An Announcement


Announcing Internet Classes

on …

Prophecy, Ancient History
and the
Restored Gospel

Class Offerings

#1 – An Introduction
Discover how perception can distort or make invisible parts of the gospel. Visit the ideological struggle between Catastrophism vs. Gradualism. Learn why we know almost nothing about the true cosmological and geological history of our planet.

#2 – A New Paradigm
Find that there are really two gospels, one spiritual, one temporal. Learn the difference between gospel “mysteries” and “unknowns.” Discover the sweeping scope of this new paradigm and how it impacts our comprehension of the gospel.

#3 – From The Prophet’s Mouth
Learn what Joseph Smith and his contemporaries had to say about the ancient heavens and the Earth, an entirely different take than you were taught in school.

#4 – Ancient History: The Key
See, for the first time, the real cosmological history of our solar system and how that gave rise to the symbols, metaphors, myths and traditions of all cultures, both ancient and modern.

#5 – Archetypes & Motifs
Analyze the characters and the stories that ancient cultures assigned to the planets and plasma displays they saw overhead. See how they gave rise to the sacred and cultural traditions of the past.

#6 – The Crescent & the Pillar
Discover the many symbols that arose from the lighted limb of Saturn anciently and how those symbols were employed in ancient texts as well as scripture.

#7 – The One Story
All the prophets saw the same cosmological elements in vision. So each tells the same story, but from a perspective unique to their culture and era.

#8 – Mars & the Mountain
See how the career of one planet and a plasma discharge gave rise to similar myths and traditions in the past.

#9 – Visions of the Prophets
Examine the visions of Ezekiel, Daniel and John’s Revelation using the planetary/plasma archetypes and motifs. Learn how to read prophecy for yourself.

#10 – Kolob & the Papyri
Learn the correct meaning of Kolob and all the explanations of the Egyptian papyri written by Joseph.

#11 – Temple Symbolism
Learn the application of cosmological history to our modern temple tradition, imagery, ritual and symbolism.

#12 – Adam to Armageddon
Review the timeline of Earth’s cosmological history, from beginning to end. See which events coincided with which prophets. Learn about the event the ancients called the “creation” and how that fits into cosmological history.

#13 – The Grand Sign
See for yourself each of the elements involved in a close planetary encounter. Find out what are the first “signs” of such an event as we might see it firsthand.

#14 – The Electric Universe
Discover the power that lights and organizes the universe, the power of God. See how the electromotive force that governs all things operates in the heavens.

#15 – Thunderbolts of the Gods
See how the ancients pictures the “thunderbolts of the gods.” Learn how they can be reproduced in modern laboratory experiments with plasma.

#16 – Plasmas & Petroglyphs
Find the origin and meaning of ancient rock art using modern plasma physics. See the remarkable one-to-one likeness of images from the laboratory and ancient petroglyphs.

#17 – Images from an Ancient Sky
Discover the prototypes of many ancient archeological sites in modern plasma experiments that duplicate things seen in our ancient skies. See what the ancients saw that inspired sacred sites such as Stonehenge.

#18 – Electricity: Creating Worlds
Discover how electric discharge sculpted the face of all planets, including our own. Learn the mechanism behind the stories of cities and people destroyed by “fire from heaven.”

The Online Classes Have Begun,
And You Are Invited!

I am pleased to announce that the online classes have begun … and you are invited to participate! You will be instructed personally in ancient cosmological history and its application to the restored gospel. I will answer all your questions as they arise.

The course begins with a free, introductory class that covers some basic, fundamental ideas before we get into the heart of the subject matter. This lecture/slide/video presentation, along with all those to follow, will be offered as often as it is requested. You must request a class to attend.

It is strongly recommended that you have an adequate Internet connection. DSL or cable is best. Dial-up is not recommended, as it will certainly cause audio and video losses and a less-than-satisfying classroom experience. The better your connection speed, the happier you will be with the outcome.

Here’s how to sign up for that first, free, class: Send an email (anthonyelarson@gmail.com) stating your interest in participating. Include the day and time you would prefer. Based on your response, I will schedule
a meeting and send you an invitation with instructions for registering. The introductory meeting is free of charge.

After the free startup session, the remainder of the classes will require a $10 fee, paid through Pay Pal with a credit or debit card. Fill out your information there. When you’ve finished, be sure to click on the “finish registration” button at the bottom to continue.

The curriculum for these classes will feature a lengthy course of study on ancient cosmological history and its bearing upon the restored gospel, the visions of the prophets, the imagery found in the scriptures and in our temples. These subjects will be explored in 18, one-hour sessions, just as you would in a college-level course. Each hour of instruction will be immediately followed by a question-and-answer session, just as in a classroom setting.

You are welcome to take the classes in any order you wish, though it is strongly recommended that you follow the suggested order as each builds upon information provided in the prior classes. Also, following the order will avoid the inevitable, perplexing questions that arise in your mind if the proper groundwork is not covered first.

So, there it is. Send me that email today (anthonyelarson@gmail.com) expressing your desire to participate in the first lecture, free of charge. Together, we will experience an adventure in learning and enlightenment.

Internet Classes on Prophecy, Ancient History and the Restored Gospel

This is a university-level course of study into prophecy and ancient cosmological history as they apply to the restored gospel. Learn these things in the comfort and convenience of your own home, sitting at your own computer. (Be sure it has sound so you can hear the lecture.) In a series of 18, one-hour classes, you will be personally instructed by the author and researcher, Anthony E. Larson. Using slides and video clips to demonstrate these amazing and revealing ideas, he will lead you step by step through an adventure of discovery and insight. For a listing of class titles, visit the web page. For more information, send an email.

To see a listing of upcoming classes, visit the hub here. If you don’t see the class you want or the day and time isn’t convenient, simply drop me a note requesting the class you want. Be sure to include the class number, the day and time (Pacific/West Coast US time zone) you prefer. I’ll take care of the scheduling.

Send me an email now! (anthonyelarson@gmail.com)

Visit the HUB now. (www.instantpresenter.com/anthonyelarson)

I hope to see you in class soon!

Anthony E. Larson

Body modesty is not a principle of the gospel


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

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

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

What I teach my children

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

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

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

Heavenly Father’s rule of modesty

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

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

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

 

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

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

 

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

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

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

Everything above and beyond that standard is man-made.

Moroni the naked angel

Said Joseph of the angel Moroni:

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

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

Isaiah, the naked prophet

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

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

Our first parents naked

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

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

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

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

Satan did.

Why Satan told our first parents to clothe themselves

I think Bette Davis said it best:

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

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

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

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

The Lord looks upon the heart

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

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

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

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

Not all Mormons are prudes

For example:

LDS Skinny Dippers Forum

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

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

The audience of all modesty talks

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

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

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

Legal public nudity is coming soon to a city near you

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

GoTopless.org

Here are some quotes from the web site:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

NEW YORK CITY, NEW YORK

VENICE BEACH, CALIFORNIA

CHICAGO, ILLINOIS

MIAMI BEACH, FLORIDA

AUSTIN, TEXAS

SEATTLE, WASHINGTON

OAHU, HAWAII

DENVER, COLORADO

SAN FRANCISCO, CALIFORNIA

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

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

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

What will the LDS ever do?

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

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

Eyelids, necks and feet to the rescue

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

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

Complete List of Articles authored by LDS Anarchist

The Priesthood


Background on this post

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

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

What Is the Priesthood?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Why Do We Need the Priesthood on the Earth?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Why Do Only Men Obtain Priesthood?

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

How Do Men Receive the Priesthood?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

It also requires purification and sanctification.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

•  •  •

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

1) undertaking to cover our sins

2) undertaking to gratify our pride

3) undertaking to gratify our vain ambition

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Priesthood Organization: An Inverted Hierarchy

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

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

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

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

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

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

Not By Virtue of the Priesthood

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

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

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

How Do Men Properly Use the Priesthood?

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

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

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

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

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

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

Priesthood Is the Antidote to “Natural Man Syndrome”

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

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

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

False Priesthoods: Royal In Nature

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

How Keys are Lost (or Taken Away)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The Priesthood and Women

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

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

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

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

What Priests Really Hold

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

The Key-words of the Priesthood

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

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

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

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

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

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

What Blessings Come When We Use the Priesthood Properly?

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

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

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

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

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

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

Mormon Gentile Priesthood: A Temporary Measure

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

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

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

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

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

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

Next Priesthood article: An alternate view of the keys

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

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Why (Heavenly) Father is an Anarchist


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

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

Why Father is an Anarchist

I was once accused of being an ‘anarchist’. Because of the negative meaning attached to it, I rejected it. Most people perceive of anarchy as being total chaos, when in fact, in it’s purest form, it is the simple absence of compulsion or a system of enFORCEment.

From Bovier’s 6th Edition (1856):

“ANARCHY. The absence of all political government; by extension, it signifies confusion in government.”

I do not espouse ‘confusion’ or ‘chaos’, and it is ONLY by extension that government is presumed to EXIST so as to have confusion within it in the first place. As the definition states, “The ABSENCE of ALL political goverment” is anarchy; which is a far cry from the definition of ‘confusion’ or ‘chaos’ itself.

Anarchy is therefore JUST AS VIABLE as an orderly and sane existence WITHOUT political government, regardless of what anyone would like to assert, just as the word itself testifies to.

This does not mean there are no consequences for one’s behavors, in fact chaos is the result of the reactive infliction of consequence as a response to an unfavorable choice.

When everyone reacts to reactions, the resulting environment is comparable to the 3 Stooges. At some point, people develop a method of ‘order’ to curb the resulting chaos because everyone knows that we are terribly undisciplined as a society that we need compulsion to prevent all these knee-jerk reactions from causing a domino effect. Instead of learning to be self-disciplined in a manner absent of excessive, artificial pain, we develop a compulsive artificial system to inflict a consequence upon people for not behaving like we want them to behave. Usually the artificial consequence is made so unpleasant, it curtails the ACTION but not the desire that leads to the action itself. Fear is the motivating force in this system. Compulsion is equally applied to everyone. Infliction of force against the will of a minority is mandated by the majority, even if the majority is completely incongruent to God – and that is where we begin to see the futility in developing and maintaining artificial systems of ‘order’.

Let us look at the very nature of ‘law’. It isn’t too difficult to define ‘law’ into two separate categories: God’s law, and men’s law.

God’s law is unchangable; men’s law consistently changes.

God’s law is Eternal – meaning it never had a beginning or will it have an end; men’s law is merely ink on paper and has a beginning at it’s writing, and has an end whenever it suits them.

God’s law allows complete freedom of choice and the consequences are applied by nature – be it blessings or condemnation; men’s laws asserts against free choice an artificial consequence of condemnation above and beyond that of God’s law, and provides no blessing whatsoever.

God’s law is merciful or just based upon the intent of one’s heart; men’s law denies the existence of intent and of truth for ‘facts’ alone.

God’s law is enduring reaping what you sow; men’s law is enduring whatever un-natural pains contrived beyond that of nature, and the only relief is an absence of pain – and an absence of pain does NOT equal happiness.

That is enough evidence to justify a separation between the two.

It is a matter of common sence that any law that has no consequence attached to it is of no effect – it is as though it didn’t exist at all. Nothing would happen if a law was violated if that law had no consequence attached to it. Scripturally we find this very principle espoused – that a law without a punishment is of no effect.

The dilema occurs when we look at the parameters of the methods of operation of PH power in relation to free choice. God’s ‘law’ is thus: When any violation of freedom of choice occurs, the powers of heaven, and the inseparably connected rights of PH authority are immediately withdrawn and are ineffectual. Thus, if God wishes to enFORCE a punishment upon you against your will, He falls from Godhood for violations of your own will. Seems like a catch 22 for God, right? If He makes a law, then He MUST enFORCE that law, yet the enFORCEment of that law violates your free agency,  so God is no longer congruent, and ceases to be God.

Sounds like either God has laws, but better not attempt to enFORCE them for fear of falling from Godhood; or, God has no laws and is an anarchist in the purest sence. So, which is it?

If God has laws, then He better have a way to enFORCE them else they become of no effect. Problem is that even the attempt to compel people by law is the intention that violates the natural congruence of who God is. If His heart is to inflict force against other’s will, then He isn’t true to what He espouses, and makes
Himself to be a Liar. Is God then a Liar? No, so we must conclude that something else is the reality of things.

Let me take another tact for just a moment so that things should begin to come into focus here.

What law does God require Himself to adhere to if He is already naturally congruent to it? What purpose would a law serve if God is already the type of person who wouldn’t break it? Don’t laws exist to curb the behaviors of those who otherwise WOULD violate it? If God already knows how to behave, why would any law be of use? Besides, who would enFORCE a law against an all powerful God? Why should He even regard it as it would be impossible for Him to suffer the consequence of it’s violation?

Could it be that God needs no law to be compelled into behaving any particular way, and that His perfection is in that He is wholly congruent and above the law? Would this status of being ‘above the law’ seem logical for a God who is the Greatest Sovereign? If so, then He is absolutely chaotic by standard paradigms  because in this type of existence there can be no ‘authority’ to curb His behaviors, and no ‘order’ for God because the standard paradigm believes a system of authority is required in order to have ‘order’ and eliminate chaos. Perhaps it’s we that have it backwards.

God is a God of Order, but not of compulsion. His order derives from pure intents which leads to proper action, not punishment which curb actions out of fear but do nothing to change the intents of men. Man’s law’s only desire is to obtain feigned peace by the heavy hand of force and compulsion to ‘eliminate chaos’ without any consideration for the eternal progression of each soul that REQUIRES becoming the type of BEing (within and without) that God is in order to return back home to Him. Man’s law ignores the heart and intent that must eventually become congruent to the very powers of Heaven for a counterfeit ‘order’ that requires only strict obedience without regard to what type of people we are inwardly.

Do you think God will allow unrepentant liars to exist in Heaven with Him? The scriptures say He won’t allow ANY unclean thing to abide His presence. The liar couldn’t anyway. To abide in the same existence with God requires us to be as He is. It requires being congruent to all that He Himself is congruent to. It would be like a non-smoker living amid an entire population who smoked constantly. It would be Hell to live with God if you are not that type of person.

Either you are the type of person who can live in true peace without being forced to do it, or compelled by fear to ‘behave’, or you are the type of person who requires law in order to live in a feigned peace. Jesus said,

“In me is the law of Moses fulfilled.”

That meant simply that He didn’t need the law of Moses to dictate how He was to live because He had already internalized the true intent behind it. We have further evidence that this is the case be cause of His enlightened Sermon on the Mount of Olives, a.k.a. The Be-attitudes.

If you love God sincerely, you naturally gravitate to becoming just as He is. Who He is is the reason you love Him, not because of what He can do for you, or what you hope to be rewarded with. To be obedient to God because you want the rewards promised, or because eternal salvation is offered is the same as marriage to a weathy person merely to obtain riches. It is to make love a lie. How many of you want a spouse or children that behave as you want just for what they can obtain from you, and not because they want anything to do with you as a person? What is ironic is that people believe that if they merely believe that God will save them, and/or if they do all sorts of ‘good works’, then He will save them regardless of what they are truly like inwardly. They believe that as a person, as long as you can behave outwardly according to God’s law, then it doesn’t matter that inwardly that someone is a house divided against itself. The spirit of the law has no life in them because they believe that ‘obedience is greater than sacrifice’, but are obedient liars instead of being congruently true to themselves, and hopefully to God.

Why should God have laws among those who already know how to behave as perfectly as He does out of a matter of true desire and BEing? Why should we lie to ourselves about what we really feel and desire as long as God knows the truth about it already? To succeed at such an attempted denial prevents us from changing because we refuse to even acknowledge our true state of being, or to feign justify our mere obedience thinking that God will accept us as we are. When we reach Heaven and realize that all those artificial, compulsive laws no longer exist, out true nature will surface and we will alienate ourselves from a God we are nothing like having never learned the lessons of congruence and thought only of obtaining reward by obedience.

God is an anarchist that already knows how to BE. He knows laws are a curse for the disobedient, and that they serve no purpose for those who already have the true principles written upon the tablets of their hearts. He allows mankind to choose freely in self-discovery of what they truly desire to BE, but that no one can live as a God, or with Him, as long as they can not become congruent and that the natural charater of a person is in harmony with the powers of Heaven and the rights of the Priesthood.

Wake_Up

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


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

Comment expounding Jacob 2: 22-35

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

End of comment

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

Comment expounding 4 Nephi polygamy

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

End of comment

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

First, some background.  A question had been asked,

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

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

Comment answering question concerning D&C 132: 1

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

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

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

End of comment

After this, I was asked a question:

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

My answer was the following:

Comment concerning Joseph’s understanding of Jacob 2

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

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

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

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

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

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

Again:

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

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

End of comment

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

Comments concerning polygamy & the law of Moses

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

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

For example:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

End of comment

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

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

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

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

I replied:

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

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

End of comment

Later, came the rebuttal and question,

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

My reply was the following:

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

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

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

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

End of comment

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

Previous Chastity article: The Law of Chastity: What It Is and What It Isn’t

Complete List of Articles authored by LDS Anarchist

Why I Believe the Plates of Brass Are Next


This is my current understanding, written in response to a comment I posted recently.

Nephi’s Final Prophecy

In chapters 25-30 of 2 Nephi (in the Book of Mormon), Nephi, the son of Lehi, gives a prophecy “according to the spirit which is in [him]” and “according to the plainness which hath been with [him] from the time that [he] came out from Jerusalem with [his] father.”  Beginning with his own time, he takes us chronologically forward to the Atonement of Christ, prophesying what would occur with the Jews of the Old World and the Nephites of the New World.  He continues his prophecy onward, detailing the apostasy that would result among the Jews and the Nephites after the Savior’s visits to both continents.  Finally, he mentions the Gentiles.

And as I spake concerning the convincing of the Jews, that Jesus is the very Christ, it must needs be that the Gentiles be convinced also that Jesus is the Christ, the Eternal God; and that he manifesteth himself unto all those who believe in him, by the power of the Holy Ghost; yea, unto every nation, kindred, tongue, and people, working mighty miracles, signs, and wonders, among the children of men according to their faith.  (2 Ne. 26: 12-13)

After verse 14 of this chapter, Nephi begins to prophesy concerning the Gentiles, explaining just how they will become convinced that Jesus is the Christ.  His Gentile prophecy is of particular interest to me, as I am a Gentile, or at least I am associated with the Gentiles, until my genealogy reveals otherwise.

Two Acts, Not One

According to my understanding of the scriptures, there are two merciful acts of God towards the Gentiles, after which there is an act of judgment against the unrepentant of them.  For the sake of clarity, let’s call these acts the First Act (of Mercy), the Second Act (of Mercy) and the Act of Judgment. Nephi’s prophecy concerning the Gentiles covers all three acts.

He begins with the First Act.

But behold, I prophesy unto you concerning the last days; concerning the days when the Lord God shall bring these things forth unto the children of men.  (2 Nephi 26: 14)

The times of the “last days”includes all three acts, however the particular “last days” that Nephi is referring to is the First Act, in which “the Lord God shall bring these things [the Book of Mormon] forth unto the children of men.”  So, the First Act is defined as that merciful act of God when he sends a seer (Joseph Smith, Jun.) among the Gentiles and brings forth the Book of Mormon and other revelations, causing much gospel restoration to take place.

Nephi explains that the righteous Nephites and Lamanites will write the word of God’s prophets and God’s Son (when Jesus visits the Nephites) and that their words will be “sealed up in a book.”  He says that the Nephites and Lamanites will eventually dwindle in unbelief and that the Lord will no longer allow them to have the book, as they will then be trying to destroy God’s things.  Later, the descendants of these unbelieving people will be smitten by the Gentiles and then God will cause the words of their righteous ancestors to speak to them.  (See 2 Ne. 26: 15-19.)

Conditions Among the Gentiles When the First Act Opens

Nephi abruptly stops his prophecy of the First Act and starts to review the conditions among the Gentiles when the First Act opens.

 

And the Gentiles are lifted up in the pride of their eyes, and have stumbled, because of the greatness of their stumbling block, that they have built up many churches; nevertheless, they put down the power and miracles of God, and preach up unto themselves their own wisdom and their own learning, that they may get gain and grind upon the face of the poor.  And there are many churches built up which cause envyings, and strifes, and malice.  And there are also secret combinations, even as in times of old, according to the combinations of the devil, for he is the founder of all these things; yea, the founder of murder, and works of darkness; yea, and he leadeth them by the neck with a flaxen cord, until he bindeth them with his strong cords forever.  (2 Ne. 26: 20-22)

 

He then goes on to explain (in 2 Ne. 26: 23-33) how the Lord works and also how He doesn’t work.  He is writing here to his future, dwindled-in-unbelief posterity (the ones that the Book of Mormon was intended to go to), trying to show them that what the Gentiles of the First Act would be doing is not right in the sight of God.  Every wrong thing he mentions is what the Gentiles will be doing.  Although the text doesn’t categorically state this, it is implied. In other words, Nephi, in verses 23-33, is still listing the conditions found among the Gentiles when the First Act begins.

“The Lord God worketh not in darkness.” The implication is that the Gentiles are working in darkness.

“He doeth not anything save it be for the benefit of the world.” The implication is that the Gentiles work for their own benefit.

“Doth he cry unto any, saying: Depart from me?” The implication is that the Gentiles are telling people to go away from their churches.  In other words, they only want certain types of people, whether classed by money, race, color, etc., and that they do not want “all ye ends of the earth” to come to their churches.

“He hath given it free for all men.” The implication is that the Gentiles are charging money for forgiveness.

“All men are privileged the one like unto the other, and none are forbidden.” The implication is that the Gentiles are of unequal privileges (for example, slavery.)

“He commandeth that there shall be no priestcrafts.” The implication is that Gentiles are practicing priestcraft.

And the list of conditions goes on and on.  All of the verses from 20 through 33 of 2 Nephi chapter 26 are a prophetic description of the conditions that would exist among the Gentiles when the First Act of God’s mercy opens up.  In other words, this is a description of apostate Christianity during Joseph Smith’s time.

The Act of Gentile (and Jewish) Judgment

After having described the iniquitous conditions among the Gentiles of the First Act, Nephi jumps forward in the chronology, past the Second Act and into the Act of Judgment. These are still the “last days,” but these last days he’s talking about are the ones after the unbelieving of the Gentiles (and the Jews) have rejected the First and Second Acts of God’s mercy and are fully ripe in their iniquity. It is almost as if Nephi wants to get the message across that although the Lord is merciful towards people, such as is shown in his first two acts, He is also a just God and will reward the wicked according to their works when they are “drunken with iniquity.”  These Act-of-Judgment prophecies are still in our future.

But, behold, in the last days, or in the days of the Gentiles—yea, behold all the nations of the Gentiles and also the Jews, both those who shall come upon this land and those who shall be upon other lands, yea, even upon all the lands of the earth, behold, they will be drunken with iniquity and all manner of abominations—and when that day shall come they shall be visited of the Lord of Hosts, with thunder and with earthquake, and with a great noise, and with storm, and with tempest, and with the flame of devouring fire.  (2 Ne. 27: 1-2)  [This is a future prophecy; it has not yet been fulfilled.]

And all the nations that fight against Zion, and that distress her, shall be as a dream of a night vision; yea, it shall be unto them, even as unto a hungry man which dreameth, and behold he eateth but he awaketh and his soul is empty; or like unto a thirsty man which dreameth, and behold he drinketh but he awaketh and behold he is faint, and his soul hath appetite; yea, even so shall the multitude of all the nations be that fight against Mount Zion.  (2 Ne. 27: 3)  [This is a future prophecy; it has not yet been fulfilled.]

For behold, all ye that doeth iniquity, stay yourselves and wonder, for ye [all ye that doeth iniquity] shall cry out, and cry; yea, ye [all ye that doeth iniquity] shall be drunken but not with wine, ye [all ye that doeth iniquity] shall stagger but not with strong drink.  (2 Ne. 27: 4)  [This is a future prophecy; it has not yet been fulfilled.]

For behold, the Lord hath poured out upon you [all ye that doeth iniquity] the spirit of deep sleep. For behold, ye [all ye that doeth iniquity] have closed your eyes, and ye [all ye that doeth iniquity] have rejected the prophets; and your rulers, and the seers hath he covered because of your iniquity.  (2 Ne. 27: 5)

The First Act

Nephi next rewinds the chronology of the prophecy a bit to tell what it is exactly that they will reject that will cause the judgments of God to be brought upon them.  He begins by prophesying of the First Act, which began with the calling of Joseph Smith, Jun. in the First Vision and the visits of angel Moroni, and the translation and publication of the Book of Mormon.

Okay, now let’s review Nephi’s prophecy of the First Act.

And it shall come to pass that the Lord God shall bring forth unto you [all ye that doeth iniquity] the words of a book, and they shall be the words of them which have slumbered.  (2 Ne. 27: 6)  [This is prophecy fulfilled; the Book of Mormon is “the words” of that book.]

And behold the book shall be sealed; and in the book shall be a revelation from God, from the beginning of the world to the ending thereof.  (2 Ne. 27: 7)  [This is prophecy fulfilled; the Plates of Mormon—from which the Book of Mormon was translated—contained a sealed portion.]

Wherefore, because of the things which are sealed up, the things which are sealed shall not be delivered in the day of the wickedness and abominations of the people. Wherefore the book shall be kept from them.  (2 Ne. 27: 8)  [This is prophecy fulfilled; the Book of Mormon plates and its sealed portion has not been allowed to be with the people during these times of wickedness.  The people referred to here are the people of the Lord, in other words, the church of God. As long as the church remains unsanctified, they won’t get the sealed portion.]

But the book shall be delivered unto a man, and he shall deliver the words of the book, which are the words of those who have slumbered in the dust, and he shall deliver these words unto another; but the words which are sealed he shall not deliver, neither shall he deliver the book.  (2 Ne. 27: 9-10)  [This is prophecy fulfilled; the account of its fulfillment is found here.]

For the book shall be sealed by the power of God, and the revelation which was sealed shall be kept in the book until the own due time of the Lord, that they may come forth; for behold, they reveal all things from the foundation of the world unto the end thereof.  (2 Ne. 27: 10)  [The first part of this is prophecy fulfilled; the Book of Mormon plates contained a portion that was sealed.  Also, the words of the sealed portion have still been kept from the people.  The second part of this is future prophecy; the sealed portion has yet to come forth.]

And the day cometh that the words of the book which were sealed shall be read upon the house tops; and they shall be read by the power of Christ; and all things shall be revealed unto the children of men which ever have been among the children of men, and which ever will be even unto the end of the earth.  (2 Ne. 27: 11)  [This is a future prophecy; it has not yet been fulfilled.]

Wherefore, at that day when the book shall be delivered unto the man of whom I have spoken, the book shall be hid from the eyes of the world, that the eyes of none shall behold it save it be that three witnesses shall behold it, by the power of God, besides him to whom the book shall be delivered; and they shall testify to the truth of the book and the things therein.  (2 Ne. 27: 12)  [This is prophecy fulfilled; the account of its fulfillment is found here.]

And there is none other which shall view it, save it be a few according to the will of God, to bear testimony of his word unto the children of men; for the Lord God hath said that the words of the faithful should speak as if it were from the dead.  (2 Ne. 27: 13)  [This is prophecy fulfilled; the account of its fulfillment is found here.]

Wherefore, the Lord God will proceed to bring forth the words of the book; and in the mouth of as many witnesses as seemeth him good will he establish his word; and wo be unto him that rejecteth the word of God!  (2 Ne. 27: 14)  [This is prophecy fulfilled; the Book of Mormon was published with Three and Twelve Witnesses.]

But behold, it shall come to pass that the Lord God shall say unto him to whom he shall deliver the book: Take these words which are not sealed and deliver them to another, that he may show them unto the learned, saying: Read this, I pray thee. And the learned shall say: Bring hither the book, and I will read them.  And now, because of the glory of the world and to get gain will they say this, and not for the glory of God.  And the man shall say: I cannot bring the book, for it is sealed.  Then shall the learned say: I cannot read it.  (2 Ne. 27: 15-18)  [This is prophecy fulfilled; the account of its fulfillment is found here.]

Wherefore it shall come to pass, that the Lord God will deliver again the book and the words thereof to him that is not learned; and the man that is not learned shall say: I am not learned.  (2 Ne. 27: 19)  [This is prophecy fulfilled; Joseph Smith is the unlearned man who had the Plates of Mormon and translated them.]

Then shall the Lord God say unto him: The learned shall not read them, for they have rejected them, and I am able to do mine own work; wherefore thou shalt read the words which I shall give unto thee.  (2 Ne. 27: 20)  [This is prophecy fulfilled; Joseph Smith, Jun. translated the Book of Mormon.]

Touch not the things which are sealed, for I will bring them forth in mine own due time; for I will show unto the children of men that I am able to do mine own work.  (2 Ne. 27: 21)  [The first part of this is prophecy fulfilled; the published Book of Mormon did not contain any of the sealed portion.  The second part of this is future prophecy; the sealed portion has yet to come forth.]

Wherefore, when thou hast read the words which I have commanded thee, and obtained the witnesses which I have promised unto thee, then shalt thou seal up the book again, and hide it up unto me, that I may preserve the words which thou hast not read, until I shall see fit in mine own wisdom to reveal all things unto the children of men.  (2 Ne. 27: 22)  [This is prophecy fulfilled; Joseph Smith returned the sealed Plates of Mormon to the angel Moroni after the translation was complete.]

For behold, I am God; and I am a God of miracles; and I will show unto the world that I am the same yesterday, today, and forever; and I work not among the children of men save it be according to their faith.  (2 Ne. 27: 23)

The Second Act

Nephi next fast-forwards his prophecy to the Second Act, when the Lord shall again speak to Joseph Smith, Jun.  An unspecified amount of time has gone by since the First Act opened.  Some of the apostate Christian Gentiles have converted and accepted the Book of Mormon and the seer, Joseph Smith, Jun., and have organized themselves into bona fide churches of God.  The following is a description of the membership of the Gentile church of God at the time the Second Act opens.  This prophecy does not refer to apostate (non-Mormon) Christianity.

And again it shall come to pass that the Lord shall say unto him that shall read the words that shall be delivered him: Forasmuch as this people draw near unto me with their mouth, and with their lips do honor me, but have removed their hearts far from me, and their fear towards me is taught by the precepts of men—therefore, I will proceed to do a marvelous work among this people, yea, a marvelous work and a wonder, for the wisdom of their wise and learned shall perish, and the understanding of their prudent shall be hid.  (2 Ne. 27: 24-26, emphasis mine)  [This is a future prophecy; it has not yet been fulfilled.  The Second Act will begin during a time of lip service worship and the following of men’s counsel among the people of the Lord (the church of God.)]

And wo unto them that seek deep to hide their counsel from the Lord! And their works are in the dark; and they say: Who seeth us, and who knoweth us? And they also say: Surely, your turning of things upside down shall be esteemed as the potter’s clay. But behold, I will show unto them, saith the Lord of Hosts, that I know all their works. For shall the work say of him that made it, he made me not? Or shall the thing framed say of him that framed it, he had no understanding?  (2 Ne. 27: 27)  [The “work made” and “thing framed” referred here is the church of God. In the opening of the Second Act, the Lord is going to “turn things upside down,” which will not sit well with the church.]

But behold, saith the Lord of Hosts: I will show unto the children of men that it is yet a very little while and Lebanon shall be turned into a fruitful field; and the fruitful field shall be esteemed as a forest.  And in that day shall the deaf hear the words of the book, and the eyes of the blind shall see out of obscurity and out of darkness.  And the meek also shall increase, and their joy shall be in the Lord, and the poor among men shall rejoice in the Holy One of Israel.  For assuredly as the Lord liveth they shall see that the terrible one is brought to naught, and the scorner is consumed, and all that watch for iniquity are cut off; and they that make a man an offender for a word, and lay a snare for him that reproveth in the gate, and turn aside the just for a thing of naught.  Therefore, thus saith the Lord, who redeemed Abraham, concerning the house of Jacob: Jacob shall not now be ashamed, neither shall his face now wax pale.  But when he seeth his children, the work of my hands, in the midst of him, they shall sanctify my name, and sanctify the Holy One of Jacob, and shall fear the God of Israel.  They also that erred in spirit shall come to understanding, and they that murmured shall learn doctrine.  (2 Ne. 27: 28-35)  [These are all future prophecies which will be fulfilled during the Second Act.]

Conditions Among the Gentile, Mormon, Restoration Churches When the Second Act Opens

And now, behold, my brethren, I have spoken unto you, according as the Spirit hath constrained me; wherefore, I know that they must surely come to pass.  And the things which shall be written out of the book shall be of great worth unto the children of men, and especially unto our seed, which is a remnant of the house of Israel.  (2 Ne. 28: 1-2)

At this point, from 2 Nephi 28: 3-32, Nephi gives a description of conditions among the membership of the church at the time the Second Act opens.  A common interpretation of these verses by LDS is that they speak of the non-Restoration (apostate Christianity) churches, practices and doctrines among men at the time of the First Vision (opening of the First Act).  Although it is true that there are aspects of these prophecies which were fulfilled during that time by those churches, there are other aspects which do not fit. This means that these are future prophecies that pertain to the Second Act.

List of Conditions

Condition 1: I, I am the Lord’s (2 Ne. 28: 3)

Condition 2: Contention among churches (2 Ne. 28: 4)

Condition 3: Contention among priests (2 Ne. 28: 4)

Condition 4: Teaching with their learning (2 Ne. 28: 4)

Condition 5: Denial of the Holy Ghost – not speaking by the power of the Holy Ghost (2 Ne. 28: 4)

Condition 6: Denial of the power of God – no more miracles or power of God manifested (2 Ne. 28: 5)

Condition 7: Preaching that men have the power of God (2 Ne. 28: 5)

Condition 8: Preaching to disbelieve miracles (2 Ne. 28: 6)

Condition 9: Eat, drink, and be merry, for tomorrow we die (2 Ne. 28: 7)

Condition 10: Eat, drink, and be merry; nevertheless, fear God (2 Ne. 28: 8 )

Condition 11: Teaching false and vain and foolish doctrines (2 Ne. 28: 9)

Condition 12: Puffed up in their hearts (2 Ne. 28: 9)

Condition 13: Seeking to hide their counsels from the Lord (2 Ne. 28: 9)

Condition 14: Their works in the dark (2 Ne. 28: 9)

Notice, in particular, that conditions #13 and #14 are the same mentioned in 2 Ne. 27: 27.  In these verses, the people who are seeking to hide their counsels from the Lord, whose works shall be in the dark are the people of the Lord, meaning the church of God. Remember, nearly the entirety of 2 Ne. 28 is talking about the “churches which are built up, and not unto the Lord,” and not just of general conditions among men.

Condition 15: Blood of the saints cry against them – they are murderers of saints (2 Ne. 28: 10)

In particular, condition #15 did not exist during the time of the First Vision (opening of the First Act.)

Condition 16: Gone out of the way; corrupted – apostasy (2 Ne. 28: 11)

Condition 17: Pride (2 Ne. 28: 12)

Condition 18: False teachers (2 Ne. 28: 12)

Condition 19: False doctrine (2 Ne. 28: 12)

Condition 20: Lifted up, puffed up and corrupted churches (2 Ne. 28: 12)

Condition 21: Rob the poor – take from the poor (2 Ne. 28: 13)

Condition 22: Fine sanctuaries, fine clothing (2 Ne. 28: 13)

Condition 23: Persecute the meek and poor in heart (2 Ne. 28: 13)

Condition 24: Wear stiff necks and high heads (2 Ne. 28: 14)

Condition 25: Wickedness, abominations and whoredoms (2 Ne. 28: 14)

Condition 26: Only a few are humble followers of Christ (2 Ne. 28: 14)

Condition 27: Humble followers of Christ are led by men (2 Ne. 28: 14)

Condition 28: Humble followers of Christ err in many instances (2 Ne. 28: 14)

Condition 29: Humble followers of Christ are taught by precepts of men (2 Ne. 28: 14)

Condition 30: Wise, learned and rich are puffed up (2 Ne. 28: 15)

Condition 31: The just turned aside for a thing of naught (2 Ne. 28: 16)

Condition 32: That which is good reviled against (2 Ne. 28: 16)

Condition 33: That which is good said it is of no worth (2 Ne. 28: 16)

Condition 34: Great and abominable church (2 Ne. 28: 18)

Condition 35: Kingdom of devil (2 Ne. 28: 19)

Condition 36: Anger and rage against that which is good (2 Ne. 28: 20)

Condition 37: Pacified members (2 Ne. 28: 21)

Condition 38: Carnal security (2 Ne. 28: 21)

Condition 39: All is well in Zion; yea, Zion prospereth, all is well (2 Ne. 28: 21, 25)

Surely condition #39 was not fulfilled during the opening of the First Act.

Condition 40: There is no hell; I am no devil, for there is none (2 Ne. 28: 22)

Condition 41: Ease in Zion (2 Ne. 28: 24)

Condition 42: We have received, and we need no more! (2 Ne. 28: 27)

Condition 43: Trembling and angry because of truth of God (2 Ne. 28: 28)

Condition 44: We have received the word of God, and we need no more of the word of God, for we have enough!  (2 Ne. 28: 29)

Okay, at this point let me quote Gold Five of Star Wars and say, “Stay on target.  Stay on target!”  By that I mean keep in mind we are still talking about members of all the Restoration churches, who trace their priesthoods and doctrines back to Joseph Smith, Jun. and the Foundation Movement.  After the First Act with Joseph Smith, Jun. and the Book of Mormon (and other revelations), there is a long period of time that goes by, and then the Second Act begins, again with Joseph Smith, Jun. and again with additional scripture.

So here we find that Nephi is starting to get into the meat of the prophecy, namely, that these Restoration churches who profess (merely lip service) to have accepted the choice seer and the Book of Mormon are now incensed that the Lord is giving them another book of scripture.

For behold, thus saith the Lord God: I will give unto the children of men line upon line, precept upon precept, here a little and there a little; and blessed are those who hearken unto my precepts, and lend an ear unto my counsel, for they shall learn wisdom; for unto him that receiveth I will give more; and from them that shall say, We have enough, from them shall be taken away even that which they have.  (2 Ne. 28: 30)

Condition 45: Putting trust in man, making flesh their arm, hearkening to precepts of men (2 Ne. 28: 31)

Nephi makes it pretty obvious (to me, at least) that when this new scriptural record makes its debut, the leaders of the Restoration churches will denounce it, thus, anyone who puts their trust in these men, hearkening to them, will be accursed.

Wo be unto the Gentiles, saith the Lord God of Hosts! For notwithstanding I shall lengthen out mine arm unto them from day to day, they will deny me; nevertheless, I will be merciful unto them, saith the Lord God, if they will repent and come unto me; for mine arm is lengthened out all the day long, saith the Lord God of Hosts.  (2 Ne. 28: 32)  [The Gentiles referred to in this verse are not the non-Mormon gentiles (apostate Christianity), but are the Mormon Gentiles.  Remember, this entire chapter is speaking of the Restoration churches, which consist of converted Gentiles.]

A Bible!  A Bible!  We have got a Bible, and we don’t want no stinkin’ Brass Plates!

Moving on to 2 Nephi 29

But behold, there shall be many—at that day when I shall proceed to do a marvelous work among them, that I may remember my covenants which I have made unto the children of men, that I may set my hand again the second time to recover my people, which are of the house of Israel; and also, that I may remember the promises which I have made unto thee, Nephi, and also unto thy father, that I would remember your seed; and that the words of your seed should proceed forth out of my mouth unto your seed; and my words shall hiss forth unto the ends of the earth, for a standard unto my people, which are of the house of Israel; and because my words shall hiss forth—many of the Gentiles shall say: A Bible! A Bible! We have got a Bible, and there cannot be any more Bible.  (2 Ne. 29: 1-3)

The “marvelous work” is the Second Act, not the First Act. It is in the Second Act that the Lord sets his “hand again the second time” to recover his people.  The Second Act is also called the Strange Act or Strange Work.  So, Nephi is tipping us off here that we are still talking about the events that occur in the opening of the Second Act.

Notice that the Lord makes a distinction between “the words of your seed” and “my words.”  Notice that “the words of your seed” are to go to “your seed,” whereas “my words” are to “hiss forth unto the ends of the earth” and to be “a standard unto my people, which are of the house of Israel.”  Notice that it is because “my words shall hiss forth,” and not because “the words of your seed” shall hiss forth, that the Gentiles (the Mormon Gentiles, mind you) “shall say: A Bible!  A Bible!  We have got a Bible, and there cannot be any more Bible.”

Consider that Nephi already gave us a description of both the Bible and the Plates of Brass:

And it came to pass that I, Nephi, beheld that they did prosper in the land; and I beheld a book, and it was carried forth among them.

And the angel said unto me: Knowest thou the meaning of the book?

And I said unto him: I know not.

And he said: Behold it proceedeth out of the mouth of a Jew. And I, Nephi, beheld it; and he said unto me: The book that thou beholdest is a record of the Jews, which contains the covenants of the Lord, which he hath made unto the house of Israel; and it also containeth many of the prophecies of the holy prophets; and it is a record like unto the engravings which are upon the plates of brass, save there are not so many; nevertheless, they contain the covenants of the Lord, which he hath made unto the house of Israel; wherefore, they are of great worth unto the Gentiles.  (1 Ne. 13: 20-23, emphasis mine)

The Bible is similar to the Plates of Brass, except that the Plates of Brass have a lot more than what is in the Bible.  This is why when the Mormon Gentiles are presented with the Plates of Brass, they will start screaming, “A Bible!  A Bible!  We have got a Bible, and there cannot be any more Bible.”

Modern LDS typically interpret this passage as referring to the appearance of the Book of Mormon and the reaction of apostate Christianity (non-Mormon Gentiles) to it.  However, the Book of Mormon never fit in these verses, because the Book of Mormon was never presented as a Bible. Although some people have labeled it “the Mormon Bible,” most people understand that it is supplementary material and not meant to replace the Bible.  Not so with the Plates of Brass. The Plates of Brass is a Bible on steroids, containing the prophecies of Joseph as well as the prophets and seers from his line (Ephraim and Manasseh).  The Plates of Brass likely was the scriptural record of the Northern Kingdom (Israel) and is the roots of the Nephite natural branch (see Jacob 5), which is why the Lord will set it up to be a standard to the house of Israel.  It perfectly fits into this prophecy.

I’m going to skip over some of this chapter.  Verses 4-6 are a chastisement by the Lord of the Mormon Gentiles for their ingratitude and lack of charity.  Let’s now look at verses 7 and 8:

Know ye not that there are more nations than one? Know ye not that I, the Lord your God, have created all men, and that I remember those who are upon the isles of the sea; and that I rule in the heavens above and in the earth beneath; and I bring forth my word unto the children of men, yea, even upon all the nations of the earth?

Wherefore murmur ye, because that ye shall receive more of my word? Know ye not that the testimony of two nations is a witness unto you that I am God, that I remember one nation like unto another? Wherefore, I speak the same words unto one nation like unto another. And when the two nations shall run together the testimony of the two nations shall run together also.  (2 Ne. 29: 7-8)

We LDS have become accustomed to interpret the Lord’s use of “two nations” as referring to the Jews and the Nephites.  However, as the text is specifically talking about the Plates of Brass and the reaction of the Mormon Gentiles that they’ve already got a Bible and need no more Bible, these “two nations” are not the Jews and the Nephites, but the Kingdom of Judah and the Kingdom of Israel.  The testimony of the Kingdom of Judah is the Bible, which proceeded forth out of the mouth of a Jew, whereas the testimony of the Kingdom of Israel is the Plates of Brass, which proceeded forth out of the mouth of Joseph and his descendants.  (Remember, Joseph spent time in Egypt and knew Egyptian and the Plates of Brass were written in Egyptian.  These plates, then, likely are Joseph of Egypt’s record, which is why they contain “the prophecies of Joseph.”  See 2 Ne. 4: 1-3.)

Now, let’s skip down some more because once you get it in your head that these chapters are talking of Mormon Gentiles and of the First and Second Acts, and that during the Second Act the Plates of Brass will be revealed, things start to fall into place.  For example,

And it shall come to pass that the Jews shall have the words of the Nephites, and the Nephites shall have the words of the Jews; and the Nephites and the Jews shall have the words of the lost tribes of Israel; and the lost tribes of Israel shall have the words of the Nephites and the Jews.  (2 Ne. 29: 13)

In other words, the Jews get the Book of Mormon, and the Nephites get the Bible; and then the Nephites and the Jews get the Plates of Brass, (which are “the words of the lost tribes of Israel.”)  The Plates of Brass is the next scriptural record to be revealed to the Mormon Gentiles.

Notice also that it doesn’t stop there:

For behold, I shall speak unto the Jews and they shall write it; and I shall also speak unto the Nephites and they shall write it; and I shall also speak unto the other tribes of the house of Israel, which I have led away, and they shall write it; and I shall also speak unto all nations of the earth and they shall write it. (2 Ne. 29: 12)

So, all the nations of the earth have words of the Lord spoken to them and written up in records, and those words will go forth, too.

The deaf/blind/mistaken/murmurers shall hear/see/understand/learn the Book of Mormon…when the Plates of Brass go forth

And in that day shall the deaf hear the words of the book, and the eyes of the blind shall see out of obscurity and out of darkness.  They also that erred in spirit shall come to understanding, and they that murmured shall learn doctrine.  (2 Ne. 27: 29, 35)

Remember those humble followers of Christ among the Mormon Gentiles?  The ones that were led, that erred in many instances, that were taught by the precepts of men?  Well, once the Plates of Brass go forth, the humble followers shall finally understand these and other prophecies of the Book of Mormon and their doctrinal errors will be corrected.  In other words, “the mysteries of God shall be unfolded unto [them,…] which [mysteries] are great and marvelous.”  See D&C 6: 7, 11; also, see D&C 8: 11.  This brings to mind Alma’s prophecy.

Alma’s Prophecy Concerning the Plates of Brass

And now, my son Helaman, I command you that ye take the records which have been entrusted with me; and I also command you that ye keep a record of this people, according as I have done, upon the plates of Nephi, and keep all these things sacred which I have kept, even as I have kept them; for it is for a wise purpose that they are kept.

And these plates of brass, which contain these engravings, which have the records of the holy scriptures upon them, which have the genealogy of our forefathers, even from the beginning—behold, it has been prophesied by our fathers, that they should be kept and handed down from one generation to another, and be kept and preserved by the hand of the Lord until they should go forth unto every nation, kindred, tongue, and people, that they shall know of the mysteries contained thereon.

And now behold, if they are kept they must retain their brightness; yea, and they will retain their brightness; yea, and also shall all the plates which do contain that which is holy writ.

Now ye may suppose that this is foolishness in me; but behold I say unto you, that by small and simple things are great things brought to pass; and small means in many instances doth confound the wise.

And the Lord God doth work by means to bring about his great and eternal purposes; and by very small means the Lord doth confound the wise and bringeth about the salvation of many souls.

And now, it has hitherto been wisdom in God that these things should be preserved; for behold, they have enlarged the memory of this people, yea, and convinced many of the error of their ways, and brought them to the knowledge of their God unto the salvation of their souls.

Yea, I say unto you, were it not for these things that these records do contain, which are on these plates, Ammon and his brethren could not have convinced so many thousands of the Lamanites of the incorrect tradition of their fathers; yea, these records and their words brought them unto repentance; that is, they brought them to the knowledge of the Lord their God, and to rejoice in Jesus Christ their Redeemer.

And who knoweth but what they will be the means of bringing many thousands of them, yea, and also many thousands of our stiffnecked brethren, the Nephites, who are now hardening their hearts in sin and iniquities, to the knowledge of their Redeemer?

Now these mysteries are not yet fully made known unto me; therefore I shall forbear.

And it may suffice if I only say they are preserved for a wise purpose, which purpose is known unto God; for he doth counsel in wisdom over all his works, and his paths are straight, and his course is one eternal round.

O remember, remember, my son Helaman, how strict are the commandments of God. And he said: If ye will keep my commandments ye shall prosper in the land—but if ye keep not his commandments ye shall be cut off from his presence.

And now remember, my son, that God has entrusted you with these things, which are sacred, which he has kept sacred, and also which he will keep and preserve for a wise purpose in him, that he may show forth his power unto future generations.

And now behold, I tell you by the spirit of prophecy, that if ye transgress the commandments of God, behold, these things which are sacred shall be taken away from you by the power of God, and ye shall be delivered up unto Satan, that he may sift you as chaff before the wind.

But if ye keep the commandments of God, and do with these things which are sacred according to that which the Lord doth command you, (for you must appeal unto the Lord for all things whatsoever ye must do with them) behold, no power of earth or hell can take them from you, for God is powerful to the fulfilling of all his words.

For he will fulfil all his promises which he shall make unto you, for he has fulfilled his promises which he has made unto our fathers.

For he promised unto them that he would preserve these things for a wise purpose in him, that he might show forth his power unto future generations.

And now behold, one purpose hath he fulfilled, even to the restoration of many thousands of the Lamanites to the knowledge of the truth; and he hath shown forth his power in them, and he will also still show forth his power in them unto future generations; therefore they shall be preserved.

Therefore I command you, my son Helaman, that ye be diligent in fulfilling all my words, and that ye be diligent in keeping the commandments of God as they are written.  (Alma 37: 1-20, emphasis mine)

As can plainly be seen from this prophecy, the Plates of Brass are indeed slated to go to “every nation, kindred, tongue, and people, that they shall know of the mysteries contained thereon.”  This coincides with the Lord’s words to Nephi that “my words shall hiss forth unto the ends of the earth.”

Joseph’s Prophecy Concerning the Plates of Brass

Lehi spoke of Joseph of Egypt in 2 Nephi chapter 3, saying that “great were the covenants of the Lord which he made unto Joseph.”  One of those covenants was that the Nephite branch was “to be remembered in the covenants of the Lord” and would be brought out of darkness to light and out of captivity to freedom in the latter days, in the spirit of power.  The means by which this would be accomplished would be that one of Joseph’s descendants would be a choice seer that would bring the other descendants of Joseph “to the knowledge of the covenants which [the Lord]” had made with Joseph’s fathers.  This seer was going to receive, in the words of the Lord to Joseph, “power to bring forth my word unto the seed of thy loins.”  (See 2 Ne. 3: 4- 5, 7 and 11.)

Because Joseph Smith, Jun. did translate the Book of Mormon by the gift and power of God, modern LDS typically interpret the words “my word” (verse 11) as being the Book of Mormon.  This, however, cannot be, as shown in the following verse:

Wherefore, the fruit of thy loins shall write; and the fruit of the loins of Judah shall write; and that which shall be written by the fruit of thy loins, and also that which shall be written by the fruit of the loins of Judah, shall grow together, unto the confounding of false doctrines and laying down of contentions, and establishing peace among the fruit of thy loins, and bringing them to the knowledge of their fathers in the latter days, and also to the knowledge of my covenants, saith the Lord.  (2 Ne. 3: 12)

Nearly two hundred years have passed since the publication of the Book of Mormon and still there are false doctrines, contentions and lack of peace among the fruit of the loins of Joseph!  The Book of Mormon does not fulfill this prophecy because the Book of Mormon is not the scriptural record that is being spoken of here.  The Plates of Brass is “that which shall be written by the fruit of thy loins.”  These words then, and this prophecy, is speaking of the Second Act, not the First Act.

Now, Joseph continued on with his prophecy of the Second Act up to and including verse 16.  But he also prophesied of the First Act.

And the Lord said unto me also: I will raise up unto the fruit of thy loins; and I will make for him a spokesman. And I, behold, I will give unto him that he shall write the writing of the fruit of thy loins, unto the fruit of thy loins; and the spokesman of thy loins shall declare it.  And the words which he shall write shall be the words which are expedient in my wisdom should go forth unto the fruit of thy loins. And it shall be as if the fruit of thy loins had cried unto them from the dust; for I know their faith.  And they shall cry from the dust; yea, even repentance unto their brethren, even after many generations have gone by them. And it shall come to pass that their cry shall go, even according to the simpleness of their words.  Because of their faith their words shall proceed forth out of my mouth unto their brethren who are the fruit of thy loins; and the weakness of their words will I make strong in their faith, unto the remembering of my covenant which I made unto thy fathers.  (2 Ne. 3: 18-21, emphasis mine)

Here we are talking about a different record altogether. This writing is also going to be “the writing of the fruit of thy loins,” but this record is to go specifically “unto the fruit of thy loins.”  Notice the Lord never calls these words, “my words.”  Instead He says, “Their words shall proceed forth out of my mouth unto their brethren who are the fruit of thy loins.”  The wording here is similar to the wording in 2 Ne. 29: 2; “the words of your seed should proceed forth out of my mouth unto your seed.”

Conclusion

The tendency of prophets—even those of a book as plain as the Book of Mormon—to jump around the chronology may confuse or obfuscate the real meaning of their prophecies if people fail to recognize the prophetic markers that indicate a different time, a different prophecy.  People who do this will blend the First and Second Acts together and will miss that these prophecies are talking about multiple records coming forth.  Once it is understood that the Plates of Brass are next, the Book of Mormon no longer needs to be used as a prophetic fulfill-all, like the square peg being forced into a round hole.  Prophecy should not be forced.  Either a prophecy is fulfilled every whit exactly as prophesied, or our interpretation is off and needs to be discarded.  Also, by viewing these scriptures in this way, we can better apply the scriptures to ourselves, for, as Gentile Mormons, 2 Ne. 28 talks about us. Prophecy, then, becomes a tool whereby we might determine whether our personal conditions lump us with the many who have gone astray, or with the few, humble followers of Christ who are led and taught by the precepts of men and who err in many instances.  It also allows us to more accurately read the signs of the times and determine the time of the re-appearance of the the Plates of Brass.

Complete List of Articles authored by LDS Anarchist

Seeing Apostasy from Within


“…we know that the people who were in the land of Jerusalem were a righteous people; for they kept the statutes and judgments of the Lord, and all his commandments, according to the law of Moses; wherefore, we know that they are a righteous people…” 1 Nephi 17:22

After nearly a decade of wandering in the desert, Lehi and his family arrived on the seashore and pitched their tents in the land they called Bountiful. Nephi, according to the word of the Lord, began to fashion tools for the construction of a ship. Laman and Lemuel began, once again, to complain citing the above reference regarding the people of Jerusalem. From their view, their friends back home were on the right path. They bemoaned the fact that they could not enjoy their possessions and be happy.

As we stand here centuries later, we can see the big picture. The house of Israel has fallen into disrepair. The people of God had replaced their love and service of God with the pomp and circumstance derived from wealth and pleasure. Apostasy had set in. But to Laman and Lemuel, their easy lifestyle enjoyed in Jerusalem was the standard by which they measured the ‘rightness’ of their living. No admonition from either Lehi or Nephi could sway their sons and brothers from this viewpoint.

Given the difficulty that Laman had in seeing the real picture, how hard would it be for us in this day to see the threads of apostasy in our normal lives? Have we supplanted what the Lord defined for righteousness with our own comfortable standard?

I believe that this movement away from the truth is apostasy and can occur at two levels, organization and personal. The former dealing with the migration of the goals and objectives  promoted by the leadership and the latter expressed in our individual thoughts and actions. Let’s take a look at these two themes.


Corporate Apostasy

Today, we can easily see that the church established by the apostles in the meridian of time moved away from the true principles established by Christ. Let’s look a little more closely at what outward characteristics emerged from this change.

As we look at the Holy Roman Church, we find an entity that expressed itself in the form of magnificent edifices. St. Peter’s Basilica, first commissioned by Constantine, was rebuilt in the 15th century with no equal. While churches dominated the landscape of most cities of the time, none compared to the structure finally completed in the early 1600’s. A considerable amount of wealth was spent in the construction of beautiful buildings, meant to send a message of the power and prestige of the Catholic church.

The need of the church to express itself in terms of its physical environment extended to the surrounding areas of its headquarters in Vatican City. Speaking of the popes of the 14th and 15th century, here is a quote from The Restoration by Wil Durant (page 14):

“They labored to redeem Rome from the ugliness and squalor into which it had fallen while the popes were in Avignon. They drained marshes (by comfortable proxy), paved streets, restored bridges and roads, improved the water supply, established the Vatican Library and the Capitoline Museum, enlarged the hospitals, distributed charity, built or repaired churches, embellished the city with palaces and gardens, reorganized the University of Rome, supported the humanists in resurrecting pagan literature, philosophy, and art, and gave employment to painters, sculptors, and architects whose works are now a treasured heritage of all mankind…perhaps they thought of it as transforming scattered crumbs of evanescent wealth into a lasting splendor for the people and their God.”

The true reverence of God is not expressed in magnificent buildings, gardens, and lavish art. Could this extravagant effort to honor God with the works of man be an outward sign to the apostasy within?

At its height, the Holy Roman Church exerted political influence well beyond the confines of the Vatican. Princes and kings sought out the elite of the church hierarchy to solidify alliances and to position themselves. Leaders of the church traveled not only to Germany and France but to China and India to gain favor with the rulers of these foreign lands. At home and abroad, politics played an integral role in the lives of the popes. Does the ability to influence politics domestically and worldwide serve as a marker of the wayward path?

The practice of indulgences, the idea of reducing the time of a loved one in Purgatory through the purchase of the excess grace of the saints, represented one of the primary methods for creating ongoing cash flow. The donations to the church, then as now, were viewed as ‘fire insurance.’ To spin off an old refrain, money corrupts, and a lot of money corrupts greatly. Such was the Catholic Church in the middle ages. Property bequeathed to the church held the giver higher in the eyes of God, or does it generate a false hope?

Four years before Martin Luther tacked his 95 Theses on the door of the church at Wittenberg, Machiavelli penned the following in his Discourses, iii:

“ Had the religion of Christianity been preserved according to the ordinances of the Founder, the state and the commonwealth of Christendom would have been far more united and happy than they are. … And whoever examines the principles which that religion is founded, and sees how widely different from those principles its present practice and application are, will judge that her ruin or chastisement is near at hand.”

This statement foreshadowed the reformation; an effort to return to the basic principles that were contained in the founding words of apostles. Have we of the LDS church diverged from the original principles upon which the religion was founded? Has the money and power afforded the LDS church over these last decades succeeded in moving us away from the principles contained in the fulness of the gospel? I have found nothing in the scriptures that suggests this generation is immune from apostasy. Are we so blind, as Laman and Lemuel were, to not see what is happening to the corporate church?

In Third Nephi, chapter 27, Christ outlines the criteria for the church to be His. In addition to being called by His Name and tuned to His gospel, He requires that the church ‘show forth the works of the Father’.’ He also warns us that ( verse 11):

If the church “is built upon the works of men, or upon the works of the devil, verily I say unto you they have joy in their works for a season, and by and by the end cometh, and they are hewn down and cast into the fire, from whence there is no return.”

Assuming what I described above, are we taking joy in the works of men? Is the season coming to a close?


Individual Apostasy

Just as there could be markers of apostasy for the corporate entity, there are also similar markers for us as individuals. Apostasy comes from the Greek meaning ‘to stand away,’ and means today that one departs from one’s religion or principles. Subtle apostasy would have us focus our time, talents, and energy on items at ‘appear’ to be important but are really only invalid substitutes for the real thing.

In Matthew 23, we read:

Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven. Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works? And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity.”

Is it possible that we, today, can do many wonderful works, yet be rejected by Christ? I submit that this substitution of works instead of seeking to be known by Christ represents the type of apostasy that threatens us today. Can we assume that attending the temple, doing our home teaching,  fulfilling our callings and all the other various and sundry activities we are called upon to do in the church today can substitute for having a relationship with Christ sufficient to be ‘known’ by Him?

In the times of the Middle Ages, the tradition of visiting relics and defined sacred sites became very important. Martin Luther, himself, tells of his effort to climb the 200+ steps of a holy site on his knees, reciting a prayer on each step in hopes of currying favor with God. Do we exert such an outward effort in hopes that God will recognize our sacrifice? At the same time, do we ignore the fundamental gospel steps of repentance, faith, baptism by water followed by baptism by fire and the Holy Ghost?

As I sat in fast and testimony meeting last week, I was struck by the ‘testimony’ of an older gentleman who talked of his challenges in keeping his business solvent. He described a discussion with his brother where he was told: “I pay my tithing; I have no reason to worry.” Has tithing become simply a modern day equivalent of the Holy Roman Church’s indulgences? Is there an implied promise that if we pay our money to the church we will receive some level of protection? I am not proposing that anyone who pays tithing is in apostasy. My intent is to raise the concern that substituting tithing for the true meaning of the gospel, to bring us to Christ, will not bring us to our intended goal – His kingdom.

Can the LDS Church fail? Yes, if it allows money, politics and power to supplant the ministry of the gospel. Can we as individuals fail? Yes, if we allow the works of men to replace a relationship with Christ.

These are the questions we must answer for ourselves:

Have I received a remission of my sins? See 2 Nephi 31:17-18,

Have I been sanctified? See 3 Nephi 27:20-21

Have I been cleansed by the power of the Holy Ghost that I may be numbered among the people of the Church of Christ? See Moroni 6:1-4

Once we have prepared our hearts then we turn our effort toward our neighbors. Have we accomplished our personal preparation such that we can assist our brothers and sisters with a pure heart? See Mosiah 4:11-30

Are we, as Laman, defining our own criteria for righteousness?

What think ye?

D&C 87, expounded


This is my understanding of this section.

The section heading

Revelation and prophecy on war, given through Joseph Smith the Prophet, December 25, 1832. HC 1: 301–302. This section was received at a time when the brethren were reflecting and reasoning upon African slavery on the American continent and the slavery of the children of men throughout the world.

D&C 87, as currently written

1. Verily, thus saith the Lord concerning the wars that will shortly come to pass, beginning at the rebellion of South Carolina, which will eventually terminate in the death and misery of many souls;

2. And the time will come that war will be poured out upon all nations, beginning at this place.

3. For behold, the Southern States shall be divided against the Northern States, and the Southern States will call on other nations, even the nation of Great Britain, as it is called, and they shall also call upon other nations, in order to defend themselves against other nations; and then war shall be poured out upon all nations.

4. And it shall come to pass, after many days, slaves shall rise up against their masters, who shall be marshaled and disciplined for war.

5. And it shall come to pass also that the remnants who are left of the land will marshal themselves, and shall become exceedingly angry, and shall vex the Gentiles with a sore vexation.

6. And thus, with the sword and by bloodshed the inhabitants of the earth shall mourn; and with famine, and plague, and earthquake, and the thunder of heaven, and the fierce and vivid lightning also, shall the inhabitants of the earth be made to feel the wrath, and indignation, and chastening hand of an Almighty God, until the consumption decreed hath made a full end of all nations;

7. That the cry of the saints, and of the blood of the saints, shall cease to come up into the ears of the Lord of Sabaoth, from the earth, to be avenged of their enemies.

8. Wherefore, stand ye in holy places, and be not moved, until the day of the Lord come; for behold, it cometh quickly, saith the Lord. Amen.  (D&C 87)

In order to expound this prophecy, I will render a plainer translation.

TAV D&C 87; (TAV=The Anarchist Version)

Truly, this is what the Lord says concerning the wars that will shortly come to pass, beginning at the rebellion of South Carolina, which will eventually terminate in the death and misery of many soulsand the time will come that war will be poured out upon all non-Israelite tribes (States), beginning at South Carolina, for see, the Southern States shall be divided against the Northern States, and the Southern States will call on other non-Israelite tribes (States), even the non-Israelite tribe (State) of Great Britain, as it is called, and they shall also call upon other non-Israelite tribes (States), in order to defend themselves against other non-Israelite tribes (States); and then war shall be poured out upon all non-Israelite tribes (States)—and it shall come to pass, after many days, those who are ruled shall violently overthrow their rulers, who shall be marshaled and disciplined for war.

And it shall also come to pass that the Israelite remnants who are left of the land will marshal themselves, and shall become exceedingly angry, and shall vex the non-Israelite tribes (in tribal anarchies) with a sore vexation.

And in this way, with the sword and by bloodshed the inhabitants of the earth shall mourn; and with famine, and plague, and earthquake, and the thunder of heaven, and also the fierce and vivid lightning, shall the inhabitants of the earth be made to feel the wrath, and indignation, and chastening hand of an Almighty God, until the consumption decreed has made a full end of all non-Israelite tribes;  that the cry of the set-apart ones, and of the blood of the set-apart ones, shall cease to come up into the ears of the Lord of Armies, from the earth, to be avenged of their enemies.

Wherefore, stand, all of you, in set-apart places, and do not allow yourselves to be moved, until the day of the Lord come; for see, it comes quickly, says the Lord. Amen.  (TAV D&C 87, changes in italics)

TAV D&C 87, in verses

1. Truly, this is what the Lord says concerning the wars that will shortly come to pass, beginning at the rebellion of South Carolina, which will eventually terminate in the death and misery of many souls

2. and the time will come that war will be poured out upon all non-Israelite tribes (States), beginning at South Carolina, for see, the Southern States shall be divided against the Northern States, and the Southern States will call on other non-Israelite tribes (States), even the non-Israelite tribe (State) of Great Britain, as it is called, and they shall also call upon other non-Israelite tribes (States), in order to defend themselves against other non-Israelite tribes (States); and then war shall be poured out upon all non-Israelite tribes (States)

3. and it shall come to pass, after many days, those who are ruled shall violently overthrow their rulers, who shall be marshaled and disciplined for war.

4. And it shall also come to pass that the Israelite remnants who are left of the land will marshal themselves, and shall become exceedingly angry, and shall vex the non-Israelite tribes (in tribal anarchies) with a sore vexation.

5. And in this way, with the sword and by bloodshed the inhabitants of the earth shall mourn; and with famine, and plague, and earthquake, and the thunder of heaven, and also the fierce and vivid lightning, shall the inhabitants of the earth be made to feel the wrath, and indignation, and chastening hand of an Almighty God, until the consumption decreed has made a full end of all non-Israelite tribes;  that the cry of the set-apart ones, and of the blood of the set-apart ones, shall cease to come up into the ears of the Lord of Armies, from the earth, to be avenged of their enemies.

6. Wherefore, stand, all of you, in set-apart places, and do not allow yourselves to be moved, until the day of the Lord come; for see, it comes quickly, says the Lord. Amen.  (TAV D&C 87, changes in italics)

D&C 87: 1 and TAV D&C 87: 1—The War Between The States

1. Verily, thus saith the Lord concerning the wars that will shortly come to pass, beginning at the rebellion of South Carolina, which will eventually terminate in the death and misery of many souls;  (D&C 87: 1)

1. Truly, this is what the Lord says concerning the wars that will shortly come to pass, beginning at the rebellion of South Carolina, which will eventually terminate in the death and misery of many souls (TAV D&C 87: 1)

This seems to me to be fairly self-explanatory, but taking this single verse alone might confuse the matter.  D&C 87: 1-4 (which is paragraph 1 of TAV D&C 87 or, if you prefer, TAV D&C 87: 1-3) is a complete prophetic thought. Although verse 1 is mentioning The War Between The States (known to Northerners as The Civil War and to some Southerners as The War of Northern Aggression), the whole prophetic message is that The War Between The States is the beginning of the end of all States.  The War Between The States was fought over the rights of man, and more specifically over the right of secession, but only started the struggle that would ultimately end in tribal anarchy (freedom) for humanity in D&C 87: 4. (See Abraham Lincoln for more information about The War Between The States.)

D&C 87: 2 and TAV D&C 87: 2 — The War Between The States Begins

2. And the time will come that war will be poured out upon all nations, beginning at this place. (D&C 87: 2)

2. and the time will come that war will be poured out upon all non-Israelite tribes (States), beginning at South Carolina, (TAV D&C 87: 2)

“nations” — The words “nations” and “Gentiles” are synonymous to the prophetic mind.  Originally, the word “Gentiles” simply meant “nations,” regardless of which one, but later it referred only to non-Israelite nations.  To the ancients, though, a “nation” wasn’t the modern State we think of.  Nations were tribes.  The prophets of all ages, who have prophesied of the Gentiles, have always referred to non-Israelite tribes.  Joseph, however, being both a true prophet of God who understood the ancient use of the terms, and a citizen of a modern State who understood the modern use of the terms, choose his words carefully, when using “nation” and “Gentile” in this prophecy, to key us in as to what this prophecy was talking about.  “Nations,” therefore, in this verse is referring to non-Israelite tribes that are established (or tied to the land) under (or by) State governments.

“this place” — The place being referred to is the place mentioned in verse 1, namely, South Carolina.  The Prophet is associating South Carolina with the nations that would have war poured out upon them, because, to the prophetic mind, South Carolina is a nation. In other words, the State of South Carolina is really a non-Israelite tribe established (meaning they are land-owners, or tied to the land, which is why they are also known as a place) as a State government.  The Prophet could have worded it as follows and it would have retained the same meaning:

“and the time will come that war will be poured out upon all nations, beginning at the nation of South Carolina

D&C 87: 3 and TAV D&C 87: 2—The War Between The States Morphs into World Wars Between The States

3. For behold, the Southern States shall be divided against the Northern States, and the Southern States will call on other nations, even the nation of Great Britain, as it is called, and they shall also call upon other nations, in order to defend themselves against other nations; and then war shall be poured out upon all nations. (D&C 87: 3)

2. for see, the Southern States shall be divided against the Northern States, and the Southern States will call on other non-Israelite tribes (States), even the non-Israelite tribe (State) of Great Britain, as it is called, and they shall also call upon other non-Israelite tribes (States), in order to defend themselves against other non-Israelite tribes (States); and then war shall be poured out upon all non-Israelite tribes (States) (TAV D&C 87: 2)

“nations” — Like the previous verse, all uses of the word “nation” or “nations” here are referring to State governments, meaning non-Israelite tribes established (as landowners) under State governments.

“war shall be poured out upon all nations” — Eventually, all these State governments will be fighting amongst themselves.  In other words, this is World War but still among the States.  To be clearer still, all of this is but an extension of The War Between The States, as the World Wars will still be Wars Between States.

D&C 87: 4 and TAV D&C 87: 3—The End of the States and Beginning of Tribal Anarchy

4. And it shall come to pass, after many days, slaves shall rise up against their masters, who shall be marshaled and disciplined for war. (D&C 87: 4)

3. and it shall come to pass, after many days, those who are ruled shall violently overthrow their rulers, who shall be marshaled and disciplined for war. (TAV D&C 87: 3)

“slaves” — This refers to those who are ruled in the States.

“rise up against” — Although the prophecy only states that the slaves will openly oppose the masters, as in armed conflict, my understanding is that the slaves, which vastly outnumber the masters, will defeat them, therefore I have rendered this saying as “violently overthrow,” to indicate the result of this revolution.

“masters” — This refers to those who rule the States.

“who shall be marshaled and disciplined for war” — The armies of the States will be overcome by the people themselves and these many (oppressive) State governments and military dictatorships will topple, bringing about a new world order of tribal anarchies.

D&C 87: 5 and TAV D&C 87: 4—The Indians Get Their Revenge

5. And it shall come to pass also that the remnants who are left of the land will marshal themselves, and shall become exceedingly angry, and shall vex the Gentiles with a sore vexation. (D&C 87: 5)

4. And it shall also come to pass that the Israelite remnants who are left of the land will marshal themselves, and shall become exceedingly angry, and shall vex the non-Israelite tribes (in tribal anarchies) with a sore vexation.  (TAV D&C 87: 4)

“remnants” — This refers to the descendants of the Nephite/Lamanite civilizations.

“shall become exceedingly angry” — The Gentiles, now living in tribal anarchy, are going to do something so exceedingly bad to the Indians, that the Indians will be fairly berserk with anger towards them.

“shall vex” — Once the non-Israelite tribes destroy the States which held them captive, they will no longer have the protection afforded them by the military might of the State.   As a result, when the Indians decide to repay them for the wrongs done to them by the white man, wrongs committed both in the present and the past, the Gentiles will fall before them.  This verse speaks of the same event recorded in 3 Nephi 21:  12-13.

“the Gentiles” — The phrase “the Gentiles” is synonymous with “the nations,” but Joseph used Gentiles here instead of “nations” to indicate that the Gentiles would be in tribal anarchies when this part of the prophecy was fulfilled.  Joseph walked a fine line between what the modern man understood and what the ancient man understood by the terms “Gentiles” and “nations” and the wording is, I believe, sufficiently clear, but I’ve rendered it plainer still.

D&C 87: 6 and TAV D&C 87: 5—The End of the Gentile Tribes

6. And thus, with the sword and by bloodshed the inhabitants of the earth shall mourn; and with famine, and plague, and earthquake, and the thunder of heaven, and the fierce and vivid lightning also, shall the inhabitants of the earth be made to feel the wrath, and indignation, and chastening hand of an Almighty God, until the consumption decreed hath made a full end of all nations; (D&C 87: 6)

5. And in this way, with the sword and by bloodshed the inhabitants of the earth shall mourn; and with famine, and plague, and earthquake, and the thunder of heaven, and also the fierce and vivid lightning, shall the inhabitants of the earth be made to feel the wrath, and indignation, and chastening hand of an Almighty God, until the consumption decreed has made a full end of all non-Israelite tribes;  (TAV D&C 87: 5)

“sword…bloodshed” — Although there will be bloodshed on both sides, Gentiles killing Israelites, Israelites killing Gentiles, the lion’s share of bloodshed will be Gentiles killing Gentiles.  These wicked tribes will kill each other off.  This will be one of the ways that the Lord will use to protect his people from destruction.

“famine” — There will be famine caused by man, and also famine caused by God (the hailstorms.)

“plague” — There will be plague caused by man, and also plague (the scourge) caused by God.

“earthquake…thunder…lightning” — With plasma discharges, both planetary and interplanetary, the Lord will first chasten the Gentiles, to perhaps cause some to repent, and then destroy them off the face of the earth.

“wrath” — The Lord’s wrath will be kindled against the wicked, unrepentant Gentiles because they fight against and seek the destruction of his people.

“indignation” — The Lord will be indignant because the Gentiles will refuse to repent and accept the sacrifice of God’s Only Begotten Son, making a mockery of God’s plan to save them.  Despite the mighty words of God brought forth to the Gentiles in the new records, the wicked Gentiles will reject them.

“chastening” — In spite of their obstinancy, the Lord will do all things he can to get them to repent, until he can no longer stay his hand and must return to Earth at the appointed time, meaning that those who are not in the proper (safe) places, and in the proper spiritual state, will be burnt up at the brightness of his coming.

“consumption decreed” — This is talking about the Second Coming, which will consume many people.

“nations” — This refers to the non-Israelite tribes who refuse to repent and gather to Zion.  Those that repent will be numbered with the tribes of Israel.  You could substitute the word “Gentiles” here so that it reads, “a full end of all Gentiles.”  It means the same thing.  Joseph probably chose the word “nations” instead of Gentiles because it sounds pretty harsh that the Gentiles will be consumed.  But, the meaning is not that the Gentiles will be destroyed, but that all unrepentant people will be destroyed, while all repentant people will live.  The unrepentant are not numbered with the house of Israel, and in fact, they fight the house of Israel and Zion, therefore these people are Gentiles; while the repentant people become Israelites and thus cease to be Gentiles.

Again, it sounds harsh, this repent or die doctrine, but that is only because we do not, yet, have the full Nephite record, which will cause a great division among the people.  When that record is revealed, no man will be left without excuse.  They will either reject the Lord openly, calling the Sun at noonday darkness, or accept Him with full purpose of heart.  There will be no middle ground.  It will polarize everyone.

D&C 87: 7 and TAV D&C 87: 5—The Reason the Gentiles will be Destroyed

7. That the cry of the saints, and of the blood of the saints, shall cease to come up into the ears of the Lord of Sabaoth, from the earth, to be avenged of their enemies. (D&C 87: 7)

5. that the cry of the set-apart ones, and of the blood of the set-apart ones, shall cease to come up into the ears of the Lord of Armies, from the earth, to be avenged of their enemies.  (TAV D&C 87: 5)

“saint” — The term “saint” signifies one who is set apart for a sacred purpose.  The term “holy” also means the same thing.

“cry…blood” — The Gentiles, living in tribal anarchy after the end of their State governments, and after the Nephite record is revealed, who reject the message, shall fight against the people of the Lord, spilling their blood and causing the people to call upon the Lord for vengeance.  This is the reason why they are destroyed.  Had they merely left Zion alone, the Lord would have left them alone.  But as the Nephite record will be polarizing in its effect, those who reject it will desire and seek the destruction of those who accept it, necessitating the intervention of the Lord of Armies.

“Lord of Sabaoth” — This is a title of Jehovah that means Lord of Hosts, hosts meaning armies, as in both the armies of Israel and the angelic armies of heaven.  The Lord, acting as the Lord of Armies, will utilize both the mortal Israelite armies to afflict the unrepentant Gentiles, as well as the angelic armies of heaven, in the last days.  (See 3 Nephi 20: 16-17 for the work the angelic armies will do.)

D&C 87: 8 and TAV D&C 87: 6—Establishment of Zion and Her Stakes is Our Only Hope

8. Wherefore, stand ye in holy places, and be not moved, until the day of the Lord come; for behold, it cometh quickly, saith the Lord. Amen. (D&C 87: 8)

6. Wherefore, stand, all of you, in set-apart places, and do not allow yourselves to be moved, until the day of the Lord come; for see, it comes quickly, says the Lord. Amen.  (TAV D&C 87: 6)

“holy places” — This is referring to Zion and her stakes, which are places set apart for sacred purposes.  Temples also fall into this category, as temples are at the heart of any stake of Zion.

“be not moved” — This is the same as saying, “become established” or “fixed.”  It is referring to land ownership.  It is referring to the gathering of Israel and the restoration of them to the lands of their inheritance.

Okay, I think that I’ve expounded enough for today.

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“And Thus They Did Obtain the Sole Management of the Government”


Thanks goes out to dark_matter, who made a comment that inspired me to expound upon this principle.

The title of this post comes from Helaman 6: 39, speaking of the Gadianton robbers.  The full scripture reads this way:

And it came to pass that the Lamanites did hunt the band of robbers of Gadianton; and they did preach the word of God among the more wicked part of them, insomuch that this band of robbers was utterly destroyed from among the Lamanites.  And it came to pass on the other hand, that the Nephites did build them up and support them, beginning at the more wicked part of them, until they had overspread all the land of the Nephites, and had seduced the more part of the righteous until they had come down to believe in their works and partake of their spoils, and to join with them in their secret murders and combinations.  And thus they did obtain the sole management of the government, insomuch that they did trample under their feet and smite and rend and turn their backs upon the poor and the meek, and the humble followers of God.  And thus we see that they were in an awful state, and ripening for an everlasting destruction.  (Helaman 6: 37-40)

I wonder, does anyone still doubt that we are in the same situation?

Documenting the Most Abominable of the Secret Combinations

Here I present some non-LDS researchers who are documenting in minute detail the main secret combination, the one which Moroni referred to as seeking “to overthrow the freedom of all lands, nations, and countries”.  (See Ether 8: 25.)  These men and organizations have been doing our work for us and we LDS have largely been ignoring and mocking their findings and conclusions:

Cutting Through the Matrix with Alan Watt – Clearing the rubbish from the road to reality

– suggested by what4anarchy

Bob Chapman’s The International Forecaster

– suggested by PallasAthena

Alex Jones’ Prison Planet – The truth will set you free!

– suggested by a lot of people

To be fair, not all LDS are turning a blind eye to the secret combination:

LDSFreemen.com

LatterdayConservative.com

– recommended by no one (I just stumbled upon them)

There are also a lot of 911 truth sites that point to the existence of a secret combination among us.  For example:

911 Truth Seekers

In addition to the above, there are many other web sites and researchers who are documenting the plans, words, actions and membership of the chief secret combination, both its supporting organizations as well as its main players (the ones actually calling the shots).  But the above web sites should be sufficient to get an idea of what is really going on and who is really in control of our government.

September 2008 Was Our Wake-up Call

Moroni’s warning to us about the multinational secret combination in Ether 8 prophesied that there would come a time “when ye shall see these things come among you” (Ether 8: 24.)  September 2008 was the time when everyone, the world over, finally and plainly saw the handiwork of the secret combination.  It was our wake-up call.  That call is also accompanied with a commandment from the Lord to wake up:

Wherefore, the Lord commandeth you, when ye shall see these things come among you that ye shall awake to a sense of your awful situation, because of this secret combination which shall be among you; or wo be unto it, because of the blood of them who have been slain; for they cry from the dust for vengeance upon it, and also upon those who built it up. (Ether 8: 24)

The Secret Combination and Those Who Build It Up

I think it is safe to say that most LDS are not a part of the secret combination.  (At least, I hope not.)  But do we build it up? If you say, “No,” then I ask you, How is it even possible to build up the secret combination?  What is the chief means used by secret combinations to obtain power and authority over men? There is only one scriptural answer to these questions.  It is government.

The Secret Combinations of the World Gravitate to Government

Government control is always what they seek, from the lowliest, local, organized crime gang to the largest multinational combinations.  They want to rule and only government provides them the means to lord it over the people through the use of force.

This is why the first Nephite secret combination, started by Gadianton and Kishkumen had, as its goal, to elect Gadianton to the judgment seat so that he could cause the members of the gang to also have government jobs.  Here are Mormon’s exact words describing Gadianton’s plan:

“If they would place him [Gadianton] in the judgment-seat he would grant unto those who belonged to his band that they should be placed in power and authority among the people” (Helaman 2: 5.)

Gadianton Profiled

Some years ago, I started to write a script for a movie called, The Sons of Helaman, based upon the Book of Helaman.  The script was going to tell the story of the Gadianton robbers and so I had to develop the character of the first robber.  Here was my description of him (not a direct quote from the script, which I no longer have in my possession)  :

Gadianton wasn’t some two-bit thug, such as a local mugger or gang-member, he was an illustrious man of the community, a self-made man of means, a prominent businessman, having utilized the capitalistic system to further his wealth and influence upon the people to the point where he could no longer make the profits he wanted to make and do the things he wanted to do because of government interference. Honest people in government stood in his way to making more money and getting more power and control.  He was a well-known and influential citizen that felt that the amount of money you made and the amount of education you had (he was “exceedingly expert in many words”) ought to determine who ruled and who did not, not the voice of the people. It wasn’t enough that he owned a lot and influenced many, he needed to own everything and influence (rule) all things.

Some in government could be bought, while others (like Pahoran and Helaman) could not.  So, the plan was to put Gadianton directly in government instead of going through front-men or puppets.

Kishkumen and his gang assassinated Pahoran so that Gadianton would be put in power.  This means that they fully expected to get him into office after the assassination, indicating that Gadianton was a viable and visible candidate for the judgment-seat.  Helaman, though, was voted in by the voice of the people (and not Gadianton), and then he (Helaman), too, was targeted for assassination, with the thought that this would finally get Gadianton in.  So, the profile painted by the scriptures is that Gadianton was popularly known, had campaigned for the highest government office in the land, possibly already held a governmental office, was a man of means and influence, was highly educated and was not just some thug or assassin.  In other words, Gadianton was a member of the Nephite elite, or at least thought of himself this way.  The other robbers also were elites as they thought they had sufficient influence over the people to get Gadianton elected.

Additionally, the plan of Gadianton wasn’t his own.  This strategy—which consisted of infiltrating the government by a shadow government that has its own “citizens”, secret laws, trials, code words, covenants, oaths, signs and wonders (see Alma 37: 27) by which to recognize a brethren of the order, and then, once members obtain positions of power and authority, they use their influence to grant other members government jobs until they can use the combined influence to change the government into one that more closely matches the shadow government they belong to, essentially establishing a monarchy—was directly revealed to Gadianton from Satan himself.  (See Hel. 6: 26-29.)  So, this secret plan and strategy is the master blueprint that all secret combinations rely upon, including that most abominable one that is among us now.

Gadianton, then, became the Master Mahan of the Western Continent, when Satan likely appeared to him as an angel of light and revealed to him the ancient plans of how to obtain “kingdoms and great glory” (Ether 8: 9).  Kishkumen and his band adopted the plans of Gadianton when it became apparent that these were the real (satanic) deal, the actual blueprint from the black soul of the devil himself.

So, while Shiblon was conferring the sacred records upon his nephew Helaman (in Alma 63), Satan was conferring the cursed plans upon Gadianton.  Nevertheless, although blackhearted, in all outward appearances Gadianton was still the upright and “moral” citizen, after all, he was blessed materially so he must have been blessed by the Lord, right?  (The pure doctrine of “If ye keep the commandments of the Lord, ye shall prosper in the land” was perverted into the satanic doctrine of “If ye are prosperous in the land, it shows that ye do keep the commandments of the Lord.”  To this very day, all robbers use the riches = righteousness defense.)

The Gadianton Robbers Were all Elites, as Is the Present Combination

Every Gadianton robber thought that it was his right to rule (and to literally own) the people and their lands and property and this is consistently shown from the time of Gadianton to the end of the Nephite civilization.  Their means of rule was always the government and consistently their tactics were to infiltrate the judgment-seats with their own members and work to consolidate all governmental power into an executive branch, to eventually appoint a king.

Although Anthony E. Larson’s Nephite-American harbinger theory (see parts 1, 2, 3 & 4) explains that the Gadianton robbers paralleled Islamic terrorist cells and organizations in our own day, the Nephite combination only used these gorilla tactics when they were forced from their government positions of power and from the community itself.  While they still resided among the people, they infiltrated and sought to control, not fight, the government and to change it from within.  The Islamic terrorists do not work this way.

The Gadianton robbers are the pattern for the secret combination in our day.  The combination we have among us is comprised of elites.  They come from families of power, prestige, wealth, education, influence, fame, etc.  They feel, like the ancient Gadiantons, that they were born to rule and they use government as a means to that end.

The modus operandi and goal is always the same.  Compare, for example, Giddianhi’s words (threats) with President Bush’s words (threats) concerning the need for a 700 billion dollar robbery, er, bailout:

And behold, I am Giddianhi; and I am the governor of this the secret society of Gadianton; which society and the works thereof I know to be good; and they are of ancient date and they have been handed down unto us.  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” (3 Ne. 3: 9-11.)

And now for President Bush.

How We Build Up the Secret Combination

Just as the ancient robbers sought to consolidate governmental power into one executive branch, so the current combination seeks to do the same.  Every law or action taken by the Congress, by the President or by the Justices that builds up executive power and reduces the power of the legislative and judicial branches, and/or reduces (or eliminates) the checks of power put into the government by the Constitution, builds up the secret combination.

Below the level of the Federal government, all robbers and their accomplices in State, county and city governments have the dual job of consolidating power into the executive branches of these governments, with the intention of eventually handing over the reigns to the Federal handlers.  Thus, we see robbers on all levels performing their secret work of destruction as they intentionally destroy their local economies and stall budget deals (sound familiar California?), so that local governments will need federal bailouts, becoming federalized (or nationalized) and consolidating power into one central location.  With their mouths they speak lies, saying they are working to save us, while in reality they work to destroy and enslave us.

This work of destruction of liberty has gone on since the beginning, but as time goes on it becomes more pronounced due to greater numbers of robbers (and their accomplices) and more infiltration of all levels of government.  Eventually, they reach the point where they in fact do obtain the sole management of the government.  It is then that they rape, pillage, murder and rob the people with impunity and in full view.  We are at that point now.

As the secret combination has been in government since the publication of the Book of Mormon, and as it uses government to accomplish its goals, if you have supported or voted for anyone at all in government who has concentrated power and authority in the hands of the President (or any of the executive branches), or you have supported or voted for any measure, proposition, law or policy that does the same thing, you have built up the secret combination. Whether it was done knowingly or unknowingly, directly or indirectly, the effect is the same.

The Hands of the LDS and of the People of this Nation are NOT Clean

If you are like most LDS, you have probably voted for people or issues that have concentrated governmental power into the hands of the secret combination.  You may think Moroni’s prophecy of vengeance “upon those who built [the secret combination] up” (Ether 8: 24) doesn’t apply to you, because you did not do it intentionally to build it up, but the Lord at the last day will show you that it does.  (This brings to mind the saying, “The road to hell is paved with good intentions.”)  We are an unclean people and have largely sought to build up power bases and authority instead of seeking, like Moroni, to pull them down.

Repentance is Our Only Option

I believe the literal and complete and final fulfillment of the following prophecy is about to burst upon us:

Wherefore, I the Lord, knowing the calamity which should come upon the inhabitants of the earth, called upon my servant Joseph Smith, Jun., and spake unto him from heaven, and gave him commandments;  and also gave commandments to others, that they should proclaim these things unto the world; and all this that it might be fulfilled, which was written by the prophets—the weak things of the world shall come forth and break down the mighty and strong ones, that man should not counsel his fellow man, neither trust in the arm of flesh—but that every man might speak in the name of God the Lord, even the Savior of the world; that faith also might increase in the earth; that mine everlasting covenant might be established; that the fulness of my gospel might be proclaimed by the weak and the simple unto the ends of the world, and before kings and rulers. (D&C 1: 17-23)

Moroni has given us the solution to this major problem on our hands: “Repent of your sins, and suffer not that these murderous combinations shall get above you.”  If we do not follow this counsel, the penalty is destruction, for the weak are about to break down (destroy) the strong.  Destruction will be upon the secret combination (for the Lord will not allow it to accomplish its goal in this nation) and also upon all those who built or who are building it up.

Next Secret Combinations article: Opening old wounds

Previous Secret Combinations article: Is the topic of “secret combinations” taboo in the LDS church?

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What if…the Lord brought the Prophet Joseph Smith back from the dead to lead the church?


What If…?

Back when I was still collecting Marvel Comics (around 1984), there was a series called “What If…”  The What If entry of Wikipedia describes it this way:

What If, sometimes rendered as What If…?, is the title of several comic book series published by Marvel Comics, exploring “the road not traveled” by its various characters. Events in the series are considered separate from mainstream continuity in the Marvel Universe…  Some storylines involved individual characters choosing to take (or not to take) a particular action, when in “reality” they had made precisely the opposite decision. For example, a Captain America storyline published circa 1980 saw the hero being offered the opportunity to run for President of the United States as a third-party candidate. In the end, he declined the invitation. Nevertheless, issue #26 of What If (“What if Captain America became President?“) showed him accepting the nomination, and ultimately winning the 1980 Presidential Election.

This post is in the same vein as that series.

OWIW’s theory

One Who Is Watching (OWIW), one of the contributors of this blog, has written many articles on the possibility and scriptural evidence that Joseph will be returning from the dead to initiate the Third Watch.  (I don’t know if OWIW is the originator of this theory, but we’ll just say he is.)  Anyone can go to his own website to review the scriptural proofs he presents.

As I’ve considered the facts of the matter, and the circumstances we find ourselves in, I’ve come to the conclusion that there is a very real possibility that Joseph may indeed be coming back.  And soon.  Real soon.

I present here six reasons why I consider this a possibility.  The first reason is based on the scriptures.  The latter reasons are based upon the revelations I have personally received from the Holy Ghost.

Reason #1: The Unfulfilled Prophecies Concerning Joseph

If you search the scriptures and start to list all of the prophecies of what Joseph was supposed to do, it becomes apparent that not everything was fulfilled.

For example, consider the prophecy of Joseph’s name being “had for good and evil among all nations, kindreds, and tongues, or that it should be both good and evil spoken of among all people” (JS-H 1: 33.)  This prophecy indicates that there was to be no middle ground.  Either you would love him or you would hate him and this was to be systemic throughout the world, meaning that his fame (or infamy, in the case of those who hate him) would be worldwide.  Everyone would know of Joseph Smith, Jr.

However, the plain fact is that today Joseph’s fame is very limited.  Everyone has heard of Miley Cyrus, but not everyone has heard of Joseph Smith.  And of those who have heard of him, not everyone has  established a good or bad opinion of him.  Some are still out to lunch about him or just don’t care  either way.

However, for Moroni’s words to be fulfilled, Joseph Smith must do something so polarizing that the entire world both knows of him and takes a side either for or against him.  His fame would have to approach that of Moses, or, as the scriptures say, he would be have to be “like unto Moses.”  (See D&C 28: 2; 103: 16; and 107: 91.)  Such is presently not the case.  In fact, President Bush, in the short span of eight years, has beaten Joseph Smith, Jun., in both numbers of people who have heard his name and know of his deeds, as well as in terms of polarization.  This prophecy, therefore, remains unfulfilled.

I am not really okay with unfulfilled prophecies, after all, look at the following statement by the Lord:

Search these commandments, for they are true and faithful, and the prophecies and promises which are in them shall all be fulfilled.  What I the Lord have spoken, I have spoken, and I excuse not myself; and though the heavens and the earth pass away, my word shall not pass away, but shall all be fulfilled, whether by mine own voice or by the voice of my servants, it is the same.  For behold, and lo, the Lord is God, and the Spirit beareth record, and the record is true, and the truth abideth forever and ever. Amen.  (D&C 1: 37-39)

My own experience with prophecies (prophecies that the Spirit has given me to speak) shows that unconditional prophecy is always fulfilled, while conditional prophecy is always fulfilled if the conditions are met.  Nevertheless, my experience also shows that it is always done in the Lord’s time.

Past, Present and Future

As the scriptures indicate that all things are before the Lord, both past, present and future, when He speaks a prophecy concerning a set of circumstances and the present has that exact set of circumstances, the prophecy still may not be referring to the present. It may, in fact, be referring chiefly to a future event in which the same set of circumstances will exist and have only minimal application to the present.

The people, then, in the present—who hear the prophecy first pronounced and look around seeing the circumstances described therein, not being the Lord and not seeing the future—naturally think the Lord is talking about now (the present) and not the future.  They wait to see the fulfillment of the prophecy, but the circumstances leave and the prophecy remains unfulfilled. Or does it?

Of course, we know from scriptural experience that the same set of circumstances, or an even more precise set of circumstances, that perfectly fits the prophecy, eventually presents itself and the prophecy fulfills itself every whit.  But before that, everyone’s faith is tested. Those who never stopped believing get vindicated, while those who doubted get astonished.

Prophecy works this way because the Lord sees everything and can talk about the past, present and future as if it were all one big present.  Everything to the Lord, therefore, is “nigh at hand” and he can (and often does) jump around the time line in a non-linear fashion while speaking.  In this way, prophecy can serve to both try (test) the faith of, as well as to generate faith in, the hearer.  And so, often there is a delay to fulfillment.

Therefore, concerning the “unfulfilled” prophecies about Joseph, it is a safe bet that everything spoken about him will be fulfilled as it was spoken. However, in order for that to happen, Joseph would have to come back from the dead.

Trans-mortal ministries and bringing the dead to life

There is scriptural precedent for trans-mortal ministries, meaning ministries that go beyond mortality.  Moses led the Israelites, but then came back at least a couple of times.  Moroni came back, Elijah came back, John the Baptist came back, and Peter, James and John also came back.  And there may be a great number of other prophets who also continued their ministry “in the flesh” after they died.

Additionally, there is scriptural precedent for bringing back the dead and restoring them to a mortal body.  I am not referring to the Resurrection, which makes us immortal, but to taking a dead man’s spirit and returning it to his body so that he lives a second, mortal life.  Lazarus experienced this.  Timothy (Nephi’s brother) experienced this.  In our own age there have been many reported “near-death” or “out-of-body” experiences that are claimed.  So, we know that bringing back Joseph and restoring him to a mortal frame is within the gospel context.  If brought back, he would then be able to fulfill all those prophecies that were spoken about him.

Reason # 2: The Joseph Smith Daguerreotype

Back in 2001, when I first discovered the Joseph Smith Daguerreotype, the Spirit indicated to me that I was working at that job specifically to find that dag.  There were only two significant things that occurred during my three months working there: the Twin Towers fell and I saw what I thought (and still continue to think) was a daguerreotype of Joseph Smith in a museum exhibition book.  Despite the impact of 911, due to the revelation the Spirit had given me concerning my purpose at that location, I thought the discovery of the daguerreotype was the more significant occurrence.

After no one paid attention to my find back then, I wondered why the Lord thought it so important to lead me to that discovery.  My understanding was that I was shown that image because I would recognize it as the Prophet and then would get the word out, showing it to others.  But I wondered, why was it important that people have a good image of the Prophet (if indeed it was the Prophet), after all, he’s dead and gone and who cares what he looked like?  The only conclusion I could come to back then was that we needed to know what he looked like so that we could recognize him when he came back.

However, it wasn’t until nearly seven years later, on this blog, that I was able to finally show the image to the world.  Again, I thought, why it is important that the image be shown now?  A possible answer in all this is that now is, or soon will be, the time that Joseph is coming back.

This doesn’t necessarily mean that the daguerreotype is a real image of the Prophet.  The Holy Ghost has never revealed its origins to me.  (I suppose that I could ask God and get an answer for myself, but I haven’t done that, yet.)  What is important is that the Holy Ghost did direct me to find it, which brings up the questions as to why it is important to be able to recognize the image of Joseph and specifically, why we LDS ought to be able to recognize him now, leading to the aforementioned possible reason (Joseph’s return from the dead.)

Reason #3: The Break-up of the Government

From time to time on this blog I have told some of the revelations I have received from the Holy Ghost.  For example, back in April of this year, I published some whisperings I had received concerning the economic problems we currently find ourselves in.  (See the second comment of that post, too.)  I believe I have also published on this blog before (perhaps several times) that the U.S. government would be broken up and we would be brought into tribal anarchy.  I might have expressed myself about this subject as just issuing an opinion.  Since then, however, the Spirit has confirmed the fact.

However, this begs the questions, “What is the established pattern of the Lord for destruction upon a people and nation?  Does not He first warn them by sending prophets to them?”

So, the imminent break-up of the government could signal the imminent return of Joseph, in which he fulfills his prophetic duty of warning the wicked of our corrupt government one last time before its destruction, leaving them without excuse.

Reason #4: The Break-up of the Church

I have written before on this blog that I believe the church will be broken up and cleansed.  (See The Root Cause of the Current Financial (Monetary) Crisis and Its Solution and The dissolution of the corporate LDS Church via “gay marriage”, for example.)  This belief is based upon revelation given me of the Spirit.  (See, for example, this comment.)  I had always assumed that the Lord would clean His church in one of three scenarios, but the unannounced return of Joseph Smith would also be sufficient to break-up the church.

Reason #5: A “New Variable” from the Lord

The Spirit has indicated to me that there will be a “new variable” from the Lord that will present itself.  (See my comments on this other blog.)  All I know about this new variable is that it will initiate the church cleansing and start the process of the redemption of Zion.

There is no better way to cleanse the church from top to bottom, both member and priest, than to have Joseph return unannounced to set in order the church.  And we all know that if anyone can redeem Zion, he can.

Reason #6: Joseph Fits the Bill

Prior to the election, I met with what4anarchy and told him of these prophecies.  I explained to him that I didn’t understand how this was all going to fit because my understanding was that the church must be broken up first, before the government gets broken up.  I didn’t understand how this was to happen, as the Spirit hadn’t revealed it to me, He had only told me that it would happen. We discussed Prop 8 and my other scenarios for the cleansing and break-up of the church, but none of these seemed to fit this particular time, as the Spirit was indicating that the break-up was imminent.

However, the return of Joseph Smith does fit.

I realize that OWIW’s time line is from April 2008 to April 2009.  That is the time frame he gives for the Third Watch to begin and Joseph (and others) to return.  Personally, for the prophecies of the scriptures to be fulfilled at this time (and also the prophecies I’ve received), I’d put it more between now and the swearing in of Barack Obama as the President of the United States, i.e., from today (this post was written on December 19-21, 2008 ) to January 20, 2009.  And if I had to pick a day for Joseph to return, I’d say he’d return to life on December 23rd, his birthday.  (Btw, Happy 203rd Birthday, Joseph!)

The Proclamation

The reason for this time frame?  D&C 124: 1-14.  The proclamation that Joseph was supposed to write to the “honorable president-elect” (which never was written) must be written and delivered while there is actually a president-elect.  (Contrary to the section’s verse summary, which reads, “Joseph Smith is commanded to make a solemn proclamation of the gospel to the president of the United States, the governors, and the rulers of all nations“, the revelation itself never says that the proclamation was to go to the president, but to the “honorable president-elect”.)  The words of the revelation show that the Lord was looking at a future time, in which would be similar circumstances.  Notice this:

For it shall be given you by the Holy Ghost to know my will concerning those kings and authorities, even what shall befall them in a time to come. (D&C 124: 5)

Either the proclamation was written back then and will be sent forth this or next month, or it will be written this or next month and sent forth prior to President-Elect Barack Obama’s inauguration.  Either way, for these instructions to be complied with and this prophecy to be fulfilled at this time, there are about 30 days left for Joseph to return and issue the proclamation to the honorable president-elect Barack Obama, to the high-mined governors of the states (including the high-minded governor of Illinois, Governor Rod Blagojevich), to the kings of the nations and to the nations of the earth, i.e., to the executive branches of all the nations of the earth.

The wording of D&C 124 actually sounds to my prophetic ears as the revealed word of the Lord to Joseph upon his being raised from the dead.  In other words, if you could imagine Joseph just standing up in his restored physical, mortal body, having just been brought back from the dead, and the first words of his Lord that he hears are these:

Verily, thus saith the Lord unto you, my servant Joseph Smith, I am well pleased with your offering and acknowledgments, which you have made; for unto this end have I raised you up, that I might show forth my wisdom through the weak things of the earth.  Your prayers are acceptable before me; and in answer to them I say unto you, that you are now called immediately to make a solemn proclamation of my gospel, and of this stake which I have planted to be a cornerstone of Zion, which shall be polished with the refinement which is after the similitude of a palace.  (D&C 124: 1-2)

His first mission, as recorded in this revelation, is to make this proclamation, but, as we learn later on in the revelation, he needs help from others:

And again, verily I say unto you, let my servant Robert B. Thompson help you to write this proclamation, for I am well pleased with him, and that he should be with you; let him, therefore, hearken to your counsel, and I will bless him with a multiplicity of blessings; let him be faithful and true in all things from henceforth, and he shall be great in mine eyes; but let him remember that his stewardship will I require at his hands.  (D&C 124: 12-14)

The rest of the revelation includes a shopping list of elders that the Lord (perhaps) is indicating need to be returned from the dead to continue their missions in helping the Prophet fulfill his own.  Also, interestingly enough, section 124 directs the Prophet to completely organize the priesthood quorums of the church, with officers filling every part of her, from the First Presidency on down to the last quorum.

So, what if…Joseph returned?

Joseph’s return would initiate the break-up of the church.  A man suddenly showing up, saying, “Hi, I’m Joseph Smith, Jun., founder of the Mormon church” might not have an effect on people if he looked like just about anyone, but if he looked like the death mask and, perhaps, if he looked like the daguerreotype found on this blog, there would definitely be commotion among the members.

Proofs of Authenticity

There will always be people who doubt that a man could come back from the dead (even within our church), but for those who considered the possibility, they would demand some proof that he was who he said he was.

Visually, even if the man did look like both the death mask, the dag, and the paintings based on the death mask, etc., in other words, even if his appearance did have a semblance of what the majority of LDS consider Joseph to look like, there would still be doubts.  With modern plastic surgery technology, a man could disguise himself.  Or, perhaps the man is an unknown descendant of Joseph or Hyrum?  Such thoughts would be in many heads.

Hand-writing experts who came forth to compare the man’s hand-writing with Joseph’s known hand-writing, even if they said it was the same, many people would still think it could be an imposter who had practiced and practiced until he got the hand-writing of Joseph down pat.  We’ve already had experiences with forgeries, so doubts would remain.

A fingerprint would probably be the perfect way to identify the man as Joseph, but it is unlikely that fingerprints of Joseph exist.

If the man said, “I am Joseph.  Open my grave and look.  You will find no body there,” he would be ignored.  The church would not desecrate the grave of the Prophet just because some crazy man came forth with insane claims.  And even if some members had to know and in the dead of night unearthed the grave and found no body, the general membership would still doubt that it proved that the man was Joseph.

Despite any and all evidences that could be presented to show that the man was, in fact, Joseph Smith raised from the dead, the one test that LDS would use to discover the fact would be the reaction of their leaders.  If the leaders rejected the man, the LDS would reject him.  If they accepted him, they would do likewise.

“Follow the Brethren”: Not a Sufficient Mantra

The unannounced (and real) return of Joseph would break the church because there would be some, both members and leaders, who would pray to God and receive confirmation that he was who he said he was.  But there would also be others who would deny him (of both members and leaders.)  A schism would be created in the membership and among the leadership and the unanimity that we currently have would cease. (Remember, a majority decision does not have the same blessing as a unanimous decision, in the governing quorums of the church.)

Would the Brethren simply concede authority to Joseph (and to any other returned-from-the-dead elders)?  I don’t believe they would.  Some might think they were genuine, some might not.  But generally, they would probably as a majority label them impostors.  They would not be able to arrive at a unanimous consensus concerning Joseph and the others returned.  (This is an important point.)  This division would divide the members, too.  Some would claim to receive revelation that these men were who they said they were.  Excommunications of both members and priesthood leaders would be rampant.  The established order of the church would be shaken and broken up.  I’m talking of a house cleaning from top to bottom that nobody saw coming.  The mantra to “follow the brethren” would be followed by the question, “Follow which brethren? those that say Joseph is an impostor or those that say he holds the keys?”  Each member would have to rely upon the Spirit alone to figure it all out.

The Government Targets the Mormons

To make matters worse (or better?), when Joseph got around to issuing the proclamation to Barack and the nation’s governors, calling them to repentance and prophesying the destruction and break-up of this nation if they didn’t immediately make way for Zion, suddenly the government of the United States would target…the Mormons.  Think we’ve had enough bad press this year with Romney running, the FLDS raid and Prop 8?  Wait until next month when the proclamation is issued and the persecutions and round-up of Mormons begin…

Joseph would begin the process of restoring Zion and restoring Israel, but once the President and governors (the government) now targeted the saints, the cleansing and judgments upon the house of God would initiate.  The proclamation would be issued in the name of and for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints by someone claiming to be its founder.  Even if the LDS leadership tried to distance itself from both the man and the proclamation, if enough members and leadership acknowledged him as Joseph, the annoyance would not be overlooked by the government.

Remember, there can be no delivery from bondage without first being in bondage!

The Prohesied Church Cleansing of Prophets and Apostles

A deliverer (Joseph), one like unto Moses, would deliver the faithful who followed him and the prophesies concerning the false prophets and apostles and bishoprics in the church would fulfill itself:

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)

Conclusion

Now, I’m not saying that Joseph will return at this time.  All I’m saying is that if Joseph were to return at this time it would fulfill both the scriptures and the whisperings of the Spirit to me, personally.

Jesus always sends an Elias to prepare the way before Him.  However, the pattern of Elias (John the Baptist) was that he was on the scene when the Lord came the first time.  This pattern may hold out for the second Elias (Joseph).

It may be wise to keep our eyes and ears open during the next 30 days, because if someone starts claiming to be Joseph Smith, Jun., if he suddenly appears at the inauguration of Obama, blowing a trump, raising an ensign and reading from a written proclamation, even with loud proclamation, in the eyes of all the world’s television cameras, there to witness and record the historic inauguration, instead of just quickly dismissing the man as a crackpot, it may be to our benefit to take prophetic inventory and determine whether the man is a prophet, because if he is, and we don’t recognize it, we may end up on the wrong hand.

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