There is nothing that would so soon 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. In such an event, we might bid farewell to the Holy Priesthood with all its blessings, privileges, and aids to exaltations, principalities, and powers in the eternities of the Gods. (Brigham Young, April 8, 1862, JD 10:32)
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 Saint 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, Nov. 22, 1938, Salt Lake Tribune)
DHC Documented History of the Church. By Joseph Smith, compiled by B. H. Roberts.Deseret Book, 1976.7 volumes plus index.
JD Journal of Discourses.Talks by President Brigham Young and his associates from 1852 to 1885, compiled by George D. Watt and others. F. D. Richards, 1854. 26 volumes plus index.
MFP Messages of the First Presidency.Official statements of the First Presidency from 1833 to 1964.Compiled by James R. Clark, Bookcraft, 1966. 5 volumes
TPJS Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith.Compiled by Joseph Fielding Smith, second edition. Deseret Book, 1976
WJS Words of Joseph Smith. Transcriptions of the Nauvoo discourses of Joseph Smith, original spelling and punctuation preserved. Compiled by Andrew F. Ehat and Lyndon W. Cook. BYU, 1980
A WARNING TESTIMONY
We are a people who believe that the scriptures say what they mean and mean what they say. We read in the scriptures that the Saints of old “labored with their might” to teach the people, that the sins of the people might not come upon the heads of them who taught them. (see Jacob 1:19)
We also read:
…it becometh every man who hath been warned to warn his neighbor. (D&C 88:81)
We have written this pamphlet to warn you that the Gospel of the Son of God is no longer the gospel of the LDS Church. The true Gospel is an unchangeable Gospel; with unchangeable doctrine, unchangeable ordinances, and unchangeable fruits.
In the pages that follow, we will show you that the Gospel of Jesus Christ, which God restored through Joseph Smith, is essential to our salvation and exaltation. We will also show you that the doctrines and ordinances that God pronounced necessary to our eternal progression have been pronounced unnecessary by the LDS Church leaders today.
Many men stumble across some great truth in their lives. Unfortunately, most simply pick themselves up, dust themselves off, and hurry off as if nothing had happened. (Sir Winston Churchill)
You will notice the same quotations and scriptures used in different parts of this pamphlet. Please read these quotations in their entirety each time you come across them. They contain the mind and will of God, and to skip over them is to skip over the very things we wish to emphasize the most.
HEALING OF THE SICK
All through history, miraculous healings have accompanied the Gospel of Jesus Christ. The lame have leapt, the deaf have heard, the blind have seen, lunatics have been made whole, withered hands have been restored, lepers have been healed, even the dead have been brought back to life. Wherever Jesus Christ went among the faithful, miracles of healing followed. In the New Testament we read about the healings He did in Judea, and in the Book of Mormon we read about His healing touch among the Nephites. Christ was not selfish with His power to bless and heal; just the opposite is true. Jesus gave His followers in Jerusalem power to perform the healings that He performed Himself. When the Gospel was restored to Joseph Smith, the same power to heal was restored with it.
The power to heal in the name of Jesus Christ is much more than many have supposed. A simple ordination to the priesthood gives a man authority to administer to the sick in Christ’s name, but it does not give him power to heal. Consequently, there are members of the LDS Church today with authority to heal, but don’t have the ability to do it. The authority without the ability is useless – you might as well give a blind man permission to read a book as to give a man authority to heal but not the power to do it.
The power to heal was very much invested in Jesus Christ, as the fruits testify. Today we claim the same authority to heal as Jesus did, that is, the Melchizedek Priesthood. Today, if we are really honest about what we see around us, we must admit that the nine million members of the LDS Church put together have not equaled the healings performed by Jesus Christ and a few fishermen. Assuming that the LDS Church has the priesthood authority to heal, it must not have the power. What is this power?
Knowledge is power. Remember that the apostles came to Jesus, telling Him about the evil spirit that refused to leave when the apostles cast him out. Let’s look at that situation, because the apostles had authority to cast out evil spirits, but lacked the power to dispatch this one.
Jesus’ response was not to lay His hands on His apostles to confer upon them additional priesthood power. Instead, He instructed them that some evil spirits only come out with fasting and prayer (Matt. 17:21). Jesus armed His disciples with knowledge, and with that knowledge they could function in their priesthood authority. Without knowing how to cast out that devil, their authority did them no good.
So it is with healing. Priesthood is the authority to heal, but many of those with authority to heal do not know how to use it. So thousands of what we’ll call “typical administrations” take place, and people do not throw down their crutches and leap, or open their blind eyes and see, or hear through deaf ears. All these afflictions could be healed instantly, if the elders had some knowledge to accompany their authority.
The “typical administration” is performed by two Melchizedek Priesthood holders. One pours a drop or two – a few at most – of consecrated oil on the crown of the head of the person receiving the blessing. The one anointing then lays his hands on the head of the recipient and says “I anoint your head with this consecrated oil by authority of the Melchizedek Priesthood in the name of Jesus Christ,” or some variation on those words. The other priesthood holder then lays his hands on the recipient’s head, along with the one who anointed, and says: “We seal this blessing,” and adds a few words, “by authority of the Melchizedek Priesthood, in the name of Jesus Christ, amen.”
One “typical administration” is considered as efficacious as another, so only one is given at a time.
The beneficial effects of such administrations are questionable. In most cases, the sick do recover a few days after the administration; but in most cases, the sick would have recovered even if an administration had not been given. In families without the Gospel, people get fevers just like we do; and they almost always recover, without priesthood administrations. Do we really recover faster; and if we do, is it because of the administration, or is it because of the placebo effect that accompanies it?
Many times administrations are given before surgery. The honest observer must ask, “Did any of Christ’s administrations need to be followed up with surgery?” If we hold the same authority to heal as Jesus, why isn’t the injury or illness requiring surgery healed when we administer to the patient? Sometimes it is; usually it is not. When Jesus touched a man, or when Peter, or Joseph Smith, or Alma laid hands on the sick or injured, was the healing complete; or did the person still need surgery to do what God could not?
Our “typical administrations” do not accomplish what Christ’s administrations did. This is a matter that cannot be ignored, because “ye shall know them by their fruits” (Matt. 7:16). If we do not have the fruits of healing in our administrations, then we had better quit claiming to hold the same power and authority that Jesus once held.
Some will say that Jesus was Jesus, and that of course His healings would be more efficacious than ours. Well, if our administrations only work some of the time because we are not God, are our baptisms only efficacious some of the time, because we are not God? This question may make us uncomfortable, but it needs to be asked. If our priesthood authority does not always heal the sick, does it always wash us clean during baptism? No!
An ordinance is efficacious, if done correctly by the Spirit and by authority. Obviously, ordinances must be done the very way they are revealed, or they are not efficacious, no matter the authority. Jesus Christ Himself cannot baptize by sprinkling. Jesus must baptize by immersion, or the baptism does not count. Likewise, Jesus must have administered to the sick in ways that God recognized and He did not administer to the sick quite like we do. He actually washed the eyes of the blind man. He touched the withered hand to make it whole. The woman touched His robe and was healed. Following Christ’s example, Peter pulled the cripple from the ground to an upright position, and the cripple walked. Others were told to do strange things such as Naaman washed seven times in the River Jordan and was healed. Joseph Smith passed around a handkerchief, and those who touched it were healed. Moses raised a serpent upon a stick, and whosoever looked upon it, lived. Those unusual administrations would seem out of place in the Church today; and the instantaneous healings that accompanied those strange administrations would also seem out of place today. We are content with “typical administrations”–just a drop of oil on the crown of the head, and our members are less blessed than the ancients. Our administrations, like our baptisms, need to be done correctly by the Spirit and real authority and when they are, they will work, and God will recognize them.
Joseph Smith instructed the Saints to perform ordinances in a certain way, it being the way that God revealed to him. When the administrations were done as revealed, they worked. Lorenzo Dow Young records in his journal that his father went to Joseph Smith and told him, “My son Lorenzo is dying; can there not be something done for him?”
Yes! Of necessity, I must go away to fill an appointment, which I cannot put off. But you go and get my brother Hyrum, and with him, get twelve or fifteen good faithful brethren; go to the house of Brother Lorenzo, and all join in prayer. One be mouth and the others repeat after him in unison. After prayer, divide into quorums of three. Let the first quorum who administer, anoint Brother Young with oil; then lay hands on him, one being mouth, the others repeating the prayer in unison. When all the quorums have, in succession, laid their hands on Brother Young and prayed for him, begin again with the first quorum, by anointing with oil as before, continuing the administration in this way until you receive a testimony that he will be restored.(Gifts of the Spirit, Duane S. Crowther, p. 219-220)
Joseph’s instructions were “strictly obeyed” and Lorenzo was healed.
Joseph Smith taught that twelve or fifteen good, faithful brethren should participate in an administration. Before administering, prayer should be offered, one being voice, the others repeating in unison the prayer. (Those of you who have been endowed will recognize the similarity between this and a portion of the endowment.) Then quorums of three were to lay on hands, and pray, one being mouth, the others repeating in unison. Each quorum was to do this in turn, and then the first quorum was to begin again. This was to continue until the testimony was obtained that the sick one would be restored.
Lorenzo Dow Young’s journal tells us that it was during the first quorum’s third administration that the testimony came.
Two elders did not seem sufficient to Joseph Smith when twelve or fifteen could be had. Neither was one administration sufficient. Three were given. The sealing prayer was repeated aloud by those who were administering, not just the one being mouth.
Some would say, “That was then, this is now; that was Joseph Smith, this is today”. To those who feel this way, we ask, “Is not the Gospel always the same? If God revealed to Joseph Smith ways to administer to the sick, should not we do it the way God reveales too?” Of course we should. We know we should, but few of us ever will, because we are too comfortable with the “typical administration” to try something different as prompted by the Spirit.
There is no scriptural commandment that one person anoints and another one seals the anointing. One person may do both. There is no scriptural limit to the number of administrations a person may receive. There is no scripture limiting the amount of oil used to just a drop or two. Brigham Young taught that when a man is anointed, enough oil should be used that it drips from his beard. He is also credited with the maxim, “When in doubt, pour more out.”
If available, twelve or fifteen men should participate in the administration. Two (or even one) is sufficient, but Joseph in this example said twelve or fifteen should be called.
Once an administration has begun, it should be continued until the testimony of Heaven is obtained. If the person is going to recover, God will reveal it. If the person is going to die, God will reveal that, also. Administrations should be repeated until the testimony is obtained that the person will be made well, or will die. To do a “typical administration” and then leave, hoping that it will work, is to leave the job undone. The ordinance is not complete until God has spoken, and declared the person will be healed, or is appointed unto death or some other end.
Until the Latter-day Saints repent of the traditions they have espoused, and perform the administrations correctly, the fruits of the Gospel that followed Jesus Christ and others will never follow the LDS Church, and wo be unto those who profess His name but do not show the fruits of discipleship.
THE ADMINISTRATION OF THE SACRAMENT
Joseph Smith taught:
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. (TPJS, p. 308)
The Prophet Joseph Smith was taught by God Himself how the sacrament should be administered. In a revelation he received in April 1830, God explained that it is an elder’s “calling to baptize, and to ordain other elders, priests, teachers, and deacons, and to administer bread and wine, the emblems of the flesh and blood of Christ.” (D&C 20:38-40)
In verses 46-50 we learn :
46 The priest’s duty is to preach, teach, expound, exhort, and baptize, and administer the sacrament,
47 And visit the house of each member and exhort them to pray vocally and in secret and to attend to all family duties.
48 And he may also ordain other priests, teachers, and deacons.
49 And he is to take the lead of meetings when there is no elder present;
50 But when there is an elder present, he is only to preach, teach, expound, exhort, and baptize. (D&C 20:46-50)
Let’s take a closer look at verses 46 and 50 –
46 A priest’s duty is to preach, teach, expound, exhort, and baptize, and administer the sacrament . . .
50 But when there is an elder present, he is only to preach, teach, expound, exhort, and baptize. (D&C 20:46, 50)
From these verses we learn that God commands that the sacrament is to be administered by elders. Priests are not to administer it unless an elder is not present. Teachers and deacons have no part in administering it, for we read in verse 58:
But neither teachers nor deacons have authority to baptize, administer the sacrament, or lay on hands; (D&C 20:58)
In the LDS Church today, priests, teachers, and deacons all administer the sacrament when elders are present. This violates God’s instructions in D&C 20.
The original revelation upon which D&C Section 20 is based was recorded as Chapter 24 of the Book of Commandments the predecessor of the Doctrine and Covenants. There was very significant re-wording done to the original revelation received by Joseph Smith when editing D&C Section 20, though the doctrinal content was not significantly changed. However, in searching the original revelation for the Lord’s instructions regarding the administration of the sacrament, we see that the Lord was even more clear that a Priest is not to administer the sacrament if there is an Elder present:
The priest’s duty is to preach, teach, expound, exhort and baptize, and administer the sacrament, and visit the house of each member, and exhort them to pray vocally and in secret, and also to attend all family duties; And ordain other priests, teachers and deacons, and take the lead of meetings; but none of these offices is he to do when there is an elder present, but in all cases is to assist the elder. (Book of Commandments 24:36-37)
Once God decrees who is authorized to administer His ordinances, He does not revoke His decree and authorize others. Joseph Smith taught –
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. (TPJS, p. 264)
God has appointed elders to administer the sacrament. He has not appointed teachers or deacons to administer it. God has asked us:
Will I receive at your hand that which I have not appointed? (D&C 132:10)
The answer, of course, is no. If the sacrament is not administered by those whom God has appointed to administer it, God will not receive it.
In verse 76 of D&C 20, the elder or priest (if no elder is present) is instructed to kneel “with the church” while the sacrament prayers are offered. He is also instructed to kneel “with the church” in the Book of Mormon, in Moroni 4:2.
If the church does not kneel with the elder (or priest), then the ordinance is not being done according to the instructions of God in both the Book of Mormon and the Doctrine and Covenants.
D&C 20:40 identifies the emblems of the flesh and blood of Christ as “bread and wine.” During a time when enemies of the Church were trying to poison the Saints, Joseph Smith went to buy some wine to be used in the sacrament. He was met by a heavenly messenger on the way, who told him:
Wherefore, a commandment I give unto you, that you shall not purchase wine neither strong drink from your enemies. (D&C 27:3)
This heavenly messenger also explained that it did not matter what we eat or what we drink, so long as we do it with an eye single to the glory of God.
The LDS Church uses water instead of wine today, and they point to D&C 27 as the reason behind the use of water instead of wine.
What they do not remember is that verse 4 of D&C 27 reads that we should partake of no wine, “except it is made new among you.” The angel then explains that “Jesus Christ will yet drink of the fruit of the vine with you on earth.” In D&C 89, God explains that the sacrament “should be wine, yea, pure wine of the grape of the vine, of your own make.” This was given in February, 1833, two and a half years after section 27 was given. The commandment not to purchase wine for sacrament was a circumstantial instruction, and wine of the Saints own make is what God would have us use. If it cannot be obtained except through enemies, then it doesn’t matter what is used as emblems of the flesh and blood of Christ, but in a time of peace and prosperity, this excuse cannot be used to substitute water for wine.
Christ identifies His church as those who are built upon His Gospel. (See 3 Nephi 27:8-11) His Gospel is the Book of Mormon and the Doctrine and Covenants. Unless the Latter-day Saints repent and administer the sacrament with wine, by elders, and with the church kneeling, like the Book of Mormon and Doctrine and Covenants command, then they are not built upon Christ’s Gospel, and are not His church.
It is taught today in the LDS Church that baptism is the process a person must go through to become a member of Jesus Christ’s church. The Lord, however, has a different understanding of church membership. He has stated:
Behold, this is my doctrine, whosoever repenteth and cometh unto me, the same is my church. Whosoever declareth more or less than this, the same is not of me, but is against me; therefore he is not of my church. (D&C 10:67-68)
Repenting and coming unto Christ are the steps a person must complete to become a member of the Church of Jesus Christ, and this, God declares, is His doctrine. Baptism is not for church membership. Baptism is a step in the repentance process, and so is a part of the process of church membership. Over the years, this one part of the process has grown in importance while the other parts (repenting and coming unto Christ) have become proportionally less emphasized. Baptism is for the remission of sins.
Alma ended his discourse to the people of Zarahemla with these words:
I speak by way of command unto you that belong to the church; and unto those who do not belong to the church I speak by way of invitation, saying: Come and be baptized unto repentance, that ye also may be partakers of the fruit of the tree of life. (Alma 5:62)
From this we see that baptism is “unto repentance”, not unto church membership. We also see that Alma commands those who belong to the church at Zarahemla to be baptized.
Alma commands church members to be baptized?
Yes. The baptisms that take place in Alma 6:3, after Alma had preached to the people at Zarahemla, were rebaptisms. A careful reading of Alma 6 shows us that church members who were not rebaptized “were rejected, and their names were blotted out”.
When Alma was done in Zarahemla, he immediately went to the city of Gideon, and to the church members there he taught:
Now I say unto you that ye must repent, and be born again; for the Spirit saith if ye are not born again ye cannot inherit the kingdom of heaven; therefore come and be baptized unto repentance, that ye may be washed from your sins, that ye may have faith on the Lamb of God, who taketh away the sins of the world, who is mighty to save and to cleanse from all unrighteousness. (Alma 7:14)
Baptism is “unto repentance”. And just as repentance can not be done once to obtain church membership, then forgotten; so baptism is not done once for church membership, then forgotten.
A careful study of the chronology of the Book of Mormon shows that just before Christ came almost everyone in the whole land was baptized (Helaman 16:1-5), rebaptized (3 Nephi 1:23), and rebaptized again (3 Nephi 7:23-25). Christ came to the Nephites and they were all rebaptized again (3 Nephi 19:11-13) . That’s at least four rebaptisms in the generation that received the Savior. 3rd Nephi hints at even more rebaptisms during that time :
Now I would have you remember also, that there were none who were brought unto repentance who were not baptized with water. (3 Nephi 7:24)
Remember that Samuel the Lamanite, Nephi, Nephi’s son, who was also named Nephi, his brother Lehi, and many other prophets (3 Nephi 6:20) were all crying repentance unto this generation. And “there were none brought to repentance who were not baptized with water”.
The generation of Nephites that met their Savior were very familiar with the principle of rebaptism, and participated in it.
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)
Assuming that the Gospel was the same for the Nephites as it is for us (and there is plenty of scriptural evidence that it is the same for everybody), elders, priests, and teachers must have already been baptized as part of the process of church membership before they became elders, priests, and teachers. This is yet another case of rebaptism in the Book of Mormon.
In the early part of this dispensation, baptisms for the remission of sins were administered to Church members:
1. upon joining the Church
2. during the reformation of May, 1842 in Nauvoo (BYU Studies, D. Michael Quinn, W78:226-27)
3. upon entering a united order (Temple Lot Case p. 340)
4. upon taking the marriage covenant (BYU Studies, W78:231. Some older Church members may remember this)
5. when they arrived in Utah after crossing the plains (JD 18:201)
6. during the reformation of 1856-57 (Deseret News, Sept. 9, 1856)
7. whenever the Saints requested it (JD 18:241)
8. to heal their illnesses (DHC 4:256; Bancroft’s History of Utah, p. 337)
(The references above are in parentheses are certainly not the only ones describing these various cases for baptism or rebaptism.)
Brigham Young talked about a revelation Joseph Smith received about baptism in 1840. Said he:At this time came a revelation that the Saints could be baptized and rebaptized when they chose (JD 18:241)
For many years the Saints were rebaptized as many times as they felt necessary. But over the years, Church leaders seemed to tire over the constant requests to baptize. In General Conference on October, 1897, the First Presidency announced that there was “too much rebaptism going on,” and declared that it must stop.
And stop it did. Now rebaptism is not allowed at all. Although the leaders of the LDS Church have stopped it, God still recognizes rebaptism as an inseparable part of repentance, because the Gospel is unchangeable. The cleansing waters of rebaptism are available to all, and we invite you to follow Christ into the waters of baptism again, and rededicate yourselves to living the laws of God, and not of man.
PRIESTHOOD OFFICERS AND OFFICES
The duties and offices of the Priesthood have been changed, almost completely, since the Gospel was restored through Joseph Smith. We are going to identify these changes in this section of our pamphlet.
Every elder, priest, teacher, or deacon is to be ordained according to the gifts and callings of God unto him, and he is to be ordained by the power of the Holy Ghost which is in the one who ordains him. (D&C 20:60)
Since 1906, minimum age requirements have been set for deacons, teachers, priests, and since the 1920’s, for elders. Rather than young men being ordained to offices in the priesthood by the power of the Holy Ghost, young men are ordained according to their age. Of course there is still the worthiness interview. A young man must be able to answer questions to the satisfaction of his bishop before he can be ordained. This was not supposed to be the case. Joseph Smith taught that men were to be called by revelation, not by answering the questions correctly. The very idea of interviewing young men every two years for advancement in the priesthood would seem foreign to Joseph Smith. When a young man (or an old man, for that matter) was ready to assume new duties in the priesthood, God made it known through revelation. The LDS Church claims:
We believe a man must be called of God, by prophecy, and by the laying on of hands, by those who are in authority, to preach the gospel and administer in the ordinances thereof. (Fifth Article of Faith)
But in actual practice, they believe that a man must be called by age, and by interviews, to receive the priesthood his fathers received by revelation and prophecy. Is this being ordained by the gifts and callings of God? Has the LDS Church lost the ability to hear the voice of God in heaven? If they have not lost it, why do they not allow God to reveal to them the officers of the priesthood? Why do they limit God by minimum age requirements? The LDS Church today would discredit the ordination of John the Baptist (8 days old), Peter, James, and John (no worthiness interview, just “come, follow me”), Brigham Young Jr. (Ordained an apostle at age 12), Joseph F. Smith (who served a full-time mission at 15), and Mosiah Hancock (who was endowed at age 12). The LDS Church would not recognize such ordinations today, but God still would!
D&C 20:58 reads:
But neither teachers or deacons have authority to baptize, administer the sacrament, or lay on hands. (D&C 20:58)
In the LDS Church today, the deacons administer the sacrament every week. Administering the sacrament is practically the only responsibility of an LDS deacon today. In the scriptures, the duties of a deacon are: To warn, teach, expound, exhort, and invite all to come to Christ. The teacher’s duty is to watch over the church always, see that the church meets together often, see that there is no iniquity in the church, see that the members do their duty, and to warn, teach, expound, and exhort. The deacons are also to assist the teacher when occasion requires. (see D&C 20:53-59)
Today, deacons administer the sacrament and collect fast offerings. Listen to the words of President Brigham Young in General Conference –
When you have a Bishop, and he ordains counselors, Priests, Teachers, and Deacons, and calls them to help him; and he wishes men of his own heart and hand to do this. Says he, ‘I dare not even call a man to be a Deacon, to assist me in my calling, unless he has a family.’ It is not the business of an ignorant young man, of no experience in family matters, to enquire into the circumstances of families, and know the wants of every person. Some may want medicine and nourishment, and to be looked after, and it is not the business of boys to do this; but select a man who has got a family, to be a Deacon, whose wife can go with him, and assist to administering to the needy in the ward. (JD Vol. 2, pg. 89-90, October 6, 1854)
How things have changed! The problem is, some things were never meant to be changed. The Gospel is one of them.
“An apostle is an elder, and it is his calling to baptize.” (D&C 20:38) An elder’s duties are to ordain, administer the sacrament, confirm, teach, expound, exhort, watch over the church, and to take the lead of all meetings as led by the spirit. (D&C 20:39-45) A priest’s duty is to preach, teach, expound, exhort, baptize, visit all members and exhort them to pray, ordain other priests, teachers, and deacons, assist the elder, and to take the lead of meetings and administer the sacrament when no elder is present. (D&C 20:46-52)
Why do we have trouble finding one priest, teacher, or deacon in the Church today that is doing his duty as God defined it? It is because the LDS Church has changed the duties! The duties outlined in the General Handbook of Instruction have taken the place of the duties explained in the Doctrine and Covenants.
Which one did God author, the General Handbook, or the Doctrine and Covenants? If the two conflict and contradict each other (and they most certainly do), why not follow the doctrines of God instead of the philosophies of men, mingled with scripture?
Bishops, according to the Doctrine and Covenants, collect stewardships and offerings, and judge in temporal matters. They do not preside in the Church or judge in spiritual matters. Bishops preside temporally over united orders, not spiritually over churches.
Seventies are traveling missionaries, not General Authorities. In fact, traveling seventies have no administrative authority in stakes, much less general authority over the whole Church.
Apostles are traveling missionaries. In fact, Apostle means “one sent forth” in classical Greek. Today, the LDS apostles run the affairs of the Church. They do not “Go ye therefore, and teach all nations” as Christ instructed His Apostles to do. (Matt 28:19) It might be said that they “stay ye therefore home and send boys to teach all nations”. When apostles do go out into the world, it is not to teach, but to organize stakes and branches. If they teach at all, they preach to the converted. God’s chief missionary force, the apostles, do very little actual missionary work.
From the days of Joseph Smith until 1979, the Church had a presiding patriarch. Now, they say, it does not need one anymore. (It doesn’t need stake seventies, plural marriage, consecration, gathering, rebaptism, etc. anymore, either.) Why are there so many changes in the unchangeable Gospel?
In the days of Joseph Smith, God set down the pattern for the Saints to follow. The LDS Church has gone astray from it. The fact that the General Authorities have made most of these changes without the common consent of the Church is not an excuse – the members of the Church are still rebelling against the Book of Mormon and the Doctrine and Covenants. You must make a choice. Will you follow the brethren and the General Handbook, or will you follow God and the standard works? The camps are now too far apart to follow both.
The principle of plural marriage is one of the least understood parts of the restored Gospel. Today it is taught or understood in the LDS Church that:
1. The New and Everlasting Covenant of Marriage is simply being “married in the temple,” not plural marriage.
2. Plural marriage was never a necessity, but it was optional, or possibly a temporary mandate to accommodate an alleged superfluity of women.
3. God revoked plural marriage in 1890.
4. Plural marriage was never sanctioned nor practiced in the LDS chruch after that date.
5. Plural marriages are not recognized by God today, and won’t be until the millennium.
6. We also find that an increasing number of LDS people are starting the believe that plural marriage was a mistake to start with in the LDS Church, and who also are very reluctant if not in opposition to admitting the plural marriage will be practiced in the Millennium, or in the Heavens.
The truth is much different than what the LDS people have been taught.
In the Celestial glory there are three heavens or degrees; And in order to obtain the highest, a man must enter into this order of the priesthood [meaning the new and everlasting covenant of marriage]; And if he does not, he cannot obtain it. He may enter into the other, but that is the end of his kingdom; he cannot have an increase. (D&C 131:1-4)
It is necessary that a man must enter into the New and Everlasting Covenant of Marriage. If he does not, he cannot obtain the highest degree of the Celestial Kingdom. His eternal progress is stopped; he cannot have an increase.
The following quotations show that plural marriage is the New and Everlasting Covenant of Marriage, and also that plural marriage is necessary to obtain exaltation.
In Apostle Orson Pratt’s first volume of The Seer, D&C 132 was included under the title:
CELESTIAL MARRIAGE: A REVELATION ON THE PATRIARCHAL ORDER OF MATRIMONY, OR PLURALITY OF WIVES
Thus, identifying celestial marriage as plural marriage.
A Deseret News article printed April 6, 1870, states “D&C 132 commands plural marriage.” Apostle Charles W. Penrose was the editor.
In the 1890 edition of the Doctrine and Covenants, 131:2 reads:
…into this b order of the priesthood…
The footnote at the bottom of the page reads “b : D&C 132,” identifying the New and Everlasting covenant of Marriage as the kind of marriage commanded in D&C 132.
The only men who become Gods, even the Sons of God, are those who enter into polygamy. (Brigham Young, JD 11:268-69)
Some people have supposed that the doctrine of plural marriage was a sort of a superfluity, or nonessential to the salvation or exaltation of mankind. In other words, some of the Saints have said, and believe, that a man with one wife, sealed to him by the authority of the Priesthood for time and eternity, will receive an exaltation as great and glorious, if he is faithful, as he possibly could get with more than one. I want here to enter my solemn protest against this idea, for I know it is false. There is no blessing promised except upon conditions, and no blessing can be obtained by mankind except by faithful compliance with the conditions, or law, upon which the same is promised. The marriage of one woman to a man for time and eternity by the sealing power, according to the law of God, is a fulfillment of the celestial law of marriage in part – and is good so far as it goes – and so far as a man abide these conditions of the law, he will receive his reward therefore, and this reward, or blessing, he could not obtain on any other grounds or conditions. But this is only the beginning of the law, not the whole of it. Therefore, whoever has imagined that he could obtain the fullness of the blessings pertaining to the celestial law, by complying with only a portion of its conditions, has deceived himself. He cannot do it. (Apostle Joseph F. Smith, July 7, 1878, JD 20:28)
I bear my solemn testimony that plural marriage is as true as any principle that has been revealed from the heavens. I bear my testimony that it is a necessity, and that the Church of Christ in its fullness; never existed without it. Where you have the eternity of the marriage covenant you are bound to have plural marriage; bound to. (Apostle George Teasdale, Jan 13, 1884, JD 25:21)
The great question is this – will we unite with the plurality order of the Ancient Patriarchs, or will we consent voluntarily to be doomed to eternal celibacy? This is the true division of the question. One or the other we must choose. We cannot be married to our husbands for eternity, without subscribing to the law that admits a plurality of wives. (Millennial Star 15:266)
Without the doctrine this revelation (D&C 132) reveals, no man on earth could be exalted to be a God. (Brigham Young, Millennial Star Supplement, 15:31-32)
Yes sir, President Woodruff, President Young, and President John Taylor, taught me and all the rest of the ladies here in Salt Lake that a man in order to be exalted in the Celestial Kingdom must have more than one wife, that having more than one wife was a means of exaltation. (Bathsheba W. Smith, Temple Lot Case, p. 362)
If the doctrine of plural marriage was repudiated so must be the glorious principle of marriage for eternity, the two being indissolubly interwoven together. (Charles W. Penrose, July 16, 1883, Millennial Star 45:454)
God commanded Abraham and Sarah gave Hagar to Abraham to wife. And why did she do it? Because this was the law…(D&C 132:34)
But the doctrine that Brigham Young, Charles W. Penrose, Orson Pratt, John Taylor, Joseph F. Smith, Wilford Woodruff, and God Himself explained was essential, James E. Talmage denied when he said:
But of Celestial marriage, plurality of wives was an incident, never an essential. (James E. Talmage, Story and Philosophy of Mormonism, p. 89)
Dr. Talmage was either doctrinally ignorant or a deliberate liar. But Talmage’s view of the plurality of wives as non-essential is the view the LDS Church takes today. Modern LDS leaders must be doctrinally ignorant or deliberate liars, because they teach a false Church history.
It is hard to believe the 1890 manifesto was a revelation if the historical events that surround it are understood. While the Prophet Joseph Smith was in Liberty Jail, he wrote:
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. (DHC 3:295)
The 1890 manifesto does not even refer to God, much less state “Thus saith the Lord.” (Go read it yourself, if you do not believe it.) It ends, “And now I publicly declare that my advice to the Latter-day Saints is to refrain from contracting any marriage forbidden by the law of the land.” It was “advice,” not a commandment, from Wilford Woodruff to refrain from plural marriage. If Joseph Smith’s statement from Liberty Jail is true, then the manifesto cannot be considered binding!
Joseph Smith taught that a revelation that contradicts a former revelation is false (see TPJS p. 215). Since the 1890 manifesto contradicts D&C 132 and the teachings of every prophet and apostle from 1852 to 1890, it is safe to consider it false.
The most glaring contradiction of the 1890 manifesto is the Church’s actions after it. D. Michael Quinn, former professor of history at BYU, has documented:
All first presidency members either allowed or authorized new plural marriages from 1890 to 1904, and a few as late as 1906 and 1907. One Church President married a plural wife, and three counselors in the First Presidency performed marriages for men who had wives living already. A Presidency’s secretary proposed polygamous marriage in 1903, and another Presidency’s secretary performed a polygamous marriage in 1907.
Of the 16 men who served only as apostles – in other words, their service did not extend into the First Presidency, but they served only as apostles, 8 of these 16 men married post-manifesto wives. Three of them who did not do so, performed plural marriages. Two of them who did not do either of the above arranged for plural marriages. Only three men who served only as apostles from 1890 to April, 1904, did not participate at all in encouraging, promoting, or entering into new plural marriages. (D. M. Quinn, talk delivered to Apostolic United Brethren, Aug. 11, 1991)
The very men who issued the 1890 manifesto did not live by it. Maybe the following excerpt from a letter to the President of the United States explains why:
To be at peace with the Government and in harmony with their fellow citizens who are not of their faith and to share in the confidence of the Government and people, our people have voluntarily put aside something which all their lives they believed to be a sacred principle. (Petition for Amnesty, Messages of the First Presidency 3:231)
This letter was signed by the First Presidency and ten apostles. They wrote that the Latter-day Saints have “voluntarily put aside” plural marriage, not that God revoked it. It is understandable that most of the men who signed that letter did not follow the “advice” of the 1890 manifesto themselves. They knew it was not a revelation because they issued it. They knew it was not binding, and that God still required a plurality of wives for exaltation.
Ten months before the 1890 manifesto was issued on 24 Novemer 1889, Wilford Woodruff received a revelation commanding the First Presidency not to give up plural marriage. This revelation may be found in the Messages of the First Presidency 3:175-76.
Note the law of common consent as God revealed it:
And all things shall be done by common consent in the church, by much prayer and faith, for all things shall you 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)
The 1890 manifesto was presented to the United States government in Washington, on September 25, 1890, by John T. Caine. It was not until October 6, 1890, two weeks later, that it was presented for common consent to the LDS people. The leaders of the Church told the government that the people had been advised to give up plural marriage before the people knew a thing about it.
The 1890 manifesto fails every test applied to it. It does not command anything, or say “Thus saith the Lord”. (DHC 3:295) It contradicts a former revelation. (TPJS 215) It was not issued by common consent. (D&C 26:2, D&C 28:13) The authorities who issued it did not live by it, but continued to live the New and Everlasting Covenant of Marriage.
THE LAW OF THE LAND
The 1890 manifesto explains the reason for Wilford Woodruff’s “advice” to the Latter-day Saints. Where it reads, “Inasmuch as laws have been passed in Congress forbidding plural marriages…”. We are a people who believe in “obeying, honoring, and sustaining the law.”
The truth of the matter must go deeper, because Joseph Smith lived plural marriage in Illinois, where is was punishable by $1,000 fine and two years imprisonment. Brigham Young lived it for 15 years in Utah Territory, where it was punishable by five years imprisonment and $500 fine. Were Joseph Smith and Brigham Young guilty of adultery in the eyes of God because they were violating the laws of the land?
God defines the law of the land as this:
And now, verily I say unto you concerning the laws of the land, it is my will that my people should do all things whatsoever I command them. And that law of the land which is constitutional, supporting that principle of freedom in sustaining rights and privileges, belongs to all mankind, and is justifiable before me. 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 the laws of man, whatsoever is more or less than this, cometh of evil. (D&C 98:4-7)
The first amendment to the Constitution of the United States, which is the law of the land in God’s eyes, states:
Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances.
Had James E. Talmage been right, and plural marriage was not a vital part of the restored Gospel, then it might be argued that the first amendment does not apply to plural marriage among Saints, but faced with the overwhelming evidence (part of which has been quoted above) that plural marriage is indeed a necessity to the LDS religion, the laws forbidding plural marriage are unconstitutional, and are not justifiable before God. (see D&C 98:5)
Furthermore, California legislators enacted a law on January 1, 1976, that repealed all penalties for the practice of plural marriage. More Latter-day Saints live in California than in Utah, and there is no law of the land in California prohibiting the practice of plural marriage, but the LDS Church still excommunicates its members in California for entering into plural marriages. Those claiming that plural marriage was revoked because it violates the laws of the land have not explained why it has not been restored in California.
Finally, the Prophet Daniel lived in a day when the law of the land was to bow down and worship the King’s golden image. Anyone who refused or worshipped any other God would be put to death. Daniel chose to disobey the law of the land and worship God, and God blessed him because of it. The laws of the land have changed, but the principle is still the same. God would rather have us obey him than Congress. To claim that the unalterable decrees of God are revoked because wicked men pass unrighteous laws is to subjugate God to Congress, instead of Congress to God.
Plural Marriage Conclusion:
God has not revoked plural marriage. It was – and still is – necessary to our exaltation, and a necessary principle in a true Zion society.
The leaders of the LDS Church teach that it was revoked by God in 1890, that it hasn’t been practiced by them since then, and that God does not approve of plural marriage today. This is incorect on every count. It was a necessity, the 1890 manifesto did not revoke it, the First Presidency and Quorum of Twelve practiced it after 1890, and God’s requirements for this dispensation have not changed.
Please read D&C 132 and see for yourself if God commands plural marriage. Read the 1890 manifesto, and see for yourself if God revoked plural marriage. Compare each of them to other revelations in the Doctrine and Covenants, and see which of them came from God, and which came from man.
Consecration is one of the covenants we must obey in order to enter into the presence of God. It is necessary to live consecration to build Zion. It is also forbidden by the LDS Church leaders today.
The Lord said:
Zion cannot be built up unless it is by the principles of the law of the celestial kingdom; otherwise I cannot receive her unto myself. (D&C 105:5)
The law of the Celestial Kingdom spoken of here is the law of consecration. And we, the Saints, will not return to Jackson County and build up Zion until we succeed at living the law of consecration here.
Consecration is not home teaching, as some have said. Neither is it a lifetime of faithful Church service. God explains that consecration means the consecration of property, “with a covenant and deed which cannot be broken.” (D&C 42:30, see also D&C 51:4 and D&C 78:11)
Consecration is the United Order. It is giving all to God, then relying on Him to give back the necessities of life through the bishop. Consecration is well defined by God in D&C 42, D&C 51, D&C 58, D&C 78, D&C 85, and D&C 104. To say consecration means something different today is to accuse God of changing.
Orson Pratt, one of the Twelve Apostles in the days of Brigham Young, asked the Saints the following question:
Supposing we should all be returned say this fall, or next year to Jackson County. Say a large majority should be returned to the land of our inheritances, in Missouri, and in the regions round about, and it should be said unto us, ‘Go ye my Sons and build up Zion according to the Celestial law, through the consecration of the property of my church, as I have commanded,’ Would you be prepared to do this work? Have you an experience at it? Have you learned the lessons by experience? No, no; years after years have passed away since the law was given, and the law has not been practiced in our midst. (Aug. 16, 1873, JD 16:158-59)
We can compare the lives of the people in 1873 to the lives of us today in the mid 1990’s, and we testify that we are doing a worse job of consecration today than our fathers did in 1873.
In 1873, When Apostle Orson Pratt chastized our fathers for not living consecration well enough to build Zion, some of the Saints had consecrated all that they had and signed deeds of stewardship, transferring the ownership of all their property to God, through his agent, the bishop, but there were not enough in 1873 living the law correctly to build Zion. Today, there are none in the Church living the law. Anyone who offers all his property to the Church – or to God – through the bishop, learns that the Church will not accept it.
Some of you have covenanted with God (not with the LDS Church, but with God) to obey the law of consecration. The Church will not let you keep your covenant today. If you do not live up to every covenant you make at the altars of the temple, you are in Satan’s power, and your own church leaders forbid you from living up to the covenant of consecration.
In the early 1830’s, thousands of the Saints were driven out of Jackson County by angry mobs and corrupt politicians. Joseph Smith, seeing the suffering of these Saints, asked God why it had happened.
I the Lord have suffered the affliction to come upon them, wherewith they have been afflicted, in consequence of their transgression…
Behold, I say unto you, there were jarrings, and contentions, and envyings and strifes, and lustful and covetous desires among them; therefore by these things they polluted their inheritances. (D&C 101:2,6)
They had gone to build Zion by the law of consecration, but they envied, coveted, and contended over property. Thus the Lord allowed them to be driven out, because the decree is that His Saints will never build up Zion unless they do it by the principles of the law of consecration.
The LDS Church will not allow consecration, but they still administer the Consecration Covenant in the endowment. God expects you to keep your covenants. Since the LDS Church will not provide the opportunity for you to consecrate, we suggest you find a church that will.
The Lord explains that a full tithe is not 10%, it is all surplus property, then 10% ever after. Joseph Smith asked, “O Lord, show unto thy servants how much thou requirest of the property of thy people for a tithing.”
The answer (D&C 119):
Verily, thus saith the Lord, I require all their surplus property to be put into the hands of the bishop of my church in Zion, 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. And after that, those who have been thus tithed shall pay one-tenth of all their interest annually; and this shall be a standing law unto them forever, for my holy priesthood, saith the Lord. Verily, I say unto you, it shall come to pass that all those who gather unto the land of Zion shall be tithed of their surplus properties, and shall observe this law, or they shall not be found worthy to abide among you. And I say unto you, if my people observe not this law, to keep it holy, and by this law sanctify the land of Zion unto me, that my statutes and my judgments may be kept thereon, that it may be most holy, behold, verily I say unto you, it shall not be a land of Zion unto you. And this shall be an en sample unto all the stakes of Zion. Even so. Amen. (D&C 119)
The LDS Church will not allow you to live the Lord’s definition of tithing, but God declared it to be a standing law forever. You can live the law of tithing the LDS Church practices today, or live the law of tithing God revealed and let the consequences follow. God bless you to make the right choice.
THE LDS CHURCH’S ALTERATION OF THE HOLY ENDOWMENT
The Prophet Joseph Smith once explained the purpose of the endowment to Bathsheba W. Smith, wife of Apostle George A. Smith. She records that Joseph said “…that we did not know how to pray and have our prayers answered. But when I and my husband had our endowments … Joseph Smith presiding, he taught us the true order of prayer.” (Words of Joseph Smith p. 54)
Just before the endowment was offered, Joseph . . .spoke of delivering the Keys of the Priesthood to the Church, and said that the faithful members of the Relief Society should receive them with their husbands, that the Saints whose integrity has been tried and proved faithful, might know how to ask the Lord and receive an answer. (TPJS, p. 226)
Brigham Young explained that the endowment was. . .
to receive all those ordinances in the House of the Lord which are necessary for you, after you have departed this life, to walk back into the presence of the Father, passing the angels who stand as sentinels, being enabled to give them the key words, the signs and tokens, pertaining to the holy Priesthood and gain your exaltation, in spite of earth and hell. (JD 2:31)
The endowment has never been an optional ordinance, like a patriarchal blessing or a healing of the sick. The endowment is a necessary ordinance in our progression toward heaven. We cannot receive the blessings available in the endowment in any other way except through the endowment, and those blessings are prerequisite to our receiving our exaltations. Joseph Smith taught that God had uttered certain irrevocable decrees, and that “when we receive any blessing from God, it is by obedience to that law upon which it is predicated.” (D&C 130:21) Talking with God face to face is predicated upon using the True Order of Prayer that is only taught in the endowment.
Joseph Smith personally administered the endowment to men like Brigham Young, Wilford Woodruff, and Heber C. Kimball. Near the end of his life, he called together the Twelve Apostles and others and diligently taught them the ordinances of the Gospel, how to administer them, and the symbolic meaning and power behind each aspect of each ordinance, including the endowment. Once the ordinances and the authority to perform them had been given to men on the earth, Joseph warned them not to alter them.
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. (TPJS, p. 308)
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 administer, the same; and the signs and fruits resulting from the promises, the same. (TPJS, p. 264)
And again, God purposed in Himself that there should not be an eternal fullness until every dispensation should be fulfilled and gathered into one, and that all things whatsoever, that should be gathered together in one in those dispensations unto the same fullness and eternal glory, should be in Christ Jesus; therefore, HE SET THE ORDINANCES TO BE THE SAME FOREVER AND EVER, and set Adam to watch over them, to reveal them from heaven to man, or to send angels to reveal them. (TPJS, p. 168)
And speaking particularly about the endowment, he said:
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. (TPJS, p. 91)
On June 8, 1887, Wilford Woodruff wrote a letter to Logan Temple President Roskelley. Part of it says:
Now, concerning the 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 a man who thoroughly understood the principle of the Endowments it was Brigham Young. He has been with Joseph Smith from the beginning of the Endowments, to the end, and he understood it if any man did. And before his death he required me to write a Book, every ordinance of the Church and Kingdom of God, from the first to the last, beginning with baptism, to the last ordinance performed, through every department of the endowments. I was several weeks doing this writing, and President Young corrected it all, until he got through. Then he said to me “Now, THERE YOU HAVE A PATTERN OF ALL THE ORDINANCES OR ENDOWMENTS FOR EVERY TEMPLE WE SHALL BUILD, UNTIL THE COMING OF THE SON OF MAN.”
Now, if I ever have anything to do or say, in any Temple on the earth, concerning the Endowment, I would say: FOLLOW THE PATTERN THAT PRESIDENT YOUNG HAS SET US, AND NOT DEVIATE FROM IT ONE IOTA. And if we do that, we may have a hundred Temples at work, and all the work and ceremonies will be alike in every Temple. While on the other hand, if every man who is called to preside over a Temple has his own way, and introduces his own form of ceremonies, our Temple work would be as diverse as the sectarian world, and God would not approbate it.
Brother Roskelley, I have given endowments in Salt Lake City for twenty years, and I received my endowments under the hand of the Prophet Joseph Smith. I directed the fixing up of the Temple in St. George for giving endowments, under the direction of President Young; since THE RULES ARE WRITTEN FOR OUR GUIDANCE IN ALL FUTURE TIME, I feel very strenuously that in giving Endowments we should all work alike, and NOT DEVIATE FROM THE WRITTEN WORD. (Wilford Woodruff to Logan Temple President Roskelley, June 8, 1887, Original in Church Historian’s Office, copies in Truth 1:34-35, and Truth 16:42.)
Despite all of the above mentioned instructions to keep the endowment ceremony unchanged, the LDS Church has changed the endowment several times over the last century. Without revealing things that should not be revealed, let us take a look at the changes in the endowment ceremony and related ordinances.
In 1894, the sealing principle was changed by Wilford Woodruff. It used to be that faithful members of the Church did genealogy to find their righteous ancestors and have those ancestors sealed to them. The Saints would then become saviors on Mount Zion to their righteous ancestors, and these ancestors would become part of the eternal posterity of the Saint who had them sealed to him. Wilford Woodruff reversed this when he told the Saints to be sealed to their ancestors, no matter how corrupt or evil they may have been. Sealing ordinances in the temples have been reversed for the last hundred years, and today Church members are sealing the dregs of society to themselves as their patriarchs (giving these ancestors patriarchal authority over the patrons), simply because they slept with one of their grandmothers years ago.
The Lecture at the Veil was rewritten and the identity of our Heavenly Father was deleted just after the turn of the century. The following excerpt speaks for itself –
Brother Horne and I chatted again tonight about the Gospel and the Adam-God Doctrine, as we have done many times before. Brother Horne, who grew up in Salt Lake City and was the son of Richard Horne and grandson of Joseph Horne, said – in reference to the Adam-God Doctrine – that when he first went through the (Salt Lake) Temple for his Endowment in 1902 before going on his mission he was surprised to hear the teachings during the Temple ceremony that ‘Adam was our God’ and that ‘He came here with Eve, one of His wives’. Also, it was taught that ‘Eve bore our spirits’. He asked his father about it but he declined to give any opinion about it. After Brother Horne returned from his mission a few years later, in 1905, he noted these teachings had been removed from the Temple ceremony. (C. Jess Groesbeck’s Elders Journal, Vol. 1:291)
The next change to the endowment was brought about by political circumstances. Before 1896, Utah was a Territory, controlled by the United States government. Utah’s citizens had no voice in United States policy, because territories are not allowed to send representatives to Congress. States, on the other hand, are guaranteed by the United States Constitution the right to choose their own representation. Utah tried unsuccessfully many times to gain statehood so that Utahns could elect their own congressional representatives. In 1896, Utah succeeded in obtaining statehood. In the early 1900’s Utah elected a man named Reed Smoot to be a senator in Congress. Although he was legally elected and the United States Constitution guaranteed Utah its own representation, when Reed Smoot got to Washington and tried to begin his responsibilities, the Congress of the United States refused to seat him.
Why? Reed Smoot was a Mormon apostle.
What followed has become known as the Reed Smoot Investigations. For several years the federal government tried to prove that a Mormon apostle – even though legally elected – was unfit to serve in Congress. The LDS Church was thoroughly investigated by unfriendly bureaucrats and zealous lawyers. Any controversy that could be dug up, was dug up, and used against the Church.
The Oath of Vengeance is what the investigation committee used most effectively. Part of the endowment ceremony was the Oath of Vengeance. Endowment patrons took an oath to never cease praying that God would bring vengeance upon this wicked nation for shedding the blood of the prophets. The Oath of Vengeance proved, to the federal investigators, that Mormons were not patriotic citizens and that a Mormon apostle such as Reed Smoot was unqualified to be a senator.
Joseph F. Smith was president of the Church at that time. His solution to the dilemma was to remove the Oath of Vengeance from the endowment. In 1908, President Joseph F. Smith ordered the Oath of Vengeance removed. He also tried to cover up all evidence that such an Oath ever existed. President Smith never presented a revelation from God telling him to change the endowment. He never claimed to have received one. He simply took a covenant out of the endowment to appease the federal government. This was the first covenant removed from the endowment.
It should be pointed out here that the covenants made in the endowment are each extremely serious. God will not be mocked in these covenants. God revealed to Joseph Smith the covenants of the endowment ceremony, and Joseph administered them as he was commanded to by God. These covenants are eternal in their nature. Obeying them brings eternal blessings; disobeying them brings eternal cursings. They were in the endowment that was administered in ancient Israel, they were in the early LDS Church endowment, and they should still be in the endowment today. When these covenants are removed, it becomes impossible for the Saints to keep all the covenants of God, for they cannot receive them. Likewise, if a covenant in the endowment is replaced with a commandment of men, God will not accept its fulfillment as binding. God is bound when we do what He says, not when we do what men say. When God gives a covenant through revelation and Church leaders replace it with a covenant of their own making, God is not bound to keep it. Only those who receive and obey all of the covenants of the endowment qualify for the blessings the endowment offers – the ability to pierce the veil and commune with God, to pray in the Order of Prayer that God answers with revelation.
Some of you may remember these placards:
|THE FOLLOWING IS TO BE REGARDED AS AN ESTABLISHED AND IMPERATIVE RULE. THE GARMENT 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 WRISTS 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. JOSEPH F. SMITH, Pres.|
On June 28, 1916, Joseph F. Smith caused the above written placards to be hung in every temple then in existence. In 1923, President Heber J. Grant sanctioned what was called the “street garment,” or a shorter version of the Garment of the Holy Priesthood. It did not go to the wrists or ankles – it was designed for socially conscious members who wanted to wear the fashions of a wicked world. President Grant did not make wearing it mandatory; people could still obtain from the Church and wear the original Garment. (The original pattern as revealed to Joseph Smith is no longer available from the LDS Church. This, in effect, makes Heber J. Grant’s “permission” to wear the altered garments mandatory.)
When Heber J. Grant replaced the Garment of the Holy Priesthood with the “street garment” in 1923, he ordered every one of Joseph F. Smith’s placards to be taken out of the temples and burned.
During the “women’s movement” of the early 1920’s, Heber J. Grant rewrote the Woman’s Oath of Obedience, because some sisters found it offensive. The wording was changed to make the woman the judge as to whether her husband was leading “in righteousness”. If the woman judged her husband as lacking, she was not bound by her oath to him. No revelation to do it was ever presented. No revelation was ever claimed. The judge of the husband was now the wife, instead of God.
In 1933, Heber J. Grant was paid a visit by a sister from southern California who had broken the Law of Chastity covenant. She had divorced her husband “to whom she had been given by the Holy Priesthood” and her new husband was married to her by civil authority only, she was indeed having sexual intercourse with a member of the opposite sex to whom she had not been given by the Holy Priesthood. She had presented her case to her Stake High Council, who arranged for her to visit President Grant. She showed up in President Grant’s office, crying. What could she do? President Grant had a simple solution; he rewrote the covenant. When he was done it read “to anyone of the opposite sex to whom you are legally and lawfully married.” President Grant neither produced a revelation from God commanding the change, nor did he ever claim to have received one, but the sister from southern California felt better.
Do God’s requirements for exaltation change? Of course not. Then why did Heber J. Grant change one of them? Why haven’t the people in the Church insisted that their leaders include the covenants that God recognizes in the endowment? Heber J. Grant changed the standard, and the Church no longer considers this sister guilty of adultery. BUT GOD STILL DOES! His requirement didn’t change a bit just because Heber J. Grant’s did. With that in mind, did President Grant do this sister a favor, or a disservice?
In the early days of the dispensation, New Names were given to endowment patrons by revelation. These New Names had a special significance, but that significance is no longer taught in the temple. New Names that were given were names of ancient Saints who had received salvation and were justified through Christ Jesus. Today, New Names are read off of a sheet of paper to endowment patrons. Everyone in the session receives the same one. No revelation is involved. New Names of “Cain” and “Nimrod,” two of the most evil men to walk the earth, have recently been given to patrons. If patrons who received such New Names knew the relationship between themselves and the person whose New Name they bear, they would be shattered at the realization of what they had received.
Washings and Anointings have changed somewhat, too. Washing with water is symbolic of being washed clean from sin. A hundred years ago, endowment patrons were literally washed. Today, a sprinkle of water here and a sprinkle of water there is considered sufficient. Anointing with oil is symbolic of the Holy Ghost being poured out upon a person. Patrons used to have oil poured out upon them. The more oil used, the more symbolism of the Holy Ghost. Today, tiny drops of oil are used to anoint patrons, so as not to offend anyone.
May 3, 1978, a letter from the First Presidency was sent to all stake presidents and bishops, ordering them to stop using the True Order of Prayer outside the temples. Since 1842, when Joseph Smith gave the first endowments of this dispensation, until 1978, for 136 years, temple patrons were taught the True Order of Prayer and commanded in the Lecture at the Veil to use it “to call upon God for the rest of your lives.” Using the True Order of Prayer outside of the temple is now grounds for excommunication, and unless you are a temple worker and happen to be playing a certain part in the endowment ceremony, you do not get to be mouth during the prayer. We are taught very specifically how to pray and receive an answer, but are now forbidden to do so.
In January, 1980, another major revision of the garment took place. The Garment of the Holy Priesthood that was revealed to Joseph Smith has shrunk from the wrists and ankles to the shoulders and thighs, and 4 of the 8 symbolic marks have been removed. The new “sport garment” comes in a package marked “AUTHORIZED PATTERN”, and anyone wearing the original “authorized pattern,” or Garment of the Holy Priesthood, is considered by current Church authorities as not wearing the approved garment, and will not be allowed to participate in the temple ceremonies. One is the “authorized pattern” of the LDS Church; the other is the “authorized pattern” of God.
On April 10, 1990, a major revision of the endowment took place. The Woman’s Oath of Obedience was changed. The Five Points of Fellowship were removed. The part of the preacher was removed. The penalties accompanying the tokens of the Priesthood were all removed, and the first sign of the Melchizedek Priesthood was changed.
Those who understand the significance of the endowment will appreciate the seriousness of these changes. The purpose of the endowment, according to Joseph Smith, was “to teach you how to pray so as to have your prayers answered.” The way we are taught to pray in the endowment is the True Order of Prayer. In the True Order of Prayer, all of the names, signs, and penalties must be offered up to open the veil and commune with God. If the penalties are left out, then it is no longer the True Order of Prayer. It has become an Untrue Order, or a False Order of Prayer.
Anciently, a sacrificial lamb was offered in the temple ceremony. It was killed in a symbolic manner. The throat was slit, it was slit across the 13th rib, and it was disemboweled. Ring a bell? On April 10, 1990, the “daily sacrifice was taken away” from the temple ceremony, just as Daniel saw in his vision. See Daniel chapters 8, 9, 11, 12, for example:
And arms shall stand on his part, and they shall pollute the sanctuary of strength, and shall take away the daily sacrifice, and they shall place the abomination that maketh desolate. (Daniel 11:31)
The first sign of the Melchizedek Priesthood has been changed. If there is any power in the sign used today, it is power to open up the veil to the Satanic side.
The Five Points of Fellowship, or the Holy Embrace, is very significant. In the endowment, after we have fulfilled all of our covenants and offered up the True Order of Prayer, we converse with the Lord through the veil. Although He hides His face from us, we still recognize that it is indeed the Lord with whom we speak, because He takes us in the Five Points of Fellowship.
In our mortal lives, once we have fulfilled all of our covenants and offered up the True Order of Prayer, we do converse with the Lord through the Veil. He must hide His face from us, because of His all-consuming glory, but we still recognize that it is the Lord with whom we speak, because He takes us in the Five Points of Fellowship. The Five Points of Fellowship are one of the ways we recognize Celestial Beings from beyond the veil.
The preacher, who has been to college and been trained for the ministry, is paid well to preach the doctrines of men mingled with scripture. The LDS leaders claim that they took out the preacher because other denominations found it offensive, but no other denomination is allowed to attend the LDS temples. How would they know that the endowment portrays a preacher paid to mingle the philosophies of men with scripture? Were they really trying to hide something else?
During General Conference in 1991, a group of homosexual LDS Church members demanded more respect from the Church. They warned that unless they were granted the right to have homosexual marriages solemnized in the temples and more recognition by the Church, they would march onto Temple Square during the final conference session on Sunday, April 7, 1991, and demand that their names be removed from Church records. On Saturday, April 6th, Church Spokesman Don LeFevre issued a press release. Part of it said:
An individual with homosexual feelings can be a member in good standing and should not feel an outcast in the Church. It is the sexual act outside of marriage – homosexual or heterosexual – that is not condoned and may lead to Church discipline. (Deseret News, April 7, 1991)
Homosexuals in good standing have been allowed to attend the temple ever since.
We have been taught for years that when we die, we will be tested by the angels on our knowledge of the tokens, names, signs, and penalties we receive in the endowment. If we have received names that are read off of a sheet of paper, an incorrect sign, and no penalties at all, how much good has our endowment done for us? It will not admit us past the angels; neither will it part the veil and allow us to commune with God while in mortality. It has become nothing more than a status symbol among members of the Church. It surely is not efficacious in the eyes of Heaven.
Modern LDS leaders claim that exaltation is impossible for those alive today without the modern endowment. The truth is that exaltation is impossible without the original endowment. The original was revealed by God Himself. He recognizes its signs, tokens, and penalties. He is bound to fulfill His part of the covenants if we fulfill our part, but He is not bound to fulfill the covenants that have been deleted or rewritten. Neither does He recognize prayer in the True Order, with changed signs, New Names assigned without revelation, and no penalties. Perhaps the biggest crime of all is not that the endowment has been stripped of its divine power, but that the patrons are led to believe they are getting something that they are not. Those who have changed the elements of the endowment will receive their punishments – if not in this life, then in the next, for God will not be mocked.
DOES THE LDS CHURCH STILL HAVE PRIESTHOOD AUTHORITY?
This pamphlet has demonstrated that the doctrines and ordinances restored by God to this dispensation have been greatly altered, forgotten, denied, and rewritten. Below are some statements that inform us of the consequences of these changes.
Let this Church which is called the Kingdom of God on earth; we will summons [sic] the First Presidency, the Twelve, the High Council, the Bishopric, and all the elders of Israel. Suppose we summons them and 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. (Brigham Young, Feb. 5, 1852; BYU Studies, S79:399-400)
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, JD 5:203)
If there is no change of ordinances, there is no change of Priesthood. (Joseph Smith, TPJS, p. 158)
If there is no change of Priesthood, there is no change of ordinances. (Joseph Smith, TPJS, p. 308)
There is nothing that would so soon 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. In such an event, we might bid farewell to the Holy Priesthood with all it’s blessings, privileges, and aids to exaltations, principalities, and powers in the eternities of the Gods. (Brigham Young, JD 10:32)
What would be necessary to bring about the result nearest the heart of the opponents of ‘Mormonism,’ more properly termed the Gospel of the Son of God? Simply to renounce, abrogate, or apostatize from the New and Everlasting Covenant of Marriage in its fullness. 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 ordinances among this people. 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. (Charles W. Penrose, Deseret News, April 23, 1885)
There is very little Priesthood left in the LDS Church, and none at all among its leaders. Every warning they have received, they have rejected, and the Priesthood has been withdrawn by God. Another people have been raised up, a people who will live every part of the restored Gospel. We are that people.