King Abaddon, the destroying angel: the Father’s royal executioner and emissary of justice


The pre-mortal Josephite

We know that Satan, who is the devil, was the angel Lucifer in the heavens before his fall. And we know that Adam is the archangel Michael (per the scriptures and the temple endowment), that Noah is the angel Gabriel (per Joseph Smith)

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.)

and that Jesus Christ is the Father’s Angel of mercy, the Firstborn. But who is Joseph-Nephi?

And I, the Lord, give unto them a promise, that the destroying angel shall pass by them, as the children of Israel, and not slay them. (D&C 89:21)

Joseph-Nephi is the destroying angel, who is also simply known as the destroyer:

For the LORD will pass through to smite the Egyptians; and when he seeth the blood upon the lintel, and on the two side posts, the LORD will pass over the door, and will not suffer the destroyer to come in unto your houses to smite you. (Exodus 12:23)

The section heading of Doctrine and Covenants section 61 states:

Revelation given through Joseph Smith the Prophet, on the bank of the Missouri River, McIlwaine’s Bend, August 12, 1831. On their return trip to Kirtland, the Prophet and ten elders had traveled down the Missouri River in canoes. On the third day of the journey, many dangers were experienced. Elder William W. Phelps, in a daylight vision, saw the destroyer riding in power upon the face of the waters.

Then there are these verses of the section, which speak of the very same destroyer of the Passover:

Behold, verily thus saith the Lord unto you, O ye elders of my church, who are assembled upon this spot, whose sins are now forgiven you, for I, the Lord, forgive sins, and am merciful unto those who confess their sins with humble hearts; but verily I say unto you, that it is not needful for this whole company of mine elders to be moving swiftly upon the waters, whilst the inhabitants on either side are perishing in unbelief. Nevertheless, I suffered it that ye might bear record; behold, there are many dangers upon the waters, and more especially hereafter; for I, the Lord, have decreed in mine anger many destructions upon the waters; yea, and especially upon these waters. Nevertheless, all flesh is in mine hand, and he that is faithful among you shall not perish by the waters.

Behold, I, the Lord, in the beginning blessed the waters; but in the last days, by the mouth of my servant John, I cursed the waters. Wherefore, the days will come that no flesh shall be safe upon the waters. And it shall be said in days to come that none is able to go up to the land of Zion upon the waters, but he that is upright in heart. And, as I, the Lord, in the beginning cursed the land, even so in the last days have I blessed it, in its time, for the use of my saints, that they may partake the fatness thereof. And now I give unto you a commandment that what I say unto one I say unto all, that you shall forewarn your brethren concerning these waters, that they come not in journeying upon them, lest their faith fail and they are caught in snares; I, the Lord, have decreed, and the destroyer rideth upon the face thereof, and I revoke not the decree. (D&C 61:2-6,14-19)

The destroying angel was specifically created, and endowed with power, to destroy all things, top to bottom, which are found in God’s kingdom:

Behold, I have created the smith that bloweth the coals in the fire, and that bringeth forth an instrument for his work; and I have created the waster [the destroyer] to destroy. (Isaiah 54:16)

Thus, he is the Father’s royal executioner.

In the heaven’s above, the destroyer was separate from all the other angels, reporting to no one but the Father Himself. This angel was mightier and stronger and more powerful than all the rest of the angels combined. Only God (the Father, the Son or the Holy Ghost) is more powerful then he.

Mormon theology gives the angelic hierarchy as being: 1st, God the Father; 2nd, the Firstborn; 3rd, Michael the archangel, then all the other angels below Michael, beginning with Gabriel. The destroying angel, however, is not a part of that hierarchy, and so for him it goes: 1st, God the Father; 2nd, the destroying angel; then everyone else (including Christ) below him.

God has two arms

When the Father expresses mercy and salvation and creation, He does so through Christ and Michael and Gabriel and the rest of the angelic hierarchy. But when the Father expresses judgment and justice and destruction and death and curses and scattering, He does so through the destroying angel. These two angels, Jesus and the destroyer, represent God’s two arms, His arm of mercy and His arm of justice.

The demonic destroyer is patterned after the divine destroyer

Lucifer, “an angel of God who was in authority in the presence of God” (D&C 76:25), who fell from heaven and became the devil and Satan, desired to be the Only Begotten Son of God according to the flesh, instead of Jesus the Firstborn, but he was denied that position, and being thus denied the opportunity of becoming the Savior and Redeemer and Messiah of mankind, in his rage he discarded Christ, the Father’s Angel of mercy, as his chosen pattern, and looked instead to the Father’s angel of destruction, even to the divine destroying angel, as his pattern, patterning himself from that point on after that individual, becoming a demonic destroying angel.

And just as the divine destroying angel (who destroys God’s enemies) is called the destroyer:

Behold, the destroyer I have sent forth to destroy and lay waste mine enemies; and not many years hence they shall not be left to pollute mine heritage, and to blaspheme my name upon the lands which I have consecrated for the gathering together of my saints. (D&C 105:15)

so the demonic destroying angel (who is God’s enemy that seeks to destroy God’s works) is likewise called the destroyer:

And behold, the watchman upon the tower would have seen the enemy while he was yet afar off; and then ye could have made ready and kept the enemy from breaking down the hedge thereof, and saved my vineyard from the hands of the destroyer. (D&C 101:54)

Now, the devilish plan was simple: the demonic destroyer just needed to cause people to die in their sins, so that they became filthy, and then the divine destroyer would do the rest. Nothing in the Father’s kingdom was immune to the destroyer’s destructive power, therefore even God Himself could be destroyed. All the devil needed to do was get the destroyer’s sense of justice kindled and focused towards whatever the devil wanted destroyed, and the nature of the destroyer was such that he would end up annihilating it. Basically the plan was to use God’s own rules, and His own designated destroyer, against Him. The stakes were high, though, for if the devil failed, this same destroyer had power to, and would, annihilate the devil and his followers. The gamble nearly backfired right from the start because after the rebellion, while still in the heavens, the destroyer nearly ended the existence of the devil and the one-third.

The destroyer’s first employment

The earliest recorded actions of the destroyer that we have in our current scriptural canon were mentioned by the prophet Isaiah:

Awake, awake, put on strength, O arm of the LORD; awake, as in the ancient days, in the generations of old. Art thou not it that hath cut Rahab, and wounded the dragon? (Isaiah 51:9)

Rahab in the above scripture, according to my understanding, is the one-third of the hosts of heaven that rebelled with Lucifer, and the dragon is the fallen angel himself. I have taught on this blog that the one-third, as well as all those who die in their sins, are connected to the devil through chains of hell. It would appear that after the devil and his whore wife Rahab (the one-third) rebelled against God, while they were still in heaven, the destroyer rose up against them and proceeded to destroy their spirit bodies, beginning by cutting (detaching) the chains of hell that connected the one-third to the dragon, wounding the dragon. But, for some reason, the destroyer was stopped before he completed his work of annihilation. I suppose it was because the other angels were alarmed at seeing these spirits (their siblings!) annihilated before their very eyes by the destroyer, and they cried out to the Father to make him (the destroyer) stop, and so the Father ordered him to stop. Thus, the devil and the evil spirits that comprised the one-third were spared. But their eternal, immortal spirits were, nevertheless, cut and wounded, which is supposed to be impossible, showing that the destroyer has been given power to destroy everything, even immortal and eternal things.

No qualms about killing the guilty

The near destruction of Rahab and her dragon king (being spirit siblings of the destroyer, as well), shows that the destroying angel was given a healthy dose of the Father’s sense of justice, without any corresponding dose of the Son’s mercy. In other words, he’s completely merciless. He had no qualms about “cleaning up” Father’s kingdom of these now filthy things, even though they were his brother and sisters. (For more information on the “sisterhood” of Rahab, see the post, The brides of Satan, and its follow-up comments.) His intention was not to kick them out, but to eradicate them altogether. But the other angels aren’t like that. They have a sense of justice, but also the Son’s compassion and mercy. And mercy is what they wanted for these doomed souls. So, the Father stopped the destroyer’s work before completion. And it must have been the Father’s intervention, for the destroyer will only listen to and obey the Father.

Banishment substituted for destruction

Instead of employing His singular destroying angel, then, the Father employed Michael and the vast host of heaven, and together, this two-thirds group was able to overpower the dragon and his one-third group, casting them out of heaven to earth. This shows just how powerful a being the destroyer is. He alone was more than a match for the devil and the one-third (which is an infinite number of spirits), not only being able to cast them out, but able to make them entirely extinct, whereas it took the whole rest of heaven (the two-thirds) to be able to force Satan and his hosts of hell out.

During the banishment procedure, the destroyer stood and watched, without any participation on his part. Thus, to Michael and the rest went the glory of that great accomplishment.

No participation in the Creation

When Jesus formed the earth, with Michael participating, creating this world under the Father’s guidance, the destroyer stayed in the heavens, watching. He was created to destroy, not to create. In addition to the endowment, which teaches that Michael helped create this earth, we have also been taught by our leaders that all of us participated in some way in the creation of the earth. However, that cannot be entirely true, for the destroyer did not participate in any way in the creation of the earth. His expertise is strictly in demolition, not construction:

And everything that is in the world, whether it be ordained of men, by thrones, or principalities, or powers, or things of name, whatsoever they may be, that are not by me or by my word, saith the Lord, shall be thrown down, and shall not remain after men are dead, neither in nor after the resurrection, saith the Lord your God. For whatsoever things remain are by me; and whatsoever things are not by me shall be shaken and destroyed. (D&C 132:13-14)

It is the destroyer that will fulfill the above scripture by shaking and destroying every single thing that does not come under the protective power of God’s Son. But before that day—when he will hew down all the trees that have born evil fruit and toss them into the eternal fire—comes, he has already performed, and also yet will perform, many other works of destruction. Let’s review some of the past ones.

The days of Enoch

In the days of Enoch there were vast changes made to earth, such as land coming up out of the sea and mountains fleeing, etc. There were enemies of the people of God who came against them, and when that happens, and destruction goes forth from the Lord, the destroying angel is inevitably employed. Therefore these passages in the Book of Moses may have had the destroying angel involved:

And so great was the faith of Enoch that he led the people of God, and their enemies came to battle against them; and he spake the word of the Lord, and the earth trembled, and the mountains fled, even according to his command; and the rivers of water were turned out of their course; and the roar of the lions was heard out of the wilderness; and all nations feared greatly, so powerful was the word of Enoch, and so great was the power of the language which God had given him. There also came up a land out of the depth of the sea, and so great was the fear of the enemies of the people of God, that they fled and stood afar off and went upon the land which came up out of the depth of the sea. And the giants of the land, also, stood afar off; and there went forth a curse upon all people that fought against God; and from that time forth there were wars and bloodshed among them; but the Lord came and dwelt with his people, and they dwelt in righteousness. (Moses 7:13-16)

This land that came up may have later sunk down, becoming, perhaps, the legend of the lost continent of Atlantis. The destroying angel would be the one used by God to sink an entire continent, killing every last soul found upon it. Also, the destroyer is the one employed by God to send out curses.

The destroyer has a throne

Just as Jehovah has a traveling throne, which is one of those celestial objects that is classified by astronomers as a brown dwarf, so the destroying angel has a traveling, planetary throne. We don’t exactly know what kind of celestial object it is. It may be another brown dwarf, but I suspect (and will assume for the rest of this post) that it is, instead, a monstrous, planet-sized, blue comet called after himself and thus known as the destroyer.

Behold, the destroyer I have sent forth to destroy and lay waste mine enemies; and not many years hence they shall not be left to pollute mine heritage, and to blaspheme my name upon the lands which I have consecrated for the gathering together of my saints. (D&C 105:15)

Whenever really big acts of destruction are called for, the destroying angel passes by earth with his throne,

And the spoiler [the destroyer] shall come upon every city, and no city shall escape: the valley also shall perish, and the plain shall be destroyed, as the LORD hath spoken. (Jeremiah 48:8)

whereas when little or localized acts of destruction is what is required by God, then the destroying angel leaves his throne at home in the heavens.

It may be that the popular notion of comets being harbingers of doom does not come from normal-sized comets, but from this one mega-sized comet’s various passes through our solar system in the past. So destructive is this thing that it has given all comets a bad name.

The flood of Noah

If we continue making our way forward through the scriptural canon, we can see that the destroying angel and his destroyer throne have been quite active throughout history. The flood of Noah was a worldwide catastrophe that was caused by the pass-by of some massive and monstrously-sized heavenly body. It wasn’t Jehovah’s throne (the brown dwarf) that passed by, but the monstrous comet, the destroyer’s throne.

No compunction about killing innocents

Again, it needs to be understood that the destroying angel is endowed by God with a full portion of His sense of justice, without any of the normal portions of God’s mercy given to the other angels. This angel, therefore, has no qualms, whatsoever, about killing innocents, even children.

And the LORD said,

I will destroy man whom I have created from the face of the earth; both man, and beast, and the creeping thing, and the fowls of the air; for it repenteth me that I have made them….

And God said unto Noah,

The end of all flesh is come before me; for the earth is filled with violence through them; and, behold, I will destroy them with the earth. (Genesis 6:7,13)

Both the wicked adults and their innocent children, as well as the innocent animals, were to be destroyed.

Now, God cannot employ His other angels for such a work, because they would all cry out, “What about the innocents!” and perhaps even revolt. The destroying angel alone can do such divine work, because his sense of justice is exactly like God’s sense of justice, but without the accompanying sense of mercy that comes of Christ. In other words, all other angels are Christlike, whereas this particular angel is not. He is representative of God’s justice, with no mercy extended to anyone.

The dividing of the earth

And unto Eber were born two sons: the name of one was Peleg; for in his days was the earth divided; and his brother’s name was Joktan. (Genesis 10:25)

This event also was possibly the destroying angel’s handiwork, performed by a pass-by of his throne.

The Tower of Babel

And the LORD said,

Behold, the people is one, and they have all one language; and this they begin to do: and now nothing will be restrained from them, which they have imagined to do. Go to, let us go down, and there confound their language, that they may not understand one another’s speech.

So the LORD scattered them abroad from thence upon the face of all the earth: and they left off to build the city. Therefore is the name of it called Babel; because the LORD did there confound the language of all the earth: and from thence did the LORD scatter them abroad upon the face of all the earth. (Genesis 11:6-9)

Who was the Father speaking to? His Angel of mercy? Nope. He was likely speaking to His angel of destruction. After all, confounding the language of people and scattering them is a curse, not a blessing. Curses are a manifestation of God’s justice, not of His mercy, and they come under the jurisdiction of the destroyer.

This tendency to confound people’s languages in order to scatter them will follow the destroying angel into his mortal probation:

And thus prophesied Joseph, saying:

Behold, that seer will the Lord bless; and they that seek to destroy him shall be confounded; for this promise, which I have obtained of the Lord, of the fruit of my loins, shall be fulfilled. (2 Nephi 3:14)

Previously on this blog I have given my understanding of the above scripture as meaning a confounding of languages, but I never gave scriptural support for that. So, I will take the time to do so now.

The 1828 Dictionary gives the following definitions of “confound,” (and also notice that one of them means to destroy) :

CONFOUND, v.t. [L., to pour out. Literally, to pour or throw together.]

1. To mingle and blend different things, so that their forms or natures cannot be distinguished; to mix in a mass or crowd, so that individuals cannot be distinguished.

2. To throw into disorder.
Let us go down, and there confound their language. Genesis 11.

3. To mix or blend, so as to occasion a mistake of one thing for another.
A fluid body and a wetting liquor, because they agree in many things, are wont to be confounded.
Men may confound ideas with words.

4. To perplex; to disturb the apprehension by indistinctness of ideas or words.
Men may confound each other by unintelligible terms or wrong application of words.

5. To abash; to throw the mind into disorder; to cast down; to make ashamed.
Be thou confounde and ber thy shame. Ezekiel 16.
Saul confounded the Jews at Damascus. Acts 9.

6. To perplex with terror; to terrify; to dismay; to astonish; to throw into consternation; to stupify with amazement.
So spake the Son of God; and Satan stood a while as mute confounded what to say.
The multitude came together and were confounded. Acts 2.

7. To destroy; to overthrow.
So deep a malice to confound the race of mankind in one root.

Now, notice the text of Ether, concerning the confounding of the languages at the Tower of Babel:

And Kib was the son of Orihah, who was the son of Jared; which Jared came forth with his brother and their families, with some others and their families, from the great tower, at the time the Lord confounded the language of the people, and swore in his wrath that they should be scattered upon all the face of the earth; and according to the word of the Lord the people were scattered.

And the brother of Jared being a large and mighty man, and a man highly favored of the Lord, Jared, his brother, said unto him:

Cry unto the Lord, that he will not confound us that we may not understand our words.

And it came to pass that the brother of Jared did cry unto the Lord, and the Lord had compassion upon Jared; therefore he did not confound the language of Jared; and Jared and his brother were not confounded. Then Jared said unto his brother:

Cry again unto the Lord, and it may be that he will turn away his anger from them who are our friends, that he confound not their language.

And it came to pass that the brother of Jared did cry unto the Lord, and the Lord had compassion upon their friends and their families also, that they were not confounded. (Ether 1:32-37)

So, in the above scripture we see that God confounded the people’s languages, but the text also speaks of the people themselves being confounded, with the understanding that “confounding people” meant that their languages were confounded. This use of the word confound doesn’t mean that the people were perplexed or abashed or any of the other uses of the word, but merely that their language was altered to the point that they couldn’t understand anyone else, nor anyone understanding them. This sense of the word given in Ether chapter one is the same sense of the word as used in 2 Nephi 3 (according to my understanding.) So, this angel’s enemies aren’t going to be merely perplexed or abashed or ashamed, like Laman and Lemuel were when they were confounded by their father,

And it came to pass that my father did speak unto them in the valley of Lemuel, with power, being filled with the Spirit, until their frames did shake before him. And he did confound them, that they durst not utter against him; wherefore, they did as he commanded them. (1 Nephi 2:14)

but they will literally be cursed and their language confounded, just like at Babel.

Now, this cursing needs to happen, because this angel, during his mortal probation, will be translating all the records into all the languages of the world, both living and dead languages. He will need to translate the records into the dead languages because all the dead languages are coming back, as part of the restoration of all things. How do they come back? By a repeat of the confounding of languages that occurred at Babel. He will curse his enemies, confounding their languages, and the world’s languages will multiply, so that every language that ever existed on this planet will be spoken again, necessitating him translating the records into all the old languages, too.

The slaying of the priest of Pharaoh

Abraham was offered up upon the altar as a sacrifice by the priest of Pharaoh and Elkenah and he lifted up his voice to God for help and God helped him by sending an angel to him, an angel who saved him, not by saving life, but by destroying life:

And as they lifted up their hands upon me, that they might offer me up and take away my life, behold, I lifted up my voice unto the Lord my God, and the Lord hearkened and heard, and he filled me with the vision of the Almighty, and the angel of his presence stood by me, and immediately unloosed my bands;…Behold, Potiphar’s Hill was in the land of Ur, of Chaldea. And the Lord broke down the altar of Elkenah, and of the gods of the land, and utterly destroyed them, and smote the priest that he died; and there was great mourning in Chaldea, and also in the court of Pharaoh; which Pharaoh signifies king by royal blood….Now, after the priest of Elkenah was smitten that he died, there came a fulfilment of those things which were said unto me concerning the land of Chaldea, that there should be a famine in the land.(Abraham 1:15,20,29)

Now, after the Lord had withdrawn from speaking to me, and withdrawn his face from me, I said in my heart:

Thy servant has sought thee earnestly; now I have found thee; thou didst send thine angel to deliver me from the gods of Elkenah, and I will do well to hearken unto thy voice, therefore let thy servant rise up and depart in peace. (Abraham 2:12-13)

God performed all this destruction through His destroying angel, His emissary of justice, who always leaves a path of destruction wherever he goes.

Sodom and Gomorrah

Notice in the Joseph Smith Translation of this account that the three angels prayed for God to send down fire and brimstone:

And the Lord did not destroy Sodom until Lot had entered into Zoar.  And then, when Lot had entered into Zoar, the Lord rained upon Sodom, and upon Gomorrah; for the angels called upon the name of the Lord for brimstone and fire from the Lord out of heaven.  And thus they overthrew those cities and all the plain, and all the inhabitants of the cities, and that which grew upon the ground.  (JST Gen. 19:30-32)

They didn’t work a miracle, but merely prayed in faith and God responded by sending down fire and brimstone, destroying the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah, all the plain, all the inhabitants of those cities and everything that was growing upon the ground. In other words, total destruction of everything. Was it God that sent down the fire and brimstone? Yes, but He likely did it through His appointed representative for dealing out justice, the destroying angel, just as God shows mercy through His appointed representative for showing mercy, Christ. God does all these things, yes, but vicariously, through His appointed emissaries.

Now, just as with the flood of Noah, there were likely little children, innocent children, found among the inhabitants of Sodom and Gomorrah and the surrounding region, and these kids got killed, too. (It would be quite abnormal for cities to be entirely composed of only an adult population.) So the destroying angel would be the only one capable of performing such a task.

Abimelech cursed and nearly killed

The destroying angel, being the most powerful angel the Father has (excepting only the Father’s Angel of mercy, who is Christ), represents the power of God and has a tendency of cursing all those who oppose God’s will. We see this with Abimelech, who was cursed, along with his household, and also threatened with death:

But God came to Abimelech in a dream by night, and said to him,

Behold, thou art but a dead man, for the woman which thou hast taken; for she is a man’s wife.

But Abimelech had not come near her: and he said,

Lord, wilt thou slay also a righteous nation? Said he not unto me,

She is my sister?

and she, even she herself said,

He is my brother:

in the integrity of my heart and innocency of my hands have I done this.

And God said unto him in a dream,

Yea, I know that thou didst this in the integrity of thy heart; for I also withheld thee from sinning against me: therefore suffered I thee not to touch her. Now therefore restore the man his wife; for he is a prophet, and he shall pray for thee, and thou shalt live: and if thou restore her not, know thou that thou shalt surely die, thou, and all that are thine….

So Abraham prayed unto God: and God healed Abimelech, and his wife, and his maidservants; and they bare children. For the LORD had fast closed up all the wombs of the house of Abimelech, because of Sarah Abraham’s wife. (Genesis 20:3-7,17-18)

So, all the curses that are found in the scriptures are likely the handiwork of the destroying angel, for although the Angel of mercy has power to curse (for Christ has all power), when God wants something cursed, and one of His mortal servants utters a curse in faith, according to His sense of justice, the tool He uses to send out the curse is the destroying angel.

Joseph Smith mentioned this cursing tendency of the destroyer

The George Laub journal contained a transcription of one of Joseph Smith’s sermons, which was this:

24th chapter of Revelations of John Mathew, Mathew 6 & 7 14 verses, & the orriginal translation Reads thus and I will Send you a nother witness & he shall preach this gospel to all nations to the ends of the world But woe to that man or woman who Shall lift up their or his hands against god’s witness for the[y] are rasing their hands or arms against the power of god and the[y] will be cursed.

So, Joseph Smith believed that God would send a witness to the world, who would preach the gospel to the ends of the world, and whoever opposed that witness would be opposing the power of God and would end up cursed. This witness, of course, is none other than Joseph-Nephi, the destroying angel. So, we can expect that as soon as the Josephite is let out of his box, curses will go forth.

The Passover

The Passover is actually named after the destroyer. The Father came down with His destroying angel and looked at the door posts and lintels, and wherever there was lamb’s blood, He would prohibit the angel from entering there and killing the firstborn of man and beast, causing the destroyer to instead pass over the household. The ordinance has four individuals in play: God the Father, who is the One looking to see if the Lamb’s blood is protecting the household from the destroyer; the Lamb, represented by the lamb’s blood upon the door posts and lintels; the devil, who is tempting people to not comply with God’s commandments to put the lamb’s blood on the door posts and lintels, so that they aren’t under the Son’s protection; and finally, the destroying angel himself, whose job is to “clean up” all the filth, by executing them. The message of the Passover is that there is a destroying angel, and he will annihilate you unless you come under the Lamb’s protection, and you cannot come under the Lamb’s protection unless you comply with God’s commandments, so obey God’s commandments or perish!

The destruction of the Amorites by hailstones

The book of Joshua says the following:

And it came to pass, as they fled from before Israel, and were in the going down to Beth-horon, that the LORD cast down great stones from heaven upon them unto Azekah, and they died: they were more which died with hailstones than they whom the children of Israel slew with the sword. (Joshua 10:11)

These hailstones came from the destroyer, for hail (as well as floods) are his specialty:

Behold, the Lord hath a mighty and strong one, which as a tempest of hail and a destroying storm, as a flood of mighty waters overflowing, shall cast down to the earth with the hand. (Isaiah 28:2)

In fact, his power over the waters has been amply demonstrated not only with Noah’s flood, but also with another great event of the past:

Awake, awake, put on strength, O arm of the LORD; awake, as in the ancient days, in the generations of old. Art thou not it that hath cut Rahab, and wounded the dragon? Art thou not it which hath dried the sea, the waters of the great deep; that hath made the depths of the sea a way for the ransomed to pass over? (Isaiah 51:9-10)

The above seems to me to be referring to an event that occurred in conjunction with the passage of the Lost Ten Tribes through the Arctic Ocean as they traveled north.

Also, in the aforementioned Doctrine and Covenants section 61, the Lord gave instructions for how the saints should travel, but He also gave an exception for the destroyer, who was yet to be born:

Behold, I, the Lord, have appointed a way for the journeying of my saints; and behold, this is the way—that after they leave the canal they shall journey by land, inasmuch as they are commanded to journey and go up unto the land of Zion; and they shall do like unto the children of Israel, pitching their tents by the way. And, behold, this commandment you shall give unto all your brethren.

Nevertheless, unto whom is given power to command the waters, unto him it is given by the Spirit to know all his ways; wherefore, let him do as the Spirit of the living God commandeth him, whether upon the land or upon the waters, as it remaineth with me to do hereafter. (D&C 61:24-28)

The destroyer is the one who has power to command the waters, and the destroyer has the privilege of having it given to him by the Spirit to know all his ways, meaning how he should travel, whether by land or by water, so the destroyer is not restricted by these commandments, but can travel as he sees fit, according to the manifestations of the Spirit in him.

The heavenly Elijah/Elias

I’m not going to go over every instance of destruction, or cursing, or scattering or miracle that the destroying angel was likely involved in. Instead, I want to turn my attention to the fact that the destroyer is the heavenly Elijah/Elias, after which the earthly Eliases were patterned after. This is why we find Elijah the Tishbite doing the following:

Then the king sent unto him a captain of fifty with his fifty. And he went up to him: and, behold, he sat on the top of an hill. And he spake unto him,

Thou man of God, the king hath said,

Come down.

And Elijah answered and said to the captain of fifty,

If I be a man of God, then let fire come down from heaven, and consume thee and thy fifty.

And there came down fire from heaven, and consumed him and his fifty.

Again also he sent unto him another captain of fifty with his fifty. And he answered and said unto him,

O man of God, thus hath the king said,

Come down quickly.

And Elijah answered and said unto them,

If I be a man of God, let fire come down from heaven, and consume thee and thy fifty.

And the fire of God came down from heaven, and consumed him and his fifty. (2 King 1:9-12)

The fire that came down from heaven was sent by the heavenly Elias, who is the destroyer.

Now, these soldiers were just following orders. They weren’t doing anything wicked. All the captains did was communicate the king’s order and they were killed for it, along with their fifties. That’s pretty harsh. But Elijah the Tishbite had exercised faith, and also they had dared to do a very big no-no: they dared to command an Elias.

The heavenly Elias, who is the destroying angel, reports to no one, except to the Father. Nobody tells the heavenly Elias what to do. Not even Christ. An earthly Elias is no different. Earthly Eliases come on the Father’s authority, and the Father’s authority trumps the authority of everyone else, including the authority of the Son. A mortal king’s authority, then, is nothing in comparison.

Notice that the third captain of fifty was able to avoid getting himself and his fifty turned into toast only by humbling himself before Elijah and submitting to his authority:

And he sent again a captain of the third fifty with his fifty. And the third captain of fifty went up, and came and fell on his knees before Elijah, and besought him, and said unto him,

O man of God, I pray thee, let my life, and the life of these fifty thy servants, be precious in thy sight. Behold, there came fire down from heaven, and burnt up the two captains of the former fifties with their fifties: therefore let my life now be precious in thy sight.

And the angel of the LORD said unto Elijah,

Go down with him: be not afraid of him.

And he arose, and went down with him unto the king. (2 Kings 1:13-15)

God the Father’s authority is upon the earthly Eliases, therefore, if anyone commands an Elias, it is as if they had commanded God the Father Himself. And if anyone offends an earthly Elias, it is as if they had offended God the Father Himself. Whatever is said or done to one of His earthly Eliases, God the Father takes it personally, hence the quick execution of the first two fifties.

We see this same principle with Elisha, who got a double portion of the spirit of Elijah. (And the spirit of Elijah the Tishbite was the spirit of the heavenly Elijah, who is the destroying angel.) Look what happened when some young people made fun of Elisha’s baldness:

And he went up from thence unto Beth-el: and as he was going up by the way, there came forth little children out of the city, and mocked him, and said unto him,

Go up, thou bald head; go up, thou bald head.

And he turned back, and looked on them, and cursed them in the name of the LORD. And there came forth two she bears out of the wood, and tare forty and two children of them. (2 Kings 2:23-24)

The destroyer is the one who curses and slays people, therefore, Elisha, acting in the authority of the destroyer (and the destroyer’s authority is the Father’s authority), being offended, could send forth a curse and it would happen immediately. The mocking that those people did was taken personally by God the Father and required swift justice and judgment, hence them being torn to shreds.

Because the destroyer’s authority is as high as it gets, even Christ submits to it, despite Him being the Heir to the throne. Jesus submits to the Father’s authority in all things, and so when the heavenly Elias, or one of the mortals that come patterned after him—who are the destroyer’s (and the Father’s) proxies—exercises their authority, Christ submits to it. Hence we find this curious exchange:

Then cometh Jesus from Galilee to Jordan unto John, to be baptized of him. But John forbad him, saying,

I have need to be baptized of thee, and comest thou to me?

And Jesus answering said unto him,

Suffer it to be so now: for thus it becometh us to fulfil all righteousness.

Then he suffered him. (Matthew 3:13-15)

Jesus went to John to be baptized of him. In other words, Jesus went to submit Himself to John’s authority. John the Baptist was an Elias. He came in the spirit and power of Elias, therefore He came authorized by the Father:

And he shall go before him in the spirit and power of Elias, to turn the hearts of the fathers to the children, and the disobedient to the wisdom of the just; to make ready a people prepared for the Lord. (Luke 1:17)

Notice that John forbade the Lord from being baptized. That took some guts to do, right? Jesus’s authority was greater than John’s, wasn’t it? Not really, because John was authorized by the destroyer himself, and thus was fully authorized to forbid Him. In other words, it was John’s call to make whether to baptize this sinless Man. “Suffer it to be so now,” therefore, was not a command, but a petition, which John accepted. It had to be a petition, for nobody but the Father Himself can legitimately command an Elias. Not even Christ.

Proxies of the Father and proxies of Christ

There are two types of proxies, then. All mortal Eliases are proxies of the Father, representing one of the Father’s arms, even His arm of justice, whereas others become proxies of the Son, representing the Father’s arm of mercy. So, for example, those who possess priesthood, are representatives of the Son, hence all ordinances we do are done in the name of Jesus Christ, or having been commissioned of Jesus Christ. And those who are “the least of Christ’s brethren” also become proxies of Christ, per this scripture:

When the Son of man shall come in his glory, and all the holy angels with him, then shall he sit upon the throne of his glory: and before him shall be gathered all nations: and he shall separate them one from another, as a shepherd divideth his sheep from the goats: and he shall set the sheep on his right hand, but the goats on the left. Then shall the King say unto them on his right hand,

Come, ye blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world: for I was an hungred, and ye gave me meat: I was thirsty, and ye gave me drink: I was a stranger, and ye took me in: naked, and ye clothed me: I was sick, and ye visited me: I was in prison, and ye came unto me.

Then shall the righteous answer him, saying,

Lord, when saw we thee an hungred, and fed thee? or thirsty, and gave thee drink? When saw we thee a stranger, and took thee in? or naked, and clothed thee? Or when saw we thee sick, or in prison, and came unto thee?

And the King shall answer and say unto them,

Verily I say unto you,

Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me.

Then shall he say also unto them on the left hand,

Depart from me, ye cursed, into everlasting fire, prepared for the devil and his angels: for I was an hungred, and ye gave me no meat: I was thirsty, and ye gave me no drink: I was a stranger, and ye took me not in: naked, and ye clothed me not: sick, and in prison, and ye visited me not.

Then shall they also answer him, saying,

Lord, when saw we thee an hungred, or athirst, or a stranger, or naked, or sick, or in prison, and did not minister unto thee?

Then shall he answer them, saying,

Verily I say unto you,

Inasmuch as ye did it not to one of the least of these, ye did it not to me.

And these shall go away into everlasting punishment: but the righteous into life eternal. (Matthew 25:31-46)

But proxies of the Father are reserved only for Eliases.

The spirit and power of Elias

When Elijah the Tishbite challenged the prophets of Baal to call down fire from heaven, he mocked their failed attempts:

And it came to pass at noon, that Elijah mocked them, and said,

Cry aloud: for he is a god; either he is talking, or he is pursuing, or he is in a journey, or peradventure he sleepeth, and must be awaked. (1 Kings 18:27)

and then after they failed, and after he succeeded in calling down fire from heaven, Elijah killed them:

And Elijah said unto them,

Take the prophets of Baal; let not one of them escape.

And they took them: and Elijah brought them down to the brook Kishon, and slew them there. (1 Kings 18:40)

All of this behavior is at odds with normal prophets of God, who are meek and humble and long-suffering and compassionate, just like Christ. Mocking, though, is an attribute of the heavenly Elias, who was prophesied by Isaiah to have a sharp tongue during his mortal probation:

And he hath made my mouth like a sharp sword (Isaiah 49:2)

Sharpness of tongue, then, is an attribute of the heavenly Elias, which was exhibited by the earthly Eliases. Additionally, Elijah the Tishbite and his successor, Elisha, also exhibited the tendency of the heavenly Elias to curse and kill.

We see this same pattern with the other two mortal Eliases that came after Elijah and Elisha. John the Baptist was an Elias sent to prepare the way of the Lord, and he was sent in the spirit and power of Elias. Jesus also came in the capacity of an Elias. Both of these men demonstrated this spirit and power during their ministries.

For example, John the Baptist spoke with much sharpness:

Then said John to the multitude that came forth to be baptized of him, crying against them with a loud voice, saying,

O generation of vipers, who hath warned you to flee from the wrath to come? Bring forth, therefore, fruits worthy of repentance, and begin not to say within yourselves,

Abraham is our father; we have kept the commandments of God, and none can inherit the promises but the children of Abraham;

for I say unto you that God is able of these stones to raise up children unto Abraham. And now also, the axe is laid unto the root of the trees; every tree, therefore, which bringeth not forth good fruit shall be hewn down and cast into the fire. (JST Luke 3:12-14)

But when he saw many of the Pharisees and Sadducees come to his baptism, he said unto them,

O, generation of vipers! Who hath warned you to flee from the wrath to come? Why is it that ye receive not the preaching of him whom God hath sent? If ye receive not this in your hearts, ye receive not me; and if ye receive not me, ye receive not him of whom I am sent to bear record; and for your sins ye have no cloak. Repent, therefore, and bring forth fruits meet for repentance; and think not to say within yourselves,

We are the children of Abraham, and we only have power to bring seed unto our father Abraham;

for I say unto you that God is able of these stones to raise up children unto Abraham. And now, also, the axe is laid unto the root of the trees; therefore, every tree which bringeth not forth good fruit shall be hewn down and cast into the fire. (JST Matthew 3:33-37)

Jesus also routinely used sharp speech, calling his enemies hypocrites and fools and serpents and vipers. But He only cursed once, and that was to a fig tree, but it amply demonstrated that He also came in the spirit and power of Elias, like the others before him:

Now in the morning, as he returned into the city, he hungered. And when he saw a fig tree in the way, he came to it; and there was not any fruit on it, but leaves only. And he said unto it,

Let no fruit grow on thee henceforward, forever.

And presently the fig tree withered away. And when the disciples saw this, they marveled and said,

How soon is the fig tree withered away! (JST Matthew 16-18)

And on the morrow when they came from Bethany, he was hungry; and, seeing a fig tree afar off having leaves, he came to it with his disciples; and as they supposed, he came to it to see if he might find anything thereon. And when he came to it, there was nothing but leaves; for as yet the figs were not ripe. And Jesus spake and said unto it,

No man eat fruit of thee hereafter, forever.

And his disciples heard him. And they came to Jerusalem. And Jesus went into the temple, and began to cast out them that sold and bought in the temple, and overthrew the tables of the moneychangers and the seats of them who sold doves, and would not suffer that any man should carry a vessel through the temple. And he taught, saying unto them,

Is it not written,

My house shall be called of all nations the house of prayer?

But ye have made it a den of thieves.

And the scribes and chief priests heard him and sought how they might destroy him; for they feared him because all the people were astonished at his doctrine. And when even was come, he went out of the city. And in the morning as they passed by, they saw the fig tree dried up from the roots. And Peter, calling to remembrance, said unto him,

Master, behold the fig tree which thou cursedst is withered away. (JST Mark 11:14-23)

The above also shows that Jesus acted as an Elias when He overthrew the tables of the moneychangers and the seats of the dove-sellers and did not allow any one to carry a vessel through the temple. All this use of force was Him acting in the capacity of the heavenly Elias. So Jesus was an Elias, just as John the Baptist had said:

John answered them, saying;

I baptize with water, but there standeth one among you, whom ye know not; he it is of whom I bear record. He is that prophet, even Elias, who, coming after me, is preferred before me, whose shoe’s latchet I am not worthy to unloose, or whose place I am not able to fill; for he shall baptize, not only with water, but with fire, and with the Holy Ghost. (JST John 1:27-28)

But Jesus did not come in the full capacity of the heavenly Elias, for He was here representing God’s arm of mercy, not His arm of justice. He was a shadow or type of what was yet to come. Thus He rebuked his disciples when they wanted to manifest a bit more of the spirit and power of Elias than what Jesus and John the Baptist had already done:

And it came to pass, when the time was come that he should be received up, he steadfastly set his face to go to Jerusalem, and sent messengers before his face: and they went, and entered into a village of the Samaritans, to make ready for him. And they did not receive him, because his face was as though he would go to Jerusalem. And when his disciples James and John saw this, they said,

Lord, wilt thou that we command fire to come down from heaven, and consume them, even as Elias did?

But he turned, and rebuked them, and said,

Ye know not what manner of spirit ye are of. For the Son of man is not come to destroy men’s lives, but to save them.

And they went to another village. (Luke 9:51-56)

We see from this that the spirit and power and mission of Jesus was to save, while the spirit and power and mission of Elias is to destroy. In other words, the heavenly Elias (after which all earthly Eliases are patterned) is the destroying angel. The apostles, prophets, seers, revelators and saints were and are patterned after Jesus, the saving Angel, but there have also been a few individuals who have been given a portion of the spirit and power of the heavenly Elias, who have been patterned after the destroying angel. Nevertheless, these Elias men have only demonstrated small degrees of his spirit and power because they were always meant to be mere shadows and types of the actual destroying angel.

Noah was also an Elias

And in those days there were giants on the earth, and they sought Noah to take away his life; but the Lord was with Noah, and the power of the Lord was upon him; and the Lord ordained Noah after his own order and commanded him that he should go forth and declare his gospel unto the children of men, even as it was given unto Enoch.

And it came to pass that Noah called upon the children of men, that they should repent; but they hearkened not unto his words.

And also, after that they had heard him, they came up before him, saying,

Behold, we are the sons of God. Have we not taken unto ourselves the daughters of men? And are we not eating, and drinking, and marrying, and given in marriage? And our wives bear unto us children; and the same are mighty men, which are like unto them of old, men of great renown.

And they hearkened not unto the words of Noah. And God saw that the wickedness of man had become great in the earth; and every man was lifted up in the imagination of the thoughts of his heart, being only evil continually.

And it came to pass that Noah continued his preaching unto the people, saying,

Hearken and give heed unto my words. Believe, and repent of your sins, and be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ, the Son of God, even as our fathers did, and ye shall receive the Holy Ghost, that ye may have all things made manifest; and if you do not this, the floods will come in upon you;

nevertheless, they hearkened not. And it repented Noah, and his heart was pained that the Lord had made man on the earth, and it grieved him at his heart. And the Lord said,

I will destroy man whom I have created from the face of the earth, both man, and beast, and the creeping things, and the fowls of the air, for it repenteth Noah that I have created them and that I have made them; and he hath called upon me, for they have sought his life. (JST Genesis 8:6-15)

Why did the Lord send in the floods? Was it because the people were really wicked? Nope. It was because Noah regretted that God had created mankind and that so much wickedness was now everywhere, and he called upon God to destroy the world. The spirit of Elias is the spirit of destruction and justice and judgment, and Noah here was exercising this very spirit in his desire for God to wipe everything out and just “start over” with him and his little family.

Noah also acted as an Elias in his cursing of Canaan:

And Noah began to till the earth, and he was a husbandman; and he planted a vineyard, and he drank of the wine and was drunken; and he was uncovered within his tent; and Ham, the father of Canaan, saw the nakedness of his father, and told his brethren without; and Shem and Japheth took a garment, and laid upon both their shoulders, and went backward, and covered the nakedness of their father, and they saw not their father’s nakedness. And Noah awoke from his wine and knew what his youngest son had done unto him; and he said,

Cursed be Canaan; a servant of servants shall he be unto his brethren.

And he said,

Blessed be the Lord God of Shem; and Canaan shall be his servant, and a veil of darkness shall cover him, that he shall be known among all men. God shall enlarge Japheth, and he shall dwell in the tents of Shem; and Canaan shall be his servant. (JST Genesis 9:27-31)

Noah, then, is an early scriptural example of a mortal servant of God operating under the spirit and power of Elias and during his mortal ministry he obtained the very keys that the actual heavenly Elias would end up using to restore all things:

And also with Elias, to whom I have committed the keys of bringing to pass the restoration of all things spoken by the mouth of all the holy prophets since the world began, concerning the last days; and also John the son of Zacharias, which Zacharias he (Elias) visited and gave promise that he should have a son, and his name should be John, and he should be filled with the spirit of Elias; (D&C 27:6-7)

Joseph Smith understood from this revelation that the Elias in question was the angel Gabriel. (And anyone reading the above passage will come to the same conclusion.) Later on, though, he revealed in one of his speeches that Noah and Gabriel are one and the same person. How did Joseph Smith know? Because Joseph Smith was a seer operating under Elias’s shadow, which itself is the spirit and power of Elias, allowing one to more easily recognize Eliases, and thus this spirit, in conjunction with his gift of the word of knowledge, allowed him to plainly see that Noah was an Elias. And using this same gift, Elias Noah = Elias Gabriel also pops out.

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.

The keys of these various angelic/translated personages (which they retain even after their mortal ministries) are meant to be used by the Elias who restores all things, not by the angels themselves. The angels act, then, as repositories, until the destroying angel comes down to earth for his own mortal probation and then directs each of them to deliver their keys into his hands. Each of them used these various keys to a mere degree during their mortal ministries, whereas when they deliver their keys into the hands of Elias the destroyer, he will then use them in their absolute fullness.

Thus, even though Noah/Gabriel possesses “the keys of bringing to pass the restoration of all things,” this does not mean that he will be the one who actually brings to pass the restoration of all things, for he is not the Elias who restores all things. He merely possesses these keys—for he was the instrument God used back then to restore the earth back to a state of righteousness by wiping out the wicked, leaving only a righteous branch—which keys he will deliver to the man whose spirit he operated under in mortality: Elias the Josephite destroyer. In D&C 27, Moroni and Elijah and Peter and James and John are also said to possess certain keys, but none of these people will be using their keys during the end times. No, they will merely be delivering them to Elias the Josephite, and then the Josephite will use them to work his wonders.

The Elias Noah, like the other mortal Eliases I have mentioned, did not operate under a fullness of the spirit and power of the heavenly Elias, but merely under a portion, making him yet another shadow of the end times Elias, which is the actual heavenly Elias.

John the Beloved also acted under the spirit of Elias

John the Beloved apostle of Jesus Christ was a representative of the Lord Jesus Christ, but because he became translated and was assigned an Elias role to play during the end times (see D&C 77:14), John likewise received a portion of the spirit and power of Elias. Hence we find, through the revelation of Joseph Smith, that John actually uttered a curse, acting as an Elias:

Behold, I, the Lord, in the beginning blessed the waters; but in the last days, by the mouth of my servant John, I cursed the waters. Wherefore, the days will come that no flesh shall be safe upon the waters. And it shall be said in days to come that none is able to go up to the land of Zion upon the waters, but he that is upright in heart. (D&C 61:14-16)

This curse that God had John utter, did not come to pass immediately, like the curses that the Elias who restores all things will utter, but was to be fulfilled during the end times, during the ministry of the Josephite, who will cause, by the working of miracles, John’s curse to be made sure. This is why the Lord says, “the days will come” and “it shall be said in days to come.” The curse was uttered by John, but not activated, for such activation comes only from the destroyer himself.

Regarding Joseph Smith

As I explained in the In closing, what Mormonism is section of the John the Revelator is not the Elias who restores all things post, Mormonism is Elias’s shadow. Therefore Joseph Smith was a seer operating under the spirit and power of Elias. Nevertheless, Joseph never said that he, himself, was Elias, nor even an Elias. He only affirmed that the spirit and power and office of Elias was in operation during the Mormon restoration. And it indeed was.

In the same sermon, Joseph differentiated between the spirit and power and office and keys of Elias, and those of Elijah, as well as those of Messiah. But the spirit and power of Elias and the spirit and power of Elijah are the same spirit, just operating in different modes. It worked for Joseph Smith to view these things as separate and distinct, but they are two sides of the same coin, just as Elijah and Elias are the same name, one translated into English from Hebrew, and the other translated into English from Greek. But it’s the same name.

The spirit of Elias (Mode One) manifested in Joseph Smith via his revelations and translations. In other words, the word of God transmitted through Joseph Smith was the spirit and power of Elias. If you look through the Doctrine and Covenants, you’ll see that God repeatedly warned of curses if obedience wasn’t given to His commandments. Curses are manifestations of the spirit of Elias. But Joseph Smith never cursed anyone. He was told by God that he could curse people, and God would honor those curses and He would cause the curse to happen (in God’s own due time, not immediately, for this was merely Elias’s shadow, not Elias himself), but Joseph never cursed anyone. So, he didn’t act like an Elias.

The spirit of Elijah (Mode Two) manifested in Joseph Smith via the priesthood ordinations, offices and keys bestowed by the angels, which allowed the ordinances of salvation and exaltation to go forth and be recorded in the heavens. Now, Joseph Smith split these two spirit modes into two divisions, holding the Aaronic priesthood as the standard and representative of the spirit of Elias, while the Melchizedek was held as representative of the spirit of Elijah, and you can certainly do this. It worked for him to see it that way, and it works for others to see it that way, so let people believe this all they want. Nevertheless, both priesthoods represent the spirit of Elijah, for baptism is an ordinance of salvation, and both Aaronic priests as well as priests or elders after the order of Melchizedek have power to baptize. Baptism, then, represents Mode Two of this spirit, and baptism can be done by priests of the Aaronic order. So, the distinction he makes isn’t as black and white as he wanted it to be.

The spirit of Messiah is the manifestation of the spirit of power (miracles.) The spirit of power manifested to a degree in the life of Joseph Smith with all the baptisms of fire that he had, and the visions and angelic ministrations.

Joseph Smith, then, operated in a degree under the two modes of the spirit of Elias/Elijah, and also had a degree of the spirit of Messiah, but he was a representative of the Lord Jesus Christ, not of the Father. This is why the Lord refers to the message (Mormonism) as the Father’s messenger, and not to Joseph Smith.

And even so I have sent mine everlasting covenant into the world, to be a light to the world, and to be a standard for my people, and for the Gentiles to seek to it, and to be a messenger before my face to prepare the way before me. (D&C 45:9)

Joseph Smith, then, cannot be considered an Elias, but as he operated under a degree or shadow of this spirit, I will account him among the others anyway.

Other manifestations of the spirit of Elias

The spirit and power of Elias has manifested from the very beginning and also at various and sundry times. For example, right after the fall of Adam, this spirit manifested:

And I, the Lord God, said unto the serpent:

Because thou hast done this thou shalt be cursed above all cattle, and above every beast of the field; upon thy belly shalt thou go, and dust shalt thou eat all the days of thy life; and I will put enmity between thee and the woman, between thy seed and her seed; and he shall bruise thy head, and thou shalt bruise his heel.

Unto the woman, I, the Lord God, said:

I will greatly multiply thy sorrow and thy conception. In sorrow thou shalt bring forth children, and thy desire shall be to thy husband, and he shall rule over thee.

And unto Adam, I, the Lord God, said:

Because thou hast hearkened unto the voice of thy wife, and hast eaten of the fruit of the tree of which I commanded thee, saying—

Thou shalt not eat of it,

cursed shall be the ground for thy sake; in sorrow shalt thou eat of it all the days of thy life. Thorns also, and thistles shall it bring forth to thee, and thou shalt eat the herb of the field. By the sweat of thy face shalt thou eat bread, until thou shalt return unto the ground—for thou shalt surely die—for out of it wast thou taken: for dust thou wast, and unto dust shalt thou return. (Moses 4:20-25)

Later on it manifested after Cain slew Abel:

And the Lord said unto Cain:

Where is Abel, thy brother?

And he said:

I know not. Am I my brother’s keeper?

And the Lord said:

What hast thou done? The voice of thy brother’s blood cries unto me from the ground. And now thou shalt be cursed from the earth which hath opened her mouth to receive thy brother’s blood from thy hand. When thou tillest the ground it shall not henceforth yield unto thee her strength. A fugitive and a vagabond shalt thou be in the earth. (Moses 5:34-37)

And it manifested during the days of the secret combination that the murderer Lamech pertained to:

Wherefore the Lord cursed Lamech, and his house, and all them that had covenanted with Satan; for they kept not the commandments of God, and it displeased God, and he ministered not unto them, and their works were abominations, and began to spread among all the sons of men. (Moses 5:52)

In those days the spirit of Elias began to be poured out upon the world, because of the wickedness of the people:

And thus the works of darkness began to prevail among all the sons of men. And God cursed the earth with a sore curse, and was angry with the wicked, with all the sons of men whom he had made; for they would not hearken unto his voice, nor believe on his Only Begotten Son, even him whom he declared should come in the meridian of time, who was prepared from before the foundation of the world. (Moses 5:55-57)

And during the days of Enoch the spirit of Elias was manifested and began to be poured out upon the land and men:

And the Lord said unto me:

Prophesy;

and I prophesied, saying:

Behold the people of Canaan, which are numerous, shall go forth in battle array against the people of Shum, and shall slay them that they shall utterly be destroyed; and the people of Canaan shall divide themselves in the land, and the land shall be barren and unfruitful, and none other people shall dwell there but the people of Canaan; for behold, the Lord shall curse the land with much heat, and the barrenness thereof shall go forth forever; and there was a blackness came upon all the children of Canaan, that they were despised among all people. (Moses 7:7-8)

And the Lord said unto me:

Go to this people, and say unto them—

Repent, lest I come out and smite them with a curse, and they die. (Moses 7:10)

And the giants of the land, also, stood afar off; and there went forth a curse upon all people that fought against God; and from that time forth there were wars and bloodshed among them; but the Lord came and dwelt with his people, and they dwelt in righteousness. (Moses 7:15-16)

And it came to pass that Enoch talked with the Lord; and he said unto the Lord:

Surely Zion shall dwell in safety forever.

But the Lord said unto Enoch:

Zion have I blessed, but the residue of the people have I cursed. (Moses 7:20)

And during the days of Methuselah this spirit also manifested:

And it came to pass that Methuselah prophesied that from his loins should spring all the kingdoms of the earth (through Noah), and he took glory unto himself. And there came forth a great famine into the land, and the Lord cursed the earth with a sore curse, and many of the inhabitants thereof died. (Moses 8:3-4)

The spirit of Elias, then, is a spirit of destruction that brings curses. But it also brings plagues. For example, during the ministry of Moses, all those plagues that he unleashed upon the land and people of Egypt, were manifestations of the spirit and power of Elias, which was put upon the heads and possessions of the unbelieving and rebellious.

Fast-forwarding to Joseph-Nephi

Joseph-Nephi is yet another earthly person we know of who can be added to the list of men that have possessed and/or operated under the spirit and power of Elias.

To recap: On this list we could put Noah, Elijah the Tishbite, Elisha the son of Shaphat (who had a double portion of Elijah’s spirit), John the Baptist, Jesus the Christ, John the Beloved, Moses, Joseph Smith and probably many others, including many of the Nephite and Jaredite prophets.

All of these individuals were patterned to a degree after the heavenly Elias, making them his shadows and types. But Joseph-Nephi isn’t merely patterned after the heavenly Elias, he actually is the heavenly Elias. This means that he is the very destroying angel and as such, nobody can tell him what to do.

A different sort of angelic ministration

When Joseph Smith started receiving the ministration of angels, beginning with his First Vision and then continuing with Moroni’s many visits, as well as other heavenly personages, he was continually being instructed by Jesus or by the angels. For example, he wrote:

When the light rested upon me I saw two Personages, whose brightness and glory defy all description, standing above me in the air. One of them spake unto me, calling me by name and said, pointing to the other—This is My Beloved Son. Hear Him! (Joseph Smith—History 1:17)

At that point the Son took over the conversation and all subsequent ministrations or visions had the Son or the angels speaking to Joseph, giving him instructions. If ever the Father was seen or heard afterward, He merely bore record of the Son, as He did in the First Vision. We are taught in the church that this proves that Joseph Smith was really a prophet, for all revelation comes through Christ, according to President Joseph Fielding Smith:

“I would like to call your attention to one little thing in the first vision of the Prophet Joseph Smith. It is very significant, and Joseph Smith did not know it. If he had been perpetrating a fraud, he would not have thought of it. You will recall in your reading that the Father and the Son appeared, and the Father introduced the Son and told the Prophet to hear the Son.

“Now suppose the Prophet had come back from the woods and had said the Father and the Son appeared to him, and the Father said, ‘Joseph, what do you want?’ and when he asked the question and told him what he wanted, the Father had answered him; then we would know that the story of the Prophet could not be true.

“All revelation comes through Jesus Christ. I have not time to go into the scriptures and give references for that, but that is the fact.” (Answers to Gospel Questions, 5 vols., Salt Lake City: Deseret Book Co., 1957–66, 1:16.) [Quoted from The Magnificent Vision Near Palmyra by James E. Faust.]

Despite what President Smith said above, all this proves is that Joseph Smith wasn’t Elias. For everyone other than Elias, all divine revelation comes through the Son of God. But for Elias, revelation comes directly from the Father. There is no intermediary. (And for his proxies, if there was an intermediary, it was the destroyer himself.)

So, when the destroyer, who is currently boxed up and hidden somewhere by the Lord, comes out of his box, he will finally experience the ministration of angels, possibly getting a First Vision type of experience like Joseph Smith did. But there will be one huge difference in the accounts this man will give of these divine visits: when the Father appears with His Son Jesus Christ and all the holy angels, it will be the Father speaking and instructing the Josephite, not the Son. All instructions and orders will go from the Father directly to His emissary of justice (the Josephite), and whatever interaction the Josephite will have with Christ and the angels will be as their superior officer.

In other words, if an angel appears to this man, the angel will merely say, “Okay, boss. What are your instructions?” The angels will not be instructing him, but will be receiving instructions from him. Even Jesus Christ Himself will be taking His orders from the destroyer, as evidenced by the vision John the Revelator saw:

And I looked, and behold a white cloud, and upon the cloud one sat like unto the Son of man, having on his head a golden crown, and in his hand a sharp sickle. And another angel came out of the temple, crying with a loud voice to him that sat on the cloud,

Thrust in thy sickle, and reap: for the time is come for thee to reap; for the harvest of the earth is ripe.

And he that sat on the cloud thrust in his sickle on the earth; and the earth was reaped. (Revelation 14:14-16)

So, here we have the Son of Man taking orders from an angel. Which angel? The destroying angel. In fact, just about all orders that John sees and hears barked out during his end times vision are issued by the destroyer, who is the one in charge of the whole end times affair.

When the Father comes down

There have been only a few recorded instances in which God the Father actually came down to earth. All the rest of the time, He just remained in heaven and allowed someone to see a vision of Himself, and bore record of His Son. So, the times when He comes down are special and important.

During the Creation we know the Father came down. And when He came, He was the one in charge:

And God said,

Let us make man in our image, after our likeness: and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth. (Genesis 1:26)

Who was the Father speaking to? He was speaking to the Son. And the Father was the one in charge. He was the one barking the orders.

During the Tower of Babel confounding, the Father came down:

And the LORD came down to see the city and the tower, which the children of men builded. And the LORD said,

Behold, the people is one, and they have all one language; and this they begin to do: and now nothing will be restrained from them, which they have imagined to do. Go to, let us go down, and there confound their language, that they may not understand one another’s speech. (Genesis 11:5-7)

Who was the Father speaking to? This time He was speaking to the destroying angel. And the Father was again the one in charge. He was the one barking orders.

During the Passover, the Father came down, along with His destroying angel:

For I will pass through the land of Egypt this night, and will smite all the firstborn in the land of Egypt, both man and beast; and against all the gods of Egypt I will execute judgment: I am the LORD. And the blood shall be to you for a token upon the houses where ye are: and when I see the blood, I will pass over you, and the plague shall not be upon you to destroy you, when I smite the land of Egypt.

For the LORD will pass through to smite the Egyptians; and when he seeth the blood upon the lintel, and on the two side posts, the LORD will pass over the door, and will not suffer the destroyer to come in unto your houses to smite you. (Exodus 12:12-13,23)

Once again, it’s the Father doing the work, looking for the blood of the lamb, and then stopping His destroyer from entering those domiciles. Every single time the Father comes down, He is actively participating and directing everything and everyone.

But notice that the First Vision account does not follow this pattern:

When the light rested upon me I saw two Personages, whose brightness and glory defy all description, standing above me in the air. One of them spake unto me, calling me by name and said, pointing to the other—

This is My Beloved Son. Hear Him!

My object in going to inquire of the Lord was to know which of all the sects was right, that I might know which to join. No sooner, therefore, did I get possession of myself, so as to be able to speak, than I asked the Personages who stood above me in the light, which of all the sects was right (for at this time it had never entered into my heart that all were wrong)—and which I should join. I was answered that I must join none of them, for they were all wrong; and the Personage who addressed me said that all their creeds were an abomination in his sight; that those professors were all corrupt; that:

“they draw near to me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me, they teach for doctrines the commandments of men, having a form of godliness, but they deny the power thereof.”

He again forbade me to join with any of them; and many other things did he say unto me, which I cannot write at this time. (Joseph Smith—History 1:17-20)

Here the Father comes down, but just points to Christ and tells Joseph that Christ is His Son and to hear Him. Then He clams up and the Son does all the talking. The vision is bizarre for this reason. The Father doesn’t come all the way down to earth only to let His Son do all the talking! The Father could have just stayed in heaven, given Joseph a vision of Himself sitting upon His throne, and pointed to Christ, telling Joseph that He’s His Son and to listen to Him, and then let Christ speak. Why did the Father come down and then clam up?

Now, church apologists will say He came down to show that He had a body and was distinct from the Son, but He could have done that while remaining in heaven. There is no need to come down to earth with His Son, only to have the Son do all the talking. When the Father comes down, He takes charge of things. So why did all of that happen the way it did?

The answer is because Joseph Smith’s First Vision was a mere shadow, just like all the rest of Mormonism. Mormonism is Elias’s shadow, therefore even the First Vision is incomplete. The First Vision was supposed to have the Father instructing the miracle-working seer, with His Son and the angels present and listening, and then after the instruction the miracle-working seer takes charge and starts issuing orders to the others present, as the Father’s emissary in charge of the end times work. That’s how it is supposed to go down. But that didn’t happen. It didn’t happen because the seer of that time was Joseph Smith, not Elias. So, we got a shadow of what’s going to happen. God the Father came down, announced His Son, and then stopped, because Elias himself wasn’t present, only Elias’s shadow was present, the seer being Joseph Smith the Gentile, so the Son took over, as He always does when dealing with His own proxies, for Joseph Smith was a proxy of the Son, not of the Father, therefore, he dealt with Jesus. But the Father had to come down anyway because even the First Vision of Elias’s shadow requires the Father being present.

Now, when the First Vision happens a second time, it will be with Elias himself present, who is the Josephite and the actual destroying angel, and not just his shadow, and at that time, the First Vision will replay in a different way, with the Father coming down with Christ and the angels like the first time, but this time Christ and the angels will be silent and taking orders from the seer, and the Father will be talking directly to His emissary of justice, the destroyer, and instructing him in all things that pertain to the dispensation of the fullness of times.

King Abaddon

In the Revelation of St. John the Divine, John mentions that the insect army he saw had a king over them:

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 9:11)

King Abaddon, or king Apollyon, is none other than the destroying angel. The Bible dictionary gives the following for these names:

Abaddon
A Hebrew word found in the Wisdom literature of the Old Testament denoting “the place of the lost” (Job 26:6; Prov. 15:11; 27:20), which the King James Version translates as “destruction.” In Rev. 9:11 it is used as a name of the devil. See also Apollyon.

Apollyon
Destroyer, a Greek translation of the Hebrew word Abaddon, or “Destruction”; in Rev. 9:11 it is the name of the Angel of the Abyss (bottomless pit) made familiar to English readers by Bunyan’s Pilgrim’s Progress.

Thus, king Abaddon means, “king Destruction,” and king Apollyon means, “king Destroyer.” However, the Bible Dictionary is incorrect in stating that Abaddon “in Rev. 9:11 it is used as a name of the devil.” It most certainly is not used in that verse with reference to the devil (who is the demonic destroying angel.) No, in that verse it is used for the divine destroying angel.

King Abaddon, therefore, will be a literal king, over a literal kingdom. And yet, the Josephite, according to my understanding, is from the USA. So, how can he be an American and yet be a king? We have no kings here, right? But he won’t be a king in America. His kingdom will be located in a far country, in the east and in the north:

Who raised up the righteous man from the east, called him to his foot, gave the nations before him, and made him rule over kings? he gave them as the dust to his sword, and as driven stubble to his bow. (Isaiah 41:2)

I have raised up one from the north, and he shall come: from the rising of the sun shall he call upon my name: and he shall come upon princes as upon mortar, and as the potter treadeth clay. (Isaiah 41:25)

Calling a ravenous bird from the east, the man that executeth my counsel from a far country: yea, I have spoken it, I will also bring it to pass; I have purposed it, I will also do it. (Isaiah 46:11)

The Josephite, then, will be born and raised as an American, enter into his shadow (Mormonism) and then get put into a spiritual box and hidden by the Lord (which is where he is now) to “cook” for awhile. At some point he will emerge from that box as the rod of Jesse, fully empowered and capable of working all manner of miracles, and then he will send out an announcement of his deliverance from his box, and he will also send forth curses, cursing all his enemies and working miracles to cause catastrophic changes in the conditions among men, to allow him to get his promised carrot (which is his divinely bestowed reward) and start his own work. We must assume, then, that this carrot must at least partially consist of a kingdom, in some far away and unknown land, in which he goes there and establishes himself as king, even as King Abaddon, thus fulfilling these and other scriptures that say that he comes from a far country in the east and north, such as the following which also speaks of the distant kingdom he will establish:

But tidings out of the east and out of the north shall trouble him: therefore he shall go forth with great fury to destroy, and utterly to make away many. (Daniel 11:44)

The location of king Abaddon’s kingdom

Anyone who has studied Jan Lamprecht’s work (see the post, The hollow earth theory, the plasma model and Mormon theology), or Rodney Cluff’s work (see the post, Our Living Hollow Earth), on the hollow earth theory, will instantly understand that the destroyer will undoubtedly set up his kingdom on the inner surface of the earth, in the hollow of the earth. This is because the directions “east” and “north” and its description as “far away” give its location away. If you continue to travel north on just the right course, you will be led into the interior surface of the planet, and then once inside, if you continue to travel east on just the right path, you will be led to where king Abaddon will set up his kingdom. It can only be called a “far country.” In fact, it’s about as far away a far country as one can travel to. There is no place more hidden than king Abaddon’s kingdom land.

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

From Rod to Root

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

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 11:10)

There are four parts of the plant mentioned by Isaiah in Isaiah 11:1,10. A rod, the Stem, a Branch and a root. Who are these people? They are:

  • Stem=Christ (per D&C 113:1-2)
  • Branch=Christ
  • Rod=Josephite
  • Root=Josephite

The Branch and rod are instruments of destruction and judgment. These are horizontal instruments. They grow horizontally from the plant. What do you do with a branch or a rod? You use it to strike others with it. You hold it horizontally from you, in your hands.

The Stem and root are instruments of salvation and mercy. These are vertical instruments. They grow vertically upward or downward. The Stem, which offers us individual salvation, is not sufficient to save us. Although He brings us up to God, connects us to God, He also needs the root to connect to the rest of us, as a group. Thus, individual salvation is represented by the Stem (Christ), while group salvation is represented by the root (the Josephite.)

Both Jesus and the Josephite will undergo a role reversal, each one performing one role at first, and then the second role at last. So, Christ came as the Stem (and instrument of mercy) during His first coming, and He’ll come as the Branch (and instrument of judgment) during His second coming. And the Josephite started out as the destroying angel, even the rod, in the heavens, as the instrument of God’s judgment, and when he is empowered here on earth, he will resume that exalted position of rod. Thus, curses and destruction will immediately go forth once the guy is powered up, for he resumes his rod role.

And as the rod, he will have one lineage:

What is the rod spoken of in the first verse of the 11th chapter of Isaiah, that should come of the Stem of Jesse?

Behold, thus saith the Lord: It is a servant in the hands of Christ, who is partly a descendant of Jesse as well as of Ephraim, or of the house of Joseph, on whom there is laid much power. (D&C 113:3-4)

With this lineage, he will be “partly” a descendant of Jesse as well as of Ephraim.

But then he will miraculously switch from destroyer to savior, which is entirely impossible, for he was “made to destroy” as Isaiah said, so this switch goes entirely against his very nature, and he will begin a work of salvation, as one of the saviors on mount Zion, this time performing all the work perfectly. This miraculous switch from destroyer to savior, or from judgment to mercy, switches his position, too, from horizontal to vertical, and he becomes the root, an instrument of mercy and salvation.

And as the root, his lineage will be re-assigned (see the post, Re-assignment of parentage) :

What is the root of Jesse spoken of in the 10th verse of the 11th chapter?

Behold, thus saith the Lord, it is a descendant of Jesse, as well as of Joseph, unto whom rightly belongs the priesthood, and the keys of the kingdom, for an ensign, and for the gathering of my people in the last days. (D&C 113:5-6)

(Notice that no longer is he “partly” descended, but he’s fully descended.)

It is Christ then, not the destroying angel (the Josephite), who will destroy the wicked at the Second Coming, for the Josephite will be in root mode when Christ comes back, while Christ will be in Branch mode.

Thus, there are not four servants spoken of by the designations root, rod, stem and branch, but just two, for there were always just two sons of God who were designated and appointed by God to pull off the entire salvation and redemption of all things: Jesus (who pulled off the infinite amount of suffering required) and the Josephite (who will pull off the infinite amount of work required.)

The prophecies now make sense

Now that I have this understanding that the Josephite is the none other than the destroying angel, and that this angel reports to the Father only, and everyone, including Christ, will be taking orders from him during the end times, and also that he is the very king Abaddon (king Destruction) spoken of in the book of Revelation, many of the prophecies I have taught in private now make a bit more sense.

For example, the CA earthquake I had prophesied about on this blog will be caused by the Josephite, and when I learned that I wondered, “What kind of a prophet or seer goes around destroying things?” It made no sense to me. That is, until I learned who this guy really is. And there are very many other prophecies I have uttered (in private) about the things he will be destroying outright, catastrophically, which show that there will be no gradual changes performed by him, but everything will be a series of jolts. Ready or not, once he gets out, we won’t be able to get off his roller coaster ride of vast and abrupt changes.

Also, the nature of his curses is now apparent to me. In other words, these words don’t apply to him:

And now, verily I say unto you, if that enemy shall escape my vengeance, that he be not brought into judgment before me, then ye shall see to it that ye warn him in my name, that he come no more upon you, neither upon your family, even your children’s children unto the third and fourth generation. (D&C 98:28)

Nobody, but nobody is going to escape this guy’s vengeance. Once this man is out of his box, whoever even looked at him funny is going to be cursed, no matter when they did it. Whoever he feels “escaped” God’s vengeance while he was in his weak state will be dealt with, by miraculous power, so that every enemy of his will be “brought into judgment.” It doesn’t matter how many years the man has been in his box, he undoubtedly has got a list of grievances that people have done to him, and once out, these people are going to suffer. For all we know his enemies have completely forgotten about him, but he undoubtedly has not forgotten about them. In other words, nobody holds a grudge like this guy! His sense of justice will not quit until it is entirely satisfied. And by “entirely,” I mean “entirely” in the Lord’s sense (an hundred-fold!) :

And if he do this, thou shalt forgive him with all thine heart; and if he do not this, I, the Lord, will avenge thee of thine enemy an hundred-fold; and upon his children, and upon his children’s children of all them that hate me, unto the third and fourth generation. (D&C 98:45-46)

This applies equally to those in the church. Anyone at all who offended this man, whether in the church or out, whether in the leadership or not, is getting cursed. And those who have left the church, or removed their names from it, or who are inactive, or who have been excommunicated, will be promptly told to get back in, and if they don’t immediately jump back into those re-baptismal waters and repent, severe curses will go out. There won’t be any long grace period. He will expect immediate compliance, and if there is none forthcoming, he will consider the person disobedient and take immediate and swift and severe action against him. This will apply equally to men and women.

So, this guy isn’t Christlike, at all. He is a saint, sure, but he’s unlike any of the other saints, because his nature is not one of saving, but of destroying.

So, when he is released from his box, the saints are going to have a rude awakening, because none of us have ever experienced someone like this before, someone who will rebuke you if you do something wrong, and if you don’t repent on the spot, will cover you with Job sores:

So went Satan forth from the presence of the LORD, and smote Job with sore boils from the sole of his foot unto his crown. (Job 2:7)

or with the daughter of Zion curse:

And it shall come to pass, that instead of sweet smell there shall be stink; and instead of a girdle a rent; and instead of well set hair baldness; and instead of a stomacher a girding of sackcloth; and burning instead of beauty. Thy men shall fall by the sword, and thy mighty in the war. And her gates shall lament and mourn; and she being desolate shall sit upon the ground. (Isaiah 3:24-26)

or with whatever else he thinks of, for your wickedness and rebellion. This guy will expect to be obeyed by all, without delay. Submissive obedience and respect to him and his authority, honoring him in his high and holy calling, will be the only way to avoid the penalties he will be dealing out.

Also, we are going to see something that is quite bizarre, for this man will be doing what Jesus did: sending angels to do his bidding at his whim.

And now Jesus knew that John was cast into prison, and he sent angels, and, behold, they came and ministered unto him. (JST Matthew 4:11)

This means that he will be able to convince the world, easily, of the truth of all his words. The church leadership will be utterly convinced, there will be no room for doubt, and thus anyone who disobeys this man will do so with full knowledge that he’s speaking the truth and without any excuse to be made, so that when the curses immediately fall upon them, they won’t be able to say they didn’t know what was coming.

Also, the planets will be easily manipulated by him, using his miraculous power, or using his throne, for he will be obeyed in all things, by all things, except by the rebellious. In other words, we are in for the show of shows, as the Father puts all things, all power, all authority, into this one man’s hands. And thus, as the Josephite is the Father’s emissary, it will be the Father who prepares the way of His Son, just as the scriptures state:

The Father prepares the way

And as there began to be wars and rumors of wars among all the nations which belonged to the mother of abominations, the angel spake unto me, saying:

Behold, the wrath of God is upon the mother of harlots; and behold, thou seest all these things—and when the day cometh that the wrath of God is poured out upon the mother of harlots, which is the great and abominable church of all the earth, whose founder is the devil, then, at that day, the work of the Father shall commence, in preparing the way for the fulfilling of his covenants, which he hath made to his people who are of the house of Israel. (1 Nephi 14:16-17)

Yea, the work shall commence among all the dispersed of my people, with the Father to prepare the way whereby they may come unto me, that they may call on the Father in my name. Yea, and then shall the work commence, with the Father among all nations in preparing the way whereby his people may be gathered home to the land of their inheritance. (3 Nephi 21:27-28)

The end times work is of the Father, not the Son

So, the work of the Father, as the scriptures in the Book of Mormon repeatedly say, will commence in the last days:

And it shall come to pass that the Lord God shall commence his work among all nations, kindreds, tongues, and people, to bring about the restoration of his people upon the earth. (2 Nephi 30:8)

And out of weakness he shall be made strong, in that day when my work shall commence among all my people, unto the restoring thee, O house of Israel,

saith the Lord. (2 Nephi 3:13)

Therefore I write unto you, Gentiles, and also unto you, house of Israel, when the work shall commence, that ye shall be about to prepare to return to the land of your inheritance; yea, behold, I write unto all the ends of the earth; yea, unto you, twelve tribes of Israel, who shall be judged according to your works by the twelve whom Jesus chose to be his disciples in the land of Jerusalem. (Mormon 3:17-18)

And then shall the work of the Father commence at that day, even when this gospel shall be preached among the remnant of this people. Verily I say unto you, at that day shall the work of the Father commence among all the dispersed of my people, yea, even the tribes which have been lost, which the Father hath led away out of Jerusalem. Yea, the work shall commence among all the dispersed of my people, with the Father to prepare the way whereby they may come unto me, that they may call on the Father in my name. Yea, and then shall the work commence, with the Father among all nations in preparing the way whereby his people may be gathered home to the land of their inheritance. (3 Nephi 21:26-28)

And when these things come to pass that thy seed shall begin to know these things—it shall be a sign unto them, that they may know that the work of the Father hath already commenced unto the fulfilling of the covenant which he hath made unto the people who are of the house of Israel. (3 Nephi 21:7)

Therefore, when ye shall receive this record ye may know that the work of the Father has commenced upon all the face of the land. (Ether 4:17)

and this work will be performed by the Father’s emissary of justice, who is the destroying angel, who is Joseph-Nephi, who is the Father’s messenger, just as the Father told Malachi:

And it came to pass that he commanded them that they should write the words which the Father had given unto Malachi, which he should tell unto them. And it came to pass that after they were written he expounded them. And these are the words which he did tell unto them, saying:

Thus said the Father unto Malachi—

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. (3 Nephi 24:1)

The Father, then, not the Son, will be sending a messenger during the end times, and this messenger will come authorized by the Father, not by just the Son. This is not to say that the Josephite, being already a member of the LDS church (according to my understanding), will not possess the two priesthoods (of Melchizedek and of Aaron.) We can expect that he will, indeed, possess these priesthoods, like every other male member of the church. However, he will also possess the seal of the living God, which is of the Father:

And I saw another angel ascending from the east, having the seal of the living God: and he cried with a loud voice to the four angels, to whom it was given to hurt the earth and the sea, (Revelation 7:2)

Q. What are we to understand by the angel ascending from the east, Revelation 7th chapter and 2nd verse?

A. We are to understand that the angel ascending from the east is he to whom is given the seal of the living God over the twelve tribes of Israel; wherefore, he crieth unto the four angels having the everlasting gospel, saying:

Hurt not the earth, neither the sea, nor the trees, till we have sealed the servants of our God in their foreheads.

And, if you will receive it, this is Elias which was to come to gather together the tribes of Israel and restore all things. (D&C 77:9)

And I looked, and, lo, a Lamb stood on the mount Sion, and with him an hundred forty and four thousand, having his Father’s name written in their foreheads. (Revelation 14:1)

When the Lamb shall stand upon Mount Zion, and with him a hundred and forty-four thousand, having his Father’s name written on their foreheads. (D&C 133:18)

So, this is not Aaronic priesthood, nor Melchizedek priesthood. This is something above and beyond what we have. We don’t have it, but the Josephite will have it. How will he get it? Probably directly from the Father Himself. He is the Father’s personal servant, after all. He’s got direct access to Him.

Before the end times begins

But let me back it up a little bit. Before the Father’s work begins, the Josephite is put into a spiritual box in which he cannot make not even one degree of progress:

Then I said,

I have laboured in vain, I have spent my strength for nought, and in vain: (Isaiah 49:4)

While in this box, he “cooks,” pushing against the spiritual forces locking him in, performing a spiritual isometric press, becoming stronger and stronger in faith, but continually frustrated. At some point he will finally be strong enough to get out and he will then be given what I call his “carrot on a stick.”

yet surely my judgment is with the Lord, (Isaiah 49:4)

This carrot must be, at least in part, the kingdom I have been talking about, with lands and a house or palace and servants, etc. His house or palace, in fact, has been prophesied by Isaiah to be “glorious.” So, we know it is particularly special and probably is going to be constructed in a miraculous manner. In other words, it will be an “impossible-to-exist” house:

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 11:10)

As I explained in the last post (The Prophet who is like unto Moses), the Josephite will be bringing a special group of Gentiles with him to the Lost Ten Tribes.

Concerning the records of the Lost Ten Tribes, we know nothing. Joseph-Nephi will likely have to go to wherever these tribes have been placed, and get their records, bringing their records back to the Gentiles, in powerful translated forms. Once the Gentiles have all the words of Christ that were given to the Jews, to the Nephites, to the Lost Ten Tribes, and to any other scattered branch of Israel, then the prophecy of the Gentiles rejecting the fullness of the gospel can be literally fulfilled.

Concerning the Gentiles bringing these records to the Jews, to the Nephites, and to the Lost Ten Tribes and any other scattered branch of Israel, it shouldn’t be too difficult to accomplish this feat for the Jews and the Nephites, but as for the Lost Ten Tribes, given they are hidden away somewhere, Joseph-Nephi may need to bring a group of Gentiles with him, who possess all these records, so that they can fulfill the prophecies and give them to the tribes.

The fact, then, that Joseph-Nephi will be traveling to where the Lost Ten Tribes are to get their records, and traveling back to where the Gentiles are, and then traveling with Gentiles to where the Lost Ten Tribes are, so they can give the other tribal records to the Lost Ten Tribes, and also the fact that at some point, when Joseph-Nephi will begin to gather the tribes together he will again need to go to where the tribes are, because the function of the keys of gathering indicate a need for him to personally lead the Lost Ten Tribes back to their original tribal lands:

After this vision closed, the heavens were again opened unto us; and Moses appeared before us, and committed unto us the keys of the gathering of Israel from the four parts of the earth, and the leading of the ten tribes from the land of the north. (D&C 110:11)

All of this indicates that Joseph-Nephi will have untrammeled access to travel back and forth, to and from the place where the Lost Ten Tribes are. For others it will be impossible to get to them, but not for him (and this special group of Gentiles he may bring with him.)

We can assume, then, that this special group of Gentiles will be part of his carrot. Perhaps they will consist of his family and friends, taken from the outside world and brought to the inside world, where his kingdom is.

After he obtains his miraculous carrot (whatever it entails), he will then start his own work:

yet surely my judgment is with the LORD, and my work with my God. (Isaiah 49:4)

This is not the Father’s work, but the Josephite’s work. Whatever it consists of, it’s going to be huge, affecting the entire world. Like the carrot, it will be a work of miracles and restoration, only on a much grander scale. Only after the Josephite has obtained his carrot and fully established his own work will the Father’s work begin. And it is the Father’s work that officially begins the end times.

The end times prophecies begin in 1 Nephi 13

I have already gone over the prophecies found in 1 Nephi 13 and 14, so I will not take time to review them in this post. Where 1 Nephi chapter 14 ends, Revelation chapter 4 begins, so let’s jump ahead to John’s end times vision.

A review of the Revelation of St. John the Divine

Given that Elias the Josephite is the point man for all things during the end times, we can expect that he will be found all over John’s end times vision.

The first voice, speaking like a trumpet

After this I looked, and, behold, a door was opened in heaven: and the first voice which I heard was as it were of a trumpet talking with me; which said,

Come up hither, and I will shew thee things which must be hereafter. (Revelation 4:1)

This loud voice may have been the Josephite’s voice. It would make sense that it was his voice, given that he is the one in charge of all end times affairs and he is the first sign that appears. Also, notice that the voice commands John to come up. A trademark of the Josephite’s is him barking orders to people.

A strong angel concerned with the sealed book

And I saw a strong angel proclaiming with a loud voice,

Who is worthy to open the book, and to loose the seals thereof? (Revelation 5:2)

The destroyer is described as being strong. Also, this angel is particularly concerned with the sealed book. The sealed book is the sealed portion of the plates of Mormon (per my understanding), and it is the Josephite who will be the one that translates it, therefore it makes sense that this angel is the Josephite.

A voice from the midst of the four beasts, commanding not to hurt

And when he had opened the third seal, I heard the third beast say,

Come and see.

And I beheld, and lo a black horse; and he that sat on him had a pair of balances in his hand. And I heard a voice in the midst of the four beasts say,

A measure of wheat for a penny, and three measures of barley for a penny; and see thou hurt not the oil and the wine. (Revelation 6:5-6)

As we shall see later, both the angel ascending from the east and king Abaddon (who are one and the same person) give “hurt not” commandments. This voice is likewise giving similar commands, therefore, this voice is possibly also the destroyer’s voice.

The angel ascending from the east, with the seal of the living God, commanding not to hurt

And I saw another angel ascending from the east, having the seal of the living God: and he cried with a loud voice to the four angels, to whom it was given to hurt the earth and the sea, saying,

Hurt not the earth, neither the sea, nor the trees, till we have sealed the servants of our God in their foreheads. (Revelation 7:2-3)

Per Joseph Smith, this is the Elias who restores all things. Therefore, this is the destroyer, Elias the Josephite. Notice, also, that this angel has a loud voice, just as the first voice was loud like a trumpet. The location of this angel is “from the east,” meaning that this angel (the Josephite) is already by this time established on the interior surface of the planet, as king Abaddon, and so he is ascending out of the interior of the earth, from his kingdom, to the outer surface of the planet.

The eighth angel at the altar

And another angel came and stood at the altar, having a golden censer; and there was given unto him much incense, that he should offer it with the prayers of all saints upon the golden altar which was before the throne. And the smoke of the incense, which came with the prayers of the saints, ascended up before God out of the angel’s hand. And the angel took the censer, and filled it with fire of the altar, and cast it into the earth: and there were voices, and thunderings, and lightnings, and an earthquake. (Revelation 8:3-5)

This eighth angel might also be the Josephite. Notice that he is in heaven with the seven angels. He is the one that gets everything started, before the seven angels begin sounding their trumpets, after the seventh seal is opened and the space of about a half hour of time has passed. It would make sense that this angel, then, is the Josephite, because this angel is doing exactly what the Josephite does: leading everything. Also, although he is an eighth angel, he is not numbered by John as part of the seven. He’s separate from the other angels. That fits the Josephite.

The flying angel with a loud voice, saying “Woe!”

And I beheld, and heard an angel flying through the midst of heaven, saying with a loud voice,

Woe, woe, woe, to the inhabiters of the earth by reason of the other voices of the trumpet of the three angels, which are yet to sound! (Revelation 8:13)

This may be the Josephite.

King Abaddon, the angel 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 he opened the bottomless pit; and there arose a smoke out of the pit, as the smoke of a great furnace; and the sun and the air were darkened by reason of the smoke of the pit. And there came out of the smoke locusts upon the earth: and unto them was given power, as the scorpions of the earth have power. And it was commanded them that they should not hurt the grass of the earth, neither any green thing, neither any tree; but only those men which have not the seal of God in their foreheads.

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 9:1-4,11)

This star which fell from heaven, who is the angel of the bottomless pit, who is king Abaddon/king Apollyon, is definitely Elias the Josephite. Notice that king Abaddon commands the insects not to hurt the grass or any green thing or any tree, and that he mentions the seal of the living God in the foreheads of the sealed men. The Josephite is in root mode at this point, and therefore is trying to save all that can be saved.

Now, I wish to speak about these insects for a bit, since they have something to do with the Josephite.

The Lord’s insect army

Revelation chapter nine is often interpreted as containing prophetic symbolism for wars among men during the end times. John’s description of the locusts, horses and horsemen is typically interpreted as symbolically referring to the war machinery and weapons used by soldiers of the last days. Joel chapters one and two speak of the same events happening in Revelation chapter nine, with Joel also referring to locusts, horses and horsemen. And so many also interpret the first and second chapters of Joel as referring to wars among men during the end times, and thus as mere symbols.

The truth of the matter is that these three chapters are not referring to men, but to an insect army, a swarm of insects, the likes of which the world has never before seen. The Lord created these peculiar insects during the Creation of the world, and then hid the creatures, away from men, to multiply endlessly for nearly 6,000 years, so that He could unleash them upon the wicked of the last days as a plague. They have been kept in check, in their hidden place, this whole time. Joel and John both attempt to describe what these things look like, how they behave and what they can do. Neither Joel nor John had ever seen such insects before because the Lord has kept them hidden. They are described as locusts, horses and horsemen because the insects are of different classes, orders, stages or types. As nobody has ever seen these things before, when they finally make their appearance, we will fully understand that the description of them that John and Joel made was accurate.

Now, I will show from the Bible, from both Joel and Revelation, that these two servants of God were prophesying of (Joel) and seeing in vision (John) the very same event.

Both mention locusts

That which the palmerworm hath left hath the locust eaten; and that which the locust hath left hath the cankerworm eaten; and that which the cankerworm hath left hath the caterpiller eaten. (Joel 1:4)

And I will restore to you the years that the locust hath eaten, the cankerworm, and the caterpiller, and the palmerworm, my great army which I sent among you. (Joel 2:25)

And there came out of the smoke locusts upon the earth: and unto them was given power, as the scorpions of the earth have power. (Revelation 9:3)

And the shapes of the locusts were like unto horses prepared unto battle; and on their heads were as it were crowns like gold, and their faces were as the faces of men. (Revelation 9:7)

Both mention the creatures resembling horses and horsemen

The appearance of them is as the appearance of horses; and as horsemen, so shall they run. (Joel 2:4)

And the shapes of the locusts were like unto horses prepared unto battle; and on their heads were as it were crowns like gold, and their faces were as the faces of men. (Revelation 9:7)

And they had breastplates, as it were breastplates of iron; and the sound of their wings was as the sound of chariots of many horses running to battle. (Revelation 9:9)

And the number of the army of the horsemen were two hundred thousand thousand: and I heard the number of them. And thus I saw the horses in the vision, and them that sat on them, having breastplates of fire, and of jacinth, and brimstone: and the heads of the horses were as the heads of lions; and out of their mouths issued fire and smoke and brimstone. (Revelation 9:16-17)

Both mention the creatures setting things on fire

O LORD, to thee will I cry: for the fire hath devoured the pastures of the wilderness, and the flame hath burned all the trees of the field. The beasts of the field cry also unto thee: for the rivers of waters are dried up, and the fire hath devoured the pastures of the wilderness. (Joel 1:19-20)

A fire devoureth before them; and behind them a flame burneth: the land is as the garden of Eden before them, and behind them a desolate wilderness; yea, and nothing shall escape them. (Joel 2:3)

Like the noise of chariots on the tops of mountains shall they leap, like the noise of a flame of fire that devoureth the stubble, as a strong people set in battle array. (Joel 2:5)

And thus I saw the horses in the vision, and them that sat on them, having breastplates of fire, and of jacinth, and brimstone: and the heads of the horses were as the heads of lions; and out of their mouths issued fire and smoke and brimstone. By these three was the third part of men killed, by the fire, and by the smoke, and by the brimstone, which issued out of their mouths. (Revelation 9:17-18)

Both mention the people being in pain or torment

Before their face the people shall be much pained: all faces shall gather blackness. (Joel 2:6)

And to them it was given that they should not kill them, but that they should be tormented five months: and their torment was as the torment of a scorpion, when he striketh a man. (Revelation 9:5)

Both mention the creatures causing the Sun to be darkened

The earth shall quake before them; the heavens shall tremble: the sun and the moon shall be dark, and the stars shall withdraw their shining: (Joel 2:10)

And he opened the bottomless pit; and there arose a smoke out of the pit, as the smoke of a great furnace; and the sun and the air were darkened by reason of the smoke of the pit. (Revelation 9:2)

Both provide imagery of a flying swarm of insects

Blow ye the trumpet in Zion, and sound an alarm in my holy mountain: let all the inhabitants of the land tremble: for the day of the LORD cometh, for it is nigh at hand; a day of darkness and of gloominess, a day of clouds and of thick darkness, as the morning spread upon the mountains: a great people and a strong; there hath not been ever the like, neither shall be any more after it, even to the years of many generations. (Joel 2:1-2)

And he opened the bottomless pit; and there arose a smoke out of the pit, as the smoke of a great furnace; and the sun and the air were darkened by reason of the smoke of the pit. And there came out of the smoke locusts upon the earth: and unto them was given power, as the scorpions of the earth have power. (Revelation 9:2-3)

Both mention that the creatures make the sound of chariots

Like the noise of chariots on the tops of mountains shall they leap, like the noise of a flame of fire that devoureth the stubble, as a strong people set in battle array. (Joel 2:5)

And they had breastplates, as it were breastplates of iron; and the sound of their wings was as the sound of chariots of many horses running to battle. (Revelation 9:9)

Both mention the creatures have teeth like lions

For a nation is come up upon my land, strong, and without number, whose teeth are the teeth of a lion, and he hath the cheek teeth of a great lion. (Joel 1:6)

And they had hair as the hair of women, and their teeth were as the teeth of lions. (Revelation 9:8)

And thus I saw the horses in the vision, and them that sat on them, having breastplates of fire, and of jacinth, and brimstone: and the heads of the horses were as the heads of lions; and out of their mouths issued fire and smoke and brimstone. (Revelation 9:17)

Both call the creatures an army

The earth shall quake before them; the heavens shall tremble: the sun and the moon shall be dark, and the stars shall withdraw their shining: and the Lord shall utter his voice before his army: for his camp is very great: for he is strong that executeth his word: for the day of the Lord is great and very terrible; and who can abide it? (Joel 2:10-11)

Yea, the LORD will answer and say unto his people, Behold, I will send you corn, and wine, and oil, and ye shall be satisfied therewith: and I will no more make you a reproach among the heathen: but I will remove far off from you the northern army, and will drive him into a land barren and desolate, with his face toward the east sea, and his hinder part toward the utmost sea, and his stink shall come up, and his ill savour shall come up, because he hath done great things. (Joel 2:19-20)

And I will restore to you the years that the locust hath eaten, the cankerworm, and the caterpiller, and the palmerworm, my great army which I sent among you. (Joel 2:25)

And the number of the army of the horsemen were two hundred thousand thousand: and I heard the number of them. (Revelation 9:16)

Other details differ between the two accounts

Joel calls the creatures “a nation” that is “without number” and that they are “a great people and a strong” and that “there hath not been ever the like, neither shall be any more after it.”

For a nation is come up upon my land, strong, and without number, whose teeth are the teeth of a lion, and he hath the cheek teeth of a great lion. (Joel 1:6)

A day of darkness and of gloominess, a day of clouds and of thick darkness, as the morning spread upon the mountains: a great people and a strong; there hath not been ever the like, neither shall be any more after it, even to the years of many generations. (Joel 2:2)

Whereas John actually gives a number of 200 million to them:

And the number of the army of the horsemen were two hundred thousand thousand: and I heard the number of them. (Revelation 9:16)

The reason for the discrepancy is that John is speaking of a specific insect type, which he calls “the horsemen,” which is of a limited number, numbering but 200 million, whereas the rest of “the army,” consisting of other types of insects, are without number.

Joel says the insects devour everything and “nothing shall escape them.”

He hath laid my vine waste, and barked my fig tree: he hath made it clean bare, and cast it away; the branches thereof are made white. (Joel 1:7)

A fire devoureth before them; and behind them a flame burneth: the land is as the garden of Eden before them, and behind them a desolate wilderness; yea, and nothing shall escape them. (Joel 2:3)

Whereas John says they are commanded to not hurt (eat) the plants.

And it was commanded them that they should not hurt the grass of the earth, neither any green thing, neither any tree; but only those men which have not the seal of God in their foreheads. (Revelation 9:4)

It could be that John here was specifically referring only to not hurting the grass, plants and trees of the righteous, and not to all plant life in general. This may make sense, considering the angels were told by Elias not to hurt the plant life only until the 144,000 are sealed in their foreheads.

And I saw another angel ascending from the east, having the seal of the living God: and he cried with a loud voice to the four angels, to whom it was given to hurt the earth and the sea, saying,

Hurt not the earth, neither the sea, nor the trees, till we have sealed the servants of our God in their foreheads. (Revelation 7:2-3)

Once they are sealed (and they got sealed in chapter 7, in an event that occurs before chapter 9), then plants can be harmed. But the plants of the righteous (their crops) should be just as protected by the seal as the righteous themselves. So, this may be an instruction concerning not harming the crops of the righteous.

Speculation on where the bugs come from

Okay, so the above is my official interpretation, namely, that these are insects of a kind God has kept hidden from us, which is why the descriptions given by Joel and John are so confusing to people. Now I’m going to speculate a little bit about where these bugs come from.

There is one location I have heard of that might be a proper place for the “hidden place” of these bugs: the Inner Sun of the hollow earth. Legend has it that the Inner Sun is at the center of the earth, surrounded by a vacuum of space, thus nothing at the Inner Sun can get to the shell of the earth, and nothing at the shell can get to the Inner Sun suspended in the sky by gravity at the center, or pit, of the hollow shell. The King James Version calls the place these bugs come from, “the bottomless pit,” although other translations call it, “the pit of the abyss.” Certainly, considering the descriptions I’ve heard about this peculiar celestial object, the Inner Sun can be described as a pit of the abyss. It is very much like the pit of a fruit, if we think of the earth as a very large fruit with a pit at its center spot.

If the Inner Sun is also hollow, like the outer earth shell, then it might have polar openings like the earth does, each of which may give the impression of an immeasurably deep gulf, even a “bottomless pit.” Regardless of the way we define the word “pit”—as the pit at the center of a fruit, or as a deep hole’s innermost recess—the Inner Sun seems to fit the description.

Now descriptions of the Inner Sun are that one side of it (one of its hemispheres) shines with light, while the other side (the other hemisphere) does not, with the base of the Sun being dark but allowing some light to shine through, very much in the shape and glow of a moon, and also like twinkling stars. Apparently, the way the shell spins around it, presents an illusion of a rising and setting sun and a rising and setting moon, and also of twinkling stars in the heavens above.

Now, what has never been explained in the various descriptions that I have read is why one half of it is dark, or semi-dark (if it shines like the moon or twinkles like stars.) If we assume that this Inner Sun exists as described, and if we assume that there are some flying insects we don’t know about, then it may be that the Lord put “His great army” of very special insects on one hemisphere of this glowing Inner Sun orb, to cover its surface, making it dark. It may be that these insects feed off of the radiation given by the Inner Sun, and sometimes they gather, allowing some light to shine forth as the “moon” or as “twinkling stars.” As men do not live on the Inner Sun, but on the inner and outer surface of the earth’s shell, and as there is a vacuum of space between the Inner Sun and the shell, these insects would never have had any interaction with man since the day of their creation.

Thus, they would be hidden “in plain sight,” for men living on the inner surface of the shell would look up at night at the dark side of the Inner Sun and the darkness they would see would really be the bodies of these innumerable insects upon the surface of the Inner Sun, blocking the light, but they would never know it.

Also, the description of the insects as having breastplates of iron and so forth makes it seem like they are prepared or created to inhibit a place where conditions are really harsh, such as the surface of an Inner Sun, and the description of fire and smoke and brimstone coming out of their mouths may simply mean that these things absorb Inner Sun radiation, but also may release it from their mouths, just like the fictional Godzilla does, except for real.

The fiery flying serpents

Of especial note is that these insects fly and belch fire. The fiery flying serpents that the Lord sent to afflict the Israelites in the wilderness did the same thing:

And the LORD sent fiery serpents among the people, and they bit the people; and much people of Israel died. (Numbers 21:6)

The Book of Numbers does not say that they flew, but Nephi says they were fiery flying serpents:

And he did straiten them in the wilderness with his rod; for they hardened their hearts, even as ye have; and the Lord straitened them because of their iniquity. He sent fiery flying serpents among them; and after they were bitten he prepared a way that they might be healed; and the labor which they had to perform was to look; and because of the simpleness of the way, or the easiness of it, there were many who perished. (1 Nephi 17:41)

Also Isaiah says fiery flying serpents in his prophecy:

Rejoice not thou, whole Palestina, because the rod of him that smote thee is broken: for out of the serpent’s root shall come forth a cockatrice, and his fruit shall be a fiery flying serpent. (Isaiah 14:29)

Now, the reason why this may be important is that both the creatures described by Joel and John, as well as the fiery flying serpents, may be denizens of the surface of the Inner Sun. This is why both belch fire and also why they fly. It requires the Lord, or one of His angels working a miracle, to allow whatever is on the surface of the Inner Sun to travel through the vacuum of space to the inner or outer surface of the earth’s shell without dying. Nevertheless, the creatures can’t walk the distance, but must fly. So, it may be that all these various creatures living on the surface of the Inner Sun fly for this very reason, so that if the Lord extends the atmosphere which is found above the Inner Sun, so that it reaches and connects to the atmosphere surrounding the shell, the creatures, be they fiery flying serpents or fiery flying insects, can fly to the new location.

So, when we read:

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 he opened the bottomless pit; and there arose a smoke out of the pit, as the smoke of a great furnace; and the sun and the air were darkened by reason of the smoke of the pit. And there came out of the smoke locusts upon the earth: and unto them was given power, as the scorpions of the earth have power. (Revelation 9:1-3)

If “the bottomless pit” is the Inner Sun, then smoke cannot come out of it and go into the void or vacuum of space. Smoke cannot arise in a vacuum. So, the angel must be extending the Inner Sun atmosphere to connect to the outer shell atmosphere, allowing the insects to escape to the outer world. The smoke itself may not even be smoke. That may simply be the dark “cloud” of the swarming insects as they ascend up and outward to the outer world. And, given that their breastplates are, as it were, “of iron,” it may be that these creatures naturally follow the Earth’s magnetic lines of force. In other words, as soon at the angel extends the atmosphere, they rise, following the magnetic lines outward. This may explain why Joel describes them as being very ordered, marching in ranks or columns:

They shall run like mighty men; they shall climb the wall like men of war; and they shall march every one on his ways, and they shall not break their ranks: neither shall one thrust another; they shall walk every one in his path: and when they fall upon the sword, they shall not be wounded. (Joel 2:7-8)

As for their numbers being innumerable, it may be that they are stacked, one on top of another, on the surface of the Inner Sun, feeding off of the radiation there, and as they multiply, they add more levels to the stack, so that it gets higher and higher and higher over time. The only limitation may be the extent of the solar atmosphere, which may be many miles high. Given the reduced gravity on that orb, none of them may topple over or be pressed by any weight. Thus, for 6000 years the Lord can continuously multiply His “northern army” without any humans or natural predators to molest them, so that they become a truly endless number of creatures. Thus, Joel’s words about the appearance of this particular army being such a spectacular event that has never happened before makes a bit more sense:

Hear this, ye old men, and give ear, all ye inhabitants of the land. Hath this been in your days, or even in the days of your fathers? Tell ye your children of it, and let your children tell their children, and their children another generation. (Joel 1:2-3)

A day of darkness and of gloominess, a day of clouds and of thick darkness, as the morning spread upon the mountains: a great people and a strong; there hath not been ever the like, neither shall be any more after it, even to the years of many generations. (Joel 2:2)

The Lord is obviously quite proud of this innumerable insect army He has created. After this event happens, we will be talking about it in astonishment for quite some time. Okay, the speculation is over.

King Abaddon’s natural jurisdiction

Elias the Josephite, in his capacity as king Abaddon, living in his hidden, inner earth kingdom, would have jurisdiction over the Inner Sun, as well as the rest of the inner earth world. Thus, he would be the one who would possess “the key to the bottomless pit,” where all these insects come from. These are all the “secret places,” the treasures of which the end times Cyrus was prophesied to get:

Thus saith the LORD to his anointed, to Cyrus, whose right hand I have holden, to subdue nations before him; and I will loose the loins of kings, to open before him the two leaved gates; and the gates shall not be shut;

I will go before thee, and make the crooked places straight: I will break in pieces the gates of brass, and cut in sunder the bars of iron: and I will give thee the treasures of darkness, and hidden riches of secret places, that thou mayest know that I, the LORD, which call thee by thy name, am the God of Israel. For Jacob my servant’s sake, and Israel mine elect, I have even called thee by thy name: I have surnamed thee, though thou hast not known me.(Isaiah 45:1-4)

(And what will be the surname that God will give the end times Cyrus? It will be Joseph-Nephi.)

So the Josephite destroyer will go into the interior of the earth (bringing with him some Gentiles he selects) and there he will establish his kingdom. We may assume, then, that initially his kingdom land will occupy only a portion of the landmass found within the earth. (The other portion of land will be inhabited by the Ten Lost Tribes.) Later the Ten Lost Tribes will come out of the interior of the earth, to the outer world, leaving the interior uninhabited, except for the Josephite and the people of his kingdom, which kingdom will then extend to all of it. Thus, he will become the king of the whole interior, whose jurisdiction must also encompass every part of it, including the Inner Sun.

It is important that he be there, too, because it is in the Inner Sun (assuming that it is the bottomless pit) where the devil will be bound for a thousand years. It is king Abaddon the Josephite destroyer who will bind Satan and his angels, and it will be king Abaddon residing on the inner surface of the planet, gazing up at the Inner Sun, who watches over the devil, making sure he remains bound. Thus he becomes the keeper or warden of this prison for the devil and the one-third, and must reside on the inside surface of the earth, where he can keep watch over it.

Okay, I’ll continue going through Revelation.

A continuation of the review of Revelation

The voice that came from the four horns of the golden altar

And the sixth angel sounded, and I heard a voice from the four horns of the golden altar which is before God, saying to the sixth angel which had the trumpet,

Loose the four angels which are bound in the bottomless pit. (JST Revelation 9:13-14)

This might be the voice of the Josephite.

The mighty angel standing upon the sea and the earth

And I saw another mighty angel come down from heaven, clothed with a cloud: and a rainbow was upon his head, and his face was as it were the sun, and his feet as pillars of fire: and he had in his hand a little book open: and he set his right foot upon the sea, and his left foot on the earth, and cried with a loud voice, as when a lion roareth: and when he had cried, seven thunders uttered their voices. (Revelation 10:1-3)

The destroyer is said to be mighty. This angel may very well be the Josephite. Most latter-day saints believe this angel is the seventh angel, who is the archangel (Michael), because of what is written in D&C 88, but this angel is not identified by John as the seventh angel. Also, this angel swears with an oath and speaks of the sounding of the trumpet of the seventh angel:

And the angel which I saw stand upon the sea and upon the earth lifted up his hand to heaven, and sware by him that liveth for ever and ever, who created heaven, and the things that therein are, and the earth, and the things that therein are, and the sea, and the things which are therein, that there should be time no longer: but in the days of the voice of the seventh angel, when he shall begin to sound, the mystery of God should be finished, as he hath declared to his servants the prophets. (Revelation 10:5-7)

So, “the angel…sware…that…in the days of the voice of the seventh angel,…the mystery of God should be finished.” Thus, he cannot be the seventh angel, because he is talking of someone else who is the seventh angel.

It also makes sense that this angel is Elias the Josephite because he ends up giving John an Elias mission, and who would be better to give an Elias mission to John, save Elias himself?

And I went unto the angel, and said unto him,

Give me the little book.

And he said unto me,

Take it, and eat it up; and it shall make thy belly bitter, but it shall be in thy mouth sweet as honey.

And I took the little book out of the angel’s hand, and ate it up; and it was in my mouth sweet as honey: and as soon as I had eaten it, my belly was bitter. And he said unto me,

Thou must prophesy again before many peoples, and nations, and tongues, and kings. (Revelation 10:9-11)

Notice also that John requests that he be given the book (for the words, “Give me the little book,” is a request, not a command, for Elias cannot be commanded), but the angel does not give the book but instead commands John to “Take it, and eat it up.” This angel is the one barking orders, just as the Josephite will do.

Now, concerning that scripture in D&C 88, which I am sure some reader will bring up:

And then shall the first angel again sound his trump in the ears of all living, and reveal the secret acts of men, and the mighty works of God in the first thousand years. And then shall the second angel sound his trump, and reveal the secret acts of men, and the thoughts and intents of their hearts, and the mighty works of God in the second thousand years—and so on, until the seventh angel shall sound his trump; and he shall stand forth upon the land and upon the sea, and swear in the name of him who sitteth upon the throne, that there shall be time no longer; and Satan shall be bound, that old serpent, who is called the devil, and shall not be loosed for the space of a thousand years. (D&C 88:108-110)

The order given in the section for the trumps sounding and the standing of the angel upon the sea and land is different than what is given in the Revelation of John. The mighty angel of Revelation chapter ten stands upon the sea and earth after the sixth trump sounds and before the seventh trump sounds, whereas the angel standing upon the sea and earth in D&C 88 stands upon the land and sea after all seven trumps have been blown the first time, and then all seven trumps are blown a second time, and only after the second time, does this angel swear that there shall be time no longer. Everyone who reads this passage in D&C 88 assumes that the “he” of “and he shall stand forth upon the land and upon the sea” is the angel that is mentioned just before the semicolon: “the seventh angel shall sound his trump;” but that semicolon might represent a shift of focus, whereby the Lord is now talking about someone different than the seventh angel. In other words, He might now be talking of the Josephite and not the seventh angel (who is Michael.)

The angel who has two witnesses

The angel who spoke to John in Revelation chapter ten, continued to speak to him in chapter eleven:

And there was given me a reed like unto a rod: and the angel stood, saying,

Rise, and measure the temple of God, and the altar, and them that worship therein. But the court which is without the temple leave out, and measure it not; for it is given unto the Gentiles: and the holy city shall they tread under foot forty and two months. And I will give power unto my two witnesses, and they shall prophesy a thousand two hundred and threescore days, clothed in sackcloth. These are the two olive trees, and the two candlesticks standing before the God of the earth. (Revelation 11:1-4)

This is yet more evidence that this angel is none other than the Elias who restores all things: the Josephite. The Josephite comes with two witnesses, per Zechariah:

Then answered I, and said unto him,

What are these two olive trees upon the right side of the candlestick and upon the left side thereof?

And I answered again, and said unto him,

What be these two olive branches which through the two golden pipes empty the golden oil out of themselves?

And he answered me and said,

Knowest thou not what these be?

And I said,

No, my lord.

Then said he,

These are the two anointed ones, that stand by the Lord of the whole earth. (Zechariah 4:11-14)

These two witnesses will be men who witness the entirety of the restoration of all things, in all its infinite greatness. Every single miracle that Joseph-Nephi does, these two men will see, so that they will be able to testify to the whole thing, from beginning to end. This will fulfill the law of witnesses.

In the mouth of two or three witnesses shall every word be established. (2 Corinthians 13:1)

So, although there is only one man (the Josephite) who will perform an infinite number of impossible tasks, there will also be two men who will be able to say that they saw him do it all.

The destroyer’s helpers will likewise be destroyers

Before I continue through Revelation, I wish to explain something about the destroyer’s helpers.

Elias the Josephite destroyer will have two witnesses, plus four (or eight) angelic helpers, plus John the Beloved. These helpers all act as Elias destroyers. Also, there will be 144,000 high priests.

Now, the principle is the same as with Christ. Just as Christ the Savior has His helpers, who are His servants, acting as saviors, who represent Him and do the same things He does, so Elias the destroying angel’s helpers will act as Eliases and destroyers, representing him and doing the same kind of things he does.

Thus, John the Beloved apostle of Christ will destroy through that curse that he put upon the waters.

And the two witnesses who stand by the Lord/God of the whole earth, who is the Josephite, will also act as Elias destroyers:

And if any man will hurt them, fire proceedeth out of their mouth, and devoureth their enemies: and if any man will hurt them, he must in this manner be killed. These have power to shut heaven, that it rain not in the days of their prophecy: and have power over waters to turn them to blood, and to smite the earth with all plagues, as often as they will. (Revelation 11:5-6)

They will be killing people, through miracles, and sending out plagues and curses at will. These two miracle-working prophets, in fact, will be so powered up, that I suspect that they aren’t just any two people. Everyone has their own idea as to the identity of the two witnesses, but based upon this gift of the working of miracles that they will manifest, which so closely matches the same gift that the Josephite will have, this may be a genetic thing. In other words, it may be that the two witnesses will be none other than the Josephite’s sons. This makes a bit of sense to me, given that they will get to witness the whole miraculous work, from beginning to end, so they must have an extra close and special relationship to the destroyer.

The four angelic helpers are also said to be destroyers:

Q. What are we to understand by the four angels, spoken of in the 7th chapter and 1st verse of Revelation?

A. We are to understand that they are four angels sent forth from God, to whom is given power over the four parts of the earth, to save life and to destroy; these are they who have the everlasting gospel to commit to every nation, kindred, tongue, and people; having power to shut up the heavens, to seal up unto life, or to cast down to the regions of darkness. (D&C 77:8)

So, these are likewise acting as Elias destroyers. The identity of these four seem to me to be translated Nephites, namely, the three translated Nephite disciples of Christ, plus one more. The fourth may be Alma the younger. I haven’t, as yet, made that determination.

There are also four angels spoken of in this passage:

And the sixth angel sounded, and I heard a voice from the four horns of the golden altar which is before God, saying to the sixth angel which had the trumpet,

Loose the four angels which are bound in the great river Euphrates.

And the four angels were loosed, which were prepared for an hour, and a day, and a month, and a year, for to slay the third part of men. (Revelation 9:13-15)

These four may be the same four spoken of before, or an additional four. Either way, they are acting as Elias destroyers, for their purpose is “to slay the third part of men.”

Joseph Smith received the following about the 144,000:

Q. What are we to understand by sealing the one hundred and forty-four thousand, out of all the tribes of Israel—twelve thousand out of every tribe?

A. We are to understand that those who are sealed are high priests, ordained unto the holy order of God, to administer the everlasting gospel; for they are they who are ordained out of every nation, kindred, tongue, and people, by the angels to whom is given power over the nations of the earth, to bring as many as will come to the church of the Firstborn. (D&C 77:11)

If they are administering the everlasting gospel, then they are performing ordinances of salvation and exaltation among the populace of the world. This is the spirit of Elijah, which deals with priesthood and keys and ordinances, and the spirit of Elias, which deals with the word of God (for surely they will also be preaching the gospel); but they don’t appear, from the scriptures, to be cursing anyone or killing anyone or destroying anything. So, calling them Elias destroyers may be premature. Nevertheless, if they are the group that will be “binding up the law and sealing the testimony” not only among the righteous (see the post, What It Means to Bind Up the Law and Seal Up the Testimony), but also among the unbelievers and rebellious, delivering them “over unto darkness,” then perhaps it can be said that they will be acting as Elias destroyers:

Therefore, tarry ye, and labor diligently, that you may be perfected in your ministry to go forth among the Gentiles for the last time, as many as the mouth of the Lord shall name, to bind up the law and seal up the testimony, and to prepare the saints for the hour of judgment which is to come; that their souls may escape the wrath of God, the desolation of abomination which awaits the wicked, both in this world and in the world to come. (D&C 88:84-85)

Behold, and lo, there are none to deliver you; for ye obeyed not my voice when I called to you out of the heavens; ye believed not my servants, and when they were sent unto you ye received them not. Wherefore, they sealed up the testimony and bound up the law, and ye were delivered over unto darkness. (D&C 133:71-72)

Okay, so now I’ll return to John’s Revelation vision.

Back to reviewing Revelation

A great voice from heaven

And they heard a great voice from heaven saying unto them,

Come up hither.

And they ascended up to heaven in a cloud; and their enemies beheld them. (Revelation 11:12)

The two witnesses will be killed and then three and a half days later they will come back alive. Then they hear this great voice telling them to come up to heaven, and they ascend. Whose voice is it? The most obvious answer is it is the Josephite’s voice. They are his witnesses, after all. He would be the one to call them to him, for their place is by his side, for they “stand by the Lord of the whole earth,” who is king Abaddon.

Now, it needs to be understood that the Josephite must complete the whole work of salvation and redemption by the sounding of the seventh trump:

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. (D&C 77:12)

And his witnesses must see it all. So, by the time the two miracle-working prophets start the days of their prophecy, we can assume that the Josephite will have finished all the work of salvation and redemption for the dead, from the days of Adam to the present, and all the work of salvation and redemption for the living, and all the work of salvation and redemption for the as-yet unborn, so that all that is left to do is to go to the spirit world and fully complete the preaching of the dead that Jesus Christ started:

For Christ also hath once suffered for sins, the just for the unjust, that he might bring us to God, being put to death in the flesh, but quickened by the Spirit: by which also he went and preached unto the spirits in prison; which sometime were disobedient, when once the longsuffering of God waited in the days of Noah, while the ark was a preparing, wherein few, that is, eight souls were saved by water. (1 Peter 3:18-20)

For for this cause was the gospel preached also to them that are dead, that they might be judged according to men in the flesh, but live according to God in the spirit. (1 Peter 4:6)

Jesus spent about a day and a half in the spirit world, preaching to the spirits in paradise, and organized a missionary force to go and preach to the spirits in prison (according to the vision of Joseph F. Smith.) This missionary force has been preaching to the spirits in prison ever since, which is a period of nearly 2000 years now. However, given that the Josephite must re-do everyone’s work perfectly, he will need to go to the spirit world and re-do all of the preaching, all by himself, while all the spirit missionaries rest from their labors. This same principle applies for all the other work that he does, too, for when he starts working, we all will stand still and just watch, for our imperfect works will cease and we will behold perfection unfold before our very eyes:

Therefore, dearly beloved brethren, let us cheerfully do all things that lie in our power; and then may we stand still, with the utmost assurance, to see the salvation of God, and for his arm to be revealed. (D&C 123:17)

So, our works only continue until the Josephite begins working.

Now, the prophecy of the two witnesses begins after the sixth angel has sounded his trumpet and before the seventh angel has sounded. So, after the two witnesses have finished their prophecy and are killed, their bodies remain dead for three and a half days. This means that their spirits go to the spirit world, to be with the destroyer, for he will be there as an embodied spirit, even as a translated man, whereas they will be there as disembodied spirits, and thus, as disembodied spirits they will be able to view the spirit world and witness the work of preaching that he does, resuming their position by his side, as his witnesses. The Josephite won’t be a disembodied spirit, because his preaching must be a miracle, and given that it is impossible for a physically-embodied man to preach to spirits—for spirit missionaries are required to preach to spirits, while embodied missionaries are required to preach to embodied people—he will do it anyway, performing this impossible task nonetheless. And he will do it in record time, too, taking only three and a half days to preach to every single soul found in the spirit world, convincing everyone of the truth and establishing the two-handed condition among them. That work of preaching being finished, he will either ascend to heaven, while his two witnesses use their own miracle-working gift to re-enter their bodies, coming back alive, or he will use his miracle-working gift to bring them back alive and then he will ascend to heaven. (Either way, he ends up in heaven and they end up alive again, on earth.) Then they will hear the voice of the destroyer speaking to them from heaven to “come up hither” and they will ascend to again be by his side, to witness the final act he does, just before the seventh trumpet sounds, which is this:

And the same hour was there a great earthquake, and the tenth part of the city fell, and in the earthquake were slain of men seven thousand: and the remnant were affrighted, and gave glory to the God of heaven. The second woe is past; and, behold, the third woe cometh quickly. And the seventh angel sounded; and there were great voices in heaven, saying,

The kingdoms of this world are become the kingdoms of our Lord, and of his Christ; and he shall reign for ever and ever. (Revelation 11:13-15)

The angel that commands the Son of Man

And I looked, and behold a white cloud, and upon the cloud one sat like unto the Son of man, having on his head a golden crown, and in his hand a sharp sickle. And another angel came out of the temple, crying with a loud voice to him that sat on the cloud,

Thrust in thy sickle, and reap: for the time is come for thee to reap; for the harvest of the earth is ripe.

And he that sat on the cloud thrust in his sickle on the earth; and the earth was reaped. (Revelation 14:14-16)

Only the Josephite has authority to command Christ and have Him obey like this. He is the only one who fits as being this angel.

The angel with power over fire

And another angel came out of the temple which is in heaven, he also having a sharp sickle. And another angel came out from the altar, which had power over fire; and cried with a loud cry to him that had the sharp sickle, saying,

Thrust in thy sharp sickle, and gather the clusters of the vine of the earth; for her grapes are fully ripe. (Revelation 14:17-18)

Again, the Josephite speaks with a loud voice and barks orders to everyone, so he fits here, too. Now, it may seem strange that the Josephite appears to be all over the place, on earth, in heaven, in the bottomless pit, in the interior of the earth, everywhere apparently. It is normal for one to say, “It cannot all be him. He cannot be everywhere at once. It is absolutely impossible to be in two places at once!” But keep in mind that the Josephite must do an infinite amount of impossible work in an impossibly short amount of time, and thus nothing can nor will be impossible for him to do in order to accomplish it all, not even being in two or more places at the same time. (Try wrapping your mind around that.) So, every single one of these instances may literally be him.

Also, this angel has power over fire. Will the Josephite have power over fire? Of course, he will.

The great voice out of the temple commanding the seven angels with the plagues

And I heard a great voice out of the temple saying to the seven angels,

Go your ways, and pour out the vials of the wrath of God upon the earth. (Revelation 16:1)

This is probably the voice of the Josephite.

The great voice coming out of the temple saying, “It is done.”

And the seventh angel poured out his vial into the air; and there came a great voice out of the temple of heaven, from the throne, saying,

It is done. (Revelation 16:17)

Again, this is probably the voice of the Josephite. He starts the whole thing and he is the one who will say when it is finished.

The angel having great power

And after these things I saw another angel come down from heaven, having great power; and the earth was lightened with his glory. And he cried mightily with a strong voice, saying,

Babylon the great is fallen, is fallen, and is become the habitation of devils, and the hold of every foul spirit, and a cage of every unclean and hateful bird. For all nations have drunk of the wine of the wrath of her fornication, and the kings of the earth have committed fornication with her, and the merchants of the earth are waxed rich through the abundance of her delicacies. (Revelation 18:1-3)

This angel is quite possibly the Josephite.

The mighty angel throwing the millstone

And a mighty angel took up a stone like a great millstone, and cast it into the sea, saying,

Thus with violence shall that great city Babylon be thrown down, and shall be found no more at all. (Revelation 18:21)

This guy has “Josephite destroyer” written all over him.

The angel standing in the Sun

And I saw an angel standing in the sun; and he cried with a loud voice, saying to all the fowls that fly in the midst of heaven,

Come and gather yourselves together unto the supper of the great God; that ye may eat the flesh of kings, and the flesh of captains, and the flesh of mighty men, and the flesh of horses, and of them that sit on them, and the flesh of all men, both free and bond, both small and great. (Revelation 19:17-18)

The Josephite certainly will have power to stand in the Sun, plus this angel has a loud voice and is inviting the fowls to feast upon wicked men. That’s something that probably only the destroyer would delight in.

The angel that binds the dragon

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)

This is Elias the Josephite, who has power to seal all things, including Satan and his angels. Notice, also, that here the Josephite, who is embodied, is laying hold of a spirit being, and binding him. This is altogether impossible, but he does it anyway.

About the end times plagues and destruction

John’s Revelation vision has seven seals opened, then seven trumpets blown and finally seven vials full of plagues poured out, with some major events happening each time afterward. Every time something major happens, it should be understood that the Josephite is the one causing it. (Even the actions of the wicked during the end times are but reactions to something he does.) The angels blowing trumpets or pouring out vials do not cause the prophesied major events that follow to happen. They merely exercise faith that the prophecies will be fulfilled, and then the Josephite uses his gift of the working of miracles to make them happen. After all, these things are all curses and death and destruction and demolition, which is his area of expertise. (Nevertheless, the final end of the wicked, in which they are burned up by the brightness of the Lord’s coming, won’t be the handiwork of the Josephite destroyer, but of the Lord Jesus Christ, who will be coming back as a destroying Elias, even as Elias the Messiah, who is the Branch.)

Yet more keys to discerning impostors

The information in this post, then, gives yet more keys to discern impostors who may appear, claiming to be the Elias who restores all things. For example, anyone who claims to be Elias, who says he saw the Father and the Son, and that the Son gave him instructions, or that he saw angels and the angels gave him instructions, is an impostor. Anyone who is not professing to be a king, is probably not Elias. (I assume he will let it be known that he is a king from a far country.) Anyone who is meek and lowly and Christlike and loving and kind and forgiving, etc., is probably an impostor. Elias will be sharp tongued, offending people left and right. He will not be adverse to using force and may even mock people. And he will undoubtedly have enemies and have no qualms about destroying them. In fact, Elias will have five points of motivation for getting out of his box:

  • Simply getting out (so that he can finally progress)
  • Avenging himself of his enemies
  • Obtaining his beloved carrot
  • Engaging in his personal work
  • Doing the Father’s great and marvelous work of restoring all things

The second point in particular, about the enemies, is extremely important. As the Lord said,

Therefore, inasmuch as you are found transgressors, you cannot escape my wrath in your lives. (D&C 104:8)

so it will be with the Josephite. None of his enemies will escape his wrath. Even if his enemies die before he gets out of his box, the man will merely rewind the time to a point at which they are yet alive, and then severely punish them.

So those who come before us in sheep’s clothing, pretending to be Elias, who have no enemies, cannot be him. Elias will be more like a devouring and lone wolf than a saintly lamb. Everything about the man will be intimidating, even perhaps in his weak state.

More on the end times Cyrus prophecy

Concerning just how intimidating the Josephite will be, I’ll turn again to Isaiah’s prophecy of the end times Cyrus:

am the LORD, and there is none else, there is no God beside me: I girded thee, though thou hast not known me: that they may know from the rising of the sun, and from the west, that there is none beside me. I am the LORD, and there is none else. (Isaiah 45:5-6)

We see from this that the Father Himself is going to gird the Josephite for the express purpose of having the whole world know that there is no God besides the Father.

I have raised him up in righteousness, and I will direct all his ways: he shall build my city, and he shall let go my captives, not for price nor reward,

saith the LORD of hosts. (Isaiah 45:13)

And the Father Himself will raise this man, in righteousness, and direct all his ways.

Thus saith the LORD,

The labour of Egypt, and merchandise of Ethiopia and of the Sabeans, men of stature, shall come over unto thee, and they shall be thine: they shall come after thee; in chains they shall come over, and they shall fall down unto thee, they shall make supplication unto thee, saying,

Surely God is in thee; and there is none else, there is no God. Verily thou art a God that hidest thyself, O God of Israel, the Saviour.

They shall be ashamed, and also confounded, all of them: they shall go to confusion together that are makers of idols. (Isaiah 45:14-16)

So, God will deliver the entire world’s wealth and its inhabitants to this man and they shall fall down before him and supplicate to him and confess that God is in him.

Surely, shall one say,

in the LORD have I righteousness and strength:

even to him shall men come; and all that are incensed against him shall be ashamed. (Isaiah 45:24)

Again, we see from this that there will be one (and that “one” is the Josephite) who will obtain righteousness and strength (see the post, The Strength of the Lord) through the Lord, and to him men will come and everyone who opposes him or who is angry at him, will be cursed. Given all of the above (and more like scriptures), describing the Josephite as “intimidating” may actually be a gross understatement.

Don’t make the fatal mistake

My hope with this post is that we don’t make the mistake of rejecting this guy because of his abrasive nature. Many people who expect an end times servant to come have the wrong idea about what he’s going to be like, or who he is, or who he was in the heavens. Having a proper understanding of the Josephite’s pre-mortal role as the destroying angel, the Father’s royal executioner and His emissary of justice, and as an actual king over an actual kingdom here on earth, with an earthly throne and also a heavenly throne (the monstrous comet!), will allow us to more easily identify him when he appears, to more easily understand his destructive nature and to more easily submit to his authority (which will be from the Father, not just from the Son.) Also, because of his tendency to curse those who slight him, submission to his authority will mean the difference between being cursed and blessed, miserable and happy, alive and dead, saved and damned. In other words, let this guy have his way in all things! Having a knowledge, then, of his nature will allow us to make allowances for it, instead of getting offended and committing spiritual suicide by rejecting him. As long as we take as our example the third captain of fifty, and grovel before before the Elias destroyer, we will survive his advent:

And the third captain of fifty went up, and came and fell on his knees before Elijah, and besought him, and said unto him,

O man of God, I pray thee, let my life, and the life of these fifty thy servants, be precious in thy sight. (2 Kings 1:13)

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Master, Master, We Perish


I will go down with this ship:

now it came to pass
on a certain day
that he went into a ship with his disciples
and he said unto them

let us go over
unto the other side of the lake

and they launched forth
but
as they sailed
he fell asleep
and there came down a storm of wind on the lake
and they were filled with water
and were in jeopardy
and they came to him
and awoke him
saying

master
master
we perish

then he arose
and rebuked the wind
and the raging of the water
and they ceased
and there was a calm
and he said unto them

where is your faith?

and they
being afraid
wondered
saying one to another

what manner of man is this!
for he commands even the winds and water
and they obey him

Taking this story as a metaphor for one’s life, it goes like this:

  • Jesus has a mission for you
    [let us go over unto the other side of the lake].
  • You are obedient to him
    [and they launched forth].
  • His mission leads you into harm and peril
    [but as they sailed … there came down a storm of wind on the lake and they were filled with water and were in jeopardy].
  • He is not all that concerned about that
    [but as they sailed he fell asleep].
  • You will have to either rouse him — or fix it yourself
    [and they came to him and awoke him — where is your faith?].

Wait, what?  God will lead you into peril and jeopardy and then leave you there so He can take a nap?  Yes.  And if you don’t have the faith to either fix it yourself or to cry out to Him, then He will keep on napping — while the situation drowns you.  Having let the Lord of the Universe into the “ship” of your life and being obedient to His directions will grant you zero security that your travels will be safe.

And it wasn’t just the 12 disciples:

Lehi’s vision of the tree of life did not begin with “a large and spacious field” in which he “beheld a tree, whose fruit was desirable to make one happy.”  No, it starts ominously with:  a dark and dreary wilderness,

and it came to pass
that I saw a man
and he was dressed in a white robe
and he came and stood before me
and it came to pass
that he spake unto me
and commanded me to follow him
and it came to pass
that as I followed him
I beheld myself
that I was in a dark and dreary waste
a
nd after I had traveled for the space of many hours in darkness
I began to pray unto the lord
that he would have mercy on me
according to the multitude of his tender mercies
and it came to pass
after I had prayed unto the lord
I beheld a large and spacious field
and it came to pass
that I beheld a tree
whose fruit was desirable
to make one happy

You see, we begin our story in a miserable place, a dark and dreary wilderness.  Then, all is well, a man in white appears and commands us to follow him, presumably to deliver out of this situation.  And instead, we are led into an even worse situation, a dark and dreary waste.  Thanks a lot Man-in-White.  Then he just leaves us there — to wander in the depths of despair and depression.

And there’s where the story would’ve ended had it not been for Lehi’s impulse to begin to pray unto God for mercy and deliverance from the darkness.  It’s only then that we can find ourselves in the large and spacious field with the fruit of happiness and family togetherness.

God isn’t troubled by your bothers, unless you can be bothered enough to trouble Him:

and he spake a parable unto them
to this end
that people ought always to pray
and not faint
saying

there was in a city
a ruler
who didn’t fear god
nor care about people
and there was in that city
a widow
who came unto him
saying

give me justice
and stop my oppressor

and he would not
for a while
but afterwards
he said within himself

though I do not care about god
nor respect any person
because this widow troubles me
I will exact justice for her
lest by her continual coming
she tire me out

and the lord said

ponder what the unjust ruler said
and shall not god avenge his own elect
who cry day and night unto him
when he has patience with them?
I tell you that he will grant justice for them speedily

Next Article by Justin:  New Thoughts on Faith

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Judging


“Judge not…” ≠ Make no judgements:

By far, the most quoted scripture among those who don’t believe the scriptures to be the word of God is:

judge not
that you not be judged

That is because they assume that it means something along the lines of “just live and let live” — or that it means God doesn’t want anybody making any judgements about anything … ever.

Then shalt thou see clearly:

This interpretation ignores the fact that many times in the scriptures, the saints are admonished to make lots of judgements:

wherefore
by their fruits will you know [“judge” or “discern”] them
not every one that says to me

Lord
Lord

shall enter into the kingdom of heaven
but only the one that does the will of my father
which is in heaven

or

do you not know that the saints shall judge the world?

It takes a sense of discernment and judgement to tell whether the fruits of a plant are grapes/figs or are thorns/thistles.  If we were not the judge at all, then how could we know the “tree” by its “fruits”?

Judge not that you not be judged” means — “Do not judge others by a measure you are not willing to be judged by yourself,” and this is because:

for with what judgment you judge
you shall be judged
and with what measure you mete
it shall be measured to you again

We should not give into the natural inclination to be harsher towards the motives of others than we are to our own motives.  We should be just a willing to think of the best of another as we are likely to think the best of ourselves.

The imagery in the above scriptures suggests that we should not be stingy with our weights-and-measures at the marketplace.  As Luke renders the same quote:

give
and it shall be given to you
good measure
pressed down
and shaken together
and running over
this is what others will give into your bosom
for with the same measure that you mete
with it shall it be that which is measured to you again

The marketplace is the metaphor used to describe how we should approach our dealings with others (in terms of judging them).  If you are critical or stingy, then God will be equally harsh against you and your conscience.  If you are liberal, are willing to give a generous “measure”, pressed-down in the measuring cup and flowing over — then God will be equally likely to assume the best intentions in you.

The saints are, in fact, taught exactly how to make sure they are fit to judge in the mote/beam parable.  It says:

why do you behold the mote in another’s eye
but fail to discern the beam in your own eye?
how can you say to another

let me pull out the mote that is in your eye

when you have failed to discern the beam that is in your own eye?
you hypocrite
first cast out the beam from your own eye
and then you will see clearly enough to pull out the mote in the other’s eye.

The saints are supposed to judge the “mote”, if it is truly there.  The only point that Jesus was making was that we should take care of our own “beams” first — before we attempt the removal of another’s “motes”.

Hell is filled with judgers/condemners and Heaven with those willing to let it go:

Luke renders the teaching of Matthew 5:48 as:

be ye therefore merciful
as your father also is merciful

… exchanging the word “perfect” for the word “merciful”.

The idea of our Father in heaven being “merciful” or “liberal” or “quick to forgive” fits in with the teaching that saints are to:

judge not
and you shall not be judged
condemn not
and you shall not be condemned
forgive
and you shall be forgiven

We are to be quick to think the best in others [rather than the worst] and quick to forgive others when they offend against us.  Hell will be filled with those who refused to “let it go” whenever they felt wronged — who got swept away in their feelings for justice.  We all have moments where we hope others will “let us slide” and assume the best intentions in us — and the only way to ensure God will be that merciful with us is to be just as liberal in our judgements of others.

Next Article by Justin:  Tithing the Widow’s Mites

Previous Article by Justin:  Equality

The doctrine against dissent


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

Unity is required of the saints

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

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

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

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

The commandment to be one makes dissenting behavior a sin

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

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

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

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

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

No one can righteously dissent from the true church of God

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

All dissenters from the true church of God are sinners

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

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

Unbelief is the cause of dissenting behavior

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Unrepentant dissenters must be silenced and cut off

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Repentance, disfellowship or excommunication

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

The door is left open to return to the flock

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

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

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

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

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

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

A difference of opinion does not constitute dissenting behavior

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

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

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

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

A case in point: Korihor

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

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

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

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

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

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

What saints do when unrepentant sinners are around

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Pahoran wrote:

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

But Jesus commanded:

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

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

The following instructions were given to saints:

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

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

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

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

If any shall offend in secret, he or she shall be rebuked in secret, that he or she may have opportunity to confess in secret to him or her whom he or she has offended, and to God, that the church may not speak reproachfully of him or her.

And thus shall ye conduct in all things. (D&C 42:88-93)

Who does the chastening? Who does the rebuking? Who determines who has offended publicly or in secret? Who delivers the unrepentant sinners to the law of God? The saints do. More on this later.

Re: those who learn and obey the whats only if the whys suit them

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

Doing all things that the Lord commands includes bridling the tongue (see James 3), which means that the spoken and written word must likewise be put under gospel constraints. Intentionally false (heretical) teachings, then, break the commandments.

Some people in the church say that mortality is a school to learn the things of God, as if it were knowledge that saved us. They emphasize that we ought not to be blindly obedient, but ought to obey rationally, with understanding of why we are commanded to do whatever it is we are commanded to do. They are more concerned with the why than with the what.

Such people, if they cannot understand the reason behind a commandment or doctrine, may end up openly questioning its divinity. In other words, they may start to propose a theory that the doctrine or commandment has a non-divine source and begin to teach it among the people. If confronted by a saint and told that the alternate teaching is heretical, the proponent may do as Korihor and say it is merely a belief or a hypothesis which may or may not be true, and that there is no harm in questioning things which may be false. In other words, he or she will claim, like Korihor, that this is not a teaching, but just an interesting idea: to consider that a doctrine or commandment or teaching of the church is man-made and not divinely given.

Ye say that those ancient prophecies are true. Behold, I say that ye do not know that they are true….And ye also say that Christ shall come. But behold, I say that ye do not know that there shall be a Christ…I do not deny the existence of a God, but I do not believe that there is a God; and I say also, that ye do not know that there is a God; and except ye show me a sign, I will not believe. (Alma 30:24,26,48)

Such heresies come from putting knowledge before faith and requiring that one know and understand something before one will believe it to be true.

Although it is true that man is here to learn, he is only here to learn obedience to God.

And my people must needs be chastened until they learn obedience, if it must needs be, by the things which they suffer. (D&C 105:6)

Though he were a Son, yet learned he obedience by the things which he suffered (Heb. 5:8)

Separating goats from sheep is a gospel principle based on obedience

Obedience to the whats, not knowledge of the whys, is the deciding factor in determining where we go.

and they who keep not their first estate shall not have glory in the same kingdom with those who keep their first estate (Abr. 3:26)

So God separates those who keep His commandments from those who don’t, and puts them into separate kingdoms. This is why the church is charged with excommunicating all those who do not repent of their sins. This separation, or division, is based upon the heavenly pattern. Just as there was a separation in heaven between the 1/3 and the 2/3, and the 1/3 were cast out, so here on earth more separation is commanded to occur, for those who transgress the law of God and do not repent.

But there is a law given, and a punishment affixed, and a repentance granted (Alma 42:22)

Once you break the law, the punishment is not immediately inflicted, but you are granted a space to repent, resulting in two sets of commandments. The first commandment is to keep the law, which, if you disobey, you then get a second commandment, which is to repent. Only when you refuse to take advantage of repentance and the atonement, does the law require that you be cut off from the church by excommunication.

Cutting off the people by excommunication furthers the work of division that the Savior spoke of.

Think not that I am come to send peace on earth: I came not to send peace, but a sword. (Matt. 10:34)

Jesus gathers his elect into one body and then uses his sword to divide the sheep from the goats, and the wheat from the tares, pruning the body from time to time as fruit withers upon the branch, showing its true nature. In other words, the gospel net draws all sorts of fish into the church, and then it gets sorted, according to what type of fish it shows itself to be. If a man appears to be a sheep, or wheat, or good fish or fruit, he is to remain with the saints, but if he shows himself as a goat, a tare, rotten fruit or spoiled fish, he is to be cast out. The test of goathood, or tarehood, or rottenness is two-fold: does the man obey the commandments? If yes, he stays. If no, does he repent of his sins? If yes, he stays. If no, he must be cast off.

Pruning (excommunication) is to take place on an as needed basis, in order that the gospel tree does not perish.

Church trials

Before anyone can be excommunicated in this church, they must first be tried for their membership. As everyone is considered innocent before being proven guilty, the Lord has given in His scriptures the divine pattern of church trials and courts.

There are three types of church courts or trials that the scriptures speak of, and six types of judges.  The pattern is designed around checks and balances, in order that power is not concentrated in the hands of any one person or group and so that everyone who is accused has a fair, balanced trial, in which everyone’s rights are upheld.

The six types of judges

The witnesses

Two or three (or more) church members in good standing become judges when they act as witnesses. This is the law of witnesses and it is based upon the righteousness and holiness of a saint. It is the saints who will judge the nations and all things pertaining to Zion, for they are sanctified (holy) and are duly qualified to determine whether someone has transgressed.

The bishop

The bishop judges the good standing of the membership, and thus the saints, because a bishop is to receive an accounting of everyone’s stewardship.

The two elders

The two elders judge the case laid before them by the two or three (or more) saintly witnesses, the bishop attesting to their good standing. If there are sufficient witnesses, the two elders judge whether the accused has confessed and repented. If the accused refuses, then the elders pass judgment upon the accused, as required by the scriptures.

The church congregation

After the two elders come to a guilty verdict, they must lay the case before the congregation, which then must take a vote to sustain the action or oppose it. If the majority agrees, the decision is ratified and valid and the accused is excommunicated. If the majority disagrees, no action is taken. The congregation, then, judges the decision of the two elders, and decides whether it was correct or not.

The stake president

The stake president, like the two elders, judges the case laid before him by the witnesses and makes a decision concerning which party is right or whether both are wrong.

The high council

The twelve high council members vote to ratify (make valid) the decision of the president. If a majority does not agree with his decision, it does not go through.

The three types of church courts or councils

Bishop’s court or council

The bishop is to receive an accounting of everyone’s stewardship and is to know who is consecrating properties and moneys, or donating funds as tithing or fast offerings, etc., to the Lord. This gives him a unique perspective into who is and is not a wise and just steward. Nevertheless, his judgment and jurisdiction are not independent but only activate with just testimony.

And whoso standeth in this mission is appointed to be a judge in Israel, like as it was in ancient days, to divide the lands of the heritage of God unto his children; and to judge his people by the testimony of the just, and by the assistance of his counselors, according to the laws of the kingdom which are given by the prophets of God. (D&C 58:17-18)

And it shall come to pass, that after they are laid before the bishop of my church, and after that he has received these testimonies concerning the consecration of the properties of my church (D&C 42:32)

And also to be a judge in Israel, to do the business of the church, to sit in judgment upon transgressors upon testimony as it shall be laid before him according to the laws, by the assistance of his counselors, whom he has chosen or will choose among the elders of the church. (D&C 107:72)

Because of this, a sinner who confesses to a bishop cannot be tried by the bishop, nor his testimony used against him, because the testimony is of a sinner, not a saint. In other words, only the testimony of the just (someone who hasn’t broken the laws) can be used in trials. Nevertheless, with just testimony, the bishop and bishopric are authorized to judge only whether someone is in good standing or not, and is contributing to the upkeep of the poor and the kingdom. In other words, the bishop’s jurisdiction deals primarily in temporal matters.

Elder’s court or council

The elders’ jurisdiction to judge is activated by witnesses coming forth and testifying of the wickedness of some member. The bishop, if available, is required to be present that he may attest to the good standing of the witnesses. If two witnesses in good standing testify against a member, that is sufficient to condemn. If there is no confession and repentance afterward, the elders must lay it before the members, to ratify the excommunication. The elder’s council is designed to be used for matters of transgression only, to try a person for his or her membership.

High priests’ court or council

This court, known as a high council, is to settle difficult and important matters, and like the other courts, only receives jurisdiction when two or more saints testify as witnesses. For example, if there is a property dispute, one saying that his property line extends 15 feet down the hill and his neighbor saying that it only extends 10 feet, the high council can be used to address these matters, if there are sufficient witnesses.

Scriptural patterns are no longer followed

The above are the scriptural patterns, which are no longer precisely followed. For example, the elder’s council has been completely done away with. Instead, the high council now tries the men of the church who have had Melchizedek priesthood conferred on them, and the bishopric tries everyone else, for membership. Nothing outside of transgression is brought to trial anymore. You can’t take a property dispute to the church courts and receive a judgment. Instead, everyone is told to settle the matter amongst themselves, or to use the man-made court system.

The checks and balances that were present in the three-court pattern have been removed and power has been concentrated into fewer and fewer hands. Many of the rights guaranteed to all the members have been weakened or altogether removed. If we compare the scripturally revealed pattern of church courts with today’s current practice, it can plainly be seen that today’s practice and procedure makes the word of God, as written in the scriptures, of none effect, effectively removing the justice that was inherent in the original pattern. In other words, the current church court system is no longer based upon just principles, but is corrupt.

Church courts and the rights of a member

Disfellowship and excommunication is to occur in the church according to prescribed laws given of God in the scriptures. The procedure itself is divine and designed to preserve the rights of every accused member in the church, that justice prevail at all times. As I explained in another post, the Bill of Rights may be used in a church setting to protect one’s rights:

Because the Lord has approved of, or justified, the Bill of Rights, latter-day saints are fully authorized to include it as part of their scriptural canon. This is not to say that it is scripture, for it was not written by the power of the Holy Ghost, nor does it contain the revealed words of God, nevertheless, as an inspired and approved writing, it may be used to defend or safeguard one’s rights in a church setting.

The Fifth Amendment says,

No person shall be held to answer for a capital, or otherwise infamous crime, unless on a presentment or indictment of a Grand Jury, except in cases arising in the land or naval forces, or in the Militia, when in actual service in time of War or public danger; nor shall any person be subject for the same offence to be twice put in jeopardy of life or limb; nor shall be compelled in any criminal case to be a witness against himself, nor be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor shall private property be taken for public use, without just compensation.

The twelve high councilors are, essentially, a type of grand jury, charged with investigating the merits of any accusations, witnesses and evidence. Their duty is to judge whatever is presented to them according to the canonized word of God. Church courts, then, were intended by God to incorporate this principle.

An accused latter-day saint cannot be a witness against himself because according to the law of God, only church members in good standing can act as witnesses. A confession, then, is insufficient to convict. Church courts, as detailed in the scriptures, cannot use someone’s confessed testimony as evidence against them, yet that is exactly what is done today by the church bishops, and also for high councils (disciplinary councils), if the accused allows the testimony into evidence. Such practices are completely at odds with the word of God.

The Wikipedia says this about due process:

Due process is the legal requirement that the state must respect all of the legal rights that are owed to a person. Typically, “Due process” means 1) NOTICE, generally written, but some courts have determined, in rare circumstances, other types of notice suffice. Notice should provide sufficient detail to fully inform the individual of the decision or activity that will have an effect on his/her rights or property or person. 2) right to GRIEVE (that being the right to complain or to disagree with the governmental actor/entity which has decision making authority) and 3) the right to APPEAL if not satisfied with the outcome of the grievance procedure. Due process balances the power of law of the land and protects the individual person from it. When a government harms a person without following the exact course of the law, this constitutes a due-process violation, which offends against the rule of law.

The church court system is supposed to incorporate the principals of due process, requiring notice, granting a right to grieve and also to appeal. Current practice has kept these safeguards more or less intact. Now let’s turn to the Sixth Amendment.

In all criminal prosecutions, the accused shall enjoy the right to a speedy and public trial, by an impartial jury of the State and district wherein the crime shall have been committed, which district shall have been previously ascertained by law, and to be informed of the nature and cause of the accusation; to be confronted with the witnesses against him; to have compulsory process for obtaining witnesses in his favor, and to have the Assistance of Counsel for his defence.

All of these principles are supposed to be incorporated into church courts. The trials are supposed to be speedy and are supposed to be public (when they are presented to the church congregation for a sustaining or opposing vote, which no longer happens). The jury, which is the 12 high councilors, are supposed to be impartial, which is often no longer the case. The accused is to be tried locally, in his branch, ward or stake, where the sins were allegedly committed. (Trials are still local, but accusations may come from outside of the branch, ward or stake, such as from Salt Lake.) The accused is to be informed of the nature and cause of the accusation. (This still happens.) The witnesses are to testify in front of the accused during the trial. (The law of witnesses, to my knowledge, has been almost completely phased out.) The accused has the right to call witnesses in his favor. (This is still allowed.) And lastly, one half of the high councilors that speak are to be the advocates of the accused. (This no longer happens.)

There is also the Seventh Amendment:

In suits at common law, where the value in controversy shall exceed twenty dollars, the right of trial by jury shall be preserved, and no fact tried by a jury, shall be otherwise re-examined in any court of the United States, than according to the rules of the common law.

All high councils were designed to be, in fact, trials by jury, requiring a ratification vote by the high councilors to validate the president’s decision. This is no longer the case. In current practice, the stake president can convict regardless of what the other men say about the case. Therefore, the right to trial by jury has been denied to the saints. But this right is found in the scriptural pattern, like the others listed above.

So, we see from this that the church court system, as detailed in the revelations, incorporates many of the same principles found in the Bill of Rights.

D&C 42 and D&C 102

The patterns of the two main court (trial) systems, the elders’ council and the high council, are given in D&C 42 and 102.

D&C 42:78-93

Section 42 gives the pattern for the elders’ council, which dealt specifically with transgression, beginning with verse 78 through verse 93.

Verse 78 states that every church member must obey the church commandments and keep their church covenants.

And again, every person who belongeth to this church of Christ, shall observe to keep all the commandments and covenants of the church.  (D&C 42:78)

Now, that is the standard (obeying commandments and keeping covenants). But what does the church do if it transgresses? The previous section (41) said the following, but did not give the procedure for how one should be cast out or judged unworthy:

He that receiveth my law and doeth it, the same is my disciple; and he that saith he receiveth it and doeth it not, the same is not my disciple, and shall be cast out from among you; for it is not meet that the things which belong to the children of the kingdom should be given to them that are not worthy, or to dogs, or the pearls to be cast before swine. (D&C 41:5-6)

So, the rest of section 42 gives instructions on what the church should do when someone transgresses, or how to go about casting him or her off. We learn in verses 80-82 that when there is transgression in the church, the transgressors are to be tried in a church court trial before two elders of the church, and that if there are two church witnesses, that the accused shall be (not may be) condemned, and that after condemnation the congregation is to be informed of the case and of the decision and they are to vote on the matter by the raising of their hands, the Lord expecting them to uphold the decision and testimony of the witnesses:

And if any man or woman shall commit adultery, he or she shall be tried before two elders of the church, or more, and every word shall be established against him or her by two witnesses of the church, and not of the enemy; but if there are more than two witnesses it is better. But he or she shall be condemned by the mouth of two witnesses; and the elders shall lay the case before the church, and the church shall lift up their hands against him or her, that they may be dealt with according to the law of God. And if it can be, it is necessary that the bishop be present also.  (D&C 42:80-82)

We also learn that the bishop needs to be present, if possible.

The next verse (83) basically says that verses 80-82 is the pattern for all church trials for membership.

And thus ye shall do in all cases which shall come before you.  (D&C 42:83)

Verses 79-87 give the pattern for dealing with transgression in the church as follows: if a man breaks a law of the land, he is to be delivered up unto the law of the land, and if he breaks the law of God, he is to be tried in a church court.

Verses 88-89 explain that no member is to be tried in a church court unless he has offended someone and been confronted and rebuked and has refused to confess, repent and be reconciled. Also, that the first part of the trial is to take place in a private meeting with the elders, so that the accused has an opportunity to confess, repent and seek reconciliation, avoiding any judgment and embarrassment in front of the congregation. The second part of the trial (in front of the congregation) only takes place if the accused refuses to repent.

Verses 90-92 explain that public or open offenses require public or open rebuking, while secret offenses require secret rebuking.

Lastly, verse 93 says that this is the pattern in all things for behavior concerning rebuking, chastisement, offenses, confession, repenting, reconciliation, and church trials.

And thus shall ye conduct in all things.  (D&C 42:93)

D&C 102

Trials for membership due to transgression were designed by the Lord to be the jurisdiction of the local elders and congregation, since they would have much more knowledge about the individuals involved (accused and accusers) than would the high councilors and stake president, who potentially could live elsewhere, in another part of the stake. On the other hand, trials about other matters, such as property disputes and other similar matters, were designed by the Lord to be the jurisdiction of the high council because they would not have intimate knowledge of the details of the local disputes, and therefore would be more likely to be impartial judges, the outcomes not affecting them one way or another.

That said, let’s examine section 102. The heading to Doctrine and Covenants section 102 reads:

Minutes of the organization of the first high council of the Church, at Kirtland, Ohio, February 17, 1834. The original minutes were recorded by Elders Oliver Cowdery and Orson Hyde. The Prophet revised the minutes the following day, and the next day the corrected minutes were unanimously accepted by the high council as “a form and constitution of the high council” of the Church. Verses 30 through 32, having to do with the Council of the Twelve Apostles, were added in 1835 under Joseph Smith’s direction when this section was prepared for publication in the Doctrine and Covenants.

Although D&C 102 is not a revelation, it contains the information on how the first high council was organized and operated, which organization came of revelation, and which operation was given by the spirit of prophecy and revelation. So, although we don’t have the pattern dictated directly by the Spirit, we do have a recording of the pattern (the minutes) as witnessed by two men who were present when the pattern was shown. The minutes were later corrected by Joseph, so we can be sure they are reliable.

As I said before, the modern procedures for how church disciplinary councils are operated render the word of God of none effect, making modern courts fundamentally unjust. The error comes from a misreading of section 102, which gives the “form and constitution of the high council”, to be followed by all high councils.

Okay, so let me unfold the errors.

Modern church disciplinary councils operate under color of law

The following document,

Church Disciplinary Councils

gives the current procedures used in these courts. Here are a couple of quotes which manifest the errors:

“In a stake disciplinary council, the stake president is assisted by twelve high councilors. Their role is easily misunderstood. Uninformed persons are tempted to liken the high council to a jury. In view of the not well understood instructions in section 102 of the Doctrine and Covenants, there is also a tendency to view individual high councilors as prosecutors or defenders. Neither of these comparisons is appropriate. Members of the high council are present to “stand up in behalf of the accused, and prevent insult and injustice’ (Doc. & Cov 102:17). In other words, they are to give added assurance that the evidence is examined in its true light and that the procedures and treatment of the accused are consistent with equity and justice. Their roles are illumination and persuasion, not advocacy or decision.” (Dallin H. Oaks)

“After hearing any additional comments from the high council, the stake presidency withdraws from the council room to confer in private. After consultation and prayer, the stake president makes the decision and invites his counselors to sustain it. The stake presidency then returns and announces the decision to the high council. The stake president asks the high councilors as a group to sustain his decision. The high council cannot veto the decision; it is binding even if it is not sustained unanimously.” (Church Handbook of Instructions)

Neither of these quotes is correct. Or, in other words, they are correct in that the modern church procedure operates as they state it does, but they are not correct in that the procedure they use is entirely at odds with the written word of God.

Here is what the section actually says,

Whenever a high council of the church of Christ is regularly organized, according to the foregoing pattern, it shall be the duty of the twelve councilors to cast lots by numbers, and thereby ascertain who of the twelve shall speak first, commencing with number one and so in succession to number twelve.

Whenever this council convenes to act upon any case, the twelve councilors shall consider whether it is a difficult one or not; if it is not, two only of the councilors shall speak upon it, according to the form above written.

But if it is thought to be difficult, four shall be appointed; and if more difficult, six; but in no case shall more than six be appointed to speak. (D&C 102:12-14)

So everybody picks a number out of a hat, from one to twelve. If the case is easy, just two men speak; if difficult, four men speak; and if really difficult, six speak. The rest do not speak, but just listen.

The accused, in all cases, has a right to one-half of the council, to prevent insult or injustice.

And the councilors appointed to speak before the council are to present the case, after the evidence is examined, in its true light before the council; and every man is to speak according to equity and justice.

Those councilors who draw even numbers, that is, 2, 4, 6, 8, 10, and 12, are the individuals who are to stand up in behalf of the accused, and prevent insult and injustice. (D&C 102:15-17)

In behalf of

Now, here is where brother Dallin gets it wrong (and shame on him!, since he’s supposed to be a lawyer). The expression “to stand up in behalf of the accused” means “to stand up as an advocate of the accused.”

BEHALF, n. behaf. [See Behoof.]

1. Favor; advantage; convenience, profit; support, defense, vindication. The advocate pleads in behalf of the prisoner. The patriot suffers in behalf of his country.
2. Part; side; noting substitution, or the act of taking the part of another; as, the agent appeared in behalf of his constituents, and entered a claim.

AD’VOCATE, n. [L. advocatus, from advoco, to call for, to plead for; of ad and voco, to call. See Vocal.]

1. Advocate, in its primary sense, signifies, one who pleads the cause of another in a court of civil law. Hence,
2. One who pleads the cause of another before any tribunal or judicial court, as a barrister in the English courts. We say, a man is a learned lawyer and an able advocate.
3. One who defends, vindicates, or espouses a cause, by argument; one who is friendly to; as, an advocate for peace, or for the oppressed.

AD’VOCATE, v.t. To plead in favor of; to defend by argument, before a tribunal; to support or vindicate.

All of that is from Webster’s 1828 Dictionary, showing that this is the very meaning of the phrase, contrary to what brother Dallin would have us believe.

The reason why brother Dallin and the other church leaders feel the need to wrest this scripture into saying something it isn’t saying is because they have transfigured the high council into something it was never intended to be: a church court dealing with transgression and trials for church membership. So, they cannot conceive of a righteous man advocating the cause of someone who could be an unrepentant sinner, like the lawyers do. (Jesus is our advocate with the Father only if we are penitent, for the impenitent do not have Him as their advocate.)  The thought of advocating impenitence, then, is understandably repulsive to them, so they simply interpret the scripture another way, to make it work according to their procedure. But the very words themselves do not fit.

High councilors could advocate the cause of the accused because these were not meant to be matters dealing with transgression, but merely “important difficulties.” In other words, disputes over this and that private matter. In such cases, the accused may be right, or may be wrong. The high councilors who were chosen by lot to speak, could put themselves in the place of the accused, for they weren’t attempting to excuse sin, but to show a private matter from the perspective of the accused.

Veto power

The CHI says that the high council cannot veto the stake president’s decision, but that is flat out wrong.

After the evidences are heard, the councilors, accuser and accused have spoken, the president shall give a decision according to the understanding which he shall have of the case, and call upon the twelve councilors to sanction the same by their vote.

But should the remaining councilors, who have not spoken, or any one of them, after hearing the evidences and pleadings impartially, discover an error in the decision of the president, they can manifest it, and the case shall have a re-hearing.

And if, after a careful re-hearing, any additional light is shown upon the case, the decision shall be altered accordingly.

But in case no additional light is given, the first decision shall stand, the majority of the council having power to determine the same. (D&C 102:19-22)

Here is the meaning of the word sanction, from Webster’s 1828 Dictionary:

SANC’TION, v.t. To ratify; to confirm; to give validity or authority to.

Thus, the twelve high councilors vote to ratify, confirm, give validity or authority to the stake president’s decision. Without such validation, the president’s decision is non-binding. That is what ratification is all about.

Unanimity is not required for ratification, only a majority vote. In other words, the majority of the council has power to determine whether the first decision shall stand, as well as whether there is no additional light given. The reason for the re-hearing is not because some councilors disagree, or even that one councilor disagrees, with the president’s decision, but because one or more of them think there may have been an error, meaning that the stake president overlooked something. This is why the section talks about additional light.

Impartiality

But should the remaining councilors, who have not spoken, or any one of them, after hearing the evidences and pleadings impartially, discover an error in the decision of the president, they can manifest it, and the case shall have a re-hearing. (D&C 102:20)

IMP`ARTIAL, a. [in and partial, from part, L. pars.]

1. Not partial; not biased in favor of one party more than another; indifferent; unprejudiced; disinterested; as an impartial judge or arbitrator.
2. Not favoring one party more than another; equitable; just; as an impartial judgment or decision; an impartial opinion.

Current church practice in church courts creates a conflict of interest. The witnesses who present evidence or who make accusations and bear testimony, are biased, but the high council and stake presidency is supposed to be unbiased and impartial. That requires that none of them can act as witnesses, nor make accusations. Any church court that has any of the councilors or any of the stake presidency acting as a witness or making accusations, in any degree of bias, cannot be called impartial and thus is nothing but a farce.

Guilty until proven penitent is a bastardization of the law

Another practice in the church court system is the assumption of guilt upon the accused. In the Lord’s law, every saint is innocent until proven guilty, but the modern church court procedure assumes the accused is guilty and thus that the accused, in order to be in God’s good graces, must confess his sin and show penitence before the council, otherwise the council will see him as an impenitent sinner, instead of as a penitent sinner, and will have to apply the penalty the Lord’s law requires. This practice makes all those who say they are innocent of any charges appear impenitent, even if they really are innocent.

Evidence alone is not enough

It is called the law of witnesses for a reason. Evidence of wrongdoing, without an eyewitness testifying, is insufficient. The witnesses are the saints and it takes a saint to condemn anyone. Also, every word must be established by two or three witnesses. So if someone in the church, for example, publishes some literature or book, but none of the saints are offended by it or bring up accusations against the author, the high council has no jurisdiction to lay charges against the author, nor does the stake presidency, nor the bishopric. Charges or accusations can only come from a saint’s testimony and it requires two saints’ testimonies for any of these men to obtain jurisdiction to bring a judgment against a member. The Lord made it this way because it is the jurisdiction of His saints to have the first and final word, judging both the nations of the earth and also Zion.

Behold, I, the Lord, have made my church in these last days like unto a judge sitting on a hill, or in a high place, to judge the nations.

For it shall come to pass that the inhabitants of Zion shall judge all things pertaining to Zion.

And liars and hypocrites shall be proved by them, and they who are not apostles and prophets shall be known.

And even the bishop, who is a judge, and his counselors, if they are not faithful in their stewardships shall be condemned, and others shall be planted in their stead. (D&C 64:37-40)

The saints are given free reign to judge all things, both inside and outside the church, including all the leaders from top (apostles and prophets) to the bottom (bishops). The word of two or more saints against any man, woman or child of age in this church condemns that person, regardless of his or her office.

Excommunication is supposed to be a congregational affair

Excommunication (cutting off a person from the church) is in similitude to the cutting off from the presence of the Lord which will happen to all the sons of perdition at the last day. Since that last act of cutting off is, in actuality, a spiritual death, even a second death, cutting off is representative of death. In other words, excommunication represents the death penalty, or capital punishment. Only those who do not repent receive this penalty.

The authority to inflict (the similitude of) death upon a sinner was never meant or designed by God to be in the hands of one man (a stake president) nor three men (the stake presidency), nor twelve men (the high council). The final decision was meant to be in the hands of the saints who make up the congregation.

But he or she shall be condemned by the mouth of two witnesses; and the elders shall lay the case before the church, and the church shall lift up their hands against him or her, that they may be dealt with according to the law of God. (D&C 42:81)

Without such congregational ratification, we end up with secret trials like those of the Gadianton robbers.

Now there were many of those who testified of the things pertaining to Christ who testified boldly, who were taken and put to death secretly by the judges, that the knowledge of their death came not unto the governor of the land until after their death. (3 Ne. 6:23)

Let the saints do their duty

It is the duty of a saint to lay charges, make accusations and bear witness against all wickedness they see. If they see (scripturally-defined) dissenting behavior, they will resist it and seek to silence it. They are the Lord’s anointed and the only ones authorized to condemn; not the bishop, or high council or stake presidency. (See Evil speaking of the Lord’s anointed.)

And they were strict to observe that there should be no iniquity among them; and whoso was found to commit iniquity, and three witnesses of the church did condemn them before the elders, and if they repented not, and confessed not, their names were blotted out, and they were not numbered among the people of Christ. (Moroni 6:7)

And if any man or woman shall commit adultery, he or she shall be tried before two elders of the church, or more, and every word shall be established against him or her by two witnesses of the church, and not of the enemy; but if there are more than two witnesses it is better. But he or she shall be condemned by the mouth of two witnesses; and the elders shall lay the case before the church, and the church shall lift up their hands against him or her, that they may be dealt with according to the law of God. (D&C 42:80-81)

It is right and proper for them to prune the church and bear witness against unrepentant sinners. They would be remiss in their duty if they shut their mouths at the sight of wickedness. So do not harp on them or put obstacles in the way of their duty, otherwise they will end up condemning you.

The purpose of this post

I wrote this post to show that, according to the scriptural definition, there is no such thing as a sinless dissenter; that the church is commanded to be one; that dissenters should be silenced; and that excommunication is a divine principle. I never expected to get into the unrighteousness of current church court procedure. I never expected or intended to judge the courts and find them “wanting in the balance” (see Dan. 5:27). But I did and that’s that. Nevertheless, despite the courts being corrupt because they do not conform to the divine pattern, to dissent is still a sin, all dissenters still should be silenced, unrepentant sinners still must be cut off from the church and excommunication of unrepentant sinners is still a righteous thing to do.

The question that remains, then, is what do we do about the courts? How can they be reclaimed and made right and just again, according to God’s revealed pattern? What steps must be taken by saints, working in unison (as one in Christ) within the stakes and acting on the promptings of the Holy Ghost, to administer “judicial reform” and bring the courts back into conformity with God’s laws? I don’t, as yet, have an answer to these questions. But there is one thing that I am certain of: although the institutionalization of the current church court procedures, in defiance of the written word, poses an obstacle to change, God’s saints have power through faith to rebuke anything they deem offensive, and correct anything they deem incorrect, whether within or without the church, for it is their duty and prerogative to judge all things. So I guess it just comes down to this: will they also judge the church courts and find them wanting?

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Using the Word of God as your Tribal Law


When YHVH, the God of heaven and earth, organized for Himself [from among the tribes of humankind] a family-based nation state to call “His Own” — those 12 tribes were given the word of God [now called “The law of Moses“], written on stone tablets, and later on papyrus, to be their customary mores and their common tribal law.  Thus, were any group today endeavoring to establish a gospel-based tribe unto the Lord, that group should use the written “Law of Christ” to build upon.  This is because, when all is said and done, how closely a tribe conforms to the scriptural patterns will be the key variable for determining its long-term success.

The Lord’s people are always judged by the written word:

It is the he written nature of the word of God that makes it what we’ll be judged by.  Meaning, there is a difference between what is spoken and what is written.  And the Lord judges us most according to the words that are written, not spoken.  The first thing Alma did when he escaped from king Noah’s court was write the words of Abinadi.  Why?  Because once written, they became a scriptural canon [or “measuring stick”] by which the people could now be judged.  When the same Alma was again confronted with iniquity in the church — he inquired of the Lord and received a revelation, which he wrote down so that he could judge the people by them [Mosiah 17:4 and Mosiah 26:33].

Nephi wrote:

wherefore
for this cause
has YHVH god promised me
that these things which I write
shall be kept and preserved
and handed down unto my seed
from generation to generation
that the promise may be fulfilled unto Joseph
that his seed should never perish as long as the earth should stand
wherefore
these things shall go from generation to generation
as long as the earth shall stand
and they shall go according to the will and pleasure of god
and the nations who shall possess them
shall be judged of them
according to the words which are written

[2 Nephi 25:21-22]

And YHVH has said:

for I command all people
both in the east
and in the west
and in the north
and in the south
and in the islands of the sea
that they shall write the words which I speak unto them
for out of the books which shall be written
I will judge the world
every person according to their works
according to that which is written

[2 Nephi 29:11]

And Yeshua told the Nephites:

for behold
out of the books which have been written
and which shall be written
shall this people be judged
for by them shall their works be known unto others
and behold
all things are written by the father
therefore
out of the books which shall be written
shall the world be judged

[3 Nephi 27:25-26]

And finally — in the fifth book of Moses, it is written:

and it came to pass
when Moses had made an end of writing the words of this law in a book
until they were finished
that Moses commanded those of the tribe of Levi
who carry the ark of the covenant of YHVH
saying

take this book of the law
and put it beside of the ark of the covenant of YHVH
your god
that it may be there for a witness
against you all

[Deuteronomy 31:24-26]

These sayings show that all people, all nations, the entire world — and more especially the people of the Lord — will be judged by the written word of God.  For this reason, any tribal group should use only the scriptures as their template.  We cannot look to the current, generally-accepted church practices for structure, guidance, and conformity.  Creating a scaled-down version of the same thing that exists in the larger church should not be our goal — rather it should be something that significantly different, yet still totally grounded in the word of God.

Now this doesn’t mean that every tribe that establishes itself according the written word will operate in the same manner or have an identical structure.  Because the gospel is a framework that allows all people within it to exercise their agency in righteousness.  So although it has bounds and limitations, there is a lot of leeway given so that each group can have the variety and diversity required to suit all the conditions and circumstances unique to each tribe.  As long as a tribe stays within the framework of the gospel of Jesus Christ, it will be operating under the principles of righteousness — even though it may function quite differently than another gospel-based tribe.

Following the scriptural patterns is much more important in establishing a gospel-based tribe than following the customs of the modern LDS church today or the country in which you live.  In other words, no one will be judged after death according to how closely they were conforming to what “the Church” was doing and teaching in their day — or by what was “legal” or “illegal” in their day.  Rather, all will be judged by how closely they were conforming to what is written in the scriptures, and what was written on their heart/conscience.  And this principle is the same whether we’re talking about the individual or for the tribe as a group.

In Romans 14, Paul writes:

receive any one who is weak in the faith
without having doubtful disputations
for one believes that he may eat all things
and another
who is weak
will abstain from eating meat
do not let the one who eats meat despise the one that doesn’t
and let not the one who chooses to not eat meat judge him that does eat
for god receives both

who are you to judge another man’s servant
it is by their own master alone that everyone stands or falls
and each shall be upheld
for god is able to make everyone stand

one person esteems one day above another
another esteems all days alike
let everyone be fully persuaded in their own mind
the one who regards the day
does so unto YHVH
a
nd the one that doesn’t
is doing that for YHVH too
he that eats meat
eats it unto YHVH
for he gives god thanks for it
while he that doesn’t eat

abstains for YHVH
and gives the same god thanks

for none of us live unto ourselves
and none of us die to ourselves
for whether we live
we live unto YHVH
and whether we die
we die unto YHVH
whether we live or die
therefore
we belong to YHVH

to this end
the messiah died
rose
and was revived
that he might be the lord of both the dead and the living

but why would you judge your own sister or brother?
or why would you disregard your brother or sister?
for we shall all stand before the judgment seat of the messiah
for it is written

as I live

saith YHVH

every knee shall bow to me
and every tongue shall confess to god

so then everyone of us
shall give an account of own self to god
let us not
therefore
judge one another anymore
but judge this rather
that no one put a stumblingblock
or an occasion to fall
in the way of another
I know
and am persuaded by our master
Yeshua
that there is nothing unclean in and of itself
but to the one that esteems a thing to be unclean
to that person it is unclean
so if your brother is grieved by the eating of meat
walk charitably
and do not destroy a person for whom the messiah died
just because of your diet choices
let not your good be evil spoken of

the kingdom of god is not food and drink
but righteousness
and peace
and joy in the holy ghost
anyone who serves the messiah
in this things
is acceptable to god
and approved among others
let us
therefore
pursue things that make peace
and things wherewith one may edify another

matters of practice
like food choices
do not destroy the works of god
all things indeed are pure
but it is evil for someone who would do something
that would offend their conscience
it is good
to not eat meat or drink wine or to abstain from any other thing
whereby your neighbor would stumble
be offended
or be made weak

do you have faith?
then have it to yourself before god
happy is the one who does not condemn himself
in the things he allows himself to do
it’s the one who doubts that will be damned
if he partakes
because he’s not acting with faith
because whatsoever is not of faith is sin

[Romans 14]

Paul is saying that matters of practice such as:

  • observing holy days (or not)
  • avoiding certain foods or drinks (or eating/drinking whatever)

are not matters that pertain to our walk with God.  Where we will be judged is in our actions towards others (how we acted towards them) and how we acted in relation to our own consciences.

Saints of God may legitimately disagree on certain particulars of religious devotion and on the exact physical form that a life that’s been turned-over to God is “supposed” to take.  The proper response to that variability among believers is not judgement or self-righteously rubbing one’s own divergent practices in the faces of the others — but it is accept that variation with patience and charity and to do all things that foster edification and joy among the differing groups.

“Gospel-based” tribes:

So — when I write about the “GEMTAM” as a model of gospel-based, egalitarian, multihusband-multiwife anarchical tribes — I don’t mean to equate “gospel-based” with “LDS chruch-based”.  And the “anarchy” means that each tribe should be free to work out the details of their own tribe and make modifications to the model as they see fit and as suits their circumstances suit them best.

The main chapters of the GEMTAM book will be written so as to give the principles of the model in a concise manner using the letters in the acronym “GEMTAM” — and to show how each letter is scripturally-grounded.

However, I’d say that the principles of the gospel [upon which an enduring tribe should be based] need not be “LDS church”-principles.  Rather, they’ll be the principles of the gospel upon which any deist, humanist, or non-theist could see the value in:

  • honesty
  • forgiveness
  • love
  • patience
  • meekness
  • kindness
  • fairness
  • sacrifice
  • etc.

And even then — one is still free to build a tribe that is not based on gospel principles if they are so inclined [and I’m sure they’d have success because the other principles like egalitarianism, marriage fidelity, plural kinship bonds, and common consent have such strength that they’d still see success] — it’s just that it’s the establishment of righteous tribes, established on the foundation which is Christ, that we desire for everyone — because I feel that only those such tribes will be everlastingly enduring.

Next Article by Justin:  Marriage Equality

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The nature of authority: the Lord’s stewardship law


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

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

Stewards are not owners

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

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

Stewards and stewardships are for probation

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

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

Rendering an account of one’s stewardship

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

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

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

Good and bad stewards and their rewards

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

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

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

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

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

Stewards possess authority

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

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

Parental stewardship

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

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

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

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

Children are also given stewardships

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

Stewardships in the church

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

Stewards and concerns likewise judged

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

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

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

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

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

It is wickedness

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

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

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

Stewardships and equality

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Stewardships are meant to be increased

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

Keep this law in mind

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

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Marriage without a marriage license is ordained of God


My text for this post is the following scripture:

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

Between a man and a woman

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

Who forbids to marry?

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

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

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

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

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

But I must add one more:

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

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

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

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

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

Marriage is a covenant

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Marriage covenant #3: “by my word, which is my law,” “in time, and through all eternity”

And again, verily I say unto you, if a man marry a wife by my word, which is my law, and by the new and everlasting covenant, and it is sealed unto them by the Holy Spirit of promise, by him who is anointed, unto whom I have appointed this power and the keys of this priesthood; and it shall be said unto them—Ye shall come forth in the first resurrection; and if it be after the first resurrection, in the next resurrection; and shall inherit thrones, kingdoms, principalities, and powers, dominions, all heights and depths—then shall it be written in the Lamb’s Book of Life, that he shall commit no murder whereby to shed innocent blood, and if ye abide in my covenant, and commit no murder whereby to shed innocent blood, it shall be done unto them in all things whatsoever my servant hath put upon them, in time, and through all eternity; and shall be of full force when they are out of the world; and they shall pass by the angels, and the gods, which are set there, to their exaltation and glory in all things, as hath been sealed upon their heads, which glory shall be a fulness and a continuation of the seeds forever and ever. (D&C 132: 19.)

Finally, we have a man and a woman entering the new and everlasting covenant of marriage, being married by the word of the Lord and having it sealed to them by the Holy Spirit of promise. He covenants to be her husband and she covenants to be his wife, for the duration of time and all eternity. This covenant is valid in the eyes of the Lord for as long as they abide in it.

All three marriage covenants are ordained of God

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

The first two marriage covenant scenarios, which operate under temporal power and authority, are ordained of God until death. The final marriage covenant scenario, which operates under eternal power and authority, is ordained of God through all eternity.

Marriage is ordained of God because it creates permanency

God is all about creating permanency: things that remain.

For whatsoever things remain are by me; and whatsoever things are not by me shall be shaken and destroyed. (D&C 132: 14.)

The only difference between fornication (unlawful sexual relations) and marriage (lawful sexual relations) is the idea of a permanent union. God wants men and women to come together and have sex (become one flesh), and He wants them to remain together, continuing to have sex. The marriage covenant is a covenant or contract to remain together permanently, as husband and wife, either until death or throughout all eternity. It is the fleeting, temporary nature of fornication that makes it wrong.

When two people come together and make love, the love demonstrated and generated is intended by God to continue on forever. It is supposed to remain. The marriage bonds keep people connected (and gathered) so that they continue to nurture and grow the love generated between them. God is love, so the scriptures say, therefore, He is all-loving and never stops loving. To come together and make love and then leave (separate from one another) is akin to stop loving (stop becoming one). God wants us to continue to manifest our love for one another, through the marital covenants. In this way we learn to become like Him, all-loving and continually loving.

No mention of a State licensing requirement

In the scriptures, there is no mention of the need to have a valid state marriage license. All that is needed for a marriage to occur is that there be a marriage covenant between a man and a woman. That’s it. The marriage covenant can be written or verbal. It doesn’t matter. It can be ordained “by thrones, or principalities, or powers,” in other words, by the State, but it doesn’t have to be. It can simply be “ordained of men,” even the two people entering the covenant (the man and the woman), or even by “things of name, whatsoever they may be.”

This means that two people who enter into a marriage covenant with each other, without a State marriage license, without a religious or civil ceremony, the man agreeing to be the woman’s husband and the woman agreeing to be the man’s wife, who then begin living together and making love, presenting themselves publicly as husband and wife, are not living in sin. They are not fornicating. They have nothing to repent of for they have satisfied the conditions of the law of the new and everlasting covenant. Their marriage is ordained of God.

No mention of a wedding ceremony

The scriptures do not state that a wedding ceremony is necessary for a marriage to be valid. Typically, wedding ceremonies do occur, according to the customs of the culture the two people are from, but they are not necessary for a marriage to be valid in the eyes of God. Only the covenant is the necessary part.

No mention of witnesses

A third person can be present while the two make their marriage vows (the marriage covenant), but that is not required by the law of the new and everlasting covenant. They can enter their covenant in private, just the two of them and it’s still valid in the eyes of God.

Conflict between God and the Church

This brings up a conflict because a married couple that does not get State permission to be married is seen differently by God and the Church. In the eyes of God, they are married. In the eyes of the (modern) Church, they are not. (It was not always so.  There was a time when the Church recognized marriages as valid even without a marriage license.)  As the Church holds the keys of the priesthood, despite a couple being validly married in the eyes of God, they can be prohibited from receiving baptism, confirmation, priesthood and the temple sealing, all required ordinances for their salvation. The modern Church, then, in not recognizing a marriage as valid in the same way God does, becomes a stumbling block to their eternal progression.

Consent in marriage

Both before and after a man and a woman come together in holy matrimony (and since all marriage is ordained of God, including non-temple marriage, all matrimony is holy), the law of common consent applies. So, for example, if the couple enters marriage with vows of fidelity, meaning that they promise to abstain from loving (making love to) other people, they must keep their vows. It is the law of the Lord that all our vows and covenants and oaths be kept, for it is a sin to break a vow. Thus, a man must receive consent from his wife to marry a second wife and a woman must receive consent from her husband to marry another husband.

If they enter the marriage with no vows of abstinence and they decide they want more spouses and they receive consent from their current spouses, they may freely marry without sinning. If, on the other hand, they enter the marriage with vows of abstinence and they decide afterward that they want more spouses in their family, they can, with consent, release one another from their vows of abstinence and then consent to additional spouses. This also is not sin, for vows can be freely made and released, as long as the person to whom the vow was made is doing the releasing.

Sin in marriage

The sin of adultery occurs when a married woman is with a man who is not her spouse. Scripturally, all women who enter marriage apparently do so under a vow of abstinence (fidelity), whether they are married by the word of the Lord or not. Therefore, if she is with another man that is not her spouse, she commits adultery.

On the man’s part, it is only if he has taken a vow of abstinence (fidelity) and is with another woman who is not his wife that he commits adultery. If, on the other hand, he has not taken a vow of fidelity, (in other words, his wife gives him permission to sleep around), and is with an unmarried woman who is not his wife, he has committed the sin of fornication (sexual sin) but not adultery unless the other woman who is not his spouse is married to another man, in which case he has committed adultery (See D&C 132: 41-44 and The many definitions of adultery for more on these laws.)

(The above two paragraphs may seem confusing, but it all boils down to this: if you sleep with someone who is your spouse, there is no sin. On the other hand, if you sleep with someone who is not your spouse, you commit sin. So, to avoid sin, either don’t sleep with a person who is not your spouse or marry him or her before engaging in sexual intercourse.)

If a husband separates from his wife or a wife separates from her husband, so as to purposefully and permanently live apart from one another, this also is sin. There is only one scriptural justification for marital separation and that is if the one being left behind has committed unrepentant fornication (sexual sin). The purpose of the temporary separation is to help the sinner to repent of his or her sin. Once repentance occurs, the couple should come together again and be reconciled, forgiving one another.

Polygyny is not sin

And again, as pertaining to the law of the priesthood—if any man espouse a virgin, and desire to espouse another, and the first give her consent, and if he espouse the second, and they are virgins, and have vowed to no other man, then is he justified; he cannot commit adultery for they are given unto him; for he cannot commit adultery with that that belongeth unto him and to no one else.

And if he have ten virgins given unto him by this law, he cannot commit adultery, for they belong to him, and they are given unto him; therefore is he justified. (D&C 132: 61-62; italics added.)

If a woman gives consent to her husband to take additional wives, releasing him from any vows of fidelity he may have had, and giving him permission to marry this or that woman, he is justified in taking on the additional wives, for it is marriage with consent and marriage is ordained of God.

When taking on a second wife, the man needs the consent of the first wife. When taking on a third wife, the man needs the consent of the first two wives, and so on and so forth. As long as all give consent, there is no sin.

Polygyny, whether practiced in the new and everlasting covenant (the law of the priesthood), or practiced in a for-time, man-made covenant, is ordained of God as long as consent is given by the wife or wives of the man.

Polyandry is not sin

In the new and everlasting covenant, there are two ways in which a woman get can an additional husband. One way is that she is simply sealed to a second (or third, etc.) husband.

And as ye have asked concerning adultery, verily, verily, I say unto you, if a man receiveth a wife in the new and everlasting covenant, and if she be with another man, and I have not appointed unto her by the holy anointing, she hath committed adultery and shall be destroyed. (D&C 132: 41; italics added.)

The second way is that her husband breaks his marriage vows and commits adultery, whereby she is taken and given (married) to another man. She remains married to the first husband, for the word ‘taken” doesn’t explicitly mean that she has received a divorce.

And if she hath not committed adultery, but is innocent and hath not broken her vow, and she knoweth it, and I reveal it unto you, my servant Joseph, then shall you have power, by the power of my Holy Priesthood, to take her and give her unto him that hath not committed adultery but hath been faithful; for he shall be made ruler over many. (D&C 132: 44; italics added.)

Outside of the new and everlasting covenant, a woman may obtain a second marriage through consent of her current husband or husbands, in the same way as discussed above for polygyny. Like polygyny, polyandry is ordained of God, as long as consent is given by all parties involved.

Objections to polyandry unfounded

LDS men may object to polyandry based upon the following scripture:

And again, as pertaining to the law of the priesthood—if any man espouse a virgin, and desire to espouse another, and the first give her consent, and if he espouse the second, and they are virgins, and have vowed to no other man, then is he justified; he cannot commit adultery for they are given unto him; for he cannot commit adultery with that that belongeth unto him and to no one else.

And if he have ten virgins given unto him by this law, he cannot commit adultery, for they belong to him, and they are given unto him; therefore is he justified. (D&C 132: 61-62; italics added.)

These verses only state that a man cannot commit adultery with a wife that belongs to him and to no one else. They do not state that a man commits adultery with a wife that belongs to both him and someone else. The gospel is all about joint-ownership, or becoming joint-heirs with Christ of all things that the Father has. There is no gospel law against a wife belonging to two or more husbands, or to a husband belonging to two or more wives. The scriptures do not prohibit such an arrangement. To make this assumption is to wrest them.

Not giving consent to marry is sin

When a man wishes to take an additional wife and his current wife or wives do not give their consent (the keys of this power), they sin because they are forbidding him from marrying, making them not ordained of God. Likewise, when a woman wishes to take an additional husband and her current husband or husbands do not give consent, the husbands become sinners in forbidding her from marrying.

The law of Sarah is applicable to both men and women:

And again, verily, verily, I say unto you, if any man have a wife, who holds the keys of this power, and he teaches unto her the law of my priesthood, as pertaining to these things, then shall she believe and administer unto him, or she shall be destroyed, saith the Lord your God; for I will destroy her; for I will magnify my name upon all those who receive and abide in my law.

Therefore, it shall be lawful in me, if she receive not this law, for him to receive all things whatsoever I, the Lord his God, will give unto him, because she did not believe and administer unto him according to my word; and she then becomes the transgressor; and he is exempt from the law of Sarah, who administered unto Abraham according to the law when I commanded Abraham to take Hagar to wife. (D&C 132: 64-65; italics added.)

The transgression consists in forbidding to marry, which makes the person doing the forbidding “not ordained of God.”

A secondary and third transgression

When consent is not given, because marriage is labeled sin, a second transgression occurs: calling that which is holy, or ordained of God, evil. Satan wants no one to be married. He would rather that everyone sleep around without entering into marriage covenants with each other. When monogamy is labeled holy matrimony but polygyny or polyandry is labeled sin, this works into his hands, for then he can tempt mankind to break their marriage vows and commit sin. Giving consent to marry more than one spouse keeps the law of chastity intact, stopping Satan in his tracks.

The third transgression comes from judging others as sinners, who have done no sin. All marriage between a man and woman, whether singly or in multiple spouse form, is ordained of God, but if the multiple spouse form is looked upon as sin, or if a marriage without a marriage license is looked upon as sin, then the people who engage in these righteous practices will be looked upon as sinners.

Plural marriage engenders charity

In particular, modern LDS need to stop painting plural marriage (the multiple-husband multiple-wife marriage system) as undesirable or evil. Under such a system, children have multiple fathers and multiple mothers (though only one biological mother). Any husband will look upon all children born to his wives as his children, regardless of whether they are his biological seed or not. This engenders charity, because all husbands/fathers will care for all the children, not just their own. In other words, all children will become alike to them:

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

Plural marriage retains agency

Agency remains fully intact with plural marriage consent, allowing people to open up their hearts and love those around them in the most intimate manner possible, all the while remaining justified before the Lord. This more fully knits people’s hearts together in unity. Without such consent, love must be limited, even if the desire to love more fully exists, which also limits agency and causes distance between people.

Plural marriage creates Zion

And ye shall hereafter receive church covenants, such as shall be sufficient to establish you, both here and in the New Jerusalem. (D&C 42: 67.)

There are certain covenants given to the Gentile Mormons that are sufficient to establish them in Zion. One is the law of consecration, in which they freely share of their substance. Another is the United Order, in which they bind themselves by covenant to establish Zion. Yet another is the new and everlasting covenant of marriage (plural marriage) in which they freely give of their love and hearts in plural marriages, essentially sharing their spouses with other spouses.

Of the three covenants, though, plural marriage is probably the most powerful, for if one is able to give consent to freely share one’s spouse with other spouses, effectively eliminating all jealousy and envy, sharing everything else would be a snap.

Plural marriage corresponds to nature

As the research revealed in the book Sex at Dawn reveals, by nature mankind’s sexuality is a multiplemale-multiplefemale mating system. God has ordained marriage to exactly correspond to our natural sexual desires and nature, so that we may live out our lives free from guilt and shame, in joy, happiness and pleasure.

Plural marriage causes rapid formation of super-strong tribes

Because marriage bonds go in every direction, everyone becomes related to everyone else, in the most intimate way. The concept of distant relations becomes blurred, as all become intimate members of one’s immediate family through marriage. The group, being linked in this way, becomes and acts as a tribe, but also as an intimate family, everyone seeking the interest of his neighbor, for his neighbor is a close family relation.

Instead of tribes growing slowly as tribal members have children who grow up and marry and have children of themselves, plural marriage has the ability to rapidly infuse a tribe with large groups of people, while retaining the intimate relationship aspects of the immediate family. Child-birth is maximized, so that every woman who wants children can have as many as she desires, thus allowing the tribe to grow as quickly as possible.

Conclusion

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

When taken at face value, the above scripture is plainly shown to be true. Marriage is a divine institution which has been given to us to maximize our happiness here on Earth, in accordance with the principles of nature, and in preparation for glory to be added in heaven. To remain on God’s side on this issue, men, women, parents, churches, the State and spouses need to follow and encourage others to follow this two-step rule:

1) Don’t forbid anyone from marrying (not even your own spouse) and 2) look upon all marriage between a man and a woman as ordained of God.

Inspiration behind this post

I had read the arguments that Christian polygamists make about not needing a valid state marriage license, but had never actually taken the time to do any research and come to any conclusion about it. It was Justin’s Tribal Relationships post that introduced me to the Sex at Dawn research, which, upon reviewing it, got me thinking about what exactly marriage is and what it is all about. This post is a result of my decision to take a look at the scriptures with the Sex at Dawn research in mind. If you still don’t know where I’m coming from, I encourage you to read the following posts, as this article is influenced by, and builds upon, them: Tribal worship services, Establishing the tribes of Israel: the real reason for plural marriage, The tribal nature of the gospel, The Return of Polygamy, The many definitions of adultery, Deep Waters: How many wives? How many husbands?, and An alternate view of the keys.

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