Continuing through the Isaiah chapters, we cover sections that discuss the birth of a deliverer, and the punishment that comes through the instrumentality of the king of Assyria.
2 Nephi 28:15
2 Nephi 27:25
1 Kings 1:38-39
The verses that always come to my mind on what we should be doing now are section 88:
76 Also, I give unto you a commandment that ye shall continue in prayer and fasting from this time forth.
77 And I give unto you a commandment that you shall teach one another the doctrine of the kingdom.
78 Teach ye diligently and my grace shall attend you, that you may be instructed more perfectly in theory, in principle, in doctrine, in the law of the gospel, in all things that pertain unto the kingdom of God, that are expedient for you to understand;
79 Of things both in heaven and in the earth, and under the earth; things which have been, things which are, things which must shortly come to pass; things which are at home, things which are abroad; the wars and the perplexities of the nations, and the judgments which are on the land; and a knowledge also of countries and of kingdoms—
80 That ye may be prepared in all things when I shall send you again to magnify the calling whereunto I have called you, and the mission with which I have commissioned you.
While obviously written to the servants I believe they apply to us all. I also was listening to another podcast the other day and they mentioned Paul’s sermon in Athens and reminded me how he had used his knowledge of greek culture to make them better understand the gospel. He even quotes and paraphrases greek poets.
Also for those who like visual aids to see how completely surrounded Jerusalem was:
Here are some thoughts about these chapters that run a little more into the “liken the scriptures unto ourselves” vein. For me, currently, that means taking a political perspective, simply because that is where I see the most action happening currently, but also because Isaiah was talking about politics and the conflict of nations, so it seems appropriate to speculate in that direction as well.
I start with the perspective that the kingdom of Judah in these chapters references America because this is the land of Promise, and this is where I happen to be. Just as Ahaz was a wicked king and the people were doing wickedly, our own failure to repent does not disqualify us from the Lord’s counsel and warning. First there is the warning that other nations seek the overthrow of our independence and way of life. Then, we are warned not to associate (make treaties that would subsume our autonomy under international obligations). The reason for this has become pretty clear…our international climate treaties, and defense agreements have become the means of obligating us to subsidize other nations who then use it to pick our pockets and hinder our ability to act in our best interests while exempting other participants from the same standards. Ahaz is told the stuff he is being threatened with will come to nothing. (Do any of you think the world will end in 12 years, like climate alarmists have claimed?)
I agree that the “waters of Shiloh that go softly” is an invitation to repent because we are trying to follow the Lord’s commandments, whereas the “waters of the river, strong and many” is a means to repent out of fear of destruction.
A couple years ago, when I was reading these chapters about the King of Assyria, I saw a lot of parallels to some of the policies that were being enacted in our country that were contrary to the will of the people, and even the position of politicians running for office, but because they were enacted by decree, or simple failure to enforce existing law, there was no recourse for the people being harmed. Here are a few of them, as listed in chapter 20:
* I have removed the borders of the people (encouraging illegal immigration)
*and robbed their treasures (forcing people to pay NOT to have health care plans they don’t want, for example)
*I have put down the people like a valiant man (ruling by executive order instead of legislation)
*my hand hath found as a nest the riches of the people (sending planeloads of cash to Iran? using the IRS to target conservative groups? requiring companies to pay penalties that are then given directly to liberal organizations)
*as one gathereth eggs that are left have I gathered all the earth (passing laws where the water and food on a person’s property belong to the govt)
I am NOT saying that Obama is the king of Assyria. I don’t believe he is. I do believe that there are powers that have been working through our political leaders to undermine the foundations of our nation from within so that it can be overthrown. And their methods and designs are comparable to the King of Assyria. These same influences have been at work throughout the world, just as the king of Assyria conquered other nations before Ephraim and nearly all of Judah.
In these chapters, I see God warning us that He is ultimately in control. The oppression that we chafe under is designed to get us to turn our hearts to him, and in the end, those who have been the oppressors will face His wrath. Until that day, his arm is outstretched to them also, so that they can escape the wrath that is coming. Maybe their warning to repent is the threat of prosecution for abuse of power.
These political examples also tie back to the verses about “bind up the testimony, seal the law among my disciples”. Going back to D&C 88:34-36:
“Verily I say unto you, that which is governed by law is also preserved by law and perfected and sanctified by the same. That which breaketh a law, and abideth not by law, but seeketh to become a law unto itself, and willeth to abide in sin, and altogether abideth in sin, cannot be sanctified by law, neither by mercy, justice, nor judgment. Therefore, they must remain filthy still. All kingdoms have a law given” (This includes the USA)
D&C 101:80 tells us the Lord established the Constitution of this land so that no man should be in bondage to another, and D&C 98 tells us that the Constitutional law of the land belongs to all men and is justifiable before God, whereas the laws of man are usually evil. Whatever you think of Trump, I see someone who is trying to stick very carefully within his Constitutional parameters, even when it ties him up in the courts instead of moving quickly with his agenda. If you are looking for some kind of servant of God, he is doing a ministry among the Gentiles which seems to involve binding up the law and sealing the testimony, to prepare the saints for the hour of judgment which is to come. (D&C 88:84) Just a few thoughts.
Much thanks for taking the time to create such insightful and interesting podcasts relating to the history of the LDS church and also its scriptures.
I have noticed throughout several early podcasts and increasingly in the Book of Mormon commentaries the topic of the nature of God and your espousal of Trinitarianism. In defense of this characterization of divinity Lecture 5 in the Lectures on Faith have been cited in addition to various biblical and LDS scriptures. Sarcastic mockery has been employed when rejecting the notion of God being “one in purpose” but not necessarily cosubstantial beings or personages. Also, the idea that Sydney Rigdon could have written the Lectures on Faith containing doctrinal errors that got past Joseph Smith’s correction is likewise rejected. This, despite knowing Joseph was constantly pulled into court to defend himself against false accusations, presiding over a restored church, directing building projects, chartering a bank, receiving revelation, etc… not to mention being a husband and father. In 1843 when Joseph received what is now Section 130 a line was added and later corrected in Joseph’s journal (https://www.josephsmithpapers.org/paper-summary/journal-december-1842-june-1844-book-2-10-march-1843-14-july-1843/51). In it Joseph corrects Orson Hyde who had taught the Holy Ghost could dwell in us and this was the reason the Holy Ghost was a personage of spirit Vs. a personage of tabernacle such as the Father and the Son. Some think Joseph was correcting the first line of verse 22 which reveals the Father to possess “a body of flesh and bones as tangible as man’s”. Turning the page in Joseph’s journal reveals he was correcting the latter, not the former line in the verse. This detail may not matter if one believes Joseph was a fallen prophet post-1836.
More troubling is the assertion Joseph Smith’s eyes were covered and was given false prophecies and doctrine to give and unrepentant and condemned ‘saints’ following the failed Kirtland temple dedication. While I agree the church came under condemnation December 1834 following several warnings, there remained a core of faithful followers who remained true. While The Church of the Latter-day Saints (telestial) remained under condemnation and were downgraded from the Church of Christ (terrestial), there remained the Church of the Firstborn (Celestial). This Quorum of the Anointed or Holy Order largely remained faithful to the higher priesthood conferred June 4, 1831 at the Isaac Morley farm. Many of these constitute the first laborers in the last kingdom you’ve mentioned in several podcasts. If these persons, to include Joseph Smith, died in an apostate status, having left or looked beyond the true teachings of Jesus Christ how would they later be qualified to be end time servants and in Joseph Smith’s case: THE end time or Davidic servant? We agree the parable of the redemption of Zion refers to a future event with Joseph playing a key role in that future redemption, I disagree Joseph was either a fallen prophet or was relaying false doctrine from any source.
Secret/sacred temple ordinances are certainly not something outside the doctrine of Christ but rather fit the established pattern largely excluded but eluded to in canon. The forty-day ministry is given but a few verses but Christ appeared to his apostles at least 17 times according to apocryphal sources. Many examples that I’m sure you’re aware of could be cited but suffice it to say secret knowledge is not inherently evil. Signs, tokens and names used as teaching modalities have their place. Brigham Young having changed the new and everlasting covenant from a sacrifice of a broken heart and a contrite spirit to spiritual wifery and polygamy institutionalized via an increasingly abbreviated ‘endowment’ ordinance does not make the initial endowment revealed by Joseph in 1844 invalid. Temple ritual is eternal, though if one were to use the KJV of the bible, heavily edited by the Deuteronomists, as a yardstick one might think of temple worship as an invention of men or superficial to true worship or relation with God. While we are the temple of God, physical structures consecrated to sacred ordinances falls well within the scope of Christ’s ministry. Though Herod’s bastarization of the first temple extant during Christ’s meridian ministry as well as the Jewish religion as a whole was as apostate as the current LDS church the Lord nonetheless referred to that structure as his Father’s house though the original purpose of that house (a heaven on earth where man could commune directly with God) was changed to a house of prayer and symbolic ordinances only. A place where theophanies were to be commonplace became a home to dead works. Yes, I agree our current LDS temples lack any power in the rituals performed therein. I take D&C 124 to mean what it says: the saints missed their appointment and went from condemnation to curse, which is where the church remains to this day.
Joseph Smith has returned with the first laborers in the last kingdom. They are awakening to who they are and their mission. The higher orders of the priesthood are being restored and conferred upon men once more. The Church of Christ and the Church of the Firstborn while unorganized are growing. Many members of the LDS church are heeding the red flags that through the mercy of God are becoming impossible to ignore. The field is white and ready to harvest. I applaud your work and especially your willingness to study things out, accept new information, discount false tradition and the philosophies of men and admit fault when necessary. Missouri was a trial run for Zion. We must not fail to enter into the new covenant daily. The Bridegroom is coming and only the wise virgins with an extra measure of oil (Holy Ghost) will be admitted to the wedding feast. It is imperative we understand the ordinance of baptism, all three parts: water, fire, spirit. We must enter in via that gate at which Jesus Christ employs no servant. This is possible now and only requires a broken heart and contrite spirit to be laid on the altar of sacrifice. Then, Christ will give us a new heart and make us his as we are spiritually reborn and he becomes our father and our God.
Hi Michael. Thank you for complimenting aspects of our work despite having reservations about other parts.
We have covered the nature of God, including D&C 130 and what Joseph may or may not have been trying to correct, in previous podcasts. A simple way to refute our position would be to show two or three witnesses from the scriptures that plainly teach that God the Father has a body of flesh and bone. A secondary way would be to explain how the only reference to this notion is found in D&C 130 that wasn’t added to the scriptures until 1876, and yet God didn’t violate the law of witnesses.
Regarding the Lectures on Faith, we’ve reference the documentation that on September 24, 1834 a General Assembly of the Church of the Latter Day Saints “appointed a committee to arrange the items of doctrine of Jesus Christ…to be taken from the Bible, Book of Mormon, and the revelations which have been given to said church…Joseph Smith Jr., Oliver Cowdery, Sidney Rigdon, and Frederick G. Williams compose said committee.” This wasn’t done in secret. And once the 1835 D&C was published, Joseph had nine years to publicly denounce Sidney’s treachery, but he didn’t. Nor did he remove the Lectures on Faith from the 1844 edition.
As for the initial endowment revealed by Joseph: first, please show us where that is recorded so we can compare it against what has been handed down to us. Also explain why God lied in D&C 124:40 when he said “let this house be built unto my name, that I may reveal my ordinances THEREIN unto my people.” Why did God tell him it would be revealed inside the temple and the temple needed to be built in a sufficient time, if God was just going to get impatient and reveal them in the red sbrick store years before the temple was complete? Why did God say in verse 31 that he granted them “sufficient time to build a house unto me” if it wasn’t sufficient and he had to reveal the ordinances outside the temple?
We’re pretty simple-minded. If an argument is supported by scriptures, we can study it out and test it. If an argument isn’t supported by scriptures, it’s idle speculation.
As for sarcasm – guilty as charged.
One of the problems I have with the argument that Sidney Rigdon slipped in false doctrine in the D&C is that it requires that Joseph did not take his duty and obligation to present key doctrines to the saints seriously at all. Take a look at the preface to the Lectures on Faith:
” We have, therefore, endeavored to present, though in few words, our belief, and when we say this, humbly trust, the faith and principles of this society as a body.
We do not present this little volume with any other expectation than that we are to be called to answer to every principle advanced, in that day when the secrets of all hearts will be revealed, and the reward of every man’s labor be given him.
With sentiments of esteem and sincere respect, we subscribe ourselves your brethren in the bonds of the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ.
JOSEPH SMITH jr.
To make the argument that Joseph blindly signed his name to this and committed himself to defend every principle advanced before the judgment seat of God without verifying the doctrine, literally condemns Joseph. One would need to present convincing evidence that Joseph had little regard for his eternal soul in 1835.
The easier alternative is that it contains the doctrine Joseph, Sidney, Oliver, and Frederick believed to be true and needed to be conveyed to both the Saints and the world.
Is it correct to state that both of you accept Trinitarianism, the doctrine that the Father and the Son are cosubstantial beings, the Father being pure spirit and the Son being created by the Father as a physical being but yet ‘one’ with the Father for the sake of atoning for fallen mankind? The Holy Ghost being nothing more than the “mind and will” of the Father?
Do you believe the Father or God is an anthropomorphic being? Do you believe God the Father is essentially the prime mover or the Uncreated God, there being only one such being and Jesus Christ being but the physical manifestation of this being?
Yes, I’ve listened to all of the Iron Rod podcasts at least once but admittedly I was driving and may have missed the answers to these questions. I don’t want to argue against positions you do not hold.
As for the endowment Joseph began to reveal I don’t believe there is a written copy in existence outside of various journal entries of apostates. Brigham quickly perverted the ordinance to suit his ends as you’ve documented. The Lord did not lie in D&C 124. The full endowment, of which there are at least seven different levels (see the plans for the temple in New Jerusalem revealed to JS: 24 temples, 3 for bishops storehouse and 7 / 3 = 21 for endowments) was to be revealed in the completed Nauvoo temple which again you know was never completed and thus not revealed. Why was the initial/partial endowment revealed and administered to so many of the 12 and others who were practicing polygamy and in sin? Same reason Alma transitioned from Amulek’s preaching the plan of restoration or the terrestial doctrine of resurrection to the people of Ammonihah to the celestial doctrine of eternal lives or multiple moral probations (Alma 12-13). The preaching of celestial doctrine causes a division in the hearers. It causes some to enter more fully into the new covenant and others it causes to become angry and seek the lives of those preaching and believing the word. In Alma’s case the believers and their scriptures were burned and in 1844 Brigham Young and others in the quorum and leadership conspired and effectuated the murder of Joseph, Hyrum and Samuel.
If we are to ‘measure doctrine’ it is imperative we use a true measuring stick. Given the aforementioned and well documented perversions of the Deuteronomists in the 7th century BC, merging the reality of many Gods into one God we are left with a much skewed measuring device. While admittedly there is nowhere outside of D&C 130 that explicitly states God the Father has a body of flesh and bone, it is implied repeatedly, especially in the words of Jesus Christ in the New Testament. Oneness with the Father does not imply cosubstantiality any more than being a Zion people implies it (being of one heart and one mind). Does the atonement, at one ment, literally mean we become the same person with Christ and the Father, losing all individuality? I think not. So why would Jesus when praying to the Father (himself?) be asking that all those who believe on him, all those that come unto him, be one with him and he is one with the Father? Is this a different type of ‘oneness’? If you’re looking for fulfillment of the law of witnesses there it is. At least several dozen or more times in the Old and New Testament we have deity referring to each other as different beings, titles and levels of ascension. The KJV did away with much of this differentiation, completing the work of the Deuteronomists to create a monotheistic religion to fit the new false understanding of God on a much more elementary level, but this does not represent the doctrine of the first temple nor that of Adam and subsequent patriarchs who referred to Yahweh as the Son of El / Elyon the Father. The later, perverted belief system that substituted theophany for obedience to law was what Jesus Christ railed against during his meridian ministry.
Do you believe D&C 131:7, “There is no such thing as immaterial matter. All spirit is matter, but it is more fine or pure, and can only be discerned by purer eyes;” Is this how you view God the Father? Is it that all physical matter is corruptible and subject to change and therefore God’s body cannot be made up of this impure and changeable substance and thus is pure spirit? Again, I’m trying to understand your position on the nature of God the Father. If I’ve misrepresented your position please clarify.
Let’s focus on one topic at a time and start with the nature of the Godhead. According to Lectures on Faith 5, the Father is a personage of spirit. The Son is a personage of tabernacle. The Holy Spirit is the mind of God that they share.
Abinidi taught those things about the Father and Son.
And now Abinadi said unto them: I would that ye should understand that God himself shall come down among the children of men, and shall redeem his people. And because he dwells in flesh he shall be called the Son of God, and having subjected the flesh to the will of the Father, being the Father and the Son-the Father, because he was conceived by the power of God; and the Son, because of the flesh; thus becoming the Father and Son – and they are one God, yea, the very Eternal Father of heaven and of earth. And thus the flesh becoming subject to the Spirit, or the Son to the Father, being one God, suffers temptation, and yields not to the temptation, but suffers himself to be mocked, and scourged, and cast out, and disowned by his people.
When the brother of Jared speaks with the Lord, the Lord agrees with Abinidi.
Behold, I am he who was prepared from the foundation of the world to redeem my people. Behold, I am Jesus Christ. I am the Father and the Son. In me shall all mankind have life, and that eternally, even they who shall believe on my name; and they shall become my sons and my daughters.
In the Joseph Smith Translation of the Bible, Jesus affirms this teaching.
JST Luke 10:23
All things are delivered to me of my Father; and no man knoweth that the Son is the Father, and the Father is the Son, but him to whom the Son will reveal it.
And just for good measure, here’s one more.
Teach them that redemption comes through Christ the Lord, who is the very Eternal Father. Amen.
Please share the scriptures you believe repeatedly imply that the Father has a body of flesh and bone.
John 5:19 “The Son can do nothing of himself, but what he seeth the Father do: for what things soever he doeth, these also doeth the Son likewise.”
Jesus, having taken again a body of flesh and bone was doing what he had seen the Father do, condescend through the veil to take on a body of flesh and bone to atone for His people. There are recorded in canon and apocrypha many instances of men not only witnessing the presence but also the corporeal body of Jesus post resurrection. One is not considered resurrected if the spirit is not reunited with the flesh. The Father gave the Son power to lay down his life and take it up again (John 10:18). How could the Father give the Son power to do something he Himself hadn’t done? Is Jesus a liar for having said, “The Son can do nothing of himself, but what he seeth the Father do: for what things soever he doeth, these also doeth the Son likewise.” John 5:19 The prophet Joseph Smith lays this doctrine down beautifully in the King Follett discourse at the apex of his ministry. Again, Joseph did not have his eyes covered. He continued receiving greater light and it is to the condemnation of the ‘saints’ that most did not comprehend or accept this greater light and knowledge.
As you can see, the corporeal nature of the Father is implicit, not explicit. If you’re looking for proof the Father and the Son are two separate and distinct personages look no further than John 17 werein Jesus pleads with the Father that Christ’s disciples may be one with him and he is one with the Father, not cosubstantial but one in heart and purpose. Christ in his resurrected body of flesh and bone did not ascend to his Father and shed his celestial body of flesh and bone. Christ ascended to his father in a body he had raised from the dead to ascend to his Father who possessed a similar celestial body of flesh and bone. Jesus alludes to him complete sanctification of his physical body when he stated, “Hereafter I will not talk much with you: for the prince of this world cometh, and hath nothing in me.” John 14:30 There wasn’t a particle of Christ’s body that remained under the dominion/influence of the Adversary. He had become full of grace and truth and thus fit to effectuate the atonement.
The notion the Holy Ghost is nothing more than the “mind and will” of the Father is nonsensical. One’s mind and will cannot exist outside of ones mind; it is pure imagination and doesn’t exist outside of itself. Rather, is it not more rational that this is a priesthood office to which the Father/Son delegates the task of relating information, pure intelligence, to those who are receptive to greater light and knowledge. The office or calling of guardian angel falls within this ministry or branch of the Godhead. Besides, how does one become baptised in the mind and will of God? 3 Nephi 9:20
Because Jesus refers to himself as the Eternal Father and the Son should not be confused with him being the one and only Eternal Father. This is a logical fallacy. I myself am a: grandfather, father and son, all these being titles and non-exclusive of one another. In Mosiah 5:7 we learn how one becomes a son or daughter of Jesus Christ via the baptism of fire and the baptism of the Holy Ghost ordinance. Christ stating he is the Father and the Son does not imply there are no other Gods, Father’s or Sons. To believe such negates the Plan of Exaltation. To believe exaltation isn’t a ‘thing’ because the word does not appear in the Bible shows a lack of understanding of the means of translation and the aforementioned perversions of the Deuteronomists in the 7th century BC and later scribes. If exaltation is a false doctrine please elaborate on what it is exactly the righteous will be doing in the hereafter? If there is no path of ascension it is no more than damnation for all.
A resurrected body is a body of flesh and bone. The blood representing corruption and having been spilt to atone for Christ’s people who accept the teachings of the Father and come unto him. Therefore, only following the ultimate sacrifice of a Savior or wife/mother of a savior does one have the power to take up a resurrected body of flesh and bone, never again to go out (e.g. die; see Hel 3:30). Your resurrection/restoration podcast covered some great points that are too often misunderstood. There are levels of restoration which are necessary if the first laborers in the last kingdom are to return. Resurrection is reserved for those passing the test of a Savior or wife/mother of a savior. This of course implies the doctrine of eternal lives or multiple mortal probations. One does not become a joint heir in the heirship of the Son following a single life. Progression occurs experientially in the veiled mortality.
John 5:19 doesn’t imply anything about bodies of flesh and bone. A critical analysis of the language actually works against your position.
Then Jesus answered and said to them, “Most assuredly, I say to you, the Son can do nothing of Himself, but what He sees [present tense] the Father do [present tense]; for whatever He does [present tense], the Son also does [present tense] in like manner.
That isn’t a bad translation, that’s what the Greek says too:
ὁ – the
Υἱὸς – Son
δύναται – can
ποιεῖν – do
οὐδὲν – nothing
ἀφ’ – by
ἑαυτοῦ – Himself
ἐὰν – unless
βλέπῃ – he sees (Present Subjunctive Active)
τὸν – the
Πατέρα – Father
ποιοῦντα – doing (Present Participle Active)
τι – it
γὰρ – For
ἃ – whatever
ἐκεῖνος – [the Father]
ποιῇ – does (Present Subjunctive Active)
ὁ – the
Υἱὸς – Son
καὶ – also
ποιεῖ – does (Present Indicative Active)
If your interpretation of the scripture were correct, the Father would have to be currently doing the same things Jesus was doing. And the Father would have to be crucified at the same time that Jesus was crucified. The language uses the present tense. For your interpretation to be legitimate, it would have to say:
“Most assuredly, I say to you, the Son can do nothing of Himself, but what He sees [present tense] the Father did [past tense]; for whatever He did [past tense], the Son also does [present tense] in like manner.
But that isn’t what’s written. You could, of course, look at other scriptures where Jesus talks about this.
Believest thou not that I am in the Father, and the Father in me? the words that I speak unto you I speak not of myself: but the Father that dwelleth in me, he doeth the works. Believe me that I am in the Father, and the Father in me: or else believe me for the very works’ sake.
If the Father has a body of flesh and bones, how does he dwell in Jesus? Notice the Father doeth [present tense] the works. I realize you don’t believe that Jesus is in the Father, and the Father in him, but that’s what Jesus asks you to believe.
But if I do, though ye believe not me, believe the works: that ye may know, and believe, that the Father is in me, and I in him.
If the Father having a body of flesh and bone was such a critical, foundational aspect of the nature of God, why isn’t it found in the Book of Mormon, which was brought forth specifically to correct the false doctrines that would creep into the Bible? Why isn’t it found in the Pearl of Great Price? Why wasn’t it included the Doctrine and Covenants in the 1835 and 1844 editions? Why weren’t there multiple witnesses?
No amount of logical arguments about how the human body works or what seems natural can compensate for the fact that the scriptures do not support the argument you are making.
Most likely Jesus did not speak in Greek but more likely Aramaic. Your Greek translation is therefore a translation of a translation and tense is lost. Even if the tense were in fact as your Greek would have it, are not all things present with God? That would make tense irrelevant to how and when Jesus saw the Father work out His own atonement.
I do believe what Jesus prays for in the intercessory prayer recorded in John 17 is possible and requisite via the Holy Ghost for those who would be his disciples and may, by entering into the new covenant, experience atonement with Jesus and the Father who are not one and the same and cannot abide IN us but rather WITH us. Else, why would he continue referring to both titles? Because they are two separate and distinct personages of spirit and tabernacle as Searcher agrees Joseph Smith corrected Orson Hyde in 1843 (discussed in an early podcast and cited in my prior reply), who ascerted the Holy Ghost could abide IN us prior to being corrected by the prophet.
Ever wonder why the voice of the Son came unto Nephi ~550 years before the birth of Christ immediately preceding the voice of the Father? (2 Nephi 31:14-15) At this time your Trinitarian doctrine would have the two as a single cosubstantial spirit. Why the need for the voices to address or at least be recognized by Nephi as coming from separate entities? The simplest and most rational answer is because they ARE two separate and distinct personages.
There are infinite mysteries that are not corrected in the restoration scriptures but were lost from the Bible long before 1830. The nature of God was restored through Joseph and it is problematic we have only a few scraps of notes, journal entries or later sections in the D&C. However, the doctrine of resurrection explicitly states Jesus Christ returned with a body of flesh and bones following the crucifixion. Why would he need to return in a body of flesh and bones if the purpose for taking on a body was merely to perform the atonement? It’s because Christ’s spirit had gained a final victory over the flesh and it is now subjected to him as the Father had done before him. Why would there be a need of a restoration if the nature of God already persisted in truth via Trinitarianism?
I’m not certain why you continue pleading toward 2 or 3 witnesses in canon when that measuring device is incomplete, broken, perverted and fallible. What about the witness of the Holy Ghost? What about the plan of exaltation? You’ve covered to a limited extent the baptism of fire and the baptism of the Holy Ghost but have never related any personal experience with those ordinances. More troubling is that despite all the wrestling (wresting?) with the scriptures and church history you’ve undergone I’ve never in a single podcast heard related how yourself, Searcher or Watcher sought after, received and acted on revelation or even discerned when a revelation was of a true source. If the three of you are set on relying purely on the arm of flesh and current canon you will be ever learning and never coming to a knowledge of the truth. The iron rod is far more than the written word.
Truly Joseph Smith was correct in saying, “The things of God are of deep import; and time, and experience, and careful and ponderous and solemn thoughts can only find them out.” To this I’m sure Nephi would add the beautifully simple doctrine of Christ:
2 Nephi 31:13 Wherefore, my beloved brethren, I know that if ye shall follow the Son, with full purpose of heart [not being double minded], acting no hypocrisy and no deception before God, but with real intent, repenting of your sins, witnessing unto the Father that ye are willing to take upon you the name of Christ, by baptism—yea, by following your Lord and your Savior down into the water, according to his word, behold, then shall ye receive the Holy Ghost; yea, then cometh the baptism of fire and of the Holy Ghost; and then can ye speak with the tongue of angels, and shout praises unto the Holy One of Israel.
2 Nephi 32:3-6 Angels speak by the power of the Holy Ghost; wherefore, they speak the words of Christ [there is no end to His words and therefore cannot be contained in written text alone]. Wherefore, I said unto you, feast upon the words of Christ [scripture and personal revelation]; for behold, the words of Christ will tell you all things what ye should do.
Wherefore, now after I have spoken these words, if ye cannot understand them it will be because ye ask not [you do not enter into the new covenant], neither do ye knock; wherefore, ye are not brought into the light, but must perish in the dark [ever learning but never coming to a knowledge of the truth].
For behold, again I say unto you that if ye will enter in by the way, and receive the Holy Ghost, it will show unto you all things what ye should do.
Behold, this is the doctrine of Christ, and there will be no more doctrine given until after he shall manifest himself unto you in the flesh [No, Nephi is not referencing Christ’s appearance at the temple in Bountiful ~550 years later but a personal manifestation, else he’s a respecter of persons]. And when he shall manifest himself unto you in the flesh, the things which he shall say unto you shall ye observe to do.
If one is not receiving the ministry of angels and is not asking for, receiving and acting on revelation (working by faith), that person cannot receive new light because they have not humbled themselves to the point where they may receive these spiritual gifts that include experiencing a personal manifestation of Jesus Christ IN THE FLESH as his apostles and others have throughout scripture. He is no respecter of persons but looks on ones heart. If you do not believe this doctrine you do not believe the doctrine of Christ.
Your responses demonstrate that you aren’t interested in analyzing the scriptures nor what I am writing. You are assigning words and beliefs to me that I have never espoused (e.g. cosubstantial), while ignoring things that I have written (e.g. the Father and Son are two personages, one of spirit and one of flesh). Under these conditions, further discussion would be futile.
I’m not sure what you were hoping to achieve by writing into the Iron Rod Podcast and arguing that the iron rod of scripture doesn’t matter and should be discarded the minute revealed scripture contradicts the philosophies of men. Or why you thought someone who chose his pseudonym from the quotation “We have accepted the four standard works as the measuring yardsticks, or balances, by which we measure every man’s doctrine,” would suddenly disregard the four standard works and accept concepts that contradict those measuring yardsticks. Which is similar to Joseph Smith’s counsel: “If any man preaches to you doctrines contrary to the Bible, the Book of Mormon, or the Book of Doctrine & Covenants, set him down as an imposter.”
I wish you the best of luck in your search for truth, but do remember that according to Nephi’s vision, those that don’t hold fast to the iron rod wander off into forbidden paths. I’m sorry you hold the scriptures in such low regard, and can only encourage you to reconsider that decision.
No, my responses indicate I am interested in truth. I think we would agree truth is not exclusively contained within canon, but rather emanates from Christ, who is perfected in the godly attribute of truth (LoF, Lecture Third). Jesus Christ is in fact full of grace and truth. This being the case it appears yourself and Searcher are more comfortable (familiar?) with the written word and therefore limiting yourselves to the standard works as defining the iron rod. This, despite Nephi’s admonition to “feast upon the words of Christ” (2 Nephi 32:3), because the promise is that if one feasts upon the words of Christ, “there will be no more doctrine given until after he shall manifest himself unto you in the flesh, the things which he shall say unto you shall ye observe to do.” (32:6) Do you believe it or is Nephi and by extension Joseph Smith a liar? The words of Christ are not limited to books that by your own admition are flawed, mistranslated and incomplete. A measuring device leaning exclusively upon the standard works is thus a limiting and not an edifying device.
As you’ve mentioned I too feel you have been “ignoring things that I have written” (establishing your Trinitarian beliefs which by definition include the cosubstantiality of the Father and the Son, the doctrine of Christ involving personal revelation, the calling of the Holy Ghost Vs. ‘mind and will of the Father’, Joseph’s eyes being closed post 1836, Church of Christ Vs. Church of the Firstborn Vs. Church of the Latter-day Saints and levels of doctrine within each, etc…). My intention in commenting was to clear up the false notion the Father is a personnage of spirit while the Son has a body of flesh and bone. You’ve cited a single source to support this falsehood (Lecture 5) and have leaned upon Sidney Rigdon moreso that God’s seer and revelator. You’ve assumed Joseph proof read and corrected the Lectures rather than accepting the reality of his extremely demanding schedule and his trusting of the day’s foremost scriptural theologian (Anabaptist and Campbellite however…) to compile suitable material for the School of the Elders. Where is your other witnesses God the Father is only a spirit and lacks a body of flesh and bone? Citations describing the Father referring to his spirit do not exclude the reality of his resurrected body.
I’d like to know whether you believe the Father is the ‘uncreated’ or ‘prime mover’ God? Having listened to most of your podcasts I don’t want to put words in your mouth but I recall your disbelief in the plan of exaltation or the existence of multiple gods. Is this correct?
Thank you for bringing up Nephi’s vision. Please understand the iron rod is much more than the written word as it appears in the: Holy Bible, Book of Mormon and Pearl of Great Price. It seems more than a little schizophrenic to create one’s own version of the D&C if the existing copy were an infallible ‘iron rod’ of truth, knowing how even during the later years of Joseph’s life and certainly thereafter we have countless examples of Brigham Young, Heber Kimball and Wilard Richards making extensive revisions and additions to the revelations to support spiritual wifery and soforth.
I believe yourself and Searcher to be honest seekers of truth. However, never have I heard a single comment relating to a spiritual manifestation of truth, personal revelation or confirmation of a question asked of the Lord in full humility, obtaining an answer and confirming that answer. This is faith: to ask for, receive and act on personal revelation; all else if belief, trust and hope only. What is it that differentiates a wise from a foolish virgin? The wise possessed an extra measure of oil (the spirit or Holy Ghost). Essentially, they took the holy spirit as their guide, not the precepts of men and not canonized scripture only, but the words of Christ.
You seem to have done a great job shaking off the precepts of men but not so much in understanding and obtaining the power of the Holy Ghost. Your podcast relating to the baptism of fire and the baptism of the Holy Ghost fails to even touch upon the powerful effect of this gateway ordinance. Speaking with the tongue of angels and shouting praises to the Holy One of Israel are but a part. This ordinance by the way is being received by many today. I have seen it and experienced it. The first laborers in the last kingdom have returned, born again of women (yes, multiple mortalities, not reincarnation) and are coming to a remembrance of who they are and their mission. This mission, and the priesthood held by these men relates to that which Jesus Christ endowed his disciples in 3 Nephi 19: a three part baptism to enter the gate, become his sons and be part of the Church of Christ and thereby experience His fullness. Rather than mocking the misunderstood (by yourselves at least) the doctrine of the ‘fullness’, it would be better to understand the Restoration was not of telestial doctrine, but terrestial (Church of Christ) in preparation for receiving the celestial (Church of the Firstborn). I’ve mentioned this before but as you’ve accused me of withholding response, you have likewise failed to respond. Most, not all, in Joseph Smith’s day rejected the fullness of Christ’s gospel which hinges on the new covenant. We came under condemnation December 1834, Christ removed his name from the church and subsequently we came under covenant curse for failing to keep our appointment in 1844. The LDS church remains under this curse today for failing to enter into the new covenant:
And they shall remain under this condemnation until they repent and remember the new covenant, even [better read “in”] the Book of Mormon and the former commandments which I have given them, not only to say, but to do according to that which I have written—
That they may bring forth fruit [spiritual gifts, BofFHG] meet for their Father’s kingdom; otherwise there remaineth a scourge and judgment to be poured out upon the children of Zion [in name only, satire]. D&C 84:57-58
Given your expanding audience of truth seekers and those disaffected by the lesser portion of the word taught in the LDS church I would like to continue commenting within this forum. I was sent a link by a good friend over a year ago and would appreciate the opportunity to contend for the truth. Not in the spirit of contention but in the spirit of discerning truth from error via the gift of the Holy Ghost and the words of Christ which are without end.
Within the bonds of the everlasting covenant,
You argue that the written word is insufficient, yet you quote D&C 84:57
And they shall remain under this condemnation until they repent and remember the new covenant, even the Book of Mormon and the former commandments which I have given them, not only to say, but to do according to that which I have written—
The Lord doesn’t think the written word is insufficient, limiting, or not edifying.
And again, the elders, priests and teachers of this church shall teach the principles of my gospel, which are in the Bible and the Book of Mormon, in the which is the fulness of the gospel.
And the Book of Mormon and the holy scriptures are given of me for your instruction;
We are under condemnation for not following the things which have been written, the Book of Mormon and the revelations that would later be included in the Doctrine and Covenants.
…the Book of Mormon, and the revelations I have given unto you, saith the Lord your God, for that which is more or less than this cometh of evil, and shall be attended with cursings and not blessings, saith the Lord your God. Even so. Amen.
Ignoring what is written in those documents is less than this. Adding new stuff is more than this. Either one comes with a curse.
If you believe there are messengers that are teaching new things that go beyond what it is in the Book of Mormon and the Doctrine and Covenants, knock yourself out. We’ve looked at many of their writings. All these self-proclaimed prophets contradict each other as well as contradicting the written word. A few have even taken to rewriting the scriptures to make God’s doctrine align with their doctrine.
When the apostle Paul came to Barea and taught the doctrine of Jesus as the Messiah, the people didn’t just believe his word.
They received the word with all readiness of mind, and searched the scriptures daily, whether those things were so.
These people studied the Old Testament to verify the truth of Jesus as Messiah. We are no different today. Just as there were plenty of false Messiahs 2,000 years ago, we have plenty of false prophets today. And just like the Bareans, the solution God has given us is to search the scriptures daily to ascertain whether those things are true.
Regarding Sidney Rigdon and the Lectures on Faith. Here’s what the Lord said:
Behold, thus saith the Lord unto you my servants Joseph Smith, Jun., and Sidney Rigdon, that the time has verily come that it is necessary and expedient in me that you should open your mouths in proclaiming my gospel, the things of the kingdom, expounding the mysteries thereof out of the scriptures, according to that portion of Spirit and power which shall be given unto you, even as I will.
And it is expedient in me that you, my servant Sidney, should be a spokesman unto this people; yea, verily, I will ordain you unto this calling, even to be a spokesman unto my servant Joseph. And I will give unto him power to be mighty in testimony. And I will give unto thee power to be mighty in expounding all scriptures, that thou mayest be a spokesman unto him, and he shall be a revelator unto thee, that thou mayest know the certainty of all things pertaining to the things of my kingdom on the earth.
And again, verily I say unto thy brethren, Sidney Rigdon and Frederick G. Williams, their sins are forgiven them also, and they are accounted as equal with thee in holding the keys of this last kingdom; as also through your administration the keys of the school of the prophets, which I have commanded to be organized; that thereby they may be perfected in their ministry for the salvation of Zion, and of the nations of Israel, and of the Gentiles, as many as will believe; that 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.
God made Sidney equal to Joseph. He commanded Sidney to produce the words, to be a spokesman for Joseph, and to expound the scriptures. Lectures on Faith doesn’t invent new doctrine, it expounds the existing scriptures to teach the true doctrine. I’m not sure why you won’t believe the words of Christ regarding Sidney.
“ How could the Father give the Son power to do something he Himself hadn’t done?”
I’m not really following your argument here. What limits God to only give the power to do something that He has done? He gave us the power to make our own choices and that gives us the ability to sin – something God never has done Himself.
I don’t see any of the scriptures you cite as so limiting God. If you embrace the King Follett doctrine, then your God isn’t infinite and eternal, omnipotent and unchanging. The Lectures on Faith emphasize how important it is for our faith to be grounded in an unchanging, eternal, perfect God. If your Faith is built upon some other concept of God then you cannot have a faith that leads to salvation.