Friday, April 25, 2008

95 Thesis by Ogden Kraut

95 Theses
Ogden Kraut
1st printing - 1975
2nd printing - 1982
3rd printing - 1990
Table of Contents
If any man writes to you, or preaches to you, doctrines
contrary to the Bible, the Book of Mormon, or the Book of Doctrine
and Covenants, set him down as an imposter.
--Joseph Smith
Times & Seasons
April 1, 1844
Typography by
Anne Wilde
When we have God's word pure and clear, then we think ourselves
all right, we become negligent, and repose in a vain security; we no
longer pay due heed, thinking it will always so remain, we do not
watch and pray against the devil, who is ready to tear the Divine
word out of our hearts.
No greater mischief can happen to a Christian people, than to
have God's word taken from them, or falsified, so that they no
longer have it pure and clear. God grant we and our descendants be
not witnesses of such a calamity.
--Martin Luther
INTRODUCTION:...................................................... 7
1. The Word of God............................................... 11
2. True Principles............................................... 12
3. Our Fileleader................................................ 13
4. Infallibility................................................. 14
5. Trust Not in the Arm of Flesh................................. 15
6. Personal Testimony............................................ 16
7. Personal Witnesses............................................ 18
8. Revelation.................................................... 19
9. A Peculiar People............................................. 20
10. Fashions...................................................... 21
11. Persecution................................................... 23
12. World Friendship.............................................. 24
13a. Mormon Independence........................................... 25
b. Indebtedness to Gentiles...................................... 26
c. Corporation Sole.............................................. 27
14. "All Is Well"................................................. 28
15. Destructions in the World..................................... 29
16. Fall of U.S. Government....................................... 31
17a. Gathering of Israel........................................... 33
b. The Keys of Gathering......................................... 34
c. Gathering to the Mountains.................................... 35
18. Wealth of Gentiles............................................ 36
19. The Wealth of Zion............................................ 37
20. Holy Scriptures............................................... 38
21. Inspired Translation of the Bible............................. 39
22. Journal of Discourses......................................... 40
23. Gifts of the Spirit........................................... 41
24. Speaking in Tongues........................................... 42
25. Inspired Dreams............................................... 43
26. Visions....................................................... 44
27. Temple Visitations............................................ 45
28. Heavenly Visitations.......................................... 46
29. The Three Nephites............................................ 47
30. Second Comforter.............................................. 48
31. Holy Ghost Before Pentecost................................... 49
32. Mysteries..................................................... 51
33. Prophets...................................................... 52
34. Seers and the Urim and Thummim................................ 53
35. Revelators.................................................... 54
36. Apostles...................................................... 55
37. Apostles Assistants........................................... 57
38. Seventies..................................................... 58
39. Apostleship of the Seventy.................................... 59
40. Presidents of the Seventy..................................... 60
41. Seventies over the Seventies.................................. 61
42. High Priests and Seventies Authority.......................... 62
43. High Priests.................................................. 63
44. Elders........................................................ 64
45. Teachers and Deacons.......................................... 65
46. Lady Missionaries............................................. 66
47. Without Purse or Scrip........................................ 67
48. Washing of Feet............................................... 68
49. Preaching in the Ministry..................................... 69
50. Written Sermons in the Church................................. 71
51. Tithing....................................................... 72
52. The United Order.............................................. 73
53. Consecration.................................................. 74
54. School of Prophets............................................ 75
55. Kingdom of God................................................ 76
56a. Blood Atonement............................................... 78
b. Oath of Vengeance............................................. 79
57. Ordinances ................................................... 80
58. Rebaptism..................................................... 81
59. Genealogy..................................................... 82
60. Sacrament..................................................... 83
61. Healing Instruments........................................... 84
62. The Fast Day.................................................. 85
63. Women Administer.............................................. 86
64. Temple Ordinances............................................. 87
65. Garments of the Priesthood.................................... 88
66. Temples and Stakes in Zion.................................... 89
67. Monogamy...................................................... 90
68. Eternal Marriages out of the Temples.......................... 91
69a. Plural Marriage, an Eternal Law............................... 92
b. Law of Abraham................................................ 93
c. Jesus, A Polygamist........................................... 94
d. Plural Marriage Done Away..................................... 96
70a. Manifesto..................................................... 98
b. Laws of God over the Laws of Man.............................. 100
71. Raising Seed to a Brother..................................... 101
72. Keys of the Priesthood Held by Many........................... 102
73. Priesthood Ordination......................................... 104
74. Priesthood Ordinances......................................... 105
75. Law of Adoption............................................... 106
76. Doctrine of the Godhead....................................... 107
77. Michael-Adam.................................................. 108
78. Honoring the Dead Prophets.................................... 111
79. Priestcraft................................................... 113
80. Lawyers....................................................... 115
81. Doctors....................................................... 116
82. Midwives...................................................... 117
83. Birth Control................................................. 119
84. Herbology..................................................... 120
85. Seven-Year Famine and Food Storage............................ 121
86. Fear of Enemies............................................... 122
87. False Prophets................................................ 124
88. Persecutors................................................... 126
89. Excommunication............................................... 128
90. Freedom of Thought............................................ 130
91. Another People................................................ 131
92a. Setting in Order.............................................. 133
b. One Mighty and Strong......................................... 134
93. Redemption of Zion............................................ 136
94. Believing the Revelations of God.............................. 138
95. Another Gospel................................................ 140
The Primitive Church.......................................... 141
The Reformation............................................... 146
The Restoration............................................... 157
Negro and the Priesthood (1978)............................... 181
Abolishment of the Seventies (1986)........................... 183
Temple Endowment Ceremony (1990).............................. 185
On October 31, 1517, Martin Luther posted 95 theses on the door of the
Wittenberg Chapel in Germany. These propositions were an appeal for the more
scholarly church members to discuss or debate them with Luther at the
Wittenberg University.
Luther's intent in writing the theses was not to condemn the church,
nor to tell the Pope how it should be run, but rather to evaluate the
difference between Bible teachings and ever increasing new innovations which
were creeping into the doctrines of their faith. His writing was sparked by an
authoritative change in doctrine--the Pope's sale of indulgences. Luther
became aware of the discrepancy between the words of church leaders and the
words of the Lord. There was also a contradiction between the teachings of one
pope to that of another. But the trend of making the people believe more in
the ideologies of church leaders, than in the doctrines of the Bible, appeared
to Luther as the greatest danger to their salvation.
It is not out of reason to expect the Latter-day Saints to also
evaluate today's doctrinal teachings by comparing them to the scriptures and
revelations of the Lord. All of the general councils of the Church have
advised the members to search and study the scriptures. For example:
"The Savior urged us to `search the scriptures,' to find the way of
life (John 5:39). Everyone owes it to himself to find Christ's
truth, and finding it, to hold fast to it." (Church News, May 4,
1974, p. 16)
A similar and very timely article was written in 1965 as an editorial
in the Church News. This article represents one of the finest literary
masterpieces of ecclesiastical penmanship that has come from the present-day
leadership of the Church. It is not only accurate in its analysis of Gospel
principles, but emphasizes their eternal scope. It lets the reader envision
the eternal nature of the promises and rewards which are attached to the
everlasting principles of the gospel. It also challenges the reader to make
comparisons of Church doctrine with the scriptures. A major portion of the
article read:
One of the most important things we may learn about our religion is
that God is unchangeable, the same yesterday, today and forever.
By this we may know that the principles of salvation will always remain
the same, and that we need not be disturbed by "new ideas" or "modern
innovations" in the Gospel which may come our way.
The Gospel can not possibly be changed. The heaven we hope to achieve
is eternal and unchangeable. Therefore to bring the same human nature to the
same goal, regardless of the time in which a person lives, requires the same
steps and procedures. For that reason the saving principles must ever be the
same. They can never change. ***
To say that the Gospel may be changed is to say that either God has
changed, or that human nature is no longer human nature.
It is obvious therefore that no one can change the Gospel, and that if
they attempt to do so, they only set up a man-made system which is not the
Gospel, but is merely a reflection of their own views. And since only God can
save, only His Gospel can save, and if we substitute "any other gospel" there
is no salvation in it.
Knowing as we do that man-made religion has no power to save, and
realizing that we all have souls which require salvation, we should selfishly,
and in our own best interests, make certain that we accept the right religion,
God's religion, and not try to work our way into His kingdom by some man-made
Are the doctrines and rituals of the Church in harmony with the Bible,
or are they creations of men who--though well meaning--have gone off on a
If the principles by which any of us attempt to save ourselves are
contrary to the Bible, we may know they are man's teachings, not God's, for
the Lord and His Gospel remain the same--always. (Church News, June 5, 1965,
p. 16)
[9] This challenge and comparison applies to every person claiming to be a
Christian. It is necessary for man to find out if their salvation is founded
on a "man-made system" or the "creations of men," even though they came from
honorable and "well meaning" men.
The Church of Jesus Christ is not an exception. It should be able to
stand comparative tests better than any other church. The following 95 theses
contain only a sample of many such references on important principles and
ordinances of the Gospel. This compilation is written with the intent of
making a comparison of the teachings in the Bible and latter-day scriptures
with those of present-day Church leaders. There is also a comparison of
present-day Church teachings with those of former Church leaders.
However, the purpose of this book is not just to compare principles of
the Gospel as taught anciently to those in modern times. The main object is to
better acquaint the reader with many of the principles which were taught both
in the Bible and at the time of the restoration, but which have gradually
faded out of the realm of modern Christianity.
If the principles by which we attempt to be saved are contrary to the
Bible and the other scriptures, then "we may know they are man's teachings,
not God's, for the Lord and His Gospel remain the same--always!"
The everlasting principles and doctrines of the Gospel should always
remain the same; for surely a century should not make a difference in eternal
principles. If it does, then we may know that something is wrong.
The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is the only true church
upon the face of the earth; nevertheless, it too has its problems with a
multitude of preachers who have arisen with heresies, conflicting doctrines,
and vast assortment of opinions. Each Latter-day Saint should "search the
scriptures" and determine what the Lord has said. It is only upon that "rock"
that the gates of hell cannot prevail.
"The grass withereth, the flower fadeth: but the word of our God shall
stand forever." (Isa. 40:8)
"To the law and to the testimony: if they speak not according to this
word, it is because there is no light in them." (Isa. 8:20; 2 Nephi 18:20)
"Whosoever therefore shall be ashamed of me and of my words in this
adulterous and sinful generation; of him also shall the Son of Man be ashamed
.... "(Mark 8:38)
"He that rejecteth me, and receiveth not my words, hath one that
judgeth him: the word that I have spoken, the same shall judge him in the last
day." (John 12:48)
"But he answered and said, It is written, Man shall not live by bread
alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God." (Matt. 4:4)
"For you shall live by every word that proceedeth forth from the mouth
of God." (D. & C. 84:44)
"Search these commandments, for they are true and faithful, and the
prophecies and promises which are in them shall all be fulfilled. What I the
Lord have spoken, I have spoken, and I excuse not myself; and though the
heavens and the earth pass away, my word shall not pass away ...." (D. & C.
Today ....
"Do the people of the Church want a safe guide to what is well for them
to do? It is this: Keep in harmony with the Presidency of this Church. Accept
and follow the teachings and advice of the President." (Ensign, Oct. 1972)
"Beware lest any man spoil you through philosophy and vain deceit,
after the tradition of men, after the rudiments of the world, and not after
Christ." (Col. 2:8)
"Search the scriptures--search the revelations which we publish, and
ask your Heavenly Father, in the name of His Son Jesus Christ, to manifest the
truth unto you, and if you do it with an eye single to His glory nothing
doubting, He will answer you by the power of His Holy Spirit. You will then
know for yourselves and not for another. You will not then be dependent on man
for the knowledge of God; nor will there be any room for speculation. No; for
when men receive their instruction from Him that made them, they know how He
will save them." (T.P.J.S., p. 11-12)
"Men may preach and practice everything except those things which God
commands us to do, and will be damned at last. We may tithe mint and rue, and
all manner of herbs, and still not obey the commandments of God. The object
with me is to obey and teach others to obey God in just what he tells us to
do. It mattereth not whether the principle is popular or unpopular, I will
always maintain a true principle, even if I stand alone in it." (Joseph Smith,
D.H.C. 6:223)
"Who will? (become Gods) Those who are valiant and inspired with the
true independence of heaven, who will go forth boldly in the service of their
God, leaving others to do as they please, determined to do right, though all
mankind besides should take the opposite course. Will this apply to any of
you? Your own hearts can answer." (Brigham Young, J.D. 1:312)
Today ....
"Brethren, keep your eye on the President of this Church. If he tells
you to do anything and it is wrong and you do it, the Lord will bless you for
it." (Heber J. Grant & Harold B. Lee, Ensign, Oct. 1972)
"For there is one God, and one mediator between God and man, the man
Christ Jesus;" (1 Tim. 2:5)
"Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man
cometh unto the Father, but by me." (John 14:6)
"And we talk of Christ, we rejoice in Christ, we preach of Christ, we
prophesy of Christ, and we write according to our prophecies, that our
children may how to what source they may look for a remission of their sins."
(2 Nephi 25:26)
"When the children of Israel were chosen with Moses at their head, they
were to be a peculiar people, among whom God should place His name; their
motto was: `The Lord is our lawgiver; the Lord is our Judge; the Lord is our
King; and He shall reign over us.' While in this state they might truly say,
`Happy is that people, whose God is the Lord. '" (Joseph Smith, T.P.J.S., p.
"...But the greatest and most important of all requirements of our
Father in heaven and of his Son Jesus Christ, is, to his brethren or
disciples, to believe in Jesus Christ, confess him, seek to him, cling to him,
make friends with him. Take a course to open and keep open a communication
with your Elder Brother or fileleader--our Saviour." (Brigham Young, J.D.
Today ....
"With warnings and safeguards such as the Lord provides, need anyone be
deceived? If we follow the president of the Church, we need never go astray."
(Church News, Aug. 17, 1974, p. 16)
"For there is not a just man upon earth, that doeth good, and sinneth
not." (Ecc. 8:20; Prov. 20:9; 1 John 1:8)
"And the word of the Lord came unto me, saying, Son of man, prophecy
against the prophets of Israel that prophesy, and say thou unto them that
prophesy out of their own hearts, Hear ye the word of the Lord; Thus saith the
Lord God; Woe unto the foolish prophets, that follow their own spirit, and
have seen nothing! O Israel, thy prophets are like the foxes in the deserts."
(Ezek. 13:1-4)
"Thus saith the Lord concerning the prophets that make my people err,
that bite with their teeth, and cry, Peace; and he that putteth not into their
mouths, they even prepare war against him. Therefore night shall be unto you,
that ye shall not have a vision; and it shall be dark unto you, that ye shall
not divine; and the sun shall go down over the prophets, and the day shall be
dark over them. Then shall the seers be ashamed and the diviners confounded:
yea, they shall all cover their lips; for there is no answer of God." (Micah
"And as he sat upon the mount of Olives, the disciples came unto him
privately, saying, Tell us, when shall these things be? and what shall be the
sign of thy coming, and of the end of the world? And Jesus answered and said
unto them, Take heed that no man deceive you. For many shall come in my name,
saying, I am Christ; and shall deceive many. And many false prophets shall
rise, and shall deceive many." (Matt. 24:3,4,5,11)
"And they who are not apostles and prophets shall be known. And even
the bishop, who is a judge, and his counselors, if they are not faithful in
their stewardships shall be condemned, and others shall be planted in their
stead." (D. & C. 64:39-40; see also D. & C. 85:7-11; 101:44-54)
Today ....
The Saints are now told that they ". . . should follow the men whom
they sustain as prophets, seers, and revelators, for they will lead no one
astray." (Church News, Mar. 17, 1973)
"Trust ye not in a friend, put ye not confidence in a guide .... "
(Micah 7:5)
"Thus saith the Lord; Cursed be the man that trusteth in man, and
maketh flesh his arm, and whose heart departeth from the Lord." (Jer. 17:5)
"I will not put my trust in the arm of flesh; for I know that cursed is
he that putteth his trust in the arm of flesh." (2 Nephi 4:34)
"The weak things of the world shall come forth and break down the
mighty and strong ones, that man should not counsel his fellow man, neither
trust in the arm of flesh--" (D. & C. 1:19)
"Can I save you? No, I can only advise a righteous course, and
encourage and aid in walking therein, it then remains for them to take the
course which I advise, and I always advise people to adopt that policy which
Joseph taught and advocated, and which brother Brigham now lays before us,
from day to day. This is what will save you, and you cannot be saved upon any
other principle. I have power to save myself, and if I do not save myself, who
will save me? All have that privilege, and naught can save us but obedience to
the commandments of God." (Heber C. Kimball, J.D. 3:269)
"How often has it been taught that if you depend entirely upon the
voice, judgment, and sagacity of those appointed to lead you, and neglect to
enjoy the Spirit for yourselves, how easily you may be led into error, and
finally be cast off to the left hand?" (Brigham Young, J.D. 8:59)
Today ....
Members of the Church are taught that " behooves us, as Latter-day
Saints, to put our trust in the presiding authorities of the Church."
(Doctrines of Salvation, p. 243)
"The weak things of the world shall come forth and break down the
mighty and strong ones, that man should not counsel his fellow man, neither
trust in the arm of flesh--But that every man might speak in the name of God
the Lord, even the Savior of the world;..." (D. & C. 1:19-20)
"And every one that hearkeneth to the voice of the Spirit cometh unto
God, even the Father." (D. & C. 84:47)
"Reading the experience of others, or the revelation given to them, can
never give us a comprehensive view of our condition and true relation to God."
(T.P.J.S., p. 324)
"If it was not for the religion I profess, which gives me to know
something about the matter, by revelation, for myself, I would not have
anything to do with religion at all." (John Taylor, J.D. 1:150)
"Now those men or those women who know no more about the powers of God
and the influences of the Holy Spirit than to be led entirely by another
person suspending their own understanding and pinning their faith upon
another's sleeve, will never be capable of entering into the celestial glory
to be crowned as they anticipate. They never will be capable of becoming
Gods." (Brigham Young, J.D. 1:312)
"Let every man and woman know themselves, whether their leaders are
walking in the path the Lord dictates or not. This has been my exhortation
continually." (Brigham Young, J.D. 9:150)
"Without revelation direct from heaven it is impossible for any person
to understand fully the plan of salvation. We often hear it said that the
living Oracles must be in the Church in order that the Kingdom of God may be
established and prosper on the earth. I will give another version of this
sentiment. I say that the living Oracles of God, or the Spirit of revelation
must be in each and every individual, to know the plan of salvation and keep
in the path that leads them to the presence of God." (Disc. of Brigham Young,
p. 58)
"... `no man knoweth the things of God, but by the spirit of God.' That
was said in the days of the Savior and the Apostles, and it was no more true
then than it is now, or than it was in the days of the Prophets, Moses,
Abraham [17] Noah, Enoch, Adam, or in any and every age of the world. It
requires the same manifestations in one age as in another to enable man to
understand the things of God." (Brigham Young, Des. Evening News, May 5, 1874)
"To meet the difficulties that are coming, it will be necessary for you
to have a knowledge of the truth of this work for yourselves. The difficulties
will be of such a character that the man or woman who does not possess this
personal knowledge or witness will fall. If you have not got the testimony,
live right and call upon the Lord and cease not till you obtain it. If you do
not you will not stand.
"Remember these sayings, for many of you will live to see them
fulfilled. The time will come when no man nor woman will be able to endure on
borrowed light. Each will have to be guided by the light within himself."
(Life of Heber C. Kimball, pp. 460-61; see also J. Golden Kimball, p. 365)
"...the time is coming when we will be mixed up in these now peaceful
valleys to the extent that it will be difficult to tell the face of a saint
from the face of an enemy against the people of God.
"Then is the time to look out for the great sieve, for there will be a
great sifting time, and many will fall.
"For I say unto you there is a test, a Test, A TEST coming." (J. Golden
Kimball, p. 364)
"The time has arrived in the history of this people when every
Latter-day Saint must stand on his own responsibility as a tub stands on its
own bottom; live the Gospel of Jesus Christ according to the dictates of his
own conscience and get the reward; otherwise he must suffer the consequences."
(Joseph F. Smith, Sept. 1903, Truth, Nov. 1, 1936, 2:6, p. 88)
Today ....
"When our leaders speak, the thinking has been done. When they propose
a plan, it is God's plan." (June 1945 Ward Teaching Lesson)
"He that hath my commandments, and keepeth them, he it is that loveth
me; and he that loveth me shall be loved of my Father, and I will love him,
and will manifest myself to him." (John 14:21)
"The twelve traveling councilors are called to be the Twelve Apostles,
or special witnesses of the name of Christ in all the world--thus differing
from other officers in the church in the duties of their calling." (D. & C.
"They had this testimony--that they had seen the Savior after he rose
from the dead. You must bear the same testimony; or your mission
[apostleship], your labor, your toil, will be in vain.*** but it is necessary
that you receive a testimony from heaven for yourselves; so that you can hear
testimony to the truth of the Book of Mormon, and that you have seen the face
of God. That is more than the testimony of an angel." (D.H.C., 2:193, 195)
"It is the privilege of every Elder to speak of the things of God; and
could we all come together with one heart and one mind in perfect faith the
veil might as well be rent today as next week or any other time ...."
(T.P.J.S. p. 9)
"Therefore, sanctify yourselves that your minds become single to God,
and the days will come that you shall see him; for he will unveil his face
unto you, and it shall be in his own time, and in his own way, and accord to
his own will." (D. & C. 88:68)
"Verily, thus saith the Lord: It shall come to pass that every soul who
forsaketh his sins and cometh unto me, and calleth on my name, and obeyeth my
voice, and keepeth my commandments, shall see my face and know that I am." (D.
& C. 93:1)
Today ....
This testimony is almost never heard of today.
"Surely the Lord God will do nothing, but he revealeth his secret unto
his servants the prophets." (Amos 3:7)
"Behold, the days come, saith the Lord God, that I will send a famine
in the land, not a famine of bread, nor a thirst for water, but of hearing the
words of the Lord. And they shall wander from sea to sea, and from the north
even to the east, they shall run to and fro to seek the word of the Lord, and
shall not find it." (Amos 8:11-12)
"For he will give unto the faithful line upon line, precept upon
precept; and I will try you and prove you herewith." (D. & C. 98:12)
"Hence it needs revelation to assist us, and give us knowledge of the
things of God. But if any revelations are given of God, they are universally
opposed by the priests and Christendom at large; for they reveal their
wickedness and abominations." (D.H.C. 4:588)
"What constitutes the kingdom of God? Where there is a prophet, a
priest, or a righteous man unto whom God gives His oracles, there is the
kingdom of God; and where the oracles of God are not, there the kingdom of God
is not.... but if we do not get revelations, we do not have the oracles of
God...." (T.P.J.S., p. 272)
"If anything should have been suggested by us, or any names mentioned,
except by commandment, or thus saith the Lord, we do not consider it binding."
(Joseph Smith, D.H.C., 3:295)
"Communication never ceased when the people were faithful .... an
unbroken stillness reigned between the heavens and the earth until the people
again repented...." (George Q. Cannon, J.D. 22:265)

"When new revelation ceases to be given officers cease to be called of
God." (Orson Pratt's Works, p. 40)
Today ....
Since the Manifesto was issued in 1890, the past 80 Years have been
silent. There has never been a revelation presented for the people to accept
or sustain at a General Conference. For nearly a century not another word has
been added to the Doctrine and Covenants.
The Lord told Moses that he would lead the children of Israel and they
would become a "peculiar" people (Ex. 19:5).
Peter also wrote that " are a chosen generation, a royal
priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people;" (I Peter 2:9; Titus 2:14)
"When the children of Israel were chosen with Moses at their head, they
were to be a peculiar people, among whom God should place His name;..."
(T.P.J.S., p. 252)
"`Yes,' said Brother Heber, `we think we are secure here in the
chambers of these everlasting hills, where we can close the doors of the
canyons against mobs and persecutors, the wicked and the vile, who have always
beset us with violence and robbery, but I want to say to you, my brethren, the
time is coming when we will be mixed up in these now peaceful valleys to that
extent that it will be difficult to tell the face of a saint from the face of
an enemy against the people of God.
"`Then is the time to look out for the great sieve, for there will be a
great sifting time, and many will fall.'" (J. Golden Kimball, p. 364-65)
Today ....
"Utah is rapidly succumbing to the wave of uniformity that has been
growing in the nation. Our system of transportation, communication, our
nation-wide T.V., radio, chain stores, packaged food, theater chains, clothing
styles, are rapidly ending our uniqueness. We are no longer a peculiar
people...." ("This Was the Place," by Eugene E. Campbell, Speeches of the
Year, Extension Publications, July 23, 1959, p. 9)
"...Because the daughters of Zion are haughty, ***making a tinkling
with their feet: *** In that day the Lord will take away the bravery of their
tinkling ornaments about their feet, and their cauls, and their round tires
like the moon, The chains, and the bracelets, and the mufflers, The bonnets,
and the ornaments of the legs, and the headbands, and the tablets, and the
earrings, The rings, and nose jewels, The changeable suits of apparel, and the
mantles, and the wimples, and the crisping pins, The glasses, and the fine
linen, and the hoods, and the vails. And it shall come to pass, that instead
of sweet smell there shall be stink; and instead of a girdle a rent; and
instead of well set hair baldness; and instead of a stomacher a girding of
sackcloth; and burning instead of beauty." (Isa. 3:16, 18-24)
"In like manner also, that women adorn themselves in modest apparel,
with shamefacedness and sobriety; not with broided hair, or gold, or pearls,
or costly array; But (which becometh women professing godliness) with good
works. (I Tim. 2:9-12)
"If the Lord has given me means and I spend it needlessly, in rings for
my fingers, and jewelry for adornment, I deprive the Priesthood of that which
they ought to have to gather the poor, to preach the Gospel, to build temples
and to feed the hungry in our midst. I deprive a people, will by and by
inherit the earth, of so many blessings. Every yard of ribbon that I buy that
is needless, every flounce, and every gewgaw that is purchased for my family
needlessly, robs the Church of God of just so much. But it seems as though the
people do not think of these things; they do not lay them to heart. Our wives
and daughters seem to forget that they have responsibilities resting upon them
in these respects." (Brigham Young, J.D. 14:18)
"The President [Brigham Young] stopped with us. He sat at the head of
the table and had me sit down at his right. The President, when everything was
ready, asked a blessing, then all began to eat. He asked for some buttermilk,
then crumbled some bread in it and began to eat. He conversed freely on the
situation of the Saints in the mountains, and said that he dreaded the time
when the Saints would become popular with the world; for he had seen in
sorrow, in a dream, or in dreams, this people clothed in the fashions of
Babylon, and drinking in the spirit of Babylon until one could hardly tell a
Saint from [22] a black-leg. And he felt like shouting, `To your tents, Oh
Israel!' because it was the only thing that could keep this people pure.
"Many of this people for the sake of riches and popularity, will sell
themselves for that which will canker their souls and lead them down to misery
and despair. It would be better for them to dwell in wigwams among the Indians
than to dwell with the gentiles and miss the glories which God wishes them to
obtain. I wish my families would see the point and come forth before it is too
late. For oh, I can see the tendency in my families to hug the moth eaten
customs of Babylon to their bosoms. This is far more hurtful to them than the
deadly viper; for the poisons of the viper can be healed by the power of God.
but the customs of Babylon will be hard to get rid of." (Mosiah Hancock
Journal, p. 47-48)
"There was a time when we could walk up and down the streets and tell
by the very countenances of men whether they were Latter-day Saints, or not;
but can you do it now? You can not, unless you have greater discernment and
more of the Spirit and power of God than I have. Why? Because many are trying
as hard as they can to transform themselves into the very shape, character,
and spirit of the world. Elders in Israel, young men, mothers and daughters in
Israel are conforming to the world's fashions, until their very countenances
indicate its spirit and character. This course is to the shame and disgrace of
those who are so unwise." (Joseph F. Smith, J.D. 11:310)
Today ....
We live, act, and dress according to the customs and traditions of the
gentile world.
"Blessed are ye, when men shall revile you, and persecute you, and
shall say all manner of evil against you falsely, for my sake. Rejoice, and be
exceeding glad: for great is your reward in heaven: for so persecuted they the
prophets which were before you." (Matt. 5:11-12)
"If ye were of the world, the world would love his own...." (John
15:19; see also 15:20)
*** There is still that same spirit of antagonism existing between truth and
error that there was then. Let a man join this Church; *** probably a good
man, and esteemed by his neighbours, and continued so; but when he became a
servant of God, the powers of darkness were let loose upon him; men began to
persecute him and speak evil of him, and his name was cast out as evil. This
is the lot of every man that receives the truth--I don't care where he comes
from." (John Taylor, J.D. 7:195)
"...when all the chief features of the Gospel are obliterated, when we
can float along the stream and do as the world does, then and not till then
will persecution cease...." (George Q. Cannon, J.D. 22:374)
"And when the spirit of persecution, the spirit of hatred, of wrath and
malice ceases in the world against this people, it will be the time that this
people have apostatized and joined hands with the wicked." (Brigham Young,
J.D. 4:327)
Today ....
"My greatest happiness, I find in the good will and friendship that has
developed among all classes of people at home and abroad toward the Latter-day
Saints Church, during my lifetime; in place of everyday persecutions and
bitterness we now enjoy the high regard and happy association with all
denominations." (Heber J. Grant, S.L. Tribune, Nov. 22, 1938)
"If ye were of the world, the world would love his own: but because ye
are not of the world, but I have chosen you out of the world, therefore the
world hateth you."(John 15:18-19)
"Know ye not that the friendship of the world is enmity with God?
Whosoever therefore will be a friend of the world is the enemy of God." (James
"The world always mistook false prophets for true ones, and those that
were sent of God, they considered to be false prophets, and hence they killed,
stoned, punished and imprisoned the true prophets and these had to hide
themselves `in deserts and dens, and caves of the earth,' and though the most
honorable men of the earth, they banished them from their society as
vagabonds, whilst they cherished, honored and supported knaves, vagabonds,
hypocrites, impostors, and the basest of men." (T.P.J.S., p. 206)
"There is nothing that would so weaken my hope and discourage me as to
see this people in full fellowship with the world, and receive no more
persecution from them because they are one with them." (Brigham Young, J.D.
"When Mormonism finds favor with the wicked in this laid it will have
gone into the shade; but until the power of the Priesthood is gone, Mormonism
will never become popular with the wicked." (Brigham Young, J.D. 4:38)
Today ....
"I am thankful that wherever I have traveled during the past six months
I have found a feeling of respect, a feeling of love in the hearts of many for
the Latter-day Saints, in the hearts of those not of our faith. I heard many
very splendid compliments while in Washington by members of the president's
cabinet, by senators and representatives, and by officials of the government
in the Federal Reserve banking departments, and in others, wherever I went,
and with all the people that I met, bankers in New York, Chicago, San
Francisco, and other cities, I heard good things said of the Latter-day
Saints; we are coming into our own, so to speak." (Heber J. Grant, Conf.
Rept., April 4, 1920, p. 12)
The Lord commanded His people to be sure that "all thy garments be
plain, and their beauty the beauty of the work of thine own hands." (D. & C.
Even the sacrament wine was changed to water in obedience to "...a
commandment I give unto you, that you shall not purchase wine neither strong
drink of your enemies," (D.& C. 27:3) but it could be used if it was made by
themselves. (v. 4)
"I give not unto you that ye shall live after the manner of the world."
(D. & C. 95:13 and D. & C. 1:16)
"I look forward to no distant period when this people, called
Latter-day Saints, will be obliged to sustain themselves. We must prepare to
gather around us every necessary of life, to make every implement we may wish
to use, and to produce from the earth every grain, vegetable, and fruit that
we need, and not go to any other place to buy." (Brigham Young, J.D. 9:32)
"Now, you go to work, brethren and sisters, and get out something of
home manufacture, and be as faithful as President Young and his counsel have
been in this matter, and then you shall be blessed more than you are." (Heber
C. Kimball, J.D. 9:28)
"I would like to see the people take a course to make their own
clothing, make their own machinery, their own knives and their own forks, and
everything else we need, for the day will come when we will be under the
necessity of doing it, for trouble and perplexity, war and famine, bloodshed
and fire, and insomuch that we cannot get to them, nor they to us." (Heber C.
Kimball, Life of H.C. Kimball, p. 411)
Today ....
We presently do not have our independence because we purchase
everything from our enemies, we live after the manner of the world in nearly
every respect, and we are being told to remain scattered in Babylon.
"For the Lord thy God blesseth thee, as he promised thee; and thou
shalt lend unto many nations, but thou shalt not borrow; and thou shalt reign
over many nations, but they shall not reign over thee." (Deut. 15:6)
"The rich ruleth over the poor, and the borrower is servant to the
lender." (Prov. 22:7)
"Behold, it is said in my laws, or forbidden, to get in debt to thine
enemies;" (D. & C. 64:27)
"If they enter upon their business without God in their thoughts, it is `How
much can I get for this? and how much can I make on that? and how much will
the people give for this and for that? and how fast can I get rich? and how
long will it take me to be a millionaire?' which thoughts should never come
into the mind of a merchant who professes to be a Latter-day Saint. But it
should be `What can I do to benefit this people?'*** And our mechanics, do
they labor for the express purpose of building up Zion and the kingdom of God?
I am sorry to say that I think there are very few into whose hearts it has
entered or whose thoughts are occupied in the least with such a principle; but
it is, `how much can I make?'*** Brother Joseph Smith gave us the word of the
Lord; it was simply this: `Never do another day's work to build up a Gentile
city never lay out another dollar while you live, to advance the world in its
present state; it is full of wickedness and violence; no regard is paid to the
prophets, nor the prophecyings of the prophets, nor to Jesus nor his sayings,
nor the word of the Lord that was given anciently, nor to that given in our
day. They have gone astray, and they are building up themselves, and they are
promoting sin and iniquity upon the earth; and,' said he, `it is the word and
commandment of the Lord to his servants that they shall never do another day's
work, nor spend another dollar to build up a Gentile city'" (Brigham Young,
J.D. 11:294-295)
Today ....
Nearly all Mormons are in debt to the gentiles in something.
"Yea, well did Mosiah say, who was our last king, when he was about to
deliver up the kingdom, having no one to confer it upon, causing that this
people should be governed by their own voices--...." (Alma 10:19)
"And all things shall be done by common consent in the Church, by much
prayer and faith, for all things you shall receive by faith." (D. & C. 26:2)
"For all things must be done in order, and by common consent in the
Church, by the prayer of faith." (D. & C. 28:13)
Today ....
Without the consent or knowledge of the members of the Church, in 1923
the First Presidency made secret business transactions. Evidence was presented
in a pamphlet entitled "Temple Block Sold," showing how all the buildings on
Temple Square and others also were used as pawn to obtain money for Pres.
Grant and his associates in their business ventures. The buildings mortgaged
under three deeds besides the temple were: Church office building, Bishop's
building, Deseret Gymnasium building, the Beehive House and the Lion House.
(It is interesting to note that the present Church leaders claim that any
secret doings are not of the Lord. In the June 21, 1975, issue of the Church
News, in referring to individuals or groups whose activities are aligned with
the evil one, the authorities said: "They are masters in `cover up,' yet they
profess to teach a secret truth made known to them specially by some hidden
process.... When will people learn that `the Lord worketh not in darkness' (2
Nephi 26:23) and that he gives no secret revelations and authorizes no secret
ordinations? The Lord's work is done openly and above board, with the vote and
voice of the congregations of the Saints. (D. & C. 20:63-67) ... By their
devious methods such teachers brand themselves for what they are.")
} ss.
M. Peterson, Alonzo Cole and Clide Neilson, all residents of Salt Lake
County, State of Utah, being duly sworn on oath, dispose and say that they
have seen in the office of the Recorder of Salt Lake County, certain Bargain
and Sales deeds bearing the respective identification numbers:
501,788--501,790--502,184; that they have also seen one mortgage document
issued by the Utah-Idaho Sugar Company in the year of 1936 to Wells Fargo
Trust Company of San Francisco; and also one mortgage in Box Elder County,
recorded in Book 36 of Mortgages, on page 329, issued by the Utah-Idaho Sugar
Company to the Corporation of the President of the Church of Jesus Christ of
Latter-day Saints for the purpose of securing certain debts contracted by the
latter corporation from the Chase National Bank.
"Let no man deceive you by any means; for there shall come a falling
away first, and that man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition; Who
opposeth and exalteth himself above all that is called God, or that is
worshipped; so that he as God sitteth in the temple of God, showing himself
that he is God." (II Thes. 2:3-4)
"And others he will pacify, and lull them away carnal security, that
they will say: All is well in Zion, yea, Zion prospereth, all is well--and
thus the devil cheateth their souls, and leadeth them away carefully down to
hell." (2 Nephi 28:21)
"I have had visions and revelations instructing me how to organize this
people so that they can live like the family of heaven, but, I cannot do it
while so much selfishness and wickedness reign in the Elders of Israel...."
(Brigham Young, J.D. 9:269)
"And with regard to the conduct of this people--if an angel should come
here and speak his feelings as plainly as I do, I think he would say, `O,
Latter-day Saints' why don't you see, why don't you open your eyes and behold
the great work resting upon you and that you have entered into? You are blind,
you are stupid, you are in the dark, in the mist and fog, wandering to and fro
like a boat upon the water without sail, rudder or oar; and you know not
whither you are going." (Brigham Young, J.D. 19:93)
"We are getting into such a condition that if we were to meet the Lord,
we could not look him in the face, and the way we are going it will soon be
impossible to tell what we do believe." (John Taylor, Des. News, Mar. 9, 1889)
"Let the majority of the people turn away from the Holy Commandments
which the Lord has delivered to us, and cease to hold the balance of power in
the Church, and we may expect the judgements of God to come upon us...."
(Brigham Young, J.D. 10:335)
Today ....
We are now told that things are well in Zion--because the Church
prospers more than ever before in membership, wealth and popularity. But 70%
of the Church is inactive!
"...he will thoroughly purge his floor, and gather his wheat into the
garner; but he will burn up the chaff with unquenchable fire." (Matt. 3:12)
"But as it was in the days of Noah, so it shall be also at the coming
of the Son of Man." (Matt. 24:44, Ins. Ver.)
"And thus, with the sword and by bloodshed the inhabitants of the earth
shall mourn; and with famine, and plague, and earthquake, and the thunder of
heaven, and the fierce and vivid lightning also, shall the inhabitants of the
earth be made to feel the wrath, and indignation, and chastening hand of an
Almighty God, until the consumption decreed hath made a full end of all
nations;" (D. & C. 87:6)
Joseph Smith warned the saints that "...God will gather out the Saints
from the Gentiles, and then comes desolation and destruction, and none can
escape except the pure in heart who are gathered." (D.H.C. 2:52)
"We are called upon to come out from among the wicked, as it is
written, `Come out of her, O my people,' that is come out of Babylon. What is
Babylon? Why, it is the confused world; come out of her then, and cease to
partake of her sins, for if you do not you will be partakers of her plagues."
(Brigham Young, J .D. 12:282)
"This land is blessed above all other lands: it was foreordained to be
the gathering place of the Saints, where the Lord would hide up his people
until his indignation should pass over the nations of the earth." (Heber C.
Kimball, J.D. 9:52)
"Am I looking for famines? Yes, the most terrible and severe that have
ever come upon the nations of the earth. These things are right before us, and
some of this people are not thinking anything about them; they do not enter
their hearts." (Heber C. Kimball, J.D. 5:20)
"It will be war of neighborhood against neighborhood, city against
city, town against town, country against country, state against state, and
they will go forth destroying and being destroyed and manufacturing in a great
measure will cease, for a time, among the American nation." (Orson Pratt, J.D.
[30] "This if this is the case, and if we are not sanctified and gathered to
the places God has appointed, with all our former professions and our great
love for the Bible, we must fall; we cannot stand; we cannot be saved; for God
will gather out His Saints from the Gentiles, and then comes desolation and
destruction, and none can escape except the pure in heart who are gathered."
(Joseph Smith, D.H.C. 2:52)
"God will pour out his vials of wrath, and distress the nations till
they will learn and practice righteousness; and his people must flee to their
appointed hiding place till the indignation is overpast, otherwise they have
no guaranty for their safety." (Mill. Star 9:310)
"The subject and practice of Gathering is a great stumbling block to
many who make but a partial investigation of the Gospel as revealed through
the Prophet Joseph Smith; for, say they, `Cannot God save me as well in my
native land, as in the land of America? Why is it necessary for me to leave
the lands of my fathers, and take my journey to the wilds of a distant
continent?' ***Doubtless the Lord could do many things which He never will,
and there is one thing for certain He never intends doing--that is, to save a
man who will not strive to save himself, by rendering obedience to the
principles laid down in the Gospel." (Mill. Star 39:212)
Today ....
President Kimball said, " we have told the Saints in Europe in
hundreds of meetings in many different locations, if the Saints in Europe will
remain in their lands, ...the kingdom can grow and prosper, and God will bless
them, and that I how." (Improvement Era, Dec. 1955)
"And in the days of these kings shall the God of heaven set up a
kingdom, which shall never be destroyed: and the kingdom shall not be left to
other people, but it shall break in pieces and consume ALL these kingdoms, and
it shall stand forever." (Dan. 2:44)
"And thus, with the sword and by bloodshed the inhabitants of the earth
shall mourn; and with famine, and plague, and earthquake, and the thunder of
heaven, and the fierce and vivid lightning also, shall the inhabitants of the
earth be made to feel the wrath, and indignation, and chastening hand of an
Almighty God, until the consumption decreed hath made a full end of ALL
nations;" (D. & C. 87:6)
"...I prophesy in the name of the Lord God of Israel, unless the United
States redress the wrongs committed upon the Saints in the state of Missouri
and punish the crimes committed by her officers that in a few years the
government will be utterly overthrown and wasted, and there will not be so
much as a potsherd left, for their wickedness in permitting the murder of men,
women and children, and the wholesale plunder and extermination of thousands
of her citizens to go unpunished." (Joseph Smith, T.P.J.S., p. 302-303)

"I told General Kane that the Government of the United States would be
shivered to pieces." (Brigham Young, J.D. 12:119)
"A terrible revolution will take place in the land of America, such as
has never been seen before; for the land will be literally left without a
supreme government, and every species of wickedness will run rampant. Father
will be against son, and son against father, mother against daughter, and
daughter against mother. The most terrible scenes of murder and bloodshed, and
rapine that have ever been looked upon will take place. Many will come with
bundles under their arms to escape the calamities, and there will be no escape
except by fleeing to Zion." (Joseph Smith, Visions of the Latter Days, p.
"The next I knew I was just this side of Omaha. It seemed as though I
was above the earth, and looking down at it. As I passed along upon my way
east, I saw the road full of people, mostly women, with just what they could
carry in bundles on their backs traveling to the mountains on foot." (Wilford
Woodruff, Prophetic Years, by Anderson, p. 54)
[32] "Joseph said that if they succeeded in taking his life, which they did,
war and confusion would come upon the nation, and they would destroy each
other, and there would be mob upon mob from one end of the country to the
other." (Brigham Young, J.D. 10:255)
"I ask myself the question, can the American nation escape? The answer
comes, No; its destruction, as well as the destruction of the world, is sure;
just as sure as the Lord cut off and destroyed the two great and prosperous
nations that once inhabited this continent of North and South America because
of their wickedness, so will he destroy them, and sooner or later they will
reap the fruits of their own wicked acts, and be numbered among the past."
(Wilford Woodruff, J.D. 21:301)
"I saw the Cardston temple preserved from all of this geological
upheaval. I saw the international boundary line disappear as these two
governments broke up and dissolved into chaos. I saw race rioting upon the
American continent on a vast scale." (The Cardston Temple Vision, Visions of
the Latter Days, Book I, p. 27)
Today ....
"We should not be heard to predict ills and calamities for the nation.
On the contrary, we should be providing optimistic support for the nation."
(p. 341)
"Men my fail in this country, earthquakes may come, seas may heave
beyond their bounds, there may be great drought, disaster, and hardships, but
this nation, founded on principles laid down by men whom God raised up, will
never fail. *** Yes, I repeat, men may fail, but this nation won't fail."
(Harold B. Lee, Ye Are the Light of the World, pp. 350-351)
"We believe that our people should sustain all the righteous activities
and actions of their leaders. We do not feel that there is going to be any
total disruption. We have hopes that all may straighten out well and that
America might go forward. We are teaching our people to be true and loyal to
their respective governments." (Spencer W. Kimball, Ensign, Feb. 1974, pp.
"And say unto them, Thus saith the Lord God; Behold, I will take the
children of Israel from among the heathen, whither they be gone, and will
gather them on every side, and bring them into their own land." (Ezek. 37:21;
see also Deut. 30:3; Ezek. 36:24; Psalms 106:47; Psalms 26:9; Isa. 66:18; Jer.
31:10; Ezek. 11:17; John 11:52; Eph. 1:10)
"The doctrine of the gathering of the people of God, including Israel,
is one so clearly predicted by the inspired writers, that it seems almost
superfluous to refer to the numerous passages relating to it." (Orson Pratt's
Works, p. 9)
"The Savior spoke in parable of the latter-day kingdom, and assured his
disciples that when that kingdom was established, and preparatory to the end
of the world, he would send his angels to the four corners of the earth, to
gather the wheat into the garner, and the tares in bundles ready for the
burning." (Mill. Star 36:172)
"The gathering of the Saints is a very important item of our faith. It is
founded upon divine revelation, both ancient and modern. *** None of the
Saints can be dilatory upon this subject, and still retain the Spirit of God.
To neglect or be indifferent about gathering is just as displeasing in the
sight of God as to neglect or be indifferent about baptism for the remission
of sins." (Mill. Star 10:241)
"Years ago, when the Spirit opened up to the mind of the Prophet
Brigham, the visions of the future, he plainly foresaw that the time must
come, when the SAINTS would rejoice in the privilege of going to Zion on foot,
not only with handcarts, but without them; that they would be glad to escape
from the nations with their lives." (Mill. Star 18:137)
"If men have not the spirit of gathering they are blind and cannot see
afar off, and are nigh unto burning." (Mill. Star 9:310)
Today ....
"The policy of the Church is not to entice or encourage people to leave
their native lands." (Messages of the First Presidency, 4:165)
"After this vision closed, the heavens were again opened unto us; and
Moses appeared before us, and committed unto us the keys of the gathering of
Israel from the four parts of the earth, and the leading of the ten tribes
from the land of the north." (D. & C. 110:11)
"Moses appeared to the Prophet Joseph to confer upon him the keys for
the gathering together of the dispensations and the house of Israel from all
portions of the earth. We have got to preach to the Lamanites, to the house of
Judah and by and by the ten tribes." (John Taylor, J.D. 19:141)
"When the Gospel went forth among the people, after the appearance of
Moses in the Temple, and the committing of the Keys of the Gathering, when you
Latter-day Saints received the Gospel of baptism for remission sins and the
laying on of hands for the reception of the Holy Ghost, you also received the
spirit of the gathering." (John Taylor, J.D. 19:125)
"Why is it that you are here to-day? and what brought you here? Because
the keys of the gathering of Israel from the four quarters of the earth have
been committed to Joseph Smith..." (John Taylor, J.D. 25:179)
"I defy all Israel to have so gathered without these keys and been
brought together as they are to-day. But we had no trouble in gathering
because we had the keys." (John Taylor, J.D. 19:144)
Today ....
"The place of gathering for the Mexican saints is in Mexico, the place
of gathering for the Guatemalan saints is in Guatemala; the place of gathering
for the Brazilian saints is in Brazil, and so it goes throughout the length
and breadth of the whole earth." (Bruce R. McConkie, Church News, Sept. 2,
"And it shall come to pass in the last days, that 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." (Isa. 2:2)
"Wherefore the decree hath gone forth from the Father that they shall
be gathered in unto one place upon the face of this land, to prepare their
hearts and be prepared in all things against the day when tribulation and
desolation are sent forth upon the wicked." (D. & C. 29:8)
"But before the great day of the Lord shall come, Jacob shall flourish
in the wilderness, and the Lamanites shall blossom as the rose. Zion shall
flourish upon the hills and rejoice upon the mountains, and shall be assembled
together unto the place which I have appointed." (D. & C. 49:24-25)
"We are in the mountains; we did not come here of our own accord, but
we came by the will of the Father. We are in the tops of the mountains where
the prophet (Isaiah) said the people of God would be in the last days." (Heber
C. Kimball, J.D. 10:101)
"Your mission will be to the nations of the earth. You will gather many
people into the fastness of the Rocky Mountains." (Joseph Smith, Jrnl. of Sam
H. Rogers, p. 198)
"Zion is placed in her appropriate position, and is truly beginning to
flourish and rejoice upon the hills and mountains according to the predictions
of Joseph, the Prophet and according to many predictions of the ancient
prophets." (Orson Pratt, The Seer, p. 6)
"...God designs that this shall be our home, and that we shall multiply
and increase until the time shall come for us to go back, according to the
revelation, to repossess the land from which we were driven." (George Q.
Cannon J.D. 22:282)
Today ....
"...every nation is the gathering place for its own People." (Bruce R.
McConkie, Church News, Sept. 2, 1972)
"The `gathering of Israel' is effected when the people of far away
countries accept the gospel and remain in their native lands," President
Kimball said. Each country is the `gathering place of Israel' for its
inhabitants, he said." (Church News, April 5, 1975)
"Let me say to you just what the Lord requires of you, if you would
only do it. He requires at our hands, each and every one of us, to begin and
sustain the Kingdom of God, and to withdraw from the world and the business of
the world. *** I say this is the mind and the will of God concerning this
people, if they will hearken to it. Purchase no more of your enemies."
(Brigham Young, J.D. 11:374)
"If a bishop or any other officer in this Church shall counsel the
people to violate any of the laws of God, and to sustain and build up the
kingdom of this world, I will justify them, and the Lord will justify them in
refusing to obey that counsel." (Brigham Young, J.D. 12:164)
"I saw that this people would have to gain a foothold, a strength,
power, influence and ability to walk by themselves and to take care of
themselves, and power to contend with their enemies and overcome them, upon
the same principle that the whites did when they first came to America and
overcame the Indians." (Brigham Young, Des. News, 5:403, Feb. 17, 1856)
"In the mercantile world there is what is called the credit system,
which I consider one of the greatest curses that was ever introduced among
men. *** People talk about our credit not being good lately. I hope to God
nobody will credit a "Mormon." We don't want anything on credit. I want us to
live as we can live; and if we cannot live without going into debt to our
enemies, let us die--never put our heads under the yoke." (John Taylor, J.D.
"After a while the Gentiles will gather to this place by the thousands,
and Salt Lake will be classed among the wicked cities of the world. A spirit
of speculation and extravagance will take possession of the Saints, and the
result will be financial bondage." (Heber C. Kimball, as related by Amanda H.
Wilcox, May 1868; see also J. Golden Kimball, by Richards, p. 363)
Today ....
"You are needed where you are. We encourage you to stay where you are
because you are needed there where the light is going out,..." (Matthew
Cowley, Conf. Rept., Apr. 1952, p. 102)
The Lord said, "and let that which belongs to this people be appointed
to this people. *** and let that which belongeth to this people not be taken
and given unto that of another church." (D. & C. 51:7, 10)
"Cease to give wealth which the Lord has given us to those who would
destroy the kingdom and scatter us to the four winds if they had the power."
(Brigham Young, J.D. 11:139)
"...this is the great secret we are teaching in the School of the
Prophets--be exclusive enough to sustain the kingdom of God. We want our means
ourselves and if we trade with outsiders at all we want it to be yonder at a
distance and not here." (Brigham Young, Des. Even. News, Nov. 29, 1868)
"I know, and knew sixteen years ago as well as I do to-day, that from
the very first the merchants who came here were laying the foundation for the
uprooting of this people unless we had exceeding great faith; and that every
dollar that was given to them was given to ruin you and me, and to destroy the
kingdom of God on the earth." (Brigham Young, J.D. 11:298)
"Many of this people are perhaps preparing themselves, by following
after the world in its mad race for wealth and pleasure, to go down with
Babylon when she crumbles and falls;..." (Orson F. Whitney, Des. News Weekly,
Aug. 11, 1889)
Today ....
"Many of the higher officials of the church have risen to their present
eminence via a route on which they found themselves handling business affairs
of the church.... Today the church owns outright a number of thriving modern
enterprises and has its funds invested in stocks of others, as well. ***
Higher officials of the Mormon church are members of the Boards of Directors
of several corporations of national scope, including the Union Pacific
Railroad.... Against the advice of all his conferees in the church, President
Wilford Woodruff again forcibly injected the church into the beet sugar
business in 1890...." (These Amazing Mormons, pp. 49-50)
Church policy scatters the Saints to the four quarters of the earth and
spends their wealth among the Gentiles, such as the 40-story office building
in New York City, (See Church News, May 3, 1975, p. 4) and many other business
enterprises among the gentiles.
"We have also a more sure word of prophecy; whereunto ye do well that
ye take heed, as unto a light that shineth in a dark place, until the day
dawn, and the day star arise in your hearts; Knowing this first, that no
prophecy of the scripture is of any private interpretation. For the prophecy
came not in old time by the will of man: but holy men of God spake as they
were moved by the Holy Ghost. But there were false prophets also among the
people, even as there shall be false teachers among you, who prively shall
bring in damnable heresies...." (2 Peter 1:19-21; 2:1)
"And he said unto him, If they hear not Moses and the prophets, neither
will they be persuaded, though one rose from the dead." (Luke 16:31)
"Whosoever therefore shall break one of these least commandments and
shall teach men so, he shall be called the least in the kingdom of heaven: but
whosoever shall do and teach them, the same shall be called great in the
kingdom of heaven." (Matt. 5:19)
"The Lord would cut short his work in righteousness and except the
Church receive the fulness of the Scriptures that they would yet fail."
(T.P.J.S., p. 9)
"If any man writes to you, or preaches to you, doctrines contrary to
the Bible, the Book of Mormon, or the Book of Doctrine and Covenants, set him
down as an imposter." (Joseph Smith, Times & Seasons, Apr. 1, 1844)
Today ....
"...his [Pres. David O. McKay's] words have an even more immediate
importance than those of the dead prophets." (Ezra Taft Benson, Imp. Era, Dec.
1963, p. 1064)
"He that can mark the power of Omnipotence, inscribed upon the heavens,
can also see God's own handwriting in the sacred volume: and he who reads it
oftenest will like it best, and he who is acquainted with it, will know the
hand wherever he can see it...." (T.P.J.S., p. 56)
The Lord gave "some more extended information upon the Scriptures, a
translation of which had already commenced." (Times & Seasons 4:336)
On February 2, 1833, Joseph wrote: "I completed the translation and
review of the New Testament ...." (Times & Seasons 5:723; see also D. & C.
42:5; 101:10; 107:28)
On February 2, 1833, Joseph took the manuscript N.T. which was
completed (Times & Seasons 5:723) and sealed it up. Old Testament completed
July 2, 1835." (Times & Seasons 6:802)
On July 2, 1833, Sidney Rigdon wrote: "We this day finished the
translation of the scriptures... having finished the translation of the Bible,
a few hours since.... (Times & Seasons 6:802; see also D.H.C. 1:368)
"This work [Inspired Translation of the Bible] is given to the Church
of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and to the public in pursuance of the
commandment of God. As concerning the manner of translation and correction, it
is evident, from the manuscripts and the testimony of those who were
conversant with the fact, that it was done by direct revelation from God. It
was begun in June, 1830, and was finished July 2, 1833." (Preface to Inspired
Translation, p. 3)
Today ....
"Some teachers and writers have begun to use the so called Inspired
Version of the Bible, which the Prophet Joseph undertook but never completed.
The Presiding Brethren urge the use of the King James version of the Bible,
which is the official Bible of the Church, since the Prophet did not complete
his work on the revision." (Church News, Nov. 16, 1974, p. 16)
"For the prophecy came not in old time by the will of man; but holy men
of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost." (2 Peter 1:21)
"And whatsoever they shall speak when moved upon by the Holy Ghost
shall be scripture, shall be the will of the Lord, shall be the mind of the
Lord, shall be the word of the Lord, shall be the voice of the Lord, and the
power of God unto salvation." (D. & C. 68:3,4)
"...these Sermons will be most valuable, as a gauge of doctrine, a rule
of rectitude, and a square to life, furnishing at the same time an extensive
repository of historical information." (Introduction to Journal of Discourses)
"I know just as well what to teach this people and just what to say to them
and what to do in order to bring them into the celestial kingdom, as I know
the road to my office. It is just as plain and easy. The Lord is in our midst.
He teaches the people continually. I have never yet preached a sermon and sent
it out to the children of men, that they may not call Scripture. Let me have
the privilege of correcting a sermon, and it is as good Scripture as they
deserve." (Brigham Young, J.D. 13:95)
"I say now, when they are copied and approved by me they are as good scripture
as is couched in this Bible, and if you want to read revelation read the
sayings of him who knows the mind of God,..." (Brigham Young, J.D. 13:264)
Today ....
In December of 1956, Bruce R. McConkie's first volume of Sound Doctrine
was advertised in the Improvement Era. This was a revision of the Journal of
Discourses in which all controversial or unpopular teachings were discarded.
However, an exact photo-reproduction reprint was made of those Journals by
another source, so the edited editions were not published.
Mark E. Petersen has stated that he would not have a set of the Journal
of Discourses in his home. Other present General Authorities have also stated
that the Journals contain much false doctrine.
Jesus said, "These signs shall follow them that believe...." (Mark
"And these signs shall follow them that believe -- in my name they
shall do many wonderful works; In my name they shall cast out devils; In my
name they shall heal the sick; In my name they shall open the eyes of the
blind, and unstop the ears of the deaf; and the tongue of the dumb shall
speak...." (D. & C. 84:65-70; see Mormon 9:24 and I Cor. Chap. 12)
"Because faith is wanting, the fruits are. No man since the world was
had faith without having something along with it, *** A man who has none of
the gifts has no faith; and he deceives himself, if he supposes he has. Faith
has been wanting, not only among the heathen, but in professed Christendom
also, so that tongues, healings, prophecy, and prophets and apostles, and all
the gifts and blessings have been wanting." (T.P.J.S., p. 270)
"The distinguishing characteristics between true and false churches are
so evident that none need be mistaken. The one enjoys the Holy Spirit with all
its gifts, as set forth in the word of God; the others profess to enjoy the
Spirit, but have none of the gifts and operations ascribed to it. The only way
by which we discover that the human body is animated by the human spirit, is
by its operations; so likewise, the method by which we determine that a church
enjoys the Holy Spirit is by its diversity of operations or manifestations. If
these cease, we have every reason to believe that the Holy Spirit has departed
also." (Orson Pratt's Works, p. 96)
"...all these gifts of which I have spoken, which are spiritual, never
will be done away, even as long as the world shall stand, only according to
the unbelief of the children of men. And wo be unto the children of men if
this be the case; for there shall be none that doeth good among you, no not
one." (Moroni 10:19,25; see also 11-18)
Today ....
Now there are fewer gifts than at any time in the history of the
Church. Although the Church is many times larger, it receives proportionately
fewer spiritual gifts.
"And these signs shall follow them that believe; In my name shall they
cast out devils; they shall speak with new tongues;" (Mark 16:17)
" is given to some to speak with tongues; and to another is given
the interpretation of tongues. And all these gifts come from God for the
benefit of the children of God." (D. & C. 46:24)
"On the 23rd of January, we again assembled in conference; when, after
much speaking, singing, praying, and praising God, all in tongues,..." (Joseph
Smith, D.H.C. 1:323)
"They were so eager to attend their meetings and to speak, prophesy,
and talk in tongues, that the Apostle Paul had to regulate their meetings and
give them counsel in regard to the manner of conducting them, that order might
"The Saints were abundantly blessed with these manifestations of the
spirit. But when the apostasy took place, the spirit of the Lord departed, its
manifestations were fewer, and at last they were not known in the Church."
(Imp. Era 8:111)
Today ....
"I was somewhat startled a few days ago, while in conversation with a
young brother who had just returned from a mission to Scandinavia, by hearing
him remark that he had never in his life heard anyone speak in tongues.
"The remark was somewhat of a shock to me; because in the early days of
the Church--where I was reared--there were so many of the Saints who enjoyed
the gifts, and there were none among my acquaintances who had not heard the
sweet sound of the gift of tongues. Many times there would be both speaking
and singing in tongues, in the same sacrament meeting. The interpretation of
tongues was equally as the tongues themselves. In fact, we were wont to regard
the speaking in tongues, the interpretation of tongues, the relating of dreams
and prophesying, as an essential part of the Latter-day gospel. (Anthon H.
Lund, Imp. Era Conf. Repts, p. 32)
There are very few members of the Church who have heard the speaking or
interpretation of tongues. It was considered by the Prophet Joseph Smith as
perhaps "the smallest" of the gifts, yet we do not enjoy or experience even
that gift.
"For God speaketh once, yea twice, yet man perceiveth it not. In a
dream, in a vision of the night, when deep sleep falleth upon men, in
slumberings upon the bed; then He openeth the ears of men, and sealeth their
instruction." (Job 33:14-16)
"In all dispensations God has revealed many important instructions and
warnings to men by means of dreams. ***
"What have not dreams accomplished? Dreams and their interpretation
brought the beloved son of Jacob from his dungeon, made him prime minister of
Egypt, and the savior of a nation and of his father's house.
"Dreams, and the interpretation of dreams, raised a Daniel from slavery
or degrading captivity in Babylon, to wear a royal chain of gold, and to teach
royalty how to rule, whilst he presided over the governors and presidents of
more than a hundred provinces.
"Dreams, and the interpretation of dreams, have opened the future,
pointed out the course of empires through all the troublous times of
successive ages, till Saints alone shall rule, and immortality alone
"A dream announced by Joseph that his virgin wife should have a son. A
dream forewarned him to flee into Egypt with the young child and his mother. A
dream announced to him in Egypt the death of Herod, and warned him to return
to his native land.
"A dream warned the wise men from the east to return home another way,
and not return to Herod to betray the young child.
"Dreams and visions warned Paul, and the Apostles, and the Saints of
his day, of various dangers, shipwrecks, persecutions and deaths, and pointed
out the means of escape.
"Dreams and visions attended and guided them, more or less, in their
whole ministry and sojourn on the earth." (Key to Theology,
P. P. Pratt, pp. 119-123)
"Are you faithful to your vows? If you are you will have dreams, and
visions, and revelations from the world of light, and you will be comforted by
night and by day. But if you do not fulfill your covenants you cannot enjoy
those blessings." (Heber C. Kimball, J.D. 3:112)
[44] "...whosoever believeth on my words, them will I visit with the
manifestation of my Spirit." (D. & C. 5:16)
"It is by dreams that God often makes known his mind and will to
mankind. In the holy scriptures we find many notable instances of this power,
or of this gift, in which man, visited in his slumbers by the angels of God's
presence, has partaken of the Spirit of light and intelligence that surrounds
"Dreams are of different kinds and are given for various purposes; each
true one, however, being applicable to the situation and requirements of the
individual receiving it, or, of the people about whom it contains directions.
"We have many examples wherein men who received dreams from God, and
were obedient to their teachings, realized blessings at His hands. They had
faith in God sufficient to know truth from error; but, now-a-days, we may look
a long while before we can find, amongst the people of the world, an
individual who has thus faith enough to forsake his home and journey into a
strange land in obedience to the requirements of God manifested in a dream."
(Mill. Star 26:293)
"Dreams, then, are one of the stepping stones of communication from God
to man. When men are capable of receiving revelations from God, they can then
be directed, reproved, comforted, warned or instructed and thus have the
assurance that they are walking in the path that God wills them to follow."
(The Gift of Dreams, Kraut, p. 14)
Today ....
Inspired dreams and visions are nearly extinct in the Church. Those who
have had them are told not to speak of them.
"And he said, Hear now my words: If there be a prophet among you, I the
Lord will make myself known unto him in a vision, and will speak unto him in a
dream." (Num. 12:6)
"Her gates are sunk into the ground; he hath destroyed and broken her
bars: her king and her princes are among the Gentiles: the law is no more; her
prophets also find no vision from the Lord." (Lam. 2:9)
"Where there is no vision, the people perish: but he that keepeth the
law, happy is he." (Prov. 29:18)
"By the power of the Spirit our eyes were opened and our understandings
were enlightened, so as to see and understand the things of God-- ***And we
beheld the glory of the Son, on the right hand of the Father, and received of
his fulness; And saw the holy angels, and them who are sanctified before his
throne, worshiping God, and the Lamb, who worship him forever and ever." (D. &
C. 76:12,20,21)
"The revelations given by the Holy Ghost; by the voice of the Lord; by
the ministry of angels; by visions and dreams, and by the inspired officers of
the kingdom, are the kind of laws ordained for the government of the Saints.
By such laws they have been governed in every age and dispensation. All
churches which have not faith to obtain revelations and laws by the
inspiration of the Holy Ghost, are not the churches of God. Though they may
pretend to great piety; profess to be Christians; make long prayers; preach
eloquent sermons, and meet together every Sabbath day under the pretense of
worshipping God, yet if they have not faith to obtain new revelations, and
visions, and the ministry of angels, they are not the church of God, and are
deceiving themselves and others with a false and delusive religion; a religion
by which they will perish, as the scripture saith, `Where there is no vision
the people perish.'" (Proverbs 29:18) (Orson Pratt's Works, p.70)
Today ....
President Heber J. Grant said, The heavens are as brass to me," and
other leaders of the Church have also had the same experience.
Now taking it for granted that the scriptures say what they
mean, and mean what they say, we have sufficient grounds to go on
and prove from the Bible that the gospel has always been the same;
the ordinances to fulfill its requirements, the same, and the
officers to officiate, the same; and the signs and fruits resulting
from the promises, the same;...
Joseph Smith, T.P.J.S., p. 264
"And the priests could not enter into the house of the Lord, because
the glory of the Lord had filled the Lord's house." (II Chron. 7:2)
"And inasmuch as my people build a house unto me in the name of the
Lord, and do not suffer any unclean thing to come into it, that it be not
defiled, my glory shall rest upon it; yea, and my presence shall be there, for
I will come into it, and all the pure in heart that shall come into it shall
see God." (D. & C. 97:15-16)
"We saw the Lord standing upon the breastwork of the pulpit, before us;
and under his feet was a paved work of pure gold, in color like amber. His
eyes were as a flame of fire; the hair of his head was white like the pure
snow; his countenance shone above the brightness of the sun; and his voice was
as the sound of the rushing of great waters, even the voice of Jehovah...."
(D. & C. 110:2-3)
"I feel disposed to speak a few words more to you, my brethren,
concerning the endowment: All who are prepared, and are sufficiently pure to
abide the presence of the Savior, will see Him in the solemn assembly."
(Joseph Smith, T.P.J.S., p. 92)
"Zebedee Coltrin related a vision in the Temple in Kirtland after the
School of the Prophets was organized. He said while sitting in Council a
personage passed through the room dressed in usual clothing. Joseph said that
was the Savior. Soon another personage passed through the house clothed in
fire; his features and feet were visible, but his body was wrapped in flames.
Joseph said that was the Father." (Journal History, Oct. 10, 1883)
Today ....
The temples being built today are not visited by the Lord nor are they
built for that purpose. The great temple of Washington D.C. was built
principally as an exhibit to Gentiles. It is situated in a city where 80% of
the population are Negroes and are prohibited from entering the temple.
"The Son of man shall send forth his angels, and they shall gather out
of his kingdom all things that offend, and them which do iniquity;" (Matt.
"Who have received the law by the disposition of angels, and have not
kept it." (Acts 7:53)
"Behold I say unto you, Nay; for it is by faith that miracles are
wrought; and it is by faith that angels appear and minister unto men;
wherefore, if these things have ceased wo be unto the children of men, for it
is because of unbelief, and all is vain." (Moroni 7:37; see also Moroni 10:14)
"Upon you my fellow servants, in the name of Messiah I confer the
Priesthood of Aaron, which holds the keys of the ministering of angels,..."
(D. & C. 13:1)
"The power and authority of the higher, or Melchizedek Priesthood, is
to hold the keys of all the spiritual blessings of the church--To have the
privilege of receiving the mysteries of the kingdom of heaven, to have the
heavens opened unto them, to commune with the general assembly and church of
the Firstborn, and to enjoy the communion and presence of God the Father, and
Jesus the mediator of the new covenant." (D. & C. 107:18-19)
"...He [the Lord] has promised us great things; yea, even a visit from
the heavens to honor us with His own presence." (Joseph Smith, T.P.J.S., p.
Today ....
Visitations of angels have gradually and almost completely disappeared.
In spite of more temples in the Church today, and many more times the number
of people who go through the temples, heavenly visitations have almost
"Be not forgetful to entertain strangers; for thereby some have
entertained angels unawares." (Heb. 13:2)
"And I did endeavor to preach unto this people, but my mouth was shut,
and I was forbidden that I should preach unto them; for behold they had
wilfully rebelled against their God; and the beloved disciples were taken away
out of the land, because of their iniquity." (Mormon 1:16)
"And there are none that do know the true God save it be the disciples
of Jesus who did tarry in the land until the wickedness of the people was so
great that the Lord would not suffer them to remain with the people...."
(Mormon 8:10)
"These three men tarried among the Nephites until between three and
four hundred years after Christ, and until the wickedness of the people became
so great that the Lord took them out of their midst." (Orson Pratt, J.D.
"If they [The Three Nephites] shall pray to the Father, says the Book
of Mormon, in the name of Jesus, they can show themselves unto whatsoever
person or people they choose. The very reason they do not come amongst us is
because we have a work to do preparatory to their coming; and just as soon as
that is accomplished, they are on hand, and also many other good old worthy
ancients that would rejoice our hearts could we behold their countenances, and
hear them recite over the scenes they have passed through, and the history of
past events, as well as prophecy of the events to come." (Orson Pratt, J.D.
Today ....
From 1880 to the present time the appearances of these three have
gradually diminished. The Lord apparently is not suffering them to remain with
this people because of our wickedness and rejection of so many Gospel
"Verily, thus saith the Lord: It shall come to pass that every soul who
forsaketh his sins and cometh unto me, and calleth on my name, and obeyeth my
voice, and keepeth my commandments, shall see my face and know that I am; (D.
& C. 93:1)
"All Priesthood is Melchizedek, but there are different portions or
degrees of it. That portion which brought Moses to speak with God face to face
was taken away; but that which brought the ministry of angels remained. All
the prophets had the Melchizedek Priesthood and were ordained by God himself."
(T.P.J.S., p. 180-181)
"...when any man obtains this last Comforter, he will have the
personage of Jesus Christ to attend him, or appear unto him from time to time,
and even He will manifest the Father unto him, and they will take up their
abode with him, and the visions of the heavens will be opened unto him and the
Lord will teach him face to face...." (T.P.J.S., p. 151)
"You have been indebted to other men, in the first instance, for
evidence; on that you have acted; but it is necessary that you receive a
testimony from heaven for yourselves; so that you can bear testimony to the
truth of the Book of Mormon, and that you have seen the face of God. That is
more than the testimony of an angel. When the proper time arrives, you shall
be able to bear this testimony to the world. When you bear testimony that you
have seen God, this testimony God will never suffer to fall, but will bear you
out; although many will not give heed, yet others will. You will therefore see
the necessity of getting this testimony from heaven.
"Never cease striving until you have seen God face to face. Strengthen
your faith; cast off your doubts, your sins, and all your unbelief; and
nothing can prevent you from coming to God. Your ordination is not full and
complete till God has laid His hand upon you. We require as much to qualify us
as did those who have gone before us, God is the same. If the Savior in former
days laid His upon His disciples, why not in latter days?" (D.H.C. 2:195-196)
Today ....
For the past 85 years there has been almost a silence concerning the
Second Comforter. The rarity of this manifestation is indicative of the
Saints' failure to abide by the laws that draw the people to Him.
"And in that day the Holy Ghost fell upon Adam, which beareth record of
the Father and the Son...." (Moses 5:9)
"And it came to pass that when Satan had departed from the presence of
Moses, that Moses lifted up his eyes unto heaven, being filled with the Holy
Ghost, which beareth record of the Father and the Son." (Moses 1:24)
"And it came to pass after I, Nephi, having heard all the words of my
father, concerning the things which he spoke by the power of the Holy Ghost,
which power he received by faith on the Son of God--and the Son of God was the
Messiah who should come--I, Nephi, was desirous also that I might see, and
hear, and know of these things, by the power of the Holy Ghost, which is the
gift of God unto those who diligently seek him, as well in times of old as in
the time that he should manifest himself unto the children of men.
"For he is the same yesterday, to-day, and forever; and the way is
prepared for all men from the foundation of the world, if it so be that they
repent and come unto him. For he that diligently seeketh shall find; and the
mysteries of God shall be unfolded unto them, by the power of the Holy Ghost,
as well in these times as in times of old, and as well in times of old as in
times to come; wherefore, the course of the Lord is one eternal round. *** And
the Holy Ghost giveth authority that I should speak these things, and deny
them not." (I Nephi 10:17-19, 22)
"And Alma went forth, and also Amulek, among the people, to declare the
words of God unto them; and they were filled with the Holy Ghost." (Alma 8:30)
"This scripture must needs have been fulfilled, which the Holy Ghost by
the mouth of David spake before concerning Judah." (Mark 12:36 & Acts 1:16)
"John, whom God raised up, being filled with the Holy Ghost from his
mother's womb." (D. & C. 84:27)
"And it came to pass, that, when Elisabeth heard the salutation of
Mary, the babe leaped in her womb; and Elisabeth was filled with the Holy
Ghost." (Luke 1:41)
"When as his mother Mary was espoused to Joseph, before they came
together, she was found with child of the Holy Ghost." (Matt. 1:18)
[50] "And behold, there was a man in Jerusalem, whose name was Simeon; and
the same man was just and devout, waiting for the consolation of Israel; and
the Holy Ghost was upon him. And it was revealed unto him by the Holy Ghost,
that he should not see death, before he had seen the Lord's Christ." (Luke
Today ....
"During his mortal ministry our Lord gave his disciples the gift of the
Holy Ghost, which is the right to the constant companionship of that member of
the Godhead based on faithfulness. But as long as Jesus was with them, the
actual enjoyment of the gift was withheld. Fulfillment of the promise came on
the day of Pentecost; with miraculous majesty attending, the gift of tongues
and of interpretation was poured out upon a great multitude and many
conversions were made." (Acts 2:1-17) (Bruce R. McConkie, Mormon Doctrine, p.
"He answered and said unto them, Because it is given unto you to know
the mysteries of the kingdom of heaven, to them it is not given. For whosoever
receiveth, to him shall be given and he shall have more abundance; but
whosoever continueth not to receive, from him shall be taken away even that he
hath." (Matt. 13:9-11; see Mark 4:11, Insp. Vers.)
"...and he that will not harden his heart, to him is given the greater
portion of the word, until it is given unto him to know the mysteries of God
until he know them in full." (Alma 12:10; see also I Nephi 2:16; I Nephi
10:19; Mosiah 2:9)
"Many men will say, `I will never forsake you, but will stand by you at
all times.' But the moment you teach them some of the mysteries of the kingdom
of God that are retained in the heavens and are to be revealed to the children
of men when they are prepared for them, they will be the first to stone you
and put you to death. It was this same principle that crucified the Lord Jesus
Christ, and will cause the people to kill the prophets in this generation."
(T.P.J.S., p. 309; see also p. 112, 364, 331)
"And if thou wilt inquire, thou shalt know mysteries, which are great
and marvelous; therefore, thou shalt exercise thy gift that thou mayest find
out mysteries, that thou mayest bring many to the knowledge of the truth, yea,
convince them of the error of their ways." (D. & C. 6:11; see also 42:61,65;
107:11; 84:19; 76:116, 5-8)
Note: The only warning against the mysteries were for missionaries not
to teach them to the Gentiles because of the danger of persecution. (See Matt.
7:6; T.P.J.S., p. 292; D. & C. 42:65)
Today ....
"Leave the `Mysteries' Alone. We should keep our feet on the ground and
not get off in the realm of the mysterious, the speculative, the things which
the Lord has not yet made plain. *** The discussion of mysteries and doctrines
only partly revealed can await the coming of the Lord,..." (Doctrines of
Salvation, J.F. Smith, 1:305-306)
"And are built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets Jesus
Christ himself being the chief corner stone;" (Eph. 2:20)
"And the Lord spake by his servants the prophets .... " (2 Kings 21:10)
"Surely the Lord God will do nothing, but he revealeth his secret unto
his servants the prophets." (Amos 3:7)
"If the time or condition should ever come to pass that a man,
possessing human weaknesses, shall lead the Church, woe be to the Church; for
it will then become like the churches of the world, man-made and man-led, and
have no power of God or of life eternal and salvation connected with it; only
the wisdom, the judgment and intelligence of man." (Gospel Doctrine, J.F.
Smith, p. 138)
"We are told that the living oracles take precedence over all other
authority, living or dead. We agree that the living oracles take precedence,
provided they do not conflict with the dead oracles. `To the law and the
testimony if they speak not according to this word it is because there is no
light in them.' (Isa. 8:20) If it is true that the living oracles take
precedence over all others regardless of their disagreements with the dead
prophets, then the Saints must necessarily change their faith every time there
is a change in the presidency, to conform to the views of the new president."
(Bsp. Heber Bennion, Gospel Problems, p. 6)
Today ....
"At this point we recall the stirring words of the late Elder B. H.
Roberts. Striking the tabernacle pulpit he exclaimed: "We have Prophets who do
not prophesy; Seers who do not see, and Revelators who do not reveal.'" (Truth
Aug. 1952, 18:3, p. 83)
Ezra had a Urim and Thummim (2:61-63) and also Nehemiah (7:63-65).
Joseph in Egypt had the same gift (Masterful Discourses of Orson Pratt, p.
557). The Brother of Jared (Ether 3:23), Aaron (Ex. 28:29,30), and Joshua
(Num. 27:18-21) also had it, as well as Lehi and Nephi (Mill. Star
76:552-557). It was possessed by Eleazer the Priest (Num. 27:18-21) and the
priest who resided with Micah (Judges 18:5-6); and the priests who lived in
the city of Nob (I Sam. 22:18). It was also in existence at the time of King
David (I Sam. 28:6).
"And I, Abraham, had the Urim and Thummim, which the Lord my God had
given unto me, in Ur of the Chaldees." (Abraham 3:1)
"And Moses said unto the congregation, This is the thing which the Lord
commanded to be done. And he put the breastplate upon him: also he put in the
breastplate the Urim and Thummim." (Lev. 8:5,8)
"Now Ammon said unto him: I can assuredly tell thee, O king, of a man
that can translate the records; for he has wherewith that he can look, and
translate all records that are of ancient date; and it is a gift from God."
(Mosiah 8:13)
"And now Limhi was again filled with joy in learning from the mouth of
Ammon that king Mosiah had a gift from God, whereby he could interpret such
engravings; yea, and Ammon also did rejoice." (Mosiah 21:28)
"And you have a gift to translate the plates; and this is the first
gift that I bestowed upon you; and I have commanded that you should pretend to
no other gift until my purpose is fulfilled in this; for I will grant unto you
no other gift until it is finished."(D. & C. 5:4)
"Has Brother Brigham Young got the Urim and Thummim? Yes, he has
everything that is necessary for him to receive the will and mind of God to
this people. Do I know it? Yes, I know all about it...." (Heber C. Kimball,
J.D. 2:111)
Today ....
Hugh B. Brown stated, "I do not know of any Urim and Thummim used in
the Church today." (Oct. 10, 1969, University of Utah Institute of Religion)
None of the other apostles or members of the First Presidency have given
testimony of a Urim and Thummim either.
"Behold, the days come, saith the Lord God, that I will send a famine
in the land, not a famine of bread, nor a thirst for water, but of hearing the
words of the Lord: And they shall wander from sea to sea, and from the north
even to the east, they shall run to and fro to seek the word of the Lord, and
shall not find it." (Amos 8:11-12)
"And to them will I reveal all mysteries, yea, all the hidden mysteries
of my kingdom from days of old, and for ages to come, will I make known unto
them the good pleasure of my will concerning all things pertaining to my
kingdom. Yea, even the wonders of eternity shall they know, and things to come
will I show them, even the things of many generations." (D. & C. 76:7-8)
"We never can comprehend the things of God and of heaven, but by
revelation. We may spiritualize and express opinions to all eternity; but that
is no authority." (T.P.J.S., p. 292)
"`I do not care who leads the church, even though it were Ann Lee; but
one thing I must know, and that is what God says about it. I have the keys and
the means of obtaining the mind of God on the subject.'" (Brigham Young,
D.H.C. 7:230)
Today ....
In reference to Pres. Heber J. Grant, a Church member stated: "Speaking
of attending a certain meeting with the President in the Temple, he said the
President came into the meeting under the emotion of tears, and informed the
brethren present he had pled with the Lord for direction in certain matters,
but could get none. Said he, `The heavens are as brass over me.'" (Truth, Feb.
1939, p. 175)
The Lord speaking to the Twelve Apostles said, "Go ye and teach all
nations." (Matt. 28:16) And again, the Twelve are "called to go into all the
world to preach my gospel." (D. & C. 107:18)
"The Twelve will have no right to go into Zion, or of her stakes, and
there undertake to regulate the affairs thereof...but it is their duty to go
abroad and regulate all matters relative to the different branches of the
Church." (T.P.J.S., p. 74)
"They [the Twelve] are to travel and preach among the Gentiles, until
the Lord shall command them to go to the Jews." (D.H.C. 2:200; see D. & C.
"What, says one, no seats provided for the Twelve; is not this their
home? No, their homes are all over the earth preaching the Gospel, building up
the kingdom, regulating the affairs of the kingdom of God upon the earth; and
we take them in as visitors. Are there places to be provided for the
Seventies? No, but for the First Presidency and the local authorities and not
for the traveling ministry. The Twelve and the Seventies are travelling
quorums to all the inhabitants of the earth." (Brigham Young, Des. News, June
6, 1877)
Today ....
"I want to say, here are the Apostles and the Seventies, their business
is to warn the nations of the earth and prepare the world for the coming of
the Savior. They have been engaged in this more or less.
"It looks to me that our minds ought to extend somewhat, and we get out
of the beaten track, and a little change be made. ***
"The following day while commenting upon the readiness in which the
Apostles had considered his remarks, the President said he very much regretted
that it should have become necessary for him to call attention of the Apostles
to their plain duty, that they should have sensed the situation themselves
without rendering it necessary for him to point it out to them. Upon this
particular occasion he said there was no doubt in his mind that the time was
near at hand when the Savior would make His appearance, and he trembled at the
thought that the Apostles were spending so much of their time in matters that
should be attended to by others, while so little comparatively was being done
in their own line of calling.
[56] "He had been thinking of late whether we were justified in keeping at
home the Apostles and Seventies the way we were now doing. They were really
ministers to the nations of the earth; their duties were clearly marked out by
the Lord, and until the Gospel was preached thoroughly to the world he doubted
whether the Savior would come, as the preaching of the Gospel to the world is
certainly a part of the work that has to be done before He does come.
"The President also said there were republics on this continent which
never had been visited by an Apostle, and he did not know how far the Lord
justified the Apostles and Seventies in waiting for things to become pleasant
and agreeable before visiting such countries." (Remarks by Joseph F. Smith
about Lorenzo Snow's last remarks, The Juvenile Instructor, 36:689-690)
For the past 75 years the Apostles have all resided in Salt Lake City,
and attended Thursday morning meetings to run the official affairs of the
Church. They have become businessmen, stockholders of corporations, and the
leading merchants in Utah.
"It is the duty of the traveling high council [Apostles] to call upon
the Seventy, when they need assistance." (D. & C. 107:38)
"I next called upon the quorums and congregations of Saints to
acknowledge the presidents of Seventies, who act as their [the 12 Apostles]
representatives, as Apostles and special witnesses to the nations, to assist
the Twelve in opening the Gospel kingdom among all the people, and to uphold
them by their prayers, which they did by rising." (Joseph Smith, D.H.C. 2:417)
"The Seventies are to be taken from the quorum of Elders, and are not
to be High Priests. They are subject to the direction and dictation of the
Twelve, who have the keys of the ministry." (T.P.J.S., p. 112)
"If a High Priest should be remiss in his duty, and should lead, or
suffer the church to be led astray, depart from the ordinances of the Lord,
then it is the duty of one of the Seventies, acting under the special
direction of the Twelve, being duly commissioned by them with their delegated
authority, to go to the church, and if agreeable to a majority of the members
of said church, to proceed to regulate and put in order the same; otherwise he
can have no authority to act." (Joseph Smith, D.H.C. 4:129)
Today ....
"Therefore, at the late General Conference five men, High Priests, were
called to act as assistants to the Twelve. This action shows the adaptability
of the Church to changing, increasing conditions,...." (John A. Widtsoe, Imp.
Era, May 1941, p. 288)
"All of the Assistants to the Twelve Apostles are high priests. If an
elder or a seventy should be selected to be an Assistant to the Apostles, he
would be ordained to the office of a high priest." (Imp. Era, Oct. 1956, p.
"The Seventy are to act in the name of the Lord, under the direction of
the Twelve or the traveling high council, in building up the church and
regulating all the affairs of the same in all nations, first unto the Gentiles
and then to the Jews." (D. & C. 107:34)
"I say unto you, Latter-day Saints, that the Seventies follow the
Twelve Apostles, and the Twelve Apostles follow in the wake of the First
Presidency,... The Twelve and the Seventies are travelling quorums to all the
inhabitants of the earth." (Des. News, June 6, 1877, p. 274)
"The Seventies are called to be assistants to the Twelve Apostles;
indeed they are Apostles of the Lord Jesus Christ subject to the direction of
the Twelve, and it is their duty to respond to the call of the Twelve, under
the direction of the First Presidency of the Church to preach the gospel...."
(Joseph F. Smith, Conf. Rept., April 1907, p. 5)
"They [Seventies] are subject to the direction and dictation of the
Twelve, who have the keys of the ministry." (T.P.J.S., p. 112)
Today ....
"The activities of Seventies resident in the stakes, both as to quorum
and individuals, are under the supervision of stake presidents and ward
bishops." (Priesthood and Church Government, p. 275)
"I cannot believe that God has given us an impractical plan for such
choosing and presiding over Seventies. The plan as God has given it is
entirely practical if allowed to function as planned. But if changed and
distorted I am sure it will not be practical. The multiplication table in
mathematics works all right if allowed to stand as it is, but if you go to
changing it, making it say that three times nine is twenty-one, or that three
times eight is sixteen and so throughout, then you will have trouble, The
application of the illustration is obvious." (B. H. Roberts, The Seventies,
Kraut, p. 159)
"And they [Seventies] form a quorum, equal in authority to that of the
Twelve special witnesses or Apostles just named." (D. & C. 107:26)
"This day the Council of the Seventy met to tender an account of their
travels and ministry, since they were ordained to that Apostleship." (Joseph
Smith, D.H.C., 2:346)
"He [Brigham Young] stated that the Seventies are ordained Apostles and
when they go forth into the ministry they are sent with power to build up the
Kingdom in all the world and consequently have power to ordain High Priests
and also to ordain and organize a High Council." (Manuscript History of
Brigham Young, Dec. 14, 1845)
"He [Parley P. Pratt] further stated that the difference between the
authority of the Seventies and the High Priests was this: The High Priests
possessed the High Priesthood but the Seventies possessed the High Priesthood
and the Apostleship which was the highest power on the earth or in the
Church." (Nauvoo Record Book B, p. 226)
"The Seventies are Apostles; and they stand next in authority to the
Twelve." (Brigham Young, Des. News, June 6, 1877, p. 274)
Today ....
"An announcement that members of the First Council of Seventy of the
Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints had been ordained high priests to
give them `power to set in order all things pertaining to the Church' as they
visit among the stakes and missions was made Sunday morning in the Salt Lake
Tabernacle." (Des. News, June 12, 1961)
[NOTE: It would be wrong to ordain a man a high priest after he already
held the Apostleship of the Seventy.]
"And it is according to the vision showing the order of the Seventy,
that they should have seven presidents to preside over them, chosen out of the
number of the seventy." (D. & C. 107:93)
The Prophet Joseph Smith said: "The Seventies are to be taken from the
quorum of Elders, and are not to be High Priests." (T.P.J.S., p. 112)
"Five of those chosen to make up the first council were High Priests;
therefore to make the action of the Church conform to the word of God, these
High Priests were invited by the Prophet to take their place in the High
Priests' quorum, that the first council might be made up of men `chosen out of
the number of the Seventy' as provided by the law of God." (D.H.C. 2:476)
"If we enquire of the Lord, if there is one man upon the face of the
earth that can get to the ears of the Lord and can get him to hearken to him,
he would know how it is; for there is nothing in the Doctrine and Covenants
upon which an idea can be based that the High Priests have precedence over the
seventies." (Des. News, June 6, 1877)
"This...I insisted very definitely affixed the choosing and presiding
over the quorums of the seventy by the First Council of Seventy. It rests with
the First Council of the Seventy both to do the choosing and the presiding,
and there is nowhere mentioned, nor contemplated, the bringing in of
Presidents of Stakes nor of committees from High Councils to do the work of
choosing and presiding." (B. H. Roberts' letter to the First Presidency, The
Seventies, Kraut, p. 146)
Today ....
In 1961 it was announced that "this morning four members of the First
Council of Seventy were ordained high priests, and the other members of the
First Council of Seventy will be so ordained." (Des. News, June 12, 1961)
"And it is according to the vision, showing the order the Seventy, that
there shall be seven presidents to preside over them, chosen out of the number
of the Seventy." (D.H.C. 2:182)
"The council was called together in the month of November, 1835. After
it was assembled he asked the newly organized quorum if any of their number
had been ordained to the High Priest's office previous to their ordination as
Seventies....five out of the Seven Presidents, however, acknowledged that they
were High Priests before they were ordained Seventies .... Accordingly, the
Prophet invited them to take their places in the High Priests' quorum again,
which was complied with...." (History of the Organization of the Seventies, p.
4-5; also The Seventies, Kraut, p. 134)
"The Seventies are to be taken from the quorum of Elders, and are not
to be High Priests. They are subject to the direction and dictation of the
Twelve, who have the keys of the ministry." (T.P.J.S., p. 112)
"At the October conference of 1882, Elders Abraham H. Cannon and
Theodore B. Lewis were selected to fill the vacancies in the first council of
the seventy; but it was learned that Elder Lewis was a High Priest, and,
consequently--for the reason that these presidents are to be `chosen from
among the seventy'--he was found ineligible and was not ordained." (C.H.C.
" would not be necessary to ordain Presidents of Seventies, High
Priests in order to function in all things that would become necessary `in
building up the kingdom in all the world, first among the Gentiles and then
among the Jews.'" (B. H. Roberts letter to Heber J. Grant, The Seventies,
Kraut, p. 164)
Today ....
"The members of the First Council of the Seventy are now given the
authority of high priests to set in order all things pertaining to the stakes
and the wards, under the direction of the Twelve Apostles." (Conf. Rept.
Sept.-Oct. 1961, p. 90)
"And they [the Seventies] form a quorum, equal authority to that of the
Twelve special witnesses or Apostles just named." (D. & C. 107:26)
Apostle Parley P. Pratt said, "the difference between the authority of
the Seventies and the High Priests was this: The High Priests possessed the
High Priesthood, but the Seventies possessed the High Priesthood and the
Apostleship which was the highest power on the earth or in the Church."
(Nauvoo Record Book B, p. 226)
"He said that in case the quorum of the Twelve should by any means
become disorganized, that the Seventies held the jurisdiction and authority of
Presidency of the Church in all the world wherever it might be found. That the
High Priests' duty would be the same as it is now; they would have to attend
to their affairs; but the authority of Presidency over the whole Church
belonged to the Seventies," (Seventies Record Nauvoo Period, Book B, Parley P.
Pratt, Jan. 25, 1846, p. 226)
"The quorum of the twelve apostles are equal in power and authority to
the first presidency. The first quorum of the seventy is equal in authority to
the quorum of the twelve; and, of course, indirectly equal in authority to the
first presidency, since things equal to a common thing must be equal to each
other." (C.H.C. 2:369)
"I stated that the Seventy were ordained Apostles and when they went
forth into the ministry they were sent with power to build up the kingdom in
all the world and consequently they have power to ordain High Priests and also
ordain a High Council. Some of the High Priests have been ready to quarrel on
the subject supposing they had power and authority above the Seventy...."
(Manuscript History of Brigham Young; see The Seventies, Kraut, p. 163)
Today ....
"An announcement that members of the First Council of Seventy of the
Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints had been ordained high priests to
give them `power to set in order all things pertaining to the Church' as they
visit among the stakes and missions was made Sunday morning in the Salt Lake
Tabernacle." (Des. News, June 12, 1961)
"The duty of a High Priest is to preside over the labors of the
Seventies such as branches and stakes and to organize the same when necessary,
but not to preside over the Seventies or to control them in any way whatever."
(Nauvoo Period Record, Book B, p. 31)
"There is a quorum of High Priests in this Stake, and it is proper that
they should fully understand the duties of their office and calling, which the
Book of Doctrine and Covenants plainly states. *** Many circumstances have
occurred since the commencement of our recent organization which show how
little prepared the High Priests were to take upon themselves the duties of
their office, in presiding over Stakes, Wards, etc." (John Taylor, J.D.
"The Seventies are also members of the same Priesthood, are a sort of
traveling council or Priesthood, and may preside over a church or churches,
until a High Priest be had." (T.P.J.S., p. 112)
"...the Seventies are not called to serve tables, or preside over
churches, to settle difficulties, but are to preach the Gospel and build them,
and set others, who do not belong to these quorums, to preside over them, who
are High Priests." (T.P.J.S., p. 109)
"And we, therefore, had to go outside of the High Priests, whose
legitimate business it was to occupy these positions, and call other men and
ordain them High Priests, and set them apart to preside in these stakes, as
Presidents and Bishops and Councilors,..." (John Taylor, J.D. 19:306)
"High priests after the order of the Melchizedek Priesthood have a
right to officiate in their own standing, under the direction of the
presidency, in administering spiritual things, and also in the office of an
elder,... Whereas other officers of the Church, who belong not unto the
Twelve, neither to the Seventy, are not under the responsibility to travel
among all nations...." (D.& C. 107:10, 98)
Today ....
Today high priests call the missionaries, ordain them, and preside over
the missions.
"The elders are to conduct the meetings as they are led by the Holy
Ghost, according to the commandments and revelations of God." (D. & C. 20:45)
"Again, the duty of the president over the office of elders is to
preside over ninety-six elders, and to sit in council with them, and to teach
them according to the covenants. This presidency is a distinct one from that
of the seventy, and is designed for those who do not travel into all the
world." (D. & C. 107:89-90)
"Verily, I say unto you, saith the Lord of Hosts, there must needs be
presiding elders to preside over those who are of the office of an elder." (D.
& C. 107:60)
"Whereas other officers of the church, who belong not unto the Twelve,
neither to the Seventy, are not under the responsibility to travel among all
nations.... " (D. & C. 107:98)
"On the left of the first presidency may be said to stand the high
priests, to which quorums of priesthood belongs the right of general and local
presidency in the church. From their ranks patriarchs, presidents of stakes,
high councilors, and bishops and their counselors are chosen; and next to the
high priests stand the elders, who are to assist them in the performance of
their duties. These quorums of priesthood constitute the standing ministry for
the stakes of Zion, upon whom more especially devolve local presidency, and
the duty of preaching and administering the gospel within the stakes of Zion."
(C.H.C. 2:370-71)
Nearly all of the missionaries in the foreign missions are elders.
"The teacher's duty is to watch over the church always, and be with and
strengthen them; *** and is to be assisted always, in all his duties in the
church, by the deacons, if occasion requires." (D. & C. 20:53-57)
"The duty of the teachers is to be the standing ministers in the
respective wards where they reside, to see that there is no iniquity in the
church, and that the members perform their duties. Twenty-four of them
constitute a quorum, which is presided over by a president and two counselors
chosen from the members.
"The duty of the deacons is to assist the teacher, and they may also
expound, teach, warn and invite all to come unto Christ. Twelve of them form a
quorum, and from their number a president and two counselors are chosen to
preside." (C.H.C. 2:371)
"Deacons are appointed to assist the teachers in the performance of
their duties." (C.H.C. 1:194)
Today ....
In March 1970 it was announced that home teachers could be assisted by
their wives. So for the next three years wives were allowed to act as home
teachers with their husbands. Then in October of 1973 the Church reversed
their former reversal by stating, "Wives should not be assigned as Priesthood
home teaching companions." (Priesthood Bulletin, Vol. 9, No. 5)
"Let your women keep silence in the churches: for it is not permitted
unto them to speak; but they are commanded to be under obedience, as also
saith the law." (I Cor. 14:34)
"Let the woman learn in silence with all subjection. But I suffer not a
woman to teach, nor to usurp authority over the men, but to be in silence." (I
Tim. 2:11-12)
"After these things the Lord appointed other seventy also, and sent
them two and two before his face into every city and place, whither he himself
would come." (Luke 10:1)
"It is the duty of the traveling high council to call upon the Seventy,
when they need assistance, to fill the several calls for preaching and
administering the gospel, instead of any others." (D. & C. 107:38)
"Every man who has a calling to minister to the inhabitants of the
world was ordained to that very purpose in the Grand Council of heaven before
this world was." (T.P.J.S., p. 365)
Today ....
In 1898 it was announced: "Great interest is being manifested at the
present time in the subject of sending sisters out as missionaries, to labor
in bearing testimony to the truth of the Gospel, and in other directions
connected with its propagation. It is very gratifying to hear such good news
concerning the commencement of the labors of the sisters." (Mill. Star 60:398)
"And he said unto them Take nothing for your journey, neither staves,
nor scrip, neither bread, neither money; neither have two coats apiece." (Luke
9:3; see also Matt. 10:1-15)
"Therefore, let no man among you, for this commandment is unto all the
faithful who are called of God in the church unto the ministry, from this hour
take purse or scrip, that goeth forth to proclaim this gospel of the kingdom."
(D. & C. 84:86; see also D. & C. 24:18)
"There is no qualification about these words of the Lord; and though the
revelation in which they are contained was given in 1832, we know of no
command that has changed their force since they were given." (Mill. Star
"This is the Lord's way. Blessings beyond all earthly reckoning await
those who thus give and those who receive. Herein is prescribed a test whereby
we may know who are, indeed, the Lord's disciples." (J. E. Taylor, Mill. Star
"Thus saith the Lord unto My servant, John Taylor, and my servant
Wilford Woodruff, and my servant Orson Pratt, and to all the residue of mine
Apostles: Have you not gone forth in my name without purse or scrip and
declared the Gospel of life and salvation unto this nation and the nations of
the earth and warned them of the judgments which are to come, as you have been
moved upon by the power of the Holy Ghost and the inspiration of the Lord?
"You have done this year by year for the whole generation, as men count
time. Therefore, your garments are clean of the blood of this generation and
especially of this nation." (Life of Wilford Woodruff, Revelation given in
1880, p. 530)
Today ....
The missionary must have a guaranteed income before he can go on a
"Peter saith unto him, Thou shalt never wash my feet. Jesus answered
him, If I wash thee not, thou hast no part with me. *** If I then, your Lord
and Master, have washed your feet; ye also ought to wash one another's feet."
(John 13:8, 14)
"He that receiveth you not, go away from him alone by yourselves, and
cleanse your feet even with water, pure water, whether in heat or in cold, and
bear testimony of it unto your Father which is in heaven, and return not again
unto that man. (D. & C. 84:92-93; see also 60:15)
"I told him if he did not repent of his sins and be baptized for the remission
of them, he would be damned, which made him angry. We then passed on until we
came to a pure stream of water, and there cleansed our feet, bearing testimony
against him, as the Lord commanded." (Life of Heber C. Kimball, Orson F.
Whitney, p. 80)
"Elder Taylor and his companion diligently searched these people out
and presented the gospel message to them. Some gladly received the word, and
others rejected it with great bitterness. Against some of this latter class
the brethren washed their feet as a witness against them. The manner in which
they complied with this ordinance appointed unto them is described by Elder
Taylor as follows:
"`We washed our feet and then knelt before the Lord and bore testimony
of it, saying: O Lord, our Heavenly Father, we Thy servants have borne
testimony to the truth of those things which Thou hast revealed to Mr. S_____,
and he has rejected our testimony. O, Father, Thou knowest we have no hard
feelings toward the man; if Thou canst forgive him and lead him to the truth,
do so, we pray Thee. O, Father, we do this that we may fulfill Thy word, and
bear testimony before Thee according to Thy commandment; and now, O, Lord, we
leave him in Thy hands, praying Thee to guide us into all truth, in the name
of Jesus. Amen."' (The Life of John Taylor, by B. H. Roberts, p. 76)
Today ....
Such things are neither taught nor practiced.
Those who were called to the ministry were told by the Lord to "preach
the word of truth by the Comforter," because "if it be by some other way it is
not of God." (D. & C. 50:17-18; see also D. & C. 20:45)
"All are to preach the Gospel, by the power and influence of the Holy
Ghost; and no man can preach the Gospel without the Holy Ghost." (T.P.J.S., p.
"The Holy Ghost knows the minds of this people and what is necessary to
deal out to every man and every woman in due season their portion. If I am not
dictated by the Holy Ghost I cannot communicate to you that which is
necessary." (Heber C. Kimball, Bowery, Aug. 23, 1857, Des. News, Sept. 16,
"The Lord knows our hearts; He knows our wants; He knows where we need
strength and comfort, and warning and reproof; and when He pours out His Holy
Spirit upon the people and upon the speaker every man and woman receives that
which is suited to his or her condition. It is for this reason that the Lord
has commanded His servants not to prepare their discourses, but to ponder upon
His word, and in the very moment they needed to speak He would give unto them
that which they should say. In this way all are fed, all are benefited, all
are reproved, all are warned, as the need may be." (George Q. Cannon, Des.
News Weekly, Sept. 5, 1896)
"When people attempt to preach the Gospel without the inspiration of
the Holy Ghost, they are under the necessity of studying or of writing their
sermons,... When the Lord sets to his hand to perform a work and to build up
his kingdom on the earth, his servants whom he calls to do this work are
obliged to trust in the Lord their God and to lean upon his arm for
strength,..." (Wilford Woodruff, J.D. 10:214)
"Jedediah became an adroit scriptorian and keen logician. Because of
his ready wit and power of exhortation his fame soon spread abroad. *** The
religion he preached was new, and the manner of its presentation was strange,
for he announced that he never prepared his sermons beforehand. `Of course I
read and store my mind with Gospel truths,' he told the people, `but I never
study up a sermon.'" (Jedediah M. Grant, Pioneer-Statesman, Mary Grant Judd,
p. 56)
Today ....
The missionaries must memorize and quote prepared lessons, as outlined
in the following instructions given to every missionary:
II. How to Memorize Discussions:
A. Read all six discussions to get a picture of the plan as a
whole. Write a brief summary of the contents of each
B. Read discussion to be memorized several times. Compare text
with outline.
C. Memorize basic conclusions and key questions.
D. Reread dialogue leading to each conclusion until completely
familiar with it.
E. Give discussion aloud using flannel board or other visual aid
(Uniform System for Teaching Investigators, p. 4, Aug. 1961, The
Church of Jesus Christ of L.D.S.)
"But when they deliver you up, take no thought how or what ye shall
speak: for it shall be given you in that some hour what ye shall speak. For it
is not ye that speak, but the Spirit of your Father which speaketh in you."
(Matt. 10:19-20)
"But notwithstanding those things which are written, it always has been
given to the elders of my church from the beginning, and ever shall be, to
conduct all meetings as they are directed and guided by the Holy Spirit." (D.
& C. 46:2)
"Therefore, verily I say unto you, lift up your voices unto this
people; speak the thoughts that I shall put into your hearts, and you shall
not be confounded before men; For it shall be given you in the very hour, yea,
in the very moment, what ye shall say." (D. & C. 100:5-6)
"With the Latter-day Saints, the idea of writing sermons or preparing
addresses beforehand is entirely discarded; it never was practiced amongst
them." (George A. Smith, J.D. 13:292)
"Hence the folly of sermons written beforehand; and unless the written
beforehand sermons are by revelation, or prophecy, all men the world over, may
know when they hear a sermon read from the pulpit, that God has no hand in
that matter; and the preacher is not sent of God; and is not God's servant."
(editorial, Des. News, Sept. 4, 1852)
"It is well known to the Latter-day Saints--though perhaps not to
strangers--that no Elder or member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day
Saints who enters into this Tabernacle knows who is going to be called upon to
speak to the people. Hence no man spends a week, a day, an hour, or a moment
to prepare a discourse to deliver unto the people." (Wilford Woodruff, J.D.
Today ....
Written sermons are now practiced in the Church. Even the General
Authorities must read their sermons at General Conference.
"Wherefore, Abram paid unto him tithes of all that he had, of all the
riches which he possessed, which God had given him more than that which he had
need." (Gen. 14:39. Insp. Trans.)
"Will a man rob God? Yet ye have robbed me. But ye say, Wherein have we
robbed thee? In tithes and offerings. Ye are cursed a curse: for ye have
robbed me, even this whole nation." (Mal. 3:8-9)
"For the building of mine house, and for the laying of the foundation
of Zion and for the priesthood, and for the debts of the Presidency of my
Church. And this shall be the beginning of the tithing of my people." (D. & C.
"And let that which belongs to this people be appointed unto this
people. And the money which is left unto this people--let there be an agent
appointed unto this people, to take the money to provide food and raiment,
according to the wants of this people. And let that which belongeth to this
people not be taken and given unto that of another church." (D. & C.
Today ....
"The biggest commercial enterprise in the West, excepting only the
massive Bank of America in California, is a strictly non-commercial
organization called the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, better
known as the Mormons.... income pours in from the church's vast collection of
business and real-estate investments, ranging from the Hotel Utah on Salt Lake
City's Temple Square to a 260,000-acre Florida cattle ranch. All told, the
cash flow reaches an estimated $1 million a day." (Newsweek, "Latter-Day
Profits," Jan. 22, 1962, p. 67)
"The church has attained--through faithful tithes and shrewd
investments and business operations--a spectacular wealth. It is fast
becoming, if it is not already, the richest church of its size in the world.
Unquestionably it controls the greatest aggregation of capital in the states
of the Rocky Mountain area. *** A poor Mormon farmer near the hamlets of
Moroni, Ephraim or Manti--educated to the high standards of his church--might
occasionally bristle at some family sacrifice necessary to meet his tithe if
the extent of church wealth were known to him." (Esquire, "Utah: How Much
Money Hath the Mormon Church?" Aug. 1962, see pp. 86-91)
"...neither said any of them that ought of the things which he
possessed was his own; but they had all things common." (Acts 4:33)
"And the Lord called his people Zion, because they were of one heart
and one mind, and dwelt in righteousness; and there were no poor among them."
(Moses 7:18)
"And they had all things common among them; therefore there were not
rich and poor, bond and free, but they were all made free, and partakers of
the heavenly gift. (4 Nephi 1:3)
" must needs be that there be an organization of my people *** for
a permanent and everlasting establishment and order to my church *** that ye
may be equal in the bonds of heavenly things, yea, and earthly things
also...." (D. & C. 78:3, 5)
"And let every man deal honestly, and be alike among this people, and
receive alike, that ye may be one, even as I have commanded you." (D. & C.
"Nevertheless, in your temporal things you shall be equal, and this not
grudgingly, otherwise the abundance of the manifestations of the Spirit shall
be withheld." (D. & C. 70:14)
"Will the time ever come that we can commence and organize this people
as a family? It will. Do we know how? Yes, what was lacking in these
revelations from Joseph to enable us to do so was revealed to me." (Brigham
Young, J.D. 11:326)
"The Lord has declared it to be His will that His people enter into a
covenant, even as Enoch and his people did, which of necessity must be before
we shall have the privilege of building the Center Stake of Zion,..." (Brigham
Young, J.D. 18:263)
Today ....
The Saints of today are told that the Lord "took away" this principle.
"And sold their possessions and goods, and parted them to all men, as
every man had need." (Acts 2:45)
"...every man shall be made accountable unto me, a steward over his own
property, or that which he has received by consecration, as much as is
sufficient for himself and family." (D. & C. 42:32)
"The Lord said in that revelation that the principle which he had revealed in
relation to the properties of his Church must be carried out to the very
letter upon the land of Zion; and those individuals who would not give heed to
it, but sought to obtain their inheritances in an individual way by purchasing
it themselves from the Government, should have their names blotted out from
the book of the names of the righteous, and if their children pursued the same
course their names should be blotted out too, they and their children should
not be known in the book of the law of the Lord as being entitled to an
inheritance among the Saints in Zion.
"We find, therefore, that the Lord drove out this people because we
were unworthy to receive our inheritances by consecration. As a people, we did
not strictly comply with that which the Lord required. Neither did they comply
in Kirtland. ***
"This ought to be an example for us who are living at a later period in
the history of the Church of the living God, and who ought, by this time, to
have become thoroughly experienced in the law of God." (Orson Pratt, J.D.
"It [the revelation on consecration] was one of the first commandments
or revelations given to this people after they had the privilege of organizing
themselves as a Church, as a body, as the kingdom of God on the earth. I
observed then, and I now think, that it will be one of the last revelations
which the people will receive into their hearts and understanding of their own
free will and choice, and esteem it as a pleasure, a privilege, and a blessing
unto them to observe and keep most holy." (Brigham Young, J.D. 2:299)
Today ....
The Law of Consecration has not been taught, encouraged or practiced in
the Church for nearly a century.
The Lord said that he desired to have a " of the prophets,
which I have commanded to be organized." (D. & C. 90:7; see also D. & C.
88:127-141; D. & C. 97:3)
Joseph Smith said that the Lord had commanded them to "establish a
school for the Prophets; this is the word of the Lord to us, and we must, yea,
the Lord helping us, we will obey; as on conditions of our obedience He has
promised us great things; yea, even a visit from the heavens to honor us with
His own presence. We greatly fear before the Lord lest we should fail of this
great honor, which our Master proposes to confer on us;..." (T.P.J.S., p. 19)
"You have read, probably, that we are starting the school of the
prophets. *** We will start this school of the prophets to increase in
knowledge. *** To-morrow evening we shall commence our course of lectures on
theology. To that class I have invited a few, but not many. I believe I have
invited the First Presidency, the Twelve Apostles, Bishop Hunter and his
Counselors, the first seven presidents of Seventies, the Presidency of the
High Priests' quorum, the Presidency of this Stake of Zion, the High Council,
the Bishops and their Counsellors, and the City Council." (Brigham Young, J.D.
"The object of the School of the Prophets is to train ourselves until
we can receive the order of Enoch in all its fullness." (Brigham Young, J.D.
"Will this School of the Prophets stop? No, it was commenced in the
days of Joseph, and it will not stop." (Heber C. Kimball, J.D. 12:189)
"We have here our Schools of the Prophets, in which we are taught how
to manage our temporal affairs and how to avoid the snares that exist in the
world; whom to deal with and whom to let alone; how to raise stock, how to
cultivate our farms, and how to conduct all the affairs incident to human
existence. We are also taught about God and eternity; about our associations
before we came here, our relationship to God at the present time, the destiny
of this and other worlds and everything pertaining to this life and that which
is to come." (Jos. F. Smith, J.D. 12:349)
Today ....
Shortly after the turn of the century, the school of the prophets was
"And in the days of these kings shall the God of heaven set up a
kingdom, which shall never be destroyed: and the kingdom shall not be left to
other people, but it shall break in pieces and consume all these kingdoms, and
it shall stand for ever." (Dan. 2:44; see also Rev. 12, Insp. Trans.)
"The keys of the kingdom of God are committed unto man on the earth,
and from thence shall the gospel roll forth unto the ends of the earth, as the
stone which is cut out of the mountain without hands shall roll forth, until
it has filled the whole earth." (D. & C. 65:2)
"The Prophet gave the full and complete organization to this Kingdom
the spring before he was killed. This Kingdom is the kingdom Daniel spoke of,
which was to be set up in the last days; it is the kingdom that is not to be
given to another people. Now I want to give you these few words--the kingdom
that protects every person, every sect, and all people upon the face of the
earth, in their legal rights. I shall not tell you the names of the members of
this Kingdom, neither shall I read you its constitution, but the constitution
was given by revelation." (Brigham Young, Des. News, Aug. 1854)
"We are asked, Is the Church of God, and the Kingdom of God the same
organization? And we are informed that some of the brethren hold that they are
separate. This is the correct view to take. The Kingdom of God is a separate
organization from the Church of God. There may be men acting as officers in
the Kingdom of God who will not be members of the Church of Jesus Christ of
Latter-day Saints. (George Q. Cannon, Joseph Smith and World Government, p.9)
"As observed by one of the speakers this morning, that Kingdom grows out of
the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, but it is not the Church, for
a man may be a legislator in that body which will issue laws to sustain the
inhabitants of the earth in their individual rights, and still not belong to
the Church of Jesus Christ at all.
"And further, though a man may not even believe in any religion, it
would be perfectly right, when necessary, to give him the privilege of holding
a seat among that body which will make laws to govern all the nations of the
earth and control those who make no profession of religion at all; for that
body would be governed, controlled, and dictated to acknowledge others in
those rights which they wish to enjoy themselves. (Brigham Young, J.D. 2:310)
[77] "This volume [Joseph Smith and World Government] is an important
contribution to Mormon literature for at least three reasons. First, it is the
only published analysis that has been made to date of Joseph Smith's concept
of world government. It gives conclusive evidence that the Prophet included
within his concept of the Kingdom of God the development of a political
government that would be administered under the direction of the Priesthood of
Zion. The Kingdom of God, then, was considered as something more than the
Church. It included the idea of a future world government where the Church and
State were to be separate bodies, but united in the fact that both
institutions were to be subject to priesthood direction.
"Second, this study establishes the fact that Joseph Smith laid the
foundation of the Kingdom of God in its political, as well as in its
religious, sphere. Thus, he revealed the political principles and philosophy
of the millennial government, and organized it in embryonic form upon the
"Third, for the first time much of the history of this new adjunct to
the Priesthood is presented in published form. From the spring of 1844 to at
least 1870 the political organ the Prophet organized played a dominant role in
the history of the Mormon movement. It was this body, not the Church, that
planned and carried out the Exodus. After locating the Saints in the Great
Basin, this political body then organized and incorporated itself into the
State of Deseret. All this has escaped the student of Mormonism. Until now,
neither the fact that such a body existed nor its influence in the Church's
history has been understood." (Joseph Smith and World Government, flyleaf,
Hyrum L. Andrus)
Today ....
"The Kingdom of God is the Church established by divine authority upon
the earth; this institution asserts no claim to temporal rule over nations its
sceptre of power is that of the Holy Priesthood, to be used in the preaching
of the gospel and in administering its ordinances for the salvation of mankind
living and dead." (Jesus the Christ, James E. Talmage, p. 788)
"Whoso sheddeth man's blood, by men shall his blood be shed; for in the
image of God made he man." (Gen. 9:6)
"Whoso killeth any person, the murderer shall be put to death; by the
mouth of witnesses; but one witness shall not testify against any person to
cause him to die. Moreover ye shall take no satisfaction for the life of a
murderer, which is guilty of death; but he shall surely be put to death."
(Num. 35:30-31; Insp. Ver.)
"Who knowing the judgment of God, that they which commit such things
are worthy of death...." (Romans 1:32)
"We believe that the commission of crime should be punished according
to the nature of the offense;..." (D. & C. 134:8)
"In debate, George A. Smith said imprisonment was better than hanging.
I replied, I was opposed to hanging; even if a man kill another, I will shoot
him, or cut off his head, spill his blood on the ground, and let the smoke
thereof ascend up to God; and if ever I have the privilege of making a law on
that subject, I will have it so." (Joseph Smith, D.H.C. 5:296)
"That we regard the killing of human beings, except in conformity with
the civil law, as a capital crime which should be punished by the shedding of
blood of the criminal, after a public trial before a legally constituted court
of the land." (First Pres., Mill. Star 52:33-34)
Today ....
The doctrine of blood atonement is never taught and rarely mentioned.
The idea of capital punishment has almost become eradicated by Communists,
psychologists, psychiatrists, and liberal educators.
The Oath of Vengeance as it was originally incorporated in the
endowment ceremony was as follows:
"You and each of you do solemnly promise and vow that you will pray and
never cease to pray and never cease to importune High Heaven to avenge the
blood of the prophets on this nation and that you will teach this to your
children and your children's children until the third and fourth generation."
"...and their innocent blood on the banner of liberty, and on the magna
charta of the United States, is an ambassador for the religion of Jesus
Christ, that will touch the hearts of honest men among all nations; and their
innocent blood, with the innocent blood of all the martyrs under the altar
that John saw, will cry unto the Lord of Hosts till he avenges that blood on
the earth. Amen." (D. & C. 135:7)
"After the people had gone home, my father [Levi] took me again into
the mansion and told me to place one hand on Joseph's breast and to raise my
other arm and swear with hand uplifted that I would never make a compromise
with any of the sons of Hell. Which vow I took with a determination to fulfill
to the very letter. I took the same vow with Hyrum." (Mosiah Hancock Jrnl., p.
"Mr. Henry W. Lawrence, being sworn as a witness for the objectors
testified that he had been a member of the Mormon Church for many years and
had officiated in the Endowment House between 1865 and 1869. Being examined by
Mr. Baskin he testified: `There were obligations and covenants entered into in
the Endowment ceremonies. There is a great deal to them. There is a covenant
to avenge the blood of the prophets. Reference is made to Joseph and Hyrum
"In substance it is: `You, each and all of you, covenant and agree to
avenge the blood of the prophets, Joseph and Hyrum, who have sealed their
testimony with their blood. This you will teach to your children and their
children's children unto the third and fourth generation'--with some other
things that are added to it." (The Inside of Mormonism, p. 52-53)
Today ....
The Oath of Vengeance is no longer a part of the temple ceremony.
"The earth also is defiled under the inhabitants thereof; because they
have transgressed the laws, changed the ordinance, broken the everlasting
covenant." (Isa. 24:5)
"If there is no change of ordinances, there is no change of
Priesthood." (T.P.J.S., p. 158) "Where there is no change of priesthood, there
is no change of ordinances...." (T.P.J.S., p. 308)
"Some of you may ask: Is there a single ordinance to be dispensed with?
Is there any of the commandments that God has enjoined upon the people, that
He will excuse them from obeying? Not one, no matter how trifling or small in
our own estimation." (Disc. of Brigham Young, p. 31)
"God purposed in himself, that there should not be an eternal fulness
until every dispensation should be fulfilled and gathered together in one;
therefore He set the ordinances to be the same forever, and set Adam to watch
over them, to reveal them from heaven to man, or to send angels to reveal
them." (Joseph Smith's Teachings, p. 113-114)
"It is said the Priesthood was taken from the Church, but it is not so,
the Church went from the Priesthood, and continued to travel in the
wilderness, turned from the commandments of the Lord, and instituted other
ordinances." (Brigham Young, J.D. 12:69)
"The gospel now being preached to all the world by commandment of the
Lord to the Prophet Joseph is the same as taught by Adam, Enoch and the
Savior. It never changes through lapse of time; its ordinances and laws are
always the same, worlds without end." (Wilford Woodruff, Des. News, Sept. 2,
Today ....
"There is a question that comes into my mind: If men now think they can
get along without the gifts of the gospel, may not the time come when they may
believe they can get along without its ordinances?" (Dr. James Allen, Imp. Era
"Remember therefore from whence thou art fallen, and repent, and do the
first works; or else I will come unto thee quickly, and will remove thy
candlestick out of his place, except thou repent." (Revel. 2:5)
"And now I speak concerning baptism. Behold, elders, priests, and
teachers were baptized; and they were not baptized save they brought forth
fruit meet that they were worthy of it." (Moroni 6:1)
"At this time came a revelation, that the Saints could be baptized and
re-baptized when they chose...." (Brigham Young, J.D. 18:241)
"...the gospel has always been the same; the ordinances to fulfill its
requirements, the same, and the officers to officiate, the same; and the signs
and fruits resulting from the promises, the same;..." (T.P.J.S., p. 264)
"Shall we stop baptizing people and make no further efforts to
establish the kingdom of God upon the earth, because certain ones have acted
foolishly and perhaps wickedly? Do the actions of such people render the
principles of the gospel without effect or the doctrines we teach untrue? I
think you would not say so." (John Taylor, J.D. 21:59)
Today ....
"The First Presidency and Twelve have felt" (notice felt replaced
revelation) prompted to order that "rebaptism ought to be stopped." (Conf.
Rept., Oct. 1897, p. 68)
"Because the Lord has given us the ordinance of sacrament for renewing
our covenants, and because the purpose of (re)baptism began to be somewhat
confused in the minds of some members of the Church, the Lord directed Church
leaders to discourage the use of (re)baptism for other than the sacred purpose
of the remission of sins and for gaining membership in the Church." (Russell
R. Rich, Ensign, p. 45, Feb. 1975)
NOTE: This is an example of a policy that if any doctrine, ordinance or
principle becomes "somewhat confused in the minds of some members of the
Church," it will be abandoned rather than correctly taught.
"Neither give heed to fables and endless genealogies, which minister
questions, rather than godly edifying which is in faith: so do." (I Tim. 1:4)
"A man may act as proxy for his own relatives; the ordinances of the
Gospel which were laid out before the foundations of the world have thus been
fulfilled by them, and we may be baptized for those whom we have much
friendship for; but it must first be revealed to the man of God, lest we
should run too far." (T.P.J.S., p. 367)
***"Then in the spirit world they will say, `Do you not see somebody at
work for you? The Lord remembers you and has revealed to His servants on the
earth, what to do for you.'" (Brigham Young, J.D. 3:372)
"The Gospel is now preached to the spirits in prison, and when the time
comes for the servants of God to officiate for them, the names of those who
have received the Gospel in the spirit will be revealed by the angels of God
and the spirits of just men made perfect; also the places of their birth, the
age in which they lived, and everything regarding them that is necessary to be
recorded on earth, and they will then be saved so as to find admittance into
the presence of God, with their relatives who have officiated for them."
(Brigham Young, J.D. 9:317)
"When I get a revelation that some of my progenitors lived and died
without the blessings of the Gospel, or even hearing it preached, but were as
honest as I am, as upright as I am, or as any man or woman could be upon the
earth; as righteous, so far as they knew how, as any Apostle or Prophet that
ever lived, I will go and be baptized, confirmed, washed, and anointed, and go
through all the ordinances and endowments for them, that their way may be open
to the celestial kingdom.
"As I have frequently told you, that is the work of the Millennium. It
is the work that has to be performed by the seed of Abraham, the chosen seed,
the royal seed, the blessed of the Lord, those the Lord made covenants with."
(Brigham Young, J.D. 2:138)
Today ....
Genealogy is done as fast and for as many as can be found. Spirituality
and revelation are seldom considered in the work that is done.
To administer means to pass, give, or to participate; only Priests were
to handle the sacrament. The Lord said:
"The priest's duty is to preach, teach, expound, exhort, and baptize,
and administer the sacrament.... But neither teachers nor deacons have
authority to baptize, administer the sacrament, or lay on hands;... (D. & C.
"Teachers may warn, expound, exhort, teach and invite all to come unto
Christ, and take the lead of meetings when no elder or priest is present; but
they have not the authority to baptize, administer the sacrament or lay on
hands." (C.H.C. 1:194)
"Deacons are appointed to assist the teachers in the performance of
their duties. They may also warn, expound, exhort, teach and invite all to
come unto Christ, but, like the teachers, they have no authority to baptize,
administer the sacrament or lay on hands." (C.H.C. 1:194)
Today ....
The teachers and deacons pass the sacrament which is a part of
administering it. Formerly they raised their hand to the square, while
offering the sacramental prayer, but this was also done away.
"For she said within herself, If I may but touch his garment, I shall
be whole." (Matt. 9:21)
"And God wrought special miracles by the hands of Paul: So that from
his body were brought unto the sick handkerchiefs or aprons, and the diseases
departed from them, and the evil spirits went out of them." (Acts 19:11-12)
"...I have blessed my handkerchief and asked God to sanctify it and fill it
with life and power, and sent it to the sick; and hundreds have been healed by
it; in like manner I have sent my cane. Dr. Richards used to lay his own black
cane on a person's head and that person has been healed through its
instrumentality, by the power of God. I have known Joseph hundreds of times to
send his handkerchief to the sick, and they have been healed." (Life of Heber
C. Kimball, Whitney, p. 420)
"...he [Joseph Smith] took from his pocket a silk bandanna
handkerchief, and gave to Brother Woodruff, telling him to wipe the faces of
the children with it, and they should be healed; and remarked at the same
time: `As long as you keep that handkerchief it shall remain a league between
you and me.' Elder Woodruff did as he was commanded, and the children were
healed, and he keeps the handkerchief to this day." (C.H.C. 2:22)
"The rough oak boxes in which the bodies of Joseph and Hyrum were
brought from Carthage, were made into canes and other articles. I have a cane
made from the plank of one of those boxes, so has brother Brigham and a great
many others, and we prize them highly, and esteem them a great blessing. I
want to carefully preserve my cane, and when I am done with it here, I shall
hand it down to my heir, with instructions to him to do the same. And the day
will come when there will be multitudes who will be healed and blessed through
the instrumentality of those canes, and the devil cannot overcome those who
have them, in consequence of their faith and confidence in the virtues
connected with them." (Heber C. Kimball, J.D. 4:294)
Today ....
Such things are neither taught nor practiced in the Church.
"Wherefore the Sabbath was given unto man for a day of rest; and also
that man should glorify God, and not that man should not eat;" (Mark 2:26)
"Another thing I wish to say. You know that the first Thursday in each
month we hold as a fast day. How many here know the origin of this day? Before
tithing was paid, the poor were supported by donations. They came to Joseph
and wanted help, in Kirtland, and he said there should be a fast day, which
was decided upon. *** Let this be published in our newspapers. Let it be sent
forth to the people, that on the first Thursday of each month, the fast day,
all that would be eaten by husbands and wives and children and servants should
be put in the hands of the Bishop for the sustenance of the poor." (Brigham
Young, J.D. 12:115-116)
"Thursday as a day of fasting and prayer in the Church no longer serves
the object for which it was intended." (Des. News, Nov. 7, 1896)
"The first Thursday of every month is a Fast day, for the Saints to
gather together in prayer and fasting, and to bring their offerings for the
poor, that the afflicted and unfortunate may not lack for food or clothing,
and the comforts of life." (F. D. Richards, J.D. 26:299)
Today ....
Ever since the mid-1890's, fast day in the Church has been observed on
Sundays, rather than Thursdays.
"No matter who believeth, these signs, such as healing the sick,
casting out devils, etc., should follow all that believe, whether male or
female. ***
"Respecting females administering for the healing of the sick, he
further remarked, there could be no evil in it, if God gave His sanction by
healing; that there could be no more sin in any female laying hands on and
praying for the sick, than in wetting the face with water; it is no sin for
anybody to administer that has faith, or if the sick have faith to be healed
by their administration." (T.P.J.S., p. 224-225)
"...I met the members of the `Female Relief Society,' and... gave a
lecture on the Priesthood, showing how the sisters would come in possession of
the privileges, blessings and gifts of the Priesthood, and that the signs
should follow them, such as healing the sick, casting out devils, etc., and
that they might attain unto these blessings by a virtuous life, and
conversation, and diligence in keeping all the commandments;..." (Joseph
Smith, D.H.C. 4:602)
"I say that every man and woman who will live their religion, be
humble, and be dictated by the Holy Ghost, the spirit of prophecy will be upon
"Some of you, ladies, that go abroad from house to house, blessing the
sick, having your little circles of women come together, why are you troubling
yourselves to bless and lay your hands on women, and prophesy on them, if you
do not believe the principle?" (Heber C. Kimball, J.D. 5:176)
"Prescindia was set apart by one of the Apostles and blessed with a
special gift of healing. She used this divine power successfully in her duties
as midwife and her daily administerings to the sick. She was indeed a
venerable woman who led a full and useful life." (Life of Heber C. Kimball,
Whitney, p. 420)
Today ....
Women are not encouraged or taught to lay on hands & pray for the sick.
"Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and cometh down
from the Father of lights, with whom is no variableness, neither shadow of
turning." (James 1:27; Heb. 13:8)
"The order of the house of God has been, and ever will be, the same,
even after Christ comes; and after the termination of the thousand years it
will be the same; and we shall finally enter into the celestial kingdom of
God, and enjoy it forever." (T.P.J.S., p. 91)
"Now, concerning endowment, in all its phases. My own views are
these--that we ought to follow out, as far as we can, the pattern laid down by
our leaders. I consider that if there ever was any man who thoroughly
understood the principles of the Endowments it was Brigham Young. He was with
Joseph Smith from the beginning of the Endowments, to the end, and he
understood it if any man did. Now, if I ever have anything to do or say, in
any Temple on the earth, concerning the Endowment, I would say: Follow that
pattern that President Young has set to us, and not deviate one iota." (Pres.
Wilford Woodruff in a letter of June 8, 1887, from St. George, Utah.)
"Thursday, Dec. 19th:... During our meeting a revelation was read which
Pres. Woodruff received Sunday evening, Nov. 24th. Propositions had been made
for the Church to make some concessions to the Courts in regard to its
principles. Both of Pres. Woodruff's counselors refused to advise him as to
the course he should pursue, and he therefore laid the matter before the Lord.
The answer came quick and strong. The word of the Lord was for us not to yield
one particle of that which He had revealed and established. He had done and
would continue to care for His work and those of the Saints who were faithful,
and we need have no fear of our enemies when we were in the line of our duty.
We are promised redemption and deliverance if we will trust in God and not in
the arm of flesh." (Abraham Cannon Journal, 1889)
Today ....
The garments, the wording of the ceremony, the ordinations, the
ceremony itself, and the marriage laws have all been changed.
"Thou has a few names even in Sardis which have not defiled their
garments.... Behold I come as a thief. (Second coming) Blessed is he that
watcheth, and keepeth his garments." (Rev. 3:4; 16:15)
Warning came from Pres. J. F. Smith who said, "In order that such
people may imitate the fashions, they will not hesitate to mutilate that which
should be held by them the most sacred of all things in the world, next to
their own virtue." (Era 9:812)
"The garments worn by those who receive endowments must be white and of
the approved pattern; they must not be altered or mutilated, and are to be
worn as intended, down to the wrist and ankles and around the neck. Admission
to the temple will be refused to those who do not comply to these
requirements. The Saints should know that the pattern of endowment garments
was revealed from Heaven and that the blessings promised in connection with
wearing them will not be realized if any unauthorized change is made in their
form or in the manner of wearing them." (Instructions in all temples, 1916;
Joseph F. Smith, Pres.)
Today ....
In 1923 it was announced in the newspapers that the: "Temple Garment
Greatly Modified--Church Presidency Gives Permission--Style Change Optional
With Wearer." (Tribune, June 4, 1923)
The reasons for these changes were so that "women wouldn't have to roll
up the sleeves while doing housework," "promotion of freedom of movement in
the body," for wearing "new and finer hosiery" and "shorter skirts," and to
"play games at gymnasiums."
On a recent Church sales list there were 16 variations of the garment
for sale. Some with strings, or buttons, or zippers, or without--and some
include the "sweetheart" neckline--plunging front and back.
"And after this time, your baptism for the dead, by those who are
scattered abroad, are not acceptable unto me, saith the Lord. For it is
ordained that in Zion, and in her stakes, and in Jerusalem, those places which
I have appointed for refuge, shall be the places for your baptisms your dead."
(D. & C. 124:35-36)
"The whole of America is Zion itself from north to south, and is
described by the Prophets, who declare that it is the Zion where the mountain
of the Lord should be...." (T.P.J.S., p. 362)
"When the Savior comes, a thousand years will be devoted this work of
redemption; and Temples will appear over this land of Joseph--North and South
America--and also in Europe and elsewhere; and all the descendants of Shem,
Ham, and Japheth who received not the Gospel in the flesh, must be officiated
for in the Temples of God...." (Wilford Woodruff, J.D. 19:230)
"Wherefore the decree hath gone forth from the Father that they shall
be gathered in unto one place upon the face of this land, to prepare their
hearts and be prepared in all things against the day when tribulation and
desolation are sent forth upon the wicked." (D. & C. 29:8)
Today ....
"...our building of foreign temples is to encourage the saints to stay
in their own countries." (Oct. 17, 1936, Des. News, Church Section)
Now temples are built in all of the nations that the Lord once
considered as heathen. He said the time would come for the destruction of
these nations.
"Verily, verily, I say unto you, except ye abide my law (plural
marriage) ye cannot attain to this glory." (D. & C. 132:21)
"We cannot be married to our husbands for eternity, without subscribing
to the law that admits a plurality of wives." (Samuel Richards, Mill. Star
"The only men who become Gods, even the sons of God, are those who
enter into polygamy." (Brigham Young, J.D. 11:268)
"God has given me a revelation in regard to celestial marriage, I did
not make it,... yet they would like us to tone that principle down and change
it, and make it applicable to the views of the day. This we cannot do, nor can
we interfere with any of the commandments of God to meet the persuasions and
behests of men. I cannot do it and will not do it. I find some men trying to
twist round the principle in any way and every way they can. They want to
sneak out of it in some way. Now, God doesn't want any kind of sychophancy
like that. He expects us to be true to Him and to the principles He has
delivered, and to feel as Job did, `Though He slay me yet will I trust Him.'
Though other folks would slay us, yet we will trust in the living God, and be
true to our covenants and our God. These are our feelings in relation to this
matter. We have been told that, `It is not meet that men who will not abide my
law shall preside over my priesthood,' and yet some people would like very
much to do it. Well, they cannot do it. If God has introduced something for
our glory and exaltation, we are not going to have that kicked over by
improper influences, either inside or outside of the Church of the living God.
I see sometimes a disposition to try to ignore some of the laws which God has
introduced, and this is one of them." (John Taylor, J.D. 25:309)
Today ....
"Celestial marriage--that is, marriage for time and eternity--and
polygamous or plural marriage are not synonymous terms. Monogamous marriages
for time and eternity, solemnized in our temples in accordance with the word
of the Lord and the laws of the Church, are Celestial marriages." (Heber J.
Grant, Official statement, June 17, 1933, Way of the Master, Mark E. Petersen,
p. 60)
"And I will give unto thee the keys of the kingdom of heaven; and
whatsoever thou shalt bind on earth shall be bound in heaven; and whatsoever
thou shalt loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven." (Matt. 16:19)
"...we can seal women to men, but not men to men, without a Temple."
(Brigham Young, J.D. 16:186)
"I was asked if certain ordinances could be performed in different
places. I told them, yes, under certain circumstances. `Where,' I was asked.
`Anywhere besides in temples?' Yes. Anywhere besides the Endowment House?'
Yes. `Where, in some other house?' In another house or out of doors, as the
circumstances might be. Why did I say that?... It is the authority of the
Priesthood, not the place that validates and sanctifies the ordinance. I was
asked if people could be sealed outside. Yes! I could have told them I was
sealed outside, and lots of others.... I will say that man was not made for
temples, but temples were made for man.... The temples are places that are
appropriated for a great many ordinances, and among these ordinances that of
marriage; but, then, if we are interrupted by men who do not know about our
principles, that is all right, it will not impede the work of God, or stop the
performance of ordinances. Let them do their work, and we will try and do
ours." (John Taylor, J.D. 25:355-356; see also D. & C. 132:19, 46, 48)
Today ....
"...I hereby announce that it is the bounden duty of every Latter-day
Saint, male and female, who knows of any such pretended marriage being
performed, to inform the proper officers of the Church, in order that the
Church's honor may be maintained and that such individuals may be dealt with
according to the rules and regulations of the Church and excommunicated
therefrom." (Heber J.Grant, Conf. Rept., Oct. 3, 1926, p. 12)
"All marriages outside the temples of the Lord are for this life only."
(LDS Reference Encyclopedia, p. 490, 1960)
"I know that, whatsoever God doeth, it shall be for ever: nothing can
be put to it, nor anything taken from it ...." (Ecc. 3:14)
"Wherefore, verily I say unto you that all things unto me are
spiritual, and not at any time have I given unto you a law which was temporal;
neither any man, nor the children of men;..." (D. & C. 29:34)
"A key: Every principle proceeding from God is eternal and any principle
which is not eternal is of the devil." (T.P.J.S., p. 181)
"But if ye enter not into my law ye cannot receive the promise of my
Father, which he made unto Abraham. God commanded Abraham, and Sarah gave
Hagar to Abraham to wife. And why did she do it? Because this was the law; and
from Hagar sprang many people. And if he have ten virgins given unto him by
this law, he cannot commit adultery, for they belong to him, and they are
given unto him; therefore, is he justified." (D. & C. 132:33, 34, 62)
"If we do not embrace that principle soon, the keys will be turned
against us. If we do not keep the same that our Heavenly Father has kept, we
cannot go with Him." (Life of Wilford Woodruff, p. 542)
"Some people have supposed that the doctrine of plural marriage was a
sort of superfluity or non-essential to the salvation of mankind.... I wish
here to enter my solemn protest against this idea for I know it is false....
Whoever has imagined that he could obtain the fulness of the blessing
pertaining to this celestial law, by complying with only a portion of its
conditions, has deceived himself." (J. F. Smith, J.D. 11:269)
Today ....
"But that plural marriage is a vital tenet of the Church is not true.
What the Latter-day Saints call celestial marriage is characteristic of the
Church, and is in very general practice; but on celestial marriage, plurality
of wives was an incident, never an essential. Yet the two have often been
confused in the popular mind." (J. E. Talmage Story & Philosophy of Mormonism,
p. 101)
"If ye were Abraham's children, ye would do the works of Abraham."
(John 8:39)
"Go ye therefore, and do the works of Abraham; enter into my law and ye
shall be saved." (D. & C. 132:32)
"Why do we believe in and practice polygamy? Because the Lord
introduced it to his servants in a revelation given to Joseph Smith, and the
Lord's servants have always practiced it. `And is that religion popular in
heaven? It is the only popular religion there, for this is the religion of
Abraham, and unless we do the works of Abraham we are not Abraham's seed and
heirs according to promise." (Brigham Young, J.D. 9:322)
"It is the word of the Lord, and I wish to say to you, and all the
world, that if you desire with all your hearts to obtain the blessings which
Abraham obtained, you will be polygamists at least in your faith, or you will
come short of enjoying the salvation and the glory which Abraham has obtained.
This is as true as that God lives." (Brigham Young, J.D. 11:268-69)
"The Latter-day Saints claim to be the children of Abraham, and if they
are the children of Abraham, they will do the works of Abraham. It was
difficult for men and women from all parts of the world, who had lived in the
monogamic order all their lives to accept this doctrine of the eternity and
plurality of marriage. It was `a new and everlasting covenant; and if ye abide
not that covenant, then are ye damned, saith the Lord.'" (F. D. Richards, J.D.
"The reason why the Church and Kingdom of God cannot advance without the
Patriarchal order of marriage, is that it belongs to this dispensation, just
as baptism for the dead does, or any law or ordinance that belongs to a
dispensation. Without it the Church cannot progress. The leading men of Israel
who are presiding over Stakes will have to obey the law of Abraham, or they
will have to resign." (Life of Wilford Woodruff, p. 542)
Today ....
"We do not understand why the Lord commanded the practice of plural
marriage." (John A. Widtsoe, Imp. Era, March 1943)
"And many women were there beholding afar off, which followed Jesus
from Galilee, ministering unto him." (Matt. 27:55)
"There were also women looking on afar off; among whom was Mary
Magdalene, and Mary the mother of James the less and of Joses and Salome; who
also, when he was in Galilee, followed him, and ministered unto him; and many
other women which came up with him unto Jerusalem." (Mark 15:40-41)
"Joseph Smith spoke upon these passages to show that Mary and Martha
manifested much closer relationship than merely a believer." (Journal of
Wilford Woodruff, July 22, 1883)
"Yet the whole fraternity throughout Christendom will cry out against
this order. `Oh dear, Oh dear, Oh dear,' they all cry out; `I am in pain...I
am suffering at witnessing the wickedness there is in the land. Here is one of
the `relics' of barbarism.' Yes, one of the relics of Adam, of Enoch, of Noah,
of Abraham, of Isaac, of Jacob, of Moses, David, Solomon, the Prophets, and
JESUS AND HIS APOSTLES." (Brigham Young, Des. News, Feb. 10, 1867)
"And then it would be so shocking to the modesty of the very pious
ladies of Christendom to see Abraham and his wives, Jacob and his wives, Jesus
and his honorable wives, all eating occasionally at the same table, and
visiting one another, and conversing about their numerous children and their
kingdoms. Oh, ye delicate ladies Christendom, how can you endure such a scene
as this?" (Orson Pratt, The Seer, p. 172)
"The scripture says that He, the Lord, came walking in the temple, with
His train; I do not know who they were unless his wives and children...."
(Brigham Young, J.D. 13:309)
"One thing is certain, that there were several holy women that greatly
loved Jesus--such as Mary, and Martha her sister, and Mary Magdalene; and
Jesus greatly loved them, and associated with them much; and when He arose
from the dead, instead of first showing Himself to His chosen witnesses, the
Apostles, He appeared first to these women, or at least to one of
them--namely, Mary Magdalene. [95] Now, it would be very natural for a husband
in the resurrection to appear first to his own dear wives, and afterwards show
himself to his other friends. If all the acts Jesus were written, we no doubt
should learn that these beloved women were his wives." (Orson Pratt, The Seer,
p. 159)
"It will be borne in mind that once on a time, there was a marriage in
Cana of Galilee; and on a careful reading of that transaction, it will be
discovered that no less a person than Jesus Christ was married on that
occasion. If he was never married, his intimacy with Mary and Martha and the
other Mary also whom Jesus loved, must have been highly unbecoming and
improper say the best of it." (Orson Hyde, J.D. 4:259)
"The grand reason of the burst of public sentiment in anathemas upon
Christ and his disciples, causing his crucifixion, was evidently based upon
polygamy, according to the testimony of the philosophers who rose in that age.
A belief in the doctrine of a plurality of wives caused the persecution of
Jesus and his followers." (Jedediah Grant, J.D. 1:346)
Today ....
"`Was Jesus a Polygamist?' We believe in the four standard Church
works--the Bible, the Book of Mormon, the Doctrine & Covenants and the Pearl
of Great Price, and we have no revelations from the Lord to indicate that
Jesus was either married or a polygamist. There are some older brethren in the
Church that like to philosophize, that have expressed the thought that he was.
We have a little saying from one of the older brethren who said, `Now brothers
and sisters, I will now proceed to make very plain to you that which the Lord
hath not yet seen fit to reveal.' In that spirit, some have tried to express
their own views with respect to this question, but as far as the Church is
concerned, it does not teach that Jesus was married, or that he was a
polygamist." (Letter from LeGrand Richards to Morris L. Reynolds, May 11,
"The principle of plurality of wives never will be done way." (Heber C.
Kimball, J.D. 3:125)
"I can deliver a prophecy upon it... and I tell you--for I know it--it
will sail over, and ride triumphantly above all the prejudice and priestcraft
of the day." (Brigham Young, Mill. Star 15:31)
"The United States says we cannot marry more than one wife. God says
different...when adulterers and libertines pass a law forbidding polygamy, the
Saints cannot obey it. Polygamy is a divine institution. It has been handed
down direct from God. The United States cannot abolish it. No nation on earth
can prevent it, nor all the nations of the earth combined. I defy the United
States. I will obey God." (John Taylor, S.L. Tribune, Jan. 6, 1880)
"Plurality is a law which God established for his elect before the
world was formed, for a continuation of seeds forever. It would be as easy for
the United States to build a tower to remove the sun as to remove polygamy."
(Heber C. Kimball, Mill. Star 28:190)
"The reason why the Church and Kingdom of God cannot advance without
the Patriarchal Order of Marriage is that it belongs to this dispensation,
just as baptism for the dead does, or any law or ordinance that belongs to a
dispensation. Without it the Church cannot progress. (Life of Wilford
Woodruff, p. 542)
"God has given me a revelation in regard to celestial marriage, I did
not make it,... yet they would like us to tone that principle down and change
it, and make it applicable to the views of the day. This we cannot do, nor can
we interfere with any of the commandments of God to meet the persuasions and
behests of men. I cannot do it and will not do it." (John Taylor, J.D. 25:309)
"The severest prosecutions have never been followed by revelations
changing a Divine law, obedience to which brought imprisonment or martyrdom.
"Though I go to prison, God will not change His law of celestial
marriage,..." (Pres. Lorenzo Snow, Whitney's History of Utah, 3:471)
"He cannot withdraw or renounce it. God has revealed it, and He has
promised to maintain it, and to bless those who obey it...." (Oct. 6, 1885,
Mill. Star 47:707)
[97] "There are, however, enough witnesses to these principles to establish
them upon the earth in such a manner that they never can be forgotten or
stamped out." (Joseph F. Smith, 1879, J.D. 21:10)
"If all Israel will not be sanctified by the law which their Moses
first offers them, they will peradventure receive a law of ordinances
administered to them, not according to the power of endless life. Men will be
saved in the last days as in former days, according to their faith and
willingness to receive the word of God, and walk in it." (Mill. Star 16:36)
"You might as well deny Mormonism and turn away from it as to oppose
the plurality of wives. Let the presidency of this Church, and the twelve
apostles, and all the authorities unite and say with one voice that they will
oppose that doctrine, and the whole of them would be damned." (Heber C.
Kimball, J.D. 5:203)
"We won't quit practicing plural marriage until Christ shall come."
(Wilford Woodruff, May 1888, Manti Temple, Utah Historical Quarterly, Fall
1971, 39:359)
Today ....
"So polygamy was given to the Latter-day Saints by the Lord as part of
the restoration of all things, and now it was taken away by the Lord. In both
instances--the giving of this practice and its discontinuance--it was a divine
act. It was not of man." (Mark E. Petersen, Way of the Master, p. 52)
"We have announced in previous conferences, as it was announced by
President Woodruff, *** plural marriages have ceased in the Church. *** I want
to say that we have been doing all in our power to prevent it or to stop it;
and in order that we might do this, we have been seeking, to our utmost, to
find men who have been the agents and the cause of leading people into it. We
find it very difficult to trace them but when we do find them, and can prove
it upon them, we will deal with them as we have dealt with others that we have
been able to find." (Joseph F. Smith, Conf. Rept., April 1911, p. 8)
"And the Lord saith, Because they have forsaken my law which I set
before them, and have not obeyed my voice, neither walked therein; but have
walked after the imagination of their own heart, and after Baalim, which their
fathers taught them: Therefore thus saith the Lord of hosts the God of Israel;
Behold, I will feed them, even this people, with wormwood, and give them water
of gall drink. I will scatter them also among the heathen, whom neither they
nor their fathers have known: and I will send a sword after them, till I have
consumed them." (Jer. 9:13-16)
"...who changed the truth of God into a lie, and worshipped and served
the creature more than the Creator, who is blessed for ever. Amen." (Romans
"If we believe not, yet he abideth faithful: he cannot deny himself."
(2 Tim. 2:13)
"Remember, remember that it is not the work of God that is frustrated,
but the work of men; *** For, behold, you should not have feared man more than
God. Although men set at naught the counsels of God, and despise his
words--Yet you should have been faithful; and he would have extended his arm
and supported you against all the fiery darts of the adversary; and he would
have been with you in every time of trouble." (D. & C. 3:1,7,8)
"And whoso layeth down his life in my cause, for my name's sake, shall
find it again, even life eternal. Therefore, be not afraid of your enemies,
for I have decreed in my heart, saith the Lord, that I will prove you in all
things, whether you will abide in my covenant, even unto death, that you may
be found worthy. For if ye will not abide in my covenant ye are not worthy of
me." (D. & C. 98:13-15)
13: "And now, beloved brethren, we say unto you, that inasmuch as God hath
said that He would have a tried people, that He would purge them as gold, now
we think that this time He has chosen His own crucible, wherein we have been
tried; and we think if we get through with any degree of safety, and shall
have kept the faith, that it will be a sign to this generation...." (T.P.J.S.,
p. 136)
[99] "Jesus meant to say, `If you have lost the saving principles, you
Twelve Apostles, and you that believe in my servants the Twelve, you shall be
like unto the salt that has lost its saving principles: it is henceforth good
for nothing but to be cast out and trodden under foot of men! *** `I will
suffer my bowels to be taken out before I will forfeit the covenant I have
made with Him and my brethren.' Do you understand me? Judas was like salt that
had lost its saving principles--good for nothing but to be cast out and
trodden under foot of men. It is just so with you men and women, if you do not
honour your callings and cultivate the principles you have received. It is so
with you, ye Elders of Israel, when you forfeit your covenants. *** I know the
day is right at hand when men will forfeit their Priesthood and turn against
us against the covenants they have made, and they will be destroyed as Judas
was." (Heber C. Kimball, J.D. 6:125-126)
"There are men who say: `Yield this practice [plural marriage] for the
present; perhaps public opinion may soften and then this principle may be
taught and practiced.'
"I look upon such a suggestion as from the devil. It would be quite as
proper to propose apostacy for a short season until public opinion would
become more favorable to us. If there are any in the church who cannot stand
the pressure, instead of talking compromise, let them withdraw quietly from
the Church. If they can see nothing in the principle of celestial marriage
worth contending for, leave those who do see and appreciate its value to fight
the battle alone." (George Q. Cannon, Juv. Inst., 20:156, 1885)
"Does this church want it as God organized it? Or do you want to clip
the power of the priesthood and let those who have the keys of the priesthood
go and build up the kingdom in all the world, wherever the people will hear
them?" (Brigham Young, D.H.C. 7:235)
Today ....
"President Grant denies having this authority [sealing priesthood]. He
"But I want to say to the Latter-day Saints that no man upon the face
of the earth has any right or any authority to perform a plural marriage, and
there are no plural marriages today in the Church of Christ, because no human
being has a right to perform them. (Conf. Rept., April 1921, p. 202; also
Gospel Standards, p. 159)
"They that forsake the law praise the wicked; but such as keep the law
contend with them." (Prov. 28:4)
"Then Peter and the other apostles answered and said, We ought to obey
God rather than men." (Acts 5:29)
"Know ye not, that to whom ye yield yourselves servants to obey, his
servants ye are to whom ye obey; whether of sin unto death, or of obedience
unto righteousness?" (Romans 6:16)
"Therefore, I, the Lord, justify you, and your brethren of my church,
in befriending that law which is the constitutional law of the land; And as
pertaining to law of man, whatsoever is more or less than this, cometh of
evil." (D. & C. 98:6-7)
"We believe that religion is instituted of God; and that men are
amenable to him, and to him only, for the exercise of it, unless their
religious opinions prompt them to infringe upon the rights and liberties of
others; but we do not believe that human law has a right to interfere in
prescribing rules of worship to bind the consciences of men, nor dictate forms
for public or private devotion; that the civil magistrate should restrain
crime, but never control conscience; should punish guilt but never suppress
the freedom of the soul." (D. & C. 134:4)
"'Do you think that we shall ever be admitted as a State into the Union
without denying the principle of polygamy?' If we are not admitted until then,
we shall never be admitted." (Brigham Young, J.D. 11:269)
Today ....
"Finally, we are in honor bound to the government and people of the
United States, upon a consideration we have fully received--Statehood--to
discontinue the practice of polygamous or plural marriage, and Latter-day
Saints will not violate their plighted faith." (Statement by Grant, Ivins, &
Clark, Way of the Master, Petersen, p. 63)
When the Manifesto was given, the Church wrote Washington, D.C.: "We
have voluntarily put aside something that we have always believe a sacred
principle to be in harmony with those not of our faith." (Cont. 13:197)
"If brethren dwell together, and one of them die, and have no child,
the wife of the dead shall not marry without unto a stranger; her husband's
brother shall go in unto her, and take her to him to wife, and perform the
duty of a husband's brother unto her." (Deut. 25:5; see also Gen. 38:8 and
Ruth 3 and 4)
"And now there were with us, seven brethren; and the first, when he had
married a wife, deceased; and, having no issue, he left his wife unto his
brother." (Matt. 22:24)
"Suppose, therefore, we get rid of some of our selfishness, and be
willing, if proper, to take the wife of some faithful brother who has passed
behind the vail, and raise up posterity unto him. If we can do this, in
connexion with other duties which we have to perform, we shall be doing good
for others as well as for ourselves." (Joseph Young, J.D. 6:242)
"I am always delighted when I hear President Taylor speak as he did
this morning on the principle of brothers taking their brothers' widows to
wife. There are many young women among us pining away, that should be mothers
in Israel, that should be raising posterity, because the brothers are so
indifferent to the rights that belong to the institution of marriage as to let
these young women stay in this condition. And there is one thing that I am
impressed with, and that is, there will be considerable condemnation rest down
upon the Elders of this Church for their neglect in these matters. Women are
led astray and fall into the hands of wicked men because of relatives to the
dead neglecting to do that which is their duty; acting as though the Lord
cannot reward a man for keeping His law." (George Q. Cannon, J.D. 26:15)
Today ....
Such a practice as this would call for excommunication from the Church.
"And also with Peter, and James, and John, whom I have sent unto you,
by whom I have ordained you and confirmed you to be apostles, and especial
witnesses of my name, and bear the keys of your ministry...." (D. & C. 27:12)
(NOTE: Three men conferred the keys on two men.)
"The judge pointed to a room in the back part of the house and told
them to step in there. As soon as they got into the room, the lawyer said
there was a mob outside in front of the house, `and if they get hold of you
they will perhaps do you bodily injury: and I think the best way for you to
get out of this is to get right out there,' pointing to the window and
hoisting it. They got into the woods in going a few rods from the house--it
was night and they travelled through brush and water and mud, fell over logs,
etc., until Oliver was exhausted, then Joseph helped him along through the mud
and water, almost carrying him.
"They travelled all night, and just at the break of day, Oliver gave
out entirely and exclaimed, `O Lord! Brother Joseph, how long have we got to
endure this thing.' They sat down on a log to rest and Joseph said that at
that very time, Peter, James and John came to them and ordained them to the
Apostleship." (Young Women's Journal 2:75)
"Joseph Smith was a Prophet, Seer, and Revelator before he had power to
build up the kingdom of God, or take the first step towards it. When did he
obtain that power? Not until the angel had ordained him to be an Apostle."
(Brigham Young, J.D. 6:320)
"What ordination should a man receive to possess all the keys and
powers of the Holy Priesthood that were delivered to the sons of Adam? He
should be ordained an Apostle of Jesus Christ. That office puts him in
possession of every key, every power, every authority, communication, benefit,
blessing, glory, and kingdom that was ever revealed to man. That pertains to
the office of an Apostle of Jesus Christ." (Brigham Young, J.D. 9:87)
"Do you not know that the man who receives the Apostleship, receives
all the keys that ever were, or that be conferred upon mortal man?" (Brigham
Young, J.D. 1:137)
[103] "When a man is an apostle, and stands at the head of the kingdom of God
on the earth, and magnifies his calling, he has the keys of all the power that
ever was bestowed on mortal man for the building up of the kingdom of God the
earth." (Brigham Young, J.D. 6:320)
"Said he, (Joseph) `I know not why; but some reason I constrained to
hasten my preparations, and to confer upon the Twelve all the ordinances,
keys, covenants, endowments, and sealing ordinances of the Priesthood, and so
set before them a pattern in all things pertaining to the sanctuary and the
endowment there...." (Mill. Star 5:151)
"...and he then said, with great vehemence: `And in the name of the
Lord, I now shake from my shoulders the responsibility of bearing off the
Kingdom of God to all the world, and here and now I place that responsibility,
with all the keys, powers and privileges pertaining thereto, upon the Twelve
Apostles,...." (Letter from B. Brown to George Gibbs, p. 9)
"He now felt that the responsibility and care no longer rested upon
himself alone, for he had bestowed upon them the keys of the priesthood, the
same that he himself held; and whatever might happen to him there were others
now who had the authority to step forth and build up the kingdom of God on the
earth and to perform all the ordinances thereof." (Church Historical Record
Today ....
"Furthermore, any such action would have been illegal and void because
the Lord has laid down without qualification the principle that `there is
never but one on the earth at a time on whom this power and the keys of this
priesthood are conferred.' The Lord has never changed this rule." (Statement
by Pres. Grant and counselors, June 17, 1933, quoted in Way of the Master, by
Petersen, p. 58-59)
"The keys of the sealing ordinances rest today solely in President
Heber J. Grant, having so passed to him by the ordination prescribed by the
Lord, at the hands of those having the authority to pass them,...President
Grant is the only man on the earth at this time who possesses these keys. He
has never authorized any one to perform polygamous or plural marriages; he is
not performing such marriages himself; he has not on his part violated nor is
he violating the pledge he made to the Church, to the world, and to our
government at the time of the Manifesto." (Statement by the First Presidency,
Heber J. Grant, etc., June 17, 1933)
When John the Baptist gave the Priesthood to Joseph and Oliver, he
said: "Upon you my fellow servants, in the name of Messiah I confer the
Priesthood of Aaron...." (D. & C. 13:1)
President Brigham Young said, "Brother Joseph Smith has come to us many
times, saying, `Brethren, you are going to ordain Seventies. Do not forget to
confer the high priesthood upon them.'" (Des. News, June 6, 1877, p. 274)
"...the conferring of the Priesthood should precede and accompany
ordination to office, unless it be possessed by previous bestowal and
ordination. Surely a man cannot possess an appendage to the Priesthood without
possessing the Priesthood itself, which he cannot obtain unless it be
authoritatively conferred upon him." (J. F. Smith, Era 4:394; see also D. & C.
"Among other things stated by President Taylor on this occasion was
this: `I would be surprised if ten percent of those who claim to hold the
Melchizedek Priesthood will remain true and faithful to the Gospel of the Lord
Jesus Christ, at the time of the seventh President and that there would be
thousands that think they hold the Priesthood at that time, but would not have
it properly conferred upon them.'" (Statement by Lorin C. Woolley, Questions
on Plural Marriage, Dennis R. Short, p. 69)
"The day will come when men's Priesthood and authority will be called
into question, and you will find out that there will be hundreds who have no
Priesthood, but who believe they hold it, they holding only an office in the
Church." (George Q. Cannon, Truth 3:153)
Today ....
In 1921 Heber J. Grant changed the rule of conferring Priesthood by
allowing only an ordination to an office in the Church. Thirty-six years later
in 1957 David O. McKay made the change back to conferring Priesthood and than
ordaining to an office in the Church.
"Remember them, O my God, because they have defiled the priesthood, and
the covenant of the priesthood, and of the Levites." (Neh. 13:29)
"For the priesthood being changed, there is made of necessity a change
also of the law." (Heb. 7:12)
"...if they had continued pure, their priesthood would also have been
pure;... in consequence of their adherence to the pure principles of the
gospel, for the Priesthood can not continue when the gospel is perverted;
....But as they have departed from his gospel, introduced the ordinances of
men and neglected to teach the things God commanded them, they have lost the
authority, blessings and power of the Priesthood,... and Christ has ceased to
be with them." (Joseph Smith, Times & Seasons 4:9)
"If there is no change of ordinances, there is no change of
Priesthood." (T.P.J.S., pg. 158)
"Will any man ever be redeemed upon any other principle than what we
are redeemed upon? No. Men must abide the same law, or God Almighty will never
redeem them. If they violate that law, they bring damnation upon themselves,
and must suffer the consequences of it." (Heber C. Kimball, J.D. 6:67)
Today ....
"I hold it entirely compatible with the genius of the Church to change
its forms of procedure, customs, and ordinances in accordance with our own
knowledge and experience. *** Some changes have been made in recent years and
these changes have disturbed some of the members. Personally, I approve of
those changes and hope the general authorities will be led to make others as
changing conditions warrant." (Stephen L. Richards, S. L. Tribune, April 10,
We are taught that we are all the children of God and "joint heirs"
with Christ. For this order to be complete there must be a linking of
priesthood or "law of adoption," that goes back to Christ. (Romans 8:14-23 &
9:4; Gal. 4:4-7; Eph. 1:5)
"With the introduction of the Priesthood upon the earth was also
introduced the sealing ordinance, that the chain of the Priesthood from Adam
to the latest generation might be united in one unbroken continuance. *** By
this power men will be sealed to men back to Adam, completing and making
perfect the chain of the Priesthood from his day to the winding up scene."
(Brigham Young, J.D. 9:269)
"I and my wife, Mary Jane, with many others was adopted into John D.
Lee's family, thus I took upon myself the name of Lee in this manner: George
Laub Lee and my wife's name Mary Jane Laub Lee." (Diary of George Laub, 1846,
p. 37)
"It was ascertained that many of the saints had intermarried with
gentile stock, and were thus debarred from a full enjoyment of the rights and
privileges of the house and lineage of Abraham. But these lost blessings could
be restored by ingraftment upon the stock of one of the twelve tribes of
Israel, represented by the twelve apostles, each of whom was deemed as in
lineal descent from Abraham...." Romans 11:16 is quoted as authorizing the
doctrine, which requires every member op the church, except the twelve, to
choose a father from one of the latter." (History of Utah, Bancroft, p. 361)
Today ....
"I was adopted to my father, and should have had my father sealed to
his father, and so on back; and the duty that I want every man who presides
over a temple to see performed from this day henceforth and forever, unless
the Lord Almighty commands otherwise, is let every man be adopted to his
father. When a man receives the endowment, adopt him to his father; not to
Wilford Woodruff, nor to any other men outside the lineage of his fathers."
(Wilford Woodruff, Utah Gen. & Hist. Mag., 13:749, 1894)
Priesthood sealing of men to men has been stopped. The law of adoption
is no longer taught or practiced in the Church.
"It is the first principle of the Gospel to know for a certainty the
character of God."
"There are but very few beings in the world who understand rightly the
character of God." (T.P.J.S., 345, 343)
"He commenced and brought forth spirits; and then, when he completed
that work, He commenced and brought forth tabernacles for those spirits to
dwell in. I came through Him, both spirit and body." (Heber C. Kimball, J.D.
"Mankind are here because they are the offspring of parents who were
first brought here from another planet, and power was given them to propagate
their species, and they were commanded to multiply and replenish the earth."
(Brigham Young, J.D. 7:285)
"The Apostles and Prophets, when speaking of our relationship to God,
say that we are flesh of his flesh and bone of his bone...." (Brigham Young,
J.D. 11:262)
"We believe that we are the literal offspring of Deity. We have
descended from the great Being who formed this earth, and from Him we have
inherited the glorious aspirations to be like unto Him...." (George Q. Cannon,
Mill. Star 51:278)
"Man has descended from God: In fact, he is of the same race as the
Gods. His descent has not been from a lower form of life; in other words, man
is, in the most literal sense, a child of God. This is not only true of the
spirit of man, but of his body also." (Priesthood Course of Study, 1910)
Today ....
"Behold, vengeance cometh.... And upon my house shall it begin, and
from my house shall it go forth, saith the Lord; First among those among you,
saith the Lord, who have professed to know my name and have not known me, and
have blasphemed against me in the midst of my house, saith the Lord." (D. & C.
"I beheld till the thrones were cast down, and the Ancient of days did
sit, whose garment was white as snow, and the hair of his head like the pure
wool: His throne was like the fiery flame, and his wheels as burning fire. A
fiery stream issued and came forth from before him: thousand thousands
ministered unto him, and ten thousand stood before him: the judgment was set,
and the books were opened." (Dan. 7:9-10)
"Now this prophecy Adam spake, as he was moved upon by the Holy Ghost,
and a genealogy was kept of the children of God. And this was the book of the
generations of Adam, saying: In the day that God created man, in the likeness
of God made he him;" (Moses 6:8)
Brigham Young said, `When our father Adam came into the garden of Eden,
he came into it with a celestial body, and brought Eve, one of his wives, with
him. He helped to make and organize this world. He is Michael, the Archangel,
the Ancient of Days; about whom holy men have written and spoken--He is our
Father and our God, and the only God with whom we have to do." (J.D. 1:50)
"Why was Man called Adam? He was the first man on the earth, and its
framer and maker. He, with the help of his brethren, brought it into
existence. Then he said, `I want my children who are in the spirit world to
come and live here. I once dwelt upon an earth something like this in a mortal
state. I was faithful, I received my crown and exaltation. I have the
privilege of extending my work, and to its increase there will be no end.'"
(Brigham Young, Des. News Weekly 22:308)
"Adam and Eve are the parents of all pertaining to the flesh, and I
would not say that they are not also the parents of our spirits." (Brigham
Young, J.D. 7:290)
"Adam was an immortal being when he came on this earth, and had
begotten all the spirits that was [sic] to come to this earth, and Eve our
common Mother who is the mother of all living bore those spirits in the
celestial world." (L. John Nuttal Journal, Vol. 1:20)
"He is the father of the spirits as well as the tabernacles of the sons
and daughters of man. Adam! (Brigham Young, Women of Mormondom p. 179)
[109] "A very interesting conference; for at this meeting president Brigham
Young said thus: That Adam and Eve were the names of the first man and woman
of every earth that as ever organized. And that Adam and Eve were the natural
Father and Mother of every spirit that comes to this planet or that receives
tabernacles on this planet. Consequently we are brothers and sisters. And that
Adam was God our eternal Father." (Joseph Lee Robinson Diary, p. 102)
Joseph Smith said that Adam possessed the "First Presidency in the
Creation" and "obtained the priesthood keys in the creation;" and that "those
keys are revealed by him" because he has dominion over every living creature;"
because he also "presides over the spirits of all men." (T.P.J.S., p. 157)
The Prophet also said that Adam was the "first to hold spiritual
blessing," and the "first to know gospel ordinances;" and that he "holds the
keys of all dispensations." But even more astounding was that "Christ is
revealed through the authority of Adam." (T.P.J.S., p. 167)
"Joseph said that Adam was our Father and God, and himself, being a
leader, he too was their God." (Brigham Young, St. George Conference, May 14,
"One of these is God the Father, Michael or Adam, from whose loins the
earth is peopled, and who is now laboring for the redemption of his children."
(Orson Pratt, Mill. Star 17:785)
"When I first heard the doctrine of Adam being our Father and God, I
was favorably impressed -- enjoyed and hailed it as a new revelation. It
appeared reasonable to me, as the Father of our spirits that he should
introduce us here." (Minutes, School of the Prophets, Provo, June 8, 1868, p.
"The decree has gone forth that every man is to be raised to
immortality. Then you will be as Adam was in the Garden of Eden before he
fell." (Orson Pratt, J.D. 7:257)
"Some have grumbled because I believe our God to be so near to us as
Father Adam. There are many who know that doctrine to be true." (Brigham
Young, J.D. 5:331)
"How much unbelief exists in the minds of the Latter-day Saints in
regard to one particular doctrine which I revealed to them, and which God
revealed to me--namely that Adam is our Father and God." (Brigham Young, Des.
News, June 18, 1873)
Today ....
"Cease troubling yourselves about who God is, who Adam is, who Christ is,
who Jehovah is. For heaven's sake, let these things alone. *** If we want to
know any more, wait till we get where God is in person. I say this because we
are troubled every little while with inquiries from Elders anxious to know who
God is, who Christ is, and who Adam is. I say to the Elders of Israel, stop
this." (Wilford Woodruff, April 7, 1895, Mill. Star 57:355)
"If what is meant is that Adam had passed on to celestial glory through
a resurrection before he came here, and that afterwards he was appointed to
this earth to die again, the second time becoming mortal, then it is not
scriptural or according to the truth." (Heber J. Grant, Messages from the
First Presidency, 5:289-290, Feb. 26, 1931.)
"This so-called Adam-God theory is false and contrary to all the body
of revealed truth." (Bruce R. McConkie, Criticisms of Factions)
"Such doctrine is false and impossible and must be destroyed." (Milton
R. Hunter, Provo Herald, March 22, 1949, p. 9)
"But woe unto you scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites; for ye shut up the
kingdom of heaven against men: for ye neither go in yourselves, neither suffer
ye them that are entering to go in. Ye blind guides, which strain at a gnat,
and swallow a camel. Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! because
ye build the tombs of the prophets, and garnish the sepulchres of the
righteous...." (Matt. 23:13,24,29)
"O ye twelve! and all Saints! profit by this important key--that in all
your trials, troubles, temptations, afflictions, bonds, imprisonments and
death, see to it, that you do not betray heaven, that you do not betray Jesus
Christ; that you do not betray the brethren; that you do not betray the
revelations of God, whether in the Bible, Book of Mormon, or Doctrine and
Covenants, or any other that ever was or ever will be given and revealed unto
man in this world or that which is to come. Yea, in all your kicking and
flounderings, see to it that you do not this thing, lest innocent blood be
found upon your skirts, and you go down to hell. All other sins are not to be
compared to sinning against the Holy Ghost, and proving a traitor to the
brethren." (T.P.J.S., p. 156)
"If you oppose what is called the `spiritual wife doctrine,' the
Patriarchal Order, which is of God, that course will corrode you with a spirit
of apostacy, and you will go overboard; still a great many do so, and strive
to justify themselves in it, but they are not justified of God. When you take
that course you put a knife to Brother Brigham's breast, and to the breasts of
his associates." (Heber C. Kimball, J.D. 3:125)
"`Let no being's affections be placed upon me any further than mine are
on eternal principles--principles that are calculated to endure and exalt me,
and bring me up to be an heir of God and a joint heir with Jesus Christ.' This
is what every person who has a correct understanding would say." (Brigham
Young, J.D. 3:360)
"Foes from without were not the church's undoing; it was those who were
"There is creeping into our midst, and I warn you brethren about it,
and I urge you to meet it, a great host of sectarian doctrines that have no
place amongst us. The gospel in its simplicity, is to be found in the
revelations, the teachings of the prophet and the early leaders [112] of the
Church. We shall make no mistake if we follow them. We shall make mistakes,
and we shall lead our youth, or some of them, to apostasy if we try to
harmonize our simple beliefs with the philosophy and the speculations of
sectarian doctrines.
"We must not `liberalize,' and I put that term in quotes, our
teachings; we must accept them as God gave them to us...." (J. Reuben Clark,
Melchizedek Priesthood Lesson Manual, from Immortality & Eternal Life, p. 156)
Today ....
The Church builds special monuments of honor to the graves and works of
the early leaders, publishing their pictures on the front page of the Church
News, paying them honor in all their meetings; but if anyone teaches from the
revelations they received, (D. & C. 132, 1882, 1886, and 1889) or teaches the
doctrines they believed in (J.D. 1:50), or practices the same principles and
laws that they did (plural marriage--Sec. 132), they will be excommunicated.
"Priestcrafts are that men preach and set themselves up for a light
unto the world...." (2 Nephi 26:29)
The Prophet Joseph Smith was perhaps the greatest prophet who ever
lived, yet the Lord told him: "...Behold, how oft you have transgressed the
commandments and the laws of God, and have gone on in the persuasions of men."
(D. & C. 3:6; see also D. & C. 5:21-22; 35:17-18; 64:5; 93:47)
The Prophet Joseph said that "righteous persons could only deliver
their own souls--applied it to the present state of the Church of Jesus Christ
of Latter-day Saints--said that if the people departed from the Lord, they
must fall--that they were depending on the Prophet, hence were darkened in
their minds,..." (T.P.J.S., p. 238)
"Do not, brethren, put your trust in man though he be a bishop, an
apostle, or a president; if you do, they will fail you at some time or
place...." (George Q. Cannon, Mill. Star 53:673)
" is a desirable honor that you should so walk before our Heavenly
Father as to save yourselves; we are all responsible to God for the manner we
improve the light and wisdom given by our Lord to enable us to save
ourselves." (T.P.J.S., p. 227)
"Priesthood elevates to the worthy of the true and living God;
priestcraft degrades to the slavery of the soul. Priesthood saves; priestcraft
destroys." (Cont. 10:24)
"So long therefore as the people rely upon their leaders they are not
manifesting that degree of faith, they are not in a position to think and
reflect for themselves as they should." (Apos. M. Thatcher, J.D. 26:328)
"There are those among this people who are influenced, controlled, and
biased in their thoughts, actions, and feelings by some other individual or
family, on whom they place their dependence for spiritual and temporal
instruction, and for salvation in the end. These persons do not depend upon
themselves for salvation, but upon another of their poor, weak, fellow
mortals. "I do not depend upon any inherent goodness of my own," say they, "to
introduce me into the kingdom of glory, but I depend upon you, brother Joseph,
upon you, brother Brigham, upon you, brother Heber, or upon you, brother
James; I believe your judgment is [114] superior to mine, and consequently I
let you judge for me; your spirit is better than mine, therefore you can do
good for me; I will submit myself wholly to you, and place in you all my
confidence for life and salvation; where you go I will go, and where you tarry
there I will stay; expecting that you will introduce me through the gates into
the heavenly Jerusalem. *** They cannot rule themselves, to say nothing of
ruling others, but they must be dictated to in every trifle, like a child."
(Brigham Young, J.D. 1:312)
"What a pity it would be if we were led by one man to utter
destruction! Are you afraid of this: I am more afraid that this people have so
much confidence in their leaders that they will not inquire for themselves of
God whether they are led by Him. I am fearful they settle down in a state of
blind self-security, trusting their eternal destiny in the hands of their
leaders with a reckless confidence that in itself would thwart the purposes of
God in their salvation, and weaken that influence they could give to their
leaders, did they know for themselves, by the revelations of Jesus, that they
are led in the right way. Let every man and woman know, themselves, whether
their leaders are walking in the path the Lord dictates, or not. This has been
my exhortation continually." (Brigham Young, J.D. 9:150)
Today ....
"...President Harold B. Lee stated that `President Grant used to say to
us... `Brethren, keep your eye on the President of this Church. If he tells
you to do anything and it is wrong and you do it, the Lord will bless you for
it. But you don't need to worry, the Lord will never let his mouthpiece lead
this people astray.'" (Address at BYU, April 19, 1961, and Ensign, Oct. 1972,
p. 7)
"And all ye lawyers who have no business, only as you hatch it up,
would to God you would go to work or run away!" (Joseph Smith, T.P.J.S., p.
"I think that a community is civilized so far as it is free from
contentions, law suits and litigation of every kind. *** When I hear men and
women say that they will go to a Gentile court to have their difficulties
adjusted, I think they will go to hell unless they refrain from such a spirit.
*** Now, I ask every man and woman who wishes an honorable name in the Church
and kingdom of God upon the earth, if they have entertained any idea of going
to law, to banish it from their minds at once." (Brigham Young, J.D.
"When God spoke from heaven to Joseph Smith, the people were bound down
by priestcraft, doctorcraft, kingcraft and lawyercraft, the four grand crafts
that uphold Satan's kingdom." (Brigham Young, Des. News, July 12, 1865)
"It requires a lawyer--a man who is well schooled in all that men know,
to make things appear what they really are not." (Brigham Young, J.D. 11:215)
"And I will give you fair warning, and I call upon Brother Peery here,
who is President of this Stake, to carry it out, that when he finds any
Latter-day Saint under his jurisdiction going to law with his brother before
the ungodly, to bring him up and deal with him for his fellowship. This is a
correct principle before God; and as Saints of God we should be governed by
his laws, and not by the laws of the world." (John Taylor, J.D. 20:105-106)
"Now, from the early history of this Church, almost every man, every
Elder, or member that has undertaken to study or practise law was in a very
short time on the high road to apostacy and destruction; and every member of
this Church who has undertaken to practise law as a profession has gone
neck-and-heels to the Devil." (George A. Smith, J.D. 6:160)
Today ....
A great many of the leading men of the Church are lawyers; and B.Y.U.
has built a special building for educating the youth of Zion in lawyercraft,
while they are restricting the field of religion.
"And Asa in the thirty and ninth year of his reign was diseased in his
feet, until his disease was exceeding great: yet in his disease he sought not
to the Lord, but to the physicians. And Asa slept with his fathers, and died
in the one and fortieth year of his reign." (II Chron. 16:12-13)
"I preached to a large congregation at the stand, on the science and
practice of medicine, desiring to persuade the Saints to trust in God when
sick, and not in an arm of flesh, and live by faith and not by medicine, or
poison;" (T.P.J.S., p. 190)
"I would rather have a wife of mine that knows what medicine to give me
when I am sick, than all the professional doctors in the world." (Brigham
Young, J.D. 12:225)
"Who is the real doctor? That man who knows by the spirit of revelation
what ails an individual and by the same spirit knows what medicine to
administer. That is the real doctor, the others are quacks." (Brigham Young
J.D. 15:226)
"Doctors and their medicines I regard as a deadly bane to any
community. Give your children, when sick, a little simple herb drink; and if
they have eaten too much let them go without food until their stomachs are
cleansed and purified, and have faith in the name of Jesus and in the
ordinances of His Church, and they will live. That is my faith with regard to
this thing. I am not very partial to doctors and lawyers, I can see no use for
them unless it is to raise grain or go to mechanical work." (Brigham Young,
J.D. 14:109)
Today ....
The Church is filled with doctors and has been in the hospital
business. Many members and leaders of the Church will go to gentile doctors
before they call for the elders of the Church.
"It will be so in a little time that not a woman in all Israel will
dare to have a baby unless she can have a doctor by her." (Brigham Young, J.D.
"Four ladies are set apart as mid-wives. This is a Church calling."
(Journal of Abraham Cannon, p. 6)
"Great exertions are made by the sisters to prepare themselves to nurse
each other--the entire accomplishment of which is most desirable, and every
good man will lend influence and aid to accomplish this object, regardless of
personal aggrandizement, and pockets full of gold. Jesus taught the principle,
that if a person seek after a sign, by which to know the truth of the Gospel,
know ye, that that person has an adulterous spirit; and the same principle is
equally true with regard to women, who desire a doctor, instead of a female
nurse, to wait on them when they are sick; and the doctor who delights in
nursing women, instead of instructing them how to nurse themselves and each
other, is possessed of the same spirit. We give this for a sign unto Israel,
and Israel will profit by it; we don't expect anybody else will." (Samuel
Richards (editorial), Mill. Star, 14:473, Sept. 18, 1852)
"As a profession, midwifery is as old as the world. Always and ever
until the last century have women presided as high priestesses in the chamber
of birth. Their skill, their resourcefulness, their tact, their tender touch,
all these things, together with their natural cleanliness of mind and body,
fit them to assist the mother, and to cleanse and prepare the child for its
entrance into the world.
"The wonderfully strict regulations which are recorded by Moses in
Leviticus, convince us that he provided inspired hygienic laws for the
midwives among his people.
"Gradually the study and practice of surgical obstetrics was taken over
by men: and yet not until the most recent time, have men attempted to usurp
all ordinary phases of midwifery, and turn women entirely out from their
ancient profession." (Relief Society Magazine, Aug. 1915, Vol. 2, No. 8)
"Patty Bartlett Sessions was called Mother Sessions. She could be
called the mother of Mormon midwifery. It is recorded that Patty delivered
3,977 babies. She was set apart for this by the Prophet Joseph Smith. (See Our
Pioneer Heritage 6:426)
[118] "...on July 15, 1873, President Brigham Young issued a request through
the bishops of the wards that the presidents of the Relief Societies
throughout the Church appoint three women from each ward to study hygiene,
nursing and midwifery." (Our Pioneer Heritage, 6:363)
"Many of the women who practiced midwifery in Utah were trained in
their native lands; some in medical schools or hospitals, others working under
eminent physicians. But the majority of the medically-minded women were called
and set apart by the presiding authorities of the Church of Jesus Christ of
Latter-day Saints. Thus, armed with this authority and the blessings of the
Lord, they went forth and performed a marvelous work in the settlements." (Our
Pioneer Heritage 6:425)
Today ....
According to the State Registration Office, the last license issued for
a midwife in Utah was July 15, 1932.
"For in those days the sons of men began to trespass against God, and
to transgress the commandments which he had commanded to Adam, to be fruitful
and multiply in the earth. And some of the sons of men caused their wives to
drink a draught that would render them barren, in order that they might retain
their figures and whereby their beautiful appearance might not fade." (Jasher
"For behold, this is my work and my glory--to bring to pass the
immortality and eternal life of man." (P. of G.P., Moses 1:39)
"I have told you many times that there are multitudes of pure and holy
spirits waiting to take tabernacles, now what is our duty?--to prepare
tabernacles for them; to take a course that will not tend to drive those
spirits into the families of the wicked, where they will be trained in
wickedness, debauchery, and every species of crime. It is the duty of every
righteous man and woman to prepare tabernacles for all the spirits women they
can hence if my women leave, I will go and search up others who will abide the
celestial law, and let all I now have go where they please; though I will send
the Gospel to them." (Brigham Young, J.D. 4:56)
"The loudest outcry against us, and the most devoted efforts against
us, come from the region where these dreadful practices prevail, where women
murder their offspring before they are born, are guilty of this pre-natal
murder, among the people of the United States who think themselves the most
enlightened. *** I say to you, my sisters, you teach your daughters against
this accursed practice, or they will go to hell, they will be damned, they
will be murderers, and the blood of innocence will be found upon them. A man
that would sanction such a thing in his family, or that would live with a
woman guilty of such acts, shares in the crime of murder. I would no more
perform the ordinance of laying on of hands on a woman who is guilty of that
crime, if I knew it, than I would put my hands on the head of a rattlesnake.
We must set our faces like flint against such acts." (George Q. Cannon, J.D.
Today ....
Many men and women in the Church use birth control pills and devices.
Seldom is a sermon heard against their use and practice.
"And by the river upon the bank thereof, on this side and on that side,
shall grow all trees for meat, whose leaf shall not fade, neither shall the
fruit thereof be consumed: it shall bring forth new fruit according to his
months, because their waters they issued out of the sanctuary: and the fruit
thereof shall be for meat, and the leaf thereof for medicine." (Ezek. 47:12)
"And there were some who died with fevers, which at some seasons of the
year were very frequent in the land--but not so much so with fevers, because
of the excellent qualities of the many plants and roots which God had prepared
to remove the cause of diseases, to which men were subject by the nature of
the climate." (Alma 46:40)
"And whosoever among you are sick, and have not faith to be healed, but
believe, shall be nourished with all tenderness, with herbs and mild food, and
that not by the hand of an enemy." (D. & C. 42:43)
"And again, verily I say unto you, all wholesome herbs God hath
ordained for the constitution, nature, and use of man." (D. & C. 89:10)
"I preached to a large congregation at the stand, on the science and
practice of medicine, desiring to persuade the Saints to trust in God when
sick, and not in an arm of flesh, and live by faith and not by medicine, or
poison; and when they were sick, and had called for the Elders to pray for
them, and they were not healed, to use herbs and mild food." (D.H.C. 4:414;
also T.P.J.S., p. 190)
Apostle Willard Richards prophecied that the principles of herbology
"would never die out or cease until it had revolutionized the earth." (Priddy
Meeks Journal, p. 31)
Today ....
We are relying mostly on medicines, doctors, and drugs of the gentiles.
We are also failing to eat the fruits and vegetables as prescribed by the
"The seven good kine are seven years; and the seven good ears are seven
years; the dream is one. And the seven thin and ill favoured kine that came up
after them are seven years; and the seven empty ears blasted with the east
wind shall be seven years of famine." (Gen. 41:26-27)
"Then spake Elisha unto the woman, whose son he had restored to life,
saying, Arise, and go thou and thine household, and sojourn wheresoever thou
canst sojourn: for the Lord hath called for a famine; and it shall also come
upon the land seven years." (2 Kings 8:1)
"Brethren, go and build your storehouses before your grain is
harvested, and lay it up, and let us never cease until we have got a seven
years' supply. You may think that we shall not see times in which we shall
need it." (Heber C. Kimball, J.D. 4:337)
"Let us heed the counsel given about storing up provisions, and,
instead of freighting our food away to feed strangers, let us go to work and
build good substantial granaries, and fill them with bread-stuff until every
man and woman has enough on hand to last for seven years." (George A. Smith
J.D. 12:142)
"A few years ago President Young gave counsel to the people of the
Territory--most of whom agreed to it--to lay by seven years' provisions. We
were to have commenced three years ago, and there to have laid up one year's
bread over and above the year's supply. The following year we were to add
another year's supply, and so have continued until we had our seven years'
supply laid up. How faithful the people have been in keeping this counsel I am
not prepared to say,..." (George A. Smith, J.D. 12:141)
Today ....
"...--it was during these years [1855-56] I say, that the
wise policy was inaugurated of storing up grain each year `against a day of
famine'--a policy which though now sometime since abandoned,..." (C.H.C.
No one is teaching the Saints to prepare for the 7-year famine which is
"With whom the Lord had made a covenant, and charged them, saying, Ye
shall not fear other gods, nor bow yourselves to them, nor serve them, nor
sacrifice to them: But the Lord, who brought you up out of the land of Egypt
with great power and a stretched out arm, him shall ye fear, and him shall ye
worship, and to him shall ye do sacrifice. And the statutes, and the
ordinances, and the law, and the commandment, which he wrote for you, ye shall
observe to do for evermore; and ye shall not fear other gods. And the covenant
that I have made with you ye shall not forget; neither shall ye fear other
gods. But the Lord your God ye shall fear; and he shall deliver you out of the
hand of all your enemies." (2 Kings 17:35-39)
"For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power and of
love, and of a sound mind." (II Tim. 1:7)
"And behold, how oft you have transgressed the commandments and the
laws of God, and have gone on in the persuasions of men. For, behold, you
should not have feared man more than God. Although men set at naught the
counsels of God, and despise his words--Yet you should have been faithful; and
he would have extended his arm and supported you against all the fiery darts
of the adversary; and he would have been with you in every time of trouble.."
(D. & C. 3:2,5-8)
"I will not suffer that they shall destroy my work; yea, I will show
unto them that my wisdom is greater than the cunning of the devil." (D. & C.
"Behold, I say unto you, David, that you have feared man and have not
relied on me for strength as you ought. But your mind has been on the things
of the earth more than on the things of me.... but have been persuaded by
those whom I have not commanded." (D. & C. 30:1-2)
"Behold, verily I say unto you, that the heart of my servant James
Covill was right before me, for he covenanted with me that he would obey my
word. And he received the word with gladness, but straightway Satan tempted
him; and the fear of persecution and the cares of the world caused him to
reject the word. Wherefore he broke my covenant, and it remaineth with me to
do with him as seemeth me good." (D. & C. 40:1-3)
[123] "And I, the Lord, would fight their battles, and their children's
battles, and their children's children's, until they had avenged themselves on
all their enemies, to the third and fourth generation." (D. & C. 98:37)
"For behold, I do not require at their hands to fight the battles of
Zion; for, as I said in a former commandment, even so will I fulfil--I will
fight your battles." (D. & C. 105:14)
"Salvation is nothing more nor less than to triumph over all our
enemies and put them under our feet. And when we have power to put all enemies
under our feet in this world, and a knowledge to triumph over all evil spirits
in the world to come, then we are saved...." (T.P.J.S. p. 297)
Today ....
"Which is the wisest course for the Latter-day Saints to pursue--to
continue to attempt to practice plural marriage, with the laws of the nation
against it and the opposition of sixty millions of people, and at the cost of
the confiscation and loss of all the temples, and the stopping of all the
ordinances therein, both for the living and the dead, and the imprisonment of
the First Presidency and Twelve and the heads of families in the Church, and
the confiscation of personal property of the people all of which of themselves
would stop the practice, or, after doing and suffering what we have through
our adherence to this principle to cease the practice [Law of God] and submit
to the law [of 60 million gentiles]....?" (Discourses of Wilford Woodruff, p.
"And the word of the Lord came unto me, saying, Son of man, prophesy
against the prophets of Israel that prophesy, and say thou unto them that
prophesy out of their own hearts, Hear ye the word of the Lord; Thus saith the
Lord God; Woe unto the foolish prophets that follow their own spirit, and have
seen nothing!" (Ezek. 13:1-3; see also Ezek. 34:1-5)
"Beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheep's clothing, but
inwardly they are ravening wolves." (Matt. 7:15)
"When the morning was come, all the chief priests and elders of the
people took counsel against Jesus to put him to death;" (Matt. 27:1)
"...O my people, they who lead thee cause thee to err and destroy the
way of thy paths." (2 Nephi 13:12)
"And many false prophets shall rise, and shall deceive many [in the
last days]." (Matt. 24:11)
"Woe unto you, when all men shall speak well of you! for so did their
fathers to the false prophets." (Luke 6:26)
"But there were false prophets also among the people, even as there
shall be false teachers among you, who privily shall bring in damnable
heresies, even denying the Lord that bought them, and bring upon themselves
swift destruction." (2 Peter 2:1)
"Beloved, believe not every spirit, but try the spirits whether they
are of God: because many false prophets are gone out into the world." (I John
"This morning I read German and visited with a brother and sister from
Michigan, who thought that `a prophet is always a prophet;' but I told them
that a prophet was a prophet only when he was acting as such." (Joseph Smith,
D.H.C. 5:265)
"When a man goes about prophesying, and commands men to obey his
teachings, he must either be a true or false prophet. False prophets always
arise to oppose the true prophets and they will prophesy so very near the
truth that they will deceive almost the very chosen ones." (T.P. J.S., p. 365)
[125] "For although a man may have many revelations, and have power to do
many mighty works, yet if he boasts in his own strength, and sets at naught
the counsels of God, and follows after the dictates of his own will and carnal
desires, he must fall and incur the vengeance of a just God upon him." (D. &
C. 3:4)
"And liars and hypocrites shall be proved by them, and they who are not
apostles and prophets shall be known." (D. & C. 64:39)
Today ....
"Saints safe in following church authorities. No man ever went astray
by following the counsel of the authorities of the Church." (Doc. of Sal., p.
" don't need to worry; the Lord will never let His mouthpiece
lead this people astray." (Ensign, Oct. 1972)
"And the Lord thy God will put all these curses upon thine enemies, and
on them that hate thee, which persecuted thee." (Deut. 30:7)
"There is one like Christ? He cannot be found on earth. Then why should
His followers complain, if from those whom they once called brethren, and
considered as standing in the nearest relation in the everlasting covenant,
they should receive persecution?" (T.P.J.S., p. 68)
"...It would be impossible for tyranny to flourish for any length of
time in our midst. Oppression of every form would sooner or later have to
disappear, or else there would have to be an apostacy from the true principles
of the Gospel on the part of the people. Oppression, tyranny, misrule, cannot
co-exist with the principles of the everlasting Gospel as they are taught in
our midst--that is the greatest possible consistent with good order, and the
preservation of the rights of others. Liberty cannot be permitted to
degenerate into license, but the utmost liberty can be enjoyed as long as it
does not overstep that boundary. ***
"...You will find that the opponents of truth, or, to speak more
plainly, according to our phraseology and our methods of expressing ideas, the
followers of Satan--you will find that wherever there was persecution upon the
earth, they were its authors. Whenever men were trampled upon and their rights
were denied them, when men fell victims to violence and the mal-administration
of the laws, it was those who were led by Satan's influence and yielded to his
power, who were the instruments in committing those evils. Hence you find that
good men never persecuted bad men; never destroyed wicked men when they had
power. They were not oppressors, they were not tyrants, they were not
persecutor, they did not infringe upon the rights of their fellow men, upon
the liberty of conscience, nor upon its proper exercise, nor upon the exercise
of man's agency: they never sought to restrain it. *** God does not do it.
Jesus did not do it, and no servant of God did it that had a true conception
of his calling." (George Q. Cannon, J.D. 24:58-59)
"You will never find a people of God who have the truth persecuting
another people. If they were to do so they would cease to be the people of
God. It is the characteristic of the church of God always that it never
condescends to persecution. It does not fear the announcement [127] of any
doctrine, or any principle, or any form of belief, or any so-called
revelation. Strong in the knowledge that they have the truth and that God is
with them, such a people can afford to let false doctrine when it manifests
itself have the freedom of action, the right of agency which God has given
unto every human being and which every human being has a right to exercise
undisturbed by his fellow man so long as he does not interfere with the
happiness and the lives and the liberties of his fellowman. *** (George Q.
Cannon, Des. Even. News, Jan. 27, 1884)
"The religion that obtains an exalted popularity amongst men, receiving
their approbation and support, cannot be of God; but on the contrary, exactly
in proportion as the Church is of God, or has received of His Spirit, even in
that degree will be the hostility of the world." (editorial, Mill. Star, 5:39)

Today ....
"We have been, however, and we are entirely willing and anxious, too,
that such offenders against the law of the State should be dealt with and
punished as the law provides. We have been and we are willing to give such
legal assistance as we legitimately can in the criminal prosecution of such
cases. We are willing to go to such limits not only because we regard it as
our duty as citizens of the country to assist in the enforcement of the law
and the suppression of pretended "plural marriages," but also because we wish
to do everything humanly possible to make our attitude towards this matter so
clear, definite, and unequivocal as to leave no possible doubt of it in the
mind of any person." (Heber J. Grant, Conf. Rept., April 4-6, 1931)
"3. The Church has actively assisted federal and state authorities in
obtaining evidence against the cultists and helping to prosecute them, under
the law.
4. Among witnesses for the prosecution are men who have been appointed
by the Church to search out the cultists, turning over such information as
they gather to the prosecution for their use; these men have also been
appointed by the Church to do all they can to fight the spread of polygamy.
(Signed Mark E. Petersen)" (Ogden Standard-Examiner, Oct. 7, 1944)
"Nevertheless among the chief rulers also many believed on him; but
because of the Pharisees they did not confess him, lest they should be put out
of the synagogue: For they loved the praise of men more than the praise of
God." (John 12:42-43)
"These things have I spoken unto you, that ye should not be offended.
They shall put you out of the synagogues." (John 16:2)
"You cannot take any man's priesthood away without transgression."
(John Taylor, Times & Seasons 6:922)
"The next day the Prophet came to our home and stopped in our carpenter
shop and stood by the turning lathe. I went and got my map for him. `Now,' he
said, `I will show you the travels of this people.' He then showed our travels
thru Iowa, and said, `Here you will make a place for the winter; and here you
will travel west until you come to the valley of the Great Salt Lake! You will
build cities to the North and to the South, and to the East and to the West;
and you will become a great and wealthy people in that land. *** You will live
to see men arise in power in the Church who will seek to put down your friends
and the friends of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. Many will be hoisted
because of their money and the worldly learning which they seem to be in
possession of; and many who are the true followers of our Lord and Savior will
be cast down because of their poverty.'" (Mosiah Hancock Journal, p. 19)
"No endowments or blessings in the house of the Lord, no patriarchal
blessings, no ordination to the Priesthood, can be taken away, once given. To
prevent a person for (just) cause from exercising the rights and privileges of
acting in the offices of the Priesthood (within the Church: brackets ours),
may be and has been done, and the person so silenced still remain a member of
the Church, but this does not take away from him any priesthood that he held."
(Joseph F. Smith, Imp. Era. 11:466)
"Persons sometimes say that they have enjoyed the spirit of the work as
much since they were cut off as while they were in the Church. Have they
enjoyed the Spirit? Yes. Why? Simply because they were wrongfully cut off.
They were cut off in such a way that it did not take the [129] Spirit of God
from them. And the reason why they were cut was because they did not come up
to the particular standard of perfection of those who dealt with them, or they
did not come up to their feelings. I have heard of a man who was cut off
because he would not believe that Adam was our Father and God. `Well, but was
it not so?' Its being so does not change the fact that we are sinners and need
salvation, and such preaching does not help men and women to repent of their
sins." (Mill. Star 24:99)
"After that he [John Taylor] talked for about an hour and then sat down
and wrote the revelation which was given him by the Lord upon the question of
Plural Marriage. Then he talked to us for some time, and said, `Some of you
will be handled and ostracized and cast out from the Church by your brethren
because of your faithfulness and integrity this principle, and some of you may
have to surrender your lives because of the same, but woe, woe, unto those who
shall bring these troubles upon you.'" (Statement by Lorin C. Woolley,
Questions on Plural Marriage, Dennis R. Short, p. 67)
Today ....
"Similarly excommunication from the Church removes from a man every
vestige of Priesthood power that he may have possessed. *** The Church and
Priesthood are interwoven, when the Church is upon the earth neither can exist
independently." (John A. Widtsoe, Imp. Era, Sept. 1936)
"We claim the privilege of worshipping Almighty God according to the
dictates of our own conscience, and allow all men the same privilege, let them
worship how, where, or what they may." (Article of Faith 11)
"I will not seek to compel any man to believe as I do, only by the
force of reasoning." (T.P.J.S., p. 313)
"I did not like the old man being called up for erring in doctrine. It
looks too much like the Methodist, and not like the Latter-day Saints.
Methodists have creeds which a man must believe or be asked out of their
church. I want the liberty of thinking and believing as I please. It feels so
good not to be trammelled. It does not prove that a man is not a good man
because he errs in doctrine." (Joseph Smith, D.H.C. 5:340)
"We believe that religion is instituted of God; and that men are
amenable to him, and to him only, for the exercise of it, unless their
religious opinions prompt them to infringe upon the rights and liberties of
others;..." (D. & C. 134:4)
"... they may be conferred upon us, it is true; but when we undertake
to cover our sins, or to gratify our pride, our vain ambition, or to exercise
control or dominion or compulsion upon the souls of the children of men, in
any degree of unrighteousness, behold, the heavens withdraw themselves....
"We have learned by sad experience that it is the nature and
disposition of almost all men, as soon as they get a little authority, as they
suppose, they will immediately begin to exercise unrighteous dominion. Hence
many are called, but few are chosen." (D. & C. 121:37,39,40)
Today ....
Presently the Church gives people "test oaths" as statements of their
beliefs. These oaths are forms written by the Church and those who refuse to
sign them are threatened with "action by the Church."
"And think not to say within yourselves, We have Abraham to be our
father: for I say unto you, that God is able of these stones [Gentiles] to
raise up children unto Abraham." (Matt. 3:9)
"His word will go forth, in these last days, in purity; for if Zion
will not purify herself, so as to be approved of in all things, in His sight,
He will seek another people...." (T.P.J.S., p. 18)
"Many of this people have broken their covenants.... But you cannot do
that, for God will cut you off and raise up another people that will carry out
his purposes in righteousness unless you walk up to the line in your duty."
(Heber C. Kimball, J.D. 4:108)
"What would be necessary to bring about the results nearest the hearts
of the opponents of Mormonism? Simply to renounce, abrogate, or apostatize
from the New and Everlasting Covenant of Marriage in its fulness. Were the
Church to do that as an entirety, God would reject the Saints as a body. The
authority of the Priesthood would be withdrawn with its gifts and powers and
there would be no more heavenly recognition of the administrations. The
heavens would permanently withdraw themselves, and the Lord would raise up
another people of greater valor and stability, for his work must, according to
his unalterable decrees, go forward; for the time of the second coming of the
Savior is near, even at the doors." (John Taylor, Des. News, April 23, 1885)
"But the time will come when the Lord will choose a people out of this
people upon whom he will bestow his choicest blessings." (Heber C. Kimball,
Des. News, Nov. 9, 1865; see J.D. 11:145)
"God will preserve a portion of this people, of the meek and the
humble, to bear off the kingdom to the inhabitants of the earth, and will
defend His Priesthood, for it is the last time, the last gathering time."
(Brigham Young, Cont. 10:362)
"I know there is a people, in the hearts core of this people, that will
arise in their majesty in a day that is near at hand, and push spiritual
things to the front; a people who will stand up for God." (Orson F. Whitney,
Des. News, Aug. 11, 1889)
[132] "...a people will come forth from among us, who will be zealous of good
works, willing to do the bidding of the Lord, who will be taught in His ways,
and who will walk in His paths." (Daniel Wells, Des. News, Nov. 6, 1875)
"...there will come up from the midst of this people that people that
has been talked so much about." (Daniel Wells, Des. News, Dec. 9, 1882)
"Such a body will evolve from those called Latter-day Saints, who as a
Church possess the fulness and power of the pure plan of salvation." (George
Q. Cannon, Mill. Star 42:585)
"I do not know but that it would be an utter impossibility to commence
and carry out some principles pertaining to Zion right in the midst of this
people. They have strayed so far that to get a people who would conform to
heavenly laws it may be needful to lead some from the midst of this people and
commence anew somewhere in the region round about in these mountains." (Orson
Pratt, J.D. 15:361)
Today ....
"God will not raise up another prophet and another people to do the
work that we have been appointed to do." (J. F. Smith, Church News, March 30,
1974, p. 16)
"And that prophet, or that dreamer of dreams, shall be put to death;
because he hath spoken to turn you away from the Lord your God, which brought
you out of the land of Egypt, and redeemed you out of the house of bondage, to
thrust thee out of the way which the Lord thy God commanded thee to walk in.
So shalt thou put the evil away from the midst of thee." (Deut. 13:5)
"And Jesus went into the temple of God, and cast out all them that sold
and bought in the temple, and overthrew the tables of the moneychangers, and
the seats of them that sold doves. And said unto them It is written, My house
shall be called the house of prayer; but ye have made it a den of thieves."
(Matt. 21:12-13)
"For the time is come that judgment must begin at the house of God; and
if it first begin at us, what shall the end be of them that obey not the
gospel of God?" (I Peter 4:17)
"If judgments must need begin at the house of God, and if the righteous
scarcely are saved, how will it be with the wicked?" (Heber C. Kimball, J.D.
"Behold, vengeance cometh speedily upon the inhabitants of the earth, a
day of wrath, a day of burning, a day of desolation, of weeping, or mourning,
and of lamentation; and as a whirlwind it shall come upon all the face of the
earth, saith the Lord. And upon my house shall it begin, and from my house
shall it go forth saith the Lord; First among those among you, saith the Lord,
who have professed to know my name and have not known me, and have blasphemed
against me in the midst of my house, saith the Lord." (D. & C. 112:24-26)
Today ....
We are taught that everything in the Church is in order--that the
Church is progressing and making greater strides than ever before, and that
there is no need for the "setting in order."
"And it shall come to pass that I, the Lord God, will send one mighty
and strong, set in order the house of God, and to arrange by lot the
inheritances of the saints whose names are found, and the names of their
fathers, and of their children, enrolled in the book of the law of God; ...And
all they who are not found written in the book of remembrance shall find none
inheritance in that day, but they shall be cut asunder, and their portion
shall be appointed them among unbelievers, where are wailing and gnashing of
teeth." (D. & C. 85:7,9; see also, 64:38-40)
"This was given before our Prophet Joseph Smith was taken out of our
midst. Many of us no doubt thought when that revelation [about a man like unto
Moses] was given that Joseph would be the man. I was in hopes it would be
Joseph, for I had no idea that he was going to be slain, although I might have
known from certain revelations that such would probably be the case, for the
Lord had said unto him, before the rise of this Church, that he would grant
unto him eternal life even though he should be slain, which certainly was an
indication that he might be slain. But we still were in hopes that he would
live and that he would be the man who, like Moses, would lead this people from
bondage. I do not know but he will yet. God's arm is not shortened that he
cannot raise him up even from the tomb." (Orson Pratt, J.D. 15:362-363)
"The Spirit said unto me: `Lift up your head and rejoice; for behold!
it is well with my servants Joseph and Hyrum. My servant Joseph still holds
the keys of my kingdom in this dispensation, and he shall stand in due time on
the earth, in the flesh, and fulfil that to which he is appointed.'"
(Autobiography of Parley P. Pratt, p. 371; see D. & C. 105:16)
"But if you Latter-day Saints who have received the message of the
everlasting gospel, and who have, in obedience to the voice from heaven,
gathered out of Babylon, if you pollute yourselves by turning again to the
vanities, wickedness, and corruptions of the people from whose midst you have
been delivered, then, says the Lord, `Behold, judgment shall begin at the
House of God,' it shall begin with you Latter-day Saints, and then will go
forth to the nations and kingdoms of the earth, weeping, wailing and
lamentations among all people, which will come to pass just as literally as
that foretold by the Prophet Joseph Smith concerning what should take place
between the North and the South. * * *
[135] "What will become of the Latter-day Saints? When the judgments shall
have ceased, which will be visited first on the House of the Lord, they who
remain will spread forth, increase and multiply; and they will build upon this
continent a great and magnificent city, called Zion or the New Jerusalem."
(Orson Pratt, Des. News, Sept. 9, 1876)
"While, from time to time, as the work of the Lord may have need of
their services, men of exceptional talents and abilities will develop among
the people of God; and without disorder or eruption or excitement, they will
be called of the Lord through the appointed agencies of the Priesthood and
Church authority, to positions that will afford them opportunity for service.
They will be accepted by the Saints in the regular order, appointed by the law
of the Church, just as Edward Partridge was called and accepted, and just as
the `One Mighty and Strong' will be called and accepted when the time comes
for his services."
(Sig.) Joseph F. Smith
(Sig.) John R. Winder
(Sig.) Anthon H. Lund
(Gospel Doctrines, p. 478)
"Let us remind the Saints who hold to the common fallacy that a
President of the Church will not be permitted to lead the people astray, of
their error by again quoting from the Prophet Brigham Young, speaking at a
conference held in Provo, shortly before his death:
"Brethren, this church will be led onto the very brink of hell by the
leaders of this people, then God will send the one mighty and strong spoken of
in the 85th Section of the Doctrine and Covenants, to save and redeem this
Church." (Truth, Mar. 1, 1936, 1:10, p. 135)
Today ....
"Various of our apostates who become disenchanted with the Church, and
declare that its leaders have gone astray, revert to Section 85 of the
Doctrine and Covenants and read there concerning `one mighty and strong'
destined to set the Church in order.
"They assume that this scripture refers to our day and to our leaders
whom they declare have fallen. But how mistaken they are!" (Way of the Master,
Mark E. Petersen, p. 82)
"Behold, I say unto you, the redemption of Zion must needs come by
power; therefore, I will raise up unto my people a man, who shall lead them
like as Moses led the children of Israel. For ye are the children of Israel,
and of the seed of Abraham, and ye must needs be led out of bondage by power,
and with a stretched-out arm. And as your fathers were led at the first, even
so shall the redemption of Zion be." (D. & C. 103:15-18)
"The Lord said in that revelation that the principle which he had
revealed in relation to the properties of his Church must be carried out to
the very letter upon the land of Zion; and those individuals who would not
give heed to it, but sought to obtain their inheritances in an individual way
by purchasing it themselves from the Government, should have their names
blotted out from the book of the names of the righteous, and if their children
pursued the same course their names should be blotted out too, they and their
children should not be known in the book of the law of the Lord as being
entitled to an inheritance among the Saints in Zion.
"We find, therefore, that the Lord drove out this people because we
were unworthy to receive our inheritances by consecration. As a people, we did
not strictly comply with that which the Lord required. Neither did they comply
in Kirtland. ***
"This ought to be an example for us who are living at a later period in
the history of the Church of the living God, and who ought, by this time, to
have become thoroughly experienced in the law of God." (Orson Pratt, J.D.
"When we go back to Jackson County, we are to go back with power. Do
you suppose that God will reveal his power among an unsanctified people, who
have no regard nor respect for his laws and institutions, but who are filled
with covetousness? No. When God shows forth his power among the Latter-day
Saints, it will be because there is a union of feeling in regard to doctrine,
and in regard to everything that God has placed in their hands;...
"In order to bring about this, who knows how many chastisements God may
yet have to pour out upon the people calling themselves Latter-day Saints? I
do not know. Sometimes I fear, when I read certain revelations contained in
this book." (Orson Pratt, J.D. 15:361)
[137] "We have the promise of the Almighty, and I hope that it will never be
revoked, that `I say not unto you as I said to your fathers, my angel shall go
before you, but not my presence, but I say unto you that my angel shall go
before you and also my presence.' In order for the presence of God to go with
us we must retain the higher Priesthood, for without that and the ordinances
thereunto pertaining, no man can behold the face of God and live; therefore if
we would retain this higher Priesthood we must sanctify ourselves through
obedience to the higher laws. If we do this, we can then claim the fulfillment
of this promise which the Lord has made and which I have repeated, that his
presence shall go with us.
"I expect that when the Lord leads forth his people to build up the
city of Zion, his presence will be visible. When we speak of the presence of
the Lord we speak of an exhibition of power. *** Though Israel were not worthy
to enter the tabernacle and behold the personage of the Lord and to talk with
him, yet Moses, not having forfeited that right, could enter into the
tabernacle of the Lord while his glory rested upon it, and he could talk to
the Lord face to face. Why? Because he held the higher Priesthood and had been
obedient to the higher law and had attended to the higher ordinances. He was
not subjected to the law of carnal commandments, he had sanctified himself so
that he could endure the presence of the Lord and not be consumed." (Orson
Pratt, J.D. 15:364)
Today ....
"Many of the saints, who come here, could be far more useful in
assisting to strengthen and build up the Church in their native lands, than by
making sacrifices to come to Zion...." (Heber J. Grant, A. W. Ivins, C. W.
Nibley, Messages of the First Presidency, 5:269)
The index to the Doctrine and Covenants lists more references to Zion
than nearly any other word--yet Zion & its redemption are rarely taught.
"Ye shall not add unto the word which I command you, neither shall ye
diminish ought from it, that ye may keep the commandments of the Lord your God
which I command you." (Deut. 4:2; see also Rev. 22:19)
"And he that will contend against the word of the Lord, let him be
accursed; and he that shall deny these things, let him be accursed; for unto
them will I show no greater things, saith Jesus Christ; for I am he who
speaketh." (Ether 4:8)
"We believe all that God has revealed, all that He does now reveal, and
we believe that He will yet reveal many great and important things pertaining
to the Kingdom of God." (9th Article of Faith)
"And your minds in times past have been darkened because of unbelief,
and because you have treated lightly the things you have received--which
vanity and unbelief have brought the whole church under condemnation. And this
condemnation resteth upon the children of Zion, even all. And they shall
remain under this condemnation until they repent and remember the new
covenant, even the Book of Mormon and the former commandments which I have
given them, not only to say, but to do according to that which I have
written." (D. & C. 84:54-57)
"O ye Twelve! and all Saints! profit by this important Key--that in all
your trials, troubles, temptations, afflictions, bonds, imprisonments and
death, see to it that you do not betray Jesus Christ; that you do not betray
the brethren; that you do not betray the revelations of God, whether in the
Bible, Book of Mormon, or Doctrine and Covenants, or any other that ever was
or ever will be given and revealed unto man in this world or that which is to
come." (Joseph Smith, T.P.J.S., p. 156)
The revelations of the Lord which were once printed as Sections 137,
138 and 139 in the Doctrine and Covenants, Swedish and German editions, are no
longer accepted by the Church, nor have they been republished.
In 1930 the Church published a book entitled Latter-day Revelation.
This book was a new edited revision of the Doctrine and Covenants in which
most of the sections were emitted or revised. (See Principles or
Personalities, opposite p. 176.) It was not accepted by the members of the
Church, therefore, only one edition was published.
[139] Church of Jesus Christ of
Latter-day Saints
Heber J. Grant, President
Salt Lake City, Utah
April 4, 1929
Elder _________:
Dear Brother:
Your letter of March 5th for some unaccountable reason only reached the
President's Office on April 3rd.
So far as I know, none of the revelations to refer [1880, 1882, 1886,
1889] were ever received except the one given to John Taylor, October 13,
1882, which is mentioned by you. Yours very truly, Heber J. Grant
The above letter is evidence that the President of the Church
disregarded three revelations of the Lord.
* * *
Selections from the BOOK OF
Containing Revelations Given Through
Published by
The Church of Jesus Christ of
Latter-day Saints
Salt Lake City, Utah, U. S. A.
To the above is the title page from a book which was published by the
Church which discarded many revelations in the Doctrine & Covenants and quoted
only part of many others.
Jesus warned His disciples that in the last days "false prophets shall
rise, and shall deceive many." (Matt. 24:11) He said even if it were possible,
they shall deceive the very elect. Paul the Apostle warns that if anyone
should come and "preacheth another Jesus, whom we have not preached, or if ye
receive another spirit, which ye have not received, or another gospel,..."
then we could be assured that "such are false Apostles of Christ. And no
marvel; for Satan himself is transformed into an angel of light. Therefore, it
is no great thing if his ministers also be transformed as the ministers of
righteousness...." (II Cor. 11:4, 13-15)
"I marvel that ye are so soon removed from him that called you into the
grace of Christ unto another gospel, which is not another." (Gal. 1:6)
"But though we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel unto
you than that which we have preached unto you, let him be accursed." (Gal.
"And liars and hypocrites shall be proved by them, and they who are not
apostles and prophets shall be known." (D. & C. 64:39)
"And if any man preach any other Gospel than that which I have
preached, he shall be cursed; and some of you who now hear me shall see it,
and know that I testify the truth concerning them." (Joseph Smith, Hist.
Record 7:548)
Today ....
"We are particularly happy with the growth in numbers and effective
activity in the stakes and missions overseas. It is a world Church; we believe
we are getting nearer and nearer the universal church standing." (Spencer W.
Kimball, Des. News, May 1974)
The Primitive Church...
Every gospel dispensation on earth has suffered from a "falling away,"
or an effectual apostasy from the gospel. It did not occur by an immediate
collapse, or a sudden rejection of God's laws; but apostasy was the result of
a gradual altering of doctrine, slight changes in the ordinances, and minor
compromises between the laws of God and the laws of man. Little deviations and
minor changes eventually resulted in a total abandonment of gospel principles.
Even before Christ's crucifixion, some of his disciples were falling
away from Him and His gospel. These men were Judases because they compromised
the gospel with their mortal enemies and with the great prince of darkness.
The Primitive Church could have withstood all the attacks of
persecution and affliction, if its members would have remained faithful to the
gospel. But the weak and wayward traitors from within the church became the
greatest contributors to its decline and fall. Before the first century had
passed, the church had severely suffered by persecutors from without and
compromisers from within.
When the Church became infiltrated by these half-converted apostates,
who eventually managed to worm their way into positions of leadership, they
would drag other pagan-minded rebels into positions of authority and power.
Finally the recreants outnumbered the faithful. From such responsible and
respected positions their influence converted nearly all of the rest of the
church members to their false delusions.
Jesus gave warnings to his disciples concerning these impending dangers
by saying that "they will put you out" of the church or synagogues.
Furthermore, they would go so far astray that the time would come that
`Whosoever killeth you will think that he doeth God service." (John 16:2) Thus
the true disciples of Jesus had their pagan enemies persecuting them from
without, while they suffered from half-converted apostates from within. Under
such a crisis the spirituality of the Church was finally extinguished.
[142] The Apostle Paul recognized the seeds of apostasy which were already
infiltrating into the Church. He gave many warnings to the members. To the
Saints at Ephesus he declared, "For I know this, that after my departing shall
grievous wolves enter in among you, not sparing the flock. Also of your own
selves shall men arise, speaking perverse things, to draw away disciples after
them." (Acts 20:29-30) Then in a letter to the Saints in Thessalonia he wrote:
"Let no man deceive you by any means: for that day shall not come, except
there come a falling away first--For the mystery of iniquity doth already work
...." (2 Thes. 2:3, 7) But to the Saints living in Galatia apostasy had
already set in, for Paul wrote: "I marvel that ye are so soon removed from Him
that called you into the grace of Christ unto another gospel: Which is not
another; but there be some that trouble you, and would pervert the gospel of
Christ." (Gal. 1:6-7)
Then, in a letter to Timothy, Paul spoke of the future when many "shall
depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits, and doctrines of
devils." (I Tim. 4:1) But by the time he wrote his second letter to Timothy he
reported that "... all they which are in Asia be turned away from me." (II
Tim. 1:15) Apparently this was only the beginning of an apostasy which would
continue to increase, for he said, "But evil men and seducers shall wax worse
and worse, deceiving and being deceived." (II Tim. 3:13) By then Paul
recognized how far the Church would depart from the truth because he wrote
that "...the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but
after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching
ears; and they shall be turned unto fables." (II Tim. 4:3-4)
Peter also warned the members of the church by saying: "But there were
false prophets also among the people, even as there shall be false teachers
among you, who privily shall bring in damnable heresies." (II Peter 2:1)
Towards the end of the first century of the Christian era, the Church
became saturated with false prophets and false apostles. John the Revelator
was told by the Lord that some of the leaders "are apostles, and are not,"
because the Lord had "found them liars." (Rev. 2:2)
John also was commanded to write to the seven remaining churches in
Asia and warn them that they must repent. To the church at Ephesus the Lord
said: "I have somewhat [143] against thee, because thou hast left thy first
love (Christ). Remember therefore from whence thou art fallen, and repent."
(Rev. 1:4-5) At Pergamos they were following after "the doctrine of Balaam"
and "the doctrine of the Nicolaitans, which thing I hate." (Rev. 2:14-15) At
Thyatira the Lord said, "...thou sufferest that woman Jezebel, which calleth
herself a prophetess, to teach and to seduce my servants to commit fornication
...." (Rev. 2:20) At Sardis the Lord said, "Be watchful, and strengthen the
things which remain, that are ready to die: for I have not found thy works
perfect before God." (Rev. 3:2) To the Laodiceans His warning was, "So then
because thou art lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will spew thee out of
my mouth." (Rev. 3:16)
Jude indicated that the Church had already been taken over by false
leaders and he wrote that "It was needful for me to write unto you, and exhort
you that ye should earnestly contend for the faith which was once delivered
unto the saints. For there are certain men crept in unawares...." (Jude 1:3-4)
Thus within the first century, the Church which had been established by
Christ himself, had degenerated to worldly standards and abandoned most of the
doctrines of the Gospel.
But the fall of the Church could not be directly blamed upon the lay
members, or those semi-apostates who crept in. Even the Apostles themselves
had faults and weaknesses which contributed to the final downfall of the
Church of Christ. President Brigham Young explained this by saying:
"The principles of the gospel are perfect, but are the Apostles who
teach it perfect? No, they are not. Now, bringing the two together, what
they taught is not for me to say, but it is enough to say this, that
through the weaknesses in the lives of the Apostles many were caused to
err. Our historians and ministers tell us that the church went into the
wilderness, but they were in the wilderness all the time. They had the
way marked out to get out of the wilderness and go straight-forward into
the Kingdom of God, but they took various paths, and the two substantial
churches that remain--a remnant from the apostles, that divided, are now
called the Holy Catholic Church, and the Greek Church. You recollect
reading in the [144] Revelations of John what the angel said to John,
when he was on the Isle of Patmos, about the Seven Churches. What was the
matter with those Churches? They were not living according to the light
that had been exhibited. Do the Latter-day Saints live according to the
light that has been exhibited to them? No, they do not." (J.D. 12:66)
However, the long continuous conflict between Christ and Satan, good
and evil, truth and error, far exceeds the days of man's mortal existence. The
great controversy between Christ, the Author of our salvation, and Satan, that
prince of darkness, began before the creation of this earth. Satan possesses
an eternal hatred for Christ and the principles of the Gospel. Therefore, his
entire effort and exertion is to alter, change, or malign the words of God,
who has said, "Heaven and earth shall pass away, but My words shall not pass
away." (Matt. 24:35) Therefore, Satan's ultimate objective is clearly one of
deception. Through cunning artifice and devious enticements he imposes his
carefully planned substitutions for the gospel. Whether he drives the armies
of men into terror and blood to torture or destroy the Saints of God--or if he
carefully maligns the truth by tempting them to alter true principles, his
object is always the same--to modify and pervert the gospel of Christ.
Therefore, the full intent and mission of that prince of darkness is to create
apostasy from, or rebellion against, the laws of God.
But if opposition by force against the truth is not successful, Satan
then resorts to infiltration. At first he hoists certain half-hearted men into
positions of power and influence within the ranks of Christ's own disciples.
He selects men who will abandon the laws of God for the laws of man. These
compromisers will, for a price, barter off the principles of Christ for the
traditions of men. The devil prizes such men above any others because they
prove to be the most effectual at deception and destruction. These champions
of spiritual darkness become tempted and led away by the influences of wealth,
the honors of men, and the desire to be at peace with their enemies. Such
semi-apostates are usually found busily engaged in mercantile traffic, money
making schemes, and are absorbed in their temporal affluence among all men.
They are so concerned about the temporal progress of the church and in
supporting the laws, traditions, and leaders of the land that they will barter
away eternal principles to accomplish temporal peace. In their aspirations to
acquire the praise [145] of other men, they lose their bonds with heaven.
These spiritually dead leaders sell eternal blessings for a mess of mortal
pottage. In their eagerness to magnify the progress of the world and acquire
the praise of worldly leaders, they lose sight of their dependence upon God
and His Word. At this critical point of history, the Church stood in its
greatest peril.
The Reformation...
When the temporal muscles of the church began to bulge, its spiritual
powers began to wither. Since temporal wealth and peaceful prosperity rarely
accompany spiritual power, one or the other usually predominates. Money and
power are usually just a means to accrue more money and power. And, along with
the accumulation of wealth come the aspirants, the thieves, and all the evils
of covetousness. After centuries of temporal and political expansion the
Church had become a huge, corrupt business enterprise without spiritual gifts
or righteous leaders. The historian Tertullian said that at this time "the
noon of the Papacy became the midnight of Christianity," and Wylie wrote,
"When the Church had golden chalices, she had wooden priests ." By now the
leaders had abandoned the word of God and every available means was used to
hide the scriptures from the people. Many of the Church leader never saw nor
studied the scriptures. One Archbishop in Germany accidently happened to
discover the scriptures and said, "Of a truth I do not know what book this is,
but I perceive everything in it is against us." (Memorial of the Reformation,
p. 20) The objectives of the Church had been changed by the new leaders;
therefore, its image was also changed.
"It is scarcely possible to imagine humbler beginnings than those
from which the Papacy arose, and certainly it is not possible to imagine
a loftier height than that to which it eventually climbed. He who was
seen in the first century presiding as the humble pastor over a single
congregation, and claiming no rank above his brethren, is beheld in the
twelfth century occupying a seat from which he looks down on all the
thrones temporal and spiritual of Christendom. How, we ask with
amazement, was the Papacy able to traverse the mighty space that divided
the humble pastor from the mitred king?" (History of Protestantism, Vol.
I, p. 8)
When one looks back upon early Christianity and compares it to modern
worship, he cannot but notice the changes. Now there are rituals, record
keeping, costumes, and expensive furniture and buildings. Now the receiving
and transferring of money, the management and control of businesses; have
become a part of worship, and the most serious change is with the learned and
worldly wise who re-[147]placed the plain, common men of inspiration and
revelation. The simple beauty of Christianity had been eclipsed by the work of
scholars and worldly minded aspirants.
A new form and appearance had taken possession of both the Church and
its leaders--abundant wealth. By now temporal power had supplanted spiritual
power, and worldly wisdom had replaced revelation. Temporal minded churchmen,
with zealous ambitions and self-appointments, soon overthrew the humble and
poor, who have always characterized Christ's disciples. As these
world-conscious leaders grasped for the power of leadership in the Church,
they lost the humility necessary to direct spiritual affairs. Their control of
the Church converted it into a business corporation with temporal goals and
monetary achievements. Where once a bitter enmity existed between the
governments of men and the government of God, now compromisers sought for
peace, harmony, cooperation and a reliance with the worldly.
Pride and arrogance now took the place of humility, and like any
hierarchy or dictatorship, it demanded homage and submission. Subjects were
threatened by damnation and excommunication if they refused to pledge
allegiance to their authority. Penal oaths and written statements were
concocted to prove submission to their rule, their authority, their words.
Disobedience or refusal to submit was termed apostasy and rebellion. First the
threats of eternal damnation were the penalties for not signing their oaths;
then they were cast out of society or cast into prison. Later torture was
adopted and then it became a capital crime with capital punishment.
John Huss was one of the first martyrs of the great reformation. His
writings and labors were the means of influencing Martin Luther. He was born
in 1373 in Bohemia and labored most of his life in Prague. He discovered a new
light when he first read the scriptures--but it was a light which exposed the
evils of the papacy. When he spoke the truth from the word of God, he aroused
the wrath of Rome. In a letter to his friends in Germany he said, "I have ever
kept in mind these words, `Put not your trust in princes;' and this other text
which says, `Cursed is he who trusts in men only.'"
Huss realized the conflict between the scriptures and the Church--he
had to decide which he would follow. To stand firm to the scriptures meant
death--but he chose to [148] defend the truth as it had been revealed from
heaven. God gave him consolation and comfort through dreams. When he was
thrown in prison he wrote:
"I dreamed of the Pope's evasion before it took place.... I have
dreamed of Jerome's captivity, but not in what way it should occur; and
likewise of the different prisons to which I should be conducted, such as
they were afterwards assigned to me.... "(Great Voices of the
Reformation, p. 62)
But Huss refused to repudiate the doctrines of the scriptures, and for
this he was tried by the Catholic Council.
"For the last time, Huss was brought before the council. It was a
vast and brilliant assembly,--the emperor, the princes of the empire, the
royal deputies, the cardinals, bishops, and priests, and an immense crowd
who had come as spectators of the events of the day. From all parts of
Christendom had been gathered the witnesses of this first great sacrifice
in the long struggle by which liberty of conscience was to be secured.
"Being called upon for his final decision, Huss declared his refusal
to abjure, and fixing his penetrating glance upon the monarch whose
plighted word had been so shamelessly violated, he declared, `I
determined, of my own free will, to appear before this council, under the
public protection and faith of the emperor here present.' A deep flush
crimsoned the face of Sigismund as the eyes of all in the assembly turned
upon him.
"Sentence having been pronounced, the ceremony of degradation began.
The bishops clothed their prisoner in the sacerdotal habit, and as he
took the priestly robe, he said, `Our Lord Jesus Christ was covered with
a white robe, by way of insult, when Herod had Him conducted before
Pilate.' Being again exhorted to retract, he replied, turning toward the
people: `With what face, then, should I behold the heavens? How should I
look on those multitudes of men to whom I have preached the pure gospel?
No; I esteem their salvation more than this poor body, now appointed unto
death.' The vestments were removed one by one, each bishop pronouncing a
curse as he performed his part of the ceremony. Finally `they put on his
head a cap or pyramidal-shaped miter of paper, on which [149] were
painted frightful figures of demons, with the `Archheretic' conspicuous
in front. `Most joyfully,' said Huss, `will I wear this crown of shame
for Thy sake, O Jesus, who for me didst wear a crown of thorns.'"
"When he was thus arrayed, `the prelates said, `Now we devote thy
soul to the devil.' `And I,' said Huss, lifting up his eyes toward
heaven, `do commit my spirit into Thy hands, O Lord Jesus, for Thou hast
redeemed me.'
"He was now delivered up to the secular authorities, and led away to
the place of execution. An immense procession followed, hundreds of men
at arms, priests and bishops in their costly robes, and the inhabitants
of Constance. When he had been fastened to the stake, and all was ready
for the fire to be lighted, the martyr was once more exhorted to save
himself by renouncing his errors. `What errors,' said Huss, `shall I
renounce? I know myself guilty of none. I call God to witness that all
that I have written and preached has been with the view of rescuing souls
from sin and perdition; and, therefore, most joyfully will I confirm with
my blood that truth which I have written and preached.' When the flames
kindled about him, he began to sing, `Jesus, Thou Son of David, have
mercy on me,' and so continued till his voice was silenced forever." (The
Great Controversy, by Ellen G. White, p. 122-123)
Thus erring and arrogant men, garbed in the sanctity of religious
leadership, compelled others to honor them more than their own Creator.
Jesus cautioned the leaders of His Church that "whosoever will be chief
among you, let him be your servant" (Matt. 20:27), but when the proud and vain
assume leadership, they compel others to be their servants. Free agency is
forfeited when leadership demands servitude. By signing test oaths and vows of
obligation, men were forced to place their salvation in the arm of flesh.
Men's faith in God was replaced by a mortal mediator. The power of the
Priesthood, which was given to free men from bondage, was now used to enslave
But now the work of these few valiant Reformers was about to break the
chains of superstition and priestcraft. The Lord led them and guided them in
that inspired work. A remarkable prophetic statement was uttered by John Huss
[150] as they were about to burn him at the stake. As the official executioner
was about to light the pyre at the feet of the Reformer, he said, "Now we will
cook the goose." (Huss in Bohemian means goose.) "Yes," replied Huss, "but
there will come an eagle in a hundred years that you will not reach." It was
just 100 years later that Martin Luther nailed his 95 Theses on the Wittenburg
Chapel door, protesting the abuses of Catholic authority. It was principally
through the writings of John Huss that Luther recognized the apostasy which
had occurred in the Church. Luther's comments on the Reformation were simple;
he did not believe in the "man worship" that had crept into the leadership of
the Church. He wrote:
"In all the affairs of this present life, my fidelity shall be
unshaken, for here to lose or to gain is of no consequence to salvation.
But when eternal interests are concerned, God wills not that man should
submit unto man. For such submission in spiritual matters is a real
worship, and ought to be rendered solely to the Creator." (History of the
Reformation, Aubigne, 7:10,11)
He felt that this work of reformation was similar to the labor of the
prophets who--
"never came from the upper classes but generally humble, despised
individuals, even common herdsmen. The dear Saints, too, always had to
preach against sovereigns, kings, princes, priests, and scholars, and
risk and lose their necks in doing so. God is wonderful in His ways and
judgments. He does not regard great learning and mighty power." (Road to
Reformation, p. 393)
The Church became degenerated from within. Leaders began to proscribe
eternal laws as non-essential, or else relative to particular times, specific
people, or certain circumstances. Holy principles were replaced with man-made
philosophies which were declared as "inspired" or boldly asserted as "the word
of God." Those who claimed to be apostles or prophets, or God's vicar on
earth, were inadvertently disciples of the devil. They became acting agents of
Satan in perverting the Gospel. So cunning and so subtle were these influences
that in a few decades the doctrines of Christ were classed as evil--and those
who were living the Gospel were excommunicated as sinners. The leaders of the
Church became the apostates and the true [151] disciples of Christ were
persecuted and cast out by those who should have stood in their defense. Under
the pretense of godliness, and robed in the garments of Christ, Church
leadership completed the unfinished efforts of Judas. Those who once were the
defenders of the Gospel turned to become its oppressors.
It was in this crisis that the reformers took the word of God in the
scriptures as a spiritual lamp to lead them out of gross darkness. They sought
to distinguish the words of men from the words of God. But a serious problem
arose in their mind. Can an individual think or act contrary to the
instruction of the head of the Church? By what right can a person pursue a
different course of salvation from those who should be authorized to preside
over him? Could a member of the Church act contrary to the leader of the
Church? Could God sanction a man acting contrary to Church authority? These
questions caused the Reformers much serious thought. They arduously studied
the word of God in the scriptures for the answers.
First they discovered that "It is better to trust in the Lord than to
put confidence in man" (Psalms 118:8), and that "The servant is not greater
than his lord; neither he that is sent greater than he that sent him." (John
13:16) Therefore, "He that entereth not by the door into the sheepfold, but
climbeth up some other way, the same is a thief and a robber" (John 10:1),
because "the scripture cannot be broken." (John 10:35)
John Wycliffe, the first of the great reformers in England, made an
excellent and concrete observation, which laid a premise for all the other
reformers after him. He wrote:
"No faithful man ought to follow either the pope himself or any of
the holy men, but in such points as he hath followed the Lord Jesus
Christ; for Peter and the sons of Zebedee, by desiring worldly honor,
contrary to the following of Christ's steps, did offend, and therefore in
those errors they are not to be followed ...." (Acts and Monuments, by
Foxe, Vol. 3:49)
They realized that when the Lord said, "Thou shalt have no other gods
before me," that it was a warning that this should apply to mortal man as much
as to gods of wood and stone. Nothing should come between a man and his God.
[152] Luther's faith in the scriptures was invincible. His trust was always
in the word of God. Consider the following statements of Luther:
"I believe them (Church officials) only insofar as they can prove
their teachings from the Scriptures, which have never erred. The fact
that so many big fellows are hostile to me and persecute me simply
because I rely on the Scriptures alone, does not terrify me; rather does
it comfort and encourage me, for again and again the Bible expressly
declares that persecutors and enviers are generally wrong while the
persecuted are right, and it refers ever and again to the fact that the
majority has always supported falsehood while the few have backed up
truth." (Road to Reformation, p. 393)
"I consent with all my heart, that the emperor, the princes, and
even the meanest Christian, should examine and judge my works; but on one
condition, that they take the word of God for their standard. Do not
offer violence to my conscience, which is bound and chained up with the
Holy Scriptures." (History of the Reformation, D'Aubigne 7:10)
"The Word of God is with me, and not with them, for I have the
Scriptures on my side while they have only their own teachings. But do I
not preach a new doctrine? No. I simply say that true Christianity has
ceased to exist among those who should have preserved it--the bishops and
scholars." (Road to Reformation, p. 393)
He declared that the true Church of Christ could exist only "where
the Gospel is preached. Where this is not done, the church does not
exist, even if baptism and the Lord's Supper are there and administered
in an external proper way." (Road to Reformation, p. 395)
He also observed that all men were required to conform their lives to
the word of God--not the word of God to them. Religious leaders were certainly
not an exception but rather they should be more duty-bound to the word of God
than anyone. Their lives should conform closer to the commands of God than
anyone. Leaders were meant to be an example to God's Word--not a deviation,
from it. These reformers decided that if the shepherds of the flock could
[153] not obtain, or conform, to the word of the Lord, then they could no
longer be followed--nor trusted.
John Wessel, one of the notable lights of the Reformation in Germany,
saw the continual substitution of the word of man for the word of God. He
penned the following remarkable warning:
"The sheep must discern the things on which he feeds, and avoid a
corrupted nutriment, even when presented by the shepherd himself. The
people should follow the shepherd into the pastures; but when he ceases
to lead them into the pastures, he is no longer a shepherd, and then,
since he does not fulfil his duty, the flock is not bound to follow him."
(History of the Reformation, D'Aubigne, Vol. I, p. 104)
Then Martin Luther recognized that "the papists prefer the authority of
the Church far above God's Word."
"But only by gradual stages did Martin Luther come to the full
apprehension of the fact that he had precipitated a religious revolution.
He was thirty-four when he challenged Tetzel's sale of indulgences, (95
Theses at Wittenburg) and it was two years later, in his famous debate
with the Catholic theologian, John Eck, that he made the definite
statement that neither popes nor church councils are infallible.
"Even then, however, he neither desired nor intended to disrupt the
ancient church. His convinced hope was that the church in general and the
pope in particular, when shown crying evils of ecclesiastical corruption,
would correct them." (Great Voices of the Reformation, p. 68)
Luther defended the scriptures, but condemned the doctrines of the
church by doing so--and for this he was condemned by the pope. He was ordered
to appear before the church council at Worms.
When Luther arrived at Worms, the city streets were crowded to welcome
him. He had proved himself a hero by his defense of the truth against the
great powers of the pope and the vast empire of Catholicism. The German people
loved a hero and Luther was the hero of the day. As he was about to make his
appearance before the great council of the church, General Frunsberg, the
outstanding soldier of Germany, put his hand on the shoulder of Luther and
[154] said, "Poor little monk--thou art on thy way to make a stand such as I
and many of my knights have never done in our toughest battles!"
The first charge against Luther was for heresy. Luther replied:
"I beseech you by the mercy of God, that whoever can, whether high or
low, let him bring forward the proof, let him convince me of errors; let
the Scriptures of prophecy and gospels triumph, for I will be wholly
ready to revoke every error, if I can be persuasively taught; yes, I will
be the first to cast my books into the fire.
"I believe in neither pope nor councils alone; for it is perfectly well
established that they have frequently erred, as well as contradicted
themselves. Unless then I shall be convinced by the testimony of the
Scriptures or by clear reason, I must be bound by those Scriptures which
have been brought forward by me; yes, my conscience has been taken
captive by these words of God. I cannot revoke anything, nor do I wish
to; since to go against one's conscience is neither safe nor right; here
I stand, I cannot do otherwise." (Road to Reformation, p. 415)
His words rang like a bell through many nations. The reformation had
now commenced on a full scale, and this work was inspired by the Lord who was
a shield for these men. The one man who could have caused the death of Luther
was given a dream that served the purpose of preserving Luther rather than
destroying him:
"We step a moment out of the domain of history, to narrate a dream
which the Elector Frederick of Saxony had on the night preceding the
memorable day on which Luther affixed his "Theses" to the door of the
castle-church. The elector told it the next morning to his brother, Duke
John, who was then residing with him at his palace of Schweinitz, six
leagues from Wittemberg. The dream is recorded by all the chroniclers of
the time. Of its truth there is no doubt, however we may interpret it. We
cite it here as a compendious and dramatic epitome of the affair of the
"Theses," and the movement which grew out of them.
"On the morning of the 31st October, 1517, the elector said to Duke
John, `Brother, I must tell you [155] a dream which I had last night, and
the meaning of which I should like much to know. It is so deeply
impressed on my mind, that I will never forget it, were I to live a
thousand years. For I dreamed it thrice, and each time with new
"Duke John: `Is it a good or a bad dream?'
"The Elector: `I know not; God knows.'
"Duke John: `Don't be uneasy at it; but be so good as tell it to
"The Elector: `Having gone to bed last night, fatigued and out of
spirits, I fell asleep shortly after my prayer, and slept calmly for
about two hours and a half; I then awoke, and continued awake to
midnight, all sorts of thoughts passing through my mind. Among other
things, I thought how I was to observe the Feast of All Saints. I prayed
for the poor souls in purgatory; and supplicated God to guide me, my
counsels, and my people according to truth. I again fell asleep, and then
dreamed that Almighty God sent me a monk, who was a true son of the
Apostle Paul. All the saints accompanied him by order of God, in order to
bear testimony before me, and to declare that he did not come to contrive
any plot, but that all that he did was according to the will of God. They
asked me to have the goodness graciously to permit him to write something
on the door of the church of the Castle of Wittemberg. This I granted
through my chancellor. Thereupon the monk went to the church, and began
to write in such large characters that I could read the writing at
Schweinitz. The pen which he used was so large that its end reached as
far as Rome, where it pierced the ears of a lion that was crouching
there, and caused the triple crown upon the head of the Pope to shake.
All the cardinals and princes, running hastily up, tried to prevent it
from falling. You and I, brother, wished also to assist, and I stretched
out my arm; -- but at this moment I awoke, with my arm in the air, quite
amazed, and very much enraged at the monk, for not managing his pen
better. I recollected myself a little; it was only a dream.
"I was still half asleep, and once more closed my eyes. The dream
returned. The lion, still annoyed by the pen, began to roar with all his
might, so much so that the whole city of Rome, and all the States of the
Holy Empire, ran to see what the matter was. The pope requested them to
oppose this monk, and applied particularly to me, on account of his being
in my [156] country. I again awoke, repeated the Lord's prayer, entreated
God to preserve his Holiness, and once more fell asleep.
"Then I dreamed that all the princes of the Empire, and we among
them, hastened to Rome, and strove, one after another, to break the pen;
but the more we tried the stiffer it became, sounding as if it had been
made of iron. We at length desisted. I then asked the monk (for I was
sometimes at Rome, and sometimes at Wittemberg) where he got this pen,
and why it was so strong. `The pen,' replied he, `belonged to an old
goose of Bohemia, a hundred years old. I got it from one of my old
schoolmasters. As to its strength, it is owing to the impossibility of
depriving it of its pith or marrow; and I am quite astonished at it
myself.' Suddenly I heard a loud noise--a large number of other pens had
sprung out of the long pen of the monk. I awoke a third time; it was
daylight." (The History of Protestantism, I:263,265)
Thus came the Reformation--that liberation of unrighteous coercion of
mind and soul. The reformers opened the door to freedom from apostate
leadership and uninspired servitude. They paved the way for men to put their
trust and faith in God, and to again revere the word of God in the scriptures
above that of the "wolves in sheep's clothing."
Those faithful reformers established the fertile soil of liberty into
which the seed of the Restoration of the Gospel was made possible. Once again
liberty of conscience was made secure. Once more God could speak to man.
The Restoration...
The Reformation gave birth to the spirit, thought, and desire for a
revolution in America. The will to be free from tyranny over the mind or body
resulted in a war that obtained national liberty. John Adams wrote, "the
Revolution was affected before the war commenced, and was in the minds and
hearts of the people." And when Patrick Henry proclaimed "liberty or death,"
it was a single voice expressing the thought of a nation. In this mental
climate of political and religious freedom, independence developed into an
American Constitution of liberty for all.
Only under such a banner could the Restoration of the Gospel be
possible. Although freedom may be protected by national security, the forces
of evil can still arise to oppose the truth, oppress the righteous, and
subvert the gospel.
It is necessary to briefly review a few of the incidents in Church
history depicting Satan's powers of evil in his war against Christ. It is just
as important to know Satan's power and influence opposing the Gospel, as it is
to know the gifts and powers that God bestows to establish and maintain it.
At the beginning of Joseph Smith's mission, and the start of the
Restoration, the adversary was there. The Prophet sought in prayer to learn
the truth concerning the churches of the day and he recorded:
"I had scarcely done so, when immediately I was seized upon by some
power which entirely overcome me, and had such astonishing influence over
me as to bind my tongue so that I could not speak. *** at the very moment
when I was ready to sink into despair and abandon myself to
destruction--not to an imaginary ruin, but to the power of some actual
being from the unseen world,..." (P. of G.P. Joseph Smith 2:15,16)
The Prophet began to encounter spiritual opposition from the unseen
world, and physical opposition from people overtaken by this evil force.
Joseph commented:
"It seems as though the adversary was aware, at a very early period
of my life, that I was destined to prove a disturber and an annoyer of
his kingdom; [158] else why should the powers of darkness combine against
me? (P. of G.P., Joseph Smith 2:20)
In fact, the very people who should have been guided by Christ were
those who were controlled by the devil. Joseph continued:
"I soon found, however, that my telling the story had excited a
great deal of prejudice against me among professors of religion, and was
the cause of great persecution, which continued to increase; and though I
was an obscure boy, only between fourteen and fifteen years of age, and
my circumstances in life such as to make a boy of no consequence in the
world, yet men of high standing would take notice sufficient to excite
the public mind against me, and create a bitter persecution; and this was
common among all sects--ALL UNITED TO PERSECUTE ME." (P. of G.P., Joseph
Smith, 2:22)
The spirit of opposition and persecution became so bitter against him
in Harmony, New York, that Joseph was forced to leave and find residence in
Fayette. But Lucifer was not content to just make war against the work of God,
so he infiltrated his deceptions from within.
"Shortly after Joseph Smith made his home in Fayette, Satan
commenced a subtle attack upon the work within the Church. Hiram Page,
one of the eight witnesses, obtained a stone with which he was receiving
revelations purporting to be for the guidance of the Church; but these
revelations were at variance with those given to Joseph Smith and also
with the teachings of the Savior and his apostles, as contained in the
New Testament. (Essentials in Ch. Hist., p.111)
The Lord revealed to the Prophet that "Satan putteth it into their
hearts to anger against you, and to the shedding of blood" (D. & C. 63:28),
and that "Satan doth stir up the hearts of the people to contention concerning
the points of my doctrine." (D. & C. 10:63)
Thus, opposition grew as the Restoration grew. With each new doctrine
revealed, there came an additional fury of opposition from men and devils.
In April 1833 a mob of about 300 men gathered in Jackson County,
Missouri, to attempt the removal of Saints [159] from their land. In July of
1833, a council of nearly 500 men met to obtain legal or forceful means to
expel the Mormons. By November the Saints were lining the banks of the
Mississippi as refugees and many died from the attacks of the mobs. Nearly 600
Saints suffered the loss of all their possessions.
Soon a pledge of faith from the lieutenant governor of the state
offered them a chance to return to their homes. Their confidence, however, had
been misplaced for it was a cunning scheme of this state official, and the
mob, to place the Saints in a defenseless position, and then drive them from
the country--which they proceeded to do. Eventually nearly 500 Mormons were
killed in the State of Missouri.
Added to the Saints' turmoil from wicked political and religious
leaders, there were new deceptions coming from within the Church. After the
revelation was given on Church order and organization (Section 42), a woman
named Hubble claimed to have received revelations which ran counter to what
the Lord had given. She appeared to be very righteous, gifted with the spirit
of prophecy, and was a firm proponent that the Book of Mormon was of God. And
she succeeded in deceiving some of the Saints.
The Prophet Joseph gave keys by which the Saints could detect a
revelation that was from the devil. He said that one of the tests was "by his
contradicting a former revelation" which had come from God. (T.P.J.S., p. 214)
And again, when people could not detect the difference, he said, "Nothing is a
greater injury to the children of men than to be under the influence of a
false spirit when they think they have the Spirit of God." (T.P.J.S., p. 205)
Hence, many are the servants of Satan and think they are doing God a service!
The powers of Satan were the most powerfully exhibited within the
Church at Kirtland. In 1837 a spirit of speculation, profiting and business
took possession of the Saints. The desire for wealth during the brief spell of
peace and harmony, had beclouded the minds of most of the Saints and many of
their leaders. The Prophet Joseph saw what would be the final result and
warned the Saints of such influences. He withdrew from his position in the
Kirtland Banking Society and said "no institution of the kind, established
upon just and righteous principles for a blessing not only to the Church but
to the whole nation, would be suffered to continue its operation in such an
age of darkness, speculation and wickedness."
[160] But the Prophet's warning was not heeded, and the Saints as a whole
suffered when the banks and financial institutions all over the country
collapsed. Bankruptcy caused a moral collapse of those who had become temporal
minded. Those who were not spiritually strong succumbed to apostasy.
"As the fruit of this condition, an apostasy followed rapidly, and
it seemed, said the Prophet, `as though all the powers of earth and hell
were combining their influence in an especial manner to overthrow the
Church at once, and make a final end.' *** Most of this evil which befell
the Church might have been avoided if the Prophet's counsel had been
accepted by the Saints. Apostasy developed WITHIN ALL THE COUNCILS OF THE
CHURCH, and many of the leading brethren, who previously had been true
and faithful, were involved." (Essentials in Ch. Hist., p. 198)
Meetings were being held in the Kirtland Temple to change some of the
doctrines and even change the leadership of the Church.
"In the Fall and Winter of 1832, there was a terrible spirit of
apostasy manifested at Kirtland; and on one occasion several of the
Twelve, the witnesses of the Book of Mormon and other leading Elders in
the Church met in council, in one of the upper rooms of the Temple, and
discussed the question of how the Prophet Joseph could be deposed and
David Whitmer, one of the three special witnesses to the Book of Mormon,
be chosen President of the Church. President Young was at that council,
but remained steadfast in his loyalty to the absent prophet. He thus
describes the part he took on that occasion:
"`I arose and told them in a plain and forcible manner that Joseph
was a prophet, and I knew it; and that they might rail at and slander him
as they pleased, they could not destroy the appointment of the prophet of
God; they could only destroy their own authority, cut the thread which
bound them to the prophet and to God, and sink themselves to hell. Many
were highly enraged at my decided opposition to their measures, and Jacob
Bump, an old pugilist, was so exasperated that he could not be still.
Some of the brethren near him put their hands on him, and requested him
to be quiet; but he writhed and twisted his arms and body, saying, `how
can I keep my hands off [161] that man?' I told him if he thought it
would give him any relief, he might lay them on. The meeting was broken
up without the apostates being able to unite on any decided measure of
"'This was a crisis when earth and hell seemed leagued to overthrow
the prophet and Church of God. The knees of many of the strongest men in
the Church faltered.'" (The Contributor, Vol. X, No. 1, p. 1)
So powerful were the efforts of Satan that Brigham Young had to leave
Kirtland to save his life. Heber C. Kimball said there were at this time not
20 elders who would claim Joseph Smith as a true prophet.
Joseph Fielding Smith described how corrupting the devil's influence
had become:
"In this manner the Kirtland Temple, so recently accepted by the Lord,
was desecrated and defiled so that it ceased to be a sacred edifice to
His holy name." (Essentials in Ch. Hist., p. 200)
The Prophet Joseph later said, "there have been but two but what have
lifted their heel against me--namely Brigham Young and Heber C. Kimball."
(D.H.C. 5:412)
By 1838 Oliver Cowdery, Martin Harris, and David Whitmer, the three
witnesses to the Book of Mormon plates and the Angel Moroni, had been put out
of the Church. Other witnesses to the gold plates were also out, and so were
about half of the apostles. It appeared that Satan always works most
persistently with leaders.
In Missouri the Saints were suffering from persecutors. Governor Boggs
issued a statement which said:
"The Mormons must be treated as enemies and must be exterminated or
driven from the state, if necessary for the public good."
His sentiments were carried among the people who soon felt the same
spirit. The Haun's Mill episode was a demonstration of human butchery. Mobs
continued persecuting the Saints until they had finally been driven from
Jackson County, Far West, and Davies County. Houses were burned, cattle driven
away or stolen, women were ravished, and nearly all the Saints had been robbed
and plundered--many even murdered. Leaders of the Priesthood were faring
worse. Major General Samuel Lucas wrote orders to General Doniphan saying:
"You will take Joseph Smith and the other prisoners into the public
square of Far West, and shoot them at 9 o'clock tomorrow morning."
(C.H.C. 1:489-90)
Fortunately, the orders were not obeyed, but such was the influence
that Satan put into the hearts of men to overthrow the Gospel. The final tally
of losses in Missouri was estimated to be $2,000,000, which, of course, did
not include their deaths and sufferings.
Missouri was destined to be Zion. It was a land that was to be redeemed
by the Saints. The most beautiful temple in the world was to be constructed
for the presence of the Lord. Jackson County was the center stake of Zion
where the New Jerusalem was to be built and the center of the Kingdom of
God--which was to rule all the nations of the world. But the Saints failed.
Why? They failed to keep the commandments that God had given them. For
example, they were unsuccessful in living the United Order, a law necessary to
be lived before Zion could be redeemed. (See D. & C. 105:1-5)
The exodus of the Latter-day Saints from Missouri to Nauvoo, Illinois,
was the result of their failure to live the laws of God. Acquiring a mosquito
infested swampland, they intended to re-establish their faith in the Gospel.
They needed to start afresh. They needed a community that could be
self-protecting and self-governing, so that they could live worthy of gaining
temporal and spiritual strength to redeem Zion. But Satan had other plans for
them. Again he would cause opposition from the gentiles against the Church,
and division and rebellion from within.
The Saints never acquired sufficient worthiness to live the United
Order in Illinois either--so they were not permitted to return to Missouri,
the center stake of Zion.
The Lord, however, did add further revelations for the Saints to live;
but instead of these revelations being a blessing for the Saints, they proved
to be a curse to a great many of them. The spirit of the adversary caused
rebellion and made traitors out of many of the leading elders of the Church.
The revelation on plural marriage was not given to the general membership of
the Church at this time because they were not prepared to receive it. However,
it was read to the leaders in a special council meeting in the temple:
"Brother Hyrum was called upon to read the revelation. He did so,
and after the reading said, `Now you that believe this revelation and go
forth and obey the same shall be saved, and you that reject it shall be
"We saw this prediction verified in less than one week. Of the
Presidency of the Stake, Wm. Marks and Father Cowles rejected the
revelation; of the Council that were present Leonard Soby rejected it.
From that time forward there was a very strong division in the High
Council. These three men greatly diminished in spirit day after day, so
that there was a great difference in the line of their conduct, which was
perceivable to every member that kept the faith.
"***After this the Prophet's life was constantly in danger."
(Hist. Rec. 6:227)
The Prophet had warned the Saints that "the moment we revolt at
anything which comes from God, the devil takes power." (T.P.J.S., p. 181) Many
Saints rebelled against this revelation and the result was apostasy.
Again the Prophet explained one of the causes for men to become
traitors to the gospel:
"Many men will say, `I will never forsake you, but will stand by you
at all times.' But the moment you teach them some of the mysteries of the
kingdom of God that are retained in the heavens and are to be revealed to
the children of men when they are prepared for them they will be the
first to stone you and put you to death. It was this same principle that
crucified the Lord Jesus Christ, and will cause the people to kill the
prophets in this generation." (T.P.J.S., p. 309)
Some of the men who were the closest to the Prophet Joseph became his
worst enemies.
"It was not so much from Missouri and among the mobocrats of
Illinois, that the Prophet had cause to fear, but from traitors within
the councils of the Church. In the highest quorums, men were found who
secretly plotted against his life." (Ecc. Hist. of Church, p. 360)
Over 200 men participated in a special meeting to overthrow the Prophet
Joseph and the doctrines he taught. These men thought they were doing God a
service and they [164] made a covenant on a Bible, swearing to God that they
would overthrow Joseph and the doctrines he was teaching. Two young boys were
witnesses to these events:
"The boys sat gazing upon this scene, wondering how intelligent
beings who had once enjoyed the light of truth [in the council of the
twelve] could have fallen into such depths of wickedness as robe anxious
to take such an oath against the Prophet of God and his faithful
followers." (Contributor V, see pp. 251-260)
Satan was about to accomplish the death of Joseph and Hyrum and cause a
split in the Quorum of the Twelve. Joseph, reflecting upon this rebellion and
apostasy, said:
"This generation is as corrupt as the generation of the Jews that
crucified Christ; and if he were here to-day, and should preach the same
doctrine He did then, they would put Him to death." (T.P.J.S., p. 328)
Joseph explained that the doctrines of Christ are the reason for
opposition. He continued...
"It is thought by some that our enemies would be satisfied by my
destruction; but I tell you as soon as they have shed my blood they will
thirst for the blood of every man in whose heart dwells a single spark of
the spirit of the fullness of the Gospel. The opposition of these men is
moved by the spirit of the adversary of all righteousness. It is not only
to destroy me, but every man and woman who dares believe the doctrine
that God hath inspired me to teach to this generation." (D.H.C. VI:498)
Opposition continued just as Joseph prophecied it would. The Mormons
were now required to make another exodus. Lucifer's mobs drove the Saints from
their homes in the dead of winter. Another temple was desecrated and
destroyed. In the territory out west the Saints would be free from
devil-inspired mobs. But it is interesting to note that when they were out of
the reach of mobs, then came opposition from the Government. Government
officials suddenly became moved upon to fight against the Mormons.
Washington officials demanded 500 able-bodied men to fight in the war
with Mexico. The Saints were destitute, homeless, and expelled from the United
States, yet in this condition, several senators said that if the Mormons did
not respond, then the U.S. Army should be sent out to destroy them.
President Buchanan appointed or directed an army to be sent to Utah to
suppress the Mormons. The latter prepared defenses and rather than submit to
such tyrannical rule and despotism, they would destroy their homes and
orchards and flee to the mountains. They would not renounce their faith. At no
time in the history of the Church did the Saints display greater courage and
wiser judgment on this occasion. This was perhaps the shining hour of
Differences were finally clarified, but it did not change the attitude
of the Government. Instead of offering the Mormons statehood, they passed an
"anti-bigamy law." It was signed by Pres. Abraham Lincoln on July 8, 1862. It
defined plural marriage as bigamy and punishable by a fine of $500 and five
years in prison. Another feature of the law was that it prohibited religious
bodies in territories to hold real estate valuing over $50,000.
A bill was presented to Congress known as the Wade Bill. It was
instigated for the purpose of destroying the local Mormon Government in the
Territory and making all government there federal government.
The Gragin Bill was similar to the Wade Bill but was more drastic. This
would give the governor the sole power to appoint all local officers in the
Territory. Juries were to be selected by a Federal Marshal. Any Mormon caught
"solemnizing" a marriage would be guilty of a criminal act. The Governor was
to be trustee-in-trust, or the financial director of the Church--even though
he was not a member.
[166] At this time Brigham Young was arrested for "lewd and lascivious
cohabitation." His bail was set at $5,000.
Congress passed the Poland Bill which curtailed the civil and political
rights of the Mormon people. By now the Saints were beginning to show signs of
weakening rather than gaining strength. In President Heber C. Kimball's last
public address, he told the Saints:
"I have not one word of reflection to make against you, yet you are
living at a poor dying rate." (J.D. 12:190)
Then in the last public address of Pres. Brigham Young, he told the
"And with regard to the conduct of this people--if an angel should
come here and speak his feelings as plainly as I do, I think he would
say, `O, Latter-day Saints! why don't you see, why don't you open your
eyes and behold the great work resting upon you and that you have entered
into? You are blind, you are stupid, you are in the dark, in the mist and
fog, wandering to and fro like a boat upon the water without sail, rudder
or oar; and you know not whither you are going." (J.D. 19:93-94)
The Edmunds Law amended the 1862 anti-bigamy law. The penalty was a
$500 fine with 5 years in prison. It deprived any polygamist of his right to
vote, to hold a political office or any employment of public trust or with the
government. All Mormon Government was abolished and all political and public
offices were held by gentiles.
Test oaths were issued to force the Mormon people into subjection and
to reshape their minds and beliefs.
This was a time referred to as the Crusades. The devil was running
rampant, just as he did in the Dark Ages.
Children were forced to testify against their parents under duress of
punishment. Improper and indecent questions were applied in courts. Spies and
snoops were employed or coerced to gather evidence against the polygamists.
[167] This was a time of severe test and trial for the Saints. Pres. John
Taylor made a prophecy concerning the future by saying:
"There are events in the future and not very far ahead, that will
require all our faith, all our energy, all our confidence, all our trust
in God, to enable us to withstand the influences that will be brought to
bear against us.
"We cannot trust in our intelligence; we cannot trust in wealth; we
cannot trust to any surrounding circumstances with which we are
enveloped; we must trust alone in the living God to guide us, to direct
us, to lead us, to teach us and to instruct us." (Ecc. Hist. of Church,
p. 588)
But these were times that proved the mettle of the Saints--both
individually and the Church as a whole. Some men were valiant and faithful;
others bent over backwards to cooperate with the Government by informing on
other Mormons. Hundreds of polygamist homes were broken as parents were sent
to jail and their children scattered.
At the trial of Rudger Clawson in 1884, he testified:
"Your honor,... I very much regret that the laws of my country
should come in contact [conflict] with the laws of God, but whenever they
do I shall invariably choose the latter. If I did not so express myself I
should feel unworthy of the cause I represent." (Whitney's History of
Utah, pp. 317-318)
He spent three years in prison.
Elder Clawson was not trying to abandon his faith with an excuse that
when the laws of the land conflict with the laws of God we must "honor and
obey the laws of the land" as many did and still do. Many women were willing
to go to jail for contempt because they would not testify against their
husbands. It was under such stress that the majority of the Saints were
gradually abandoning their doctrines and principles. President John Taylor
"We are getting into such a condition that if we were to meet the
Lord, we could not look him in the [168] face, and the way we are going
it will soon be impossible to tell what we do believe." (John Taylor,
Des. News, Mar. 1889)
It was because of these conditions prevailing within Church, and those
forces in opposition to it, that President Taylor appointed and ordained men
to continue the practice of plural marriage. He saw that the Church as a body
would soon abandon that principle. Only a small percentage were living it, and
only a few would keep it alive.
In March of 1887 another bill was passed which supplemented the Edmunds
Law. It was called the Edmunds-Tucker Law, resulting in the disincorporation
of the Church. Now the Church was required to pay to the Government $2400 a
year rent for the Historian's Office and the Tithing Office. The temple block
was rented from the gentiles. It also dissolved the Perpetual Emigration Fund.
Female Sufferage was also abolished.
Persecution and prosecution developed weaknesses in the leadership of
the Church. Friction and division began to occur, just as it did in the days
of the Prophet Joseph Smith--and over the same doctrines. Ill feelings and
division continued to increase among the apostles and presidency of the Church
and was recorded by Church secretary, L. John Nuttall in his journal:
"Thurs. Oct. 6, 1887 ....The Council of Apostles met at 7 o'clock at
the Presidents office. I met with them. The ill feelings among some of
the quorum was spoken of by President Woodruff very forceably. I never
attended such a meeting.
"Fri. Oct. 5, 1888. President Woodruff and J. F. Smith attended a
meeting at the Historian's office this evening at which the Apostles and
attorneys F. S. Richards, LeGrand Young, Sheeks and Rawlins and Broadhead
were present on the business of the Church suits ....I was sorry to hear
of the dissatisfied course pursued by Elder Moses Thatcher and apparent
disunion in the council, which I have noticed on several occasions, both
before I went east and since my return. I went to bed having fears in my
own mind, as to his integrity for the welfare of the Church and kingdom,
[169] in that financial matters have more weight with him and Brother
Heber J. Grant than the things of the Kingdom."
"Wed. Feb. 27, 1889. The council of Apostles met at the presidents
office at 10 a.m ....I was not at all satisfied with the spirit manifest
at the meeting. Bros. Thatcher and Grant seem to want the church
conducted on a money bases. While returning to the Gardo house President
Woodruff said to me, he would about as soon attend a funeral as one of
our council meetings."
During this time of conflict between the Government and the Church, and
among men in the councils of the Church the Lord saw the necessity of
revealing a course for the leaders of the Church to pursue:
"Let not my servants who are called to the Presidency of my Church
deny my word or my law, which concerns the salvation of the children of
men. *** Place not yourselves in jeopardy to your enemies by promise. ***
Let my servants who officiate as your counselors before the courts make
their pleadings as they are moved upon by the Holy Spirit, without any
further pledges from my Priesthood." (Revelation given to Wilford
Woodruff, Nov. 24, 1889)
At this crucial moment in history, the political compromisers
outnumbered the spiritual disciplinarians. Temporal interests outweighed
spiritual values. The fainthearted compromisers would soon abandon the counsel
of this revelation, and other former revelations.
Other bills were introduced to Congress, some of which proposed to take
away all Church and private property. Under pressure from the Government, and
the will of the majority of the Saints, Pres. Woodruff said: "I have arrived
at a point in the history of my life as President of the Church of Jesus
Christ of Latter-day Saints where I am under the necessity of acting for the
temporal salvation of the Church." A few Saints considered the sacrifice of
spiritual principles for temporal salvation a poor barter.
[170] By abandoning certain principles of the Gospel, the Saints could now
gain the friendship of the world.
"The General Conference in October [1890] sustained the Manifesto
and thus withdrew sanction from the further solemnizing of plural
marriages in the Mormon Church. A change of feeling ensued. Mormons and
non-Mormons, in Utah and elsewhere, became more friendly with each
other." (Encyclopedia Britannica, 1936, Vol. 15, p. 810)
During the 1890's, instead of persecution, the gentiles offered the
Saint statehood. Escheated property was returned. Peace and brotherhood came
from all former political and religious antagonists because they were now
sharing similar beliefs. The L.D.S. Choir attended the New York World's Fair
and was hailed by the gentiles with second-place honors. The merging of
customs, traditions, laws and employment began a major transition for the
Church. It was the beginning of a continuous change of attitude and doctrine
which still continues. But for a few unyielding men of Mormonism it was a sad,
if not backward course for the Saints. Some pointed to a prophecy of Joseph
Smith which said:
"The enemies of this people will never get weary of their
persecution against the Church, until they are overcome." (T.P.J.S., p.
This prophecy indicated that one or the other would have to be overcome
before persecution stopped; but it didn't say which. The Prophet also warned
the Saints about positions of Church leadership:
"You will gather many people into the fastness of the Rocky
Mountains as a center for the gathering of the people and you will be
faithful because you have been true, and many of those who come in under
your ministry because of their much learning, they will seek for high
positions and they will be set up and raise themselves to eminence above,
but you will walk in the low places unnoticed. And you will know of all
that transpired in their midst and these that are your friends will be my
friends." (Our Pioneer Heritage, 6:358-9; Kartchner Records)
At another time prior to the death of the Prophet he indicated that
some aspirants would gain leadership positions:
"The government will not receive you with the laws that God designed
you to live, and those who are desirous to live the laws of God will have
to go South. You will live to see men arise in power in the Church who
will seek to put down your friends and the friends of our Lord and
Savior, Jesus Christ. Many will be hoisted because of their money and the
worldly learning which they seem to be in possession of; and many who are
the true followers of our Lord and Savior will be cast down...." (Joseph
Smith, Mosiah Hancock Journal, p. 19)
There were a few unyielding Saints who refused to relinquish the
doctrines revealed to the Prophet Joseph Smith. Because these tenacious souls
would not compromise, they continued to suffer. The Mormon monogamists turned
against the Mormon polygamists. Previously the polygamists would not allow
monogamists into the leading positions of the Church. (See page 95 of this
publication.) Now the monogamists would not allow the polygamists into
leadership positions. The once exalting principle of plural marriage was now
condemned as a heinous sin. That law of "exaltation" was reverted to a "crime"
worthy of excommunication. Men once lived plural marriage to be worthy of
leadership positions; now they were thrown out because of it.
"Satan is constantly seeking to deceive men, and lead them to call
sin righteousness, and righteousness sin. How successful has been his
work! How often censure and reproach are cast upon God's faithful
servants because they will stand fearlessly in defense of the truth! Men
who are but agents of Satan are praised and flattered, and even looked
upon as martyrs, while those who should be respected and sustained for
their fidelity to God, are left to stand alone, under suspicion and
distrust." (The Great Controversy, p. 221)
Apostle John W. Taylor set a new precedent for the "true believers." In
1906 he and Matthias Cowley were selected to be dropped from the Quorum of
Twelve. It was a political expediency to appease the Government's antagonism
against polygamists. According to Cowley's journal, they were honorably called
to this "mission" of resignation to satisfy government pressure. After things
"cooled down," they were told they would be reinstated into the Quorum again.
But the monogamists soon regarded their "mission" as a transgression, and by
1911 Apostle John W. Taylor was excommunicated from the Church for living
plural marriage.
[172] This was a period of transition for the Church. A revision of both
Church doctrine and policy occurred. Old doctrines were considered false and
the new programs were hailed as revelations. Revisions and reversions were
Sin and transgression should be the only grounds for excommunication.
But now the spiritual tables were turned. People were being excommunicated for
obeying the laws of God! Bishop Heber Bennion wrote:
"When men are cut off the Church for wickedness, they become
reprobate and go from bad to worse, but when cut off without good cause
the Lord will not forsake them. Nothing but our own sins can cut us off;
or come between us and the Lord. The Priesthood has no power in
unrighteousness." (Gospel Problems, p.45)
Many of the men who bore the Priesthood began to oppose the laws of the
Priesthood. These men in leadership positions had previously made covenants to
defend God's laws with their lives--but were now rejecting those laws!
Thus came a transition of Church doctrine--and a transition of
authority. For where the laws of the Priesthood are not, neither will there be
the keys of Priesthood. The principles, doctrines and covenants of God were
forced to retreat into the underground. Conditions became much the same as
they were in the days of the Prophet Joseph. If the majority of the Church
members will not live the gospel, then God will seek others who will. Simply
because men receive or give endowments does not prove they will remain
faithful to them. President Brigham Young said:
"Giving endowments to a great many proves their overthrow, through
revealing things to them which they cannot keep." (J.D. 4:372)
And Heber C. Kimball added:
"We receive the Priesthood and power and authority. If we make a bad
use of that Priesthood, do you not see that the day will come when God
will reckon with us, and he will take it from us and give it to those who
will make better use of it." (J.D. 6:125)
Priesthood authority was given to administer ordinances, but in the
hands of worldly men it is used to change the ordinances. Daniel said they
think their priesthood [173] gives them right and power "to change times and
laws." (Dan. 7:25)
When one worldly innovation is made, then it becomes easier to justify
another. As one error creeps in, it invites others, until a multitude of
fabrications replace the truth. The result is spiritual paralysis.
The scriptures were written to be used as a guide--thus helping men
avoid error. They will easily expose world-loving churchmen from the true
disciples of Jesus. They are a yardstick to judge the words of men or devils.
The first cardinal sin of religious leaders is to trust each other
rather than the scriptures. Worldly wisdom and human learning usually always
replace the word of God--thus the blind lead the blind.
But there is another even more serious sin--not believing in the
revelations of God. Pres. Brigham Young...
"told the people that if they would not believe the revelations that God
had given he would suffer the devil to give revelations that
they--priests and people--would follow after.
"Have I seen this fulfilled? I have. I told the people that as true
as God lived, if they would not have truth they would have error sent
unto them, and they would believe it." (Des. News, June 18, 1875)
Deception is a replacement for truth. Those who reject God's
revelations will be controlled by the revelations of the devil. Thus, many
reject the truth to gain the favor of the world, but in so doing they lose
favor with God.
"But truth is no more desired by the majority to-day than it was by
the papists who opposed Luther. There is the same disposition to accept
the theories and traditions of men instead of the word of God as in
former ages. Those who present the truth for this time should not expect
to be received with greater favor than were earlier reformers. The great
controversy between truth and error, between Christ and Satan, is to
increase in intensity to the close of this world's history.
"And on the other hand our Lord declared plainly: `Woe unto you,
when all men shall speak well of [174] you! for so did their fathers to
the false prophets.' The spirit of the world is no more in harmony with
the spirit of Christ today than in earlier times; and those who preach
the word of God in its purity will be received with no greater favor now
than then. The forms of opposition to the truth may change, the enmity
may be less open because it is more subtle; but the same antagonism still
exists, and will be manifested to the end of time." (The Great
Controversy, Ellen G. White, p. 165)
It is remarkable to note the transformation of Church policy within one
century. Consider a few of these reversals:
A. Once the Saints were willing to burn their homes and orchards and
seek hiding places in the mountains rather than submit to government tyranny.
Now they will sacrifice any principle, doctrine or ordinance to comply with
any "law of the land." President Wilford Woodruff once said, "This government
is steeped in sin and ripened for the damnation of hell." Now, Mormonism
believes it a religious duty to "honor and obey" and be subservient to a
government which has become much worse.
B. Formerly the Government passed bills and laws against the doctrines
and teachings of Joseph Smith and Brigham Young. Today there are many Mormon
lawyers who have proposed similar bills and laws. Mormons made obedience to
some principles a felony in Utah.
C. Ministers of the "abominable" churches have used arguments,
references, and quotations against the doctrines of early Mormonism. Now the
leading Mormon theologians and professors of religion are using the same
materials against these early Mormon doctrines.
D. Leaders of the Church once pounded the pulpit and proclaimed that
everyone but polygamists would be damned. Now the leaders pound the pulpit and
shout damnation for the polygamists.
E. The government once deputized informers, sneaks, and snoops to spy
out information to be used against believers in Mormonism. Now the Church
leaders deputize bishoprics, stake presidencies, and any other members to
gather license plate numbers, names and witnesses that can be used against the
believers of early Church doctrine.
[175] F. The early antagonists of Mormonism spewed out their venom against
polygamy by calling it "evil," an "abomination," and "adultery," in
newspapers: such as the Warsaw Signal, the Nauvoo Expositor, and the Salt Lake
Tribune. Now the Deseret News says the same thing.
G. Plural marriage was once a doctrinal law of God and His Church; now
it is classed as a sin next to murder. Joseph, Hyrum, and many others died for
living it; now the leaders would rather die than live it.
H. Today many leading authorities of the Church say they are speaking
for God, but they teach the ways of the world. They wear the garment of the
Priesthood (or some unreasonable facsimile), but they oppose the laws of the
Priesthood. They claim their words are infallible, while they change the
infallible words of God. Many preside in spiritual calling, but they lack any
spiritual gifts. Instead of going out into the world, proclaiming the Gospel
to the nations and gathering Israel to the mountains, they stay in the
mountains tending business enterprises, and tell the Saints to stay scattered
in the world. How can all of these rejections of God's revelations be called
"the way of the Master?" Oh, consistency!
When Luther was asked why he spoke so harshly against the Papacy, he
replied, "It takes strong medicine to cure a strong sickness." Mormonism today
needs strong medicine!
Evidence stands to confirm that there is a difference in the Gospel of
today from that which was restored to the Prophet Joseph Smith. But there is
not only a difference in doctrines but also in societies they produce. A
hundred years ago many towns in Utah had only one man as a policeman--and even
he would spend his time at farming. The problems of crime were almost nill.
Mormon society was industrious, morally clean, and religiously faithful.
But what have been the results over the past 100 years since we have
made all the compromises, revisions, and substitutions? The results show that
crime in Salt Lake City is comparable to that of any other city in the United
States. Divorce has nearly equalled that of the world. Corruption, dope,
whoredom and speculation have become our major problems. LDS youth are being
lost to worldly standards. Our people are being shifted all over Babylon and
being taught that God wants their families scattered. Our hospitals, mental
institutions and prisons are being overcrowded, while 70% of Church members
are inactive!
[176] How many broken homes and broken hearts would now prefer to go back a
hundred years and live among those faithful Saints of yesterday? They would
like to avoid the mass of spiritual pitfalls and sinful mire that surround our
people today. Many are discouraged with this multitude of doctrinal changes in
the Church because it has made us one with Babylon. But we cannot turn back
the pages of a century. Nevertheless, we can teach again those principles that
made that society what it was!
As discouraging as the spiritual progress of Mormonism has been, there
was one bright spot. It occurred in September of 1856. This was the beginning
of the Mormon "Reformation." Everyone in the Church was re-baptized and
covenanted to reform their lives to the Gospel as it had been revealed. Church
historian B. H. Roberts commented on this by saying: "The `Reformation' was
doubtless a much needed moral and spiritual awakening." (C.H.C. 4:119)
This "Reformation" occurred only months before Johnson's Army came to
Utah. The Saints at that time displayed courage, wisdom and faithfulness such
as they had never done before or after. We need that same determination today.
We need another "Reformation!"
"There must be a reformation. There will be a reformation among this
people, for God will not cast off this kingdom and this people, but he
will plead with the stronger ones of Zion, he will plead with this
people, he will plead with those in high places, he will plead with the
priesthood of this church, until Zion shall become clean before him. I do
not know but that it would be an utter impossibility to commence and
carry out some principles pertaining to Zion right in the midst of this
people. They have strayed so far that to get a people who would conform
to heavenly laws it may be needful to lead some from the midst of this
people and commence anew some where in the regions round about in these
mountains." (Orson Pratt, J.D. 15:360)
Everyone in the Church today should be filled with that faith and
spirit of reforming their lives to obey the Gospel as the Lord gave it. If
leaders refuse to reform, then the members should follow the course proscribed
by Pres. Brigham Young:
"I want you to have faith enough concerning myself and my
counsellors for the Lord to remove us out of the way, if we do not
magnify our calling, and put men in our places that will do right." (J.D.
But too often modern Mormons are shocked at any intimation that all is
not well in Zion. They will protest any thought of a power or influence other
than God's in leadership positions. But there is a reason and a purpose why
God will allow deceptions to infiltrate into every organization. The
scriptures say that "...for this cause God shall send them strong delusion,
that they should believe a lie; that they all might be damned who believed not
the truth...." (2 Thes. 2:11-12)
So, all those honorable Saints who have put their trust in the arm of
flesh, thus being deceived, shall be welcomed into the Terrestrial Kingdom.
(D. & C. 76:75-79)
The gates of the Celestial Kingdom are not reached by a mass exodus of
people blindly following someone they have hailed as a "prophet." Salvation
and eternal life are the rewards of individual accomplishment. "Therefore, let
every man stand or fall, by himself, and not for another; or not trusting
another." (Insp. Vers., Mark 9:44) Everyone shall be rewarded according to his
own faith and works!
And there are still a few valiant uncompromising men filled with enough
integrity to keep alive the holy principles of the Gospel. They will not
follow any "new prophet" if it means rejection of Joseph's revelations. To
these men shall fall the honor and responsibility of saving the Priesthood and
its principles from the work of the compromisers. These faithful few shall
redeem Zion, reestablish God's kingdom on the earth, and usher in the
Millennial reign of Christ.
* * * * *
* * *
[179] ADDENDUM 1990 Edition
Since the initial publication of this book, the LDS Church has
continued to make further changes in the eternal and "unchangeable" laws and
ordinances of the Gospel. It is a paradox of religion that we contend against
Catholicism for their apostasy because of changes they made in the Gospel; yet
the claim is made that under Mormonism, similar changes can be made with
divine approval.
The Gospel may be added to by the addition of new light and
understanding, but the moment we delete, change or oppose those principles, we
lose that light. Herein lies the necessary obligation that every man must
receive his own confirmation of the truth, for where there is a controversy,
one must make a choice, and his eternal destiny may depend on his decisions
and choices.
The following three additional major changes, among others of somewhat
lesser importance, have been made in the past few years. The format is the
same as the 95 presented in the rest of this book--quoting first from
scripture, then early LDS leaders, and comparing this consistent doctrinal
position with present-day teachings.
Now, Pharaoh being of that lineage by which he could not have the right
of Priesthood, notwithstanding the Pharaohs would fain claim it from Noah,
through Ham, therefore my father was led away by their idolatry. (P of GP,
Abraham 1:27)
Since Ham was a son of Noah, it is quite definite that he did not have
a black skin and was not a descendant of Cain. But the scripture seems to
indicate that the wife of Ham was a descendant of Cain and through her the
curses were preserved (verses 21-25). Her name was Egyptus, `which signifies
that which is forbidden.' Also, her daughter was known by the name of Egyptus,
and Pharaoh was her grandson. He and his descendants could not hold the
Priesthood (verses 21, 25-27). (P of GP Commentary, Milton R. Hunter, p. 141)
I referred to the curse of Ham for laughing at Noah, while in his wine,
but doing no harm. Noah was a righteous man, and yet he drank wine and became
intoxicated; the Lord did not forsake him in consequence thereof, for he
retained all the power of his priesthood, and when he was accused by Canaan,
he cursed him by the priesthood which he held, and the Lord had respect to his
word, and the priesthood which he held, notwithstanding he was drunk, and the
curse remains upon the posterity of Canaan until the present day. (Joseph
Smith, D.H.C. 4:445-446)
(Abraham Smoot inquiring of Joseph Smith) What should be done with the
Negroes in the South as I was preaching to them? said I could baptize
them by the consent of their masters, but not to confer the Priesthood upon
them. (L. John Nuttall Jrnl., May 31, 1879)
Shall I tell you the law of God in regard to the African race? If the
white man who belongs to the chosen seed mixes his blood with the seed of
Cain, the penalty, under the law of God, is death on the spot. This will
always be so. (Brigham Young, JD 10:110)
[182] When all the rest of the children have received their blessings in the
Holy Priesthood, then that curse will be removed from the seed of Cain.
(Brigham Young, JD 11:272)
. . . suppose we summons them (LDS Church leaders) to appear here, and
here declare that it is right to mingle our seed, with the black race of Cain,
that they shall come in with us and be partakers with us of all the blessings
God has given to us. On that very day and hour we should do so, the priesthood
is taken from this Church and kingdom and God leaves us to our fate. The
moment we consent to mingle with the seed of Cain the Church must go to
destruction--we should receive the curse which has been placed upon the seed
of Cain, and never more be numbered with the children of Adam who are heirs to
the priesthood until that curse be removed. (Brigham Young, 1854 State
Legislature talk)
Negroes in this life are denied the priesthood; under no circumstances
can they hold this delegation of authority from the Almighty. (Bruce R.
McConkie, Mormon Doctrine, p. 527)
Today ....
LDS Church Extends Priesthood to all Worthy Male Members
. . . all worthy male members of the church may be ordained to the
priesthood without regard for race or color. (Des. News, June 9, 1978, p. 1)
And the Lord said unto Moses, Gather unto me seventy men of the elders
of Israel, whom thou knowest to be the elders of the people, and officers over
them; and bring them unto the tabernacle of the congregation, that they may
stand there with thee. And I will come down and talk with thee there: and I
will take of the spirit which is upon thee, and will put it upon them; and
they shall bear the burden of the people with thee, that thou bear it not
thyself alone. (Num. 11:16-17)
And the seventy returned again with joy, saying, Lord, even the devils
are subject unto us through thy name. (Luke 10:17)
The Seventy are also called to preach the gospel, and to be especial
witnesses unto the Gentiles and in all the world--thus differing from other
officers in the church in the duties of their calling. And they form a quorum,
equal in authority to that of the Twelve special witnesses or Apostles.... (D.
& C. 107:25-26)
On the 28th of February (1835), the Church in council assembled,
commenced selecting certain individuals to be Seventies, ... to begin the
organization of the first quorum of Seventies, according to the visions and
revelations which I have received. The Seventies are to constitute traveling
quorums, to go into all the earth, whithersoever the Twelve Apostles shall
call them. (D.H.C. 2:202)
One of the ordained offices in the Melchizedek Priesthood is that of a
Seventy. (Mormon Doctrine, Bruce R. McConkie, p. 707)
Today . . . .
The office of the Seventy has been discontinued, the Church of Jesus
Christ of Latter-day Saints announced Saturday. * * * A missionary-minded
elder or high priest will be called as the stake mission president with his
counselors being selected from among the elders or high priests. (SLC Tribune,
p. 6A, Oct. 5, 1986)
The earth also is defiled under the inhabitants thereof; because they
have transgressed the laws, changed the ordinance, broken the everlasting
covenant. (Isaiah 24:5)*
The order of the house of God has been, and ever will be, the same,
even after Christ comes; and after the termination of the thousand years it
will be the same; . . . (Joseph Smith, T.P.J.S., p. 91)
It signifies, then, that the ordinances must be kept in the very way
God has appointed; otherwise their Priesthood will prove a cursing instead of
a blessing. (T.P.J.S., p. 169)
Now taking it for granted that the scriptures say what they mean, and
mean what they say, we have sufficient grounds to go on and prove from the
Bible that the gospel has always been the same; the ordinances to fulfill its
requirements, the same, and the officers to officiate, the same; and the signs
and fruits resulting from the promises, the same; . . . (T.P.J.S., p. 264)
Ordinances instituted in the heavens before the foundation of the
world, in the priesthood, for the salvation of men, are not to be altered or
changed. All must be saved on the same principles. (T.P.J.S., p. 308)
The g(rand) key word was the first word Adam spoke and is a word of
supplication. He (Joseph) found the word by the Urim & Thummim--it is that key
word to which the heavens is (sic) opened. (William Clayton Journal, June 15,
1844) **
The Church was undergoing internal deterioration, and was in a state of
increasing perversion. Among the more detailed or specific causes of this ever
widening departure from the spirit of the gospel of Christ, this [186] rapidly
growing apostasy, the following may be considered as important examples: * * *
(2) Unauthorized additions to the ceremonies of the Church, and the
introduction of vital changes in essential ordinances. (James E. Talmage, The
Great Apostasy, paperback 2nd ed., p. 71)
No jot, iota, or tittle of the temple rites is otherwise than uplifting
and sanctifying. In every detail the endowment ceremony contributes to
covenants of morality of life, consecration of person to high ideals, devotion
to truth, patriotism to nation, and allegiance to God. (James E. Talmage, The
House of the Lord (1962), p. 100.
Today ....
Because of (1) the Church leaders' desire to increase the diminishing
temple attendance, (2) persistent claims of "offensiveness" in parts of the
ceremony, and (3) pressures by the feminist element in the Church--many
changes were made in the endowment ceremony, and the following excerpt
appeared in an article printed nearly three weeks after the changes took
effect in all LDS temples on April 10, 1990:
"LDS Leaders Revise Temple Endowment
Sacred ceremonies for the living and dead, performed by faithful
Mormons within the walls of the church's temples have undergone what some view
as their most significant changes this century." (S.L. Tribune, April 29,
1990, p. 2B)
*Joseph Fielding Smith said that it is the Latter-day Saints who
"have transgressed the laws, changed the ordinances, and broken the
everlasting covenant," because they were the only ones that had them to
begin with. (See Des. News, Church Section, Oct. 17, 1936.)
** A change was just made in the vocal expression of this name.