And, finding there was greater happiness and peace and rest for me, I sought for the blessings of the fathers, and the right whereunto I should be ordained to administer the same (Abraham, vs 2)

Monday, December 29, 2014

A Friend In God

Where is thy pavillion that coverth thy hiding place? Is there a burden that is given from thee that is not meant to be born? Do thy children even see thy great mercies Lord? Is there one who you may call friend? They proclaim they know thee but than why is thy hand still stretched forth for them? There are many who testify of thee but there is few who know thee. What would you say, Lord, if you were walking here again? Thy children profess thy name but walketh not in thy holy places. They call upon thee but their prayers are in vain. They sing praises unto thee but their hearts are far from thee. They say they are choosen but they know nothing of the mysteries of godliness. Oh says one, I see him in the life I live, oh says another I see thee in the workings of my life and through the spirit. But is that a friend? Is that one you could call a friend? One who merely knows about you Lord?

Why do thy children think they are Righteouss when thy name Lord is Righteousness? Why do we think we are wise when we are only fools before thee? Oh Lord how long will thy hand be extended still while the cries of those who suffer and go hungry must enter into thy ears? How long will thy hand be stayed? If you will only extend thy arm, an helping hand, to relieve the sufferings who's burdens are being born from those who profess thy name but know thee not! Oh Lord, is there a friend yet upon this earth who seeks thy will? Who does thy bidding? Where are thy fruits? I look around and see a form of godliness but where is thy great power?

Where are the gifts of the spirits being born among thy servants? Where are those who have received of thy divine power? Is there yet one upon the earth? Is there yet one here who you may call friend? One who will sacrifice all earthly things in thy behalf? Who takes the declarations to "come unto me" as an invitation to talk to you face to face, as one man speaks to another?

If its the first principle that we may converse with thee as a man converses with another than why do thy children hide their faces? Why do thy children here cover their hearts? When thou prayest thy hands stretches to the heavens, thy eyes pierce the parting skies not the darkness of the soul, thy body rests upon two wounded knees as a type of thy great mercies and humility.

Sunday, December 28, 2014

Look For the Angels

Look for angels to mingle with the true body of believers. They are one of the great evidences that you have found God's people. When angels are no longer being seen, no longer being heard from, then you must find your own connection to heaven and bring them back into your own life. The true body of Christ will always have "eagles" hovering over it.

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

A Story: My Grieving Heart

A young hiker set off from the valley floor to hike up this steep slope of a hill. It was just another day that the man had to himself to enjoy and set his worries aside. He set forth not knowing where he was going. Leaving his family at home he set out to begin the ascent up this hill. As he begun to climb, the hill became steeper and steeper. Putting his feet in front of the other, one by one, he paced up this hill. As he ascended he got higher and higher from the valley below. He would take an occasional gaze on the valley and see that a midst was settling in.

As he climbed higher and higher the midst became heavier and heavier below him. The sun shone through the clouds radiating a bright red with a tint of orange on the horizon. He begun to see as the midst settled things were not as they were when he started the journey. At first it was clear, blue sky, with no cares or worries. But now this midst had caught his attention.

He tread forward up this hill that seemed to become steeper and steeper. What looked like a small hill became a large bank. He wondered how he could so carelessly not realized this before he had started out on his journey. The day was still young and he was full of energy. The midst had reached a point where one could hardly see past it if they tried to gaze at the city below.

Needing some water he sat on a rock and looked about. He made an observation he had not noticed before. This midst was coming from the city. It could not be determined where exactly but it was certain, the people below had brought this midst upon themselves. It was only now that he had ascended this bank that he could notice it.

His journey was not complete, he wanted to get to the top. As he trudged forward, the stepper the bank got. He soon realized there were cliffs ahead. Fear took in if he wanted to finish this journey he would have to tread a dangerous course. A course with uncertainty. A course where no one would be there if he needed help. Yet he decided to move forward. As he begun to climb the cares of the world overtook him. Did he have the strength to climb these cliffs? Did he have the strength to go on? He knew he could go on despite the likelihood of falling. He had confidence and continued its course.

Suddenly a voice came unto him, you must leave the midst below. You must not go back but finish your climb before your return to your family. I wondered, why must I not go back? Why had I not seen that midst while I was below but now it is so clear?

I arrived at the top of the cliffs. I sat and gazed once again upon the Horizon. A voice returned,"that midst covers what was once mine". I thought, "How was this city below yours"? The voice returned, "I called them out of obscurity and darkness". I thought some more and asked this voice, "what had happened to this city below"? The voice spoke and said "climb higher and you shall see".

I thought of my dear family below. My friends and those whom I have grown to love. My body begun to ache, I had no food or water. I could hardly survive much longer if I continued my course. I worried, I feared, I let my flesh overcome me. I could not go on I thought, but my heart said, lets see what happens.

I climbed higher. I now realized what I was climbing was a mountain. How did I never realize this before? What I first thought was a hill all my life was no hill at all but a large mountain. I had not planned on this hike, I had only set out to take a rest on a hill.

I pushed forward and climbed this mountain and found a stream of running water to quench my thirst. I sat down once again and looked out. The midst was gone. I could see nothing below. I than asked "what had happened to this city below"? I realized at that moment I could no longer see it so I asked "what has happened to this city below"? The voice answered, descend below and see.

I climbed down the mountain and saw the midst was gone, I climbed down the bank and saw that there were no buildings below. I climbed down the hill and looked straight out and it was all gone, not a living soul. What had happened while I was away? The voice responded, "These were once mine, but they were blinded by the midst. They thought they could see but if they would only have set forth on that hill, they could have gazed upon further than they could have ever dreamed. Because you climbed that hill, climbed that bank, you begun to see though some was still hidden from your sight. Because you heeded my call to climb higher, all things could finally be seen".

"You could see the midst and ascended above it, so I could guide you to the top of the mountain. If you would have ignored that final warning you would have suffered a similar fate. The midst covers all, though some believe they removed it from their eyes. You tread this course alone, you would never had made it if you relied on another"

I bent over and put my head between my knees. I cried for all was lost. What was it that led me to ascend this hill? Why was I kept while those below are now gone? If only they would have heard that warning and would give heed to ascend that mountain they too could have removed that midst to hear and see. Perhaps than the warning voice would have been heeded.

With my watered and battered eyes soaking my clothes I continued to weep, the voice returned "Why do you weep?". "All is lost" I said. Suddenly I saw a hand that pointed ahead. There were others walking toward me. Some of my dear family though not all. I asked them how is this so? They told me, when I saw you were gone, we realized there was something there we had not seen before. We decided to try to climb a hill like you always have done in the past where we beheld a midst below.

Where once I thought all was lost, at least some few had climbed the same course alone. If only I could have done something more for those who were once here.

Saturday, November 22, 2014

Restoration Commences

The Lords hand has been set again a second time. His work is rolling together the final stages. It has been marvelous watching it unfold and it seems this time, it will succeed, Zion will bear fruit from the vine. I can only hope I will be worthy of it. I can only hope to cast off envy, strife, jealousies, selfishness, vanity, and pride. That we won't fall into the same trap all other people before have as the scriptures show.

I am completely unprepared for the things that are coming forth. My weaknesses are so great before the Lord and my sins continually beset me but with God all things are possible. Those who gather will not have accomplished anything great, nor will they think they are better than anyone else. But their hearts will be right, with an eye single to the Glory of God. Those who try to gather before they are prepared will fail. It is the Lord, by his angels, that will gather those who are prepared.

The vineyard has been spared long enough "And the Lord said: Yea, I will spare it a little longer, for it grieveth me that I should lose the trees of my vineyard." (Jacob 5:51). The servant has been called to lay the foundation. The servants if they respond, will bring about His peculiar "strange act". For it is a strange act indeed. Very peculiar and unbecoming according to our understanding.

Completely independent of all institutions or organizations. If it were not so, there would never be a people that can learn to take the Holy Spirit as their guide and be independent above all other creatures. It requires a group of people that have all things in common, where no one is exalted above another. Where no man is greater, nor is one man's revelations greater than another. For they will all speak in the name of the Lord. Both the old and the young, the bond and free, they will all dream dreams, prophecy in his name, until they all grow together in the unity of the faith. They will be a people that will no longer ask "Know Ye the Lord?". For they will all know Him. Like in the Book of Mormon, before the Lords return, there existed a Family structure. They gathered in small communities (tribes) and it will be so again. 

They will not depend on another;s faith. They will not depend on any man. They will have received from their Lord the knowledge of their own standing before God. They will have obtained their own covenant from God, their own promises and an inheritance. They will be a people that can recognize His voice which voice is not the voice of the Holy Ghost. The voice of the Son, the voice of the Father, even the voice of our Heavenly Mother each are waiting to talk to those willing to listen. One day a group will care more for their fellow beings than they do for administrative needs. 

No laws, no rules, will run them, for as soon as you have one law regulating the affairs of Zion, Zion ceases to be. Zion is an idea, it is a state, it is a level of being. Those who hope to be part of Zion, lack the knowledge to survive His coming. There will be again a people who care more for the gifts of God than the ways of this world. His work is strange to those who behold it. For those completely unfamiliar with it, they will call it the work of the devil, they will say it is strange, weird, or different. Even satantic. As they did with Joseph "[the preachers] treated my communication not only lightly, but with great contempt, saying it was all of the devil, that there were no such things as visions or revelations in these days; that all such things had ceased with the apostles[ or belong exclusively with], and that there would never be any more of them." (Joseph Smith History 1:21, altered by me)

The "men of high standing would take notice sufficient to excite the public mind against [this work], and create a bitter persecution; and this was common among all the sects—all united to persecute me[it]."(Joseph Smith History 1:22, altered by me)

But when the work is underway as it currently is, when the work has gathered momentum they will say " 70 And it shall be said among the wicked: Let us not go up to battle against Zion, for the inhabitants of Zion are terrible; wherefore we cannot stand.". The light and truth, or glory that rests upon these people will be so great, that they will need no weapons, nothing but the truth, that it will be "terrible" to those who look upon it. The ignorant cannot be saved. They will be utterly unprepared to withstand the glory or light and truth (knowledge of God or glory). 

Like water, liquid, and gas they will be completely different "levels" or "frequencies". They will not be able to vibrate at higher levels (or kingdoms). Until they allow themselves to incrementally learn all that is required for them to grow and accept what God is offering, if not now, perhaps "beyond the grave". But the sacrifices required to lay hold upon Eternal Life is the same, you can offer those sacrifices now that the Lord calls you to offer, or you can suffer for your loss. The test (being proven in all things) is always the same. Everlastingly so.

This will be Zion:
12 And they did not walk any more after the performances and ordinances of the law of Moses; but they did walk after the commandments which they had received from their Lord and their God, continuing in fasting and prayer, and in meeting together oft both to pray and to hear the word of the Lord. (4th Nephi 12)
It will be those worthy of the greater doctrines that are only withheld due to unbelief and hardness of hearts.
6 Behold, this is the doctrine of Christ, and there will be no more doctrine given until after he shall manifest himself unto you in the flesh. And when he shall manifest himself unto you in the flesh, the things which he shall say unto you shall ye observe to do. (2 Nephi 32:6)
It will be terrible for the wicked but what is coming will also be marvelous. Those few who are able to rise up will present an opportunity in eternity through covenants, to help further Gods work "worlds without end". They will continue to help bring about Gods work of immortality and eventual eternal life after a "resting" period from their labors. They will have developed such charity, such love for their fellow brethren, they will be willing to sacrifice their own lives to help lift their brothers.

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

1 Nephi 8: Following A Man or Angel

The following compares the differences between the 1830 edition of the BOM and the current edition. I point these aditions out to help add clarity to the story of Lehi in 1 Nephi 8. I highlight the differences in red with underlines.

Current Edition:

5 And it came to pass that I[Lehi] saw a man, and he was dressed in a white robe; and he came and stood before me.
6 And it came to pass that he spake unto me, and bade me follow him.
7 And it came to pass that as I followed him I beheld myself that I was in a dark and dreary waste.
8 And after I had traveled for the space of many hours in darkness, I began to pray unto the Lord that he would have mercy on me, according to the multitude of his tender mercies.
9 And it came to pass after I had prayed unto the Lord I beheld a large and spacious field.
10 And it came to pass that I beheld a tree, whose fruit was desirable to make one happy.
11 And it came to pass that I did go forth and partake of the fruitthereof; and I beheld that it was most sweet, above all that I ever before tasted. Yea, and I beheld that the fruit thereof was white, to exceed all the whiteness that I had ever seen. (1 Nephi 8 5-11)

1830 Edition
I only include the important verses. Verse number not in original.

[5]And it came to pass that I saw a man, and he was dressed in a white robe; and he came and stood before me.
[6]And it came to pass that he spake unto me, and bade me follow him.
[7]And it came to pass that as I followed him, and after I had followed him, I beheld myself that I was in the dark and dreary waste.
[8]And after that I travelled for the space of many hours in darkness, I began to pray unto the Lord, that he would have mercy on me, according to the multitude of his tender mercies.

Lehi sees a certain man dressed in a white robe. The man bids Lehi to follow him and AFTER Lehi follows the man he finds himself in a "dark and dreary waste". In the LDS endowment Adam and Eve are cast out "into the lone and dreary world"

So here are the terms Lehi uses...

"I saw in my dream, a dark and dreary wilderness." (vs 4)
"I was in a dark and dreary waste" (vs 7)

Adam and Eve are cast out of the garden to where they now reside, a lone and dreary world. Or as we are also told the world which You now reside. Wilderness is often a symbol for still being in the world, or being left to "wander in the wilderness" until they learn to overcome the world.

It wasn't until Lehi learned to not "follow" this man (angel or man in a white robe) but call upon God and He alone that he was delivered from this world or "dark and dreary waste". Following man will always lead one to the same place, a "dark and dreary waste".

Telestial Kingdom
98 And the glory of the telestial is one, even as the glory of the stars is one; for as one star differs from another star in glory, even so differs one from another in glory in the telestial world;
99 For these are they who are of Paul, and of Apollos, and of Cephas.
100 These are they who say they are some of one and some of another—some of Christ and some of John, and some of Moses, and some of Elias, and some of Esaias, and some of Isaiah, and some of Enoch;
101 But received not the gospel, neither the testimony of Jesus, neither the prophets, neither the everlasting covenant.
They are "some of" <insert prophet here> but receives not the prophets neither the testimony of Jesus neither the everlasting covenant.

First and foremost is that we are not to follow any man or men. No man is worthy of discipleship. Not me, not another. There is only one who is worth following. He is the way, the truth and the life (John 14: 16). Beside Him there is no other person who can save you (Mosiah 3: 17).

Faith comes from hearing the word of God from one who is sent by God. This can be a servant or an angel of the Lord. We are not to follow or walk in their steps but we should heed their messages. It is not the depth of our study that matters but our connection with heaven. This servant can come from anywhere, or anyplace. In the Road to Emmaus the savior appeared as a man to two disciples. Others are sent to prove (See Abraham 3-4) such as a beggar on the street, sometimes they are sent as a ordinary person. Wherever the message comes from in the world if its sent by God, or whatever the test may be, there is always those who come "disguised" not disclosing their identities to see if one is true and faithful to the "tokens" given to them. When we follow a man, or look to one man believing that man is always right, it will hinder the way, it will prevent us from recognizing those God sends in our path to either test us, to prove us, or to teach us.

There is never one right way because His ways are not our ways. When we believe we are certain He will make us uncertain, when we are comfortable He will make us uncomfortable. When we think there is only one way to do something, he will send a contradiction and if we are not willing to heed those messages we will fail. Than we have a choice, to learn from that experience and move forward or have a hardened heart and halt our progression (definition of being damned). Christ suffered greater contradictions than any man can.
[Jesus Christ] is called the Son because of the flesh--and descended in suffering below that which man can suffer, or, in other words, suffered greater sufferings, and was exposed to more powerful contradictions than any man can be. (Lecture 5)
Weakness / Mistakes
The Lord gives us what we desire. If we want to follow something or go after something for a time He will let us. Sometimes he will correct us immediately (if we will let him by softening our hearts) or sometimes He will wait for a time so we can "experiment" upon the word and learn from the experience. Other times our hearts are so hard the only thing he can do is wait, with long-suffering, until we are willing to soften our hearts and return unto Him. At some point however, our hearts will be broken. It just may be that it will be the day we stand before our maker in the day of judgment.

Part 5: Conclusion

The Lord back in February (date of my first post) asked me to start a blog to record my testimony of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. After this final post I feel that request by Him has been fulfilled. If I continue to write it will be my own "scripture" study of my pondering as I find I learn best when I write up my thoughts. Fools may mock due to my weakness and for the errors in my writings for there are many but what I have written is according to my knowledge of things that the Lord has revealed unto to me.

I have written enough to let others consider these things for themselves. If I focus anymore on them (The decay or corruption around us) it will only become an hindrance to me. So for now this is my last post but who knows, but God, what the future entails.

To those who believe in the false doctrine the prophet (or president) cannot lead you astray this may sound absurd. There are many prophecies in the cusp of the wings of fulfillment. Included in those are ones pertaining to the LDS church. The Lord has asked me to share this than I will go back being silent regarding these things.

It used to take a hundred years for changes to come about. Now those same changes in understanding take about 5 to 7 years. A whole new understanding of the history of the church is coming. Just wait. You may not believe it now nevertheless it is coming.

For years the truths therein would bring you closer to Christ. The fulcrum point has been reached and that is no longer the case. They who lead you will only hedge up the way.

Message of the Book of Mormon
We are so situated that we have the inability to do two things at once. No matter who you are, you are only doing one thing at a time. Your entire life you are either focusing on one thing, or on something else. Whatever thing it is upon which you dwell that's what you've chosen. Hence the saying "Let virtue garnish thy thoughts unceasingly then shall the confidence wax strong in the presence of God." Is the power of godliness related to that? Is the power of godliness related to the presence of God?

The Book of Mormon continually declares that to be the case. And anyone who suggests otherwise is flatly contradicting the message of the Book of Mormon. That book is all about the ascent back to the presence of God. Testimony after testimony, experience after experience, that's what the Book Mormon stands for. That, the ascent to God, is the fullness of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. You encounter it almost immediately in the first chapter when Lehi rises up. And you encounter it in Nephi. And you encounter it in Jacob. And you encounter it in Enos and in Alma and in Mosiah. You just continually get the same message. Joseph Smith said: “I advise all to go on to perfection and search deeper and deeper into the mysteries of godliness.” (TPJS p. 364)

Enter Not In
"Woe unto you, lawyers! for ye have taken away the key of knowledge: ye entered not in yourselves, and them that were entering in ye hindered.”
False teachers prevent others from obtaining salvation, period. Happily, they will be accountable for that. You've “taken away the key of knowledge”… “you enter not in yourselves”… “them that were entering in ye hindered.

Enter not in where? Where are they trying to enter?
15 Behold, when ye shall rend that veil of unbelief which doth cause you to remain in your awful state of wickedness, and hardness of heart, and blindness of mind, then shall the great and marvelous things which have been hid up from the foundation of the world from you—yea, when ye shall call upon the Father in my name, with a broken heart and a contrite spirit, then shall ye know that the Father hath remembered the covenant which he made unto your fathers, O house of Israel. (Ether 4:15)
We Are MEANT to Enter In
‘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. …’ (Joseph Smith, Teachings, p. 9.)
The Creeds of Men
I cannot believe in any of the creeds of the different denominations, because they all have some things in them I cannot subscribe to, though all of them have some truth. I want to come up into the presence of God, and learn all things; but the creeds set up stakes, and say, “Hitherto shalt thou come, and no further”; which I cannot subscribe to. (Joseph Smith, TPJS 327)
Some Mussings
This is just some additional references that I have included in reference to parts 1-4.
"return to that power which she (Zion) had lost." (D&C 113:8.) 
11 And this cannot be brought to pass until mine elders are endowed with power from on high.
12 For behold, I have prepared a great endowment and blessing to be poured out upon them, inasmuch as they are faithful and continue in humility before me.
13 Therefore it is expedient in me that mine elders should wait for a little season, for the redemption of Zion. (D&C 105:11-13)
36 And then shall be brought to pass that which is written:Awake, awake again, and put on thy strength, O Zion; put on thy beautiful garments, O Jerusalem, the holy city, for henceforth there shall no more come into thee the uncircumcised and the unclean.
37 Shake thyself from the dust; arise, sit down, O Jerusalem; loose thyself from the bands of thy neck, O captive daughter of Zion. (3 Nephi 20:36-37)
7 Questions by Elias Higbee: What is meant by the command in Isaiah, 52d chapter, 1st verse, which saith: Put on thy strength, O Zion—and what people had Isaiah reference to? 
8 He had reference to those whom God should call in the last days, who should hold the power of priesthood to bring again Zion, and the redemption of Israel; and to put on her strength is to put on the authority of the priesthood, which she, Zion, has a right to by lineage; also to return to that power which she had lost. (D&C 113:7-8)
This prophecy was recorded by Lyman Wright as recorded in Wilford Woodruff's journal.
December 7, 1841: I spent most of my time in the store but in the evening Iattended meeting and heard a discourse delivered by Lyman Wight who declaredsome most stirring truths concerning the building of the Temple and the NauvooHouse. If the Saints did not do it, they would be rejected as a church withtheir dead, saith the Lord. We should again be driven, too. He spoke in truthand the spirit of God. 
Look what Joseph said. Remember he is talking about Nauvoo again.
I would advise all the Saints to go with their might and gather together all their living relatives to this place [Nauvoo], that they may be sealed and saved, that they may be prepared against the day that the destroying angel goes forth; and if the whole Church should go to with all their might to save their dead, seal their posterity, and gather their living friends, and spend none of their time in behalf of the world, they would hardly get through before night would come, when no man can work; and my only trouble at the present time is concerning ourselves, that the Saints will be divided, broken up, and scattered before we get our salvation secure; for there are so many fools in the world for the devil to operate upon, it gives him the advantage oftentimes. TPJS p. 330-331
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) 

Priesthood Simplified

There are three grand orders of priesthood referred to [in the Epistle to the Hebrews]" (TPJS, p. 322-23; HC 5:554-55)

The "PRIESTHOOD" is currently divided into three levels, as discussed by Joseph Smith. He used the terms from lowest to highest of (1) "Aaronic" (which includes "Levitical") for one, (2) "Melchizedek" for another, and (3) "Patriarchal" for the third.

  • In the beginning there was one, "Unified Priesthood". There were not three. There was one. It was called the "Holy Order". Later it got several additive descriptors, including the Holy Order after the Son of God; or Holy Order after the Order of Enoch; or Holy Order after the Order of Melchizedek. We think we have that in the church today. We think that is what we give to Elders when we first ordain them. But Joseph Smith could not confer that on another person. It requires God. Through Joseph we were offered an opportunity to receive it, but we were more interested in having a church than the original Holy Order.
    • It was always necessary to restore the Holy Order-- the original fullness. That must be here before the Second Coming. As soon, however, as the matter is fully set out, men will immediately begin to imitate and pretend to things because of pride, ignorance or vanity.
  • (1) "Aaronic Priesthood", which includes "Levitical Priesthood", is a lesser form of priesthood. Temporal concerns are associated with the Aaronic Priesthood. "Aaronic Priesthood keys" may give one a right to seek the ministering of angels, may give a basis for such a search, but possession of such a key alone will not force the ministering of angels to happen. Nor does the absence of such a key prevent the ministering of angels from happening. The Aaronic Priesthood keys referred to are to be found in the Aaronic portion of the endowment, which permits you to recognize a true messenger should one visit with you.The sacramental offering is a type of the earlier Levitical offerings.
  • (2) "Melchizedek Priesthood", the high priesthood, was named after Melchizedek, but is not, however, the form which Melchizedek held. Even though Melchizedek held "Patriarchal Priesthood" with its associated sealing power, Melchizedek wasthe one after whom Melchizedek Priesthood was named in the form it was later transmitted, which lacked "sealing authority". 
  • All the Aaronic Priesthood" and most of the Melchizedek Priesthood offices are not what we would appropriately call "the high priesthood of the holy order".
    • Section 68 was addressed to one of those who, in June 1831, was given the Melchizedek Priesthood at Isaac Morley's farm. According to Joseph Smith, that was the first time the Melchizedek Priesthood was given to the Elders of the church. In the restoration of the Gospel, the first time the Melchizedek Priesthood appeared inthe church was in June, 1831 on Isaac Morley's farm. As Joseph Smith recorded it in his history: "the authority of the Melchizedek Priesthood was manifested and conferred for the first time upon several of the Elders." (DHC 1: 175-177)
    • Joseph Smith explained it like this: "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.” (TPJS, pp. 180–81.) In Lehi we have an instance of an Old Testament era prophet being "ordained by God himself" in the very first chapter of the Book of Mormon.

      Note: One must be careful because sometimes "Melchizedek Priesthood" is used interchangeably with "Patriarchal Priesthood" or even the Priesthood of the "Holy Order". Such usage is different from the definition laid out here for teaching purposes. 
  • (3)  Patriarchal Priesthood is not defined in scripture. Joseph made a remark which referred to finishing the Nauvoo Temple, and then going into the Temple and receiving the Patriarchal Priesthood. The most important point is that there is priesthood which exists, but is not contained within or conferred by the church. It comes from one source - the Father. Sealing power is part of Patriarchal Priesthood. Patriarchal Priesthood is always delivered unto men by the calling of His own voice. (See Helamen 10) Jacob was ordained by God to "his holy order" or, in other words, received the same High Priesthood as Melchizedek in the only way it can be received. The idea of a "royal priesthood" is apt because it captures the idea of nobility, or royalty, or, in other words, a connection with the Family of God. This is because one cannot receive the Lord without also receiving priesthood. (D&C 84: 35.) When the Lord bestows this royalty on the individual, it is through His own voice. (JST-Gen. 14: 29)
    • There is a connection between the existence of the one holding Patriarchal Priesthood, and a humble people who would accept and follow correct teachings. The result of the combination of the two was that God came and dwelt among them. What is important is that the great events of Melchizedek's time began when people humbled themselves and accepted the teachings of this "high priesthood" holder and were, thereby, saved. All those who receive the Patriarchal Priesthood from the time of Abraham forward become Abraham's seed. Therefore they become Abraham's inheritance and posterity, sealed to him as a part of his family.
    • To receive the "Patriarchal Priesthood"The Son is involved. He is the gatekeeper, who alone decides if the person is going to qualify. Then the Son takes it as His work, or His ministry, to bring a person before the Father. However, the ministry of the Son can take many years, and is designed to cure what is wrong, fix all that is broken, remove all that is impure, in the candidate. Only when the Son can vouch for the individual is he brought before the Father. It is the Father who confers and ordains a man to the highest priesthood.
    • Further, Joseph had at that very moment of the First Vision, possession of the highest order of priesthood (D&C 84: 21-22). Despite this, Joseph would be later ordained by John the Baptist to Aaronic Priesthood (JS-H 1: 68-70). Events involving God do not necessarily follow the same time-line as we would expect them to follow. When, however, Joseph received angels, you can know for certain he held priesthood.

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Jesus Christ The Savior and Redeemer of The World

Much of our individual frustrations as Saints come as a result of trying to move too quickly toward perfection. We fail to realize perfection is the process of cooperating with God. We don’t need to accomplish anything. We only need to get our hearts right. Life is the time to overcome vanity, pride, and selfishness. It is the time to lose ourselves. When we do that, it does not matter that we still have a great gulf between us and perfection; we are nonetheless perfect. Submission is perfect.

How to Worship?
In a vision in D&C 93 John saw Christ receive the fulness. He tells us what we must do to receive of it ourselves by going from "grace to grace". It tells us what kind of person Christ was.
I give unto you these sayings that you may understand and know how to worship, and know what you worship, that you may come unto the Father in my name, and in due time receive of his fulness. (D&C 93:19)
This informs us HOW YOU WORSHIP matters! This testimony of John was given so that WE MAY COME UNTO THE FATHER. And if we wish to come unto the Father we must know how to worship Him.

The Lord tells us.

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)
No man can come unto the Father but by Jesus Christ for he is the advocate with the Father. And he IS PLEADING YOUR cause before Him.
Listen to him who is the advocate with the Father, who is pleading your cause before him 
Saying: Father, behold the sufferings and death of him who did no sin, in whom thou wast well pleased; behold the blood of thy Son which was shed, the blood of him whom thou gavest that thyself might be glorified; 
Wherefore, Father, spare these my brethren that believe on my name, that they may come unto me and have everlasting life. (D&C 45:3-5)
He is your intercessory. The very type of what we must be. We should become like Him and act as intercessory to others, especially our enemies.

So I ask How Did HE Worship? How do WE worship? He is the example. "I am the way, the truth" "He is the Word of God"
Therefore, in the beginning the Word was, for he was the Word, even the messenger of salvation—(D&C 93:8)
In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. (John 1:1)
So how was He THE WORD? How is He the Word of God? What does that mean?

He “subjected the flesh to the will of the Father.” You cannot be the Son of God the Father unless you reflect Him. You are His “Son” when you are like Him. To be like Him you must subject your will to the will of the Father. This is how Christ defined Himself.(See 3 Ne. 11: 11)

When Christ subjected Himself entirely to the will of the Father, He was in every deed, thought and action “the Father” even though He was flesh and blood and living among us. They were “one."(John 10: 30) If you beheld Christ, you would behold the image of His Father.(John 14: 9.) He came down into a tabernacle of clay. The Father has a tabernacle of spirit and glory.

Christ subjected Himself to the Holy Spirit, or “mind of the Father” (See Lecture 5) which made His will swallowed up in the will of the Father. He models what He asked us to likewise do. He prayed that we would allow the Spirit to make us “one” with them, so we become “perfect” as They are perfect. (See John 17: 20-26)

Each week the two sacrament prayers ask God the Father to send His (Christ’s) Spirit to be with those who take the bread and wine in remembrance of Christ’s body and blood.(See D&C 20: 77, 79, Moroni 4: 3; 5:2)

If you have His (Christ’s Spirit) then you have also the Father’s Spirit; or according to the Lectures on Faith, you have the Holy Spirit to be with you. This Holy Spirit is “a personage of Spirit” (D&C 130: 22) which dwells within you. Or, in other words, when you receive the “mind of the Father and the Son” by listening to the Holy Spirit, you become sanctified by Their presence in you. You become “one” with them. You gain access to: 
 “the record of heaven; the Comforter; the peaceable things of immortal glory; the truth of all things; that which quickeneth all things, which maketh alive all things; that which knoweth all things, and hath all power according to wisdom, mercy, truth, justice, and judgment.” (Moses 6: 61.)
He declared who He was when He introduced Himself to the Nephites and He said, He suffered the will of the Father in all things from the beginning.

From what beginning? For you, why cannot that be a beginning starting now? For you, why can you not from this beginning, at this moment, wherever you are, go forward saying you will follow the will of the Father in all things, from this beginning? Why will you refuse to rise up and receive grace for grace?

This is how you worship who you worship, (D&C 93: 19) embodiment of the Father's will. The Father declares what is right and true and the Son obeys. Thus the Son became the Word of God, because He did what the Father asked Him. Would you also want to be a son or daughter of God? Do what He bids you do. This is how the Son lived. This is who the Son is. This is what you must do to worship Him.

As Mosiah said,
For the natural man is an enemy to God, and has been from the fall of Adam, and will be, forever and ever, unless he yields to the enticings of the Holy Spirit, and putteth off the natural man and becometh a saint through the atonement of Christ the Lord, and becometh as a child, submissive, meek, humble, patient, full of love, willing to submit to all things which the Lord seeth fit to inflict upon him, even as a child doth submit to his father. (Mosiah 3:19)
Prototype of A Saved Man
Lecture 7 explains what a saved man must Be.
In order to have this subject clearly set before the mind, let us ask what situation must a person be in, in order to be saved? or what is the difference between a saved man and one who is not saved? We answer from what we have before seen of the heavenly worlds, they must be persons who can work by faith, and who are able, by faith to be ministering spirits to them who shall be heirs of salvation. And they must have faith to enable them to act in the presence of the Lord, otherwise they cannot be saved. And what constitutes the real difference between a saved person and one not saved, is the difference in the degree of their faith: one's faith has become perfect enough to lay hold upon eternal life, and the other's has not. But to be a little more particular, let us ask, where shall we find a prototype into whose likeness we may be assimulated, in order that we may be made partakers of life and salvation? or in other words, where shall we find a saved being? for if we can find a saved being, we may ascertain, without much difficulty, what all others must be, in order to be saved - they must be like that individual or they cannot be saved: we think, that it will not be a matter of dispute, that two beings, who are unlike each other, cannot both be saved; for whatever constitutes the salvation of one, will constitute the salvation of every creature which will be saved: and if we find one saved being in all existence, we may see what all others must be, or else not be saved. We ask, then, where is the prototype? or where is the saved being? We conclude as to the answer of this question there will be no dispute among those who believe the bible, that it is Christ: all will agree in this that he is the prototype or standard of salvation, or in other words, that he is a saved being. And if we should continue our interogation, and ask how it is that he is saved, the answer would be, because he is a just and holy being; and if he were any thing different from what he is he would not be saved; for his salvation depends on his being precisely what he is and nothing else; for if it were possible for him to change in the least degree, so sure he would fail of salvation and lose all his dominion, power, authority and glory, which constitutes salvation; for salvation consists in the glory, authority, majesty, power and dominion which Jehovah possesses, and in nothing else; and no being can possess it but himself or one like him: Thus says John, in his first epistle, 3:2 and 3: Behold, now we are the sons of God, and it doth not appear what we shall be; but we know, that when he shall appear we shall be like him; for we shall see him as he is. And any man that has this hope in him purifies himself, even as he is pure.--Why purify himself as he is pure? because, if they do not they cannot be like him. (Lecture 7)
Or as Moroni 7:48 hints at.
Wherefore, my beloved brethren, pray unto the Father with all the energy of heart, that ye may be filled with this love, which he hath bestowed upon all who are true followers of his Son, Jesus Christ; that ye may become the sons of God; that when he shall appear we shall be like him, for we shall see him as he is; that we may have this hope; that we may be purified even as he is pure. Amen. (Moroni 7:48)
So while we should "seek his face always" (D&C 101:38) so he can bless us, because until we seek we shall not find, we should keep in mind our approach to gaining a relationship with the Son should be like that of our enjoyment of the sun - indirect. That is, entering into His presence is a by-product. It is as a result of the way you live. It is not the "goal."

To approach Him, you must live as He did. You must "keep His commandments." You must love others. You must live the way He lived.When you are walking in the same path He walked, you will find that He is walking there still. He will come alongside you, as you are "in the way" and will open to your understanding all things which He would have you know.

When you become a Son of God. You become a stranger and a soujourner here. Because you take up residence there. You have association with an innumerable company of angels and have come up to mount Zion while walking among strangers here.

Worlds Created by His Word
32 And by the word of my power, have I created them, which is mine Only Begotten Son, who is full of grace and truth.
33 And worlds without number have I created; and I also created them for mine own purpose; and by the Son I created them, which is mine Only Begotten. (Moses 1:32:33)
Whenever a servant speaks by the power of the Holy Ghost they become the Word of God or the word of "my Power" (God the Father). They become instruments in His Great Work. The work of the Son prepares man to receive the Father. The work of the Son is to fix us and prepare us to reach the Father. Its the work of the Holy Ghost to get us to the point where we can receive the Son, and yield our hearts unto God. When our will finally an embodiment of the Fathers will, we can than begin our ascent as Sons of God.

God said let there be light and there was light.

"For he spoke, and it came to be" (Psalm 33:9). By his "word" he created the worlds. Power is in our words. It is a REAL power. The Savior willed it, it was done. All things were created spiritually before they were created physically. If thou wilt "say unto this mountain remove hence to yonder place; " (Matthew 17:20) it will be done.  That is why we must be proved in all things before we are given such great power.

The Power Of God
4 Blessed art thou, Nephi, for those things which thou hast done; for I have beheld how thou hast with unwearyingness declared the word, which I have given unto thee, unto this people. And thou hast not feared them, and hast not sought thine own life, but hast sought my will, and to keep my commandments.
5 And now, because thou hast done this with such unwearyingness, behold, I will bless thee forever; and I will make thee mighty in word and in deed, in faith and in works; yea, even that all things shall be done unto thee according to thy word, for thou shalt not ask that which is contrary to my will. (Helamen 10:4-5)
Until one is pure, one is sanctified, willing to give up their will to the Father they cannot indeed will not receive this power. It is the Power of God. If this power was given to the ill prepared they would present a peril to the Universe. If words have such great power and through ones weakness one could not only create worlds but destroy them. Thus the Lord will not give such power to those who have not learned this one principle. "that the powers of heaven cannot be controlled nor handled only upon the principles of righteousness." (D&C 121:36) but "only by persuasion, by long-suffering, by gentleness and meekness, and by love unfeigned;" (vs 41).

The First Principle of the Gospel
We are familiar with the first article of Faith. But Joseph explained in further detailed what the first principle was. The King Follet discourse was given in 1844. The portions below are taken from the Ensign April 1974.
These ideas are incomprehensible to some, but they are simple. It is the first principle of the gospel to know for a certainty the character of God, and to know that we may converse with Him as one man converses with another, and that He was once a man like us; yea, that God himself, the Father of us all, dwelt on an earth, the same as Jesus Christ Himself did
What are these Ideas that are part of this? Its in the next paragraph. Instead of quoting the entire paragraph I will separate it into smaller points.
The scriptures inform us that Jesus said, as the Father hath power in himself, even so hath the Son power—to do what? Why, what the Father did. The answer is obvious—in a manner to lay down his body and take it up again. Jesus, what are you going to do?

To lay down my life as my Father did, and take it up again. Do you believe it? If you do not believe it you do not believe the Bible. The scriptures say it, and I defy all the learning and wisdom and all the combined powers of earth and hell together to refute it.

Here, then, is eternal life—to know the only wise and true God; and you have got to learn how to be gods yourselves, and to be kings and priests to God, the same as all gods have done before you, namely, by going from one small degree to another, and from a small capacity to a great one; from grace to grace, from exaltation to exaltation, until you attain to the resurrection of the dead, and are able to dwell in everlasting burnings, and to sit in glory, as do those who sit enthroned in everlasting power. And I want you to know that God, in the last days, while certain individuals are proclaiming His name, is not trifling with you or me. (King Follet Discourse, Ensign, April 1974)
Here are three points I want to look at.
1)Learn how to Be Gods
2)To Be Kings and Priests (These are they that receive the Fulness of the Priesthood)
3)Do the same as all gods have done before you namely,
  • going from one small degree to another,
  • from a small capacity to a great one,
  • from grace to grace (There we have the D&C 93 reference again)
  • from exaltation to exaltation,
Until YOU attain to the Resurrection of the dead.
Are Able to dwell in everlasting burnings, to sit in glory.

It is through Christ that we are all resurrected but that power comes through him. Until YOU learn to go from one small degree to another, one small capacity to a great, from grace to grace, from exaltation to exaltation and attain to the Resurrection of the dead. Until You learn how to do that, it will be borrowed from Him. 

Orson Hyde said this referring to the story of the talents,
He that has been faithful over a few things, will be made ruler over many things; he that has been faithful over ten talents, shall have dominion over ten cities, and he that has been faithful over five talents, shall have dominion over five cities, and to every man will be given a kingdom and a dominion, according to his merit, powers, and abilities to govern and control. (Orson Hyde, “A Diagram of the Kingdom of God,” Millennial Star 9 [15 January 1847]: 23-24).
It is plain beyond disputation, and you thus learn the First Principles of the Gospel, about which so much has been said. When you climb up a ladder, you must begin at the bottom, and ascend step by step, until you arrive at the top…It is not all to be comprehended in this world; it will be a great work to learn our salvation and exaltation even beyond the grave.” (King Follet Discourse, Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith, pg. 345-348)
Here is another one by Maxwell.
Just as we can move, step by step, from faith to knowledge, so in particular dimensions of living, such as in justice or honesty, some mortals have merited the accolades of prophets ‘in that thing.’ Significantly, when such spiritually advanced individuals were described as perfect, often their ‘justness’ was the virtue cited. Little wonder justice is so stressed, in view of this verse: ‘He hath shewed thee, O man, what is good; and what doth the Lord require of thee, but to do justly, and to love mercy, and to walk humbly with thy God?’ It is clear too that being just not only consists of fair play with one's associates and neighbors, but also reflects largeness of soul. In this broadened sense, ‘there is not a just man upon earth, that doeth good, and sinneth not.’ Jesus Himself did not receive ‘of the fullness at first,’ but continued ‘from grace to grace, until he received a fullness.’ His progress was incomprehensibly more rapid than ours, but the pathway is the same; so can be the pattern of ‘grace to grace’: ‘For behold, thus saith the Lord God: I will give unto the children of men line upon line, precept upon precept, here a little and there a little; and blessed are those who hearken unto my precepts, and lend an ear unto my counsel, for they shall learn wisdom.’” (Neal A. Maxwell, Even As I Am [Salt Lake City: Deseret Book Co., 1982], pg. 15)
As Fast as You Are Able
God is everlasting patient. He will only give you what you are able to receive. When you are ready he will bestow it but the course or the path you choose is up to you. If you choose the lesser course or the greater course, is entirely up to each person. But we will all go on. We will be added upon according to our works. Some one talent others 10 talents.
“God hath not revealed anything to Joseph, but what He will make known unto the Twelve, and even the least Saint may know all things as fast as he is able to bear them, for the day must come when no man need say to his neighbor, Know ye the Lord; for all shall know Him … from the least to the greatest [see Jeremiah 31:34].”(TJS, Chapter 2) 25
This Is His Work 
39 For behold, this is my work and my glory—to bring to pass theimmortality and eternal life of man. (Moses 1:39)
He intends to make Sons of God out of the children of Men. It is His work. The Lord has "worlds without end".
3 And this is the manner after which they were ordained—being called and prepared from the foundation of the world according to the foreknowledge of God, on account of their exceeding faith and good works; in the first place being left to choose good or evil; therefore they having chosen good, and exercising exceedingly great faith, are called with a holy calling, yea, with that holy calling which was prepared with, and according to, a preparatory redemption for such.
4 And thus they have been called to this holy calling on account of their faith, while others would reject the Spirit of God on account of the hardness of their hearts and blindness of their minds, while, if it had not been for this they might have had as great privilege as their brethren.
5 Or in fine, in the first place they were on the same standing with their brethren; (Alma 13:3-5)
 Rise up now. Show forth your exceeding great faith now. And you might be able to on account of your own faith, receiving a preparatory redemption, be one who has "chooen good" "from the foundation of the world" thus you may be called with a "holy calling" on  account of YOUR faith. And so it is "Jesus Himself did not receive ‘of the fullness at first,’ but continued ‘from grace to grace, until he received a fullness.’" on account of his great faith before the foundation of the world he was choosen with the holy calling He has now faithfully filled.

Like a fulcrum he lifts this creation. He gives each of us our daily breath, without his light, we would cease to exist and return to the dust of the Earth. Thus he is "bonded" to each of us. He is a part of each of us and is always with us even when we may not realize it. He is pleading your cause. He wants you to receive grace for grace that you may become a Son of God on account of your faith. And if you do so, you may receive a holy calling, you may leave witnesses here who will sustain you in another existence.

A New Name
We and all men and women are experiencing the “Deity within us” (Brigham Young, p. 45) that will motivate us to grow forever in grace and truth. Indeed, “we are conducted along from this probation to other probations” (JD 6:63, Heber C. Kimball). And “if there was a point where man in his progression could not proceed any further, the very idea would throw a gloom over every intelligent and reflecting mind” (JD, vol. 6, p. 120 (1857), Wilford Woodruff). Agency will always prevail. The choice is yours. The path you wish to take will everlastingly be yours.
In Mosiah 1 he is going to give them a new name and a new identity. See, every time you get a new life or a new advancement, a new step or initiation, you get a new identity, a new persona. When a person is born he gets christened. He is not christened until he joins the church. This is the theory in the Christian world. With us it used to be always on the eighth day, circumcision, etc. You have a new name, and when you get married you get another new name. If you get any office, you also get another new name. Then at your funeral you get another identity, etc. They go through the same ritual every time. And, of course, when you reach maturity there's a very important thing- the rites of initiation that come with maturity. In the Christian churches it's when you are confirmed, around the age of fifteen. In all primitive tribes and [other societies] when a person becomes mature-reaches manhood or womanhood-there is that rite. Then they get a new name; they are identified with another group entirely. Boys are no longer with the women, etc. They now belong to a man's phratry. These are the rites of puberty. So each time you get a new name, a new identity, a new appearance, new marks, and a new title or degree. (Hugh Nibley, Teachings of the Book of Mormon--Semester 1: Transcripts of Lectures Presented to an Honors Book of Mormon Class at Brigham Young University, 1988--1990 [Provo: FARMS pg. 448-449) 
He Lives
9 For it is expedient that an atonement should be made; for according to the great plan of the Eternal God there must be an atonement made, or else all mankind must unavoidably
perish; yea, all are hardened; yea, all are fallen and are lost, and must perish except it be through the atonement which it is expedient should be made.
10 For it is expedient that there should be a great and last sacrifice; yea, not a sacrifice of man, neither of beast, neither of any manner of fowl; for it shall not be a human sacrifice; but it must be an infinite and eternal sacrifice. (Alma 34:9-10)
The demands of Justice requires all of us to die. Because we are sinful. However Christ did not deserve to die. Because he did not earn the "wages of death", by never submitting to sin. So when Christ was killed he was given power to take up His body again, and Justice could not prevent it because He did not deserve to die. He deserved to live on forever never giving heed to sin.
23 For we labor diligently to write, to persuade our children, and also our brethren, to believe in Christ, and to be reconciled to God; for we know that it is by grace that we are saved, after all we can do.(2 Nephi 2:23)
Christ is real. It is the first principle of the Gospel that EACH of us can know for a certainty the nature of God.  With outstretched arms he is waiting still. 

Monday, October 6, 2014

Tithing: Bound Down Under Priestcraft

UPDATE (Oct 10 2014): The purpose of this post is not to denounce tithing. It IS a commandment and I intend to obey all of Gods commandments (1 Nephi 3:7). Therefore I encourage ALL to pay this offering as directed by the Lord.
We cannot travel the streets without meeting beggars half naked. This gives me feelings that I do not like.

We have to live quite short but the brethren are very kind to us. They are willing to divide with us the last they have. They are quite ignorant; many of them cannot read a word and it needs great care to teach them the gospel so that they can understand. The people here are bound down under priestcraft in a manner I never saw before. They have to pay tithes to the priests of every tenth they raise, so that they cannot lay up one cent. They are in the same situation the children of Israel were in Egypt. 
They have their taskmasters over them to bind them down. It will be as great a miracle to deliver this people as it was the children of Israel.
(Heber C. Kimball, Preston, Lancashire, England, September 2, 1837)
This is a story of Heber on his mission. He describes the circumstances as follows they have to "pay tithes to the priests of every tenth they raise". How much is that? Every tenth? Ten percent? Of all they raise? Isn't that Gross/Net? Isn't that what we pay today? Why did he call that being in Bondage? But were not in bondage? Because this is the law of tithing right? Or are we missing something?

Tithing was meant to help the saints have all things in common.

Read the following scriptures and stories on tithing. Notice the translations that Joseph gave us in the JST. Look how much the people of God were asked to pay.
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. (JST Genesis 14:39).
And it was this same Melchizedek to whom Abraham paid tithes; yea, even our father Abraham paid tithes of one–tenth part of all he possessed.(Alma 13:15)
When thou hast made an end of tithing all the tithes of thine increase the third year, which is the year of tithing, and hast given it unto the Levite, the stranger, the fatherless, and the widow, that they may eat within thy gates, and be filled; (Deuteronomy 26:12).
At the end of three years thou shalt bring forth all the tithe of thine increase the same year, and shalt lay it up within thy gates: (Deuteronomy 14:28).
And after that, those who have thus been 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. (D&C 119:4).
IN'TEREST, n. Concern; advantage [Surplus]; good; as private interest; public interest. (Webster's 1828 dictionary (
1 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,
2 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.
3 And this shall be the beginning of the tithing of my people.
4 And after that, those who have thus been 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.
5 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.
6 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.
7 And this shall be an ensample unto all the stakes of Zion. Even so. Amen.
(D&C 119:1 - 7)
Brigham Young:
“When the revelation which I have read was given in 1838, I was present, and recollect the feelings of the brethren. A number of revelations were given on the same day. The brethren wished me to go among the Churches, and find out what surplus property the people had, with which to forward the building of the Temple we were commencing at Far West. I accordingly went from place to place through the country. Before I started, I asked brother Joseph, “Who shall be the judge of what is surplus property?” Said he, “Let them be the judges themselves, for I care not if they do not give a single dime. So far as I am concerned, I do not want anything they have.” (JD, 2:306)
Orson Hyde:
"The celestial law requires one-tenth part of all a man's substance which he possesses at the time he comes into the church (See D&C 119:1), and one-tenth part of his annual increase ever after(See D&C 119:4). If it requires all man can earn to support himself and his family, he is not tithed at all. The celestial law does not take the mother's and children's bread, neither ought else which they really need for their comfort. The poor that have not of this world's good to spare, but serve and honor God according to the best of their abilities in every other way, shall have a celestial crown in the Eternal Kingdom of our Father." (The Millenial Star, 1847. Orson Hyde, editor)
Despite the current teachings of the church.
"Bishop Orellana looked at the new convert and said, “If paying tithing means that you can’t pay for water or electricity, pay tithing. If paying tithing means that you can’t pay your rent, pay tithing. Even if paying tithing means that you don’t have enough money to feed your family, pay tithing. The Lord will not abandon you.” (Sacred Transformations, December 2012, Ensign by Aaron L. West)
And countless other stores such as "if a destitute family is faced with the decision of paying their tithing or eating, they should pay their tithing. " (General Conference, 2005, Tithing for the Destitute, Lynn G. Robbins, 1st Quorum of the Seventy)

Against Orson Hydes comments. Who's wrong? They both can't be right. Orsons beliefs coincide with the JST Gen 14 and the other scriptures I have posted along with what woodruff observed. Here are a few other stories. I will quote what Lorenzo Snow said later the one known for "tithing".
"I require all their surplus property to be put into the hands of the bishop" Let us consider for a moment this word 'SURPLUS.' What does it mean when applied to a man and his property? SURPLUS CANNOT MEAN THAT WHICH IS INDISPENSABLY NECESSARY FOR ANY GIVEN PURPOSE, BUT WHAT REMAINS AFTER SUPPLYING WHAT IS NEEDED FOR THAT PURPOSE. Is not the first and most necessary use of a man's property that he feed, clothe and provide a home for himself and family! . . . WAS NOT 'SURPLUS PROPERTY,' THAT WHICH WAS OVER AND ABOVE A COMFORTABLE AND NECESSARY SUBSTANCE? In the light of what had transpired and of subsequent events, what else could it mean? CAN WE TAKE ANY OTHER VIEW OF IT WHEN WE CONSIDER THE CIRCUMSTANCES UNDER WHICH IT WAS GIVEN IN FAR WEST, IN JULY, 1838? "I have been unable in studying this subject to find any other definition of the term 'SURPLUS,' as used in this revelation, than the one I have just given. I find that it was so understood and recorded by the Bishops and people in those days, AS WELL AS BY THE PROPHET JOSEPH HIMSELF, WHO WAS UNQUESTIONABLY THE ABLEST AND BEST EXPONENT OF THIS REVELATION." (Emphasis added, Franklin D. Richards, Nov. 6, 1882. JD 23:313.)
John Corrill which can be read in the Joseph Smith Papers.
"If a man gives for the benefit of the Church, it is considered a voluntary offering. Yet the law requires or enjoins a consecration of the overplus, after reserving for himself and family to carry on his business." (A Brief History of the Church of Latter Day Saints, pg. 45) 
Notice what Lorenzo Snow said here.
“I plead with you in the name of the Lord, and I pray that every man, woman and child who has means shall pay one tenth of their income as a tithing.”(BOAP, Lorenzo Snow, Conference Report, October 1899, p.29)
Who has MEANS! Not pay even if you don't have means. That was the law. But through correlation and other means we have changed it to be more about money than the poor.

Here is what it says in the Teachings of the president of Lorenzo Snow manual. The reference cited is "18. In Conference Report, Oct. 1899, 28."
I plead with you in the name of the Lord, and I pray that every man, woman and child … shall pay one-tenth of their income as a tithing.18
The part that states "who has means" has been left out. We "grind the faces of the poor". There is no revelation saying to remove or change the manner of tithing. The scriptures inform us that increase, is advantage or surplus (overplus) over that which ye have need of (according to the definition in Josephs day). As Orson Hyde said, "the celestial law does not take the mother's and children's bread, neither ought else which they really need for their comfort." It includes comfort. As that is one of the defintions of poor "again, I say unto the poor, ye who have not and yet have sufficient, that ye remain from day to day" (Mosiah 4:24). Joseph saw fit to put it that way in the JST Gen 14:29 "more than that which he had need".

Conveniently the church left out the phrase, "who has means ". And now the law  is no longer "who has means" but pay even if you are left destitute.

Tithing is for the poor
The tithes are supposed to go to the Lords Storehouse. Tithing is meant for the poor. (Deut 14:28-29, D&C 83:5-6) The Store house is for the Poor. Even though some was allowed to be used for building the temple too.
1 VERILY, thus saith the Lord, in addition to the laws of the church concerning women and children, those who belong to the church, who have lost their husbands or fathers:
2 Women have claim on their husbands for their maintenance, until their husbands are taken; and if they are not found transgressors they shall have fellowship in the church.
3 And if they are not faithful they shall not have fellowship in the church; yet they may remain upon their inheritances according to the laws of the land.
4 All children have claim upon their parents for their maintenance until they are of age.
5 And after that, they have claim upon the church, or in other words upon the Lord's storehouse, if their parents have not wherewith to give them inheritances.
6 And the storehouse shall be kept by the consecrations of the church; and widows and orphans shall be provided for, as also the poor. Amen.
(D&C 83:1 - 6)
Church No longer uses it for the poor.
The contributions we should make to charities come from our own funds, not from the tithes we are commanded to pay to the storehouse of the Lord. The Lord has directed by revelation that the expenditure of his tithes will be directed by his servants, the First Presidency, the Quorum of the Twelve, and the Presiding Bishopric (see D&C 120). Those funds are spent to build and maintain temples and houses of worship, to conduct our worldwide missionary work, to translate and publish scriptures, to provide resources to redeem the dead, to fund religious education, and to support other Church purposes selected by the designated servants of the Lord. (Elder Oaks, General Conference, 1994, Tithing)
Other scriptures
28 ¶ At the end of three years thou shalt bring forth all the tithe of thine increase the same year, and shalt lay it up within thy gates:
29 And the Levite, (because he hath no part nor inheritance with thee,) and the stranger, and the fatherless, and the widow, which are within thy gates, shall come, and shall eat and be satisfied; that the LORD thy God may bless thee in all the work of thine hand which thou doest. (Deuteronomy 14:28 - 29)
24 But the tithes of the children of Israel, which they offer as an heave offering unto the LORD, I have given to the Levites to inherit: therefore I have said unto them, Among the children of Israel they shall have no inheritance.
25 ¶ And the LORD spake unto Moses, saying,
26 Thus speak unto the Levites, and say unto them, When ye take of the children of Israel the tithes which I have given you from them for your inheritance, then ye shall offer up an heave offering of it for the LORD, even a tenth part of the tithe.
27 And this your heave offering shall be reckoned unto you, as though it were the corn of the threshingfloor, and as the fulness of the winepress.
28 Thus ye also shall offer an heave offering unto the LORD of all your tithes, which ye receive of the children of Israel; and ye shall give thereof the LORD's heave offering to Aaron the priest.
29 Out of all your gifts ye shall offer every heave offering of the LORD, of all the best thereof, even the hallowed part thereof out of it.
30 Therefore thou shalt say unto them, When ye have heaved the best thereof from it, then it shall be counted unto the Levites as the increase of the threshingfloor, and as the increase of the winepress.
31 And ye shall eat it in every place, ye and your households: for it is your reward for your service in the tabernacle of the congregation.
32 And ye shall bear no sin by reason of it, when ye have heaved from it the best of it: neither shall ye pollute the holy things of the children of Israel, lest ye die.
(Numbers 18:24 - 32)
18 But before ye seek for riches, seek ye for the kingdom of God.
19 And after ye have obtained a hope in Christ ye shall obtain riches, if ye seek them; and ye will seek them for the intent to do good—to clothe the naked, and to feed the hungry, and to liberate the captive, and administer relief to the sick and the afflicted.(Jacob 2:18 - 19)
26 And now, for the sake of these things which I have spoken unto you—that is, for the sake of retaining a remission of your sins from day to day, that ye may walk guiltless before God—I would that ye should impart of your substance to the poor, every man according to that which he hath, such as feeding the hungry, clothing the naked, visiting the sick and administering to their relief, both spiritually and temporally, according to their wants.
27 And see that all these things are done in wisdom and order; for it is not requisite that a man should run faster than he has strength. And again, it is expedient that he should be diligent, that thereby he might win the prize; therefore, all things must be done in order.(Mosiah 4:26 - 27)
11 And it came to pass in the commencement of the ninth year, Alma saw the wickedness of the church, and he saw also that the example of the church began to lead those who were unbelievers on from one piece of iniquity to another, thus bringing on the destruction of the people.
12 Yea, he saw great inequality among the people, some lifting themselves up with their pride, despising others, turning their backs upon the needy and the naked and those who were hungry, and those who were athirst, and those who were sick and afflicted.
13 Now this was a great cause for lamentations among the people, while others were abasing themselves, succoring those who stood in need of their succor, such as imparting their substance to the poor and the needy, feeding the hungry, and suffering all manner of afflictions, for Christ's sake, who should come according to the spirit of prophecy;
14 Looking forward to that day, thus retaining a remission of their sins; being filled with great joy because of the resurrection of the dead, according to the will and power and deliverance of Jesus Christ from the bands of death. (Alma 4:11 - 14)