“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.

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The Book of Mormon Is a Litmus Test


Stage three is on the horizon

There are three prophesied stages of the church: first, the works of the Father; second, the works of men; and third, the works of the devil. Stage one is attended by miracles, which show the approbation of the Father. At some point in the past, the general membership of the church entered into stage two, which is a state of condemnation, and the work of miracles ceased, except for the occasional individual here and there who was full of faith.

There is only one reason, only one, why the saints of God become condemned before Him. It is because they no longer listen to His voice. Anyone who has a friend and who knows his or her voice and how he or she speaks, is acquainted with the voice and words of that friend. But if you stop listening for a long enough time, the day will come when it is no longer a familiar voice and can no longer be recognized. This occurs with all of us in our dealings with our fellowmen. It also occurs with God.

The word of God, found in the scriptures, allows us to become familiar with His voice. The more of His word we receive, the more familiar it becomes. This is the good Shepherd principle. He calls His sheep and they, being familiar (or acquainted) with His voice, listen and obey. If they do not listen and obey, they are not His sheep and are accounted as the devil’s sheep and upon death are delivered up to him, for the Lord only gathers His own and will not rob the devil of that which pertains to him (see Mosiah 5:14.)

And whoso receiveth not my voice is not acquainted with my voice, and is not of me…And your minds in times past have been darkened because of unbelief, and because you have treated lightly the things you have received—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—that they may bring forth fruit meet for their Father’s kingdom; otherwise there remaineth a scourge and judgment to be poured out upon the children of Zion. (D&C 84:52,54-58.)

The second stage, then, occurred when the general membership of the church gave lip service to the Book of Mormon without actually doing what was written there, or ignored it altogether and used the Bible or even the words of their living leaders, to guide them. We are living right now in the second stage and there is both good and bad news associated with it, namely, that compared to the first stage, the second stage is not a good place to be, but compared to the third and final stage, it is infinitely better. As long as we do not descend into the third stage, we have reason to rejoice.

The problem is that we are currently nearing the very end of stage two and stage three is about to begin. The defining feature of the end of the second stage is the hardening of the hearts of the church so that they no longer believe the words of the Book of Mormon and eventually end up rejecting the entire thing.

The Lord said of the Book of Mormon, “Those who receive it in faith, and work righteousness, shall receive a crown of eternal life; but those who harden their hearts in unbelief, and reject it, it shall turn to their own condemnation” (D&C 20:14-15.)

So, the first stage church believes the Book of Mormon to be true and lives it, and the second stage church believes the Book of Mormon to be true but does not live it, while the third stage church does not believe the Book of Mormon to be true.

Up until recently, we have weathered attacks on the Book of Mormon from outside the church only. Why the attacks on this book? Because the devil knows that the Book of Mormon is key to the salvation of those living in these days. If they believe it and work righteousness, per the Lord’s words, they will receive eternal life, so it has ever been his plan to destroy belief in it. However, as we near the beginning of the third stage, we are now weathering attacks on the Book of Mormon from within the church.

More and more members are beginning to doubt its truth and accuracy. For example, we have already seen the appearance of the New Order Mormons, who generally do not believe the Book of Mormon to be the word of God. But they are not the only ones in the church who have begun to doubt its divine origins. There are many now who secretly doubt in their hearts. All of this means that we are at the end of the second stage and the third stage is about to begin.

Now, I will talk about the third stage and you can take what I write as prophecy, if you want.

The third stage church will be divided, with one faction holding control over the printing of the scriptures. This church will seek to alter the word of God, as found in the scriptures. In particular they will seek to alter the words of the Book of Mormon so that they read contrary to how they read now. This will fulfill the scripture found in Mormon 8:33, in which Moroni asked, “Why have ye transfigured the holy word of God, that ye might bring damnation upon your souls?”

By the way, the last half of Mormon chapter 8 is a prophecy of the future, meaning that it has not yet been fulfilled. It speaks of the third stage church, when wicked members will secretly slay righteous members in order to shut their mouths, because these saints will stand up and speak against the incredible wickedness they will be witnessing. It is after these acts of wickedness that the Lord will send again new prophets and the full Nephite record, with all the Nephite laws, which these wicked churches will reject.

The unchanged Book of Mormon, meaning the version of the Book of Mormon that will exist prior to the transfiguration that the third stage church will perform upon it, will be used by the righteous members to preach to the wicked members, and to show that their wickedness at that time will be in fulfillment of Book of Mormon prophecy.

Now, the seeds to those future, wicked days have already been sown today, among the hearts of the church, by their unbelief regarding the divine origins of the Book of Mormon and its truth. The Book of Mormon, then, is a litmus test, to show us where we are in relation to the Lord and salvation, or in other words, to show us what stage we, personally, are in: stage one, stage two or stage three, depending upon our views and actions regarding it.

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

To understand why this is so, it is necessary to understand how the Book of Mormon came to be.

How the Book of Mormon was translated

When Joseph used the Urim and Thummim, he thought of a word and then asked God in his mind if the word he was thinking of was right. After asking God, he got a feeling about the word. Sometimes the word felt right and sometimes the word felt wrong. If the word felt right, he would speak the word out loud and Oliver would then write it down. If the word felt wrong, he would discard it and then think of another word, always trying to guess what the next word was.

If Joseph went through a bunch of words in his head and they all felt wrong, he would think that perhaps the next word was one that he didn’t know, such as a proper noun (a name of some ancient person or location), so he would think of a letter, such as the letter “a” and ask the Lord in his mind if the word began with that letter. If it felt right, he would think of another letter and ask if that was the next letter of the word. If any of the letters he asked about felt wrong, he would just go to the next letter of the alphabet and ask about it. He would continue in this manner letter by letter until he had the full name. When he did have the name and all of the letters felt right, he would then spell out the name to Oliver, who would then right it down, or he would just pronounce the name or word if he thought Oliver could spell it.

This tedious process is how Joseph translated the Book of Mormon, from beginning to end, because this is how the angel told him how to do it. With practice, Joseph became more adept at guessing the next word or letter and also faster. Eventually he reached the point where he needed no Urim and Thummim to obtain revelation from the Lord, but could easily and quickly feel out the words from the Spirit. But when he first started translating, he had to first figure it out in his head and then ask if his guess was right. No part of the Book of Mormon was given to him as a text that appeared before his eyes, or in his mind, or spoken to him as audible words. Any words or pictures he saw in his mind was just his own imagination as his mind perused the vocabulary he possessed in his attempt to find the right word so that he could ask the Lord about it.

At one point, Oliver desired to translate and got the okay from the Lord. He asked Joseph how to translate and Joseph told him how he did it, as given above. So, Oliver took the Urim and Thummim and followed Joseph’s instructions. He thought of a word and asked the Lord if it was right, and then felt something. He continued in this fashion, until he had a word that he felt right about. Now, we don’t know how many words he got that felt right, because he never spoke them out loud to Joseph, but we know he got at least one word right and perhaps several, but they all remained in his head.

Oliver began to wonder, in his mind, if his feelings were correct. He began to fear that these words that felt right might be his own words and not those given to him by God. So, he pushed Joseph’s tedious process aside and just asked God, in his mind, to tell him what the next words were. After repeatedly asking and not receiving any answer, he gave up and handed the Urim and Thummim back to Joseph. Joseph resumed to translate and Oliver resumed to be his scribe. Later, Joseph asked the Lord why Oliver wasn’t able to translate and received the revelation found in D&C section 9.

You now have the context of D&C 9. When the Lord said,

“And, behold, it is because that you did not continue as you commenced, when you began to translate, that I have taken away this privilege from you.”

it refers to the fact that Oliver actually began translating correctly, for he followed Joseph’s instructions precisely and got at least one divinely inspired word from heaven, if not more. But then he stopped doing what Joseph told him to do.

And when the Lord said,

“Behold, you have not understood; you have supposed that I would give it unto you, when you took no thought save it was to ask me.”

it refers to the fact that Oliver discarded Joseph’s tedious method and took the easy way out, merely asking that God reveal the words directly without first searching for them, asking about them and feeling them out.

And when the Lord said,

“But, behold, I say unto you, that you must study it out in your mind; then you must ask me if it be right, and if it is right I will cause that your bosom shall burn within you; therefore, you shall feel it is right. But if it be not right you shall have no such feelings, but you shall have a stupor of thought that shall cause you to forget the thing which is wrong; therefore, you cannot write that which is sacred save it be given you from me. Now, if you had known this you could have translated; nevertheless, it is not expedient that you should translate now.”

it means that Joseph merely couched his instructions in terms of “feels right” and “feels wrong” and nothing more specific than that, which is why Oliver wasn’t sure whether the word(s) he got was/were right, but here, in this revelation, the Lord gives the exact feelings, even a “stupor of thought” and a “burning in the bosom,” and had Oliver known what exact feelings to “watch for,” he would have had confidence in the words he got and could have translated.

And when the Lord said,

“Behold, it was expedient when you commenced; but you feared, and the time is past, and it is not expedient now;”

it means that Oliver feared that the words he had correctly gotten from God were his own imagination and not from God. In other words, he feared to destroy the work of God by adding man-made words of his own invention, for he wasn’t certain that the words he got were right.

The reason why Joseph’s tedious approach worked and Oliver’s altered approach did not is that Joseph worked by faith but Oliver sought to work by knowledge. In other words, Joseph thought of a word and asked God if it was right and then if it felt right he simply had the faith that it was right and spoke it out loud. There were no doubts or fears on his part. The words were spoken by him in full confidence, not because God showed them to him in a vision or spoke them to him, but because he operated on faith, or had faith that the feeling he got was right and given to him of God. Oliver, on the other hand, required a witness, or required knowledge, in order to proceed. He required that God tell him in some fashion, by vision or hearing or mental apparition, what the words were. He operated under the principle of knowledge and could get nowhere with God, whereas Joseph operated under the principle of faith and pulled the divine words down from heaven, easily and speedily.

All gifts of the spirit, including the gift to interpret tongues and translate ancient languages are gifts of faith. You are given faith to do something. Not one of the gifts relies upon knowledge. But I’ve written about this before, so I will return to the subject of this post.

The Book of Mormon was created by the power of God

When the Nephite prophets wrote the text that would come to be known to us as the Book of Mormon, they wrote “by the spirit of prophecy and of revelation” (Book of Mormon Title Page.) The spirit of prophecy and revelation is the same spirit by which Joseph translated the Book of Mormon. Just as he received the Book of Mormon word by word, letter by letter, in a tedious process, so it was written character by character, by the ancient Nephite prophets, in the same tedious manner. They wrote their record in reformed Egyptian, using the characters that they knew, but they did not operate under their own power, but under the power of the Spirit. They searched for the characters, just as Joseph searched for the words, and found the ones that God wanted them to write and put them down in their own language, according to their knowledge of the characters. So, it was written under and by the miraculous power of God and not of man.

Later, Moroni hid the record. Then it came out of the earth in a miraculous way, via an angel. Finally, after delivering the plates and Urim and Thummim to Joseph, it was translated into English under or by the miraculous power and gift of God. In every step of its creation, the operation of God was upon the work.

The plates upon which the Book of Mormon was engraved do not contain the words of Nephite, Lamanite and Jaredite men. Although the record was engraved onto plates by Nephite men, it does not contain their words. It contains their characters and language and speech or writing patterns, but not their words. All the words written under the spirit of prophecy and revelation are God’s words, not man’s. He claims them as His own, for they were inspired by Him and given under His power. The men writing or speaking by His power become His proxies and have no claim on the words as their own. This is why we call it the word of God.

So, God gave words to the Nephites that engraved the Book of Mormon, in their own language, then later when the record came forth via the angel, He gave the interpretation of those words to Joseph in his own language, English. Who gave the words? God did. Who wrote the words down? Man did. Whose words did they write? God’s words.

No faults in the text

Moroni wrote, “We know of no fault” in the record. There is no fault in the record because it does not contain the words of men. The only way faults could be introduced into the record is if one of the writers wrote anything by his own power, or not by the spirit of prophecy and revelation. As far as Moroni and the other prophets knew, there was no fault in the record, for all the Nephite writers wrote under the same spirit. The spirit of prophecy and revelation eliminates human error.

For example, the prophecy I wrote above about the corruption of the scriptures, if written by my own power, may be erroneous. If written by the spirit of prophecy, it must come to pass, even as I wrote it, because they no longer are my words, but the words of God, for there is no fault or error in the word of God.

Again, Mormon illustrated this principle when he wrote:

And now it came to pass that according to our record, and we know our record to be true, for behold, it was a just man who did keep the record—for he truly did many miracles in the name of Jesus; and there was not any man who could do a miracle in the name of Jesus save he were cleansed every whit from his iniquity— (3 Ne. 8:1.)

In other words, since this man operated under the power of God (as demonstrated by the many miracles he did) and he kept the record by the power of God, it means that the record is true, for as long as a record is kept (written) by the power of God, human mistakes are eliminated.

The Book of Mormon, then, is without fault, error or imperfections, because all of those who worked to bring it forth (the Nephite prophets and the Gentile prophet Joseph) did so under the power of God.

And now, behold, we have written this record according to our knowledge, in the characters which are called among us the reformed Egyptian, being handed down and altered by us, according to our manner of speech. And if our plates had been sufficiently large we should have written in Hebrew; but the Hebrew hath been altered by us also; and if we could have written in Hebrew, behold, ye would have had no imperfection in our record. But the Lord knoweth the things which we have written, and also that none other people knoweth our language; and because that none other people knoweth our language, therefore he hath prepared means for the interpretation thereof. (Mormon 9:32-34.)

Now, I will reveal a mystery to you. The imperfection spoken of in the above quote does not apply to the English Book of Mormon. It speaks of the limitation of the reformed Egyptian in conveying the full meaning of what was put into the hearts of these prophets by the spirit of prophecy and revelation. Hebrew is a language that has the capacity to convey the full meaning of all things, so, when you translate from one language into Hebrew, nothing is lost. But all other languages are limited in their capacity to convey meaning, so that when you translate from one language into another, inevitably some meaning is lost. So, Moroni only referred to the plates of Mormon themselves, which were written in reformed Egyptian, and not to the English Book of Mormon.

The English Book of Mormon was interpreted by God, through Joseph Smith. God knew the meaning of the words that were in the hearts of these prophets and conveyed that meaning into English, in the best way possible. Therefore, had Moroni and Mormon written in Hebrew, God would have interpreted it into English just the same way, for the English Book of Mormon are the words that God wanted us to have. In other words, had the Nephite prophets written the same text in Egyptian and also in Hebrew, and then God interpreted each version into English, so that there were two English versions, one taken from the reformed Egyptians and one taken from the altered Hebrew, the two English versions would have been identical.

The imperfection in their record, then, only applies to the plates themselves and the limitations of the reformed Egyptian in conveying full meaning. It does not signify that the English Book of Mormon contains errors. When the plates come forth and are read by people in reformed Egyptian, we will see that the same information put into Hebrew conveys much more meaning.

Faults in the text

And if there be faults they be the faults of a man. (Mormon 8:17.)

Everything in the Book of Mormon is prophetic (dealing with things pertaining to the future) and/or revelatory (dealing with things pertaining to the present or past.) The record is perfect insofar as the men working on it were operating under the power of God. At any moment that the text comes under human power, errors can be introduced. We know, for example, that Oliver Cowdery sometimes made errors when writing down the text that Joseph dictated. We also know that the printer made errors. So, from the moment that the text began to be handled by men who operated under their own power, it was susceptible to “the faults of a man.”

About this edition: Some minor errors in the text have been perpetuated in past editions of the Book of Mormon. This edition contains corrections that seem appropriate to bring the material into conformity with prepublication manuscripts and early editions edited by the Prophet Joseph Smith. (A Brief Explanation about the Book of Mormon.)

Opinions given by prophecy

Whenever a man expresses an opinion by the spirit of prophecy and revelation, that opinion ceases to be an opinion and becomes instead a prophecy (if it pertains to the future) or a revelation (if it pertains to the present or past.) For example, Alma said: “I give it as my opinion, that the souls and the bodies are reunited, of the righteous, at the resurrection of Christ, and his ascension into heaven” (Alma 40:20.) Although he expressed it as an opinion, he did so under the power of the Spirit (which is why Mormon included it) and so this opinion concerning the future became a prophecy. In the same fashion, all opinions and assessments expressed by the prophets who engraved the Book of Mormon are prophetic or revelatory, because they operated under the spirit of prophecy and revelation.

Even questions asked by the spirit of prophecy and revelation are no longer just questions, but become accurate assessments of reality. So, for example, in captain Moroni’s epistle “to all those who have been chosen by this people to govern and manage the affairs of this war,” every question he asked of these wicked men concerning what they were or were not doing, or the reasons why they were or were not doing something, was prophetic and revelatory. So, for example, when he wrote, “Do ye suppose that, because so many of your brethren have been killed it is because of their wickedness?” the fact of the matter was that this is exactly what they supposed. In other words, we can remove the question mark and switch the first two words so that it reads as a statement and it would present an accurate picture of what these men were doing and thinking in Zarahemla at that time: “Ye do suppose that, because so many of your brethren have been killed it is because of their wickedness.” The same can be done with all the other questions he asked them. This is why Mormon included captain Moroni’s epistle in the book, because it was written by the spirit of prophecy and revelation.

A prophetic and revelatory history

history, n. 1. A narrative of events connected with a real or imaginary object, person, or career, esp. such a narrative devoted to the exposition of the natural unfolding and interdependence of the events treated; a tale; story. 2. Specif., a systematic written account of events, particularly of those affecting a nation, institution, science, or art, and usually connected with a philosophical explanation of their causes;—distinguished from annals and chronicles, which simply relate facts and events in strict chronological order.

Both of the above definitions apply to the Book of Mormon, which claims to be “an account written” as “an abridgment of the record of the people of Nephi, and also of the Lamanites” and “an abridgment taken from the Book of Ether also, which is a record of the people of Jared” (Book of Mormon Title Page.) Specifically, the Book of Mormon is a systematic written account of events, affecting the spiritual affairs of the Nephite, Lamanite and Jaredite nations and connected with a theological explanation for their causes.

The Book of Mormon is a theological history that is more concerned with prophecy, revelation and other miracles that occurred among these people, than with secular matters, and can be termed a prophecy that also reveals things about the past, meaning that it is a prophetic revelation. Although the source material is a compilation of books written by various prophets over a long period of time, all of whom were operating by commandment and under the power of God, the interpretation of those ancient words into English were given as a single, but very long, prophetic revelation that took many days to dictate and write down. The Book of Mormon, then, must be treated as a single whole, from beginning to end, even as a divine revelation from God.

Just as God gave the Torah to Moses in a miraculous manner, as divine writ from heaven, so God gave the Book of Mormon to Joseph as divine writ from heaven. If you subtract any part of it or alter it in any way so that its message and intended meaning is corrupted or compromised, the purposes of God in regard to the book will be frustrated. This means that all parts of the Book of Mormon are equally important. It was given as a whole and it is designed to be read as a whole. This is why the Lord states:

This work does contain all those parts of my gospel which my holy prophets, yea, and also my disciples, desired in their prayers should come forth unto this people…And now, behold, according to their faith in their prayers will I bring this part of my gospel to the knowledge of my people. (D&C 10:46,52.)

The Lord did not include superfluous material in the work. It contains everything He wanted it to contain and gives the very teachings He wanted taught.

The Book of Mormon contains many different narratives, taken from diverse sources, but there is no objectivity in any of it. The prophets who wrote the book revealed and judged not only the actions and words, but also the unspoken thoughts and hidden intentions and desires of the hearts of the characters they wrote about. It is entirely subjective material, as if they were God and all people in the account were an open book, so that they could read their minds and hearts and could know what everyone thought and felt. In this sense, it is not a normal history or narrative, for no man can know what is in anyone’s heart. If the word narrative must be used, then it must be called a prophetic and revelatory narrative, not because men with the title “prophet of God” wrote it, but because by using the spirit of prophecy and revelation the men who engraved the record were able to draw out things that cannot be drawn out, except by the power God.

So, for example, when the record states, “And it came to pass that I was constrained by the Spirit that I should kill Laban,” it reads as a revelatory narrative. An objective history would state that Nephi killed Laban and claimed to have done it under command by the Spirit. This prophetic or revelatory narrative, though, states not only that there was a voice that Nephi heard, but identifies it as the Spirit and goes so far as to reveal what the voice said, Nephi’s feelings about it, and his subsequent spiritual struggle and resolution. Not only that, the whole occurrence of Laban’s death at Nephi’s hands is treated as a miracle, for Laban was apparently impossible to kill:

“How is it possible that the Lord will deliver Laban into our hands? Behold, he is a mighty man, and he can command fifty, yea, even he can slay fifty; then why not us?…The Lord…is mightier…than Laban and his fifty, yea, or even than his tens of thousands” (1 Ne. 3:31; 1 Ne. 4:1.)

And then after the act was accomplished, it was used as a sign that God was with Nephi and his group:

Yea, and how is it that ye have forgotten what great things the Lord hath done for us, in delivering us out of the hands of Laban, and also that we should obtain the record? (1 Ne. 7:11.)

So, the Book of Mormon sees all things through a prophetic and revelatory filter and makes no claim to be any kind of secular history. It is a strictly theological history, or a history of God’s dealings with those people, and takes the form of a revelatory prophecy that can see all things as they really are, even if they are inside a person’s head and heart. It can do this because it emphatically declares that it has been written by the spirit of prophecy and revelation.

From its beginning to its end the Book of Mormon makes outrageous claims of knowing what is in the hearts of men, of what men are thinking, of knowing what is of God and what is not of God, of knowing of secret things that no one in the civilization had any knowledge of (such as what the secret combinations were doing), of knowing the plans of the devil, and a host of other things that are impossible to know except by God’s power. Why does it do this? Because it is not a secular history. It is a prophetic revelation (or a revelatory prophecy), meant to give us a peek into how God sees things, by holding up the Nephite civilization under the light of God. It claims to be God’s word, God’s prophecy, God’s revelation, God’s opinion, God’s facts, God’s thoughts, God’s perspective, etc., because “whatsoever [a man] shall [write] when moved upon by the Holy Ghost shall be scripture, shall be the will of the Lord, shall be the mind of the Lord, shall be the word of the Lord, shall be the voice of the Lord, and the power of God unto salvation” (D&C 68:4.)

If the Book of Mormon were mere fiction, it would be easier to treat as a strictly literary work, but because it presents itself as real events, yet gives a long list of miracles, it does not fit among other books or literary formulas, instead becoming the perfect tool to generate faith in Christ, for which it was designed. There is nothing rational about faith and there is nothing rational about the Book of Mormon. Yet, it expects the reader to believe its miracles without any doubts, whatsoever, and it presents everything as the absolute truth, regardless of its impossibility. So, when it tells us that Nephi killed Laban under the Spirit’s command or when it says that Zeezrom never intended to give the six onties of silver to Amulek, etc., it always means what it says. It does not matter that no man can know what is in another man’s heart, because the work itself proclaims itself miraculous from the get-go. It does not need to submit to the normal rules that man must operate under, for it is not the work of a man or a group of men, but of God. Since God can see into the hearts of men and can communicate what is there to His prophets, as well as performing all the other miracles in the book, there is no problem. The Book of Mormon, then, can only be said to stay true to one thing: its spirit of prophecy and revelation. It is the only formula it follows precisely.

To deny the Book of Mormon is to deny the revelations of God

And again I speak unto you who deny the revelations of God, and say that they are done away, that there are no revelations, nor prophecies, nor gifts, nor healing, nor speaking with tongues, and the interpretation of tongues; behold I say unto you, he that denieth these things knoweth not the gospel of Christ; yea, he has not read the scriptures; if so, he does not understand them. (Mormon 9:7-8)

I would go further and say that if he denies the revelations but has read the scriptures and does not understand them it is because he does not believe them. There is a wo pronounced upon all those who reject the Book of Mormon, in whole or in part, and assign a man-made source to it. Paraphrasing Moroni, whoever condemns it as man-made, “let him be aware lest he shall be in danger of hell fire” and he that judges it rashly, “shall be judged rashly again.”

The Lord is very sensitive about the Book of Mormon and about how we treat it. It pleased Him to see the immense amount of faith that went into its creation. The prophets who engraved the words or were quoted in the work also pleased Him. He loved them, their faith and their works, which were works of faith in Jesus Christ. He loved their prayers and their desires. And it pleases Him when we receive and believe the book and live its teachings. On the other hand, it incites Him to anger when we disbelieve and reject it.

We LDS typically think of the brother of Jared as one of the mighty ones, of unbelievable faith, and all other prophets among the Nephites as on a lower faith level than him. But this is only because we do not understand the scriptures and have no spirit of prophecy ourselves. Nephi, Jacob, Alma, Mosiah, Amulek, Mormon, Moroni, etc., even all these men and many others like them had faith like unto the brother of Jared. They all could move mountains with their faith. And this is why the Lord chose them to write the record and speak to us.

Why the Book of Mormon is the most correct book on earth

It is the most correct in the sense that it was entirely written and interpreted by the spirit of prophecy and revelation (the power of God) and has been the least touched by man-made operations as have other books that have been sent forth by God, such as the Bible. It was written to us, in our day, so its prophecy has direct application to us. The theme of the book has always been the same: if you keep God’s commandments (whatever they happen to be, see Mosiah 12:33) according to the law of expediency, He will prosper you and if you do not keep them, you will be cut off from His presence.

Again, its correctness has nothing whatsoever to do with the reality of the history of the Nephite civilization or the accuracy of its narrative, but on the simple fact that the Book of Mormon is a work of prophecy and revelation that has had minimal input from men operating under their own power. It presents to the world a prophecy and revelation-based reality that contradicts the assumptions under which the works of men and the works of the devil operate.

It is impossible to understand the Book of Mormon from the perspective of the works of men, or through a filter of the philosophies of men, because it contradicts in every fashion those works and philosophies. The only way to make it compatible with modern philosophies of men, which are based upon the works of men, is by altering the text itself so that it reads contrary to how it reads now.

The Book of Mormon as a tool of discernment

Because of these facts, one who is guided by the Spirit can use the Book of Mormon to discern another’s spiritual state, simply by finding out the person’s beliefs about it. If they are members of the church and they believe the Book of Mormon to be true, live its teachings and manifest the spirit of prophecy and revelation, then they are part of the stage one church. If they are church members who say they believe the Book of Mormon to be true, but treat it lightly, preferring other scriptures or the philosophies of men to guide them, and do not live its teachings but merely give lip service, then they are part of the stage two church. And if they are church members who say that they don’t believe the Book of Mormon to be true and reject it in its prophetic and revelatory claims, and seek to alter the text or its meaning, they are part of the stage three church.

Thus, we see that the Lord has made the Book of Mormon a litmus test and He will use it to filter the masses and gather out His elect from the four quarters of the earth, for only the elect will gather around it. All others will end up rejecting it.

Now, in closing, I will prophesy again, for there are “other books” that will be coming forth during the third stage of the church, even the rest of the “last records” that Nephi saw in his vision, and many are thinking, or putting their hopes, on those last records. And this is my prophecy, that no one, at that day when those other records appear, will accept those last records as the word of God while rejecting the Book of Mormon as His word. They will either believe the Book of Mormon is true and also that the other records are true, or they will believe that the Book of Mormon is not true and also that the other books are not true.

So, only those who accept the claims of the Book of Mormon will end up accepting the fulness of the gospel which will be in those last records. And this will be true for all church factions and splinter groups that currently exist, or that will exist in that day, for the elect will accept the new volumes because they also accept the Book of Mormon, while the rest will reject them because they will have already rejected or denied the spirit of prophecy and revelation, as well as the Book of Mormon, which is a product of that spirit.

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How to receive what you ask for


It is a gospel law that if you ask God for something that is good and right, in the name of Jesus, in faith, believing that you will receive, doubting nothing, you will receive what you ask for.

A new investigation

Lately I have been perplexed by the lack of spiritual best gifts among the church of God. In my interactions with church members, I had come to the conclusion that we do not have the gifts “because [we] ask not, neither do [we] knock” (2 Ne. 32: 4), after all, Jesus said that “every one that asketh, receiveth; and he that seeketh, findeth; and to him that knocketh, it shall be opened” (3 Ne. 14: 8.) Nevertheless, with over 13 million members of record, I found it awfully strange that not even one person sought these gifts. I mean, what are the odds of that?

That got me thinking that in all likelihood the truth was that while the vast majority of the membership no longer sought the gifts, a small minority did. Yet even among them the gifts are absent. I wondered, why haven’t these people received what they are asking for?

Moroni records Jesus as saying, “Whoso shall believe in my name, doubting nothing, unto him I will confirm all my words, even unto the ends of the earth” (Mormon 9: 25.) He also gives his own prophecy, “Whoso believeth in Christ, doubting nothing, whatsoever he shall ask the Father in the name of Christ it shall be granted him; and this promise is unto all, even unto the ends of the earth” (Mormon 9: 21.) God cannot speak a lie and still remain a God of truth. This means that for the entire gospel to be true, all its individual parts must also be true, including this promise, because the principle is that God “never doth vary from that which he hath said” (Mosiah 2: 22; also Alma 7: 20 and D&C 3: 2.)

I decided, then, that I would put Moroni’s promise to the test and follow the prescribed steps so that Jesus would have to confirm His words to me. I believed the word of God to be true and had full confidence that I would receive what I asked for. Specifically, I was going to ask for a spiritual best gift, for the gifts of the Spirit are things that are right and good, which is one of the qualifications necessary for the promise to be fulfilled. (See 3 Ne. 18: 20 and Moroni 7: 26.)

I began my trial sometime between the 19th and 26th of January, 2011, and have continued it to this very day. This post contains what I have so far learned from this ongoing experiment with the word of God.

Ye receive no witness until after the trial of your faith

And now, I, Moroni, would speak somewhat concerning these things; I would show unto the world that faith is things which are hoped for and not seen; wherefore, dispute not because ye see not, for ye receive no witness until after the trial of your faith. (Ether 12: 6)

A trial is a proof. A proof is “any effort, process, or operation designed to establish or discover a fact or truth; an act of testing; test; trial; as to put in proof.” The trial of your faith, then, is the proof of your faith, or an effort, process or operation designed to establish or discover whether or not you have faith.

The “effort, process, or operation” that is used to establish that we have faith is a very specific type of prayer. By praying in a specific way, our faith will be instantly put in proof and we will immediately know whether we have faith.

How to pray, part one

For the purposes of this experiment, we shall attempt to obtain one of the gifts of God. In particular, we will seek a gift that is easily recognizable as having been received. Of the three lists of gifts in the scriptures, the list given to the Lamanites is the only one that contains the gift of the beholding of angels (see Moroni 10: 14 and The role of angels in Nephite preaching.) So, this is the gift we will seek, for once an angel of light appears and is discerned (see D&C 129: 4-9), there is no doubt that the gift has been received.

The instructions of how to ask God for one of His gifts, which were given by Jesus and Moroni (in Mormon 9: 21, 25; 3 Ne. 18: 19-20; and Moroni 7: 26), are summarized in the following manner:

Ask the Father

Ask in the name of Christ

Believe in Christ

Believe in the name of Christ

Ask for something good and right (the gift of the beholding of angels qualifies)

Ask in faith

Believe you shall receive

Doubt nothing

The promise is that if the above steps are followed by anyone, it shall be granted/done/given and Jesus’ words will be confirmed.

Let’s write up a sample prayer based upon the above instructions.

My heavenly Father, your name be blessed. Show mercy upon me and hear my words. Baptize me in the Spirit and cause that I speak the words of this prayer by the power of the Holy Ghost. I thank you for the gospel and your Beloved Son: His life, suffering, death and resurrection. Grant me belief in Him and in His holy name. Give me faith in your Son. Bestow upon me the belief that I will receive what I ask you for in this prayer. Take away my doubt so that I pray, doubting nothing. Confirm Jesus’ words to me. Send your angel to me. Let me behold his face. Allow me to converse with him. Have him declare the word of Christ to me. In the name of Jesus Christ, amen.

A deadline

On the surface, the above prayer seems to serve its purpose of putting our faith in proof. If you have faith, the angel will appear. If you do not have faith, the angel will not appear. What it lacks, though, is an element of time. When does the angel have to appear? The prayer does not specify. The time frame is left up to the Lord. If the Lord decides to send the angel at the end of your life, 60 years from now, how does this tell you now whether or not you have faith? It doesn’t. What if the Lord decides not to send an angel because you didn’t exercise faith, would you know? Nope.

Prayers that don’t have an element of time in them are insufficient to put your faith in proof. A deadline, such as a day and time, must be included so as to make a discovery of faith (or lack thereof.) If the deadline comes and goes, with no result, you didn’t pray in faith. If the deadline arrives with an angel, you now have passed the trial of your faith and have received your witness.

Here is the same prayer altered slightly so that it serves as a trial of faith:

My heavenly Father, your name be blessed. Show mercy upon me and hear my words. Baptize me in the Spirit and cause that I speak the words of this prayer by the power of the Holy Ghost. I thank you for the gospel and your Beloved Son: His life, suffering, death and resurrection. Grant me belief in Him and in His holy name. Give me faith in your Son. Bestow upon me the belief that I will receive what I ask you for in this prayer. Take away my doubt so that I pray, doubting nothing. Confirm Jesus’ words to me. Send your angel to me right now. Let me behold his face. Allow me to converse with him. Have him declare the word of Christ to me. In the name of Jesus Christ, amen.

All things can be asked for

Notice in the above prayers that I asked for everything. I didn’t say, “Give me this according to the faith that I have,” I said, “Give me faith in your Son.” I didn’t say, “I believe that I will receive what I ask you for in this prayer,” I said, “Bestow upon me the belief that I will receive what I ask you for in this prayer.” I didn’t say, “I have no doubts whatsoever,” I said, “Take away my doubts.” The Lord has everything I need to make a prayer work. If I lack anything, He can make up for it, if I ask Him for it.

O then despise not, and wonder not, but hearken unto the words of the Lord, and ask the Father in the name of Jesus for what things soever ye shall stand in need. (Mormon 9: 27)

Different amounts of faith

To move mountains, you need faith the size of a mustard seed. Jesus told Peter that he had little faith. The scriptures speak of having the gift of exceedingly great faith. All of this shows that faith comes in different amounts. Depending on what you are asking for, you will need a greater or lesser amount of faith.

The mere act of asking God for something, believing that you are going to receive, is an act of faith. How much faith? No one but God knows. However, if you ask, believing that you will receive, and do not receive what you ask for—and you know for a fact that you have not received what you asked for because you asked in the manner detailed above, using an element of time so that the prayer creates a trial of faith—it causes you to confront your false beliefs. You must then admit to yourself that the belief that you had that you would receive what you asked for was false. Again, you may indeed have asked in faith, because the very act of asking is an act of faith, but it was of an insufficient quantity to receive what you asked for, therefore your belief that you would receive was false.

When a man is faced with a false belief—not determined by someone else, but determined by the man himself—the natural tendency is to discard the belief. You will no longer wish to follow Jesus’ instructions to believe that you will receive, because your mind, shown by direct evidence, will tell you that that belief is false. The evidence will be incontrovertible. In order for you to pray again, again believing that you will receive, you will have to completely ignore the evidence. You will have to call black white and white black. You will have to act totally irrationally. You will have to step into the unknown. You will have to close your eyes and walk blindly in darkness. You will have to face the fear and trembling spoken of in the scriptures and work out your own salvation under these conditions.

If you are able to get back on your knees and offer another prayer, asking again for something with a deadline, so that the prayer becomes another trial of your faith, and with the (irrational) belief that you will receive, the very act of attempting the experiment again requires more faith than your first attempt.

Each subsequent attempt will again naturally increase your faith. But each time you fail to receive, you will be faced again with a religious crisis that can only be overcome by faith.

The theory in all of this is that eventually, continuing on in this manner, you will finally arrive at the amount of faith required for what you are asking for, and you will then receive the gift you seek, obtaining the witness promised in the scriptures, which comes after the trial of your faith.

The veil of unbelief

The Lord prophesied that the people of our day would have a veil of unbelief, which, unless rent, would keep us in a state of wickedness, blindness of mind and hardness of heart, and He would withhold the greater things from us.

Behold, when ye shall rend that veil of unbelief which doth cause you to remain in your awful state of wickedness, and hardness of heart, and blindness of mind, then shall the great and marvelous things which have been hid up from the foundation of the world from you—yea, when ye shall call upon the Father in my name, with a broken heart and a contrite spirit, then shall ye know that the Father hath remembered the covenant which he made unto your fathers, O house of Israel. (Ether 4: 15)

The purpose of the veil of unbelief is to hide “the great and marvelous things” of God from us. As long as it is upon us, we can pray until we are blue in the face to see angels or obtain the powers and gifts of the Spirit and we will forever remain in the dark about such things, never tasting of the goodness of God, nor feasting upon his fatness. Only those who pray to God “with a broken heart and a contrite spirit” are the ones who rend the veil of unbelief and partake of the greater things, such as the ministration of angels. To all others, the heavens are closed.

God has power to cast away the veil of unbelief from our minds

Now, this was what Ammon desired, for he knew that king Lamoni was under the power of God; he knew that the dark veil of unbelief was being cast away from his mind, and the light which did light up his mind, which was the light of the glory of God, which was a marvelous light of his goodness—yea, this light had infused such joy into his soul, the cloud of darkness having been dispelled, and that the light of everlasting life was lit up in his soul, yea, he knew that this had overcome his natural frame, and he was carried away in God— (Alma 19: 6)

Anyone can ask for the same blessing from the Lord.

It is extremely important that the veil of unbelief be removed, because it will prohibit us from exercising faith.

And the reason why he ceaseth to do miracles among the children of men is because that they dwindle in unbelief, and depart from the right way, and know not the God in whom they should trust. (Mormon 9: 20)

Using disappointment to rend one’s soul

…when ye shall rend that veil of unbelief… (Ether 4: 15)

The disappointment of not receiving what we ask for, as promised in the scriptures, is a heart-wrenching experience. If repeated over and over again, using back-to-back deadline prayers, it feels like your whole soul is being ripped apart. This might be the reason why the Lord chose the word “rend” when speaking of what to do with the veil of unbelief.

To rend means “to part, tear off, or take away, by force.” It also means “to separate into parts with force or sudden violence; to tear asunder; to split; burst; tear; to affect as if tearing asunder; as, ‘powder rends a rock in blasting; lightning rends an oak; a lion rends its prey; to rend one’s garments; the nation was rent by discord; a heart rent with grief.’” So, there is nothing gradual or subtle about rending the veil of unbelief. It is supposed to be done suddenly and violently, creating rapid change in the individual.

What the veil is

Man cannot perceive the veil of unbelief that covers him. The word veil is used to describe it because it feels very much like a thick piece of cloth that envelops the spirit. We can’t see out through it and, in fact, can’t even feel that it is there. However, once a part of the veil is rent, suddenly we can perceive that something real (an actual thing) is covering us, like a cocoon that gets cracked, letting the airy breeze in. The breeze feels good to us and the contrast between the exposed and covered parts (where the veil is still intact) enables us to finally perceive the veil.

The first perception of the veil is an alarming experience. The initial reaction is, “Get this off of me!” It feels like an uncomfortable, alien, spiritual cloth. And indeed it is. The veil of unbelief is Satan’s spiritual garment that he imperceptibly places upon all mankind when they arrive at the age of accountability and sin. Its purpose is to reduce agency, faith, knowledge, wisdom, etc. It allows him to more easily deceive us and lead us to destruction. It is the counterpart of the garment of the priesthood.

The veil of unbelief appears to be an extension of the spirit of the devil and not an individual thing placed upon each person. The result of being subject to it is damnation (see Damnation.) Once you can perceive that it is on you, you want it off of you immediately, because you can perceive that it is not a part of you and that it has been placed there without you even realizing it and that it is stopping you from spiritually progressing. In other words, you can perceive that an enemy put it there.

Even if one goes through all the ordinances of the gospel and wears the physical priesthood garment, etc., as long as Satan’s spiritual garment (the veil of unbelief) is still being worn, spiritual progress will be stunted and the gifts of the Spirit will remain off-limits. The gospel teaches that the proper order is to first rend the veil of unbelief and take it off, and then we are to put on gospel covenants and clothing. But even if things have been done out of their proper order, it is of utmost importance that Satan’s veil be removed.

The chains of hell

The chains of hell are twin filaments of spirit matter (plasma) that twist and revolve around each other in a pattern that looks like the links of a chain.

One end of the chain leads to, and is held by, Satan (see Moses 7: 26.) The other end of the chain leads to the veil of unbelief. It is attached to the veil at the back and base of the skull. One filament is attached to the half of the veil that goes over a man’s left brain hemisphere (the mind) and the other filament is attached to the half of the veil that goes over a man’s right brain hemisphere (the heart.)

There are three modes of plasma discharge: glow, arc and dark. The chains of hell are twin filaments of plasma discharging in dark mode.

The mind operates in arc mode, while the heart operates in dark mode. The mind is designed to believe what it sees, therefore it is designed to be lit up so that it can see everything and thus believe everything. The mind is also designed to be firm or fixed. When illuminated, it clearly can see where everything is and instantly can fixate upon what it sees without any wavering. When minds are darkened, it cannot clearly see things or where things are and must waver in order to try to find its way in the darkness, just as a blind man moves his cane left and right to figure out where things are.

When a chain of hell is attached to a veil of unbelief, the dark mode discharging filament that goes into the half of the veil of unbelief that encases the mind causes the mind to go into dark mode. The mind becomes darkened, and undergoes a state of blindness. It begins to waver. As it cannot see anything or much at all, it does not believe much either, or it begins to doubt or exhibit unbelief. Wickedness is simply a state which goes against the purpose God designed. It is a perversion. The mind was designed to operate in arc mode, in a digital manner. The veil of unbelief causes it to operate in dark mode, in an analog manner. The mind is now in a state of wickedness.

As stated above, the heart operates in dark mode. It is designed to operate in this mode and is designed by God to be soft and malleable, or easily entreated. When the other filament of the chain of hell goes into the half of the veil of unbelief that covers the heart, it cannot change the discharge mode of the heart, because the chain of hell is also in dark mode. However, it does have an effect upon the organ of the heart: it causes the heart to become hard or fixed. So now, instead of feeling its way around its environment like a blind man, as it was intended to do, the heart functions like a mind, fixating on individual emotions, instead of expanding to encompass the infinite gradations of feelings. In other words, the heart is designed to embrace the infinite, or feel an infinite variety of feelings and emotions. When the veil of unbelief, powered by the chains of hell, covers the heart, it becomes selective in what it feels, acting in a digital manner instead of the analog manner it was designed to operate in. It, too, is now in a state of wickedness.

Satan is able to deceive mankind through his chains of hell and the veils of unbelief that are attached to all sinners. Through sin, the veil of unbelief and its chain becomes attached to man around the age of eight. Through continual sin, it becomes increasingly more difficult to be removed.

The chains of hell not only look like chains, but also function as chains. If a man does not, while in mortality, repent and shake off the chains of hell and rend the veil of unbelief that is attached to his mind and heart, when he dies he becomes exposed to the full captivating power of Satan. Satan has power to pull on his chains, dragging the souls down to hell, but he has no power to pull the spirits into hell while they are still in their physical, mortal bodies. Only when the spirit leaves its body can the devil pull the helpless souls into hell. The body serves as a temporary protection from the devil in this manner. Once in hell, the devil can fully subject the spirits to him, through his spirit (the chains of hell and veils of darkness). (See Alma 34: 33-35.)

Having an understanding of these things is extremely important, in order that we can work out our salvation with fear and trembling before God. (See Alma 34: 37.)

A tare sown

The chains of hell and the veil of unbelief, if turned upside down, look like a plant stalk with roots going into the heart and mind of man. This is, in actuality, the tare that is sown by the enemy. The tare seed is planted in the heart of man first (see Moses 6: 55) and then takes root in both heart and mind. In other words, the first plasma filament of a chain of hell first begins its connection to man in the heart, then the second filament connects to the mind, creating the veil of unbelief which encompasses the mind and heart of man.

(Note: the veil of unbelief only covers the heart and mind of man, not any other part of his spirit body.)

Secret works of darkness

Man cannot discover the chains of hell, nor the veil of unbelief that is upon him. If it were not for the word of God, which reveals the secret works of darkness of the evil one, no man would ever know that actual chains of hell exist, nor that veils of unbelief are secretly placed upon all mankind. These invisible plasma filaments (chains of hell) and plasma coverings (veils of unbelief) can only be detected by a manifestation of the gift of the discerning of spirits, for these are extensions of the spirit of the devil.

Satan operates in secret. As long as we have no knowledge of what he is doing to us, or what he has done or plans to do, he can work his destruction upon us with impunity. The word of God ruins his plans, because it fully exposes the danger the devil poses to us. Once a man knows that he is in chains of hell and covered in a veil of unbelief, secretly put there by the devil upon reaching the age of accountability and sinning, man can use his agency to fight it and attempt to get it off of him by calling on the power of Christ to help him. This puts a clog in the works of the devil, so he has always attempted to destroy the scriptures, or corrupt them, or get people to disbelieve them or misinterpret them. For those of us that have uncorrupted scriptures (the Book of Mormon), the devil’s strategy to stop us from liberating ourselves with the power of Christ is to deceive men into believing that all is figurative in the scriptures, or at least the parts that pertain to him. So, the expression “chains of hell” is not considered a real thing that binds man. And the “veil of unbelief” is not considered a real thing that covers the heart and mind of man. They are thought to be just figurative expressions of states of mind, not actual things that must be actively sought to be removed from one’s spirit body.

Work out your own salvation with fear and trembling before the Lord

O then despise not, and wonder not, but hearken unto the words of the Lord, and ask the Father in the name of Jesus for what things soever ye shall stand in need. Doubt not, but be believing, and begin as in times of old, and come unto the Lord with all your heart, and work out your own salvation with fear and trembling before him. (Mormon 9: 27)

Most LDS interpret this scriptural expression as referring to respect. In other words, when we fear God, we don’t actually exhibit fear of Him, meaning that we are frightened by Him, but accord Him the respect that He deserves. However, this expression does not refer to respect. Such an interpretation is a deception of the devil, a snare meant to blind the minds and harden the hearts of the church of God.

What fear in the expression actually means

The word fear in the expression “fear and trembling” signifies actual fear, as in fright or horror. It is the fear of being cast off forever.

And thus did the Spirit of the Lord work upon them, for they were the very vilest of sinners. And the Lord saw fit in his infinite mercy to spare them; nevertheless they suffered much anguish of soul because of their iniquities, suffering much and fearing that they should be cast off forever. (Mosiah 28: 4)

Such fear is instilled in a person when the gospel of Jesus Christ is preached in its fulness and purity (see Alma 16: 21), meaning that those parts of the gospel which reveal the power and captivity of the devilthe reality of death and hell, the chains of hell, the darkness and blindness of minds, the hardness of hearts, the state of wickedness, the fallen, evil nature and nothingness of man, the bands of death, the doctrine of damnation and endless torment, the spirit of the devil, the mists of darkness and temptations of the devil, the veil of unbelief, the wavering state of the mind, the lake of fire and brimstone, the flaming sword of justice, the rivers of filthy water, etc.such parts of the gospel sink home into the heart and mind of a man, and this new awareness causes him to fear to die because of the knowledge that the instant he leaves his mortal body he will be “taken home to that God who gave him life” (Alma 40: 11) and, being found unclean and possessed by the spirit of the devil (for the chains of hell are still attached), will then be cast off into hell (Alma 40: 13), to be kept in captivity by the devil, because of his sins.

Again, this is according to the power and captivity of the devil, which the Lord respects:

And again, doth a man take an ass which belongeth to his neighbor, and keep him? I say unto you, Nay; he will not even suffer that he shall feed among his flocks, but will drive him away, and cast him out. I say unto you, that even so shall it be among you if ye know not the name by which ye are called. (Mosiah 5: 14)

Satan possesses all who have his chains of hell upon them. We are his property and the Lord respects that and will respect that so long as we have a chain upon us sealing us as the devil’s. This is why we are cast off when we return to that God who gave us life and cannot enter paradise or the gates of righteousness. The chains of hell are still attached to us, the veil of unbelief remains intact and our minds are still in a state of blindness or darkness, or “filthiness” and “uncleanness.” No unclean thing can enter the gates of righteousness, otherwise paradise would also be unclean. So, we are cast off and dragged down to hell.

What trembling in the expression actually means

The trembling is both physical and spiritual, or the trembling of the entire soul when a man is confronted with his deepest, darkest and most horrifying fear, that of being cast off forever. Trembling happens when a man is conscious of his own guilt before God, having transgressed His laws and commandments.

Now Alma, seeing that the words of Amulek had silenced Zeezrom, for he beheld that Amulek had caught him in his lying and deceiving to destroy him, and seeing that he began to tremble under a consciousness of his guilt, he opened his mouth and began to speak unto him, and to establish the words of Amulek, and to explain things beyond, or to unfold the scriptures beyond that which Amulek had done. (Alma 12: 1)

Shaking loose the chains and rending the veil

Fear and trembling before the Lord causes man to be confronted with the realization that he does not have faith unto salvation, unto repentance, unto redemption. It is faith that saves a man from the hell that is prepared for him. The realization that he does not have faith plunges his soul into its own personal hell, where darkness envelops him and hell fires scorch and burn him up, in a process that, if the man learns to trust the Lord, repent of all his sins and continue on through the darkness and fires, will sanctify him, for these are the refiner’s fires, which are meant to consume the impurities found within his heart and mind, his very soul.

The trembling and shaking is not a mental process alone, but also a physical one. When it is discovered that the devil has actual chains upon his spirit, with an actual veil of unbelief upon his mind and heart, the spirit of man reacts violently against the foreign spirit of the devil, of which the chains of hell and veil of unbelief are a part, and attempts to shake it off itself. As the spirit of man is connected to his physical body, when the spirit suffers in anguish because of the awareness of the presence and attachment of the spirit of the devil,―and such suffering is known as “the pains of hell”―and then attempts to shake the chains of hell loose, the physical body likewise begins to shake uncontrollably. (See 2 Ne. 1: 13, 23; 9: 45 and Alma 5: 9-10; 26: 14.)

Faith unto repentance brings relief and liberation

If a man is able to obtain faith unto repentance, by offering to the Lord a broken heart and contrite spirit, the fear of being cast off forever and his trembling under a consciousness of guilt is turned into the joy of the saints, knowing that the Lord has redeemed his soul from hell and forgiven his sins. This happens when the chains of hell have finally been shaken off and the veil of unbelief has been rent by all the fearing, trembling and crying to the Lord with a broken heart and contrite spirit. The man is now free from the power and captivity of the devil and can worship the Lord free from the guilt of his sins, with the understanding that Jesus has taken them away and that should he die this instant, he will go to paradise and not hell.

“O blessed Jesus, who has saved me from an awful hell!” (Alma 19: 29. These were the first words king Lamoni’s wife said, when she arose and stood upon her feet, after having been under the power of God.) The relief of liberation from the devil and deliverance from hell is the first thing on everyone’s mind.

In this state, the man is now justified (guiltless), purified (having no more desire to sin and, in fact, looking upon sin with abhorrence), and sanctified (having desires to do only good continually). He can now ask the Lord for a gift or power of the Spirit, with faith in Christ, believing he will receive, doubting nothing, and the Lord will grant his request.

Fear and trembling, part two

“O blessed God, have mercy on this people!” (Alma 19: 29; which were the second words that king Lamoni’s wife said after arising and standing upon her feet.)

Once free from sin, the liberated man turns his attention to those around him and his now acute knowledge of the power and captivity of the devil, and how narrowly he was able to escape his grasp and hell, causes him to fear and tremble for others. He begins to fear that those around him will be cast off forever and he begins to tremble and quake at the thought that if his fellowmen do not go through the same process that he just did, liberating themselves by faith on the word of Christ, that they will perish.

Now they were desirous that salvation should be declared to every creature, for they could not bear that any human soul should perish; yea, even the very thoughts that any soul should endure endless torment did cause them to quake and tremble. (Mosiah 28: 3)

The man of God, having been born as a new creature, even born of God, now desires that all should have the same privilege. Instead of fearing and trembling before the Lord because of his own sins, he now fears and trembles for the sins of others. If the man’s heart remains broken and his spirit contrite, he will continue in this purified, sanctified and justified state, working tirelessly to save as many souls from hell as he can, by exercising his faith to obtain and use the powers and gifts of God to benefit others and to help them also liberate themselves from Satan’s grasp.

This principle applies even to those who overcome the world and are translated, becoming sanctified in the flesh. Such persons still “suffer…sorrow…for the sins of the world.” (See 3 Ne. 28: 38.)

Fear and trembling, part three

The unrepentant man, whose soul is cast into hell, quickly finds himself in torment, with no apparent means of escape, bound to the devil by the chains of hell, which he can now plainly see are attached to his spirit, along with the veil of unbelief, in an environment of darkness, filthy rivers, magma, mists of darkness, surrounded by souls who are weeping and wailing and gnashing their teeth, in continuous anguish and misery.

He sees his situation as hopeless. Although he walks in every imaginable direction, hell appears to be endless and its gates are all one way. Souls continually enter but none have power to leave. There is no relief to his torment. Not even death can get him out of this prison, for he cannot die. Finding himself literally in hell, which appears to him to be a never-ending prison, he begins to fear and tremble uncontrollably and without cease, which causes him to enter a state of misery and indescribable suffering. The fearing and trembling, however, that the damned soul in hell goes through, is insufficient to shake loose the chains of hell that bind him, because he still has no faith, hope or charity. Unless he is able to obtain the word of Christ and plant it in his heart, and go through the process of repentance, by which he exercises faith unto repentance, he must remain chained as a possession of the devil and be subjected to the devil’s power to make him miserable.

All must fear and tremble

All men who arrive at the age of accountability and have chains of hell placed upon them because of their transgressions must eventually fear and tremble. A man can either do it voluntarily before the Lord during mortality and allow the hellish process to work out his own salvation, purify his heart and shake off the devil’s chains, through faith on the Son of God, thereby causing the gates of hell to be shut before him, or he can be compelled by the devil to fear and tremble while he resides within the confines of hell.

Fearing and trembling before the Lord in mortality is the same process as that in hell, except that you have a physical body. The body makes it much easier and quicker to shake off the chains of hell and rend the veil of unbelief. The fearing and trembling occurs before the Lord, in prayer, as you wrestle with the understanding that there is a satanic veil covering your mind and heart, with a chain attached to it that leads directly to the devil himself. And this veil and chain is causing you to remain in a state of wickedness, blindness of mind and hardness of heart. It is deceiving you and not allowing you to exercise faith. And unless you exercise faith, you aren’t, can’t and won’t be saved. And if you were to die this instant, with this satanic spirit attached to you, this same spirit would possess you and drag you down to hell and cause you to be in subjection to it and all would be lost. (See Alma 34: 34-35.)

These are scary thoughts, the thought that you are unsaved and doomed to hell unless you can rend the veil of unbelief. This fear, when it works its way into a frenzy, causes your spirit and physical body to start shaking uncontrollably.

Again, it is the trembling of the spirit that leads to the veil of unbelief being rent and cast away and the chain of hell being loosened and shaken off. This is how all the ancients worked out their own salvation. It is a personal trip to hell done in the presence of the Lord, where the fires of hell sanctify the person by causing him to fear and tremble, which eventually frees the man from the bonds of hell that held him tight. Mind you, these aren’t the literal fires of hell (magma), but the spirit fires of hell (the twin plasma filaments discharging into our human spirits in dark mode, known as the chains of hell.) Hell, in a very literal way, is already attached to all of sinning mankind, by way of the spirit of the devil (the veil) that is rooted in us. The spiritual fires of hell is the spiritual torment a man feels knowing that he is not saved. It is a reaction by the spirit host (the man) to the alien, devilish symbiote (the veil and chain).

No one, except it be little children, will escape the fear and trembling of hell. When little children die, they go straight to paradise, avoiding hell altogether, and while little children are alive, they are sinless and have no chains of hell placed upon them, therefore they need not go through any fear and trembling. The repentant saints of God, though, must go through hell on earth, by which they work out their own salvation with fear and trembling before the Lord. This allows them to enter paradise when they die, thus avoiding the gates of hell. The unrepentant wicked, on the other hand, do not go through this process on earth, therefore they must go to literal hell when they die, where they do not work out their own salvation, yet still fear and tremble under Satan’s power.

Suffering and sorrow is what it is all about

Suffering and sorrow are the sanctifying, purifying and justifying principles of the gospel. Fearing, trembling and having a broken heart and contrite spirit are the three principles that bring us to the Lord. The fear of being cast off forever, or, in the case of the righteous, the fear of other people being cast off forever, is a form of suffering. Trembling under a consciousness of one’s own guilt, or, in the case of the righteous, trembling under a consciousness of other people’s guilt (because of the knowledge that they will perish unless they repent), is also a form of suffering. And a broken heart and a contrite spirit is sorrow for one’s own sin (demonstrated by uncontrollable weeping), or, in the case of the righteous, sorrow for other people’s sins.

All of this suffering and sorrow is over, or about the consequences of, sin. It is sin-centric suffering and sorrow. If we go through suffering and sorrow about anything else that is not sin-centric, such as an illness, or failure at a relationship, or poverty, etc., none of such things does us any good whatsoever in the process of working out our own salvation. Only suffering and sorrow for sin sanctifies, purifies and justifies.

Deceptions of the devil

It is the intent of the devil to have all mankind fear and tremble in literal hell, under his satanic power, and not in mortality under the power of the Holy Ghost. The doctrine of working out one’s salvation with fear and trembling before the Lord destroys the devil’s captivating power, therefore, he inspires mortal men who are under his evil spirit to preach against this doctrine. One such individual was Nehor.

And he also testified unto the people that all mankind should be saved at the last day, and that they need not fear nor tremble, but that they might lift up their heads and rejoice; for the Lord had created all men, and had also redeemed all men; and, in the end, all men should have eternal life. (Alma 1: 4)

Nehor’s preaching had devastating effect among the church of God, leading many members into sin and many were excommunicated. Since the time of Nehor, however, the devil has changed strategies, but the result is the same. Now, instead of getting the church of God to believe that the doctrine of fearing and trembling before the Lord is false or unnecessary, the devil has caused the church to re-interpret it as something other than what it is. Now the church believes it is merely showing respect towards the Lord by striving to keep His commandments, with no spiritual and physical suffering needed. This new strategy of the devil is more effective, at least for our time, because the church actually believes that they are working out their own salvation with fear and trembling before the Lord, without going through any of the steps of the real doctrine.

Again, although the strategy has changed, the end result is the same. No one goes through the process of fearing that they will be cast off forever. No one goes through the spiritual and physical shaking and trembling under a consciousness of his guilt. And no one manifests the uncontrollable weeping associated with profound sorrow for one’s sins, known as a broken heart and a contrite spirit.

The doctrine of working out one’s own salvation with fear and trembling before the Lord requires that a knowledge of the chains of hell, of death, hell and the devil, of the captivity and power of the devil, and of all things associated with Satan and hell and sin and death be explained to a person. Unless a person understands that he is in the devil’s grasp and is going to hell if he does not repent, he can never fear and tremble before the Lord in mortality, and if he never fears and trembles before the Lord in mortality, he must fear and tremble before the devil in hell.

Owing to the necessity of teaching the doctrine of hell and the captivating powers of the devil as part of the plan of salvation, the devil has enacted a plan whereby he now gets the church of God to avoid all mention of hell, death, the devil, fear, sin, trembling and any other “negative” emotional state. We focus on heaven and salvation and avoid all mention of damnation and hell. Fear is never, ever mentioned, at all, and when it is mentioned, it is immediately struck down as a barbaric relic of old-time religion. (For example, see this comment.)

Nephi saw our day (as well as the days to come) and saw the strategies that would be employed by the devil to emasculate the doctrine of fearing and trembling before God:

For the kingdom of the devil must shake, and they which belong to it must needs be stirred up unto repentance, or the devil will grasp them with his everlasting chains, and they be stirred up to anger, and perish; for behold, at that day shall he rage in the hearts of the children of men, and stir them up to anger against that which is good.

And others will he pacify, and lull them away into carnal security, that they will say: All is well in Zion; yea, Zion prospereth, all is well—and thus the devil cheateth their souls, and leadeth them away carefully down to hell.

And behold, others he flattereth away, and telleth them there is no hell; and he saith unto them: I am no devil, for there is none—and thus he whispereth in their ears, until he grasps them with his awful chains, from whence there is no deliverance.

Yea, they are grasped with death, and hell; and death, and hell, and the devil, and all that have been seized therewith must stand before the throne of God, and be judged according to their works, from whence they must go into the place prepared for them, even a lake of fire and brimstone, which is endless torment. (2 Nephi 28: 19-23)

Nephi said that “the kingdom of the devil must shake.” He understood completely the doctrine of fearing and trembling before the Lord. Also, he foresaw that hell would no longer be considered an actual place (see Teachings on hell and the spirit world), but a state of mind, as if people could release themselves from the misery of hell merely by thinking a different thought. Such deceptions are already upon us, and even greater deceptions are to come.

The gospel has already been compromised

The Book of Mormon preaches the gospel of Jesus Christ in purity. If you look at every preacher found within that book’s pages, you will notice that when they preached Christ, they also preached the devil and hell. When they preached salvation through Christ, they also preached damnation through the devil. When they preached liberation through the Son of God, they also preached captivity through the devil. When they preached of the Holy Ghost, they also preached of the evil spirit of the devil. They preached the gospel in its fulness and purity.

Now compare that to how the Gentile church of God preaches. We leave out fully one-half of the gospel when we preach it. We never talk of damnation, or captivity or hell, etc. When we talk of the atonement, we briefly mention sin and death and how the suffering, death and resurrection of Christ liberates us from that and then move on. There is no mention of fear, trembling, or any other thing that people might consider “too negative.” We focus on the positive and largely discard anything negative from our minds and conversations. As a result, we have stopped preaching the gospel of Jesus Christ, for, like a scale, balanced coverage must be given to both sides in order for a man or woman to repent of their sins.

Truth be told, even the half that we do preach isn’t preached all that much. The vast majority of our conversation is centered on prophets and apostles, obedience to leaders and commandments, blessings of paying tithing, attending church and temple, and every other conceivable topic that has nothing, whatsoever, to do with Jesus Christ’s suffering, death, resurrection and judgment upon all mankind.

Now, I normally put the blame of all things wrong with the church of God on the member’s backs, but this time I point the finger at the church leadership. They are not teaching the gospel and instead of getting the people to repent, they are causing the hearts of the people to become more and more hardened.

The plan of salvation has also been compromised

The Gentile church has likewise modified the scriptural plan of salvation. The plan is, in a word, Christ. It is not a flip-chart with circles representing kingdoms of glory, earth and the Spirit World. Christ is the plan. He was sent to deliver us from death, hell and the devil. Through faith on the power of His deliverance He can blot out our transgressions, all our afflictions, all our pain, take away our temptations and even blot out death, in other words, everything that causes a tear of sadness to fall from the eyes of man. He took all this upon Himself so that He could blot it all out.

Without Christ we are subject to the devil. We are not subject to sin, but to the devil. This is an important distinction to make. Sin and death are but tools of the devil. The real danger is the devil. The plan of salvation is a plan to save us from the devil. For example, death is a problem because

“…if the flesh should rise no more our spirits must become subject to that angel who fell from before the presence of the Eternal God, and became the devil, to rise no more. And our spirits must have become like unto him, and we become devils, angels to a devil, to be shut out from the presence of our God, and to remain with the father of lies, in misery, like unto himself…” (2 Ne. 9: 8-9.)

And sin likewise causes us to become subject to him, so that, were there no plan of salvation, “our spirits must have become like unto him, and we become devils,” even angels to a devil. So, Christ’s suffering, death and resurrection is designed to save us from the devil for he is the one holding all the chains of hell.

When we focus on sin and death and leave out the devil, we destroy the plan of salvation and faith. If sin were just a nebulous concept, without an actual being of power behind it, we could all be Buddhists or of any other religion and not need Christ. But this is not the case. No one can break Satan’s chains of hell. No Buddhist, no Muslim, no religion or philosophy of men. Only faith in Christ can. He, and He alone is the plan of salvation and we need saving from Satan and Satan alone. Christ and Satan must go hand in hand when presenting the plan of salvation, otherwise, it is no longer the plan of salvation and is of none effect to save men.

The Gentile church of God has pretty much divorced sin from the power and captivity of Satan. For example, if you look at the Mormon.org page on “Jesus Christ,” sin is mentioned 24 times with no mention of the devil. (A little better is that site’s page, “God’s Plan of Happiness,” which mentions sin 7 times, with Satan mentioned twice.) As a result, no one can properly exercise faith as a principle of power. Instead, we get hit and miss manifestations and no gifts.

Also, the focus of the plan of salvation is no longer Christ. Now when we think of the plan of salvation, instead of viewing the sufferings, death and resurrection of Christ, we think of three degrees of glory and of exaltation in the celestial kingdom. And we most certainly do not think of the devil and hell. In fact, we don’t even use the word hell anymore, having replaced it with the more politically correct term, “spirit prison.” Yet, even with that term, we do not see it as an actual prison, with real shackles upon a person. All has become figurative states of mind.

All fear is negative and bad and inspired by me,” says the devil

All of this is according to the deceptions, plans and power of the evil one, for it is his intent to remove both Christ and himself from our conversations. As long as he remains out of sight and out of mind, he is free to go about destroying souls.

In this way, the people are deceived and never realize the danger they are in, nor do they learn the process by which to go about removing themselves from that danger. They are deceived into thinking that fear, meaning actual fear, as in fright, is contrary to the gospel, and that fear can only be inspired by the devil. So, they never enter the process by which all the ancient saints went through to shake off the chains of hell and rend the veil of unbelief and save themselves, which is the process of fearing and trembling and crying before the Lord.

Again, what is it that we are to fear in this process? We are to fear being cast off forever. (See Mosiah 28: 4.) It is this fear that causes the body and spirit to tremble. And, why should we fear this? Because as long as the chains and veil are attached to us, we cannot exercise faith, cannot be saved and will be dragged down to hell once we leave our physical bodies, to become subject to, and possessed by, the devil’s spirit. Once people learn of these things, they begin to fear death, while the righteous, who have been liberated from this captivity, have no fear of death.

To be clearer in writing, no one can be saved without faith in Christ and no one can exercise faith in Christ unless they go through the process of fearing, trembling and crying before the Lord. So, to ascribe all fear as inspired of the devil is to commit spiritual suicide, for you will then never be able to exercise faith unto salvation.

The scriptures explain these things in plainness, so that people can understand that they ought to go through this process right now, this very moment, while they are still alive. Such plainness necessitates Satan’s strategy to get us to misinterpret these real things as mere symbols.

The one mighty and strong is a deception

There are many who are waiting for “one mighty and strong” to show up and save the day, performing miracles and wonders and signs. Such a doctrine is inspired of the devil. I’m not saying that there will not be one or more persons arriving who will be mighty and strong and manifest miracles and perform great works. Of course there will be. However, the waiting for such a man or men to arrive is inspired by the evil one, that he might keep all those who believe such a doctrine in the status quo and ever relying upon the arm of flesh and looking for someone to lead them.

The true doctrine of Christ is that every man and woman is to repent of their sins and harden not their hearts, receiving a remission of their sins, and then asking God in faith to obtain the gifts and powers of the Spirit, so as to work miracles themselves, and not to wait for miracle workers to show up. Those who wait for miracle workers to show up, without learning how to work miracles themselves, will end up being deceived, for Satan will send miracle workers with the intent to deceive such people.

We are to obtain the gifts ourselves so that we are not deceived (see D&C 46: 8.) If you do not obtain the gifts, but merely wait for a savior to arrive, you will get a savior, but he will be sent from the evil one.

Pray against the power of the devil

The scriptures indicate that we must pray always and not faint, that we be not led into temptation. In other words, we are to pray against the power of the devil, against his power to tempt and deceive us and others.

Yea, cry unto him against the devil, who is an enemy to all righteousness. (Alma 34: 21.)

The Lord will grant us what we ask for in faith, but if we do not ask for something, He will not grant it. The ancients always prayed against the devil’s power and taught all men to do so. The Gentile church typically neglects this duty.

The ordinance of prayer

Prayer is an ordinance (see New thoughts on prayer) by which we offer a sacrifice to the Lord. He only accepts one type of sacrifice: that of a broken heart and a contrite spirit. A broken heart and contrite spirit is a heart that is inundated with sorrow for sin. Initially, it is sorrow for one’s own sins. Later, when forgiveness through faith on Christ has come, it is sorrow for the sins of the world.

Prayer only works if this sacrifice is offered up. If any man or woman prays to God without presenting before Him the required sacrifice, which is the only sacrifice He will accept, the prayer is counted as evil and profits the man nothing. (See Moroni 7: 6-9.) Just as Cain brought the wrong sacrifice to the Lord and was rejected by Him, while Abel brought the right sacrifice and was accepted, so if we pray to God without a broken heart and contrite spirit, our prayers will not be answered, or will be of no profit to us.

The Son of God is “quick to hear the cries of his people and to answer their prayers” (Alma 9: 26), but only if they offer the required sacrifice. If they go to the prayer altar and offer up nothing, or some substitute sacrifice, they have no such promise.

If you are not weeping, you are not broken-hearted

The Lord has given us a key whereby we might know if we have a broken heart and contrite spirit: the crying of tears of sorrow. When we are crying tears of sorrow for our own sins, or for others’ sins, then we are broken-hearted. If we have not, as yet, reached that point, our hearts are still hard.

Yea, his weeping for Zion I have seen (D&C 21: 8 – The Lord, speaking of Joseph Smith, Jun.)

For I pray continually for them by day, and mine eyes water my pillow by night, because of them; and I cry unto my God in faith, and I know that he will hear my cry. (2 Ne. 33: 3 – Nephi)

There is a reason why the scriptures tell us to “cry unto the Lord.” The word cry can mean “to make a loud call or cry, as in an effort to be heard, in prayer or supplication, in pain or anger, etc.; to call out or exclaim vehemently or earnestly; to shout; to vociferate.” But it can also mean “to utter lamentations; to lament audibly; to express pain, grief, or distress, by weeping and sobbing; to wail; to shed tears with or without making a sound; to weep.” It is the latter type of crying that demonstrates a broken heart and contrite spirit.

When we cry to the Lord, with uncontrollable weeping for our sins, the Lord is “quick to hear the cries.” Only those who have a broken heart and contrite spiritwho are they that are truly penitent and sorry for their sinshave access to the atonement of Jesus Christ, “and unto none else can the ends of the law be answered” (2 Ne. 2: 7.) This means that unless you are brought to tears for your own sins, or for the sins of the world, you are currently in a state of damnation, because your heart is still hard, the veil of unbelief is still intact, the chains of hell are still attached to you and you are still in subjection to the devil, being an enemy to God.

The condition of the heart

It all comes down to our hearts. Our hearts are hard, like a stone. This is the reason, the only reason, why those of us who ask God for a gift of the Spirit, do so in vain. This is the reason why we do not receive.

No one can exercise faith while in a state of damnation. No one can be saved in his sins. He must be saved from his sins. A hard heart is a wicked heart. As long as his heart is hard, a man is still in his sins. The heart must be broken before salvation goes forth. Before Christ can forgive anyone of any sins, there must be the all-important sacrifice of a broken heart and a contrite spirit. Simply saying you are sorry for your sins does not cut it. You must feel sorrow for your sins. And this must be the sorrow unto repentance spoken of in the scriptures. This is sorrow that is accompanied by tears, by uncontrollable weeping. It is this sorrow that causes you to turn from (repent of) your sins.

And for those of us who have turned from our sins without the accompanying sorrow for sin (the weeping of a broken heart), such “repentance” is but a change of lifestyle and profits us nothing in the afterlife. The Lord looks upon the heart. Regardless of how one has stopped using drugs, alcohol, tobacco, and breaking the law of chastity and other laws of God, if the heart is still hard, that man is still in a state of wickedness, with veil of unbelief firmly attached, and has no faith unto salvation, which is why he cannot perform any miracle and will find himself in hell upon his death if he continues in the iniquity of his heart. So, it is sorrow for sin (the broken heart and contrite spirit) that is the first and chief gift of God that one needs to be saved.

But before you can attain to that state of sorrow, you must understand the consequences of sin. You must have a proper understanding of death, hell, and the devil and the captivity of the devil. And this understanding must work in you until you fear being cast off and tremble under a consciousness of your guilt before God. Only then can you come close to obtaining a broken heart and a contrite spirit.

All of this brings us to the role of the Book of Mormon.

The Book of Mormon is the solution

The word of God, found in the Book of Mormon, contains everything necessary to bring people to repentance, to the broken heart and contrite spirit required before miracles can go forth. This volume of scripture is designed to “pull down all the pride” (see Alma 4: 19) of the church of God. The opposite of pride is humility, meekness, lowliness of heart. These words refer to the broken heart and contrite spirit, not to mere “teachableness” as many LDS would interpret them to mean.

The church of God is currently in a rising pride cycle, which means that it does not desire to repent, nor feels the need to. It enjoys the status quo just fine. It resembles the Nehor perversion in certain aspects.

(The order of Nehors created exceedingly hard-hearted people. It was the Nehors of Ammonihah who murdered the women and children believers by fire. See Alma 14. It was also mostly the Nehors who slew the Anti-Nephi-Lehies who were prostrate and praying to God. See Alma 24.)

So, many members no longer care about obtaining the gifts. But even the members that are concerned about the lack of gifts, and that attempt to receive them, are incapable of doing so because they “are led, that in many instances they do err because they are taught by the precepts of men.” In short, the devil has the entire world under darkness, both within and without the church.

The Book of Mormon is the Lord’s solution to this problem. It is intended to give us the word of God in purity so that we can learn everything we need to know about Christ’s atonement and His power of deliverance, as well as the devil’s power of captivity. It continually calls us to repentance and shows us exactly what to do to escape the grasp of the devil and avoid entering hell, how to obtain a glorious resurrection, how to repent and receive forgiveness of sin, and how to obtain any gift or power that God has ever given to any saint of any age. In short, it gives us exactly what we need to gain the victory over the devil and overcome the world by faith.

Enos and Amulek as our models

Enos knelt before his Maker and “cried unto him in mighty prayer and supplication” for his own soul, “all the day long.” And when the night came, he did still raise his voice in prayer. And then the Lord spoke to him and told him his sins were forgiven.

It took Enos less than 24 hours of “crying to the Lord,” or less than the waking hours of a day, before the Lord finally spoke to him and he obtained a remission of his sins. It was accomplished in a single day.

Amulek said:

Yea, I would that ye would come forth and harden not your hearts any longer; for behold, now is the time and the day of your salvation; and therefore, if ye will repent and harden not your hearts, immediately shall the great plan of redemption be brought about unto you. (Alma 34: 31)

Again, the implication is that it takes but one day to obtain forgiveness.

How to pray, part two

Remember the list of steps? Pray to the Father, in the name of Christ, with faith in Christ, believing that we will receive, doubting nothing, for something good and right? Well, if you pray that way without a broken heart and a contrite spirit, you won’t receive a damn thing.

Before approaching the Lord in prayer to obtain the gifts of the Spirit, you must first obtain a remission of your sins, and before that you must first obtain a broken heart and a contrite spirit. And to do that you need to be harrowed up with guilt, you need to tremble and fear before the Lord, and nothing does that like the pure gospel of Jesus Christ, even the word of God as written in the Book of Mormon. The broken heart is the first thing to ask for. With prayer and the word of God, as found in the Book of Mormon, pride will eventually be pulled down and your heart will be softened and the tears will flow for your sins.

At that point, you must pray to God for forgiveness, while in your state of tears, or broken-heartedness, for as long as it takes. As demonstrated by Enos, it won’t take longer than a day, for the Lord is quick to hear the cries of His people. When you finally receive forgiveness of sin and have had your sorrow wiped away and replaced by joy, being full of the Holy Spirit and being baptized with fire, with the ability to speak the tongue of angels, etc., then, and only then, will you be able to ask and receive whatever you want.

Right after Enos received a forgiveness of sins, he got back onto his knees and poured out his whole soul to God for his brethren the Nephites. His broken-heartedness was in their behalf. Again, the Lord spoke to him. Later, he again prayed in this same manner, this time asking for something specific regarding the preservation of their records. He received what He asked for, because once again, he prayed with a broken heart and contrite spirit.

This is the grand key to the doctrine of ask and receive. If you have a hard heart, you receive the lesser portion until you know nothing and are taken captive by the devil. If you do not harden your heart, but keep it broken, you receive the greater portion of the word until you know the mysteries in full. (See Alma 12: 10-11.) Again, the key to know if you have a hard or soft heart is whether you weep over sin.

The Atonement has power to melt hearts

And he shall go forth, suffering pains and afflictions and temptations of every kind; and this that the word might be fulfilled which saith he will take upon him the pains and the sicknesses of his people. And he will take upon him death, that he may loose the bands of death which bind his people; and he will take upon him their infirmities, that his bowels may be filled with mercy, according to the flesh, that he may know according to the flesh how to succor his people according to their infirmities. Now the Spirit knoweth all things; nevertheless the Son of God suffereth according to the flesh that he might take upon him the sins of his people, that he might blot out their transgressions according to the power of his deliverance; and now behold, this is the testimony which is in me. (Alma 7: 11-13)

The suffering that Jesus went through is designed to move the Universe to tears, compassion and forgiveness. All mankind would unavoidably perish were it not for the redemption of Christ, and He came down to save us, not to save Himself, because He loves us and does not want the workmanship of His hands to perish. So, this was a completely selfless sacrifice. Both the reasons for the sacrifice and the intensity of it work on all who plant this word in their hearts.

This means that when we plant this word in our hearts and believe it, viewing the cross of Christ and all the suffering that He underwent, we, too, can be moved to tears, compassion and forgiveness. In other words, the atonement has power to take away our stony hearts and give us a heart of flesh. For this reason, studying the word of God tends to pull down pride and humble us to the dust, making it easier for us to obtain a broken heart and a contrite spirit.

For those of us who find that we cannot cry to the Lord, meaning that we cannot feel the sorrow for sin necessary to obtain blessings from the Lord, because the tears do not come, the Lord, in His infinite foreknowledge and mercy, knowing that the preaching of the word in purity has power to break hearts and that the Gentile church would not preach the word in purity, began the foundation of the church with the Book of Mormon, for the Book of Mormon prophets preached it in purity. In this way, anyone who desired to obtain a broken heart and a contrite spirit, could do so by reading the Book of Mormon with a believing heart. This would be as effective as hearing the pure word preached in power.

A doctrine of two atonements

The process of working out your own salvation with fear and trembling before the Lord, and of calling upon the name of the Lord with a broken heart and a contrite spirit is an atonement. To be saved, two atonements are required. The infinite atonement of Christ in which He feared that we would all be cast off, trembled with a perfect consciousness of all our guilt, and sorrowed under the enormous weight of our sins, was the first one, without which no one would be saved. But a second one, a finite one, in which each person must also go through this process of fearing, trembling and sorrowing, is necessary to activate the first one.

A sense of our own nothingness

Ammon said, “Yea, I know that I am nothing” (Alma 26: 12.) Mormon said, “O how great is the nothingness of the children of men; yea, even they are less than the dust of the earth” (Helaman 12: 7.) And king Benjamin said, “The knowledge of the goodness of God at this time has awakened you to a sense of your nothingness, and your worthless and fallen state” (Mosiah 4: 5.)

The broken heart and contrite spirit is attendant with a sense of our own nothingness. Lehi preached the nothingness of man to his children (see Deep Waters: Lehi’s model of the universe) who then kept up the teaching throughout their generations to the end of their civilization. We are, quite literally, nothing, having come from the nothingness. All that we are and possess has been given to us, or leased to us, by the generosity and charity of God. If we do not turn the lease into a permanent ownership, by filling our hearts with charity, which is the love of God, our lease will end and we will return to the nothingness from whence we came. Just as from dust we are taken and to dust we shall return, so from nothing we come and to nothing we shall return, unless we take advantage of the atonement of Christ.

Even before obtaining a broken heart and a contrite spirit, getting a sense of one’s own nothingness assists in softening the heart, for the contrast between God’s absolute greatness, being a possessor of all things, and our nothingness, causes us to quake and tremble. Shaking, quaking and trembling are helpful in softening the heart. And after the broken heart is received, always remembering one’s nothingness and the greatness of God keeps everything in a proper perspective, so that it becomes that much easier to retain a remission of sin.

Retaining a remission of sins

And again I say unto you as I have said before, that as ye have come to the knowledge of the glory of God, or if ye have known of his goodness and have tasted of his love, and have received a remission of your sins, which causeth such exceedingly great joy in your souls, even so I would that ye should remember, and always retain in remembrance, the greatness of God, and your own nothingness, and his goodness and long-suffering towards you, unworthy creatures, and humble yourselves even in the depths of humility, calling on the name of the Lord daily, and standing steadfastly in the faith of that which is to come, which was spoken by the mouth of the angel. And behold, I say unto you that if ye do this ye shall always rejoice, and be filled with the love of God, and always retain a remission of your sins; and ye shall grow in the knowledge of the glory of him that created you, or in the knowledge of that which is just and true. (Mosiah 4: 11-12)

The key to retaining a remission of sins, given by king Benjamin, is to continually perform the ordinance of prayer, offering a sacrifice of a broken heart and a contrite spirit, which is the required sacrifice or atonement that is acceptable to the Lord. Doing so will fill us with the love of God (charity) so that it will be well with us at the last day, for whoever does not possess charity is counted as nothing and must return to the nothingness from whence they came, while those who do possess charity remain in the kingdom and receive an inheritance.

It is imperative, then, that we pray always and do not faint, after the prescribed manner.

There is no going back

To those who wish to use the information in this post, know going into it that once you start the fearing and the trembling, there is no going back. The pure gospel awakens you from the sleep of hell into a state of torment, even the pains of hell. The realization that you do not have faith will torment you as if your soul has been set on fire, for without faith no man can be saved.

One option (temporary at best) is to reject the gospel altogether and to believe that the promises of the Lord are false and thus the plan of salvation is a sham. But that will only work until you die and then you will find yourself in hell, in your unsaved condition. So death does not bring relief from this misery.

If you make an agency choice to continue to believe that what the Lord has promised in the scriptures is true, and that all who ask in faith, believing they will receive, nothing doubting, will indeed receive, then you must remain in your miserable, faithless state until you obtain the promised witness.

The very misery you find yourself in, then, knowing that you have no faith sufficient to save yourself, will either impel you forward to ask again and strive to obtain the witness, or drive you backward to reject the entire gospel. In this way, all who arrive at the trial of faith must make a choice. There is no middle ground. It is all or nothing.

Closing summary: A gospel prescription

Just as one goes to a doctor who then prescribes a medication or procedure to cure the ailment, so we can write a prescription based upon the above information to “cure” the world of a deficiency of gifts and miracles.

There are three steps to receiving what you ask God for. The first is the fear of being cast off forever. The second is a trembling under a consciousness of your own guilt before God. The third is a broken heart and a contrite spirit, which is extreme sorrow for your sins, manifested by uncontrollable weeping.

Once a man has the fear we are speaking of, this automatically leads him to trembling. The fear and trembling, if they are continued through prayer and studying the word of God, will eventually lead to a broken heart and a contrite spirit.

It is the broken heart and contrite spirit that rends the veil of unbelief, shakes off the chains of hell and casts away every doubt. Once a person has a broken heart and a contrite spirit, he can pray to God for forgiveness of his sins and within a single day of prayer become justified, sanctified and purified. This is because God is quick to hear the cries of those that have a broken heart and a contrite spirit.

After his sins are remitted, the man must continue in prayer and fasting, praying against the power of the devil, acknowledging the greatness, goodness and long-suffering of God and His hand in all things, and always remembering his own nothingness, and by so doing, he will always retain a remission of his sins.

Such a man, whose sins are now remitted due to his broken heart and contrite spirit, can ask the Lord for any gift or power of the Spirit and it will be granted him. So long as he remains broken-hearted and with a contrite spirit, he will grow in the knowledge of the glory of God, and partake of as many gifts, marvels, signs, wonders and powers as he asks for.

Now, backing up a bit: the first step is fear. To obtain this fear, a man must have the gospel preached to him in its purity, so that he has a good understanding of the power and captivity of the devil, of hell and of death, and also of the power and deliverance of the Son of God, of heaven and of the resurrection and judgment. The volume of scripture that God has given to us to preach the gospel in purity is the Book of Mormon. Therefore, to all who are serious about obtaining and exercising faith and receiving the gifts and miracles of God into their lives, may I make a suggestion?

Put every other book you are currently reading and studying aside and just read the Book of Mormon, preferably out loud, so that you actually hear it preached. Every available moment that you have, read from its pages, with the above understanding in mind, and allow it to soften and affect your heart, afflict your soul, harrow you up with your sins, instill fear in you and cause you to tremble under a consciousness of your own guilt. This can only be accomplished if you believe everything that you read and apply all the sermons of repentance to you, as if they were spoken directly to you and with you in mind. Do this until your pride has been pulled down by the word of God and you have obtained the broken heart and contrite spirit that you seek.

Also, pray to God in the above prescribed manner, using a deadline so that each prayer becomes a trial of your faith. In this way, you will be able to plainly see that you do not have faith, which will cause you to fear and tremble exceedingly.

Continue on with these prayers and scripture readings, and petition the Lord for the broken heart and contrite spirit and to rend the veil of unbelief and shake loose the chains of hell. Use every available moment to do these things and submit yourself fully to the fearful and trembling pains of hell. Eventually, the Lord will take away your stony heart and replace it with a heart of flesh and you will finally feel the relief that comes from uncontrollably sobbing because of your sins. You will finally be able to feel sorrow for your sins, instead of just saying you are sorry and not really feeling it.

When those tears come, continue crying (with tears) to God, in your broken heart and contrite spirit, asking for forgiveness of your sins until you obtain forgiveness.

Once you obtain forgiveness, you can now ask God to see an angel or a vision or whatever, and it will be given to you. Then go and bear testimony to others of what you have seen so that they can exercise faith to see the same things. This is how it works.

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The role of angels in Nephite preaching


Mormon, speaking at the end of the Nephite civilization, summarized the role of angels among the Nephite church:

…[M]y beloved brethren, have miracles ceased? Behold I say unto you, Nay; neither have angels ceased to minister unto the children of men. For behold, they are subject unto him, to minister according to the word of his command, showing themselves unto them of strong faith and a firm mind in every form of godliness. And the office of their ministry is to call men unto repentance, and to fulfil and to do the work of the covenants of the Father, which he hath made unto the children of men, to prepare the way among the children of men, by declaring the word of Christ unto the chosen vessels of the Lord, that they may bear testimony of him. And by so doing, the Lord God prepareth the way that the residue of men may have faith in Christ, that the Holy Ghost may have place in their hearts, according to the power thereof; and after this manner bringeth to pass the Father, the covenants which he hath made unto the children of men. (Moroni 7: 29-32)

Angels performed three tasks among the Nephites: 1) they called men to repentance, 2) they fulfilled and did the work of the covenants of the Father, and 3) they prepared the way among the children of men.

Angels accomplished all three tasks by declaring the word of Christ to chosen vessels of the Lord, which were men and women of strong faith and a firm mind in every form of godliness.

After listening to an angel, a chosen vessel was instructed to bear testimony of Christ. This was done by going on missions and preaching the gospel to all who would hear, bearing testimony of what the angel had said.

Those who listened to a preacher’s message, which was the word of God communicated by an angel, could then plant that word in their own hearts and have the power of the Holy Ghost generate faith in them.

The investigator of the gospel, after repenting and exercising strong faith in Christ, with a firm mind in every form of godliness, would pray to the Father in the name of Christ, and ask to see, hear and know the things taught by the preacher, after the same manner or in the same way that the preacher learned it, and God would then send down another angel to the new convert, confirming his faith and giving him a witness.

Finally, the new convert would start preaching what the angel had told him and the process would repeat over and over again. In this way, the Father brought to pass His covenants among the Nephites (and Lamanites).

Angels were the trial of faith, as well as the witness

When Moroni wrote

And when ye shall receive these things, I would exhort you that ye would ask God, the Eternal Father, in the name of Christ, if these things are not true; and if ye shall ask with a sincere heart, with real intent, having faith in Christ, he will manifest the truth of it unto you, by the power of the Holy Ghost. (Moroni 10: 4)

this wasn’t a unique promise that only applied to what he was writing. This was a standard practice among the Nephites. The Nephite preachers would teach those listening to their words to ask God, in the name of Christ, for a witness by the power of the Holy Ghost that the words they were saying, communicated by an angel, were true. They taught the people to obtain the very same testimony that the preachers had received. They taught them to ask God to confirm the word they had received by sending an angel to them and declaring the word of Christ to them, just as was done to the preacher. In this way, both preacher and hearer would see eye to eye.

As Alma said, “For because of the word which he has imparted unto me, behold, many have been born of God, and have tasted as I have tasted, and have seen eye to eye as I have seen; therefore they do know of these things of which I have spoken, as I do know; and the knowledge which I have is of God.” (Alma 36: 26)

The trial of their faith, then, was to receive the angelic message (communicated by the preacher) and to repent and exercise faith to the point that they, also, prayed down an angel. Once the angel came down and gave them the same message, their trial of faith was over and they had the witness that they were taught to seek by the missionary.

Again, when Moroni wrote that “he will manifest the truth of it unto you, by the power of the Holy Ghost,” he was speaking as a Nephite, with the understanding and learning of a Nephite. The Nephite understanding was the following:

Do ye not remember that I said unto you that after ye had received the Holy Ghost ye could speak with the tongue of angels? And now, how could ye speak with the tongue of angels save it were by the Holy Ghost? Angels speak by the power of the Holy Ghost; wherefore, they speak the words of Christ. Wherefore, I said unto you, feast upon the words of Christ; for behold, the words of Christ will tell you all things what ye should do. (2 Nephi 32: 2-3)

So, when Moroni wrote “he will manifest the truth of it unto you, by the power of the Holy Ghost,” he had in mind that God would manifest the truth by sending an angel to declare the word of Christ, because all Nephite preachers understood that angels spoke by the power of the Holy Ghost and that this was how the Father fulfilled His covenants (by sending angels).

(Keep in mind that the words of Moroni found in Moroni 10: 4 were written to the Lamanites and not to the Gentiles. The Lamanites are the Lord’s ancient covenant people and He will fulfill His covenants to them as He did anciently: through the ministration of angels.)

From Lehi onward

The role of angels in Nephite preaching began with Lehi. Lehi began his ministry in Jerusalem with a vision of “God sitting upon his throne, surrounded with numberless concourses of angels in the attitude of singing and praising their God” (1 Nephi 1: 8.)

Lehi taught all six of his sons the gospel he had received from God and then taught them that they could go to God in prayer and ask to receive the very same manifestations he had received. This is why we find his fourth son, Nephi, writing the following:

And it came to pass after I, Nephi, having heard all the words of my father, concerning the things which he saw in a vision, and also the things which he spake by the power of the Holy Ghost, which power he received by faith on the Son of God—and the Son of God was the Messiah who should come—I, Nephi, was desirous also that I might see, and hear, and know of these things, by the power of the Holy Ghost, which is the gift of God unto all those who diligently seek him, as well in times of hold as in the time that he should manifest himself unto the children of men. (1 Nephi 10: 17)

Nephi had these desires to see, hear and know what his father had seen, heard and known, in the very same manner as his father had experienced it, because Lehi had taught his entire family this doctrine of seeing eye to eye, and had encouraged them to learn these things for themselves, by going directly to God. This is why we find Nephi so upset with his brothers Laman and Lemuel:

And it came to pass that I beheld my brethren, and they were disputing one with another concerning the things which my father had spoken unto them. For he truly spake many great things unto them, which were hard to be understood, save a man should inquire of the Lord; and they being hard in their hearts, therefore they did not look unto the Lord as they ought…

And they said: Behold, we cannot understand the words which our father hath spoken concerning the natural branches of the olive tree, and also concerning the Gentiles.

And I said unto them: Have ye inquired of the Lord?

And they said unto me: We have not; for the Lord maketh no such thing known unto us.

Behold, I said unto them: How is it that ye do not keep the commandments of the Lord? How is it that ye will perish, because of the hardness of your hearts?

Do ye not remember the things which the Lord hath said?—If ye will not harden your hearts, and ask me in faith, believing that ye shall receive, with diligence in keeping my commandments, surely these things shall be made known unto you. (1 Nephi 15: 2-3, 7-11)

“Surely these things shall be made known unto you.” Nephi said this at the beginning of the Nephite civilization. This is the same “manifestation of the truth by the power of the Holy Ghost” that Moroni wrote about to the Lamanites at the end of the Nephite civilization. It refers to the ministration of angels, in which angels declare the word of Christ, as one did to Nephi when he desired to see, hear and know.

The confirmatory role of angels was firmly established in Nephite church culture from the beginning, with Lehi and his six sons. Of the seven men, Lehi, Laman, Lemuel, Sam, Nephi and Jacob all are explicitly stated in the record as having seen angels. And the last-born son, Joseph, was said to have been a just and holy man (Alma 3: 6), the implication being that he, also, saw angels.

All recorded Nephite preachers (as well as Samuel the Lamanite) found in the Book of Mormon saw angels before they went out to preach. For example, the sons of Mosiah and Alma the Younger saw an angel and then went forth telling people what they saw and what the angel said. None of the preachers kept angelic visitations to themselves, but freely bore testimony of the declaration of the word of Christ received by the angels. These experiences weren’t “too personal” or “too sacred” to share with others. On the contrary, they were only too eager to get the word out, for they wanted the residue to have faith in Christ through the word of Christ communicated (to the preachers) by the angel. When asked how they knew the things that they preached, they were quick to say it was by angelic ministration:

Now Zeezrom said unto him again: How knowest thou these things?

And he said: An angel hath made them known unto me. (Alma 11: 30-31 – Amulek)

And behold, thus hath the angel spoken unto me; for he said unto me that there should be thunderings and lightnings for the space of many hours. (Helaman 14: 26 – Samuel the Lamanite)

Therefore, as Aaron entered into one of their synagogues to preach unto the people, and as he was speaking unto them, behold there arose an Amalekite and began to contend with him, saying: What is that thou hast testified? Hast thou seen an angel? Why do not angels appear unto us? Behold are not this people as good as thy people? (Alma 21: 5 – Aaron, son of Mosiah)

And the things which I shall tell you are made known unto me by an angel from God. And he said unto me: Awake; and I awoke, and behold he stood before me. (Mosiah 3: 2 – King Benjamin)

Widespread angelic ministration was a hallmark of the Nephite church because Lehi’s sons Nephi, Sam, Jacob and Joseph had continued the teaching of their father Lehi, that all converts ought to get confirmation from an angel after receiving the word from a preacher. They passed this teaching onto their children, who passed it onto their children, and on and on throughout their generations to the very end of the Nephite church.

When Alma spoke the following words to the people of Ammonihah around 82 B.C.:

For behold, angels are declaring it unto many at this time in our land; and this is for the purpose of preparing the hearts of the children of men to receive his word at the time of his coming in his glory.

And now we only wait to hear the joyful news declared unto us by the mouth of angels, of his coming; for the time cometh, we know not how soon. Would to God that it might be in my day; but let it be sooner or later, in it I will rejoice.

And it shall be made known unto just and holy men, by the mouth of angels, at the time of his coming, that the words of our fathers may be fulfilled, according to that which they have spoken concerning him, which was according to the spirit of prophecy which was in them. (Alma 13: 24-26)

the “unto many” that he referred to were the members of the church of his day. This wasn’t a select few leaders, one or two here or there, a quorum of three or twelve or fifteen, it was the general membership of the church. These ancients had all received angelic ministrations because this is what they were taught to do. This was how they tried their faith and received a witness of its veracity.

The same gospel, given to the Gentiles

The gospel given to the Nephites, including the eye to eye doctrine of confirmatory, angelic ministrations, was prayed (in faith) by the ancient inhabitants of this land to go to the Lamanites of a future day, hence the appearance of the Book of Mormon. The Book of Mormon is a record of angelic sermons, or words of Christ received through angelic means. It is designed to be this way so that when the Lamanites receive it, they will, like their ancestors, seek to obtain a manifestation of its truth through angelic ministration, once again repeating and initiating the ancient gospel given to the Nephites. In order to see eye to eye on angelic ministration, you must have a preacher preaching a message received through the means of angels. That is what the Book of Mormon is. So, the Lamanites then, when they read of Nephi’s visions, or Lehi’s visions, or Jacob’s or Alma’s or any one of the angelic visitations and declarations found in the record, will be able to put that word in their hearts and exercise faith and pray down the angels to manifest the same things to them by the power of the Holy Ghost.

This was the intent and faith and prayers of the ancients for this record, to jump start the Lamanites and to give them the same gospel which the ancient inhabitants lived.

On the other hand, the Gentiles who obtained the book could also have the same gospel, if they wanted it. The angelic word is there, if they wanted to apply it as the Lamanites of a future day would. But history has shown the Gentiles to be a hard-hearted, faithless bunch. Joseph Smith tried to get the people to see what he saw, to behold the same visions, to see the same angels, to receive the same message—in other words, to accept the gospel given to the Nephites—but the Gentile church is more or less content with having one man in charge who receives from the Lord, and then having that man (or a small group of men) tell them what to do. Joseph was only able to get a few individuals to behold the marvelous power of God that he beheld, such as Martin Harris, Oliver Cowdery, David Whitmer, and Sidney Ridgon. Everyone else pretty much rejected the eye to eye doctrine found in the Book of Mormon. Hence the condemnation found upon the church today.

No angels = no faith = no salvation

The doctrine the Nephites preached was not the doctrine the modern Gentile church preaches and practices. Yet, it is the very doctrine that God wants everyone to live, which is why He brought it forth.

Mormon stated that if the ministration of angels ever ceased, it would be “because of unbelief, and all is vain.” The cessation of the appearance of angels among the Gentile church is proof positive that the church is condemned, or to be plainer in writing, damned, because “if these things have ceased, then has faith ceased also; and awful is the state of man, for they are as though there had been no redemption made.” (See Moroni 7: 37-38.)

Let me re-phrase that to be clearer in writing. If angels ever cease appearing to the Gentile church of God, then faith will have ceased also among the church of God, and awful is the state of the church of God, for the church of God will be as though there had been no redemption. Notice, in particular, Mormon’s words: “for they are as though there had been no redemption made.” Abinadi and Alma also used such a phrase:

But remember that he that persists in his own carnal nature, and goes on in the ways of sin and rebellion against God, remaineth in his fallen state and the devil hath all power over him. Therefore he is as though there was no redemption made, being an enemy to God; and also is the devil an enemy to God. (Mosiah 16: 5)

And now behold, I say unto you then cometh a death, even a second death, which is a spiritual death; then is a time that whosoever dieth in his sins, as to a temporal death, shall also die a spiritual death; yea, he shall die as to things pertaining unto righteousness. Then is the time when their torments shall be as a lake of fire and brimstone, whose flame ascendeth up forever and ever; and then is the time that they shall be chained down to an everlasting destruction, according to the power and captivity of Satan, he having subjected them according to his will. Then, I say unto you, they shall be as though there had been no redemption made; for they cannot be redeemed according to God’s justice; and they cannot die, seeing there is no more corruption. (Alma 12: 16-18)

So, according to the above scriptures, if the Gentile church of God no longer has angels appearing to them, it is because they don’t have faith, and therefore they are under the power and captivity of Satan, he having subjected them according to his will, and they (the church of God!) are enemies to God. They, then, are not in a redeemed or saved condition, but are damned. All because they do not exercise faith to behold angels, as did the ancient Nephite church.

Remember, the Lord stated in D&C 84: 55-57 that the entire church was brought under condemnation because they did not do what was written in the Book of Mormon. This condemnation has never been lifted.  Even now, we give a lot of lip service to it, but do not live its teachings.

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


Continued from part twelve.

Charity on a series about faith?

On December 20, 2007, I wrote the following on this blog:

Mormon also talked about faith (and hope and charity) in Moroni 7. Like Ether and Helaman, quoted in the previous part, Mormon explains that faith precedes hope. (See Moroni 7: 41-42 “…ye shall have hope…because of your faith…” and “…without faith there cannot be any hope…”) In fact, the order of these three grand principles is always given as “faith, hope and charity” because faith precedes hope, or allows hope to be engendered and then faith and hope allow charity to be engendered. (This is a topic for a different post and will not be covered here. I mention it merely to show that faith is different than hope and charity and required in order to obtain the other two necessary principles.) (The faith of God, part three bold type added.)

I had originally intended to address charity in a post separate from the faith of God series, but as I’ve researched the topic, I see now that it belongs here.

Paul’s definition of charity

Paul gives the universal definition of charity, used by all the Christian world, including us, found in the entire 13th chapter of Corinthians:

Paul said, “Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, and have not charity, I am become as sounding brass, or a tinkling cymbal. And though I have the gift of prophecy, and understand all mysteries, and all knowledge; and though I have all faith, so that I could remove mountains, and have not charity, I am nothing. And though I bestow all my goods to feed the poor, and though I give my body to be burned, and have not charity, it profiteth me nothing. Charity suffereth long, and is kind; charity envieth not; charity vaunteth not itself, is not puffed up, doth not behave itself unseemly, seeketh not her own, is not easily provoked, thinketh no evil; rejoiceth not in iniquity, but rejoiceth in the truth; beareth all things, believeth all things, hopeth all things, endureth all things. Charity never faileth: but whether there be prophecies, they shall fail; whether there be tongues, they shall cease; whether there be knowledge, it shall vanish away. For we know in part, and we prophesy in part. But when that which is perfect is come, then that which is in part shall be done away. When I was a child, I spake as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child: but when I became a man, I put away childish things. For now we see through a glass, darkly; but then face to face: now I know in part; but then shall I know even as also I am known. And now abideth faith, hope, charity, these three; but the greatest of these is charity. (1 Cor. 13)

Mormon’s definition of charity

Mormon also gives his definition of charity, which is nearly identical to that of Paul, except that Mormon expounds upon the principle a bit more, taking up the entire chapter of Moroni 7:

Mormon said, “And charity suffereth long, and is kind, and envieth not, and is not puffed up, seeketh not her own, is not easily provoked, thinketh no evil, and rejoiceth not in iniquity but rejoiceth in the truth, beareth all things, believeth all things, hopeth all things, endureth all things. Wherefore, my beloved brethren, if ye have not charity, ye are nothing, for charity never faileth. Wherefore, cleave unto charity, which is the greatest of all, for all things must fail—but charity is the pure love of Christ, and it endureth forever; and whoso is found possessed of it at the last day, it shall be well with him.” (Moro. 7: 45-47; see also the entirety of chapter 7)

Charity encompasses all good things

All principles of the gospel of Jesus Christ are found within charity. Using Paul and Mormon’s words, we find: patience (“suffereth long”), kindness (is kind), slowness to anger (“is not easily provoked”), joy in truth (“rejoiceth in the truth”), strength (“beareth all things”), belief (“believeth all things”), hope (“hopeth all things”), and endurance (“endureth all things”).

Charity has none of the evil gifts or principles. There is no envy (“envieth not”), boasting (“vaunteth not itself”), vanity and pride (“is not puffed up”), bad behavior (“does not behave itself unseemly”), stinginess (“seeketh not her own”), quick anger (“is not easily provoked”), evil thoughts (“thinketh no evil”) or joy in iniquity (“rejoiceth not in iniquity”).

In all cases, the principles encompassed by charity are in their fulness: “all things” not just some things. This means that charity is not given in portions (in one sense of that word), as are other gifts of the Spirit. You either have charity, or you don’t.

Charity is not the sum total

The gifts and principles of the gospel which are found within those who have charity do not equate to charity. In other words, merely possessing these gifts and principles in their fulness does not mean you automatically have charity. Charity, then, are these gifts plus something more. It is not the sum total of the gifts alone. This is why Paul says you can have a fulness of (name of principle or gift), but if you don’t have charity, you are nothing.

Mormon’s progression to charity

In chapter 7 of Moroni, Mormon gives a progression from faith to charity. He declares that “no man can be saved, according to the words of Christ, save they shall have” and then he lists 5 necessary principles: 1st, faith; 2nd, hope; 3rd, meekness and lowliness of heart; 4th, confession by the power of the Holy Ghost that Jesus is the Christ; and 5th, charity. He demonstrates by his progression that it is impossible to have faith without the word of God, and that it is faith that allows one to lay hold on every good thing (see Moro. 7: 21-25; see also The faith of God, part four: the word of God), or, in other words, it is through faith (see the following note) that every good gift (which is “sent forth by the power and gift of Christ”—see Moro. 7: 16) is obtained from God, including the greatest of all the gifts of God, which is charity.

(Note: Mormon taught that the way to obtain charity is to “pray unto the Father with all the energy of heart, that ye may be filled with this love” (Moroni 7: 48.) Christ said, “Whatsoever thing ye shall ask the Father in my name, which is good, in faith believing that ye shall receive, behold, it shall be done unto you” (Moroni 7: 26.) This shows that charity is obtained by the prayer of faith.)

Salvation = Charity and Charity = Salvation

Some may take issue with my statement that charity is the greatest of the gifts. They may bring up the following scripture:

The Lord said, “If thou wilt do good, yea, and hold out faithful to the end, thou shalt be saved in the kingdom of God, which is the greatest of all the gifts of God; for there is no gift greater than the gift of salvation.” (D&C 6: 13)

For most LDS, the interpretation of the word “salvation” in this verse means “exaltation,” which all understand to be the greatest gift of all. Nevertheless, Mormon clearly states that charity “is the greatest of all.” (See Moro. 7: 46.) Paul also states the same in 1 Cor. 13: 13. There is no contradiction in these scriptures between Mormon, Paul and the Lord because charity and salvation are the same gift. I will explain why this is so later on.

Charity and Perfectness

Paul, Moroni and the Lord all aligned charity with perfectness:

Paul said, “And above all these things put on charity, which is the bond of perfectness.” (Col. 3: 14)

Moroni said, “And I am filled with charity, which is everlasting love; wherefore, all children are alike unto me; wherefore, I love little children with a perfect love; and they are all alike and partakers of salvation.” (Moro. 8: 17)

The Lord said, “And above all things, clothe yourselves with the bond of charity, as with a mantle, which is the bond of perfectness and peace.” (D&C 88: 125)

These scriptures indicate that charity is not your average love.

No inheritance without charity

Ether chapter 12 also talks of charity. Moroni in this chapter said the following:

And now I know that this love which thou hast had for the children of men is charity; wherefore, except men shall have charity they cannot inherit that place which thou hast prepared in the mansions of thy Father. (Ether 12: 35)

Moroni makes it clear that charity is a prerequisite to salvation. No charity? No salvation. Have charity? Have salvation. This is why Mormon states in Moro. 7: 47 that “whoso is found possessed of it at the last day, it shall be well with him.” In other words, if you possess charity at the day of judgment, you are guaranteed salvation because charity is all you need. You may possess anything else, in fact, you may possess all other things (gifts) possible to possess, but if you don’t possess charity, you don’t get saved. In other words, the possession of charity is the only thing that saves.

In the final chapter of the Book of Mormon, Moroni reiterates this point:

And except ye have charity ye can in nowise be saved in the kingdom of God. (Moro. 10: 21)

The Nothing and things of naught

One of the more curious aspects of charity is that without it we are “nothing.” Paul said, “Though I have the gift of prophecy, and understand all mysteries, and all knowledge; and though I have all faith, so that I could remove mountains, and have not charity, I am nothing” (1 Cor. 13: 2). Mormon said, “If [a man] have not charity, he is nothing” (Moro. 7: 44). Nephi said, “Except [men] should have charity they were nothing” (2 Ne. 26: 30). The Lord said, “And if you have not faith, hope, and charity, you can do nothing” (D&C 18: 19).

Keep in mind that Lehi also spoke of “a thing of naught” which has no power, purpose or even existence. (See 2 Ne. 2: 11-13. This is a bit deeper doctrine than I will discuss here but if the reader wants more information, you can read the Deep Waters category articles, Lehi’s model of the universe and Creatio ex nihilo, creatio ex materia and creatio ex deo are all true doctrines.)

Weak things and strong things

Charity is associated with strength and makes weak things become strong or all-powerful. Said the Lord to Moroni:

And if men come unto me I will show unto them their weakness. I give unto men weakness that they may be humble; and my grace is sufficient for all men that humble themselves before me; for if they humble themselves before me, and have faith in me, then will I make weak things become strong unto them. Behold, I will show unto the Gentiles their weakness, and I will show unto them that faith, hope and charity bringeth unto me—the fountain of all righteousness. (Ether 12: 27-28)

Moroni then goes on to explain that the Lord “hast prepared a place for man…among the mansions of [His] Father” and that the whole purpose of the Lord’s atonement and resurrection was “to prepare a place for the children of men” so that they could “inherit that place which [He] hast prepared in the mansions of [His] Father” through men having charity. (See Ether 12: 32-34.) Thus, those who possess charity stay in the kingdom of God (see Moro. 10: 21), become strong and inherit a prepared place, while those who do not possess charity “must go down to hell” (Moro. 8: 14). These latter people lose all power and become nothing.

The pure love of Christ

When asked, “What is charity?” LDS will typically quote Moroni 7: 47 and say, “Charity is the pure love of Christ.” Obviously, this is a correct and scriptural answer, but it doesn’t exactly explain what charity is. Yes, it is love. Yes, it is the type of love that Christ demonstrated and possessed. But what the heck is it? And why is it so all important that its possession makes us saved beings?

All are alike

Moroni, in the above quote, when explaining that he possessed charity, made a point to state that “all children are alike unto [him].” For most of us, love comes in degrees and is prioritized. We love our wives more than anyone. We love our wives and children more than our own brothers and their wives and children. We love our brothers and sisters more than our in-laws, and more than our friends. We love our friends more than our acquaintances. We love our neighbors more than strangers. We love our fellow citizen more than foreigners. In other words, “all are not alike” unto us. This demonstrates that most, if not all, of the love that we manifest is not charity.

The opposite of charity

If you look at past and present history, and review the brutal murders, genocides and other atrocities committed by mankind, you will find that one of the ways these men, women and even children justified their actions against their fellow men was to view their victims as aliens. They viewed them as less than human, as animals even, as vermin, as alien invaders to be fought and exterminated at all costs. In other words, they viewed them not as “alike unto them,” but as completely different and even opposite in all things. This hatred, inspired by Satan, is the opposite principle of charity. It views others as altogether different and seeks to destroy such different “things.” Charity, on the other hand, views all things as part of the family and creation of God, and alike unto ourselves, and seeks to edify, save and exalt all things.

Between charity and hatred

The prioritized love that we feel towards those whom we consider worthy of our love, known to us as our “loved ones,” is not exactly charity and not exactly hatred. It is a mix. It has conditions. “As long as you don’t hurt me, I’ll love you.” Etc. But the moment one of our loved ones hurts us real badly, then the love we feel evaporates to be replaced sometimes by hatred. So, when circumstances are going good, the love we feel can manifest great pleasure and happiness, but when times are tough or people around us are making agency choices that hurt us, often that same loving feeling can disappear in an instant and cause us great emotional pain and anger, even hate.

Satan, who knows that the principal of hate allows him to control people, also knows that it is okay for a person to possess love, as it can easily be turned into hate, by simply changing the circumstances of the person from good to bad. It is only charity—which remains constant, or perfect, regardless of the circumstances—which altogether removes Satan’s hold upon men.

What charity really is: the LDS Anarchist definition

Charity is an over-whelming desire and willingness to share all that you have with everyone else.

In the beginning

A visitor named Doug once asked me,

This brings up the point, why is God all powerful? It’s because the intelligences TRUST him, because he never lies. Trust + a healthy dose of smarts is the key to Godliness. The intelligences not only trust God, but they adore him and do whatever he asks.

To which I answered,

All you write here is very true, but there is another, prime reason that precedes these other reasons as to why all things trust and obey God. I’m currently writing another article on this other reason. I’ll link this comment to that future post (if I remember to do so.)

God is motivated by charity and charity alone.  In fact, our current scriptural translations go even farther by saying that God is love, (or God is charity.)  Charity is the divine motivation behind both the atonement and plan of salvation and also the creation of all things.  God desires to bring the nothing into existence (or creation) so that all the many created things can share in everything He has.  It’s like a rich man in a mansion, opening his doors and saying aloud to all in the streets,

“Come in, one and all, and partake of all these riches!  Sit with me, dine with me, walk with me, learn of me and enjoy all the wealth and pleasures I have!  What is mine is yours if you but come!”

Everything He does is to facilitate the gathering of all things around Him, into His mansions, so that they can share in His treasures with others.  This is charity.  God, therefore, is the personification of charity.  In other words, God literally is love.

Man is also motivated by charity, God’s charity.  In fact, all things obey God because God has charity.   We, in the beginning, being on the outside of the mansion, in the streets (in outer darkness), entered into the kingdom of God, or came into existence, because of the offer He made of sharing all He has with us.  Who in their right mind would turn down the offer to enter into a rich man’s mansion and live there in wealth and prosperity for the rest of eternity?  And not just living there, but partaking of all of the riches as if you were the rich man, meaning unbridled sharing of all there is, with no stinginess, whatsoever.  Who would turn such an offer down?  None of us did.  No one ever does.  It is not in our nature.

Charity brought us into existence

When God first gave us awareness of the inner sphere of light, it wasn’t His intelligence or His trustworthiness or any of His many other qualities that caused us to leave outer darkness and enter into our existence in the inner sphere of light (the kingdom of God). It was that noble offer of His, His charity, His desire and willingness to share all He had with us, that caused us to enter His created mansion.  This is how created things get created, or are brought into existence.  God has a two-fold mission, one directed at the already created things which exist within the bounds of the kingdom (sphere) of light and one directed at the nothing found in outer darkness.  To the created universe, He works to facilitate their obtainment of all that He has through the atonement and plan of salvation.  To the nothing, he extends the offer of entering His sphere of light and partaking of everything He has.

The creation is ongoing because the nothing cannot resist the charitable offer.  And so the Universe expands.

All things love God

Why?  Because God loves all things.  He demonstrates that love by desiring to, being willing to, offering to, and working to give us everything He has.  This is what God is all about.  Giving.  Not selling.  Not having things earned (a meritocracy.)  But an unearned gift.  This is charity.  He likes to give gifts to all that like to receive them.  As long as we enjoy receiving, He’ll keep on giving.  He is willing to give us everything there is, without any degree of selfishness.  Not giving us a replica of what He has, but the very things He has, we becoming joint-owners of His things, or as the scriptures say, joint-heirs.  This is the greatest love there is.  There is nothing greater than God’s love, called charity.  Thus, it is the most powerful motivator, in all cases.  It motivates God and it is designed, or it is His design that charity be our motivation, also.  For all the created Universe, it is also their motivation.  They obey Him in all things because they love Him for His love for them, which defies all comprehension, for once it is even remotely understood just how much God has and is willing to give to us, all things are humbled by the magnanimity of God and all things bow the knee and bend the head in humble reverence and worship of the divine Lover of all things.

There are no two ways about it

There is only one type of charity: God’s charity.  If you don’t have an overwhelming desire and willingness to share everything you have with everyone else, you don’t have charity.  (See the Deep Waters post,  How many wives?  How many husbands?, for how charity works in divine relationships).  Any degree of stinginess gets you kicked out of the kingdom.  The law of heaven is having all things common, or sharing all things with everyone else.

Sharing.  We learn this as children in the nuclear family.  Share your toys, our mothers teach us.  This is, in fact, a sure-fire way to make quick friends.  The more open and sharing you are with others, the more friends you’ll end up having.  The minute you say, “No, it’s mine!  I’m not sharing!” suddenly even close friends don’t want anything to do with you.

As adults, we learn to share with our spouses and children.  Parents provide for their children their necessities: food, clothing, shelter, nurture, protection, education.  We do this freely, as gifts.  The family is designed to be a gift society, so that we can better inculcate charity, which saves us.  The more generous and charitable we are, the more importance we put on people and the less we put on things.  Charity is the only lesson we need to learn here on earth.  Those who learn it qualify themselves for entering into the charitable society that exists in heaven.  They also prepare themselves to establish that society here on earth, otherwise known as Zion.

What charity is not

Charity is not giving of your surplus to a church, the poor or the needy.  It is not fast offerings or tithing.  Those things are important, but they are not what is charity.  We call them charitable donations because they mimic the work that charity does.  Nevertheless, unless a person has “an overwhelming desire and willingness to share everything” he or she has with everyone else, what they have is something less than charity.  The love of a mother or father for his or her children is close to charity.  A parent will give everything, even their own life, for their children, and will share all that they have with them.  But until they have the desire and are willing to do the same for everyone, they don’t possess charity.

In the absence of charity

Without charity, men go through various stages of selfishness and stinginess.  Babylon thrives in the absence of charity.  When charity enters the hearts of men, Babylon disappears and Zion becomes established.  In Zion’s absence, men have power to do all manner of wickedness and can be partially or totally controlled by the devil.  Once charity becomes the motivating impulse in men, Satan loses all power and God rules on earth in their hearts.  This is because charity is 100% divine.  It is not a human concept, principle or emotion.  It comes only from God.  As charity overwhelms with desire, its possession makes men relinquish all the less than perfect human emotions and allows them to embrace the divine nature.

Charity can only be obtained, as Mormon explained above, through faith, hope, meekness, etc.  So, as a strategy, the devil does all in his power to destroy faith, hope, etc.  Faith, in and of itself, is useless against Satan.  So is hope.  None of these principles can stop him. Only charity can.

“Let all men have faith, hope and the rest of the gifts of the Spirit,” says the evil one.  “As long as they possess no charity, these things are powerless to save them and can be a useful means of deception.”

The fastest way to obtain the gifts

As it is through faith that all other gifts are obtained, including charity, and as charity encompasses every other gift, it may be tempting to use one’s faith to seek all other gifts first and when one has fully developed them, to seek for charity. This is actually the slowest way to obtain the gifts because it puts the one seeking the gifts within Satan’s grasp.

It is not given that one man should possess that which is above another, wherefore the world lieth in sin. (D&C 49: 20)

This principle applies equally to the gifts of God. When we possess more gifts of God than our fellowman, or gifts which we believe are better than the one’s our neighbor has, Satan can lead us to sin in our thoughts by tempting us to think we are the better, or more righteous, man. Such thoughts can lead to sinful behavior and attitudes, which will end up damning us, despite our gifts.

The antidote is to first seek for charity and then, once it is obtained, to seek for the other gifts. This nullifies the devil’s power and facilitates and expedites the receipt of all the other gifts, for the Lord readily bestows His gifts upon possessors of charity because He knows already that they will use them to bless His other children.

The rewards in heaven will be based upon how close we came to charity

Those who enter into their exaltation are those whose lives on earth were denoted by this divine desire and willingness to share everything with everyone.  These men and women who actually obtained the divine gift of charity will receive everything God possesses and will become gods and goddesses themselves.

All others will receive according to how close they came to charity.  In the day of judgment, we will be assessed only by charity or our lack thereof.  Did we possess the desire but not the willingness to carry out the desire?  When presented with the opportunity, did we share all, most, a lot, a little or none at all?  Did we play favorites, sharing with him, her and them but not with those?  Or were we totally selfish, sharing nothing with no one and with an unwillingness and no desire to bless those around us with the good things of life?  Did we discard charity altogether and seek for its opposite, desiring and willing that others receive nothing but evil from our own hands or the hands of others?

Locations in heaven will be based upon charity or its lack

Those who receive the reward of exaltation (the ones who possessed charity in mortality) will reside in the midst of all things, like God Himself, at the center of the sphere of light (the created Universe or the kingdom of God).  Like God, they will receive all power (agency) from all things and all things will look to them (the center) and obey them for they have the same desire, willingness and now power to share everything they possess (which is everything) with all.

Persons who were less charitable in mortality will receive inheritances in other mansions or kingdoms (planets) which are located more towards the edges of the sphere of light.  These will possess less power (agency) than those who reside more towards the center of the Universe.

Repentance brings salvation (charity)

Obviously, almost all mankind will be saved through the atonement of Jesus Christ, which means that just about everyone will eventually repent of their sins and go through Mormon’s steps, acquiring faith, hope, meekness, lowliness of heart and confessing by the power of the Holy Ghost that Jesus is the Christ.  This means that they will finally obtain charity and become saved in the kingdom of God.  With this charity they will share all of what they have with everyone around them.  In the case of those exalted, “all of what they have” is everything there is to possess, even all that the Father has.  For everyone else, “all of what they have” is of a limited nature, but still everything that they were willing to receive, they not wanting or desiring to receive any more than the reward or gift which they obtained.

Only the sons of perdition lose out entirely, as they remain firm in their impenitence, refusing to receive charity, and being cast back into outer darkness.

Charity is not based upon a church

Baptism into a church is not what qualifies a person for the reception of the gift of charity.  It is one’s desires and willingness to share all with all.  Anyone who uproots the selfish spirit from their soul through Jesus’ words and the Holy Ghost’s actions, humbling him or herself before God, whether they are members of the baptized, covenant people of the Lord or not, can and will receive this gift and if so, they will receive the corresponding reward in heaven.  There will be many charitable “heathens” who will enter into greater rewards than uncharitable church members, regardless of how much tithing, fast offerings, service projects, temple work, meetings or callings they accept, attend or contribute.

The goal is charity

It may seem weird to bring up charity in the faith of God series, but I felt it was important to give an understanding of how charity fits in to God’s faith.  The faith of God is not the end of the matter.  It is merely a means to an end.  Through faith God obtains and maintains all things, granting Him possession of all things.  But possession is not the end all and be all.  The things possessed are to be used for a divine purpose.  Why get all if not to give all?  Underlying all that immense, godly power, knowledge and holiness is the divine motivation, which precedes both our own faith as well as God’s, for God works by faith in order to be able to share all that He has with everyone.  Charity, then, is God’s goal for both Himself and mankind.  Charity is both the first and the last principle.  It brought us into existence, it keeps us in existence, and using it, it can bring others into existence.  It is the reason for the happiness that is existence, the sharing of all things with all.  Charity is the Zion principle.

Everything that leads to charity is to be motivated by charity, thus, the Savior’s command of “freely ye have received, freely give” is according to the principle of charity and is to apply to all the gifts of God.  We are to use all that God gives us to benefit all His children and creations, freely, generously and openly, without reservation or respect to persons.  All are to be alike to us.

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

Previous Faith of God article: The faith of God, part twelve: Truth

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Tribal worship services


As I look around the Mormon blogs, I see a lot of grumblings about our Sunday church services. There are complaints about the boredom, about the lack of intellectual and spiritual stimulation, about the virtual non-existence of the gifts of the Spirit, about the cult of personality and conformity, about the worship of leaders (idolatry), about the many extra-gospel regulations such as a dress code, etc. If you are leaving church spiritually drained instead of energized, if you are dreading going back to church for another grueling three hours, it may be time to try something new.

Now, I’m not suggesting that anyone stop attending church. Not by a long shot. Everyone who is tired of what is going on at church should still attend church because the Lord needs agents of change among the congregation. But that doesn’t mean that such agents must feed solely upon a spiritually dead church. Church is meant to be a worship service, but when prophets and leaders are worshiped, a person can end up spiritually starving. So, here is a suggestion: in addition to attending church “worship” services, begin your own tribal worship services.

Start with your immediate family and the sacrament

If you are a married man or woman, with or without children, and one of you has the Melchizedek priesthood, begin your tribal worship services with a sacrament meeting right there in your home. Unlike the church services, tribal sacrament services can exactly follow the revelations given to Joseph Smith, Jun. So, instead of a priest blessing the sacrament when an elder is present (contrary to revelation), the presiding elder (the father) will do as the revelation states and bless the sacrament while his sons who are priests listen in. Instead of everyone sitting down during the sacrament prayers (contrary to revelation), everyone in the tribe will kneel as the prayers are stated. Instead of everyone getting a morsel of bread and a swallow of water, everyone will eat and drink until they are filled. And, if you’ve made your own wine, you can use that instead of water.

This quiet meal, in which all partake until they are filled with bread and water/wine, all the while pondering on the atonement of Christ, can be performed whenever a tribal worship service is wanted, whether that be once a week or several times a week, on any day desired. There is no scriptural prohibition to partaking of the sacrament on days other than Sunday.

Let the gifts manifest themselves

Once a tribal sacrament service is performed, and all bellies are filled with bread and water/wine and all spirits are filled with the Holy Ghost, the gifts can freely manifest themselves without the restrictions placed upon them in church services. This means you can form prayer circles and pray for the healing gifts to manifest, praying that one another be healed. Or you may pray for tongues and interpretations, or for prophesying or for any of the gifts to be manifested, and allow those who possess these gifts to benefit the surrounding tribal members.

Working in this way, the tribal worship service will invigorate the spirit and work to perfect the members of the tribe.

Increasing the size of tribal worship services

As this is not a church, nor a church function, but is a tribal function, only members of the tribe are invited to participate. That means although you start with your immediate family, you then can extend an invitation to your extended family, which makes up your tribe. Blood and marriage (or adoption) relations are typically how tribes are composed, but it’s your tribe, so you decide who is, and is not, a part of it, unlike a church which typically has an open door policy, all being welcome to join.

If you get a good number of relations meeting together for tribal worship services, there will potentially be more spiritual manifestations, which means more benefit to the tribe.

Tribal ordinances

Just about every ordinance performed at church can be performed in a tribe. The Melchizedek or Aaronic priesthoods can be used for all of these ordinances. Thus, a child can be blessed and given a tribal name; a boy or girl can be baptized for the remission of sins as part of his or her entrance into the tribe; the gift of the Holy Ghost can be given as a confirmation that he or she is a member of the tribe; males can be ordained to the priesthoods, etc. Although the priesthood is used, these are tribal ordinances, not church ordinances. They are recorded on tribal records, not church records. Should the individuals desire to join a church, they can do that, too, but they’ll have to receive these ordinances again from the hands of authorized church officers.

Where tribal priesthood authority comes from

Why, from the tribe, of course. It is the tribe that authorizes the priesthood and its ordinances within the tribe. Just as a church authorizes the priesthood and its ordinances within the church. The priesthood can be used in both organizations and each organization has jurisdiction over its own. A person may have membership in a tribe, in a church, or in both. Neither organization can tell the other how to run itself or administer the ordinances or deal with its members.

The Lord recognizes tribal authority

Priesthood found within a tribal setting, authorized by tribal members, is recognized as valid by the Lord. In fact, the tribe might actually be more valid to the Lord than any other social organization, including churches, because the tribe appears to be the very first social order. Tribal organization is not based upon the laws of the land, as are churches. They predate the laws of the land.

To some extent, my boyhood desires to live as the primitive saints lived, experiencing the spiritual manifestations they did, contributed to me receiving many different administrations of the gifts over the years. Nevertheless, it wasn’t until my own father passed away and I became the presiding tribal elder, or the spiritual leader or prophet of my extended family tribe, that I noticed a marked difference in the administrations. Before me, he was the tribal prophet, holding the Melchizedek priesthood. In fact, he was the only one of the entire clan that held it. Once I had obtained both priesthoods and he had passed away, the tribal office he held was transferred, unbeknownst, to me. I became the only living member of my tribe who held the Melchizedek priesthood. Suddenly I had gifts I never had before. I could bless tribal members and the Lord would respect it. I could curse tribal members and the Lord would equally respect it. Etc.

It wasn’t until years later that the Lord gave me to understand that I was the presiding tribal elder, after the order of Melchizedek, like my father before me. Presiding tribal elder is not an office of the priesthood found within the church, nevertheless, it is an office of the priesthood that God recognizes. The same applies to other tribal priesthood offices and ordinances.

There is (spiritual) safety within a tribe

Tribes not only are a protection from physical danger, but they also offer a protection from spiritual decay. Tribes that are based on the gospel of Jesus Christ and administered with the Holy Priesthood become obstacles to government and corporate interests which try to destroy the moral fabric of society. If your local congregation has been infiltrated by Luciferian influences to the point that church is a lukewarm experience at best, consider activating your family and extended family tribal worship services. It may give you the spiritual boost needed to more effectively fight the evil influences found at church.

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The seeds of the powers of godliness


We are here on Earth in a temporal (mortal) existence to develop our faith as a principle of power by walking by faith. As an aid in that endeavor, we are offered the gifts of the Spirit.

Walking by sight

In our pre-mortal life, we walked by sight.  As we saw, so we did, imitating the beings around us, learning by copying what we saw others do.

Upon entering mortality as children, we bring this capacity to imitate others with us.  We imitate or emulate our parents, our brothers and sisters, our friends and associates, the celebrities of the day, etc.  Eventually we assimilate into whatever society we are born into.  Like the chameleon, we become what is around us.  A baby born in France, raised by French parents with French customs and language will soon feel and act like all other Frenchmen.  It is the same with every other culture.

While we resided in the heavens, we copied our perfect, heavenly Parents and their angels.  Here, we copy imperfect mortals.  Mortality, then, does not limit our ability to walk by sight.

Two principles of faith

The Lectures on Faith divide faith into two principles: one of action and one of power.

Regardless of which principle you use, all things are done by faith, though most everything in mortality is done by using faith as a principle of action.

Moving mountains

There are two ways of moving a mountain.  You can move it stone by stone with your hands, or by using shovels, bulldozers or other technologies, to force the elements that make up the mountain to move to another spot.  This would be faith as a principle of action.  Or, conversely, you can command the mountain to remove and it can obey you.  This would be faith as a principle of power.  The former uses coercion or force, wrestling with the elements to model them however you want them to be.  The latter uses agency.  The elements must voluntarily move themselves at your command.

Power faith is celestial

When we lived in the heavens, as all things were given agency, nothing that surrounded us there could be forced to do anything.  We could not even pick up a handful of heavenly dirt without its say-so.  Everything in heaven was accomplished “without compulsory means,” meaning that coercion, force, was (and still is) non-existent there.  In other words, we exercised faith only as a principle of power.  The elements around us obeyed us only insofar as they respected us and they respected us only insofar as we followed (imitated) the “grown-ups.”  There we learned to use faith as a principle of power by observing our heavenly Parents and the angels, for that is the only way that they operate.  They commanded the elements and were obeyed and so did we.

Action faith is earthly

Mortality is different. It is designed to allow faith to function under both principles.

Action faith is given to us a temporary crutch, as well as a test.  The elements that surround us here are commanded by God to allow us to push them around, regardless of our righteousness or lack thereof.  They voluntarily submit to His divine command and thus we can manipulate all the various earthly materials here.  If we desire it, we may never need to develop faith as a principle of power.  Mankind can survive on this planet (for a limited time, at least) solely on action faith.

Once we come here from heaven, we find ourselves in a fallen world.  Sin is rampant, both around us and in us.  Were the elements here operating like they did in heaven, everyone would immediately die.  We wouldn’t be able to even force air into our lungs, for the air would not allow itself to be forced into the lungs of a being it did not respect (a sinful being).  This would frustrate the design of God to prepare a world in which we could be tried and tested and in which would could develop faith as a principle of power.  So, as explained above, God commanded the elements that make up our temporal (mortal) existence to allow themselves to be pushed around by us, according to a specific set of laws that we term physics.

Imperfect memory is necessary for our test of power faith

If we had arrived here with our memory of pre-mortal life intact, we would remember how to use faith as a principle of power and would never sin, keeping our heavenly powers intact, as all things would continue to respect us and obey us.  But by the design of God, our memories are wiped clean and we become, as a result, unable to use faith as a principle of power (because we have forgotten how to).  The situation is okay, though, because we now can use faith as a principle of action, forcing the elements to sustain us.

Our limited memories serve another divine purpose.  As we cannot remember our past life in the heavens and we cannot see the future, plus the memory we have of our mortal lives is patchy at best, nothing is remembered perfectly and only bits and pieces remain in our minds to access at moments of recollection.  All of this is done so that we become blinded, so as not to instinctively walk by sight as we did in the heavens (and use power faith).  By limiting our memory (which is primarily a visual organ), we can only really see the present clearly.  The future is pitch black and the past is foggy.

Blindness required to walk by faith

In this state of blindness, we can be put on probation (tested) to see if we truly desire to use faith as a principle of power.  Whereas in the heavens we all learned to use faith as a principle of power, by walking by sight (because there was no other way to operate), here on Earth we can go our entire lives without ever using power faith, for action faith is available to us.  Thus, only those who truly desire to (re-)learn to use the heavenly powers will do so.  And so mortality becomes a test.

Additionally, mortality allows us to more fully develop our faith as a principle of power by walking by faith*.  There is no one to look at (imitate) to learn how to use the heavenly powers, nor can we access our memories to remember examples of how it is done.  When we walk by sight here we only learn to use faith as a principle of action, for this is the principle under which everyone here operates.  So, to use power faith we must walk by faith, or walk blindly, trusting in only the word of God and not the sight of Him.

(*Note: Although all things in heaven walk by sight, God walks both by sight and by faith.  In order for us to become like Him, then, mortality is given to us to develop this capacity.  I may have already explained this concept in the Faith of God series, but if not, I will, that is if I ever get around to finishing it.)

To re-iterate:

In the heavens we walked by sight, imitating the celestial beings we saw around us, copying what they did, and learned to use faith as a principle of power, for that is the only way that we saw them operate. We had no capacity to walk by faith, only by sight.

In mortality, we also walk by sight, imitating the fallen beings we see around us, copying what they do, and we thus learn to use faith as a principle of action, for that is the only way that fallen beings operate.  We are unable to exercise the power faith we previously had because we cannot remember (see) how to do it.

Being essentially blind, once we are presented with the word of God we are enabled to walk by faith and re-learn to use power faith.  Mortality is a test to see if we will choose to drop the crutch of action faith and start using power faith by walking by faith.

We must walk by faith

Mortality is the brief moment that God has given us to learn to walk by faith.  We are to walk by sight and use faith as a principle of action only until we are enabled to walk by faith.  Once we are presented with the word of God, we must let go of the crutch of action faith and re-enter the world of power faith.  We must stop walking by sight and start walking by faith.

If we do not learn to walk by faith and re-learn to use faith as a principle of power, we will be in for a whole lot of disappointment in the afterlife.  This is because the orders given by God to the elements that surround us in mortality (in which they allow themselves to be pushed around by us) only apply to mortality.  In the afterlife, the former rules (agency) apply and once again it will be impossible to force the elements to do anything against their wills.  In other words, in the afterlife faith as a principle of action no longer works.  If we haven’t re-learned how to use faith as a principle of power here on Earth, we will be powerless in the afterlife.

The best gifts develop power faith

To that end, that we might re-learn how to use faith as a principle of power and that we might learn to walk by faith, God has given us the best gifts of the Spirit.

The best gifts of the Spirit are the seeds of the powers of godliness.  When all of them are possessed in their fullness, one becomes omnipotent, able to do all things.  Here on Earth we are not expected to achieve every gift in its fullness, but we are expected to seek for them continually.

The gifts given to the LDS Gentile church

The LDS Gentile church of God has been given 14 best gifts, with one gift given to presiding elders to be able to discern the other gifts and weed out imposters.  They are obtained by asking God to receive them.  Once one of the gifts are received, faith can be more fully developed, for the gifts only operate on the principle of power.  As faith increases, and petitions for additional gifts are sent up to God, He grants more of them to the individual.  Eventually, following this pattern, all gifts may be obtained.

Gifts are paired

There are seven pairs of gifts.

1st Pair – The gift of knowing that Jesus Christ is the Son of God, and that he was crucified for the sins of the world. The gift of believing on the words of those who have the gift of knowing that Jesus Christ is the Son of God, and that he was crucified for the sins of the world.

2nd Pair – The gift of knowing the differences of administration according to the conditions among the children of men. The gift of knowing whether the diversities of operations are of God.

3rd Pair – The gift of the word of wisdom. The gift of the word of knowledge.

4th Pair – The gift of faith to be healed. The gift of faith to heal.

5th Pair – The gift of the working of miracles. The gift to prophesy.

6th Pair – The gift of the discerning of spirits. The gift to discern all best gifts.

7th Pair – The gift to speak with tongues. The gift of the interpretation of tongues.

Gifts are designed to be used in a church (group) setting, for the benefit of all

Only one gift is typically given to an individual.  For this reason, God has placed us into groups, or congregations, or churches.  If you have 13 individuals, each with a separate gift of the Spirit, each member of the group receives benefit from the 12 other people who have the lacking gifts.  If their individual gifts are fairly well developed, you can place this group of 13 people in any location, in any situation, and they will have power to do all things which are expedient to the Lord.

For example, place them among a foreign group or tribe who speaks an unknown language and the ones who have the gifts of tongues and interpretation would allow the other 11 members to communicate with the foreign tribe.  Or, place them among sick people and the one with the faith to heal would heal them all.  Or, have them deliver a message to an area of sickness and pestilence, of a highly contagious plague.  Who would be sent?  The one with the gift to be healed.  Place them among an ignorant people with no books or learning materials, whatsoever.  What would they do?  They would have the ones with the gifts of the word of wisdom and the word of knowledge start teaching the people.  And if the 13 themselves have no access to learning, these two individuals would immediately begin teaching the others of the group.  Or, just place the 13 alone, without any means of survival whatsoever, would they survive?  Of course, they would.  The one with the gift to work miracles would assure that.  Put them among a lying tribe and the one who discerned spirits would discover the lies.  Try to surprise them and it wouldn’t work, for the one with the gift to prophesy would have already seen that coming.  And so on and so forth.

Thus we see that by placing us in a congregation or church, the Lord has allowed all members to receive benefit from all the gifts which they may not have yet obtained.  If we were just baptized and told to go home and worship God on our own, we would not receive any benefit from the gifts we lack, until we ourselves finally reached the point where we obtained all the best gifts.  Also, being around others, who possess gifts we do not possess ourselves, makes it easier for us to obtain them.  The same principle of learning by sight, or imitating others, works with the gifts, too.

Perfection of the saints

In fact, the only reason we are commanded to meet together is to perfect ourselves and the rest of the saints assembled through the manifestation of the gifts.  Everything done at church can be done in a home (family) setting if the priesthood is found in the home.  But to obtain benefit from gifts we do not possess, we must assemble with others who possess gifts we lack.  Said Paul:

Now concerning spiritual gifts, brethren, I would not have you ignorant.  Ye know that ye were Gentiles, carried away unto these dumb idols, even as ye were led.  Wherefore I give you to understand, that no man speaking by the Spirit of God calleth Jesus accursed: and that no man can say that Jesus is the Lord, but by the Holy Ghost.

Now there are diversities of gifts, but the same Spirit.  And there are differences of administrations, but the same Lord.  And there are diversities of operations, but it is the same God which worketh all in all.  But the manifestation of the Spirit is given to every man to profit withal.

For to one is given by the Spirit the word of wisdom; to another the word of knowledge by the same Spirit; to another faith by the same Spirit; to another the gifts of healing by the same Spirit; to another the working of miracles; to another prophecy; to another discerning of spirits; to another divers kinds of tongues; to another the interpretation of tongues: but all these worketh that one and the selfsame Spirit, dividing to every man severally as he will.

For as the body is one, and hath many members, and all the members of that one body, being many, are one body: so also is Christ.  For by one Spirit are we all baptized into one body, whether we be Jews or Gentiles, whether we be bond or free; and have been all made to drink into one Spirit.  For the body is not one member, but many.  If the foot shall say, Because I am not the hand, I am not of the body; is it therefore not of the body?  And if the ear shall say, Because I am not the eye, I am not of the body; is it therefore not of the body?  If the whole body were an eye, where were the hearing? If the whole were hearing, where were the smelling?  But now hath God set the members every one of them in the body, as it hath pleased him.  And if they were all one member, where were the body?  But now are they many members, yet but one body.  And the eye cannot say unto the hand, I have no need of thee: nor again the head to the feet, I have no need of you.  Nay, much more those members of the body, which seem to be more feeble, are necessary: and those members of the body, which we think to be less honourable, upon these we bestow more abundant honour; and our uncomely parts have more abundant comeliness.  For our comely parts have no need: but God hath tempered the body together, having given more abundant honour to that part which lacked: that there should be no schism in the body; but that the members should have the same care one for another.  And whether one member suffer, all the members suffer with it; or one member be honoured, all the members rejoice with it.  Now ye are the body of Christ, and members in particular.

And God hath set some in the church, first apostles, secondarily prophets, thirdly teachers, after that miracles, then gifts of healings, helps, governments, diversities of tongues.  Are all apostles? are all prophets? are all teachers? are all workers of miracles?  Have all the gifts of healing? do all speak with tongues? do all interpret?  But covet earnestly the best gifts: and yet shew I unto you a more excellent way.  (1 Cor. 12)

Paul also said:

And he gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers; for the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ: till we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ: that we henceforth be no more children, tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the sleight of men, and cunning craftiness, whereby they lie in wait to deceive; but speaking the truth in love, may grow up into him in all things, which is the head, even Christ: from whom the whole body fitly joined together and compacted by that which every joint supplieth, according to the effectual working in the measure of every part, maketh increase of the body unto the edifying of itself in love. (Ephesians 4: 11-16)

Order of the gifts in the church

The church in Paul’s day had an order to the best gifts:

And God hath set some in the church,

first apostles (gift of knowing that Jesus Christ is the Son of God),

secondarily prophets (gift to prophesy),

thirdly teachers (gift of the word of wisdom and gift of the word of knowledge),

after that miracles (gift of the working of miracles),

then gifts of healings (gift of faith to be healed and gift of faith to heal),

helps (gift of believing, gift of differences of administration, gift of diversities of operations, gift of discerning of spirits),

governments (gift of discerning of gifts),

diversities of tongues (gift of tongues, gift of interpretation). (1 Corinthians 12: 28)

Another of Paul’s lists can also be assigned gifts:

And he gave some, apostles (gift of knowing that Jesus Christ is the Son of God);

and some, prophets (gift to prophesy);

and some, evangelists (gift of tongues, gift of interpretation);

and some, pastors (gift of discerning of gifts)

and teachers (gift of the word of wisdom and gift of the word of knowledge);  (Ephesians 4: 11)

We see from these lists that church callings are to come according to the gifts a person has.  This is why the gift to discern the best gifts, which is given to the bishop and to the presiding elders, is so important.

Modern view of the best gifts

Modern LDS (the Gentile Mormons) typically avoid the best gifts.  It is unusual to find anyone prophesying or publishing revelations or performing miracles or speaking in tongues or raising the dead or instantly healing people, etc.

When LDS speak of the gifts that they have, they’ll perhaps mention piano playing as a gift from God, or being a good doctor or surgeon, or being a good athlete, or being a nice person, etc.  A certain percentage of Gentile Mormons believe that manifestations of the best gifts routinely happen, but are just never spoken of, since they are “too sacred.”  Stories of gift manifestations are usually hearsay.

“Someone once told me that when he was on his mission, he met a man whose companion had healed someone by…”, etc.

Another percentage of Gentile Mormons have downgraded the best gifts to fit into more acceptable administrations.  So, for example, the gift of tongues becomes going to the MTC for two months and learning the language.  Or, the gift of healing becomes going to medical school and becoming a doctor or surgeon.  Or, the gift to prophesy becomes gaining the title of President of the Church and being called “the prophet.”  In like manner, the word of wisdom and the word of knowledge are delegated to those who have enough money to study at a university.   And the working of miracles becomes the “happening of miracles” and every little unexpected thing becomes a “miracle.”  Etc.

None of the best gifts work this way.  You cannot use faith as a principle of action to activate a best gift.  They only work by faith as a principle of power.  To illustrate, let’s examine the gift of the word of knowledge.

The gift of the word of knowledge

And again, verily I say unto you, to some is given, by the Spirit of God, the word of wisdom.  To another is given the word of knowledge, that all may be taught to be wise and to have knowledge.  (D&C 46: 17-18; the gift of the word of knowledge is in bold type.)

Ammon possessed the word of knowledge

The Book of Mormon contains an example of the gift of the word of knowledge in action:

And it came to pass that when they had established a church in that land, that king Lamoni desired that Ammon should go with him to the land of Nephi, that he might show him unto his father.

And the voice of the Lord came to Ammon, saying:

Thou shalt not go up to the land of Nephi, for behold, the king will seek thy life; but thou shalt go to the land of Middoni; for behold, thy brother Aaron, and also Muloki and Ammah are in prison.

Now it came to pass that when Ammon had heard this, he said unto Lamoni:

Behold, my brother and brethren are in prison at Middoni, and I go that I may deliver them.

Now Lamoni said unto Ammon:

I know, in the strength of the Lord thou canst do all things. But behold, I will go with thee to the land of Middoni; for the king of the land of Middoni, whose name is Antiomno, is a friend unto me; therefore I go to the land of Middoni, that I may flatter the king of the land, and he will cast thy brethren out of prison.

Now Lamoni said unto him:

Who told thee that thy brethren were in prison?

And Ammon said unto him:

No one hath told me, save it be God; and he said unto me—

Go and deliver thy brethren, for they are in prison in the land of Middoni.  (Alma 20:1-5)

Ammon had knowledge that his brethren were, at that moment, in prison.  No one but God gave him this knowledge.  He then communicated the information to others, namely Lamoni.  This wasn’t knowledge of a spiritual thing, but of a physical fact that could be verified: Aaron, Muloki and Ammah were in prison at that very moment.  So, this was knowledge of something physically happening in the present.  It didn’t deal at all with anything pertaining to the future.  Nevertheless, no one but God told Ammon this fact, so, although it was knowledge of a physical thing that could be verified with one’s own two eyes, it was communicated via spiritual means.  This is, essentially, what the gift of the word of knowledge is all about.

The Savior mentioned the word of knowledge

Another example from the Book of Mormon comes from the Savior’s visit. Speaking to the Nephites, he said:

And I command you that ye shall write these sayings after I am gone, that if it so be that my people at Jerusalem, they who have seen me and been with me in my ministry, do not ask the Father in my name, that they may receive a knowledge of you by the Holy Ghost, and also of the other tribes whom they know not of, that these sayings which ye shall write shall be kept and shall be manifested unto the Gentiles, that through the fulness of the Gentiles, the remnant of their seed, who shall be scattered forth upon the face of the earth because of their unbelief, may be brought in, or may be brought to a knowledge of me, their Redeemer. (3 Ne. 16: 4; the gift of the word of knowledge is in bold type.)

Contrasted with the gift to prophesy

Notice how the gift of the word of knowledge contrasts with the gift to prophesy.  Again, an example from the Book of Mormon:

And it came to pass in the eleventh year of the reign of the judges over the people of Nephi, on the fifth day of the second month, there having been much peace in the land of Zarahemla, there having been no wars nor contentions for a certain number of years, even until the fifth day of the second month in the eleventh year, there was a cry of war heard throughout the land.  For behold, the armies of the Lamanites had come in upon the wilderness side, into the borders of the land, even into the city of Ammonihah, and began to slay the people and destroy the city.

And now it came to pass, before the Nephites could raise a sufficient army to drive them out of the land, they had destroyed the people who were in the city of Ammonihah, and also some around the borders of Noah, and taken others captive into the wilderness.

Now it came to pass that the Nephites were desirous to obtain those who had been carried away captive into the wilderness.  Therefore, he that had been appointed chief captain over the armies of the Nephites, (and his name was Zoram, and he had two sons, Lehi and Aha)—now Zoram and his two sons, knowing that Alma was high priest over the church, and having heard that he had the spirit of prophecy, therefore they went unto him and desired of him to know whither the Lord would that they should go into the wilderness in search of their brethren, who had been taken captive by the Lamanites.

And it came to pass that Alma inquired of the Lord concerning the matter. And Alma returned and said unto them:

Behold, the Lamanites will cross the river Sidon in the south wilderness, away up beyond the borders of the land of Manti. And behold there shall ye meet them, on the east of the river Sidon, and there the Lord will deliver unto thee thy brethren who have been taken captive by the Lamanites.  (Alma 16: 1-6)

In this case, Alma the younger had the spirit of prophecy, in other words, he had the gift to prophesy, and so he inquired of the Lord and received a prophecy of the future.  The “Lamanites will cross the river Sidon” (a prediction of the future), “there ye shall meet them” (another prediction of the future), “the Lord will deliver unto thee thy brethren” (a third prediction of the future).

Similar gifts

Prophecy does not deal with knowledge of things present and past, it deals with things pertaining to futurity: what will or shall happen.  On the other hand, the gift of the word of knowledge deals only with what has happened (the past) and what is happening (the present).  Both gifts, though, come through the manifestation of the Spirit.  Or as Ammon put it, “no one hath told me, save it be God.”

So, prophecy and the word of knowledge are almost the same gift, except for this one division: facts revealed of the present or past correspond to the word of knowledge, whereas words pertaining to the future correspond to prophecy.

All best gifts obtained by faith, not by study

All gifts of the Spirit are obtained by faith.  The healing gifts are called “faith to heal” and “faith to be healed” (see D&C 46: 19-20), but all the gifts could be worded the same way.  In other words, faith to speak the word of wisdom, faith to speak the word of knowledge, faith to prophesy, faith to work miracles, faith to speak in tongues, faith to interpret tonges, etc.  Without faith, none of these gifts are obtainable.

And as all have not faith, seek ye diligently and teach one another words of wisdom; yea, seek ye out of the best books words of wisdom; seek learning, even by study and also by faith.  (D&C 88: 118)

The above scripture speaks of wisdom and learning (knowledge).  Wisdom and knowledge are two gifts of the Spirit, but the only way to obtain them directly from the Spirit is by having faith.  However, because not everyone has faith to speak the word of wisdom and faith to speak the word of knowledge, we are instructed to seek words of wisdom and learning out of the best books and teachers by study.  Wisdom and knowledge obtained by studying the best books and teachers should not be confused with the gift of faith to speak the word of wisdom and the gift of faith to speak the word of knowledge.  These gifts come by faith, not by study.

Nevertheless, the Lord is saying in this verse that those who do not possess the gifts of wisdom and knowledge, can still obtain wisdom and knowledge through those who possess these gifts.  In other words, the two gifts of wisdom and knowledge are for the express purpose “that all may be taught to be wise and to have knowledge.”  Those who possess these two gifts of the Spirit are to be the teachers that “teach one another words of wisdom” and “learning.”  They are to be the ones who write “the best books” in which are found “words of wisdom” and “learning.”  Their wisdom and knowledge does not come to these teachers through study, but by faith, directly from the Spirit, for they are spiritual gifts.

Confusion of the gifts

Modern LDS often confuse the obtaining of knowledge or wisdom through study and life experience as gifts of the Spirit.  If we find a man who is possessed of great knowledge or wisdom, and who seems to be a God-fearing righteous man, we are apt to believe he possesses the gift of the word of wisdom or knowledge.  He may or may not possess those gifts.  It all depends how he obtained his wisdom and knowledge.  If it was through studying at a university and life experience, then he doesn’t possess the gifts.  If it is through the revelations of the Spirit, (“no one hath told me, save it be God”), then he possesses these gifts.

How the best gifts work

“No one hath told me, save it be God” is the standard to determine whether a best gift is operating or not.  Regardless of the gift, for it to be a legitimate operation it must be by faith as a principle of power, meaning that if you speak words of wisdom, you must have gotten those words from God and no one else; if you speak words of knowledge, you must not have learned it from anyone but God; if you heal the sick, the healing power must not have been learned at medical school but must have come solely from God; if you work miracles, it must be a work done by you (such as Jesus turning water into wine) and not mere happenstance; if you prophesy, it must not be an educated guess based upon others’ speculations or statistics, but must be a prophecy you received solely from God; if you speak in foreign or unknown tongues, it must not have been learned through study; etc.

Let’s say that I prophesy that during this month of September (2010) that there is going to be a massively destructive earthquake in California that will turn the financial markets upside down.  Let’s say that I am the only one saying this and that I am claiming that no one has told me this, save it be God.  Let’s say that others believe me and then they also go around saying that in September there will be a great quake in California, as if it were their own prophecy. Then, along comes some date in September and lo and behold, a moment magnitude 9.0 quake strikes, sinking California’s economy and plunging the nation’s finances into the worst mess ever seen.  In which of the individuals would the gift to prophesy have been manifested?  In me or in the others who parroted my words?

The answer is only in me. Since I received the prophecy from no one, save God, the gift was manifested in me only.  The others benefited and repeated the same message, as if it came to them directly, but they didn’t have the gift.  Just because you repeat a real prophecy doesn’t make you a prophet.

In the same manner, just because some obtain words of wisdom and knowledge (through study and schooling) or ability to heal people (through study and learning) or language learning ability (through study) doesn’t mean they are possessors of these best gifts.

Some personal experience

I have had some limited experience with the various gifts. In the vast majority of the manifestations, if not all of them, I have been left totally perplexed. To the rational mind, it all appears insane.

For example, I once received a prophecy whose fulfillment was a distinct possibility. Then conditions changed and it became totally impossible for its fulfillment. But, I was sure that as crazy as it sounded, it would come to pass. So I simply waited for the conditions to change. Eleven years later conditions miraculously did change and the prophecy was fulfilled every whit.

On another occasion, I was praying for guidance on what to do and a manifestation of the word of wisdom occurred (the only time that has ever happened to me). I was told what would be the wisest course of action to take but it was the absolute craziest thing I had ever heard. But I knew this was from the Spirit and so I did it. In hindsight, I see that it really was a word of wisdom.

On yet another occasion, I remember, I was at work when the Spirit came upon me and told me that a friend of mine was in great danger. Who gave me this knowledge? “No one, save God.” As soon as I was able to, I made the phone call to my friend and sure enough, the Spirit was right.

Each manifestation I’ve received over the years has caused my logical, rational mind to protest. Yet, I have continued to ignore it. In fact, as time goes on, the revelations, prophecies and manifestations seem to be getting even more illogical and bizarre, at least to my rational mind. So, based upon my own experience, I don’t believe that we should expect to rationally understand the manifestations that may come. After all, the natural man cannot comprehend the things of God. In other words, it doesn’t really matter what the manifestation is, the only really important thing is that the manifestation comes from God.

Gifts are unscientific

Recently I commented on a blog by posting a link to The Split-Brain Model of the Gospel post. The blog’s owner replied,

“I will allow the link, but please note that I do NOT accept the proposed model therein as either good science or good theology.

A significant problem with “split-brain” popularizations is one of going far beyond the data into the realm of wild speculation. Readers of such popularizations should beware.”

The reply is interesting because it beautifully shows the reaction of the logical, rational, intellectual left-brain-mind to something written from the right-brain-heart (my post). I especially enjoyed reading that the model was considered unscientific.

Gifts are intended to engender and develop faith

Taking the gift of the word of knowledge again as an example, we should understand that even this gift, which appears to be based upon science (after all, it is knowledge, right?), is primarily designed to develop faith, not impart knowledge. Sounds crazy, doesn’t it? Let me explain.

Knowledge communicated by the Spirit through this gift is fact, not fiction, nevertheless, it is information that may not be readily verifiable.

For example, when Lehi stated, “I know that Jerusalem is destroyed,” this was the gift of the word of knowledge working in him. It was a fact. Jerusalem was destroyed at that time. This could be verified with one’s own two eyes if one could visit Jerusalem and see it for oneself. However, the Nephites could not visit Jerusalem, so they could only take Lehi’s words on faith.

Ammon’s word to Lamoni also were verifiable fact, but Lamoni could not verify them at that moment, so they had to be taken on faith.

So, the word of knowledge is a gift that imparts knowledge of present and past things that cannot immediately be verified using secular means, to the end that the listeners can develop their faith. The knowledge imparted is not of eye-witness accounts, but is a revelation from the Spirit.  The only way to immediately verify it is by another witness of the Spirit.

To illustrate, let’s say a group of 200 people are congregated and a man stands up and says that there is an army of 50,000 men in Cuba making preparations to attack Florida. Who told him this? “No one,” says he, “save it be God.” The man is not an eye-witness. The knowledge is received through spiritual means. Can it be verified? Sure, if one could be transported to Cuba. But as one can’t, it must be taken on faith.

Now let’s say that 5 other people in the group stand up and say that the Spirit has just told them the same thing. Does this add to the credibility of the first man? Not really, as none of them are eye-witnesses. There is nothing scientific about this. Yet, this is how the gift of the word of knowledge functions. It is designed to engender faith, not mere knowledge. Is this good science? Nope. Is this good theology? Yep.

Now let’s say 6 other people stand up, having just come from Cuba and they state they are eye-witnesses and can corroborate that indeed, Cuba is getting ready to invade Florida. Is this good science? Perhaps, if the witnesses are reliable. Is this good theology? Not really.

Don’t avoid the best gifts

I’ll be the first to admit that the best gifts take some getting used to, like an acquired taste. But again, we shouldn’t have an expectation that the things of God are going to be like the things of men.

The current trend in the church is to mainstream our image. As a result, I largely see LDS avoiding the best gifts. But this is a dangerous mistake, one which will lead to widespread deception among the membership.

The gifts are to avoid deception

The Lord said, “that ye may not be deceived seek ye earnestly the best gifts” (D&C 46: 8). Any man or woman who possesses one of these gifts and actively uses them will be protected from the deceptions of the day, whether they be “doctrines of devils, or commandments of men; for some are of men, and others of devils” (D&C 46: 7).

Nephi prophesied that the Gentile churches “which are built up, and not unto the Lord” will “deny the power of God, the Holy One of Israel; and they say unto the people: Hearken unto us, and hear ye our precept; for behold there is no God today, for the Lord and the Redeemer hath done his work, and he hath given his power unto men; behold, hearken ye unto my precept; if they shall say there is a miracle wrought by the hand of the Lord, believe it not; for this day he is not a God of miracles; he hath done his work.”  (See 2 Nephi 28: 3, 5-6.)

Sound familiar? We are well on our way to fulfilling this prophecy, as LDS blindly follow their leaders, trusting that the leading brethren will not deceive them and relying upon their mortal guidance, without earnestly seeking and manifesting the gifts.

The gifts are no more

Among the majority membership, most of the best gifts are no longer manifested. The first two gifts are still among us: knowing Jesus Christ is the Son of God and believing that He is. But the rest of them are all but gone. At church, where the gifts are supposed to be manifested for the benefit of the congregation, no one prophesies, no one knows the diversities of operations, no one knows the differences of administration, no one teaches words of wisdom and words of knowledge, no one heals, no one is healed, no one works miracles, no one discerns spirits, no one speaks in tongues, no one interprets tongues, and none of the leadership discerns the gifts, for there are hardly any gifts manifesting which need discerning.

We have replaced a reliance upon the gifts with a reliance upon our leaders (the Brethren), setting up the fulfillment of Nephi’s prophecy. Instead of going to church and being spiritually uplifted and edified by participating in the manifestations of these gifts, we are lulled into a deep slumber and security. Our meetings are largely spiritually dead. The Holy Ghost has all but left the LDS Gentiles.

But two gifts left

The day that the last two remaining gifts are taken away from us will be the day when no one will join this church anymore. People currently join the church because the Holy Ghost manifests that the message is true. But the day fast approaches when the Holy Ghost will stop manifesting even that. When that occurs, the church (or churches, as it will be), will need to change their proselytizing methods. No more will it be, “ask God if these things are not true” but “come unto me, and for your money you shall be forgiven of your sins” and other wicked enticements to enter the church.

At that point, the wo pronounced by Moroni to the Gentiles will come to pass:

And now I speak unto all the ends of the earth—that if the day cometh that the power and gifts of God shall be done away among you, it shall be because of unbelief. And wo be unto the children of men if this be the case; for there shall be none that doeth good among you, no not one. For if there be one among you that doeth good, he shall work by the power and gifts of God. And wo unto them who shall do these things away and die, for they die in their sins, and they cannot be saved in the kingdom of God; and I speak it according to the words of Christ; and I lie not. (Moroni 10: 24-26)

The return of the gifts

The good news is that although at some point the gifts will be lost to the Gentiles, He will send more messengers who will be manifesting these same gifts. Unless you, yourself, as an individual, have developed one or more of these best gifts, and have come to recognize the manifestation of the gifts that you do not have—by being around people who have them (a congregation)—you will, like the majority member, be deceived into rejecting the new messengers sent from heaven. You cannot recognize bona fide best gifts of the Spirit unless you have experience in them. We must all then become familiar with these gifts, lest we perish at their re-appearance.

The future use of the best gifts

There is a great work to be done in the future, using these seeds of power, before the advent of the Lord. Everything mentioned in the scriptures that was done by them will be done again, with additional, new uses. Everything done before is but a precursor to what lies ahead.

To give an example, we are told that the Nephites had power to move mountains, that the brother of Jared moved mount Zerin (sounds similar to Zion, doesn’t it?), that the Savior told his disciples that if they had faith as a grain of mustard seed, they could move mountains.

Why all this mentioning of moving mountains by power faith? What is so important about it? Why do we need to learn this power? The obvious answer is that at some point in the future, prior to the Second Coming, mountains will need to be moved to fulfill the prophecies. Previously on this continent, the Nephites (and the brother of Jared) moved mountains. It may be that those mountains will have to be removed (or moved back) to their original locations at a future time.

There will not be the time nor the means to accomplish this using action faith, so we must learn to plant and engender and develop these seeds of the powers of godliness that the Lord’s plans may be fulfilled through us. If we do not develop these gifts, someone else will and it will be he or she who fulfills the prophecies, while we are cut off from the privileges we might have had.

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Every one of us had a perfect, wonderful and happy childhood


Old Photos

My wife recently asked me to scan in some old photos of our family.  As I looked over them, it made me once again realize how fleeting childhood is.  My kids are currently all over the childhood age spectrum.  They are all adorable to me just as they are right now, but viewing these photos and seeing how very young they were and how cute and cuddly they used to be in their earlier childhood stages, caused me to feel an acute nostalgia.  I longed for another chance at holding each one of them again in my arms, as babes and infants, or playing with them as toddlers, or watching them develop again as boys and girls.  It pained me that I wasn’t able to do that and also that my memory of those years wasn’t absolutely perfect, so as to re-live those precious experiences merely by accessing my memory.

My own childhood was very happy, but again, my memory of it is only of instances, not of continuous days, hours and minutes.  I cannot relive it by memory.  The most I can do is enjoy the childhood my kids are currently going through and to take advantage and cherish every moment I can.

Although my childhood was what I consider a happy one, it wasn’t perfectly so, of course.  None of us live perfectly happy lives, in perfect conditions.  And very many of us go through childhoods that are very far from happy, miserable even.  This is quite the shame, as childhood is so different than adulthood.  Childhood comes once and then is gone forever, whereas adulthood comes and stays with you throughout the eternities.

To have experienced a rotten childhood is such a bummer.  A child is the most alive creature on the planet and deserves to be around adults who are also alive and vibrant.  Often, though, life turns adults sour and adults take out that sourness on everyone around them, including the children.  This is unfortunate because once the sparkle of childhood, which can be seen in each child’s eyes and in their smile, is gone, it is gone forever.

At least, that is the conventional view.  My understanding is a bit different.

Memory of Mortality

When I was eighteen years old, I was once praying to God about something and in the midst of the prayer the Holy Ghost responded.  I cannot recall what I was praying about, but I do recall the communication.  It made quite the impression on me because it was the first time I had received anything from the Spirit while praying.  Here I was talking to God and then I get interrupted by a message.  Anyway, the Spirit told me that, by divine design,  our memory during mortality was not perfect.  She told me that the ability to forget was a gift of God given to us during our mortal existence, so that the purposes of God would not be thwarted.  Apparently, a perfect mortal memory, meaning a perfect memory of mortality, or of our mortal existence, would create tremendous guilt in mankind and we, having a perfect remembrance during mortality of all the bad things we’d done, would, essentially, end our lives.  Guilt, apparently, if it cannot be removed from one’s brain or mind or heart, is an unquenchable fire that destroys humanity.  Mankind self-destructs if faced with non-stop, perfectly rememberd guilt.  The atonement has power to remove that guilt, but much of mankind does not apply the atonement, or does not know of it, therefore, if mankind had a perfect memory here on earth Satan would conquer all and frustrate the plans of God.  The Spirit explained to me, then, that God had given us the ability to forget with the passage of time and the inability to recall things perfectly, to extend the lives of man upon the earth, giving them the opportunity to learn of the gospel and accept the atonement.

Again, I don’t recall exactly what I was praying about, but I think I was praying about memory, which is why I got this answer.  At any rate, I remember I was satisfied by this answer, and I was content to not have a perfect memory during mortality.

Memory of Pre-Mortality

We are all taught that there was a veil of forgetfulness placed upon us before we were born here on Earth.  This is why we cannot remember our pre-mortal existence.  This veil of forgetfulness allows us to exercise faith in the Lord because it takes away our memories of Him.  If we all had perfect memories of our pre-mortal existence, there would be no test or trial.  Mortality would be as easy to pass as if we were still living in God’s presence, for with a perfect memory of our life there, sin would hold no temptation to us here.  So, God temporarily took away our memory of our life there, so that we wouldn’t be influenced in our decisions here.  This veil of forgetfulness appears to have been placed upon our spirits, or spiritual bodies.  In other words, the veil of forgetfulness is not an aspect of our physical, mortal bodies.  On the other hand, I learned from the Spirit that God made our physical, mortal bodies in such a way as to limit our mortal memories.  In other words, the faulty or imperfect memory we have here during mortality is a result of the physicality connected to our spirits, the physical clothing acting as a dampener of the spiritual senses, limiting what we can see and perceive (and remember) through the spiritual senses.

The Restoration of All Memories

In the resurrection, we get our memories back.  We’ll remember both our pre-mortal existence perfectly and also our mortal experiences perfectly.  The immortal bodies we receive will have the intentional limitation that was placed there taken out, so as to be able to recall every instance of our lives, back to the very starting day when we first came into existence.  The blood of Christ will have been applied to everyone who inherits the kingdom of God (any of the three glories), so there will be no more guilt upon us and it will be expedient to see the sum of our lives finally.

Again, this happens in the resurrection, not in upon death.  Upon death, we all will enter into the spirit world, some of us going to paradise, others to spirit prison.  Without the physical body, the limitation that the body imposed upon our spirits concerning the dampening of the senses, including the memory, will be lifted, so that all will be able to sense fully, with perfect remembrance of every instance of their mortal lives.  Those with unrepentant guilt will have that guilt ignited into a fire that will consume them until they accept the gospel and repent, while those who have already repented will have peace of mind.  Unlike mortality, the guilt felt by the unrepentant sinners in the spirit world will not cause them to take their lives, for they cannot die, being immortal spirits, but it will merely give them the misery associated with the suffering of the damned, with gnashing of teeth, etc., until they repent and obtain the relief brought by the blood of Christ and forgiveness of sin.

The spirits in prison or in paradise, although possessing a perfect memory of their mortal existence, will still not remember their pre-mortal existence, as the veil of forgetfulness was placed upon their spirit bodies and will not be lifted until the resurrection.  Because of this, missionary work still needs to be done among the spirits in prison, for, if they could remember their pre-mortal existence, they would also be able to remember the plan of salvation and all that we learned then, and would have no need of missionaries preaching to them.  Their memories would be a sufficient preacher.  However, while residing in the spirit world, prior to the resurrection, nobody will recall their pre-mortal existence.

Two childhoods

Childhood being such a special time of life, one of the blessings that God has in store for each of His children is the restoration of the memory of their mortal childhood.  Now, that can be both good and bad.  Good if you had a happy childhood, bad if you were abused or otherwise had a miserable childhood.  However, He’s got that covered, too.

In the heavens, we also had a childhood.  Unlike our earthly parents, our heavenly Parents did everything right.  They provided the best environment, full of love and opportunities to learn and grow.  Whereas our mortal childhood is fleeting, our heavenly childhood lasted a veritable eternity.  We were perfectly happy in every sense of the word.  We enjoyed our siblings, our environment, the animals and other creations of God, the beauty seen everywhere, our own spirit bodies and those of others, and most especially, we enjoyed our Parents.  They were perfect in every way.  Every expression they had, ever word they spoke, every action they took, was perfectly calculated to make their children happy.  We were ectatic in their presence.  They understood how special childhood is and did not let time slip away from them.  They enjoyed our childhood as much as we did.

No comparison

Take the happiest child in the world, or the adults who claim to have had the happiest children of all and compare them with the childhood we all had in the heavens and we’d all see that there is no comparison.  The heavenly childhood lasted virtually an eternity.  In comparison, here it is less than an instant.  There we had all our needs taken care of, with perfect bodies, with unlimited opportunities and an infinite number of new things to confront our senses.  It was a continuous marvel of new wonders 24-hours a day, non-stop.  Imagine a kid in such a situation!  He or she would be giddy with excitement.  Such was our heavenly childhood.  Here, as children we have the same inclinations of wonder at all the new things, but rarely do we get to indulge ourselves in wonder and excitement.  Mostly, children are taught here to conform to the rules, not to explore their world.  Children often don’t have their needs taken care of.  Many are in loveless or abusive environments.  And many have imperfect bodies, being lame, blind, mutilated, etc.  Still, the spirit inside is a child and thus, is holy and heavenly, having come from a place of wonder.

Additionally, children here on earth have their adulthood forced upon them.  They get to a certain age and their bodies forcibly change them into an adult.  There is nothing they can do about it.  In yonder heavens, though, we had untramelled agency.  Want to stay a child?  Okay, stay a child for as long as you want.  Want to become an adult? (and the adult of our species is called a god, with reproductive capabilities), well, okay, you can go through the process of becoming an adult by being born into a physical, mortal body and then following the plan of salvation.  This is why our heavenly childhood was of a seemingly endless duration.  Every child placed into such a heavenly situation would voluntarily choose to stay in that state for an exceedingly long time, a veritable eternity.  Only when we had had our fill of being children, having reached the point of learning and playing that the next new wonders were with adulthood, only then did we have the desire to become an adult, and only then did we leave behind our heavenly childhood and enter mortality to begin the process.  Due to the quantity of new wonders in heaven, our heavenly childhood must have been mindboggingly long and exciting.  Any way you look at it, the heavenly childhood was superior to what we experience here.

When our memories come back

In the resurrection, we all will remember our heavenly childhood and will be able to re-live it, through our perfect memory, over and over again.  That memory will bring us so much joy and will wipe away or overpower any sorrow we might have felt about our mortal childhood.  Everyone, then, is going to get the memories of the perfect childhood.  With the perfect Parents.  And the perfect environment.  The Lord, in His mercy and foreknowledge, in this way can mend our broken mortal childhood memories and give us something infinitely better.

Complete List of Articles authored by LDS Anarchist

The Holy Ghost is a Woman


The following is an excerpt taken from the NCCG.ORG web site. It is from the article, Yah’shua the Messiah (Jesus Christ) and His Place in the Godhead.  I have lifted it verbatim, trying to keep it in its original font size and color, but have hyperlinked all the scriptures. 

The Personality of the Ruach haQodesh (Holy Spirit) 

To understand how the Son was created by the Father we must now turn to the third member of the Godhead, the Ruach haQodesh (Holy Spirit). That the Spirit is a PERSON and not just an INVISIBLE FORCE is proven by many passages, though it is equally true that the ACTIVITY of the Spirit is often present in neutral, sexless terms. 

To lie to the Ruach haQodesh (Holy Spirit) is to lie to God [Eloah] (Ac.5:3-4). And the way that the Third Member of the Godhead is linked to both the Father and the Son in 1 Corinthians 12:4-6 and 2 Corinthians 13:14 would be a blasphemy if the Ruach haQodesh (Holy Spirit) were not God [Eloah]. The Ruach (Spirit) shows personality – thus She “understands” (Rom.8:27, Aram.), She “wills” (Ac.13:2; 1 Cor.12:11, Aram.), She may be “grieved” (Eph.4:30, Aram.). Such terms would be meaningless if applied solely to an impersonal power or influence. 

The Feminine Gender of the Ruach haQodesh (Holy Spirit) 

According to both classical Trinitarian and Binitarian models, the Third Member of the Godhead is MALE. The problem here is that in the Hebrew OLD TESTAMENT the Spirit is always FEMALE and in the GREEK New Testament either MALE or NEUTER, thus creating a CONTRADICTION. No Person can have three genders! 

But the problem is eliminated when we turn to the original HEBREW and ARAMAIC texts of the New Testament from which the GREEK texts were translated. As one scholar notes: 

    “One problem that presents itself in translating the New Testament from Hebrew and Aramaic into English is that of the gender of the Ruach haKodesh (Holy Spirit). English is very different from Hebrew and Aramaic. To begin with, English has three genders, masculine, feminine and neuter (i.e. he, she and it). Hebrew and Aramaic have no neuter gender. In Hebrew and Aramaic everything is either a “he” or a “she” and nothing is an “it”. Also gender plays a much more important rôle in Hebrew and in Aramaic than in English. In English gender is usually only an issue when dealing with pronouns. But in Hebrew and Aramaic nouns and verbs are also masculine or feminine. And while there are no true adjectives in Hebrew (nouns are also used as adjectives), noun modifiers must agree in gender with the noun. Now the Hebrew word RUACH (Aramaic RUCHA) is grammatically feminine as is the phrase Ruach haKodesh. This is matched by the rôle of the Ruach haKodesh as “comforter” (Jn.14-16) and the identifier of the “comforter” with YHWH acting as a “mother” (Is.66:13).
    “Now in English the Ruach is often referred to as “he” or “it” as also in the Greek New Testament. However this seems very odd indeed to the Semitic mind.
    “Now it is very clear that the gender of the RUACH has been revised in many passages of the Aramaic to agree with the Hellenistic concept of the Holy Spirit as being either a “he” or an “it”. Thus the pronouns used for the Ruach haKodesh in Jn.14-16 in the Peshitta are all masculine. However, the hand of revision is very clear. For example while both the Peshitta and Old Syriac have “he” in Jn.16:8 the Old Syriac has “she” just a few verses further down in 16:13 while the Peshitta has “he”.
    “And She the Ruach gives testimony …” 
    (James S. Trimm, Hebraic-Roots Version “New Testament”, 2001, SANJ, Hurst, Texas, pp.xxxiii-xxxiv)

The Book of Proverbs and the Ruach haQodesh (Holy Spirit) 

Because of this confusion of genders both scholars and scriptorians often mistakenly believe that the “Wisdom” of God in the Book of Proverbs is an allusion to the Second Member of the Godhead, Yah’shua (Jesus). Thus William F. Dankenbring writes:  

    “A clear allusion to this fact of divine unity of plurality is found in the book of Proverbs. Here the second member of the Godhead is revealed, as the “Wisdom” of God. Notice this remarkable Scripture witness!:
     “The LORD possessed me in the BEGINNING of his way, before His works of old. I was set up [established] FROM EVERLASTING, from the BEGINNING, or ever the earth was. When there were no depths, I WAS BROUGHT FORTH [CREATED, BORN]; when there were no fountains abounding with water. Before the mountains were settled, before the hills was I BROUGHT FORTH [CREATED, BORN] … When He prepared the heavens, I WAS THERE … when He appointed the foundations of the earth: THEN I WAS BY HIM, as one brought up with Him: and I was daily His delight, rejoicing always before Him; rejoicing in the habitable part of his earth; and my delights were with the sons of men” (Proverbs 8:22-31, KJV).

 The Old Testament “Wisdom” is a Female Personage 

However, as Karen Vaughan points out: 

    Sophia, the Greek translation of the Hebrew Hochmah is the feminine personification of Wisdom in the Pentateuch. She is neither a goddess nor a new age creation of feminist theologians. She was a real biblical person with more material on her in the Old Testament (with Apocrypha) than anyone in the scriptures, except God, Job, Moses and David …
    “One reason we little consider Sophia, even in readings of the Old Testament, is that English translations usually translate the feminine Sophia into the abstract “Wisdom”. Although the Greek and Hebrew words were fully feminine, the English is not. The fullest development of her is in the so-called “Wisdom Books” of the apocrypha in the Greek Pentateuch (sic. – should be Tanakh or Old Testament – ed.) that were canonised into Christian Scripture and are still used by the Roman Catholic and Eastern Orthodox churches. Sophia dominates the first nine chapters of Proverbs and is found in both the Old and New Testaments.
    “In the Hebrew tradition, Sophia was considered to have been with God from the beginning of Creation. In Proverbs 8:27-51, Sophia says:
    “When God [Yahweh] set the heavens in place, I was present,
    When God drew a ring on the surface of the deep,
    When God fixed the clouds above,
    When God fixed fast the wells of the deep,
    when God assigned the sea its limits-
    and the waters will not invade the land,
    when God established the foundations of the earth,
    I was by God’s side, a master craftswoman,
    delighting God day after day,
    ever at play by God’s side,
    at play everywhere in God’s domain,
    delighting to be with the children of humanity.”
    Sophia, in the biblical creation was not ‘a god’, but was a divine being. It is not clear that She was uncreated like Jesus [Yah’shua]: the word used to refer to Her creation also means “acquired” by God. Proverbs 8:22 – “God created me [acquired me] (Sophia) when God’s purpose first unfolded.” Ecclesiasticus 1:14 – “before all things, Sophia was created.” She serves at the heart of the creative process, as Wisdom and as Teacher who was sent by God to save humanity. The book of Wisdom speaks to Her divinity (7:25-26):
    She is the breath of God’s power & a stream of pure glory of the Almighty.
    This is why nothing polluted enters Her.
    For She mirrors God’s energy completely, and She images God’s goodness.”
    (Review of the book Sophia in the Biblical Tradition (Harper and Row; 1986) by Susan Cady, Marian Ronan and Hal Taussig)

From this we are able to come to two stunning conclusions: 

  • 1. Hochma/Sophia/Wisdom was CREATED;
  • 2. She is GOD in a subordinate sense.
  • In other words, She was created at some “beginning” JUST AS YAH’SHUA (JESUS) was. In Hebrew tradition, Hochma / Sophia / Wisdom is known also as the Ruach haQodesh (Holy Spirit) (Prov.8:22-31) and the HEAVENLY MOTHER — a created being, and was “by God’s [Eloah’s] side. 

    Implications

    If the above is accurate about Hebrew, surely this opens up a new can of worms.  For example, would this not change our view of the nature of the Godhead (Father, Son and Mother)?  Of priesthood?  Of priests and priestesses or prophets and prophetesses (listen to verse 3: not Mrs. Priest and Mrs Prophet but female priests and female prophets)?  Of the gifts of the Spirit?  Of the miraculous birth of Jesus?  Of speaking or working by the power of the Holy Ghost?  Of our worship of the Father (in the name of the Son, by the power of the Mother)???

    Complete List of Articles authored by LDS Anarchist

    LDS Anarchist’s Posts Are “Open” Copyright


    Freely Print What You Want

    What this means is that anyone is free to to take any of the 180 or so posts that I’ve written and print them out and distribute them to the members  and leaders of your local ward or stake, or any ward or stake, for that matter, including to any general authorities.

    Claim It As Your Own

    You don’t have to give me credit for anything I’ve written here.  You don’t have to have to put the url of this blog anywhere on the page.  In fact, if you want, you can claim authorship of any of the articles.  I don’t mind.

    Make Them Anonymous

    It might be more effective to just keep the articles anonymous, without your name on them.  Then, people who read them will have only the message to judge.  They won’t be able to judge the messenger, as they won’t know who he or she is.

    Modify Them As You Wish

    Don’t like certain parts of my articles?  Just cut those parts out.  Don’t agree with certain parts?  Just re-word them so that they fit into your belief system.  Want to add your own words to them as if they were part of the original article?  Knock yourself out.

    Want To Make Money?

    For the really entrepreneurial types, feel free to take whatever group of articles you find on this blog (authored by me), modify and edit them as you wish, and then have them published in book form.  Sell as many of them as you like.  Keep all the profits yourself.  You don’t have to give me one red cent.

    Here, I’ll get you started.  Go to FastPencil, sign up for a free account. then import the following blog post XML files to your account: 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, and 2011.  (Hyper-links forthcoming.)

    Why I’m Posting This “Open” Copyright Announcement

    After writing The Priesthood article, I began to review some of the conditions among men that would usher in the great and marvelous work.  I also began to review some of the things the Holy Ghost had told me concerning future events and conditions.  As I had these thoughts in my mind, a new thought struck me:

    What if the LDS Anarchy blog were to play a part in the ushering in of these conditions?

    This was a question I had never before considered.  Although I believe that some of the articles I’ve written are quite persuasive, there has always been one thing that has never allowed anyone (statist or anarchist alike) to take the concept of Mormon anarchism completely seriously, namely, the Mormon priesthood hierarchy.  Anarchists are all about dissembling hierarchies, so Mormon anarchy, in the minds of both anarchist and statist, is a contradiction in terms.

    I knew from the start that anarchists and statists would be laughing their heads off at me and hardly anyone would believe a word I would write.  That was okay with me as my aim was to chiefly use the blog as a repository of my research papers and thoughts.  So, I pushed on with my writings, never once expecting that this blog would have even the slightest bit of influence upon anyone.

    But my latest article on priesthood has made me reconsider everything.  It was that article and the research conducted for it, as well as subsequent research on priesthood (see An alternate view of the keys), that has turned everything upside down in my mind.  This research directly addresses the priesthood “hierarchy” and shows that it is not designed to be a hierarchy in the traditional sense, as used by the Gentiles rulers.

    With this new, anarchic understanding of priesthood, the apparent contradictions cleared up.  The rest of my anarchy articles were now on a much more solid foundation.  As I considered that the strength of my arguments for Mormon anarchy were now immensely stronger than before because of the new priesthood research, it made me wonder if these blog articles could be more than just a repository for my future reference.  Perhaps the Lord could use this blog somehow.

    I then turned my mind back to October 2007, when I began blogging.  I remembered the circumstances that caused me to consider starting a blog.  (See Why I started this blog.)  And I remembered how much pondering went into the decision to start it.  (See The Mormon Worker and the LDS Anarchy Blog:  The hand of the Lord or just a coincidence?)  Although I think that I did not mention it in either of those posts, to be entirely truthful, I actually did feel inspired by the Lord to publish my views on Mormon anarchy anonymously.  It was that feeling that clinched it for me to begin blogging.

    So, here it is 2+ years and around 180 posts later, and now I’m having the thought that maybe the words written on this blog are not meant just to be viewed on a computer screen.  Maybe its purpose was to get the words out in public on the Internet, so that others could print them and take them to the True Blue Mormons who would never in a million years read anything here, because of that scary looking Anarchy is Order symbol at the top of each page.

    Please Report Back

    To those who take this “open” copyright and run with it, please come back and tell everyone how TBM’s reacted to whatever literature you got in front of them.  Also, let us know how you distributed material.  By mail?  Hand-delivered?  By pinning them to the bulletin board?  By printing out a bunch of copies and furtively leaving them in the meetinghouse foyer?  How?

    Complete List of Articles authored by LDS Anarchist