Iron Rod 008 – A Brief History of the Church (Part 2: 1836-1844)
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After the Kirtland temple dedication, the church proceeded on a much different trajectory than in the preceding years. Financial troubles in Kirtland, internal strife and conflict with non-members in Missouri, relocation to Nauvoo and the introduction of radical new doctrines were key indicators that something had changed. This episode discusses these tumultuous years and puts the events into a historical and scriptural context.

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10 comments on “Iron Rod 008 – A Brief History of the Church (Part 2: 1836-1844)

  1. One Who Is Thirsting Jan 28, 2019

    Love the podcast. I’ve listened to every episode.

    With regards to the topic of polygamy and Joseph and Hyrum’s murders, I’ve not found a more intriguifing read than this one.

    https://theexonerationofemmajosephandhyrum.com

    It shows systematically, by their own journals, who framed Joseph and Hyrum with polygamy and then murdered them to cover their trails.

    Hint: It was an inside job.

    On another note, it was mentioned that during the Succession Crisis that Sidney Rigdon was the only remaining ordained prophet, seed and revelator at the time.

    “I then called upon the quorums and congregation of Saints to acknowledge the Twelve Apostles, who were present, as Prophets, Seers, Revelators, and special witnesses to all the nations of the earth, holding the keys of the kingdom, to unlock it, or cause it to be done, among them, and uphold them by their prayers, which they assented to by rising.” (History of the Church 2:417)

    Though it was compiled later, the source documents are within Joseph Smith’s lifetime. Was this when Jospeh’s eyes were covered?

    • Watcher Jan 29, 2019

      I am glad you are enjoying the podcast One who is thirsting

      I read the book some time ago. There is a new book out that also presents the inside job conspiracy of Joseph and Hyrum’s murder as a historic fact.

      I do think there is enough secondary evidence to consider the possibility and I have briefly mentioned this in my blog before. However I am not aware of any conclusive evidence.

      If there is conclusive evidence that you have found, please share it with us.

      I think we need to be real careful when it comes to these types of conspiracy theories. We should not present them as historic fact until conclusive evidence bought forward.

      IMO, if there was an inside conspiracy to murder Joseph over the polygamy issue, it is more likely over the fact that he was initially involved in it and supportive of the Twelve and others in their participation in it, and then just prior to the martyrdom, he may have repented and told them they needed to repent.

      This would have placed those that had fully committed to the practice (and their intimate connections) in an extraordinarily difficult and frustrating situation based on the intimate relationships they had entered into and the secret teachings they had been involved in.

      They may have felt that repentance on their own part may not have been an option that they wanted to consider and may have decided to take extreme measures instead of face disciplinary action and public humiliation.

      Here is a very compelling testimony of William Marks that he had published in 1853 whic seems to be consistent with that particular possibility:

      “When the doctrine of polygamy was introduced into the church as a principle of exaltation, I took a decided stand against it; which stand rendered me quite unpopular with many of the leading ones of the church…

      Joseph, however, became convinced before his death that he had done wrong; for about three weeks before his death, I met him one morning in the street, and he said to me, “Brother Marks… We are a ruined people.”

      I asked, how so? He said: “This doctrine of polygamy, or Spiritual-wife system, that has been taught and practiced among us, will prove our destruction and overthrow. I have been deceived,”

      said he, “in reference to its practice; it is wrong; it is a curse to mankind, and we shall have to leave the United States soon, unless it can be put down and its practice stopped in the church.

      Now,’ said he,’ Brother Marks, you have not received this doctrine, and how glad I am. I want you to go into the high council and I will have charges preferred against all who practice this doctrine, and I want you to try them by the laws of the church, and cut them off, if they will not repent and cease the practice of this doctrine.”

      The above testimony by a man of great integrity that was intimately involved with Joseph Smith is conveniently omitted by the Joseph Smith never practiced polygamy crowd.

      Those who claim that Joseph never practiced polygamy seem to focus on the theory that Brigham Young placed a lot of pressure on countless men and women to fabricate their testimonies about Joseph’s involvement. Although that is a possibility with regard to his influence over the Utah saints, there is another group of people that did not follow Brigham that also testified of Joseph’s involvement.

      Virtually every high profile leader of the church that did not follow Brigham Young and did not embrace the spiritual wife heresy also testified that Joseph introduced and practiced the spiritual wife doctrine, including members of Joseph Smith’s family. We will cover much of this when we address the topic in a podcast.

      The entry in the history of the church claiming that the Twelve were sustained as prophets, seers and revelators presents somewhat of a conundrum in many ways, particularly since Joseph had told them just prior to the dedication that they were darkened in their minds.

      Another inconsistency is that it does not appear as if they were ever sustained as such during the remaining seven years of Joseph’s ministry.

      Perhaps the motion took place based on the anticipation that the ultimate endowment of power was about to take place which would begin the final missionary work in POWER.

      The point being made in the podcast is that there was no other person outside of the First Presidency that had been ordained and publicly acknowledged as a prophet seer and revelator, that had stewardship for leading the entire church.

      The Twelve were expressly told by revelation that they were not allowed to preside over the church.

      It is important to remember that even though someone is sustained as a prophet, seer, and revelator, they must show forth the spiritual gifts to show that they really are a prophet, seer and revelator. I don’t recall any of the Twelve translating any ancient records, etc.

      Thank you for sharing these observations and for your kind words regarding the podcast.

  2. Jenny Jan 29, 2019

    I love you guys! Thanks for what your doing! These are great! You’ve helped me tremendously in my faith journey.

  3. An Earnest Searcher Jan 31, 2019

    First of all: Thank you, all 3 of you, for your insights and for striving to put the scriptures and the history of the church back into their proper context. It is refreshing, exhilarating and exciting as I utilize your thoughts during my own search and strive to let God teach me through His word.

    As I have listened to the podcasts and as I have been studying myself, I have found myself thinking about the topic of the Priesthood more often. I would love to get any insight the 3 of you would be willing to share regarding these…ponderings.

    The main question I keep coming to (and what I would love your feedback on) is this: What priesthood, if any, is in operation within the LDS church today?

    I have not reached any conclusion about this, but I see it as an absolutely pivotal point. Sometimes I think of it in context of Jeremiah 23 (I will utterly forget you, and I will forsake you) or D/C 121 (Amen to the priesthood or the authority of that man). Other times I equate the LDS church with the children of Israel who rebelled against the Lord and yet the Lord saw fit to continue to allow them access to a portion of His priesthood. But if that be the case for us, then how could the Lord permit the current church to authoritatively operate with a lesser degree of the priesthood when it is blatantly declared by them to be a priesthood they may not actually have?

    It is clear I am looking for answers. More than that, however, I am looking for where to find the answers. That being said: Are there any keyword searches you would recommend or any scriptures that could help get me set the foundation to understand this better? I would also very much appreciate your views regarding the status of priesthood authority in the LDS church today.

    *If personal email is a better forum to share these details, then please don’t hesitate to reply there*

  4. One Who Is Thirsting Jan 31, 2019

    There was talk on this episode about the “dispensation of the fulness of times” and when that actually began. Especially with the revelation of D&C 110 stating tha Elias was delivering “the dispensation of the gospel of Abraham”. That the dispensation of the fullness of times couldn’t have happened before 1836, because of what happened in the Kirtland Temple would’ve been a downgrade from the fullness.

    D&C 128, a letter from Joseph Smith to the church and not a revelation it is still found in our scriptures as such, states that the dispensation of the fullness of times is JUST BEGINNING to be ushered in.

    When exactly is the fulness of times going to happen? Is the fulness of times spoken of in the scriptures in Eph. 1:10 and D&C 27:13 where the Christ gathers all things in one, things in heaven and things on the earth, different from the dispensation of the fulness of times?

    In the vision that Joseph and Sidney receive that is now D&C 76:106, the Lord reveals when the fulness of times shall be. It shall be at the end of the millennium when those who are in hell shall have paid the price for their sins and are resurrected and Christ presents his kingdom to his father.

    I thought we might have been closer to this event, but am starting to rethink my timeline.

    • Watcher Feb 1, 2019

      Thirsting-

      You bring up an interesting point.

      The wording in Section 76 does seem to indicate that the wicked suffer UNTIL the fulness of times begins.

      Please notice however that Joseph Smith’s poemic version differs, stating that the wicked suffer DURING the fulness of times.

      Sidney Rigdon’s inspired rendition in Section 76

      106. These are they who are cast down to hell and suffer the wrath of Almighty God, until the fulness of times, when Christ shall have subdued all enemies under his feet, and shall have perfected his work;
      107. When he shall deliver up the kingdom, and present it unto the Father, spotless, saying: I have overcome and have trodden the wine–press alone, even the wine–press of the fierceness of the wrath of Almighty God.
      108. Then shall he be crowned with the crown of his glory, to sit on the throne of his power to reign forever and ever.

      Joseph Smith’s inspired Poem about Section 76

      74. These are they that must suffer the vengeance of hell,
      ‘Till Christ shall have trodden all enemies down,
      And perfected his work, in the fulness [fullness] of times:
      And is crown’d on his throne with his glorious crown.

      I don’t see a disparity, just a clarification.

      I think the snippet in 76 can be interpreted a couple ways and Joseph was simply providing some clarity, which was the purpose of writing the poem.

      When I do find apparent discrepancies however, I do an extensive keyword search in scripture and church history to see what the composite context of all of the credible data is saying. (“by the mouth of two or three witnesses..”

      It is my opinion that Joseph was correct in thinking that if the saints were to collectively repent, they would have restored the fulness of priesthood and established Zion and ushered in the dispensation of the fulness of times.

      I think you are assuming that the time when the wicked would suffer the wrath of God and the vengeance of hell is referring to the thousand year period, but it is not.

      The wicked will suffer the wrath of God PRIOR to the 1,000 period.

      They appear to suffer during what the scriptures refer to as the the “hour of judgement” for the wicked and the “hour of redemption” for the repentant that takes place between the end of the 6th seal and the beginning of the 1000 year paradisiacal millennium. You can do a search using those keywords to validate what I am saying..

      The suffering of the wicked and the treading down of Christ’s enemies that is being spoken of is sometimes referred to as the “second death”.

      The wrath of God upon the wicked begins to take place just as the righteous are raptured up into the air to meet Christ and eventually descend with him.

      This is what Joseph Smith had to say about the rapture and wrath of God and the suffering of the wicked:

      “..all will be raised to meet him [Christ] but the righteous will remain with him in the cloud whilst all the proud and all that do wickedly will have to return to the earth, and suffer his vengeance which he will take upon them, this is the second death..”

      I think that if you will search this out you will find that Joseph’s statement above and his statement in the letter you reference is completely congruent with scripture.

  5. Jessi H Jan 31, 2019

    I am loving these podcasts! You guys have such great knowledge of church history and patience with the figures involved. If you wanted to spend more than an hour on these discussions, I would have no problem with that. 😀
    I just wanted to mention, in regards to land speculating and temporal affairs, that the modern corporate church is currently heavily invested in real estate. From the City Creek Center to high-priced hunting resorts (maintained by couple missionaries at their own expense) to land in Florida and luxury condos in Philadelphia, the church is all about real estate investments. The brethren make a lot of dough from these properties, and it is completely opposite from what the Nauvoo House was meant to be: a place of rest and refreshment for travelers, for them to be taught about Christ, at no expense. Abraham, according to the book of Jasher, had an estate like an orchard with a boarding house and a gate in each of the four fence walls, where travelers could rest and learn of the Lord.
    I just thought that was an interesting parallel that speaks to the truth of the sorry state of the unfaithful bride.
    Keep up the great work; I always look forward to a new episode!

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