BOWbutton

This button is a resource to link those desiring baptism with those having authority to baptize. More information can be found here.

 

Talk on Mormon History

Last Sunday I spoke about Mormon history. It was recorded and is now available on this website for any who are interested in that topic. It is located on the Downloads page, under the “Audio Files” section.

Syria

Below is an excerpt from an article reviewing the news about a crisis in Syria:

“No nation can claim the name Syrian. A chaotic mixture of all tribes and tongues remnants of migrations from north and south, they disturb one another in the possession of this glorious land where our fathers for so many centuries emptied the cup of joy and woe, where every clod is drenched with the blood of our heroes when their bodies were buried under the ruins of Jerusalem.” Times and Seasons, Nauvoo, Illinois, June 1, 1841.

Rebaptism

On Sunday, March 20, 1842 Joseph Smith preached about baptism and rebaptized about 79 church members and at least one new convert. The first baptism was the convert.

Wilford Woodruff’s Journal records: “President Joseph Smith went forth into the river & Baptized with his own hands about 80 persons for the remission of their sins & what added Joy to the seene the first person Baptized was Mr L. D. Wason a nephew of sister Emma Smith was the first of her kindred that have embraced the fulness of the gospel.”

On the next Sunday Woodruff recorded: “After the meeting closed the congregation again assembled upon the bank of the river & Joseph the seer went into the river & Baptized all that Came unto him & I considered it my privilege to be Baptized for the remission of my sins for I had not been since I first Joined the Church in 1833. I was then Baptized under the hands of Elder Zerah Pulsipher. Therefore I went forth into the river & was Baptized under the hands of JOSEPH THE SEER & likewise did Elder J Taylor & many others…” (March 27, 1842, Wilford Woodruff’s Journal.)

In just these two journal entries we see rebaptism was taught and practiced by Joseph Smith, John Taylor and Wilford Woodruff. If other contemporaneous records are consulted it is clear that rebaptism was universal in the early days of Mormonism. It was not the sacrament that renewed baptismal covenants, but rebaptism.

Fellowship Locator

A website to assist in locating fellowships worldwide has been completed and is now live. You can find the site at the following address and link:

http://www.fellowshiplocator.info

This site allows anyone to enter a fellowship and provide information for others to identify and contact you. You can also use it to locate the nearest fellowship. It is designed to facilitate worldwide identification for those who share beliefs in the restoration of the gospel.

This particular site has a limited purpose: to facilitate worldwide identifying and contacting fellowships. It will not have any commercial use or activity on it. It will not be used to promote any product or sell. The site permits feedback about the fellowships, including complaints. Those complaints will be made public. Complaints will be investigated and if abuse is discovered (the fellowship is a sham), the location will be deleted.

There are other sites with different fellowship goals, including social interaction. One was built to help in the Midwest. It is also live. That site is found at:

www.zionfellowships.com

A third site providing some fellowship related information and service is:

www.RestoreZion.com

 

A Gospel of Christ

Joseph Smith wrote or spoke on different occasions describing the First Vision. This has become a source of criticism from some and doubt for others. The question at hand is why he would tell the story differently, using different words on two or more occasions?

I think the criticism is unwarranted. But I have taken note of it and intend to make different mistakes.  I have written only one account of my testimony, witness and gospel (announcement of “good news”) of Christ, and published it in the book Come, Let Us Adore Him. To avoid the inevitable criticism I would receive if I were to use a different pronoun, adverb or adjective by giving a second account, I intend to leave the account in that book to stand as the only statement I will make about those visits from the Lord.

He took some patience over a number of visits to help me understand His suffering in the atonement. Then He showed me His resurrection. The account of Gethsemane and the resurrection in Come, Let us Adore Him are consolidated into one narrative, although it required a number of visits for me to understand. It is written in the third person, imitating the Apostle Paul in 2 Cor. 12:2-5.

The Lord wanted my testimony of what He suffered to be public. The book has not been widely read, and I do not think that it needs to be. Those who are interested in His great condescension for our sake can seek it out. It was meant for them. For that reason I have never repeated it.

There have been other encounters between the Lord and me, including a first one that conveyed interesting information about His return in glory. I believe He will want that one to be made public at some point, but He will have to determine whether and when that will happen. I have no intention to go beyond the specific direction He gives.

Imitate or Appropriate

Lucifer and his followers damn mankind by employing the following strategies.

Imitate: Lucifer makes what he does resemble what the Savior does. He teaches as closely as possible what the Savior teaches. He claims what the Savior claims. He promises what the Savior promises. But in every case, he does so falsely so that it cannot save anyone.

Appropriate: He gains control over whatever the Savior establishes. The very best way to insure no one is saved is to take the actual House of God and make it Lucifer’s house.

The weak-minded are easily fooled into believing they have salvation when they only have a powerless imitation. Hence the Lord’s prophesy that many will claim at the last day they did many wonderful things in His name. To them He will say: “I never knew you; depart from me ye that work iniquity.” (Matt. 7:21-23.)

It may seem challenging, but making the right choices is not difficult. As long as we take this concept seriously (our salvation depends on it) and we study carefully using the scriptures as our guide, it is easy to tell imitation from the real thing. It is also easy to see when the order established by Christ has been misappropriated. The scriptures tell us the test for priestcraft. Do men seek the welfare of Zion, or their own benefit?

Cain’s Legacy

In addition to the first murder (Moses 5:32), Cain’s descendants also introduced taking multiple wives (Moses 5:44). Murder to gain control and the adulterous taking of multiple wives is a pattern originated by Cain and later imitated by Brigham Young. Young called the former “blood atonement” and the latter “Celestial Marriage.” Cain slew only Abel, so far as the record reports, but Brigham’s followers accepted his doctrine and slew hundreds.

“Some have reported that we not only dedicated our property, but likewise our families
to the Lord, and Satan taking advantage of this has transfigured it into lasciviousness, a
community of wives, which things are an abomination in the sight of God…if any person,
has represented anything otherwise than what we now write they have willfully
misrepresented us.”
—Joseph Smith, 1838 Letter from Liberty Jail

 

At least Cain did not claim he could not lead others astray.

Fidelity in Marriage

Fidelity to your spouse is foundational to righteousness. Immorality is disruptive of marriage, destructive of families, and has no place in a City of Peace.

Group sex, immoral relationships and free intercourse is offensive to God, a violation of the Ten Commandments, and the means of spreading disease.  God does not justify carnal relations except between one man and his one wife. They two are the image of God. Anything else degrades and corrupts. Participants in immoral behavior become laden with sin.

Those foolish enough to be misled by this darkness deserve to be taken captive and destroyed, as will certainly come to pass.

Reformation Sunday

As this Reformation Sunday draws to a close I wanted to honor those who went before: Martin Luther, John Calvin, John Knox, John Wesley, John Wycliffe, and the Pilgrims who were inspired by their cause to come to American to establish a New Jerusalem, a land of faith, a place of peace and freedom.

We went to the services of the Presbyterian Church on South Temple in Salt Lake City this morning to celebrate the occasion. The bagpipes and drums stir the heart of even the casual believer. That building’s great stained glass windows testify in the west of Christ’s birth and in the east of His resurrection. The sun was rising in the east during the early morning service, and lit the image of the angel in announcing His resurrection. The lower stained glass windows in the west testify of the many events in His life and ministry. What a wonderful setting it was to remember the Reformation.

The Reformation set the stage for God’s final work. A Restoration began in Joseph Smith. It will continue. That New Jerusalem sought by the reformers will yet be established.

How odd it seems that in this dreary last chapter where rampant impurity, gross immorality, the love of man growing cold against one another–how odd it is that in this day the Lord would again stir us to remember His promise of Zion. Yet it was always foretold to be so, for the Lord said both wheat and tares would grow together until ready for harvest. (Matt. 13:24-30; D&C 86:7.) Tares are ripening. What is God to make of His wheat?