Sunday, March 26, 2017

Where Can We Hear Korihor's Words?

Korihor in Alma 30

A disturber of the peace that had come in the 16th and 17th years of the reign of the judges. Claimed Nephite traditions of Christ were false. Challenged the leaders publicly. The people did not threaten him with violence but brought him before judges to be tried for his crimes.

True Prophets in Scripture, in Contrast

Lehi: A disturber of the peace, publicly challenging what the leaders/elders of Jerusalem were teaching, claiming that the people had gone astray and needed to turn back to God. (Life threatened and attempted murder.) Laman and Lemuel bore fervent testimony that "we know [church leaders and members there] were a righteous people." (1 Nephi 17:22)
Abinadi: A disturber of the peace, publicly challenging the kingdom/church rulers, calling them to repent and teaching against their incorrect traditions. Considered a blasphemer and apostate by the church. (claimed Christ would come among men) Leaders accused him of demeaning their king/leadership and put him to death.
High Councilor Alma: A man ordained to be a priest because of his wickedness. Then, a disturber of the peace who publicly challenged King Noah. Believed the message of Abinadi the apostate when he taught against their traditions. Was forced to teach church members truth in private due to the disapproval and threats of church leaders. Considered an apostate by the church. Also, secretly baptized others before being chased away by armies threatening violence.
Jesus: A disturber of the peace, who publicly challenged church leaders. Openly broke the commandments of men (which he claimed was false tradition/religion) while simultaneously doing His Father's will in all things and obeying the actual law of Moses. Considered a sinner by church leaders, who demanded to know by what authority he did these things.
Joseph Smith: A disturber of the peace among church leaders and congregations wherever he went. Claimed their traditions & creeds were false, publicly challenging other church leaders/ministers. His life was threatened, he was tried on false charges many times, he was falsely imprisoned, and ultimately murdered by a mob led by current & former church members.
Enoch: A disturber of the peace and thought "a wild man" by believers. Men were offended at him for criticizing them, pointing out their errors though they were religious and knew better.
John the Baptist: A disturber of the peace and wild man, who preached repentance, taught Christ would literally come, and rebaptized church members in the wilderness to the dismay of church leaders in Jerusalem, whose "version of truth" he publicly challenged.
Samuel the Lamanite: A disturber of the peace and an outsider, preaching to the church repentance, such that they cast him out. Though legally banned from church property, he preached from the wall of their destruction causing a near riot. Criticized their prophets as false, pointing out their priestcrafts (salaries and profiting off church members' consecrations). Chastised them for abandoning the scriptures. Believing, repentant members are rebaptized. Unbelieving members claim he has a devil.

Modern LDS Sentiments

Anyone disturbing our peace (i.e., sharing any unflattering truth that contradicts the traditions we have invented) is by definition ungodly and contentious. Criticism of church leaders, or anything they do, is apostasy. Such individuals should be asked not to comment in class, should be shunned, or should just be excommunicated. Furthermore, when dealing with such disturbers, tools may be used as felt necessary, such as instilling fear among remaining members concerning such a person via official church letters & statements, destroying that person's reputation & honor among men, and allowing or even encouraging gossip, rumor, and falsehoods to spread about such individuals, particularly if they suggest the individual is a gross sinner. (molester, etc.) Suffering such rumors to spread concerning church members deemed to be in good standing is not to be tolerated, however.

Korihor in Alma 30

Taught there should be no Christ. (hence described as being "Anti-Christ") That to hope for His coming was to "be bound down by a foolish and a vain hope. … Why do ye look for a Christ?" (v. 13)

True Prophets in Scripture, in Contrast

Nephi: Teaches that we should be baptized of water, receive the baptism of fire and the Holy Ghost, then persevere until "[Christ] shall manifest himself unto you in the flesh" (2 Nephi 32:6)

Joseph Smith: "God hath not revealed anything to Joseph, but what He will make known unto the Twelve, and even the least Saint may know all things as fast as he is able to bear them, for the day must come when no man need say to his neighbor, Know ye that Lord; for all shall know Him (who remain) from the least to the greatest. ... After a person has faith in Christ, repents of his sins, and is baptized for the remission of his sins and receives the Holy Ghost, (by the laying on of hands), which is the first Comforter, then let him continue to humble himself before God, hungering and thirsting after righteousness, and living by every word of God, and the Lord will soon say unto him, Son, thou shalt be exalted. When the Lord has thoroughly proved him, and finds that the man is determined to serve Him at all hazards, then the man will find his calling and his election made sure, then it will be his privilege to receive the other Comforter, which the Lord hath promised the Saints, as is recorded in [John 14:12-27] ... Now what is this other Comforter? It is no more nor less than the Lord Jesus Christ Himself; and this is the sum and substance of the whole matter; that when any man obtains this last Comforter, he will have the personage of Jesus Christ to attend him, or appear unto him from time to time, and even He will manifest the Father unto him, and they will take up their abode with him, and the visions of the heavens will be opened unto him, and the Lord will teach him face to face, and he may have a perfect knowledge of the mysteries of the Kingdom of God; and this is the state and place the ancient Saints arrived at when they had such glorious visions--Isaiah, Ezekiel, John upon the Isle of Patmos, St. Paul in the three heavens, and all the Saints who held communion with the general assembly and Church of the Firstborn." (Joseph Smith, TPJS, p.149-151)

Modern LDS Sentiments

Teach that coming unto Christ is performed by keeping Church commandments. Christ does not come to people in this life. Such an expectation is a teaching of Satan: "The suggestion that [seeing the face of the Savior] must happen in mortality is a familiar tactic of the adversary." (Elder Oaks, June 13th, 2015) "Calling and election made sure" is not on the list of correlated topics permitted to be taught anywhere, as someone claiming the Lord has spoken to them is highly suspicious--a red flag, because it's just not normal for Christ to do. Some LDS Church members in higher Church offices or who are referred by them can receive the publicly-unacknowledged-as-having-been-resumed "second anointing" ordinance performed secretly in the temple (cover stories will be provided for their convenience), which assurance from leaders should end any concern for wanting to entertain angels or interact with the heavens or Christ. "Spiritual experiences" should be emotions only, otherwise someone might get deceived--not worth seeking!

Korihor in Alma 30

Taught against "the prophecies which had been spoken by the prophets, concerning the coming of Christ" (v.6)

True Prophets in Scripture, in Contrast

Nephi: "And we talk of Christ, we rejoice in Christ, we preach of Christ, we prophesy of Christ, and we write according to our prophecies, that our children may know to what source they may look for a remission of their sins." (2 Nephi 25:26)

Modern LDS Sentiments

No longer concerns itself with the prophecies of Christ's Second Coming, including those of Isaiah, Micah, Nephi, Christ, Moroni, Joseph Smith, the Doctrine & Covenants, etc. For example, the prophecies summarized in the 10th Article of Faith have been abandoned: No longer does the LDS Church seek to literally gather Israel as Joseph Smith attempted (even among the Jews). Or to establish the city of Zion (preferring instead to spend billions of dollars of interest earned from investing members' sacred tithing on shopping malls, real estate projects around temples, 2% of the state of Florida, etc.). Or even to establish the conditions prerequisite to Zion, such as actually living the law of consecration and having "no poor among them" (Moses 7:18), instead using tithes that were meant for the poor (see JST Genesis 14:38) to employ a massive Church bureaucracy, handsomely compensate general authorities and mission presidents, and run & provide inexpensive college education to already privileged first-world members' children.

Korihor in Alma 30

"For no man can know of anything which is to come. Behold, these things which ye call prophecies, which ye say are handed down by holy prophets, behold, they are foolish traditions of your fathers." (v. 13-14)

True Prophets in Scripture, in Contrast

Moses: "[I] would God that all the Lord’s people were prophets, and that the Lord would put his spirit upon them!" (Numbers 11:29)
Moroni: "By the power of the Holy Ghost ye may know the truth of all things." (Moroni 10:5)
Alma (speaking to his people about their blessings): "[You] having conversed with angels, and having been spoken unto by the voice of the Lord; and having the spirit of prophecy, and the spirit of revelation, and also many gifts, the gift of speaking with tongues, and the gift of preaching, and the gift of the Holy Ghost, and the gift of translation." (Alma 9:21)

Modern LDS Sentiments

No man can be a prophet except one of the Fifteen. The prophecies of Joseph Smith and the scriptures are inconvenient & not-understood relics of our history. No one is authorized to prophesy except the Fifteen, even though they don't. Because no one really knows what is coming, scholars and subject matter expert consultants from the business world are used to brief the Brethren, instilling divine wisdom concerning the threatening world around them. All prophesying by anyone else is false. Impressive (and carefully massaged) statistics and splendorous building projects are seen as vindication of their inspired ("prophetic") leadership. It is better to leave off any studying as a Church of Isaiah, Micah, Nephi, Christ, etc. since only a couple of verses of those prophecies are (possibly, partially) understood by scholars. This would be embarrassing to admit, so they are superficially studied only when necessary (to complete an annual course of Sunday school study) and then, only possible fulfillment in the past, not future, is considered. It would be foolish to think they refer to the future. It is much safer to make predictions about possibilities without ever suggesting it is prophecy, so when we happen to guess wrong (like that Romney would become president), we can't be called "false prophets."

Korihor in Alma 30

"How do ye know of their [the prophecies'] surety? … Behold, ye cannot know of things which ye do not see." (v.15)

True Prophets in Scripture, in Contrast

Nephi: "And now I, Nephi, make an end of my prophesying unto you, my beloved brethren. And I cannot write but a few things, which I know must surely come to pass" (2 Nephi 31:1)
Alma: "For behold, I say unto you, I know there is a God, and also that Christ shall come." (Alma 30:39)

Modern LDS Sentiments

We think we're pretty sure about one or two verses taken out of context from the middle of some prophecies, but you can't really have any actual idea what it's all about or when they might be fulfilled. Only pretenders claim that, and, let's face it, for all the stuff men have claimed so far, the Second Coming hasn't happened, so we're right. We're in good shape. And we're absolutely certain that the critical prophecies (Isaiah 28) or the ones about destructions (D&C 112:24-26), etc. are not about us, because we're pretty much assured of our success according to a tradition about a comment once made by a church president a hundred and twenty-five years ago about how God won't allow things to "go astray" even though He has allowed it every other time over the (we suppose) 6000 years of earth's history, even though that church president had just barely lied through his teeth about ceasing polygamy, hoping the US government would buy it and grant Utah statehood so they could make it legal again. Because we're pretty sure about that prophecy of "church leader never leading anyone astray", even though it was never claimed to be from God and was just public commentary on a Church press release.

Korihor in Alma 30

"Ye look forward and say that ye see a remission of your sins. But behold, it is the effect of a frenzied mind; and this derangement of your minds comes because of the traditions of your fathers, which lead you away into a belief of things which are not so." (v.16)

True Prophets in Scripture, in Contrast

Joseph Smith: "For as the Holy Ghost falls upon one of the literal seed of Abraham, it is calm and serene; and his whole soul and body are only exercised by the pure spirit of intelligence; while the effect of the Holy Ghost upon a Gentile, is to purge out the old blood, and make him actually of the seed of Abraham. That man that has none of the blood of Abraham (naturally) must have a new creation by the Holy Ghost. In such a case, there may be more of a powerful effect upon the body, and visible to the eye." (TPJS, p. 149)
Alma: "I fell to the earth … for the space of three days … But behold, my limbs did receive their strength again, and I stood upon my feet, and did manifest unto the people that I had been born of God." (Alma 36:10, 14)
Lamoni: "He fell unto the earth, as if he were dead. [later] He arose … and said: … For as sure as thou livest, behold, I have seen my Redeemer!" (Alma 18:42, 19:12-13)
Lamoni's Wife/Queen: "The queen also sunk down, being overpowered by the Spirit," (Alma 19:13) or as Korihor would say, having entered into a "frenzy". After Lamoni and then  Ammon had also "sunk to the earth, … and they all lay there as though they were dead," Abish comes along and "as soon as she touched [the Queen's] hand she arose and stood upon her feet, and cried with a loud voice, saying: 'O blessed Jesus, who has saved me from an awful hell! O blessed God, have mercy on this people!' And when she had said this, she clasped her hands, being filled with joy, speaking many words which were not understood," or speaking in tongues. (Alma 19:29-30)
Joseph Smith: "We believe in the gift of tongues, prophecy, revelation, visions, healing, interpretation of tongues, and so forth." (7th Article of Faith)
Nephi: "Do ye not remember that I said unto you that after ye had received the Holy Ghost ye could speak with the tongue of angels [language/speech unintelligible to man]? And now, how could ye speak with the tongue of angels [language/speech unintelligible to man] save it were by the Holy Ghost?" (2 Nephi 32:2)

Modern LDS Sentiments

Being "born again" or "born of the Spirit" is a false tradition had by non-Mormon Christians who do not understand what was restored, particularly when they fall to the ground claiming to be overcome by the Spirit or when they "speak in tongues", thus claiming to have received a remission of their sins. This is more likely the effect of mental illness or just a frenzy of religious nonsense. The "baptism of fire and the Holy Ghost" spoken of is a life-long, " subtle and gradual" (per Elder Bednar) sort of effect. Because of this, Church members cannot detect it, and we need to remind them that strong positive emotions are what we should focus on getting--that this is the Holy Ghost. And that they don't need to worry about the rest of this stuff. Speaking in tongues is a nonsense Christian tradition and a deception--it really means when a person studies really hard in books and classes and learns to speak a foreign language, like anyone else in a university class, except, by our tradition, a little quicker. Maybe.

Korihor in Alma 30

Told "them that there could be no atonement made for the sins of men" (v.17)

True Prophets in Scripture, in Contrast

Nephi: Quotes Christ: "Follow thou me [Christ, not Nephi]" (2 Nephi 31:10)
Declares: "O Lord, I have trusted in thee, and I will trust in thee forever. I will not put my trust in the arm of flesh; for I know that cursed is he that putteth his trust in the arm of flesh. Yea, cursed is he that putteth his trust in man or maketh flesh his arm." (2 Nephi 4:34)
Teaches that "the keeper of the gate is the Holy One of Israel; and he employeth no servant there; and there is none other way save it be by the gate; for he cannot be deceived, for the Lord God is his name." (2 Nephi 9:41)

Modern LDS Sentiments

Christ did make an atonement for man, but it can only be accessed by virtue of our requirements, including baptismal interview questions that require the candidate to declare their willingness to follow a man. Also, if someone later proves insubordinate, preferring the words of God to our traditions, correlated manuals, or corporate handbooks we teach from, we can revoke the effects of the atonement by casting that person out, believing that Christ has "given his power unto men" (2 Nephi 28:5)--or "priesthood keys"--and that we are employed as servants to keep the gate.

Korihor in Alma 30

"Every man fare[s] in this life according to the management of the creature; therefore, every man prosper[s] according to his genius, and that every man conquer[s] according to his strength." (v.17)

True Prophets in Scripture, in Contrast

Amulek: "Yea, cry unto [the Lord] for mercy; for he is mighty to save. Yea, humble yourselves, and continue in prayer unto him. Cry unto him when ye are in your fields, yea, over all your flocks. Cry unto him in your houses, yea, over all your household … Cry unto him over the crops of your fields, that ye may prosper in them. Cry over the flocks of your fields, that they may increase." (Alma 34)
Benjamin: "For behold, are we not all beggars? Do we not all depend upon the same Being, even God, for all the substance which we have, for both food and raiment, and for gold, and for silver, and for all the riches which we have of every kind? …  I say unto you that if ye should serve him who has created you from the beginning, and is preserving you from day to day, by lending you breath, that ye may live and move and do according to your own will, and even supporting you from one moment to another—I say, if ye should serve him with all your whole souls, yet ye would be unprofitable servants" (Mosiah 4:19, 21)
Christ:, speaking to his 12 disciples: "Remember the words which I have spoken. For behold, ye are they whom I have chosen to minister unto this people. Therefore I say unto you, take no thought for your life, what ye shall eat, or what ye shall drink; nor yet for your body, what ye shall put on." (3 Nephi 13:25)
Mormon: "And they did impart of their substance, every man according to that which he had, to the poor, and the needy, and the sick, and the afflicted; and they did not wear costly apparel, yet they were neat and comely." (Alma 1:27)
Moroni: "Behold, I speak unto you as if ye were present, and yet ye are not. But behold, Jesus Christ hath shown you unto me [dear LDS Gentile reader of this book], and I know your doing. ... For behold, ye do love money, and your substance, and your fine apparel, and the adorning of your churches, more than ye love the poor and the needy, the sick and the afflicted. O ye pollutions, ye hypocrites, ye teachers, who sell yourselves for that which will canker, why have ye polluted the holy church of God? [--and I'm not sure how you think that's someone else, when you claim to be the "only true Church"...] Why are ye ashamed to take upon you the name of Christ? Why do ye not think that greater is the value of an endless happiness than that misery which never dies—because of the praise of the world?" (Mormon 8:35,37-38)

Modern LDS Sentiments

Despite Joseph Smith's very poor business acumen (continually gave away too much from his store; was in bankruptcy at his death), we overcame this looming fault first with the great, prosperous state of Deseret, where a person could live their entire life not ever doing business with other than church-owned businesses. From there, our personal industriousness grew into the vast church corporate empire today, which some have estimated at $1 trillion in assets, where leaders now chosen for the 70's, the 12, and the First Presidency are very well renowned, respected, and honored in the world for their business management, lawyerly skills, and other professional accomplishments. And our marvelous tradition of entrepreneurial brilliance/genius/ingenuity among Utah saints. And church-owned schools (funded by tithing) to teach one of the greatest curricula available on business management and prosperity, including financial planning, management, accounting, etc., the BYU Management Society being a monument to the professional prowess of our church members!

We also encourage every member of the Church to become expert in "the management of [their] creature", so that they can prosper according to their entrepreneurial brilliance. (Capitalism is godly and must somehow be related to building Zion.) We therefore don't believe that "industry" is enough: though not mentioned in scripture, we preach that members must be completely self-reliant, not depending on their fellow-man or even God, if at all possible. Perfect independence from others and full preparedness--although we disapprove of "prepping", because we can't imagine there ever being disasters or collapses of civilization in our day like the Book of Mormon depicts at least four times. Guns are okay though, which is why we run a Church-owned hunting reserve for people willing to spend lots of money for a guided hunting expedition. Really, we just can't have Church members at all dependent on the Church for help, because that takes away money from other investments, GA salaries, building projects, university salaries, CES employees, etc., etc. The poor need to take care of themselves.

Korihor in Alma 30

"Caus[ed] them to lift up their heads in their wickedness, yea, leading away many women, and also men, to commit whoredoms." (v.18)

True Prophets in Scripture, in Contrast

Jacob: "Wo unto them who commit whoredoms, for they shall be thrust down to hell."
Quoting the Lord on polygamy being a whoredom: "For there shall not any man among you have save it be one wife; and concubines he shall have none, for I, the Lord God, delight in the chastity of women, and whoredoms are an abomination before me."
Joseph Smith: "If a man commit adultery, he cannot receive the celestial kingdom of God. Even if be is saved in any kingdom, it cannot be the celestial kingdom." (DHC 6:81)

Modern LDS Sentiments

Brigham Young had his historians alter the records to make it appear that Joseph Smith was teaching polygamy rather than his actual frequent & forceful preaching against it as a whoredom. (including manufacturing portions of D&C 132) This allowed for a successful adoption of the new primary doctrine of the church taught for decades in general conference: "the Principle", or that polygamy unequivocally must be practiced in this life in order to qualify for the celestial kingdom. Preached that if the church ever departed from the practice, it would be in apostasy. Brigham also taught that if a woman could find a man with more keys than her husband, she could legally leave her husband and marry the other. He then did so, taking a woman to wife who was already married, fathering children by her. Today, of course, since our 180 degree doctrinal switch, we now forcefully excommunicate any practicing "the principle", sending law enforcement after them, and denying baptism to their children, too.
Today, adultery is a forgivable sin, one that even when a general authority or member may make that "mistake", it can be forgiven, and they can go to the temple to receive eternal promises.

Korihor in Alma 30

"Whatsoever a man did was no crime" (v. 17)

True Prophets in Scripture, in Contrast

Jesus: "Whosoever looketh on a woman to lust after her hath committed adultery already in his heart." (Matt. 5:28)
Jacob: "I can tell you concerning your thoughts, how that ye are beginning to labor in sin, which sin appeareth very abominable unto me, yea, and abominable unto God." (Jacob 2:4)
Benjamin: "This much I can tell you, that if ye do not watch yourselves, and your thoughts, and your words, and your deeds, and observe the commandments of God, and continue in the faith of what ye have heard concerning the coming of our Lord, even unto the end of your lives, ye must perish." (Mosiah 4:5)

Modern LDS Sentiments

Sinful actions, such as homosexual acts, are an abomination before God. But it's okay to entertain lustful thoughts for other guys, as long as you don't act on them. (Yes, we used to teach thoughts mattered, too, but that is now outdated teaching per our Handbook.)

Korihor in Alma 30

"I do not teach this people to bind themselves down under the foolish ordinances and performances which are laid down by ancient priests." (v.23)

True Prophets in Scripture, in Contrast

Joseph: "Ordinances instituted in the heavens before the foundation of the world, in the priesthood, for the salvation of men, are not to be altered or changed." (TPJS, p.308)
Isaiah: "The earth also is defiled under the inhabitants thereof; because they have transgressed the laws, changed the ordinance, broken the everlasting covenant." (Isaiah 24:5)
Christ: The day is coming where those who will not hear the voice of the Lord, nor the voice of His servants (angels), and won't heed the words of true prophets and apostles will be cut off from among His people "for they have strayed from mine ordinances, and have broken mine everlasting covenant." (D&C 1:15)

Modern LDS Sentiments

Ordinances laid down by ancient priests, like Joseph Smith or those in the Book of Mormon, are not to be used by church members. We must use the modern, altered ones that are written & described in our priesthood handbooks, in temple films, etc., as directed by our corporate handbook of instructions. Anyone deviating from our modern tradition is abandoning what the Prophet/God has said, even though we don't pretend to claim any revelation directing the alterations. To do otherwise is a foolish performance, and must be redone in our way.

Korihor in Alma 30

"Ye say that this people is a guilty and a fallen people, because of the transgression of a parent. ... Behold, I say that a child is not guilty because of its parents." (v.25)

True Prophets in Scripture, in Contrast

Lehi: "Wherefore, all mankind were in a lost and in a fallen state, and ever would be save they should rely on this Redeemer." (1 Nephi 10:6) "For [the Lord] gave commandment that all men must repent; for he showed unto all men that they were lost, because of the transgression of their parents [Adam & Eve]." (2 Nephi 2:21)
Mormon: "Little children are whole, for they are not capable of committing sin; wherefore the curse of Adam is taken from them in me, that it hath no power over them" (Moroni 8:8)

Modern LDS Sentiments

"We believe that men will be punished for their own sins and not for Adam's transgression."

This is something we require little children to commit to memory in order to advance to higher classes in the Church, and we mostly believe it.

Except we do disagree with Korihor and say that a child IS guilty because of its parents. We believe that the little children of parents who have transgressed with the sins of homosexuality or polygamy should be punished for their parents' sins--sins so heinous that their children must be denied baptism, refused confirmation into the LDS Church, and denied ordination to priesthood (for males). These children are fundamentally tainted, and for their own safety (and the legal safety of the Corporation of the President of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints) we cannot allow them to be baptized as Christ commanded until they are full-grown adults (the new age of accountability) and disavow their wayward parents (abandoning the 5th commandment).

On the other hand, the children of parents who are molesters, adulterers, rapists, abusers, slanderers, alcoholics, murderers, serial liars, or drug peddlers will not be punished for their parents' sins, because their sins do not influence their children--those children are welcome to be baptized and confirmed members of our LDS Church!

Korihor in Alma 30

[Accusation: You hold to these ordinances] "to usurp power and authority over them, to keep them in ignorance, that they may not lift up their heads, but be brought down according to thy words … Ye keep them down, even as it were in bondage, that ye may glut yourselves with the labors of their hands" (v.23, 27)

True Prophets in Scripture, in Contrast

Alma: "Thou knowest that we do not glut ourselves upon the labors of this people; for behold, I have labored even from the commencement of the reign of the judges until now, with mine own hands for my support, notwithstanding my many travels round about the land to declare the word of God unto my people. And notwithstanding the many labors which I have performed in the church, I have never received so much as even one senine for my labor; neither has any of my brethren, save it were in the judgment-seat [--a civic position, separate from the church]; and then we have received only according to law for our time." (Alma 30:32)
King Benjamin: "And even I, myself, have labored with mine own hands that I might serve you, and that ye should not be laden with taxes, and that there should nothing come upon you which was grievous to be borne—and of all these things which I have spoken, ye yourselves are witnesses this day" (Mosiah 2:14)
Mormon: "And when the priests left their labor to impart the word of God unto the people, the people also left their labors to hear the word of God. And when the priest had imparted unto them the word of God they all returned again diligently unto their labors; and the priest, not esteeming himself above his hearers, for the preacher was no better than the hearer, neither was the teacher any better than the learner; and thus they were all equal, and they did all labor, every man according to his strength."
Nephi: "[The Lord] commandeth that there shall be no priestcrafts; for, behold, priestcrafts are that men preach and set themselves up for a light unto the world, that they may get gain and praise of the world; but they seek not the welfare of Zion." (2 Nephi 2:26-29)

Modern LDS Sentiments

In order to have the blessings of eternity, a person must be able to answer our questions correctly (according to the commandments we have come up with) and pay 10% of their income (according to our modern redefinition of tithing), and then they may enter into our temples (not commanded to have been built, no pillar of fire ever having appeared over them) and be married.

But this is not to compel people to pay the Church so our authorities can be salaried--it is so the people can be blessed. The fact that our authorities receive generous salaries and numerous other benefits and perks (parsonage allowances, use of Church vehicles, Italian suits, use of Church credit cards, regular Church-catered meals, paid travel and lodging, free college educations for all children and grandchildren via Church-owned schools, potential opportunities to sit on the boards of Church-owned businesses, private business benefits from lucrative Church building contracts, access to private hunting preserves, lucrative book deals from Church-owned retail stores, etc.) has nothing to do with our urging our people to pay their tithing to us so that they are allowed access to Eternal Blessings. These are simply ordinary personal and family costs that the Church covers for those who devote themselves to her service.

The fact is that the vast majority of our clergy are unpaid by the Church, and so we are fond of saying that we have an unpaid clergy and are not inclined to correct Church members and missionaries who claim it.

Korihor in Alma 30

Question to Korihor: "Believest thou that we deceive this people, that causes such joy in their hearts?" (v.35) [i.e., "that Christ shall come", just as He did to Alma; Alma 36:22]

"Will ye deny again that there is a God, and also deny the Christ? For behold, I say unto you, I know there is a God, and also that Christ shall come." (v.39)

Korihor: Yea

True Prophets in Scripture, in Contrast

Nephi: Taught that Christ will come to a person while still in the flesh, if you enter in by the way and heed what the Holy Ghost directs you (2 Nephi 32:5-6)
Christ via Joseph Smith: "Verily, verily, I say unto you, except ye abide my law ye cannot attain to this glory, for strait is the gate, and narrow the way that leadeth unto the exaltation and continuation of the lives, and few there be that find it, because ye receive me not in the world neither do ye know me. But if ye receive me in the world, then shall ye know me, and shall receive your exaltation; that where I am ye shall be also." (D&C 132:21-23)
Christ: "Verily, thus saith the Lord: It shall come to pass that every soul who forsaketh his sins and cometh unto me, and calleth on my name, and obeyeth my voice, and keepeth my commandments, shall see my face and know that I am;" (D&C 93:1)
Christ: "Jesus answered and said unto him, If a man love me, he will keep my words: and my Father will love him, and we will come unto him, and make our abode with him." (John 14:23)
Joseph Smith: "The appearing of the Father and the Son, in [John 14:23], is a personal appearance." (D&C 130:3)

Modern LDS Sentiments

Agree with Korihor on this point--that it is a deception.

"Coming unto Christ" is purely figurative and amorphous, consisting of trying to do some of His (non-miraculous) works only. You should not expect to meet Him.

Dallin Oaks: It is a "tactic of the adversary" to teach that men can or should receive the person of Jesus Christ (the Second Comforter) while in this life. What Joseph Smith taught and the scriptures teach is darkness and Satanic.

Korihor in Alma 30

Question to Korihor: "Believest thou that there is a God?" (v.37)

Korihor: "Nay"

True Prophets in Scripture, in Contrast

Joseph Smith: "And now, after the many testimonies which have been given of him, this is the testimony, last of all, which we give of him: That he lives! for we saw him, even on the right hand of God; and we heard the voice bearing record that he is the Only Begotten of the Father" (D&C 76:22-23)
Enoch: "And I saw the Lord; and he stood before my face, and he talked with me, even as a man talketh one with another, face to face." (Moses 7:4)
Nephi: "[Isaiah] verily saw my Redeemer, even as I have seen him, and my brother, Jacob, also has seen him as I have seen him."

Modern LDS Sentiments

We do believe that he's there and that "the Redeemer hath done his work, and he hath given his power unto men", so that we can bless everyone who will "hearken … unto [our] precept". (2 Nephi 28:5-6) We believe what President Hinckley said: we don't need much revelation from Him anymore. We got this.

As office holders of the quorum of the 12 and first presidency, we no longer try to actually see him or have Him lay his hands on us. Our witness is by the Holy Ghost, just like all other members of the Church (as Elder Oaks clarified), even though we're happy to both strongly imply in testimony that we have received Him (never confirming it, because that would be lying) and also happily allow Church members to teach and testify of the fable (i.e., that we have seen Him) without correcting them.

Korihor in Alma 30

Was "the means of bringing many souls down to destruction, by [his] lying and by [his] flattering words" (v.46)

True Prophets in Scripture, in Contrast

Jacob: Sherem "was learned, that he had a perfect knowledge of the language of the people; wherefore, he could use much flattery, and much power of speech, according to the power of the devil. And he had hope to shake me from the faith, notwithstanding the many revelations and the many things which I had seen concerning these things; for I truly had seen angels, and they had ministered unto me. And also, I had heard the voice of the Lord speaking unto me in very word, from time to time; wherefore, I could not be shaken." (Jacob 7:4)
Mormon, speaking of the wicked Alma the Younger: "he was a man of many words, and did speak much flattery to the people; therefore he led many of the people to do after the manner of his iniquities." (Mosiah 27:8)

Modern LDS Sentiments

Use of flattery is not always bad. We commend the youth and the faithful brothers and sisters of the Church as a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, and as amazing women, hoping that it will keep them in "full Church activity." Or that they are the most amazing, impressive force of missionaries ever sent into the field, despite lack of miracles, healings, angelic visitations, raising from the dead, etc. But they are definitely impressive due to amazing numbers: phenomenal numbers of Church members (never mind that only about 30% attend at least once a quarter), impressive temple buildings & numbers of temples, amazing numbers for our Christmas and Easter campaigns, amazing numbers of missionaries (esp. during the Romney-as-president-anticipating missionary surge), impressive downtown SLC building projects (the $3+ billion mall & condos), etc. There is no dispensation that can compete with our numbers! Members should be amazed, flattered at their amazingness, and truly convinced that they should give even more.

Korihor in Alma 30

"I do not believe that there is a God; and I say also, that ye do not know that there is a God; and except ye show me a sign, I will not believe." (v.48)

True Prophets in Scripture, in Contrast

Christ: Faith in God does not come by signs, but signs do follow those who believe. (D&C 63:9-12)
Alma: "All things denote there is a God; yea, even the earth, and all things that are upon the face of it, yea, and its motion; yea, and also all the planets which move in their regular form do witness that there is a Supreme Creator."
Christ: The adulterous are sign seekers (Matt 12:39; 16:4), including those who commit adultery in their hearts (Matt 5:28; D&C 63:16)

Modern LDS Sentiments

We pretty much believe there is a God, although we don't need to hear from Him much anymore. Miracles, angelic visitations all follow His Church--back in Joseph's day. We just don't need that stuff much anymore--it kind of wigs us out actually. Probably just angels of darkness, not from God anymore. We can have faith in God even though our scriptures claim we can't. We just cannot accept Moroni's claim that the ministering of angels to a person is the beginning of faith (Moroni 7:25,36-38) and that their absence means all our works are in vain and "awful is the state of man". His understanding of faith was certainly incomplete, even though he says he talked with Christ face to face. (Ether 12:39) We feel there are many signs that "do follow [our members] who believe" given that ours is the "only true Church", such as our impressive statistical numbers and magnificent building projects, which are the main examples of our favor with God. Miracles like not dying from drinking poison, raising the dead, healing of people with terminal disease, and so forth are just not reasonable to expect most of the time when spoken in Melchizedek priesthood blessings by elders that just don't ever materialize.

Also, astronomy is a nice subject and it's interesting that our scriptures talk about observational astronomy and some incorrect descriptions of the physics of stars as being important to the gospel, but we don't know much about it. Scientists know plenty--check with them. Joseph Smith or Abraham (or God) probably just got it all wrong and needed modern science to get it right. There is no need for us to reveal the timings of celestial bodies, their calendars, or their laws, even though we're 100% certain this is the "dispensation of the fulness of times". Joseph was just a little presumptuous about it all. (D&C 121:30-31)

And just because we don't practice polygamy on earth and do practice "eternal polygamy", believing that any of us sealed to multiple women in the temple are going to have celestial polygamy in the next life, we can't be considered as having "committed adultery in our hearts" just because we're kinda really looking forward to it, what with our resurrected bodies in the prime of our youth. Brigham certainly seems to have had it pretty good with 55 women--I could enjoy a little of that.

By the way, we'd like to redefine "sign seeking" as something that has nothing to do with questioning belief in God's existence. Really it should be all about whether or not someone believes they should worry about looking at the fruits of claimed prophets to determine whether they are from God or not. We all know, by virtue of the office they hold, that the First Presidency and 12 are beyond questioning in this regard. It's a given that they are from God. When Christ commanded that we should beware of false prophets and test them (Matt 7:15-20), he was really just talking about in the old days. Our fruits should not have to be related to prophecy--in fact, not at all. Take a look at how many people we have--see how "many there be which go in thereat!" (Matt. 7:13) It really is impressive and should be enough. Don't worry about fruit testing—fruit testing is what we now want to call "sign seeking". This kind of "sign seeking" is now also evil! Even though it could fairly be said that in this way Christ therefore wanted us all to become "sign seekers". But don't worry about that problem with this redefinition! All is well--trust us.

Summary

A good summary I once saw a while back:
Lehi followed Christ. Korihor did not. Lehi was a disciple of the Lord’s. Korihor was an enemy of His. Lehi propounded a true message, Korihor a false one. Lehi was Christ-like. Korihor was an anti-Christ. Lehi spoke the truth. Korihor was a liar. They were polar opposites. But the question illustrates that the god of this world is imitative. The difference between truth and error does not lie in the difference between religion and irreligion, but instead between true religion which will save, and false religion which cannot save. If it were any less a test, the very elect would not be deceived in the last days. Unless there are false prophets claiming they are authorized by God to preach false and idle messages, God cannot send true ones to declare the truth. The opposition of the one is required for the other. The enemy of your soul does not create a new religion, but imitates the true one. The Lord’s messenger will be mirrored by the adversary’s, but the reflected image will be reversed. Those who follow the image will find themselves descending, while they think they are ascending to God. Hence the name: 'the Deceiver.' He deceives, and even mirrors God’s angels by the claim to be an 'angel of light' while spreading darkness. The Deceiver’s false prophets will point you to themselves, to their great works, wonderful accomplishments, and the pride you should take in following them. The Lord’s will point you to Him and preach repentance. The false prophets will speak of riches here, and suggest God’s favor can be measured by success in this world. The Lord will speak only of riches in another world which are only obtained through the sacrifice of all things here.

Thursday, March 23, 2017

D&C 124: An Interpretation

Freed from its unjust justified captivity:

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.

[Solemn Proclamation to the World]

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.
This proclamation shall be made to all the kings of the world,
    to the four corners thereof,
    to the honorable president-elect,
    and the high-minded governors of the nation in which you live,
    and to all the nations of the earth scattered abroad.
Let it be written in the spirit of meekness
    and by the power of the Holy Ghost,
        which shall be in you at the time of the writing of the same;
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.
For, behold, I am about to call upon them
    to give heed to the light and glory of Zion,
    for the set time has come to favor her.
Call ye, therefore, upon them with loud proclamation,
    and with your testimony,
    fearing them not,
        for they are as grass,
        and all their glory as the flower thereof which soon falleth,
        that they may be left also without excuse—
    And that I may visit them in the day of visitation,
        when I shall unveil the face of my covering,
        to appoint the portion of the oppressor among hypocrites,
            where there is gnashing of teeth,
        if they reject my servants and my testimony which I have revealed unto them.
And again, I will visit and soften their hearts, many of them for your good,
    that ye may find grace in their eyes,
    that they may come to the light of truth,
    and the Gentiles to the exaltation or lifting up of Zion.
For the day of my visitation cometh speedily,
    in an hour when ye think not of;
and Where shall be the safety of my people,
    and refuge for those who shall be left of them?
Awake, O kings of the earth!
Come ye, O, come ye,
    with your gold and your silver,
    to the help of my people,
    to the house of the daughters of Zion.
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.
And again, verily I say unto you, blessed is my servant Hyrum Smith;
    for I, the Lord, love him because of the integrity of his heart,
    and because he loveth that which is right before me, saith the Lord.
Again, let my servant John C. Bennett help you in your labor
    in sending my word to the kings and people of the earth,
    and stand by you,
        even you my servant Joseph Smith,
        in the hour of affliction;
    and his reward shall not fail if he receive counsel.
    And for his love he shall be great,
        for he shall be mine if he do this, saith the Lord.
    I have seen the work which he hath done,
        which I accept if he continue,
        and will crown him with blessings and great glory.
And again, I say unto you that it is my will that my servant Lyman Wight
    should continue in preaching for Zion,
        in the spirit of meekness,
        confessing me before the world;
    and I will bear him up as on eagles’ wings;
        and he shall beget glory and honor to himself and unto my name.
    That when he shall finish his work I may receive him unto myself,
        even as I did my servant David Patten,
            who is with me at this time,
            and also my servant Edward Partridge,
            and also my aged servant Joseph Smith, Sen.,
                who sitteth with Abraham at his right hand,
                and blessed and holy is he,
                    for he is mine.
And again, verily I say unto you, my servant George Miller is without guile;
    he may be trusted because of the integrity of his heart;
    and for the love which he has to my testimony
        I, the Lord, love him.
    I therefore say unto you, I seal upon his head the office of a bishopric,
        like unto my servant Edward Partridge,
        that he may receive the consecrations of mine house,
        that he may administer blessings upon the heads of the poor of my people, saith the Lord.
    Let no man despise my servant George,
        for he shall honor me.

[Commandment to Build a House for Boarding]

Let my servant George, and my servant Lyman, and my servant John Snider, and others,
    Build a house unto my name,
        such a one as my servant Joseph shall show unto them,
        upon the place which he shall show unto them also.
    And it shall be for a house for boarding,
        a house that strangers may come from afar to lodge therein;
        therefore let it be a good house,
            worthy of all acceptation,
            that the weary traveler may find health and safety
                while he shall contemplate the word of the Lord;
            and the cornerstone I have appointed for Zion.
    This house shall be a healthful habitation
        if it be built unto my name,
        and if the governor which shall be appointed unto it
            shall not suffer any pollution to come upon it.
        It shall be holy,
            or the Lord your God will not dwell therein.

[Commandment to Build a House to the Lord's Name for Him to Dwell In]

And again, verily I say unto you, let all my saints come from afar.
    And send ye swift messengers, yea, chosen messengers,
and say unto them:
    Come ye, with all your gold,
        and your silver,
        and your precious stones,
        and with all your antiquities;
        and with all who have knowledge of antiquities, that will come, may come,
    and bring the box tree,
        and the fir tree,
        and the pine tree,
        together with all the precious trees of the earth;
    and with iron, with copper, and with brass, and with zinc,
        and with all your precious things of the earth;
    and Build a house to my name, 
        for the Most High to dwell therein.
    For there is not a place found on earth that He may come to
        and restore again that which was lost unto you,
            or which he hath taken away,
            even the fulness of the priesthood.
    For a baptismal font there is not upon the earth,
        that they, my saints, may be baptized for those who are dead—
    For this ordinance belongeth to my house,
        and cannot be acceptable to me,
            only in the days of your poverty,
            wherein ye are not able to build a house unto me.
But I command you, all ye my saints,
    to Build a house unto me;
And I grant unto you a Sufficient Time to build a house unto me;
    and during This Time your baptisms shall be acceptable unto me.
But behold, at the end of This Appointment,
    your baptisms for your dead shall not be acceptable unto me;
and If you do not these things,
    at the end of The Appointment ye shall be rejected as a church,
        with your dead, saith the Lord your God.
For verily I say unto you, that after you have had Sufficient Time
    to build a house to me,
        wherein the ordinance of baptizing for the dead belongeth,
        and for which the same was instituted from before the foundation of the world,
    your baptisms for your dead cannot be acceptable unto me;
    for therein are the keys of the holy priesthood ordained,
        that you may receive honor and glory.
And after This Time,
    your baptisms for the dead,
        by those who are scattered abroad,
    are not acceptable unto me, saith the Lord.
For it is ordained that in Zion,
    and in her stakes,
    and in Jerusalem,
    those places which I have appointed for refuge,
shall be the places for your baptisms for your dead.
And again, verily I say unto you:
    How shall your washings be acceptable unto me,
    except ye perform them in a house which you have built to my name?
    For, for this cause I commanded Moses that he should build a tabernacle,
        that they should bear it with them in the wilderness,
        and to build a house in the land of promise,
            that those ordinances might be revealed which had been hid from before the world was.
Therefore, verily I say unto you,
    that your anointings,
    and your washings,
    and your baptisms for the dead,
    and your solemn assemblies,
    and your memorials for your sacrifices by the sons of Levi,
    and for your oracles in your most holy places
        wherein you receive conversations,
    and your statutes and judgments,
    for the beginning of the revelations and foundation of Zion,
        and for the glory, honor, and endowment of all her municipals,
are ordained by the ordinance of my holy house,
    which my people are always commanded to build unto my holy name.
And verily I say unto you:
    Let this house be built unto my name,
        that I may reveal mine ordinances therein unto my people;
    For I deign to reveal unto my church
        things which have been kept hid from before the foundation of the world,
        things that pertain to the dispensation of the fulness of times.
    And I will show unto my servant Joseph
        all things pertaining to this house,
        and the priesthood thereof,
        and the place whereon it shall be built.
And ye shall build it on the place where you have contemplated building it,
    for that is the spot which I have chosen for you to build it.
If ye labor with all your might,
    I will consecrate that spot that it shall be made holy.
And If my people will hearken unto my voice,
    and unto the voice of my servants whom I have appointed to lead my people,
behold, verily I say unto you: They shall not be moved out of their place.
But If they will not hearken to my voice,
        nor unto the voice of these men whom I have appointed,
    they shall not be blest,
        because they pollute mine holy grounds,
        and mine holy ordinances,
        and charters,
        and my holy words which I give unto them.
And it shall come to pass that If you build a house unto my name,
        and do not do the things that I say,
    I will not perform the oath which I make unto you,
        neither fulfil the promises which ye expect at my hands, saith the Lord.
    For instead of blessings,
        ye, by your own works, bring:
            cursings, 
            wrath, 
            indignation, 
            and judgments 
                upon your own heads,
                by your follies,
                and by all your abominations,
                    which you practice before me, saith the Lord.
Verily, verily, I say unto you, that
    When I give a commandment to any of the sons of men
        to do a work unto my name,
    and those sons of men go with all their might
        and with all they have to perform that work,
        and cease not their diligence,
        and their enemies come upon them
        and hinder them from performing that work,
    behold, it behooveth me to require that work no more
        at the hands of those sons of men,
    but to accept of their offerings.
And the iniquity and transgression
    of my holy laws and commandments
I will visit upon the heads of those who hindered my work,
    unto the third and fourth generation,
    so long as they repent not,
    and hate me, saith the Lord God.
Therefore, for this cause have I accepted the offerings of those whom I commanded
    to build up a city and a house unto my name,
        in Jackson county, Missouri,
    and were hindered by their enemies, saith the Lord your God.
And I will answer:
        judgment,
        wrath and indignation,
        wailing and anguish,
        and gnashing of teeth
    upon their heads,
    unto the third and fourth generation,
    so long as they repent not,
        and hate me, saith the Lord your God.
And this I make an example unto you,
    for your consolation
    concerning all those
        who have been commanded to do a work
        and have been hindered by the hands of their enemies,
        and by oppression, saith the Lord your God.
For I am the Lord your God,
    and will save all those of your brethren
        who have been pure in heart,
    and have been slain in the land of Missouri, saith the Lord.
And again, verily I say unto you,
    I command you again to Build a house to my name,
        even in this place,
    that you may prove yourselves unto me
        that ye are faithful in all things whatsoever I command you,
        that I may bless you,
        and crown you with
            honor,
            immortality,
            and eternal life.

[Pertaining to the Lord's Boarding House]

And now I say unto you,
    as pertaining to my boarding house
        which I have commanded you to build for the boarding of strangers,
    let it be built unto my name,
    and let my name be named upon it,
    and let my servant Joseph and his house have place therein,
        from generation to generation.
For this anointing have I put upon his head,
    that his blessing shall also be put upon the head of his posterity after him.
And as I said unto Abraham concerning the kindreds of the earth,
        even so I say unto my servant Joseph:
    In thee and in thy seed shall the kindred of the earth be blessed.
    Therefore, let my servant Joseph
        and his seed after him
    have place in that house,
        from generation to generation,
        forever and ever, saith the Lord.
And let the name of that house be called Nauvoo House;
    and let it be a delightful habitation for man,
    and a resting-place for the weary traveler,
    that he may contemplate the glory of Zion,
        and the glory of this, the cornerstone thereof;
    that he may receive also the counsel
        from those whom I have set
            to be as plants of renown,
            and as watchmen upon her walls.
Behold, verily I say unto you,
    let my servant George Miller,
    and my servant Lyman Wight,
    and my servant John Snider,
    and my servant Peter Haws,
    organize themselves,
        and appoint one of them to be a president over their quorum
        for the purpose of building that house.
    And they shall form a constitution,
        whereby they may receive stock for the building of that house.
    And they shall not receive less than fifty dollars for a share of stock in that house,
    and they shall be permitted to receive fifteen thousand dollars from any one man for stock in that house.
    But they shall not be permitted to receive over fifteen thousand dollars stock from any one man.
    And they shall not be permitted to receive under fifty dollars for a share of stock from any one man in that house.
    And they shall not be permitted to receive any man, as a stockholder in this house,
        except the same shall pay his stock into their hands at the time he receives stock;
        and in proportion to the amount of stock he pays into their hands he shall receive stock in that house;
        but if he pays nothing into their hands he shall not receive any stock in that house.
    And if any pay stock into their hands it shall be for stock in that house, for himself,
        and for his generation after him,
        from generation to generation,
        so long as he and his heirs shall hold that stock,
        and do not sell or convey the stock away out of their hands by their own free will and act,
        if you will do my will, saith the Lord your God.
And again, verily I say unto you,
    if my servant George Miller,
    and my servant Lyman Wight,
    and my servant John Snider,
    and my servant Peter Haws,
    receive any stock into their hands,
        in moneys,
        or in properties wherein they receive the real value of moneys,
    they shall not appropriate any portion of that stock to any other purpose,
        only in that house.
    And if they do appropriate any portion of that stock anywhere else,
        only in that house,
        without the consent of the stockholder,
        and do not repay four-fold for the stock which they appropriate anywhere else, only in that house,
    they shall be accursed,
        and shall be moved out of their place, saith the Lord God;
        for I, the Lord, am God,
            and cannot be mocked in any of these things.
Verily I say unto you,
    let my servant Joseph pay stock into their hands
        for the building of that house,
        as seemeth him good;
    but my servant Joseph cannot pay over fifteen thousand dollars stock in that house,
        nor under fifty dollars;
        neither can any other man, saith the Lord.
And there are others also who wish to know my will concerning them,
    for they have asked it at my hands.
Therefore, I say unto you concerning my servant Vinson Knight,
    if he will do my will let him put stock into that house for himself,
    and for his generation after him,
        from generation to generation.
    And let him lift up his voice long and loud,
        in the midst of the people,
        to plead the cause of the poor and the needy;
    and let him not fail,
        neither let his heart faint;
    and I will accept of his offerings,
        for they shall not be unto me as the offerings of Cain,
        for he shall be mine, saith the Lord.
    Let his family rejoice and turn away their hearts from affliction;
        for I have chosen him and anointed him,
        and he shall be honored in the midst of his house,
        for I will forgive all his sins, saith the Lord. Amen.
Verily I say unto you, let my servant Hyrum put stock into that house as seemeth him good,
    for himself and his generation after him,
        from generation to generation.
Let my servant Isaac Galland put stock into that house;
    for I, the Lord, love him for the work he hath done,
    and will forgive all his sins;
    therefore, let him be remembered for an interest in that house
        from generation to generation.
Let my servant Isaac Galland be appointed among you,
    and be ordained by my servant William Marks,
        and be blessed of him,
    to go with my servant Hyrum
        to accomplish the work that my servant Joseph shall point out to them,
    and they shall be greatly blessed.
Let my servant William Marks pay stock into that house,
    as seemeth him good,
    for himself and his generation,
    from generation to generation.
Let my servant Henry G. Sherwood pay stock into that house,
    as seemeth him good,
    for himself and his seed after him,
    from generation to generation.
Let my servant William Law pay stock into that house,
    for himself and his seed after him,
    from generation to generation.
    If he will do my will let him not take his family unto the eastern lands,
        even unto Kirtland;
    Nevertheless, I, the Lord, will build up Kirtland,
        but I, the Lord, have a scourge prepared for the inhabitants thereof.
And with my servant Almon Babbitt,
    there are many things with which I am not pleased;
    behold, he aspireth to establish his counsel instead of the counsel which I have ordained,
        even that of the Presidency of my Church;
        and he setteth up a golden calf for the worship of my people.
Let no man go from this place
    who has come here essaying to keep my commandments.
If they live here let them live unto me;
    and if they die let them die unto me;
    for they shall rest from all their labors here,
    and shall continue their works.
Therefore, let my servant William put his trust in me,
    and cease to fear concerning his family,
    because of the sickness of the land.
    If ye love me, keep my commandments;
        and the sickness of the land shall redound to your glory.
Let my servant William go and proclaim my everlasting gospel with a loud voice,
    and with great joy,
    as he shall be moved upon by my Spirit,
        unto the inhabitants of Warsaw,
        and also unto the inhabitants of Carthage,
        and also unto the inhabitants of Burlington,
        and also unto the inhabitants of Madison,
    and await patiently and diligently
        for further instructions at my general conference, saith the Lord.
    If he will do my will
        let him from henceforth hearken to the counsel of my servant Joseph,
        and with his interest support the cause of the poor,
        and publish the new translation of my holy word
            unto the inhabitants of the earth.
    And if he will do this I will bless him with a multiplicity of blessings,  
        that he shall not be forsaken,
        nor his seed be found begging bread.

[Hyrum Smith Appointment & Sealing Power]

Let my servant William be appointed, ordained, and anointed,
    as counselor unto my servant Joseph,
    in the room of my servant Hyrum,
That my servant Hyrum may take the office of Priesthood and Patriarch,
    which was appointed unto him by his father,
        by blessing
        and also by right;
that from henceforth
    he shall hold the keys of THE Patriarchal Blessings [or, the blessings of the Patriarchs]
        upon the heads of all my people,
    that whoever he blesses
        shall be blessed,
    and whoever he curses
        shall be cursed;
    that whatsoever he shall bind on earth
        shall be bound in heaven;
    and whatsoever he shall loose on earth
        shall be loosed in heaven.
And from this time forth
    I appoint unto him that he may be:
        a prophet,
        and a seer,
        and a revelator
    unto my church,
    as well as my servant Joseph;
that he may act in concert also with my servant Joseph;
and that he shall receive counsel from my servant Joseph,
    who shall show unto him the keys
        whereby he may ask and receive,
    and be crowned
        with the same blessing,
        and glory,
        and honor,
        and priesthood,
        and gifts of the priesthood,
    that once were put upon him that was my servant Oliver Cowdery;
that my servant Hyrum may bear record
    of the things which I shall show unto him,
that his name may be had in honorable remembrance
    from generation to generation,
    forever and ever.

[Others]

Let my servant William Law also
    receive the keys by which he may ask and receive blessings;
    let him be humble before me,
        and be without guile,
        and he shall receive of my Spirit,
            even the Comforter,
            which shall manifest unto him the truth of all things,
            and shall give him, in the very hour, what he shall say.
    And these signs shall follow him:
        he shall heal the sick,
        he shall cast out devils,
        and shall be delivered from those
            who would administer unto him deadly poison;
        and he shall be led in paths
            where the poisonous serpent cannot lay hold upon his heel,
        and he shall mount up in the imagination of his thoughts
            as upon eagles’ wings.
        and what if I will that he should raise the dead,
            let him not withhold his voice.
    Therefore, let my servant William cry aloud
        and spare not,
        with joy and rejoicing,
        and with hosannas to him that sitteth upon the throne forever and ever,
        saith the Lord your God.
Behold, I say unto you, I have a mission in store
    for my servant William,
    and my servant Hyrum,
    and for them alone;
and Let my servant Joseph tarry at home,
    for he is needed.
The remainder I will show unto you hereafter. Even so. Amen.
And again, verily I say unto you, if my servant Sidney will serve me
    and be counselor unto my servant Joseph,
    let him arise and come up
        and stand in the office of his calling,
        and humble himself before me.
    And if he will offer unto me an acceptable offering,
        and acknowledgments,
        and remain with my people,
    behold, I, the Lord your God, will heal him
        that he shall be healed;
    and he shall lift up his voice again on the mountains,
        and be a spokesman before my face.
    Let him come and locate his family in the neighborhood
        in which my servant Joseph resides.
    And in all his journeyings let him lift up his voice
        as with the sound of a trump,
        and warn the inhabitants of the earth
            to flee the wrath to come.
Let him assist my servant Joseph,
    and also let my servant William Law assist my servant Joseph,
    in making a solemn proclamation
        unto the kings of the earth,
        even as I have before said unto you.
If my servant Sidney will do my will,
    let him not remove his family unto the eastern lands,
    but let him change their habitation,
    even as I have said.
Behold, it is not my will
    that he shall seek to find safety and refuge out of the city
        which I have appointed unto you,
        even the city of Nauvoo.
Verily I say unto you, even now,
    if he will hearken unto my voice,
    it shall be well with him. Even so. Amen.

And again, verily I say unto you, let my servant Amos Davies pay stock
    into the hands of those whom I have appointed
        to build a house for boarding, even the Nauvoo House.
    This let him do if he will have an interest;
        and let him hearken unto the counsel of my servant Joseph,
        and labor with his own hands
        that he may obtain the confidence of men.
And when he shall prove himself faithful
    in all things that shall be entrusted unto his care,
        yea, even a few things,
    he shall be made ruler over many;
Let him therefore abase himself
    that he may be exalted. Even so. Amen.
And again, verily I say unto you, if my servant Robert D. Foster will obey my voice,
    let him build a house for my servant Joseph,
        according to the contract which he has made with him,
        as the door shall be open to him from time to time.
    And let him repent of all his folly,
        and clothe himself with charity;
        and cease to do evil,
        and lay aside all his hard speeches;
    And pay stock also into the hands of the quorum of the Nauvoo House,
        for himself
        and for his generation after him,
            from generation to generation;
    And hearken unto the counsel
        of my servants Joseph, and Hyrum, and William Law,
        and unto the authorities which I have called
            to lay the foundation of Zion;
    and it shall be well with him forever and ever. Even so. Amen.
And again, verily I say unto you, let no man pay stock to the quorum of the Nauvoo House
    unless he shall be a believer in the Book of Mormon,
        and the revelations I have given unto you, saith the Lord your God;
    For that which is more or less than this cometh of evil,
        and shall be attended with cursings
        and not blessings,
    saith the Lord your God. Even so. Amen.
And again, verily I say unto you, let the quorum of the Nauvoo House
    have a just recompense of wages
    for all their labors which they do in building the Nauvoo House;
    and let their wages be as shall be agreed among themselves,
        as pertaining to the price thereof.
And let every man who pays stock bear his proportion of their wages,
    if it must needs be,
    for their support, saith the Lord;
Otherwise, their labors shall be accounted unto them for stock in that house. Even so. Amen.
Verily I say unto you, I now give unto you the officers belonging to my Priesthood,
    that ye may hold the keys thereof,
    even the Priesthood which is after the order of Melchizedek,
    which is after the order of mine Only Begotten Son.
First, I give unto you Hyrum Smith to be a patriarch unto you,
    to hold the sealing blessings of my church,
        even the Holy Spirit of promise,
    whereby ye are sealed up unto the day of redemption,
        that ye may not fall
        notwithstanding the hour of temptation that may come upon you.
I give unto you my servant Joseph to be a presiding elder over all my church,
    to be a translator,
    a revelator,
    a seer,
    and prophet.
I give unto him for counselors
    my servant Sidney Rigdon
    and my servant William Law,
that these may constitute a quorum and First Presidency,
    to receive the oracles for the whole church.
I give unto you my servant Brigham Young
    to be a president over the Twelve traveling council;
    which Twelve hold the keys to open up the authority of my kingdom
    upon the four corners of the earth,
    and after that to send my word to every creature.
They are Heber C. Kimball,
    Parley P. Pratt,
    Orson Pratt,
    Orson Hyde,
    William Smith,
    John Taylor,
    John E. Page,
    Wilford Woodruff,
    Willard Richards,
    George A. Smith;
David Patten I have taken unto myself;
    behold, his priesthood no man taketh from him;
but, verily I say unto you, another may be appointed unto the same calling.
And again, I say unto you, I give unto you a high council,
    for the cornerstone of Zion—namely:
        Samuel Bent,
        Henry G. Sherwood,
        George W. Harris,
        Charles C. Rich,
        Thomas Grover,
        Newel Knight,
        David Dort,
        Dunbar Wilson
        Seymour Brunson I have taken unto myself;
            no man taketh his priesthood,
            but another may be appointed unto the same priesthood in his stead;
            and verily I say unto you, let my servant Aaron Johnson be ordained unto this calling in his stead—
        David Fullmer,
        Alpheus Cutler,
        William Huntington.
And again, I give unto you Don C. Smith
    to be a president over a quorum of high priests;
    which ordinance is instituted for the purpose
        of qualifying those who shall be appointed standing presidents or servants over different stakes scattered abroad;
    and they may travel also if they choose,
        but rather be ordained for standing presidents;
    this is the office of their calling, saith the Lord your God.
I give unto him Amasa Lyman and Noah Packard for counselors,
    that they may preside over the quorum of high priests of my church, saith the Lord.
And again, I say unto you, I give unto you John A. Hicks, Samuel Williams, and Jesse Baker,
    which priesthood is to preside over the quorum of elders,
    which quorum is instituted for standing ministers;
    nevertheless they may travel,
        yet they are ordained to be standing ministers to my church, saith the Lord.
And again, I give unto you:
    Joseph Young,
    Josiah Butterfield,
    Daniel Miles,
    Henry Herriman,
    Zera Pulsipher,
    Levi Hancock,
    James Foster,
to preside over the quorum of seventies;
    which quorum is instituted for traveling elders
    to bear record of my name in all the world,
        wherever the traveling high council, mine apostles, shall send them
        to prepare a way before my face.
The difference between this quorum and the quorum of elders
    is that one is to travel continually,
    and the other is to preside over the churches from time to time;
the one has the responsibility of presiding from time to time,
    and the other has no responsibility of presiding, saith the Lord your God.
And again, I say unto you, I give unto you Vinson Knight, Samuel H. Smith, and Shadrach Roundy, if he will receive it,
    to preside over the bishopric;
    a knowledge of said bishopric is given unto you in the book of Doctrine and Covenants.
And again, I say unto you, Samuel Rolfe and his counselors for priests,
    and the president of the teachers and his counselors,
    and also the president of the deacons and his counselors,
    and also the president of the stake and his counselors.
The above offices I have given unto you,
    and the keys thereof,
        for helps and for governments,
        for the work of the ministry and the perfecting of my saints.
And a commandment I give unto you,
    that you should fill all these offices
    and approve of those names which I have mentioned,
or else disapprove of them at my general conference;
And that ye should prepare rooms for all these offices
    in my house when you build it unto my name,
    saith the Lord your God. Even so. Amen.

Thursday, March 9, 2017

Had in Honorable Remembrance



On January 19th, 1841, the Lord gave through Joseph the only significant revelation to the saints during the Nauvoo period. It is what we now number as D&C 124. Among other critical direction given (the conditions by which they would not be driven out of Nauvoo), He gave the following concerning Hyrum in verses 91-96:

Verily, thus saith the Lord ... [in v.1]
Let my servant William be appointed, ordained, and anointed,
as counselor unto my servant Joseph,
in the room of my servant Hyrum,
That my servant Hyrum may take the office of Priesthood and Patriarch,
which was appointed unto him by his father,
by blessing
and also by right;
that from henceforth
he shall hold the keys of THE Patriarchal Blessings [or, the blessings of the Patriarchs]
upon the heads of all my people,
that whoever he blesses
shall be blessed,
and whoever he curses
shall be cursed;
that whatsoever he shall bind on earth
shall be bound in heaven;
and whatsoever he shall loose on earth
shall be loosed in heaven.
And from this time forth
I appoint unto him that he may be:
a prophet,
and a seer,
and a revelator
unto my church,
as well as my servant Joseph;
that he may act in concert also with my servant Joseph;
and that he shall receive counsel from my servant Joseph,
who shall show unto him the keys
whereby he may ask and receive,
and be crowned
with the same blessing,
and glory,
and honor,
and priesthood,
and gifts of the priesthood,
that once were put upon him that was my servant Oliver Cowdery;
that my servant Hyrum may bear record
of the things which I shall show unto him,
that his name may be had in honorable remembrance
from generation to generation,
forever and ever.

By continuing the office of Presiding Patriarch, the generations of men in our LDS Church "had [Hyrum's] name in [semi-]honorable remembrance" for four generations. The LDS Church has never, however, acknowledged Hyrum as the Lord did: having Himself designated Hyrum as the second prophet to the Church, Hyrum also having been elected co-president with Joseph. His epistle to the church is not to be even found on LDS.org--it really should have been included in our Doctrine and Covenants, as some of Joseph's were.

As noted in Preserving the Restoration:
One of the last signs indicating the end of the gentiles was the passing of Eldred Smith in 2013, and with him the office of Patriarch to the church. Only one thing now remains. God must send a witness to be the final required “sign” sent to declare God’s intention to begin something new.
The excommunication of the author of the book, as a messenger sent by the Lord to minister to believing LDS Mormons was directed by members of the LDS Quorum of the 12, Seventies, and First Presidency itself (by refusing the appeal) and constituted part of the final "sign" referenced.

The content, times, and locations for the ten-part talk that the author claims Christ directed him to give served as the basis for the Lord's "set[ting] His hand the second time to restore His people from their lost and fallen state." (2 Nephi 25:17) Two additional witnesses of this claim, having each been directly told so by the Lord Himself, are included in the book--one at the beginning and one at the end.

I add my own witness that the Lord has told me in His own voice that the message in Preserving the Restoration is His and did not originate with the author of the talk and book. I believe it is a fulfillment of the words Christ promised in 3 Nephi 21:11 to give:
Therefore it shall come to pass that whosoever will not believe in My words, who am Jesus Christ, which the Father shall cause him to bring forth unto the Gentiles, and shall give unto him power that he shall bring them forth unto the Gentiles, (it shall be done even as Moses said) they shall be cut off from among my people who are of the covenant.
 This is the commandment (2 Nephi 9:23-24):
And if they will not repent and believe in [Christ's] name, and be [re]baptized in His name, and endure to the end, they must be damned; for the Lord God, the Holy One of Israel, has spoken it.
This is precisely what Joseph and Hyrum invited us to do. By hearing the invitation given through them (but not by following them), we "have them in honorable remembrance." But the time for idolatry and worship of men is past--it will utterly damn us as LDS Mormons if we do not repent of it. Christ only is to be worshiped, and His words, by whomever they are given, must be hearkened to.