“Thus saith the Lord unto you, with whom the priesthood hath continued through the lineage of your fathers— For ye are lawful heirs, according to the flesh, and have been hid from the world with Christ in God— Therefore your life and the priesthood have remained, and must needs remain through you and your lineage until the restoration of all things.” (D&C 86:9)
These words were given to Joseph Smith and Sidney Rigdon. We learn not only that they are descendants of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, but that their identities have been hid from the world. So who were they? The Lord did not reveal their identity during the second watch, but left behind enough clues for the elect to put the pieces together and understand their true identities. It is only until the third watch that the world will know Joseph and Sidney for who they really were when the two of them return to the earth to fulfill their ministry.
The weak things of the world are prophesied to come forth and break down the mighty and strong ones. Although the weak things were called and ordained unto this calling, as recorded in the D&C, it is evident that they did not achieve their mandate during their mortal probation in the 1800’s. Heretics such as myself can only conclude that they must return to the earth.
If you do not accept the unconditional promises and prophecies contained in The Doctrine and Covenants, I recommend you stop reading this post and do as the Lord directs in D&C 1:37.
This post is going to be a long one, so I don’t want to dwell on the scriptural precedents which have led me and others to anticipate Zion’s successful establishment by the same players who laid its foundation over 180 years ago. For more information, refer to an older post of mine: https://themarvelouswork.com/2015/09/07/lds-leadership-pt-3-the-first-elders/
The interesting thing I should mention about that post is that although I had recognized the significance of the term “arm of the Lord” I had not yet directly attributed it to a specific person. Originally I thought it to be Joseph Smith, judging by Section 103:
“Behold, I say unto you, the redemption of Zion must needs come by power; Therefore, I will raise up unto my people a man, who shall lead them like as Moses led the children of Israel. For ye are the children of Israel, and of the seed of Abraham, and ye must needs be led out of bondage by power, and with a stretched-out arm.” (verse 15-17)
It seemed clear that Joseph was the arm, but another verse seemed to fly in the face of this:
“I call upon the weak things of the world, those who are unlearned and despised, to thresh the nations by the power of my Spirit; and their arm shall be my arm.” (D&C 35:13-14)
This verse implies that the arm of the Lord is not a single individual, but manifests itself through a plurality of people. I wrongfully came to the conclusion that the first elders who will redeem Zion each represent the arm of the Lord.
I now understand that the plurality was referring to Sidney Rigdon, to which Section 35 was addressing! The arm of the Lord is both Joseph and Sidney.
My last post, “The Two Lords and the LORD,” had many inaccuracies because I failed to understand that prophecies pertain to Joseph and Sidney interchangeably. Trying to differentiate them isn’t always possible. They will have different roles and appear at different times—which I will elaborate on!—but labelling one as the Davidic king and one as the Davidic servant isn’t as simple as I thought.
What is clear is that these two are the weak things who jointly bring forth the fulness of the gospel.
Lyman Wight, to use an example, is not in the same category. Although he is one of the first elders and will return to the earth to preach the gospel—and likely participate in rending the kingdoms of the earth—he received the gospel, while it appears to me as though Joseph Smith and Sidney Rigdon did not actually need to receive the gospel during their probation in the second watch.
Think about it! For some odd reason, Joseph Smith was able to see God the Father in 1820 without being ordained to the Melchizedek priesthood. And for some odd reason, Sidney Rigdon had been sent forth by God to baptize people PRIOR to being united with the restored church.
Like John the Baptist, Joseph and Sidney are not part of the bride, but friends of the bridegroom/Christ. John the Baptist was deemed by Christ as more than a prophet. This is because John the Baptist was Elijah brought back into the flesh. He was not going through a mortal probation to choose good over evil; he had already proven himself to God as Elijah!
Sidney Rigdon clearly had priesthood authority if God sent him forth to baptize people before being ordained by either Joseph Smith or Olivery Cowdery. How could he have priesthood authority? He had to have received it during his first probation.
“David Patten I have taken unto myself; behold, his priesthood no man taketh from him.” (D&C 124:130)
“The keys of the kingdom shall never be taken from you, while thou art in the world, neither in the world to come.” (D&C 90:3)
The two verses above are each evidence that priesthood holders retain their priesthood and/or keys even after performing their labours and completing their time of probation.
Returning back to Lyman Wight— It was Sidney Rigdon, as a Baptist minister, who originally baptized Lyman and introduced him to the doctrines which would define early Mormonism. Sidney prepared him to receive the fulness of the gospel when it went forth by the hand of Joseph Smith. Lyman was the first to receive the Melchizedek priesthood in early June of 1831, where thereafter he parted the heavens and was able to behold God the Father and the Savior.
Lyman received the fulness of the gospel and was thus ordained to the priesthood which made it possible to see God as a member of the church of God and the bride of Christ.
D&C 84 explains that without the priesthood no man can see the face of God. Moses saw the face of God as recorded in Moses 1 which is an extension of Exodus 19. It is in Exodus 18 that Moses was given the commission by Jethro to teach the ordinances and laws unto the people (verse 20). Clearly, Jethro, as a high priest, knew the doctrine of Christ—handed down by Melchizedek—and performed the saving ordinances on Moses which enabled him to see God in the following chapter.
Joseph Smith did not have the ordinances of the gospel and yet saw God! The experiences of Joseph and Sidney have contradicted the holy word of God unless this is a result of having under gone a previous mortal probation.
If it has been accepted that Joseph and Sidney are the, “weak things of the world,” then it makes sense that Paul writes in 1 Corinthians 1:27 that the weak things of the world had already been chosen by the time Paul was writing his letters! This is because Joseph and Sidney had been foreordained to return to the earth in the second and third watches. Sidney would bring with him more keys than Joseph—but more on that later.
Those familiar with the strange history of Mormonism will no doubt be aware that Jesse Gause had originally been called in Section 81 as a counsellor to Joseph Smith in the Presidency of the High Priesthood but the appointment was short-lived due to apostasy. Instead of providing another revelation, the Lord simply replaced Jesse’s name in Section 81 and replaced it with Frederick G. Williams. What was God trying to tell us by choosing someone he knew would apostatize? I think it’s a clear sign that the third spot within the Presidency of the High Priesthood was to be filled by someone who was experiencing their first probation. In hindsight we understand that Frederick G. Williams was not foreordained the way Joseph and Sidney were. But make no mistake: Frederick is not to be cast aside as a thing of naught! Section 90 informs us that Frederick G. Williams is accounted as equal with Joseph and Sidney in holding the keys of the last kingdom.
The three of them are told: “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. And then cometh the day when the arm of the Lord shall be revealed in power, convincing the nations, the heathen nations, the house of Joseph, of the gospel of their salvation.” (verse 9-10)
During the first watch, the gospel went from the Jews to the Gentiles.
During the second watch, the gospel went from the Gentiles to the Jews through the administration of those who had received the word by the administration of Joseph, Sidney, and Frederick.
At the time of the third watch, the gospel will have the most impact on the Gentiles. Section 90 makes it clear that when the arm of the Lord is revealed in power it will be unto the convincing the house of Joseph of the gospel of their salvation. The descendants of Joseph are part of the Abrahamic covenant, but are Gentiles due to the fact that Joseph likely married a Gentile woman or the prophetic remark of Jacob that the descendants of Joseph’s son Ephraim would become a multitude of nations. (Genesis 48:19)
The arm of the Lord will be revealed; and Joseph and Sidney will no longer be hid from the world. If you return back to the scripture I opened this post with, you will notice that the two of them are hidden from the world with Christ.
Not only are the two arms hidden from the world, but so is Jesus Christ. But when holy arm is made bare in the eyes of all the nations, Jesus will be found in the midst of the New Jerusalem. (3rd Nephi 21:25) Section 103 affirms that during the redemption of Zion the servants of God will be graced with the presence of not only angels but of the Lord himself. (verse 20)
If you’ve read this far and haven’t been scared off by my suppositions that Joseph and Sidney were living a second mortal probation I am sincerely impressed. It only gets crazier. I am about to suggest some radical ideas which many will find blasphemous. All I ask is for the reader to consider what I am saying. It doesn’t matter how big of a heretic you might be; and it doesn’t matter how open-minded you consider yourself— This post will perhaps be the most controversial document you’ve ever read. Simply because… it might just be true?
After taking a year off from blogging—and rarely choosing to peruse the blogs of others—I’ve returned and caught up. I decided to read through my previous 63 postings on this site, to which I was mostly impressed, but also had moments of deep embarrassment. I am prone to error and should not be trusted. If any are to come to the same conclusions as me—which I doubt (at least not until the third watch)—it will not be due to any doing on my part. The elect will uncover the truth in due time of the Lord. The mysteries of God are unfolded by the power of the Holy Ghost, not by an anonymous blogger.
The amazing thing, however, that I’ve discovered about the online Mormon community is that oftentimes in which I read something particularly profound, it is usually regarding something I’d already discovered in my own studies. To see someone else putting my thoughts and impressions into words has given me a quiet assurance that I am not alone and that I am on the right track.
There is much to be gained by sharing our personal perspectives so long as no one is claiming to be a prophet.
Even people we consider completely deluded can be of value in understanding the scriptures more fully if we try and understand their point of view and figure out at which point they erred in doctrine. One wrong turn and there’s no telling what dangerous conclusions one can arrive at based on false assumptions.
I challenge anyone who reads this—and vehemently disagrees—to point out which false assumptions I may have. I will not be discouraged, but encouraged to explain my positions better or to even rethink them entirely. I in fact dubbed this paper as a redux to the post which easily caused me the most embarrassment as I revisited my previous postings.
I was very proud of myself for having put the Elijah controversy, in my mind, to rest. Rethinking my assumptions was a difficult band-aid to rip off, but doing so will always be necessary in the search for truth.
We are not to have a “testimony” of every little thing that pops into our minds. Being dogmatic is what allowed the LDS church to transfigure almost every single doctrine of the restoration. The unwillingness of LDS members to question their beliefs has placed or kept them in a state of, “hidden darkness.” (2nd Nephi 3:5) The darkness is hidden—unapparent to them—because they wrongfully believe themselves to be living in the light of the fulness of the gospel.
The point of this tangent is to prep you for what is now to follow.
When I began this blog I was careful to shy away from delving into the atonement statute of Leviticus 16, mostly because its implications are too bizarre to comprehend let alone explain. Here I am going to dive straight in and do my very best to make as much sense as possible, God permitting.
The train of thought that has led me to write this post began five years ago when I was reading through The Book of Mormon for the first time on my mission. Although I’d read the BoM many times before, on my mission I was then reading it through the lens of someone who believed it to be an authentic record that contained the immutable and perfect word of God. Everything in it had purpose. I hung off every word and took what it said seriously to the fullest extent I could.
I suspect that most readers of the BoM shrug off the things contained in it that don’t make immediate sense to them. What doesn’t fit in with their religious worldview is attributed to wrong-doing on their part. They think the problem is them and that they aren’t understanding the scriptures correctly.
3rd Nephi chapter’s 20 and 21 speak of the marred servant who is the suffering servant of Isaiah 53, who is understood to be Jesus Christ. However, Christ speaks of the suffering servant not as himself but as a man who will declare the fulness of the gospel!
This is the greatest piece of evidence that multiple atonement’s pertain to the plan of salvation. Someone other than Christ would have their, “soul [as] an offering for sin.” (Isaiah 53:11)
Before my mission I had come across the blog onewhoiswatching.wordpress.com and familiarized myself with the controversial belief that the atonement statute of Leviticus 16 was a type and shadow of what occurred with the deaths of Joseph and Hyrum and the subsequent excommunication of Sidney Rigdon. I found the premise interesting but rejected the idea as what I deemed to be a perfect example of “looking beyond the mark.”
Little did I know that one day I would embrace the theology wholeheartedly—and even, perhaps, take it a step further.
When I realized that Christ himself spoke of the suffering servant as a separate individual I had no choice but to consider the possibility that an atonement other than the great, infinite and eternal atonement of Jesus Christ was necessary in God’s plan to bring to pass the immortality and eternal life of man.
As Abinadi taught in Mosiah 14 and 15, Jesus Christ was indeed the suffering servant of Isaiah 53, but this relates to the first watch. When Christ came to the Nephites he declared that all things spoken by Isaiah, “have been, and shall be.” (3rd Nephi 23:3) In other words, Isaiah would be re-fulfilled.
The puzzle of Leviticus 16 is not evidence enough to prove an atonement offering was made in the latter-days, because Leviticus 16 came to fruition even in the meridian of time.
In the atonement statute, three animals are to be sacrificed while one animal remains a living sacrifice to bear the iniquity and be cast into the wilderness.
John the Baptist was the bullock, the first offering.
Judas was the goat to have its blood spilled, while John the Beloved/Revelator was clearly the scapegoat who did not die but lived in exile.
Christ, of course, was the ram/sheep/lamb who accompanies the statute as the burnt offering.
The Bible was immaculately designed to give the deceived a false impression that no further word of God is necessary. However we verily know The Book of Mormon to be an authentic work of scripture. And by believing this to be so we must come to the conclusion that a servant in the last days—who the kings of the world will shut their mouths to—will make his soul an offering for sin. Leviticus 16 therefore comes to fruition in both the first and second watch.
The suffering servant of Isaiah 53 is described as:
an arm of the Lord
One can make a good case that it is Sidney Rigdon. This is because he is a root of Jesse and an arm of the Lord. The marred servant will also “declare” the marvelous work, which seems in line with Sidney’s role as the spokesman (Section 100) to declare what Joseph the seer brings forth as scripture. However, if we look at the atonement statute of Leviticus 16, Sidney is not a lamb, but a goat. He is clearly the scapegoat that does not die but is instead cast off into the wilderness. Rigdon therefore cannot be the suffering servant of the second watch because he is not the lamb of Leviticus 16.
David W. Patten was the bullock, first to die. He was martyred not unlike John the Baptist, and like John the Baptist was called to minister to the Jews as a member of the Twelve whose commission came after the Gentiles rejected the fulness of the gospel.
Hyrum was the goat. Like Judas, Hyrum chose his fate by deciding to turn himself in with Joseph to Carthage jail. And like Judas, it was Hyrum’s actions that lead to the death of the lamb.
The lamb is then Joseph; and as I’ve already established, the scapegoat is Sidney. The scapegoat is cast out of Israel into the wilderness by the hand of a “fit man” which most assuredly was Brigham Young who excommunicated Sidney and took dominion over the kingdom of the Jews.
Joseph even said that he was going to Carthage jail, “like a lamb.” (D&C 135:4)
Evidence that Joseph was offering his soul as an offering for sin is hinted at in the first verse of Section 124, where the Lord says unto Joseph, “I am well pleased with your offering […] for unto this end have I raised you up, that I might show forth my wisdom through the weak things of the earth.”
The other weak thing of the earth is Sidney Rigdon—who, not surprisingly, is told in the very same revelation, “to offer an acceptable offering,” (verse 104) by remaining with the people he clearly knew to be apostate. He carried the burden of their sins when they banished him to consume their lusts and go after other gods than the God of Israel.
In the past I believed the atonement of Joseph and Sidney and others was for the terrestrial souls who refused to be sanctified by the blood of Jesus Christ and instead put their trust in their own works. The latter-day atonement was to preserve the Jews in a preparatory gospel which would enable them to receive a terrestrial glory rather than that of a telestial.
My realization that that the arm of the Lord is both Joseph and Sidney has made me reconsider this. Joseph and Sidney are extensions of the Lord, and the implications of that are too great to ignore. In Section 35, God refers to the weak things—Joseph and Sidney—as his very own arms, and that they will fight in behalf of God. “Their enemies shall be under their feet.” (verse 14)
This is reminiscent of Section 76, where God is to “subdue all enemies under his feet”—but this only occurs in the “fulness of times” when God has “perfected his work.” (verse 106)
God has not perfected his work!
Lehi speaks to his son, Jacob: “I know that thou art redeemed, because of the righteousness of thy Redeemer; for thou hast beheld that in the fulness of time he cometh to bring salvation unto men.” (2nd Nephi 2:3)
Although we can be redeemed and receive the promises of salvation during any point of time within the earth’s temporal existence, this is due to the works of God wrought in the first, second, and third watch. It appears that it is only in the third watch—the fulness of times—that God completes his work of salvation.
Before dying on the cross, Christ’s last words were, “It is finished.” But notably, Christ expounds on this in Section 19: “I partook and finished my preparations unto the children of men.” (verse 19)
Amulek prophesies that the sacrifice which is infinite and eternal will not be a sacrifice of man, implying that what differentiates Christ’s atonement from the atonement of Joseph is that Christ was not a man, he was God. Christ did not have mortal blood! (JST John 1:13) The other important thing Amulek brings up in Alma 34 is that the blood of man cannot atone for the sins of another.
The atonement of Joseph Smith was not to atone for sins, but was because of sins.
Nevertheless, God was manifesting himself through this offering to show forth his wisdom to us in hidden darkness that we may understand how to receive salvation in the dispensation of the fulness of times when it is clear that we have not been sanctified during this time of apostasy.
Ether 12:27: “And if men come unto me I will show unto them their weakness. I give unto men weakness that they may be humble; and my grace is sufficient for all men that humble themselves before me; for if they humble themselves before me, and have faith in me, then will I make weak things become strong unto them.”
If we learn humility and have a saving faith in Christ, weak things will become strong unto us. And what are the weak things? Joseph and Sidney!! Our weaknesses were expertly reflected in the mortals of Joseph and Sidney.
We will not be sanctified until we exercise the same faith as the brother of Jared. (Ether 4:7) Joseph and Sidney exercised this faith but due to the iniquity of the early Saints—and all of us—the weak things were not made strong in the second watch.
When we have rended the veil of unbelief and repented of our iniquity, the weak things of the earth will fulfill their missions and bring salvation unto us, perfecting the work of God.
1 Nephi 11 explains that the condescension of God was his ministry as Jesus Christ in the meridian of time. 2nd Nephi 4 refers to this condescension as one of mercy. 2nd Nephi 9 then lets it slip that there are multiple condescension’s of God.
Section 88 teaches there are three laws: the law of mercy, the law of justice, and the law of judgment. If God’s first condescension was of mercy, does it not make sense to conclude that two more condescension’s would occur, one in the spirit of justice and another in judgment? Is Joseph Smith’s life an example of God’s justice, reflecting unto us the reality of having not accepted the law of mercy through a saving faith?
“We like sheep have gone astray; we have turned every one to his own way; and the Lord hath laid on him the iniquity of us all.” (Isaiah 53:6)
We have not been born of God and continue to sin, and this is a result of not coming unto Christ and accepting the mercy and grace that comes through relying wholly upon the merits of him who is mighty to save.
“If the day cometh that the power and gifts of God shall be done away among you, it shall be because of unbelief. And wo be unto the children of men if this be the case; for there shall be none that doeth good among you, no not one.” (Moroni 10:24-25)
The day prophesied of Moroni has come. We live in a time where the power and gifts of God are not on the earth, where none doeth good. We are not living under the law of mercy. The daily sacrifice of a broken heart and a contrite spirit (D&C 59) has been taken away as prophesied by Daniel.
Joseph Smith did not die that we may be forgiven of our sins. That was accomplished by Christ. However, Joseph took the justice of God upon himself by acting out our sins and dying justly for them. Isaiah 53:11 implicitly states that the marred servant will justify many. It does not state that he will bring mercy and grace.
For committing iniquity the Davidic servant was chastened by God through the stripes of men (2nd Samuel 7:14) and now resides in hell. Through those stripes we have the opportunity to be healed (Isaiah 53:5) but only once the marred servant himself is healed and once again brings salvation to the world through faith in the atoning blood of Christ.
D&C 97:2: “I, the Lord, show mercy unto all the meek, and upon all whomsoever I will, that I may be justified when I shall bring them unto judgment.”
Joseph Smith has justified us that we may be converted and healed by the Lord’s mercy at a further time after having rejected him. This is particularly relevant to those of us who are very likely the descendants of the Jews who collectively crucified Christ and suffer from the curse in which our ancestors put upon us.
“His blood be on us and our children.” (Matt 27:25)
We are only free from generational curses if we seek the Lord with all of our heart and soul and are obedient to his voice. (Deut 4:29-30) Being honest with myself, I’ve concluded that I have not done this. Just as the Jews rejected Christ and the Gentiles rejected him again in the second watch, I too have rejected him. Even during our time of apostasy where the holy order and ordinances thereof are not to be found on the earth, we are still accountable for not rending the veil of our unbelief when we have a knowledge of the fulness of the gospel. It appears in Ether 12:27 that the weak things becoming strong is contingent on us having a true faith Christ.
We are not relying on Joseph and Sidney to save us. They are relying on us! “If there be no faith among the children of men God can do no miracle among them.” (Ether 12:12)
Joseph Smith took the justice of God upon himself on behalf of those that have continually rejected Christ while Joseph himself did not. Having rejected Christ’s infinite and eternal atonement, we definitively deserve the justice of God, but we have been justified by Joseph and will either humble ourselves and become meek to receive mercy, or we will be brought unto judgment.
“The life of my servant shall be in my hand; therefore they shall not hurt him, although he shall be marred because of them. Yet I will heal him, for I will show unto them that my wisdom is greater than the cunning of the devil.” (3rd Nephi 21:10)
The marring and healing of God’s anointed servant is to show forth God’s wisdom! Which is exactly what God relates when he accepts Joseph’s offering in Section 124: “I am well pleased with your offering […] for unto this end have I raised you up, that I might show forth my wisdom through the weak things of the earth.”
The 1828 Webster dictionary defines marring as, “To injure; to hurt; to impair the strength or purity of.”
The purity of Joseph Smith was impaired by the atonement offering he made after the world rejected the sanctifying power he offered. Instead of being translated and leaving the corrupted vineyard behind, he made an intercession, telling the Lord of the vineyard to, “Spare it a little longer.” (Jacob 5:50)
Had Joseph and Sidney gone forth in power during the second watch to put all enemies under their feet, that would have included the entire world and nearly all of the Saints. Right now we are to, “Be subject to the powers that be, until he reigns whose right it is to reign, and subdues all enemies under his feet.” (D&C 58:22)
Curiously, it is in that same revelation that Sidney Rigdon is assigned to consecrate and dedicate the land of Zion for the temple. Why was Sidney given this role and not Joseph? Because this is to be accomplished in the third watch, and it is in the third watch that Sidney will act as Christ/Elias as one who has been identified as an arm of the Lord.
D&C 49:6: “[Christ] will reign till he descends on the earth to put all enemies under his feet, which time is nigh at hand—”
This is clearly another condescension of God. Referring back to the 1828 Webster dictionary, the word condescension is defined as: “Voluntary descent from rank.”
Christ will reign in the heavens until he descends on the earth, and will not reign again until all enemies are subdued.
With that said, will Jesus Christ literally come down to the earth and subdue the enemies? Is not that the duty of the weak things of the earth? What if Christ condescends by virtue of the servants he has deemed as his two arms?
Section 36: “I will lay my hand upon you by the hand of my servant.” (verse 2)
This is a curious doctrine which informs us of Christ’s ability to infuse himself within a mortal to perform the functions of the priesthood. According to Section 84, Esais received the priesthood under the literal hand of God, but with Section 36 in mind it’s clear to see that the hand of God is through the indwelling of Christ in the mortal who performs the ordinance.
What is stopping Christ from indwelling inside tabernacles of flesh during other missions and ordinances?
I do not hesitate to suggest that Christ did in fact dwell in Joseph and shared in his experiences as he acted out the sins we are all responsible for. Due to God’s inability to commit sin, he would need a mortal vessel to understand what it is like to commit iniquity.
When Revelation 11 speaks of the latter-day stage for the two prophets in America, John identifies the location as, “where also our Lord was crucified.” (verse 8)
If you are of the belief that the two prophets will in fact emerge out of America and not the old world it becomes clear that John was hinting that the Lord was not only crucified in in ancient Jerusalem but again in the Jerusalem of the United States—the land surrounding that which has been designated as Zion.
Of course Joseph was not crucified, the favoured practice of the Jews, but killed by the weapons of choice which define the culture of gentile-America. To be gunned down is the contemporary equivalent of being crucified.
Due to the justice of God, Joseph was cast into hell as prophesied by God unto him in Section 122: “The very jaws of hell shall gape open the mouth wide after thee.” (verse 7) However, “He shall see of the travail of his soul.” (Isaiah 53:11)
After God chastens the Davidic servant by the rod of men we are told that God’s mercy does not depart from him. (2nd Samuel 7:15)
Joseph Smith will return to the earth to fulfill his mission. He is the angel of Revelation 7 who has been given the seal of the living God over the twelve tribes of Israel. This angel is described as ascending. Why would Joseph ascend and not descend from heaven? Because he is not in heaven and will be ascending from the deep. (D&C 122:7)
Sidney, on the other hand, will not be ascending in light of the prophecy of Section 49: “He descends on the earth to put all enemies under his feet.” (verse 6)
In the third watch, God will condescend in the person of Sidney Rigdon. After having condescended in mercy as Jesus Christ, in justice through Joseph Smith, he will once again condescend through his second arm in bringing judgment.
Section 124 prophesies that the atonement offering of Sidney Rigdon would result in him lifting up his voice on the mountains.
Isaiah 18:3 speaks of an ensign being lifted on the mountains, which is a clear reference to Sidney. He is the one to raise the ensign, which is elaborated on even further in Section 113. The Root of Jesse is, “a descendant of Jesse, as well as of Joseph, unto whom rightly belongs the priesthood, and the keys of the kingdom, for an ensign, and for the gathering of my people in the last days.” (verse 6)
Because we know Sidney raises the ensign we know that the Root of Jesse is not Joseph.
The root of Jesse holds the priesthood and keys of the kingdom by right, which is why I infer the passage, “until he reigns whose right it is to reign, and subdues all enemies under his feet,” (D&C 58:22) to the man Sidney Rigdon, due to the undeniable evidence that he is the one to raise the ensign.
So the next question becomes: Why does Sidney have a right to the keys of kingdom and not Joseph?
This is because of their true identities as individuals who have lived through a previous mortal probation. Joseph did not receive the keys of the kingdom individually until he received them in 1836. Before that point he held them jointly with Frederick G. Williams by virtue of Sidney Rigdon within the Presidency of the High Priesthood.
It is only once Sidney Rigdon joins the church that the Saints are informed they have the kingdom! (D&C 35:27) Before stating that, two verses earlier it’s said, “Israel shall be saved in mine own due time; and by the keys which I have given shall they be led.” (verse 25)
This puzzled me, because Joseph did not receive the keys to gather Israel until Section 110, but in Section 35 those keys have apparently already been given. But that is because Sidney already held those keys!
Would he have gotten them any other way than Joseph did? I don’t think so.
The final necessary keys of the kingdom are dispensed by Moses and John the Baptist/Elijah (Elias). Although Christ ordained his apostles unto the Melchizedek priesthood, they were visited by Moses and Elias on the mount of transfiguration for reasons not made clear in the New Testament accounts.
In Section 110, Joseph Smith and Oliver Cowdery are visited by the same two angelic prophets, only this time we learn for what purpose. They are given the keys to gather Israel by Moses while John the Baptist commits the dispensation of the gospel of Abraham.
In the past I have assumed that the dispensation of the gospel of Abraham was a downgrade from the fulness of the gospel, but have rethought this completely. The gospel of Abraham is integral to the fulness of the gospel as it pertains to the gathering of Israel under the full authority of the keys of the kingdom.
If my assumption is correct that Moses and John the Baptist were endowing Joseph and Oliver with the same gifts they gave to Peter, James, and John, there is no reason to think the dispensation of the gospel of Abraham represents a lesser dispensation.
The Book of Abraham can be viewed in light of Section 110 to provide the clues necessary in understanding the true meaning behind the elusive gospel of Abraham. The patriarch is told, “Thou shalt be a blessing unto thy seed after thee, that in their hands they shall bear this ministry and Priesthood unto all nations; And I will bless them through thy name; for as many as receive this Gospel shall be called after thy name, and shall be accounted thy seed, and shall rise up and bless thee, as their father.” (2:9-10)
John the Baptist is Elijah who is to turn the hearts of the children to the fathers, so of course it is John the Baptist who commits the dispensation of the gospel of Abraham! But the purpose of it is to bear that ministry and priesthood unto all nations which can only be done through the keys of gathering Israel.
Remember that Section 110 carefully explains that the keys of gathering Israel were given specifically to Joseph and Oliver and the dispensation of the gospel of Abraham is only stated to have relevance to to them respectively.
Returning back to Abraham 2: “This right shall continue in thee, and in thy seed after thee […] shall all the families of the earth be blessed, even with the blessings of the Gospel, which are the blessings of salvation, even of life eternal.” (verse 11)
The Abrahamic gospel has the power to bless the nations with the blessings of salvation of life eternal! This is no preparatory gospel. The gospel of Abraham is synonymous with the fulness of the gospel. Those that received the everlasting covenant of the fulness previous to April 3rd 1836 (Section 110) did so because Sidney Rigdon already held those keys and had been given the Abrahamic commission to bear the ministry, “unto all nations.” (Abraham 2:10)
“As many as shall come before my servants Sidney Rigdon and Joseph Smith, Jun., embracing this calling and commandment, shall be ordained and set forth to preach the everlasting gospel among the nations.” (D&C 36:5)
Until Sidney entered the picture, the church did not have the commission to preach the gospel unto the nations.
Joseph and Oliver were told that their gifts to translate would, “bring to light this ministry.” (D&C 6:28)
What ministry was God referring to? The existing ministry of Sidney Rigdon which both Joseph and Oliver were not yet aware of!
Before Joseph and Oliver received the priesthood by the hand of Elijah—as promised by Moroni (D&C 2)—to organize the Church of Christ, Rigdon had already been sent forth, “even as John, to prepare the way before me, and before Elijah which should come, and thou knewest it not. Thou didst baptize by water unto repentance, but they received not the Holy Ghost.” (D&C 35:4-5) It is assumed that the reason Rigdon did not bestow the Holy Ghost is because he did not have the priesthood authority but I will show this to be false. The following verse reads: “But now I give unto thee a commandment, that thou shalt baptize by water, and they shall receive the Holy Ghost by the laying on of the hands.” (verse 6)
The Lord does not tell Sidney to first be ordained by the authority held by Joseph and Oliver. He is called immediately to begin the laying on of hands for the Holy Ghost. Edward Partridge was thereafter ordained an elder by Sidney Rigdon, even though Sidney himself was never ordained an elder as far as I am aware.
So how did Sidney have the keys of the kingdom? The only sensible explanation is to propose that Sidney Rigdon is John the Beloved, and that he received the keys from Jesus Christ, Moses, and John the Baptist.
Before I explain this I want to turn to JST John 1.
When the Jews ask John the Baptist who he is, he does not deny that he is Elijah, but confesses, “I am not the Christ,” which puzzles them. They ask, “How then art thou Elias [Elijah]?”
The Jews believed Elijah was to be the promised Messiah!
This is why John says, “He it is of whom I bear record. He is that prophet, even Elias.”
John the Baptist refers to Christ as Elias because this is how the Jews will understand. As a true prophet, he is speaking to the people according to their understanding. (2nd Nephi 31:3) This is key in solving the Elias controversy.
Christ says, “Who is Elias? Behold, this is Elias, whom I send to prepare the way before me.” (JST Matt 17:13)
Just as John the Baptist identified Christ as Elijah, Christ identifies all who prepare the way before him as Elijah. But neither are literally Elijah. Elias—the Greek translation of Elijah—is a title promulgated for feeble minds to one day comprehend that which they currently don’t.
Elias will always mean Elijah, but due to the Jews limited understanding—and our own—Elias has become slang for a preparatory servant and for the Christ of all three watches. Jesus was Elias of the first watch; Joseph Smith was Elias of the second; and Sidney Rigdon will be the Elias of the third watch. Section 77 describes the angel ascending from hell as Elias in verse 9 and then refers to John the Beloved as Elias as well in verse 14.
The Lord and his two arms are the restorer of all things. They have all been dubbed as Elias, even though none of them are Elijah as Elias implies.
Section 77: “Q. What are we to understand by the little book which was eaten by John, as mentioned in the 10th chapter of Revelation? A. We are to understand that it was a mission, and an ordinance, for him to gather the tribes of Israel; behold, this is Elias, who, as it is written, must come and restore all things.” (verse 14)
The little book eaten by John was an ordinance that tasted sweet as honey but was bitter in the belly. This is not referring to his role as the scapegoat in both the first and second watch, but as his role as Christ in the third watch. Christ drank from the bitter cup (3rd Nephi 11:11) and when God goes forth as a mighty man (Isaiah 42:13) the man in which Christ indwells will retain the memory of the bitterness Christ suffered.
Once John realizes the bitterness of the ordinance and mission given unto him, it is related to his calling to once again prophesy before many peoples, and nations, and tongues, and kings. (Rev 10:11) Although many are prophesied to preach unto every nation, kindred, tongue, and people, Sidney Rigdon was given a direct commission unto the kings of the earth in Section 124:107 alongside the marred servant (and William Law who will be another great man of the last kingdom).
In Sidney’s patriarchal blessing he is told, “Thou shalt receive an ordination not many days hence which shall surpass all human understanding.” Clearly, Joseph Smith Sen. was filled with the spirit of prophecy! This ordination must have been the mysterious ordinance mentioned in Section 77:14. Christ had to have ordained Sidney—most likely through the instrumentality of Joseph—to be the Christ of the third watch.
If Sidney Rigdon is in fact John the Beloved who restores all things and holds the keys of the kingdom why is Joseph Smith necessary at all? The Rod of Jesse does not have nearly as many qualifications as the Root of Jesse. (D&C 113) The difference between the Rod and the Root is that the Rod is of Ephraim.
Joseph’s mixed lineage of Judah and Ephraim is what makes him entirely necessary.
The apostles asked Jesus after his resurrection, “Wilt thou at this time restore again the kingdom to Israel?” (Acts 1:6) Jesus responded that it was not for them to know the time in which he would do so.
What the apostles understood was that they were descendants of Judah, Levi, and Benjamin—the tribes of the southern kingdom of Judah—and that the keys of the kingdom, which they held, would need to be shared with someone of Ephraim—of the northern kingdom of Israel—according to the words of the prophets.
“For there shall be a day, that the watchmen upon the Mount Ephraim shall cry, Arise ye, and let us go up to Zion unto the Lord our God. […] They shall come with weeping, and with supplications will I lead them. […] For I am a father to Israel, and Ephraim is my first born.” (Jeremiah 31:6-9)
Jacob prophesied that all the tribes of Israel would bow down to the fruit of the loins of Joseph from generation to generation. (JST Genesis 48:10) The apostles knew that a second act needed to take place in which the keys of the kingdom were to be given unto Ephraim. Joseph Smith, a descendant of Ephraim, received these keys, and this is why he holds the seal of the living God over the twelve tribes of Israel, because they are to bow down unto him.
Jacob tells his son Joseph, “For thou shalt be a light unto my people, to deliver them in the days of their captivity, from bondage; and to bring salvation unto them, when they are altogether bowed down under sin.” (JST Genesis 48:11)
This is the role of Joseph Smith, who brings the righteous branch of Israel, “out of darkness unto light—yea, out of hidden darkness and out of captivity unto freedom.” (2nd Nephi 3:5)
Joseph Smith is Joseph of Egypt. Understanding Joseph to be the servant of the vineyard in Jacob 5 indicates that his ministry began long before the first watch, when the wild olive trees (Gentiles) were first grafted into the olive tree of Israel. Joseph Smith did this as Joseph of Egypt by marrying a Gentile woman.
Joseph brings salvation unto men, and began this by first bringing to light an existing ministry, even that of Sidney Rigdon. Sidney is therefore synonymous with salvation. I will also show he represents the kingdom of God and is the embodiment of the new and everlasting covenant.
“I have sent mine everlasting covenant into the world, to be a light to the world, and to be a standard for my people, and for the Gentiles to seek to it, and to be a messenger before my face to prepare the way before me.” (D&C 45:9)
I’ve incorrectly interpreted that passage to refer to Joseph (https://themarvelouswork.com/2017/01/10/the-prophet-pt-1-the-new-and-everlasting-covenant/) but Section 35 makes it clear that it was Sidney who was sent forth, “to prepare the way before me.” (verse 4)
Between Isaiah 11:1 and 41:6 we have all the keywords of Section 45 as it pertains to the Root of Jesse. He is a covenant, a light, a standard, and when he raises the ensign the Gentiles will seek after it.
Although Sidney was sent as John, an Elias-preparer, to prepare the way for Joseph, the Christ/Elias-restorer, in the third watch Joseph is the Elias-preparer to prepare the way for Sidney the Christ/Elias-restorer.
2nd Nephi 2:3: “In the fulness of time he cometh to bring salvation unto men.”
With all of this in mind, in closing let’s turn to Revelation 12 via the Joseph Smith Translation.
This chapter has been endlessly contested and usually raises more questions than provides answers. But with everything I’ve come to realize and now presented in this post, I find the chapter to read smoother than ever before.
Through the lens of the KJV Bible it makes the most sense to interpret the woman travailing in birth as Israel and the child she brings forth as Jesus Christ. But the JST says the woman is the church of God. (verse 7) How could the church of God exist and bring forth Christ when it is Christ who should be bringing forth the church? Therefore, the man-child born of the church is not Jesus. In fact, the text never explicitly purports this. The man-child is said to one day, “rule all nations with a rod of iron,” but is, “caught up unto God and his throne.” (verse 3) The rod of iron, according to 1 Nephi 11:25, is the word of God, and the word of God is Jesus in the flesh. (JST John 1:16)
If you believe the child to be Jesus, verse 3 of JST Rev 12 would then read: And she brought forth Jesus Christ who was to rule all nations with Jesus Christ.
So who could the man-child be?
It has to be John the Beloved, a member of the church of God who was caught up to heaven and did not experience death until the second watch. Jesus remarked cryptically that John would not taste of death until he saw the Son of Man coming in his kingdom. (Mathew 16:28)
John did see the Son of Man [as Joseph Smith] coming in his [John’s/Sidney’s] kingdom before he tasted of death! Keep in mind that the man-child is also referred to as the kingdom of God. (verse 8)
JST Revelation 12:1-5 relates to the first watch. Thereafter, the war in heaven occurs.
Section 50 purports that false spirits have gone forth in the earth, (verse 2) but it is only until Section 52 that we learn that Satan himself is abroad in the land! (verse 14)
This is because Satan was cast down to the earth during the Morley Farm conference which ended the day before Section 52 was given. It was during this conference that Joseph reported, “The man of sin was revealed, and the authority of the melechisedec priesthood was manifested and I conferred, the high priesthood for the first time, upon several of the elders.”
When Satan is cast down to the earth in JST Rev 12:8, the following verse says, “Now is come salvation, and strength, and the kingdom of our God and the power of his Christ.”
The blessings of salvation that accompany the kingdom of God return to the earth on the same day that Satan is cast down! Also keep in mind that the woman is the “church of God” and not the Church of Christ. The Church of God emerged on the earth with the restoration of the Melchizedek priesthood and it is only this church which offers sanctification.
“When the dragon saw that he was cast unto the earth, he persecuted the woman [the Church of God] which [had] brought forth the man-child [in the first watch]. Therefore, to the woman were given two wings of a great eagle, that she might flee into the wilderness, into her place, where she is nourished for a time, and times, and half a time, from the face of the serpent.” (13-14)
The Church of God was nourished for a time, and times, and half a time—or in other words, three and a half years—from the face of the serpent. Forty-two months after salvation came through the Melchizedek priesthood, the Saints broke the new and everlasting covenant. The fulness of the priesthood, in which the Church of God operates, was lost from the earth and Satan overcame the Saints.
“They received not the love of truth, that they might be saved. And for this cause God shall send them strong delusion, that they should believe a lie.” (2 Thess 2:10-11)
“ And now if this generation do harden their hearts against my word, behold I will deliver them up unto Satan.” (Book of Commandments 4:6)
Before the Second Coming, “there shall come a falling away first, and that man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition; who opposeth and exalteth himself above all that is called God, or that is worshipped; so that he as God sitteth in the temple of God shewing himself that he is God.” (JST 2 Thess 2:3-4)
Section 38 informs the church that the enemy is combined with the Saints and that a plan against them, “is had in secret chambers,” to bring to pass their destruction. (verse 13) Brigham Young was intimately involved with Masonry before uniting himself with the restored church. Did a secret combination involve Brigham working his way up the ranks of Mormonism until he took complete control?
Brigham Young would administer the masonic endowment unto the church membership in the corrupted Nauvoo temple. During this ceremony, Brigham would position himself in the role of God. Those initiated into the ceremony are told by Satan, “If they do not walk up to every covenant they make at these altars in this temple this day, they will be in my power!”
Regardless as to how sinister or oblivious Brigham was, the fact remains: God had delivered his people over to Satan. Without the sanctifying power of Christ’s authority, no one will be able to keep the commandments; and thus all who have entered into the covenants made in secret chambers are under the power of Satan.
“When ye shall see these things come among you that ye shall awake to a sense of your awful situation, because of this secret combination which shall be among you.” (Ether 8:24)
Awakening to a sense of this awful situation is the first step in removing oneself from the false traditions of our fathers. The next step is to learn the true nature of God, and thus begin to exercise a true faith in Christ which will bring about the miracles and works of God that will usher in the fulness of times and the redemption of Zion.