First Shall Be Last - Last Shall Be First
An interesting timeline. It follows the Chiamus pattern for the history of the world.
(click to enlarge)
I would like to relate a possible timeline of LDS History. Others may disagree but this is what the Lord has revealed to me to be true.
Parable of the watchtower (D&C 101:43-62)
The Lord foretold the failure of the Saints to acquire the fullness of the priesthood as early as December 1833. He explained that the Saints would plant “the twelve olive trees” (or restore the covenant) and would build a wall and place watchmen (or restore the church), but would unwisely fail to build the required watchtower (Nauvoo Temple) to protect the restoration. Therefore, they would be overthrown. (D&C 101: 43-51.) This was eight years before the Lord warned them they were on the cusp of failing and being rejected as a church. (D&C 124: 31-32.) But the Saints ignored the warning where they were told they would become “very slothful, and [hearken] not unto the commandments of their lord” (D&C 101: 50) given to them eight years earlier. They failed to complete the Nauvoo Temple before Joseph and Hyrum were slain. The brothers' deaths were plainly avoidable by paying attention to the warning given eleven years beforehand in the parable.
I support this idea in part 4 using the words of Joseph Smith. But the parable of the watchtower along with Jacob 5 and Isaiah talks about a servant who will finish the Lords work after the vineyard was destroyed (D&C 105:54-62) Also I have touched on it here: A Future Seer Unfulfilled Prophecy
Mighty and Strong
And it shall come to pass that I, the Lord God, will send one mighty and strong, holding the scepter of power in his hand, clothed with light for a covering, whose mouth shall utter words, eternal words; while his bowels shall be a fountain of truth, to set in order the house of God,...You cannot set in order something that has not fallen out of order.
A Brief timeline
In a section on Zion and priesthood the lord digresses to talk about Moses and Israel. I have brought this verse up but I want to expound on it in this post.
"Now this Moses plainly taught to the children of Israel in the wilderness, and sought diligently to sanctify his people that they might behold the face of God; But they hardened their hearts and could not endure his presence; therefore, the Lord in his wrath, for his anger was kindled against them, swore that they should not enter into his rest while in the wilderness, which rest is the fulness of his glory. Therefore, he took Moses out of their midst, and the Holy Priesthood also." (D&C 84:17-26.)
What a calamity! Because they did not use the priesthood for the purpose for which it was given--and it was given that they might sanctify themselves so as to "behold the face of God"--the Lord withdrew the very priesthood itself. Israel, as a people, was left with the preparatory gospel only, with the law of Moses. Her people were denied what they might have had because they did not magnify their callings in the priesthood. A little thoughtful reflection will cause us to conclude that there are those in latter-day Israel who are not striving to use the Melchizedek Priesthood for the purpose for which it was given any more than did our ancient ancestors. Again -- what a calamity! (Priesthood Prepares Men to See God, Bruce R. McConkie, The Promised Messiah, 578-595)This is exactly what Joseph wanted, to prepare the saints to build Zion. It is my belief that the Lord was warning the saints that they would fall into this same scenario if they would not or could not "endure his presence". This is a pattern. Re-read it but this time with some changes added by me.
"Now this [Joseph] plainly taught to the [Latter-day Saints] in the wilderness, and sought diligently to sanctify his people that they might behold the face of God; But they hardened their hearts and could not endure his presence; therefore, the Lord in his wrath, for his anger was kindled against them, swore that they should not enter into his rest while in the wilderness, which rest is the fulness of his glory. Therefore, he took [Joseph] out of their midst, and the Holy Priesthood also." (D&C 84:17-26.)This is the pattern when the fulness is rejected. Remember one definition for Zion or Adam-Ondi-Ahman (the first Zion on this earth) is Adam in the presence of God. It is the people of God, "No longer will they teach their neighbor, or say to one another, 'Know the LORD,' because they will all know me, from the least of them to the greatest,"(Jeremiah 31:34)
Loss of the Priesthood
The saints lost priesthood sometime after the kirtland temple when they first received it. It would require a new temple to restore the fulness of the priesthood. To be permitted to undertake this, however, there would be a limited time appointed. After that appointment, the church would be rejected. (D&C 124: 31-32.) What that entails is another post. But the outward ordinances continued, ordinations to priesthood, bestow of the HG, endowments, etc... The time is not specified, but the work was to be undertaken by sending "swift messengers," (D&C 124: 26) and gathering all the Saints together with their gold, silver, antiquities, and precious things to construct this Temple. (D&C 124: 26-27.)
The Saints gathered to Nauvoo and by 1844 the population had swollen to 12,000. There were shops, brick homes, stores, and a Masonic Hall constructed in Nauvoo. There was a gunsmith shop, a university, library and wide streets. Unlike other frontier towns with adobe and log homes, Nauvoo boasted brick houses and affluence. This community was superior to anything else along the western boundary of the United States at the time. (See part 4)
When Joseph and Hyrum were killed on June 27, 1844, the Temple walls were not completed and no portion had been dedicated. After Joseph's death, the Saints rededicated themselves to finish the Temple. The exterior walls were completed in December, 1844 and the final sunstone put into place with some considerable difficulty. (See part 4)
28 For there is not a place found on earth that he may come to and restore again that which was lost unto you, or which he hath taken away, even the fulness of the priesthood. (D&C 124:28)When Joseph had made a sufficient "offering" and "acknowledgments," the Lord gave another opportunity for the Saints to receive again what had been taken from them, that is the "fullness of the priesthood." (D&C 124: 1, 28.)
They could not endure his presence, so they lost the fulness. This was their last opportunity until the Lord extends his hand a second time (Isaiah 11:11, 3 Nephi 16:10) and finishes that which has "already gone forth" among them. (2 Nephi 3:11). Else they would be left with the lesser priesthood (to perform outward ordinances). Or as the LDS church does ordination to the Aaronic and Melchezidek priesthood. Remember there are three degrees of priesthood as taught by Joseph (TPJS, Section Six 1843-44, p.322, See Fulness of the Priesthood). The fulness or patriarchal priesthood or Holy Order, is that which can only be bestowed by "god himself" (TPJS). What was lost was an opportunity for Zion, though individuals could still be Redeemed.
32...if you do not these things at the end of the appointment ye shall be rejected as a church, with your dead, saith the Lord your God. (D&C 124:28)I will not go into the detail of the Nauvoo timeline here (See Part 4). If you remember Moses (Israelites) were left to wander in the wilderness for 40 years instead of going to the promised land. That was the consequence for the Israelites not being able to "endure his presence". Likewise the saints were left to wander in the wilderness for 3-4 generations being driven to SLC to suffer all manner of afflictions. (Search "third and fourth generation", Exodus 20:4-6, Jackson County Curse D&C 124:50, and other variations of the phrase )
The passing of Church Patriarch Eldred G Smith was a symbol of the end of the 3-4 generational curse. Which priesthood office the church has now abandoned. It marks a new beginning. It means the Lord is now extending his hand again a second time. There is an opportunity now presented to us to build up Zion if we will repent (3 Nephi 16:13). The time is upon us. The heavens are open. YOU have an opportunity to receive of his fulness and if enough of us rise up, we can build Zion. Or we can reject the offer, and God will find another people who will accept it.
When enough are ready to enter into this order, have their hearts turned to the fathers, receive the covenant, then the Lord will bring again Zion.
Corruption from the Beginning
This is plain preaching, and perhaps some of you will not like it. I cannot help it, these are the things that present themselves before my mind. There must be a reformation,there will be a reformation among this people (Orson Pratt, JD 15:361)This whole world is full of corruption. Its present in the entire world around us. But we can wake up to it, we don't have to wait for others to show us it. We can overcome it. We can be something altogether different. We can be sons of God, strangers and sojourners here for those who commune with the "general assembly" and come up to an "innumerable company of angels". (D&C 76:67)
Josephs Last Dream
It is my belief that the Lord showed Joseph exactly what would happen in the latter days. I will not summarize it or repost it here. I linked to it here. (Josephs Last Dream)
Our Standing Before God
Remember that you cannot justify your standing before God by a reference to Joseph Smith's own experiences with angels. Joseph Smith's personal experiences are no more a fair assessment of your own standing before God than Moses' experiences were a reflection of the righteousness of the children of Israel. Nor are Joseph's personal experiences a good determinant of the Church's present condition. In fact, Mormon said our churches "have become polluted" because of our pride (Morm. 8:36). "The holy church of God" has been polluted from the inside out (Morm. 8:38). Hugh Nibley always said it was an inside job.
Mormon further warned "and your churches, yea, even every one, have become polluted because of the pride of your hearts" (Mormon 8:36) It further warns us that not all is well in Zion,yea, Zion does NOT prosper.
And others will he pacify, and lull them away into carnalsecurity, that they will say: All is well in Zion; yea, Zion prospereth, all is well—and thus the devil cheateth their souls...(2 Nephi 28:21)It warns the saints that "THEY are LED, that in many instances they do err because they are taught by the precepts of men." (2 Nephi 28:14, emphasis added) Remember, It is by faith that angels come to minister unto man (Moroni 7:37). If angels have ceased to minister unto men, it is because of unbelief, and their religion is vain (ibid.). "For no man can be saved, according to the words of Christ, save they shall have faith in his name (Moro. 7:38).
A New Leaf Has Turned
I want to make this clear. I believe in the book of mormon. I believe Joseph when he said, "If any man writes to you, or preaches to you, doctrines contrary to the Bible, the Book of Mormon, or the Book of Doctrine and Covenants, set him down as an imposter" (Joseph Smith, Times & Seasons, April 1, 1844) Therefore I ask all to compare what I have written to the scriptures. Or else as President George Cannon said "we should discard it". I believe in the Doctrine of Christ.
Any man who had faith believing were bapized, received the holy ghost, and other ordinances, having it sealed by the holy spirit of promise, than they are validated. The blessings given to us as seen in the temple are "conditional upon our faithfulness". It was not that way when in the days of Kirtland.
We may deceive men but we cannot deceive the Holy Ghost, and our blessings will not be eternal unless they are also sealed by the Holy Spirit of promise (Melvin J. Ballard, Conference Report, Oct. 1970, 111.)I mention this in another post but there are two ordinations, one by man which the church has performed. And one by God. Both are necessary. But a leaf has turned, the times of the gentiles has been fulfilled.
Can't you see the signs of the times? Can't you look about and see the whole world is waxing old like a garment? Can't you see there is now a balance of things kept at bay only to preserve the possibility of a remnant being claimed by God? God promised He would do this. If this can bear fruit, the Lord may give more time and keep the angels from beginning the harvest. That will depend on what we do.
[W]e cannot claim these promises which were made to the ancients for they are not our property, merely because they were made to the ancient Saints, yet if we are the children of the Most High, and are called with the same calling with which they were called, and embrace the same covenant that they embraced, and are faithful to the testimony of our Lord as they were, we can approach the Father in the name of Christ as they approached Him, and for ourselves obtain the same promises. These promises, when obtained, if ever by us, will not be because Peter, John and the other Apostles, with the churches as Sardis, Pergamos, Philadelphia, and elsewhere walked in the fear of God, and had power and faith to reveal and obtain them; but it will be because we, ourselves, have faith and approach God in the name of His Son Jesus Christ; even as they did; and when these promises are obtained, they will be promises directly to us, or they will do us no good.” (Joseph Smith, TPJS, p. 66)This is the religion that Joseph tried to restore. But they would not have it. Instead they wanted something else. So the Lord gave it to them. The Lord answered the saints and continues to do so "according to their idols" (Ezekial 14).
"Could you gaze into heaven five minutes, you would know more than you would by reading all that ever was written on the subject" (TPJS, p. 324; cf. HC 6:50)