Iron Rod 063 – Jacob 1-4
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Nephi passes the records on to Jacob, Jacob receives his errand from the Lord calls the Nephites to repentance for pride, searching for riches, and polygamy.

Mosiah 5:3

2 Nephi 11:2-3

Jeremiah 23:22

D&C 84:23-24

D&C 100:6

D&C 24:6

Mosiah 29:30-31,38

Isaiah 8:20

D&C 88:80-82

Alma 12:14

Moses 6:55

JST 1 Kings 3:14

JST 1 Kings 11:4-6

Ezekiel 22:6-12

Malachi 2:14

D&C 86:7

Isaiah 52:5

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17 comments on “Iron Rod 063 – Jacob 1-4

  1. I actually wonder if the reason the Bible is missing the parts that more explicitly talk about Christ is that it was only recorded on the Brass plates. During the Babylonian captivity they apparently forgot part of the law, as it was rediscovered underneath the temple.
    See 2 Kings 22: https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=2+Kings+22&version=NIV

    Much of the Law of Moses is addressing theological beliefs of Babylon and the ancient world and directly explains and addresses them. I highly recommend all of you listen to Michael Heiser’s naked bible podcast, it is a great overview. I’m listening to his series on Leviticus right now and he has some fascinating insights.

    As to what law we have right now, we know we are in the dispensation of the gospel of Abraham, but I would also suggest, and once again disagree with you searcher, that the temple endowment is indeed a lesser law given to us as a cursing. And yet it simultaneously does contain truths to point us to what we need to be looking for. Namely, the return of Zion and the true High Priesthood.

    I blogged about this over a year ago in three parts: https://sauloftooele.wordpress.com/2018/12/17/the-gospel-of-joseph/
    2: https://sauloftooele.wordpress.com/2018/12/18/the-law-of-joseph-aka-the-endowment/
    3: https://sauloftooele.wordpress.com/2018/12/27/the-symbolism-of-the-law-of-joseph/

    In Hebrews 7 (ESV) it says: “11 Now if perfection had been attainable through the Levitical priesthood (for under it the people received the law), what further need would there have been for another priest to arise after the order of Melchizedek, rather than one named after the order of Aaron? 12 For when there is a change in the priesthood, there is necessarily a change in the law as well.”

    I would submit to you all that since we had a change in the priesthood (a lesser priesthood) in Joseph’s day, we were also given a lesser law which out of convenience I call the Law of Joseph. I look forward to next week’s podcast as I’ve been interested to hear your interpretation and how it compares to my own.

  2. Roy Moore Feb 18, 2020

    Searcher and MD,
    I want to thank you for being my Gospel of Christ study partners. Your personal sacrifice to extract and share the truth from the Holy and Infallible Word of God is so appreciated. I was recently cast out of the Synagogue (excommunicated) for daring to question LDS history edits, scriptural edits, doctrinal edits, and declaring that I follow the Holy One of Israel alone. My conduct was deemed “unbecoming a member of The Church”. So be it. I’ve recommended your blog to numerous people I care about; please stay the course at all cost.
    Your brother in Christ.
    Roy Moore, UT (former Japan Senkyoshi)

  3. Anthony Feb 22, 2020

    I still find the lack of contemporary evidence implicating Joseph Smith with having practiced and preached polygamy to be very compelling… At the end of the day, the only contemporary evidence pinning it on Joseph was done by his sworn enemies… After that, not until many years later do we see the stories and affidavits from those who were entrenched in the practice then blaming Joseph (despite their already know propensity to lie about it)…

    Given the FACTS that Brigham and others showed complete disregard for the Church’s established rule of law in their apostolic coup d’ taut, their known willingness and ability to literally alter church history, coupled with Joseph, Hyrum, and the Smith family’s opposition to the practice in all their published writings and speech…. Why can’t you at least address the potential plausibility of the possibility that Joseph was framed with this doctrine by a church that had EVERY REASON to need to make it look like it came from him?

    I know Richard and Pamela Price are biased… Of course they are… As is all history and anything apologetic to any church… But have you taken the time to examine their work and dig into the source material yourselves and prayerfully examine the possibility that Joseph and Hyrum may have actually been telling the truth, and were surrounded by men who had years before set their hearts on this practice, rather than they themselves being the guilty party? Why do you refuse to give the alternative view any mention?
    http://restorationbookstore.org/jsfp-index.htm

    I know the idea of conspiracy seems far fetched. But is it not at least as plausible as the idea that the prophet of the restoration secretly had sex with over 30 women (including teenagers and already married women)….. Not to mention managing to do this without any polygamist progeny… And not leaving any other written evidence (letters, correspondence, etc) of any of it….

    • We’ve covered this in previous episodes. I don’t deny that Brigham and his cohorts fabricated evidence to give credibility to their polygamist doctrines. I don’t think Joseph’s involvement was as much as “history” claims, but I also don’t think it was zero. William Marks and William Law were both anti-polygamy leaders who were far closer to Joseph than Brigham or any of his associates, and yet both Williams implicated Joseph in promoting polygamy, even while they denounced and opposed Brigham after Joseph’s death. One cannot claim that those two were tricked by Brigham. There is also the issue with Fannie Alger, which was years earlier. At the time Oliver didn’t claim it was polygamy but an adulterous affair, and it was only later redefined to be polygamous to help reinforce the polygamous story. When you link the historical events to the timing of the intercessory offering, it fits the scriptural narrative. Joseph took on the sins of the people, from greed (land speculation, banking, businesses) to bloodlust (Missouri wars, using police power to harass opposition), to secret societies and desiring multiple wives and concubines, Joseph dabbled in all the sins of the people. To claim that Joseph did all those other things but remained 100% innocent when it came to women is challenging.

      I have volumes 1 and 2 of Joseph Smith Fought Polygamy sitting on my bookshelf within arms reach as I write this. Yes, I have examined their work and dug into the source material, and searched the scriptures and appealed to God. I see a servant who dealt treacherously with the wife of his youth and caused many to stumble (Malachi 2), a prophet who first did everything the Lord commanded but later spoke presumptuously things God had not commanded (Deut. 18), who committed iniquity and was chastened by the rod of men but who will continue to have the mercy of God (2 Sam 7). If Joseph is 100% innocent, then he isn’t the servant that was prophesied to come in the last days, and we need to look for someone else who will mix good and evil. Moroni told Joseph he would be known for good and evil. I’m not aware of scriptures using the word “known” to mean false allegations. Joseph would be known for both the good deeds he did and the bad deeds he did, not rumors and allegations and falsehoods.

      The most important thing is to agree that polygamy is bad and to denounce any doctrine that promotes it. If we agree on that, we’re 95% aligned. I’ll focus on what we have in common and won’t worry too much about the remaining 5%.

      • Anthony Feb 22, 2020

        I don’t see that you’ve covered this. You’ve defended William Law’s portrayal of the events and defended him as a honorable man… Even though Joseph flat out denied I is accusations… Yes, we are aligned on polygamy not being of God, but that’s why I’ve grown very cautious of accusing Joseph of it…

        I’m obviously aware of William Law’s accusations. Could he have believed the rumors being spread? Could he have been jilted after losing money on land speculation? Maybe? Could these have been motives to viciously attack Joseph (especially if he saw with his own eyes the abominations being practiced by those in the Twelve… What if he flew off the handle and blamed Joseph???

        I’m not aware of William Marks blaming Joseph. His words about Joseph being “deceived” could easily have been Joseph telling him that he had been deceived by these men who joined in publicly denouncing polygamy while secretly practicing it… And that he then knew (weeks before his death that they had knowingly deceived him)… To my knowledge, William Marks wasn’t saying that Joseph admitted practicing it, just that he had “been deceived”… Or are you referring to something else?

        I’m aware that a couple years later, Sydney wrote something showing he assumed Joseph and Hyrum were guilty… Those I believe it’s also plausible that he merely began to believe the rumor mill too…. In October 1844, he pointedly accused the Twelve alone in promoting the heresy….

        • Anthony Feb 22, 2020

          My point is that there is some room to question the entire mainstream narrative… If the only solid contemporary evidence is the Expositor, then we should at least leave some room for the possibility that Joseph MAY have actually been fighting polygamy’s rise within the church, rather than secretly promoting it…

          • For 30 years after Joseph’s death, the RLDS Church acknowledged that Joseph promoted polygamy, but repented of it before his death. William Marks was in the First Presidency during much of that time. These were people that lived in Nauvoo and detested Brigham and his polygamy. Were they all fooled? It would have been easy for them to claim Joseph had nothing to do with polygamy and pin it all on Brigham who was openly preaching polygamy. Yet for 30 years they didn’t and the official position was the Joseph had been promoting it. It wasn’t until the 1870s that Joseph Smith III began a campaign to exonerate his father completely, using similar tactics to clear his father’s name that Brigham used to smear his name. The statements of the eyewitnesses in the RLDS church during those first 30 years have been conveniently overlooked to bolster the case that Joseph was innocent. Was Joseph Smith III motivated to find the truth, or to just clear his family name?

            In an 1865 letter, William Marks wrote that Joseph told him, “I have been deceived in this thing…I thought [polygamy] would be an advantage to mankind but I find that it proves a curse.” This does not support the idea that Joseph was deceived into not seeing the conspiracy. During this time there was a legal case between the LDS and RLDS churches over ownership of properties. A core argument was which Church was the true follower of Joseph’s teachings, and polygamy was a major theological difference. That’s why Brigham had all those affidavits drawn up in the 1860s – to prove that polygamy was a fundamental doctrine taught by Joseph since the beginning. The RLDS church could have easily claimed that Joseph had NEVER taught polygamy and blamed it all on Brigham, yet they held to the more difficult legal position that Joseph taught it but later repented, and therefore the Salt Lake church was in error because they didn’t follow Joseph in repenting of polygamy. It wasn’t until after the court cases were settled and many of the eye witnesses had died off that the RLDS Church changed its position and began to argue that Joseph was innocent. [Edit: after I wrote this, I went back and refreshed my memory. The change in position started in the late 1860s and into the 1870s. The court cases came at the end of the 1870s. Brigham started collecting the affidavits in the 1860s when the RLDS position first began to change – the guy definitely had foresight!].

            Another question is if Joseph was innocent, why didn’t God defend him? When Nephi the son of Helaman was accused of murdering the chief judge, God revealed to Nephi the plot and told him everything he needed to clear himself and expose the guilty party. That ended up increasing people’s faith and allowed Nephi to bring more people to repentance. Why didn’t God do the same with Joseph if he was truly innocent? Why was Joseph so powerless to expose Brigham’s plot? Peter knew when Ananias and Sapphira were lying to him, and they were struck dead. Why didn’t the same thing happen in Nauvoo?

            Could I be wrong? Sure. I’m doing the best I can based on the information I have. But the data I’ve seen shows that the truth is somewhere in the middle. I believe many of the LDS affidavits in the 1860s and 1870s from women claiming to be polygamous wives are false. I don’t believe that Emma threw Eliza Snow down the stairs. But I also believe that William Marks and William Law knew what they were talking about when they made their statements and stuck to them for the rest of their lives. So the “Joseph was guilty” faction doesn’t like me because I don’t accept all their arguments, and the “Joseph was innocent” faction doesn’t like me because I don’t accept all their arguments. I find myself in that no-mans-land on many positions these days.

            • Ranae Feb 22, 2020

              MD. I respect the work you are doing, and don’t know how you stay on top of this as well as your other blog, so don’t take this as fault-finding. I am just curious where you put [polygamy] in brackets what the larger context was that makes that point unequivocally. My casual observation of the topic is that polygamy tends to follow where secret combinations lead. We have much more direct evidence for Joseph getting involved in Freemasonry than for polygamy, and it would be much easier to justify involvement in Freemasonry than polygamy because it isn’t something he had been defending himself and the church against for his entire adult life. Isn’t there evidence that Joseph was repenting of that particular activity in the month before his death, as opposed to the hearsay evidence related to his change of opinion about polygamy (which not only violated the laws of the church but also the law of the land)? `

              • My kids would say I don’t have a life. But today I’m home sick with nothing else to do!

                I put polygamy in brackets because I had skipped over some content for brevity. Here is the complete idea (including errors) from the 1865 letter to Josiah Butterfield and Hiram Faulk:

                “Brother Joseph came to me about two weeks before he was killed and sais Brother Marks I want to talk with you we went by ourselves and he sais this polygamy business in the church must be stopt or the church is ruined and we can’t stay in the United States I have been deceived in this thing and it must be put down I thought it would be an advantage to mankind but I find it proves a curse”

                • This is consistent with a statement published in the RLDS newspaper in 1860 that was attacking the Salt Lake church for claiming their polygamy was approved by Joseph:
                  “This excuse is as weak as their excuse concerning the ancient kings and patriarchs. Joseph Smith repented of his connection with this doctrine, and said that it was of the devil. He caused the revelation on that subject to be burned, and when voluntarily came to Nauvoo and resigned himself into the arms of his enemies, he said that he was going to Carthage to die. At that time he also said, that if it had not been for that accursed spiritual wife doctrine, he would not have come to that. By his conduct at that time he proved the sincerity of his repentace, and of his profession as a prophet. If Abraham and Jacob, by repentance, can obtain salvation and exaltation, so can Joseph Smith.”

                  In that same year, 1860, Joseph Smith III became president and said:
                  “There is but one principle taught by the leaders of any faction of this people that I hold in utter abhorrence, that is a principle taught by Brigham Young and those believing in him. I have been told that my father taught such doctrines. I have never believed it and never can believe it. If such things were done, then I believe they were never done by divine authority. I believe my father was a good man, and a good man never could have promulgated such doctrines.”

                  When the president of the church says he can never believe something, the rest of the organization eventually falls in line.

                  • Ranae Feb 22, 2020

                    Thank you. i hope you get feeling better soon!

                  • Anthony Feb 23, 2020

                    Thank you for your responses, MD. I really do appreciate all you do… You guys are awesome. And I acknowledge that you have done much more research than me. It has just struck me so hard how quickly all the stories changed and how inconsistent they remained, and how much we have relied on shoddy recollections of decades past, rather than the actually contemporary evidence.

                    History is written by the winners, and Brigham Young and company won. And they certainly wrote the history – literally. There will never be an untangleing of the web they’ve weaved.

                    Believe it or not, I am not “in a camp”… I’m not in the “Joseph is innocent camp”… I’m simply of the opinion that this is far from a cut and dry case… There is an abundance of evidence that each camp can use to defend their case… And while you probably disagree, I feel that the best course of action might be restraint in forming an strong opinion on what Joseph did or didn’t actually do…

                    Even if it’s less than probable, isn’t there at least a plausible case to be made that Joseph and Hyrum and Emma were telling the truth to their death – despite all hell raging all around them? Isn’t this side of the story at least worth bringing into the discussion? Wouldn’t many thousands of members of the Church be flabbergasted to discover that there is zero writing or teaching contemporary to the prophet’s life that pins polygamy on him (unless you take the accusations of his enemies)… But even those have a clear, contemporary denial by Joseph and Hyrum…

                    There is no doubt that the actual contemporary evidence, the evidence with the highest degree of reliability, shows a COMPLETELY DIFFERENT picture than the mainstream narrative. This should be brought to light above all…

                    Yes, it is a hot mess, for sure… But it is so messy that I don’t think we’ll ever get a clear picture as to what actually happened. And there is a case to be made (even if it is a less than likely one) that Joseph, Hyrum, and Emma may have fought against polygamy, and may have been telling the truth… Or were at least on a collision course with members of the Twelve to try to snuff it out…

                    What if perhaps, like you say, the truth lies in the middle….. That the true story was that Joseph finally relented and told certain members of the Twelve to go ahead and practice polygamy after they asked him numerous times – like in the Martin Harris situation. Perhaps Joseph may have even been inspired to finally say “OK, do it”… But that he, himself, never practiced it… Wouldn’t this be a perfect Ezekiel 14 scenario? But would this story ever be brought to light?? No – it’d be buried…

                    As for you saying that God would have protected Joseph… I don’t think it’s that simple… Maybe Joseph still had to make an intercessory sacrifice for this people, which had clearly already broken the Everlasting Covenant… God didn’t allow Moses into the promised land, and Abinidi died as a martyr, likely as part of an intercessory role in bringing about the justice and mercy of God on a people… Maybe something like that happened here.

                    Seriously though… Even if there’s only a 10% chance that he was innocent… And that ALL EARTH and hell truly were combined against him in this thing…. Wouldn’t we be wise to not line up among the accusers – but rather to show restraint?

                    • Anthony Feb 23, 2020

                      But again… I’m not trying to bang the “Joseph is innocent!” drum… Cause I don’t know. No one knows.
                      I’m banging the “Hey, everyone, believe it or not, there’s actually a fair amount of evidence that Joseph MIGHT have been innocent!” drum…

            • Mr. Finch Feb 22, 2020

              MD I am with you on your conclusion.
              Perhaps the fact that Joseph eloped with his wife Emma shines some light on the subject. He did not have good judgment in that area for if he did he would have gone about it differently and the same holds for polygamy.

        • Ranae Feb 22, 2020

          The comments for episode 12 address the Malachi 2 issue. There is an issue of the singular and plural use of “you” that is lost in the English translation. In previous discussions with Watcher and/or MD and/or Searcher (it has been awhile and I don’t remember exactly who was involved) Malachi 2 is used as the final proof to tip their evidence into the camp of Joseph was guilt of polygamy.

          When we checked the grammar, it is obvious that the Lord is talking to plural priests, and I don’t believe Joseph was ever identified with Judah, but this is what they see as proof positive that Joseph is at least complicit in practicing and perpetuating polygamy behind the scenes. I think Malachi 2 is just as applicable to the men of the priesthood in our church today, as a warning in general to those who claim to be on the Lord’s errand with His authority, but they are not Christlike in their daily actions, nor are they faithful to their wives in their thoughts and actions.

          As for what other person fits the description of the OT servant (doesn’t specifically say prophet), that will be determined by who actually does the work. I could argue that Donald Trump 1) dealt treacherously with the wife of his youth, 2) spoke presumptuously, and 3) was chastened by the rod of men but continued to have the mercy of God. Is he doing God’s work to gather Israel? Maybe. As yet the gathering is still a future event, but I am watching to see how things play out.

  4. Ranae Feb 24, 2020

    What do you think of the use of the word “condescensions” in Jacob 4:7. The only prophets we have who use the term condescension are Nephi (1 Ne. 11:16, 26, 2 Ne. 4:6) and Jacob (2 Ne. 9:53, Jacob 4:7). In both cases where Jacob uses it, the word is plural, condescensions. The idea that Christ could be among men in the flesh is something that apostates rejected both before and during the meridian of time. Since then we seem to believe His work on earth is done until He comes in His glory, but do the scriptures teach that? Is this one of the mysteries that Jacob is about to unfold in Jacob 5?

    The topic of multiple mortal probations is separate, but related to a belief in whether Christ can do His own work in the flesh among all nations. Working among mankind anonymously. The possibility could lead us to a worship where we literally seek to feed the hungry, clothe the naked, and visit those who are in prison or sick and afflicted.

    Maybe MD or Searcher can find the reference or rumor related to Joseph Smith’s special affiliation for the song “A Poor Wayfaring Man of Grief”. That’s the kind of worship I am talking about. Something which ties us to the salvation of the living in contrast to the focused attention on salvation for the dead. (Isn’t that why so many seek the temple, so they can find Christ there? What if we thought he could be best found among the poor of the earth?)

    • CONDESCENSION – Voluntary descent from rank, dignity or just claims; relinquishment of strict right; submission to inferiors in granting requests or performing acts which strict justice does not require.

      While Nephi uses the word condescension to describe Christ’s earthly ministry (I’d argue it was the ultimate condescension), the other uses of condescension don’t link to an earthly ministry and seem to apply to God bestowing blessings and mercy to humans.

      Jacob 4:6-7
      Wherefore, we search the prophets, and we have many revelations and the spirit of prophecy; and having all these witnesses we obtain a hope, and our faith becometh unshaken, insomuch that we truly can command in the name of Jesus and the very trees obey us, or the mountains, or the waves of the sea. Nevertheless, the Lord God showeth us our weakness that we may know that it is by his grace, and his great condescensions unto the children of men, that we have power to do these things.

      Here the condescensions allow men to command the elements. That’s God giving divine power to humans – something we don’t merit in our fallen state. This is said 500 years before Christ’s earthly ministry, so the power can’t be coming from earthly ministries.

      2 Nephi 4
      17 Nevertheless, notwithstanding the great goodness of the Lord, in showing me his great and marvelous works, my heart exclaimeth: O wretched man that I am! Yea, my heart sorroweth because of my flesh; my soul grieveth because of mine iniquities.
      18 I am encompassed about, because of the temptations and the sins which do so easily beset me.
      19 And when I desire to rejoice, my heart groaneth because of my sins; nevertheless, I know in whom I have trusted.
      20 My God hath been my support; he hath led me through mine afflictions in the wilderness; and he hath preserved me upon the waters of the great deep.
      21 He hath filled me with his love, even unto the consuming of my flesh.
      22 He hath confounded mine enemies, unto the causing of them to quake before me.
      23 Behold, he hath heard my cry by day, and he hath given me knowledge by visions in the night-time.
      24 And by day have I waxed bold in mighty prayer before him; yea, my voice have I sent up on high; and angels came down and ministered unto me.
      25 And upon the wings of his Spirit hath my body been carried away upon exceedingly high mountains. And mine eyes have beheld great things, yea, even too great for man; therefore I was bidden that I should not write them.
      26 O then, if I have seen so great things, if the Lord in his condescension unto the children of men hath visited men in so much mercy, why should my heart weep and my soul linger in the valley of sorrow, and my flesh waste away, and my strength slacken, because of mine afflictions?

      Nephi is talking about his experiences, describing them as the Lord visiting him in mercy and a facet of God’s condescension, but there was no earthly ministry. Even when Nephi saw the Spirit of the Lord, Nephi was taken up somewhere else rather than the Lord coming to him. An interesting note is that in the original manuscript, verse 26 reads “if the Lord in his condescenion unto the children of men hath visited ME in so much mercy…”. That restricts the meaning of condescension even more.

      The final instance is in 2 Nephi 9.
      50 Come, my brethren, every one that thirsteth, come ye to the waters; and he that hath no money, come buy and eat; yea, come buy wine and milk without money and without price.
      51 Wherefore, do not spend money for that which is of no worth, nor your labor for that which cannot satisfy. Hearken diligently unto me, and remember the words which I have spoken; and come unto the Holy One of Israel, and feast upon that which perisheth not, neither can be corrupted, and let your soul delight in fatness.
      52 Behold, my beloved brethren, remember the words of your God; pray unto him continually by day, and give thanks unto his holy name by night. Let your hearts rejoice.
      53 And behold how great the covenants of the Lord, and how great his condescensions unto the children of men; and because of his greatness, and his grace and mercy, he has promised unto us that our seed shall not utterly be destroyed, according to the flesh, but that he would preserve them; and in future generations they shall become a righteous branch unto the house of Israel.

      Again, no talk of earthly ministries. The condescensions are linked to being able to buy wine and milk without money – the free gift of salvation and the promises made unto the fathers. Promises that will be fulfilled even though we don’t merit them. And these promises were made long before Christ made his appearance on earth.

      I don’t see anything in the context of the uses of the plural condescensions to link to multiple earthly ministries by Christ. But I do like the song A Poor Wayfaring Man of Grief, and Christ taught that inasmuch as we have helped the poor, we have helped him, so I agree that we should focus on saving the living rather than saving the dead.