Nephi Prophecy pt. 2.5 “All is Well in Zion”
I am now going to take a break from my Nephi series, to talk about several things I feel need to be covered. In my last couple posts I realized that I was making three assumptions about the readers.
First, that they already know Section 132 is false.
Second, they do not believe in the current LDS endowment.
And thirdly, that they understand the doctrine of the three watches.
This post will address and hopefully clarify these three topics.
From 1829 to to late 1834, Joseph Smith had translated the Book of Mormon, received over a hundred canonized revelations, and translated the entire Bible– all the while building towns, a temple, raising a family, running a church, writing letters, traveling from place to place, gathering the Saints from across America, proclaiming the gospel, giving sermons, being persecuted, getting tarred and feathered, etcetera, etcetera…
In the short span of five years, Joseph had literally received thousands of revelations from God. Not one of these revelations contradict one another. He worked mighty miracles and was able to do what no man can possibly do without the power of a higher source. So was it God or was it the devil?
Jesus answers this in Mathew 12:26
And if Satan cast out Satan, he is divided against himself; how shall then his kingdom stand?
This scripture says it best. Although Satan has power to work many wonders and miracles, his works are the works of darkness. They cannot be miracles of light and truth, and everything Joseph Smith said and did in the early years of his ministry were exactly that; and, “light and truth forsake that evil one.” (D&C 93:37)
Clearly the Restoration was not the work of man, neither could it be the work of the devil. It was the work of God. The sprit led Joseph every step of the way. He was a prophet of God in every sense of the word.
Yet many would disagree. And why? From 1829 to 1834 there is nothing about his life that would give any impression other than that he was a servant of God, a true disciple of Christ. Those opposed to prophets and priesthood, and extra-biblical scripture, would have no reason to justify their rejection of what Joseph accomplished, by judging him through the lens of that five-year gap of time. But because of the things he did in his later years, especially in Nauvoo, they can feel safe in sticking with the Bible and apostate Christianity.
Before I understood Joseph’s prophetic call, I myself simply believed that he was a fraud. At best, he was a spiritual mystic in a world of his own– at worst, possibly a sexual predator?
As I grew up and became an adult, I found myself re-learning about my Mormon heritage in which I had disassociated myself from since being a teenager. Intrigued by his controversial life, I actually planned on writing a novel about him. Yet while doing research on the historical background, I suddenly became obsessed. Nothing about Joseph Smith added up. Suddenly, the novel I wanted to write became completely irrelevant. I wanted the truth.
So-called “anti-mormons” have a greater knowledge of the events in his life compared to any of the LDS attendees. But they do not have answers. They cannot give the full story. As an example, Grant Palmer was once asked at a Q&A who else was “in” on Joseph Smith’s great deception. Was Emma? Joseph’s brother, Hyrum? What of his sisters? His dad? Sidney Rigdon?
The level of conspiracy that had to have occurred grows bigger and bigger the more the historical record is evaluated. Grant Palmer’s response was that he simply did not know…
The reasons people doubt Joseph are usually for good reasons. Palmer, for instance, has great integrity and I do respect him. I appreciated his perspective as I learned more and more about the origins of modern-day Mormonism.
But I myself was not willing to write Joseph off as an imposter until I knew exactly what had happened from 1805-1844.
Either I could reject the amazing fruits of Joseph’s life, forget the loose ends, and cling to the abominations he played role or participated in– or… I could accept his miraculous life and all its implications. Opening up to the possibility that Joseph was who he said he was, is the journey of a lifetime.
I highly recommend it.
It’s brought me close to God and given me an assurance that he truly knows all things. As I’ve put my trust and commitment in Christ, allowing the Holy Spirit to be my one and only guide, I’ve learned so much about the world and myself. I know the reality of Satan and I know the power of God. I’ve found freedom in knowing who the true and living God really is.
A knowledge of why Joseph Smith was called to be the last-day servant of God is essential. Knowing the truth about his life is pivotal.
There are people on all sides of the spectrum.
You can listen to the Price’s make the amazingly believable case that Joseph Smith never practiced polygamy, and that he was a victim of conspiracy.
On the other hand, you can listen to Brian C. Hales explain convincingly why polygamy is the law of heaven and that Joseph had the spirit with him every day till his last breath.
You can listen to Denver Snuffer’s musings on how polygamy was meant to be symbolic of a patriarchal family of God; and that Brigham Young reinvented it for his own purposes.
Of course, you can also listen to a hosts of voices that can justify all reason to conclude that Joseph Smith was a liar, fiend, devil, adulterer, etc.. But which of all of these are the truth? There are adherents to all these trains of thinking.
To those seeking the truth, they might have noticed that there is a pattern to these examples I provided.
The Price’s refuse to accept that the LDS church is true. Brian C. Hales refuses to accept that the LDS church has ever gone off-course. Denver Snuffer refuses to accept that Joseph Smith ever did anything wrong.
The pattern is that they are not seeking the ultimate truth. They only defend the truth they already espouse. They each are setting out to prove something. They scourge through the historical records trying to find anything that supports their position. Doing this, they close themselves off from what God has in plain sight.
What if everything you needed to know was in God’s word? If he knows everything past, present, and future, certainly he would know the controversies that would surround Joseph Smith in the last days. What if he has given all the answers we need? Before I decided to serve a mission (late at age 23) I was tossed to and fro by the opinions of man.
Clinging to my very confused testimony– which I’d found while doing the research I’d intended for a novel I wanted to write– I went back to church and put in my mission papers.
It was only until I got on a mission that I was able to put aside all the things I’d heard and read from other people. I finally sat down and read the scriptures. If you honestly read the four standard works, without trying to prove and defend your pre-conceived notions, I can promise you that the light will come flooding in.
The most curious thing about Joseph Smith and his prophetic ministry was that after five years of revealing the most grand truths contained in the gospel of Jesus Christ, he stopped receiving revelation. The heavens began to close.
Between 1839 and 1844– the last five years– there were only two revelations. (Not including the epistles Joseph wrote in Liberty Jail.) Compare that to the thousands of revelations in his first five years!
Was the church progressing or had it fallen into temptation? (D&C 20:33)
Instead of receiving revelations and Sidney Rigdon reading them, proving them, and bringing them forward to the Saints– the protocol God commanded– Joseph Smith stopped bringing forth revelation altogether. He gave sermons instead. Essentially all quotes that we have from Joseph Smith were recorded in Nauvoo.
God never had a lot to say, but Joseph sure did.
The entire church changed.
The church in Nauvoo was a different church than the one in Kirtland. It was no longer led by revelation. It was no longer led by the Spirit of God.
In Kirtland, they believed in an unchangeable God, and the principles of the gospel as contained in the Bible and the Book of Mormon. Everything Joseph Smith did or said was measured up against the word of God.
The church in Nauvoo did the opposite. In fact, the Saints there would eventually go on to believe that God was a man who had once lived on another planet. They looked to the words of their prophet, instead of the oracles of God. They involved themselves in secret societies, death oaths, and a secret commandment to take multiple wives.
The last legitimate revelation received by Joseph Smith was section 124. In it, the commandment was given to build the Nauvoo House and the Nauvoo Temple. If they did not do these things by the end of God’s appointment to do such, they were told that, “ye shall be rejected as a church.” (D&C 124:32)
If anyone had taken God’s word seriously, they would have realized what was happening in Nauvoo.
God had rejected the church.
The temple would never be completed. The Saints were too busy building masonic lodges and expensive, brick houses.
The psychopathic Joseph Smith in Nauvoo was the judgement of God on the idolatrous House of Israel. They once again trusted in the arm of flesh, instead of God, and look where it landed them. They were told in Section 124 that if they were obedient, they would not be moved out of their place in Nauvoo. (verse 45)
When the time came to peace out into the desert, it should have been obvious that the Saints were not being obedient. The reason they didn’t know better was because they weren’t reading the revelations of God; they were letting their imaginations run wild. They were preoccupied with the new theology that God was once a man and that they could be a god themselves. They were busy trying to memorize the endowment. They were busy marrying each other!
Just like Aaron had presented the children of Israel the golden calf, Joseph Smith presented the Saints section 132. The prophets give the people what they want and what they deserve.
The phony revelation inspired of Satan on “eternal marriage” was a curse that God allowed to take place. Because the church was rejected, it was no longer safe from the adversary. God had truly delivered the church over to Satan, just as he had warned in section 4 of the original Book of Commandments:
6 … if this generation do harden their hearts against my word, behold I will deliver them up unto Satan… and my word shall be verified at this time as it hath hitherto been verified.
The Saints no longer deserved a true prophet. They failed at ushering in the dispensation of the fulness of times. They did not build the temple to receive the fulness of the priesthood, which is absolutely necessary to discern false spirits and bring about Zion.
Of course, this is not what the church teaches.
They would have you believe that Zion is being built across the world.
That the temple in Nauvoo was completed; we’re in the dispensation of the fulness of times; and that Joseph Smith, or any prophet for that matter, couldn’t possibly do anything wrong and lead the Saints astray.
Behind closed doors, in the Salt Lake City temple, the Mormon elite of the world receive a secret ordinance in secret chambers which is called the second anointing. This, they teach, is the fulness of the priesthood.
The church believes they have the power to build Zion, and that they are doing such. If this is true, then the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints is literally God’s kingdom on earth. If this is true, then I would be guilty of the malignant sin of blasphemy toward God. Deciding whether or not the LDS church truly is God’s kingdom established on earth should be the biggest decision of your life. This is your eternal salvation. Is the church true?
I can prove that it’s not in one fatal swoop.
It is false. When you know that it is false, the rest will fall into place. I know that it is false because it contradicts the Bible, it contradicts the Book of Mormon, it contradicts the revelations in the D&C– it even contradicts itself!
Section 132 is one big, fat, lie. Because the church was fooled into accepting it, I know that the church was in fact rejected of God. Though the LDS church plays an incredible role in the last days, it is not what it claims itself to be. Everything that happened in Nauvoo with polygamy, the masonic endowment, and Joseph Smith’s departure from Biblical Christianity, can be cast aside. Section 132 makes it really easy to realize that the whole thing fell apart by 1842.
Because God is omniscient and all-knowing, God knew that the church would fall into apostasy. There are hundreds of scriptures that prophesy of the latter-day falling away, and of the downfall of the last, great prophet. All you have to do is pray to God for understanding and open the scriptures and you’ll find them.
An important doctrine is understanding that there are three watches.
JST Luke 12:
41 For, behold, he cometh in the first watch of the night, and he shall also come in the second watch, and again he shall come in the third watch.
42 And verily I say unto you, He hath already come, as it is written of him; and again when he shall come in the second watch, or come in the third watch, blessed are those servants when he cometh, that he shall find so doing;
The first watch was Jesus’ perfect life and death and resurrection.
The second watch was Joseph Smith’s ministry in which Jesus Christ was on the earth for the time in which his church was established up until it was rejected.
The third watch is next.
All is not lost.
Even though the church was rejected, even though Joseph Smith lost his mind, even though the Saints have been deceived, God has a plan for his elect. The third watch will save the day.
As long as you are taking the Holy Spirit as your guide and treasuring up the word of God, you will be prepared.
As you delve through these hidden things of darkness, you will discover a world of lightness.
Jesus Christ has died for you, and he’s coming back in the third watch to claim his own.
“Blessed are those servants whom the lord when he cometh shall find watching.”
Are you watching for him?
Let your loins be girded about, and your lights burning.