with the tribe of her husband.  After her concubinage contract had ended, she was to leave her husband’s tribe with her children and return to her own.  Also, a concubine could be an unbeliever from one of the tribes of the earth, meaning one of the non-gospel Gentile tribes in the surrounding area.  Because her union was only temporary and she came to live among the believer’s tribe, it was less likely that she would have influence enough over the husband to turn his heart from the Lord.

The union of Abraham and Hagar is the prime example of this.  Hagar was an Egyptian slave possibly acquired as Pharaoh’s gift to Sarah when Abraham and Sarah were sojourning in Egypt.  She was not, therefore, of their religion and tribe.  So Abraham took Hagar to wife as his concubine, not as his wife.  Some time after she had given birth to a male child (Ishmael), her concubinage contract was ended and she was sent away with her son.  Ishmael eventually ended up marrying an Egyptian woman.

Benefits of concubinage

A concubine would bring many benefits to the tribe of her husband.  Being from a different tribe, she would bring with her different customs and ways of doing things, which would enrich his tribe and give them knowledge concerning her own.  She also would learn the customs of her husband’s tribe.  Specifically, she would learn their language, their arts and academics, their tribal organization and politics, their talents and industry, their religion and all their other customs.  And she would be totally immersed in a gospel culture, dwelling among a gospel tribe, so it would be more likely that she would convert to their religion, than that she would convert them to her religion.  If she or any of her children did end up converting to the Lord while residing within the gospel tribe, after her contract ended she would be sent back to her tribe as the perfect tribal missionary, as one who was already fully aware of all the ways of her non-gospel tribe, having grown up in it.

Concubines would also bring great benefits to their original tribes.  Upon her return, a concubine could teach her people all of what she learned while living among her husband’s tribe, including the language and religion of her husband.  In this way, she becomes an ambassador of peace between the two tribes, having lived in both for an extended period and knowing the customs and ways and languages of both.  This would do much for inter-tribal relations, allowing two foreign tribes to more easily interact with each other without any misunderstandings.  What is true for her would also be true for her children, who were raised in their father’s tribe and would now be living in their mother’s.  Each would be immensely benefited by the experience and become natural tribal ambassadors, having allegiances in both tribes.

Concubines could marry afterward

After returning to her tribe, a concubine would be free to contract marriage as a wife to a fellow tribesman or to someone of another people, while remaining among her own kind.  As a tribeswoman by birth, she would be entitled to an inheritance in her tribe.  If she was sent away with gifts from her husband, these would also benefit her people.

Genetic diversity and tribal missionary work

Another benefit, and a main one at that, would be the introduction of genetic diversity among the various tribes practicing concubinage.  A woman from a foreign tribe that became a concubine in a gospel tribe, would end up mixing her tribe’s genetic code (though her) with the genetic code of her husband’s tribe.  If she became a concubine of more than one husband of the new tribe, she would introduce even more genetic diversity into her children.  Then, when the concubinage contract(s) ended, she would take her children, the product of her and the new tribe, back to her old tribe, where these children could then pass on this genetic diversity through marriage into their mother’s tribe.

Without concubinage, gospel tribes become too insular, marrying only among themselves and not generating much genetic diversity.  Also, tribal missionary work becomes more difficult, for it is much easier to send tribal missionaries to a foreign tribe that has had concubines who have already lived in the missionaries’ tribe, who can put in a good word for the missionaries and open other doors, allowing the gospel to go forth unimpeded.

Tribal missionaries that spent much time in foreign tribes, preaching the gospel, could enter into concubinage contracts with women of that tribe for the duration that the missionaries were there.  This would allow the missionaries to marry non-believers without the danger of being unequally yoked in a permanent union.  If the concubine ended up converting to the Lord, the missionary could end the concubinage contract and either leave her there as a new ambassador of the gospel or arrange to bring her to his own tribe as a permanent wife. Whatever they decided to do, the children that came from these unions would create greater genetic diversity for whichever tribe they ended up in.

Concubines must go back

A concubine whose marriage contract does not end and who is not sent back to her father’s tribe defeats the whole purpose of concubinage.  The benefits that come from concubinage—benefits for both her, her children, her husband’s tribe and her father’s tribe—come only when the concubine and her children return to live with the tribe she originated from.  Not receiving an inheritance in her husband’s tribe is necessary, in order that she return from whence she comes.  Otherwise, concubinage is merely a method for the exploitation of women—having the benefits of a wife, without any associated responsibilities.

Abrahamic concubinage as revealed to Joseph Smith

A concubine is a noble, honorable calling and title, that accomplishes a great deal of good for two whole tribes.  Only when viewed in this manner, under tribal filters, does concubinage make any sense.

When Joseph Smith inquired of the Lord concerning how it was that the ancients were justified in having many wives and concubines, he was given the revelation found in D&C 132.  This revelation, for the most part, only speaks of wives.  The reason is because it was the purpose of the Lord that Joseph and the saints establish themselves into two bona-fide, fully functioning tribes of Israel using the principle of plural marriage.  The revelation ends with an enigmatic carrot on a stick:

And now, as pertaining to this law, verily, verily, I say unto you, I will reveal more unto you, hereafter; therefore, let this suffice for the present. (D&C 132:66)

The only thing that the Lord says about concubines in this revelation is that the ancients were justified in receiving them and that it was accounted to them as righteousness and not sin.  But there is no indication that Joseph was supposed to start contracting concubines, only that more would be revealed later.

Tribal formation first, concubinage second

It makes sense that the Lord wouldn’t get into all the details of the doctrine and practice of concubines at this point because concubinage serves an inter-tribal function and the saints had not, yet, even formed themselves into one gospel tribe.  The intention of the Lord was to have the saints form themselves first into two gospel tribes, a tribe of Ephraim and a tribe of Manasseh and then, and only then, were they to start entering into concubine arrangements with the tribes of the earth.  This would serve to counteract the insular nature of the two gospel tribes, who would marry among themselves, in believer-only marriages.

A commandment to practice concubinage

Although the Lord did not go into detail concerning concubines, there is enough in the revelation and in the Bible for modern, gospel-based tribes organized according to the Gospel-based, Multihusband-Multiwife, Tribal Anarchy Model to enter into concubinage contracts if they see fit.  In fact, the Lord gives a commandment that these things be done in the revelation itself:

Verily, thus saith the Lord unto you my servant Joseph, that inasmuch as you have inquired of my hand to know and understand whereby I, the Lord, justified my servants…as touching the principle and doctrine of their having many wives and concubines—behold, and lo, I am the Lord thy God, and will answer thee as touching this matter [of having many wives and concubines]. Therefore, prepare thy heart to receive and obey the instructions which I am about to give unto you; for all those who have this law [concerning having many wives and concubines] revealed unto them must obey the same. (D&C 132:1-3)

So, once a gospel tribe is established using plural marriage, the Lord expects it to begin entering into concubinage contracts with the tribes of the earth, in order that the purposes, promises and prophecies of the Lord may be fulfilled about the people of the Lord becoming the salt and leaven of the earth.  The Savior said:

The kingdom of heaven is like unto leaven, which a woman took, and hid in three measures of meal, till the whole was leavened. (Matthew 13:33)

Through converted concubines, returned back from whence they come, entire tribes will be converted.  Concubinage, then, is a true principle of the gospel and one which any gospel-based tribe may justifiably embrace.

Concubinage and wife contracts are equally impermanent

All covenants, contracts…that are not…sealed…as well for time and for all eternity…are of no efficacy, virtue, or force in and after the resurrection from the dead; for all contracts that are not made unto this end have an end when men are dead. (D&C 132:7)

This scripture shows that a marriage contract between a husband and a wife and a marriage contract between a husband and a concubine are similarly temporary.  The only difference is that one is intended to last a little bit longer than the other.  The wife’s contract has an end at death, while the concubine’s contract has an end sometime during mortality, but neither in reality are permanent contracts.

It is the sealing power that will vicariously seal all such impermanent marriage contracts, including concubinage contracts, making them all permanent unions in the afterlife.  Because of this, it is not correct to speak of a concubine as “a sort of inferior wife.”  She is every bit as much a wife as any other and will be sealed to her husband permanently after her death just as every other wife will be, and she will inherit the same reward as a wife will in the eternities.

Concubinage has a heavenly origin

Lastly, concubinage appears to be patterned after a heavenly object (a comet, a planetoid, a planet or a brown dwarf) that enters an insular solar system for a time, causing new planetary birth (the electrical expulsion model of planetary birth) and then after passing through leaves the solar system with an entourage of captured, newly birthed, planetary objects.

Complete List of Articles authored by LDS Anarchist

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

The nature of authority: the Lord’s stewardship law


The word steward comes from stigweard, lit., a sty ward. Stigu means sty and weard means warden, guardian. A sty is a pen for swine and a ward is one who guards. A steward, then, is someone who guards or protects or is responsible for something that belongs to another or for someone that serves or pertains to another.

Originally, a steward in England, under feudal law, was “a household officer on a lord’s estate having charge of the cattle; later, a head manager in the administration of a manor or estate, presiding at the manorial courts, auditing accounts, conducting inquests and extents, and controlling the husbandry arrangements.” In general, a steward is “a man employed in a large family, or on a large estate, to manage the domestic concerns, supervise servants, collect rents or income, keep accounts, etc.”

Stewards are not owners

Stewards do not own the concerns which they manage nor are the servants which they supervise their own servants, but the servants of the steward’s lord. Thus, we find the Lord saying:

And if the properties are mine, then ye are stewards; otherwise ye are no stewards. (D&C 104: 56.)

Stewards and stewardships are for probation

Obviously, the Lord owns everything, so He tests His children by granting them a temporary stewardship and then seeing how they act in it.

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

Rendering an account of one’s stewardship

At some point, every steward must give an account of his or her stewardship, both here on Earth and later at the day of judgment.

And verily in this thing ye have done wisely, for it is required of the Lord, at the hand of every steward, to render an account of his stewardship, both in time and in eternity. (D&C 73: 3.)

And an account of this stewardship will I require of them in the day of judgment. (D&C 70: 4.)

Good and bad stewards and their rewards

Depending upon what kind of steward we are here on Earth, so shall be our eternal reward. Those who are faithful, just and wise stewards get the top reward.

And whoso is found a faithful, a just, and a wise steward shall enter into the joy of his Lord, and shall inherit eternal life. (D&C 51: 19.)

And he that is a faithful and wise steward shall inherit all things. Amen. (D&C 78: 22.)

While those who are wicked, unjust and unwise stewards don’t get so much.

And in his hot displeasure, and in his fierce anger, in his time, [the Lord] will cut off those wicked, unfaithful, and unjust stewards, and appoint them their portion among hypocrites, and unbelievers; even in outer darkness, where there is weeping, and wailing, and gnashing of teeth. (D&C 101: 90-91.)

Stewards possess authority

A stewardship (the office of a steward) comes with authority, or, in other words, a steward is given both authority and responsibility in order to manage the concerns of the stewardship. If you don’t have a stewardship, you don’t have authority. The authority of a steward is a set of keys, just as the original stigweard held the keys that opened the swine pens. These keys allow the steward to protect, guard, maintain and take care of the concerns in his or her care. Without such authority, a steward can do nothing.

In the case of a stewardship that supervises people, the authority of the steward is only valid as long as the people being cared for sustain him or her as their steward. In other words, there is a second set of keys held by the people who have claim on the steward as their steward and it is this second set of keys that allows the steward to operate in his or her office. Without the consent of these people, the steward cannot do anything in righteousness.

Parental stewardship

D&C 83 gives the order of parental stewardship as follows:

Verily, thus saith the Lord, in addition to the laws of the church concerning women and children, those who belong to the church, who have lost their husbands or fathers: Women have claim on their husbands for their maintenance, until their husbands are taken; and if they are not found transgressors they shall have fellowship in the church. And if they are not faithful they shall not have fellowship in the church; yet they may remain upon their inheritances according to the laws of the land. All children have claim upon their parents for their maintenance until they are of age. And after that, they have claim upon the church, or in other words upon the Lord’s storehouse, if their parents have not wherewith to give them inheritances. And the storehouse shall be kept by the consecrations of the church; and widows and orphans shall be provided for, as also the poor. Amen.

Whoever has claim upon another for his or her spiritual or temporal maintenance is the concerns of the stewardship and whoever is responsible for the maintenance is the steward. Therefore, according to this revelation, parents are the stewards of their children and husbands are the stewards of their wives.

This arrangement does not go both ways. Children are not the stewards of the parents because they are not responsible for providing spiritual or temporal maintenance for their parents. Nor is the wife the steward of the husband because she is not responsible for maintaining her husband in his spiritual or temporal needs. If stewardship could go both ways, husbands could have claim upon their wives and parents upon their children. Although there may be many husbands who might love to relinquish their family stewardship to their wives and allow her to support him and their children, under gospel law it doesn’t work like that.

Children are also given stewardships

When children are old enough to obtain some responsibility, they may receive a stewardship from their parents. Perhaps they must take care of their room, keeping it clean and tidy, or their clothes, making sure they are folded and put away, or some household chores, such as sweeping, mopping, vacuuming, doing dishes, or, perhaps they are given a temporary stewardship over their younger siblings, looking over them and watching out for them while their parents are engaged in some other aspect of their own stewardship.

Stewardships in the church

Every church calling is a stewardship with responsibility and authority, and may be of a temporal and/or spiritual nature. The steward uses that authority to manage the concerns of his or her stewardship, which may include supervising, teaching, and/or leading people. So, for example, a bishop is the steward of the ward and the entire ward is the concerns of his stewardship. An elder’s quorum president is the steward of the elders quorum, which are the concerns of his stewardship. A Relief Society president is a steward and the society members are the concerns of her stewardship. A visiting or home teacher is a steward and the families or sisters being visited are the concerns. Etc.

Stewards and concerns likewise judged

Just as every steward must render an account of his or her stewardship to the Judge of us all, so the concerns of a stewardship will have to render an account of how they acted toward the steward. The steward is the Lord’s representative, empowered to take care of the concerns of the stewardship. Any interference with a steward’s divinely appointed duties is treated by the Lord as if it was done to the Lord of the steward Himself.

As long as a steward is acting righteously, meaning that he or she is acting in the stewardship in the following way—

No power or influence can or ought to be maintained by virtue of [a stewardship], only by persuasion, by long-suffering, by gentleness and meekness, and by love unfeigned; by kindness, and pure knowledge, which shall greatly enlarge the soul without hypocrisy, and without guile—reproving betimes with sharpness, when moved upon by the Holy Ghost; and then showing forth afterwards an increase of love toward him whom thou hast reproved, lest he esteem thee to be his enemy; that he may know that thy faithfulness is stronger than the cords of death.  (D&C 121: 41-44, re-worded a little.)

—those who have claim on the steward are bound by the Lord to use their second set of keys to authorize the steward’s own set of keys (his or her authority). If the steward is not authorized by the people concerned with his or her stewardship, yet is acting in righteousness, these people stand condemned by the Lord.

The principle is this: respect all stewards and stewardships insofar as they act righteously.

It is wickedness

Thus, it is wickedness to do away with a steward and stewardship granted by the Lord because this is how He tests His children. For example, some in the world would do away with the stewardship of the parents by granting the State stewardship over the children. This is wickedness. Others would do away with the stewardship of the husband, claiming that this diminishes the role of the wife. This is also wickedness.

Another form of wickedness is the interference in the operations of a steward’s duties. For example, no one is to perform the duties of the steward, other than the steward himself. If you do this, you interfere with the test, for the Lord appoints stewards and then steps back to see what he (or she) will do. Even if you think you can do a much better job than the steward, you are to step back, like the Lord, and let the man or woman perform, or attempt to perform, the duty. Another way to interfere is to withhold your authorization from the steward, so that he cannot perform the duties of his office and calling because you (the concerns of his stewardship) do not authorize him.

Finally, those who are not a part of the concerns of a stewardship, when dealing with a steward, should respect his or her calling, and recognize both the authority and responsibility that the steward has in managing his or her concerns. It is disrespectful and offensive both to the steward and to the One who appointed the steward to not recognize the stewardship, authority and responsibility that was given to the individual by the Lord.

Stewardships and equality

Stewardships are, by design, not equal. The Lord places one steward to preserve, maintain and increase a small amount of property, while another steward is placed over ten times as much. A pair of parental stewards may care for three children while a different pair may watch over ten. It is the inequality of the stewardships that adds to the test, to see what the children of God will do, both the stewards and those they look after.

Nevertheless, the gospel provides means whereby the unequal stewardships may become equalized. This is done through covenants.

Therefore, verily I say unto you, that it is expedient for my servants Edward Partridge and Newel K. Whitney, A. Sidney Gilbert and Sidney Rigdon, and my servant Joseph Smith, and John Whitmer and Oliver Cowdery, and W. W. Phelps and Martin Harris to be bound together by a bond and covenant that cannot be broken by transgression, except judgment shall immediately follow, in your several stewardships—to manage the affairs of the poor, and all things pertaining to the bishopric both in the land of Zion and in the land of Kirtland; for I have consecrated the land of Kirtland in mine own due time for the benefit of the saints of the Most High, and for a stake to Zion.

For Zion must increase in beauty, and in holiness; her borders must be enlarged; her stakes must be strengthened; yea, verily I say unto you, Zion must arise and put on her beautiful garments.

Therefore, I give unto you this commandment, that ye bind yourselves by this covenant, and it shall be done according to the laws of the Lord.

Behold, here is wisdom also in me for your good.

And you are to be equal, or in other words, you are to have equal claims on the properties, for the benefit of managing the concerns of your stewardships, every man according to his wants and his needs, inasmuch as his wants are just—and all this for the benefit of the church of the living God, that every man may improve upon his talent, that every man may gain other talents, yea, even an hundred fold, to be cast into the Lord’s storehouse, to become the common property of the whole church—every man seeking the interest of his neighbor, and doing all things with an eye single to the glory of God. (D&C 82: 11-19.)

So here we have the Lord telling these nine stewards to bind themselves to each other by bond and covenant in their several stewardships, so that they become equal in both earthly and heavenly things.

For verily I say unto you, the time has come, and is now at hand; and behold, and lo, it must needs be that there be an organization of my people, in regulating and establishing the affairs of the storehouse for the poor of my people, both in this place and in the land of Zion—for a permanent and everlasting establishment and order unto my church, to advance the cause, which ye have espoused, to the salvation of man, and to the glory of your Father who is in heaven; that you may be equal in the bonds of heavenly things, yea, and earthly things also, for the obtaining of heavenly things.

For if ye are not equal in earthly things ye cannot be equal in obtaining heavenly things; for if you will that I give unto you a place in the celestial world, you must prepare yourselves by doing the things which I have commanded you and required of you. (D&C 78: 3-7.)

The equality spoken of in these verses is all-important, yet unobtainable except by voluntarily entering into covenants, including marriage covenants, with other stewards. The Lord then creates a perfect test by first giving out unequal stewardships and then explaining how to equalize everything, with attendant blessings should His children decide to use their agency to that end.

He who is appointed to administer spiritual things, the same is worthy of his hire, even as those who are appointed to a stewardship to administer in temporal things; yea, even more abundantly, which abundance is multiplied unto them through the manifestations of the Spirit. Nevertheless, in your temporal things you shall be equal, and this not grudgingly, otherwise the abundance of the manifestations of the Spirit shall be withheld. (D&C 70: 12-14.)

Stewardships are meant to be increased

Every steward is to maintain, preserve, care for, protect, guard and increase his or her stewardship. Thus, missionary work is based on the law of stewardships. And when we hear the phrase, “multiply and replenish the earth,” that is also the law of stewardships at work. And so, parents, if able, are expected to bring more children to Earth.

Keep this law in mind

It may be beneficial to keep the law of stewardships in mind when dealing with stewards, whether they are found in one’s family, in the church, or in the world at large. A proper understanding of this law may make it easier to accept the steward’s authority, and a corresponding proper action towards that steward may make it easier to live other parts of the gospel and to stay in the Lord’s favor.

Complete List of Articles authored by LDS Anarchist

Unlicensed marriages and what the Brethren can do about them


First Presidency letter

On October 18th, Zo-ma-rah blogged about a First Presidency letter that was read in his sacrament meeting. He wrote:

This Sunday was interesting. After opening the meeting we were greeted with a nice letter from the Brethren™. The letter instructed us to not participate in self help groups. Specifically they instructed [us] to avoid groups that:

1. Challenge Church™ teachings.

2. Advocate confrontation with spouse as a means for self improvement.

3. Imitate the sacred rites and rituals of the Church™.

4. Involve physical contact with others.

5. Meet late in the evening or early in the morning.

6. Involve confession.

7. Involve pairing of spouses with others.

These points might be a bit generalized, but I was taking notes [as] fast as my little hands could write, and that’s the gist of what was said.

To this I responded:

Some of the points on that list may be pointing to some of the stuff I’ve written (#’s 1, 3, and 7.) I wonder if my blog is under church surveillance (along with certain other bloggers)?

Later, a second person told me that this same First Presidency letter was read in their sacrament meeting and as they listened, all they could think about was that this letter was talking about me and the LDS Anarchy blog.

The lone wolf

A friend of mine, who believes in “the powers that be” (TPTB), once told me that what TPTB most fear is a lone wolf, someone who operates outside of the normal channels, who doesn’t give a damn what people think of him and so is not overly concerned of the consequences of his words and actions. Such a man, this lone wolf, is not restrained by normal customs and protocols, but can operate independently from institutional controls, inflicting great harm on existing systems. As he has no ties to organizations that can constrain his actions or influence his behavior, he is unpredictable. Predictability is extremely important to control methods.

Now, I’m not saying that I’m a lone wolf, but the Lone Wolf and Cub movies are some of my all-time favorite flicks. 😉

Anyway, if this blog has been assigned lone wolf status and the Brethren are taking measures to steer the membership away from the principles set forth here, I thought it would be beneficial to explain exactly what the Brethren can do to people who implement some of these ideas. Specifically, I wish to address point #7, “the pairing of spouses with others.”

Serious consequences

There are serious consequences to consider before attempting to establish a tribe using the multihusband-multiwife marriage system. If it is learned that you are even planning such an activity, you will be disciplined. The two ways of discipline in our religious institution are disfellowship and excommunication, however, because entire Mormon families are typically plugged into Mormonism, there will be further repercussions from one’s family and perhaps even friends as they spurn and/or pity you when they learn of your “apostacy.”

All of this must be weighed in the balance when considering exiting out of the confines of monogamy. There is also the law of man to consider, which does not allow polygamy. This means that to obey the laws of the state, one must practice polygamy without a state marriage license. If you attempt to marry more than one spouse using a marriage license for each one, that puts you under the jurisdiction of the bigamy laws.

Marriage without a state license is approved of God, so the state’s jurisdiction can be entirely by-passed, but the church still poses a problem if they find out what you are doing. The question then is whether the church can be kept out of one’s tribal business. To that end, I thought it would be beneficial to review some marriage scenarios to determine how easy or difficult it would be to practice the multiple spouse marriage system without the church finding out.

Marriage scenario #1: Two single people

First, let’s talk about a single man and a single woman who desire to marry. If they marry without a marriage license, by covenant between themselves only, and start living together, chances are that word is going to get out one way or another that two “unmarried” people in the church are living together (living in sin). Now, living together does not equate to having sex, but we all know how people think.

If the couple attends church and continues to partake of the sacrament, while living together, chances are that they will be asked to come in to the bishop’s office for a chat. The bishop will surely inquire about the circumstances of this highly irregular event.

Probably the first thing he will ask is if this couple is married. It is a possibility that the couple has gotten married in secret, in a civil ceremony. Perhaps they eloped to Las Vegas or something.

There are two ways that the couple can respond to questions about their marriage. They can say that they are married, which would be the truth as they entered into a covenant of marriage with each other, or they can say that they aren’t married, which would be the truth as they aren’t married in the eyes of the state because they never got a marriage license.

If they say that they aren’t married, there will be inquiries about whether they are still living the law of chastity, about the living arrangements they have made, with pressure to separate, repent, etc.

If they say that they are married, there will be inquiries about the details of their marriage. When and where they got married, wedding pics, the bridal dress, etc. If the couple divulges the details of the marriage, that it was by personal covenant-only, the bishop, the members, their family and also many other people will not consider it a bona fide marriage and the church will consider them living in sin and take action accordingly. If, however, the couple plans to keep the details secret and arranges circumstances so that it appears that they “left town,” eloped and returned married, the membership and leadership will more readily accept that, (though they will be chided for not getting a temple marriage.)

For example, a man and a woman can arrange their affairs so that they are both free on a certain date. They can leave their homes early and go off to some faraway place where others they know would not look for them and then they can enter into their marriage covenant. They can stay away for a sufficiently long time to allow for an apparent elopement to Vegas and back. When they return, the man and the woman can sport wedding rings, move in together and live their lives from that moment on as husband and wife.

When asked about their wedding, they can say they eloped. When asked when they were married, they can say the date that they entered into their marriage covenant. When asked where they were married or if they can show pictures or, for the really nosy ones, a marriage certificate, they can say, “We wish to keep the details of our elopement private, which is why we eloped in the first place.” For proof of their marriage, they can show their wedding rings. As long as they project to the public that they are married, the public will consider them married, including all church officers.

The drawback to this will be a denial of a temple wedding sealing. The Brethren will not allow them to be sealed without a valid state marriage license or certificate, so they will have to wait until the work for the dead is done for them for their time marriage to be turned into an eternity marriage.

Marriage scenario #2: A married couple and a single individual

In the case of a married couple that wishes to add another spouse to its marriage arrangement, by covenant-only without a state marriage license, which is the only non-illegal way it can be done anyway, the man or woman who is to be married to the second spouse, with permission of the first spouse, can have a private meeting with the second spouse, in which they enter into a marriage covenant. Living arrangements can either remain as is, with the new spouse living alone in their own dwelling, or the family can be combined under one roof.

If the two husbands or two wives have separate dwellings, nothing out of the ordinary would be noticed. If the two husbands or two wives live under the same roof, church members may notice and begin inquiring or report what they see to their bishop, who may end up calling these three members into his office.

During a bishop’s inquiry, a couple may simply say that they, the couple, invited so-and-so to come live with them. This would be the truth. If asked why the invitation, they could say, for a stay-at-home second wife, “So-and-so is helping around the house.” For a working second husband, “So-and-so is helping us out financially.” All of this would be the truth.

If there are suspicions that more than that is going on and that there is an affair happening, any one of them can instruct the bishop to ask them the temple question. The temple question concerning relationships is, “Are you living the law of chastity?” To which can be answered, yes. As long as the question remains on the law of chastity, and whether any of them is living it, answer the question honestly with yes. If the bishop tries to slip a, “Are you having sex with this man/woman?” answer, “I am not breaking the law of chastity.” Bring everything back to the law of chastity.

Without witnesses of wrongdoing, a bishop cannot pursue the matter further. As long as neither one of the three married individuals divulges information about the non-licensed marriage, the bishop cannot build a case against them. He either needs witnesses or a confession to act.

Like the situation with the two single individuals, the only penalty the Brethren can use towards these people is to stop them from getting the marriage sealed in the temple. They will have to wait until the work for the dead is done for them to be sealed eternally.

Marriage scenario #3: Two married couples

If two married couples wish to marry each other, making an interconnected marriage arrangement with two wives and two husbands, by covenant-only without a marriage license, this can be easily done by private meeting among all involved, whereby they covenant with each other to be married. They can then live their lives in their separate dwellings, but visit each other as they please as husbands and wives. In this case, it is doubtful that church members would notice what is going on unless they are around one of the newly married men and his new wife and saw them carrying on romantically. Were that to happen, word would surely get to the bishop, who would call the suspects into his office.

Again, the way to handle this would be to answer all questions in terms of breaking the law of chastity, and that’s it. Is the law of chastity being broken? Nope. That’s all the bishop needs to know.

As with the other scenarios, only the temple marriage sealing can be denied to the newly weds, that is until the work for the dead is done for them.

Children

The children of one or more of the spouses can cause trouble for the non-licensed married couple if the adults are presenting to the world that they are not married (using the state’s definition). For couples that do tell people they are married, such as two single individuals coming together, children pose no problem. But for marriages involving three or more people, in which no one but the spouses themselves know they are married, children might need to be kept in the dark, at least initially, so that they don’t go blabbing to church members or officials about the non-church sanctioned marriage.

Conclusion as to what the Brethren can do

If those entering marriage in this manner plan it right and understand how they are going to present it, or not present it, to the public, the church and their children, the Brethren can’t do a damn thing about it. They can’t stop the marriage from happening, they can’t discipline the newlyweds without evidence, witnesses and/or confessions, and they can’t keep the parties unsealed (because eventually all these marriages will be temple sealed.)

The Lord has, essentially, opened the way for any of His sons and daughters to establish themselves tribally, without repercussions from the state or from the church. The only ones who have power to stop it from happening are the wives.

Complete List of Articles authored by LDS Anarchist

Marriage without a marriage license is ordained of God


My text for this post is the following scripture:

And again, verily I say unto you, that whoso forbiddeth to marry is not ordained of God, for marriage is ordained of God unto man. (D&C 49: 15.)

Between a man and a woman

To start with, let’s make it clear that the words “marry” and “marriage” in this verse referred only to marriage between a man and a woman. This revelation was given in March/May 1831 and there was no concept of same-sex marriage back then, only marriage between the sexes.

Who forbids to marry?

And again, verily I say unto you, that whoso forbiddeth to marry is not ordained of God, for marriage is ordained of God unto man. (D&C 49: 15; italics added.)

Parents – Sometimes parents forbid to marry. If a young man or woman is underage, permission from the parents is needed in order for them to marry (with a valid state marriage license). In the high school I attended, there was a very pretty 16 year old girl in one of my classes who was legally married. She received permission from her parents and loved showing people her wedding ring. All the boys in the class (including myself) were kind of bummed that she was now off-limits. It was a strange situation because we all thought that parents normally would not give permission to one so young. She never had a teen pregnancy or anything. She just fell in love and wanted to get married and her folks said, “Okay.” But that doesn’t always happen.

The State – The State is the major perpetrator of forbidding to marry, with all the marriage laws and prohibitions on the books. For example, the State forbids a man from taking a second wife while his first wife is still alive. It also forbids a woman from doing the same thing. It introduces a monetary price on marriage, so that everyone must pay for the permission to get married. It places age restrictions on marriage, as well as health restrictions. Those who don’t meet the qualifications, can’t get married. In other words, they can’t get a marriage license. Additionally, it has cohabitation laws on many of the books so that anyone who tries to marry without a valid state marriage license and then live together can still be prosecuted and thrown into jail, effectively discouraging anyone who wishes to skirt around the State monopoly on marriage authorization.

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints – The Church is another major perpetrator of forbidding to marry. Although it has no power to stop anyone from getting married, by preaching a valid state marriage license requirement to its congregation, it supports the State’s restrictions and monopoly on marriage. Also, by excommunicating those who marry more than one living spouse (with or without a valid state marriage license, but most often without a license), it sets up its own restrictions with attendant judgments placed upon those who marry.

These three institutions, then, are not ordained of God when they forbid to marry.

But I must add one more:

A spouse – Every man who forbids his wife from marrying another man and every woman who forbids her husband from marrying another woman is also not ordained of God when they do this.

Everything that is in the world is valid in the eyes of God…for a limited time

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

And everything that is in the world, whether it be ordained of men, by thrones, or principalities, or powers, or things of name, whatsoever they may be, that are not by me or by my word, saith the Lord, shall be thrown down, and shall not remain after men are dead, neither in nor after the resurrection, saith the Lord your God. (D&C 132: 7, 13.)

What this means is that God recognizes “all covenants, contracts, bonds, obligations, oaths, vows, performances, connections, associations, or expectations” that are made among men “both as well for time and for all eternity,” regardless of who or what entity or entities ordained them, “whether it be ordained of men, by thrones, or principalities, or powers, or things of name, whatsoever they may be,” as perfectly valid and binding only until “men are dead,” at which point such “contracts…have an end.” This applies only to contracts, oaths, etc., that are not made by the Lord or by His word.

Marriage is a covenant

Marriage is accompanied by a covenant between a man and a woman (the marriage vows), therefore, it comes under the above conditions of the law of the new and everlasting covenant. There are three types of marriage covenants covered by the conditions of this law.

Marriage covenant #1: “not by me nor by my word,” for time only

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

Here we have a man and a woman entering a marriage covenant, in which the man covenants to be the woman’s husband and the woman covenants to be the man’s wife. The covenant has a stated duration of “’till death do they part.” The marriage is not performed by the Lord nor by His word, therefore it is valid in the eyes of the Lord only until one of them dies.

Marriage covenant #2: “not by me or by my word,” for time and all eternity

And again, verily I say unto you, if a man marry a wife, and make a covenant with her for time and for all eternity, if that covenant is not by me or by my word, which is my law, and is not sealed by the Holy Spirit of promise, through him whom I have anointed and appointed unto this power, then it is not valid neither of force when they are out of the world, because they are not joined by me, saith the Lord, neither by my word; when they are out of the world it cannot be received there, because the angels and the gods are appointed there, by whom they cannot pass; they cannot, therefore, inherit my glory; for my house is a house of order, saith the Lord God. (D&C 132: 18.)

Here we have a man and a woman entering a marriage covenant, in which the man covenants to be the woman’s husband and the woman covenants to be the man’s wife. The covenant has a stated duration of “’for time and all eternity.” The covenant is not performed by the Lord nor by His word, therefore it is valid in the eyes of the Lord only until one of them dies.

Marriage covenant #3: “by my word, which is my law,” “in time, and through all eternity”

And again, verily I say unto you, if a man marry a wife by my word, which is my law, and by the new and everlasting covenant, and it is sealed unto them by the Holy Spirit of promise, by him who is anointed, unto whom I have appointed this power and the keys of this priesthood; and it shall be said unto them—Ye shall come forth in the first resurrection; and if it be after the first resurrection, in the next resurrection; and shall inherit thrones, kingdoms, principalities, and powers, dominions, all heights and depths—then shall it be written in the Lamb’s Book of Life, that he shall commit no murder whereby to shed innocent blood, and if ye abide in my covenant, and commit no murder whereby to shed innocent blood, it shall be done unto them in all things whatsoever my servant hath put upon them, in time, and through all eternity; and shall be of full force when they are out of the world; and they shall pass by the angels, and the gods, which are set there, to their exaltation and glory in all things, as hath been sealed upon their heads, which glory shall be a fulness and a continuation of the seeds forever and ever. (D&C 132: 19.)

Finally, we have a man and a woman entering the new and everlasting covenant of marriage, being married by the word of the Lord and having it sealed to them by the Holy Spirit of promise. He covenants to be her husband and she covenants to be his wife, for the duration of time and all eternity. This covenant is valid in the eyes of the Lord for as long as they abide in it.

All three marriage covenants are ordained of God

And again, verily I say unto you, that whoso forbiddeth to marry is not ordained of God, for marriage is ordained of God unto man. (D&C 49: 15; italics added.)

The first two marriage covenant scenarios, which operate under temporal power and authority, are ordained of God until death. The final marriage covenant scenario, which operates under eternal power and authority, is ordained of God through all eternity.

Marriage is ordained of God because it creates permanency

God is all about creating permanency: things that remain.

For whatsoever things remain are by me; and whatsoever things are not by me shall be shaken and destroyed. (D&C 132: 14.)

The only difference between fornication (unlawful sexual relations) and marriage (lawful sexual relations) is the idea of a permanent union. God wants men and women to come together and have sex (become one flesh), and He wants them to remain together, continuing to have sex. The marriage covenant is a covenant or contract to remain together permanently, as husband and wife, either until death or throughout all eternity. It is the fleeting, temporary nature of fornication that makes it wrong.

When two people come together and make love, the love demonstrated and generated is intended by God to continue on forever. It is supposed to remain. The marriage bonds keep people connected (and gathered) so that they continue to nurture and grow the love generated between them. God is love, so the scriptures say, therefore, He is all-loving and never stops loving. To come together and make love and then leave (separate from one another) is akin to stop loving (stop becoming one). God wants us to continue to manifest our love for one another, through the marital covenants. In this way we learn to become like Him, all-loving and continually loving.

No mention of a State licensing requirement

In the scriptures, there is no mention of the need to have a valid state marriage license. All that is needed for a marriage to occur is that there be a marriage covenant between a man and a woman. That’s it. The marriage covenant can be written or verbal. It doesn’t matter. It can be ordained “by thrones, or principalities, or powers,” in other words, by the State, but it doesn’t have to be. It can simply be “ordained of men,” even the two people entering the covenant (the man and the woman), or even by “things of name, whatsoever they may be.”

This means that two people who enter into a marriage covenant with each other, without a State marriage license, without a religious or civil ceremony, the man agreeing to be the woman’s husband and the woman agreeing to be the man’s wife, who then begin living together and making love, presenting themselves publicly as husband and wife, are not living in sin. They are not fornicating. They have nothing to repent of for they have satisfied the conditions of the law of the new and everlasting covenant. Their marriage is ordained of God.

No mention of a wedding ceremony

The scriptures do not state that a wedding ceremony is necessary for a marriage to be valid. Typically, wedding ceremonies do occur, according to the customs of the culture the two people are from, but they are not necessary for a marriage to be valid in the eyes of God. Only the covenant is the necessary part.

No mention of witnesses

A third person can be present while the two make their marriage vows (the marriage covenant), but that is not required by the law of the new and everlasting covenant. They can enter their covenant in private, just the two of them and it’s still valid in the eyes of God.

Conflict between God and the Church

This brings up a conflict because a married couple that does not get State permission to be married is seen differently by God and the Church. In the eyes of God, they are married. In the eyes of the (modern) Church, they are not. (It was not always so.  There was a time when the Church recognized marriages as valid even without a marriage license.)  As the Church holds the keys of the priesthood, despite a couple being validly married in the eyes of God, they can be prohibited from receiving baptism, confirmation, priesthood and the temple sealing, all required ordinances for their salvation. The modern Church, then, in not recognizing a marriage as valid in the same way God does, becomes a stumbling block to their eternal progression.

Consent in marriage

Both before and after a man and a woman come together in holy matrimony (and since all marriage is ordained of God, including non-temple marriage, all matrimony is holy), the law of common consent applies. So, for example, if the couple enters marriage with vows of fidelity, meaning that they promise to abstain from loving (making love to) other people, they must keep their vows. It is the law of the Lord that all our vows and covenants and oaths be kept, for it is a sin to break a vow. Thus, a man must receive consent from his wife to marry a second wife and a woman must receive consent from her husband to marry another husband.

If they enter the marriage with no vows of abstinence and they decide they want more spouses and they receive consent from their current spouses, they may freely marry without sinning. If, on the other hand, they enter the marriage with vows of abstinence and they decide afterward that they want more spouses in their family, they can, with consent, release one another from their vows of abstinence and then consent to additional spouses. This also is not sin, for vows can be freely made and released, as long as the person to whom the vow was made is doing the releasing.

Sin in marriage

The sin of adultery occurs when a married woman is with a man who is not her spouse. Scripturally, all women who enter marriage apparently do so under a vow of abstinence (fidelity), whether they are married by the word of the Lord or not. Therefore, if she is with another man that is not her spouse, she commits adultery.

On the man’s part, it is only if he has taken a vow of abstinence (fidelity) and is with another woman who is not his wife that he commits adultery. If, on the other hand, he has not taken a vow of fidelity, (in other words, his wife gives him permission to sleep around), and is with an unmarried woman who is not his wife, he has committed the sin of fornication (sexual sin) but not adultery unless the other woman who is not his spouse is married to another man, in which case he has committed adultery (See D&C 132: 41-44 and The many definitions of adultery for more on these laws.)

(The above two paragraphs may seem confusing, but it all boils down to this: if you sleep with someone who is your spouse, there is no sin. On the other hand, if you sleep with someone who is not your spouse, you commit sin. So, to avoid sin, either don’t sleep with a person who is not your spouse or marry him or her before engaging in sexual intercourse.)

If a husband separates from his wife or a wife separates from her husband, so as to purposefully and permanently live apart from one another, this also is sin. There is only one scriptural justification for marital separation and that is if the one being left behind has committed unrepentant fornication (sexual sin). The purpose of the temporary separation is to help the sinner to repent of his or her sin. Once repentance occurs, the couple should come together again and be reconciled, forgiving one another.

Polygyny is not sin

And again, as pertaining to the law of the priesthood—if any man espouse a virgin, and desire to espouse another, and the first give her consent, and if he espouse the second, and they are virgins, and have vowed to no other man, then is he justified; he cannot commit adultery for they are given unto him; for he cannot commit adultery with that that belongeth unto him and to no one else.

And if he have ten virgins given unto him by this law, he cannot commit adultery, for they belong to him, and they are given unto him; therefore is he justified. (D&C 132: 61-62; italics added.)

If a woman gives consent to her husband to take additional wives, releasing him from any vows of fidelity he may have had, and giving him permission to marry this or that woman, he is justified in taking on the additional wives, for it is marriage with consent and marriage is ordained of God.

When taking on a second wife, the man needs the consent of the first wife. When taking on a third wife, the man needs the consent of the first two wives, and so on and so forth. As long as all give consent, there is no sin.

Polygyny, whether practiced in the new and everlasting covenant (the law of the priesthood), or practiced in a for-time, man-made covenant, is ordained of God as long as consent is given by the wife or wives of the man.

Polyandry is not sin

In the new and everlasting covenant, there are two ways in which a woman get can an additional husband. One way is that she is simply sealed to a second (or third, etc.) husband.

And as ye have asked concerning adultery, verily, verily, I say unto you, if a man receiveth a wife in the new and everlasting covenant, and if she be with another man, and I have not appointed unto her by the holy anointing, she hath committed adultery and shall be destroyed. (D&C 132: 41; italics added.)

The second way is that her husband breaks his marriage vows and commits adultery, whereby she is taken and given (married) to another man. She remains married to the first husband, for the word ‘taken” doesn’t explicitly mean that she has received a divorce.

And if she hath not committed adultery, but is innocent and hath not broken her vow, and she knoweth it, and I reveal it unto you, my servant Joseph, then shall you have power, by the power of my Holy Priesthood, to take her and give her unto him that hath not committed adultery but hath been faithful; for he shall be made ruler over many. (D&C 132: 44; italics added.)

Outside of the new and everlasting covenant, a woman may obtain a second marriage through consent of her current husband or husbands, in the same way as discussed above for polygyny. Like polygyny, polyandry is ordained of God, as long as consent is given by all parties involved.

Objections to polyandry unfounded

LDS men may object to polyandry based upon the following scripture:

And again, as pertaining to the law of the priesthood—if any man espouse a virgin, and desire to espouse another, and the first give her consent, and if he espouse the second, and they are virgins, and have vowed to no other man, then is he justified; he cannot commit adultery for they are given unto him; for he cannot commit adultery with that that belongeth unto him and to no one else.

And if he have ten virgins given unto him by this law, he cannot commit adultery, for they belong to him, and they are given unto him; therefore is he justified. (D&C 132: 61-62; italics added.)

These verses only state that a man cannot commit adultery with a wife that belongs to him and to no one else. They do not state that a man commits adultery with a wife that belongs to both him and someone else. The gospel is all about joint-ownership, or becoming joint-heirs with Christ of all things that the Father has. There is no gospel law against a wife belonging to two or more husbands, or to a husband belonging to two or more wives. The scriptures do not prohibit such an arrangement. To make this assumption is to wrest them.

Not giving consent to marry is sin

When a man wishes to take an additional wife and his current wife or wives do not give their consent (the keys of this power), they sin because they are forbidding him from marrying, making them not ordained of God. Likewise, when a woman wishes to take an additional husband and her current husband or husbands do not give consent, the husbands become sinners in forbidding her from marrying.

The law of Sarah is applicable to both men and women:

And again, verily, verily, I say unto you, if any man have a wife, who holds the keys of this power, and he teaches unto her the law of my priesthood, as pertaining to these things, then shall she believe and administer unto him, or she shall be destroyed, saith the Lord your God; for I will destroy her; for I will magnify my name upon all those who receive and abide in my law.

Therefore, it shall be lawful in me, if she receive not this law, for him to receive all things whatsoever I, the Lord his God, will give unto him, because she did not believe and administer unto him according to my word; and she then becomes the transgressor; and he is exempt from the law of Sarah, who administered unto Abraham according to the law when I commanded Abraham to take Hagar to wife. (D&C 132: 64-65; italics added.)

The transgression consists in forbidding to marry, which makes the person doing the forbidding “not ordained of God.”

A secondary and third transgression

When consent is not given, because marriage is labeled sin, a second transgression occurs: calling that which is holy, or ordained of God, evil. Satan wants no one to be married. He would rather that everyone sleep around without entering into marriage covenants with each other. When monogamy is labeled holy matrimony but polygyny or polyandry is labeled sin, this works into his hands, for then he can tempt mankind to break their marriage vows and commit sin. Giving consent to marry more than one spouse keeps the law of chastity intact, stopping Satan in his tracks.

The third transgression comes from judging others as sinners, who have done no sin. All marriage between a man and woman, whether singly or in multiple spouse form, is ordained of God, but if the multiple spouse form is looked upon as sin, or if a marriage without a marriage license is looked upon as sin, then the people who engage in these righteous practices will be looked upon as sinners.

Plural marriage engenders charity

In particular, modern LDS need to stop painting plural marriage (the multiple-husband multiple-wife marriage system) as undesirable or evil. Under such a system, children have multiple fathers and multiple mothers (though only one biological mother). Any husband will look upon all children born to his wives as his children, regardless of whether they are his biological seed or not. This engenders charity, because all husbands/fathers will care for all the children, not just their own. In other words, all children will become alike to them:

And I am filled with charity, which is everlasting love; wherefore, all children are alike unto me; wherefore, I love little children with a perfect love; and they are all alike and partakers of salvation. (Moro. 8: 17.)

Plural marriage retains agency

Agency remains fully intact with plural marriage consent, allowing people to open up their hearts and love those around them in the most intimate manner possible, all the while remaining justified before the Lord. This more fully knits people’s hearts together in unity. Without such consent, love must be limited, even if the desire to love more fully exists, which also limits agency and causes distance between people.

Plural marriage creates Zion

And ye shall hereafter receive church covenants, such as shall be sufficient to establish you, both here and in the New Jerusalem. (D&C 42: 67.)

There are certain covenants given to the Gentile Mormons that are sufficient to establish them in Zion. One is the law of consecration, in which they freely share of their substance. Another is the United Order, in which they bind themselves by covenant to establish Zion. Yet another is the new and everlasting covenant of marriage (plural marriage) in which they freely give of their love and hearts in plural marriages, essentially sharing their spouses with other spouses.

Of the three covenants, though, plural marriage is probably the most powerful, for if one is able to give consent to freely share one’s spouse with other spouses, effectively eliminating all jealousy and envy, sharing everything else would be a snap.

Plural marriage corresponds to nature

As the research revealed in the book Sex at Dawn reveals, by nature mankind’s sexuality is a multiplemale-multiplefemale mating system. God has ordained marriage to exactly correspond to our natural sexual desires and nature, so that we may live out our lives free from guilt and shame, in joy, happiness and pleasure.

Plural marriage causes rapid formation of super-strong tribes

Because marriage bonds go in every direction, everyone becomes related to everyone else, in the most intimate way. The concept of distant relations becomes blurred, as all become intimate members of one’s immediate family through marriage. The group, being linked in this way, becomes and acts as a tribe, but also as an intimate family, everyone seeking the interest of his neighbor, for his neighbor is a close family relation.

Instead of tribes growing slowly as tribal members have children who grow up and marry and have children of themselves, plural marriage has the ability to rapidly infuse a tribe with large groups of people, while retaining the intimate relationship aspects of the immediate family. Child-birth is maximized, so that every woman who wants children can have as many as she desires, thus allowing the tribe to grow as quickly as possible.

Conclusion

And again, verily I say unto you, that whoso forbiddeth to marry is not ordained of God, for marriage is ordained of God unto man. (D&C 49: 15.)

When taken at face value, the above scripture is plainly shown to be true. Marriage is a divine institution which has been given to us to maximize our happiness here on Earth, in accordance with the principles of nature, and in preparation for glory to be added in heaven. To remain on God’s side on this issue, men, women, parents, churches, the State and spouses need to follow and encourage others to follow this two-step rule:

1) Don’t forbid anyone from marrying (not even your own spouse) and 2) look upon all marriage between a man and a woman as ordained of God.

Inspiration behind this post

I had read the arguments that Christian polygamists make about not needing a valid state marriage license, but had never actually taken the time to do any research and come to any conclusion about it. It was Justin’s Tribal Relationships post that introduced me to the Sex at Dawn research, which, upon reviewing it, got me thinking about what exactly marriage is and what it is all about. This post is a result of my decision to take a look at the scriptures with the Sex at Dawn research in mind. If you still don’t know where I’m coming from, I encourage you to read the following posts, as this article is influenced by, and builds upon, them: Tribal worship services, Establishing the tribes of Israel: the real reason for plural marriage, The tribal nature of the gospel, The Return of Polygamy, The many definitions of adultery, Deep Waters: How many wives? How many husbands?, and An alternate view of the keys.

Complete List of Articles authored by LDS Anarchist