Teachings of Presidents: Joseph Smith

I reviewed again the contents of the book “Teachings of Presidents of the Church: Joseph Smith” this morning. This is the text for our course of study this year and next in our Priesthood quorums and in Relief Society meetings. It is a wonderful thing that the church has prepared and made this book available to the members of the church for our personal study. In my opinion, it is better organized than “Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith” compiled by Joseph Fielding Smith and first published by Deseret Book in 1938.

Several people have pointed out that the book contains nothing on the doctrine and practice of plural marriage. It is mentioned in passing on page 22: “…in 1843 the Prophet dictated the revelation that describes the eternal nature of the marriage covenant. The doctrines in this revelation had been known by the prophet since 1831. As commanded by God, he also taught the doctrine of plural marriage.” That’s it – the only reference to plural marriage in the book.

It was obviously intentional to leave this out since it is not a doctrine that is currently taught by the leadership or practiced by the membership of the church. Of course the doctrine was clearly taught and the law practiced by leaders and some members of the church up until 1890. The best source for understanding the discontinuance of this practice can be found in Declaration 1 in the Doctrine and Covenants. Even 118 years after it was abolished, Polygamy continues to be the single most common search term and word association with the church.

I am currently studying signs of the Second Coming in my personal gospel study so I read with interest chapter 21 in the book, “The Second Coming and the Millenium.” I noted in particular one of my favorite quotes from the prophet on this subject as recorded by Willard Richards in the History of the Church, 5:337. It was taken from a discourse delivered by Joseph Smith on 6 April 1843 in Nauvoo Illinois. It can be found on page 252-253 in the current course of study:

“There will be wars and rumors of wars, signs in the heavens above and on the earth beneath, the sun turned into darkness and the moon to blood, earthquakes in divers places, the seas heaving themselves beyond their bounds; then will appear one grand sign of the Son of Man in heaven. But what will the world do? They will say it is a planet, a comet, etc. But the Son of Man will come as the sign of the coming of the Son of Man, which will be as the light of the morning cometh out of the east [see Joseph Smith – Matthew 1:26].”

I have taken a particular interest in Joseph’s description of the one grand sign, the one that everyone in the world will see. He said that the world will say that it is a planet or a comet. Why will the people of the world describe it as a planet or a comet unless that is what it will look like? I think we can surmise from Joseph’s comment that the great sign of the Second Coming of the Lord is indeed a planet that comes very close to the earth in the last days. In fact, I wonder if it will come between us and the sun, thus shall the sun be turned into darkness. Who knows?

I just think it is interesting and something to think about. What do you think is the sign of the coming of the Lord? Will it be a planet or a comet?

0 comments for “Teachings of Presidents: Joseph Smith

  1. Sharon
    April 3, 2008 at 5:11 am

    Hi Tim:In answer to your question about whether the grand sign will be seen as a planet or comet, I invite you take a look at some VERY interesting material I found today:http://yowusa.com/video/survivng/1.shtmlMarshall Masters is a former CNN science feature field producer and thus is quite familiar with this subject.I believe that the Spirit has whispered to me from time to time over the years that something BIG was on its way here and we would be feeling its effects very soon.Something to research, ponder and pray about, for sure…Best Regards,Sharon IezziPlease visit my Blog:http://www.fearless-reader.com

  2. Tim Malone
    April 3, 2008 at 8:10 am

    Hi Sharon,I reviewed the yowusa site and watched all five videos. I confess that I had never heard of planet X theory before, or if I had, then I had dismissed it long ago.For an opposing viewpoint, visit Phil Plait’s Bad Astronomy site:http://www.badastronomy.com/bad/misc/planetx/I concur that something BIG is on its way here. The question is, will it be in our lifetime? The projected 2003 appearance of Planet X has come and gone.Supposedly, according to Planet X theorists, we won’t see the 2012 appearance until seven months before it arrives. We shall see.

  3. Rick
    April 29, 2008 at 7:28 pm

    Sharon / TimPerhaps you’ve seen it. http://www.mormonprophecy.com Waaaay interesting.Allpresson

  4. Tim Malone
    April 29, 2008 at 8:07 pm

    Hi Allpresson,I am very familiar with Anthony Larson’s work. I have all his books and have reread them all recently. I have also viewed and embedded his YouTube videos on this blog. Anthony and I started a correspondence after he commented on one of my earlier blog posts. I have since written a half dozen posts on his work.Sadly, few people seem to be interested in his deep and intensive research on ancient prophecy and symbolism. Click on the Anthony Larson label on the side of my blog for more posts on his excellent and as yet unappreciated work. As you say, it is indeed waaaay interesting.

  5. Anonymous
    May 10, 2008 at 11:28 am

    Hello all, I want to comment on the sign of the coming of the Son of Man. I swear to you complete honesty. Over a decade ago after a medical mishap I had a near death experience. For months after I had a drastic increase in psychic sensitivity and had a very vivid dream that is too detailed to get into other than to say in it our earth was riddled with earthquakes and our skies with meteorites and in our red sky was visible a large globe glowing hot with some molten rock and an atmosphere that seemed to wrap around it and it seemed as if I could see that it was pulling the earths atmosphere slightly and curling it into its own. Now this was not hitting us. It was passing by. There were many other details to the dream but for time reason’s I want to share this part to help raise the warning voice. I left the dream alone yet it bothered me for years then a few months ago I had it again. I jumped up and went to my computer and started to Google word like red, planet, near miss to earth planet,ect. that is when for the first time I began to read about planet x,Nibiru,Eris,Marduck,whatever the name may be. A chill spread over me as I saw the first photos of the planet and read it was on a 3600 year elipse around the sun.It was a spot on match to my dream.I got major chills! Not from fear. I was NOT scared. It was REVALATION. It felt calm and almost like relief that I had finally found an answer. I share this with you and open myself to criticism but I will do what the church does. I am not going to ask you to believe me. I did my own independent research since that day. Go do yours. Pray about it and get your own answers. I know you will be answered if you ask in true faith. I also know the answer I got! With Love and Hope. Shelly

  6. Tim Malone
    May 10, 2008 at 7:58 pm

    Hi Shelly,You’ll get no ridicule or criticism here – nothing but love and appreciation for others who are willing to share things that are sacred to them. That was a fascinating dream – very vivid.You may be interested in reading what I wrote in this post about the Ten Tribes. In it you will find a quote attributed to Joseph Smith that almost exactly describes what you saw in your dream. Click on the “Last Days” tag on the right of my blog for more essays about this subject.Yes, there are many who say we are crazy to believe such things. I appreciate your courage in sharing. I too have studied this out and have come to my own conclusions about this foretold event – the return of a large planet. I equate this with the sign of the coming of the Son of Man – the return of the Savior Jesus Christ.You are not alone. Let them call us weird. We know what we know. The prophets have been warning us to be prepared for as long as the Church has been established. We go quietly about our lives, knowing that this may not happen in our lifetime, but that it will happen. It will indeed be catastrophic.

  7. Anonymous
    September 9, 2008 at 7:49 am

    Living in the Fulness of TimesPresident Gordon B. Hinckley 171st Semiannual General Conference, October 2001The vision of Joel has been fulfilled wherein he declared:”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, your old men shall dream dreams, your young men shall see visions:”And also upon the servants and upon the handmaids in those days will I pour out my spirit.”And I will shew wonders in the heavens and in the earth, blood, and fire, and pillars of smoke.”The sun shall be turned into darkness, and the moon into blood, before the great and the terrible day of the Lord come.”And it shall come to pass, that whosoever shall call on the name of the Lord shall be delivered: for in mount Zion and in Jerusalem shall be deliverance, as the Lord hath said, and in the remnant whom the Lord shall call” (Joel 2:28–32).

  8. Tim Malone
    September 9, 2008 at 11:44 am

    Thanks anonymous,For more detail, see my essay Has the prophecy in Joel 2:31 been fulfilled?

  9. Anonymous
    September 9, 2008 at 1:17 pm

    Whoa, you disagree with Pres. Hinckley’s stating in his conferance talk that the prophecy has been fulfilled?

  10. Tim Malone
    September 11, 2008 at 6:36 am

    I have no doubt that President Hinckley was right when he said that the vision of Joel had been fulfilled. I believe he was referring specifically to verses 28 and 29. I do not believe that verses 30 and 31 have been fulfilled.It is my personal opinion that we have not yet seen the fulfillment of the part about the moon into blood. Why? Because each occurrence of the moon looking red so far has been a localized event.

  11. Michael
    September 22, 2008 at 11:49 pm

    My wife had a very vivid dream the other night. In it a huge planet flew by, and she heard someone call it planet X. There are far too many details to put here, but the physics and details were way beyond my wifes current knowledge. We believe it was more than a dream.

  12. Tim Malone
    September 24, 2008 at 9:11 am

    Michael, shoot me the details in an email – the address is right at the top of my blog. I’m very interested in the details.

  13. Ammon's Dream
    February 11, 2009 at 6:33 am

    Very interesting forum that you have.The stories that are shared are simply amazing.Would love to share this link.Hope you enjoy-http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=T-8xMsFdTjcWarm Regards-Ray

  14. fbidri
    May 9, 2009 at 12:14 pm

    The course of the Lord is one eternal round. A gentle light appeared in the heavens at the time of the Savior’s birth. The infant was a light unto the world. It is reasonable to believe from revelation the Savior’s return will be a “Great and Terrible” day. Therefore, the Grand Sign will also be great and terrible. To refer to the Grand Sign as “Planet X”, “Nibiru” or other name is deception.Let’s take it to the next level: read carefully in JSH as he relates Moroni’s visit. It is written in italics where Moroni uses the phrase, “They that come to burn…” Read also in 2Nep. as Nephi quotes Isaiah, “The Lord mustereth the Hosts…they come from a far country, from the end of Heaven. Lastly, re-read Jer. 16:16. The Lord will send fishers and they will fish them (we know who the fishers are, we’re raising our sons to be missionaries) then the Lord will send Hunters and they will hunt them. (Who are the hunters?) Read the next verses, they are hunted because of their sins. They will be hunted from the caves of the rocks.Stay with me here:Now, read in the Ether where he states, “When ye shall awaken to your awful situation…” regarding secret combinations. Realize that when you awake, you recognize that our Gov’t is driven by secret combinations. One of the greatest deceptions is to conceal the Signs of the Times by scientific reason when in fact they are making preparations to survive the latter-day events and have constructed underground military bases (or caves)Modern revelations have called the Hunters by another name, “The Destroying Angels”. In fact, it has been revealed the Destroyers are pleading with the Father to unleash them to destroy the wicked. Re-read the parable of the wheat and the tares. The Saints are literally sown among the wicked so wake up and cast off the chains by which ye are bound.It seems to me, the House of Israel was delievered by what has been called the Destroying Angel. But this is only a record of a people commanded to mark their doors and pull the curtains and stay within their home and to not look out. How else would they have described the event? So it was the marks on the door that protected them from the Destroyer. At this point, suffice to say, when we are confronted by the Destroyers at some future time, will we have the blessings of our endowment to identify us as a Saint of the Most High?So what do I think is coming? Our Gov’t is consumed by secret combinations as clearly stated in scripture and modern revelation and they have designed a course that will have our nation in a state of martial law prior to the point the Grand Sign is visible to the naked eye. Then, when the catastrophes begin, the Gov’t and New World Order will consider themselves safely underground and the Saints and the rest of the world will be left to fend for themselves. It will be a terrible time, as prophecy states, it will cause the strongest to close their eyes, to pray unceasingly and that it will test the integrity of the strongest. The prophets have also said, “Blessed are they that look forward to the Coming of the Son of Man”Well, that’s pretty much my story. A new Sun, an invasion and the destruction of Satan’s government. There is so much to know and prepare for but be of good cheer.

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