“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 Priesthood


Background on this post

I wish to thank Jahnihah for his essay on priesthood, which made me realize that I had always just accepted the standard definition of priesthood without actually verifying it with the scriptures.  I was then inspired to search the Standard Works with priesthood as my research topic, which, I’m embarrassed to say, I had never done before.  This post contains the findings of that research.

As a general outline for this topic, I used (loosely) Chapter 13 of the new Melchizedek Priesthood/Relief Society Manual, Gospel Principles.  Click the link to compare versions.

What Is the Priesthood?

The priesthood is a language that only God speaks. It is as eternal as God Himself is.

Which priesthood continueth in the church of God in all generations, and is without beginning of days or end of years. (D&C 84: 17)

Priesthood rights “are inseparably connected [to] the powers of heaven” (D&C 121: 36), and thus priesthood is all powerful when spoken.  Priesthood possesses the authority (keys) of God, which is recognized by the entire universe as valid in locking (sealing) and unlocking (loosing) all things.

For the firstborn holds the right of the presidency over this priesthood, and the keys or authority of the same.  (D&C 68: 17)

Through the priesthood, God created and governs the heavens and the earth.

For behold, by the power of his word [priesthood] man came upon the face of the earth, which earth was created by the power of his word [priesthood]. Wherefore, if God being able to speak [priesthood] and the world was, and to speak [priesthood] and man was created, O then, why not able to command the earth, or the workmanship of his hands upon the face of it, according to his will and pleasure?  (Jacob 4: 9)

I am the same which spake [priesthood], and the world was made, and all things came by me.  (D&C 38: 3)

By the power (agency) and authority (keys) of the priesthood, the universe is kept in perfect order.  Through this God-language, God accomplishes His work and glory, which is “to bring to pass the immortality and eternal life of man.”

And as one earth shall pass away, and the heavens thereof even so shall another come; and there is no end to my works, neither to my words [priesthood].  For behold, this is my work and my glory—to bring to pass the immortality and eternal life of man.  (Moses 1: 38-39)

Priesthood is a combination of the spoken (audible) word and a gesture (silent) language.  There are three other components to priesthood (to be explained later), which, when present, make it validly “spoken.”

Although the priesthood is a language that only God speaks, He may, and often does, allow worthy sons of His to obtain the right to speak it.  Because the priesthood is a language specific to God alone, when men who hold this right speak it with all 5 components, it is as if God himself is the speaker and the very powers of heaven attend to the pronouncement.

What I the Lord have spoken, I have spoken, and I excuse not myself; and though the heavens and the earth pass away, my word shall not pass away, but shall all be fulfilled, whether by mine own voice or by the voice of my servants, it is the same. (D&C 1: 38)

And calling upon the name of God, he beheld his glory again, for it was upon him; and he heard a voice, saying: Blessed art thou, Moses, for I, the Almighty, have chosen thee, and thou shalt be made stronger than many waters; for they shall obey thy command as if thou wert God. (Moses 1: 25)

And he shall be thy spokesman unto the people: and he shall be, even he shall be to thee instead of a mouth, and thou shalt be to him instead of God. (Ex. 4: 16)

And the Lord said unto Moses, See, I have made thee a god to Pharaoh: and Aaron thy brother shall be thy prophet.  (Ex. 7: 1)

All priesthood is centered in, comes from, and points to Christ.  Christ is known as the Word (the Priesthood), even the Priesthood made flesh.

For in the beginning was the Word, even the Son, who is made flesh, and sent unto us by the will of the Father, And as many as believe on his name shall receive of his fulness. And of his fullness have all we received, even immortality and eternal life, through his grace.  (JST John 1: 16)

Christ is the physical embodiment of the priesthood, therefore, as Christ saves all things, the priesthood likewise has as its purpose the salvation of all things.  When God confers the rights of the priesthood upon men, it enables them to act in Christ’s name for the salvation of the human family.  Through it, they can be authorized to preach the gospel, administer the ordinances of salvation, and teach the members of God’s kingdom on earth, so that they govern themselves.

Again, Christ is the Priesthood, therefore, to receive the priesthood is synonymous with receiving Christ.

And also all they who receive this priesthood receive me, saith the Lord;  (D&C 84: 35)

Those who receive the priesthood become like Christ, even priesthood made flesh.

For ye are lawful heirs, according to the flesh, and have been hid from the world with Christ in God—  (D&C 86: 9)

And I will make of thee a great nation, and I will bless thee above measure, and make thy name great among all nations, and thou shalt be a blessing unto thy seed after thee, that in their hands they shall bear this ministry and Priesthood unto all nations; and I will bless them through thy name; for as many as receive this Gospel shall be called after thy name, and shall be accounted thy seed, and shall rise up and bless thee, as their father; and I will bless them that bless thee, and curse them that curse thee; and in thee (that is, in thy Priesthood) and in thy seed (that is, thy Priesthood), for I give unto thee a promise that this right shall continue in thee, and in thy seed after thee (that is to say, the literal seed, or the seed of the body) shall all the families of the earth be blessed, even with the blessings of the Gospel, which are the blessings of salvation, even of life eternal.  (Abr. 2: 9-11; in other words, whoever receives the Priesthood, becoming priesthood made flesh, becomes the seed of Abraham, who was also priesthood made flesh; see also D&C 84: 34)

As Christ is Savior, through the reception of the priesthood, men also become a savior.

Therefore, blessed are ye if ye continue in my goodness, a light unto the Gentiles, and through this priesthood, a savior unto my people Israel. The Lord hath said it. Amen.  (D&C 86: 11)

Why Do We Need the Priesthood on the Earth?

We must have priesthood authority (keys) to act in the name of God when performing the sacred ordinances of the gospel, such as baptism, confirmation, administration of the sacrament, and temple marriage.  If a man does not have the priesthood, even though he may be sincere, the Lord will not recognize ordinances he performs (see Matthew 7: 21-23; Articles of Faith 1: 5).  These important ordinances must be performed on the earth by men who have obtained the rights of the priesthood.

Men need the priesthood to preside in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and to direct the work of the church in all parts of the world.  When Christ lived on the earth, He chose His apostles and ordained them so that they could lead His church.  He gave them the power and authority of the priesthood to act in His name.  (See Mark 3: 13-15; John 15: 16.)

Another reason the priesthood is needed on the earth is to teach the plan of salvation so that we can understand the will of the Lord.

And again, my brethren, I would cite your minds forward to the time when the Lord God gave these commandments unto his children; and I would that ye should remember that the Lord God ordained priests, after his holy order, which was after the order of his Son, to teach these things unto the people. (Alma 13: 1)

Priesthood is also needed to carry out the purposes of God.  For example, it is the purpose of God that every husband and father in Israel receive the priesthood, thus becoming like Christ.  This benefits the husband/father (as he receives exaltation), as well as his wife and children (as they obtain within their very home a type of Christ, pointing the way to Christ.)

And those priests were ordained after the order of his Son, in a manner that thereby the people might know in what manner to look forward to his Son for redemption. (Alma 13: 2)

It also benefits the world in general, for they, like the wives and children, learn how to be saved.

Now these ordinances were given after this manner, that thereby the people might look forward on the Son of God, it being a type of his order, or it being his order, and this that they might look forward to him for a remission of their sins, that they might enter into the rest of the Lord. (Alma 13: 16)

Also, with the husbands/fathers of Israel as priesthood made flesh (Christ types), God can show forth His arm of power, His wonders, in the eyes of all the nations, as priesthood is “inseparably connected with the powers of heaven” (D&C 121: 36).

Why Do Only Men Obtain Priesthood?

Although this question is not explicitly answered in the scriptures, one implicit reason is that the priesthood is meant to point mankind to Christ.  By design, then, one who receives the priesthood not only behaves like Christ, but also looks like Christ. All men, when they grow their hair long and allow their beards to grow full and bushy, bear the image of Christ.  The deep voice and manly physique also contribute to the perception that each man is in the similitude of the Son of God.  This similitude, coupled with the reception of the priesthood, works upon the hearts and minds of men, women and children and turns their attention to Christ.

How Do Men Receive the Priesthood?

Obtaining the rights of the priesthood is not the same as receiving the priesthood.  Let’s talk first about how the rights of the priesthood are obtained.

The Lord has prepared an orderly way for the rights of His priesthood to be conferred upon His sons on the earth.  A worthy male obtains the priesthood “by the laying on of hands by those who are in authority, to preach the Gospel and administer in the ordinances thereof” (Articles of Faith 1: 5).  Usually, it is only a worthy male member of the church who can obtain the priesthood, but sometimes the priesthood is conferred upon worthy male non-members.  Only those who have had the rights of the priesthood conferred upon them can ordain others, and they can do so only when authorized by those who hold the keys (authority) for that ordination.

The first part to receiving the priesthood is obtaining the rights to officiate.

High priests after the order of the Melchizedek Priesthood have a right to officiate in their own standing, under the direction of the presidency, in administering spiritual things, and also in the office of an elder, priest (of the Levitical order), teacher, deacon, and member.  An elder has a right to officiate in his stead when the high priest is not present.  The high priest and elder are to administer in spiritual things, agreeable to the covenants and commandments of the church; and they have a right to officiate in all these offices of the church when there are no higher authorities present.  (D&C 107: 10-12)

This happens by the laying on of hands and requires only that the man being ordained is righteous (worthy), meaning that he is justified (guiltless) before the Lord, being right according to the law of God, having received a remission of his sins.

Using the rights of the priesthood requires more than justification (righteousness).

That the rights of the priesthood are inseparably connected with the powers of heaven, and that the powers of heaven cannot be controlled nor handled only upon the principles of righteousness. (D&C 121: 36)

It also requires purification and sanctification.

Now, as I said concerning the holy order, or this high priesthood, there were many who were ordained and became high priests of God; and it was on account of their exceeding faith and repentance, and their righteousness before God (justification), they choosing to repent and work righteousness rather than to perish; therefore they were called after this holy order, and were sanctified (sanctification), and their garments were washed white through the blood of the Lamb (purification).  Now they, after being sanctified by the Holy Ghost (sanctification), having their garments made white (purification), being pure and spotless before God (purification), could not look upon sin save it were with abhorrence (purification); and there were many, exceedingly great many, who were made pure (purification) and entered into the rest of the Lord their God.  (Alma 13: 10-12)

When the rights of the priesthood are exercised by a justified (righteous), purified and sanctified (holy) man, the powers of heaven manifest themselves.  This is according to the promise of God.

For God having sworn unto Enoch and unto his seed with an oath by himself; that every one being ordained after this order and calling should have power, by faith, to break mountains, to divide the seas, to dry up waters, to turn them out of their course; to put at defiance the armies of nations, to divide the earth, to break every band, to stand in the presence of God; to do all things according to his will, according to his command, subdue principalities and powers; and this by the will of the Son of God which was from before the foundation of the world.  And men having this faith, coming up unto this order of God, were translated and taken up into heaven. (JST Gen. 14: 30-32)

A man who has obtained the rights of the priesthood through justification may receive the priesthood itself by purifying and sanctifying himself, through the operation of the baptism of fire and of the Holy Ghost, because of his exceeding faith, hope and charity.  (See Moroni 7.)  In this manner, the man becomes like Christ (see Moroni 7: 48) and qualifies himself for receiving the priesthood and being “ordained by the Lord God” Himself, “by the calling of His own voice, according to His own will.”

And it was delivered unto men by the calling of his own voice, according to his own will, unto as many as believed on his name. (JST Gen. 14: 29)

And again, my brethren, I would cite your minds forward to the time when the Lord God gave these commandments unto his children; and I would that ye should remember that the Lord God ordained priests, after his holy order, which was after the order of his Son, to teach these things unto the people.  (Alma 13: 1)

Thus, the last part to receiving the priesthood, the bestowal of priesthood power, is solely performed by the Lord and depends upon whether the priest magnifies his calling through sanctification by the Spirit unto the renewing of his body (priesthood made flesh).

For whoso is faithful unto the obtaining these two priesthoods of which I have spoken, and the magnifying their calling, are sanctified by the Spirit unto the renewing of their bodies.  (D&C 84: 33)

Men who receive the priesthood have it confirmed upon them by the Lord’s own voice out of the heavens.

And wo unto all those who come not unto this priesthood which ye have received, which I now confirm upon you who are present this day, by mine own voice out of the heavens; and even I have given the heavenly hosts and mine angels charge concerning you.  (D&C 84: 42)

In this way, the Lord reserves to Himself the final ordination necessary for priesthood reception, just as He alone is the one who baptizes with fire and the Holy Ghost.

And it came to pass that when Jesus had spoken these words unto Nephi, and to those who had been called, (now the number of them who had been called, and received power and authority to baptize, was twelve) and behold, he stretched forth his hand unto the multitude, and cried unto them, saying: Blessed are ye if ye shall give heed unto the words of these twelve whom I have chosen from among you to minister unto you, and to be your servants; and unto them I have given power that they may baptize you with water; and after that ye are baptized with water, behold, I will baptize you with fire and with the Holy Ghost; therefore blessed are ye if ye shall believe in me and be baptized, after that ye have seen me and know that I am.  (3 Ne. 12: 1)

All men, then, are “on the same standing” (Alma 13: 5).  Those who wish to qualify themselves for reception of the priesthood “on account of their exceeding faith and repentance” (Alma 13: 10) will receive it, while those who “would reject the Spirit of God on account of the hardness of their hearts and blindness of their minds” (Alma 13: 4) will not receive it, though they may have the rights of the priesthood conferred upon them.

We have been told that there are many called to the priesthood, who have obtained the rights to the priesthood, but few among them are chosen to receive it.

Behold, there are many called, but few are chosen. And why are they not chosen?

•  •  •

Hence many are called, but few are chosen.  (D&C 121: 34, 40)

Men cannot buy and sell the power and authority of the priesthood.  Nor can they take this authority upon themselves.  In the New Testament we read of a man named Simon who lived when Christ’s apostles presided over (served) the church.  Simon became converted and was baptized into the church.  Because he was a skillful magician, the people believed he had the power of God.  But Simon did not have the priesthood, and he knew it.

Simon knew that the apostles and the other priesthood leaders of the church had received the priesthood, for the powers of heaven were manifest among them.

Then Simon himself believed also: and when he was baptized, he continued with Philip, and wondered, beholding the miracles and signs which were done. (Acts 8: 13)

He saw them use their priesthood to do the Lord’s work, and he wanted this power for himself.  He offered to buy the priesthood.  (See Acts 8: 9-19.)  But Peter, the chief apostle, said, “Thy money perish with thee, because thou hast thought that the gift of God may be purchased with money” (Acts 8: 20).

Ecclesiastical Abuse: How the Priesthood Is Misused and What to Do About It

The priesthood is to be used to serve our Heavenly Father’s children here on earth, converting the priest into a servant or minister of all.  Priesthood holders should serve in love and kindness, not rule like Gentile kings.

But Jesus called them to him, and saith unto them, Ye know that they which are accounted to rule over the Gentiles exercise lordship over them; and their great ones exercise authority upon them.  (Mark 10: 42)

Any attempt to convert the minister-servant role of priest into the pomp and prestige of a Gentile ruler by undertaking “to cover our sins, or to gratify our pride, our vain ambition, or to exercise control or dominion or compulsion upon the souls of the children of men, in any degree of unrighteousness” (D&C 121: 37) results in immediate condemnation by the Lord, even if the ecclesiastical abuse is not known or corrected by the church.  Ecclesiastical abuse in any form or degree brings immediate damnation upon the priesthood officer and, even before the abuser is aware, he is left alone without the Spirit and subject to the spirit of the devil, to persecute the saints within his congregation, who have been placed within his care and ministry.  He then becomes a wolf in sheep’s clothing, fighting against God.  (In the view of the abuser, it is the saints who are the wolves and he is doing “God’s work.”)

Those who engage in ecclesiastical abuse will use the high-sounding title of their priesthood office (bishop, stake president, etc.) to engage in power-plays and submission tests to try to force or compel the members of the congregation to submit to their authority and do what they want them to do.  They will gratify their pride and label all those saints who resist such tyranny as apostates and accuse them of the sin of rebellion.  Ecclesiastical abuse takes many forms, but the following are listed in scripture:

1) undertaking to cover our sins

2) undertaking to gratify our pride

3) undertaking to gratify our vain ambition

4) undertaking to exercise control or dominion or compulsion upon the souls of the children of men

The saints of God within any ward or branch of the church, being sanctified (made holy) by the Spirit of God, naturally resist tyranny in all of its forms.  Like captain Moroni, they “seek not for power, but to pull it down” (Alma 60: 36).  They do not follow the precepts of men except when those precepts are given by the Holy Ghost.  This puts them directly at odds with any ecclesiastical abuser who is a priesthood leader that presides over them.  The rank and file (unsanctified) member is accustomed to following the brethren, not the Spirit, and will blindly follow the precepts of men given by an ecclesiastical abuser regardless of whether it is inspired or not.  These rank and file members will put the priesthood tyrant on a pedestal, gratifying his pride and vain ambition, covering his sins, and will, like the tyrant, look upon the saints resisting compulsion as disobedient apostates and trouble-makers.

These conditions are to be expected among the church for as long as it remains unsanctified and under condemnation, for “it is the nature and disposition of almost all men, as soon as they get a little authority, as they suppose, they will immediately begin to exercise unrighteous dominion” (D&C 121: 39).

Which vanity and unbelief have brought the whole church under condemnation.And this condemnation resteth upon the children of Zion, even all.  And they shall remain under this condemnation until they repent and remember the new covenant, even the Book of Mormon and the former commandments which I have given them, not only to say, but to do according to that which I have written—  (D&C 84: 55-57)

This means that almost all men who hold the rights of the priesthood, including those who hold leadership positions and high offices, are by nature predisposed to act like tyrants.  There are but few (see D&C 121: 40) of the vast ensemble that do not engage in ecclesiastical abuse.  It is these few who pattern their lives after Christ, aspiring to be like Him and setting their hearts upon Him.  The rest (“almost all men”), which are the many, set their hearts “upon the things of this world, and aspire to the honors of men” (D&C 121: 35).  So the church, by and large, is led by ecclesiastical abusers, even tyrants, with the occasional man of Christ appearing among them, yet all these men have obtained the rights of the priesthood.

Because of the nature and disposition of men to be tyrants and the condition of the unsanctified and condemned (damned) church, the saints of God are to follow the admonition of Alma, which is to “trust no one to be your teacher nor your minister, except he be a man of God, walking in his ways and keeping his commandments” (Mosiah 23: 14) and the warning of Nephi:

Cursed is he that putteth his trust in man, or maketh flesh his arm, or shall hearken unto the precepts of men, save their precepts shall be given by the power of the Holy Ghost.  (2 Ne. 28: 31)

The Lord has left two means of dealing with ecclesiastical abuse: the law of common consent and the church courts.  If there are two or three witnesses to abuse, the procedure described in D&C 42: 78-93 may be used.  If there are no witnesses (or no willing witnesses), or if the church court system becomes entirely corrupt because the priesthood leadership will not allow a court to be convened or otherwise impedes the process (undertaking to cover up the sins of their fellow ecclesiastical abuser), the law of common consent can be used to de-fang tyrants.  If, however, the law of common consent fails due to rubber-stamping by the general membership, saints of God must resort solely to Alma and Nephi’s counsel, leaving the matter in the Lord’s hands.

Priesthood Organization: An Inverted Hierarchy

A hierarchy is defined as “a ruling body of clergy organized into orders or ranks, each subordinate to the one above it.”  It is true that the priesthood is organized into orders and ranks, but instead of rulers, it consists of servants.  The Lord’s “rulers” (Abr. 3: 23) are not rulers in the typical sense.  They are ministers and servants.

He that is ordained of God and sent forth, the same is appointed to be the greatest, notwithstanding he is the least and the servant of all. (D&C 50: 26)

In a typical rich household, the servants do not get the chief seats, do not get the first meal, are not the ones put up on a pedestal.

Then spake Jesus to the multitude, and to his disciples, saying, The Scribes and the Pharisees sit in Moses’ seat.  All, therefore, whatsoever they bid you observe, they will make you observe and do; for they are ministers of the law, and they make themselves your judges. But do not ye after their works; for they say, and do not.  For they bind heavy burdens and lay on men’s shoulders, and they are grievous to be borne; but they will not move them with one of their fingers.  And all their works they do to be seen of men. They make broad their phylacteries, and enlarge the borders of their garments, and love the uppermost rooms at feasts, and the chief seats in the synagogues, and greetings in the markets, and to be called of men, Rabbi, Rabbi, (which is master.) But be not ye called Rabbi; for one is your master, which is Christ; and all ye are brethren.  (JST Matt. 23: 1-5)

The priesthood is designed to be an inverted pyramd, or inverted hierarchy, with the greatest servants, meaning the meekest, most charitable servants, at the very bottom.  These are the least of all the kingdom of God, being servants of all.  Thus, the First Presidency is really the Last Presidency, or Bottom Presidency, being below all other presidencies, nevertheless, all priesthood offices and callings are placed by the Lord below, not above, the body of the church (the saints).

And are built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ himself being the chief corner stone; (Eph. 2: 20)

Not By Virtue of the Priesthood

By the Lord’s design, “no power or influence can or ought to be maintained by virtue of the priesthood” (D&C 121: 41), therefore, for instance, when any president or counselor of the First Presidency enters a room full of people or speaks before an audience, he is to be treated as a title-less servant, not as royalty.  His words and actions alone are to be taken into consideration, without considering, at all, his priesthood rank.  If his words and/or actions are persuasive, long-suffering, gentle, meek, kind and given with genuine love and in pure knowledge, we are to allow them to influence us or to have power over us, otherwise, we are to ignore them. This does him a great service, as people who are treated like royalty eventually begin acting as royalty.  This principle applies to every priesthood calling in the church: branch president, bishop, quorum president, high priest group leader, stake president, mission president, area authority, seventy, apostle, First Presidency counselor or prophet.  They are all to be treated as if they had no title or office, whatsoever.

The next priesthood body, the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, is not below the First Presidency, but above them, in the inverted hierarchy.  Yet, the Twelve are still just servants of the church body and are to be treated as such, just like the First Presidency.  The difference, though, lies in how the Twelve and First Presidency interact with each other, for the First Presidency is to serve the Twelve and not the other way around.

This pattern of the greater serving those who are lesser is to apply to all quorums of the priesthood, for even as “the Son of man came not to be ministered unto, but to minister” (Mark 10: 45), so are holders of the priesthood not to be ministered unto, but to minister, in their respective jurisdictions.

How Do Men Properly Use the Priesthood?

The word “minister” comes from the Latin minister, which means “servant.”  Our word “servant” comes from the Old French servir, which comes from the Latin servire, which means “to be a slave” or “to be a servant,” which comes from the Latin servus, which means “slave” or “servant.”  The only difference between a slave and a servant is that the servant is engaged in voluntary servitude while the slave is engaged in involuntary servitude.  With this in mind, we can think of a servant as a “voluntary slave.”  To properly use the priesthood, then, one must consider himself a servant, or voluntary slave, of all and act accordingly.  Even when called to preside, the use of the word “president” means, in the vernacular of the Lord, servant (or voluntary slave).

Which ordinance is instituted for the purpose of qualifying those who shall be appointed standing presidents or servants over different stakes scattered abroad;  (D&C 124: 134)

This is why the Lord uses the word “yoke.”

Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.  Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls.  For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.  (Matt. 11: 28-30)

We are yoked (as servants) with priesthood.  We are voluntarily enslaved.

Entering the priesthood with the proper mindset requires that one consider himself as nothing (see Mosiah 4: 11), even less than “the dust of the earth” (see Mosiah 2: 25-26).  This prepares a man to “enter the priesthood” and not merely “get the priesthood.”  Often we speak of the priesthood as something you get, receive, hold, as if it were a thing you could stick in your pocket.  It is true that the priesthood is “the gift of God” (see Acts 8: 20), but it is also true that it is an order that is entered into by ordination.  “Entering the priesthood” is meant to be a life-changing event, for it is through the priesthood that men can become like Christ, even priesthood made flesh. In that vein, entering the priesthood is synonymous with entering a life of selfless service, in which you use the rights of the priesthood, and the powers of heaven that are inseparably connected to them, to bless and minister to all the living creatures around you, and even to those who have died, through the work for the dead.

Priesthood Is the Antidote to “Natural Man Syndrome”

When priesthood functions as it was intended to function, as a corps of humble servants who are unable to maintain any power or influence by virtue of their priesthood office and calling, because all look upon them as title-less servants and listen to their counsel and follow their examples only to the degree that their counsel and examples square up with the scriptures, priesthood becomes an antidote to the natural disposition that men have to exercise unrighteous dominion upon others.  Only when priesthood offices and callings are lifted up in the eyes of the LDS people to the point where they give their leaders special treatment, like royalty, and they heed and “follow the brethren,” their leaders, because they have such high and holy callings, in other words, when the LDS people begin to give more weight to what a General Authority says because he is a General Authority, or more weight to what a stake president or bishop or branch president or any other president says, because of their titular callings, at that point the priesthood ceases to be the antidote and becomes, instead, the poison.  When the honors of men are found within the priesthood ranks and men begin to list the high priesthood offices they’ve held as merit badges and honorable ribbons, or as a job resume, it ceases to function as the true priesthood of God and becomes, instead, but a form of godliness, and not the real thing.

At that point, the powers of heaven will have withdrawn from these men and the work of miracles would have ceased.  No more angels, no more open visions, no more prophecies and revelations, no more miraculous power manifested.

I was answered that I must join none of them, for they were all wrong; and the Personage who addressed me said that all their creeds were an abomination in his sight; that those professors were all corrupt; that: “they draw near to me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me, they teach for doctrines the commandments of men, having a form of godliness, but they deny the power thereof.”  (JS-H 1: 19)

False Priesthoods: Royal In Nature

The transformation of the minister-servant status of priesthood into royalty status can be seen by examining how the priesthood operated during the time of Christ and how it has morphed over generations into the Catholic priesthood today.  The pope, cardinals and bishops dress, act and are treated as royalty.  Mormon priesthood appears to be following the same evolution.  Although Mormons don’t, yet, kiss their bishop’s rings (like Catholics do), Mormon priesthood leadership has many of the trappings of royalty, including getting the chief seats, partaking of the sacrament first, having people stand when a GA enters a room, etc.

How Keys are Lost (or Taken Away)

Both Mormon and Catholic priests claim a priesthood line of ordination that leads directly to Peter.  In the case of the Catholics, they claim an unbroken line of ordination to mortal Peter, while the Mormons claim an unbroken line of ordination to the angel Peter.  Each asserts that they have the keys (authority) of the priesthood, while the others do not.  The assertion, then, is that the priesthood of the other church is false because they have no keys.  So, by definition, a false priest, even though proper ordination has occurred, is one that asserts to have keys, but in reality has no keys.

A priest’s keys (authority) is immediately lost or taken away when a priest undertakes “to exercise control or dominion or compulsion upon the souls of the children of men” (D&C 121: 37) by virtue of the priesthood.  When authority is asserted because of an office of the priesthood, the Lord says, “Amen to…the authority (keys) of that man” (D&C 121: 37).

A man who has obtained the rights and keys of the priesthood, who acts in this manner, loses his keys (or has his keys taken away), becoming a false priest. For example, although the Catholic priests trace their priesthood back to Peter, they are false priests, for they assert their authority by virtue of their priesthood ordination and thus have no keys. They may have had the keys at one time, but due to wholesale, unrepentant, generational corruption, they have since lost them entirely, for you can not pass on what you no longer have.

Mormon priesthood keys can also be just as easily lost.  It matters not that one was ordained by someone with real priesthood authority who correctly conferred the rights and keys of the priesthood.  Regardless of how correct was the ordination, if priesthood is used contrary to the order of heaven, both the keys and powers of priesthood are instantly lost.  With repentence, they can be obtained again, but while a man persists in influencing others by virtue of the priesthood, that man has no valid authority and is a fraud, even a false priest.  When that happens, priesthood, in the hands of a false priest, instead of being a great blessing, becomes a curse to the people and church of God.

False priests “teach with their learning, and deny the Holy Ghost, which giveth utterance” (2 Ne. 28: 4), which makes them “false teachers.”  It is “because of false (priest) teachers” that “churches have become corrupted” (2 Ne. 28: 12).  It is important, then, to be able to discern a false from a true priest/teacher.  In this area, Jesus gave us some counsel:

Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves.  Ye shall know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes of thorns, or figs of thistles?  Even so every good tree bringeth forth good fruit; but a corrupt tree bringeth forth evil fruit.  A good tree cannot bring forth evil fruit, neither a corrupt tree bring forth good fruit.  Every tree that bringeth not forth good fruit is hewn down, and cast into the fire.  Wherefore, by their fruits ye shall know them.  (3 Ne. 14: 15-20)

This advice equally applies to false priests.  Notice that Jesus doesn’t say that “ye shall know them by their improper priesthood ordination.”  How they are ordained is not the most important thing in detecting ravening wolves.  How they use the priesthood shows them as being true or false priests.

The Priesthood and Women

It is through priesthood that men become exalted, for when they receive it, they receive Christ and the Father and all that the Father has.  This is according to the oath and covenant of the priesthood.  The doctrine of exaltation requires the union of man and woman in eternal marriage, but men must also receive the priesthood.  Women, however, obtain their exaltation by their union with their priest-husband.  A priest-husband who has received the priesthood, meaning he has become priesthood made flesh, in similitude of the Son of God, when he “cleaves to his wife,” becomes one flesh with her.  In this way, the wife shares in all of the exalting benefits of the priesthood and enters into her exaltation, just as does the husband.  This is according to the principle of charity.

The prize is the same for both of them: all that the Father has is given to her husband and to her, for she is one flesh with her husband and he is priesthood made flesh. As he has received the priesthood, and she has become one flesh with him, she has also received the priesthood.

This does not mean that she must perform the ordinances of the priesthood.  Each office of the priesthood has duties that vary from another office of the priesthood.  A deacon does not do what an elder does.  In like manner, a woman, wife and mother has duties different than any of the offices of the priesthood.  She is not ordained to these duties like a priest, for her calling begins at her birth.  She is given from the start the natural abilities and gifts needed to bear and nurture the souls of men and has no need for priesthood rights to be conferred upon her to magnify her calling.  She only needs the saving ordinances of the gospel, including the temple rites, the gift of the Holy Ghost, and the baptism of fire and of the Holy Ghost, to magnify her calling.  Nevertheless, the promise of exaltation lies with the priesthood, and for this matter she must enter into eternal marriage with a man who has received the priesthood and become one flesh with him to obtain her exaltation.

The Lord is merciful to all His daughters, as well to all His sons, and will not allow a disobedient husband who refuses to receive the priesthood to stop a wife worthy of exaltation from receiving it.  Nor will He allow a rebellious wife to prohibit her worthy-of-exaltation husband from receiving it.  Each man who justifies, purifies and sanctifies himself before God and obeys His commandments, will enter into his exaltation regardless of what his spouse does.  The same applies to women.

What Priests Really Hold

Although we “confer the priesthood,” in reality we are not conferring priesthood, but are conferring the rights to the priesthood.  The rights to the priesthood are the rights to administer the priesthood, or the rights to officiate in an office of the priesthood, meaning the rights to use the priesthood, or to speak this language of God. (See Abr. 1: 2-3, 27, 31; Abr. 2: 11; D&C 121: 36-37; D&C 107: 10-12.)  This pattern also applies to the ordinance of confirmation, in which it is said, “Receive the Holy Ghost!”  Are we really bestowing the Third Member of the Godhead upon the newly baptized member?  Of course, not.  We are merely giving them the gift of the Holy Ghost, which is the right to have the constant companionship of the Spirit.

The Key-words of the Priesthood

Facsimile #2 of the Book of Abraham has the following explanations of figures #3 and #7:

3. “representing also the grand Key-words of the Holy Priesthood”

7. “revealing through the heaven the grand Key-words of the Priesthood”

The Key-words of the priesthood are not some secret, magic words that, once known and spoken, grant the man speaking them unlimited access to the heavens and the powers thereof.  They are not secret words known only to the living prophet or Twelve apostles, or to other secret initiates.  No, the Key-words of the priesthood is the priesthood itself.

The priesthood is a language that is specific to, and spoken only by, God Himself.  It is the original tongue, the mother and father tongue, the words that brought everything into existence, including other languages (the languages of men).  The priesthood is the key-words that lock or unlock all things, or seal and unloose all things.  These are the words of power (agency), the words of authority (keys).  It is through the Key-words (the Priesthood) that every other word of God has come forth.  For example, the scriptures found in our Standard Works contain the Word of God revealed through the Key-words (Priesthood) of God.

Joseph added “of the Holy Priesthood” and “of the Priesthood” to his explanation of Key-words, because Key-words is a common term and could refer to many things.  So, he added that to indicate or clarify that he was talking of the Priesthood Key-words.  The term Key-words itself is used to indicate that the Priesthood is a language which holds authority (keys) in the universe.  Joseph says that “all to whom the Priesthood was revealed” have “the Key-words of the Holy Priesthood” revealed (see Fig. 3).  So, if you have had the Priesthood revealed to you, then you have also had the Key-words of the Priesthood revealed to you, for they are one and the same.

What Blessings Come When We Use the Priesthood Properly?

Answer: Faith, the presence of God, knowledge of God and exaltation.

Let thy bowels also be full of charity towards all men, and to the household of faith, and let virtue garnish thy thoughts unceasingly; then shall thy confidence wax strong in the presence of God; and the doctrine of the priesthood shall distil upon thy soul as the dews from heaven.  The Holy Ghost shall be thy constant companion, and thy scepter an unchanging scepter of righteousness and truth; and thy dominion shall be an everlasting dominion, and without compulsory means it shall flow unto thee forever and ever.  (D&C 121: 45-46)

The decisions of these quorums, or either of them, are to be made in all righteousness, in holiness, and lowliness of heart, meekness and long suffering, and in faith, and virtue, and knowledge, temperance, patience, godliness, brotherly kindness and charity; because the promise is, if these things abound in them they shall not be unfruitful in the knowledge of the Lord. (D&C 107: 30-31)

Now, what do we hear in the gospel which we have received? A voice of gladness! A voice of mercy from heaven; and a voice of truth out of the earth; glad tidings for the dead; a voice of gladness for the living and the dead; glad tidings of great joy. How beautiful upon the mountains are the feet of those that bring glad tidings of good things, and that say unto Zion: Behold, thy God reigneth! As the dews of Carmel, so shall the knowledge of God descend upon them!  (D&C 128: 19)

And also all they who receive this priesthood receive me, saith the Lord; for he that receiveth my servants receiveth me; and he that receiveth me receiveth my Father; and he that receiveth my Father receiveth my Father’s kingdom; therefore all that my Father hath shall be given unto him. And this is according to the oath and covenant which belongeth to the priesthood.  (D&C 84: 35-39)

Notice, also, that while the gift of the Holy Ghost gives us the right to the constant companionship of the Holy Ghost, receiving the priesthood actually causes the Holy Ghost to be one’s constant companion.  The meaning of this is that we become one (united) with God, meaning that we enter into the Godhead.  This is according to the Lord’s intercessory prayer.  (See John 17.)

Mormon Gentile Priesthood: A Temporary Measure

The priesthood given by God to the Gentile Mormons today is temporary in nature.  The first priesthood given, the Priesthood of Aaron, is a modified form of the original Priesthood of Aaron.  It has been tailored to fit the conditions (see D&C 46: 15) among the Gentile Mormons and will only remain with them until the Levites begin again to perform the Levitical Priesthood rites.

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

The second priesthood given, which is the Melchizedek Priesthood, will remain with the Gentile Mormons only until the restoration of all things, at which point it will be transferred to the tribes of Israel.

Therefore your life and the priesthood have remained, and must needs remain through you and your lineage until the restoration of all things spoken by the mouths of all the holy prophets since the world began.  (D&C 86: 10)

So, at some point in the future, the Melchizedek Priesthood will be restored to the tribes of Israel and the Levitical/Aaronic Priesthood will be restored to the Levites and the priesthoods among the Gentiles will be phased out so that Gentiles will no longer be able to obtain priesthood unless they renounce their Gentile status and become numbered with the house (tribes and Levites) of Israel.

Turn, all ye Gentiles, from your wicked ways; and repent of your evil doings, of your lyings and deceivings, and of your whoredoms, and of your secret abominations, and your idolatries, and of your murders, and your priestcrafts, and your envyings, and your strifes, and from all your wickedness and abominations, and come unto me, and be baptized in my name, that ye may receive a remission of your sins, and be filled with the Holy Ghost, that ye may be numbered with my people who are of the house of Israel. (3 Ne. 30: 2)

Next Priesthood article: An alternate view of the keys

Previous Priesthood article: Let the Aaronic Priesthood Do Home Teaching and Let the Elders Administer the Sacrament

Complete List of Articles authored by LDS Anarchist

Congruence vs. Obedience


Note: I found this essay while surfing the Internet this past week.  I took it from the mormon_anarchy Yahoo group.  Wake_Up posted it there on Sun Oct 8, 2000, as the fourth message and now I’m re-posting it here in a slightly edited fashion (I tried to correct some typos). I have also re-posted three more of his essays.  (See Why Father is an Anarchist, What the Priesthood Is, and Agency: The Single Principle for a Continuous War.)

Please keep in mind that I did not write this article. I tried to contact the author, (whose real name, according to Stirling D. Allen, is Jahnihah Wrede), but my email was returned as “Undelivered Mail Returned to Sender.”  If you want more information about him or his views, I suggest you visit his (now defunct) web site, which you can view by using the Way Back Machine.

Congruence vs. Obedience

It is self-evident to any lover of free agency that obedience to law is wholly Luciferian.

You are wanting to discontinue reading, aren’t you?

It’s totally backwards, right?

It’s so backwards that this is what the definition of something being self-evident means, correct?

That something is so obviously erroneous that to continue to give it space is a waste of time, yes?

It is obvious that if someone came along and proposed a system of governance that required a fabricated punishment beyond the natural consequences for any type of infraction or breach, you would recognize it as being a fraud filled with agony under compulsion and even tending to abusiveness, right ?

It also would be glaringly apparent that if this same fellow proposed such a system no one would volunteer into it, for to force them into such a system would be giving away the true intention and nature of this fellow, OK?

So, to make a statement like the one at the top of this article, it is self-evident WHO the author is, right ?

The author is Jesus Christ Himself and He said it in D&C 121 :34-40 and to Ancient Israel about the 10 Commandments, and most specifically in 1 Timothy 1:9:

“Knowing this, that the law is not made for a righteous man, but for the lawless and disobedient, for the ungodly and for sinners, for unholy and profane, for murderers of fathers and murderers of mothers, for manslayers…”

Breathe Neo, just breathe… Heck of a way to start out, huh ? It’s OK. A very wise man I know and love said,

“Put your preconceived notions on the shelf for a while, and after you have considered this info without bias, if you like you can pick up the old perceptions right back off the shelf where you left them.”

I don’t mean to preach anything new to you. I only wish to clarify something eternal that we somehow allowed to escape our view.

We define different words with their own meanings even though they may be very similar to one another. We might describe someone as ‘eccentric’ and another as ‘insane’; or ‘zealous’ from ‘fanatical’. Indeed it is what the whole of being ‘politically correct’ is founded upon. Most people have a good understanding of what the terms ‘law’ and ‘obedience’ mean, and also of ‘order’ and ‘congruence’.

There is literally a world of difference between ‘law’ and ‘order’, and between ‘obedience’ and ‘congruence’.

Let us take the typical understanding of ‘obedience’ found in the scriptures. Of course, most Christians believe that if you are not obedient, you are going to wind up in Hell, but obedient to what?  The law of God, of course. So, to be obedient, you have to know what God’s law is. Where is the law of God found?

Some Christians believe that the 10 Commandments are the law of God, and others believe that The Beatitudes of Jesus on the Mount of Olives is God’s law, and others say both. I don’t have to convince you one way or the other to make my point. The mere fact is that as long as there is a ‘law’, then it is of NO EFFECT without a consequent punishment. Do the ‘laws’ of God assert a punishment? If you believe God has laws, then you must concede that punishments follow for breaches of the law, and rewards or blessings occur for obedience to the law, right?

Let us review Isaiah for a moment. Isaiah tells us of a War in Heaven that occurred as a result of the Son of the Morning’s plan of salvation through compulsion to save every soul was rejected for Father’s chosen plan of salvation from His other Son to save every soul via free choice. It is self-evident that the single premise for the War wasn’t over going to Heaven or Hell, but over the freedom to choose which plan to be saved under – that of compulsion to do righteousness, or that of freedom to sin and to repent.

In speaking about the ‘authority to act in the name of God’, a.k.a. the Priesthood (PH), Father has said in no uncertain terms that ‘…ANY degree of compulsion is cause for immediate withdrawal of PH.’ and that such a man was ‘…left unto himself… to be an enemy and fight against God.’ It is D&C 121: 34-40.

It seems that as long as you want to infringe on another’s agency in any degree, you are totally out of sorts with the plan of salvation of Jesus Christ, and His PH. How then can we justify ‘obedience’ to ‘law’ when it requires us to exact a punishment upon our fellowman for his ‘disobedience’? Where did we get the idea that ‘obedience’ means what we typically believe it means? Where did we get the idea that ‘law’ was an excuse to exert dominion over another without becoming an enemy to God?

Have we not heard so much of ‘obedience unto God’s law’ that we are all afraid of going to Hell? Lots of people are going to Hell then, huh? In fact we are so afraid of going to Hell, that we blindly obey the law without giving thought for the truth – that God ceases to BE GOD if any degree of compulsion is used to get us sinners to repent, right?

What kind of God would fabricate a law, assert some punishment in addition to natural consequence, and enforce it by compulsion (else the law would be of no effect), and claim to be Just when it contradicts His own explanation of how the Powers of Heaven and the Rights of the PH operate??? A Luciferian ‘god’ would. A light should have just gone on. What was self-evident at the top, is now taking a serious beating in your mind if you are paying attention.

Is it too far fetched to say that God is lawless right now? It would at least keep Him from violating the PH and the Powers of Heaven they are inseparably connected to, huh? But, is God an Anarchist?

Evidently the PH has no beginning of days, or end of days; no mother or no father. In short it is eternal. It also is inseparably connected to the Powers of Heaven, which God obviously has at His disposal provided He doesn’t exercise any degree of unrighteous dominion and fall from Godhood. This means that indeed there is an ‘order’ to everything that is eternal, but it isn’t what we have corrupted into ‘law’, and ‘obedience’ isn’t required, but ‘congruence’ is. Apparently, suffering the natural consequence of being incongruent is enough ‘punishment’ in God’s reality. No fabrication of abusive punishments are required to drive fear into the hearts of men so via this compulsion they ALL are saved.

So, what’s with all the fear about Hell? Let me define ‘Hell’ here as merely ‘separation from Father’ regardless of its degree or the imaginations of men. If one truly loved God, separation from Him is ‘Hell’ just as being separated from a spouse who has died is Hell regardless of the length of time of separation.

In the same manner are we to remain separated from God until we become congruent to His nature and attributes, which doesn’t include exerting laws and punishments via compulsion upon our fellow men, a.k.a.’obedience’. We either are seen as He is seen, and are known as He is known, or we remain separated from Him to some degree regardless of our level of ‘obedience’. As long as we play the part rather than Being true to the core, then we are deceiving ourselves and can only achieve something less than exaltation. It naturally would behoove us to come to a complete understanding of who God is, and what His nature and attributes are so we might KNOW if we could actually be happy living as He lives.  Good thing Joseph gave the King Follett Discourse.

Wake_Up

Next Guest Contributor article: Agency: The Single Principle of a Continuous War

Previous Guest Contributor article: What The Priesthood Is

Complete List of Articles authored by LDS Anarchist

Damnation


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

Bible Dictionary definition of damnation

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

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

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

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

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

Salvation, who gets it and who doesn’t

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

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

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

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

Damned and saved at the same time?

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

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

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

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

Correcting an error

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

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

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

Number of scriptural uses of damned and damnation

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

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

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

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

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

1828 Webster’s Dictionary definition of damned and damnation

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

DAM’NED, pp.

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

2. a. Hateful; detestable; abominable;

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

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

DAMNA’TION, n.

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

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

2. Condemnation.

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

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

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

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

CONDEMNATION, n.

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

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

2. The state of being condemned.

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

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

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

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

To condemn means to damn

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

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

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

Damned and damnation in Spanish

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

The other four verses are translated as follows:

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

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

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

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

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

Abinadi’s definition of damnation

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

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

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

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

Two types of damnation

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

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

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

And we saw a vision of the sufferings of those with whom he made war and overcame, for thus came the voice of the Lord unto us: Thus saith the Lord concerning all those who know my power, and have been made partakers thereof, and suffered themselves through the power of the devil to be overcome, and to deny the truth and defy my power—they are they who are the sons of perdition, of whom I say that it had been better for them never to have been born; for they are vessels of wrath, doomed to suffer the wrath of God, with the devil and his angels in eternity; concerning whom I have said there is no forgiveness in this world nor in the world to come—having denied the Holy Spirit after having received it, and having denied the Only Begotten Son of the Father, having crucified him unto themselves and put him to an open shame.  (D&C 76: 30-35)

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

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

Greater damnation, lesser damnation

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The misunderstood scripture

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

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

And now my comments:

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

I will break it down for you:

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

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

Next, the following verse:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The three glories are not punishments; they are rewards

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

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

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

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

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

Complete List of Articles authored by LDS Anarchist

Scriptural Discussion #16: David and Solomon


DAVID AND SOLOMON

Behold, David and Solomon truly had many wives and concubines, which thing was abominable before me, saith the Lord. (Jacob 2: 24)

David also received many wives and concubines, and also Solomon and Moses my servants, as also many others of my servants, from the beginning of creation until this time; and in nothing did they sin save in those things which they received not of me.  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: 38-39)

Discuss.

Previous Scriptural Discussion: #15 ABORTION

Complete List of Articles authored by LDS Anarchist