An email asked about where the covenant will be read (which I have previously answered because it has been provided in writing beforehand to be viewed for six months). I was also asked who would mediate the covenant and what the governing law of the covenant would be. I responded with an email answer which I cut and paste below:
You are anticipating things that are beyond where we find ourselves at present.
We are obligated to repent and return. We may not have created the problem, but we cannot expect God to accomplish the work of what He commanded for man to be do before. Others may have neglected it, but we cannot.
The first step in repenting is to gather the original covenant we were offered in the precise terms in which they were offered. That is a very difficult task that many people have been working to accomplish for over a year. There are lively efforts underway to research and find the right language.
Repentance requires us to first learn the actual language in the terms God provided when His restoration began. Our condemnation in 1832 was provoked by the failure to both “say” and to “do” what was expected of us when He spoke again and commenced the restoration.
You want the language the Lord will provide when we have successfully repented and recovered the covenant language. What if we fail? What if we present nothing He will confirm is His covenant offered to us to restore us and remove the condemnation? Do you want the language to use it for something He will not approve?
I have no intention to ask Him to provide anything further until we (and I) have shown the respect and penitence of laboring to recover what was lost. I fear if I should ask Him without having the best recovered covenant language to present to Him that it would be an offense. It is tantamount to asking God to do work that we, in humility and contrition, ought to accomplish on our own. The hallmark of repentance is the labor to return. That is underway, but not completed.
I have a different point of view than most, including even those who are taking the restoration process seriously. I want to be clear about this, and therefore I may post this email response on my website.
Although dispensations have been differently organized throughout time, I believe there is only one pattern that will bring Zion.
Adam organized the faithful into a family, because it was the natural law of his day, reflected the order of heaven itself, and he was the father, grandfather, or great-grandfather (etc.) of all his posterity. Therefore there was in fact a family as the natural state of man in his dispensation.
I bypass Enoch, until later in this discussion.
Noah likewise had a patriarchal position and his dispensation was naturally a reflection of what went before. But his descendants fell into apostasy and only one generation survived the transfer of faith.
Melchizedek labored among people who were apostate, and I will discuss him with Enoch later.
When Abraham recovered the covenant, the world was apostate and the faithful of his day were of his loins or his household. Therefore in Abraham’s dispensation he established anew a patriarchy with himself as the head. Following him the son, Isaac, and grandson, Jacob in turn were the patriarchal heads just as at the beginning.
Moses inherited a disorganized people, and after liberating them from slavery he established one tribe, Levi, to bear the priesthood and receive tithes and offerings. The Levites were deprived of land, and received priesthood as their sole inheritance. All other tribes received land inheritances.
When Christ established His dispensation He mirrored, or imitated the family of Abraham. The people He ministered to were primarily descendants of Abraham, and so imitating Abraham, Isaac and Jacob (Peter, James and John) and the twelve sons of Jacob (twelve apostles) and seventy descendants of Jacob who entered Egypt (Exo. 1:5) with the seventy he ordained and sent out, was a familiar pattern to His audience.
When Joseph Smith mimicked or imitated the pattern of the Lord in establishing a New Testament organization, it was intended to show respect to the Lord. We see that Joseph imitated Christ, who in turn had imitated Abraham’s day.
But always remember: Adam did not bring Zion. Noah did not bring Zion. Moses did not, nor did Christ, nor Joseph Smith. Of these I think no one would doubt that Christ possessed the power and authority, the light and truth, and the capacity to bring Zion. But He did not. As yourself why that would be the case?
The only examples we have of Zion are the two I have by-passed. Those two, Enoch and Melchizedek, did not follow the pattern of the others. They did one thing which escapes most people’s notice. They took disorganized people and assembled them into a unified body that was equal, of one mind, of one heart, and without any poor among them. There is no mention anywhere in scripture of a structure or hierarchy among either of these people. It is clear these two were both ranked among history’s most towering spiritual figures. But they led two communities of equals. They assumed no authority other than that of a teacher and preacher of repentance.
When Enoch and Melchizedek’s successes are considered, the pattern of their dispensations stands in contrast to what all others did. Perhaps the Lord’s organization of the church in Palestine and the Nephites was done wittingly to prevent prematurely the third Zion foretold in the promises given from the time of Adam. Meaning the institution of a community of equals who are possessing one heart and one mind was not the objective Christ intended for those of His day. An hierarchy always presents inequality.
If you want me to claim the right to mediate as judge I decline. I have rebuffed two serious attempts to have myself “sustained” as a leader. I will not regard myself as above my fellow man, nor will I assume I am any less in need of repenting and returning to the Lord. Even if the Lord has required some things of me, I do not claim that distinguishes me above my fellow man. I confine myself to teaching and trying to persuade others. I hope to always allow them to govern themselves. I believe I have the same obligation as any other man: preach, teach, persuade, use longsuffering and love, exhibit pure knowledge and allow others to determine for themselves, free of constraint, if what is offered is light and truth, or darkness and error.
I am content to be the least in Zion, but would very much hope to be permitted to be there, if the Lord will permit it.