Needed Reformation in the LDS Church – Specific Actions

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I’m an active Mormon, and I care quite a bit about my faith (maybe too much!). As I’ve looked deeply at Mormon history over the last decade, it seems to me that Mormonism has changed doctrine and practice about as fast as the members overwhelmingly desired it (or social pressure required it) —and to me, this seems just as one would hope of a religion that professes to follow ‘the plan of moral agency’ (D&C 101:78; 93:31; Moses 4:3). I believe scriptures supports the idea that divinity gives a lot more leniency for religious leaders to make decisions than those leaders typically dare admit. And looking at the history of Judaism, Mormonism or Catholicism, it seems that major divisions and schisms occur when church leaders do not recognize growing demand for change in the people–or leaders refuse to govern according the agency of the people (or the dictates of the Spirit as given individually to the vast majority).

Thus I offer the following as topics to think about. I don’t say any of these things to be divisive—to the contrary, as I read through LDS blogs and forums, I see way too much division and way too many people leaving the Church with very ill feelings.  Its something I’ve given a lot of thought and study to, and as I’ve searched through the scriptures for answers I’ve come up with the following list of divisive traditions and practices which seem to go against our own founding revelations.

In my opinion, basically every major problem in the church boils down to this first two or three Reform Actions.  I believe, power which has become too centralized and lofty for the progression of seasoned members, is at the root of every other imbalance mentioned in this article. (autocratic institutionalization can be great for coverts and new areas of the church, but it’s death to the 5th generational central stakes of Zion)

 

Note

These items now have their own section… and each Reform Action, its own post. See “needed reformation” menu.

 

Reform Action #1:

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Remove the doctrine of muted prophetic infallibility from our scripture and teachings. Church leaders and members often use the following excerpt from Wilford Woodruff’s Official declaration 1 (which aimed to end the church practice of polygamy) to suggest that God would never allow the church leadership to lead the church contrary to the will of God.  Read More>>

 

Reform Action #2:

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Decentralize and pull down the power, which has become too lofty and autocratic for seasoned members. Church hierarchy needs to humble themselves monetarily and authoritatively. Restore the balance of power between Stake and central church priesthood hierarchy, according to the principles delineated in D&C 107, by bolstering stake influence and reducing centralization & institutionalization efforts from SLC for seasoned regions, and expanding the influence of the patriarchal order of the priesthood. D&C 107 describes a perfect balance of power between the Stake government and the central church government, this balance needs to be reestablished. Read More>>

 

 

Reform Action #3:

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Reform governance in seasoned regions of the church, working to eliminate autocracy/unrighteous dominion and more properly balance agency and consensus rule (common voice). Restore the law of Common Voice where possible in the selection of many congregational-level callings. Do better at respecting difference of opinion and re-instituting the vote as a major form of decision making. (this does not necessarily apply in regions where the church is new). Read More>>

 

Reform Action #4:

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Reform the church’s unscriptural exclusive truth & priesthood claims.  Stop promoting false dichotomies in our truth claims. Maintain the multidimensional scriptural metaphors without imposing rigid church-wide interpretations for them. Read More>>

 

 

Reform Action #5:

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Be completely transparent about church history. (we’re making huge progress on this!)   Read More>>

 

 

Reform Action #6:

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Teach and encourage the practice of economic equality through the Law of Consecration in its proper framework under the United Order (essentially a hybrid form of free-will socialism). Completely ingnoring this law separates the church from the heavenly organizations which helped to found it. Failing to even teach (let alone practice) this system makes the church just another religious faction preaching supposed religiousness but not practicing a system which remedies social inequality—the single largest cause of social instability & collapse.  See D&C sections 42, 51, 78, 82, 104. see also Enrichment L.

Read More>>

 

 

The Rest is Trivial.

Every other action in this article is trivial. Giving this author or any small group of people control to create “reforms” would be just as ineffective as the current status quo if it comes from an over-centralized bureaucracy.  Most the below issues revolve around the institutionalization of the Church which has come as a result of its over centralization and autocratic power structure. They are just random ideas, and not actual dictates of how I think the church should be.

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Reform Action:

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Put a greater emphasis on service, humanitarian work and giving. (I think we’re making progress?!)

Read More>>

 

 

Reform Action:

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LDS Apostles need to stop being dishonest concerning their witness of Jesus Christ. Read More>>

 

 

 

Reform Action:

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Stop teaching that LDS temple and ordinances are required to make it to the Celestial Kingdom and start emphasizing that these things are important symbols which aid in salvation and eternal union but are not a requirement for it per se.

Read More>>

 

 

Reform Action:

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Stop excommunicating or marginalizing dissidents. Excommunication should conform strictly with the principles delineated in D&C 42:20–28 and D&C 102. Public or private differences of opinion are not grounds for excommunication. Witch-hunts should be avoided at all costs. The church is meant to be a ‘type’ or example of perfect government, there must be effective channels for group secession and re-absorption to and from the ecumenical union.

Read More>>

 

 

Reform Action:

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Reform institutionalized temple worship. The current system of pressuring youth into temple initiation, and covenant making (without even knowing beforehand the full idea of what covenants they will be making) is morally wrong, and highly detrimental.

There are a lot of aspects of temple worship which need to change… Read More>>

 

 

Reform Action:

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Greatly reform the teachings and strictures concerning sexuality, health and substance abuse in the Church. Leave the specifics to the patriarchal order where they belong.

Read More>>

 

 

Reform Action:

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Take steps to decentralize the monetary system and allow stakes far greater latitude in deciding how much money to spend on structures (meeting houses, temples, etc) & programs. Do a better job of separating “for-profit” arms of the Church. The presiding bishopric, not the traveling twelve should be involved in these “temporal matters”.

Read More>>

 

 

Reform Action:

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Create a system of activism and unsolicited volunteerism. Perhaps a system of self appointed callings? (or something to this effect).

Read More>>

 

 

 

 

Other Possible Points

-do not make the same mistakes concerning pushes for gender equality in the church as were made in regard to the issue of black and the priesthood. (suggesting doctrine supports the idea that God is against it or that it will never happen etc…)

-slowly expand women’s roles until full gender equality is achieved. Start with missionaries (done!), move to Ward Council (equal number of men & women). Then to church wide general auxiliaries. Then to issues of priesthood (see GOHT). Have Bishops/Stake Presidents and General Authorities wives assist in their callings and speak at meetings and General Conferences. Show in word and action that these are shared gender callings… that men are not called, couples who have achieved true oneness are.

-encourage original music and art in more church settings. (Ensign and Deseret Book are doing a good job!)  Allow original and faith building modern music in sacrament meetings according to common consent.

-rename “worthiness interviews” to bishop “counsel sessions” or something similar. Do not ask yes/no inquisition-like questions, instead create an outline bishops can follow to rightly judge the ideas of the member’s understanding on certain topics. He can then give counsel and guidance according to their knowledge. Always holding the agency and personal revelation of the individual preeminent.

 

See also My reformational article dealing with more abstract doctrinal issues here….   http://mormonuniversalism.com/2613/needed-reformation-in-the-lds-church/

My Testimony of the LDS Church & Religion (Part 1. Supernatural Experiences)

All religions fit together in my worldview. Each seems to be a different perspective on pieces of the big picture.

I believe that “all truth can be circumscribed into one whole”.  All religions fit together in my worldview. To me each seems to be just a different perspective or piece of the grand picture of human perception.

As I explain in my ‘What is Truth‘ article, I’ve spent a lot of time and energy in my life trying to figure out how all truth in this world fits together into one cohesive whole. To me, that seems to be the highest idea LDS people learn in our church, taught to us in our highest temple ordinance just before we symbolically pass through the “veil” into the presence of God. I’ve read a good amount of most of the world’s religious works. I’ve had visions of spirits, I’ve heard voices, I’ve battled demons, I’ve dabbled in the hidden mysteries, and I’ve done my best to investigate and integrate into my worldview the best parts of the world’s religions. I was raised in the LDS Church and always considered myself an “orthodox” Mormon, and bought into a subtly condescending attitude toward those with views dissenting from the mainstream. Like much of the world’s religious faithful, I always had a strong “testimony” that our way was not only the best way, but the only true way. But after the death of my father, I gained an insatiable appetite for information relating to religion and the afterworld… and after years of asking—and getting answers, I gained a picture of reality that turned out to be quite different than what I thought growing up. I think my understanding and “testimony” now is in many ways very different from most Mormons, but still similar in many respects.

My testimony now (the LDS term for one’s belief system) is complicated. It’s certainly not black and white and doesn’t correspond to the sound bites of any particular church. (Despite considering myself LDS, and loving the truths in our church). Although this entire site is basically my religious thoughts that I am laying out for my kids or anyone interested, I want to use this article to try and summarize and prioritize my beliefs in a way that might help people better understand me.

 

Unity As The Highest Ideal

I believe the highest ideal is unity. As I explain in detail in my article What is Truth, Is the LDS Church the Only True Church? article, I believe ultimate truth is an understanding of a thing from every possible perspective, and so statements of testimony like “I know my Church is True” distort the very concept of truth. Because to most people such a statement is paramount to making one’s church into an errorless organization free from the lies, half-truths, misunderstandings, issues and limited perspective which are an inevitable part of anything run by fallible humans. I believe the tenets of all religions contain both truth and error, and are perceived differently by every member. Rather than taking sides in debates concerning truth, epistemology or ontology, I love to see what others believe and figure out how their beliefs fit into the big picture. I haven’t met a lot of people that I can’t see the truth’s in their perspective.  I like to talk to people from their perspective as much as possible. I love to try and enlarge the perspectives of others.

 

My Spiritual (Metaphysical? Supernatural?) Experiences

I think like many people I had experiences of synchronicity, and answers to prayers in my youth, which really gave me a sense that there was a higher power. A sense that the natural world we typically interact with was only a small part of a larger unseeable reality. But the first truly supernatural experience (from my perspective) I had occurred in about the 7th grade. Being raised in an active LDS family, I learned about Joseph Smith’s first vision growing up, but for some reason, it suddenly really resonated with me. I decided if praying worked for him to see god, it would work for me. I set up a day to go out and pray in a secluded place but ended up falling ill that day— to the point I spent a few days in bed. So I set my mind on another day some time later… and once again I got really sick. It was one of many strange examples of synchronicity which was hard to dismiss. To me, there seemed to be something very real to this God-thing. My apophenic mind found significant meaning in the fact that God or some part of myself did not want me to seek this experience. (More on my views of ancient and modern theophany experiences below…)

Strangely, that experience served as an important backdrop as I’ve talked with multiple people over the years (and read the accounts of many others) who have had visions and interactions with what they felt was deity.

A few years after the above experience I started reading the Book of Mormon for seminary. I got through the book of Second Nephi and became engrossed. I couldn’t put it down and read the rest of the book in a day or two. While reading the story of Ammon & Lamoni I had my strongest feeling-based metaphysical experience ever. A warm/burning feeling overtook me that seemed to originate from my heart and radiate through my whole body. It was a classic kundalini experience. It made me collapse in bed and wonder if I was having a heart attack or something — but it was accompanied by incredible feelings of love unlike anything I had ever felt before. This was not simple emotionalism, it was a whole-body biological reaction to what I read. It was not simply like the warm-fuzzies we all feel when we watch a touching movie. It was more biological, with feelings of ecstasy, warmth and enlargement in my brain and heart area. To put it quite frankly, it was much like having a completely unsexual orgasm (not that I would have had any clue what that even was at that age)–where I was spiritually united with some unseen reality. Feelings associated with that initial powerful biological and emotional outpouring lingered for days. I felt anointed and special. I felt connected to God and to that book, and I subsequently used that experience as an initial basis for a testimony of the LDS church and its living prophets. From that point on, I was a fully committed to Mormonism, yet at the same time I felt a connection to divinity that allowed me to define what Mormonism was to be for me—rather than having it fully defined by Mormon leadership. I felt a true unity with “god” and Mormonism and increasingly felt like whatever issues I saw I could get answers to resolve them.

(I’ve since learned that such biological/spiritual manifestations of spiritual experiences are not exclusive to any particular religion, and have been experienced and described for thousands of years by many different religious traditions. It is also referred to as the sacred anointingbaptism by fire or serpent fire of Jewish traditions & Kabbalah; and the coiled serpent, chakra/endocrine theory of Eastern traditions. see The Biology of Kundalini)

 

 

Seeing Spirits

Two months before my LDS mission, my father was killed in a freak accident, and the seclusion and isolation of my mission became a powerful catylist for me in desiring to really know what lay beyond death. This was the beginning of my dark night of the soul. When my dad died, part of me died. After this, religion no longer remained a cultural and social given in my life. I became a true student of religion, because I wanted to know what lie beyond the grave. And although I really didn’t have many particularly unusual spiritual experiences on my mission (apart from very regularly occurring emotional religious confirmations and a few psychic voices in my mind), soon after my mission I began to have a number of experiences with what scientist have haphazardly termed sleep paralysis (which involve dream-like “thought forms“, or spiritual visionary/dream experiences) as well seeing earth-bound spirits. In my first experience of this sort, I woke up in the twilight hours before dawn to what I thought was my mother (a female individual) sitting on my bedside with her hand on my leg. As I opened my eyes and became conscious of her presence suddenly realizing that this was not anyone I knew, the individual instantly flew on top of me as if trying to enter my body (at least that was my perception). Not that this apparition was really even particularly frightening, but that I was horrified by not being able to move—and at the reality and unfamiliarity of the experience. After a few horrifying moments of me futilely trying to scream and defend myself (but not being able to move or make audible noises), the being left and my biological eyes opened (more on that in a second). This type of experience occurred a number of times from the ages of about 21 – 28, and as time went by I got better not freaking out and appropriately dealing with, or interacting with the experiences until it ended.

As I go through my subsequent experiences in this next section, I think it’s important to note that all but one or two of my experiences with seeing “spirits” have occurred with my biological eyes closed. It’s a difficult phenomena to explain and it’s easy to see why those who haven’t experienced it would suspect all such experiences are just a type of dream (which is certainly one way to look at them).  In most of my experiences I am mentally “woken up” to see some apparition from my bed—only to be bewildered by the fact that afterwards I end up opening my physical eyes to find I was actually still physically “asleep”.  And yet I’m not asleep and these seem to me, far different than lucid dreams— I am totally aware of both my thoughts and surroundings and before opening my eyes, I can somehow see things like the alarm clock and room lighting—which don’t change at all when I open my eyes. In these experiences I am always sure I’m wide awake with eyes open, only to surprisingly find myself later opening my physical eyes to an identical scene & feeling. (There is absolutely no sensation of waking up, only of opening my biological eyes). From my perspective I am somehow “seeing” things through the “eyes” of my spirit (for loss of a better word). I know that sounds hokey and I don’t expect those who have not experienced this phenomena to understand— but that is absolutely the perception I have of the experience. In multiple instances I have looked out the window to see the dawning light on the horizon, and then when my biological eyes open afterwards—there is absolutely no difference to what I perceived of the scene before and after my physical eyes open. In fact, it is absolutely uncanny how often these experience occur exactly as a sliver of light appears on the horizon. Even if I am in a dark room with curtains drawn, they nearly always occur within a short period of twilight.

One instance in particular really solidified my belief that my experiences with seeing spirits are more complicated than dreaming or super-lucid hallucinations. Sometime around age 27 I had an instance where I was awoken by the spirit of a young teenager in my room (my impression was that this individual had died as a teen). He woke me up purposefully by walking up to me and waving his hand repeatedly in my face. I remained semi-conscious and just watched him as he walked through the wall toward the living room where my wife was sleeping that night. I sensed his intent to try and annoy my wife as well, and so as I opened my eyes to get out of bed and start heading toward the living room, my wife popped in the room a bit shaken and asked if I had just snuck up to her and woken her up by loudly whispering “hey!” into her ear. She got up immediately and looked both beneath and around the sofa, fully expecting me to be hiding just out of her view. When she realized it wasn’t me, she was startled and came into the bedroom to see where I was. I have had many experiences with seeing and talking to spirits both before and after this one, but this experience with my wife sticks out as the first which was objectively confirmed by another individual. It is also interesting to note that my wife also had an experience of “hearing spirits” when she was young. It was a strange and frightening experience for her, and had never been repeated until this night. [There is, of coarse, no objectively provable scientific evidence of clairaudience or clairvoyance,so it deserves the skepticism it receives— but the phenomena has been documented for thousands of years, occurring to countless individuals; and my experiences certainly began to make me a believer.]

 

More Interaction with Beings

Since the shared experience with my wife, I’ve had many experiences where I am “woken up” (although my eyes are still closed), to some ethereal being standing near my bed, teaching me. (I can’t move my head and look at them because I’m not physically awake–only mentally awake). This has usually occurred after I’ve read something to make me sincerely ask heaven for answers to questions.  The beings, (or sometimes just a voice) then give me lengthy, profound explanations which give me unbelievably clear visual and conceptual understandings of different topics. But then after I open my eyes and try to write down what was telepathically communicated to me, the vision and understanding fade and I fail to find the words to explain it. It’s a wild experience and in some periods of my life it’s happened with surprising regularity. Often the explanations will include scriptures or concepts which I don’t remember ever reading or learning, but when I wake up and look them up, they seem to be legit.  I’ve repeatedly considered the prevailing scientific explanation that these visions could just be a product of an insanely lucid imagination or a hallucinogenic mind, but as I’ve analyzed these experiences (and those of others) I believe it is more likely the other way around. (I don’t think current psychoanalysis of hallucinations can account for ‘group visions’, the experience where my wife was woken up too, or psychic premonitions that I’ve experienced (and occur regularly to millions of other people around the earth). As I’ve looked for answers, I think it’s more likely that both spiritual and hallucinatory experiences in general are connected to DMT’s ability to allow the brain to enter subjective states of consciousness wherein humanity is more connected to each other or some type of subconscious group memory and perhaps even to an intelligent infinite creation. (see Rick Strassman’s work at New Mexico school of Medicine, on the Pineal gland’s production of DMT, as well as the link between hallucinogenic drugs and higher states of consciousness. — Note, I’ve never taken illicit or hallucinogenic drugs/medications of any kind by the way, nor have I ever had a metaphysical experience I can remember of while taking any type of cold, flu or pain medication).

While my wife was pregnant, I had one experience where I believe I saw an apparition of the spirit of my unborn child in the same manner as the other spiritual manifestations I’ve seen; however in this experience when I opened my eyes, I could still faintly “see” (or better put, perceive with an extra-ocular sense) the outline of this infant-sized spirit which floated in front of me blinking her big beautiful eyes. Because of these experiences I believe in an afterlife (or at least a spirit-world or global mental realm of sorts, wherein we can subtly interact with the consciousness of the dead, unborn or extra-dimensional beings). I also believe in supernatural events, and certain extrasensory abilities of the human mind; despite the differences in perspective and obvious fraud and forgery existing in the world’s descriptions of these phenomena. At the same time I fully accept the possible validity of purely psychological explanations for paranormal activity; as long as they accept the idea of some kind of subtle shared global, or infinite consciousness. But at the same time I don’t believe that visions and experiences with this unseen realm are a viewing of an objective reality like our own. Attempts to view it as such run into issues both in my own experiences and in those of the thousands of others I have read of.

I think it’s also noteworthy to mention that I’ve never had any experience with seeing my deceased father in dreams or my night visions.  I was woken once at my grandma’s house by a Spirit who I had the distinct impression was related to me, but I’ve never had anything like that happen with my dad, other than possibly feeling his presence or guidance during normal daytime activities. I would think, that if these experiences had to do with some kind of hallucinatory wishful thinking, that they would most certainly end up revolving around the one person who I always wished to talk with most beyond the grave?  But nothing. Even despite having a small experience with another loved-one shortly after their death, where they told me something of what it was like there, I have never been woken at night by my father.

You can read the near-death and spiritual experiences of thousands of others on the sites I have featured in the After Death portion of this website. Read Part 2 to see possible explanations of these phenomena.

continued on page 2  –>

 

Historic Theophany Accounts (Prophetic Visions of God)

Many LDS people don’t realize that Joseph Smith’s first vision experience was not particularly unique. Many individuals both in recent and ancient times have had experiences with what they believe are angels and deity. Many of the worlds largest religions are the result of such experiences. Many smaller faiths within the mysticism movement have a long history of having and analyzing these types of experiences (see this article for a discussion on this).

Theophany” (θεοφάνεια/theophaneia) is the word coined by the ancient Greeks to describe the appearance of a deity to a human. This term has been used to refer to appearances of the gods in the ancient Greek and Near Eastern religions. While the Iliad is the earliest source for descriptions of theophanies in the Classical tradition/era (and they occur throughout Greek mythology), probably the earliest historically dated description of a theophany is in the Epic of Gilgamesh. Similar experiences have continued throughout recorded history.

The following is a list of theophanies, ordered by their relevance to Mormonism.

 

Taiping Heavenly King (太平天王)

Hong Xiuquan (Jan 1814 – June 1864), was a Hakka Chinese prophet/leader of the Taiping Rebellion against the Qing Dynasty, establishing the Taiping Heavenly Kingdom of Peace over varying portions of southern China.

In 1837, Hong reported being visited by two figures, an old, paternal figure and an elder brother-figure. In one vision the old man [Father] complained to Hong about men worshiping demons rather than him. In a second vision, Hong saw Confucius being punished for his faithlessness, after which he repented. In another dream, Hong dreamt of angels carrying him to heaven, where he met the elder-brother figure [Jesus] wearing a black dragon robe with a long golden beard who gave him a sword and a magic seal, and told him to purge China of demons. Several years later, he would interpret this to mean that God the Heavenly Father (whom he identified with Shangdi from Chinese tradition) and his Son, Jesus Christ (whom Hong claimed as his brother) wanted him to rid the world of demon worship.  Hong’s heavenly kingdom instituted polygamy and a form of communism. Hong’s religion or ideology was more or less lost when his rebellion was destroyed by Chinese imperial forces, and his followers put to death. (Deaths from the Rebellion are estimated at between 20-70 million).

The Báb, given name, Sayyed ʿAli Muhammad Shirāzi

The Báb, whose birth name was Sayyed ʿAli Muhammad Shirāzi (October 20, 1819 – July 9, 1850) was the founder of Bábism, and one of three central figures of the Bahá’í Faith (~8 million adherents). He was a merchant from Shiraz in Qajar Iran who, at the age of twenty-four (on the evening of May 22, 1844), claimed to be an inspired interpreter of the Qur’an within the Shaykhi school of Twelver Shi’ism. In a series of several stages, he first introduced himself as the Báb (meaning “Gate” or “Door”) to the Promised Twelver Mahdi or al-Qá’im, then the Mahdi himself, then the Prophet of a New Age, and finally, as the essence of God and his being.

Bahá’ís claim that the Báb was also the spiritual return of Elijah and John the Baptist, that he was the saoshyant referred to in Zoroastrianism,[3] and that he was the forerunner of their own religion. Bahá’u’lláh, the founder of the Bahá’í Faith, was a follower of the Báb and claimed to be the fulfillment of his promise that God would send another messenger. In 1850, at the age of thirty, the Báb was shot by a firing squad in Tabriz.

Mirzā Ghulām Ahmad مرزا غلام احمد

Mirzā Ghulām Ahmad (13 February 1835 – 26 May 1908) was an Indian religious leader and the founder of the Ahmadiyya Movement in Islam (~20 million adherents). He claimed to have been divinely appointed as the promised Mahdi, in the likeness of Jesus (mathīl-iʿIsā),[1][2] in fulfillment of Islam’s eschatological prophecies, as well as the Mujaddid (centennial reviver) of the 14th Islamic century.

When he was just over forty years of age, his father died and around that time he believed that God began to communicate with him. He claimed countless dreams and visions from God. In 1889, he took a pledge of allegiance from forty of his supporters at Ludhiana and formed a community of followers upon what he claimed was divine instruction, stipulating ten conditions of initiation. Ghulam Ahmad was a prolific author and wrote more than ninety books on various religious, theological and moral subjects between the publication of the first volume of Barahin-i-Ahmadiyya (The Proofs of Islam, his first major work) in 1880 and his death in May 1908.  In addition to the claim of being God’s Messenger and “god or one with God” Mirza wrote, of one particular theophany as follows,

“I saw God Almighty personified as a human being in a vision. He put His arm round my neck and said [Punjabi]: If you will be devoted to Me, the whole world will be yours.” (from Tadhkirah, page 609, page 571 in the hardcopy)

By the time of his death, he had gathered an estimated 400,000 followers, especially within the United Provinces, the Punjab and Sindh and had built a dynamic religious organisation with an executive body and its own printing press. After his death he was succeeded by his close companion Hakīm Noor-ud-Dīn who assumed the title of Khalīfatul Masīh (successor of the Mahdi).

Abd al-Qadir Gilani or Kilani (1077–1166 CE). The experience of Abd, illustrates both an ancient Near Eastern experience as well as a description as to why theophanies of God (Allah) himself are rare within the Ismalic community–since Muslims generally believe Allah cannot be seen.

In the eleventh century, Shaykh ‘Abd al-Qadir al-Jilani was traveling from one city to another when, to his amazement, the heavens opened up and a figure appeared sky. The figure said, “O ‘Abd al-Qadir! I am God. Because of your devotion to me, I removed the burden of prayer to me from you!”

Did Shaykh ‘Abd al-Qadir rejoice? He replied to the figure, “Silence you enemy of Allah!” The figure then turned black and the voice said “O ‘Abd al-Qadir, I have led astray 30 mystics before you with this same trick [of falsely appearing in the form of a man], but on account of your intellect, I was not able to lead you astray.” Upon which, the Shaykh replied, “It was the favor of Allah that saved me!” .

Understanding The Times and Seasons

Eternal Progression Diagram

Introduction

[Go through and rewrite this. Remake first image to show how the pattern of each dispensation fits with the cosmology.  Especially understanding how dictatorships & monarchies are established during times of low energy… and then transition to democracies as we raise in cosmological “glory” (dictated by our location in the universes energy fields).  Add more about the gospel pattern from times of Israel to times of gentiles, etc)

Christian and LDS scriptures (as well as many other holy texts in other cultures) seem to present the idea that deceased ancestors, higher dimensional beings or even our future selves are somehow involved in starting religions and then intermittently working on them through the different times & seasons like a gardener. In the cold and darkness of early spring the imaginations and subconscious of charismatic (but often egotistical) dreamers and visionaries are used to plant revolutionary religious seeds according to the pre-existing soil type or culture. As the creators step back to watch and see which new religious branches or sects do best they often allow rigid garden cages or strict rules and mores to be emplaced in order to hold the ‘plant’ while its young. They seem to often allow (or possibly encourage?) fanatical egotism or violent struggle in the early stages to build a cohesive culture and sustainable base of cohesive believers. Eventually, they come again in early summer to remove unsuccessful starts as well as the stakes and cages on the plants that have evolved past them and can stand on their own. Then when fully grown they use those diverse organizations to unify cultures and influence politics according to their aims. And lastly, they come to harvest the fruit & new seeds before the winter comes to bring death and dissolution to the spent plant or culture. (see Scattering and Gathering of Israel)

 

Uncontacted primitive tribe living in Brazilian rain forest photographed in 2010

Uncontacted primitive tribes like this one currently living in Brazilian rainforest help us to consider how our world might also be just like these groups which are totally unaware of the advanced civilizations which dwell around and above them. Just as international laws are being drafted to protect the self-determination of these groups, it is logical to consider that higher dimensional groups are also constrained by law in the manners they are allowed to subtly influence human culture, through the imaginations, thoughts and visions of our cultural icons. (see Zoo Hypothesis & Fermi Paradox)

 

Cosmology of the Times and Seasons
The first step to understanding “eternal progression” is to have at least a general understanding of the earth’s progression or orbit within the galaxy. Since this progression somewhat follows that of the earth’s evolution, an understanding of cosmology gives a framework for us to better understand earth’s origins and destiny. Many LDS scriptures, show this is often the first step taken by higher beings in educating mystics/prophets, and was among the first concepts shown to Moses (Moses 1:4,33–38), Abraham (Abr 3:2–21), Enoch (Moses 7), the Brother of Jared (Ether 3:25) and others. Joseph Smith purports to have introduced a very basic version of this cosmology in the Pearl of Great Price (see facsimile 2). In his channeled works (footnote: it is important to note that Joseph’s works were channeled, not translated), Joseph Smith suggests that there is a physical and spiritual hierarchical order to the universe where stars/planets gravitationally and energetically rule over the evolution of other stars/planets and the higher dimensional rulers of those systems rule over the inhabitants of the governed bodies as well. Abraham states that he,

2 …saw the stars, that they were very great, and that one of them was nearest unto the throne of God; and there were many great ones which were near unto it;
3 And the Lord said unto me: These are the governing ones; and the name of the great one is Kolob, because it is near unto me, for I am the Lord thy God: I have set this one to govern all those which belong to the same order as that upon which thou standest.

In the notes written by Joseph Smith for the hypocephalus (facsimile 2) we get more detail stating that “Kolob, signifying the first creation, nearest to the celestial, or the residence of God.” Is “first in government, the last pertaining the the measurement of time”. Abraham is further taught that Kolob has a binary or sister sphere of sorts called Oliblish by the Egyptians that “stands next to Kolob”, being “the next grand governing creation near the celestial or the place where God resides. …which is equal with Kolob in its revolution and in its measuring of time”. The account suggests these bodies are either governing masses in the center of our Milky Way galaxy, or a binary system composing one of the “twelve fixed stars” described below. The power and gravitational influence of these bodies is then traced down through two more “stars” called Kli-flos-is-es, or Hah-ko-kau-beam which then pass their power onto Kae-e-vanrash which in turn “governs fifteen other fixed planets or stars, [including]… the Moon, the Earth and the Sun in their annual revolutions.” In Joseph Smiths personal notes to the hypocephalus and “Alphabet of the Egyptian Language”, he goes into a bit more detail naming the “twelve fixed stars” (of which Kolob belongs) and “fifteen moving planets”, as well as giving what seems to be a slightly different explanation of some of the aforementioned spheres…

“Oliblish, Enish-go-on-dosh, and Kaii-ven-rash, are the three grand central powers that govern all the other creations, which have been sought out by the most aged of all the fathers, since the beginning of the creation, by means of the Urim and Thummim: The names of the other twelve of the fixed stars are: Kolob, Limdi, Zip, Vusel, Venisti, Waine, Wayoh-ox-oan, oansli, Shible, Shineflis, flis, os. The Egyptian names of the fifteen moving planets are: Oanisis, Flosisis, floese, Abbesels, Eleash, Subble, Slundlo, Carroam, Crashmakraw, obblesisim, Izinsbah, missel.

“Kli flosisis signifies Kolob in its motion, which is swifter than the rest of the twelve fixed stars; going before, being first in motion, being delegated to have power over others to regulate others in their time” (J.S. Alphabet of the Egyptian Language)

Comparing this to what we currently know of our Galaxy, its not easily understood what Joseph Smith was getting at (or if this is a feasible astronomical model at all). But although this cosmological model may at first seem a bit far-fetched, it in fact has more witnesses to its general validity in both John Newbrough’s work and in Hindu and eastern cosmology. Newbrough wrote of a cohesive and highly illustrated cosmology consisting of our solar system orbiting through our Milky Way galaxy in a circuit, in his book Oahspe, A Sacred History of the Higher and Lower Heavens on the Earth.

1. First, the earth plieth in a circuit around the sun, which circuit is divided into four arcs called spring, summer, autumn and winter.
2. Second, the sun, with his family, plieth in a large circuit [around the center of the galaxy], which is divided into one thousand five hundred arcs, the distance of which for each arc is about three thousand years or one [harvest] cycle.
3. During a cycle, the earth and her heavens fall in the spiritual regions of hundreds of etherean worlds, where dwell Jehovah’s high-raised angels, whose Chiefs have to do with the management of worlds.
4. During the time of a cycle, the earth is therefore under the control and management of such of Jehovah’s angels for the resurrection of man of the earth. (Oahspe 9/1.1)

Like Joseph Smith’s work, Newbrough’s work suggests that as our Solar System orbits the Galactic core, we pass by higher dimensional “etherean” worlds or “governing” systems which are inhabited by higher dimensional beings who subtly govern the inhabitants of world who pass within their domains. Newbrough’s works contain hundreds of pages which detail the histories, philosophies and tactics of these extra-dimensional beings. And the picture they paint is surprisingly similar to Joseph Smith’s and many ancient religious myths which integrate religion into the movement of our solar system’s as it orbits around the milky-way galaxy. Just as a single rotation around the sun can be separated into 4 seasons, 12 months, 52 weeks and 365 days; so also did the ancients try to give names to the corresponding orbital periods of the solar system moving in the Galaxy. An example is given below

1. And thou [speaking to an officer of the current governing “god” of earth] shalt dwell in thy kingdom seven years and sixty days, and the time shall be called the first dawn of dan, and the next succeeding shall be called the second dawn of dan, and so on, as long as the earth bringeth forth.
2. And the time from one dawn of dan to another shall be called one dan’ha; and four dan’ha shall be called one square, because this is the sum of one density, which is twelve thousand of the earth’s years. And twelve squares shall be called one cube, which is the first dividend of the third space, in which there is no variation in the vortex of the earth. And four cubes shall be called one sum, because the magnitude thereof embraceth one equal of the Great Serpent. (Oahspe 07/2.6)

The Zodiac, Precession of the Equinoxes & their Effect on Earth
Both Newbrough’s and Smith’s works suggest that in ancient times, higher beings came to earth and taught men a general understanding of astronomy & astrophysics and their relationship to galactic rule. The idea of a “great celestial serpent” is found in many ancient cultures and generally seems to describe the Galactic Orbit of our Solar System following a sinusoidal or possibly helical pattern as it dips above and below the galactic equatorial plane. These motions relate to Earth’s precession of the equinoxes as well as the precession or axial wobbling of our sun. (The sun wobbles and travels in a slight helical pattern because of the gravitational effects of Jupiter and the other large planets; seen from the side this orbital path would look like a stretched spring or partially coiled flying serpent.) What makes Oahspe, the Law of One and Joseph Smith’s mystic works unique is the picture they paint of how these well understood astronomical phenomena affects the earth and its inhabitants. Their works agree, first in suggesting that just as the earth experience’s periodic “conjunctions” with other larger planets in its orbit around the sun, our solar system also experiences conjunctions with far larger star clusters as it orbits the galactic core. These star clusters not only subtly affect our solar system gravitationally and electromagnetically, they also rule us spiritually as they contain “gods”, archangels or unified planetary consciousnesses who “have to do with the management of worlds” (Oahspe 9/1.3). This gives a bit more insight to Joseph Smiths hypocephalus where “god”, who is associated with a celestial body (throne) is said to rule earth from/by the fixed star known in a certain Egyptian dialect transliterated as ‘Kolob’. This idea of course, is not limited to Mormonism, Star Wars and other science fiction but exists in some form in the astrology of many ancient cultures. The following is another excerpt from Oahspe which gives a more detailed account of earth’s galactic orbit and how it relates to “heavenly” government.

04/7.2. And Jehovah caused the earth, and the family of the sun to travel in an orbit, the circuit of which requires of them four million seven hundred thousand years. And He placed in the line of the orbit, at distances of [approximately] three thousand years, etherean [celestial] lights, at which places, as the earth passes through, angels from the second heaven come into its corporeal presence. As ambassadors they come, in companies of hundreds, thousands, and tens of thousands, and these are called the etherean [celestial] hosts of the Most High.
04/7.3. They come not as single individuals; nor do they come for a single individual mortal.
04/7.4. And Jehovah gave this sign to man on earth; which is to say: In the beginning of the light of dan’ha, the spirits of the newly dead shall have power to take upon themselves the semblance of corporeal bodies, and appear and talk face to face with mortals. Every three thousand years Jehovah gave this sign on earth, so that those, who learned the powers and capacities of such familiar spirits, could bear testimony regarding the origin of man on earth. || Jehovah said: And when it shall come to pass in any of the times of dan’ha that these signs manifest, man shall know that the hosts of the Most High come soon after. Let him who will become wise, enumerate the great lights of My serpent, for in such times I set aside things that are old, and establish My chosen anew. ||
04/7.5. In the time of the earth, when man was brought forth from mortal to immortal life, the earth passed beyond se’mu [interstellar organic debris]. The angels of heaven remained with corporeal man, but not in the semblance of mortals, but as spirits; and by virtue of their presence, strove to make man wise and upright before Jehovah. Upon the earth the number of such angels was millions. To these angels Jehovah spoke:
04/7.6. Behold the work you have taken in hand! It was commanded to you all, to partake of all the fruits of the earth except of the fruit of the tree of life, which is of the knowledge of the earth and heaven, lest you lose your inheritance in etherea.
04/7.7. Behold, you now have sons and daughters on the earth; by your love to them you have become bound spirits of the lower heaven. Until you redeem them in wisdom and power even to the sixth generation, you shall not rise again and inherit My emancipated heavens.
04/7.8. To which end you shall be co workers with one another in system and order. In My name you shall become an organic body and known as the heaven of the earth, or lower heaven, which shall travel with the earth.
04/7.9. And I will allot to you a Chief, who is wise in experience in founding heavenly kingdoms; and he shall appoint from among you, officers, messengers, ashars, asaphs, and es’enaurs [angel leadership positions], and you shall be numbered and apportioned to your labor and places, like in My other lower heavens on other worlds.
04/7.10. He who is Chief shall be called God of this heaven and the earth, which are now bestowed to his making.
04/7.11. And God shall have a Council and throne within his heavenly city; and the place shall be called Hored, because it is the first kingdom of God in this firmament.
04/7.12. And God shall rule on his throne, for it is his; and his Council shall rule with him; in My name they shall have dominion over angels and mortals belonging to the earth.
04/7.13. And God shall appoint Chiefs under him who shall go down and dwell on the earth with mortals; and the labor of these Chiefs shall be with mortals for their resurrection. And these Chiefs shall be called Lords, for they are Gods of land, which is the lowest rank of My commissioned Gods.
04/7.14. And God and his Lords shall have dominion from two hundred years to a thousand or more years; but never more than three thousand years [a Dan]. According to the regions of dan (light) into which I bring the earth, so shall the terms be for the office of My Gods and My Lords.
04/7.15. And God and his Lords shall raise up officers to be their successors; these officers shall be appointed and crowned in My name by God and his Lords.
04/7.16. At the termination of the dominion of My God and his Lords, they shall in these, My bound heavens, gather together all those angels who have been prepared in wisdom and strength for resurrection to My etherean [celestial] kingdoms. And these angels shall be called Brides and Bridegrooms to Jehovah, for they are Mine and in My service.
04/7.17. And in the time of dan I will send down ships from etherea to God, his Lords and the Brides and Bridegrooms; by My etherean [celestial] Gods and Goddesses, these ships shall descend to these heavens to receive God, his Lords and the Brides and Bridegrooms, and carry them up to the exalted regions I have prepared for them.
04/7.18. All those who ascend shall be called a Harvest to Me, through My God and Lords. And the time of My Harvests shall be according to each dan, which is two hundred years, four hundred years, six hundred years, and five hundred years; and these shall be called My lesser cycles, because they are the times of the tables of prophecy which I give to My servants.
04/7.19. But at no other times, nor in any other way, shall My Harvests ascend to My emancipated worlds in etherea. For each and every dan’ha I have created seven dans, and to each dan given six generations of mortals.

Oaspe as well as other channeled texts also detail the spacecraft and dimension shifting technology which these higher beings use in covertly guiding and governing the affairs of earth. The Law of One, a more modern cosmological work channeled by Don Elkin, goes into great detail to explain the rules of non-intervention these beings are bound by, in order to preserve man’s rights to self-determination. These texts also explain the way in which communication and travel between the various dimensions is bound by laws of physics relating to the earth’s 11 year solar cycle and the position of our solar system within its Galactic orbit.

 

[add another illustration that is a closeup of a square made on the above illustration. so in a small portion of the universe orbit we zoom in on the earth going from one of these “fixed” star systems to another. make its orbit a sinusoidal wave like oahspe shows, and explain that it is spiraling and show how it moves through the dimension, and perhaps even how it splits or activates new dimensions…]

Additionally, Oahspe and the Law of One suggest that as the earth travels through differing energetic densities of the galaxy, it affects the consciousness and intelligence of mankind in general. This concept linking energy or light in the galaxy with intelligence and consciousness is also taught in Mormonism in the Doctrine and Covenants.

7 Which truth shineth. This is the light of Christ. As also he is in the sun, and the light of the sun, and the power thereof by which it was made….
11 And the light which shineth, which giveth you light, is through him who enlighteneth your eyes, which is the same light that quickeneth your understandings;
12 Which light proceedeth forth from the presence of God to fill the immensity of space—
13 The light which is in all things, which giveth life to all things, which is the law by which all things are governed, even the power of God who sitteth upon his throne, who is in the bosom of eternity, who is in the midst of all things. (D&C 88:11–13)

Oahspe and the Law of One go into far more detail on the specifics of how the intensity of cosmic energy affects human consciousness and behavior. It suggests that most ages of enlightenment as well as ages of apostasy and intellectual darkness are caused by the amount of intergalactic energy reaching our solar system.

38/7.6. The prophets of old divided time into cycles of three thousand years, with slight variations. And they found that at the beginning of these periods of time, a certain impulse came upon the people, causing them to try to be better and wiser—even as the same feeling is manifesting itself this day in many nations.
38/7.7. The scale then rises for four hundred years, more or less; and, after that, wars and epidemics come upon the people. They then begin to decline, especially in virtue and peace, but the general intelligence suffers little for about another six or seven hundred years. After which time, they destroy their libraries and records, and reduce themselves to ignorance and vice. Then a darkness follows of one thousand or more years, with slight intermissions. And after that, for six hundred years the corporeal senses [intellect] begin to ascend. Self conceit comes upon them; they think they are the beginning of wisdom on earth. Then comes another cycle of light. Angels descend from the unseen worlds. New revelations crop up in every quarter. Inspiration comes upon mortals, and they go to the opposite extreme, becoming superstitious and obedient to unseen influences.
38/7.8. Such, then, is the general character and behavior of man during a cycle (dan’ha cycle). And he rises and falls in all these particulars as regularly as the tides of the ocean.
38/7.9. These revelations are chiefly made so that man can begin to comprehend these things, and learn to classify them so as to rise in wisdom and virtue, and thus overcome these epidemic seasons of cycles.
38/7.10. As previously shown, there are positive and negative forces continually going to and escaping from the earth. Without these no creature could live on the earth. The negative imparts to man his corporeal growth, as well as his corporeal desires, passions, and so on.
38/7.11. According to the quantity and quality of the corpor solutions in the firmament and their precipitations to the earth, so will man be affected and inclined to manifest. These influences are easily discernible by some persons. As one is depressed by a dull day; another inclined to drunkenness and fighting. A bright day inspires man with energy… (Oahspe 38/7.6-11, Cosmogony)

[add a law of one quote here illustrating the same point. That the “logos” (law of one terminology for a governing celestial body) dictates progression of consciousness on earth ]

The following illustrations visually depict the theorized “arcs” or regions of reinforcing or cancelling galactic energy patterns described in the preceding verses.

Much of the Christian idea of “harvest” (Rev 14:15) comes from this same concept of Galactic “Times & Seasons”. Suggesting that higher beings in our galaxy seek to help people on earth progress in the same way that a gardener tends his garden. There are cosmically induced “winters” where the earth travels through un-energetic or thick nebulous regions of galactic dust which inhibit earth from receiving much of the higher wavelengths of energy on the electromagnetic spectrum (God’s spirit in religious terms), which mankind’s body and spirit rely on for intelligence and connectivity with each other and the rest of creation. These beings plant the “seeds” of civilization in the autumn (such as Moses to Christ), clear the weeds during winter (such as the dark ages), pour down inspiration during spring (such as the renaissance to present) and gather the fruit during summer (coming millennium). The higher off-planet beings who aid the earth transmit most orally communicated information first to the upper realms of earth’s spirit world where it filters down through multiple realms of that dimension before passing on to our dimension in the material world (see D&C 76:86–88).

18/6.21. Is a summer on the earth not half a time? And the winter half a time? And the two, one full time? So also I created for atmospherea [the spirit dimension] a dan (cycle) of four hundred years, and a half time of two hundred years. And in seven times and one half time I created one dan’ha.
18/6.22. For thousands of years I sent My Gods to teach these things, so that My angels could know the times of My resurrections. Does a farmer not have knowledge of the resurrection of spring, when I cover the earth over with new growing things, which I raise up out of the earth? How much more knowledge should My angels have of My spring times, in atmospherea [earth’s spirit world], when My archangels come to gather in My harvests of emancipated souls?

There are several other cosmic influence dictated by our position in the galaxy, explained in Oahspe’s cosmology which we dont have time to cover in this article. These include the 11 year solar cycle affecting the ability to travel and communicate through space. There are many activities which can occur only with the collapse of the sun’s magnetic field during solar max (get refs). These cycles as well as regions of nebula and gas clouds also affect man’s ability in the spirit world to raise or be resurrected between realms or kingdoms (refs). The realms or kingdoms of the spirit world are also raised or lowered depending on these galactic conditions (get refs).

[Add a few paragraphs here showing how the highly fragmented hindu, buddhist and mayan cosmological belief systems and calendars each sought to literally or figuratively describe the “arcs” or discs of the solar system’s orbit through the galaxy. Name specifically a few of the most popular. End with a chart showing how they fit with Christian Harvest cycles, Mormon cosmology ideas and how Oahspe contains the most detailed and believable framework for tying them all together with modern scientific/astronomical observations.]
Timeline summarizing the historical correlations or types between the times of Israel and the times of the Gentiles. Redraw this to show correlations better.

Timeline summarizing the historical correlations or types between the times of Israel and the times of the Gentiles. Redraw this to show correlations better.

Notes on Joseph Smith’s Polygamy: A Timeline

a time line of Joseph Smith's Polygamy, and events surrounding the breakup of the Nauvoo experiment.

a time line of Joseph Smith’s Polygamy, and events surrounding the breakup of the Nauvoo experiment.

The history of polygamy in the LDS Church is certainly interesting. Perhaps more than any other issue, it has given me a somewhat naturalistic view of the church and church history. It has helped me to reevaluate my views on God, revelation, prophetic gifts and spiritualism. (I still have many strong spiritual beliefs)

As I’ve gotten older and learned more, I’ve been forced to nuance my once highly orthodox views. I’ve replaced my view of Joseph Smith as a god-like Saint who stood next to Jesus in wisdom and righteousness to a view that Joseph was simply one of many clairvoyant spiritualist (prophets) who played a key role in a divinely inspired nineteenth century political and religious restorational movement which revolutionized the world (and is paving the way for the restoration of Israel–see this article).

I’ve moved past the polarized views which most LDS and anti-mormon ideologues try to force upon others—one which requires you to take sides in whether the man was a saint or a charlatan. I realize that he was what he was, and forming rigid opinions on things which can’t be difinitively proven isn’t going to help me be a happier person. The historical sources seem to suggest he did a lot of good and also caused a lot of division and ill feelings through some very unorthodox religious views and social practices. In my experience it seems that the ideological issues surrounding Joseph Smith and religion in general, boil down to the effects of men who try to use God, or dead prophets as a means to legitimize their own authority over others.  Those who have fallen prey to this type of modern idolatry often become very upset when the reasons they trusted and obeyed others fail to hold up to logical scrutiny.

But once you free yourself of that subservience from manipulation, you can begin to look at Joseph and all others with love and objectivity regardless of their behavior. (Joseph’s own council in D&C 121:41–42 concerning “no power or influence… being upheld by virtue of priesthood authority” was a major aid in helping me do this.)

Maybe Joseph had sex with Fanny maybe he didn’t (see church topical essays). Either way, Fanny, her parents and Emma all seem to been fine with it, at least for some time afterward.  Joseph almost certainly slept with Lucinda Pendleton… but yet her husband also seemed totally fine with both the open marriage and the later eternal sealing to Joseph. Maybe Joseph did or didn’t sleep with the other 30 or so women he was wed to in the last few years of his life. To me, Joseph’s arguments for moral relativism given to Nancy Rigdon are both religiously convincing and consistent with naturalistic logic. And looking at the whole situation naturalistically, who cares if a bunch of consenting adults decided to enter into a bunch of crazy polyandrous relationships? (Obviously, we should care when teens, or even young immature adults are pulled into these types of sexual relationships, especially if religious manipulation or flaming swords are involved).

If we are to give Joseph the benefit of the doubt, and concede that he was receiving revelations from an exalted extra-dimensional group, or even from the biblical Jesus himself, wouldn’t we expect and hope their revelations aligned with the principles of agency? That if Joseph and this group were burning with lust from religiously repressed sexual desire, that these beings would eventually give revelations that religiously unblocked the desires these people were repressing? Like a father saying “look, I’ve told you multiple times that monogamy has been historically proven to be the most stable sexual relationship, but if you and your community want to experiment with unorthodox polyandrous sexual arrangements, go ahead and try it out so you can learn from your own experiences the difficulties inherent in these forms of sexuality.”

What I, and I think many, find troubling about this whole polygamy debacle is the religious fanaticism involved from beginning to end. It was too often presented with the excuse “I didn’t want to do this, but God made me do it”.  Us Mormons still use this excuse to the world “we only tried polygamy because God commanded us to!”  Whether it be the manipulation involved in the institution of plural marriage or the idolatrous deceit involved in its termination; the actions of men were constantly blamed on the God of creation.  I’m not fundamentally opposed to polygamy or unorthodox sexual arrangements, but to me these excuses leave a sour taste in my mouth because they sound a lot like the one’s my 5 year old uses when they misunderstand my counsel and get in trouble for doing something stupid.

For my faith, I think the most relevant aspect of the Mormon Polygamy experiment was that it teaches me how fallible all men (especially my church leaders) really are. It teaches me to be very wary of anyone who uses their priesthood (religious position) to legitimize their “power or authority”.  The whole issue helps me to keep my religious views founded on love (Christ), I try to remember that the erroneous statements or acts of Joseph or other Church leaders do not negate the good these men do. I judge each act and statement independently, gleaning from any good I can and rule my life according to my own personal inspiration

——————————————————————————-.

Note: In fairness. Although it is obvious that polygamy was one of the largest if not the single largest contributing factor to Joseph Smith’s murder and the schism of the early church, cases have been made that Joseph did not have sex with any of his plural wives. Some have put forth arguments to suggest that Joseph took plural wives to protect assorted women from what had become a polygamous “free for all” in the Nauvoo experiment. And that he was commanded to reveal polygamy because its “what the people wanted”. The reader can decide whether these arguments have any merit.

see Why I am not Persuaded Joseph Smith had Sex with Plural Wives
And Without Disclosing my True Identity appendix 2

A lot of the “Notes” below are facts corroborated by multiple first hand witness and historical documents. However, much is also complete here-say. It is important to for each individual to do their own research and try as best as they can to separate the fact from the fabrication.

Event Name Start Date End Date Category Notes

Marriage – Joseph to Emma Hale 18 Jan 1827 27 Jun 1844 Marriage Smith enlisted the help of a third treasure-seeker to obtain Emma Hale as a wife according to the requirement of Moroni. Emma did not mention her father’s claim that this happened while he was away from home on business, but later told her children, “I was visiting at Mr. [Josiah] Stowell’s, who lived at Bainbridge, and saw your father there. I had no intention of marrying when I left home; but, during my visit at Mr. Stowell’s, your father visited me there. My folks were bitterly opposed to him; and, being importuned by your father, aided by Mr. Stowell, who urged me to marry him, and preferring to marry him to any other man I knew, I consented.” The couple eloped on 18 January 1827 (1879, 289; I. Hale 1834, 363; HC 1:17; D. Hill 1977, 69; Youngreen 1982, 5-6). In commenting about this, Mormons typically speak of romance and Smith’s love for Emma as the reason for their elopement (e.g. Cadwell 1879). It is more probable, however, that Smith risked alienating his parents-in-law from his new bride by eloping—not for love alone—but to fulfill the requirement of Moroni.PLACE: South Bainbrudge, NYSOURCE: Early Mormonism and the Magic World View, p.140-141

Marriage – Joseph to Fanny Alger, age 16 Apr 1833 27 Jun 1844 Marriage Fanny Alger is Joseph’s first known plural wife, whom he came to know in Kirtland during early 1833 when she, at the age of 16, stayed at his home as a housemaid. Described as “a varry nice & Comly young woman,” according to Benjamin Johnson, Fanny lived with the Smith family from 1833 to 1836.Martin Harris, one of the Three Witnesses to the Book of Mormon, recalled that the prophet’s “servant girl” claimed he had made “improper proposals to her, which created quite a talk amongst the people.” Mormon Fanny Brewer similarly reported “much excitement against the Prophet…[involving] an unlawful intercourse between himself and a young orphan girl residing in his family and under his protection.”Former Mormon apostle William McLellin later wrote that Emma Smith substantiated the Smith-Alger affair. According to McLellin, Emma was searching for her husband and Alger one evening when through a crack in the barn door she saw “him and Fanny in the barn together alone” on the hay mow. McLellin, in a letter to one of Smith’s sons, added that the ensuing confrontation between Emma and her husband grew so heated that Rigdon, Frederick G. Williams, and Oliver Cowdery had to mediate the situation. After Emma related what she had witnessed, Smith, according to McLellin, “confessed humbly, and begged forgiveness. Emma and all forgave him.” While Oliver Cowdery may have forgiven his cousin Joseph Smith, he did not forget the incident. Three years later, when provoked by the prophet, Cowdery countered by calling the Fanny Alger episode “a dirty, nasty, filthy affair.”Chauncey Webb recounts Emma’s later discovery of the relationship: “Emma was furious, and drove the girl, who was unable to conceal the consequences of her celestial relation with the prophet, out of her house”.SOURCE: Richard S. Van Wagoner, Sidney Rigdon, p.291At least one account indicates that Fanny became pregnant. Chauncy G. Webb, Smith’s grammar teacher, later reported that when the pregnancy became evident, Emma Smith drove Fanny from her home (Wyl 1886, 57). Webb’s daughter, Ann Eliza Webb Young, a divorced wife of Brigham Young, remembered that Fanny was taken into the Webb home on a temporary basis (Young 1876, 66-67). Fanny stayed with relatives in nearby Mayfield until about the time Joseph fled Kirtland for Missouri.Fanny left Kirtland in September 1836 with her family. Though she married non-Mormon Solomon Custer on 16 November 183614 and was living in Dublin City, Indiana, far from Kirtland, her name still raised eyebrows. Fanny Brewer, a Mormon visitor to Kirtland in 1837, observed “much excitement against the Prophet … [involving] an unlawful intercourse between himself and a young orphan girl residing in his family and under his protection” (Parkin 1966, 174).SOURCE: Richard S. Van Wagoner, Mormon Polygamy, p.8

Marriage – Joseph to Lucinda Pendleton Morgan, age 37 Jun 1838 27 Jun 1844 Marriage Exact date inknown, sometime in 1838, Joseph Smith likely married Lucinda in 1838 when she was staying at the Harris home in Far West (History of the Church, vol. 3, pg. 9). This is supported by a statement made by Mrs. Sarah Pratt, “Mrs. Harris was a married lady, a very great friend of mine. When Joseph had made his dastardly attempt on me [in 1842], I went to Mrs. Harris to unbosom my grief to her. To my utter astonishment, she said, laughing heartily: ‘How foolish you are! Why, I am his mistress since four years’.” (Mormon Portraits, 1886, pg. 60)PLACE: Far West, MISOURCE: Historical Record 6:33: “Lucinda Harris, also one of the first women sealed to the Prophet Joseph”; Sarah Pratt, in Wyl, 60; 4 Apr. 1899 sealing, Salt Lake Temple Sealing Records, Book D, 243;

Smith possible father of John R. Hancock (by Clarissa Reed Hancock) Jul 1840 19 Apr 1841 Pregnancy Presently, there is only anecdotal evidence that Clarissa Reed Hancock (Mother of John Reed Hancock) was a plural wife of Joseph Smith. DNA testing would shed further light in this regard.

Smith defends church member for “sleeping with two women” 06 Feb 1841 Polygamy Smith tells the Nauvoo high council not to excommunicate Theodore Turley for “sleeping with two females,” requiring him only to confess “that he had acted unwisely, unjustly, imprudently, and unbecoming.”PLACE: Nauvoo High Council MeetingSOURCE: Minutes of the High Council of the Church of Jesus Christ of Nauvoo Illinois, 6 Feb 1841

Marriage – Joseph to Louisa Beaman, age 26 05 Apr 1841 27 Jun 1844 Marriage Elder Joseph B. Noble officiatingSOURCE: Noble affidavit, in B. H. Roberts, A Comprehensive History of the Church (Salt Lake City: Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, 1930), 2:102; Erastus Snow affidavit, in Historical Record 6:232, 233; speech by Joseph Noble, 19 Dec. 1880, LDS Biographical Encyclopedia. Elder Jenson, Andrew. 1951 Volume: 1 Page: 697 Marriages in Nauvoo Region 1839-45. Easton, S. Civil Marriages in Nauvoo 1839-45. Cook, Lyndon Nauvoo Temple Endowment Register 1845-46 Mormon Manuscripts to 1846.

Emma carries child, premature baby dies at birth Jun 1841 06 Feb 1842 Pregnancy PLACE: Nauvoo, ILSOURCE: Official Joseph Smith family record www.FamilySearch.org

Smith possible father of George A. Lightner (by Mary Elizabeth Rollins) Jun 1841 12 Mar 1842 Pregnancy Mary Elizabeth Rollins, married to non-Mormon Adam Lightner since 11 August 1835, was one of the first women to accept the polyandrous teachings of the Prophet. “He was commanded to take me for a wife,” she wrote in a 21 November 1880 letter to Emmeline B. Wells. “I was his, before I came here,” she added in an 8 February 1902 statement.Brigham Young secretly sealed the two in February 1842 when Mary was eight months pregnant with her son George Algernon Lightner. She lived with Adam Lightner until his death in Utah many years later.In her 1880 letter to Emmeline B. Wells, Mary explained: “I could tell you why I stayed with Mr. Lightner. Things the leaders of the Church does not know anything about. I did just as Joseph told me to do, as he knew what troubles I would have to contend with.” She added on 23 January 1892 in a letter to John R. Young: “I could explain some things in regard to my living with Mr. L. after becoming the Wife of Another, which would throw light, on what now seems mysterious–and you would be perfectly satisfied with me. I write this; because I have heard that it had been commented on to my injury”SOURCE: Mormon Polygamy in Nauvoo, Richard Van Wagoner, Dialogue, Vol.18, No.3, p.77

Smith tells 19 year-old married woman that she must marry him or an angel with a sword will slay him 25 Oct 1841 25 Oct 1841 Polygamy Already married, 19 year-old Zina remained conflicted with Smith’s polygamy proposal “until a day in October, apparently, when Joseph sent [her older brother] Dimick to her with a message: an angel with a drawn sword had stood over Smith and told him that if he did not establish polygamy, he would lose “his position and his life.” Zina, faced with the responsibility for his position as prophet, and even perhaps his life, finally acquiesced.” They were secretly married within days.SOURCE: In Sacred Loneliness, page 80-81

Marriage – Joseph to Zina Diantha Huntington Jacobs, age 20, already married 27 Oct 1841 27 Jun 1844 Marriage Smith marries a woman polygamously who lives with her legal husband. Elder Dimick B. Huntington officiating. Brigham Young University would later name one of its residence halls after her. Zina D. Huntington would also marry Young after Smith’s death, her legal husband standing in as witness. This is the first of a dozen known cases of polyandry in Mormon history.SOURCE: Joseph F. Smith Affidavit Books, 1:5, 4:5, cf. Bachman, “A Study of the Mormon Practice of Plural Marriage,” 348; Historical Record 6:233;

Smith preaches that what people call sin is not sin 07 Nov 1841 Polygamy Smith preaches: “If you do not accuse each other, God will not accuse you. If you have no accuser you will enter heaven, and if you will follow the revelations and instructions which God gives you through me, I will take you into heaven as my back load. If you will not accuse me, I will not accuse you. If you will throw a cloak of charity over my sins, I will over yours—for charity covereth a multitude of sins. What many people call sin is not sin; I do many things to break down superstition, and I will break it down;”SOURCE: Joseph Smith, History of the Church, Vol. 4, p.445PLACE: Nauvoo, IL

Marriage – Joseph to Prescendia Lathrop Huntington, age 31, already married 11 Dec 1841 27 Jun 1844 Marriage Elder Dimick B. Huntington officiatingPLACE: Smith’s Store, Nauvoo, ILSOURCE: FamilySearch.com record for Joseph Smith Jr.

Marriage – Joseph to Desdemona Wadsworth Fullmer 1842 27 Jun 1844 Marriage Exact Date unknownPLACE: Nauvoo, ILSOURCE: FamilySearch.com record for Joseph Smith Jr.

Marriage – Joseph to Agnes Moulton Coolbrith, age 33 06 Jan 1842 27 Jun 1844 Marriage Widow of Joseph’s brother, Don Carlos SmithSOURCE: Brigham Young journal, 6 Jan. 1842, LDS archives and Marriott Library; Bennett, History of the Saints, 256, “Mrs. A**** S****”; Testimony of Mary Ann West in U.S. Circuit Court (8th Circuit) Testimony (1892), Manuscript Transcripts, 521, questions 676-79, LDS archives; Nauvoo Female Relief Society Minutes, 28 Sept. 1842, 89, LDS archives and Lee Library.

Smith says an angel with a sword has visited him three times about polygamy 10 Jan 1842 Polygamy Faithful member Mary Elizabeth Lighner publicy stated:“Much has come and gone from me through the powers and vicissitudes of this Church. I have been in almost every mob. I have been driven about and told I would be shot and had a gun pointed at me, but I stayed with the Church until it was driven from Nauvoo. The words of the Prophet that had been revealed to him always have been with me from the beginning to the end of the gospel. Every principle that has been given in the Church by the prophet is true. I know whereon I stand, I know what I believe, I know what I know and I know what I testify to you is the living truth. As I expect to meet it at the bar of the eternal Jehovah, it is true. And when you stand before the bar you will know. He preached polygamy and he not only preached it, but he practiced it. I am a living witness to it. It was given to him before he gave it to the Church. An angel came to him and the last time he came with a drawn sword in his hand and told Joseph if he did not go into that principle, he would slay him.””Well,” said I, “don’t you think it was an angel of the devil that told you these things?” Said he, “No, it was an angel of God. God Almighty showed me the difference between an angel of light and Satan’s angels. The angel came to me three times between the years of 1834 and 1842 and said I was to obey that principle or he would slay me. “But,” said he, “they called me a false and fallen prophet but I am more in favor with my God this day than I ever was in all my life before. I know that I shall be saved in the Kingdom of God. I have the oath of God upon it and God cannot lie; all that he gives me I shall take with me for I have that authority and that power conferred upon me.”SOURCE: Testimony of Sister Mary Lightner, Address to Brigham Young University, April 14th, 1905, BYU Archives and Manuscripts, see alsohttp://www.ldshistory.net/pc/merlbyu.htm

Smith and Young propose to young woman to enter in polygamy 15 Jan 1842 Polygamy Martha Brotherton, a young Nauvoo woman, was allegedly approached by Brigham Young in Joseph Smith’s private office. “Were it lawful and right,” Brotherton reported Young as saying, “could [you] accept of me for your husband and companion? . . . Brother Joseph has had a revelation from God that it is lawful and right for a man to have two wives; for as it was in the days of Abraham, so it shall be in these last days . . . if you will accept of me, I will take you straight to the celestial kingdom.” Brigham then left the room and returned ten minutes later with the Prophet. “Just go ahead, and do as Brigham wants you to,” Brotherton reported Smith as saying. “I know that this is lawful and right . . . I have the keys of the kingdom, and whatever I bind on earth is bound in heaven, and whatever I loose on earth is loosed in heaven.” Martha noted she begged for time to consider, then left for Saint Louis, where she published her story in the 15 July 1842 St. Louis Bulletin.PLACE: Joseph Smith’s private office, Nauvoo, ILSOURCE: St. Louis Bulletin, 15 July 1842

Marriage – Joseph to Mary Elizabeth Rollins, age 23, already married 17 Jan 1842 27 Jun 1844 Marriage In a sworn affidavit, Mary Lightner said, “Joseph said I was his before I came here and he said all the Devils in Hell should never get me from him. I was sealed to him in the Masonic Hall, over the old brick store by Brigham Young in January 1842 and then again in the Nauvoo Temple by Heber C. Kimball.” (Original sworn affidavit owned by Mrs. Nell Osborne of Salt Lake City, February 8, 1902).Mary also admitted her marriage to Joseph Smith in a public address. She said in part, “I am the first being that the revelation was given to him for and I was one thousand miles away in Missouri, for we went up to Jackson County in 1831 ….. I went forward and was sealed to him. Brigham young performed the sealing, and Heber C. Kimball the blessing. I know Joseph Smith had six wives and I have known some of them from childhood up. I knew he had three children [by his plural wives]. They told me. I think two are living today, but they are not known as his children as they go by other names.” (Mary Lightner,1905 Address, typescript, BYU, Pg. 2-3)PLACE: Nauvoo, ILSOURCE: FamilySearch.net record for Joseph Smith Jr.

Marriage – Joseph to Sylvia Sessions, age 23, already married 08 Feb 1842 27 Jun 1844 Marriage Sylvia Sessions told her daughter Josephine that Joseph Smith was her biological father. Josephine left an affidavit stating that her mother, Sylvia, on her deathbed told her (Josephine) that she (Josephine) was the daughter of Joseph Smith.SOURCE: Joseph F. Smith Affidavit Books, fd. 5, 1:60, 4:62, cf. Bachman, “A Study of the Mormon Practice of Plural Marriage,” affidavit #77 (unsigned, but supporting evidence makes this marriage close to certain); Historical Record 6:234; affidavit by Josephine Lyon Fisher, Sylvia’s child, 24 Feb. 1915, LDS archives; Angus M. Cannon, statement of interview with Joseph Smith III, 25-26, LDS archives.

Emma carries child, boy dies shortly after birth Mar 1842 26 Dec 1842 Pregnancy PLACE: Nauvoo, ILSOURCE: Official Joseph Smith family record, www.FamilySearch.org

Marriage – Joseph to Patty Bartlett Sessions, age 47,already married 09 Mar 1842 27 Jun 1844 Marriage Patty Sessions was sealed to Joseph Smith on March 9, 1842 as indicated by her personal journal entry, “I was sealed to Joseph Smith by Willard Richards March 9, 1842, in Newel K. Whitney’s chamber, Nauvoo, for time and all eternity ….”PLACE: Navuoo, ILSOURCE: LDS Biographical Encyclopedia. Elder Jenson, Andrew. 1951 Volume: 1 Page: 697 Marriages in Nauvoo Region 1839-45. Easton, S. Civil Marriages in Nauvoo 1839-45. Cook, Lyndon Nauvoo Temple Endowment Register 1845-46 Mormon Manuscripts to 1846.

Marriage – Joseph to Nancy Marinda Hyde, age 27, already married Apr 1842 27 Jun 1844 Marriage Ten years earlier, Smith had been tarred and feathered for supposedly seducing Nancy at age 16 while staying with her family. Nancy was likely taught polygamy by Joseph when her husband, Orson Hyde, was on his mission to Palestine. In 1841, Nancy was given a direct revelation through Joseph to “hearken to the counsel of my servant Joseph in all things whatsoever he shall teach unto her” (History of the Church, vol. 4, pg. 467). In May 1844 Nancy would become pregnant with Smith’s child while Hyde was on another mission (sent by Smith). She later divorced Hyde and voiced her disgust of polygamy.PLACE: Nauvoo, ILSOURCE: Joseph Smith journal, LDS archives, a list of marriages in the handwriting of Thomas Bullock, entered after 14 July 1843: “Apr 42 Marinda Johnson to Joseph Smith,” in Scott Faulring, ea., An American Prophet’s Record: The Diaries and Journals of Joseph Smith (Salt Lake City: Signature Books in association with Smith Research Associates, 1989), 396. For a second marriage to Joseph Smith, in May 1843, see Marinda Hyde affidavit, 1 May 1869, Joseph F. Smith Affidavit Books, 1:15,

Smith proposes secret plural marriage to 19 year-old Nancy Rigdon 10 Apr 1842 10 Apr 1842 Polygamy Joseph Smith invited Nancy Rigdon, nineteen-year-old daughter of his close friend and counselor, Sidney Rigdon, to meet him at the home of Orson Hyde. Upon her arrival Smith greeted her, ushered her into a private room, then locked the door. After swearing her to secrecy, wrote George W. Robinson, Smith announced his “affection for her for several years, and wished that she should be his…the Lord was well pleased with this matter…here was no sin in it whatever…but, if she had any scruples of conscience about the matter, he would marry her privately.”Incredulous, Nancy countered that “if she ever got married she would marry a single man or none at all.” Grabbing her bonnet, she ordered the door opened or she would “raise the neighbors.” She then stormed out of the Hyde-Richards residence.The next day, Smith wrote Nancy a letter, where he justified his advances, saying ” That which is wrong under one circumstance, may be, and often is, right under another. … Whatever God requires is right, no matter what it is, although we may not see the reason thereof till long after the events transpire. … even things which might be considered abominable to all who understand the order of heaven only in part, but which in reality were right because God gave and sanctioned by special revelation.” This is his first written statement of theocratic ethics.PLACE: Nauvoo, ILSOURCE: Official History of the Church, Vol. 5, p.134-136, Sidney Rigdon Biography by Richard S. Van Wagoner, p.295

Marriage – Joseph to Elizabeth Davis, age 50, already married May 1842 27 Jun 1844 Marriage SOURCE: Bennett, History of the Saints, 256, “Mrs. D*****”; Sarah Pratt, in Wyl, 54; Jackson, A Narrative, 14, links Elizabeth with Patty Sessions as a Mother in Israel who helped arrange polygamous marriages for Joseph. Patty Sessions was certainly married to Joseph. Emily Partridge, Autobiography, 4, LDS archives, shows Elizabeth relaying a marriage proposal to Emily, which confirms Jackson. Joseph often relied on previously married wives to educate and recruit new plural wives. A Nauvoo temple proxy marriage to Joseph is good supporting evidence, Sealing and Adoption Book A, 505; cf. p. 385: “Elizabeth Davis Smith.”

Endowment Introduced 04 May 1842 Polygamy Joseph Smith introduced the temple endowment to seven men at a meeting in the room over his store in Nauvoo. A few others received endowments before completion of the temple.PLACE: Nauvoo, ILSOURCE: page 343 Deseret News Church Almanac 1993-1994 ed. [Salt Lake City, UT: Deseret News 1992]

Smith initiates nine men into secret Quorum of Anointed 04 May 1842 05 May 1842 Polygamy Smith organizes the Quorum of Anointed or Holy Order of the Priesthood, and intitiates nine men into what would later be called the “temple endowment.” He excludes first counselor Rigdon and assistant counselor John C. Bennett. Women do not participate until 28 Sept. 1843.PLACE: Nauvoo, IL

Three women testify that Smith taught “spiritual wifery” 29 May 1842 Polygamy Three women testify that Assistant President John C. Bennett and Apostle William Smith taught them that Smith approved of “spiritual wifery” wherein several men have sexual relations with the same woman. The women testifying were Margaret and Matilda Nyman and Catherine Fuller Warren. The report of the Nymans was later printed in the 29 May 1844 Nauvoo Neighbor. The sisters said that Elder Chauncy Higbee had advised them that Smith approved of “spiritual wifery” but gave instructions to keep the matter a secret because “there was no sin when there is no accuser.” Catherine Fuller Warren in her 20 May 1842 testimony responded to charges of “unchaste and unvirtuous conduct with John C. Bennett and others” by admitting to having intercourse not only with him but with Chauncy Higbee and the prophet’s younger brother, Apostle William Smith. Speaking in her defense, however, she insisted that the men had “taught the doctrine that it was right to have free intercourse with women and that the heads of the Church also taught and practised it which things caused her to be led away thinking it to be right.”PLACE: Nauvoo, ILSOURCE: Minutes of The High Council of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, 24 May 1842, Nauvoo Neighbor 29 May 1844 edition

Smith performs secret plural mariage for Brigham Young 14 Jun 1842 Polygamy The first fully-dated plural marriage performed by Smith occurs for Young and Lucy Decker Seeley.PLACE: Nauvoo, IL

Marriage – Joseph to Eliza R. Snow, age 38 29 Jun 1842 27 Jun 1844 Marriage Elder Brigham Yong officiatingPLACE: Navuoo, ILSOURCE: FamilySearch.com record for Joseph Smith Jr.

Church newspaper publishes phrenoloy chart of Smith, described as ‘passionately fond of the company of the other sex.’ 02 Jul 1842 02 Jul 1842 Polygamy The church newspaper The Wasp publishes a phrenology chart of Smith’s head and personality. The first trait is “Amativeness-11, L[arge]. Extreme susceptibility; passionately fond of the company of the other sex.” The official History of the Church still publishes this chart, along with the caution that such a high score indicates “extreme liability to perversion” in the trait.SOURCE: Joseph Smith, History of the Church, Vol. 5, p.53PLACE: Nauvoo, IL

Smith attempts to seduce wife of Orson Pratt leads to suicide attempt 15 Jul 1842 Polygamy Thousands of Nauvoo Mormons search for Orson Pratt after discovering a suicide note. They find him distraught because Smith, according to Pratt’s wife, had tried to seduce Pratt’s wife Sarah.PLACE: Navuoo, IL

Orson Pratt votes against defense of Smith virtuous conduct 22 Jul 1842 Polygamy Pratt votes against a public resolution in defense of Smith’s virtuous conduct.SOURCE: Richard S. Van Wagoner, Mormon Polygamy, p.33PLACE: Nauvoo, IL

Revelation – Polygamy (never canonized or officially published) 27 Jul 1842 Polygamy Pior to his marriage to Newel Whitney’s 17 year-old daughter, Sarah Ann Whitney, Joseph Smith recevied and recorded a revelation on polygamy, which remains in LDS church archives. Although recorded in the official “Revelation Book” of the time, the revelation was not canonized as scripture.In this revelation, the Lord reveals a plural marriage ceremony, which would later be altered and become the sealing ceremony in the temple.From copies in archives at the Historical Department, Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, Salt Lake City, Utah:Verily, Thus Saith the Lord, unto My Servant Newell. K. Whitney
A Revelation to Newell K. Whitney, 27 July 1842, and Joseph Smith Elizabeth Ann Whitney, and Sarah Ann Whitney”Verily, thus saith the Lord unto my servant N[ewel]. K. Whitney, the thing that my servant Joseph Smith has made known unto you and your Family [his plural marriage to Sarah Ann Whitney] and which you have agreed upon is right in mine eyes and shall be rewarded upon your heads with honor and immortality and eternal life to all your house both old & young because of the lineage of my Preast Hood saith the Lord it shall be upon you and upon your children after you from generation to generation, by virtue of the Holy promise which I now make unto you saith the Lord.””These are the words which you shall pronounce upon my servant Joseph and your Daughter Sarah Ann. Whitney. They shall take each other by the hand and you shall say ‘You both mutually agree,” calling them by name, ‘”to be each other’s companion so long as you both shall live preserving yourselves for each other and from all others and also throughout all eternity reserving only those rights which have been given to my servant Joseph by revelation and commandment and by legal Authority in times passed.’ If you both agree to covenant and do this then I give you Sarah Ann Whitney, my daughter, to Joseph Smith to be his wife, to observe all the rights between you both that belong to that condition. I do it in my own name and in the name of my wife, your mother, and in the name of my Holy Progenitors, by the right of birth which is of Preast Hood, vested in my by revelation and commandment and promise of the living. God obtained by the Holy Melchisedeck Jethro and other of the Holy Fathers, commanding in the name of the Lord all those Powers to concentrate in you and through to your posterity forever. All these things I do in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ that through this order he may be glorified and that through the power of anointing David may reign King over Israel, which shall hereafter be revealed. Let immortality and eternal life henceforth be sealed upon your heads forever and ever. Amen.”LOCATION: Nauvoo, ILSOURCE: Original manuscript of Kirtland Revelation Book, Church Historical Department, Ms f 490 # 2, also The Historical Record 6:222 (1887 edition.), also In Sacred Lonliness, p. 348-349

Marriage – Joseph to Sarah Ann Whitney, age 17 27 Jul 1842 27 Jun 1844 Marriage Father Elder Newel K. Whitney officiatingPLACE: Nauvoo, ILSOURCE: FamilySearch.com record for Joseph Smith Jr.

Marriage – Joseph to Martha McBride Aug 1842 27 Jun 1844 Marriage PLACE: Smith’s Store, Nauvoo, ILSOURCE: FamilySearch.com record for Joseph Smith Jr.

Marriage – Joseph to Ruth Vose Sayers, age 33, already married Aug 1842 27 Jun 1844 Marriage SOURCE: LDS Biographical Encyclopedia. Elder Jenson, Andrew. 1951 Volume: 1 Page: 697 Marriages in Nauvoo Region 1839-45. Easton, S. Civil Marriages in Nauvoo 1839-45. Cook, Lyndon Nauvoo Temple Endowment Register 1845-46 Mormon Manuscripts to 1846.

Earliest reference to secret garments worn by the Holy Order 08 Aug 1842 08 Aug 1842 Polygamy The earliest reference to the special undergarment worn by the Holy Order of the endowment reads for this date: “they have oil poured on them, and then a mark or hole cut in the breast of their shirts… to keep the Destroying Angel from them and their families.” From the eighteenth century to the 1840s, “shirt” referred to an undergarment which was often worn with a separate, tight-fitting underpant reaching to the knees.PLACE: Nauvoo, ILSOURCE: The Mormon Hierarchy: Origins of Power, p.635

Smith writes love letter to arrange night with plural wife 18 Aug 1842 18 Aug 1842 Polygamy To arrange night liason with plural wife, Newel K. Whitney’s daughter Sarah Ann, Smith writes “… the only thing to be careful of; is to find out when Emma comes then you cannot be safe, but when she is not here, there is the most perfect safty. … Only be careful to escape observation, as much as possible, I know it is a heroick undertakeing; but so much the greater friendship, and the more Joy, when I see you I will tell you all my plans, I cannot write them on paper, burn this letter as soon as you read it; keep all locked up in your breasts, my life depends upon it. … I close my letter, I think Emma wont come tonight if she dont, dont fail to come to night, I subscribe myself your most obedient, and affectionate, companion, and friend. Joseph Smith.”SOURCE: Joseph Smith, Jr., to Newel K. Whitney, Elizabeth Ann Whitney, etc., 18 August 1842, George Albert Smith Family Papers, Special Collections, Marriott Library, University of Utah, Salt Lake City. The text and the signature of this document are in the handwriting of Joseph Smith, Jr. This document has been reproduced in Dean C. Jessee’s masterful The Personal Writings of Joseph Smith (Salt Lake City, Utah: Deseret Book Co., 1984), pp. 539-40. See also In Sacred Lonliness, page 349-350

Smith sends 380 Elders across the country to deny allegations of his polygamy 29 Aug 1842 29 Aug 1842 Polygamy Joseph Smith calls and holds a special conference in Nauvoo. At that conference 380 elders volunteer to travel nationwide to distribute a broadside (a two-paged newspaper) filled with affidavits and certificates in a massive effort to convince the public, among other things, that that Joseph Smith was not a polygamist. Smith spearheads this endeavor, which is one of his greatest efforts to deny he was practicing plural marriage. It was such a tremendous undertaking and was promoted with such zeal that it can rightly be called a crusade.Smith had been arrested on August 8 by Missouri officials on charges that he had been an accomplice in the attempted assassination of former Missouri governor,Lilburn Boggs. The Prophet was released the same day of his arrest by the Nauvoo Municipal Court. He then went into hiding—first in Iowa, and then back in Nauvoo.Upon his return to Nauvoo, Smith recorded:”I advised the Twelve to call a special conference on Monday next (August 29), to give instructions to the elders, and call upon them to go forth upon this important mission; meantime, that all the affidavits concerning Bennett’s conduct be taken and printed, so that each elder could be properly furnished with correct and weighty testimony to lay before the public.”On Monday, August 29, a vast crowd of concerned Saints gathers at the Grove near the Temple for the conference. Near the close of Hyrum’s address, Joseph, who had not been seen in public for three weeks, walks up onto the stand and sits down. Joseph’s sudden appearance is a great surprise, for there was speculation among the Saints that he had gone to Washington or Europe, while others believed he was still in Nauvoo. After Hyrum concludes speaking, Joseph addresses the large congregation. He referrs to the affidavits and certificates which he had been busily preparing, by giving both a plea and a prophecy as he proclaimes:”Let the Twelve send all who will support the character of the Prophet, the Lord’s anointed; and if all who go will support my character, I prophesy in the name of the Lord Jesus, whose servant I am, that you will prosper in your missions.” (LDS History of the Church 5:139)After the Prophet speaks, 380 elders volunteer to go on “missions” to spread the Affidavits and Certificates throughout the nation (see Dean C. Jessee, The Papers of Joseph Smith 2:447). These men leave their families, homes, and jobs to travel thousands of miles to distribute the Affidavits and Certificates—and to give their own testimonies that Joseph is not a polygamist.LOCATION: Nauvoo, IL

SOURCE: LDS History of the Church 5:131–132; RLDS History of the Church 2:613; ; see also Dean C, Jessee, The Papers of Joseph Smith 2 [Salt Lake City, Utah: Deseret Book Company, 1992]: 443–444)


Smith publishes denouncement of polygamy 01 Sep 1842 01 Sep 1842 Polygamy Smith publishes teaching gainst polygamy in the Times and Seasons, of which he was editor.In the September 1 1842 issue, Smith declares:”All legal contracts of marriage made before a person is baptized into this church, should be held sacred and fulfilled. Inasmuch as this church of Christ has been reproached with the crime of fornication, and polygamy: we declare that we believe, that one man should have one wife; and one woman, but one husband, except in case of death, when either is at liberty to marry again.”SOURCE: Times and Seasons, Sep 1, 1842, Vol.3, No.21, p.909

Smith republishes denial of polygamy 01 Oct 1842 01 Oct 1842 Polygamy Smith re-publishes denouncement of polygamy from the Sep 1 Times and Seasons, of which he was the editor.In the Oct 1 1842 issue, Smith re-states:”All legal contracts of marriage made before a person is baptized into this church, should be held sacred and fulfilled. Inasmuch as this church of Christ has been reproached with the crime of fornication, and polygamy: we declare that we believe, that one man should have one wife; and one woman, but one husband, except in case of death, when either is at liberty to marry again. It is not right to persuade a woman to be baptized contrary to the will of her husband, neither is it lawful to influence her to leave her husband. All children are bound by law to obey their parents; and to influence them to embrace any religious faith, or be baptized, or leave their parents without their consent, is unlawfularents and masters who exercise control over their wives, children, and servants and prevent them from embracing the truth, will have to answer for that sin.”The publication also includes affidavits signed by twelve men and nineteen women that states in part, “we know of no other rule or system of marriage than the one published in the Book of Doctrine and Covenants.”SOURCE: Times and Seasons, Oct 1, 1842, Vol.3, No.23, p.939The signers included Apostle John Taylor and Apostle Wilford Woodruff (who had already been taught the doctrine of polygamy by Joseph Smith), Bishop Newel K. Whitney (who had performed a plural marriage ceremony the previous July for his own daughter and Joseph Smith in accordance with a revelation dictated by the Prophet on the occasion), Elizabeth Ann Whitney (who witnessed the plural ceremony), Sarah M. Cleveland (who had become Joseph Smith’s plural wife early in 1842), and Eliza R. Snow (who also married him on 29 June 1842).

Smith condemns coveting other men’s wives 15 Oct 1842 15 Oct 1842 Polygamy In the 15 October Times and Season, Joseph wrote strongly against coveting other men’s wives. As Editor, he republished an 1830 revelation in which it was revealed to him:“And again: I command thee, that thou shalt not covet thy neighbor’s wife.” (Times and Seasons 3 [October 15,1842]: 944)However, according to LDS authors, by the fall of 1842 Joseph was married to Mary Elizabeth Rollins, wife of Adam Lightner (see John J. Stewart, Brigham Young and His Wives: And The True Story of Plural Marriage [Salt Lake City, Utah: Mercury Publishing Company, Inc., 1961], 89), and Zina Diantha Huntington, wife of Henry B. Jacobs (ibid., 92; see also Andrew Jenson, Ed., The Historical Record 6 [May 1887]: 233; and Times and Seasons 2 [April 1, 1841]: 374). Both women were living with their husbands at that time.

Smith possible father of Orson W. Hyde (by Nancy Miranda Hyde) Feb 1843 09 Nov 1843 Pregnancy

Smith tells temple workers to stop gossiping about polygamy 21 Feb 1843 21 Feb 1843 Polygamy By early 1843 there was much speculation in Nauvoo as to whether or not Joseph Smith was secretly practicing polygamy. More and more were learning that members of the Twelve and others had secret plural wives, and the saying became more popular, “There cannot be so much smoke without some fire.”On February 21,1843, the Prophet spoke to those who were building the Temple — a group consisting of both men and women, and told them that he knew what people were saying about him. According to Official Church History, Joseph told them:”There is a great noise in the city, and many are saying there cannot be so much smoke without some fire. Well, be it so. If the stories about Joe Smith are true, then the stories of John C. Bennett are true about the ladies of Nauvoo; and he says that the Ladies’ Relief Society are all organized of those who are to be the wives of Joe Smith. Ladies, you know whether this is true or not. It is no use living among hogs without a snout. This biting and devouring each other I cannot endure. Away with it. For God’s sake, stop it.”SOURCE: Joseph Smith, History of the Church, Vol. 5, p.286

Marriage – Joseph to Emily Dow Partridge, age 19 04 Mar 1843 27 Jun 1844 Marriage Elder Heber C. Kimball officiating. Emily D. Partridge Smith testified that she “roomed” with Joseph the night following her marriage to him and said that she had “carnal intercourse” with him. See Temple Lot case (complete transcript), 364, 367, 384.SOURCE: LDS Biographical Encyclopedia. Elder Jenson, Andrew. 1951 Volume: 1 Page: 697 Marriages in Nauvoo Region 1839-45. Easton, S. Civil Marriages in Nauvoo 1839-45. Cook, Lyndon Nauvoo Temple Endowment Register 1845-46 Mormon Manuscripts to 1846.

Smith spends honeymoon night with secret bride Emily Partridge 05 Mar 1843 05 Mar 1843 Polygamy In sworn testimony, Emily D. Partridge (Smith Young) testified she “roomed” with Joseph the night following her marriage to him and said that she had “carnal intercourse” with him.SOURCE: Temple Lot case complete transcript, 364, 367, 384; also see Foster, Religion and Sexuality, 15

Marriage – Joseph to Eliza M. Partridge, age 22 08 Mar 1843 27 Jun 1844 Marriage Elder Heber C. Kimball officiatingSOURCE: LDS Biographical Encyclopedia. Elder Jenson, Andrew. 1951 Volume: 1 Page: 697 Marriages in Nauvoo Region 1839-45. Easton, S. Civil Marriages in Nauvoo 1839-45. Cook, Lyndon Nauvoo Temple Endowment Register 1845-46 Mormon Manuscripts to 1846.

Marriage – Joseph to Flora Ann Woodworth, age 16 Apr 1843 27 Jun 1844 Marriage Exact date unknown, Spring 1843SOURCE: Elder William Clayton affidavit, in Historical Record 6:225.

Man believes Smith’s angel-with-a-sword testimony, gives him sister as secret wife 02 Apr 1843 Polygamy Faithful member Benjamin Johnson wrote “His brother, Hyrum, said to me, “Now, Brother Benjamin, you know that Brother Joseph would not sanction this if it was not from the Lord. The Lord revealed this to Brother Joseph long ago, and he put it off until the Angel of the Lord came to him with a drawn sword and told him that he would be slain if he did not go forth and fulfill the law.” He told my sister to have no fears, and he there and then sealed my sister, Almira, to the Prophet.”“Soon after this he was at my house again, where he occupied my Sister Almira’s room and bed, and also asked me for my youngest sister, Esther M.”SOURCE: Joseph Smith’s personal secretary and church patriarch, Elder Benjamin F. Johnson, Autobiography “My Life’s Review”

Marriage – Joseph to Almera Woodward Johnson, age 30 03 Apr 1843 27 Jun 1844 Marriage Elder William Clayton officiatingSOURCE: LDS Biographical Encyclopedia. Elder Jenson, Andrew. 1951 Volume: 1 Page: 697 Marriages in Nauvoo Region 1839-45. Easton, S. Civil Marriages in Nauvoo 1839-45. Cook, Lyndon Nauvoo Temple Endowment Register 1845-46 Mormon Manuscripts to 1846.

Smith challenges members to accuse him directly or keep quiet 06 Apr 1843 06 Apr 1843 Polygamy On April 6,1843, a special conference convenes at Nauvoo. Joseph Smith challenges the members to accuse him directly of sin or keep quiet.The record reveals:”President Joseph then asked the conference if they were satisfied with the First Presidency, so far as he was concerned, as an individual, to preside over the whole church; or would they have another? If, said he, I have done any thing that ought to injure my character, reputation, or standing; or have dishonored our religion by any means in the sight of men, or angels, or in the sight of men and women, I am sorry for it, and if you will forgive me, I will endeavor to do so no more. I do not know that I have done anything of the kind; but if I have, come forward and tell me of it. If any one has any objection to me, I want you to come boldly and frankly, and tell of it; and if not, ever after hold your peace.”SOURCE: Times and Seasons 4, [May 1,1843]: 181

Marriage – Joseph to Olive Grey Frost, age 27 12 Apr 1843 27 Jun 1844 Marriage PLACE: Nauvoo, ILSOURCE: Historical Record 6:235, 234, Elder Jenson, Andrew. 1951 Volume: 1 Page: 697

Smith secretly marries William Clayton to his wife’s sister 27 Apr 1843 Polygamy William Clayton had learned of plural marriage at least by March 7, 1843, when Joseph Smith told Brigham Young to give Clayton a “favor” regarding priesthood instruction. The word “favor” in Clayton’s journal refers to the granting of an additional wife. Clayton and his first wife, Ruth Moon, were in their seventh year of marriage and had three children. The prophet personally visited the family in their Nauvoo home and suggested that Clayton participate in plural marriage. Margaret Moon, his legal wife’s sister, became Clayton’s first plural wife. The marriage was recorded on April 27, 1843, three months before Smith dictated his plural marriage revelation.PLACE: Nauvoo, IL

Smith possible father of Josephine Fisher (by Sylvia Sessions) May 1843 08 Feb 1844 Pregnancy Josephine L. Fisher wrote that her mother, Sylvia Sessions, told her “that [Josephine] was the daughter of the Prophet Joseph Smith.”SOURCE: Josephine L. Fisher to Andrew Jenson, Feb. 24, 1915. On October 12, 1905Angus M. Cannon confirmed this account to Joseph Smith III, the prophet’s son: “It was said by the girl’s grandmother that your father has a daughter born of a plural wife. The girl’s grandmother was Mother Sessions, who lived in Nauvoo.” He added that Aunt Patty Sessions “asserts that the girl was born within the time after your father was said to have taken the mother.”

Marriage – Helen Mar Kimball, age 14 May 1843 27 Jun 1844 Marriage Father Heber C. Kimball officiatingPLACE: Smith’s Store, Nauvoo, ILSOURCE: FamilySearch.com record for Joseph Smith Jr.

Smith promises family salvation to marry 14-year-old 01 May 1843 01 May 1843 Polygamy Helen Mar Kimball writes of how she married Joseph Smith:“Having a great desire to be connected with the Prophet, Joseph, he (my father) offered me to him; this I afterwards learned from the Prophet’s own mouth. My father had but one Ewe Lamb, but willingly laid her upon the altar: how cruel this seemed to my mother whose heartstrings were already stretched unil they were ready to snap asunder, for she had already taken Sarah Noon to wife and she thought she had made sufficient sacrifice but the Lord required more.”SOURCE: Helen Mar Whitney Journal, Helen Mar Autobiography, Womans Exponent, 1880 and recently reprinted in A Woman’s viewJoseph Smith gave her only 24 hours to decide on whether or not to marry him. Of this, Helen wrote: “[my father] left me to reflect upon it for the next twenty four hours. … I was sceptical – one minute believed, then doubted. I thought of the love and tenderness that he felt for his only daughter, and I knew that he would not cast me off, and this was the only convincing proof That I had of its being right.”The next morning, Joseph Smith finally appeared himself to explain the “law of Celestial Marriage” and claim his teen bride. In her memoir, Helen wrote, “After which he said to me, ‘if you take this step, it will ensure your eternal salvation and exaltation and that of your father’s household and all of your kindred.’ This promise was so great that I willingly gave myself to purchase so glorious a reward.”Helen also writes about her mother’s reaction to all of this: “None but God and his angels could see my mother’s bleeding heart – when Joseph asked her if she was willing, she replied ‘If Helen is willing I have nothing more to say.””She had witnessed the sufferings of others, who were older and who better understood the step they were taking, and to see her child, who had yet seen her fifteenth summer, following the same thorny path, in her mind she saw the misery which was as sure to come as the sun was to rise and set; but it was hidden from me.”Helen thought her marriage to Joseph Smith was only dynastic. But to her surprise, it was more. Helen confided to a close friend in Nauvoo: “I would never have been sealed to Joseph had I known it was anything more than ceremony. I was young, and they deceived me, by saying the salvation of our whole family depended on it.”

SOURCE: Mormon Polygamy: A History by LDS member Richard S. Van Wagoner, p. 53.


Marriage – Joseph to Lucy Walker, age 17 01 May 1843 27 Jun 1844 Marriage Elder William Clayton officiatingPLACE: Smith’s Store, Nauvoo, ILSOURCE: FamilySearch.com record for Joseph Smith Jr.

Marriage – Joseph to Maria Lawrence, age 19 11 May 1843 27 Jun 1844 Marriage SOURCE: Historical Record 6:223; Lucy Walker Smith Kimball, in the Temple Lot case (full transcript, 461, LDS archives); Helen Kimball Whitney, Woman’s Exponent, 15 Feb. 1886, 138.

Marriage – Joseph to Sarah Lawrence, age 17 11 May 1843 27 Jun 1844 Marriage SOURCE: FamilySearch.com record for Joseph Smith Jr., Historical Record 6:223; Lucy Walker Smith Kimball, in the Temple Lot case (full transcript, 461, LDS archives); Helen Kimball Whitney, Woman’s Exponent, 15 Feb. 1886, 138.

Hyrum Smith tells congregation only Devil would give plural wife revelation 14 May 1843 Polygamy Presiding Patriarch and Associate President Hyrum Smith assures a citywide congregation that only the Devil would give a revelation approving “wifes & concubines.” Joseph Smih was traveling outside of Nauvoo at the time.PLACE: Nauvoo, IL

Joseph sleeps with his plural wife Almera Johnson 15 May 1843 15 May 1843 Polygamy Elder Benjamin Johnson wrote, “On the 15th of May . . . the Prophet again Came and at my hosue [house] ocupied the Same Room & Bed with my Sister that the month previous he had ocupied with the Daughter of the Later Bishop Partridge as his wife.SOURCE: Zimmerman, I Knew the Prophets, 44.

Emma discovers Smith in bedroom with Eliza Partridge 22 May 1843 22 May 1843 Polygamy Joseph Smith’s personal secretary records that on May 22nd, 1843, Smith’s first wife Emma found Joseph and Eliza Partridge secluded in an upstairs bedroom at the Smith home. Emma was devastated.SOURCE: William Clayton’s journal entry for 23 May (see Smith, 105-106)

Smith’s first wife, Emma, first approval of polygamy 23 May 1843 23 May 1843 Polygamy First occasion when Emma Smith approves her husband’s polygamous marriages. See D&C 132 where Emma is told to accept polygamy or be “destroyed.”PLACE: Nauvoo, IL

Hyrum Smith receives endowment and associated polygamy doctrine 26 May 1843 26 May 1843 Polygamy Joseph Smith begins re-performing the endowment ceremonies for previously endowed men and for others who have accepted polygamy.PLACE: Nauvoo, IL

Joseph Smith and Emma are first couple “sealed” in marriage for eternity 28 May 1843 Polygamy Joseph and Emma Smith are the first couple “sealed” in marriage for eternity. During the previous month, he had married as polygamous wives seventeen-year-old Lucy Walker, sixteen-year-old Flora Ann Woodworth, and fourteen-year-old Helen Mar Kimball who later testified that he had sexual relations with them.PLACE: Nauvoo, IL

Marriage – Joseph to Hanna Ellis, age 29 Jun 1843 27 Jun 1844 Marriage Exact date unknown – sometime in Summer 1843SOURCE: John Benbow affidavit, see Historical Record 6:222-23, 234

Marriage – Joseph to Elvira Anie Cowles, age 29 01 Jun 1843 27 Jun 1844 Marriage PLACE: Nauvoo, ILSOURCE: Affidavit, Joseph F. Smith Affidavit Books, 1 :78, 4:80; Historical Record 6:234.

Marriage – Joseph to Rhoda Richards, age 58 12 Jun 1843 27 Jun 1844 Marriage Elder Willard Richards officiatingPLACE: Nauvoo, ILSOURCE: FamilySearch.com record for Joseph Smith Jr.

Marriage – Joseph to Desdemona Fullmer, age 32 Jul 1843 27 Jun 1844 Marriage SOURCE: Affidavit, Joseph F. Smith Affidavit Books, 1:32, 4:32; Bachman, “A Study of the Mormon Practice of Plural Marriage,” #58; Historical Record 6:225.

Revelation – D&C 132 Plural Marriage secret commandment , dictated by Smith 12 Jul 1843 12 Jul 1843 Polygamy Smith’s revelations on plural marriage and sealing are recorded. Hyrum had asked his brother to dictate it by means of his seer stone, but Smith dictates it from memory. Hyrum uses the written revelation to try to convert Emma Smith to accept the practice.PLACE: Navuoo, IL

Marriage – Joseph to Nancy Maria Winchester, age 15 28 Jul 1843 27 Jun 1844 Marriage According to Mormon Church Historian Andrew Jenson, Nancy married Joseph sometime before his death in June of 1844. In addition, Orson Whitmney, son of Nacy Maria’s friend, Helen, also identified her as sSmith’s wife. These two witnesses, taken together, make a good case for NAncy as a plural spouse of Josepoh. Though there is no exac date for her marriage to the prophet, the best hypothosis is that the cereony took place in 1843.LOCATION: Nauvoo, ILSOURCE: LDS Biographical Encyclopedia. Elder Jenson, Andrew. 1951 Volume: 1 Page: 697 Marriages in Nauvoo Region 1839-45. See also In Sacred Lonliness, page 606.

Smith tells William Clayton to get all the wives he can 11 Aug 1843 Polygamy Smith performs a marriage for his brother Hyrum and his first plural wife and tells William Clayton, “you have a right to get all you can.” Smith also once reportedly explained: “The result of our endless union will be offspring as numerous as the stars of heaven or the sands of the seashore” (History of the Church 5: 391-92).PLACE: Nauvoo, ILSOURCE: William Clayton Journal 2, “Nauvoo, Illinois,” August 11, 1843

Hyrum Smith presents the revelation on plural marriage to the Nauvoo Stake High Council 12 Aug 1843 12 Aug 1843 Polygamy Hyrum Smith presents the revelation on plural and “Celestial marriage” (D&C 132) to the Nauvoo Stake High Council.PLACE: Nauvoo High Council Meeting, Nauvoo IL

Joseph Smith and William Clayton in love triangle 15 Sep 1843 21 Sep 1843 Polygamy William Clayton had already married two sisters and desired to marry the third (and youngest), Lydia Moon. Clayton asked the prophet’s permission bit he refused Clayton permission to marry Lydia, citing a revelation “he had lately, [that] a man could only take 2 of a family.” Smith then asked if Clayton would “give L[ydia] to him. I said I would so far as I had any thing to do in it. He requested me to talk to her.” Lydia Moon refused Smith’s offer because she wanted to “tarry with her sisters” who were already Clayton’s wives.PLACE: Nauvoo, ILSOURCE: William Clayton Journal 2, “Nauvoo, Illinois,” September 15, 17 and 21, 1843.

Marriage – Joseph to Malissa Lott, age 19 20 Sep 1843 27 Jun 1844 Marriage Elder Hyrum Smith officiating. Malissa testified that her marriage to Smith included sex. See Affidavit of Melissa Willes, 3 Aug. 1893.PLACE: Navuoo, ILSOURCE: FamilySearch.com record for Joseph Smith Jr.

Joseph and Emma are first couple to receive second anointing 28 Sep 1843 Polygamy Joseph and Emma Smith are the first couple to receive the second anointing in which each is “anointed & ordained to the highest & holiest order of the priesthood.”PLACE: Nauvoo, IL

Smith writes in diary that plurality of wives is forbidden 05 Oct 1843 Polygamy Concerning “the doctrine of plurality of wives,” Smith’s manuscript diary reads: “Joseph forbids it and the practice thereof. No man shall have but one wife.” When incorporating Joseph Smith’s journal into the History of the Church, Apostle George A. Smith, a cousin, altered this passage to reverse this prohibition on polygamy.PLACE: Nauvoo, ILSOURCE: Mormon Polygamy, p.63

Smith tells secretary William Clayton not to worry about love child 19 Oct 1843 Polygamy Smith tells his secretary William Clayton not to worry about an upcoming birth from a polygamous union, assuring him that if it becomes necessary to excommunicate him, Smith will immediately reinstate him. Smith told Clayton, said “Just keep her [the mother and baby] at home and brook it and if they raise trouble about it and bring you before me I will give you an awful scourging and probably cut you off from the church and then I will baptise you and set you ahead as good as ever.”PLACE: Nauvoo, ILSOURCE: William Clayton Journal 2, “Nauvoo, Illinois,” October 19, 1843.

Smith republishes condemnation of adultery 01 Nov 1843 01 Nov 1843 Polygamy Joseph Smith republishes in the Times and Seasons an earlier 1831 revelation, which includes these commandments:“Thou shalt not lie; he that lieth and will not repent shall be cast out. Thou shalt love thy wife with all thy heart, and shall cleave unto her and none else; and he that looketh upon a woman to lust after her, shall deny the faith, and shalt not have the spirit, and if he repents not he shall be cast out. Thou shalt not commit adultery; and he that commiteth adultery and repenteth not, shall be cast out but he that has committed adultery and repents with all his heart, and forsaketh it, and doeth it no more, thou shalt forgive; but if he doeth it again, he shall not be forgiven, but shall be cast out. Thou shalt not speak evil of thy neighbor, nor do him any harm. Thou knowest my laws concerning these things are given in my scriptures: he that sinneth and repenteth not, shall be cast out.”SOURCE: Times and Seasons, Vol.4, No.24, p.369

Smith marries two women to Brigham Young 02 Nov 1843 Polygamy Young’s30 Oct diary states: “Monday evening Baptized Sisters Cuoub [Cobb] & Hari[e]tt Cook.” Two days later, 2 Nov, Smith marries these two women to Young.PLACE: Nauvoo, ILSOURCE: Brigham Young Diary, 30 Oct 1843

Marriage – Joseph to Fanny Young Murray, age 56, already married 02 Nov 1843 27 Jun 1844 Marriage Brigham Young reported the marriage of his sister to Joseph Smith in the Journal of Discourse: “I recollect a sister conversing with Joseph Smith on this subject [of plural marriage]…. Joseph said, ‘Sister, you talk very foolishly, you do not know what you will want.’ He then said to me [B.Y.]: ‘Here, brother Brigham you seal this lady to me.’ I sealed her to him. This was my own sister according to the flesh.” (Journal of Discourses, vol. 16, pg. 166-167).Fanny was already married to a living husband, Roswell Murray.SOURCE: FamilySearch.net record for Joseph Smith Jr.

Smith accuses Emma of poisoning his coffee 05 Nov 1843 Smith becomes violently ill at dinner and assumes that his wife Emma of trying to poison him due to her opposition to polygamy. At the prayer circle meeting that evening Smith accuses her of poisoning his cup of coffee, and Brigham Young regards her shocked silence as proof of her guilt. However, Joseph’s rapid recovery from this illness suggests something other than poisoning, possibly ulcers.PLACE: Nauvoo, ILSOURCE: Joseph Smith, History of the Church, Vol. 6, p.65, Brigham Young, conference address, 7 Oct. 1866, The Essential Brigham Young, p.188

Emma carries child, David Hyrum Feb 1844 18 Nov 1844 Pregnancy PLACE: Nauvoo, ILSOURCE: Official Joseph Smith family record, www.FamilySearch.org

Smith is anointed and ordained “King, Priest and Ruler over Israel on Earth” 11 Apr 1844 11 Apr 1844 Polygamy Smith becomes Mormonism’s theocratic king. The kingdom’s clerk William Clayton wrote that during the 11 April 1844 meeting “was prest. Joseph chosen as our Prophet, Priest and King by Hosannas.” William Marks, who was present at the coronation, later stated that the Council of Fifty performed an ordinance “in which Joseph suffered himself to be ordained a king, to reign over the house of Israel forever.” A later revelation to the Council of Fifty affirmed that God called Smith “to be a Prophet, Seer and Revelator to my Church and Kingdom; and to be a King and Ruler over Israel.” In detailed minutes of this same ceremony years later, the Council of Fifty’s standing chairman, John Taylor, was “anointed & set apart as a King, Priest and Ruler over Israel on the Earth.” In a veiled reference to Smith’s kingship, Apostles Lyman Wight and Heber C. Kimball wrote in 1844 that “you are already President Pro tem of the world.”PLACE: Council of Fifty Meeting in Masonic Hall, Nauvoo, ILSOURCE: The Mormon Hierarchy: Origins of Power, p.124

Smith possible father of Frank Henry Hyde (by Nancy Marinda Hyde) May 1844 23 Jan 1845 Pregnancy Frank Henry was born on 23 Jan 1845. Many suspect Joseph Smith was the actual father for two reasons. First, because Marinda had been the polygamous wife of Smith since Apr 1842. Second, because Smith had sent her first husband, Orson Hyde, on a mission to Washington on April 4, 1844 “immediately” after a meeting with Joseph Smith (History of the Church, pg. 286). The gestation period for a human is on average 266 days (not 9 months), which would date the conception to early May 1844. Of course 266 is an average date and the figures vary. To give you an idea of the range, only four percent of pregnancies are actually carried two weeks or more beyond the average time (Guttmacher, 1983). Frank Henry was born on January 23, 1845. Orson Hyde left for Washington April 4, 1844. The difference in these two dates is 294 days! That is almost a month longer than expected and is basically physiologically impossible, especially considering that Orson Hyde had not returned to Nauvoo until August 6, 1844 (Andrew Jenson, Church Chronology, August 6, 1844). She later divorced Hyde and voiced her disgust of polygamy.PLACE: Nauvoo, IL

Suit filed against Smith for adultery with foster daughter 23 May 1844 Polygamy William Law files a formal complaint with the Hancock County circuit court charging Smith was living “in an open state of adultery” with Maria Lawrence, Smith’s foster daughter and polygamous wife. Maria Lawrence was a teenaged orphan who was living in the Smith household. In fact, Smith had secretly married both Maria, age 19 and her sister Sarah, age 17 on 11 May 1843 and was serving as executor of their $8,000 estate. William Law apparently hoped that disclosing Smith’s relationship with the young girls might lead him to abandon polygamy, but Smith immediately excommunicated Law, had himself appointed the girls’ legal guardian, and rejected the charge in front of a church congregation on 26 May 1844, denying that he had more than one wife.PLACE: Hancock County Circuit Court, ILSOURCE: Joseph Smith, History of the Church, Vol. 6, p.403, Mormon Polygamy: A History, p.66

Smith denies polygamy, boasts he has done more than Jesus Christ 26 May 1844 26 May 1844 Polygamy In a now famous speach, Smith publicly denies he has any plural wives. Smith boasts to a congregation “Come on! ye prosecutors! ye false swearers! All hell, boil over! Ye burning mountains, roll down your lava! for I will come out on the top at last. I have more to boast of than ever any man had. I am the only man that has ever been able to keep a whole church together since the days of Adam. A large majority of the whole have stood by me. Neither Paul, John, Peter, nor Jesus ever did it. I boast that no man ever did such a work as I. The followers of Jesus ran away from Him; but the Latter-day Saints never ran away from me yet. You know my daily walk and conversation. I am in the bosom of a virtuous and good people. How I do love to hear the wolves howl! When they can get rid of me, the devil will also go.”PLACE: Nauvoo, ILSOURCE: Joseph Smith, History of the Church, Vol. 6, p.408

Nauvoo Expositor publishes references to Smith’s polygamy and ordination as King on Earth 07 Jun 1844 The first and only issue of William Law’s Nauvoo Expositor is published, with references to the 1843 polygamy revelation and to Smith’s 1844 ordination as king on earth.PLACE: Nauvoo, ILSOURCE: Navuoo Expositor

Smith as mayor of Nauvoo orders destruction of Nauvoo Expositor press 10 Jun 1844 10 Jun 1844 Nauvoo City Council discusses Nauvoo Expositor accusation of polygamy against Joseph Smith. Hyrum Smith tells Nauvoo City Council that Smith’s 1843 revelation pertains to ancient polygamy, not to modern times. By Joseph Smith’s order as mayor the council destroys the Expositor as “a public nuisance.”PLACE: Nauvoo, ILSOURCE: Joseph Smith, History of the Church, Vol. 6, p.432-434

Smith declares martial law, gives last public address to Nauvoo Legion 18 Jun 1844 18 Jun 1844 Smith declares martial law and, in speaking to the Nauvoo legion, gives his last public address.PLACE: Nauvoo, ILSOURCE: Joseph Smith, History of the Church, Vol. 6, p.497-500

Smith writes to apostles, tells them to destroy their garments and return to Nauvoo 20 Jun 1844 20 Jun 1844 Polygamy PLACE: Nauvoo, ILSOURCE: Joseph Smith, History of the Church, Vol. 6, p.519, Heber C. Kimball’s diary, 21 Dec. 1845, found in the book “Smith, An Intimate Chronicle”, page 224

Smith burns polygamy revelation, flees Nauvoo but then returns 23 Jun 1844 23 Jun 1844 After 1 a.m. Smith tells his secretary, William Clayton to burn or bury the minutes of the Council of Fifty, and Joseph and Hyrum Smith flee Nauvoo. Word of the prophet’s departure causes near panic among his devoted followers. Accused of cowardly abandoning Nauvoo, Smith returns about 6 p.m. He tells Stephen Markham that this is contrary to a revelation and commandment he had received. Joseph and Emma Smith burn the original manuscript of the 1843 polygamy revelation, presumably on this evening. William Clayton preserves a copy, which is later canonized as Section 132 of the D&C.SOURCE: Joseph Smith, History of the Church, Vol. 6, p.548-550, Manuscript fragment of Nauvoo Legion History for June 1844, LDS archives.

Smith surrenders to civil authorities to stand trial for riot and treason 24 Jun 1844 Court/Jail Joseph rode down home twice to bid his family farewell. He appeared solemn and thoughtful, and expressed himself to several individuals that he expected to be murdered. The company (about fifteen) then started again for Carthage, and when opposite to the Masonic Hall, Joseph said, “Boys, if I don’t come back, take care of yourselves; I am going like a lamb to the slaughter.” When they passed his farm he took a good look at it, and after they had passed it, he turned round several times to look again, at which some of the company made remarks, when Joseph said: “If some of you had got such a farm and knew you would not see it any more, you would want to take a good look at it for the last time.”PLACE: Nauvoo, ILSOURCE: Joseph Smith, History of the Church, Vol. 6, p.558

Death of Joseph Smith 27 Jun 1844 27 Jun 1844 Court/Jail 5 p.m. A large group of men approaches Carthage Jail disguised with blackened faces. Smith at first assumes it is the Nauvoo Legion he has secretly ordered to rescue him. However, major-general Jonathan Dunham has disobeyed orders knowing that a prison escape would mean the annihilation of Nauvoo. Instead the vigilantes storm the upstairs room, instantly killing Hyrum and severely wounding Taylor. Joseph defends himself with a pistol, killing two men, then jumps out the window, and begins to shout the Masonic cry of distress: “Oh, Lord, my God, is there no help for the widow’s son?” Masons in the crowd show no mercy and prop the semi-conscious Smith against a nearby well and shoot him several times at point-blank range. Willard Richards is the only one not killed or severely wounded. Mormons immediately attribute this to the fact that he alone wore the undergarment given to endowed persons.PLACE: Carthage Jail, Carthage ILSOURCE: Joseph Smith, History of the Church, Vol. 6, p.616-623

Smith orders Nauvoo Legion to free him 27 Jun 1844 27 Jun 1844 Court/Jail The morning of 27 July, Smith sent an order (in his own handwriting) to Major-General Jonathan Dunham to lead the Nauvoo Legion in a military attack on Carthage “immediately” to free the prisoners. Dunham realized that such an assault by the Nauvoo Legion would result in two blood baths, one in Carthage and another when anti-Mormons (and probably the Illinois militia) retaliated by laying siege to Nauvoo for insurrection. To avoid civil war and the destruction of Nauvoo’s population, Dunham refused to obey the order and did not notify Smith of his decision. One of his lieutenants, a former Danite, later complained that Dunham “did not let a single mortal know that he had received such orders.”PLACE: Carthage Jail, Carthage ILSOURCE: Joseph Smith to Jonathan Dunham, 27 June 1844, in Jessee, Personal Writings of Joseph Smith, xxv, 616-17; History of the Church, 6:529 referred to this order but neither quoted nor summarized it.

Smith tells associate that he has lost the spirit of God for disobedience 27 Jun 1844 27 Jun 1844 Court/Jail Before leaving Carthage Jail at 1:30 p.m., Stephen Markham listens as Smith says he has lost the spirit of God for disobedience in returning to Nauvoo.. In 1858 Brigham Young would say later “If Joseph Smith, Jun., the Prophet, had followed the Spirit of revelation in him he never would have gone to Carthage and never for one moment did he say that he had one particle of light in him after he started back from Montrose to give himself up in Nauvoo.”PLACE: Cathage Jail, Cathage, ILSOURCE: Brigham Young, A Series of Instructions and Remarks by President Young at a Special Council, Tabernacle, March 21, 1858 (Salt Lake City, 1858)

Reposted from http://www.i4m.com/think/polygamy/polygamy-timeline.htm

 

Other Good References

And https://exploringmormonism.com/polygamy-timeline/

http://www.ldsorigins.com/polygamy.htm

http://josephsmithspolygamy.org/faq/sexuality-2/

Christ as the Only Path to the Father

Does one have to be Christian to be saved?  Did Christ teach that you had to believe in him in order to go to heaven? Could a Buddhist get to heaven through Buddha?

Scriptures such as John 14:6 which says “Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.” is one example of a verse seeming to suggest that only Christians can go to heaven or that all must go through Jesus to get there. Terms such as “only begotten son” (or monogenēs: John 1:14; 1:18; 3:18; Heb 11:17; 1 Jn 4:9), similarly suggest to many that salvation is only through Jesus.  But is there a deeper symbolic truth hidden in these scriptural expressions?

I believe that Christ came from a realm of the highest, completely unified beings to be a living Symbol or archetype. This is why he is called the Word of God. Words are symbols which are meant to communicate thoughts, and Christ (which is simply the Latin tranliteration for the hebrew Mashiach meaning “anointed one”) was a living symbol sent to communicate the mind of God to man. What he symbolized was a certain character or manner of thought and being which is epitomized by love, self-sacrifice, wisdom and power. Christ, like the offices of Buddha or Lama was and is a title which means Messiah or Anointed One. So when the prophet say that there is no other way to salvation but through Christ, and all the other similar phrases they are saying that redemption from the Fall or Division of Man comes only through the same path he and all the Great Anointed ones prophets came to teach us.

 

 

The “Only Begotten” Son
AUTHOR: Clifton H. Payne, Jr.
As a small boy growing up in Alabama I had a deep love of God and a real hunger to know him better. By the age of eight I had read the entire Bible. But, like most people, I often struggled to understand what the Scriptures were saying. Many verses didn’t seem to make sense.

One of the first verses to puzzle me was the verse that is perhaps the best-known verse in the New Testament, John 3:16: “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten [monogenes] Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life” (NKJV). Why does the text say, “only begotten Son” and not “one and only son” as the NIV renders it? “Only begotten son” is not a term that modern English-speakers normally use.
To begin with, can we say that Jesus is the “one and only son of God”? While many people might at first say, “Yes,” the answer is actually, “Yes and No.” In the Gospel of Luke 3:23–38 the genealogy of Jesus is listed beginning with Joseph and going backward to Adam, “the son of God.” In Biblical terms, we are all children (sons) of God. For example, in John 8:41 the Jewish audience that Jesus was addressing said to him, “We have one Father-God” (NKJV). Also, in Isaiah 43:3–7 God called his people his sons and daughters. So, if we are all sons of God, how can Jesus be the “one and only son,” as the NIV renders the text? And if the text should be properly rendered “only begotten son,” what does this awkward expression mean?
The answer is found in Scripture and an ancient Midrash (Jewish commentary on Scripture). To understand what “only begotten son” means we must look at several ways it is used in Scripture and at the way the term “begot” is used in the Midrash.

We also find the term “only begotten son” in Hebrews 11:17: “By faith Abraham, when he was tested, offered up Isaac, and he who had received the promises offered up his only begotten son” (NKJV). Now, it is clear that Abraham had more than one son. His firstborn son was Ishmael, but the Book of Hebrews calls Isaac his “only begotten” son. Obviously there is a meaning to this term that is different from simply “only son.” However, in Genesis 22:1–2 at the beginning of the story of the Akedah (the binding of Isaac), God told Abraham, “Take now your son, your only son, Isaac, whom you love, and go to the land of Moriah, and offer him there as a burnt offering” (NKJV). In this text God referred to Isaac as Abraham’s “only”[yahid] son. Is it possible that God was confused, or that he had forgotten about Ishmael?

One clue is in the way that the term “only”(yahid) is used in the Hebrew Scriptures. Normally yahid meant “only” and referred to an only child (Gen. 22:2, 12, 16; Judg. 11:34; Jer. 6:26; etc.). It also sometimes meant “lonely” or “solitary” (Ps. 25:16; 68:6), or “precious” (Ps. 22:20; 35:17). It is perhaps in this last sense that the Septuagint (the second-century B.C. Greek translation of the Hebrew Scriptures) rendered yahid as agapetos (beloved), instead of the usual monogenes (only begotten) as in Genesis 22:2, 12, 16. The Septuagint’s rendering is significant because this is the word used by God for Jesus at the Mount of Transfiguration according to Matthew 17:5: “This is my beloved [agapetos] Son” (NKJV). In these examples we see that “only [one]” is the one who is unique and especially loved.

Another meaning of “only son” [yahid] is found in the story of Abraham and his relationship with Ishmael. Genesis 21:9 states that Sarah saw Ishmael “mocking” [mezahek]. Abraham subsequently expelled Ishmael from his home providing him with nothing but bread and water. Abraham was a rich man. Why would he have sent his firstborn son out of his home with nothing but bread and water? In Exodus Rabbah 1 (on Gen. 21:9), we find the Midrash’s answer:
What did Ishmael do? When he was fifteen years old, he commenced to bring idols from the street, toyed with them and worshipped them as he had seen others do. So “when Sarah saw the son of Hagar the Egyptian, whom she had borne unto Abraham, making sport” [mocking] (the word mezahek being always used of idolatry as in “And they rose up to make merry” [Ex. 32:6] [i.e., to worship the Golden Calf]….) (trans. Soncino)

The commentary goes on to explain that Abraham expelled Ishmael because Ishmael had fallen into idolatry, and to prevent him from leading Isaac astray, Abraham sent him away. He treated Ishmael as though he had died. Even to this day, in some Orthodox Jewish families if a child becomes an apostate the family holds the son or daughter’s funeral. This is similar to the story of “the prodigal son.” The son had become apostate and upon his return the father said, “For this my son was dead and is alive again; he was lost and is found” (Lk. 15:11-32). In this sense Isaac was Abraham’s only son since Ishmael was the same as dead, even as God warned Adam and Eve that if they sinned they would die (Gen. 2:17).
Isaac was indeed the “beloved” son of Abraham and Sarah’s old age, and due to Ishmael’s idolatry, their “only” son. Thus, we can understand “only” (yahid) as both unique and especially beloved.

This brings us to the terms “begot” and “begotten.” In Genesis 25:19 it is written: “This is the genealogy of Isaac, Abraham’s son. Abraham begot [holid] Isaac.” Genesis 25:12 reads: “Now this is the genealogy of Ishmael, Abraham’s son, whom Hagar the Egyptian, Sarah’s maidservant, bore [yaldah] to Abraham.” The Bible records that Abraham “begot” Isaac, but it never says that Abraham “begot” Ishmael. The Bible states that Ishmael was the son of Abraham, but the text never uses “begot” in connection with Abraham and Ishmael. The verb yalad is used in connection with Hagar, but not with Abraham. The commentary to Genesis 25:19 in Exodus Rabbah 1 explains the text in this way: “And it is written: ‘And these are the generations of Isaac, Abraham’s son: Abraham begot Isaac,’ to teach you that he was like his father in all things: in beauty, wisdom, riches, and good deeds” (trans. Soncino).

Accordingly, “begot” means “to have the full nature of and to be exactly like.” This understanding comes from the biblical text itself. In Genesis 5:3 it is written: “And Adam lived one hundred and thirty years, and begot a son in his own likeness, after his image, and named him Seth.” Similar are Jesus’ sayings in John 14:9 (“He who has seen me has seen the Father”) and John 8:39–47 (“They answered and said to him, ‘Abraham is our father.’ Jesus said to them, ‘If you were Abraham’s children, you would do the works of Abraham… You are of your father the devil, and the desires of your father you want to do'”). In this sense, “begot” and “begotten” convey, “to be the complete image and representation of the father.”

Both Isaac and Jesus can be said to be unique and especially beloved of their father: each was the exact likeness and image of his father, and the full nature of his father was in each. Hence, each was called “the only begotten son” of his father.

In the above sense we could say that Jesus is the only son of God, who is the exact image of God and in whom the full nature of God dwells, as it is written: “For in Him dwells all the fullness of the Godhead bodily” (Col. 2:9, NKJV). Although, in one sense, we all are sons of God, only Jesus was God’s unique and especially beloved son who bore the exact image and likeness of God the Father.
Lastly, there is another understanding of the terms “begot” and “begotten.” The terms are used metaphorically where no literal birth is intended, for example in Job 15:34–35: “For the company of hypocrites will be barren, and fire will consume the tents of bribery. They conceive trouble and bring forth [yalad] futility; their womb prepares deceit” (NKJV). Here the meaning of “begot” is “to bring forth.” Again in Psalm 7:14: “Behold, the wicked brings forth iniquity; yes, he conceives trouble and brings forth falsehood” (NKJV). It is in the sense of “to bring forth” that Psalm 2:7 employs yalad: “I will declare the decree: The LORD has said to Me, You are My Son, today I have begotten You” (NKJV), or, as The Complete Biblical Library translates the word, “I have brought you forth.” This is the sense of Hebrews 5:4–5 where Psalm 2:7 is quoted referring to Jesus as called and appointed by God.

In a positive image, the messianic prophesy of Psalm 2:7 speaks of God bringing forth the Messiah. In a kingly sense, the son who was to take over the kingship would be brought forth and presented to the people as a co-regent. In this way, full authority was given, preventing violent struggles for the throne. (The Complete Biblical Library, Hebrew-English Dictionary, p. 564)
Biblical words can have extremely deep meanings. How true it is of the words of John 3:16, “For God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten son.” It appears from the above sources that the writer of John understood “only begotten” in a far deeper sense than simply “only son.” For John, Jesus was proclaimed by God to be the one and only unique and dearly beloved son who alone was the express and exact image of God the Father, in whom dwelt the fullness of God’s nature, and who was the one true and faithful son that was proclaimed by God to be king and co-regent at his baptism (Mt. 3:17).
________________________________
This article, written by Clifton H. Payne, Jr., was first published online with Jerusalem Perspective in 2004. The author has given permission to reprint his original work for the Haverim Study Community where he has been a longtime participant. Clif was a personal friend of Dwight A. Pryor whom he calls rabbi and mentor.

Behind the Veil: The Purpose of Religion, The Purpose of This Life

-the movie wizard of oz teaches a deep truth, that all which the masses perceive as reality is really just fire, smoke and mirrors and that there is an intelligent transdimensional man behind the curtain who is really creating the illusion.

behind-the-veil

-the movie ‘the matrix’ teaches this same lesson but with a slightly more dark perception about the reality behind the illusion. ‘Reality as we know it is an illusion’, and for the sincere seeker of truth there is a path to see behind that illusion and by understanding the principles which govern it, you may ascend to the same level as those who are currently managing the illusion or matrix.

-the deep truths concerning the purpose of life, the purpose of government and religion. why we are here, and where we are going are hidden, from all but the diligent seeker.  The platitudes given by culture, organized religion and government are part of the play.

The divisive purpose of this round of progression
The telestial world (current 3rd density) has one primary purpose, and that is to polarize/divide people in order to create an energy potential. In LDS terms we have all heard how there “must be opposition in all things”, or how we must taste the bad in order to prize the good. However I think we seldom realize all the implications of this; how without the somewhat hellish aspects of this telestial life, there would be no motivation for existence. As an example in physics, if we wish to do work with a charge or electricity, we must first create an electric potential by polarizing charge. We must polarize/separate a positive and negative charge and then establish a conduit (wire) or pathway with which to release the built up electric potential. The creation drama in the bible teaches this commonsense principle that in order to create, you must divide. Divide matter from space, separate ocean from sky, divide land from ocean, separate man from woman and lastly separate good from evil. The “Fall” in fact could better be termed, the “separation” or division or polarization.

This telestial life then has been created in order to separate any and every possible aspect of the human psyche in order to create a potential which will be released or used up in the next two rounds of existence (4th & 5th density/terrestrial & celestial existence). Here we are divided against each-other and divided against ourselves. Those who oversee the division process use whatever means possible to make people feel “different” than other people, and believe it or not religion is one of the most effective means used to do this. If one group of people can be made to feel better or superior or worse or inferior or any feeling of “otherness” compared to another group then the goal is accomplished. Thus the creation of a “peculiar people” who are “separate” from Babylon and the “only” true church or people is an effective condition created and egged on by the overseers of separation. (Also note that a yin and yang paradox exists wherein partial unity causes separation and total separation brings ultimate unity).

Everyone is allowed to choose how long and how far they will polarize (or be turned against ) themselves and others. As a general rule, polarization/separation is painful and unity or at-one-ment is pleasurable; and as already mentioned, in the next two phases of existence we will use up our polarity in a much more pleasurable reality (generally pleasurable for the selfless who were pained here, generally painful for the selfish who were pleasured here) . As a universal example of how this works picture the polarization of gender. In youth, by separating the genders and stressing their differences a psychological potential is created. Furthermore by clothing/hiding our bodies and keeping genders apart an even greater physiological potential is created. After each individual has on a subconscious level decided they have polarized enough, they begin the process of releasing that stored potential and the joys of sexual union are experienced. It might surprise many that the intensity of sexual pleasure is highly different to different people and it is dependent upon the created/stored potential. Some people even after having physical sex are still psychologically potentiating instead of releasing, experiencing painful relationships and subconsciously saving themselves for a better situation in which they can release the psychological stored potential and reap the consequential pleasure.

In the LDS Temple ceremony the Higher Gods oversee the separation of matter, plants, animals and even man and woman. But they leave the division of the human psyche in hands of a lower earthbound angel named Lucifer. We like to demonize Lucifer and call him the bad guy, but to a large extent he is simply an archtype of the divisive aspects of ourselves & creation (with a horrible temper mind you). Since separation causes pain it is easy to see this aspect of creation as “bad”. However, the very act of demonizing someone or calling something “bad” as opposed to “good” is divisive. Thus as we demonize or hate on Lucifer we effectually become Lucifer (or at least play that part with him in the great drama). As we demonize groups with different perspectives than us, we all play the part of Lucifer. (Watch Megamind the movie for a great treatise on how self-righteousness creates evil) That is the great paradox of religion, and the key taught in the LDS temple ceremony. It is Lucifer that gave organized religion to the world, dividing them from themselves in order to create a potential. But if we demonize either religion (or its opposite) we do the same thing. We are all potentiating in this world to some extent and when we decide we have had enough, we will die and pass to the next phase of experiencing the joy from releasing the stored potential. (There are many sub-cycles, and death for most simply continues the dramas of this life. Most must wait for the resurrection to experience release of stored potentials.)

All religions fit together in my worldview. Each seems to be a different perspective on pieces of the big picture.

All religions fit together in my worldview. Each seems to be a different perspective on pieces of the big picture.

Hundred of pages could be written on the scriptural archetypes concerning this paramount concept of separation or division and redemption or unity. The “first man Adam” is also a primary archetype of division in the Hebrew philosophical system. He watches and oversees his division from God’s presence (symbolized by the garden and the grave), the division of his children Cain and Abel, the division of the land, languages, peoples, religions, and the body from the spirit in death. It is the last man Adam or Christ who is the archetype of unity. He is the God of unity, redemption and reunion. He watches and oversees the reunion of man to god, child to father, brother to brother, and the resurrection/reunion of body to spirit. It is through finding Christ or the unconditional love that he stood for that man creates a conduit to re-unite the broken/separated aspects of his psyche. Truly finding Christ is reuniting and harmonizing all the opposites in our lives. It is finding peace by solving all conflicts of interest and will. Thus the lower aspects of religion, politics and priesthood divide, but the higher aspects of religion, politics and priesthood unite. This three pillared drama of creation/destruction, through fall and division, and destruction/creation through atonement and unity is what makes life worth living—and the foundation for existence.

These principles are difficult to teach in writing. When I get glimpses into the reality behind our current reality– I try to write them only to find that they will inevitably be misunderstood. In some ancient traditions (as well as in the LDS temple tradition) it was forbidden to try and teach the “mysteries” or higher laws in writing because it was known that all men would distort them to fit their own egocentric perspectives. This is in fact why all organized religion, and written/organized religion “etched in stone” is part of the lower law. (Governed by heavenly beings of the “temporal” Aaronic priesthood of D&C 84 & 107, in LDS scriptural symbology) The “mysteries” aren’t really so “mysterious” they are simply the common sense principles of why things are the way they are, how the differing dimensions relate to each other, how to live good selfless lives without rigid laws or religious or political organizations as well as the secrets of how heaven and priesthood work in governance for those not ready for a higher law. But selfish people tend to take any knowledge and use it to selfishly control or hurt others through manipulation, psychological hegemony, sexual coercion and gratification or violence. Because of this most mortals are governed either politically or religiously by the lower law until they can show they are unselfish enough to raise their consciousness to the emancipated levels. Some good hearted “apostates” who leave the church have done just that. This process of growing into higher levels of goodness in freedom continues throughout life and after death. It could be said that the higher law has only two rules, love God and love your neighbor along with yourself. It is a very free system. The lower given to Moses had ten commandments, to which hundreds were added because the people wanted and needed them. The same is typical of every dispensation. “Higher” god’s give the two eternal commandments and if the people can’t handle it, the lower gods give them more; to which humans continually multiply until God finally has to overthrow their oppressive political and religious systems.

 

Origins of organized earthly religions
-all churches started by “true messengers” or prophets of the higher beings which lead us have the secrets of their lower nature hidden within their teachings as well as guide posts pointing to the source of “true religion” (James 1:27). The true seeker will see these messages and learn that he must see past the visible, lower aspects of organized religion if he wants to learn “truth”.

Diagram of the spirit world by J.S.M. Ward

Diagram of the spirit world by J.S.M. Ward

In Mormonism it is made quite obvious in the temple ceremony. When Adam (representing all mankind) wants more truth, who sends it to him? Lucifer comes and says in essence, I hear you asking God for truth… well if you want religion, I will give you religion and it will be the philosophies of men mingled with scripture (truth). Only after Adam doesn’t believe what is taught by the organized religions of the world, do the higher beings (symbolized by Jehovah and Elohim) send him truth by way of true messengers who DO NOT give Adam (mankind) any organized religions, but instead give him personal (secret) tokens and signs symbolizing the stages & ideals of a true marriage relationship (the analogous relationship between the gods and their people as explained in other articles on this site). It is unfortunate that many of the even more blunt aspects of relationship between Lucifer and organized religion have been taken out the Mormon Temple Endowment perhaps leaving many Mormons to believe the LDS Church Hierarchy is where one should turn if he wants light and knowledge from God (even though they, like Peter James & John, are true light bringers to a certain extent). Anyway, I doubt the reason for their exclusion was purposeful deception and the general gist is still there, and I don’t say any of this to demonize Mormonism, Mormon leadership or organized religion. In Mormonism, Lucifer is the archetype of the left-hand or negative path, which is unity through force & control. He is the antithesis to Christ or an “anti-Christ”. His doctrine of autocratic government, force, manipulation and violence is thoroughly embedded in most the political and religious systems in this world. His doctrines are deeply embedded into the revelations of the Old testament and as the New Testaments teaches of the Law of Moses, are “a schoolmaster to bring us unto Christ”.

Just as “it is by the wicked that the wicked are punished” (Mormon 4:5), it is also by the “wicked” that the wicked are ruled. (“Wicked” only by human standards. Celestial beings do not take sides, they simply maintain the balance/justice in the universe. But they also don’t go around killing people, it is negative terrestrial gods like lucifer & his priesthood who do this.) People are ruled by the level of heaven they are ready for, and for those who reject the higher laws and priesthood as both the Children of Moses and early saints did, they are passed down to heavenly beings who rule more autocratically and with less mercy.  Oahspe, J.S.M. Ward, Swedenborg and a host of other material have a lot information to help a Mormon see their place in God’s great plan. The LDS Church has so much truth, and God’s hand was so involved in its creation. But there comes a point in our eternal progression where in order to keep ascending toward oneness an LDS member must stop calling themselves a “Mormon” and start calling themselves a “Christian” (That doesn’t mean you leave the church, it has more to do with one’s point of view). Furthermore, as a greater degree of unity is sought, one will give up the “Christian” title and join hands with all men calling themselves simply children of God— this egoless and self sacrificing, nondiscriminatory unity is indeed what Christ came to teach. (see above diagram) It is only for the purpose of preserving agency that all organized religions are given a good amount of scriptural and traditional material which seems encourages avenues of increased self-righteousness, isolation, elitism and service to the self and ego.

-one need only look to the founding of most lasting religions to see more evidence of the lower nature of organized religions. Neither Moses, Buddha, Christ or Joseph Smith really started their respective religions. They more properly revealed truth, and “gave the people what they wanted”, mingled with what they needed; and then left the scene completely unfinished, allowing their successors to construct the organized, structural part of the religion according to the wants and desires of the people of the time. Levi, Joshua, Peter, Paul, and Brigham were not bad people, but they were all blinded in part by cultural bias and personal selfishness and created systems with a balance of mixed material (good & bad) which preserve people’s agency by giving them a “fast-tracked” avenue to exaltation through the negative (selfishness) or positive (unselfishness) paths. As the Law of One states

This Ark [of the Covenant & Tabernacle] was designed to constitute the place where from the priests… could draw their power and feel the presence of the One Creator. However, it is to be noted that this entire arrangement was designed, not by the one known as Jehovah, but rather was designed by negative entities preferring this method of creating an elite called the Sons of Levi.

It became an object of power in this way and, to those whose faith was untarnished by unrighteousness or separation, this power designed for negativity became positive and is so to this day, to those truly in harmony with the experience of service. Thus the negative forces were partially successful but the positively oriented Moses, gave to your planetary peoples the possibility of a path to the One Infinite Creator which is completely positive.

This is in common with each of your orthodox religious systems which have all become somewhat mixed in orientation, yet offer a pure path to the One Creator which is seen by the pure seeker.

Christ came to show the path to those who start to see behind the veil of organized religion & politics.  As shown more clearly in restored gospels such as The Aquarian Gospel of Christ, he realized at an early age that much of Judaic religion was more influenced by Lucifer and the Gods of separation and force than the Gods of Unity and freedom.  But he also realized that psychologically harmonizing the dark and the light was the gateway to exaltation.  He travelled the world to learn the depths of all the great religions and he harmonized all their truths into one whole. He saw behind the symbols and unified his consciousness with that of the “Fathers”.  He did not “leave” Judaism even though it “looked beyond the mark” and was essentially controlled by Lucifer. He was excommunicated, but still sought to teach others how to exit the illusion of telestial glory and the domination of its mind-controlling political and religious lower priesthood. He allowed himself to be martyred, not to bring non-Jews (ie non-mormons) to repentance. But to help the jewish people see that their religion was corrupt and devilish. To free those captive to both sin and Judaism.  To quell the tide of self-righteous revolutionist and give the nation of Israel 40 more years of warning before destruction.  And most of all, he died as a symbol pointing toward a much larger sacrifice that plays out in the terrestrial arena.  Where terrestrial positively oriented groups self-sacrifice themselves in order to neutralize the unquenchable desire of negative service-to-self groups for galactic power, authority and control.

 

Seeing The Face of God…

first-vision

Introduction

There are many, many, many people in this world who honestly claim to have seen God or Christ. The vast majority of these occurrences happen during near-death experiences or in visionary states of altered consciousness. (see near-death.com for examples) A few even occur in full consciousness with natural eyes just as one man would talk to another. Those of different religious persuasions have these very real experiences too, although they call the light being/beings which they see by different names according to their religious biases.  If you are not already familiar with the God-encountering experiences of the differing religious icons of the world (such as Muhammad’s experiences, Joseph Smith’s, Buddha’s, or the scores of other religious founders, and uncounted near-death experiences of normal people) I might suggest you take a bit of time to read a few dozen of them. And from that context I would like to explain the experience from an LDS scriptural perspective, and then from a pluralistic context.

In my opinion, to properly understand these experiences it helps to first have a sound understanding of our earth’s cosmology (see my article Eternal Progression, Degrees of Glory, and the Resurrection). It also helps to understand the deeply symbolic meaning in the phrase “see the face of God”. To sum things up, I think there are many beings who watch over our planet from what could be termed higher densities or dimensions (heavens) or alternate levels of consciousness. Because the planes these beings inhabit vibrate far more quickly than ours, when people of this plane view these beings or realms they are perceived as light (often even when only perceived through visionary states).  The same is often true for the craft used by these beings. This life is a time for us to choose the group which we will join in our path to the higher planes. Truly “seeing God” and entering His rest is the summation of that choice.

Outline

-God / the Gods or higher beings teach men according to their understanding. If you are Christian it seems they will teach you according to your understanding, the same is true for a hindu or buddhist or muslim.

-Each religion has a multi-leveled counterpart in the earth’s 3rd density spirit world. These organizations seek to funnel people up to a state of consciousness where they can interact with the higher physical densities (resurrections).  Again it is necessary to understand earth’s cosmology to understand how this all works (Eternal Progression, Degrees of Glory, and the Resurrection)

-There are many levels of beings which can interface with man. In Mormon terms it could be a telestial spirit (3rd density being from earth’s spirit world- or “ministering spirit”), or a resurrected terrestrial being (4rth density being/angel symbolized by “Christ” in Christianity), or a celestial being (5th density being symbolized by “the Father” in christianity).

-Nearly all beings which interface with our earth are 3rd or 4th density beings (telestial or terrestrial).  For Mormons D&C 76 describes this saying that Telestial kingdoms are ministered to by the Terrestrial and so on..)

-The 4rth density (Terrestial realm) is still a polarized realm.  That means there are beings of positive and negative polarity in this order who can also be perceived as light beings.  The negative polarity is unity through means of autocratic domination; Lucifer or Satan being the Christian archetype.  In biblical terms the fact that negative higher dimensional beings are also perceived by lower dimensional beings as light is taught by statements like “Satan himself is transformed into an angel of light” (2 Cor 11:14).

-By upper 5th density there ceases to be meaningful polarity. These realms and beings symbolized by “the Celestial” kingdom and the presence of “the Father” in mormonism, watch over all interactions made by terrestrial beings to telestial beings. They assure that no unethical interactions occur. They maintain agency and balance. They assure appearances occur only after an appropriate “call” has been made. They oversee the process of harvest where terrestrial groups seek and assimilate telestial initiates and initiate groups.

-“Christ” in Mormonism and Christianity is an archetype of a all positive group consciousness. However, the biblical Jesus is in fact a member of the highest counsel or “spirit-world” group which is funneling souls upward through the various levels to a resurrected “off planet” counterpart. This might be hard to understand, but in the resurrected terrestrial realm, a type of group is formed where all members of the group are united in a shared consciousness where the thoughts of all are available to all.  The group is highly unified and the acts/words of one always reflect the will of the group as a whole. This is symbolically taught in many parts of the LDS and biblical canon. The Law of One terms this a ‘social memory complex’ (symbolized in Christianity by the communion/church or the body of Christ).  When an emissary of one of these groups makes contact with an initiate, they might call themselves “Christ” or they might just let you call them “Christ” (or whatever your religious bias dictates).  For reasons which will be discussed in the next point, it is important to understand that “Christ” is a title, and in truth all those who share this order are completely equal in authority, honor, doctrine and standing. (Christ is a Greek translation for the Hebrew word Messiah meaning an ‘Anointed One’, which is roughly equivalent to the Tibetan Lama, Hindu Maitreya or Muslim Mahdi)

-Negative 4rth order resurrected terrestrial beings are not equal. (Followers of “Lucifer” in Christian terms) They exist in a starkly hierarchical top-down autocratic system closely resembling that of many religions and nations. They are led by a beloved king/leader (dictator) and each member of the group willingly submits to his autocratic rule. Lower members of the group believe this leader to be selflessly benevolent, but he is infact a very cunning selfish liar. If a “true Christ” or positive/selfless terrestrial resurrected being makes contact with an initiate, an emissary of a negative group will be allowed to come in person or through thought to tempt the initiate with teachings which seek to persuade the initiate toward their selfish autocratic religious and political system. Their doctrine is one of service-to-self through exclusivity, control/fear and superiority (pride). The law of agency, watched over by celestial beings, dictates that equal opportunity for recruitment of converts must be given to both the positive (selfless) and negative (selfish) sides. This is why both sides are very selective in their personal contacts. Often, telestial initiates cannot tell the difference between the two, as both sides are very wise and the negative side is unimaginably deceptive. (Able to fake positive emotion and positive logic.) Both negative and positive heavenly groups have influenced every major religious and political system in earth’s history. The negative side is most interested in power and converts which increase its power, and uses decoy techniques to hide its real objectives.

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LDS Theology, like many religious traditions, teach about two fundamental “plans” for Eternal Progression. Works such as “the law of one” go into great detail concerning the specifics of these plans and how the higher beings heading these plans seek to harvest souls for the next round of progression.

-The more strongly a disciple or initiate seeks information or contact with “Jesus” or “god”, the more influence both positive and negative groups will be allowed to interact with him/her.  This is the true “trail of your faith” and the gateway to harvest.  Seeking “the face of God” alone is far more dangerous (as far as possibilities of deception goes), because we really only “know” ourselves through the use of mirrors — a function played by other people.  It is common for individuals to think they are seeking or seeing Jesus of the Bible, and yet they are actually interfacing with the New Testament’s antichrist (the antithesis of the free and equal system Jesus came to teach). The keys to knowing who we are dealing with is the thoughts given to us by those we are seeking contact with. Are they teaching us to love, accept and serve others in ways meaningful to them?  Or are they teaching us to control others (call to repentance or enlist in a cause) in self-righteous ways which really only serve ourselves or our group? Are we serving God by loving and serving others in equality, or are we serving ourselves by serving “a God” which is a projection of our own egos; trying to control, belittle, outsmart or outperform others in self righteousness. Do we await a dictatorial Messiah (or al-Mahdi/Maitreya/Krishna),  who will come to destroy the wicked, or a democratic one who will work with us to mercifully love and save the wicked by serving them without self-righteousness?  One who will bring order through force or one who will bring unity through wisdom? Do we delight in coming destruction or do we pray for peace?

-There is meaning and value to both the negative and positive paths.  Every religion on earth has been carefully crafted to contain scripture and doctrine endorsing both paths. The way is open for man to choose, and the path is guarded by very high beings with all power (as far as we are concerned).

 

-The Mormon religion (as all religion to some degree) is an accelerated gateway to harvest.  Harvest is a complicated topic, but as mentioned it has to do with being translated (dimension shifted) from the 3rd Density (telestial glory) to the 4rth Density (terrestrial glory).  This process happens in groups and has to do with harmonizing with the vibrations of existing 4th Density groups.  This translation from our current state of isolated/separated consciousness to the more unified group consciousness of the next stage of existence is symbolized by passing through a “veil” (a separation) into the “presence or face” of the Lord. (the Lord being your chosen terrestrial group).  LDS scripture and the temple ceremony teach this in many symbolic terms. Take these verses from the Doctrine and Covenants for instance.

68 Therefore, sanctify yourselves that your minds become single to God, and the days will come that you shall see him; for he will unveil his face unto you, and it shall be in his own time, and in his own way, and according to his own will. (D&C 88:68)

1 Verily, thus saith the Lord: It shall come to pass that every soul who forsaketh his sins and cometh unto me, and calleth on my name, and obeyeth my voice, and keepeth my commandments, shall see my face and know that I am; (D&C 93:1)

16 Yea, and my presence shall be there, for I will come into it, and all the pure in heart that shall come into it shall see God. (D&C 97:16)

 

-The narrative of Moses seeing God typifies the principles given above.  Like many others, Moses was foreordained to be a leader and dispensational head in the pre-existence, just as the people of Israel are composed of souls fordained to be a microcosm or type of the forces acting on the world at large.  Thus Moses sought the “face of God” and was contacted by emissaries of both positive and negative terrestrial groups (each calling themselves Yahweh or Jehovah).  As with all mortals, Moses was tasked with discerning the difference between these groups and incorporated large amounts of practices and doctrines from both sides.  In hindsight, it is fairly easy to see which forces posing as “Yahweh” are responsible for the differing aspects of the exodus narrative. Take for instance when Moses comes down from the mount and learns that his brother has helped the people fashion an idol after the manner of the Egyptians.

25 Moses saw that Aaron had let the people get completely out of control, much to the amusement of their enemies.
26 So he stood at the entrance to the camp and shouted, “All of you who are on the LORD’s side, come here and join me.” And all the Levites gathered around him.
27 Moses told them, “This is what the LORD, the God of Israel, says: Each of you, take your swords and go back and forth from one end of the camp to the other. Kill everyone—even your brothers, friends, and neighbors.”
28 The Levites obeyed Moses’ command, and about 3,000 people died that day.
29 Then Moses told the Levites, “Today you have ordained yourselves for the service of the LORD, for you obeyed him even though it meant killing your own sons and brothers. Today you have earned a blessing.” (NLT Ex 32:25–29)

Ten verses earlier the negative aspect of Moses’ “Lord” had threatened to kill all of Israel for the umpteen time, but Moses had begged for them to be spared. But like many parents, Moses got upset when he came down and saw how unruly his people were, and in that anger he followed the doctrine of the negative path, which is non-patience, non-mercy and rule through fear and violence. He was inspired to find those who would mercilessly kill for him and then make them his elite. This act was in accordance with the doctrine of righteousness through violence taught by the negative Terrestrial God (Lord) Moses was obeying at that moment. Much like Mohammed and Hitler, this violence culminated in the creation of a religious/priesthood and racial elite through jihad, genocide and racial cleansing. A system which the positive “Lord” tried hard to keep in balance through later Old Testament prophets and finally through the very positively oriented Jesus Christ.

There is a complexity is these principles concerning unity that can be hard to understand. One must remember that in Celestial Beings (symbolized by the Father) there is no division or imbalance. They have harmonized positive and negative paths and are One with all lower beings. This is also the goal of all those who seek to progress to higher intelligence. Christ becoming “one with the Father” or Christ being the “Jehovah of the Old Testament” can only be fully understood within that context. The closer one comes to the Father or Creator and source of all intelligence the less division exists.

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Some texts refer to the differing planes or densities as “projections” of God. This is because as the planes move further from their source, their fallen or divided nature is greater.

The principles of the positive and negative paths are explained at length in “the Law of One” material. LDS doctrine and scripture adds a second clear witness to the idea that the plan of Lucifer was to bring righteousness and unity through force (D&C 29:36–38, Moses 4:1–6). He is a terrestrial being with priesthood and power and seeks to bring about the Father’s plan of exaltation through autocratic rule which directs the honor and glory to himself. His plan is the antithesis of Jesus’ plan of unity through mercy, equality, humility and freedom. He seeks to destroy Jesus plan and sees it as weak and ineffective. He is the inspiration behind all dictatorships and autocratic systems which use manipulation, violence or fear. He is also the inspiration behind all religious systems which use propaganda, delusion, force and self-righteousness and give glory to their exclusive “Lord” (himself) instead of the Father Of All.

-As a final note it helps to reiterate that all polarity becomes unified (or at-oned) by the celestial (5th density) level.  Thus the negative and positive attributes of the differing terrestrial “Gods” or groups are as the light and dark in the Yin and the Yang. They are both just differing attributes of the One True God.  This is hard to explain and comprehend, but the important lesson is that in this life we choose our path to the Father in whom there is perfect unity… but we should realize that we need not demonize the other paths. Whether it be the violence of the Old Testament God contrasted with the pacifism of Jesus or the violence of Mohammadian Jihad contrasted with the pacifism of Buddha, the Highest God’s have set up these religions and path to lead mankind to unity and reconciliation.  And regardless of the polarity of the Lord’s face we seek, we will one day see how all aspects of God’s plan fit into one beautiful picture with many varying shades.

 

 

Finish Writing…

 

In regards to seeking angels.  Angels almost always speak to you telepathically through your thoughts. This is the meaning of the statement “angels speak by the power of the holy ghost… wherefore feast upon the words of Christ…” (2 Ne 32) Angels speak to us all the time, we just don’t know it. They don’t even need to be “present” to speak to you. But it is actually more important to learn to commune directly with God, (not Christ, but the Father or Most-High-God) than to get answers from angels. The same is true of the Second Comforter. Hopefully the advice you get from angels will point you in that direction. Seeing or speaking to angels often has negative consequences, and this is why there are strict rules restricting their interaction with you. One’s progress is markedly retarded once they “see” angels or the “face of the Lord”. The reason an adulterous generation seeks a sign is because of the comparative principles involved.

When we “see” the beauty of a body, it is easy to get distracted and forget that a person “is not their body”. Their mind and true self is veiled within that body. Its easy to get caught up in the outward appearance and forget that. The veiled darkness & blindness of this world acts as a catalyst to push our consciousness to connections with higher and higher spheres. At some point before going through the veil you will decide.. this is far enough, this is where I want to be.  As soon as you “see God” and pass through the veil that decision is pretty much made, and your potential for progression drastically slows. We should realize there is a great deal of subtlety hidden in the term “seeing God”.  It is mostly symbolic because in the highest sense it is not done with the eyes. When you finally do “see god” with “physical” eyes it will be a mediator god, and your progress toward the “Most High God” will be slowed.

A Bit on Moral Purity

What is purity?

Much like “truth”, purity is another word which often is hijacked and convoluted by society and/or organized religion. In a religious context, purity is most often associated with innocence, virginity or sexual abstinence.  The suggestion by religion often is that one who is “pure” is one who has not been “corrupted” by sin, forbidden sexuality or “Babylon” or the wicked world. I believe that although these colloquial definitions can be related to moral purity, they essentially miss the mark on a concept which is vitally important to one’s personal progression.

More properly, purity is defined as a state of being “unmixed with any other matter” (see webster’s dictionary). Gold is said to be pure if it is not mixed with other substances. A music note is pure if it is unmixed with other sounds. A musical chord is pure if it contains only the desired notes in perfect harmony. A color is pure by the same definition. And perhaps most importantly in our present context, an intention is pure if it is directed toward a single goal without being convoluted by conflicting ones. In this light purity is indeed a “straight and narrow path” to a goal. Thus personal purity in thought refers to a personal belief system that is not convoluted by conflicting, unharmonized or unbalanced ideologies.

At the heart of personal purity is a lack of conflict. In this light we see how purity is related to peace, harmony and balance. “Pure” white light, is light in which the whole rainbow spectrum is perfectly balanced. A “pure” natural environment is one which is in harmony and balance, and its purity is lost when elements are added to that environment which mix up that balanced environment. A “pure” individual is likewise one who is not mixed up or filled with inner conflict. Their inner and outer selves are at peace and in harmony. Their beliefs and actions are harmonic, and are in accord with their goals of what they want to do and who they want to be.

purityA traditional Christian religious definition of purity is certainly true in a sense, but what many fail to realize is that organized religion plays just as big a role in corrupting or convoluting the “pure” as the “wicked” world does. The great masters of this world have come to earth to show what’s possible. In nearly every case they defied the religious mores and regulations of their day in order to pursue a pure path to their chosen missions. One of the problem with organized religion is that they then often tend to block the “pure” path to obtaining desired experiences by their laws, standards and mores. For example, Christ was excommunicated for rejecting Judaic moral law and blaspheming their holy temple. In just about every case, the “true” prophets though history have shown their purity by rejecting or going against the mainstream political & religious systems of their day. They showed that purity is indeed following an unwavering path toward a god given desire in your heart regardless of what the present social or religious norms are.

In regards to sexual purity, we see it is related to innocence and virginity but not bound by these attributes. Historically speaking, in LDS or Biblical doctrine is it obvious one could be sexually pure regardless of whether they are virgins, monogamously married or indiscriminate polygamists. Sexual purity is our unwavering and unconvoluted, balanced path toward a specific sexual goal. So then we must firmly know our sexual goal in order to practice sexual purity. In Mormonism this sexual goal is encouraged to be marriage as a virgin in the temple to a “worthy” person. But the problem with trying to “teach” or instill a goal in someone is that if it conflicts with pre-existing deep seated desires or goals which lie in the heart of individuals it often throws them out of balance and destroys their purity. There are many “worthily” married LDS couples who are actually not “pure” because by trying to be “righteous” (by their perception of Mormon standards) they create conflict with their true inner desires, throw their inner harmony off balance and become miserable people who are not progressing upward toward their goals. Their goals become mixed and convoluted and so do their paths; and their lack of purity (finding a harmony which true to themselves as well as others) sooner or later manifests in extreme depression or divorce. The New Testament speaks often on the “deadness of the law” or the inefficient manner of teaching people how to “progress” through rules, regulations, standards and dogma. Truly the only way to achieve true happiness and the purest way to progress is to “live by the spirit”. We best help others do this by “teaching correct principles and then letting them govern themselves” which often means teaching idealistic social standards without strong expectations of individual outcome. (Which is a difficult task, and impossible without real love for, and personal relationships with, those we teach!) We help them form definite goals which achieve their true desires and then let them plot out their own course while following their inner voice. To lead others to a path of sexual purity is to help them form a sexual goal that harmonizes with their true inner desires, and then help them see which actions lead directly to that goal and which actions will lead them through a convoluted or conflicting round-about path. Any other path which does not truly respect the free agency of the individual will lead to the very pain which the teacher may be hoping to help the learner avoid.

In the Aquarian Gospel of Jesus Christ much is taught about purity. In the opening pages Mary and Elizabeth are taught by a Jewish Egyptian sage in Egypt about the destined missions of their sons. Elizabeth is taught that John has come as a living archetype of Purity, which prepares the world for Jesus, who will be the archetype for true love; and that purity is essential for love.

21 The only Savior of the world is love, and Jesus, son of Mary, comes to manifest that love to men.
22 Now, love cannot be manifest until its way has been prepared, and naught can rend the rocks and bring down lofty hills and fill the valleys up (balance the inequalities) , and thus prepare the way, but purity.
23 But purity in life men do not comprehend; and so, it, too, must come in flesh.
24 And you, Elizabeth, are blest because your son is purity made flesh, and he shall pave the way for love.
25 This age will comprehend but little of the works of Purity and Love; but not a word is lost, for in the Book of God’s Remembrance a registry is made of every thought, and word, and deed;
26 And when the world is ready to receive, lo, God will send a messenger to open up the book and copy from its sacred pages all the messages of Purity and Love.
27 Then every man of earth will read the words of life in language of his native land, and men will see the light, walk in the light and be the light.
28 And man again will be at one with God.

The relationship between purity and love is an interesting one, and something that I believe the current christian religions of the world teach poorly. As mentioned in the above verses, the world knows little of purity and love. The degenerate aspects of society do not even try to understand or achieve these ideals. The religions of the world strive toward them, but just like the Jewish culture to whom John and Jesus were sent, they miss the mark. They think purity and love comes through the law (or religious standards like the law of chastity, etc). But purity and love are not found in keeping moral strictures. They are in the balanced and harmonic use of gods energy or spirit; and this is not something that can be easily taught. A harlot can often be more full of purity and love than a high priest. This should be evident to a Christian by the fact that apparently harlots recognized and followed Jesus, while the High Priest (Pope or Prophet) and the Sanhedrin (ruling elders) of the Judaic religion rejected and had Christ murdered. And unfortunately this is a scene that plays over and over especially among the youth of Christianity. Because the religiously active “good” kids in the schools do not understand purity and love, they wrongly judge and despise the “bad” kids in school. Adversely, many of the rebellious kids in school do the same to the “goody two shoes” religious crowd. Neither understanding that love and purity are not determined as much by your behavior, but by the harmony between your actions and your beliefs. The balance between your inner and outer selves or how true you are to your inner voice and highest light (In LDS terms, one’s obedience to personal revelation, over organizational rules or worldly fads). Sexual abstinence does not guarantee sexual purity, nor does sexual promiscuity preclude it. In reality neither makes much of a difference, what matters is that you stay true to your own personal inner beliefs and let the free flow of God’s energy manifest in unselfish and unconvoluted ways.

This idea of following our inner light is taught well in the following dialogue,

15 And then the people asked, What must we do that we may make our bodies fit abiding places for the king?
16 And Jesus said, Whatever tends to purity in thought, and word, and deed will cleanse the temple of the flesh.
17 There are no rules that can apply to all, for men are specialists in sin; each has his own besetting sin,
18 And each must study for himself how he can best transmute his tendency to evil things to that of righteousness and love.
19 Until men reach the higher plane, and get away from selfishness, this rule will give the best results:
20 Do unto other men what you would have them do to you.

Another great dialog teaching the principles of purity and love is given in Chapter 8 of the same book. In this excerpt Mary and Elizabeth are taught concerning the higher and lower selves. It is by listening to and following our higher or spiritual self that our lower or carnal self is conquered. The carnal self follows after the philosophies and religions of the world. The higher or spiritual self follows the path god has laid out for us in our hearts. The difficulty in achieving purity is learning to listen to that higher inner voice and learning to differentiate it from our lower carnal voice or the voices programmed into us by society or earthly religion.

AGAIN Elihu met his pupils in the sacred grove and said,
2 No man lives unto himself; for every living thing is bound by cords to every other living thing.
3 Blest are the pure in heart; for they will love and not demand love in return.
4 They will not do to other men what they would not have other men do unto them.
5 There are two selfs; the higher and the lower self.
6 The higher self is human spirit clothed with soul, made in the form of God.
7 The lower self, the carnal self, the body of desires, is a reflection of the higher self, distorted by the murky ethers of the flesh.
8 The lower self is an illusion, and will pass away; the higher self is God in man, and will not pass away.
9 The higher self is the embodiment of truth; the lower self is truth reversed, and so is falsehood manifest.
10 The higher self is justice, mercy, love and right; the lower self is what the higher self is not.
11 The lower self breeds hatred, slander, lewdness, murders, theft, and everything that harms; the higher self is mother of the virtues and the harmonies of life.
12 The lower self is rich in promises, but poor in blessedness and peace; it offers pleasure, joy and satisfying gains; but gives unrest and misery and death.
13 It gives men apples that are lovely to the eye and pleasant to the smell; their cores are full of bitterness and gall.
14 If you would ask me what to study I would say, yourselfs; and when you well had studied them, and then would ask me what to study next, I would reply, your-selfs.
15 He who knows well his lower self, knows the illusions of the world, knows of the things that pass away; and he who knows his higher self, knows God; knows well the things that cannot pass away.
16 Thrice blessed is the man who has made purity and love his very own; he has been ransomed from the perils of the lower self and is himself his higher self.
17 Men seek salvation from an evil that they deem a living monster of the nether world; and they have gods that are but demons in disguise; all powerful, yet full of jealousy and hate and lust;
18 Whose favors must be bought with costly sacrifice of fruits, and of the lives of birds, and animals, and human kind.
19 And yet these gods possess no ears to hear, no eyes to see, no heart to sympathize, no power to save.
20 This evil is a myth; these gods are made of air, and clothed with shadows of a thought.
21 The only devil from which men must be redeemed is self, the lower self. If man would find his devil he must look within; his name is self.
22 If man would find his savior he must look within; and when the demon self has been dethroned the savior, Love, will be exalted to the throne of power.
23 The David of the light is Purity, who slays the strong Goliath of the dark, and seats the savior, Love, upon the throne.

Purity is following your higher self. It is overcoming the law and lower priesthood and learning to walk by the spirit. Purity is not being tarnished or convoluted by the doctrines of others (be they religious or worldly)–it is following the Spirit as it guides you personally. This is why John the Baptist, the archetype of purity lived alone in the wilderness away from organized religion and society. Purity is being true to yourself by living your inner beliefs or the direct personal revelation that God puts into your heart. The following section from Oahspe 9 does a great job of explaining the importance of personal revelation and the difference between direct and indirect inspiration.

34/9.1. Man I created with capacity to distinguish My direct from My indirect inspirations, says Jehovah.
34/9.2. And My angels gave him rules, by which he could make manifest the difference between the two.
34/9.3. Man has said: Behold, any man may say: Thus says Jehovah! || One kills his neighbor, saying: I was thus inspired by Jehovah. Another practices all goodness, and his words are wisdom and comprehension, and he says: I was inspired by Jehovah!
34/9.4. I say to you, O man: In this I also gave you liberty; therefore, judge for yourself as to which came from Me, and which from his surroundings.
34/9.5. You shall be your own judge in all things.
34/9.6. Behold, I sent My God to judge you; but you shall also judge the judgments of your God; and afterward, you shall judge yourself in the same way.
34/9.7. I created you a perpetual judge, not only to judge yourself and all the world besides, but you shall judge Me, your Creator.
34/9.8. I have given you many sacred books, and I said to you:
34/9.9. Unless you judge them, you shall be caught in a snare; I charge you, you shall accept nothing from men, angels, or Gods.
34/9.10. But you shall rely on your own inspiration from your Creator.
34/9.11. Such is My word which I speak to your own soul.
34/9.12. What comes to you from a man is indirect inspiration; what comes from an angel is indirect; and what comes from the Gods is indirect.
34/9.13. No direct inspiration by Me can come to you from a book, or a sermon, or from anything in all My creations, but only from Me, your Creator.
34/9.14. Though one man receives direct inspiration from Me, and he writes it in a book, yet, when it comes to you, it is indirect inspiration, and is not binding upon you, except only so far as My direct inspiration upon you moves you to receive it.
34/9.15. Yet, I did not create all men with the same clearness to perceive Me, and to frame My wisdom in words.
34/9.16. Only a few will turn away from the inspiration of the world, and come to Me.
34/9.17. Many profess Me in words, but they do not fulfill My inspiration in practice.
34/9.18. My words come easily to the pure in heart; and My wisdom shows itself in the frame of their speech.
34/9.19. For I give them words, just as I give inspiration to the animal, to do perfectly and wisely the parts for which I created them.
34/9.20. Behold, I show the dumb spider how to weave its geometrical net; is it a greater wonder for Me, to give words of wisdom to a righteous man?
34/9.21. Or to put him in the way of receiving My revelations?
34/9.22. Or to show him the harmony and glory of My creations?

Sexual purity is an extension of the same concept–having sexual relations with those that your heart (your personal inspiration) says you are in harmony and compatible with. This is the meaning of “true marriage”. It is not just getting married as a virgin in the temple by a priest and then being “faithful”. Faithfulness is true love which is an unselfish love that gives (sexually and physically) instead of takes. It is a balanced love that gives but at the same time doesn’t give too much by playing the martyr; it does what is wise, balanced and most harmonious for all. It is true appropriate action untarnished by what others “say” you should do.

This is explained well in the following excerpt attributed to Jesus,

2 Now, marriage in the sight of law is but a promise made by man and woman, by the sanction of a priest, to live for aye in harmony and love.
3 No priest nor officer has power from God to bind two souls in wedded love.
4 What is the marriage tie? Is it comprised in what a priest or officer may say?
5 Is it the scroll on which the officer or priest has written the permission for the two to live in marriage bonds?
6 Is it the promise of the two that they will love each other until death?
7 Is love a passion that is subject to the will of man?
8 Can man pick up his love, as he would pick up precious gems, and lay it down, or give it out to any one?
9 Can love be bought and sold like sheep?
10 Love is the power of God that binds two souls and makes them one; there is no power on earth that can dissolve the bond.
11 The bodies may be forced apart by man or death for just a little time; but they will meet again.
12 Now, in this bond of God we find the marriage tie; all other unions are but bonds of straw, and they who live in them commit adultery,
13 The same as they who satisfy their lust without the sanction of an officer or priest.
14 But more than this; the man or woman who indulges lustful thoughts commits adultery.
15 Whom God has joined together man cannot part; whom man has joined together live in sin.

These are interesting concepts and point to the difficulty in achieving the deepest levels of purity, or being true to our highest light. I believe the definition of “lustful thoughts” in these verses is thoughts full of sexual desire which seeks to possess or be possessed of another without love (harmony & unselfish giving). It is taking from someone instead of giving to them. Common sense should reinforce the lessons here that religious or civil marriage do not make sexual union “loving” or righteous. Nor do lack of religious or civil marriage make sexual union “unloving” or unrighteous. Righteousness is interrelated with purity which is being in harmony with our higher spiritual self which teaches us to love others selflessly. Religions and Societies constantly try to use ritual and rigid laws to keep order and teach people the higher ways; always with the same poor results. Additionally, in both cases selfish individuals always eventually end up heaping more and more laws on the populace to control them for their own ego-filled reason of power or self-righteousness. It is from these laws that Christ came to free both the Jews and us.

18 The Hebrew prophets, seers, and givers of the law, were men of power, men of holy thought, and they bequeathed to us a system of philosophy that was ideal; one strong enough and good enough to lead our people to the goal of perfectness.
19 But carnal minds repudiated holiness; a priesthood filled with selfishness arose, and purity in heart became a myth; the people were enslaved.
20 The priesthood is the curse of Israel; but when he comes, who is to come, he will proclaim emancipation for the slaves; my people will be free.
21 Behold, for God has made incarnate wisdom, love and light, which he has called Immanuel.

This is what I believe Joseph came to give, and the eventual future of Mormonism if it stays “pure”. To offer freedom or emancipation to the slaves of corrupted religion and sin. However, currently we are not pure. Not because we are too lascivious or sexualized but because we are not true to our inner voice. And we are not true to our inner voice because we have allowed ourselves to be corrupted by the polarized maelstrom of medieval Christianity (teaching sexual prudery) and popular western culture (teaching no sexual restraint). I believe a large Part of true purity comes through sexual emancipation balanced by wisdom & love. For too long has sex been held hostage by the prudery of the dark ages. Joseph Smith’s ideas on morality and sexuality are, even today, too free and liberal for most LDS members to accept. Additionally, much like the children of Israel at mount Sinai, it would seem that from the early days in the Church the people have been too selfish to handle the kind of freedom god would like to give them. They thirst for regulation, idols and lower laws written in stone—likely because they know they are not unselfish enough to handle the freedom of the higher law. I believe self-righteousness has caused many LDS church presidents to follow the historical trend of heaping additional moral laws upon their people for self-righteous reasons; and that these strictures have cause a large amount of unneeded division among the people. But the balance between unconditionally loving others and following the “law” exists for important reasons, and to each who would strive for purity and love; the spirit is ever present to guide individuals to transmute the laws written in stone into laws written on the fleshy tablets of our hearts. I also believe in this generation the spirit is being poured out in great measure in all the churches trying to free them from the pitfalls of organizational “orthodoxy” which cause division; and lead them to a more free and loving condition. Much like a young innocent and virile teenager… a more pure condition.

Personal Note:
In light of these definitions, I personally like to think of purity in light of pursuing a path to salvation, which I define as balance and harmony with ALL that IS through service to others by directing each action purely to that course following the steps of self realization. At face value, these concepts seem to contrast irreconcilably with the usual Mormon and Medieval Christian concepts of focusing on controlling the self above all else. But I believe Christ came to show a better way of focusing on finding love, understanding, and forgiveness in our experiences instead of punishment, control and retribution. In application this means not trying so hard to fit a rigid mold of how you “should be”, or spending your mental emotional energy controlling yourself as a dictator would his people. But instead spend your energy living life and finding the love and meaning in the experiences God sends your way (be they good or evil by social standards). Let the experiences come as they may, and as they come go through these steps to progress through the experience; first, consider all experiences, relationships and desires in relation to our own personality then to its effect on and relationship to society, then find unconditional love & acceptance through it so it can be used to enhance free communication which serves others, then through interpersonal interaction the well understood experience will facilitate active energy exchange to occur with others, and eventually sacramental unity (atonement) with the divine. All without getting sidetracked into paths devoid of purpose.

In my personal life I have found only pain by following the “mosaic” approach of focusing heavily on self-control, measuring up, and retribution. But in time I finally came to the realization that it was too much focus on these attributes that caused the Jews to not recognize and crucify Christ. Christ did not fit “the mold” that these Pharisaical Jews had built to define righteousness. And because their personal and religious focus was on control instead of acceptance and love, they simply could not recognize their own king when he came. They were too busy controlling the “imperfect” aspects of themselves and others to love themselves, and so they naturally did the same to Jesus and others. This is why they were so angry and miserable, and sought to kill Jesus–because they could not repress and control his “imperfections” (by their perception) as was their habit. Christ came to free people from the law by showing them love, acceptance and forgiveness–which is actually the true fulfillment of the law anyway. When I found love within myself, I found Christ and that allowed me to let go of the law, and find happiness and joy. In a symbiotic way I believe it is love which allows us to be pure (which is acting true to your inner conscious, or the light of Christ within)—and it is purity which helps us to find love in all the experiences of our lives.

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Commentary on the LDS Articles of Faith

LDS Articles of Faith with my commentary

1 We believe in God, the Eternal Father, and in His Son, Jesus Christ, and in the Holy Ghost.

All of these are profound esoteric symbols of which volumes could be written. They are not simplistic dogmatic statements of one sided mortal-like individuals. God is the Creator and the Creation . He is a composite of all that is . He is in the Sun, moon and stars and the power by which they were made. He is in the Galaxy and the power by which it was made and so forth. He is all of creation. We are His “members” and a part of him much like a body is formed of many cells (D&C 88:6–13, Acts 17:28–29, Col. 1:16–19, Romans 12:5, John 15:1–7, John 17:11,21). All descriptions of Him end in paradox. All descriptions of him are partial and distorted by human perception. He is Father/Mother because he is Creator. He is Eternal because He dwells apart from time or relative mortal dimensions. Mankind knows Him only through what they can perceive of him… what He has revealed of himself to us. The Creation & Creator reveals itself through the symbol of the Son (Hebrews 1:1–3). The Son is Created yet also contains the power to Create, yet the Son is also Eternal. The Son is less than the Father (John 14:28) and yet since the Father is a composite of all that exists, the Son is part of the Father and thus One with and equal with the Father (John 14:8–11). The Son (created thing) reveals the Father (creator/creation). Jesus Christ is a living archetype or symbol sent by the Creator to teach us about creation and ourselves. Christ means Messiah or Anointed One. Jesus (or better translated Joshua) means loosely Jehovah is Savior. The Lord God is Jehovah Elohim. Jehovah is the Name given to the creator by the ancients because it contained the most three fundamental sounds Ye-Ho-Vih (see Oahspe). Elohim is a plural form of the Word “El” meaning God. Yet despite its plural form it is always used in a singular context showing the paradox of God’s Singularity and Plurality. A concept the GodHead also is trying to teach. Since God the Creator is a composite of all that exists, He is many. Yet since all his Creation is a part of Him just as cells in an organism or Members/limbs in our body He is One. Since the God’s who deal with our earth in the galactic scheme are perfect microcosms of the God’s above them and They presumably act in unison and form a chain which leads through infinity to the Most High God, we wrap them all into a term which is both singular and plural. El-ohim. Jesus was one of many mediators sent to help us relate to the Creator. To save us from the darkness of ignorance by revealing the creator. Just like all of us, He was the Son of God and yet he was God because like all of us He is a part of creation. Thus like the Elohim he is both Father and Son (Mosiah 15:1–5). To truly understand God and our full relationship to God is impossible for mortal man with his limited perceptions. But by understanding the microcosm of human parent and child we better understand macrocosm of eternity and our relationship with it.

2 We believe that men will be punished for their own sins, and not for Adam’s transgression.

In other words we believe the concept of original sin as taught by the Medieval Christian churches is a convoluted and corrupted version of a true principle. Much like the “God-Head”, the creation drama taught in Exodus 1-3 is a historical allegory meant to teach us very profound philosophical concepts concerning the purpose and destiny of mankind. (By historical allegory I mean we believe it really happened in some place at some time, but its historical accuracy or reality were not important to the writer, as the revelator’s goal was to teach eternal philosophical concepts which play out again and again throughout history, not to give details of some one-time historical incident). Go into detail about how the creation drama relates to original sin, that mankind is lost because we have been veiled from a knowledge of our true character as part of god, so we need to be redeemed or saved from our own ignorance. Salvation comes form seeing our relation to all of creation. Redeemed from our pride and ego that suggests we are gods or the most or only intelligent life in our planet, solar system or galaxy; and thus not accountable to the rest of creation for ways our actions effect others/the creation. Redeemed from ignorance which allows us to be oppressed by more powerful individuals and beings. Redeemed from the veil which hides the knowledge of our unity with creation which makes us part of God and indeed “a god”. So the concept that we are a lost and fallen people is true, and in need of the truth of our reality which brings redemption from ignorance. But the Medieval Christian churches convoluted these profound philosophical truths into practices which suggested that if a person dies without baptism, they are damned to some tortuous Hell. They did not see that the ritual of baptism had no power to save us from ignorance (which is essentially the meaning of and reason for “Hell”), but that baptism was a symbol pointing us to the idea that we can be “raised” from the death slumber which is ignorant mortal life. More on this later.

3 We believe that through the Atonement of Christ, all mankind may be saved, by obedience to the laws and ordinances of the Gospel.

We believed mankind may be saved, but saved from what? Saved from separation. It is separation which causes all negative aspects of mortal life.

4 We believe that the first principles and ordinances of the Gospel are: first, Faith in the Lord Jesus Christ; second, Repentance; third, Baptism by immersion for the remission of sins; fourth, Laying on of hands for the gift of the Holy Ghost.

The ritual of baptism had no power to save us from ignorance (which is essentially the meaning of and reason for “Hell”), but that baptism was a symbol pointing us to the idea that we can be “raised” from the death slumber which is ignorant mortal life. It is the redemption from the grave which is a symbol of mortal life. As

5 We believe that a man must be called of God, by prophecy, and by the laying on of hands by those who are in authority, to preach the Gospel and administer in the ordinances thereof.

6 We believe in the same organization that existed in the Primitive Church, namely, apostles, prophets, pastors, teachers, evangelists, and so forth.

7 We believe in the gift of tongues, prophecy, revelation, visions, healing, interpretation of tongues, and so forth.

8 We believe the Bible to be the word of God as far as it is translated correctly; we also believe the Book of Mormon to be the word of God.

9 We believe all that God has revealed, all that He does now reveal, and we believe that He will yet reveal many great and important things pertaining to the Kingdom of God.

10 We believe in the literal gathering of Israel and in the restoration of the Ten Tribes; that Zion (the New Jerusalem) will be built upon the American continent; that Christ will reign personally upon the earth; and, that the earth will be renewed and receive its paradisiacal glory.

11 We claim the privilege of worshiping Almighty God according to the dictates of our own conscience, and allow all men the same privilege, let them worship how, where, or what they may.

12 We believe in being subject to kings, presidents, rulers, and magistrates, in obeying, honoring, and sustaining the law.

13 We believe in being honest, true, chaste, benevolent, virtuous, and in doing good to all men; indeed, we may say that we follow the admonition of Paul—We believe all things, we hope all things, we have endured many things, and hope to be able to endure all things. If there is anything virtuous, lovely, or of good report or praiseworthy, we seek after these things.

My Articles of Faith
If I was going to write out my personal beliefs or my personal articles of my faith, I think this is what they would be (at least at the time of writing this… I would image they change from year to year).

1. Agency or preserving the ability of all men to exercise free will is the first principle of the gospel. All other doctrines and principles are inferior appendages to this.

2. Unity in selfless service or love is our goal & desire. We wish to convince all men to use their agency to choose good; which we define as unity through selfless service or love of others. It is the central theme of our religion.

3. Wisdom, light and knowledge of truth are the prize and outcome of unity through selfless service. One day I believe these principles will unites us with even those who seek to progress through the illusory path of selfishness or putting love of self before love of others.

4. I believe in the ONE God. A God who is Father and Creator to the earth and all mankind. I believe God creates through repeating processes of separation and unification, which makes existence possible and meaningful. I believe division of mankind has been the prevailing system of creation on earth for many thousands of years, but our hope is in the Good News sent by God through many messengers teaching that the age of prevailing global unification is upon us. We seek to serve with God toward this global unity through selfless service.

5. I believe the ONE creator to the Human Race has played a part in revealing ALL religion and science to mankind. I believe his purposes were sometimes to unite and other times to divide. I believe as the prophesied era of unification unfolds, He is now maintaining and upholding those religions and sciences which show they can unify mankind through selfless service. We seek the maintenance of the Creator through His active force.

6. I believe in direct communion with the ONE creator of all that exists. We also believe in many mediators who stand between the ONE creator and the MANY creations, attempting to explain Him in concepts people can understand. I believe Christ was the quintessential mediator of this epoch in teaching the ways of love. We also believe that Buddha, Mohammed and all other great religious leaders were mediators of the Creator. We also believe in chains of higher mediators not of this world. I believe all mediators point the way to unity with the Father or ONE creator. I believe communion takes place through God’s Holy Spirit and Divine Energy/Light.

7. I believe mankind has an innate desire to know his Creator. I believe in this quest the pride of mankind leads him to idolize, rigidly define and depict their Creator and HIS will. I believe the desire of a child to pretend he can accurately explain his Parent most often leads to division. I believe that the best way to know the creator is through selflessly serving each other. I believe that by truly understanding each other and the creation we come to better understand the Creator God. We call upon all scientific and religious institutions to put selflessly serving and understanding others before, above and ahead of trying to prove the correctness of their own perspectives. I believe it is this attitude which enabled the Creator’s messengers and prophets to be so successful in creating lasting ideological systems which teach mankind of their Creator.

8. I believe Creeds, tenants and rules have a tendency to divide even as they seek to unite. For those who find these words divisive, we invite you to rewrite them in your minds in a way that becomes unifying instead of selfishly interpreting them in a way that divides. I believe that through the Spirit all mankind can find the truth which unifies in all things. Again I believe the key is selfless service in love.

9. I believe that all social norms and commandments given through the Creator’s unifying Mediators were calculated to encourage the practice of unity through selflessness. I believe the selfishness of mankind tends to distort the original goal of these regulations, adding to them and turning them into practices and traditions which foster self-righteousness, oppression, disharmony and division. I believe this is why new mediators must be sent from time to time to overturn traditional political and religious organizations when they no longer fulfill their intended unifying purposes. I believe it is a best practice to keep rigid rules and regulations to a minimum. To preserve free will at all costs. To keep religious and political regulatory bodies as close to a local level as possible. To teach selfless principles and truly let local polities govern themselves as much as possible; in matters of worship, assembly, sexual practices & marriage, food & substance consumption, commerce and speech.

10. No mortal can really understand God because God IS creation of which we are only a minuscule part. God is the creator of all that is, and in fact IS ALL creation. We are but a tiny cell of his body. To understand him would be to understand all that exists which is not possible for a mortal mind. But we can see patterns in creation which help us to see a part of creation much larger than ourselves. The microcosm or fractal nature of matter.

11. We believe the purpose and destiny of the LDS Church was foreshadowed by story of Joseph and the Twelve Tribes of Israel in the Bible. We believe some aspect of the LDS Church will have the privilege if worthy and desiring of gathering and aiding the twelve tribes of Israel, just as Joseph gathered his brothers and gave them bread, saving them from famine. As God blesses us with power and influence it is our desire to use these things to bless the world and save them from disaster even as Joseph saved Egypt. We believe in the equality and brotherhood of all man, and that those who are abused and weakest are destined to become the most powerful and strong, while those who esteem themselves as greatest and most powerful are destined to become weak and humbled.

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-care for the poor and needy, perfect the saints, redeem the dead, preach the gospel.

-allow for more agency. less division and more unification. The world divides enough, Christ united. It is the age of unity. If it was HIS church for the millennium it would be about universal principles. Not about HIM, not about Christianity, not about rules that divide, but principles that unite.

-Christ’s church would actually teach every religion. It would utilize ALL the worlds scripture and prophets to bring people together into one organization that promoted unity. Exaltation would depend on unity.

-Should it not teach the two paths? No. As this religion is trying to bring the world into becoming a positive terrestrial realm it would teach the left hand selfish path as undesirable. It would allow its existence within limits. It would seek to convert those following this path to the positive. A celestial understanding cannot abide in a terrestrial glory. We are bringing people into the terrestrial glory.