Houses of God pt. 2 “Kirtland”
Section 88 includes the commandment to build the House/Temple in Kirtland.
The reason this is both a House AND a Temple is because they do not need to receive the fulness of the priesthood. To build a House/Temple of God, the church first needs the fulness of the priesthood. Because they already had this, there was no reason to build a House before building a House/Temple.
The main purpose for a House/Temple is to receive sanctification/an endowment therein– yet even in this very same section, God is confirming that the member’s of the church have already had their names recorded in the book of the names of the sanctified. (D&C 88:3)
Now that the church had a large enough membership, and the necessary funds and resources… from this point on, sanctification would only occur between the walls of a House/Temple.
Yet the Kirtland House/Temple was also designated for two more things:
-A solemn assembly.
-The school of the prophets.
7 As also through your administration the keys of the school of the prophets, which I have commanded to be organized;
8 That thereby they may be perfected in their ministry for the salvation of Zion, and of the nations of Israel, and of the Gentiles, as many as will believe;
9 That through your administration they may receive the word, and through their administration the word may go forth unto the ends of the earth, unto the Gentiles first, and then, behold, and lo, they shall turn unto the Jews.
If things went according to plan, the elders of the church would have become perfected in their ministry– for both missionary work and the salvation of Zion– and the solemn assembly would have opened up the dispensation of the fulness of times. If you haven’t guessed, this did not happen.
With this in mind, there’s lots to pick up on as the Doctrine and Covenant presses forward.
3 For ye have sinned against me a very grievous sin, in that ye have not considered the great commandment in all things, that I have given unto you concerning the building of mine house;
4 For the preparation wherewith I design to prepare mine apostles to prune my vineyard for the last time, that I may bring to pass my strange act, that I may pour out my Spirit upon all flesh– [work of the Father in the dispensation of the fulness of times]
5 But behold, verily I say unto you, that there are many who have been ordained among you [to the patriarchal priesthood], whom I have called but few of them are chosen [to the Melchizedek priesthood]
6 They who are not chosen have sinned a very grievous sin, in that they are walking in darkness at noon-day.
7 And for this cause I gave unto you a commandment that you should call your solemn assembly, that your fastings and your mourning might come up into the ears of the Lord of Sabaoth, which is by interpretation, the creator of the first day, the beginning and the end.
8 Yea, verily I say unto you, I gave unto you a commandment that you should build a house, in the which house I design to endow those whom I have chosen [the First Elders] with power from on high;
9 For this is the promise of the Father unto you; therefore I command you to tarry, even as mine apostles at Jerusalem.
10 Nevertheless, my servants sinned a very grievous sin; and contentions arose in the school of the prophets; which was very grievous unto me, saith your Lord; therefore I sent them forth to be chastened.
So as indicated in this section very thoroughly, things are already falling apart. A few months later, by August of 1833, the Saints in the land of Zion (Jackson County) were forced out of their homes.
The Kirtland Saints were given the chance to go and redeem Zion. However, things continued in the downward direction that Section 95 has documented. Zion’s Camp was a failure. Meanwhile, the new and everlasting covenant was broken.
The school of the prophets did not perfect the Saints in their ministry the way it was meant to have.
However, Section 105 gives us a glimpse of hope:
17 … the strength of mine house have not hearkened unto my words.
18 But inasmuch as there are those who have hearkened unto my words, I have prepared a blessing and an endowment for them, if they continue faithful.
19 I have heard their prayers, and will accept their offering; and it is expedient in me that they should be brought thus far for a trial of their faith.
This section also explains to us that, “in consequence of the transgressions of my people, it is expedient that mine elders should wait for a little season for the redemption of Zion–” (D&C 105:9)
This was how things were supposed to go:
1. Build the Kirtland House/Temple
2. Call a solemn assembly
4. Dispensation of the fulness of times ushered in
5. Final warning to the ends of the earth
6. Redemption of Zion
Instead this is what happened:
1. Build the Kirtland House/Temple
2. A solemn assembly occurs, but the Saints as a whole are not sanctified
3. The First Elder’s, however, receive an endowment– their calling and election is made sure
4. Dispensation of the gospel of Abraham ushered in
5. Servants continue in the vineyard until the final warning goes forth
6. Saints are inevitably scattered across the earth– Zion not redeemed
In the dedicatory prayer, Joseph pleaded to God:
22 And we ask thee, Holy Father, that thy servants may go forth from this house armed with thy power, and that thy name may be upon them, and thy glory be round about them, and thine angels have charge over them;
23 And from this place they may bear exceedingly great and glorious tidings, in truth, unto the ends of the earth, that they may know that this is thy work, and that thou hast put forth thy hand, to fulfil that which thou hast spoken by the mouths of the prophets, concerning the last days.
The Kirtland House/Temple is one important place!
According to revelation, it is from “this place” that the final warning will go forth, fulfilling the thing which ancient prophets have prophesied of.
Because this did not successfully occur, we know it is still a future event. Nothing of God’s word will be null and void. Everything that’s been declared in the Word will come to pass. We can be certain that there will be another solemn assembly held in the Kirtland House/Temple. This time around, the dispensation of the fulness of times will open up and Zion will be redeemed.
One last thing before I close up this post and move onto the Nauvoo segment of this series, I want to cover what we know of the future temple in the western boundaries of Missouri, and Section 84 and how that fits in.
People think Section 84 is referring explicitly to the temple in Missouri, which would make sense considering that there has been no commandment to build the temple in Kirtland yet, but with a close look it’s easy to see that Section 84 is talking about something much larger than the context in which it was revealed.
This particular section in the D&C, like many others, could be read over a hundred times and there would still be something profound to discover. I do not doubt that I still have much to learn from the text. It’s very cryptic, and admittedly… quite confusing. I myself, am still on a learning curve, and I am constantly having to re-adjust my paradigm as I uncover new things.
I’m going to try and break down a few of the mysteries I’ve figured out, but there’s always a chance that there is more to what I’m suggesting. Hopefully my ideas may spark something. Like I said, there’s still lots to uncover.
2 Yea, the word of the Lord concerning his church, established in the last days for the restoration of his people, as he has spoken by the mouth of his prophets, and for the gathering of his saints to stand upon Mount Zion, which shall be the city of New Jerusalem.
3 Which city shall be built, beginning at the temple lot, which is appointed by the finger of the Lord, in the western boundaries of the State of Missouri, and dedicated by the hand of Joseph Smith, Jun., and others with whom the Lord was well pleased.
4 Verily this is the word of the Lord, that the city 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.
5 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.
From the sound of it, it does appear as though verse 4 is referring to the temple in the western boundaries of Missouri, but in both that verse and verse 5 it says that the generation in which Joseph Smith lives will not pass away until the temple is built and the glory of the Lord fills it.
Anti-mormons claim this is a failed prophecy. Apologist say that it’s not a failed prophecy, that it was the agency of man that prevented its fulfillment.
I’m going to suggest that it’s actually referring to the future Kirtland temple!
Remember Joseph Smith’s dedicatory prayer? He prayed that, “from this place they may bear exceedingly great and glorious tidings, in truth, unto the ends of the earth.”
D&C 84:4 — “the city of New Jerusalem shall be built by the gathering of the Saints, beginning at this place, even the place of the temple.”
The gathering of the Saints to build the New Jerusalem begins in Kirtland, the place of the temple where the solemn assembly will be held. Kirtland is the modern-day Jerusalem. Joseph Smith refers to Kirtland as Jerusalem in D&C 109:62 and the Lord does the same in 124:36.
Jerusalem/Kirtland needs to be redeemed first. (3rd Nephi 20:34)
THEN… Zion will be redeemed (in Nauvoo, actually) and THEN the New Jerusalem will be built in Missouri.
Back to Section 84:
31 Therefore, as I said concerning the sons of Moses–for the sons of Moses and also the sons of Aaron shall offer an acceptable offering and sacrifice in the house of the Lord, which house shall be built unto the Lord in this generation, upon the consecrated spot as I have appointed–
32 And the sons of Moses and of Aaron shall be filled with the glory of the Lord, upon Mount Zion in the Lord’s house, whose sons are ye; and also many whom I have called and sent forth to build up my church.
Again, it appears that verse 31– in connection to verse 32– is talking about the temple in Missouri. Especially the fact that the acceptable offering and sacrifice occurs in the house that is upon the consecrated spot that the Lord has appointed.
BUT! Earlier that year, we read this in Section 82:
13 For I have consecrated the land of Kirtland in mine own due time for the benefit of the saints of the Most High, and for a stake to Zion.
The consecrated spot that 84:31 is referring to is the consecrated land of Kirtland!
Then in verse 32 it refers to Mount Zion (city of the New Jerusalem) and the temple that will be there.
Section 84 was revealed to God’s, “servant Joseph Smith, and six elders.” (Verse 1)
It is these seven who have offered the acceptable offering unto the Lord in the Kirtland temple and will eventually– in the third watch– be filled with glory on Mount Zion.
As prophesied in Malachi 3, the messenger of the covenant, Joseph Smith, will come suddenly to his (Kirtland) temple– his, because it no longer belongs to the Lord– to redeem Jerusalem and call a solemn assembly to redeem Zion in Nauvoo; as well as sending the missionaries to give the final warning to flee Babylon and join the Saints.
Joseph will purify the Sons of Levi (LDS membership) that there will AGAIN be an acceptable offering unto the Lord in righteousness. (D&C 13)
The LDS church has been given the prepatory gospel to hold the keys of the ministering of angels. Joseph Smith and the First Elders will be the angels they need to assist in this final offering.
My next post will be about Nauvoo. What went wrong, and how it will be fixed; how Nauvoo is in fact the land of Zion that must be redeemed before the New Jerusalem can be built.