Tag: Sidney Rigdon

God’s Many Works, Part 2

Section 88 continues the explanation with the following:

And the light which shineth, which giveth you light, is through him who enlighteneth your eyes, which is the same light that quickeneth your understandings; (D&C 88: 11.)

This is not just environmental. This is now touching you. It is the “light of Christ” which “enlighteneth your eyes.” What does that mean? Could you see if this were withdrawn?

What does it mean that the “light of Christ” is what “quickeneth your understandings?” Without the light of Christ would you be able to understand anything? How intimately are you connected to the “light of Christ?” How dependent are you on His light?

It continues:

Which light proceedeth forth from the presence of God to fill the immensity of space— The light which is in all things, which giveth life to all things, which is the law by which all things are governed, even the power of God who sitteth upon his throne, who is in the bosom of eternity, who is in the midst of all things. (D&C 88: 12-13.)

We have been reading about Christ and the “light of Christ” which empowers all of this creation. But now the source from which it proceeds is being identified. This “proceedeth forth from the presence of God.” Who is this referring to? Is this Christ still?
Who “sitteth upon his throne, who is in the bosom of eternity?” Who “is in the midst of all things?” Is this still Christ? 
Steven saw Christ in heaven standing beside the Throne of the Father. (Acts 7: 56.) Joseph and Sidney saw Christ on the Father’s right hand. (D&C 76: 21.) John received the testimony of Jesus where Christ affirmed that all who overcome will be able to also sit on the Father’s Throne, just as He (Christ) had overcome and could sit on the Father’s Throne. (Rev. 3: 21.) If Christ had to first “overcome” and complete the descent and ascent, then whose throne (the Father’s or Christ’s) is referred to in D&C 88 verses 12-13 above?
Assuming it is the Father’s Throne, and the Father is the one who has been sitting on it from the beginning, then what harmony is there between Christ and the Father? How can the Father’s power proceed forth in all directions, but Christ be the one who is “the light and life of the world?” How complete is the harmony found in the relationship between Christ and the Father if the power originates from the Father, but is given to the Son to become “the light and life of the world?”
What does it mean that this light “giveth life to all things?” How dependent are you on this “light” for your own life? What does it mean that “Man was also in the beginning with God. Intelligence, or the light of truth, was not created or made, neither indeed can be.” (D&C 93: 29.) If “the light of truth” cannot be made or created, then what does it mean that the light “proceeds forth from the Throne of God?”
What source flows from God and proceeds throughout all creation? What is the “power” behind all creation?
If this power bestows “life” upon its recipients, then can it also bestow something else?

Received of His Fullness, Part 2

It will only be when the gentiles begin to have faith like the Brother of Jared that the Lord will make the fullness known again. (Ether 4: 6-7.) It was the plan to withhold the fullness from the gentiles, and not confer it upon them. The Lord told Moroni “they shall not go forth unto the Gentiles until the day that they shall repent of their iniquity, and become clean before the Lord.” (Id.)

Joseph and Sidney “received of His fullness” in the vision. (D&C 76: 20.) The Lord once offered it again. Joseph may or may not impress you as a valiant soul (he certainly does me), but almost no one looks at Sidney Rigdon and sees a great, valiant soul. There has been nearly two hundred years of disparaging of Sidney by those who voted to follow Brigham Young and the Twelve and their descendants. It would be well to remember that Sidney “received of His fullness” and Brigham Young died hoping the Lord would visit him if he lived to be 85 years old.

If Sidney, despite all you have heard and read concerning him, and despite his subsequent disaffection from the church, “received of His fullness” then you should recognize this is NOT so great a thing as to be impossible for you. Take heart.

What is it that the Vision tells us about the exalted hosts?

They are the “church of the Firstborn.” (D&C 76: 54.) Meaning they are all sons and daughters of God.

The Father has given “into their hands” what is called “all things.” (D&C 76: 55.) That is, they have handled something.

They have “received of His fullness and of His glory.” (D&C 76: 56.) Both Joseph and Sidney recite this as having taken place. (D&C 76: 19-20.)

Though it would not be until sometime in 1843 before Joseph began to unfurl in private the process of becoming a “king and priest” unto God, Sidney and Joseph were acquainted with this in the Vision in 1832. (D&C 76: 56-57.) This is the only way such kings and priests can be made; although you can have a ceremony which symbolizes it. Joseph and Sidney’s accomplishment was an invitation for others to follow. It was not intended to be the end of the restoration process, but a harbinger of what would follow.

If Joseph and Sidney were the only ones who were to “receive of His fullness” then the prophecies promising a return of Zion could never be fulfilled.

Why are we allowing the restoration to end?
Why are we not looking to see a return of Zion?
Why are we content to trust others will bring it, when each of us has a responsibility to individually prepare to see it return?
What good does it do to study the revelations if we are unwilling to do the works required by the revelations?
Is theoretical knowledge and symbolic ritual enough?
Will Zion only return as a distant symbol in this dispensation?
Will the Lord only symbolically return?
Will the world only symbolically end?
Will the wicked only be symbolically destroyed?

What is it that you find so compelling about your current plight that you won’t awake, arise and look into the matter of the fullness as set out in scripture? To receive it you only need to “love him, and purify yourself before him” and He will “grant this privilege of seeing and knowing for yourself.” (D&C 76: 116-117.) But this must be “while in the flesh” and not after you leave here. (D&C 76: 118.) This is the only way you can then be able to “bear his presence in the world of glory.” (Id.)

Received of His Fullness

When the heavens opened to Joseph and Sidney Rigdon jointly in 1832, they saw and heard many things. Among the many things shown them was the Father sitting on His Throne and the Son beside Him. (D&C 76: 23.) The Vision included not just the final state of mankind in the various kingdoms of glory, but also included an explanation of the rebellion by an angel in a position of authority before God. (D&C 76: 25.) They saw the heavens weep over this rebellious angel. (D&C 76: 26.) They saw the terrible, inexpressible end to him, and all who follow him. (D&C 76: 44-48.)

They saw the final state of mankind. They also beheld many things they were not permitted to write. (D&C 76: 114-115.) Their knowledge exceeded what is lawful for man to know. Because of this knowledge, they were not like the others of their generation.

They entered into the Throne Room of the Father, and beheld Him in His glory. Because of this, both Joseph and Sidney “received of his fulness” (D&C 76: 20). This is how the fullness is received. It can be symbolized, ritualized, or conferred by an ordinance, but the fullness itself involves God the Father and His Son Jesus Christ, personally. Therefore, when we speak of “fullness” through symbol, ordinance and ritual, we are speaking of the type. When we speak of the “fullness” itself, we are speaking of the real thing. There is a custom to accept the rites and symbols in place of the real thing. This is so much so that, today, some doubt the need for the real thing.

The “fullness of the Father” includes the “fullness of the priesthood.” It also includes more. Joseph and Sidney joined the holy angels who stood before God. (D&C 76: 21.) Therefore, they would be among those who “came to an innumerable company of angels, to the general assembly and church of Enoch, and of the Firstborn.” (D&C 76: 67.)

By 1841 the fullness of the priesthood had been forfeited by the church. (D&C 124: 28.) Christ offered, on condition of the completion of the Nauvoo Temple, to come and restore that fullness again to the church. That required Him to come. (D&C 124: 28.) If He came, then men would be redeemed from the fall and return to God’s presence. (Ether 3: 13.)

To have Zion, God must come and dwell with His people. (Moses 7:  69.) To have Zion is to have people who:
-are of one heart, and
-are of one mind, and
-dwell in righteousness, and
-have no poor among them. (Moses 7: 18.)

There are many things which occupy the attention of Latter-day Saints. This short list, however, would seem to be the most important place to begin, assuming we were interested in having Zion return. We are not currently unified and for the most part are fragmenting. This is the inverse of what brings Zion.

Themes from Jacob 5

There are important themes in Zenos’ allegory. Here are five of them:

1. The Lord of the vineyard controls overall history through His involvement and the involvement of His servants. However, they can only accomplish two things:  1) removing the bad, bitter fruit by cutting away branches and burning them. 2) encouraging the good, natural fruit by pruning, grafting, nourishing and laboring. Whether or not the natural fruit reappears is left to the tree itself. Mankind cannot be compelled to be good. As agents of their own, they are free to choose. No amount of ministering will force the natural fruit to appear. The Lord and His servants can only present the opportunity.

2. The tree and its branches are prone to repeatedly producing bitter fruit. Producing natural fruit does not come easily. From the beginning, the tree was prone to loftiness and pride. It required cutting away, scattering and destroying the main top in order to have a chance to cause the natural fruit to reappear. This is  the tendency. As soon as people learn they are “called” they will presume they are “chosen,” even though these are two entirely different things. The Lord of the vineyard has learned by sad experience that it is the nature of almost all men that they begin to exercise unrighteous dominion over one another as soon as they have a little authority as they suppose. This is why He does not distribute, and cannot confer, the priesthood on mankind through generations of hand-me-down lines of authority. As soon as it is abused, it is lost. And when the Lord says “amen to the priesthood of that man” he is powerless to give it to another.

3. The Lord has occasionally come to the vineyard. On one occasion He labored directly within the vineyard, choosing to mingle with the scattered branches and to personally minister among them. This produced a period of production throughout the vineyard. However, it was short-lived. The vineyard lapsed into bitter fruit everywhere. There came a point where the entire vineyard produced nothing but bitter fruit, in every part of the Lord’s possession. When that time came, the Lord determined to labor a “last time” in the vineyard, and to bring a “few servants” to assist. Again this return would involve His personal appearance, but it took the form of periodic appearances with His servants, as in the First Vision and Section 76. When He appears He confers authority. Joseph and Sidney both “received of His fullness” when He ministered to them. (D&C 76: 20.) Indeed, no one can behold His glory and not receive of His fullness. (D&C 84: 22.) To receive His priesthood, He must redeem from the fall (Ether 3: 13) and thereby receive Him. (D&C 84: 35.) This is not an apperance in the heart, but is rather a personal appearance, The idea it is something merely in the heart is an old sectarian notion and is false. (D&C 130: 3.)

4. In the Lord’s last labor in the vineyard, the commencement of the work does not signal the end of His involvement. Once begun, He will continue to labor with the tree to encourage it to produce fruit. He will send servants who will labor with all their might to bring the fruit about. However, it will be the tree’s response and not the Lord’s nor His servants’ work that will bring again the natural fruit. This will take a long time before the roots are able to take hold again. The grafted branches will require pruning and additional work before they respond and return to respect and take nourishment from the natural roots. What was shocking and hard to bear with will need to be accepted in humility and gratitude before the natural fruit can appear once more.

5. When the natural fruit begins to appear, the Lord will begin to trim away the bad to make way for the good to prevail. Therefore, those who fight against the natural fruit will be cut down. Even those who entertain high positions will be struck down if they oppose the return of the Lord’s natural fruit. (See, e.g., D&C 85: 7.) The Lord of the vineyard controls which branches are allowed to survive with His tree, and not the tree itself. The inclination to produce the lofty and high minded remains the tendency of the tree. But those unwanted and unproductive branches will be cut away, burned, and not allowed to interfere with the natural fruit.

I am a fool

Joseph Smith once said about himself that if “he hadn’t lived it, he wouldn’t believe it.”  What insight that provides.
I believe in the complete equality of all of us.  God did not love Joseph Smith more than He loved Sidney Rigdon.  Joseph remained true to the end, and Sidney fell away.  That had nothing to do with God’s love for them.  It had to do with their love of God and willingness to sacrifice to have the faith to trust in God.
I do not blame anyone who questions my right to give answers.  I renounce any authority over anyone.  Even those over whom I have a position as father are treated with respect and urging, not by demanding they see or do things to please me.
If, however, I have the power to answer a question by the power of Spirit, and the answer seems to you to be filled with light and truth, then it is the Spirit you should thank – not me.  Such an ability will flee the moment I leave the path, seek to control others or become prideful.  You can mark it down as true: No man who has his own self as his concern will be able to declare the truth in purity and with the approval of the Spirit.
I have said before and I repeat it again – I am a fool.  You mustn’t trust me.  If the Spirit does not ratify what I have to say, then I’m not worth the time to even consider.
This blog is an attempt to explain what I believe to be true. It is for those who are trying to find truth for themselves.  Hopefully you will become acquainted with enough to begin to trust that God does exist, and that He will answer questions, and that He is no respecter of persons.  Hopefully you will venture into asking and getting answers from Him directly.  Then, when you have begun that process, I hope to encourage you to follow through and receive from Him what He alone can provide to us.  For salvation lies in “knowing the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom He has sent.”  (John 17: 3.)  It does not lie in following other men.  Rather it is to be found as a result of you drawing near to Him. This will in turn cause Him to draw near to you.
He lives!
He answers prayer!
He cares about and loves you as much as He has loved any person who has ever lived on this earth.