A Time of Reflection, Part Five


I accepted a covenant the Lord offered in September of 2017. I rejoiced on that day and continue to marvel that we have been offered this covenant opportunity. Even the people of Joseph’s day were not offered and therefore did not receive this covenant. In fact, they were condemned and rejected by the Lord because they treated lightly the Book of Mormon, which God always intended to offer as a covenant to His people.

This is part five of a seven part series on remembering what the Lord has given us over the past few years. I have covered the Davidic Servant, New Scripture, the work of the Scripture Committee, Baptism or Re-baptism and now the new Covenant of 3 Sep 2017. There is nothing new in these posts that hasn’t been previously revealed, discussed and written about across the blog posts of many individuals since they first came forth.

I felt the need to ponder and reflect on the previous five areas as a means of preparing myself for the upcoming General Conference to be held in Western Colorado on 19-21 April 2019. The subject is generally preparing for the temple, but will include many more areas such as the ones I have already covered, fellowships, teaching your children, and  seeking to recover the lost sheep remnant of this land in preparation for building Zion.

A New Covenant

From scriptures.info, Teachings and Commandments, Appendix, Glossary of Terms:

Covenant

Man does not make covenants with God. God offers a covenant, and people either accept or reject God’s offer. But until God offers, mankind can do nothing to create a covenant with or for God.1

The Book of Mormon is intended by God to be a covenant. In it we have examples of covenant making provided to us so we can understand the process. The covenant offered through the Book of Mormon has never been received by any people until the Boise Conference in 2017. When the 1835 conference adopted scriptures, they adopted only the Doctrine & Covenants and not the Book of Mormon.

The Book of Mormon, as an offered covenant to the gentiles, is an essential step required for the gentiles to become numbered with the remnant and obtain the right to inherit the promised land. If it is not received as a covenant by the gentiles, they have no right to be here on this land or on any other land of promise.2

Paragraph 9 of Lecture Sixth says, And in the last days, before the Lord comes, he is to gather together his saints who have made a covenant with him by sacrifice. This event will be in the “last days” but still “before” His Second Coming. The wording is important. A covenant will be made “by” sacrifice, and not a covenant “to” sacrifice. Only through actually sacrificing is it possible to obtain a covenant with the Lord.3

To know the Lord is to have a covenant with Him.4

 

zion-city-of-enoch

The Lord Requires a Covenant People

A few more salient thoughts from the Covenant post (#2 above):

“…there is a profound difference between saved individuals and a covenant people. The covenant promises to restore Israel and its remnants contained in the Book of Mormon is not fulfilled merely by individuals, but requires a covenant people who have united to receive the covenant people status.

Zion and the New Jerusalem are a place, occupied by covenant people, and not something an individual can be or become. People who gather there will all need to be individually redeemed, individually penitent, individually connected to God, but will only belong to the community if they belong to the covenant and are of one heart and one mind and have all things in common between and among them.

“We are all allowed to pursue a relationship with God apart from others. There will be those who are willing to accept a covenant and become numbered with the remnant. In the end, it is better if only a very few receive covenant status who are united in mind and heart than to have a larger body that includes the fearful, the doubtful and the skeptical.

“Taking this offered step will not immediately change anything other than the identity of those gentiles who receive it. It will be years before the process of sweeping away those who are not entitled to the land will begin in earnest.”

And from A Covenant With the King, 2 April 2014:

“The Lord saves, but uses covenant-making as a part of His process. We don’t get to make covenants, but we do get to accept them if the Lord offers them to us. It must be the Lord’s offer and our acceptance for it to have effect.”

expulsion-from-nauvoo

The Church Under Condemnation and Rejected

And from a post entitled “Teaching,” 24 March 2017, we read:

“No one is required to accept the Lord’s invitation. But if accepted, the covenant needs to be kept. No one other than the Lord will enforce the covenant. But He has at His disposal lightning, pestilence, famine and earthquakes. (D&C 43:25.) He has warned of a coming time when there is burning, desolation and lamentation. (D&C 112:24.) He has always planned to have covenant people survive that with His protection.”

“In 1832, the incipient restoration movement Joseph Smith was laboring to establish was condemned by the Lord. The nascent Mormonite movement (as it was then called) was rebuked by the Lord. He told them their minds were darkened because they treated lightly what had been given to them. They were plagued with unbelief. He condemned them and warned they would remain under His condemnation until they repented, and not only said but did what the Book of Mormon and other commandments directed them to do. (D&C 84:54-57.) Among other things, they were required to “bring forth fruit meet for their Father’s kingdom.” (Id. v. 58.)

“By 1841, the earlier condemnation had not been cured. The Lord threatened them again, warning they would be “rejected as a church, with your dead.” (D&C 124:32.) He gave a sign to them: If they repented, He would come to their planned but unbuilt temple and restore the fulness which they had lost. (Id. v. 28.) He would not let anyone move them out of that place. (Id. v. 45.) But if they would not obey Him, then they would, “by your own works, bring cursings, wrath, indignation and judgments” upon themselves. (Id. v. 48.) They failed to do as He commanded. They were moved out of their place. They failed to receive the fulness from Him. They suffered wintertime expulsion, hunger, famine, pestilence and the judgments of God upon them.”

mormons-expelled-from-missouri

The Lord Offered, the Saints Refused

“…in 1832 the gentile saints were condemned for vanity and unbelief because they treated lightly the things they had received, and they were warned by you that they would remain under condemnation until they repent and remember the new covenant, even the Book of Mormon and the former commandments, not only to say, but to do.”

“You commanded the gentiles that they bring forth fruit meet for their Father’s kingdom, and if they failed to do so, there remained a scourge and judgment to be poured out upon those who claimed to be the children of Zion. They failed to bring forth the required fruit, and were judged and scourged, and then violently driven out of Jackson County, Missouri.

“In 1841 you mercifully extended another opportunity to the gentile saints to repent and return… [but] …if the gentiles did not do the things you commanded, at the end of the appointment we would be rejected as a church… But the secret works of darkness multiplied, and the gentile follies did not end, and they practiced secret abominations in violation of your commandments and in defiance of your warnings.

“The wickedness of the gentile saints dismayed the people of Illinois who had welcomed them, and provoked the anger of their indignant neighbors, who then implemented your judgments against the rebellious saints. The former gentile saints were driven into the wilderness, and relocated into a desolate land, where they suffered hunger, cold and sickness.”

joseph-f-smith-family

Openly Practiced Abominations

“In that isolation the gentile leaders were emboldened to openly practice abominations and wrongly teach the people to call them sacraments, as they reigned with blood and horror over the people. Secret murders, open defiance, and the slaughter of over 200 men, women and children fixed the anger and opposition of the entire United States, who were moved by your will to curtail the barbarism of the gentile saints.

“Even today the gentile saints justify lying to others as part of their religion believing you will vindicate them in their dishonesty. They seek deep to hide their counsel from others, and now deny your judgments against their ancestors, claiming you have never rejected them. They have, as you foretold, spoken both good and evil of your prophet Joseph. They ascribe many of their wicked practices to Joseph … the gentile saints have grown distant from you because of their willful rebellion, pride, foolishness and blindness.”

Source: Prayer for Covenant: http://scriptures.info/scriptures/tc/section/156

jesus-kirtland-temple

“I commend your diligent labor, and your desire to repent and recover the scriptures containing the covenant I offer for the last days. … your effort to recover them pleases me and is of great worth. … There is great reason to rejoice because of the work that has been done. …what you have gathered as scriptures are acceptable to me for this time… now I will accept what you have produced…”

Replacement for Section 110

“You have eliminated the account of the revelation of April 3, 1836 [D&C Section 110]. Therefore add the following account to your record:

On the third day of April 1836, Joseph and Oliver were in the temple in Kirtland, Ohio. The veil was taken from their minds and the eyes of their understanding were opened. They saw the Lord in his glory standing above them and the breastwork of the pulpit; and under his feet appeared as it were a paved work of pure gold, in color like amber. His eyes were as a flame of fire; the hair of his head was white like the pure snow; his countenance shone above the brightness of the sun; and his voice was as the sound of the rushing of great waters, even the voice of Jehovah, saying:

I am the Alpha and the Omega; I am he who was slain, I am he who lives; I am your advocate with the Father.

Behold, your sins are forgiven you; you are clean before me, therefore, lift up your heads and rejoice. Let the hearts of your brethren also rejoice, and let the hearts of all my people rejoice, who have, with their might, built this house to my name. For behold, I have accepted this house and my name shall be here, and I will manifest myself to my people in mercy in this house. Yea, I will appear unto my servants, and speak unto them with mine own voice, if my people will keep my commandments, and do not pollute this holy house.

Behold and see: The hearts of thousands and tens of thousands shall greatly rejoice in consequence of the blessings that shall be poured out and the endowment with which my servants will be endowed in this house. Behold: The fame of this house shall spread to foreign lands; and this is the beginning of the blessings I shall pour out upon my people. Even so. Amen.

As this vision closed, the Heavens were again opened to their view, and they saw and beheld, and were endowed with knowledge from the beginning of this creation to the ends thereof. And they were shown unspeakable things from the sealed record of Heaven, which man is not capable of making known, but must be revealed by the Powers of Heaven.

They beheld Michael, the archangel; Gabriel and Raphael, and divers angels, from Michael or Adam down to the end of time, showing in turns their dispensations, their rights, their keys, their honors, their majesty and glory, and the Powers of their Priesthood; giving line upon line, precept upon precept; endowing them with knowledge, even here a little and there a little; holding forth hope for the work God was yet to perform, even the revelation of all things which are to come upon the earth until the return of the Lord in glory with His holy angels — to pour out judgment upon the world, and to reward the righteous.

And they were unable to take it in; therefore they were commanded to pray and ask to comprehend by the power of the Spirit, to bring all things to their remembrance, even the Record of Heaven which would abide in them. Amen and Amen.

Source: Answer to Prayer for Covenant: http://scriptures.info/scriptures/tc/section/157

elijah-chariot

Foundation for the Work in the LDS Temples

Notice the very obvious elimination of any reference to Elijah conferring sealing power upon Joseph and especially the last verse indicating keys being committed to Joseph. This is a big deal, as it indicates that section 110 was modified after it was received. Anyone who has studied this knows there is no original copy of section 110 extant. It was only discovered many years after the death of Joseph and Oliver. Joseph never taught it.

In 2011 Denver published a paper that shared a different way of considering the latter-day mission of Elijah. The paper on the subject is available in the archives or here. In the paper, which expounds upon what he shared in Passing the Heavenly Gift, he clearly established that the role of Elijah is yet future. Joseph also taught as late as 1844 that Elijah had not yet performed his labors preceding the return of the Lord Jesus Christ.

Obviously, this has far-reaching implications. To put it bluntly, the work of the LDS Church being done in the temples to seal the dead to the living is not acceptable to the Lord. As Denver said, it is a wrong-headed effort. We should be working to be sealed unto our fathers, meaning the righteous patriarchs from Adam and Seth down to Noah, Melchizedek (Shem), to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob and for us, to Peter, James and John.

section-132-marriage

Elimination of Section 132

“You have removed an altered document taken from an account written on July 12, 1843, and inquired of me concerning marriage; therefore let my people hearken to these things and you will do well:”

Marriage was, in the beginning, between one man and one woman, and was intended to remain so for the sons of Adam and the daughters of Eve, that they may multiply and replenish the earth. I commanded that there shall not any man have save it be one wife, and concubines he shall have none. I, the Lord your God, delight in the chastity of women, and in the respect of men for their wives.

Marriage was established at the beginning as a covenant by the word and authority of God, between the woman and God, the man and woman, and the man and God. It was ordained by my word to endure forever. Mankind fell, but a covenant established by my word cannot fail, and therefore in death they were not to be parted.

It was my will that all marriages would follow the pattern of the beginning, and therefore all other marriages would be ordained as at the first. But fallen men refused my covenant, did not hearken to my word, nor receive my promise, and marriages fell outside my rule, disorganized and without me, therefore unable to endure beyond the promises made between the mortal man and the mortal woman, to end when they are dead.

Covenants, promises, rights, vows, associations and expectations that are mine will endure, and those that are not cannot endure. Everything in the world, whether it is established by men, or by Thrones, or by Dominions, or by Principalities, or by Powers, that are not by my word and promise, shall be thrown down when men are dead and shall not remain in my Father’s Kingdom. Only those things that are by me shall remain in and after the resurrection.

Marriage by me, or by my word, received as a holy covenant between the woman and I, the man and woman, and the man and I, will endure beyond death and into my Father’s Kingdom, worlds without end. Those who abide this covenant will pass by the angels who are appointed, and enter into exaltation. Concerning them it shall be said, You shall come forth in the first resurrection, and if they covenant after the first resurrection, then in the next resurrection, and shall inherit in my Kingdom their own thrones, dominions, principalities, powers, all heights and depths, and shall pass by the angels to receive exaltation, the glory of which shall be a fullness and a continuation of their posterity forever.

Marriage is necessary for the exaltation of the man and woman and is ordained by me through the Holy Spirit of Promise, or in other words, by my covenant, my law, and my authority. Like the marriage in Eden, marriage is a sacrament for a sacred place, on holy ground, in my presence, or where the Holy Spirit of Promise can minister. But rebellion has kept mankind from inheriting what I ordained in the beginning, and therefore women and men have been left to marry apart from me. Every marriage established by me requires that I be part of the covenant for it to endure, for Endless is my name and without me the marriage cannot be without end: for so long as I endure it shall also endure, if it is made by my word and covenant.

But know also that I can do my work at any time, for I have sacred space above, and can do my work despite earth and hell. The wickedness of men has not prevented my will, but only kept the wicked from what they might have received.

Whenever I have people who are mine, I command them to build a house, a holy habitation, a sacred place where my presence can dwell or where the Holy Spirit of Promise can minister, because it is in such a place that it has been ordained to recover you, establish by my word and my oath your marriages, and endow my people with knowledge from on high that will unfold to you the mysteries of godliness, instruct you in my ways, that you may walk in my path. And all the outcasts of Israel will I gather to my house, and the jealousy of Ephraim and Judah will end; Ephraim will not envy Judah and Judah will not provoke Ephraim.

And again I say to you, Abraham and Sarah sit upon a Throne, for he could not be there if not for Sarah’s covenant with him; Isaac and Rebecca sit upon a Throne, and Isaac likewise could not be there if not for Rebecca’s covenant with him; and Jacob and Rachel sit upon a Throne, and Jacob could not be there if not for Rachel’s covenant with him; and all these have ascended above Dominions and Principalities and Powers, to abide in my Kingdom.

Therefore the marriage covenant is needed for all those who would likewise seek to obtain from me the right to continue their seed into eternity, for only through marriage can Thrones and Kingdoms be established. [END]

Source: http://scriptures.info/scriptures/tc/section/157.34-43#34

So much could be written about this most significant change. Dozens of books have been written about the subject of marriage as practiced among the early residents of the new state of Utah. Emotions run strong when discussing the subject. Some are adamant that Joseph never practiced polygamy. Others, including the LDS Church are fully invested in maintaining that he did so at the command of the Lord, but that he lied about it in public.

I do not believe Joseph was an adulterer. He said he was not and I believe him. It saddens me that so many felt they had to participate in polygamy or they would lose their eternal salvation. Some of Carol’s ancestors engaged in the practice. She tells stories of the wives who disliked it and eventually divorced their husbands, calling them womanizers. I can sympathize but not fully empathize with those who are descended from plural marriage.

I think I’ve made my position clear over the years, but in case I haven’t, let me state it here: I do not believe Brigham was following the will of the Lord as he practiced and encouraged polygamy among the saints. I don’t believe the Lord was pleased with what Brigham did. I don’t believe Brigham had keys of sealing as he claimed, nor do I believe they can be passed from one man to another. This is one reason why I am no longer LDS.

a-guide-and-standard

Statement of Principles

“You are not excused from writing a statement of principles that I have required at your hands. I forbade my servant David from participating, and again forbid him. But I require a statement of principles to be adopted by the mutual agreement of my people, for if you cannot do so, you will be unable to accomplish other works that I will require at your hands.

When you have an agreed statement of principles, I require it to also be added as a guide and standard for my people to follow. Remember there are others who know nothing, as yet, of my work now underway, and therefore the guide and standard is to bless, benefit and inform them — so I command you to be wise in word and kind in deed as you write what I require of you.

“Do not murmur saying, Too much has been required at our hands in too short a time. If your hearts were right it was a light thing I have asked. You hinder and delay and then you say I require too much of you and do not allow you time, when, if your hearts were right and you prepared yourselves, you could have finished this work long ago. Do you indeed desire to be my people? Then accept and do as I have required.”

Source: http://scriptures.info/scriptures/tc/section/157.55-56#55

Replacement for D&C Section 20

For over a year the people struggled to come up with a Statement of Principles upon which all could agree as a Guide and Standard to present to the Lord. I witnessed that struggle with many online meetings and much spirited debate back and forth. Finally, one was presented and accepted by the Lord. However, He also provided a wonderful revelation which has been entitled “Build a House” with more background in this link.

I don’t see yet that the Statement of Principles has been added to the online scriptures. Perhaps there is yet one more piece of business to be conducted at the next conference. Last I heard it was to be added as section 175 or section 176. Whenever it is placed in the scriptures, it will be a replacement for section 20 of the LDS edition. You can find the list of differences between the LDS and RE editions of the scriptures in this correlation table.

covenant-of-christ-conference

The Covenant as Offered and Accepted

First: Do you believe all the words of the Lord which have been read to you this day, and know them to be true and from the Lord Jesus Christ, who has condescended to provide them to you, and do you covenant with Him to cease to do evil and to seek to continually do good?

Second: Do you have faith in these things and receive the scriptures approved by the Lord as a standard to govern you in your daily walk in life, to accept the obligations established by the Book of Mormon as a covenant, and to use the scriptures to correct yourselves and to guide your words, thoughts and deeds?

Third: Do you agree to assist all others — who covenant to likewise accept this standard to govern their lives — to keep the Lord’s will, to succor those who stand in need, to lighten the burdens of your brothers and sisters whenever you are able, and to help care for the poor among you?

Fourth: And do you covenant to seek to become of one heart with those who seek the Lord to establish His righteousness?

Source: The Covenant Ordinance: http://scriptures.info/scriptures/tc/section/158

denver-covenant-of-christ-conference

I express gratitude to the Lord’s servant who worked so hard over the years to lay the groundwork and set the stage for the coming forth of this covenant. I know he did so by sacrifice. I will never know the extent of what he had to give up but I know it had to be everything to him, because that is what the Lord requires of each of us. What may be nothing to me is everything to my brother. God bless the Lord’s Davidic servant today.

Next: Establishing Zion

 

4 Replies to “A Time of Reflection, Part Five”

  1. Thanks Tim! I’ve been going to introduce myself to you at several past conferences but haven’t done so yet. But, I do enjoy your posts!

    Kevin

    ________________________________

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