Infallible Authority

By J. J. Dewey

Foreword
I have some additional writings I need to edit and get posted that have not been posted to the Keys of Knowledge spiritual discussion group. The first one I shall post is called “Infallible Authority.” I wrote the first draft, I believe, in 1978. About the time I was finishing it, the Latter-day Saint church [Mormon] authorities got wind that I had some unorthodox beliefs so they decided to try me for my membership. Since they were trying me for some fairly trivial doctrines I thought I might as well give them so meat to chew on so they could formulate some reason to be for or against me.

I thus made photocopies of the first draft of the book I am about to post to you and sent them to all 15 men who were going to try me.

As you might guess, this did not help my cause, but sealed my doom with the church. They decided that anyone who thought such things as I should not be allowed to stay in the church.

Below is the beginning of the book. The style of writing is somewhat different than I use today as I was still in the church when I started it and was addressing LDS people with their peculiar mindset. I now call this language which one must use with them “Mormonese.”

I believe that even those not familiar with LDS teachings will find this interesting because many other churches, governments and organizations attempt to exert “infallible authority” over the mind of humanity. I’m sure many on this list have escaped this “Mark of the Beast” in one form or another. [Editor’s Note: These chapters, copied from pages on the author’s website, are here compiled in one document with minimal editing.]

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Frequently Cited Publications

DHC = Documentary History of the Church (officially titled History of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints; edited by B. H. Roberts; 7 volumes published between 1902 and 1932) TPJS = Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith (edited by Joseph Fielding Smith; published in 1938) JD = Journal of Discourses (26 volumes of public sermons published between 1854 and 1886) Millennial Star = The Latter-day Saints’ Millennial Star (an official Church periodical printed from 1840 to 1970) Most other abbreviations refer to books of the LDS Church’s canonized scriptures, or “Standard Works”: The Holy Bible (Old and New Testament – King James Version), The Book of Mormon, The Doctrine and Covenants (D&C), and The Pearl of Great Price.

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Chapter One Examining Infallibility
If a 14th Article of Faith were ever written for the Mormon Church, it might well read: “We believe in the infallibility of the president of the Church so long as he is living. However, after he is dead, his statements are subject to error. The longer he has been dead, the more cautiously one should view his words.”

When I was a boy, I often heard the doctrine of the infallibility of the Pope criticized as being ridiculous; but as the years passed, I heard less and less criticism of infallibility and more praise for the brethren, especially our President. Now the LDS have virtually reached the same state of crystallization as the Catholic Church in this matter to the extent that they accept the words of their President pertaining to doctrine (even though they may be given in his own name) with the same weight that the Catholics accept the words of the Pope.

Contrary to popular belief, the Catholics do not look upon the Pope as infallible in his own right. They realize that he is as human as you or I. They merely accept him as being infallible when personally representing the Son of God and speaking on doctrine and church affairs. His words do not have to be claimed as revelation or even inspiration; he merely has to speak and he is to be trusted and believed without question. Is this not the way the Mormon people are encouraged to feel about their president? Then why not call a spade a spade and openly call it the doctrine of the “Infallibility of the Prophet”?

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How did such a doctrine of infallibility get started in a church which, for the first sixty years, did not even call itself a sect, and whose leaders cringed at being called a sectarian? Unfortunately, it was introduced by one of the sweetest most gentle and sincere of persons to ever attain a position in the Church -- namely Wilford Woodruff. In defending the Manifesto of 1890, he said: “The Lord will never permit me nor any other man who stands as president of this church to lead you astray. It is not in the program. It is not in the mind of God. If I were to attempt that, the Lord would remove me out of my place, and so He will any other man who attempts to lead the children of men astray from the oracles of God and from their duty.” (Wilford Woodruff, Oct 6, 1890 Conference)

From the above statement, the Church concurs that if the prophet were to do anything to lead the Church astray, his life would be taken before he could do any damage; thus it is impossible for the Church to be out of order. I heard a fairly renowned Mormon speaker sum up the current belief when he said, “The Lord has given us a yardstick whereby we cannot fail. The prophet. We may rest assured that he will always lead us right, for the Lord has promised us that he will never lead us astray. In all other dispensations there was apostasy, but this one is different. This is the dispensation of the fullness of times, and this time the church cannot fall.”

Could such a doctrine be correct? Think for a moment -- if it is not, if it is possible for the church to fail today as the Lord has said (we’ll point out references later), then could you think of a doctrine that would cause any greater rejoicing in hell? I think not, for then if Satan could get a foothold on the president, he could then lead the whole church. Such doctrine reminds me of Nephi’s words: “And others he will pacify, and lead them away in to carnal security, that they will say: All is well in Zion, yea, Zion prospereth, all is well -- and thus the devil cheateth their souls, and leadeth them away carefully down to hell [...] Wo unto him that is at ease in Zion! Wo be unto him that crieth All is well! [...] Cursed is he that putteth his trust in man (a President for instance?), 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. Wo be unto the Gentiles, saith the Lord of Hosts!

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(Remember the Gentiles are those who first receive the Book of Mormon -- in other words, the LDS people!) For not withstanding I shall lengthen out mine arm unto them from day to day, they will deny me.” (2 Nephi 28:21, 24-25, 31-32)

Let us walk on to forbidden territory for a moment and actually question the words of a prophet

Was Wilford Woodruff right in what he said? If he was right, then do we understand him correctly? In examining his words, we first see that they are spoken in his name and not the Lord’s. He starts out, “I say...” He does not claim that his words are inspired; thus they cannot carry an equal weight with any previous revelation. Therefore, if we were to find a previous revelation which conflicted with the above statement, then that would take ascendancy.

Is there such a revelation?

Yes, there are several. For instance, in speaking of the prophet of the Church, the Lord said: “And all they who receive the oracles of God, let them beware how they hold them lest they are accounted as a light thing, and they are brought under condemnation thereby, and stumble and fall when the storms descend, and the winds blow, and the rains descend and beat upon their house.” (D&C 90:5)

If it is impossible for the prophet to lead the Church astray, then why did the Lord say this? How could a prophet possibly stumble and fall? Why did Joseph Smith warn: “When the head is sick, the whole body is faint”? (DHC 2:146) Why did he also say, “Were he (Sidney Rigdon) to preside, he would lead the Church to destruction in less than five years”? (DHC 6:592) Why did Joseph also warn that, “If the people departed from the Lord, they must fall -- that they were depending on the prophet, hence were darkened in their minds.” (DHC 5:19) Also, “If one member becomes corrupt, and you know it, you must immediately put it away, or it will either injure or destroy the whole body” (the Church). (DHC 4:605)

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Do not the scriptures tell us clearly that “God is the same yesterday, today and forever,” and “with him there is no variableness”? (See 1 Nephi 10:18; 2 Nephi 2:4; Heb 3:8; and James 1:17.) Therefore, the pattern that God followed yesterday will be repeated in principle today and tomorrow.

Did you realize that only eight pages of the entire New Testament were written by the president of the church? This, of course, was Peter. Paul, who wrote more than anyone else, according to many scholars, was not even a member of the Quorum of the Twelve, but had a special calling directly by Christ to be “the apostle of the gentiles.” (Rom 11:13) He was an apostle “neither by man, but by Jesus Christ.” (Gal 1:1) To affirm that the scholars are correct, we find that the Lord told Oliver Cowdery and David Whitmer that “you are called with that same calling with which he [Paul] was called.” (D&C 18:9)

Oliver Cowdery and David Whitmer were never members of the Quorum of Twelve, yet they were called apostles in early LDS history. Thus, if they had been worthy, they could have written scriptures as good and as authorized as Paul. Did not Brigham Young say, “Is this (the spirit of prophesy) the privilege of every person? It is.” (Journal of Discourses 3:89) Joseph Smith said, “No man is a minister of Jesus Christ without being a prophet,” (DHC 3:389) Unto the Lord’s servants he said, “And whatsoever they shall speak when moved upon by the Holy Ghost shall be scripture....” (D&C 68:4)

The Lord was not referring to the president of the Church here or even all the General Authorities exclusively, but He was speaking to all his servants. Is it not clear that the Lord can write scripture through whomever He pleases? Is He not a higher authority than the president of the Church? Did He not write scripture through non-general authorities in the past? Even two of the gospels, Mark and Luke, were written by individuals who were mere junior companions in the mission field and held no known position, yet they wrote scriptures binding on the entire Church today. What chance for acceptance would scripture written through a junior LDS missionary companion have today? Verily none, except among those who would be expelled from the Church.

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Almost all the Old Testament was written by those who were not General Authorities. Even Moses had no position among the Elders when he was called; neither did Enoch who was “but a lad.” David was anointed in secret to preserve his life after Saul led the Kingdom astray.

Interestingly LDS General Authorities often quote Amos to substantiate that the Lord will deal through “recognized” prophets: “Surely the Lord God will do nothing, but he revealeth his secret unto his servants, the prophets.” (Amos 3:7)

Ironically, Amos was far from being a General Authority. He said: “I was no prophet, neither was I a prophet’s son, but I was an herdman, and a gatherer of sycamore fruit. And the Lord took me as I followed the flock, and the Lord said unto me: go prophesy unto my people Israel.” (Amos 7:14-15)

Verily, Amos had no position in the church, but prophesied to the whole church. Could it happen again? Why not? Lastly, Jesus, the carpenter’s son, was no General Authority, but acknowledged: “The scribes and Pharisees sit in Moses seat; all therefore whatsoever they bid you, that observe and do; but do not after their works; for they say and do not.” (Matt 23:2-3)

However, these same leaders later commanded Peter and the disciples not to teach their doctrine and Peter replied, “We ought to obey God rather than men.” (Acts 5:29)

Jesus had great struggles with these General Authorities and they finally put him to death. Seeing this He said, “The kingdom of God shall be taken from you.” (Matt 21:43) Interestingly, Jesus recognized that they yet had the keys to the kingdom because He said the kingdom “shall” be taken.

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Likewise, for those who feel “all is well” in Zion we have the following warnings indicating the Church is indeed vulnerable:

Joseph Smith wrote: “Now brother Orson, if this church which is essaying to be the Church of Christ will not help us, when they can do it without sacrifice, with those blessings which God has bestowed upon them. I prophesy - I speak the truth, I lie not - God shall take away their talent and give it to those who have no talent, and shall prevent them from ever obtaining a place of refuge....” (DHC 2:48)

Do the LDS have a place of refuge from future calamities? Verily no. Is their talent then taken away? I pause for reply. “If you [the twelve] will not warn them [the nations] others will and you will lose your crowns.” (DHC 2:197) Beware of pride lest ye become as the Nephites of old.” (D&C 38:39) If that doesn’t mean there is a possibility of the Church going astray, then what does? The Nephites of old fell into great spiritual darkness. How much clearer can the written word be? Also, “Inasmuch as ye do it not [keep the word of the Lord], it shall be taken away, even that which ye have received,” (D&C 43:10) “Be faithful in keeping my commandments lest judgments come upon you and your faith fail you, and your enemies triumph over you.” (D&C 136:42) Joseph Smith said, “I will now ask this assembly and all the Saints if you will now build this house and receive the ordinances and blessings which God has in store for you; or will you not build unto the Lord this house, and let him pass by and bestow these blessings upon another people?” (DHC 5:427)

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Many times the Lord clearly indicates that the Church is not immune to being cut off: “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.” (D&C 124:32) “Wherefore let the church repent of her sins, and I the Lord will own them, otherwise they shall be cut off.” (D&C 63:63)

What would happen if the Church were cut off? Do you suppose you would hear our president announce the next day, “Well, brothers and sisters, I’ve got some bad news - We’ve been cut off”? Far from it. Instead the Lord merely cuts them off from true revelation and they are left to struggle by themselves to lean on the arm of flesh. From that point on every favorable emotion is interpreted as the Holy Spirit. On the other hand, many sincere people pray about “the first vision,” the truths of the Book of Mormon, and the validity of church doctrines and they do receive a witness from the Holy Spirit. Unfortunately, after receiving this answer, they automatically assume that everything else is in order. An amazingly small number have ever asked God if He is pleased with His leaders today and if the Church is in order as it should be. Why? Because after they receive a witness they are deceived into thinking that it is a mark of unfaithfulness to doubt the leaders today, but is it? No! It is only a sin to doubt the Holy Spirit. Why did Joseph Smith say, “You will live to see men arise in power in the Church who will seek to put down your friends and the friends of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. Many will be hoisted because of their money and worldly learning which they seem to be in possession of; and many who are the true followers of our Lord and Savior will be cast down because of their poverty”? (Mosiah Hancock Journal, pg. 28) Why did Brigham Young say, “Brethren, this church will be led on to the very brink of hell by the leaders of this people”? (Attested to by Joshua Jones, 1861, Provo Bowery)

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Why did John Taylor say, “The church will go into bondage both temporally and spiritually and in that day the One Mighty and Strong spoken of in the 85th Section of the Doctrine and Covenants would come.”? (“A Leaf in Review,” pg. 235) Again why did the Lord say, “Beware of pride lest ye become as the Nephites of old.”? (D&C 38:39)

After all these witnesses, can you not consider, my friends, the possibility that the Church needs set in order as prophesied in D&C 85 and later by Brigham Young and John Taylor? Those who did not consider that Jesus was the Christ never obtained the witness. Even so, the LDS who believe that revelation can only come through the head of the church are in danger of missing out on the words of many different prophets.

All true prophets have admitted the possibility of error, especially when depending on their human ability. For instance, Nephi said, “And now, if I do err, even did THEY ERR OF OLD; not that I would excuse myself because of other men, but because of the weakness which is in me, according to the flesh, I would excuse myself.” (1 Nephi 19:6) Even the possibility of error in the Doctrine and Covenants is admitted by the Lord: “These commandments are of me, and were given unto my servants in their weakness, after the manner of their language, that they might come to understanding. “And inasmuch as they erred it might be made known.” (D&C 1:24-25)

When Helaman (a Book of Mormon prophet) was given the records and authority from his father, he was warned, “If ye transgress the commandments of God, behold, these things which are sacred shall be taken 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.” (Alma 37:15)

One time the prophet Peter made the mistake of refusing to eat with the Gentiles for fear of offending Jewish members and Paul “withstood him to his face because he was to be blamed.”

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(Gal 2:8-14) Paul did this because he saw that Peter was leading the Church astray and such a bad example had to be brought to light.

Now we ask the question: If there was a danger that Peter, Helaman, Joseph Smith and others could fail, then how are we justified in believing that current “living prophets” have some mysterious immunity? Who says we are to trust in the arm of flesh? Brigham Young warned us not to “pin our faith on another’s sleeve.” He also said: “Suppose that the leaders of this people had forsaken the Lord and should introduce, through selfishness, that which would militate against the kingdom of God on the earth, that which would in the issue actually destroy this people, how are you going to detect the wrong and know it from the right? You cannot do it unless you have the spirit of the Lord “Some may say, Brethren, you who lead the church, we have all confidence in you, we are not in the least afraid but what everything will go right under your superintendence; all the business matters will be transacted right; and if Brother Brigham is satisfied with it, I am. I do not wish any Latter-day Saint in this world, nor in heaven, to be satisfied with anything I do, unless the spirit of the Lord Jesus Christ, the spirit of revelation, makes them satisfied. I wish them to know for themselves and understand for themselves, for this would strengthen the faith that is in them. Suppose that the people were heedless, that they manifested no concern with regard to the things of the kingdom of God, but threw the whole burden upon the leaders of the people, saying, ‘If the brethren who take charge of matters are satisfied we are,’ this is not pleasing in the sight of the Lord.” (JD 3:44-45) Isn’t it strange that in Brigham Young’s day it was not pleasing to put our blind trust in the Lord’s servants, but today it is? That is -- it looks as if it is. Today, those who say words forbidden by Brigham Young are looked upon as the faithful and the pillars in the Church and are rewarded with praise and positions. What are those condemned words? Let me repeat: “You who lead the Church, we have all confidence in you, we are not the least afraid but what everything will go right....”

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On the other hand, those who say, “Wait, I’ve prayed about this and I think it is not right” are looked upon as rebellious and not taking counsel as they should. The watchers for iniquity are lurking, waiting for them to make a mistake so they can be cut off, for the light shineth in the darkness and the darkness comprehendeth it not. Brigham Young said that those who enter the Celestial Kingdom are “those who are valiant and inspired with the true independence of heaven, who will go forth boldly in the service of their God, leaving others to do as they please, determined to do right, though all mankind besides (including the prophet) should take the opposite course.” (JD 1:312) But what happens when such a person really tries to exercise the true “independence of heaven” among his brethren? Suspicion arises and iniquity is watched for and he is classified as one to be watched and not trusted with any position of influence. While it is true that rebellion should be punished, independence should be rewarded. If it is not rewarded, then the Body of Christ (the church) will have poor circulation and be of little use in the heat of the day.

In the days of Joseph Smith there was much more independence of thought than there is today. Joseph often publicly challenged anyone who disagreed with his doctrines to try and prove their case. He would justify all that he brought forth with logic and the scriptures. Such thinking drew intelligent and great men about him. Public debates on religion were encouraged. Today any debates on the scriptures are viewed as “contention.” But in the early days people were encouraged to be as great as the prophet himself or greater. They were encouraged to prophesy, have dreams, see visions and seek the face of God, but even with all this independence of mind, Joseph said that “they were depending on the prophet, hence were darkened in their minds.” If members were darkened in their minds in those days, where can their light be found today? Indeed, the LDS depend on the prophet more today than ever before in history. How can you ever become a God and rule others if you have to be ruled over in every trifle? One has to learn the independence of heaven and go forth as Jesus did and do what you know to be right. Remember -- all the General Authorities [of Jesus’ time] “frowned” on Christ and excommunicated anyone who followed Him.

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Chapter Two Where is the Kingdom?
Governor Thomas Ford gave an interesting description of the early Saints; he said, “His (Joseph’s) followers were divided into the leaders and the led: the first division embraced a numerous class of broken down, unprincipled men of talents, to be found in every country, who, bankrupt in character and fortune, had nothing to lose by deserting the known religions and carving out a new one for their own. They were mostly infidels, who holding all religions in derision, believed that they had as good a right as Christ or Mohammed, or any of the founders of former systems, to create one for themselves; and if they could impose it upon mankind, to live upon the labor of their dupes. Those of the second division were the credulous wondering part of men, whose easy belief and admiring natures, are always the victims of novelty in whatever shape it may come, who have a capacity to believe any strange and wonderful matter, if only it be new, whilst the wonders of former ages command neither faith nor reverence.” (DHC 7:36-37)

Although the above was written by an enemy to the LDS Church, it gives an interesting insight from the point of an outsider as to the character of the early Mormons. It sounds amazingly like the way the present LDS authorities describe some of the people they excommunicate or condemn today as well as the humble seekers within the Church.

If Ford were alive today, how do you think he would describe the people of the Church? Do you think it would be different? Yes, it would. The leaders are no longer called “unprincipled men of talents,” but men of great ability by the world. The followers are no longer called “dupes” who are “always victims of novelty,” but are called sound citizens who obey all the laws and are good examples.

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Why is there such a different opinion of the Mormons today? Is it because they are known better? No. On the contrary, it is because they are different. They are different because they are not going forth with the independence of heaven as they were then. Members of the Church are no threat to the Babylon of today; for they have been totally disarmed and are as soldiers without weapons marching in the face of the enemy. The enemy smiles and encourages them to march on until it is safe for them to bind the unsuspecting with strong cords. Thus do the LDS receive the praise and encouragement of the world. Let us examine Wilford Woodruff’s statement again. Is it correct? It is, and it isn’t. For instance, he said, “The Lord will never permit me nor any other man who stands as president of this Church to lead you astray...” All members believe this literally, yet they ignore the latter part of the statement: “If I were to attempt that, the Lord would remove me out of my place, and so He will any other man who attempts to lead the children of men astray from the oracles of God and from doing their duty.” Here President Woodruff qualifies his statement. He tells us that God would remove “any other man who attempts to lead the children of men astray from the oracles of God” in the same manner that God would remove the President of the Church out of his place if he leads the church astray.

The feeling in the church seems to be that if the Prophet were to lead the church astray that God would strike him dead or magically remove him somehow. So because he is still there in position this means that the church is in good shape and not astray in any way.

But there are many individuals who teach doctrines contrary to standard Mormonism and the same quotation tells us they will be removed also. I notice that all of them seem to be standing their ground without being removed by any divine power. Because they are not removed, does this mean that all the fundamentalist critics are correct? Of course not.

But neither does it mean the church is not astray because the prophet is not removed.

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Was David of old removed when he committed murder?

No.

Was Solomon removed when he displeased God by having many wives and concubines? (Jacob 2:24)

No again.

Have any of the LDS leaders been removed when they have abandoned core doctrines such as a “literal gathering,” democratic elections for church leadership or the principle of free agency to speak your mind on church doctrine?

Verily, no.

There are many individuals who have truly and successfully led the children of men astray from the oracles of God for their entire long natural life and they have not been removed. God allowed them their free agency to be just as wicked as they wanted.

On the other hand, it is the righteous who are trying to lead men correctly that are often removed from the scene. Joseph, Hyrum, Jesus, His apostles, and many other good people have been removed by death for teaching the truth. When such righteous men are removed, the wicked rejoice and believe that God punished them for their sins. Even if we then take Wilford Woodruff’s statement at face value, we must accept the fact that God would not remove the president of the Church if he went astray any more than he would you or me. As we follow the scriptures, we see that God does periodically remove the wicked, but first He allows them to become ripened for destruction.

When Wilford Woodruff said that the Lord would not allow the president of the Church to lead them astray, he made a statement which is true as long as the majority of the Church are not

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astray themselves. If the majority are full of faith, then the power of that faith will stop any efforts of their leaders to lead them astray. On the other hand, when the majority desire and even pray for that which is wrong, then God who “granteth unto men according to their desire” (Alma 29:4) will let them have their way even if it leads to destruction. This is all according to the free agency of man. The Lord finally yielded to Martin Harris’ desires and let him have the 116 pages of manuscript of the Book of Mormon, even though he knew it would spell disaster. If anyone would have risen up and told him he shouldn’t have taken them, he could have said he had the Lord’s permission. On the other hand, Joseph Smith was punished for allowing Martin Harris to have the manuscript even though he was given permission. The Lord said, “You have delivered them up, yea, that which was sacred, unto wickedness .... Now, behold, I say unto you that because you delivered up those writings which you had power given unto you to translate by the means of the Urim and Thummim, into the hands of a wicked man, you have lost them. And you have lost your gift at the same time, and your mind became darkened.” (D&C 10:9 & 10:1-2)

Why was Joseph punished with a lost gift for allowing something which the Lord permitted? It was because the Lord had already refused him twice and Joseph would not listen.

The situation of the Manifesto to eliminate plural marriage is similar. Instead of the church taking the initiative to change the doctrine by revelation the change occurred because of demands made by the government. In other words, the kingdoms of the world determined church doctrine rather than the church itself.

By yielding to the government instead of standing their ground for the freedom of religion they allowed the kingdoms of the world to overcome them.

Instead of prevailing against the kingdoms of the world, a negative prophecy against the Church is being fulfilled. “But verily I say unto you, that I have decreed a decree which my people shall realize, inasmuch as they hearken from this very hour unto the counsel which I, the Lord their God, shall give unto them. Behold they shall, for I have decreed it, begin to prevail against mine

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enemies from this very hour. And by hearkening to observe all the words which I the Lord their God, shall speak unto them, they shall never cease to prevail until the kingdoms of the world are subdued under my feet, and the earth is given to the saints, to possess it forever and ever. But inasmuch as they keep not my commandments, and hearken not to observe all my words, the kingdoms of the world shall prevail against them. For they were set to be a light unto the world, and to be the saviour of men; and inasmuch as they are not the saviors of men, they are as salt that has lost its savor and is thenceforth good for nothing but to be cast out and trodden under the foot of men.” (D&C 103:5-10)

Church members often hear the teaching in the Church that from that revelation until today the Church has prevailed against its enemies. But has it??? What does the revelation say would happen when the saints prevail? It says that “The kingdoms of the world are subdued under my feet, and the earth is given to the saints.” Has the Church indeed prevailed over the kingdoms of the world? Do they have power over the governments of the earth? No. Do the governments of the earth have power over them? Yes. It is written that Zion shall have power to “rebuke strong nations afar off.” (Micah 4:3) Does the church have that power or any foreseeable aspect of gaining that power? No. Not unless there is a strong cleansing and a setting in order of the house of God. Furthermore it was prophesied, “I beheld, and the same horn (the kingdoms of the world) made war with the saints, and prevailed against them; until the Ancient of Days came, and judgment was given to the saints of the Most High; and the time came that the saints possessed the kingdom.” (Dan. 7:21-22)

Here we see that the world will prevail against the saints until Adam comes to give judgment to the saints, which believers think will happen at the meeting of Adam-Ondi-Ahman. Has this meeting yet occurred? No. Therefore, if the prophecy is true, the kingdoms of the world must be presently prevailing against the church. Who can deny it and yet claim to believe the scriptures? “But,” says a pillar in the Church, “The Church is growing as never before and we are prospering and we are no longer persecuted. Surely it is us that are prevailing.” In other words, “Surely all is well in Zion.”

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This is excellent thinking to keep those who are asleep feeling secure, but it is not true. What does truly happen when one kingdom prevails against another? After the victory does the victor continue to battle? Of course not; instead he tries to make the conquered useful to him by aligning his thinking with his own and putting the subdued under his subjection so he can be a useful part of the kingdom.

The kingdoms of the world have indeed overcome to the extent that the church had to abandon some major doctrines which were (1) The gathering of the saints into stakes which were originally designed to be communities of about 20,000 each for the protection of the saints; (2) The establishment of an independent government and nation. (3) Plural marriage. Right or wrong it was the government who forced the church to abandon it and not revelation. (4) The doctrine of man becoming God and the concept of many gods is now minimized into obscurity because of pressure from outside as well as inside the church. (5) The living of the law of consecration which members have already covenanted to do in the temple. Why take the covenant if you cannot live it? Speaking of our day as well as the past, John wrote, “And it was given unto him (Satan and his kingdoms) to make war with the Saints and to overcome them: and power was given him over all kindreds, and tongues and nations.” (Rev. 13:7)

Where is there a place on the earth where the saints have dominion? It is not to be found. There is not even a hamlet of 100 saints of all the kingdoms of the earth. Truly other forces have dominion over all nations and the LDS members are presently overcome. Just because the Church grows in numbers and gather to hear sermons doesn’t mean they are overcoming. What on earth do they think they are overcoming? They are certainly no threat to the kingdoms of the world.

Why do you think the kingdoms of the world are now leaving the Church alone and have ceased in their persecutions? The answer is simple. It is because the church is no longer an instrument of

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positive change which is resisted by the status quo. The church is basically at one with the kingdoms of the world.

The question should be:

Is the church at one with the kingdom of heaven?

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Chapter Three Two Wings of a Great Eagle
We are told that the Kingdom of God will “consume all these kingdoms.” (Dan. 2:44) Do you think they are going to be consumed with smiles on their faces and say - “go ahead with what you are doing”? Why do you think it is that the true saints “shall be hated of all men for my name’s sake”? (Matt. 10:22) The world hates the lights because the people of the world are like Joseph’s brothers. They have heard the prophecy that they will have to bow down to their younger brother and they fear that it is true. Thus, they make a mockery of the saints and try to destroy them, but instead of being destroyed, the saints are sold into Egypt and become slaves through over taxation and excessive laws. Thus they are doomed to a prison of their own making due to a refusal to see greater light. But eventually the meek and humble will be delivered through the power of God and have judgment given to them as Joseph of old did and will bring salvation to the world as he also did.

The 12th chapter of Revelations tells us of two times that the woman [that is, the Church] will flee into the wilderness. The first describes the great apostasy: “And the woman [the Church] fled into the wilderness, where she hath a place prepared of God, that they should feed her there a thousand two hundred and three score years.” (Rev. 12:6, Inspired Version) This period ended when the Lord restored the Church which was “the beginning of the rising up and coming forth of my Church out of the wilderness.” (D&C 5:14) But wait! John says the church goes into the wilderness again: “And to the woman were given two wings of a great eagle, that she might fly into the wilderness, into her place, where she is nourished for a time, and times, and a half a time, from the face of the serpent.”

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Instead of 1260 years the second time, the church goes in the wilderness or hiding as written “a time, and times, and a half a time.” How long is this? Obviously it is a different time period than the 1260 years, or it would have been written the same. Actually the “time, and times, and half a time” is a type or a symbol of the great apostasy, but a different length; thus the different wording. A time is a symbol of a season, a year, or a generation. The “times” spoken of stands for double that length. A “half a time” is, of course, half the length. This adds up to three and one half seasons, years or generations. If we use three and one half prophetic years, this adds up to 1260 days which keeps showing up. In the second apostasy the woman was “given two wings of a great eagle.” (Rev. 12:14) Look on the back of a dollar bill and you will see the symbol of the United States! Two wings of a great eagle! Obviously this prophecy is referring to a time of apostasy of the woman [the church] right here in the United States. The question arises: When were the saints forced into the wilderness [or underground] in these latter days and how long is the “time, and times, and half a time”?

We can answer the first question by asking several others. Since we are told that the true saints are always persecuted, we need merely ask: When did the persecution of the LDS Church as a body subside? Since the saints of God are blessed with revelations, signs, wonders, and miracles, when did these begin to subside? Since the saints of God are supposed to overcome the world, when did the Church cease overcoming the world? Since the saints are supposed to gather and be separate from the world, when did the saints begin to disperse and freely intermingle with the world? Since the saints are supposed to be hated of the world, when did they begin to receive the praise of the world? The time is the same for all the questions. It is the time prophesied by Isaiah when “the drunkards of Ephraim” would “err in vision and stumble in judgement.” (Isa. 28:1, 7) It is a day when Ephraim would “make a covenant with death, and with hell we are at agreement.” (Isa. 28:15) By some it may be argued that Isaiah 28 does not pertain to our day, but it can be easily proved that it does. The first evidence is that Isaiah 28 is right next to Isaiah 29, which is an acknowledged prophecy (by the LDS church) about the coming forth of the Church and the Book of Mormon. Secondly, Isaiah 28 contains a prophecy of the sending “a mighty and strong one.”

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(Isa. 28:2) This prophecy is repeated in D&C Section 85 as pertaining to our day. Thirdly, Isaiah prophecies about the “overflowing scourge” (Isa. 28:15-19) According to the Doctrine and Covenants, this scourge is yet to come. (See D&C 45:31 & 5:18.) When did the Church make this “agreement with hell and covenant with death.” and what is it? Nephi tells us that “hell” is “both temporal and spiritual.” (1 Nephi 15: 31) That means that the kingdoms of this world are a part of hell. Thus an agreement with hell is an agreement with the world. A covenant with death is a covenant that produces spiritual death.

When did the Church make an agreement with the world that was followed by a famine of revelations? Joseph Smith, Brigham Young, John Taylor, and Wilford Woodruff all had revelations in the name of the Lord, though none of the revelations received by the latter two are published for the Church. One revelation received by John Taylor is vehemently denied as existing by the Church, even though anyone who has permission can go in the Special Documents Section and see a copy of it. What covenant was drawn up in the days of Wilford Woodruff? The Manifesto, which agreed to submit to the moral demands of the government.

Whether or not plural marriage was right or wrong is not as important as the acquiescence of the church in giving away their power to the kingdoms of the world through an agreement with hell and covenant with death.

The Church made an agreement with hell to cease all plural marriages and to send away and cease living with all plural wives. This produced extreme hardship for these women, many of whom had to fend for themselves. This covenant produced spiritual death because many of the brethren decided to keep their former covenants rather than the agreement with hell causing them to break their word. Wilford Woodruff kept his covenant and did not live with his plural wives after the Manifesto, but Joseph F. Smith and most of the general authorities continued to openly live with their wives.

Joseph F. Smith told a Congressional committee that he was violating his covenant with the United States, but it was a chance he was willing to take. Six apostles took new plural wives after

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the Manifesto. They were put in a position where any decision they made would break a covenant (either with the government or the church) so they tried to choose the lesser evil, but just as Adam’s lesser evil caused his spiritual death so have many lesser evils in the Church caused its partial spiritual death. Church authorities of the time are reported to have said that the purpose of the manifest was “to beat the devil at his own game.” Unfortunately, you can’t beat the devil playing by the rules of deceit. To beat him one must use the higher rules of the Kingdom of God. When will the “time, and times, and half a time” be at an end and what do they stand for? This stands for three and one half time periods of some kind - perhaps a generation. Is it possible that in the days of the fourth generation, the House of God will be set in order as prophesied in Doctrine and Covenants 85 and the Church will again be out of the wilderness? This time for good, hopefully. The fourth generation (symbolized by the one-half time) are most probably the great, great, great grandchildren of those who were living in 1890.

The Lord seldom gives out exact dates in prophecy because often the fulfillment is flexible according to the free agency of man. Thus, He has not given us the exact date that the Church will again come out of the wilderness. The days of the fourth generation are near us, but both the third and fourth generations will be intermingled for some time. If we consider that the Biblical generation was a period of forty years and if we use this time period for a generation, we find that three and one-half generations equals 140 years, and when we add this to 1890, we again arrive at the date 2030. Time will indeed tell us if this is the true date that the church will come out of the wilderness.

The Manifesto may not be the only agreement with hell that the Church has or will make. There will be many pressures on the Church from the government in the future. The government would like to control the schools and would like to tax church properties and many would like to tax money that has been tithed. In addition to this, the Church, through no outside pressure, may find itself supporting certain nations, political leaders or corporate interests when they are in the

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wrong. Discernment must be made and it must not be assumed that any entity should be supported without question or the use of reason. The scriptures say: “They who are not apostles and prophets shall be known.” (D&C 64:39)

Are there in the church those who care called apostles and prophets who are neither and will one day be exposed? Time will tell.

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Chapter Four Healing the Deadly Wound
Interestingly John the Revelator gives us another prophesy foretelling the temporary failure of the Latter-Day Kingdom: “And I saw another sign, in the likeness of the kingdoms of the earth; a beast rise up out of the sea, and he stood upon the sand of the sea, having seven heads and ten horns; and upon his horns ten crowns; and upon his heads the name of blasphemy. And the beast which I saw was like unto a leopard, and his feet were as the feet of a bear, and his mouth as the mouth of a lion; and the dragon gave him his power, and his seat, and great authority. And I saw one of his heads as it were wounded to death; and his deadly wound was healed; and all the world wondered after the beast.” (Rev 13:1-3, Inspired Version)

We do not have room here for a full commentary so we shall cover this briefly. The beast, we are clearly told in the Inspired Version, symbolizes the kingdoms of the world. (This might be more fully described as the false authority of the kingdoms of the world.) The sea from which the beast arose are the “peoples, and multitudes, and nations and tongues” of the earth. (See Rev 17:15.) The seven heads “are seven kings (or kingdoms); five are fallen, and one is, and the other is not yet come; and when he cometh he must continue a short space.” (Rev 17:10) These seven kingdoms are also referred to as “seven mountains, on which the woman (great and abominable church) sitteth.” (Rev 17:9) Concerning the ten horns we are told they are “ten kings, which have received no kingdom as yet; but receive power as kings one hour with the beast.” (Rev 17:12) This beast or the authority of the kingdoms of the world “was like unto a leopard” symbolizing its speed in fighting against the saints. “His feet were as the feet of a bear.” This symbolizes his power to crush and wear out the saints of God. “His mouth was as the mouth of a lion.” This illustrates the power that is in the mouth of the beast. In each age it has had power to tear the

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Kingdom of God to pieces. The meaning of the next line is obvious: “The dragon (or the devil) gave him his power and his seat, and great authority.” The next verse is particularly interesting: “And I saw one of his heads wounded as it were to death....” Now the seven heads stand for seven world kingdoms in seven different ages of the world and presently the saints are under the dominion of the seventh kingdom of the beast in this seventh dispensation. John saw that “one of his heads” was wounded to death. Which head was this and how did it happen?

There has been much speculation on this verse. Some of the commentators believe the wounded head is the Roman empire which will be revived or healed. Others think it is a pope. Some think it was Nero or Hitler and that the healing will be the rise of another dictator of similar stature. But could this be so? Verily to get the true interpretation, one must ask what power could be mighty enough to strike a deadly blow to the kingdoms of the world. We clearly see that this power that wounded the beast wounded it “to death” and if it was wounded to death, that would mean that all of the kingdoms of the entire world would fall or lose their false authority.

Would the fall of Hitler or Nero cause all the kingdoms of the world to be consumed and die forever? No. Not even the collapse of the Roman empire killed the beast. What then does have power to strike a death blow to the beast? Again the answer is in the scriptures. We are told that the Kingdom of God “shall break in pieces and consume all these kingdoms, and it shall stand forever.” (Dan 2:44)

Tell me, O ye teachers of the earth, is there anything besides the Kingdom of God which has the power to strike a deadly blow to the beast or the kingdoms of this world? Hitler could not have been the head that was wounded for he was wounded by the other kingdoms of the world and the seventh head is the kingdoms of the world at this time and it is still alive and well.

We conclude then that the deadly blow to the kingdoms of the world will not come from the kingdoms of the world, but from the Kingdom of God. When did God set up a kingdom that struck a deadly blow to the kingdoms of the world? Did he not do this when he set up the Church

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in 1830 and later the Council of Fifty or the actual governing kingdom in 1843? Did the Lord not promise the saints that if they were faithful, “they shall never cease to prevail until the kingdoms of the world (the beast) are subdued under my feet”? (D&C 103:7) When else in history had the beast received such a deadly blow?

Joseph Smith recognized that the Kingdom prophesied by Daniel was not yet successfully set up for he said, “I calculate to be one of the instruments of setting up the kingdom of Daniel by the word of the Lord, and I intend to lay a foundation that will revolutionize the whole world.” (DHC 6:365) He said this just shortly before his death. Thus the kingdom was not yet successfully established, but the work of the founding prophets did give a deadly blow to the beast and would have consumed it if the saints had been faithful, but as it happened, “his deadly wound was healed.”

The church has made a number of steps backward to heal the deadly wound:

Revelation instead of being encouraged is discouraged and many who claim simple communion with God are excommunicated for simply having an experience with the Spirit and speaking of it.

Members are controlled by rigid authority and not allowed their free agency to express views on unorthodox doctrines without fear of excommunication.

The church excommunicates those who publish true historical records that conflict with establish doctrines preventing members from obtaining an accurate historical perspective.

The church has abandoned adhering to the article of faith concerning the literal gathering of Israel.

The Church has abandoned open debate as was the custom in the early church. Debate is now called “contention.”

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The Church has abandoned the principles of election concerning church offices and positions as was had in the early days. A vote of election has been changed to a “sustaining vote” similar to the one-party type of vote as practiced by the Communist party.

The leaders no longer present revelation to the church. “Precept must be added upon precept.” No new knowledge or precepts are being given to or by the church.

The church is distancing itself from its greatest teachings. The King Follett Discourse of man becoming god is a prime example.

Secrecy with money. The salaries and perks of the general authorities are hidden from the knowledge of the members.

The glorification of mediocrity.

Allowing the government, instead of revelation, to dictate the changing of religious doctrine in 1890.

These twelve points, among others, are the healing salve for the beast and the wound was healed and the kingdom is presently no threat to the beast, but the beast “made war with the saints and overcame them; and power was given him over all kindreds, and tongues and nations.” (Rev 13:7)

When, then, will the kingdom prophesied by Daniel succeed? In Daniel we see that the ten toes in the vision stand for ten kings in the last days, “and in the days of these kings shall the God of heaven set up a kingdom, which shall never be destroyed....” (Dan 2:44) These ten kings were at one time thought to be the common market nations in Europe -- now called the European Union.

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At one time it looked like there would be ten of them but as of this writing there are 15 nations in the European Union (EU) which are: Austria, Belgium, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Ireland, Italy, Luxembourg, Netherlands, Portugal, Spain, Sweden and the United Kingdom. Twelve of them recently joined together for a common currency, again bypassing the number ten.

So where does the number ten fit in? As with many prophecies this has a dual meaning, one spiritual and one material.

The material manifestations of the ten toes are: 1. North America, 2. Central and South America, 3. The United Kingdom including Australia and New Zealand, 4. Europe, 5. Russia and surrounding countries, 6. Africa, 7. India, 8. China and Taiwan, 9. Japan and Korea, and 10. The Middle East.

These, and the land masses and islands associated with them are the ten toes which rule the whole earth as indicated in the prophecy. These ten divisions are a much better correspondence to the prophecy than the European Union. On the spiritual level the ten toes are the “religious world” that also has a correspondence to the ten toes: 1. The Roman Catholic Church, 2. The Eastern Orthodox Church, 3. The Protestant religions, 4. The Jews,

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5. Islam, 6. Shinto, 7. Taoist, 8. Confucian, 9. Buddhist, and 10. Hindu.

These ten religious divisions account for about 99 percent of the religious membership of the planet. (Note: You can read more about this beginning in “The Gathering of Lights, chap. 26: Daniel’s Dream.” After finishing this, read the next couple chapters to finish the commentary.)

The prophecy concerning the image is not completely fulfilled; thus the days of the setting up of the kingdom of Daniel in its fullness has not yet arrived but will arrive when the Church again comes out of the wilderness. This time the kingdom will not be destroyed or left to another people. Paul said that because people do not love the truth “God will send them strong delusion, that they should believe a lie.” What’s this? God will send delusion? That’s what it says. Paul is speaking of the last days in the period just before the end of the age. God will send delusion by allowing Satan a free reign on those who do not love the truth and desire doctrine according to their own will and not the Lord’s.

The first major delusion among the Latter-day Saints is that the prophet cannot lead the people astray. However, there is a second and equally dangerous belief and that is that the Church cannot go astray - that is, this time it cannot fall. This “all is well” feeling is partially caused by misinterpreting Daniel: “And in the days of these kings, shall the God of heaven set up a kingdom, which shall never be destroyed: and the kingdom shall not be left to other people but it shall break in pieces and consume all these kingdoms, and it shall stand forever.” (Dan 2:44)

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The deception here is caused by the idea that the Church and the Kingdom are one and the same, but few realize that the Church was merely a forerunner of the Kingdom and not the Kingdom itself. Long after the Church was organized Joseph often spoke of setting up the Kingdom spoken of by Daniel as a thing of the future. Few realize that the Church is merely an auxiliary of the Kingdom and a mere temporary organization as indicated by the scriptures: “For it is because of your dead works that I have caused this last covenant and this Church to be built up unto me, even as in days of old.” (D&C 22:3) Has anyone ever stopped to think of what he would have established if our works were not dead??? It would have been the kingdom. What is the kingdom? Daniel uses the Hebrew word Malkuw which literally means “dominion.” In other words, when the Kingdom is set up, the saints will be given an actual dominion on the earth. The dominion will have a very small start, but will eventually fill the earth. Joseph Smith tried to establish this dominion with a faithful few near the end of his life by organizing the Council of Fifty. Many in the Church are not familiar with this organization, yet it did exist and its existence is fully documented by recognized LDS scholars and since there are numerous good books on the subject, I will not belabor the point by trying to substantiate that it existed.

Joseph Smith had to keep the organization of the Council of Fifty secret because he knew that the knowledge of it would excite the worst fears of his persecutors. Everyone attending was to keep the knowledge to himself, and the minutes to the meetings were even burned. At this point darkness raged more than ever and managed to obtain the life of the prophet before he was able to establish an actual dominion. However, Brigham Young tried to continue this organization and attempted to organize the state of “Deseret” as a dominion, but was unsuccessful. Thus the Kingdom yet awaits to be born.

To those who doubt this we need ask: Where do the LDS now have dominion? They do not even have dominion over their own city of Salt Lake, but the day is prophesied, “And judgment was given to the Saints of the most high and the time came that the Saints possessed the kingdom.” (Dan 7:22)

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Thus the saints, the lights of the earth whether they be LDS or another goodly people, will eventually establish a kingdom which shall have dominion from the spiritual to the physical.

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Chapter Five Like the Nephites of Old
The Council of Fifty was to consist of as many as 53 members, and membership in the Church was not a qualification for being called into the Council. Joseph Smith had several non-members in it.

What was the purpose of the Council of Fifty? The purpose was to govern the dominions in the Kingdom of God in all areas of life allowing the individual maximum use of his agency. The number 53 is a composite of three other numbers: 49, 3, and 1. The number 49 is created out of seven sevens, signifying perfection and the end of spiritual evolution in this system. The Council of Forty-nine is composed of seven smaller councils which preside over seven different areas of human endeavor which include, but are not limited to, (1) politics and defense, (2) philosophy, (3) education, (4) the arts, (5) science, (6) religion, and (7) finance and business. The “three” may or may not be positions held by the presidency of the Church to preside over spiritual affairs.

The one is a position held by he who holds the keys of the priesthood or the key to the knowledge of God. This person may or may not be president of the Church. When the Kingdom is fully established, he generally will not be; however, Joseph Smith, through necessity, temporarily held both positions. This person would guide (not dictate to) the whole Kingdom and set in order the lower councils; yet he, himself, could be reproved by the councils, for every man is subject to error as well as checks and balances.

While it is true that God will not let the Kingdom of God fail, this is no guarantee for the success of the Church; for God can shift the Kingdom from people to people according to their worthiness. Each time there is a shift, the faithful few in the former organization become leaders

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in the next. For instance, the twelve apostles of Jesus were the faithful of the Jews and they became the leaders when the Gospel was given to the Gentiles. In our day, Joseph warned the church that God could pass them by “and bestow these blessings upon another people.” (DHC 5:427) If the Church cannot fail, then why did Joseph say this? Why did the Lord say, “Beware of pride lest ye become as the Nephites of old”? (D&C 38:39) Are church members becoming as the Nephites of old? Are they full of pride? What did the Lord mean by this? To find out, let us see what happened to the Nephites.

The Nephites lived in peace and harmony for over 200 years - something we have not duplicated. We are told that there was not “any manner of ites; but they were in one, the children of Christ, and heirs to the Kingdom of God.” (4 Nephi 17) Finally, “they had become exceedingly rich, because of their prosperity in Christ.” (verse 23) At this time, the people made their fatal mistake: “There began to be among them those who were lifted up in pride, such as the wearing of costly apparel, and all manner of fine pearls, and the fine things of the world. And from that time forth they did have their goods and their substance no more common among them.” (verses 24-25)

Is the church following in their footsteps? Do the rich among them take pride in having more than his neighbor? Do they not boast of their fine homes and cars and their jewelry and their cabin in the hills? Do they not feel that they are more blessed of God because of their righteousness and hard work, and that if a man is poor, it is because he is lazy, or has not paid a full tithe, or is lessor than the rich in some way?

Have the Saints not ceased to even experiment with equality in the material world as the Nephites did? Is this not because members treasure the riches of this world more than the Kingdom of God? Is the church making any attempt to live the United Order today? Nay. The members shrink from it and hope that they will not live to see the day when they will be asked to sacrifice.

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They forget that the purpose of the true United Order is not to make the rich poor, but to make all people rich and each man is to be equal in earthly things that he can also be equal in heavenly things; but the rich in their pride want to be above the poor, and even many of the poor want to be rich so they can be above their fellow men.

Today many make excuses for not living the foundation principles by saying that it is not practical in today’s society - that they will not have to live it until the Prophet commands them to go back to Jackson County. These are words whispered into members’ ears by the adversary to “lull us into carnal security” so we will not live the commandments, for the “tomorrow” (when all are supposed to live by that which was written) never comes to the unbelievers, whereas it is always “today” for the righteous.

It is indeed true that many early attempts to live the United Order failed. This was largely due to the “unrighteous dominion” of authority and the lack of free agency to the members of the orders.

It is obvious that God is not going to come down here and show us all the details that will make it work. What is needed is experimentation through free will participation. Then when orders are set up that actually create more wealth and freedom for the individuals as well as the whole, this should then be pursued.

Instead of doing many things of our own free will to bring to pass much Righteousness, the church has been burying its talent in the ground for over 100 years and waiting for some thunderbolt of a revelation before moving ahead. Alas the wait will be forever unless the church acts upon what it has already received. The next thing that happened to the Nephite church was that “they began to be divided into classes.” (verse 26) Some in the church may say that the doctor and the lawyer are in the same class as the janitor, but if you ask the janitor you will get a different view.

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Next, “they began to build up churches unto themselves to get gain, and began to deny the true Church of Christ... there were many churches which professed to know the Christ, and yet they did deny the more parts of His gospel.” (verses 26-27) The Nephites built up churches “unto themselves.” Is this happening among the LDS today? What does this mean? Basically, it means teaching the doctrines of men and to drift from the revelations of God to relying on the wisdom of men or the “arm of flesh.” The authorities have put away the more precious parts of the gospel and now rely on the wisdom of men for guidance instead of revelation. The principle of revelation has been dropped from the church. No one has presented a new one for generations.

What does this leave us with? It leaves us with the doctrines of men and a church built toward the gain of the men involved. How does one “build up churches unto themselves to get gain”? Does this mean to use religion to get money? It does, but this is not all. It also means to build up churches to get gain and praise from the world. When the world applauds the church for the beautiful buildings and temples and schools and engraven images, murals, the Olympics etc., while at the same time the cries of the humble in spirit who walk “in low places unnoticed” ascend up to the Lord of the Sabbath for spiritual deliverance, then we have the building up churches unto ourselves to get gain. In the days of Brigham Young, tithing went into a “Common Fund.” If a man was poor and wanted to start up a business, he could borrow from this fund and pay it back later when he was successful. Brigham Young planned on running the entire state of Deseret from the tithing money and he actually took steps to do away with all taxes so he could run the entire kingdom from the common fund. Wouldn’t it have been wonderful if he could have succeeded? How would you like to have as your only tax today that of voluntary tithes and offerings?

However, if the church used more tithing money for the benefit of the members today, then they would receive less praise from the world, and besides it would be “inconvenient” for they are in

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need of large and spacious buildings and schools and parks, and apartment complexes, and insurance companies, and orchards, and sugar trusts and motels and on and on.

Where does all the tithing and donation money go? Not even the press can find it all out. What salaries do the general authorities receive? The salaries of our public servants are published; then why not church leaders? We are told that “it is not given that one man should possess that which is above another; wherefore the world lieth in sin.” (D&C 49:20) Thus, all their salaries should be the same, yet they are not. As one progresses higher in position, he receives more pay. This is the practice of the world, but it should not be in the church.

Can you think of a more comfortable position financially than being an authority in the Church? You are guaranteed a substantial salary until you die. No discipline is necessary to pay tithing for it is already taken out of the paycheck, but not to worry for your income rises far enough above average so you will not miss it.

How can one without a financial care in the world have sufficient empathy to help those who are living from paycheck to paycheck? Alas, the Assyrian (authorities) takes from the innocent and gathers from “all the earth; and there was none that moved the wing, or opened the mouth, or peeped.” (Isa. 10:14) As prophesied, the lowly members do not raise a peep at any move taken by the authorities, just or unjust, for fear of their eternal soul.

The only one getting any blame in the church is the humble members at the bottom of the totem pole. But does the Lord blame the lowly member? Nay: “Therefore, ye shepherds, hear the word of the Lord; As I live saith the Lord God, surely because my flock became a prey, and my flock became meat to every beast of the field, because there was no shepherd, neither did my shepherds search my flock, but the shepherds fed themselves, and fed not my flock; Therefore, O ye shepherds, hear the word of the Lord; Thus saith the Lord God; Behold, I am against the shepherds; and I will require my flock at their hand, and cause them to cease from feeding the

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flock; neither shall the shepherds feed themselves any more; for I will deliver my flock from their mouth, that they may not be meat for them.” (Ezek 34:7-10)

This scripture applies to the shepherds today as much as any period in history except they repent. Why, O why, do people in every age think that they are somehow different from the past and that this time round they can trust their souls to the integrity of their leaders rather than in the hands of God through his Spirit? “The more things change the more they remain the same” comes to mind.

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Chapter Six The True Sacrament
The next terrible step the Nephites took was to “deny the more parts of his gospel.” Now the Church today isn’t doing that, is it? Is it? Think again. When people deny the truth, do they ever admit that they are denying it? All people at all times maintain they are right - especially religious people. So what parts of the gospel is denied?

To get a clear picture, let us ask ourselves what the Nephites denied? Do you suppose that the Nephites denied that Christ ever came or that revelation was received in the past? A few probably did but most insisted they were true believers. That was too basic. Do you suppose they denied that the early saints had wrought many miracles and that angels appeared unto many? No. Do you suppose they denied that revelation was possible in their day? Probably not. Then what did they deny?

They denied the gifts of the Holy Ghost when it was manifested in their presence. Those who were devoid of the spirit were resentful of the spiritual gifts manifested through the righteous “and they did despise them because of the many miracles which were wrought among them.” (verse 29) Today members are constantly warned by the authorities to not expect the spectacular and to shy away from it - that this is the devil’s way. I would say the first vision was pretty spectacular, wouldn’t you? Wouldn’t that mean that if you met a man like Joseph Smith today, you would be warned to stay away from him? Be assured it would. Like the Nephites of old, the LDS do not deny that spiritual manifestations can occur, but when they do occur among the saints, they are ridiculed; and if there be any revelation from ordinary members, or nonmembers, it is ridiculed as being from the devil.

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Another mistake the Nephites made, which seemed quite harmless to them, yet was abhorred by the prophets, was, “They did receive all manner of wickedness, and did administer that which was sacred unto him to whom it had been forbidden because of unworthiness.” (4 Nephi 1:27) The prophets have always been quite strict concerning the Lord’s body, for those who take the sacrament make up the spiritual body of Christ and if a part of that body is not purified, then it is not in reality the Lord’s body-for He will not claim it and the Spirit will be withheld. This is why the Church was commanded, “The Elders or Priests are to have sufficient time to expound all things concerning the Church of Christ, previous to their partaking of the sacrament.” (D&C 20:68) Mormon warned, “See that ye partake not of the sacrament unworthily.” (Mormon 9:29) Paul warned, “Wherefore, whosoever shall eat this bread, and drink this cup of the Lord, unworthily, shall be guilty of the body and blood of the Lord. But let a man examine himself, and so let him eat of that bread and drink of that cup. For he that eateth and drinketh unworthily, eateth and drinketh damnation to himself, not discerning the Lord’s body. For this cause many are weak and sickly among you, and many sleep.” [Referring to the sleep of death] (1 Cor. 11:27-30)

One would think that having strong statements as these before us would induce the Church to keeping the sacrament in order, for who wants to be guilty of the Lord’s body? But to the consternation of all the holy beings in heaven, the Church views these scriptures as if they never were and the sacrament is set up so anyone who does not partake stands out like a sore thumb and thus because of embarrassment many partake against his conscience.

Today, just as in the days of the Nephites, the sacrament is given to all, worthy or not, to the retrogression of their souls, and more especially, the souls of the shepherds who allow it. Just as the abuse of this commandment caused a hampering of the circulation of the spirit of the Lord among the Nephites, so has it among the Latter-day Saints today.

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Many members today who sincerely believe they feel the Spirit at the Sacrament meetings would be amazed at what they would feel if they were to actually experience an outpouring of the living Spirit by renewing their covenants with saints who are pure in heart.

So what is the solution here? Should the authorities regularly interrogate members and watch for iniquity? No. That would amplify the problem.

Instead the church needs to change the situation so no one feels pressure to take the sacrament when they do not feel a desire or inner peace in doing so. As the situation exists now a member stands out like a sore thumb when he does not partake so he takes of it whether he feels like it or not to avoid embarrassment.

There are two possible solutions here.

First, the attendance at the sacrament is viewed by many as a commandment, or at least something that should be accomplished if at all possible.

On the contrary, it is a commandment that members should not partake if they feel uncomfortable in any way about it. Therefore, the authorities should apply no weight of authority around the idea of attending any meeting where the sacrament is passed. Members should feel no pressure to attend a meeting where their sense of guilt may increase rather than decrease.

If anything members should be encouraged to attend meetings where they learn something. The sacrament should only be partaken of when the member desires it and is in a state of spiritual peace.

Secondly, they should move the sacrament from the beginning of the meeting to the end. Then instead of making the meeting continuous they should have a fifteen minute break before the sacrament is blessed and passed. During this break many who do not take the sacrament seriously would head for home and those who do not feel comfortable in taking it could leave without drawing a lot of suspicion about their unworthiness and thus avoid embarrassment.

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The ones who stay and partake would then be those who desire it and are partaking for the sake of communion only.

An even better situation would be to have members meet in small groups in homes with trusted friends in groups of twelve or less to partake and commune with the Spirit. The person would thus have to make an effort to attend and partake, and among friends it is more difficult to pretend that all is well with you when it is not.

The fact is that if a person has a barrier between himself and the Spirit he will not feel much desire to take the sacrament and thus if an effort has to be made to receive it he will generally not make that effort if any guilt is present. On the other hand, the way it is now, you’d think that all the Latter Day Saints are truly all saints all the time for maybe about one out of a thousand will refuse the pressure to partake of the sacrament, worthy or not.

There is a major problem with this approach. A group as a whole can only ascend in the spirit to the level of the weakest link. To obtain the true value of the sacrament the situation must be created so the weak links will bow out through their own free will.

One final thing that needs to be done is to make full use of the symbolism of the sacrament as they did in the time of Christ: “And it came to pass that Jesus commanded his disciples that they should bring forth some bread and wine unto him. And while they were gone for bread and wine, he commanded the multitude that they should sit themselves down upon the earth. And when the disciples had come with bread and wine, he took of the bread and brake and blessed it; and he gave unto the disciples and commanded that they should eat. And when they had eaten and were filled, he commanded that they should give unto the multitude.” (3 Nephi 18:1-4)

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Even though water will do the trick if no suitable wine is available we see that the Master has always used wine when administering the sacrament in the old world as well as the new. In addition he states: “The hour cometh that I will drink of the fruit of the vine with you on the earth...” (D&C 27:5)

Notice that when he comes again that he does not say he will drink water with us as is the case in the church today, but “the fruit of the vine.” Obviously, the Lord prefers decent wine if available for the communion.

Why?

Because of the power of symbols. Think of it. All the ordinances are highly symbolic and as such make certain impressions upon the mind that direct our attention toward the spirit. Wine was first used as a sacrament because the color was a symbol of the blood, or the life of Christ, and the satisfying taste represents the fullness that the spirit brings.

An ounce of water just leaves the partaker flat by comparison. It is true that water can be used if decent wine is not available, but in this day and age there is no reason that we cannot have wine to drink that is not made by an “enemy,” as the scripture says.

There is something else of importance to note. Notice that after Jesus blessed the sacrament that he does not give it to the whole group, but first to his twelve disciples. The reason he did this was he was sure that these twelve were close to the Spirit and that when they, as a small group, partook of the sacrament that there was no weakest link and that they would be filled with the Spirit. Then after the Spirit descended these twelve gave the sacrament to the multitude.

What does this tell us?

It teaches us that those who pass the sacrament should not be young boys with no thought of spiritual matters on their mind, but spirit infused mature disciples of the Master.

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Brigham Young agreed: “I dare not even call a man to be a deacon ... unless he has a family. It is not the business of an ignorant young man of no experience in family matters to inquire into the circumstances of families....” (JD 2:89)

A final thing to note is this. The Book of Mormon tells us that the Nephites ate and drank until they “were filled.”

History tells us that early Christians did the same thing.

Is there a difference in effect between eating a bite of bread and eating until you are satisfied? Is there a difference between drinking a swallow of water and a full glass of wine?

There is a big difference. Eating and drinking to a fullness is a symbol of ascending to the fullness of the Spirit in obtaining the stature of Christ. A fulfilling sacrament gives the member a much greater opportunity to contemplate for a longer more intensive period as he eats and drinks.

There is always a symbolic truth to be learned from the actions of a people. What is the meaning is changing the sacrament from eating bread and drinking wine until one is full to taking a swallow of tasteless water and a tiny piece of bread?

The meaning is obvious. Instead of being filled with the quality taste of the spirit, as symbolized by good wine, they are given a swallow of tasteless water symbolizing that little spirit and no discernment of quality is there.

Instead of eating bread (the body of Christ) until full they take less than a bite leaving them yet hungering for the true presence and work of Christ.

May we all partake of the body of Christ by being one with the body of Christ and drink of His One Spirit.

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Chapter Seven Unrighteous Dominion
The next step the Nephites took was to vest greater power in the authorities, thus giving them power to dictate: “Therefore they did exercise power and authority over the disciples of Jesus who did tarry with them, and they did cast them into prison.” (verse 30)

Do the authorities today exercise authority over the disciples of Christ? Most people in the Church would say no, but they are not aware of the facts. They are unaware, for instance, of the history and struggle of a man named John H. Koyle who said he received visits from the translated Nephites and received many revelations. From 1895 to 1949 he struggled against the authorities to reopen what he claimed was an ancient Nephite mine, but they fought against him tooth and nail in every way possible, and, of course, they excommunicated him for merely claiming that God had given him revelation concerning the mine.

A more recent example of an excommunication to preserve authority is that of historian Michael Quinn. He and others were cast off for merely writing the truth about controversial aspects of church history.

I was excommunicated in 1979 even though I broke none of the church rules.

I wrote a short article showing from the scriptures that there is progression from one kingdom to another after death. I gave this unpublished article to my nephew, Curtis Harwell, and he was so impressed by it that he shared it with several people in his ward. Within a short period of time the Bishop called him into his office and released him from a half dozen jobs he held and told him he was scheduled for a trial for his membership before the high council in three days.

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He was shocked and called me up that evening. “They’re going to try me for my membership and are only giving me three days to prepare,” he said. “They say that any witness I have for my defense has to be a member of the church in good standing. You’ve got to come to my trial and speak on my behalf.” “If I do that they’ll excommunicate me and I’ll probably lose my wife and children,” I said. “Well, you got me into this; now you’ve got to try and get me out!” I took a long pause, “You’re asking a lot my friend. They’ll not only excommunicate you, but me also and our lives will never be the same.” “Are you going to come to the trial or what?” “I’ll be there. Even though there is no way around the thought police discovering that we have some unorthodox beliefs. We have done nothing wrong and have violated no church rules, but we must take a strong stand in defending ourselves to that effect so when they do excommunicate us they will have to violate their own rules like the Jews who condemned the Savior.”

Three days later I took my friend Wayne (an inactive member) and drove 300 miles to attend the trial. The High Council had their minds made up before the trial was held which was greatly aided by the advice of a general authority to the stake president that the “brethren” wanted to see an excommunication.

They were so fixed in their course that they were not going to let Wayne and I testify, even though my nephew was told in writing he could have witnesses if they were church members. Curtis made a plea for about ten minutes for the witnesses he was told he could have. Finally when Wayne and I were about ready to force our way in, they finally yielded.

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We both gave them hell for attempting to excommunicate an innocent man who had violated no rules except for being excited about an article I wrote. He wasn’t polygamist, he had committed no sin, he obeyed the rules and he was no threat to the church.

They did not listen and everyone in the room voted to excommunicate.

Afterwards I joked to Curtis that he probably would have received better treatment and leniency if he had raped the Bishop’s wife.

The minutes of the trial were sent to Church headquarters and within a few weeks directives were sent from church headquarters to my Bishop and Stake President to interrogate me and make sure my thinking was in harmony with their thinking. It didn’t seem to matter what I was doing, but only what I was thinking. I was a full tithe payer, had seven church jobs, a temple recommend, attended all my meetings and was guilty of no sin outside of a few cuss words now and then. All my friends in the old ward would testify that I did nothing to attempt to divert them off into any strange doctrine or rebellion or even disbelief in the authorities or the church. All this did not matter as my sad bishop and friend admitted to me that he didn’t want a trial for me but advised me that one was going to be held by the High Council. They were gracious to me in that they gave me a week to prepare instead of just the three days they allotted my nephew.

I realized that there was probably no way to avoid being excommunicated for many of the truths I had concluded to myself were at least as unusual as my nephew’s. At that time I was writing the first draft of this treatise. I made 15 photocopies of what I had written and mailed a copy to each man who was going to try me.

After the passing of a week I found myself in the house of my friends on trial for my supposed eternal salvation. Many of these were men I had known and been friends with for most of my life

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and had spoken admiringly of me in the past. This time was different. This time the approach was deadly serious.

I put forward my defense that I had not broken one rule of the church and that if they excommunicate me they will have to break the rules of the church to do it and thus condemn themselves by their own laws.

This did not faze them as they were more interested in what my thoughts were than any physical wrong doing on my part.

After all twelve of the High Council interrogated me as to my private thoughts on doctrine they concluded I needed to be excommunicated because my thinking was “out of harmony.” Below are the three areas where my thinking was supposed to be incorrect.

1) One does not have to be a general authority to receive revelation on the mysteries of God. 2) The President of the Church is not infallible 3) There are inspired writings and people outside of the Church.

They ended the meeting proclaiming me excommunicated. The next Sunday, even though it was against church policy to announce publicly the excommunication of members, they broke this rule and announced to all the wards of the results of my trial. They warned all members to not listen to anything I had to say, but if they come across me to merely show me “lots of love.”

After this, many approached my wife and told her they would love me back into the church. No one said that to me directly and no attempt was made to visit me or “love me back in.” In fact a high council member told me right after the trial that he thought I deserved the death penalty and it was too bad they couldn’t put apostates to death in this age. It didn’t really bother me that I was no longer in the church and I didn’t want back in, but what did bother me was the hypocrisy of excommunicating me, my nephew and other innocent people,

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not because of what they do, but because of what they think - even to the extent of breaking their own rules to accomplish this.

This was wrong and we decided to fight for what was right.

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Chapter Eight A Visit to the Prophet
After my excommunication I received a letter that merely stated that I was being excommunicated for “apostasy.” They did not explain what the apostasy was. After Curtis’s trial I checked the scriptures to see what the procedure was if one was dissatisfied with the results of a church court and here is what I found: “It shall be the duty of said council to transmit, immediately, a copy of their proceedings, with a full statement of the testimony accompanying their decision, to the high council of the seat of the First Presidency of the Church. “Should the parties or either of them be dissatisfied with the decision of said council, they may appeal to the high council of the seat of the First Presidency of the Church, and have a re-hearing, which case shall there be conducted, according to the former pattern written, as though no such decision had been made.” (D&C 102:26-27)

This was interesting. We were both dissatisfied with the results of our trials and this seemed to be a fair method of obtaining a rehearing to set things straight. There was only one problem. The scripture says that we were to appeal to the “high council of the seat of the First Presidency” and it was no longer in existence. In the early days this was called the “Standing High Council.” The Reorganized LDS Church still has such a council, but it seemed that Utah church feels it was not needed. Could it be that they do not want to have any such council to hear appeals in order to silence those who are “put out of the synagogue”?

We decided to appeal through standard channels and we wrote a letter to his Stake President (and later to mine) requesting a rehearing and rehearsing the scripture in D&C 102.

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Curtis received his response first. The Stake President sent a short note saying that the authorities had reviewed the trial and decided the Judgment was just and had decided that they stand by their decision. My despondent Nephew was outraged. Was this the church’s idea of giving a new trial as if the first trial had not even been held? We both thought it was ridiculous, but I suspected correctly that I would receive a similar response. Then Curtis’ face brightened up and he said. “If the stake president will not hear our case let us go directly to the prophet.” “You mean write the prophet a letter?” I said. “We’ll probably get a similar response.” “No,” he said. “Let us make a trip to Salt Lake and see him.” “I don’t think it’s that simple,” I said. “I’ve heard of people waiting six months to see him and even then it has to be something he is willing to listen to. Our chances are pretty slim.” “I don’t care,” he said. “They don’t have a right to kick us out this way. Let us take a trip down there and see if we can get in.” “The chances are slim,” I said, “but if you have your heart set on it I will go with you.”

A few days later we journeyed to Salt Lake to make an attempt to have an audience with President Spencer W. Kimball, the President of the church at that time.

We walked into the church office building and told the clerk we wanted to see President Kimball. He told us that the president was busy but perhaps we could talk with his secretary, a Brother Watson.

We were fortunate that Watson had a few moments free and were escorted into his office.

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We explained to him that we were dissatisfied with the results of our church court and wanted another trial. We said that we had requested one and all Curtis received is a letter and showed it to him. He looked over the letter and said: “It looks like you have had a second hearing.” “What do you mean?” we asked. “This letter is your second trial.” “Do you call this piece of paper a second hearing?” “Yes, this is the procedure we have followed for many years.” “Let me read you a scripture,” I said and pulled out a D&C and read him section 102:26-27, as quoted earlier. “Now the scripture says that if either party is dissatisfied then we may request a new trial and that the new trial will be held as if the original decision had not been made. Do you call this piece of paper a new trial?” “Well, yes. That’s the way it’s done today.” “The scripture also says we can appeal to the council at the seat of the first presidency. Does such a council exist today?” “No. It has not existed for some time?” “Then does it bother you that the church is not obeying the directive of the scriptures in this area?” “No, not in the least.”

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“Why not?” “I am sure the Brethren have received a revelation changing the procedure,” he said with a straight face. “Where is this revelation?” I asked. “I know the church has not published one.” “I’m sure it is in the archives.” “Have you seen it?” “No, but I am sure the Brethren have received a revelation on it.” “You have no evidence, but you’re sure it happened.”

He had nothing more to say on this subject so we pressed him for a meeting with President Kimball.

To our surprise he told us that he was sure the President would be happy to see us, but said that only Curtis would be allowed in since I had not yet received the results of my “second trial.” He asked Curtis if he was free in two weeks and Curtis told him that he would make sure he was.

The meeting was thus set and we returned to our various homes.

A week later I called Curtis and told him that I thought that making this appointment was just too easy and was very suspicious of it - that somehow they would not honor it. Since he had to make a long trip and miss some work, that he should call Watson and make sure the appointment is still on. He thought this was a good idea and called Watson’s office.

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He was assured that the appointment was still on as scheduled. Curtis reminded him that he had to make a long trip at great inconvenience to go there and he wanted assurance that his appointment would not be cancelled.

Again he was assured that the appointment was on.

Curtis called me back and related the dialog, but I still had a gnawing uneasiness about it.

Time passed and Curtis made the trip to Salt Lake and entered the Church offices. His appointment was for 2:00 PM and he arrived about 1:30 PM. He approached the clerk just to make sure the appointment was on schedule. The clerk spent a moment looking up and down the schedule and finally said: “Nope. Your name is not here.” “What do you mean my name is not there?” he said in exasperation. “Check for 2:00 PM. That is when my appointment is.” The clerk dryly replied: “You are not here for 2:00 PM. A young married couple who are having marital problems are scheduled to see the Prophet at that time.” Curtis raised his voice: “I made an appointment with Watson two weeks ago and to make sure the appointment was on schedule I made a call last week to verify it and was assured that if I traveled 300 miles to see President Kimball that I would see him. Now I want my appointment! Work me in there somewhere.” “I’m sorry sir, but the President is completely booked. You’ll have to schedule another appointment.”

Curtis stood his ground and insisted that he be let in. Just when it got to the point that the clerk was about to call security he received a phone call. After the clerk talked a moment on the phone Curtis was curious and asked what the conversation was about.

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“That was the couple who have the two o’clock appointment. They can’t make it.” Curtis’ eyes brightened up and he demanded: “Then phone President Kimball and tell him that I am here for our scheduled appointment.”

The clerk seemed reluctant, but Curtis insisted and he finally made the call. He talked to President Kimball a couple moments and hung up. “So what did he say? Can I go up and see him?” pressed Curtis. “I’m afraid not,” said the clerk, “But he did give me a message to give to you.” “And what is that?” The clerk somberly replied: “He said he reviewed the minutes of your trial and he concurs with the decision of the court. This is as far as your second trial goes. There is no more.”

There was no more that Curtis could do and he somberly left the building, went outside and looked up at the many windows in the towering structure wondering which one Kimball was in. He visualized him cowering behind his giant desk for the next half hour with no one to see, alone, afraid to talk to a lowly ex-Elder who had faithfully served his cause for many years.

When Curtis related his experience to me I felt for him because I knew he had his heart set on meeting the President and presenting his case to him. The rejection reminded me a little of President Van Buren refusing to hear the grievances of the early saints when he said: “Your cause is just, but I can do nothing for you.” President Kimball refused to even recognize that our cause was just.

As we contemplated these events something very curious happened a couple days later. In the paper I read that President Kimball suffered a cerebral hemorrhage and had to have several operations on his brain. Apparently, his meeting with Curtis was the last one he ever cancelled

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for he was never able to work or even speak coherently again for the rest of his life after this event.

Was this a coincidence that this tragedy happened at this time? We wondered.

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Chapter Nine An Encounter with Authority
A short time after Curtis’ attempted appointment with President Kimball I received a similar letter stating tersely that the minutes of my trial had been reviewed and the excommunication would stand as is. This was my trail by mail.

The great benefit I now had of being out of the church was that I could now write or speak anything I wanted and I began writing some papers expressing my views. Curtis and I talked openly with members we encountered about any unorthodox beliefs as we felt like. This new freedom was so sweet that we wouldn’t go have gone back into the church where we had to censor our speech and thoughts again if they begged us.

Meanwhile my wife (now ex-wife) was very upset about my excommunication and took the brethren who excommunicated me at their word that I would be worked with and loved back into the church. After the trial I told her this would not happen and that not a single person would show up at our door to befriend me.

After a period of time I reminded her of this - that not one person had made any attempt to show the hand of fellowship or visit us. She said, “You’re right and I’m going to do something about it!”

I wondered what she would or could do, but soon found out. In the next testimony meeting she stood up and called the whole congregation hypocrites for not making even one attempt to befriend me. She lashed out at them for about ten minutes while they slouched down in their seats with shame. I wasn’t going to church any more so I missed this choice experience. Had

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they not felt so guilty she may have been reprimanded herself, but everyone avoided eye contact with her for a while. The funny thing is that I guess they did not feel guilty enough for I still didn’t hear a peep out of any of them. I figured they were scared to death that talking to me for a few minutes would put their eternal salvation at risk.

This shunning was expected and did not bother me, but my wife was very upset by it. She felt that some miracle would happen that would eventually bring me back into the church and nothing seemed to be developing. Finally she came up with another idea. She decided to write a letter to the Prophet requesting that he personally visit with me to show me the error of my ways. I kind of smiled at this attempt and did not expect much of it, but I did not take into account what a good letter writer she was.

A few weeks later she received a letter from the Apostle Mark E. Peterson. He told her that Spencer W. Kimball was ill and could not respond so he was doing it on his behalf. He said that he would “be happy to see your husband” and set a date.

I was stunned by this for I felt that none of the Apostles would have seen me if I had written the letter, but I guess they could not ignore the plea of a faithful female member in distress.

I told Curtis about the appointment and he was thrilled and said he wanted to go with me. I told him that the appointment was just for me, but would see if they would let him in also.

A couple weeks later we were off to Salt Lake again to visit Church Headquarters. This time the appointment was honored and we were escorted into Mark E. Peterson’s office. To my surprise no one seemed to object to Curtis being with me. As we entered into the large office and pulled up a couple chairs a cross from Elder Peterson’s desk we noticed off to the side sitting in a chair with pen and legal pad in hand was none other than Bruce R. McConkie. Now that President Kimball was incapacitated these were the two most powerful men in the church. We wondered

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why they thought us significant enough to draw these two powerful figures in a room together with us.

After we exchanged some small talk and shook hands we found ourselves looking at Elder Peterson across his large desk. To my surprise I noticed that he had what appeared to be every paper I had written on Mormon doctrine sitting in front of him. He picked the top one off the pile and asked: “Which one of you is Joe Dewey?”

I admitted that was me. He waved the manuscript at me and said: “Are you the one who wrote this piece of filth?” “Yes,” I said, surprised at the immediate attack. “This, writing, this pornography, this ... this...” he was searching for words strong enough to portray his wrath, “this filth belongs in Playboy!” he said as he waived it at me.

What he was referring to was a story I had written and passed around. The first half was true and was about Curtis’s trial. The second half was fiction and was a representation of what would happen to the Mormons if there was an economic collapse. They think they will be safe because of their year’s supply, but in the story their storage backfires on them and Mormons are hunted down because they have food. As I was considering Peterson’s statement my mind reflected on what was pornographic about it. I mentally concluded that it was the part where one of the characters has his house attacked because he is a Mormon with food and his wife is raped and killed by the mob. I gave just enough details to make the point, but there was nothing carnal about it. I figured that for him to call this pornographic that he must have lived a sheltered life. I concluded that what really made his temperature rise was that the story starkly exposed the flaw in the Mormon system of “family

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preparedness,” that the LDS were, in reality, less prepared for a real crisis than were the nonmembers. Then, I’m sure he was upset at the way I exposed the injustice of Curtis’s trial. I decided to write about his trial for I thought it would have more credibility than writing about my own. After this reflection I responded, “Actually the story illustrates the fact that the church is not prepared for a major calamity,” I said. “If a disaster were to occur that the church has been preparing for all these years then those who are hungry would take the food of their neighbor Mormons by force. The only way to prevent this is to obey the scriptures on the gathering that was given by Joseph Smith.” “But we have a modern day prophet,” said Peterson, “and if we follow him we shall be protected.” “But how will an isolated Mormon with food be protected from a hungry mob with no food?” I replied. “All the members need to know is that there is a Living Prophet and if they follow him all will be well,” he insisted. Elder McConkie spoke up, “The spirits of the prophets are subject to the prophets,” he said quoting 1 Cor 14:32. “This tells us that the members are to subject their spirits to the Prophet and all will be well. The next verse says that God is not the author of confusion, but of peace. By following the brethren there will be order and peace in the church. You two are spreading confusion and are not subject to the prophets.” Curtis spoke up: “Elder McConkie, you are distorting this scripture. The prophets, who are supposed to be you and anyone else who has a testimony of Jesus, are to be subject to the prophets who have written inspired scripture. For us this would then be Joseph Smith and his writings. Tell me... Are your spirits subject to the scriptures and writings of Joseph Smith? ”

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McConkie looked slightly ruffled. “Joseph Smith is a dead prophet. We are subject to the living prophet.”

I thought to myself that this was an interesting statement since Spencer W. Kimball was too ill to lead anyone, but felt it would be indiscreet to say anything. “So what do you think of the writings of Joseph Smith?” I asked. “Are they true or not? Should we follow them or not?” “That’s not the question to ask,” said McConkie. “If we follow the living prophet then everything else will fall in place and be as it should be.” Peterson looked a little uneasy. He said: “I understand you two have some kind of message you want to deliver to us. What is your message?” I found this to be a curious statement, for my wife’s letter made no mention of us having a message, but merely a plea to help her wayward husband back into the church. Actually we did have a message to deliver and I was pleasantly surprised he asked for it. “When members go through the temple they make a covenant to obey the scriptures as the law of the church. Unfortunately there are a number of commandments from the scriptures the church is ignoring and not following,” I said. “So what are we not following?” “The Tenth Article of Faith for one,” I said. “It says that we believe in the literal gathering of Israel, but in this day you are only teaching a figurative gathering.” “We have literally gathered here in Salt Lake and other cities,” said Peterson. “We have fulfilled the gathering and today the Saints are to build up the areas in which they now live.”

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I pulled out my scriptures and said, “In speaking of Zion the Lord said: ‘And it shall come to pass among the wicked, that every man that will not take his sword against his neighbor must needs FLEE TO ZION FOR SAFETY. And there shall be gathered unto it out of every nation under heaven; and it shall be the only people that shall not be at war one with another.’” (D&C 45: 68-69) “As my story illustrated there is no place of safety for the righteous to flee to if there is a calamity. One of the main purposes of a literal gathering was to create a place of refuge in times of trouble. Now the church has ceased to obey this commandment they are even more vulnerable to a calamity than the nonmembers - for everyone knows Mormons store food and they would go after them when the hunger pains begin. The scripture says the tribulations will begin upon the Lord’s own house and this is one of the main reasons for this.” “I thought you had a real message,” said Peterson. “Now just tell us what your message is.” “I am telling you the message, if you’ll just listen,” and I read another scripture: “Therefore I will unfold unto them this great mystery; For behold I will gather them as a hen gathereth her chickens under her wings, IF THEY WILL NOT HARDEN THEIR HEARTS.” (D&C 10:64-65) “The gathering has been discontinued,” I said, “because you have hardened your hearts. Now let me read one more scripture.” “We’ve read all those scriptures,” said McConkie, “and know what they say. Now you claim to have some kind of message.... Just tell us what it is!” “I am telling you,” I said with some exasperation. “Now let me read one more scripture.” I began to read and explain to them the meaning of the parable of the disobedient servants who ceased to gather the saints (see D&C 101:47-54) and Peterson stood up and demanded with a raised voice:

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“Cease reading those scriptures. We know the scriptures and don’t need you to read them to us. You say you have a message - now just tell us in plain English what it is!”

During this exchange my nephew was squirming in his seat and hearing this latest interruption could no longer constrain himself, rose up and exclaimed: “I’ll tell you what the message is. Repent or you’re going to go to hell! That’s the message.”

At least this was language they could understand and were silent for a moment. I guess they were a little stunned at such plain speech. After a pause Curtis looked towards McConkie and said, “Brother McConkie, I have an important question I want to ask you and if you answer I will be satisfied. I am not just asking it for myself, but for my parents. You see my parents are faithful members of the church and do all in their power to honor its precepts and look upon the words of brethren such as yourself almost as the voice of God. I want to ask you this question and then go home and tell them what you gave as the answer.” “What’s your question?” said McConkie looking somewhat uncomfortable. Both of us counted ourselves as fortunate that we were still there. I was beginning to sense that they really wanted us gone. “Here’s my question,” said Curtis. “Do you, Bruce R. McConkie, believe in the scriptures given by Joseph Smith as well as his teachings?” McConkie stared back and said: “Today, we have a living prophet. All you need to know is that there is a prophet on the earth and we should follow him.” “That’s not what I asked,” said Curtis. “Now I will make this easy for you. A simple yes or no will do. Do you believe in the teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith?” McConkie looked growingly impatient as he slightly raised his voice and emphatically said: “All you need to know is that there is a living prophet!”

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“You’re still not answering my question. Please. Give me a simple yes or no. Let me repeat - yes or no! Do you believe in the writings of the Prophet Joseph Smith?” McConkie stood up and raised his voice about double volume: “All you need to know is that there is a living prophet!!!” “I’ll take that as a No,” said Curtis.

Then it appeared to me that McConkie was struck with a twinge of guilt as he almost whispered in an afterthought, “Of course we believe in all those things,” then raising his voice again, “but all you need to know is that there is a living prophet.” “If you really believe in the scriptures then you should give us both a new trial as we have requested and supported by the scriptures.” Curtis took McConkie’s scriptures off his chair and opened them to D&C 102:26-27 and read: “Should the parties or either of them be dissatisfied with the decision of said council, they may appeal to the high council of the seat of the First Presidency of the Church, and have a rehearing, which case shall there be conducted, according to the former pattern written, as though no such decision had been made.” “Why have you refused to obey this commandment?” “We follow the living prophet and this policy you speak of has been changed years ago,” he said. Then Curtis read: “Thou shalt take the things which thou hast received, which have been given unto thee in my scriptures for a law, to be my law to govern my church; And he that doeth according to these things shall be saved, and he that doeth them not shall be damned if he so continue.” (D&C 42:59-60)

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“What does it say here will happen if you do not follow your own scriptures? ” Elder Peterson then authoritatively raised himself up from his chair and declared: “Gentlemen. This meeting is over.”

Both of them walked to the door indicating by their body language that we were to go and that no customary handshake was in order. We walked out without another word being spoken.

We exited the building and walked a distance and looked back at the tall office building and I said: “I have a feeling they have never been talked to the way we just did.” “No,” said Curtis. “I don’t think they have. This seemed to be a new experience for them.” “I think most members and ex-members cower before their authority,” I said. “I’m not sure we reached them,” he said. “It’s too bad there’s not more we can do. I doubt if we’ll ever get invited back here again.” “There is one more thing we can do,” I said. “What’s that?” “What the scriptures say.” “And that would be...?” I responded, “We are told that when a message from the Spirit is rejected that we are to dust our feet off on them in the name of the Lord and this will commit them to the justice of God.” “And how do you propose we do this?” he said

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“Let’s go over by those bushes next to the Church Office Building and do it right there right now while this experience is fresh in their minds.”

We walked over by some bushes where we had reasonable privacy and sat down, took off our shoes and dusted them off on McConkie and Peterson in the name of the Lord.

Suddenly something quite unexpected happened. The Spirit of God descended on both of us at the same instant as if it were a consuming fire. We looked at each other and asked: “Are you feeling what I am feeling?”

We both agreed we were both feeling something quite extraordinary. “I’m not sure what is going to happen,” I said. “All I know is that they are definitely delivered to the hands of the God and I would not want to be in their shoes.” “Nor would I,” said Curtis. “I wouldn’t be surprised if they were struck by lightning or spontaneously combusted.” “I do know one thing,” I said. “At this time, at this moment, they both are feeling something stirring within their souls and it is very disturbing to them. Whether something destructive happens to them, I know not, but they have received a witness of our message from the Eternal God and it will be a dark day for them if they deny it.”

For the next few days I followed the news quite carefully on the chance that there would be some news story about these two men as happened with President Kimball. After that powerful witness I wouldn’t have been surprised to read a headline something like “Peterson and McConkie both struck by lightning,” but there was nothing unusual reported.

I was particularly interested in seeing these two men in the next General Conference and watched it on television. I was almost surprised to see that they both looked perfectly normal and spoke in their usual manner.

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There was only one odd thing. McConkie’s address testified to the greatness of the Prophet Joseph Smith and he gave a most fervent and supportive speech about the prophet. There was nothing in his speech to indicate his “forget Joseph Smith” attitude and no calling him a “dead prophet.” He couldn’t seem to say enough about the guy and the importance of his teachings.

I mentioned this to Curtis and we both wondered if he gave such a speech to redeem himself after the witness when the Spirit descended. But we both felt the Spirit wanted more than words, that in the end it was actions that counted the most.

Several additional conferences passed and finally approximately two years had passed. I do not remember the exact time period. Then one day I did notice something that caught my attention in an obscure article in the Church News about McConkie and Peterson. It said that they had both had cancer over the past couple years and had been undergoing tremendous suffering, but had courageously been making the best of it to the extent that few had even known that they were ill. It seemed to indicate that time was short for both of them. (Both men died shortly thereafter.)

As I read this I was struck by how the beginnings of their cancer seemed to coincide with the time of our visit and I had the feeling that they would both be willing to talk with us again if by some chance we could get in to see them. Because of our powerful witness we were both convinced that even if the cancer had nothing to do with our visit that they were both visited and reprimanded by the Spirit of the Lord. They both met their Maker knowing that they had indeed rejected two messengers bearing a most important message from the Spirit. The Spirit has testified to me that It’s visitation to the Spirit to the General Authorities did not end here, that I, and perhaps Curtis or others who bear the Spirit are to visit them again with a message which will require acceptance or rejection. When this time will come, I know not, but it will come. I was told that it is the Will of God that every single General Authority be given the opportunity to be visited by messengers who are full of the Spirit of God.

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Many there are who think they have the Spirit and are caught up in their own emotion. These deluded ones who seek to correct would only make things worse. Many there are who think they are mighty and strong when they are nothing. Instead it is written: “The weak things of the world shall come forth and break down the mighty and strong ones, that man should counsel his fellow man, neither trust in the arm of flesh.” (D&C 1:19)

Only those who realize their weaknesses and can allow the Spirit to be the One Mighty and Strong can participate in the great work to come which shall humble those who think they are the great ones.

God chooses the servants who allow themselves to be chosen, allow themselves to be used according to the Will of God and not their own little wills, and let the eternal words of the Most High flow forth unto salvation or judgment.

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Chapter Ten Infallible Authority
I am including in the next chapter the text of the article I gave to Curtis. Because he shared its contents with a few members of his ward, he was immediately relieved of all his jobs and told he would be tried by the High Council for his membership and given only three days for which to prepare.

This simple exploration of a truth, which has never been that controversial in the church, brought us both to trial before the thought police who then probed us and found, not our actions, but our thinking to be incorrect according to their judgment. This incorrect thinking was not tolerated by them and, following advice from higher authority in the church, they excommunicated us both.

This is the article which started it all. Read it for yourself and see whether you think it devilspawned as was the judgment of church leaders.

ETERNAL PROGRESSION

LOGICAL DOCTRINE It has been said by many, from the greatest to the least, that after the resurrection, when one is assigned to a kingdom that he remains in that kingdom for eternity. He may go down to the lower kingdoms, temporarily, but he cannot go up. Most believe that he can merely progress within the kingdom to which he is assigned.

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Some believe that the progression in the three kingdoms is like three cars all going at different speeds. The celestial car is going the fastest, something like one hundred miles per hour; the terrestrial trailing at sixty; and the telestial creeping along at thirty miles per hour. This continues for all eternity. Consequently, those in the lower kingdoms will never catch up to those in the higher, BUT eventually those in the lower will reach the point where the higher has been.

Interestingly, Joseph Fielding Smith pointed out in DOCTRINES OF SALVATION that this notion is a fallacy. He accurately stated that if a telestial being reached a state in progression which had formerly belonged to a celestial person, then that person would be in the celestial kingdom and would no longer be a telestial being. Assuming therefore the idea that a telestial person can never leave his assigned kingdom President Smith stated that the telestial beings will never in all eternity reach the celestial and only progress within a limited sphere within their own kingdom.

Both of the above reasonings have a certain degree of accuracy, but if sound reasoning is based on a false premise then the greatest logic in the world will produce false doctrine. And what is that false premise?

The false premise is that which disagrees with the scriptures.

And what is that?

It is the false teaching that those in the lower kingdoms cannot progress to the higher as we shall proceed to prove from the Standard Works, the writings of Joseph Smith, and with good old down to earth common sense.

It is amazing that so many in the church today universally proclaim that the inheritor of each kingdom is doomed to that kingdom forever and ever, especially since this teaching is contrary to the scriptures. Some of the Brethren have come forth and proclaimed such doctrine in their own

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name with no logic, reasoning, or scripture to back them up. Is a doctrine proclaimed in an authority’s own name to be taken as infallible truth?

No.

Even the leaders of the church decry the doctrine of the infallibility of the Pope so surely the church authorities’ opinions are no better than our own if we have the Spirit. Joseph Smith told the General Authorities of his day: “Advance no principle but what you can prove for one scriptural proof is worth ten thousand opinions.” (DHC 3:396)

The belief of eternal confinement to a kingdom is a carry-over from the Protestant belief in the eternal hell. Until Joseph Smith came along nearly all of Christianity believed that once you went to hell you stayed there forever and ever. However, the Lord explained in a revelation that he allowed the scriptures to be written to sound that way in order to scare people into repentance: “Nevertheless, it is not written that there shall be no end to this torment, but it is written endless torment. Again it is written eternal damnation; wherefore it is more express than other scriptures, that it might work upon the hearts of the children of men, altogether for my names glory... Behold, I am endless, and punishment which is given from my hand is endless punishment, FOR ENDLESS IS MY NAME.” (D&C 19:6-7, 10) The Lord clearly tells us here that “It is not written that there shall be no end to this torment.”

Complementing this Joseph clearly taught that if a thing has a beginning then it must have an end. He said: “I take my ring from my finger and liken it unto the mind of man - the immortal part, because it had no beginning. Suppose you cut it in two; then it has a beginning and an end; but join it again, and it continues one eternal round. So with the spirit of man. AS THE LORD LIVETH, IF IT HAD A BEGINNING, IT WILL HAVE AN END. All the fools and learned and wise men from the beginning of creation, who say the spirit of man had a beginning, PROVE that it must have an end; and if that doctrine is true, then the doctrine of annihilation would be true.” (DHC 6:311)

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Joseph was as sure “as the Lord liveth” of this doctrine. He could have easily elaborated on this principle and said: If the spirit of man began at birth it will have an end and be no more, but if it has always existed then it will exist forever. If a punishment has a beginning then it will have an end. The only way a punishment can last for eternity is if it never had a beginning. Similarly, if we have a beginning to our habitation of the telestial, terrestrial, or celestial kingdoms then “as God lives” there will be an end.

The doctrine of eternal confinement to a kingdom is quite comparable to the Christian doctrine of hell for similarly, on the first reading it does sound as if one will be confined to his assigned kingdom forever. Consequently, it does “work upon the hearts of the children of men” to cause some to try harder. Yet when one does cease being a child and mature a bit spiritually, then scare tactics are no longer necessary and it will be to his benefit to learn the truth.

ALL JUDGEMENTS NOT GIVEN In speaking of those who do not regain the presence of God the Lord said: “And now behold, I say unto you, never at any time have I declared from mine own mouth that they (the wicked) should return, for where I am they cannot come, for they have no power. BUT REMEMBER THAT ALL MY JUDGEMENTS ARE NOT GIVEN UNTO MEN....” (D&C 29:29-30)

Here the Lord leaves the field wide open. He does not say the wicked will not someday learn their lessons and return to his presence, but he merely says he has not stated such a thing and woe unto him that would condemn a man to the telestial kingdom for an eternity for he has made a reckless judgment in an area where “My judgments are not given unto men.” When many lift up their heads in the telestial kingdom they will certainly pray that their “eternal damnation” will not last forever.

In all the scriptures there are two that indicate that those who fall short of the celestial glory or Godhood will seemingly never attain it.. The first reads as follows: “And they (the telestial inhabitants) shall be servants of the most High; but where God and Christ dwell they cannot come, worlds without end.” (D&C 76:112)

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This scripture is easily explained. As long as the telestial inhabitants live the telestial law they will dwell in the telestial kingdom and as long as they are in this state they cannot join God and Christ in the Celestial kingdom worlds without end.

There are worlds without end in all three of the kingdoms and as long as one is attracted to the laws of the lower kingdom he is stuck there, but as soon as he begins living the higher laws he moves to the higher kingdom in spirit. For instance, this earth is part of the telestial kingdom but as soon as we live the celestial laws our spirit has already entered the celestial kingdom and after judgment our consciousness will be transferred from a telestial world to a terrestrial or celestial one.

There are also worlds without end toward which the God and Christ set over us are aspiring and if one waits too long to live the higher laws then he may have to wait for the next eternal round and be subject to another Christ and another God who will be appointed over them in the far future. Thus a person may be separated from our present God and his Christ for what might as well be forever from our point of view. The second scripture mentioned reads as follows: “Therefore, when they are out of the world they neither marry nor are given in marriage; but are appointed angels in heaven; which angels are ministering servants, to minister for those who are worthy of a far more, and an exceedingly, and an eternal weight of glory. For these angels did not abide by my law; therefore they cannot be enlarged, but remain separate and singly, and from henceforth are not Gods, but angels of God forever and ever.” (D&C 132:16-17)

This scripture is somewhat easy to misinterpret similar to the way the world does Bible teaching that the wicked “shall be tormented day and night for ever and ever.” Rev. 20:10 The Doctrine and Covenants teaches us that in reality the wicked will not be tormented eternally but all punishments have an end. We are told that punishments were made to sound eternal so it would have a greater effect.

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This scripture we have just quoted was also written for effect. Those who do not abide the highest celestial law will be separate and single forever as long as they live the lower law. On the other hand, there is eternal progression which means eternal opportunity and when these angels learn and live the higher law then they will go to the higher kingdom.

They are only confined to a lower kingdom forever and ever as long as they do not abide the higher law.

Joseph Smith taught this very principle and said that all men would eventually return to the presence of God and that there is no such thing as a punishment without an end. See DHC 4:79

Let us stretch our minds and try and comprehend some of the concepts Joseph Smith taught and see what direction they take us. As we mentioned, Joseph stated over and over that that which has a beginning “as God lives” will have an end and if a thing endures forever then it could have never had a beginning. He further stated “That which has a beginning will surely have an end...If the soul of man had a beginning it will surely have an end.” TEACHINGS OF THE PROPHET JOSEPH SMITH; Page 181 “ANYTHING created cannot be eternal.” DHC 3:387 The intelligence of spirits never had a beginning neither will it have an end...That which has a beginning may have an end.” (DHC 6:311) Let us use the Prophet’s logic and see where it takes us. We are told that “Man was also in the beginning with God. Intelligence or the light of truth, was not created or made, neither indeed can be.” D&C 93:29 Joseph further stated that at this time our spirits were “co-equal with our Father in heaven.” (DHC 6:311) When we were with God and “co-equal with him how long of a period did we dwell with him? We are told that neither us or God had a beginning so obviously we were with God for an eternity as indicated in God’s word to Adam: “And thou art after the order of him who was without beginning of days or end of years, from ALL eternity to ALL eternity.” (Moses 6:67) Remember we are speaking of our intelligence and not the spirit body.

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We thus establish from the writings of Joseph Smith that man and God are co-equal and both are from eternity; both had their intelligence together for that infinite period. All things that are created have an end; and that which has no beginning will have no end. According to Joseph then was there a beginning to man’s union with God?

No. Therefore, will there ever be a permanent end to man’s union with God? Could he ever be eternally separated from him?

No.

According to Joseph was there a beginning point for all men when they were separated from God?

Yes.

Because there was a beginning to the separation does that mean there has to be an end to it?

Yes. Joseph said that if there is a beginning there has to be an end. Therefore is the scripture literally true which reads that God “will have ALL men to be saved, and to come unto the knowledge of the truth”? (1 Tim 2:4) Does God truly have power to fulfill his will and eventually bring everyone to the knowledge of the truth and back into his presence? Yes. If Joseph is a prophet this doctrine must be true. According to Joseph’s logic if a person has a beginning to his separation from God, then he will have an end. Man has been with God for eternity and eventually he shall be with him for eternity again. Water vapor in the air may condense and fall on the earth, but sooner or later it will evaporate and return to its source, but all the molecules do not return at the same time, each returns in its order.

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ASK FOR A FISH We are supposed to believe that God is our Father and we are his sons and daughters and that God loves us even more than we love our children. If this is the case then we should examine the good we try to do for our children and then expect that God, being our Father, would do an even greater good for us as his sons and daughters.

If a child fails the first grade do we condemn him to stay in the first grade for all eternity, or even a lifetime? No. We have pity on the child and try and help him as much or more than ever and when he finally attains the second grade we rejoice at his progress. If an earthly parent is this good in his thoughts then what about God? The scriptures answer: “Or what man is there of you, whom if his son ask bread, will he give him a stone? Or if he ask a fish will he give him a serpent? If ye then, being evil, know how to give good gifts unto your children, how much more shall your father which is in heaven give good gifts to them that ask him?” (Matt 7:9-11) We are commanded to “ask and it shall be given you.” (Matt 7:7) This scripture doesn’t apply to this life only, but for all eternity. God did not put a limit on it. Therefore if a man in the telestial kingdom asks for the means to go higher will not God provide a way? If you were with God and that person in the telestial kingdom asking was your son would not you rejoice in providing him with the opportunity to join you? If we are that good in seeking the welfare and progression of our children would God not go one better? Will God give a stone of eternal damnation to a son in the telestial kingdom who seeks to go up? Are we capable of greater good than God?

But, says one, God has his hands tied and he is subject to laws. But we ask: What laws are you talking about? Why bind God by laws that do not exist? Where is this law written that we hear rumored about the church and who established it? Would it not have been God? But if it was God why would a loving Father establish such a damning and unjust law?

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Alas! We know there is no such law, but such a law is thought up by those who feel secure in their own salvation and exaltation and want to limit opportunity to their own sphere. They are like established doctors and lawyers who are secure in their income and want to establish rules for newcomers so difficult that few will make the grade thus eliminating competition. We forget that on God’s endless worlds there is room for all and as soon as a man “asks” the opportunity will be given, for God “will have all men to be saved and to come to a knowledge of the truth.” (1 Tim 2:4) “Even so it is NOT THE WILL of your Father which is in heaven that ONE of these little ones should perish.” (Matt 18:14) People who doubt the scripture will say that God’s will is not always done, but they forget that “with God NOTHING shall be impossible.” (Luke 1:37) They also forget the prayer of Jesus: “Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven.” (Matt 6:10)

I contend that if it is the will of God that none shall perish, or that all shall eventually be exalted, then nothing can hold back that Will from being accomplished. If God “allotteth unto men according to their wills” (Alma 29:4) then he shall surely be able to fulfill his own will. If God cannot fulfill his own will then you and I have great reason to tremble and fear for he may not have power to save us even if we repent! Behold, the Spirit testifies that God can save and exalt whoever will use his free agency to conform to the appropriate laws, regardless of whether that decision was yesterday, today, or a million years from now.

There is much about the Plan of Salvation that has not yet been clearly revealed as indicated by Joseph Smith: “I have never had the opportunity to give them (the Saints) the plan that God has revealed to me.” (DHC 3:286) Joseph also said: “Paul ascended into the third heavens and he could understand the THREE PRINCIPLE ROUNDS of Jacobs ladder - the telestial, the terrestrial, and the celestial glories or kingdoms, when Paul saw and heard things which were not lawful to utter. I COULD EXPLAIN A HUNDREDFOLD MORE THAN I EVER HAVE of the glories of the kingdoms manifested to me in the vision were I permitted and were the people ready to receive them.” (DHC 5:402)

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It is very interesting that Jacob’s ladder has THREE ROUNDS to it. In other words the three kingdoms are merely three rounds to one ladder that both Jacob and Joseph Smith saw. Jacob’s ladder has three groups of steps on it: The three kingdoms. Would God build a ladder with three sets of steps and force his children to stay on the first? If a man has better sense than to do such a thing then surely God does also. The ladder of God would have been made to climb up all the steps each person desires until he reaches the top. Another question to keep in mind is where does Jacob’s ladder take us if the celestial kingdom is the third step? That indicates there is something above the third step for a ladder is merely a bridge that leads us to something higher. We will discuss what is above the celestial in a moment. I will first give more evidence that the Lord does not always mean “forever” when he says “everlasting,” “eternal,” “perpetual,” “without end,” or “forever.” We have already elaborated on “eternal damnation.” In another case Moses was told that a slave should serve his master “forever.” (Exodus 21:6) Here, of course, he meant until the end of his life. The Lord said that certain ordinances in the law of Moses was to last “forever” (Num 18:19), but of course they did not. The law of sacrifice was to be a perpetual statute. (See Leviticus 3:17; 7:34, 36; 16:31.) On the other hand, it is not now required. Circumcision also was an everlasting covenant (Gen 17:13), but the law of circumcision is now done away. Since nothing with a beginning can actually last forever the Lord has to speak relatively when using such words.

If you discovered that you or your children did not have a prayer of entering the celestial kingdom on the day of judgment, but may have to go to the terrestrial or telestial would you not hope that God in his mercy would somehow grant you another opportunity? Actually, very few members of the Church now possess spirits in a celestial condition and if the truth were known of the true percentage that are worthy of the presence of God the cry would be long and loud for another chance to progress.

Interestingly, Brigham Young taught that even the sons of perdition will have another chance at the celestial kingdom. He said that “They will be THROWN BACK TO THEIR NATIVE

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ELEMENT from which they originated, to be WORKED OVER AGAIN.” (JD 2:12) He also said that this process would take “myriads of years” but sooner or later they would be back where they started which would of course mean that they would have another chance at the kingdom of God.

If the son of perdition eventually gets another chance then surely the telestial and terrestrial people will someday move up higher and enter the presence of God.

CELESTIAL CANDIDATES? If the average church member could be convinced that the chances are that he, in most probability, is not worthy of the celestial glory, then perhaps he would be a bit more open minded to the reality of true eternal progression for all. Let us see the caliber of person we must be to enter that glory. John Taylor said: “If any man or woman expects to enter into the celestial kingdom of our God without being tested to the very uttermost, they have not understood the Gospel. If there is a weak spot in our nature, or if there is a fiber that can be made to quiver or to shrink, we may rest assured it will be tested.” (Samuel W. Taylor, The Kingdom or Nothing, pg. 345)

How many have been tested to the uttermost or still have a fiber of their being that can be made to quiver??? If you are with the majority here then it is off to the telestial or terrestrial kingdom you go. Those who make it as high as the terrestrial will be fortunate for one must be honorable, honest, and receive a real testimony of Christ to even go there.

Those who go to the celestial glory are to receive a crown. Suppose the angel at the gate asks you what you have done to be worthy of a crown? What will you say? “I say unto you, can you imagine to yourselves that ye hear the voice of the Lord, saying unto you, in that day: Come unto me ye blessed, for behold, your works have been the works of righteousness upon the face of the earth? Or do ye imagine to yourselves that ye can lie unto the Lord in that day, and say - Lord, our works have been righteous works upon the face of the earth and that he will save you? ” Alma 5:16-17

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We are also told that we must be “valiant” to go to the celestial kingdom. If the Lord were to ask you what valiant acts you have done, what would you say? How long would be your list? What valiant testimonies have you born? How can you claim a kingdom with Abinadi who stood alone in bearing a testimony at great risk to the wayward church leaders of his day? We are told that you must be “overcome by faith.” (D&C 76:53) Are you overcome by faith? Tell us your deeds that put you in the same class as Nephi, Abinadi, Alma, Mormon, Moroni, Daniel, Noah, Job, Paul, and others who were overcome with such faith. How many do you see in the church about you that are overcome by this faith? Even if you are, is your family? Are you going to have to go to the celestial kingdom alone? It wouldn’t really be heaven if you couldn’t have your family would it???

If you have one wayward son, daughter, parent, or friend who is separated from you forever in a lower kingdom with no chance of eternal union how can you still love them and enjoy any type of exaltation for yourself? If the doctrine of eternal separation were true one would have to deny the pure love of Christ to let oneself have any joy in an exaltation while seeing our loved ones have no hope of joining. Another qualification of entering the celestial kingdom is to be “sealed by the Holy Spirit of promise.” (D&C 76:53) Going to the temple does not fulfill that - only having the Holy Spirit come to you and seal you his does. Has this happened to you? When? You must be one of those “into whose hands the Father has given all things.” (D&C 76:55) Has this happened to you? We must receive a “manifestation of the Spirit, WHILE IN THE FLESH, (that) they may be able to bear his presence in the world of glory.” (D&C 76:118) We are told that this is more than a mere warm feeling, but it includes having things revealed to him that are “not lawful for a man to utter.” (verse 115) These are things “seen and understood by the power of the Holy Spirit.”

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(D&C 76:116) Have you received this manifestation? Then how do you expect to enter the world of glory??? Joseph Smith said: “Any person who is exalted to the highest mansion has to abide a celestial law, and the whole law too.” (DHC 6:185) Have you lived the whole law? How about the United Order? How do you expect to hop into obedience to that law in the celestial glory when you have not been tested on earth as to whether or not you can live it? Did not Joseph say: “To get salvation we must not only do some things, but everything which God has commanded”? (DHC 6:223) He also said: If a man would attain to the keys of the kingdom of an endless life; he must sacrifice all things.” (DHC 5:555) Have you sacrificed all things??? Look around you. How many fellow church members do you know who are worthy of a celestial glory? Obviously, the scripture is true which states “many are called, but few are chosen.” (D&C 121:34)

Those who now cry the loudest that the less valiant will be damned forever in the lower kingdoms will be the first to find themselves unworthy for the celestial glory and on their lips will be a prayer hoping that they were wrong about eternal separation and this treatise is correct.

BASIC ACCEPTED TRUTHS Now let us take the truths we see to be self evident and see where they lead us:

1. We acknowledge that God has given to all men and women their free agency. This agency is given not only for time, but for eternity. We have no indication that God will ever take it away, even from the least of souls. God even allows the devil to do what he pleases.

2. All church authorities acknowledge that there is eternal progression within all the kingdoms. Both the telestial and terrestrial persons receive ministers from higher kingdoms (D&C 76:8688) so they must advance.

3. God, being a loving Father would never forcefully prevent a man from receiving more knowledge, but encourages it through the ministrations mentioned above.

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4. We are commanded to “ask and ye shall receive.”

These four statements that are presently accepted by the church can lead to some interesting conclusions indeed.

First, free agency is an eternal principle. We know it existed before we came to the earth because that was what the war in heaven was all about and we also know that Christ will win the fight to establish the principle forever.

Therefore, if a man in the telestial kingdom desires to begin living the higher terrestrial laws what is to prevent him from exercising his free agency and doing so? After all, they are ministered to by angels. (D&C 76:88) Do you think the angels are teaching them the telestial laws they are already living, or something higher?

This earth is a telestial world. This is acknowledged by authoritative church teachings and is taught in the temple. Do the angels that administer to us teach us earthly laws or something higher?

Something higher, of course.

The terrestrial inhabitants are ministered to by the celestial. (See D&C 76:87.) Now will these celestial people be teaching them the terrestrial laws already being lived, or the higher celestial law? The answer is obvious.

If then a group of telestial people begin living terrestrial laws they begin to form a terrestrial kingdom, and if a group of terrestrial inhabitants live celestial laws they begin to form a celestial kingdom. This very principle will be demonstrated on the earth which is now in a telestial state. When enough of us live the terrestrial laws the great millennium will come and the earth will be changed to a terrestrial state. After that Satan is loosed for a short period, and then destroyed, the

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inhabitants will live celestial laws and the earth will be changed again and become part of the celestial kingdom.

Is it not obvious that when a group of people use their free agency to live the higher laws that the kingdom they are in is changed? In examining statement two all people must concede that there is some type of eternal progression for everyone. And what are they progressing to? Of course, everyone wants to become like God. If three people have a goal of reaching a point ten miles away and they are all heading toward it at different rates, then as long as no one gives up they will all arrive there, but at different times. Obviously, if there is eternal progression for all, then all will eventually reach their goal.

Statement three tells us that God will not stop a person from receiving more knowledge. Joseph Smith said that “A man is saved no faster than he gains knowledge.” He also said: “In knowledge there is power. God has more power than all other beings BECAUSE HE HAS GREATER KNOWLEDGE; and hence he knows how to subject all other beings to him.” (DHC 5:340)

This is indeed interesting. God obtained his power through knowledge. Therefore if we obtained the knowledge of God we could obtain the power of God. Now we are all gaining knowledge, but at different rates. Let us suppose that at death John Jones merely had enough knowledge to obtain the telestial kingdom. Even though he obtained the lowest glory that is no reason to assume that he will not gain more knowledge. Therefore, Mr. Jones will continue to increase in knowledge even though it may be at a slower pace than the inhabitants of the higher kingdoms. Let us suppose, for instance, that it would take a trillion pieces of knowledge to obtain the knowledge of God necessary for celestial glory. Even if this telestial inhabitant only gains one new piece of knowledge a year, he could still obtain the celestial powers in a trillion years. Isn’t it obvious that if there is, in reality, eternal progression, then ALL goals are obtainable by everyone? Being eternally damned because of one short lifetime of error is like being refused a higher education and sent to the coal mines for your entire life just because you flunked a one hour exam. Would that be fair? Of course not, yet many say that it is justice to send a man to the

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telestial kingdom for eternity because he flunked his test in this life, which is less than a minute in relation to eternity.

Is common sense yet alive in Israel?

Fourth, we are commanded to ask and we will receive. Now if you were in the celestial kingdom and you had all power, and you had a son in the telestial kingdom and upon visiting him with tears in his eyes asked you to open up the way for him so he could join you in the celestial kingdom, what would you do? If you had all power would you not open the way for your own son? If you, being evil, are that good, would not God equal or better you? After all did not the Lord say: “There is NO END to my works, neither to my words. For behold, this is my work and my glory - to bring to pass the immortality and eternal life of man”? (Moses 1:38-39) The Lord clearly tells us that there is “no end” to his works to bring about our eternal life and the scriptures plainly tell us that part of his work involves an organization of ministering to the terrestrial and telestial kingdoms. Obviously the work of God in the lower kingdoms is for the purpose of bringing about the “immortality and eternal life” of the inhabitants.

Let us at least hope this is the case because church members are clearly taught that we are in the telestial kingdom even now. During the temple ceremony in the telestial room the speaker reveals: “Brethren and sisters, this room represents the telestial kingdom, OR THE WORLD IN WHICH WE NOW LIVE.”

In addition various church leaders in the past have pointed out that the earth is in a telestial state now. If then the place in which we now live is a part of the telestial kingdom, are we going to stay here forever??? Do we not have a hope of going to the celestial?

In the temple, members advance from the telestial room to the terrestrial, and finally through the veil to the celestial. Why is there such a ceremony if there is no such advancement from kingdom

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to kingdom? How the whole church can fail to grasp the meaning of such a simple teaching from the Lord is an amazing thing.

Joseph Smith gave us some startling information about the inhabitants of the terrestrial kingdom: “By faith Enoch was translated that he should not see death...Many have supposed that the doctrine of translation was a doctrine whereby men were taken immediately into the presence of God, and into an eternal fullness, but this is a mistaken idea. Their place of habitation is that of a TERRESTRIAL ORDER, and a place prepared for such characters he held in reserve to be ministering angels unto many planets...But we shall leave this subject of terrestrial bodies for another time.” (Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith, pgs. 170-171)

This is indeed interesting for we find that a righteous man like Enoch and his people are as yet only in the terrestrial kingdom. Apparently they have not yet made it to the celestial. Are Enoch and his people doomed to the terrestrial kingdom for eternity or is God going to continue his work and bring about their immortality and eternal life?

If assignments to the various kingdoms is permanent and Enoch has only made it to the terrestrial, how in God’s name do members of the church expect to fare better? What great works has any church member done that would cause him to go higher than Enoch???

Obviously Enoch will make it to the celestial kingdom in due time simply because there is progression from kingdom to kingdom. “But,” says one, “You’re talking about circumstances before the resurrection. Things are different afterwards.” They are? Who told you that? Where is it written? Nowhere does it tell us that movement from kingdom to kingdom will ever cease, but we are told that the works of the Lord are “one eternal round” which indicates an eternal cyclic effort of the Lord to advance all men. The belief that the resurrection changes eternal principles is patterned after tradition similar to the belief patterns of the Lamanites.

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KINGDOMS HIGHER THAN THE CELESTIAL If the reader still insists that there is no progression from kingdom to kingdom we would like to see how they explain the following scripture: “The place where God resides is a great Urim and Thummim. This earth, in its sanctified and immortal state (the celestial), will be like unto crystal and will be a Urim and Thummim to the inhabitants who dwell thereon, whereby all things pertaining to an inferior kingdom, or all kingdoms of a lower order (the telestial and terrestrial kingdoms), will be manifest to those who dwell on it; and this earth will be Christ’s. Then the white stone mentioned in Revelation 2:17 will become a Urim and Thummim to each individual who receives one, whereby THINGS PERTAINING TO A HIGHER ORDER OF KINGDOMS WILL KNOWN; and a white stone is given to each of those who come into the CELESTIAL KINGDOM.” (D&C 130:8-11) What’s this!!! Higher kingdoms than the celestial??? Nonsense you say. But how do you explain the scripture where it is written as plain as the nose on your face? If you still maintain there is no progression from kingdom to kingdom, then you are damning yourself to at least the celestial where you will not be permitted to attain the “higher order of kingdoms.”

We are plainly told that those who live the new and everlasting covenant will not merely inherit one kingdom, but many: “Ye shall come forth in the first resurrection; and if it be after the first resurrection, in the next resurrection; and shall inherit thrones, kingdoms (Plural), principalities, and powers, dominions, all heights and depths.” (D&C 132:19)

Just as Enoch left the telestial and is now in the terrestrial and waiting to go to the celestial and then to the “higher order of kingdoms” so are we who keep the new and everlasting covenant promised that we shall inherit “kingdoms.” We are not destined to go to one kingdom, but through many. Now we see why Jacob’s ladder had a kingdom for each set of steps and how we will eventually go up many steps. How can one claim to believe the scriptures and deny this? It looks like they will also have to deny the words of Joseph, the prophet: “What did Jesus do? Why I do the things I saw my Father do when worlds came rolling into existence. My Father worked out his kingdom with fear and trembling, and I must do the same; and when I get my

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kingdom, I shall present it to my Father, so that he may obtain kingdom upon kingdom, and it will exalt him in glory. He will then take a HIGHER EXALTATION, and I will take his place, and thereby become exalted myself.” (Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith, pgs. 347-8) The prophet also said: “Paul saw the third heavens AND I MORE.” (DHC 5:392) If Joseph saw more than the third heaven (or the celestial kingdom) then there must be a fourth, a fifth, and probably more, for do we not believe in eternal progression??? Do we not believe that if there is a beginning to our entering the celestial or third kingdom, then there must be an end? Someday there will be an end to our stay in whatever kingdom we are assigned and go on to the “higher order of kingdoms,” worlds without end. In speaking of the higher kingdoms Joseph said: “Many persons think a prophet must be a good deal better than anybody else. Suppose I would condescend - yes, I will call it condescend, to be a great deal better than any of you. I would be RAISED TO THE HIGHEST HEAVEN; and who should I have to accompany me?” (DHC 5:401) What was this highest heaven where there would be no one to accompany the Prophet? It was not the celestial kingdom, for that was the goal of the saints, and Joseph expected company there. He knew of higher orders of kingdoms to which none of the saints could yet obtain.

Are we going to continue to damn ourselves by clinging to the selfish, ungodlike, separative belief that each individual is doomed forever to his assigned kingdom after the resurrection? Even if we make it to the celestial do we want our progression to higher kingdoms damned by such a belief? After all we are told that “as a man thinketh in his heart SO IS HE.” (Proverbs 23:7) If you think your progression is damned or ended then it will be. Isn’t it obvious to the mind as well as the heart that God allows all to progress in both time and eternity according to their labor and desire? The challenge goes out to all in harmony with the words of the prophet Joseph: “The scriptures say it, and I defy all the learning and wisdom and all the combined powers of earth and hell together to refute it.” This challenge can be made on any truth. As Joseph said, “Truth will cut its own way.” Once a truth is presented in an

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enlightened manner, it will then forever on hold its own, for those who have the Spirit will discern it and create a nucleus of light which will eventually enlighten all.

Remember to apply Moroni 10:4-5.

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Chapter Eleven Warnings from the Past
Hundreds of the greatest lights in the church have been excommunicated, not for any sin or proven wrong doing, but for thinking outside the box.

Those who were persecuted became themselves persecutors after 1890 when the church compromised with the government to change its doctrine. From that point on those who studied, taught and practiced the originating doctrines of the church were told to step in line with the new emphasis or suffer the consequences. At first the church’s wrath seemed to focus mainly on those who practiced the controversial doctrine of plural marriage.

Since that time the member seeking greater light is risking his membership if he does something like:

(1) Associate with those whose beliefs run contrary to the LDS church. (2) Publish accurate information about some of the early history of the church that the Brethren want swept under the rug. (3) Openly share views of some of the mysteries with other church members. (4) Have any type of unauthorized study class in your home. (5) State that the Prophet could be wrong on doctrine. (6) Have unacceptable political views. (7) Criticize the General Authorities.

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The list does not stop here. The excommunication of my nephew and I was begun because the merely found out our “thinking” was not in harmony. We were both obeying all the rules of the church and I was teaching several classes and always taught orthodox doctrine. When the member is not allowed to have his own private controversial thoughts about the mysteries, then, indeed, the church has gone too far.

Will those who are led by the Spirit of God ever persecute their brethren? All those who have an ounce of the light of Christ in them must exclaim, NO! A thousand times no. The roll of the adversary is to belittle, tear down, stamp out with force, use the full arm of the law with no mercy, “wear out the Saints,” force them to deny what they believe in, make good appear evil and evil good, persecute, destroy! Those on the left hand path cannot let their works be shown in the light of day, or their apparent righteousness will dissolve with the morning rays of the sun and finally the mid-day sun will scorch them in its strength. Yes, therefore, the leaders today do “exercise power and authority over the disciples of Jesus.” They have not yet filled up their measure as the ancient Nephites did, but they will soon be given their chance. There are numerous inspired teachings breaking forth outside the realm of the General Authorities and the contrast between the light in the church and the light outside of the church is growing exponentially. The day is soon coming that this contrast will no longer be possible to sweep under the rug and ignore. It will be as Jesus said, “For I am come to set a man at variance against his father, and the daughter against her mother, and the daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law. And a man’s foes shall be they of his own household.” (Matt. 10:35-36) Then will the leaders say of the true followers as King Noah said of Abinadi, “He has said these things that he might stir up my people to anger one with another, and to raise contentions among my people.” (Mos. 11:28) Are we going to be like King Noah and call “evil good and good evil, that put darkness for light and light for darkness”? (2 Nephi 15:20) Or are we going to be like the five wise virgins and have our lamps filled with the Holy Spirit and not lean on the arm of flesh? The time is soon coming when every person who calls himself a Saint will have to choose between following the Holy Spirit or the arm of flesh; and if he chooses the latter, the spirit of the Lord will withdraw and

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that man will be easily confounded before the least of the followers of light. His only remedy then is to become as the Pharisees and Sadducees and spiritually join the great and abominable church and try to stamp out the light; but these will dig a pit for themselves in which to fall in and wonderful will be their punishment.

Do I rejoice to see these things at the doors? No. I respect the Church and the people in it, and many of the leaders are trying to do right, but God wants us to glory in His work and not man’s, and we are told, “Every man’s work shall be made manifest; for the day shall declare it, because it shall be revealed by fire; and the fire shall try every man’s work of what sort it is.” (1 Cor. 3:13)

As time progressed, we find that the Nephites became more hardened and eventually became “even as the Jews at Jerusalem.” (verse 31) After they reached this state, “there arose a people who were called the Nephites (the fundamental believers of the day) and they were true believers in Christ.” (verse 36) After this separation of the righteous from the wicked, a frightful thing happened. “They did not dwindle in unbelief, but they did willfully rebel against the gospel of Christ.” (verse 38) The seeds for a willful rebellion have been sown, but the plant is not yet clearly visible. The groundwork has truly been set for a willful rebellion against the light, for the truth of new revelation will become so clear that the Saints will either willfully rebel, or join the light, and to join the light one must admit he has been deceived - which thing is hard for a man to do. What happened after they willfully rebelled? Then they “began again to build up the secret oaths and combinations of Gadianton.” (verse 42) Could that happen to us??? Verily, yes. Did not the Lord say, “Beware of pride lest ye become as the Nephites of old.” (D&C 38:39) Isn’t that a far cry from that often thundered statement from the pulpit: the Church will never fall!!!”? My dear brother, it can fall. Be as Paul and let the scales drop from your eyes. Do as the Laodiceans were commanded and anoint thine eyes with eyesalve that thou mayest see.” (Rev. 3:18) “Because thou sayest, I am rich, and increased with goods, and have need of nothing; and knowest not that thou art wretched, and miserable, and poor, and blind, and naked.” (Rev. 3:17)

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To the Church the Lord said, “Inasmuch as ye do it not [keep the commandments], it shall be taken, even that which ye have received.” (D&C 43:10) “Be faithful in keeping my commandments lest judgments come upon you, and your faith fail you, and your enemies triumph over you.” (D&C 136:42) It doesn’t sound like the Lord has an overabundance of confidence in the church - does it? Why should He? After all, hasn’t He watched Israel fail generation after generation? Even God does not force men to do right. Why did Joseph warn that the Lord may take away the Church’s “talent, and give it to those who have no talent, and shall prevent them from ever obtaining a place of refuge, or an inheritance upon the land of Zion.” (DHC 2:48) Who are those that “have no talent”? The Book of Mormon tells us clearly, but before we quote, we must clarify the meaning of the word Gentile as used in the book. Most LDS believe that the Gentiles prophesied of are those who will not join the Church in the last days, but is this the case? The Nephites used the word in its purest sense, as did the Bible writers, for the Greek word for Gentiles is Ethnos which means “foreigner.” Thus when the Nephites wrote of the Gentiles, they were speaking of the foreign peoples who would eventually possess the land, and the foreign peoples who would possess the Book of Mormon and the fullness of the gospel.

Those who would say other than this must either deny or rewrite the scriptures for how do you explain the following: “Now these words, O Lord, we have spoken before thee, concerning the revelations and commandments which thou hast given unto us, who are identified with the Gentiles.” (D&C 109:60) Who are identified with the Gentiles? Who received the “revelations and commandments”? The LDS people, of course. Does not the title page of the Book of Mormon make clear who the Lord meant by “Gentile”? We are told it was written “to Jew and Gentile” and that it was “to come forth in due time by way of the gentile - the interpretation thereof by the gift of God.” (Book of Mormon title page)

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Was Joseph Smith by whom the book came forth a Gentile? He was. Were the people who assisted him also Gentiles? Yes. The scriptures do not lie. We are clearly told that the Book of Mormon, which contains the truth and the word of God - “is my word to the Gentile, that soon it may go to the Jew, of whom the Lamanites are a remnant.” (D&C 19:27) Who is the Lord speaking of when He talks about “those who embrace my gospel among the Gentiles”? (D&C 42:39) You really have to be desperate to say that applies to the non-Mormons. The Lord even tells us clearly that He calls the “heathen nations,” or the gentiles, the house of Joseph.” (D&C 90:10) For more clarity, we quote: “Wherefore, it is wisdom that the land should be purchased by the saints, and also every tract lying westward, even unto the line running directly between Jew and Gentile.” (D&C 57:4) We are also told “that the seed of this people (the Lamanites) may more fully believe this gospel, which shall go forth unto them from the Gentiles.” (Mormon 5:15) Also the Gentiles “have care for the house of Israel.” (Mormon 5:10) Here we are told clearly as word can be that the Gentiles will take the gospel to the Lamanites. Do you see any non-Mormons doing this? How can anyone deny that the LDS people are the Gentiles prophesied in the Book of Mormon? Nephi gives us more confirmation. He says, “Then shall the fullness of the gospel of the Messiah come unto the Gentiles and from the Gentiles unto the remnant of our seed.” (1 Nephi 15:13)

We see clearly then that the prophets in the Book of Mormon spoke not only to the inhabitants, as a whole, who would possess this land, but more particularly those who would receive and read the Book of Mormon. Why would the prophets waste energy in warning the “Gentiles” who would not even be reading the book? Why do we fool ourselves in thinking that the admonitions to the Gentiles are for the non-Mormon who doesn’t know they exist?

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And what type of warning did the prophets give to the “Gentiles” who would possess the Book of Mormon? Moroni sums up the matter thus: “And this [The Book of Mormon] cometh unto you, O ye Gentiles, that ye may know the decrees of God - that ye may repent, and not continue in your iniquities until the fullness come, that ye may not bring down the fullness of the wrath of God upon you as the inhabitants of the land have hitherto done.” (Ether 2:11) Now we can pass the buck and say that Moroni’s warning pertains to all those sinful nonMormons, but who has received the warning through the Book of Mormon? Therefore who has the responsibility? The answer is obvious. Who does the Lord condemn for the great destructions in the Book of Mormon days? Wasn’t it those who possessed the gospel? It was. “Wherefore, O ye gentiles, it is wisdom in God that these things should be shown unto you, that thereby ye may repent of your sins, and suffer not these murderous combinations shall get above you, which are built up to get power and gain - and the work, yea, even the work of destruction come upon you, yea even the sword of the justice of the Eternal God shall fall upon you, TO YOUR OVERTHROW if ye suffer these things to be.” (Ether 8:23)

When Mormon compiled the Book of Mormon, he had hundreds of times more records than we now have and had to be quite selective about what to include. What criteria did he use for his selection? He tried to include (as well as his son) words that would be of benefit to the Gentiles who would receive the book. He knew that the Gentiles would suffer the same pitfalls as his people except they be given a warning so he compiled the whole Book of Mormon around the idea of warning the Gentiles by showing them what had happened to his people so we could avoid the same mistakes. In the above two quotes Moroni summarizes the basic purpose of the book for the Gentiles. Why then do we bury our heads in the sand and exclaim that the Gentiles are the non-Mormons who do not have the slightest idea of what is in the book? Is God such a fool that not one intended person should hear His warning?

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I’m sure it is a great comfort for many who tell themselves that the following scripture applies to the non-Mormons: “Therefore, wo be unto the Gentiles if it so be that they harden their hearts against the Lamb of God. For the time cometh, saith the Lamb of God, that I will work a great and marvelous work among the children of men; a work which shall be everlasting, either on one hand or the other - either to the convincing of them unto peace and eternal life, or unto the deliverance of them to the hardness of their hearts and the blindness of their minds unto their being brought down into captivity, and also into destruction, both TEMPORALLY and spiritually, according to the captivity of the devil, of which I have spoken.” (1 Nephi 14:6-7) Here is another scripture that many like to think applies to the non- Mormons: “And now, we behold the decrees of God concerning this land, that it is a land of promise; and whatsoever nation shall possess it shall serve God, or they shall be swept off when the fullness of His wrath shall come upon them. And the fullness of His wrath cometh upon them when they are ripened in iniquity. For behold, this is a land which is choice above all other lands; wherefore he that doth possess it shall serve God or shall be swept off; for it is the everlasting decree of God. And it is not until the fullness of iniquity among the children of the land, that they are swept off. And this [the Book of Mormon] cometh unto you, O ye Gentiles [obviously referring to those who have the book], that YE MAY KNOW the decrees of God - that ye may repent, and not continue in iniquities until the fullness come, that ye may not bring down the fullness of the wrath of God upon you as the inhabitants of the land have hitherto done.” (Ether 2:9-11)

Thus the responsibility for preserving freedom in this land is supposed to rest on the shoulders of the Mormon Elders, for they are the ones who have received the book - they are the ones that must serve the God of the land. Did not Joseph Smith say that the Constitution of this country would hang as it were on a single thread and if it were saved at all, it would be done by the Mormon Elders?

What are the Elders doing to save the Constitution?

Is it enough to advise members to get involved and elect good men to office? Is that not the same advice that is given out to all people in all democratic countries everywhere? Do you know

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anyone who says he voted for the man who he believed to be the worst candidate? Such advice is no sign of wisdom for all people from the greatest to the least already believe it. Well did Isaiah prophesy: “His watchmen are blind, they are ignorant, they are all dumb dogs, they cannot bark.” (Isa. 56:10) This is strong language, but it is not mine. Is it not true that authorities today cannot bark or sound forth a clear warning? President Benson tried to get involved in preserving our freedoms a few years ago, but received much criticism and had to withdraw from the scene before he could let out a good bark or two. Thus all of our leaders leave politics alone and do not bark, but sit back and watch our freedoms deteriorate while declaring that Zion is prospering as never before. But behold a shaking is coming on the house of God, and they that dwell securely shall become very unsettled and men’s hearts will fail them.

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Chapter Twelve The Fullness of the Gospel

Moroni wrote, “Wherefore I know by this thing which thou hast said, that if the Gentiles have not charity, because of our weakness, that thou wilt prove them, and take away their talent, yea, even that which they have received, and give it unto them who shall have more abundantly.” (Ether 12:35) Did not Nephi warn, “Wo be unto him that is at ease in Zion! Wo be unto him that crieth all is well ... Wo be unto him that saith: We have received, and we need no more.” (2 Nephi 28:25 & 27) Church members like to think that this scripture applies to the non-Mormons who reject the Book of Mormon, but who is “at ease in Zion”? If we keep in mind the fact that it could only be the Latter-day Saints that are at ease in Zion, then we must face the fact that the rest of the prophecy applies to them.

Of course, the devotee would argue the belief that God will yet reveal many great and important things and believe in modern revelation. Yes, this is true in theory in the Church, but not in practice for how many times do we hear people in the Church say things like, “Leave the mysteries alone. Do not delve into them.” “We have more than we can handle with what we have.” “Stay with the basics.” “You don’t even know all there is to know about faith yet; why do you want to delve into deeper things?”

Then when one talks about receiving more of the word of God, they will say that it pertains to the future when we are ready, but not now. We forget that, while most are content with the status quo, there are many in the Church and world who are ready for more of the word of God. Anyone that would call the present conference reports modern-day scripture is obviously not prepared for real scripture, for how can the quoting of old scripture be new scripture?

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Let us follow Nephi a little further: “And in fine, wo unto all those who tremble, and are angry because of the truth of God! For behold, he that is built upon the rock receiveth it with gladness; and he that is built upon a sandy foundation trembleth lest he shall fall.” (verse 28)

This prophecy shall be fulfilled in our day. Many will be angry when they receive the revelations and teachings of real modern prophets and others which are to come, but the righteous will receive them with joy for the time is verily coming when the words of Isaiah will be fulfilled: “How beautiful upon the mountains are the feet of him that bringeth good tidings, that publisheth salvation; that saith unto Zion, Thy God reigneth!” (Isa. 52:7)

I would hope to be counted among those who bring you good tidings of good and declare that God does reign and that Zion will yet be built by the power of God. Indeed, since the Church has been driven in the wilderness again. It has almost appeared that God does not reign, for the Church has had to give up many of its basic principles mentioned earlier, but this is because of the folly of man. God does reign over His inner Church and soon it will again come out of the wilderness with great glory and power in after a manner which ye know not. In the next verse, Nephi repeats his warning: “Wo be unto him that shall say, We have received the word of God [meaning the Bible and LDS scriptures], and we need no more of the word of God, for we have enough!” (verse 29) In practice is this not the cry of the Church today: “We have enough!” If you do not believe it, just try and expound on a deep doctrine or mystery in Sunday School. As I said the excommunication of my nephew and I began with the simple exploration of progression from lower to higher kingdoms. Nephi ends his chapter with, “Wo be unto the Gentiles saith the Lord of hosts! For notwithstanding I shall lengthen out my 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.” (verse 32)

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Do the Latter-day Saints deny God? Do they deny revelations given by the Spirit of God to various people in and out of the church? Yes, they do because of the mistaken notion that God will only reveal mysteries through the president of the church. If they do not come through him they are to be rejected. When Jesus was speaking before the multitudes in Jerusalem, he warned them, “Ye are the salt of the earth; but if the salt have lost his savour, wherewith shall it be salted? It is thenceforth good for nothing, but to be cast out, and to be trodden under the foot of men. (Matt. 5:13)

What did Jesus mean by this? He told the followers of Moses that they were the salt of the earth. To help us understand a little better let us use the ancient Jews as a correspondence to salt and the earth as a correspondence to a steak. The percentage of the steak that is salt is very small, yet its influence is so strong that it will greatly enhance the flavor of the whole thing. Yet we find that the sea salt that the Jews used, if left to stagnate, will lose its flavoring ability and become completely tasteless. If this were to happen to the salt, who in the world would want to put it on a steak? It would become worthless. The Master would then seek for other salt with taste, for the first salt is, “thenceforth good for nothing, but to be cast out, and to be trodden under the foot of men.”

Did the ancient Jews heed this warning? No! They lost their savor and the Master sought for other salt in the Gentiles. Consequently, the Jews were trodden under foot by the Romans and great were their lamentations.

Does the Lord promise members today that they are salt that cannot lose their savor? No, verily we see that the Lord speaks to the Church today the same as He did yesterday: “But inasmuch as they keep not my commandments, and hearken not to observe all my words, the kingdoms of the world shall prevail against them [the Church]. For they were set to be a light unto the world, and to be saviors of men; and inasmuch as they are not saviors of men, they are as salt that has lost its savor, and is thenceforth good for nothing but to be cast out and trodden under foot of men.” (D&C 103:8- 10)

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Ask yourself: Has the Church lost its savor? Are they being the saviors of men as required to keep this savor? Some may answer yes, but we forget that the kingdom was set up for the temporal salvation of men as well as the spiritual. Of course, all religions argue that they are the spiritual saviors. Anyone who preaches about Jesus can claim that, but have they followed the course set out by Joseph Smith to be the physical saviors of mankind and preserve the freedoms of the world?

No! The Council of Fifty has been completely abandoned as well as all other efforts to preserve the principles of freedom in the Constitution. Other groups outside the Church are being much better salt than the LDS are because some of them do not fear the criticism of the world. Thus the Lord said, “Verily, I say unto you, that after all this and I have caused my people who are of the house of Israel to be smitten and to be afflicted, and to be slain, and to be cast out from among them, and to become hated by them, and to become a hiss and a byword among them And thus commandeth the Father that I should say unto you: At that day when the Gentiles shall sin against my gospel, and shall be lifted up in the pride of their hearts above all nations, and above all the people of the whole earth, and shall be filled with all manner of lyings, and of deceits, and of mischiefs, and all manner of hypocrisy, and murders, and priestcrafts, and whoredoms, and of secret abominations; and if they shall do all those things, and shall reject the fullness of my gospel, behold, saith the Father, I WILL BRING THE FULLNESS OF MY GOSPEL FROM AMONG THEM.” (3 Nephi 16:9-10)

Have we reached a time that the fullness of the Gospel has been taken from the church?

Before this question can be answered we must ask another question.

What is the Fullness of the Gospel?

If we know not what the fullness of the gospel is then we have no way of knowing if it has been taken away or not.

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Many members believe the fullness of the Gospel includes all the laws and ordinances of the current church. The Fundamentalists go a step further and claim it includes plural marriage, the united order and other items, and no member has a fullness unless he is incorporating every item introduced by Joseph Smith and Brigham Young.

Both of these ideas miss the mark. Is it possible that after all these years and examination of the scriptures that no one has clearly explained what a fullness of the Gospel is? Perhaps.

The scriptures clearly reveal what the fullness of the Gospel is not. For instance the Lord said: “And I have sent forth the fulness of my gospel by the hand of servant Joseph; and in weakness I have blessed him.” D&C 35:17

This revelation was given in 1830, long before plural marriage, the United Order, temple work and many other items that both groups of believers maintain is a part of the fullness.

Consider this: “And gave him power from on high, by the means which were before prepared, to translate the Book of Mormon; Which contains a record of a fallen people, and the fulness of the gospel of Jesus Christ to the Gentiles and to the Jews also.” (D&C 20:8)

Conclusion: The Book of Mormon contains the fullness of the gospel.

And consider this: “And the angel of the Lord said unto me: Thou hast beheld that the book proceeded forth from the mouth of a Jew; and when it proceeded forth from the mouth of a Jew it contained the fulness of the gospel of the Lord, of whom the twelve apostles bear record; and they bear record according to the truth which is in the Lamb of God.” (1 Nephi 13:24)

Conclusion: The Bible as it was written contains the fullness of the gospel.

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Consider this: “And again, the elders, priests and teachers of this church shall teach the principles of my gospel, which are in the Bible and the Book of Mormon, in which is the fullness of the gospel.” (D&C 42:12)

Conclusion - both the Bible and the book of Mormon have the fullness of the gospel.

Is the Book of Mormon and the Bible, as a whole, representative of the fullness of the gospel or is it some teaching or principle within them that is the true fullness?

Since we are told that a fullness is in both of them, then that which is a fullness must be something which is common to both books. The next few verses give a clue: “And they shall observe the covenants and church articles to do them, and these shall be their teachings, as they shall be directed by the Spirit. And the Spirit shall be given unto you by the prayer of faith; and if ye receive not the Spirit ye shall not teach.” (D&C 42:13-14)

How shall the fullness be taught? Answer: By the Spirit, for without the Spirit, the fullness cannot be taught.

A couple sections later we read: And when the times of the Gentiles is come in, a light shall break forth among them that sit in darkness, and it shall be the FULNESS of my gospel; But they receive it not; for they perceive not the light, and they turn their hearts from me because of the precepts of men.” (D&C 45:28-29)

Here we are clearly told that the fullness of the gospel came to the Gentiles (those who receive the Book of Mormon) and that this fullness is a “light” which is not perceived, but rejected “because of the precepts of men.”

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What is that light? Another clue is given in a revelation where the gospel is actually defined. “And this is my gospel--repentance and baptism by water, and then cometh the baptism of fire and the Holy Ghost, even the Comforter, which showeth all things, and teaches the peaceable things of the Kingdom. Arise and be baptized, and wash away your sins, calling on my name, and you shall receive my Spirit, and a blessing so great as you never have known.” (D&C 39:6, 10) In addition to speaking of the fullness of the gospel the scriptures also speak of “the fullness of time,” “the fullness of the Gentiles,” and “the fullness of the wrath of God.” Does the “fullness of time” mean that everything in time is included? No. Neither does the fullness of the Gospel imply that all the teachings of the prophets are included.

A fullness implies a maximum quality or attainment.

Which is greater and brings more fullness of joy?

To have the fire of the Holy Spirit or to have an office in the church?

To have the Spirit or to live the United Order?

To have the Spirit or to have more than one wife?

To have the Spirit or to visit the temple?

The great mystery which should not be a mystery is this:

To have the fullness of the Gospel is to have the fire of the Holy Spirit, the end product of the first and basic principles of the gospel. This is the underlying principle taught in the Bible and Book of Mormon and the reason they are said to contain the fullness.

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He who has the Spirit has what?

Answer: The power of revelation and thus the current Will of God is manifest to him. This is the “Rock” upon which the true church of Christ has been, is and will be built and this is also one of the “stones” the builders rejected.

Is this Rock upon which the church is built anything less than a fullness?

Verily no.

Without revelation through the gift of the Holy Spirit, there is no fullness of the Gospel and since the church excommunicates those who have claimed to receive the revelation of the Spirit then we have a church which receives not of the fullness of the gospel as predicted in D&C 45:28-29, previously quoted. Verily, the Spirit does testify to all: “Come up higher and drink freely of the waters of the Spirit that you may remain always in the fullness of the bosom of the Eternal God, that your work will be a fullness of your potential, being God working in you and speaking to the souls of humanity.”

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Author’s Note Let me remind the Group that this book is written to speak to the Mormon mindset in an attempt to bring them the light to break free from the power of unearned authority. I am posting the chapters here because I think that a number of you will find it interesting. Most of us have given our power to an unearned authority at one time or another. JJ

Chapter Thirteen Spiritual Loss

We might enlarge on the subject of the last chapter and affirm that there is no fullness of the Gospel present without the rock of revelation through the Holy Spirit, not to just the president of the Church but to all who seek that they may find the mysteries of God.

Even though differing individuals and peoples may have the Spirit it is also true that that the light they receive is dependent on their spiritual progress and the degree with which they seek greater knowledge.

The Holy Spirit is a key or doorway through which one must pass to ascend to the maximum degree of spiritual potential.

Therefore, the fullness of light that one can receive is different for different people and different ages. In a dream the spirit of the Lord came to me and I understood that as Joseph was translating the Book of Mormon, he could find no English equivalent for the Nephite word from which “fullness” is taken. The word “fullness” is a much inferior word, yet it was the best word available. The Nephite word for “fullness” means “an adaptation to the maximum capacity of the

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people.” This adaptation is different for different peoples. Even that which Joseph and Brigham called a fullness of the gospel, using the Nephite definition, is far from being the fullness we would have if we were yet more spiritually advanced. We are in primary here compared to some other worlds yet without the fullness of the Spirit there is no progress, and the little that has been received becomes lost.

The scriptures make some interesting statements about the church and its people losing their light: “And he that repents not, from him shall be taken even the light which he has received; for my Spirit shall not always strive with man, thus saith the Lord of Hosts.” (D&C 1:33) “And thus ye shall become instructed in the law of my church, and be sanctified by that which ye have received, and ye shall bind yourselves to act in all holiness before me-- That inasmuch as ye do this, glory shall be added to the kingdom which ye have received. Inasmuch as ye do it not, it shall be taken, even that which ye have received.” (D&C 43:9-10) “But with some I am not well pleased, for they will not open their mouths, but they hide the talent which I have given unto them, because of the fear of man. Wo unto such, for mine anger is kindled against them. And it shall come to pass, if they are not more faithful unto me, it shall be taken away, even that which they have.” (D&C 60:2-3)

It is a fact that the church excommunicated me, my nephew and many others for merely admitting to the authorities that we have received the Holy Spirit and have discovered some of the mysteries of God. The fact that they demand we hide this talent under a bushel or be banished from the kingdom is to kindle the anger of God against them as the scripture says.

And what will happen to such people who make a man an offender for his word? “It shall be taken away, even that which they have.”

One may wonder, how can the church, the authorities and the people of the church lose that little which they have received. Do they not still have the Book of Mormon, the Bible, the Doctrine

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and Covenants and many other inspired writings? They can hold these documents in their hands so surely these writings will not be lost?

Or will they?

Let us answer this question with another. How many religions are there that have the Bible, yet cannot draw the many truths it contains from its pages?

The Bible teaches the principle of revelation but they do not see.

The Bible teaches a pre-existence, but again they do not see.

The Bible teaches an apostasy and restoration, but they neither see nor accept.

The Bible teaches that prophets are an essential part of the church but they will not hear nor accept.

Can we not see that there are many who have a physical Bible full of the truths of God yet have “lost” the ability to keep or even use that which they can hold in their hands?

Can we not also see that even though the LDS Church has additional scriptures that if they deny the expression of the Holy Spirit and seek to suppress this Mighty and Strong Presence from God that the Spirit and all the gifts will be lost to them?

And what is to happen if the Spirit is lost to them?

(1) There will be no new revelation of any higher knowledge.

When was the last written revelation presented to the church let alone a revelation giving greater light and truth?

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Answer: Over 100 years.

(2) They will not be able to understand the scriptures they presently have but merely repeat what has already been written maybe slightly changing the wording from time to time .

(3) They will fear the membership receiving or discovering truth for themselves including an accurate account of proven history which does not suit their purposes.

Michael Quinn (a previous Church Historian) and others have been excommunicated for either writing about or teaching actual events in history. (4) There will be priestcraft. The Scripture says “that man should counsel his fellow man, neither trust in the arm of flesh.” (D&C 1:19) To cause members to trust in the arm of flesh, to fear to act without “counsel,” to follow the brethren without thinking for yourself is priestcraft.

(5) They will fear the teaching or exercise of the principle of free agency.

Sterling D. Allan, owner of the Greater Things website, attempted to teach the importance of the principle of freedom. This sincere effort led to his eventual excommunication. Numerous others have either been censored or excommunicated over this principle.

Is not free agency supposed to be a core principle in the church? It is, yet the authorities have “lost” the ability to see what free agency is.

I held many private thoughts and beliefs to myself that I could not tell to others because even the agency to think outside the box is not allowed. At the time I was excommunicated I was only teaching (within the church) doctrines approved by the authorities. I had seven church jobs the day before my excommunication and filled them all to the satisfaction of the authorities. But when I shared a mystery I had received privately with my nephew and he shared it with others I was then called on the carpet by the thought police and excommunicated, not for anything I had

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done, but for what I had privately been thinking. These private thoughts were extracted from me through interrogation.

Excommunicating me for my private discoveries of mysteries through the study of scripture and prayer should indeed raise a stench to heaven incurring the displeasure of a just God. I would not come back into the church in its present condition if they came pleading to me in sackcloth and ashes. I will never again join any society that does not honor the free agency of man, especially the agency to think, contemplate and progress spiritually.

It is indeed a sad day that the only way to stay in the church is to cease reading the scriptures to avoid any unauthorized thoughts from coming into one’s mind.

Some of the early brethren realized that there would be difficulties ahead, but that there would be a handful who would be worthy of the Kingdom of God. Brigham Young spoke of this: “God will preserve a portion of this people, of the meek and humble, to bear off the kingdom to the inhabitants of the earth.” (Contributor 10:362) Also, Heber C. Kimball said, “But the time will come when the Lord will choose a people out of this people, upon whom He will bestow His choicest blessings.” (Deseret News, Nov. 9, 1865)

Just as God chose a people out of a people in the days of Paul, so will He do it in our day. Thus the first will be last and the last first. Those who are esteemed as the least in the kingdom today will be the “first” tomorrow, while those who are first now shall be last.

Just as the Kingdom was taken from the Jews and given to the Gentiles even so will the Kingdom be taken from the LDS and descend upon the pure in heart wherever they may be throughout the world.

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Chapter Fourteen Where’s The Revelation?

In the days of Ahab, King of Israel, all the prophets were deceived except one. In that day there were 401 prophets. (See 2 Chron. 18:5-7.) Ahab inquired of the 401 as to whether he should go to battle. The 400 knew the king would be angry if they prophesied anything but victory for the king, so their own hearts and fears greatly influenced the answer they received; however, one man, Micaiah, was not so influenced and he, being the last one called on for a prophecy, said, “As the Lord liveth, even what my God saith, that will I speak.” (2 Chron. 18:13) Then he proceeded to prophesy evil and disaster for the king which thing made the king angry. Then Micaiah explained why everyone was deceived except him: “I saw the Lord sitting upon his throne, and all the host of heaven standing on his right hand and on his left. And the Lord said, Who shall entice Ahab, king of Israel, that he may go-up and fall at Ramothgilead? And one spake saying after this manner, and another spake saying after that manner. Then there came out a spirit, and stood before the Lord, and said, I will entice him. And the Lord said unto him, Wherewith? And he said, I will go out, and be a lying spirit in the mouth of all his prophets. And the Lord said, Thou shalt entice him, and thou shalt also prevail: Go out, and do even so. Now therefore the Lord hath put a lying spirit in the mouth of these thy prophets.” (2 Chron. 18:18-22) Isn’t it interesting, and yet somewhat frightening, that the Lord himself could and has sent a lying spirit to deceive Israel when their hearts desired the delusion? Will it happen again?

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It not only will happen, but it has been prophesied: “They receive not the love of the truth that they might be saved. And for this cause God shall send them strong delusion, that they should believe a lie: that they all might be damned who believed not the truth.” (2 Thes. 2: 10-12)

Read this chapter in reference and you will see that it deals with events just preceding the second coming. When has God sent strong delusion that people would believe a lie? If God sends the delusion, then it must be around the principle of revelation. This was the dialog amidst the 400 prophets of Ahab.

Could God send strong delusion to the prophets, seers and revelators today? It is prophesied that someone will receive it. If not the LDS, then who?

What then is the strong delusion given to the LDS in our day? One doesn’t have to look far. Let us begin with the greatest delusion of all which is basically the following belief: The authorities believe and proclaim that “modern revelation” is a principle active today. They have the faithful members believing that the President as well as other authorities receive and (this is the amazing part) gives out revelation to the church today.

Thus the members are under the very obvious illusion that they are receiving revelation from the authorities when no specific revelation is announced or even proclaimed. Members are told that revelation is everywhere, but when they look it is nowhere.

The church is like the government who tells us that tax breaks are everywhere, but when you attempt to find one for you nothing is there, except maybe more taxes.

When the LDS member actually looks for a modern revelation all he finds are old revelations quoted to him plus a little general advice on how to be a good modern Mormon.

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Instead of believing in modern revelation what is the actual truth here?

If the authorities were to be honest they would distil the present doctrine into the following article of faith: “We believe part of what God has revealed based on what suits our purposes. What he does now reveal (as proclaimed by authorities presently constituted) is repeated declarations of what he has revealed in the remote past. We have a nebulous belief that he will reveal some things in the future, but will excommunicate all who claim to be the bearers of the greater light of revelation.”

Real modern revelation is discouraged, and when true inspiration surfaces, he who receives it is cast out.

Modern revelation is said to be everywhere, but it is seen nowhere.

Members are told to seek the Holy Spirit, but when that Spirit is received and the words of the Spirit are spoken the receiver is cast out.

It is interesting to talk about the principle of revelation with a current LDS member. It often goes something like this: Voice of Common Sense (VCS): “So you believe in modern revelation?” LDS Member: “I certainly do.” VCS: “Where can I find one of these revelations?” LDS Member: “There’s lots of revelation. You don’t have to look very hard.” VCS: “Great. I’d like to read just one. Could you show it to me?” LDS Member: He pulls out his D&C and shows him Section 76. “Here’s a good one.” VCS: “But this was given 170 years ago in 1832. That doesn’t seem very recent to me. I want to see one of these modern revelations you have been telling me about.”

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LDS Member: “There’s lots of revelation given out in general conference twice a year and others in the Ensign magazine.” VCS: “I see you have a stack on Ensigns over there, many with conference reports. Could you point out a revelation in one of them for me?” LDS Member: “It’s not difficult to do. Revelation is on almost every page.” VCS: “But could you show me just one?” LDS Member: “Read a couple paragraphs in almost any conference report and you’ll see revelation.” VCS: “But I’m interested in what you call a revelation. Could you show me just one? ” LDS Member: He becomes agitated and gives a look that tells VCS that he must be slow mentally. “Pick up any issue and just read!” he says with exasperation. VCS: He picks up an issue and turns to a page giving the text to a speech by the President of the Church. “I’m reading a speech by the one you call the Prophet, Seer and Revelator, but I can’t see any prophecies, seership or revelation.” LDS Member: “Look again. There’s inspiration in every paragraph.” VCS: “Everything sounds pretty ordinary to me, things that could be said by a Methodist leader who does not believe in revelation. For instance here he is telling members to present a good example to the world. The Methodists say things like that.” LDS Member: He grabs the Ensign out of his hand and reads further into the text. “This is all inspired. Here the Prophet’s is pointing out the phenomenal growth the church has had and the hand that God has played in it. The church has grown so fast because it’s guided by revelation.” VCS: “So if growth is evidence of revelation, does that mean that Fox News is guided by a prophet getting revelation also? Fox News has also had phenomenal growth.” LDS Member: “Don’t be ridiculous!” VCS: “Well, can you show me a current revelation about the growth of the church?” LDS Member: He impatiently flips his finger on the article and says: “Open your eyes. It’s right here.”

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VCS: He takes another look. “I don’t see any message here that claims to be from God relating to the growth of the church.” LDS Member: “How about this then. Later in the article he talks about the building of temples. They are sprouting up all over the world. The sites were picked by revelation, the growth and building done by revelation and when built they are directed by revelation.” VCS: “Show me one of these revelations.” LDS Member: “The prophet is talking about it in the article right in front of your face.” VCS: “Please point to the line that is the revelation.” He hands the member the Ensign. LDS Member: He throws the magazine on the table in disgust: “The whole thing is revelation. Open your eyes!” VCS: “But show me just one thing. One sentence.” LDS Member: “I have, but you won’t listen.” VCS: “One Mormon told me that revelation is preceded by a ‘thus saith the Lord,’ like the Bible prophets used. I’ve listened to a number of Conference addresses and have never heard an authority use this term. I do not see the phrase anywhere in this article we are talking about.” LDS Member: “The prophet doesn’t have to say ‘thus saith the Lord.’ He can just speak under inspiration.” VCS: “So how can you tell when he’s giving a revelation and when he is just speaking as an ordinary guy?” LDS Member: “It’s just obvious when you hear it.” VCS: I read a statement by a general authority that no member is to accept a revelation for the church unless it is presented to the church as a revelation and then voted on by the members. I believe it was Mark E. Peterson who said this. Now I do not see any evidence that this speech by the President has been presented to the church as a revelation. Wouldn’t this imply that this and other talks from conference reports are to just be taken as teachings in the same way that the words of Methodists leaders are taken by their members?”

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LDS Member: “Let me assure you there is revelation in conference addresses even though they are not voted on.” VCS: “What is a revelation anyway?” LDS Member: “It is God speaking to someone here on earth.” VCS: “Would you say that a revelation is something that is revealed. In other words, something that was previously unknown?” LDS Member: “I suppose” VCS: “Suppose God himself were to tell us that 2+2=4. This would not be a revelation because we already know it. You can’t reveal something that is already revealed. Does this sound right to you?” LDS Member: “I suppose.” VCS: “In section 76, that you pointed to earlier, it was revealed to Joseph that there were three kingdoms of glory along with information about them. Provided that he did receive this from God, then this would qualify as a revelation, would it not?” LDS Member: “Yes.” VCS: “But, if you gave a talk in Sunday school merely talking about what is in this revelation, this would not be a new revelation, for the doctrine is already revealed. Do you agree? ” LDS Member: “I suppose. Where are you going with this?” VCS: “By the same reasoning then, even if the President of the Church teaches from revelations past, he would not be giving new revelations. Correct?” LDS Member: “That may be true, but we are told new things all the time.” VCS: “Tell me just one.” LDS Member: “You were just reading about the building of new temples.” VCS: “And Bill Gates just built a new home, but that doesn’t make him a prophet, now does it?” LDS Member: “You can’t compare Bill Gates to the Prophet and Temples.”

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VCS: “I just did. Now we agreed that a revelation is something revealed that was previously unknown. Tell me of one revelation in recent history, say the past 50 years, giving the church new knowledge.” LDS Member: “I’m sure there are lots of them.” VCS: “I’m beginning to sound like a broken record here, but can you tell me just one? ” LDS Member: “The brethren recently placed a revelation to Joseph F. Smith of the spirit world into the standard Works.” VCS: “But, again, this is over 80 years old. Can you give me a modern revelation? ” LDS Member: “In 1978 a revelation was received on giving the Priesthood to blacks.” VCS: “So where is this revelation?” LDS Member: “It’s right here in the D&C.” VCS: “That does not even claim to be a revelation. It merely states that it is a letter. Where is the revelation?” LDS Member: “It says right here that ‘He has heard our prayers, and by revelation has confirmed that the long-promised day has come when every faithful, worthy man in the Church may receive the holy priesthood.’“ VCS: “Yes, it does say there was a revelation, but where is the revelation? ” LDS Member: “You’re looking at it.” VCS: “I’m looking at a letter saying that there was a revelation. A letter saying there was a revelation is not a revelation. My question is where is the actual revelation?” LDS Member: “If the Brethren say this is the revelation then that is good enough for me.” VCS: “But the brethren do not say this. They merely say this is a letter which mentions the revelation. Hasn’t it been the policy of the church to have revelations binding upon the church to be put in writing as Joseph Smith did?” LDS Member: “Things can change as the Lord directs.”

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Summary: This poor fellow thinks he sees revelations creeping out of every rock, but cannot produce even one. Someone not familiar with the LDS Church would most likely consider this dialog imaginary, that such a person believing in ephemeral illusive revelation could not exist in the real world, but such is not the case. There are millions of such LDS brainwashed into thinking they see revelation when none is even claimed.

Why is this belief in something that cannot be demonstrated or produced so strong and pervasive when no written revelations are even in existence? It is because “modern revelation” is a core doctrine of the church, the “rock” upon which it is founded. If members admit that none exist then they will have to admit that they are standing upon sand rather than solid ground, that their leaders are fallible and that would force them to consider that perhaps something is amiss. Perhaps God does not want to speak to the church, or could it even be that the church does not want to speak with God?

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Chapter Fifteen Questioning Authority

A major doctrine for the LDS church is free agency. Joseph Smith put a lot of emphasis on this principle as evidenced by his famous statement: “I teach them correct principles and they (the saints) govern themselves.” (Millennial Star, Nov 15, 1851, pg. 339) Even though this doctrine is given much lip service today real free agency is only an illusion in the church as the following dialog demonstrates.

FREE AGENCY

QUESTION: I understand that you believe in the doctrine of free agency. What does this mean to you? ANSWER: It means I have freedom to choose.

QUESTION: Why is that such an important doctrine in the church? ANSWER: Because the original war in heaven was fought over this principle. Satan wanted to take away the agency of mankind and God wanted man to have it. QUESTION: Isn’t it also said within the church that the spiritual war on this earth is a continuation or the War In Heaven? ANSWER: Yes, I have heard that.

QUESTION: Have you also heard it taught that members sometimes have to give up some of their free agency for the good of the whole?

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ANSWER: Yes, I heard that taught also.

QUESTION: In what circumstances do you think it is right to give up your agency? ANSWER: Well if I need money I should not have the freedom to rob a bank.

QUESTION: If you rob someone then the overall freedom of the whole is diminished, is it not? ANSWER: Yes, I suppose.

QUESTION: Would you say that this should be the principle governing any yielding of freedom, that there freedom of the whole is enhanced. ANSWER: That sounds right.

QUESTION: So how about the freedom of speech. Should this ever be infringed? ANSWER: Maybe in exceptional cases where careless speech can be the cause of some type of danger. QUESTION: You mean like shouting “fire” in a crowded theater? ANSWER: Yes and some types of harmful slander should be governed by law.

QUESTION: That sounds reasonable. Could we agree then that there should be freedom of speech except in cases where real harm is done to another? ANSWER: I suppose

QUESTION: And in these types of cases we are already governed by the laws of the land are we not? ANSWER: Pretty much.

QUESTION: So if I disagree even with the President of the United States, should I be free to stand on a street corner, run an ad or speak to my friends to declare my views? ANSWER: Yes, definitely.

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QUESTION: What if the President does not like my views - should he have any power to punish me for them? ANSWER: No. QUESTION: What if my views hurt the President’s feelings? Does he then have any power to do me harm? ANSWER: Unless you are slandering with lies you have pretty much power to say anything about anyone or anything.

QUESTION: So, do you agree with having this type of freedom? ANSWER: Yes

QUESTION: Does it not seem logical that since a core belief of the LDS church is free agency that you should have as much or more freedom of speech in the church as you do within our country? ANSWER: I suppose.

QUESTION: Do you feel that this is the case - that you enjoy as much freedom of speech within the church as you do within your country? ANSWER: Yes, I think so.

QUESTION: So, do you feel you can say pretty much what you want to express within the church then without fear of retribution? ANSWER: Yes.

QUESTION: Let us suppose you were in a Sunday School class and the teacher read a quotation from the current prophet that was totally contrary to your view. Would you feel free to tell the class that you think the Prophet is wrong, just as you are free to express your opinion that the President of the United States is wrong? ANSWER: That would not happen because I have never disagreed with the prophet and I never will.

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QUESTION: And why is that? ANSWER: Because he speaks for God upon the earth.

QUESTION: So disagreeing with the prophet is a little like disagreeing with God from your point of view? ANSWER: Something like that.

QUESTION: So the prophet would never lead you astray then? ANSWER: No. We are told that if he tried to he would be removed.

QUESTION: You mean God would zap him? ANSWER: I wouldn’t put it that way, but he would either be removed by the other General Authorities or suffer some calamity caused by God.

QUESTION: So the way you see it is that you have free agency in the church because you never have the need to speak anything in opposition to the brethren. In other words everything you desire to speak are things permitted in the church? ANSWER: Yes.

QUESTION: Let us take this basic idea and put it in a different location. Hans was living in Germany under Hitler during World War II and agreed 100% with Hitler and the NAZI party. Does this mean the Germans as a whole had freedom of speech? ANSWER: No.

QUESTION: Why not? ANSWER: There were many others who did not agree with Hitler and many of them were punished for their disagreements.

QUESTION: In other words, if someone spoke up on a street corner, ran an ad or communicated disagreement with Hitler with friends then he was in danger of severe punishment was he not?

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ANSWER: Sadly so.

QUESTION: So the fact that you feel free to speak your mind in the church because you agree with authorities does not mean that all are able to speak their mind, does it? ANSWER: No. But everyone I know of is able to speak their mind. QUESTION: Now getting back to the hypothetical Sunday School class here I’m sure you will agree that all LDS are not as austere as yourself in agreeing with the authorities. Suppose there was someone in your Sunday School class who did disagree with the prophet. Would he or she have the freedom to speak up and voice their opinion? ANSWER: Yes.

QUESTION: And would you say then that there would be no discipline or punishment of any kind meted out for this freedom of speech? ANSWER: No. I don’t think there would be any.

QUESTION: But if the Bishop found out that this person did not agree with all the prophet said, would he not call him into his office to have a chat? ANSWER: It’s possible that the Bishop may want to see if he could help with his understanding.

QUESTION: And if, after questioning, the Bishop found out that he disagreed with the prophet on a point of doctrine, do you think he would just smile and let it pass? ANSWER: It would depend on what it was.

QUESTION: Take Sonja Johnson, who was reported in the papers a few years ago, as an instance. She disagreed with the authorities on equal rights for women and was excommunicated because she exercised her legal freedom to speak her mind. Was she not punished for using freedom of speech? ANSWER: But she was leading people astray.

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QUESTION: But you maintained that the Church has as much or more freedom of speech than our country. Are the Democrats able to have a Republican arrested because they think he is leading the country astray? ANSWER: No, but that is different.

QUESTION: How is it different? ANSWER: It is very serious to lead members of the church astray. Their eternal salvation is at stake.

QUESTION: Is it more serious than taking away free will or free expression? ANSWER: This is one of those cases where we should give up our free agency.

QUESTION: You never mentioned this situation when we talked of this subject earlier. So do you think then that there should be no free will in the church to express your opinion if it disagrees with the authorities? ANSWER: You shouldn’t be in the church if you disagree with the authorities.

QUESTION: Funny, I thought the church of God was supposed to be for all who are seeking the kingdom of God with a sincere heart. Now Sonja Johnson may have had some views that were impossible to prove right or wrong but suppose a person expressed views that were very accurate and could be proven beyond dispute to be true. Would the church allow freedom of expression in verifiable truth? ANSWER: I would think so.

QUESTION: Are you aware there are many who have written accurately about certain parts of Mormon history and have been excommunicated for it? ANSWER: If they distorted history maybe, but not if they told the truth.

QUESTION: One of the most famous examples is the BYU professor and church historian Michael Quinn. He had access to historical information never before published and was

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excommunicated for writing about it and refusing to retract on what he saw as historical fact. Is this what you support as free agency? ANSWER: I am sure the authorities had good reason to excommunicate him?

QUESTION: Or how about Abraham Gileadi. He was excommunicated for writing his own interpretations of the Book of Revelations. Do you call that freedom of speech? ANSWER: He was probably teaching doctrine out of harmony with the church.

QUESTION: It is interesting that in 1843 the High Council excommunicated a member named Pelatiah Brown for teaching unapproved doctrine from the book of Revelation also. Do you know what Joseph Smith’s reaction was to this? ANSWER: I imagine he approved of it.

QUESTION: He did not but was very upset by it and ordered the man to be reinstated. Does it not seem reasonable that if he were in charge today that he would also order Abraham Gileadi to be reinstated? ANSWER: It’s hard to say. QUESTION: You might find Joseph’s rebuke of the High Council interesting. He said: “I did not like the old man being called up for erring in doctrine. It looks too much like the Methodists, and not like the Latter-day Saints. Methodists have creeds which a man must believe or be asked out of their church. I want the liberty of thinking and believing as I please. It feels so good not to be trammeled. It does not prove that a man is not a good man because he errs in doctrine.” (DHC 5:340) This does not sound like the attitude of the current authorities, does it? ANSWER: Perhaps circumstances are different today. QUESTION: Do you agree with Joseph Smith’s statement, “it does not prove that a man is not a good man because he errs in doctrine.” ANSWER: Yes.

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QUESTION: So if Michael Quinn, Abraham Gileadi and many others merely erred in doctrine they should not be excommunicated should they? ANSWER: It depends. If they were leading members astray then perhaps they should be.

QUESTION: But the High Council thought that Pelatiah Brown was leading members astray and Joseph castigated them for taking away his freedom of speech. Aren’t you concerned about this core principle over which the War in Heaven was fought? ANSWER: Of course I am. I realize that all the brethren are not perfect, but if they do get overzealous in cleansing the church, God will work things out in the next world.

QUESTION: So should we let injustices such as the suppression of free expression, slavery, oppression, racism and other wrongs just continue here on earth because God will work things out in the next world? ANSWER: No of course not.

QUESTION: Yet you and millions of members of the church just sit by and allow free expression to be suppressed, which thing is contrary to the teachings of your founding prophet. Why do you do this? ANSWER: We are told that our leaders will never lead us astray so we trust them.

QUESTION: But the scriptures tell you not to lean on the arm of flesh. Is not an example of leaning on the arm of flesh to place your faith in men of flesh who you call your authorities? ANSWER: Not if they speak for God.

QUESTION: Earlier we talked about the War in Heaven. Again, what was the battle over according to Mormon scriptures? ANSWER: Free agency.

QUESTION: And before the war was fought how many of the hosts of heaven did Lucifer persuade to come over to his side? ANSWER: A third of them.

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QUESTION: How many do you suppose that was? ANSWER: It would have been billions of them.

QUESTION: And how long do you suppose it took for him to convince these billions of beings that the Father was wrong and he was right? ANSWER: I never thought about it, but it probably took a while.

QUESTION: When you think of how much time and energy it takes LDS missionaries to convert a few souls then one can indeed conclude that it probably took Lucifer quite a few years in our time to accomplish such a deed. But when was Lucifer kicked out of heaven? ANSWER: The scriptures say that it was after the War in Heaven.

QUESTION: But before the war broke out there was a lengthy period of perhaps a hundred, a thousand or maybe a million years where Lucifer just preached to his heart’s content and made converts. During this period, did God take away his agency to speak what was a dangerous doctrine? ANSWER: I suppose not.

QUESTION: And during this period did God excommunicate him, or kick him out of heaven? ANSWER: I guess not.

QUESTION: Is it not taught that Lucifer was not kicked out until he openly rebelled and made war? ANSWER: Yes.

QUESTION: So why then does the church not follow the example of God himself and allow for freedom of expression and cease excommunicating peaceable people who may have different opinions, but have no desire to make war against the church? ANSWER: (He has no answer.)

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QUESTION: When the church seeks to suppress the free will of its members is it not supporting the same side which Lucifer took in the War in Heaven? ANSWER: (He becomes uncomfortable and wants to end the discussion.)

THE WORD OF WISDOM

QUESTION: The LDS are famous for their word of Wisdom and good members abstain from coffee, tea, alcohol and tobacco. Do you support this idea? ANSWER: Yes, of course.

QUESTION: Do you view it as a commandment? ANSWER: Yes QUESTION: And apparently it is such a strict commandment that you can’t get a temple recommend if you do not obey it, is that right? ANSWER: That is correct. QUESTION: Let me read you the introduction to the Word of Wisdom. It says: “To be sent greeting; not by commandment or constraint, but by revelation and the word of wisdom, showing forth the order and will of God in the temporal salvation of all saints in the last days.” (D&C 89:2) Now the church was given a commandment here that the revelation was only a word of wisdom and was not to be “by commandment or constraint.” Why is the church violating this commandment (to not make it a commandment) by making it a commandment? ANSWER: It was not a commandment when it was given, but was made one later.

QUESTION: Who did this? ANSWER: I think it was Brigham Young around 1860.

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QUESTION: You mean the same Brigham Young who owned a distillery, made his own wine and kept it at his mansion, operated a bar in the Salt Lake House and drank coffee and tea? ANSWER: I’m not so sure about that, but yes, we are told that it was Brigham that first encouraged strict obedience and then later presidents put more emphasis on it.

QUESTION: Now the original commandment stated it was to be a word of wisdom only and not a commandment to constrain people. This was given by revelation and you would think that any change to this would come by revelation. In other words, a revelation of the will of God can only be changed by revelation. Can you tell me of a revelation to the church that made this change? ANSWER: I’m sure Brigham and other leaders received revelation about it.

QUESTION: Can you tell me where this revelation may be? ANSWER: Brigham and other church leaders have spoken about the Word of Wisdom hundreds of times.

QUESTION: But did any of them speak in the name of the Lord or by way of revelation? ANSWER: I’m not sure.

QUESTION: Let me assure you, my friend, that they have made no such claim. If the church leaders claim no revelation on the matter then why do you give them credit for something they have never said? ANSWER: Because they have told us they will not lead us astray.

QUESTION: And a salesman told me the other day that his formula could grow my hair back. Are you aware that Joseph Smith and many of the early brethren drank alcohol in moderation after this revelation was given? ANSWER: Yes, but, as I said, the members were later commanded to cease from drinking alcohol.

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QUESTION: Yes, but this is a commandment given by men that makes no claim as being from God. Are you also aware that Joseph installed a bar in the Nauvoo house and Porter Rockwell was the main bartender? ANSWER: I haven’t heard that one.

QUESTION: Are you also aware that Joseph ordered in a bottle of wine to the Carthage jail to cheer their spirits just before he was killed? ANSWER: I think I read that.

QUESTION: Now, if a little wine was all right for Joseph, Brigham and many other early brethren to use as wisdom dictated, then why is it not all right for you today? Do we have less brainpower today? ANSWER: Because the current authorities say differently today.

QUESTION: Now read verse 17 of the revelation. ANSWER: “Nevertheless, wheat for man, and corn for the ox, and oats for the horse, and rye for the fowls and for swine, and for all beasts of the field, and barley for all useful animals, and for mild drinks, as also other grain.”

QUESTION: What does it say that barley is to be used for? ANSWER: The animals.

QUESTION: And what else? ANSWER: Mild drinks.

QUESTION: What is the most popular mild drink made from barely? ANSWER: We sometimes drink one called Pero. It’s a good substitute for coffee.

QUESTION: Pero was not in existence in the days of Joseph Smith. Now think, for hundreds of years, what has been the most popular mild drink made from barley? ANSWER: Surely you’re not thinking its beer?

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QUESTION: This, my friend, is an historical fact. Beer is a mild alcoholic drink and it has been made from barley for thousands of years. If you are going to now consider the Word of Wisdom as a commandment then it looks like you are commanded to drink beer made from barley. ANSWER: You’re being ridiculous. QUESTION: I don’t think so. The revelation promises good health to those who are obedient, and recent studies tell us that mild beer drinkers have better health, especially healthier hearts, than those who do not drink at all. Moderate wine drinkers like Joseph and Brigham are also healthier than those who abstain completely. It makes sense to me to follow the original intent of the revelation, that the members be allowed to use their own wisdom as to what to eat or drink without some authority “constraining” them. Are you going to follow this commandment and not allow others to “constrain” your sense or wisdom? ANSWER: I’ll follow the living prophet, thank you.

THE SACRED NAME QUESTION QUESTION: I notice that each prayer and speech in the LDS church ends with the phrase “in the name of Jesus Christ, amen.” ANSWER: That is correct.

QUESTION: Do you know when this tradition began? ANSWER: I think it has been in the church from the beginning.

QUESTION: Not so. Read here the end of one of the most solemn prayers given by Joseph Smith as he dedicated the Kirkland Temple in Doctrine and Covenants section 109 verse 80. ANSWER: “And let these, thine anointed ones, be clothed with salvation, and thy saints shout aloud for joy. Amen, and Amen.”

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QUESTION: So how did Joseph end this prayer which is perhaps the most important one of his adult life? ANSWER: Amen and Amen QUESTION: Do you see it anywhere saying “In the name of Jesus Christ, Amen?” ANSWER: No, I guess not.

QUESTION: Can you find any speech or prayer that Joseph ended with the phrase? ANSWER: I’m not sure.

QUESTION: They were few and far between. Have you checked the Journal of Discourses for this phrase? ANSWER: Not specifically.

QUESTION: It was used only once in a while by these early brethren. Do you know why it was used so sparingly? ANSWER: I’m not sure.

QUESTION: It was because they were commanded to. Read Doctrine and Covenants 63:61-64. ANSWER: “Behold, I am Alpha and Omega, even Jesus Christ. Wherefore, let all men beware how they take my name in their lips. For behold, verily I say, that many there be who are under this condemnation, who use the name of the Lord, and use it in vain, having not authority. Wherefore, let the church repent of their sins, and I, the Lord, will own them; otherwise they shall be cut off. Remember that that which cometh from above is sacred, and must be spoken with care, and by constraint of the Spirit; and in this there is no condemnation, and ye receive the Spirit through prayer; wherefore, without this there remaineth condemnation.”

QUESTION: Some of the early brethren were under condemnation, but for what? ANSWER: Using the name of Jesus Christ in vain, not having authority.

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QUESTION: Now these men were given the standard priesthood authority through the laying on of hands, so what authority did they lack? ANSWER: I’m not sure.

QUESTION: In verse 64 we are told what we must do to obtain authority. What is it? ANSWER: We must speak the name with care and constraint of the Spirit.

QUESTION: And how do we receive the Spirit according to the scripture? ANSWER: Through prayer

QUESTION: So would you agree that we receive authority to use the name through revelation from the Holy Spirit? ANSWER: I suppose.

QUESTION: Do you think that everyone who gives a talk or prayer in church receives a revelation to use the name of Jesus Christ? ANSWER: I must admit that is doubtful.

QUESTION: Would you agree that most use it as a matter of habit without even checking with the Holy Spirit for permission? ANSWER: Perhaps.

QUESTION: What does it say in verse 63 that God will do if the church does not repent of this sin and others? ANSWER: We will be cut off.

QUESTION: Does this not concern you, then? ANSWER: Not really. I’m sure the prophet will let us know when we are misusing the Lord’s name.

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QUESTION: But if you are “cut off” how can the prophet let you know anything concerning God’s will? ANSWER: (He has no answer.)

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Chapter Sixteen Warnings from the Scriptures

In speaking of the coming forth of the writings of the Nephites (including the sealed portion) and of the day when God will remember His covenant with his people, the Lord said, “And it shall come in a day when the blood of the Saints shall cry unto the Lord, because of secret combinations and the works of darkness.” (Mormon 8:27)

Do we have secret combinations today? Verily yes, but many of the secret works which keep people in darkness are much different than the conspiracy theorists suppose. The powers of darkness do not restrain themselves to any one organization or side of the political or religious spectrum but will work undercover wherever they may find a response. At one time they may work within the church and another time out of the church. During one generation they may concentrate on working through conservatives and another time through liberals. As soon as they are identified and their secret works revealed they will change form like the fabled shape shifter. Paul said it well: “For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.”

The secret works which fight against the saints do not originate with flesh and blood but from the dark places of the unseen worlds. The only way to be aware of where they are placing their attention is to keep our attention focused upon the Spirit, for the Spirit will reveal all to those willing to receive.

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The scripture continues: “Yea, it shall come in a day when the power of God shall be denied, and churches become defiled and lifted up in the pride of their hearts; yea even in a day when leaders of churches and teachers shall rise in the pride of their hearts, even unto the envying of them who belong to their churches.” (Mormon 8:28)

Members like to think that this applies to other religions only, but this situation will apply to those who have the Book of Mormon. This will be the situation preceding the days of the coming forth of the sealed plates. Why does Mormon note that the leaders will envy those who belong to the churches? It is because they “did have their goods and their substance no more common among them.” (4 Nephi 25) Therefore, many of the members of the churches today are wealthier than their leaders causing envious thoughts in the hearts of the leaders. “Yea, it shall come in day when there shall be heard of fires, and tempests, and vapors of smoke in foreign lands...” (verse 29)

This situation did not exist in the days of Joseph Smith for the fires and vapors of smoke refer to modern warfare which we shall hear of in foreign lands in the days in which the sealed plates come forth. “And there shall also be heard of wars and earthquakes in divers places. Yea, it shall come in a day when there shall be great pollutions upon the face of the earth. (Verses 30-31) There are always wars and earthquakes, but the fact that “there shall be great pollutions upon the face of the earth” is especially timely. In this age we not only have spiritual pollution, but the physical is also a threat. “Behold, I speak unto you as if ye [those who have the Book of Mormon] were present, and yet ye are not. But behold Jesus Christ hath shown you unto me, and I know your doing. And I know that ye do walk in the pride of your hearts; and there are none save a few only who do not lift themselves up in the pride of their hearts, unto the wearing of very fine apparel, unto envying, and strifes, and malice, and persecutions, and all manner of iniquities; and your churches, yea

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even every one, have become polluted because of the pride of your hearts. For behold, ye do love money, and your substance, and your fine apparel, and the adornment of you 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? Why are you ashamed to take upon you the name of Christ? Why do ye not think that greater is the value of an endless happiness than the misery which never dies - because of the praise of the world?” (Mormon 8:35-38) Let us now ask? Which church (according to the Book of Mormon) is supposed to be the “holy church of God”? Is that not the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints? Does not Mormon tell us that Jesus had shown him our doing and that the teachers [authorities] in the Church have polluted it? Mormon ends with a sober warning: “Behold, the sword of vengeance hangeth over you; and the time soon cometh that he avengeth the blood of the saints upon you, for he will not suffer their cries any longer.” (verse 41)

Here Mormon tells us that the saints are crying out against those who have polluted the holy church. Could it really be possible that their wrath is directed toward the seemingly righteous authorities today? Put yourself in the shoes of the early Mormons. Suppose you were driven from Ohio to Missouri to Illinois to Utah, and then possibly to Mexico. Suppose your wife had been raped and your children exposed to the cold and hunger and uncertainty of persecution. Suppose you had been dragged through the streets by men drunk on the blood of the saints and tarred and feathered and beaten and accused. Suppose you had been at Haun’s Mill and had witnessed your children and loved ones being massacred? How would you feel? Why did these people endure such hardships? Why???

They endured these hardships with the hope of establishing the church in its purity which purity has now been abandoned - traded for the praise and acceptance of the world.

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The early saints were persecuted because they believed in the gathering and in the establishment of an actual kingdom with power in the hands of the saints. They were persecuted because they not only said, but they tried to live by the voice of the Spirit!

How do you suppose they feel when they look at the milk toast religion the LDS have today and see that the principles that they shed their blood for have been relinquished? What will they say to their God? They will say, “Behold, did we suffer and die in vain only to establish a gathering which has been dispersed? A kingdom which has been voided by the precepts of men? Ordinances which have been changed and not understood? A Priesthood which is has no connection with the powers of heaven? A law of consecration which has been abandoned? A freedom of spirit and a fullness of the Holy Spirit giving revelation which has been suppressed by authority? A holy church which has been polluted and a faith that has been so watered down that the weakest of the weak believe that they will obtain the glory of God with only the slightest, yea the very slightest show of faith or emotion? Did we give our lives so these people could ride to glory on the praise of the world? Did we give our lives to establish another priestcraft that is a light unto themselves while the poor in spirit yet cry daily for the waters of life that does not come?” Is such a cry not the reason the Lord said: “Behold, vengeance cometh speedily upon the inhabitants of the earth, a day of wrath, a day of burning, a day of desolation, of weeping, of mourning, and of lamentation; as a whirlwind it shall come upon all the face of the earth, saith the Lord. And upon my house shall it begin, and from my house shall it go forth, saith the Lord; first among those among you, saith the Lord, who have professed to know my name and have not known me, and have blasphemed against me in the midst of my house, saith the Lord.” (D&C 112:24-26)

Think not that this scripture merely applies to the lowly Elder who is not doing his home teaching, but it applies to those who profess to actually “know” the Lord. Who are the apostles and prophets in the Church that claim to have a “special” witness? Did not the Lord say, “Ye that hear me not will I curse, that have professed my name, with the heaviest of cursings.” (D&C 41:1)

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Has the Lord started His judgment in His own house in the past? He has. One of the best examples was in the days of Ezekiel when the house of God was out of order. The Lord asked, “Hast thou seen what the ancients [Elderly authorities] of the house of Israel do in the dark? Every man in the chambers of his imagery? For they say, the Lord seeth us not.” (Ezek. 8:12) The Lord decided that the best course to pursue was to slay them all so he called a man clothed with linen, which had the writer’s inkhorn by his side. “And the Lord said unto him, Go through the midst of the city, through the midst of Jerusalem, and set a mark upon the foreheads of the men that sigh and cry for all the abominations that be done in the midst thereof.”

Then God sent destroyers through the city and the destruction began on his own house or “sanctuary.” All were killed except those who had the mark in the forehead. (See Ezek. 9:3-6.)

Is anything similar prophesied in our day? Yes. We have already covered the prophecy about judgment beginning at the Lord’s house, but are there any other similarities? Will there be those saved from the latter-day calamities who also have a mark in their foreheads? John prophesied of this: “And I looked and, lo, a Lamb stood on the mount Sion, and with him an hundred and fortyfour thousand, having his Father’s name written in their foreheads.” (Rev. 14:1)

Just as those who were saved in ancient Israel received a mark in their foreheads, so will some be saved in modern Israel, but the mark, or the Father’s name, will probably not be physically written there. Instead, the elect will know the true name of the Father and have that name in their thoughts at all times, thus symbolically having it written in their foreheads.

Who are those who will bring the destruction in our day? Again the scriptures give the answer: “And I say unto you, that if the Gentiles do not repent after the blessing which they shall receive, after they have scattered my people - then shall ye, who are a remnant of the house of Jacob go forth among them, and ye shall be in the midst of them who shall be many; and ye shall be among them as a lion among the beasts of the forests, and as a young lion among the flocks of

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sheep, who as he goeth through both treadeth down and teareth in pieces, and none can deliver. Thy hand shall be lifted up upon thine adversaries, and all thine enemies shall be cut off. And I will gather my people together as a man gathereth his sheaves into the floor.” (3 Nephi 20:15-18) In this same chapter the Lord says unto the Gentiles, “Nevertheless, when they shall have received the fullness of my gospel, then if they shall harden their hearts against me, I will return their iniquities upon their own heads, saith the Father.” (2 Nephi 20:28)

Some may feel that this treatise is hard on the authorities in the Church, but consider the language of the Lord in 1831: “But wo unto them that are deceivers and hypocrites, for, thus saith the Lord, I will bring them to judgment. Behold verily I say unto you, that there are hypocrites among you, who have deceived some, which has given the adversary power.” (D&C 50:6-7) Also the following scripture was given to warn all members of the Church: “But there is a possibility that man may fall from grace and depart from the living God. Therefore let the Church take heed, and pray always lest they [the Church] fall into temptation; yea, let those who are sanctified take heed also.” (D&C 20:32-34)

Has the Church fallen into the temptation of following the easy ways of the world? Have the sanctified fallen from grace? Behold we are told: “And if it so be that the church is built upon my gospel, then will the Father show forth His own works in it.” (3 Nephi 27:10)

In the early days of the Church, the Father did show forth some of His own works with great manifestations, such as visitations and a cloud of light upon the Kirkland Temple and a great gathering of a people, but what works of the Father are now in the Church? Sure we hear of a healing now and then, but so do the Pentecostals and others, but where are the works of the Father? We are further told, “But if it be not built upon my gospel, and 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.” (3 Nephi 27:11)

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We are told that the destruction of Jerusalem is a foreshadowing of our day. (See D&C 5:20.) Therefore, we would do well to read scriptures to those people: “From the least of them even unto the greatest of them every one is given to covetousness; and from the prophet even unto the priest every one dealeth falsely. They have healed also the hurt of the daughter of my people slightly, saying, Peace, peace; when there is no peace. Were they ashamed when they had committed abomination? Nay, they were not at all ashamed, neither could they blush: Therefore they shall fall among them that fall: at the time that I visit them they shall be cast down, saith the Lord. Thus saith the Lord, Stand ye in the ways, and see, and ask for the old paths, where is the good way, and walk therein, and ye shall find rest for your souls. But they said, We will not walk therein.” (Jer. 6:13-16)

Is not the word of the Lord the same for us today? Does not the still small voice speak within and tell us to if ask for the old paths, where is the good way, and walk therein”? We would do well to search out the revelations and founding principles of the church, especially the principle of revelation, and walk in them.

What happened to Jerusalem after Lehi left, when those leaders would not walk in the old paths?

Can it happen to us? Verily, our day is much more like Lehi’s than the Latter-day Saints will dare admit. We seem to get the idea that if we lived in the days of Lehi, King Noah, or Jesus, it would have been easy to tell the good guys from the bad guys, but was it? After all, in the days of Lehi about all the righteous that we have a record of is Lehi and his family, Jeremiah, and Daniel and his friends. That’s not very many out of possible millions, is it?

In the days of evil King Noah, only Abinadi dared cry repentance and fortunately he made one convert - the dynamic Alma. Even the greatest of all - Jesus had only 120 followers when he died. (See Acts 1:15.) Obviously deception was very subtle and it was very difficult to recognize. Would you have been one of the 120 if you had been here in the days of Jesus? It’s a sober question.

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Just imagine that you were a typical Jew in the days of Jesus. You received an unshakable testimony that Moses was a true prophet as well as Joshua and others after him. You even feel you have a witness that Israel had the keys of the kingdom. You feel that salvation can only come by following the Elders of the Church since they are the successors of Moses. Then the young upstart Jesus comes into town and begins preaching a seemingly different gospel and doing wonderful works. You wonder what the authorities will say about this and you find that they say Jesus receives his power from the devil and whoever follows him will be cast out and excommunicated. You feel that Jesus may have something, but you have received a testimony of Moses and this causes you to greatly fear excommunication for fear of losing your salvation and that of your family. Therefore, before you follow Jesus, you must make absolutely sure you are right.

Can you see why there were just 120 followers when He died? It was because of the strong influence of the authorities on the people.

We often think of the attitude of Laman and Lemuel as being odd, but actually, they were much like many members today for they said of the Jews, “And 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; and our father hath judged them.” (1 Nephi 17:22)

Do we not have the same attitude today toward the people in the land of Utah? We believe they are a righteous people and that they keep all the teachings laid down by Joseph Smith, when in reality they do not; wherefore, the Lord has compared our people who are becoming ripened in iniquity to the people in the days of Lehi.

These are strong warnings and they are directed to the spiritual leaders with more force than the rank and file church members. We have learned from the prophet Jonah that predictions of doom do not have to take place. If thoughts and actions change then our destiny will also change. But

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unfortunately, it is an eternal principle that if the salt has lost its savor it is good for nothing but to be trodden under by the foot of man.

The church must learn again to be the salt of the earth if it wishes to survive as a spiritual entity.

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Chapter Seventeen The Laborer in Zion

The Lord made a curious statement to Nephi which has never been correctly explained to my knowledge: “Behold, there are save two churches only; one is the church of the Lamb of God, and the other is the church of the Devil; wherefore, whoso belongeth not to the church of the Lamb of God belongeth to that great church, which is the mother of abominations; and she is the whore of all the earth. And it came to pass that I looked and beheld the whore of all the earth, and she sat upon many waters; and she had dominion over all the earth, among all nations, kindreds, tongues, and people.” (1 Nephi 14:10-11)

Mormons generally believe that they are the Church of the Lamb of God referred to and all other religions are the church of the devil, but is this correct??? Nephi himself solves the mystery and tells us who it is that belongs to the church of the devil and interestingly, he does not name any particular religion: “Wherefore, he that fighteth against Zion, both Jew and Gentile, both bond and free, both male and female, shall perish; for THEY ARE THEY WHO ARE THE WHORE of all the earth: for they who are not for me are against me, saith our God.” (2 Nephi 10:16)

Could it really be that many of the LDS themselves make up part of the whore, or the great and abominable church? Yes. The scriptures clearly tell us that anyone that fights the establishment of Zion becomes a part of the whore, or the church of the devil. Else why did Nephi warn us: “And blessed are the Gentiles (The LDS), they of whom the prophet has written; for behold, if it so be that they shall repent and fight not against Zion, and do not unite themselves to that great and abominable church, they shall be saved.” (2 Nephi 6:12)

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Since the Great and Abominable Church is composed of those who fight against Zion, we must ask the question, How does one fight against Zion? To understand let us examine some of the ingredients of which Zion will be composed. When Zion is fully established, it will be an independent entity which will have “no laws but my laws.” (D&C 38:22) it will be “independent above all other creatures beneath the celestial world.” (D&C 78:14) Zion will support the principles of freedom and limited government in our Constitution which is for the “protection of all flesh.” (D&C 101: 77) The saints were told to “buy lands and gather together upon them; and in this way they may establish Zion.... They shall gather together unto the places which I have appointed.” (D&C 101:74 & 67) Each place where there was a gathering was to be a stake. A stake was not supposed to be 3,000 saints in the midst of a city of 50,000, but it was to be composed of an actual city of saints staked out around the central stake. These stakes are referred to as if the curtains or the strength of Zion.” (D&C 101:21) “Zion cannot be built up unless it is by the principles of the celestial kingdom.” (D&C 105:5) In Zion we are told that “it is not given that one man should possess that which is above another, wherewith the world lieth in sin.” (D&C 50:20) We are told that the Lord “called His people Zion, because they were of one heart and one mind and dwelt in righteousness; and there was no poor among them.” (Moses 7:18)

How many are there in the Church today that actively work for the establishment of the above principles? Unfortunately, many have been excommunicated for doing so. Concerning those who are not for the principles of Christ, he said, “He that is not with me is against me.” (Matt. 12:30)

We are told that the natural man is an enemy to God, and the natural man does indeed rebel against the establishment of Zion. He does not want to gather out of Babylon and be separate from the world for he loves the world. He does not want to be equal in earthly things for he wants to be above his brother. He seeks to rely upon the arm of flesh rather than receive personal revelation. This person whether Mormon or not, who pits his will against Zion, belongs to the church of the devil. The number is legion for many who are for Zion in word are against it in deed.

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On the other hand, many non-Mormons belong to the Church of the Lamb of God. These are they who have the fire of freedom burning in their breasts. They believe that all men should have the freedom to worship as they please so long as it does not infringe on the rights of others. They do not believe in establishing an authority for every decision for the final authority is the human spirit in communication with God. The number of these people are few, and many of them are not members of the Church and some of them are inactive members who would participate if the Church were in order. These freedom loving people who live harmless lives and do many good things of their own free will are the true members of the Church of the Lamb of God even if they presently live in far off Russia or India. The cause of Zion is in the soul of many who have not yet heard the word, for it is written in their hearts.

One of the marks of the Great and Abominable Church is the practice of priestcraft and Nephi gives us a clear insight as to the definition thereof: “He commanded that there shall be no priestcrafts; for, behold, priestcrafts are that men preach and set themselves up for alight unto the world, that they may get gain and praise of the world; but they seek not the welfare of Zion .... Wherefore if they should have charity they would not suffer the laborer in Zion to perish.” (2 Nephi 26:29-30)

Is there priestcraft in the Church today? Are there those who set themselves up for a light that others must follow or suffer the consequences?

One may answer yes, but at the same time question that this is no more the case today than it was in the days of Joseph Smith or Brigham Young. But is there a difference in the attitude of the authorities today compared with the early days?

If you study the history of the Church, you will note a quite remarkable difference - the main one being the suffocation and strangulation in individual expression, freedom, and spiritual gifts in the Church today.

In 1843 the High Council was quite concerned about the teachings of a certain Elder named Pelatiah Brown even though Joseph Smith called him “one of the wisest old heads we have

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among us.” He was called up for trial for teaching mysteries not yet revealed. Of this Joseph Smith said, “I did not like the old man being called up for erring in doctrine. It looks too much like the Methodists, and not like the Latter-day Saints. Methodists have creeds which a man must believe or be asked out of their church. I want the liberty of thinking and believing as I please. It feels so good not to be trammeled. It does not prove that a man is not a good man because he errs in doctrine.” (DHC 5:340)

It is interesting to note that today the Methodists allow greater freedom of thought, whereas the Latter-day Saints are the ones who ask those whom they believe are erring in doctrine out of the Church. Let’s examine several other statements of Joseph Smith: “I stated that the most prominent difference between the Latter-day Saints and sectarians was, that the latter were all circumscribed by some peculiar creed, which deprived its members the privilege of believing anything not contained therein, whereas the Latter- day Saints have no creed, but are ready to believe all true principles that exist as they are manifest from time to time.” (DHC 5: 215) “I told him I had no creed to circumscribe my mind; therefore the people did not like me.” (DHC 5:214) “I want to come up into the presence of God, and learn all things; but the creeds set up stakes, and say, ‘Hitherto shalt thou come; and no further,’ which I cannot subscribe to.” (DHC 6:57) Brigham Young spoke in a similar vein: “If they have not yet undivided feelings, they will be chastened until they have them; not only until every one of them shall see for themselves, and prophecy for themselves, have visions for themselves, but be made acquainted with all the principles and laws necessary for them to know, so as to supersede the necessity of anyone teaching them. Is not the time to come when I shall not say to my neighbor, know the Lord, for he will know him as well as I do?” (JD 3: 89)

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Notice how Joseph Smith tried to avoid setting himself up as a light above his brethren: “I explained to him that I did not profess to be a prophet any more than every man ought to who professes to be a preacher of righteousness.” (DHC 5:232) Why did the Lord say, “My people are destroyed for a lack of knowledge ... the people that doth not understand shall fall.” (Hosea 4:6 & 14)

Notice that the Lord tells us that the people must understand. It is not enough to pin our faith on the sleeve of the leaders. Knowing this, the early prophets tried to inspire the people to be as good as or better than they were. It is a great temptation for those placed in a leadership position to believe that God has chosen them for an authority rather than a servant. Many of these try to extinguish the lessor lights around them so all the light these little minds have is the radiation from the arm of flesh. On the contrary, God has ordained that we all share the great light of God who is our source and eventually become great lights ourselves.

Yes, there is a difference in the leadership of the Latter-day Saints today. Today they say, “Hitherto shalt thou come and no further.” You can believe the works of Joseph Fielding Smith, Talmage, and LeGrande Richards, but if you get a different interpretation out of the scriptures, you must stop and repent or get out.

Today the church does have a creed. It is the creed of the modern authorities of the Church which is essentially this: “The Brethren will never lead you astray. Do not think for yourself, but follow to the letter and think as you are told or get out.” Modern Mormons are circumscribed by this and the result is the present very low, almost nonexistent, degree of spiritual manifestations in the Church

As mentioned earlier, my nephew (and later myself) was called in by his bishop and excommunicated by the High Council within about a week because he believed the scriptures above the opinions of the modern authorities. The Doctrine and Covenants tells us that the High Council is supposed to be split so half of them defend the person on trial, but they were all one voice against him. He had no defense. One of the reasons was that a visiting general authority

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told the High Council to cut him off before the trial was held. Yea, even the wicked have greater justice in their hearts than this! In speaking of those who practice priestcraft, Nephi said, “They seek not the welfare of Zion .... Wherefore, if they should have charity they would not suffer the laborer in Zion to perish.” (2 Nephi 26:29-30) Who is the “laborer in Zion”? Obviously he is one who is laboring for the cause of Zion and Nephi prophesies that the priestcrafters will cause such laborers to perish. Now these priestcrafters could not be Catholics or Baptists for they have had no laborers for Zion, for they do not even teach of it, so the prophecy can only refer to priestcraft within the church that has the Book of Mormon!

What does the laborer in Zion do? He works to establish celestial principles which are equality through free will, the gathering of Israel, he seeks for revelation from heaven, he seeks the mysteries of the kingdom of God, he seeks to enlighten his fellow men and women, and what happens to such a one? He is “frowned” on by the authorities and if he persists laboring for Zion, he is cut off. After he is cut off the atmosphere becomes so heavy between him and his member friends, that he makes no attempt to even go to the mainstream church and often winds up attending some fringe group who will at least receive him. Thus, the laborer in Zion perished and had to travel a strange path.

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Chapter Eighteen Isaiah Prophesies

We shall now comment on one of the fascinating chapters in the scriptures, Isaiah 28. “Woe to the crown of pride, to the drunkards of Ephraim, whose glorious beauty is a fading flower, which are on the head of the fat valleys of them that are overcome with wine!” (Isa. 28:1) Before elaborating on this we must note that even though Isaiah’s prophesies were given to ancient Israel and had meaning for them, most of them also applied to the far future such as the first and second coming of Christ, the Millennium, and the coming forth of the Book of Mormon. First we must note here that Isaiah is speaking to the “drunkards of Ephraim.” There is no question that the Latter-day Saints refer to themselves as “Ephraim” and there is no question that the Church teaches that the very next chapter of Isaiah (chapter 29) refers to our day or the coming forth of the Church and the Book of Mormon Therefore, it would seem quite logical that Isaiah 28 would also refer to Ephraim of our day. But wait! It calls Ephraim drunkards and Mormons don’t drink! Therefore, it could not refer to us. On the contrary, a drunkard in the scriptures does not always refer to one drunk with wine. David explains, “Thou hast showed thy people hard things; thou hast made us to drink the wine of astonishment.” (Psalms 60:3) Another example: “And I will tread down the people in my anger, and I will make them drunk in my fury....” (Isa. 63:6) “They are drunken, but not with wine; they stagger, but not with strong drink. For the Lord hath poured out upon you the spirit of a deep sleep, and hath closed your eyes: the prophets and your rulers, the seers hath he covered.” (Isa. 29:9-10)

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Thus we see that the “drunkards of Ephraim” refers to a people who stumble because the little doctrine that the Lord did give them was too much for them to handle and they did stumble as a drunken man. Concerning the words of Isaiah, Nephi said, “The words of Isaiah are not plain unto you, nevertheless they are plain unto all those that are filled with the spirit of prophecy.” (2 Nephi 25:4)

Where is there an authorized prophet or apostle in the Church that can declare that the words of Isaiah are plain unto him? On the contrary, most of them will admit they do not understand them. Nephi also says, “In the days that the prophecies of Isaiah shall be fulfilled, men shall know of a surety, at the times when they shall come to pass.” (2 Nephi 25:7)

Many of the prophecies referred to here by Nephi are approaching fulfillment and the prophecies of Isaiah are becoming so clear that none will have an excuse to not understand. The same is true of the revelation written by John as Moroni said, “And then shall my revelations which I have caused to be written by my servant John be unfolded in the eyes of the people. Remember, when ye see these things, we shall know that the time is at hand that they shall be made manifest in very deed.” (Ether 4:16)

The time is verily approaching when all these scriptures will be unfolded in the eyes of the people, but not through “authorized channels.” Getting back to Isaiah 28, we see that the drunkards of Ephraim are called the “crown of pride.” Being the crown of pride is referred to by Jesus as the day “when the Gentiles shall sin against my gospel and shall be lifted up in the pride of their hearts above all nations and above all the people of the whole earth.” (3 Nephi 16: 10) In other words, out of all the pride the peoples of the earth have, the Latter-day Saints are the crown of it all.

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“... whose glorious beauty is a fading flower....” The glorious beauty of the cities in the valleys established by our pioneers is becoming a fading flower. The rivers and the atmosphere are now becoming polluted and the beauty that was there is fading, not only physically, but spiritually. The inhabitants are no longer bright with the spirit of God making prophesies, healing by the Spirit and seeking the mysteries. Unless they turn from the arm of flesh to the Spirit within they s hall be counted as among the foolish virgins. “Behold, the Lord hath a mighty and strong one, which as a tempest of hail and a destroying storm, as a flood of mighty waters overflowing, shall cast down to the earth with the hand.” (Isa. 28:2) The mighty and strong one ... that rings a bell doesn’t it? We find reference to it in D&C 85:7-8: “And it shall come to pass that I, the Lord God, will send one mighty and strong, holding the scepter of power in his hand, clothed with light for a covering, whose mouth shall utter words, eternal words; while his bowels shall be a fountain of truth to set in order the house of God, and to arrange by lot the inheritances of the saints whose names are found, and the names of their fathers, and of their children, enrolled in the book of the law of God; while that man, who was called of God and appointed, that putteth forth his hand to steady the ark of God, shall fall by the shaft of death, like as a tree that is smitten by a vivid shaft of lightening.” I once heard an LDS lecturer declare: “If the authorities knew how many problems this scripture was going to cause them, they would have never let it in the Doctrine and Covenants.” This may be true and the present day authorities would love to rip this section out of the book, but since it would bring criticism from the people, they decided to ignore it instead. Even if it were taken out of the D&C (which may possibly happen in the future), it would still be in Isaiah, and all the Bibles in the world cannot be changed.

The Doctrine and Covenants tells us that the one mighty and strong will set the house of God in order.

How can it be set in order if it is not first out of order?

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The authorities say that this scripture has already been fulfilled, but how can this be when we have not yet received our inheritances in Zion? The authorities also say that circumstances did not warrant a complete fulfillment here, but the scripture says a few verses later, “These things I say not of myself; therefore, as the Lord speaketh, He WILL also fulfill.” (D&C 85:10)

Not only will this individual set in order the house of God, but his word will cause much turbulence “as a tempest of hail and a destroying storm, as a flood of mighty waters overflowing.” At his presence the power of God will cause much destruction to bring the people to repentance. He shall “Cast down to the earth with the hand.” What shall be cast down? He shall cast down the crown of pride, or the authorities in the Church. How will he do this?

There are a number of ways this could happen. Some avant-garde LDS students think he will forcibly remove the authorities (by higher power) and install himself and others as the new leaders of the church. Anything is possible, but a more likely scenario is that his works and teachings through the Spirit will be of such high order that many will look up to him and down on the teachings of authorities. This is what happened in the situation of Jesus and some of the prophets. The teachings of the religious leaders were “cast down” because of the light or “ensign” which was lifted up. And where will they be cast down to? The scripture says “the earth.” What does this mean?

Their original teachings were a revelation from heaven, but because revelation has ceased the consciousness of the authorities is cast down to the earth, or earthly things - not heavenly things. “The crown of pride, the drunkards of Ephraim, shall be trodden under foot.” (Isa. 28:3) The explanation of this is found in a verse previously explained: “But if the salt shall lose its savor, wherewith shall the earth be salted? The salt shall be thenceforth good for nothing, but to be cast out and to be trodden under the foot of men.” (3 Nephi 12:13)

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“And the glorious beauty, which is on the head of the fat valley, shall be a fading flower, and as the hasty fruit before the summer; which when he that looketh upon it seeth, while it is yet in his hand he eateth it up. In that day shall the Lord of hosts be for a crown of glory and for a diadem of beauty, unto the residue of his people, and for a spirit of judgment to him that sitteth in judgment, and for strength to them that turn the battle to the gate.” (Isa. 28:4) It is interesting that the Mormons who claim to be from Ephraim have their headquarters in a “fat valley.” But the meaning goes beyond this. Many unjust teachers and leaders there are who live in abundance off the people (symbolized by fat valleys). The fat valley also symbolizes the abundance of light that should be theirs, given to them by the sacrifice of past prophets and seers. Unfortunately, all these past teachings have become a “fading flower” through neglect by those who are looked upon as the stewards of light by humanity. The next phrase continues the story: “and as the hasty fruit before the summer; which when he that looketh upon it seeth, while it is yet in his hand he eateth it up.” “Hasty fruit” comes from the Hebrew BIKKUWR which literally means “first fruits.” The first fruits are considered as the most precious of the harvest - this is one of the reasons that Jesus himself was called this.

Who are these first fruits? They are the original bringers of light in a religion, group or country. For Christianity these would be Jesus and the apostles and prophets. For the protestant Churches this would include Martin Luther and the reformers. For Mormonism, Joseph Smith, Brigham Young and other founders would be included. For the United States the firstfruits would be the Founding Fathers.

The firstfruits usually go through great sacrifice to initiate a new work that will benefit humanity and often garner very little personal benefit from their work in their own lifetime.

However, the later stewards who are trusted to carry on, enhance and teach the work often live lives of plenty with great adoration from the masses. These teachers who get rich in the fat

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valleys are threatened when they see they are a fading flower so they seek to devour the first fruits.

How do they do this?

The unjust stewards seek to destroy the firstfruits by using several methods.

(1) Altering their teachings (2) Destroying or hiding their teachings from the people. (3) Convincing the masses to ignore their teachings. (4) Minimizing their work by elevating mediocrity so current caretakers will seem to be as great as the founders. By using these and other subversive methods the “crown of pride” eats up the first fruits and manages to keep its authority over the people while leaving them in darkness. Isaiah Continues: “In that day shall the Lord of hosts be for a crown of glory and for a diadem of beauty, unto the residue of his people, and for a spirit of judgment to him that sitteth in judgment, and for strength to them that turn the battle to the gate.” (Isa. 28:5-6)

Even though the majority of the people will be deceived by lazy or false teachers there will be a “residue” who will be a “crown of glory” and a “diadem of beauty.” These are they who refuse to be taken in by traditional teachings which are missing the light of the first fruit. These think for themselves and go within and find the beauty of the Spirit of God. These are they who will turn the tide of the spiritual battle and eventually pave the way for the new age of peace and enlightenment. Isaiah continues: “But they also have erred through wine, and through strong drink are out of the way; the priest and the prophet have erred through strong drink, they are out of the way through strong drink; they err in vision, they stumble in judgment.” (verse 7)

This is written as clear as word can be and needs no explanation.

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“For all tables are full of vomit and filthiness, so that there is no place clean.” (Verse 8)

We talked earlier about problems with the current sacrament, but this scripture has meaning on other levels also.

The basic message is that instead of giving their people food which feeds the soul the current teachers feed their flocks with decaying food that has no life - old worn out teachings that need to be discarded or restored and replaced with fresh and living food and drink. “Whom shall he teach knowledge? And whom shall he make to understand doctrine? Them that are weaned from the milk, and drawn from the breasts. For precept must be upon precept, precept upon precept; line upon line, line upon line; here a little and there a little: For with stammering lips and another tongue will be speak to this people.” (verses 9-11)

There has been much written, especially by the Fundamentalists about the stammering lips and another tongue. Most believe that it refers to an Indian prophet who will preach to the Latter-day Saints. Even though there will be Indian prophets, this does not necessarily refer to him. The English word “stammering” is translated from the Hebrew LAEG. When one speaks stammering or LAEG, he speaks in a sort of repeating baby talk to jokingly irritate his listeners. Joseph Smith sometimes did this to stir up the sectarians and Isaiah himself is using this sort of talk with the Jews when he repeats himself unnecessarily in verse 10. When he speaks of “another tongue,” we must remember that our tongue today is a different one than that used by the Jews. Then, too, looking at it from a different angle, many of the Lamanites will eventually teach the children of Ephraim who will listen, but many of them will speak English. The scripture mainly indicates that Ephraim will become as a little child again and must be taught with a stammering lip, or repetitive language, before they can learn doctrine.

A higher interpretation of the other tongue is refers to a new way of speaking and teaching to Israelites. Jesus spoke with a different tongue, or manner of speaking, than Moses, and God will speak in new and different ways as the times change in this age. The teachers of the various ages

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and climes teach so differently (even though it is all one message) that it seems to be “another tongue.” “To whom he said, This is my rest wherewith ye may cause the weary to rest; and this is the refreshing: yet they would not hear.” (Verse 12)

Here Isaiah identifies the people in the prophecy as those who were promised the rest of the Lord. This promise was made through Moses to the Hebrews that Isaiah was talking to and also through Joseph Smith to the Latter-day Saints in our day. We must bear in mind that even though most of Isaiah deals with the future, he had to write it in such a way so it had meaning to the people in his day. Concerning the people in the days of Moses, the Lord said, “But they hardened their hearts and could not endure His presence; therefore, the Lord in His wrath, for His anger was kindled against them, swore that they should not enter into His rest while in the wilderness, which rest is the fullness of His glory.” (D&C 84:24) Were the Latter-day Saints given a similar promise? They were: “Verily, this is the word of the Lord, that the city of New Jerusalem shall be built by the gathering of the saints, beginning at this place, even the place of the temple, which temple shall be reared in this generation. For verily this generation shall not all pass away until an house shall be built unto the Lord, and a cloud shall rest upon it, which cloud shall be even the glory of the Lord which shall fill the house.” (D&C 84:4-5)

Just as ancient Israel was unable to obtain the promise of the rest of the Lord, so did modern Israel fail to achieve its rest by establishing the temple and New Jerusalem in Jackson County. The Mormons are one of the groups prophesied of by Isaiah of whom the Lord promised a rest and a refreshing “yet they would not hear.”

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“But the word of the Lord was unto them precept upon precept, precept upon precept; line upon line, line upon line; here a little, and there a little; that they might go, and fall backward, and be broken, and snared, and taken.” (Verse 13) Here Isaiah again used his “stammering” language for he again uses his repetitive speech. He clearly illustrates how the word of the Lord has been to the resisting religions. He says it is, “Precept upon precept, precept upon precept;” the repetition or stammering indicates the manner of presentation of the gospel to the Mormon people (and other religions). That is, the few precepts they have been given are given to them again and again in simple language a child can understand. At nearly every conference, the general authorities say the same things over and over, and the Sunday School manuals teach the same simple lessons over and over. Because they “would not hear,” this is the backward manner that the word of the Lord would come to them. Why is this? So that they “might go, and fall backward, and be broken, and snared, and taken.” “Taken” is from the Hebrew LAKAD which signifies being “caught in a trap.” The Lord is allowing the Church to follow the backward course it is taking so it will be caught in a trap, and when its bands are made strong the real truth through wise virgins will come forth to reveal the bondage to those who thought they were free. There must be great contrast between light and darkness or the light will not be seen or sought.

Verily the time is at hand when that contrast between the light and the dark, the shadows and the real, the ego and the soul will be seen by those who wait and the choice will be clear. Let us hope that all people of goodwill choose the highest light they see before their eyes. “Wherefore hear the word of the Lord, ye scornful men that rule this people which is in Jerusalem. (Today it is Salt Lake and other religious centers.) Because ye have said, We have made a covenant with death, and with hell are we at agreement; when the overflowing scourge shall pass through, it shall not come unto us: for we have made lies our refuge, and under falsehood have we hid ourselves.” (verses 14-15)

So what is the covenant with death and agreement with hell?

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In ancient times Israel made covenants with the Living God and in return they were promised protection from all their enemies as well as peace and prosperity.

A covenant with death would be the opposite of this. Instead of making covenants with a living God the spiritual guides of the people make covenants with groups, organizations and governments with a priority above their commitment to God and the people they serve. Any commitment that is not sought through the Spirit is a covenant with death.

An agreement with hell is the opposite of an agreement that brings peace and benefit to all. An agreement with hell is one that takes the group’s attention away from freedom, from attention of spiritual progress and causes the organization to center on lower desires and looking good in the eyes of the world at the expense of nurturing the soul in its members. “And when the times of the Gentiles is come in, a light shall break forth among them that sit in darkness, and it shall be the fullness of my gospel; but they receive it not (that is, the “fullness”); for they perceive not the light, and they turn their hearts from me because of the precepts of men. And in that generation shall the times of the Gentiles be fulfilled. And there shall be men standing in that generation that shall not pass away until they shall see an overflowing scourge; for a desolating sickness shall cover the land. But my disciples shall stand in holy places, and shall not be moved; but among the wicked, men shall lift up their voices and curse God and die.” (D&C 45:28-32) Concerning this “overflowing scourge” Isaiah said that the leaders would believe that “it shall not come unto us,” but they forget that the Lord said that “upon my house shall it begin.” (D&C 112:25) Mormons are told that the members will be protected by standing in “holy places” and the leaders today say that this means we should make frequent trips to the temple, for the temples are holy places. While it is true that the temples are supposed to be holy places, they are not the ones referred to in this prophecy for they are in no way large enough to provide protection against

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desolation. A few verses later in that same section, we are told that the holy place is Zion, “a city of refuge, a place of safety for the Saints of the Most High God.” (D&C 45:66) We are told that “the wicked will not come unto it.” (verse 67) So it certainly cannot be Salt Lake. The holy places or the cities of light are yet to be set up and the great day is waiting at our doors. We are further told that, “The Lord’s scourge shall pass over by night and by day, and the report thereof shall vex all people; yea, it shall not be stayed until the Lord come.” (D&C 97:23)

Also, the Lord tells us to keep His commandments, otherwise there remaineth a scourge and judgment to be poured out upon the children of Zion. For shall the children of the kingdom pollute my holy land? Verily, I say unto you, Nay.” (D&C 84:58-59) In spite of all this evidence, the authorities say, “it shall not come unto us” for we stand in holy places, and the Lord is with us for behold we are growing and prospering as never before. “We have made lies our refuge and under falsehood have we hid ourselves.” The “lies” refer to various false doctrines now espoused and the “falsehood” refers to the distortions of Church history and the cover-up of many important facts. “Therefore, thus saith the Lord God, behold, I lay in Zion for a foundation a stone, a tried stone, a precious corner stone, a sure foundation: He that believeth shall not make haste.” (Verse 16) The tried stone is Christ as is evidenced: “I am the good shepherd and the stone of Israel. He that buildeth upon this rock shall never fall.” (D&C 50:44) in addition to this, the stone is also those who have been tried and found faithful and have the spirit of Christ in their hearts to the extent that they can speak the words of Christ. “He that believeth shall not make haste.” One who is really capable of accepting the Christ, who is the tried stone, will not do so in haste. He will not be converted on the spur of the moment or be saved in a day as with the case of many religious claims. He will be the type of person who will study the teachings out and eventually follow with a true realization of the difficulties

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involved. He will realize the wisdom in the words of Christ: “Which of you, intending to build a tower, sitteth not down first, and counteth the cost, whether he have sufficient to finish it. Lest haply, after he hath laid the foundation, and is not able to finish it, all that behold it begin to mock him.” (Luke 14:28-29) Even so, let him who believes in the setting in order count the cost before he decides to serve else his strength give out.

On the other hand, those in illusion are not to make haste in rejecting the revelations of God for behold, many will read a few paragraphs of anything new and reject the whole. Does not the scripture say, “He that answereth a matter before he heareth it, it is a folly and shame unto him.” (Proverbs 18:13) “Judgment also will I lay to the line and righteousness to the plummet: and hail shall weep away the refuge of lies, and the waters shall overflow the hiding place.” (Verse 17) This refers to two calamities brought by the one Mighty and Strong mentioned in verse 2 - that is hail and flooding.

If the religious authorities resist strongly enough a fairly literal fulfillment will happen on the physical plane. If they practice what they preach and show minimal love, tolerance and understanding then these calamities will happen on a higher level.

Instead of literal hail it will be hard truth that cannot be withstood. Instead of literal flooding of water it will be overwhelming evidence of new truths which will sweep the land. “And your covenant with death shall be disannulled, and your agreement with hell shall not stand; when the overflowing scourge shall pass through, then ye shall be trodden down by it.” (Verse 18) The calamities will cause the present authorities to lose their power and influence, for “in the days that the prophecies of Isaiah shall be fulfilled, men shall know of a surety, at the times when they shall come to pass.” (2 Nephi 25:7)

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The spiritual authorities again have a choice for how this prophecy will be fulfilled. Instead of a physical overflowing scourge it could be an emotional one. The emotions and feelings of authorities will be disturbed through the new light and teachings and reach a point of tension. When this point is reached they will definitely go down kicking and screaming on the emotional plane, but if they leave their response on that plane and seek to do no harm, then this prophesy does not have to be fulfilled on the physical.

If reasonable restraint and harmlessness on a physical level is maintained by authorities then the overflowing scourge from God will be one which plagues their belief system and the errors thereof will be “trodden down” by the light. “From the time that it goeth forth it shall take you: for morning by morning shall it pass over, by day and by night: and it shall be a vexation only to understand the report.” (Verse 19)

If resistance to truth is strong enough the scourge will not only be calamities, but it shall also be a “desolating sickness” (D&C 45:31) it shall be “poured out from time to time, if they repent not, until the earth is empty.” (D&C 5:19)

If those who resist the light do not seek to do damage to disciples on the physical plane then the fulfillment will merely be a desolating sickness of outworn organizations and belief systems until the earth is empty of illusion and error and “the earth shall be full of the knowledge of the LORD, as the waters cover the sea.” (Isaiah 11:9) “It shall be a vexation only to understand the report.” If authorities remain physically harmless then the vexation will be teachings which will stir their souls rather than a physical plague which will wake them up to the fact that the powers of God are against them as they are against the truths of the soul. As a last resort physical calamities will come to vex the authorities to understand the report just as the plagues of Moses came against the Pharaoh. “Report” is from the Hebrew SHEMUWAH which implies “an announcement which is fairly startling to people. It is also translated as news, tidings or doctrine. The report shall be teachings

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setting the tone for the new age which shall give the people light to put an end to the famine for greater knowledge. The greater knowledge which is becoming manifest by thousands of workers of light in varying degrees will create an unstoppable tide for the setting in order of the house of God; and because the established teachers will not listen, the Lord will cause a vexation to get their attention. These leaders may not all accept higher light by a long way, but the Master will certainly have their attention. “For the bed is shorter than a man can stretch himself on it: the covering narrower than he can wrap himself in it.” (verse 20) The “bed” refers to the foundations of the church and kingdom as presently constituted. They are not enough to fully satisfy the earnest seeker; therefore, he cannot “stretch himself on it.” The “covering” refers to the teachings available. The fullness of revelation is no longer with the church; therefore, the covering is narrower than that a member can wrap himself in it.”

Visualize yourself going to bed in a cold room to take a rest. Your bed is so short that your feet hang over the edge. The covers are so short that they only cover half your body. Would this not be an uncomfortable situation you would want to rectify at the first possible moment?

Yet the foundation teachings, the good, the beautiful and the true, of most religions have been in large part shorted or removed making the bed of religion too short and a very uncomfortable resting place. Foundation teachings and new revelation have been suppressed so members do not have sufficient light as a covering and shiver inside stone buildings lacking warmth. “For the Lord shall rise up as in Mount Perazim, He shall be wroth as in the valley of Gibeon, that he may do his work, his strange work; and bring to pass his act, his strange act.” (verse 21)

Before we can comprehend this scripture, we must understand what it is the Lord did in Perazim and Gibeon.

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The story is in the Old Testament: right after David was anointed king over Israel, the Philistines came seeking his life, and David inquired of the Lord as to what to do and was told to go against the Philistines and the Lord would deliver them into his hand. “And David came to Baal Perazim, and David smote them there, and said, The Lord hath broken forth mine enemies as the breach of the waters. Therefore, he called the name of the place Baalperazim. And there they left their images and David and his men burned them.” (2 Sam. 5:19-21)

It is important here that we comprehend the full meaning conveyed. Baalperazim comes from the Hebrew word that literally means “master of breaking forth.” The name was given in honor of David for he is the one who led the battle. The thought conveyed by the word is the breaking down of a barrier or enemy as the flooding waters will burst a dam. David and his men were compared to the waters and the Philistines were compared to the dam that was broken by the power of God. The very next verses relate an incident in Gibeon which is translated “Geba” in the King James edition: “And the Philistines came up yet again, and spread themselves in the valley of Rephaim. And when David inquired of the Lord, he said, Thou shalt not go up; but fetch a compass behind them, and come upon them over against the mulberry trees. And let it be, when thou hearest the sound of a going in the tops of the mulberry trees, that then thou shalt bestir thyself: For then shall the Lord go out before thee, to smite the host of the Philistines. And David did so, as the Lord had commanded him; and smote the Philistines from Geba (Gibeon) until thou come to Gazer.” (2 Sam. 5:22-25) Here David was told to “fetch a compass behind them” or in the Hebrew to surround them from behind and to wait for “the sound of a going in the tops of the mulberry trees.” This sound that David was to wait for was the sound of the actual army of the Lord, which although unseen, would make a noise going through the trees. He was told “then shall the Lord go out before thee to smite the host of the Philistines.” Most of the fighting was done by an invisible host sent from the Lord and David had an easy victory.

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The most famous incident in Gibeon was when Joshua gave the great command: “Sun, stand thou still upon Gibeon.” (Joshua 10:12) On that day, “The Lord cast down great stones from heaven upon them unto Azekah, and they died: and there were more which died with hailstones than they whom the children of Israel slew with the sword.” (Joshua 10:11)

In this case, there was a great slaughter to the enemies of the Lord by the hand of his people, but there was even greater slaughter from God caused by the hailstones. These incidents are interesting when we consider that the one Mighty and Strong will come “as a tempest of hail (as the Lord sent in the days of Joshua) and a destroying storm (as the invisible hosts of the Lord were in Gibeon), as a flood of mighty waters overflowing....” (Isa. 28:2)

Just as David defeated his enemies in Baalperazim as a flood of mighty waters overflowing a dam, so will God defeat his enemies as a flood of water which breaks down the illusion and false doctrine which hold back the truth.

Again, these prophesies can be fulfilled either physically or on a higher level. The course is determined by those who have stewardship over the captive students and political realms of the earth. The events to come are more related to the natural law of cause and effect than it is the decision of an angry God.

If the powers that be attempt to physically destroy then they will be destroyed by the effect of divine fire that can no longer be held back after many ages of attacking the workers of light.

On the other hand, if they can restrain their response to the emotional and mental plane and only seek to stop the light with argument, reasoning, and even anger, yet remain harmless physically then that which will be given them will be on the emotional plane and higher and not the physical.

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Their worn out ideas and teachings will be destroyed in place of physical destruction and replaced by higher teachings of light. This will have the effect of being a “destroying storm” on the emotional plane, but that is better than a similar destruction on the physical level. The Lord says He allows this that “He may do His work, His strange work; and bring to pass His act, His strange act.” (Isa. 28:21) Why does He call this work It strange”? It is strange because in the last days He will have to fight against, not the Philistines, but those who claim to be His own people. This is a strange, foreign, and repulsive thing for the Master to do, but to establish Zion He has no other choice. This incident is related in prophecy to come forth in the days of the “marred” servant: “For it shall come to pass, saith the Father, that at that day whosoever will not repent and come unto my beloved son, them will I cut off from among my people, O house of Israel; and I will execute vengeance and fury upon them even as upon the heathen, such as they have not heard.” (3 Nephi 21: 10, 20-21) Speaking of Israel in the latter days the Lord also said, “But they rebelled, and vexed his holy spirit: therefore, he was turned to be their enemy and fought against them.” (Isa. 63:10)

It will indeed be a strange work when the Lord has to fight against people who claim to be his own, those who claim to represent Him, “as upon the heathen” in order to gather a people out of the people who will truly serve Him and seek in their hearts to establish Zion. The Lord then warns His people: “Now therefore be ye not mockers, lest your bands be made strong: for I have heard from the Lord God of hosts a consumption, even determined upon the whole earth.” (Isa. 28:22)

Here all those who claim to represent God are warned as well as the whole earth. The judgment will begin at the Lord’s own house and from there spread over the earth.

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Again, I repeat. Remember the message of Jonah. The prophecy does not have to end with clammily on the physical plane. The judgment of God could be a correction from God as the voice of the Spirit is allowed into the heart to speak to the souls of men and change them so the consumption will be a consumption of old outworn teachings and not a consumption of physical calamity. Isaiah continues, “Give ye ear and hear my voice; hearken and hear my speech. Doth the plowman plow all day to sow? Doth he not open and break the clods of his ground? When he hath made plain the face thereof, doth he not cast abroad the fitches, and scatter the cummin, and cast in the principle wheat and the appointed barley and the rye in their place? For his God doth instruct him to discretion, and doth teach him.” (verses 23-26) Here again Isaiah refers to the ‘“stammering” teachings in a roundabout way. He asks the question to a backward Israel: “Doth the plowman plow all day to sow?” In other words, Is all the farmer does is plow all day, day after day? No! Sooner or later, if he has any sense at all, “when he hath made plain the face thereof” he will “cast abroad the fitches, and scatter the cummin, and cast in the principle wheat and the appointed barley and rye in their place.” In other words, when he is finished plowing he will then plant the seeds.

Unfortunately, the churches in these latter days do not have the sense of a simple plowman for all they have been doing is plowing through the same precepts over and over and over for over hundreds years. We forget that “precept must be added upon precept” and the teachers never cast in the principle wheat and consequently never have a harvest which harvest is the creation of Zion. The fact that we do not get beyond the plowing stage is no fault of God’s, for we are told that “His God doth instruct him to discretion, and doth teach him.” (verse 26) God has instructed us to do more than the plowing, but we have not heard. Isaiah continues, “For the fitches are not threshed with a threshing instrument, neither is a cart wheel turned about upon the cummin; but the fitches are beaten out with a staff, and the cummin

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with a rod. Bread corn is bruised; because he will not ever be threshing it, nor break it with the wheel of his cart, nor bruise it with his horsemen.” (verses 27-28)

We are told that the fitches (probably fennel) are not threshed with a threshing (Hebrew: CHARUTS, which means a heavy sledge-like) instrument, neither is a cart wheel turned about upon the cummin. If this type of crop were harvested in this pulverizing manner, it would be destroyed; instead “the fitches are beaten out with a staff (Hebrew: MATTEH, which is a stick), and the cummin with a rod” (Hebrew: SHEBET, which is a whip-like stick).

By comparison, today we do not need the same old precepts that we should have mastered years ago hammered into us over and over with a sledge hammer. A light threshing of the simple doctrines is all we need to prepare us for the heavier. Verse 28 is not a very clear translation and I would like to render it a bit plainer. “Bread corn” is undoubtedly wheat; and the word bruised comes from the Hebrew DAQAQ, which means to crush to powder. The word “because” is from KIY, which is more appropriately rendered “nevertheless.” Taking this into consideration, we will render the passage thus: “Wheat used for bread is ground to powder; nevertheless, he will not ever be threshing it, nor crush it with the wheel of his cart, nor grind it with his horsemen.”

In other words, Isaiah here admits that wheat is threshed, broken and ground, but this process is not “stammered” or repeated over and over for it would be a waste of time and damage the grain in the process.

The message in these obscure words of Isaiah is this. The major problem of the church in the latter days will be that the teachers will be like a plower who just plows his field over and over and never plants or harvests his wheat. The authorities are also like the wheat miller who merely grinds the product over and over and never makes any bread. Teachers will go through the motions of beginning the creative process, but never produce fruit or bread. No food for the soul will be grown or given. Only the illusion that they are headed in that direction is projected. They

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do busy work by plowing and grinding, but no fruit or bread is ever produced - no real progress made. This illusion will create a trap for the teachers so when true food for the soul is offered the contrast between plowing and grinding and a finished spiritual food will be stark and embarrassing. Isaiah ends with: “This also cometh forth from the Lord of hosts, which wonderful in counsel, and excellent in working.” (verse 29) This whole chapter indeed illustrates that the Lord is “wonderful in counsel, and excellent in working.”

Thus we conclude one of the greatest chapters in all the scriptures.

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Author’s Note This is the last chapter of Infallible Authority. Remember this was written specifically to the LDS to help them to realize that their leaders are indeed fallible and that regular people are entitled to the gifts of the Spirit and revelation just as are the leaders. I wrote the first draft way back in 1978 when my thought process was much more permeated into church doctrine, but this is probably good in that it speaks clearly to the members of the church to encourage them to use their own free agency.

Chapter Nineteen Revelation for All

In pointing out that the Church is out of its proper order and that the Lord could call prophets outside the general authorities of the Church to call it to repentance, several objections are brought up. The main objection is the belief that God will only speak to the Church as a whole through one man - the president. This belief is based on a revelation to Joseph Smith: “All covenants, contracts, bonds, obligations, oaths, vows, performances, connections, associations, or expectations, that are not made and entered into and sealed by the Holy Spirit of Promise, of him who is anointed, both as well for time and for all eternity, and that too most holy BY REVELATION and commandment through the medium of mine anointed, whom I have appointed on the earth to hold this power (and I have appointed unto my servant Joseph to hold this power in the last days, and there is never but one on the earth at a time on whom THIS POWER and the keys of this Priesthood are conferred), are of no efficacy, virtue, or force in and after the resurrection from the dead; for all contracts that are not made unto this end have an end when men are dead.” (D&C 132:7)

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Does it say anywhere in this scripture that this “one” appointed is the only one that can call the Church to repentance through revelation?

No, it does not. Then what does it say for sure? It says that there is only “one on the earth at a time on whom this power and the keys of this Priesthood are conferred.” Now we must ask what keys and power are referred to here. It is plainly answered by the scripture itself. We are clearly told that “this power” is the power to seal “by the Holy Spirit of Promise.” And what sort of power is this?

Does it have anything to do with receiving revelation on the mysteries of the kingdom?

No.

When this one anointed receives this power, he then has the privilege of receiving personal consultation from the Holy Ghost as to what associations and covenants can be sealed to be made valid in the celestial world. Since the actual personage representing the Holy Ghost can only be one place at one time (even though his influence is universal), and also for the sake of order, this power is only given to one person at a time.

The scripture furthermore does not indicate who would hold this power after the death of Joseph Smith, but it does say that Joseph holds “this power in the last days” almost as if they would belong to him throughout the dispensation. It is written that there is never but one on the earth at a time who holds this power. It does not say that there always has to be one here. Even though Joseph passed the keys of the kingdom on to the twelve apostles and also the members of the Council of Fifty, and possibly others, there is no indication that these particular keys of sealing were ever passed on. In other words, the scriptures indicate that there were certain keys the Lord reserved for Joseph to hold for the entire dispensation. The early saints were told, “Rebel not against my servant Joseph; for verily I say unto you, I am with him, and my hand shall be over

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him; and the keys which I have given unto him, and also to you ward, shall not be taken from him until I come.” (D&C 112:15) Also we read, “Verily I say unto you (Joseph), the keys of this kingdom shall never be taken from you, while thou art in the world, neither in the world to come.” (D&C 90:3 Even in the hymn book in the song “Praise to the Man” we find the phrase, “Ever and ever the keys he will hold.” After the death of Joseph Smith, Brigham Young said, “Let no man presume for a moment that his (Joseph’s) place will be filled by another; for remember he stands in his own place, and always will.” (DHC 7:250) Since we are told in D&C 132:7 that Joseph holds this power in the last days,” it is most probable that the scripture was referring to certain powers peculiar to the keys of the whole dispensation. We do not have enough revelation here for a full explanation, but may see further light in the future. One thing is certain. The Lord does not put all His eggs in one basket and limit the gift of revelation and seership to one man. Brigham Young said that the kingdom could “stand while one member is left alive on the earth.” (DHC 7:250) If this is so, then any one member could potentially have all the keys necessary to build up the kingdom of God. Another stumbling block is the following scripture: “Again I say unto you, that it shall not be given unto anyone to go forth to preach my gospel, or to build up my church, except he be ordained by someone who has authority, and it is known to the church that he has authority and has been regularly ordained by the heads of the church.” (D&C 42:11)

The authorities claim that this limits revelation for the Church to the authorities of the Church, but is this what the scripture says? No! It tells us that to preach the gospel for the Church and to build up the Church, one must be called by a recognized authority. This is only good order and common sense. Just as one who is not employed by a company is not recognized by the company, so is the unauthorized servant not recognized as a worker for the Church organization.

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But, if one is not employed by a certain company does this mean he is powerless?

No.

What can he do then?

He can do anything he desires of his own initiative that is within the law.

And what is within the law? Quite a few things. Here are a few:

He can contact members of the company and give any advice he desires.

He can publish any ideas beneficial to any company in any paper or publication he desires. He can write his own thoughts on how a company is not living up to its founder’s ideas or its potential.

He can create his own company if he desires.

The only thing he cannot do is to work in the name of a particular company without its permission.

People forget that most of the prophets who wrote the scriptures were not called to preach the gospel for the Church or to build up the Church, but they were called to cry repentance to the Church and to try to set the Church in order, or if it would not be set in order, they often warned the people of destruction. Just as anyone who is not authorized by a company can work outside of that company even so have many prophets worked outside the authority of the church.

Lehi, Jeremiah, Amos, Isaiah, John the Baptist, Jesus were all rejected by the general authorities in their day, and none of them were “regularly ordained by the heads of the church” in their

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dispensation, and since “God is the same yesterday, today, and forever,” there is no reason why a prophet of their similitude cannot arise in our day. None of the above prophets mentioned tried to build up any church except Jesus.

Thus, we conclude that D&C 42:11 is an accurate scripture, but it in no way forbids the Lord from calling a prophet to cry repentance to the Church. It does not also forbid the Lord from making other arrangements if the Church is cut off. In that case the Lord has said He would seek “another people.” One of the most powerful scriptures used to support the infallibility of the prophet is, “And this ye shall know assuredly - that there is none other appointed unto you to receive commandments and revelations until he be taken, if he abide in me. But verily, verily, I say unto you, that none else shall be appointed unto this gift except it be through him; for if it be taken from him, he shall not have power except to appoint another in his stead. “And this shall be a law unto you, that ye receive not the teachings of any that shall come before you as revelations or commandments; and this I give unto you that you may not be deceived, that you may know they are not of me. For verily, I say unto you, that he that is ordained of me shall come in at the gate and be ordained as I told you before, to teach those revelations which you have received and shall receive through him whom I have appointed.” (D&C 43:3-7)

On the surface here it certainly seems as if the president of the Church or his replacement is to be the only one that God will give revelations for the Church to, but have we not shown that the doctrine of infallibility is wrong whether it applies to a person or a position? For instance, we know that Isaiah, Jeremiah, Lehi, Jesus, and Paul were certainly not the president of any church; yet they declared many commandments and revelations. If God is an unchanging God in his principles, then how could the above quoted scripture be true?

First we need to study the historical background of this scripture. Just before the revelation was received, there came a woman among the saints named Hubble who claimed to be a prophetess and said that the Lord had revealed that she was to be a teacher in the Church. Apparently, she

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taught a number of things contrary to the revelations through Joseph Smith. The saints knew that both Mrs. Hubble and Joseph could not be right, so the revelation was given as an explanation. First they were told that “There is none other appointed unto you to receive commandments and revelations, if he abide in me. But verily, verily, I say unto you, that none else shall be appointed unto this gift except it be through him.” (verses 3-4)

What does this tell us? Simply that as long as Joseph (or possibly his successor) abide in the Lord, then he will be the one appointed to receive revelations. Has anyone ever stopped to consider what the Lord would do if the president did not abide in the Lord? The president of the Church has no promise if he does not abide in the Lord. We are also told that “none else shall be appointed unto this gift except it be through him.” (The Lord’s Anointed) Mrs. Hubble was not appointed to receive revelations through the Prophet Joseph. As far as we know, she was not even a member of the Church. Who is appointed to receive revelations through the president of the Church then? The scriptures give the answer as before mentioned: “And again, the elders, priests and teachers of this Church shall teach the principles of my gospel ... And as ye shall lift up your voices by the Comforter, ye shall speak and prophesy as seemeth me good; for behold the comforter knoweth all things... .” (D&C 42:12 & 16-17) Indirectly, the elders, priests and teachers are appointed through the president of the Church; thus the Lord is consistent when He commands them to prophesy to the Church. Mrs. Hubble, however, received no such appointment. Thus we see that that anyone in the church who is a “teacher,” “priest” or Elder can prophesy to the church. At the time I wrote the first draft of this book (1978) I was an elder in the church and thus had authority to speak to the church through the Comforter as “seemeth...good.”

If one speaks by the power of the Holy Ghost and is excommunicated, can God then continue to honor his authority? He can, for the rights of the Priesthood are “inseparably connected with the powers of heaven,” not the powers of the church.

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David Whitmer names many elders who received revelation: “I could give you the names of many who gave great prophecies which came to pass. I will name a few: Brothers Ziba Peterson, Hiram Page, Oliver Cowdery, Parley P. Pratt, Orson Pratt, Peter Whitmer, Christian Whitmer, John Whitmer, myself, and many others had the gift of prophesy.” (An Address to ALL Believers in Christ, by David Whitmer, p. 32)

Were these individuals out of order for what they did? Verily, no. The scripture continues, “For if it be taken from him, he shall not have power except to appoint another in his stead.”

This is a somewhat deceiving scripture for the Church tends to believe that the president of the Church could not be astray because if he were, he would have to appoint someone else to take his place and since he has not done this, then all must be in order. But again, is this what the scripture says? No, it does not. Then what does it say? It says that if the gift is “taken from him [evidently because of transgression], he shall not have power.” This scripture surely gives evidence that the gift has been taken from the president of the Church for he certainly does not have the “power” spoken of. It has been over 100 years since this “power” of revelation has been manifest through the president of the Church. Of course, some think there was revelation in 1978 concerning the Priesthood, but there was no revelation written that we know of, only an “Official Declaration” of the First Presidency. Is it not evident that the gift of revelation has been taken? The only avenue of belief available to those who insist on blindly clinging to their faith is that the president is receiving all kinds of revelations in secret of which the lowly members are not aware.

We are further told that once this gift has been taken, that the only power the anointed one will have is to I “appoint another in his stead.” At this point, this rejected prophet would have only one power from God and that is to “appoint another.” But does the scripture say that this other

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one has to be appointed through him? What would happen if a prophet was rejected and he lost the spirit of revelation and he decided that he did not want to appoint another to take his place? Can you imagine the humility it would take to confess before the whole Church that God had rejected you and that you were to appoint another to take your place? Most men, once they are rejected of God, would not have this humility, but would try to keep their position for the glory of the world. If this happened, would God’s hands be tied or would He take the man’s free agency away and force him to appoint another? No! God also has power to appoint another as He did with Brigham Young. Joseph Smith had several persons in mind to appoint to succeed him and several claims were made to ordinations and letters to that effect received, but when the chips were down, God showed His approval of Brigham Young by giving him the miraculous appearance of Joseph Smith before the Saints. Brigham Young was not selected by Joseph Smith, but by God; but on the other hand, he was indirectly appointed to this gift because he was an elder in the church. Concerning this one who is appointed, the Lord said: “He that is ordained of me shall come in at the gate and be ordained as I have told you, before, to teach those revelations which you have received and shall receive through him whom I have appointed.” (D&C 43:7)

This scripture gives us three things to watch for in the one appointed to receive revelations for the church: (1) He will come in at the gate. What does that mean? Concerning the gate, Nephi says: “The Keeper of the gate is the Holy One of Israel; and he employeth no servant there... for he cannot be deceived.” (2 Nephi 9:41) Since the Keeper of the gate is the Christ and He employs “no servant,” then it is obvious that the president of the Church cannot be the gate. Christ, who is the Keeper of the gate, who alone cannot be deceived, decides to whom to give revelations. (2) He will be “ordained as I have told you.” Indeed I have been ordained as the LDS scripture prescribe and only the keeper of the gate can undo this ordination. Millions of people in the Church fulfill this requirement. (3) He will “teach those revelations which you [Joseph Smith] have received.” This is the third grand key to finding the one anointed. We must ask, Does this one anointed teach the revelations of Joseph Smith as well as the other scriptures, or

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does he ignore them and teach contrary to them - doctrines of men, not confirmed by the Holy Spirit?

Those who support the doctrine of the infallibility of the position of the president of the Church usually cease quoting at verse seven, yet an important commandment and warning is given immediately after: “And now behold, I give unto you a commandment, that when ye are assembled together, ye instruct and edify each other, that ye may know how to act and direct my Church, how to act upon the points of my law and commandments .... That inasmuch as ye do this, glory shall be added to the kingdom which ye have received. Inasmuch as ye do it not, it shall be taken, even that which ye have received.” (D&C 43:8 & 10) What would be taken if the church does not act correctly “upon the points of my law and commandments”? The kingdom, the authority, the gifts of the spirit, the key of knowledge all would be gone. If this was the case, then one would not even be needed to act in the stead of the president of the Church for all would be lost and the Lord would have to seek another people as He has said. In that case all the scriptures concerning authority in the Church would be as void with us as it is with the Catholic Church.

A final evidence used to put down those who do not support the infallibility of the prophet are these words of Joseph Smith. He said, “That man who rises up to condemn others, finding fault with the Church, saying that they are out of the way, while he himself is righteous, then know assuredly, that that man is in the high road to apostasy; and if he does not repent, will apostatize, as God lives.” (DHC 3:385)

It may surprise some of you to know that I accept that statement as being true, for we are indeed told that Satan is “the accuser of our brethren,” (Rev. 12:10) and anyone who follows an accusing path is indeed in danger of apostasy. The first sign of the apostate given here is that he condemns others. Let me thus set the record straight. I have no desire to condemn anyone and declare myself righteous. On the other hand, there are many active Latter-day Saints who condemn those who have been excommunicated without reason and thus they are the ones who have the spirit of apostasy.

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The second clue in finding the apostate will be that he will find fault with the Church. Many will say that I am finding fault with the Church and thus we are out of the way; but if this is the case, how do we explain Abinadi, Jeremiah, Lehi, John the Baptist, Jesus and others who found fault with the churches in their day? Were they apostatizing? No, of course not. Neither were they finding fault. The word of God which was written and also the revelations from God to them was what found the fault. In other words, it was not man that found the fault; it was the word of God. The true saint is not an accuser by nature, but he wants to follow the revelations of God; and if something goes against those revelations, then he must eventually speak out when moved upon by the Holy Spirit. Until he is moved upon by the Holy Spirit, he will generally keep the knowledge of the error to himself.

On the other hand, the apostate finds fault with the Church, government, friends, businesses etc. not because he is moved upon by the Holy Spirit, or has studied the scriptures, but merely because they are not doing what he personally wants according to his emotional desires. He then begins to accuse his brethren and the main object of his accusations will be those who possess the greatest light.

Before Curtis and I were excommunicated, we did not find fault with the Church. Even though the scriptures did, we did not even promote this idea. We each had over a half dozen jobs and were receiving no complaints from anyone. On the other hand, many steadfast members of the Church are constantly finding unwarranted fault with their leaders and Church organization; yet when it comes time for the temple recommend, they say they support the brethren. These brethren who are the true accusers are the first ones to defame the character of the one who truly arises and speaks or writes by the Spirit of God. They will be the first to call such a man a faultfinder.

The third clue to apostasy is that he will think that he himself is righteous. Interestingly, Joseph Smith confessed to many of his follies and the Lord chews him out in numerous revelations. He once told a group of Saints that he was not a righteous man. Have you heard any of the present authorities say that they were not righteous? Have you heard any of them confess their sins?

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On the other hand, the Church encourages the idea that only the most righteous ever become general authorities. I have certainly never heard a talk to refute this attitude. Isaiah discussed the fate of the true apostate that Joseph Smith had in mind: “The scorner is consumed, and all that watch for iniquity are cut off: 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.” (Isa. 29:20-21) If I or anyone else “reproveth in the gate” then they that rise up to condemn and lay a snare are the true accusers or apostates, for he that reproveth in the gate is he that reproves by the power of the Holy One of Israel. A reprover has an entirely different attitude than an “accuser of the brethren.”

No matter how many excuses we make, it does not deny the fact that almost every prophet God has called in the past was not recognized by the authorities of the day. Why would the case be any different today? The Lord’s words to the early saints apply even more so toward us: “And your minds in times past have been darkened because of unbelief, and because you have treated lightly the things you have received - which vanity and unbelief have brought the whole church under condemnation. And this condemnation resteth upon the children of Zion, even all.” (D&C 84:54- 56)

Think for a moment - could this scripture yet apply to the Church today, but more so? You haven’t heard of a revelation lately stating the Lord’s opinion of the Church, have you? If you want the word of the Lord on the subject, you’ll have to get it by personal revelation, for you will not receive it through the present heads of the Church.

In almost every age authorities have tried to garner power and special privileges to themselves to the exclusion of the common man so such a man would have to depend upon them for light, giving the authority a greater feeling of importance. However, the more the authorities claim the gifts for themselves, the less of the gifts we see manifest, and we see that God honors the

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common man more than the authority. This type of blundering was the basis of the foundation of the great and abominable church, which thing we need to be very wary of today, for the scriptures teach that God wants us all to be prophets, seers and revelators. It is the Lord’s plan that “every man might speak in the name of God the Lord, even the Savior of the world.” (D&C 1:20) It is the authorities’ plan that only they can do so; yet in denying others, themselves they shut the gate for

In the New Testament church, there were numerous prophets who were not members of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles. We are told, “And in these days came prophets from Jerusalem unto Antioch. And there stood up one of them named Agabus (not one of the apostles), and signified by the spirit that there should be a great dearth throughout all the world.” (Acts 11:2728) Today, the church would consider it out of order for anyone outside of the First Presidency to make such a prophecy. Also we find, “Now there were in the church that was at Antioch certain prophets and teachers; such as Barnabas, and Simeon that was called Niger, and Lucius of Cyrene, and Manaen (Acts 13:1)

These men were all called prophets, but three of them were not apostles. Where are the corresponding prophets in the Church today? Verily, they are out there unrecognized. Joseph Smith said, “We may look for frequent revelations ... in the Church of Christ,” and then added that, “When the head is sick, the whole body is faint.” (DHC 2:146) Does this mean that if we do not see frequent revelations, then the head is sick? That certainly seems to be the implied meaning. Thus the whole body is sick and there is a famine of spiritual gifts throughout the Church. Why can’t we be like the early Nephites - “And there were many among us who have many revelations, for they are not all stiff-necked.” (Jarom 1:4)

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Why cannot we follow the admonition of Peter: “If any man speak, let him speak as the oracles of God”? (1 Peter 4:11) The scriptures tell us that the “oracles for the whole church” are the First Presidency. (See D&C 124:126; also see 90:4-5.) Therefore Peter, in telling us to speak as the oracles, commands us to speak with the same authority as the First Presidency. Many people have been excommunicated for trying to follow the commandment of Peter.

When Lehi was yet in the land of Jerusalem, he explained where he received his authority to prophesy: “And the Holy Ghost giveth authority that I should speak these things, and deny them not.” (1 Nephi 11:22)

When Moroni appeared to Joseph Smith, he quoted him some interesting verses from Joel and told him the fulfillment was not yet, but soon to be. Moroni quoted: “And it shall come to pass afterward, that I will pour out my spirit upon all flesh; and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, and your old men shall dream dreams, your young men shall see visions. Also upon the servants and handmaids in those days will I pour out my spirit.” (Joel 2:28-29)

Many people say that you have to receive the laying on of hands to be a prophet, but here we see that even daughters and handmaids will prophecy, and where is the ordinance to ordain them? Where are the lady prophets in the Church today? They were even around in the New Testament times. The lady Anna was such a woman. (See Luke 2: 36-38.) Lady prophets are mentioned numerous times in the Old Testament, but if one were to appear today to fulfill the prophecy of Joel, she would be cut off. That this is in perfect order is illustrated by Alma: “And now, he imparteth his word by angels unto men, yea, not only men but women also. Now this is not all; little children do have words given unto them many times which confound the wise and the learned.” (Alma 32:23) Joseph Smith added that “many of which (revelations and mysteries) are to be poured down from heaven upon the heads of babes; yea, upon the weak, obscure and despised ones of the earth.” (DHC 3:296)

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The Lord commanded to the “elders, priests and teachers of this church ... ye shall lift up your voices by the comforter, ye shall speak and prophesy as seemeth me good.” (D&C 42:12, 16) It is interesting that this commandment for the teachers to prophesy comes right after D&C 42:11 which scripture is used to suppress prophesy in the Church.

Think of what the reaction would be today if a mere obscure teacher rose up and prophesied as he is commanded to do in the scripture! Speaking of those small and great who are faithful, the Lord promises: “And to them will I reveal all mysteries, yea, all the hidden mysteries of my kingdom from days of old, and for ages to come, will I make known unto them the good pleasure of my will concerning all things pertaining to my kingdom. Yea, even the wonders of eternity shall they know, and things to come will I show them, even things of many generations. And their wisdom shall be great, and their understanding reach to heaven; and before them the wisdom of the wise shall perish, and the understanding of the prudent shall come to naught. For by my Spirit I will enlighten them, and by my power will I make known unto them the secrets of my will - yea, even those things which eye has not seen, nor ear heard, nor yet entered into the heart of man.” (D&C 76:7-10)

Furthermore, we are told that

It is not only the privilege of every man to be a prophet, but also to be a seer. Brigham Young wrote the following on December 27, 1841: “I met with the twelve at Brother Joseph’s. He conversed with us in a familiar manner on a variety of subjects, and explained to us the Urim and Thummim which he found with the plates, called in the Book of Mormon the Interpreters. He said that every man who lived on the earth was entitled to a seer stone, and should have one, but they are kept from them in consequence of their wickedness, and most of those who do find one make an evil use of it, he showed us his seer stone.” (Millennial Star 26:118)

Behold, the gifts of the spirit are not controlled nor should they be suppressed by mortal men for Nephi tells us, “The way for man is narrow, but it lieth in a straight course before him, and the Keeper of the gate is the Holy One of Israel; and he employeth no servant there; and there is

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none other way save it be by the gate; for he cannot be deceived (as an authority can), for the Lord God is his name. And whoso knocketh to him will he open; and the wise, and the learned, and they that are rich, who are puffed up because of their learning, and their wisdom, and their riches - yea, they are they whom he despiseth; and save they shall cast these things away, and consider themselves fools before God, and come down in the depths of humility, He will not open unto them.” (2 Nephi 9:41-42) We are clearly told that God employs “no servant” (authority) at the gate and the Holy one of Israel alone decides who to give His revelations to. He gives them to those who ask, considering themselves fools before God. Yet our authorities today consist of men who are fairly rich, and learned, and wise in the eyes of the world. Such persons must humble themselves greatly to receive revelation from the keeper of the gate for He cannot be deceived. Yea, the time is verily coming when the prophecy of Jeremiah will be fulfilled: “After those days, saith the Lord, I will put my law in their inward parts, and write it in their hearts, and will be their God, and they shall be my people. And they shall teach no more every man his neighbor, and every man his brother, saying know the Lord: for they shall all know me, from the least of them unto the greatest of them, saith the Lord.” (Jer. 31:33-34) Brigham Young had this in mind when he said, “Is not the time to come when I shall not say to my neighbor, know the Lord, for he will know him as well as I (the President of the Church) do.” (JD 3:89)

Once people reach a certain state of spiritual progression, they do not need to be commanded in all things for the “law” is in “their inward parts.” Eventually all humanity will be full of the Holy Ghost and there will be no more priestcraft.

Indeed the Lord does not want us to lean on the arm of flesh for any man is capable of error. Yet in spite of all this evidence why, oh why, do people trust the fate of their immortal souls as well as their families to the man who leads us? Why do they not question and ask God for revelation

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as to the leaders standing before God? The fact that a man appears righteous before men does not qualify him to be unquestionably followed.

If Balaam, an authorized prophet of the Lord, could be so far amiss that the Lord had to rebuke him through an ass (see Numbers 22), then why do members today rage at the idea that their prophet may be rebuked through a humble man or woman???

The Lord is the highest authority and He can command His servants as it pleases Him for He is the Master of the vineyard, and who is even the president of the Church to question His doings? If an ass can speak the word of the Lord to an authorized prophet, then why not me, you, or any other person God wishes to call?

Remember Moroni 10:4-5.

Copyright 2003 by J.J. Dewey, All Rights Reserved

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