Iron Rod 007 – A Brief History of the Church (Part 1)
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One cannot truly understand the Doctrine and Covenants without understanding the historical context in which they were received. A challenge we all face is that the history of the church that we have been taught is incomplete and in some instances, inaccurate. In this episode we briefly cover the seven years leading up to the Kirtland temple dedication, filling in gaps in the record with documented accounts that paint a much fuller, more complex, and more coherent history than the “official” history.

Next week’s episode will cover what happened after the Kirtland temple dedication.

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10 comments on “Iron Rod 007 – A Brief History of the Church (Part 1)

  1. Deborah Streeter Jan 23, 2019

    I am not scholarly like you gentlemen nor almost all of your commentors………..I am only 4 minutes into the podcast and MD said something that piqued my attention……….”God was trying to establish a biblical church”. I sat with our member of the stake presidency on Sunday (he was trying to figure out a way that he could still sign my temple recommend when I told he I didn’t think RMN was the only guy on earth who could speak for Christ to the whole earth) and he said it didn’t matter what new info came down the pike, even if it was contradictory to the scriptures because of course, RMN had all the keys of priestly athority and could do that. So, what do you mean He was trying to establish a biblical church. I have always been taught that the Old Testament was gone and done with, that the New Testament is only revelent to the degree of which JS changed it and RMN could , through heavenly inspiration do a 180 on any gospel principle.

    • Watcher Jan 24, 2019

      Deborah-

      One of the scriptural evidences that God was restoring the New Testament church that he had established among his ancient disciples provided by MD is the following passage from chapter 5 of the Book of Commandments:

      “And thus, if the people of this generation harden not their hearts, I will work a reformation among them, and I will put down all lyings, and deceivings, and priestcrafts, and envyings, and strifes, and idolatries, and sorceries, and all manner of iniquities, and I will establish my church, like unto the church which was taught by my disciples in the days of old.

      The Lord was restoring New Testament Christianity during Joseph’s ministry to the extent that people were willing to repent and accept the fulness of the gospel.

      Other passages of scripture also noted that the Lord’s church was coming forth out of the wilderness of darkness into the light.

      It is our belief that the scriptures of the restoration and faith in Jesus Christ provide the sure foundation. They represent the standard by which we judge every mans doctrine.

      • Deborah Streeter Jan 25, 2019

        Thank you for your answer, I think it is time to get a copy of the Book of Commandments. 🙂

  2. Deborah Streeter Jan 23, 2019

    So what do you think the Lord requires in tithing. I pay surplus but I starting to think that that is not correct either. What does the Lord require? Scripture references please.

    • D&C 119 and 85:3 both support the idea that one cannot pay a proper tithing without having first consecrated. If true, then neither 10% of income nor 10% of surplus can be truly acceptable without having first consecrated.

      If one believes the current leadership are doing exactly what the Lord is telling them, one would be wise to follow their teachings. If one doesn’t believe that to be the case, nor that the fullness of the gospel is on the earth at this time, there isn’t a scripture that I’m aware that tells us what to do when the fullness isn’t on the earth. It’s somewhat like asking what was God’s requirement for tithing in 1519…we have nothing in writing to indicate his will during that time.

      We do have scriptures that teach us we must be mindful of the poor and needy. While we wait for the fullness to be restored, we should still be anxiously engaged in trying to relieve the suffering of others. How much one gives and to whom one gives it is best handled directly between the giver and the Lord.

  3. One Who Is Thirsting Jan 29, 2019

    Section 72:1 shows that the Lord gave his kingdom to the high priests.

    Hearken, and listen to the voice of the Lord, O ye who have assembled yourselves together, who are the high priests of my church, to whom the kingdom and power have been given.

    This was something He promised in section 50.

    35 And by giving heed and doing these things which ye have received, and which ye shall hereafter receive—and the kingdom is given you of the Father, and power to overcome all things which are not ordained of him—

    The following month at the Morley Farm the men named in this section were ordained high priets. Which is an office of the highest priesthood. Which up till June 1831 hadn’t been in the church.

    Section 107 which is comprised of two revelations. The second revelation was given in Nov 1831 and starts with v. 59. Here’s what the Lord said about the offices and priesthood established in his church at that time.

    63 Wherefore, from deacon to teacher, and from teacher to priest, and from priest to elder, severally as they are appointed, according to the covenants and commandments of the church.

    64 Then comes the High Priesthood, which is the greatest of all.

    Question I have is did Joseph stop calling high priests after Dec. 1834? If the fullness was lost by then, did he stop calling high priests, a part from them being called by God’s own voice out of heaven, where they still ordained by him?

    It would be interesting to research.

    • You may be on to something! I did a little searching in the Joseph Smith Papers. Almost all the references to high priests are before 1835. There are a few quite interesting references after 1835.

      April 6, 1837
      https://josephsmithpapers.org/paper-summary/discourse-6-april-1837/1
      A high Priest, is a member of the same Melchisedec priesthood, with the presidency, but not of the same power or authority in the church. The seventies are also members of the same priesthood, are a sort of travelling council, or priesthood, and may preside over a church or churches until a high priest can be had. The seventies are to be taken from the quorum of elders and are not to be high priests. They are subject to the direction and dictation of the twelve, who have the keys of the ministry. All are to preach the gospel, by the power and influence of the Holy Ghost, and no man, said he, can preach the gospel without the Holy Ghost.

      September 4, 1837
      https://josephsmithpapers.org/paper-summary/letter-to-john-corrill-and-the-church-in-missouri-4-september-1837/5
      The Pres then arose and made some remarks concerning the formers Prests of the Seventies, the callings and authorities of their Priesthood &c. &c. Voted that the old Presidents of the seventies be refered to the quorum of High Priests, And also that of if any of the members of the quorum of the seventies should be dissattisfied & would not submit to the Present order, and receive these last Presidents that they Should have power to demand their Lisence & they should no longer be concidered members of the church.

      Minutes – September 3, 1837
      https://josephsmithpapers.org/paper-summary/minutes-3-september-1837/5
      The Pres then arose & made some remarks concerning the former presidents of the Seventies, their calling the authority of the priesthood &.c.
      Voted that the old or former presidents of the Seventies, be refered to the quorum of high priests, those which were previously ordained to the high priesthood.

      This definitely needs more research before we can draw any conclusions, but these references do seem to suggest that the High Priest quorum was “downgraded” to the Seventies. Interestingly, Joseph later clarified that the Seventy were Elders, not High Priests. It seems possible that the name was kept even though a lower priesthood was being used. Which would be consistent with the evangelical priesthood remaining in the church whereas the High Priesthood (the fullness) had been removed.

      • One Who Is Thirsting Jan 29, 2019

        Very good find.

        It’s interesting that BY as his first order of business as “guardian” of the church was to release the standing high counsels and seventies. In other wards ANYONE who was in a quorum having equal power and authority.

        This was a very good dive into the subject:

        https://mormondiscussionpodcast.org/2017/07/radio-free-mormon-014-apostolic-coup-d-etat/

        He’s well researched and snarky at times. However, he no longer believes in the word of God as revealed to JS.

  4. Mr. Finch Mar 24, 2019

    Great information, thank you. I might add that the Gospel of Abraham is a temporal gospel in contrast to the Gospel of Jesus Christ being an eternal gospel. You know, like two witnesses with one pointing to the other. It is similar to the Davidic covenant wherein the king sacrifices for his people that is temporal in semblance to the King (Christ) sacrificing for his people that is eternal. However, the Gospel of Abraham is pivotal to the gathering of the tribes of Israel that the priesthood functions for the Gospel of Jesus Christ; one being temporal and the other being eternal. In other words, it is the mechanism by which the government of the kingdom is established beginning here upon the earth and extending into the eternities. Thus, Abraham paid for the gathering of the high priests who officiates in the resurrection of his (Abraham’s) children. That is the Gospel of Abraham: the payment for the gathering of the nations of Israel that narrows to the gathering of the high priests for the purposes of the Gospel of Jesus Christ in the resurrection. They, the children of Abraham and more specifically the 144,000 under John’s leadership (Sec. 77), resurrect the dead over the next 1,000 years via ordinance authorized by the Savior. In other words, it is Abraham’s participation in the eternal resurrection, his good news.
    Also I would like to mention that Abraham does not participate as the Moses of the latter days but that honor goes to John (Sec. 77) and more specifically Michael (Dan. 12, Rev. 12). These being the two wings (Rev. 12:14) of the Great Eagle (Christ) who are spoken of in Rev. 1:1. These two are the Moses of our time that are the two witnesses in Jerusalem (Rev. 11). The BoR is written to the 144,000 gathered via the Gospel of Abraham and we are of that gathering.

    • Watcher Mar 24, 2019

      Interesting thoughts Mr. Finch.

      It is interesting that within just a few years after the rejection of the fulness, you have the gospel of ABRAHAM secretly instituted, you have the book of ABRAHAM come forth, you have the introduction of ABRAHAMIC-patriarchal blessings, and you begin seeing remnants of things from ancient times emerge, including a blood animal sacrifice somehow related to the sending forth of missionaries to the “outcasts of Israel” and the “dispersed of Judah”

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