I got an email asking about the phrase describing a revelation that the recipient was “unable to take it in.” I responded:
When God reveals vast amounts of information, truths or visions from a higher order, or material that exceeds our framework of thought, it does not become immediately understood. I have said there are three different stages involved with the greatest revelations:
First, to receive it.
Second, to understand it.
Third, to be capable of teaching it.
Just because it has been received, that does not mean it is understood.
Just because it has been received and understood, that does not mean the recipient is capable of teaching it to others in an understandable or coherent way. It can be a very difficult struggle to move to the point that a person can begin to teach these things to others.
Joseph relentlessly labored and meditated on how to grasp the things opened to his view. That was why he was able to continually teach new truths.
I responded to an email posing the question of how Zion would result from what is presently happening and who is presently involved. I responded by explaining these ideas:
Any solution could be imposed quickly and would result in stabilizing everything–just by adopting a central command structure to compel order. Everyone is already conditioned to accept authority and obey it. But that step would bring peace at the price of altogether losing the hope for Zion. For now it must be this gentle way.
Don’t think about this as a time to gather but as a time to prove.
Continue reading “How can Zion come from this?”
I have been asked about two statements: one in the opening remarks at the Boise Conference which did not mention reading the Prayer for Covenant and another one in the note of section 158 saying that the prayer is to be read with the covenant. The opening remarks included this:
I have been given authority from God to deliver His covenant this day. Every formality required from the days of Adam until now for establishing a covenant has been kept and met. Once the covenant is established, those sustained by seven women (or a man inside his own family) who receive it also have authority to administer the ordinance to others who want to be numbered among God’s people. To administer to others, repeat the ordinance. Read aloud the Lord’s Answer and the words of the Covenant. Ask them to stand and say, Yes, and they will become one of the Lord’s covenant people. Do not change the words of the covenant, for to change an ordinance is to break it. (Isa. 24:5.)
The note at the beginning of Section 158 explains:
Continue reading “Question About Covenant”
One person believes his understanding of God can control what God is able to do or not do. Another person believes anything new that conflicts with what she thinks about God must be false. They limit what God is able to accomplish with them because they doubt God can be other than they imagine Him to be. It is puzzling to think people with such different views of God assume they will see God’s promises fulfilled:
And it shall come to pass in the last days — when the mountain of the Lord’s house shall be established in the top of the mountains and shall be exalted above the hills, and all nations shall flow unto it — many people shall go and say, Come and let us go up to the mountain of the Lord, to the house of the God of Jacob, and he will teach us of his ways and we will walk in his paths; for out of Zion shall go forth the law, and the word of the Lord from Jerusalem. And he shall judge among the nations and shall rebuke many people. And they shall beat their swords into plowshares and their spears into pruning hooks; nation shall not lift up sword against nation, neither shall they learn war anymore. O house of Jacob, come, and let us walk in the light of the Lord; yea, come, for you have all gone astray, everyone to his wicked ways. Therefore, O Lord, you have forsaken your people, the house of Jacob, because they be replenished from the east and listen to fortune-tellers like the Philistines (OC Isa. 1:6-7, emphasis added.)
It is puzzling for people to wish to be “one” when they have such diverse versions of God:
Continue reading “Every Man’s God”
A pdf version of yesterday’s talk in Phoenix is now up on the “Downloads” part of this website. The talk (paper) is titled Our Divine Parents.
Unfortunately, when converted to pdf the first footnote was cut off. I will reconvert it to pdf and repost it this evening. The first footnote should read this way:
“This is a term used twice by Alman the Younger in his instruction to his son Corianton, recorded in New Covenants Alma 19:13 (hereafter “NC”); Alma 42:8, 16. Joseph Smith referred to this plan as “eternal progression.”
There is a conference taking place in Phoenix, Arizona this weekend. The theme is “Wisdom Through the Ages” . Conference information can be viewed by clicking on the link.
The organizers have invited me to speak on Sunday. The conference website will link to a live Internet broadcast of some of the events and talks during the conference.
A new series of videos on the Protestant Reformation website and YouTube has been launched. The series will deal with Christian Restoration. The first video is available and seen here: Reform was not Enough.
All volumes of the scriptures are now complete and available for order on Amazon.
The first volume is titled the Old Covenants, and contains the Joseph Smith version of the Old Testament.
The second volume is titled the New Covenants, and contains both the Joseph Smith version of the New Testament and the most accurate version of the Joseph Smith corrected Book of Mormon. Joseph intended to publish the New Testament and Book of Mormon in a single volume. This is the only project that has honored Joseph’s intentions.
The third volume is titled Teachings and Commandments. It contains the original, most accurate version of the revelations to Joseph Smith, the Lectures on Faith, several complete letters written by Joseph Smith (like the Wentworth letter and Liberty Jail letter), and an expanded Joseph Smith History as he originally published it while editor of the Times and Seasons. It also includes some modern material approved through conference and on-line voting as an act of common consent.
These three volumes will remain in print continually. After at least six months of review, a high quality, leather-bound version will be printed. During the review period, if there are print mistakes discovered, you can send comments to this email: firstname.lastname@example.org
We are hoping for public input to catch and correct those print errors before the high quality leather-bound version is printed.
Christ said a man is known by his “fruit.” Matthew 6:14 Christ explains how to measure “fruit.”
Either make the tree good and his fruit good, or else make the tree corrupt and his fruit corrupt, for the tree is known by the fruit. And Jesus said, O you children of vipers, How can you, being evil, speak good things? For out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks. A good man, out of the good treasure of the heart, brings forth good things; and an evil man, out of the evil treasure, brings forth evil things. And again I say unto you that every idle word men shall speak, they shall give an account thereof in the day of judgment: for by your words you shall be justified, and by your words you shall be condemned.
Christ determined that the test for “fruit” is the words we speak. But how should “words” be measured? Anger, conflict, violence, war and division amongst families were just some of the the results of the words Christ spoke. If Christ’s words were measured by how people were affected by them, then Christ produced bad fruit. Therefore, the reaction people have to words cannot be an accurate measure of “fruit.” It must be the substance, the truth, or the independent value of the words–separate from how people respond to a man’s words.
Prophets and righteous individuals have been arousing anger, provoking violent reactions, and being called anything from foolish to vile because of their words, and that does nothing to diminish the goodness of their fruit.
When a new dispensation of Christ’s gospel occurs, re-baptism is required. The Jews were practicing baptism before John the Baptist. But first John, then Christ taught that re-baptism was necessary to accept God’s new work.
This is from the New Covenants, Matthew 4:10:
Then said the Pharisees unto him, Why will you not receive us with our baptism, seeing we keep the whole law? But Jesus said unto them, You keep not the law. If you had kept the law, you would have received me, for I am he that gave the law. I do not receive you with your baptism because it profits you nothing, for when that which is new has come, the old is about to be put away; for no man puts a piece of new cloth on an old garment, for that which is put in to fill it up takes from the garment, and the rent is made worse. Neither do men put new wine into old bottles, else the bottles break, and the wine runs out, and the bottles perish. But they put new wine into new bottles and both are preserved.
Joseph Smith’s edit of the passage makes it clear the topic that led to the new cloth-old garment, new wine-old bottles comparison by Christ was re-baptism.
Continue reading “Re-Baptism Required”
Throughout the Book of Mormon, the phrase “cast his eyes,” or some derivative of those words are used to describe briefly looking in a direction. When Nephi looked for his family, he said that he “cast my eyes round about” trying to see where they were. (1 Ne. 8:13.) When Alma described healing that occurred by looking at the bronze serpent Moses fashioned, he asked if they wouldn’t “cast about their eyes” to be rescued. (Alma 33:21.) When Nephi and Lehi were liberated from prison by a great earthquake, and the Lamanites had fallen to the ground, they “cast their eyes about” to see what had happened and they saw Nephi and Lehi encircled by a pillar of fire. (Helman 5:43-44.) When God introduced His Son to the Nephites gathered in Bountiful with a still, small voice that the people could not understand, they “cast their eyes round about” to try to locate who was speaking. (3 Ne. 11:3.) When Christ had finished preaching to the group gathered in Bountiful, He “cast his eyes round about upon the multitude” and saw they had tear-filled eyes. (3 Ne. 17:5.)
Continue reading “Cast His Eyes”
I was struck with what the Lord said in this passage from the New Covenants, Matthew 3:35: “And again I say unto you, Go into the world and do not care for the world, for the world will hate you and will persecute you and will turn you out of their synagogues. Nevertheless, you shall go forth from house to house teaching the people, and I will go before you.”
When the Lord tells us to expect to be “turned out of their synagogues,” I pondered over who would do that casting out. It can only be done by those who own buildings, who control houses of worship, and who expect believers to come to their religious buildings to worship God. It can only be done by those who think they have the right to enforce their religious ideas by compulsion, demanding conformity and suppressing ideas they dislike.
Continue reading “Turned Out of Synagogues”
The second volume of the new scriptures is now in final form and published. It combines the New Testament and Book of Mormon into a single volume. Joseph Smith always intended for these two to be published together in a single volume.
The New Testament version used is the “Joseph Smith Translation” incorporates all changes he made, including punctuation changes. It is the first time all of the changes Joseph Smith made are in print.
Continue reading “New Covenants”
I engage in a process that precedes what I consider having possession of any kind of reliable information. Speculation and casual comments I have made are not particularly reliable. Research I’ve done to try to understand a subject is not reliable. Conversations in emails about some topic may be nothing more than guess work or casual conversation. When information, light and truth come from God, I consider that reliable information worth writing about, talking about or teaching.
Years ago I was contemplating the subject of Christ’s original apostles. As I looked into the scriptures, the promise Christ made to the twelve was that in the resurrection they would sit on twelve thrones and judge the twelve tribes of Israel. Judas was among the twelve when the promise was made. Judas fell away, betrayed the Lord and committed suicide. Whatever promise Judas may have had would have required his continued faithfulness. He was not faithful. Therefore, his throne and position as a judge in the resurrection over a tribe of Israel was forfeited. This led to the question of who would fill that vacancy.
Continue reading “Reliable Information”
Latter-day Saints who go through temple rites covenant and promise before God, angels and witnesses to obey the law of chastity; which is that they will have no sexual intercourse except with their spouse to whom they are legally and lawfully married.
In Illinois during the entire 1840s it was illegal to be married to more than a single spouse. In the United States Territories it was likewise a crime to be married to more than one spouse. Because of open, unlawful cohabitation by members of the LDS church beginning in the early 1850s, Congress enacted harsher and harsher penalties to stop that unlawful conduct. Congress ultimately confiscated LDS church property to compel them to obey the law. Apparently the LDS church valued property more than their religion because they abandoned unlawful polygamous marriage as a tenet of their faith.
Continue reading “Unchaste”