162: Comprehending, Part 3

This is part three of a series where Denver discusses how we can prepare ourselves to comprehend the things God wants to teach us.

Doctrine and Covenants section 84 has a description of events at the time of Moses, beginning at verse 19 of section 84: 

And this greater priesthood administereth the gospel and holdeth the key of the mysteries of the kingdom, even the key of the knowledge of God. Therefore, in the ordinances thereof, the power of godliness is manifest. (D&C 84:19-20) 

And by the way, I should add (as a parenthetical thought), the ordinances thereof is far more expansive than simply a set of rites or rituals—because when the higher priesthood is present on the earth, everything that that higher priesthood does is done as an ordinance—because once it has been ordained by God to take place (and God’s hand is behind what takes place), those events, under the direction of that priesthood, is all an ordinance, and therefore, within them you find the power of godliness.

And without the ordinances thereof, and the authority of the priesthood, the power of godliness is not manifest unto men in the flesh; For without this no man can see the face of God, even the Father, and live. Now this Moses plainly taught to the children of Israel in the wilderness, and sought diligently to sanctify his people that they might behold the face of God; But they hardened their hearts and could not endure his presence; therefore, the Lord in his wrath, for his anger was kindled against them, swore that they should not enter into his rest while in the wilderness, which rest is the fullness of his glory. (ibid, vs. 21-24)

I remind you (we’ve talked about this before), the glory of God is intelligence, or in other words, light and truth (D&C 93:36; see also T&C 93:11), therefore, the “rest” is to be filled with His glory or, in other words, filled with Light and Truth—or to comprehend things that you do not at present comprehend without the benefit of the glory of God. 

Therefore, he took Moses out of their midst, and the Holy Priesthood also. (ibid, vs. 25; see also T&C 82:12-14)

And thus, at that point ended the expectation anciently that there might be Zion. 

Now, I want you to think about (because this is a topic that’s going to recur throughout today) what the words mean: …his anger was kindled against them, swore that they should not enter into his rest while in the wilderness. And He did this in His wrath. We tend to think of God as very loving and benign after the sacrifice of Christ. And these words seem to be “Old Testament-like” and not “New Testament-like.”  But understanding, hopefully (when we get through today), more about the nature of God’s ire and God’s approval… Disapproval from God feels terrible.

When we were looking at the reaction that people have (in the last day of judgment) to standing in the presence of a just and holy being and feeling awful, I pointed out to you that in that passage, God was doing nothing other than existing. But the disappointment in the mind of man is so exquisite that it is likened by Joseph Smith to a lake of fire and brimstone.

Therefore, God in His wrath has simply withdrawn. He’s taken a step back because we’re not suited to be in His presence. Therefore, having God withdraw is a matter of feeling keenly that absence, that rejection. 

This incident is being described in modern revelation (in section 84), but the incident itself occurred back in the book of Exodus. This is Exodus chapter 20, beginning at verse 18:

And all the people saw the thunderings, and the lightnings, and the noise of the trumpet, and the mountain smoking: and when the people saw it, they removed, and stood afar off. And they said unto Moses, Speak thou with us, and we will hear: but let not God speak with us, lest we die. And Moses said unto the people, Fear not: for God is come to prove you, and that his fear may be before your faces, that ye sin not. And the people stood afar off, and Moses drew near unto the thick darkness where God was. (Exodus 20:18-21; see also Exodus 12:14 RE)

They did not want to encounter Him, not because the presence of God is so terrible that it drives men from Him—because Moses approached Him—but because the evidence of His presence makes us internally evaluate who and what we are. And although we can lie to ourselves about how good we really are, when the measuring stick against which you compare yourself is God, all of us come short. Even when the Lord Himself testifies to you that your sins are forgiven, you still recognize that you fall short. To the extent that you have confidence in the presence of the Lord, it is wholly derivative from Him. He has to strengthen you because if He does not, all of us would retire in shame.

Doctrine and Covenants section 124 has a revelation given in January of 1841 to the saints (at that point in Nauvoo), offering something to the saints in that day that is relevant to the history that unfolded thereafter. Beginning at verse 28, the Lord says through Joseph: 

For there is not a place…on earth that he [“He” here being the Lord, God—that he] may come to and restore again that which was lost unto you, or which he hath taken away, even the fulness of the priesthood. (see also T&C 141:10)

Skipping to verse 31: 

But I command you, all ye my saints, to build a house unto me… (D&C 124:31)

See, this commandment was unto everyone who at that point claimed to be a saint. All of them—every one of them—was put under the equal burden to build a house unto me.

…and I grant unto you [all of “you”] a sufficient time to build a house unto me; and during this time your baptisms shall be acceptable unto me. But behold, at the end of this appointment your baptisms for your dead shall not be acceptable unto me; and if you do not these things at the end of the appointment ye shall be rejected as a church, with your dead, saith the Lord your God. (ibid, vs. 31-32)

It’s interesting that in verse 31, it says your baptisms, and in verse 32, it says your baptisms for your dead—which suggests that after verse 31, if we fail in verse 32, that our baptisms will continue to be acceptable, but our vicarious work would not, and the Church would then be rejected.

If you skip to 34, talking about this proposed temple to be constructed: 

For therein are the keys of the holy priesthood ordained, that you may receive honor and glory… (ibid, vs. 34; see also T&C 141:11)

honor being the promise from God into the afterlife, respecting what you can expect to receive from God as an oath and as a covenant; glory being intelligence—or knowledge and understanding, Light and Truth—things that were not comprehended but which God hoped to have the Saints, at that point, comprehend.

Well, He gives to us (in this same revelation) a measuring stick by which we can determine if we satisfy the requirements that the Lord has set forth. And the measuring stick is this, beginning in verse 44—well, verse 43, probably, we should begin: 

And ye shall build it on the place where you have contemplated building it, for that is the spot which I have chosen for you to build it. (ibid, vs. 43)

So, they contemplated it, the Lord approved it, and this would become a spot where the Nauvoo temple was to be constructed. 

If ye labor with all your might, I will consecrate that spot that it shall be made holy. And if my people will hearken unto my voice, and unto the voice of my servants whom I have appointed to lead my people, behold, verily I say unto you, they shall not be moved out of their place… (ibid, vs. 44-45, emphasis added; see also T&C 141:13)

they being the people; they being those that He had chosen to lead them; they being, in this instance, the Prophet Joseph Smith and the one who would be appointed to receive priesthood and be appointed to hold the sealing power in this revelation, Hyrum Smith—the one who was designated to be the successor to Joseph Smith in the event of Joseph’s death, and the one whom the Lord would take first: Hyrum. Joseph died knowing that his successor had first fallen.

If…then they shall not be moved out of their place. But if they will not hearken to my voice, nor unto the voice of these men whom I have appointed, they shall not be blest, because they pollute mine holy grounds, and mine holy ordinances, and charters, and my holy words which I give unto them. And it shall come to pass that if you build a house unto my name, and do not do the things that I say, I will not perform the oath which I make unto you, neither fulfill the promises which ye expect at my hands, saith the Lord. For instead of blessings, ye, by your own works, bring cursings, wrath, indignation, and judgments upon your own heads, by your follies, and by all your abominations, which you practice before me, saith the Lord. (ibid, vs. 45-58, emphasis added; see also T&C 141:14)

So, if you get out the history and you look at the events that occured between 1841 and the death of Joseph on June 27th of 1844—and you ask yourself whether or not the Saints went to and built the House that had been commanded and did it with the kind of dispatch and the timeframe that was allowed that allowed the House of the Lord to be constructed—and if you look at the history to find where it was that the Lord came into that House (because it was Him that was required in order to restore what had been lost; because it was Him that was required to be there in order to return the glory to the House of the Lord; because it was Him that would bestow upon the saints the fullness of the priesthood; because it was the Lord, Himself, that required a place at which He could meet with His people)—and then once Joseph and Hyrum were dead, if you look at the history of what occured in Nauvoo and ask yourself, Were they blessed? Were they protected? Or did they experience (in the ordeals that drove them out of Nauvoo and into the wilderness, and the suffering that ensued there)… If, instead, you see cursings, wrath, indignations, and judgments upon the head of the saints, then you can reach a considered conclusion about whether or not we, in our day, mirror what happened at the time of Moses, and we, in our day (just as in the day of Moses) elected to say, “You—Joseph, Hyrum—you go talk to the Lord for us”—because when we consider the glory of the House of the Lord, it is no more desirable to us to go and ascend there as it was for those ancient Israelites to climb up the mountain (where there was thundering and lightnings and earthquakes underway).

I have one and only one desire: to try to persuade you to believe in the Restoration through Joseph Smith. It is not and has never been completed. It is a work yet before us. It is a work largely neglected since the time Joseph and Hyrum breathed their last breath. The prophecies that were delivered to Joseph Smith, both by Christ in the First Vision and by Moroni on the night of the first visit (which we began this with in Boise, Idaho), are a rallying cry for us to rise up and lay hold upon things. It’s a rallying cry—a prophecy—that does not fulfill itself. It gets fulfilled by what you do. Whether or not you fulfill those prophecies is dependent upon whether you will, like the ancient Israelites, elect not to go up. Or whether you—like Moses, like Joseph, like Hyrum—choose instead to forsake your sins and to move forward, even in the face of your own weakness and unworthiness. There isn’t one of us in this room that should not kneel before the presence of a just and holy being. There isn’t one of us who, if instructed to stand before Him, would not keenly feel the inadequacy of doing so—not one of us. But there are some here who have been in His presence, myself included.

There’s some eagerness that Father Hyrum had to get busy—before the Book of Mormon was even done—preaching repentance, because he believed it. And the Lord held Hyrum back. If you go to Doctrine and Covenants section 11, beginning at verse 13, there’s a revelation given to Hyrum that says, 

Verily, verily, I say unto you, I’ll impart unto you of my Spirit, which shall enlighten your mind, which shall fill your soul with joy; And then shall ye know, or by this you shall know, all things whatsoever you desire of me, which are pertaining unto things of righteousness, in faith believing in me that you shall receive. But I command you that you need not suppose that you’re called to preach until you are called. Wait a little longer, until you shall have my word, my rock, my church, and my gospel, that you may know of a surety my doctrine. (D&C 11:13-16, emphasis added)

See, Hyrum was being told, “It’s good to be eager, but don’t go out and try to preach something, because you’re not yet qualified. You don’t have enough knowledge in order to do so.” Likewise, Adam and Eve—not because the Lord held back and told ‘em: “Don’t do it; don’t do it.” But because the circumstances of their lives did not prepare them to do it until there were generations already alive on the earth. Then they were given the gifts that were necessary in order to begin their preaching.

Hyrum was told in verse 21: 

Seek not to declare my word, but first seek to obtain my word, and then shall your tongue be loosed; then, if you desire, you shall have my Spirit and my word, yea, the power of God unto the convincing of men. But now hold your peace; study my word which hath gone forth among the children of men, and also study my word which shall come forth among the children of men, or that which is now translating, yea, until you have obtained all that, which I grant unto the children of men in this generation, and then shall all things be added thereto. (Ibid, vs. 21-22; see also Joseph Smith History 14:12-14 RE)

  • Hyrum Smith, who would eventually become co-president with Joseph… 
  • Hyrum Smith, to whom the Lord would command that he be ordained not only to priesthood but to become the one possessing the sealing power over the Church… 
  • Hyrum Smith, who would be the successor to Joseph, though he was killed before Joseph… 
  • Hyrum Smith, who was the prophet of the Church (and Joseph rebuked the Church because they weren’t giving heed to Hyrum’s words)…  
  • Hyrum Smith, whose letter to the Church ought to be in the Doctrine and Covenants because he was a president, and he issued a general epistle admonishing people… 
  • Hyrum Smith, whose name is omitted from the list of Church presidents, even though it should be there… 

Hyrum Smith is told by the Lord: “Don’t go out and start preaching yet. You need to learn something first. You need to be qualified first.” In the revelation to Hyrum given in 1829— and in the lives of Adam and Eve—God is in no great hurry to get people running around preaching before they’re qualified.

There’s this comment that Joseph Smith made. He said, “I am learned, and know more than all the world put together. The Holy Ghost does, anyhow, and He is within me, and comprehends more than all the world: and I will associate myself with Him.” That’s in the Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith, page 350. This is what qualified Adam and Eve to go declare repentance to their children. This is what qualified them to know the truth of all things and have the wisdom with which to impart it so that they could persuade their children to believe in Christ. This is the fulness of the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

You, to be competent in teaching your children, must first have the Holy Ghost as your guide. Then, once you have that, you ought to have command of the Scriptures (just as Hyrum was told to learn what’s in them). Then you’re qualified to go and to teach your children, and you have an obligation to do that. Children are the means to preserve Zion. Without the conversion of children, Zion has no chance of surviving.

Take a look at Doctrine and Covenants section 68, beginning at verse 25: 

And again, inasmuch as parents have children in Zion, or in any of her stakes which are organized, that teach them not to understand the doctrine of repentance, faith in Christ the Son of the living God, and baptism and the gift of the Holy Ghost by the laying on of…hands, when eight years old, the sin be upon the head of the parents. For this shall be a law unto the inhabitants of Zion, or in any of her stakes which are organized. And their children shall be baptized for the remission of their sins when eight years old, and receive the laying on of the hands. And they shall also teach their children to pray, and to walk uprightly before the Lord. And the inhabitants of Zion shall also observe the Sabbath day to keep it holy. (D&C 68:25-29, emphasis added; see also T&C 55:5-6)

Isn’t it interesting that coupled with the obligation of the parents to do this for their children, this is immediately followed by observing the Sabbath day to keep it holy. This is not a delegable responsibility. You cannot take your children and drop them off to someone in an organization somewhere and say, “There you are; I’ll see you in three hours. And I hope that what comes out of your mouth at the end of that bears some remote resemblance to the content of scripture and not merely some warmed-over reiteration or regurgitation of a talk that we all slept through when it was broadcast on TV every six months” [laughter]. It is the same talk, recycled over and over. I can cut-and-paste and give you all the talks that are coming up in the next one [laughter]. That’s what you’re going to use? That’s the basis upon which you discharge your responsibility to your children, to teach them to understand the doctrine of repentance, faith in Christ the Son of the living God, baptism, the gift of the Holy Ghost? That’s what you’re going to do to discharge your non-delegable responsibility? You think that enduring to the end is all that needs to be done? If you got the checklist and you’ve got your little pamphlet and you fulfill that, that’s how you discharge your obligation to God? That’s how you mirror what Adam and Eve did when they preached repentance? That’s what you’re going to do to take care of this? 

Well, good luck with that! Because I’m telling you, that is not the way in which Zion is going to be assembled. It’s not going to work. You’re gonna have children who are inadequately educated about the events of this dispensation so that when they become an adult, they’re gonna begin to see all of the holes that exist in the traditional narrative about what happened when God began to work through Joseph Smith. You’re gonna have children that are gonna leave in droves. You’re gonna have children who are gonna say, “I reject you. I reject your Gospel. I reject your Book of Mormon. I reject your Church. And I reject all of the notions that you present to me, because I have found enough material on the Internet to raise serious doubts about all of this stuff.” And so, you—as parents—think you have discharged your responsibility when you’ve let your children grow up in ignorance, hearing a story that is put together to make the Church look good, without any regard for the salvation of the souls of your children? That’s what you’re going to do? And then you’re gonna come to God and say, “Look, they were regular Primary attenders when they were in my house! I mean, look, we did the For the Strength of Youth. We went up, and we did the Trek thing, you know; we drug a bunch of carts around and mirrored carrying the girls across the creek—and we did all that stuff and praised our ancestry and [singing] ‘Blessed, Noble Pioneers.’ We did all that stuff! [Singing] ‘Praise to the Man…’ We stood… We stood when your ‘anointed’ entered the room…”  

My God, people! What are you thinking!? What on earth are you thinking? Do you read these scriptures? Do you recognize that the salvation and eternal life of your children hangs in the balance by the ignorance that you visit upon them? Do you understand that their salvation may be lost entirely because the responsibility devolving upon you to teach, preach, exhort, and expound (both the man and the woman, both mother and father) has been imposed upon you by God?

You have to take time on Sunday (if that’s the way you’re going to spend your Sabbath) educating your children about the foolishness that they just heard and about the vanity and the pride that has just been visited upon them. You need to inoculate them against the errors of our day, and you need to ensure that they understand the truth. Because if you simply turn them loose to hear what they hear there—I don’t care if you go to a Lutheran Church or a Catholic Church or a Baptist Church—you’re not gonna get anything more redemptive out of what now is taught in the Primary programs of the Church than what you can get in these others. And, in fact, some of them may even do a better job because they preach and focus upon Jesus; they don’t have a hierarchy to point to to say, “Look at that man, and he’ll get you somewhere! He’s got a key, and all you have to be is some keyhole” [laughter].

Children need to be taught. Children need to be challenged. Children are the most inquisitive creatures on the planet. Children are eager to learn. They not only don’t know a lot, they know they don’t know a lot. They’re sponges. They want to learn. Boring a child about the gospel of Jesus Christ is an offense to the child and an offense to God! Preach the gospel to them. Tell them the truth. Take the material and challenge them to see that this gospel is infinite in scope, that Joseph Smith did not (indeed, could not) have written the Book of Mormon, that there are at least two voices that appear in the dialogue that we looked at yesterday in the book of Ether, that one of them never uses the word “prayer,” and the other one never uses the word “cry.”

Show them from the scriptures what it means to be saved. You will be astonished at how much children are capable of understanding! But I have to warn you, when you begin to teach your children, if you decide to discharge your obligation to them, you’re gonna make them strangers and foreigners and sojourners—and you’re gonna have to find other people who are like-minded and willing to teach their children and discharge their responsibility, so that your kids know that there’s more than just your family that’s interested in comprehending the gospel of Jesus Christ.

I hope you all understand that the Holy Ghost can and does speak to everyone—Baptists, Lutherans, Catholics. C.S. Lewis could not have written and comprehended what he wrote and understood unless the light of the Holy Ghost shown upon that man’s mind. Period. There is no organization which controls the Holy Ghost. It is untrue to say that there is some organization(which itself must be dependent upon the existence of priesthood for its order) has the authority to control the priesthood in all the world! That is utter rubbish!

And the practice of the missionaries demonstrates the “rubbish-ness” of it all—because when the missionaries come and teach about the Book of Mormon, they get out Moroni chapter 10, verse 4 and admonish you to pray and ask God…if these things are not true; and …[God] will manifest the truth of [that] unto you, by the power of the Holy Ghost (see also Moroni 10:2 RE). To the unbaptized, to the unwashed, to the uninitiated… They’re invited to come and listen to the Holy Ghost. And if they submit and if they do that, the Holy Ghost will speak to them. And the Holy Ghost does, can, will speak to anyone. You need these concepts in your mind in order to understand.

The Holy Ghost and the claim of owning a franchise is hollow, and the idea that the Holy Ghost can be controlled is false. The fact that LDS Mormons have some acquaintance with the Holy Ghost means very little. It does not distinguish Latter-day Saints, and it should not separate you from the Holy Ghost and its ministrations.

The Holy Ghost does not thrill you; it informs you. It gives you understanding. If you want to be thrilled, I can get that from Braveheart (because the Bruces are in my ancestry; Alice Bruce is one of my ancestors, and I was glad to see the repentance of the son who led the rebellion). In any event, thrilling music can do it. A great TV show can get you thrilled and feeling goose-bumps. And that’s not the Holy Ghost. The Holy Ghost enlightens your mind; it enlivens your senses; it brings light into your life; you understand something anew. There are some people who have the Spirit with them in such a degree that to be in their presence is to understand things better—understanding, comprehension, light and truth.

Here is the doctrine that is required for us to be gathered. Doctrine and Covenants section 10, beginning at verse 57: Behold, I am Jesus Christ, the Son of God. I came unto mine own, and mine own received me not. I am the light which shineth in darkness, and the darkness comprehendeth it not (D&C 10:57-58; see also Joseph Smith History 10:18 RE).

Even today, He is the light that shines in the darkness, not comprehended because there’s just too much darkness. We forbid His presence by quenching the Spirit and not allowing utterance in our meetings. That’s where we should be hearing from the Spirit and edifying one another.

Yea, and I will also bring to light my gospel which was ministered unto them, and, behold, they shall not deny that which you have received, but…shall build it up, and shall bring to light the true points of my doctrine, yea, and the only doctrine which is in me. And this I do that I may establish my gospel, that there may not be so much contention; yea, Satan doth stir…the hearts of the people to contention concerning the points of my doctrine; and in these things they do err, for they…wrest the scriptures and do not understand them. Therefore, I will unfold unto them this great mystery; For, behold, I will gather them as a hen gathereth her chickens under her wings, if they will not harden their hearts; Yea, if they will come, they may, and partake of the waters of life freely. Behold, this is my doctrine—[whoso] repenteth and cometh unto me, the same is my church. [Whoso] declareth more or less than this, the same is not of me, but is against me; therefore he is not of my church. And now, behold, [whatsoever is of my church] whosoever is of my church, and endureth of my church to the end, him will I establish upon my rock, and the gates of hell shall not prevail against them. And now, remember the words of him who is the [light and life] of the world, your Redeemer, your Lord and your God. Amen. (D&C 10:62-70; see also Joseph Smith History 10:18-21 RE)

There is… Priesthood is confined because of the Fall to the way in which it presently operates. But when He gathers… When He gathers them together, every time He refers to that gathering, the identity of the sex changes. It’s not as a rooster; it’s as a hen—and she preserves her chicks. There is something more to be looked forward to, if there should ever be a gathering. 

Christ taught this. Nephi taught this, anciently, at the beginning of the Nephite dispensation. Christ taught the same doctrine, and modern revelation reaffirms it—not only there [in D&C 10] but earlier, in March of 1830. This is in Doctrine and Covenants  section 19: 

I command you that you [shall] preach naught but repentance. (D&C 19:21) 

And then 29: 

And thou shalt declare glad tidings, yea, publish it upon the mountains, and upon every high place, and among every people that thou shalt be permitted to see. And thou shalt do it with all humility, trusting in me, reviling not against revilers. And of [the] tenets thou shalt not talk, but thou shalt declare repentance and faith on the Savior, and remission of sins by baptism, and by fire, yea, even the Holy Ghost. (Ibid, vs. 29-31; see also Joseph Smith History 17:6-8 RE)

That’s the Gospel. That’s what needs to be preached. That’s what needs to follow. But there are tenets. There are tenets to the faith. And those we’re commanded also to search into but not declare as doctrine necessarily. The things about which we need to have unity and absolute agreement is the Doctrine of Christ. 

Every dispensation of the Gospel has left only a remnant behind. Christ’s work is designed to preserve a remnant and, at the end, gather all remnants together again. The Restoration that was given through the Prophet Joseph Smith has likewise put itself in a position where, now, it can only produce a remnant—but one that will be preserved and not abandoned.

In Third Nephi chapter 21, the Lord talked about some things that become exceptionally relevant in light of what we’ve covered today.

And verily I say unto you, I give unto you a sign, that [you] may know the time when these things shall be about to take place—that I shall gather in, from their long dispersion, my people, O house of Israel, and…establish again among them my Zion [this is addressing all of those various remnants, wherever that they may be found, so long as they are some residue of the house of Israel]. And behold, this is the [sign] which I will give unto you for a sign—for verily I say unto you that when these things which I declare unto you, and which I shall declare unto you hereafter of myself, and by the power of the Holy Ghost which shall be given unto you of the Father, shall be made known unto the Gentiles [see, the Gentiles had to first receive some things] that they [the Gentiles] may know concerning this people who are a remnant of the house of Jacob, and concerning this my people who shall be scattered by them [the Gentiles]. Verily, verily, I say unto you, when these things shall be made known unto them [some constituent group of Gentiles] of the Father, and shall come forth of the Father, from them unto you… (3 Nephi 21:1-3)

It can’t come from any source other than from the Father—the Father and Christ being one—the authority to minister and to deliver it coming from Them, the power to baptize being brought forth from some remnant of the Gentiles who care to bear it.

For it is wisdom in the Father that they [the Gentiles] should be established in this land, and be set up as a free people by the power of the Father, that these things might come forth from them unto a remnant of your seed, that the covenant of the Father may be fulfilled which he hath covenanted [with this people] with his people, O house of Israel. (Ibid, vs. 4)

“O house of Israel” is much more. “O house of Israel” is that same inclusive of all bits and remnants, wherever they may be found. I talked about covenants when we were in Centerville and about the fulfillment of the covenants. All of the covenants which apply to people scattered everywhere, all of those included within the previous remnants—they need to be gathered into one constituent group.

Therefore, when these works and the works which shall be wrought among you hereafter shall come forth from the Gentiles… (Ibid, vs. 5, emphasis added)— 

Not their “book”; their works. Not their “book”; the works: bringing to pass the Doctrine of Christ, establishing repentance, declaring and baptizing by the authority of Christ, having people visited by fire and the Holy Ghost—these are the works. These are the works. 

…shall come forth from the Gentiles, unto your seed which shall dwindle in unbelief because of iniquity; For thus it behooveth the Father that it should come forth from the Gentiles, that he may show forth his power unto the Gentiles. (Ibid, vs. 5-6, emphasis added) 

That’s what He needs now to do. That’s what He intends to do—if you will receive it. 

For this cause that the Gentiles, if they will not harden their hearts, that they may repent and come unto me and be baptized in my name and know of the true points of my doctrine, that they may be numbered among my people, O house of Israel. (Ibid, vs. 6, emphasis added)

You can’t get there except through the power of the doctrine and the power of the ordinance that God has given, in the way that is has been given, performed with the exactness, fidelity, and language that has been given to us by Christ Himself. 

When these things come to pass that thy seed shall begin to know these things—it shall be a sign unto them, that they may know that the work of the Father hath already commenced unto the fulfilling of the covenant which he…made unto the people who are of the house of Israel. (Ibid, vs. 7)

All of them. It’s a witness that His work has commenced. 

And when that day shall come, it shall come to pass that kings shall shut their mouths; for that which had not been told them shall they see; and that which they had not heard shall they consider. For in that day, for my sake shall the Father work a work, which shall be a great and…marvelous work among them; and there shall be among them those who will not believe it, although a man shall declare it unto them. But behold, the life of my servant shall be in my hand; therefore they shall not hurt him, although he shall be marred because of them. Yet I will heal him, for I will show unto them that my wisdom is greater than the cunning of the devil. Therefore it shall come to pass that whosoever will not believe in my words, who am Jesus Christ, which the Father shall cause him to bring forth unto the Gentiles, and shall give unto him power that he shall bring [it] forth unto the Gentiles, (it shall be done even as Moses said) they shall be cut off from among my people who are of the covenant. …[whoever] will not believe in my words, who am Jesus Christ. (Ibid, vs. 8-11; see also 3 Nephi 9:11-12 RE)

These are Christ’s words. We touched on these words all the way back in Boise. It was quoted by the angel Moroni, referring to Joseph Smith. Acts 3, verses 22 to 23: 

For Moses truly said unto the fathers, A prophet shall the Lord your God raise up unto you of your brethren, like unto me; him shall ye hear in all things whatsoever he shall say unto you. And it shall come to pass, that every soul, which will not hear that prophet, shall be destroyed from among the people.

That prophet is Christ. It doesn’t say Christ is going to come and deliver His words; it says, His “words.” Those who will not believe in my words, who am Jesus Christ, …they shall be cut off (3 Nephi 21:11). And the angel Moroni said to Joseph, in verse 40 of the Joseph Smith History, The day had not yet come when ‘they who would not hear his voice should be cut off from among the people,’ but soon would come (see also Joseph Smith History 3:4 RE).

That prophet is Christ. His words are what I’ve spoken to you today. 

And my people who are a remnant of Jacob shall be among the Gentiles, yea, in the midst of them as a lion among the beasts of the forest, as a young lion among the flocks of sheep, who, if he go through both treadeth down and teareth in pieces, and none can deliver. Their hand shall be lifted up upon their adversaries, and all their enemies shall be cut off. Yea, wo be unto the Gentiles except they repent; for it shall come to pass in that day, saith the Father, that I will cut off thy horses out of the midst of thee, and I will destroy thy chariots; And I will cut off the cities of thy [lands], and throw down all thy strongholds; And I will cut off witchcrafts out of [the] land, and thou shalt have no more soothsayers; Thy graven images will I also cut off… (3 Nephi 21:12-17)—

Graven images are people you worship. Graven images include men to whom you submit as objects or idols of authority in whom you trust, thinking that they can deliver you by some magic, using some key that they purport to hold, whether Catholic or Mormon or Fundamentalist. Graven images—they’re going to be cut off. 

...thou shalt no more worship the works of thy hands; And I will pluck up thy groves out of the midst of thee; so will I destroy thy cities. And it shall come to pass that all lyings, and deceivings, and envyings, and strifes, and priestcrafts, and whoredoms, shall be done away. For it shall come to pass, saith the Father, that at that day whosoever will not repent and come unto my Beloved Son, them will I cut off from among my people, O house of Israel [that’s all remnants gathered together]; And I will execute vengeance and fury upon them, even as upon the heathen, such as they have not heard. But if they [speaking of the Gentiles—if they] will repent and hearken unto my words, and harden not their hearts, I will establish my church among them, and they shall come in unto the covenant and be numbered among this the remnant of Jacob, unto whom I have given this land for their inheritance. (3 Nephi 21:17-22, emphasis added)—

…because every time there’s a covenant, there is always a land. And this is the land that God covenants He will give. And the people to whom He will give it are those that come back and receive the covenant, including the Gentiles in whose ears this first shall sound…if they will come. And coming unto the covenant—that is not yet possible. It requires more than has at present been given. It is possible to come in and become part of His church. It is possible, if you follow as you’ve been instructed today, to become part of the church He recognizes and will preserve. But coming fully into the covenant… That will require more than has at present be given. It will require a covenant. It will require adoption. It will require sealing. It was what Joseph looked forward to have happen at some point in the future during the days of his prophecy. 

And they shall assist my people, the remnant of Jacob, and also as many of the house of Israel as shall come, that they may build a city, which shall be called the New Jerusalem. And then shall they assist my people that they may be gathered in, who are scattered upon all the face of the land, in unto the New Jerusalem. And then shall the power of heaven [in this case, it is the singular—it’s not the “powers”—because when you have Him present with you, you have all the authority—then shall the power of heaven] come down among them; and I also will be in the midst. And then shall the work of the Father commence at that day… (Ibid, vs. 23-26)

Christ will come. Once the covenant has been renewed, the city of Zion will follow. The Lord’s presence will come, and then the final stage begins. 

…even when this gospel shall be preached among the remnant of this people. Verily I say unto you, at that day shall the work of the Father commence among…the dispersed of my people, yea, even the tribes which have been lost, which the Father hath led away out of Jerusalem. Yea, the work shall commence among all the dispersed of my people, with the Father to prepare the way whereby they may [be]come [in] unto me, that they may call on the Father in my name. Yea, and then shall the work commence, with the Father among all nations in preparing the way whereby his people may be gathered home to the land of their inheritance. And they shall go out from all nations; …they shall not go out in haste, nor…by flight, for I will go before them, saith the Father, and I will be their rearward. (3 Nephi 21:26-29; see also 3 Nephi 9:12-10:1 RE)

It’s not gonna happen in haste. And the work of the Father that will commence in those nations, to commence the possibility for the gathering, will involve destroying a great deal of political, social, and military obstructions that prevent the gathering, prevent even the preaching to those that would gather if they could hear. But the work of the Father (and it’s always masculine when it comes to destruction)… The work of the Father is going to bring this to an end. All the scattered remnants will be brought back again. The original, unified family of God will be restored again. The Fathers will have our hearts turned to them because in that day, once it’s permitted to get that far, we will be part of that family again.

Our day is filled with darkness and deception. Our day is the day about which Nephi wrote. If you turn to Second Nephi chapter 28, beginning halfway through verse 4: 

…they shall teach with their learning, and deny the Holy Ghost, which giveth utterance. (2 Nephi 28:4) 

This is why the ordinance has to be renewed. This is why the pattern has to be followed. This is why the light has to be turned on. Because the Holy Ghost has not assisted with the kind of robust assistance that it can if you’re penitent. God cannot dwell in unclean vessels, and so He remedies that by cleaning the vessel, cleaning it in accordance with the pattern that He’s given, thereby making it possible that the Holy Ghost can give to you utterance.


The foregoing excerpts were taken from:

  • Denver’s 40 Years in Mormonism Series, Talk #8 titled “A Broken Heart and Contrite Spirit” given in Las Vegas, NV on July 25th, 2014
  • Denver’s 40 Years in Mormonism Series, Talk #9 titled “Marriage and Family” given in St. George, UT on July 26th, 2014
  • Denver’s 40 Years in Mormonism Series, Talk #10 titled “Preserving the Restoration” given in Mesa, AZ on September 9th, 2014