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)

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Declare These Things Part 2

I planned on making this post longer but I haven't gotten around to it. Maybe I will add a third part later. I didn't take the time deserved for this but wanted to get it out there.

3 keys to discern true messengers.
1st:  True messengers declare the source of their message
2nd: They prophecy
3rd: Message comes with power like Abinadi, Alma, King Benjamin, etc...

I would also add, they don't need to claim any authority, for truth stands independent. All one needs is the truth given to them by the power of the Holy Ghost.

In part one I brought up many examples of different prophets declaring where their message came from and the fruits of their message. Abinadi declared his message to be from the Lord, so did King Benjamin, the people of Helamen 5 declared their message to be from an angel, the people in 3 nephi, the appearance of Christ to those gathered, declared their message to be from Christ and that they had seen Him. Nephi declared his authority was given him and the words which he had spoken by the power of the holy ghost. All these messengers declared they had either Seen Him or Seen angels.

In the lecture by Oliver Cowdery (see part 1) he told the saints to tarry at kirtland until their ordinations were complete and God had laid their hands on their head. As all prophets received the Melchizedek Priesthood from God Himself (Fulness of the Priesthood not by descent of man, remember there are 3 degrees of priesthood only the lesser two are normally brought up) Joseph made the following comment on missionary work.
It is not the multitude of preachers that is to bring  about the glorious Millenium! but it is those who  are “Called, and chosen, and faithful.”  
Let the elders be exceedingly careful about un necessarily disturbing the and harrowing up the  feeling of the people. Remember that your busi ness is, to preach the gospel, in all humility and  meekness, and warn sinners to repent and come  to Christ. Avoid contentions and vain disputes  with men of corrupt minds, who do not desire  to know the truth. Remember that “it is a day  of warning, and not a day of many words,” If they  receive not your testimony in one place, flee to another, remembering, to cast no reflections,  nor throw out any bitter sayings. If you do  your duty. it will be just as well with you,  as though all men embraced the gospel. 
Be careful about sending boys to preach the  gospel to the world; if they go, let them be accom panied by some one who is able to guide them in  the proper channel, lest they become puffed up,  and fall under condemnation and into the  snare of the Devil: finally, in these critical times,  be careful; call on the Lord day and night.  (Joseph Smith PapersHistory, 1838–1856, volume A-1 [23 December 1805–30 August 1834], pg 401)
I would like to re-quote this phrase: "it is those who are “Called, and chosen, and faithful.” that will bring about the millennium. These are they who have communed with the general assembly of God, these are they who are kings and priests unto God, these are they who have received the fulness of the father and have been endowed with power. (D&C 76:62-70) Or as Oliver Cowdery said they have completed their ordinations and God has laid His hand upon them or bestowed this power by the "voice of God".
As well in that same lecture, the early apostles were commanded to bear testimony that they have seen the face of God and have had Him minister to them. As Joseph said you can only elevate those when you are on higher ground. Along with all the scriptural references I have shown in part 1.

The early leaders were very clear on their witnesses of Jesus Christ. Brigham Young shared the desires of his heart as president of the church for 11 years  (Became president in 1847).
I have flattered myself, if I am as faithful as I know how to be to my God, and my brethren, and to all my covenants, and faithful in the discharge of my duty, when I have lived to be as old as was Moses when the Lord appeared to him, that perhaps I then may hold communion with the Lord, as did Moses. I am not now in that position, though I know much more than I did twenty, ten, or five years ago. But have I yet lived to the state of perfection that I can commune in person with the Father and the Son at my will and pleasure? No, - though I hold myself in readiness that he can wield me at his will and pleasure. If I am faithful until I am eighty years of age, perhaps the Lord will appear to me and personally dictate me in the management of his Church and people. A little over twenty years, and if I am faithful, perhaps I will obtain that favour with my Father and God. (Journal of Discourses, 7:243. Brigham Young, September 1, 1859, here)
He desired to hold communion with the Lord (General assembly of God, See D&C 76) so that the Lord could dictate personally the "management of his Church". Six Years later and he was 17 years as president at this time. 
And what shall we say of our Heavenly Father? He is also a man in perfection, and the father of the man Jesus Christ, and the father of our spirits; He lives far above the influence and power of sin, and holds in his hands the destinies of all. We have not seen the person of the Father, neither have we seen that of the Son; but we have seen the children of the Father, and the brethren of the Savior, who are in every way like them in physical appearance and organization. Although mankind of the same color look alike, yet there exist expressions of the features by which one person can be distinguished from another. The human family all resemble one another in the main characteristics of humanity, and all resemble the Savior who died for us; and could we see him in the flesh, as he appeared to the ancients, we should very likely find that some men are more like him that others in feature and form, as we often see men who are more like Joseph Smith than others are. (Journal of Discourses 11:42. Brigham Young, January 8, 1865, here)
Joseph Smith & Sidney Rigdon
It seems we have not an equal to one like unto Moses since Joseph.
21 And saw the holy angels, and them who are sanctified before his throne, worshiping God, and the Lamb, who worship him forever and ever.
22 And now, after the many testimonies which have been given of him, this is the testimony, last of all, which we give of him: That helives!
23 For we saw him, even on the right hand of God; and we heard the voice [Is this what it means to receive the priesthood by His voice] bearing record that he is the Only Begotten of the Father— (D&C 76:21-23)
Pure in Heart Shall See God: School of the Prophets
"I exhorted the brethren to faithfulness and diligence in keeping the commandments of God, and gave much instruction for the benefit of the Saints, with a promise that the pure in heart should see a heavenly vision; and after remaining a short time in secret prayer, the promise was verified; for many present had the eyes of their understanding opened by the Spirit of God, so as to behold many things . . . Many of the brethren saw a heavenly vision of the Savior, and concourses of angels, and many other things, of which each one has a record of what he saw." (Joseph Smith, History of the Church, 1:333)
Tokens follow those that believe 
This winter [1832–33] was spent in translating the Scriptures; in the School of the Prophets; and sitting in conferences. I had many glorious seasons of refreshing. The gifts which follow them that believe and obey the Gospel, as tokens that the Lord is ever the same in His dealings with the humble lovers and followers of truth, began to be poured out among us, as in ancient days. (History of the Church, 1:322.)
Brother Knights Witness
He saw heaven opened and beheld the Lord Jesus Christ, sitting [at] the right hand of the Majesty on high, and had it made plain to his understanding that the time would come when he should be admitted into his presence to enjoy his society for ever and ever. (Joseph Smith Papers, History, circa June–October 1839 [Draft 1], pg 388, here)
This witness shows how open the early members were and how Joseph did not restrict others from testifying of these experiences. Joseph included it in the early history of the saints. This experience happened in the home where the early saints church meetings were held. He had received his calling and election made sure since he was promised by Gods voice "to enjoy his society for ever and ever".

Nor was any of these witnesses "too sacred".

1 comment:

  1. Thank you Tyson for these wonderful posts. Lots to consider and ponder about.

    I once tried to find any scriptural evidence for seeing God, and that experience being too sacred, and not to be shared. I could find none.

    After the Nephites saw Jesus "it was noised abroad among the people immediately, before it was yet dark, that the multitude had seen Jesus, and that he had ministered unto them." They sure didn't think it was too sacred.