When I go astray and give wrong counsel and lead this people astray, then is time enough to pull me down, and then God will remove me as he has done all others who have turned from the faith. Brigham Young
Feb. 16, 1847
Wilford Woodruff Jrnl. 4:130
One of the unique features of the Gospel Restoration in these latter days is its endurance. In every previous dispensation, the Gospel was gradually changed until it was lost; however, with Joseph Smith’s Restoration, it will continue with a few good men, even if God has to send His messengers to protect them from destruction.
When the Savior established the Gospel among the Jews in the year 30 AD, it took only another 60 years for the last apostle to be found alive. The inspired apostles were killed, and only uninspired apostles, using human wisdom, continued to represent the Gospel.
In the latter days the Lord has promised that His Priesthood would continue until the end of the Millennium. However, one passage of scripture, often interpreted in many different ways, indicates that at some point it will get out of order. But the Lord has promised that He will protect his “house” from getting too far out of order, and it is because of this prediction that many Saints expect to see some marvelous events take place.
The fulfillment of the scriptural promise made in Section 85 of the Doctrine and Covenants—that God will send One Mighty and Strong to set in order the house of God—will be one of the major future events of this dispensation, and certainly one of the most interesting.
 Chapter 1
THE PROPHET’S STRANGE LETTER
In 1832 the Prophet Joseph Smith wrote a letter which was to become very puzzling to some of the Saints. A part of it later became scripture, but its unusual wording and duplicity of meaning still baffle LDS scholars and readers.
While the Prophet Joseph Smith was in Kirtland, Ohio, he wrote this letter to his “brethren in Missouri” in response to other letters he had received from them. It was dated November 27, 1832, and was directed to William Phelps. Hyrum M. Smith and Janne M. Sjodahl, who compiled the Doctrine and Covenants Commentary, explained what prompted the Prophet Joseph Smith to write this letter:
About this time the Prophet Joseph received letters from the brethren in Missouri concerning the condition there. In his reply, he says he fancies to himself that William W. Phelps was saying or thinking something like this:
“My God, great and mighty art thou; therefore show unto Thy servant what shall become of all those who are essaying to come up into Zion, in order to keep the commandments of God, and yet receive not their inheritance by consecrations, by order or deed from the Bishop, the man that God has appointed in a legal way, agreeably to the law given to organize and regulate the Church, and all the affairs of the same.” (Doc. & Cov. Comm., p. 527)
 For the sake of presenting a more complete background on this subject, the Prophet’s letter is included here in its entirety:
Kirtland, Nov. 27th, 1832
Brother William W. Phelps: I say brother, because I feel so from the heart, and although it is not long since I wrote a letter unto you, yet I feel as though you would excuse me for writing this, as I have many things which I wish to communicate. Some things which I will mention in this letter, which are lying with great weight on my mind. I am well, and my family also; God grant that you may enjoy the same, and yours, and all the brethren and sisters who remember to inquire after the commandments of the Lord, and the welfare of Zion and such a being as myself; and while I dictate this letter, I fancy to myself that you are saying or thinking something similar to these words: “My God, great and mighty art Thou, therefore show unto Thy servant what shall become of those who are essaying to come up unto Zion, in order to keep the commandments of God, and yet receive not their inheritance by consecrations, by order of deed from the Bishop, the man that God has appointed in a legal way, agreeably to the law given to organize and regulate the Church, and all the affairs of the same.”
Brother William, in the love of God, having the most implicit confidence in you as a man of God, having obtained this confidence by a vision of heaven, therefore I will proceed to unfold to you some of the feelings of my heart, and to answer the question.
Firstly, it is the duty of the Lord’s clerk,* (*Footnote: The part of the above letter, beginning with the words, “It is the duty of the Lord’s clerk, etc., and ending with the words, “As will be found recorded in the second chapter and 61st and 62nd verses of Ezra,” was accepted afterwards as the word of the Lord, that is, as a revelation upon the matters treated therein, and appears in the Doctrine and Covenants as Section 85.) whom He has appointed, to keep a history, and a General Church Record of all things that transpire in  Zion, and of all those who consecrate properties and receive inheritances legally from the Bishop; and also their manner of life, their faith, and works and also of the apostates who apostatize after receiving their inheritances. It is contrary to the will and commandment of God, that those who receive not their inheritance by consecration, agreeably to His law, which he has given, that He may tithe His people to prepare them against the day of vengeance and burning, should have their names enrolled with the people of God; neither is their genealogy to be kept, or to be had where it may be found on any of the records or History of the Church; their names shall not be found neither the names of the fathers, nor the names of the children written in the book of the law of God, saith the Lord of hosts. Yea, thus saith the still small voice, which whispereth through and pierceth all things, and oftentimes it maketh my bones to quake while it maketh manifest, saying,: and it shall come to pass, that I, the Lord God, will send one mighty and strong, holding the sceptre of power in his hand, clothed with light for a covering, whose mouth shall utter words, eternal words; while his bowels shall be a fountain of truth, to set in order the house of God, and to arrange by lot the inheritances of the Saints, whose names are found, and the name of their fathers, and of their children enrolled in the book of the law of God: while that man, who was called of God, and appointed, that putteth forth his hand to steady the ark of God, shall fall by the shaft of death, like as a tree that is smitten by the vivid shaft of lightning; and all they who are not found written in the book of remembrance, shall find none inheritance in that day but they shall be cut asunder, and their portion shall be appointed them among unbelievers, where are wailing and gnashing of teeth. These things I say not of myself; therefore, as the Lord speaketh, He will also fulfil. And they who are of the High Priesthood, whose names are not found written in the book of the law, or that are found to have apostatized, or to have been cut off from the Church; as well as the lesser Priesthood, or the members, in that day, shall not find an inheritance  among the Saints of the Most High; therefore it shall be done unto them as unto the children of the priest, as will be found recorded in the second chapter, and sixty-first and sixty-second verses of Ezra. * (*Footnote: “And the children of the priests: the children of Habaiah, the children of Koz, the children of Barzillai; which took a wife of the daughters of Barzillai the Gileadite, and was called after their name: these sought their register among those that were reckoned by genealogy, but they were not found, therefore were they, as polluted, put from the priesthood.” —Ezra II:61,62)
Now, Brother William, if what I have said is true, how careful men ought to be what they do in the last days, lest they are cut short of their expectations, and they that think they stand should fall, because they keep not the Lord’s commandments; whilst you, who do the will of the Lord and keep His commandments, have need to rejoice with unspeakable joy, for such shall be exalted very high, and shall be lifted up in triumph above all the kingdoms of this world; but I must drop this subject at the beginning <of it>.
Oh, Lord, when will the time come when Brother William, Thy servant, and myself, shall behold the day that we may stand together and gaze upon eternal wisdom engraven upon the heavens, while the majesty of our God holdeth up the dark curtain until we may read the round of eternity, to the fulness and satisfaction of our immortal souls? Oh, Lord, deliver us in due time from the little narrow prison, almost as it were, total darkness of paper, pen and ink; —and a crooked, broken, scattered and imperfect language.
I have obtained ten subscribers for the Star. Love for all the brethren.
Yours in bonds, Amen.
Joseph Smith, Jun.
As the Prophet Joseph indicated, he felt the subject of this letter was very important and was “lying with great weight on my mind.” (DHC 1:298)
 As mentioned in the footnote, extracts from this letter became Section 85 of the Doctrine and Covenants, two of the most pertinent verses being:
And it shall come to pass that I, the Lord God, will send one mighty and strong, holding the scepter of power in his hand, clothed with light for a covering, whose mouth shall utter words, eternal words; while his bowels shall be a fountain of truth, to set in order the house of God, and to arrange by lot the inheritances of the saints whose names are found, and the names of their fathers, and of their children, enrolled in the book of the law of God;
While that man, who was called of God and appointed, that putteth forth his hand to steady the ark of God, shall fall by the shaft of death, like as a tree that is smitten by the vivid shaft of lightning. (D & C 85:7-8)
The term “One Mighty and Strong” and the inference of a setting in order probably came from a quotation in Isaiah:
Behold, the Lord hath a mighty and strong one, which as a tempest of hail and a destroying storm, as a flood of mighty waters overflowing, shall cast down to the earth with the hand. The crown of pride, the drunkards of Ephraim, shall be trodden under feet. (Isa. 28:2-3)
Four verses later he adds, “The priest and the prophet have erred. . . they err in vision, they stumble in judgment.” (v. 7)
The Book of Mormon also referred to this great individual: “And there shall rise up one mighty among them, who shall do much good, both in word and in deed, . . . ” (2 Nephi 3:24)
 Section 85 resulted in a series of probing questions from Church members as to its meaning. The First Presidency of the Church once stated:
Perhaps no other passage in the revelations of the Lord, in this dispensation, has given rise to so much speculation as this one. (Des. News, Nov. 13, 1905)
Dr. Sidney Sperry, BYU professor, said, “The words in verses 7 and 8 have, over the years, created a veritable storm of discussion; and wide differences of opinion still exist as to their interpretation. . . .” (D. & C. Comp., p. 410)
And Max Anderson, who has done extensive research on the subject, agreed:
There seems to have been more speculation concerning this revelation (D. & C. 85) by a certain class of people through the history of the Church than concerning any other revelation in modern times. (“One Mighty and Strong,” Max Anderson unpublished manuscript, p. 1)
As late as 1969 Joseph Fielding Smith wrote:
Verses 6, 7 and 8 in this letter as published in the Doctrine and Covenants, have caused no end of needless speculation due to misunderstanding of what is written. . . . (Messages of the First Pres. 4:107)
To add to the speculation and confusion of this passage of scripture, this revelation was never published in the Doctrine and Covenants until the year 1876, and it never was canonized by the Reorganized LDS Church.
If these few verses of scripture have caused so much interest and confusion, then it should certainly be worth our  time and effort to try to understand their interpretation. Since they were given by way of revelation, they bear a message of important responsibility to the Saints in this dispensation.
 Chapter 2
THE OFFICIAL ANNOUNCEMENT
About 30 years after the publication of Section 85, the First Presidency felt the need to issue an official statement to help clarify all the speculation.
The official Church interpretation of Section 85 first came out in 1905 over the signatures of Joseph F. Smith, John Winder, and Anton Lund. (It was again re-published two years later in the Improvement Era 10:929-943, Oct. 1907.) Though quite lengthy, it needs to be included here:
One Mighty and Strong
The following has been issued by the Presidency of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in explanation of verses 7 and 8 of Section 85 of the Doctrine and Covenants, and is to be received as authoritative:
The following quotation is from the eighty-fifth section of the book of Doctrine and Covenants:
“And it shall come to pass that I, the Lord God, will send one mighty and strong, holding the sceptre of power in his hand, clothed with light for a covering, whose mouth shall utter words, eternal words; while his bowels shall be a fountain of truth, to set in order the house of God, and to arrange by lot the inheritances of the saints whose names are found, and the names of their fathers, and of their children, enrolled in the book of the law of God:
 While that man, who was called of God and appointed, that putteth forth his hand to steady the ark of God, shall fall by the shaft of death, like as a tree that is smitten by the vivid shaft of lightning.”
Perhaps no other passage in the revelations of the Lord, in this dispensation, has given rise to so much speculation as this one. Also, it has been used by vain and foolish men to bolster up their vagaries of speculation, and in some cases their pretensions to great power and high positions they were to attain in the Church. In a word, some have made claims that they were the particular individual mentioned in the revelation, the “one mighty and strong, holding the sceptre of power in his hand, clothed with light for a covering, whose mouth shall utter words eternal words; while his bowels shall be a fountain of truth, to set in order the house of God, and to arrange by lot the inheritances of the saints.”
One would think in such a matter as this that sufficient native modesty would assert itself to restrain a man from announcing himself as the one upon whom such high honors are to be conferred, and who is to exercise such great powers in establishing the Saints in their inheritances; and that even if one suspected, for any reason, that such a position, and such exceptional powers were to be conferred upon him, he would wait until the Lord would clearly indicate to the Church, as well as to himself, that he had been indeed sent of God to do the work of so noble a ministry, as is described in the passage under question. Those, however, who have so far proclaimed themselves as being the “one mighty and strong,” have manifested the utmost ignorance of the things of God and the order of the Church. Indeed their insufferable ignorance and egotism have been at the bottom of all their pretensions, and the cause of all the trouble into which they have fallen. They seem not to have been aware of the fact that the Church of Christ and of the Saints is completely organized, and that when the man who shall be called upon to divide unto the Saints their inheritances comes, he will be designated by the inspiration of the Lord to the proper  authorities of the Church, appointed and sustained according to the order provided for the government of the Church. So long as that Church remains in the earth—and we have the assurance from the Lord that it will now remain in the earth forever—the Saints need look for nothing of God’s appointing that will be erratic, or irregular, or that smacks of starting over afresh or that would ignore or overthrow the established order of things. The Saints should remember that they are living in the dispensation of the fulness of times, when the Church of Christ is established in the earth for the last days and for the last time, and that God’s Church is a Church of order, of law, and that there is no place for anarchy in it. (Doc. and Cov., Sec. 112:30; also 33:3; 43:28-31.)
Respecting the views that have been expressed as to the meaning of this passage, who the man was that was “called of God and appointed, that put forth his hand to steady the ark of God,” that should, “fall by the shaft of death, like a tree that is smitten by the vivid shaft of lightning,” as well as who the one “mighty and strong” was, or is to be—various theories have been advanced. Some of the dissenters from the Church have advanced the idea that the Prophet Joseph Smith, largely on account of his sad and tragic death, fell “by the shaft of death like as a tree that is smitten by the vivid shaft of lightning,” and that because of supposed transgression; while there are not wanting those who hold that the prophecy is not fulfilled, but say that the fate of falling “like as a tree that is smitten by the vivid shaft of lightning” is a fate reserved for the present or some future President of the Church. As to the “one mighty and strong,” some hold that he has come, others that he is yet to come. Some have held that the Prophet Joseph Smith was the man, and that he would be raised from the dead and appear among the Saints to fulfill the terms of this prophecy. Others have insisted that the late President Brigham Young was the man who fulfilled the prediction, when, with such heaven-inspired wisdom and masterly skill, he led the exiled Saints from Nauvoo to the Rocky Mountains and laid their settlements in the valley of Utah.
 All these theories have been entertained and some of them by very good brethren; but good men and well informed men, are sometimes mistaken, and all are capable of receiving the things which God reveals.
The revelation from which the passage is quoted is a portion of a letter to William W. Phelps, written by the Prophet from Kirtland under date of November the 27th, 1832. William W. Phelps at the time was at Independence, Missouri. In order that the reader may have the whole matter before him, the letter is reproduced in extenso, and the part afterwards accepted as the word of the Lord indicated: (See pages 8-11 of this publication for this letter, from DHC 1:297-99.)
It is to be observed first of all that the subject of this whole letter, as also the part of it subsequently accepted as a revelation, relates to the affairs of the Church in Missouri, the gathering of the Saints to that land and obtaining their inheritances under the law of consecration and stewardship; and the Prophet deals especially with the matter of what is to become of those who fail to receive their inheritances by order or deed from the bishop. The petition which the Prophet puts into the mouth of his correspondent, Elder Phelps, is:
“Show unto Thy servant what shall become of all those who are essaying to come up unto Zion, in order to keep the commandments of God, and yet receive not their inheritance by consecrations, by order or deed from the Bishop, the man that God has appointed in a legal way, agreeably to the law given to organize and regulate the Church, and all the affairs of the same.”
This paragraph clearly proves that the subject in hand is the settling of the Saints in Missouri, granting them their inheritances, and the order of it all. In addition, the “bishop,” who was Edward Partridge, is especially referred to as “the man that God has appointed in a legal way, agreeably to the law given to organize and regulate the Church and all the affairs of the same.”
 In the revelations by which Edward Partridge was called and appointed to stand as a Bishop in the land of Zion—Missouri—the following occurs:
“And let my servant Edward Partridge stand in the office to which I have appointed him, and divide unto the Saints their inheritance, even as I have commanded, and also those whom he has appointed to assist him. * * * Let the bishop and the agent make preparations for those families which have been commanded to come to this land, as soon as possible, and plant them in their inheritance.” (Doc. and Cov. Sec. 57:7 and 15.)
“For this cause (i.e., that the Saints might be gathered upon the land of Zion) I have sent you hither, and have selected my servant Edward Partridge, and have appointed unto him his mission in this land (i.e., Jackson County, Missouri).
And whoso standeth in this mission is appointed to be a judge in Israel, like as it was in ancient days, to divide the lands of the heritage of God unto His children.” (Doc. and Cov., Sec. 58:14, 17)
This much, then, we have learned, viz., that Edward Partridge, the Bishop of the Church, was the one “called and appointed, to divide by lot unto the Saints their inheritances.” But was Edward Partridge the one in 1832 who was “putting forth his hand to steady the ark,” and threatened with falling “by the shaft of death like as a tree that is smitten by the vivid shaft of lightning”? Undoubtedly. The brethren composing it had been but recently brought together. Some of them were often in rebellion against the Prophet and the order of the Church because of these conditions; and it required instruction and time and experience to enable men to understand their duties and preserve their right relationship to each other as officers of the Church.
Bishop Partridge was one of the brethren, who—though a most worthy man, one whom the Lord loved, and whom the Prophet described as “a pattern of  piety,” and “one of the Lord’s great men”—at time arrayed himself in opposition to the Prophet in those early days, and sought to correct him in his administrations of the affairs of the Church; in other words, “put forth his hand to steady the ark.”
On the occasion of the Prophet’s first visit to Independence, Missouri—Edward Partridge accompanied him—in the meetings and conferences held upon the land of Zion, Bishop Partridge several times strenuously opposed the measures of the Prophet, and was sharply reproved by the latter for his unbelief and hardness of heart. Indeed, the apostate, Ezra Booth, who was present, made the scene between the Bishop and the Prophet one of the items that justified to him his apostasy. He refers to the circumstance in a letter, addressed to Bishop Partridge, which has been several times published in anti-“Mormon” literature. The Bishop, moreover, was reproved for his “blindness of heart and unbelief,” and warned of the danger of falling from his high station, in a revelation given in August, 1831, while both he and the Prophet were still in Missouri:
“Yea, for this cause I have sent you hither, and have selected my servant Edward Partridge, and have appointed unto him his mission in this land; but if he repent not of his sins, which are unbelief and blindness of heart, let him take heed lest he fall.” (Doc. and Cov. 58:14-15)
All the foregoing occurred during the first visit of the Prophet to Missouri.
In the latter part of April, 1832, the Prophet again visited the center place of Zion—Independence, Missouri. There were still ill-feelings existing among the brethren, especially between Elder Rigdon and Bishop Partridge; but those difficulties were adjusted, and Bishop Partridge, in the conference that was held on the 26th of April, gave to the Prophet the right hand of fellowship in behalf of the Church in Missouri, and acknowledged him to be the President of the High Priesthood of the Church.
 But notwithstanding the adjustment of all difficulties on this occasion, we learn from the correspondence that passed between the brethren of Kirtland and Independence, respectively, that the old difficulties in all their bitterness broke out afresh.
Referring to this subject, Elders Orson Hyde and Hyrum Smith, who had been appointed by a council of High Priests at Kirtland to write a letter of reproof and warning to “Bishop Partridge, his Council and the inhabitants of Zion,” say:
“At the time Joseph, Sidney (Rigdon) and Newell (K. Whitney) left Zion, all matters of hardness and misunderstanding were settled and buried (as they supposed), and you gave them the hand of fellowship; but, afterwards, you brought up all these things again, in a censorious spirit accusing Brother Joseph in rather an indirect way of seeking after monarchial power and authority. * * * It might not be amiss for you to call to mind the circumstances of the Nephites and the children of Israel rising up against their Prophets, and accusing them of seeking after kingly power, and see what befell them, and take warning before it is too late.”
In a letter written by the Prophet himself on the same occasion, written to accompany a revelation which he was sending to Zion, he refers in very pointed words to the ill-feeling existing towards him by the brethren in Zion:
“Though our brethren in Zion indulge in feelings toward us, which are not according to the requirements of the new covenant, yet, we have the satisfaction of knowing that the Lord approved of us, and has accepted us. * * * Repent, repent, is the voice of God to Zion. * * * I say to you (and what I say to you I say to all), hear the warning voice of God, lest Zion fall, and the Lord swear in His wrath the inhabitants of Zion shall not enter into His rest.”
 Also in a revelation given on the 22nd and 23rd of September, 1832—five months after the reconciliation at Independence—the following occurs:
“And your minds in times past have been darkened because of unbelief, and because you have treated lightly the things you have received, which vanity and unbelief have brought the whole Church under condemnation. And this condemnation resteth upon the children of Zion, even all: and they shall remain under this condemnation until they repent and remember the new covenant, even the Book of Mormon and the former commandments which I have given them, not only to say, but to do according to that which I have written, that they may bring forth fruit meet for their Father’s kingdom, otherwise there remaineth a scourge and judgment to be poured out upon the children of Zion. * * * But, verily I say unto all those to whom the kingdom has been given—from you it must be preached unto them, that they shall repent of their former evil works; for they are to be upbraided for their evil hearts of unbelief, and your brethren in Zion for their rebellion against you at the time I sent you.” (Doc. and Cov. 84:54-58, 76)
It was while these conditions of rebellion, jealousy, pride, unbelief and hardness of heart prevailed among the brethren in Zion—Jackson County, Missouri—in all of which Bishop Partridge participated—that the words of the revelation taken from the letter to William W. Phelps, of the 27th of November, 1832, were written. The “man who was called and appointed of God” to “divide unto the Saints their inheritance”—Edward Partridge—was at that time out of order, neglecting his own duty, and putting “forth his hand to steady the ark”; hence, he was warned of the judgment of God impending, and the prediction was made that another, “one mighty and strong,” would be sent of God to take his place, to have his bishopric—one having the spirit and power of that high office resting upon him, by which he would have power to “set in order the house of God, and arrange  by lot the inheritance of the Saints”; in other words, one who would do the work that Bishop Edward Partridge had been appointed to do, but had failed to accomplish.
“But,” it will be asked, “does Bishop Partridge fulfill the terms of the prophecy that relate to the man `falling by the shaft of death, like a tree that is smitten by the vivid shaft of lightning’?” That should not be said without some qualification; although Edward Partridge died eight years later, in the forty-seventh year of his age, a victim of the persecution he suffered in Missouri.
Edward Partridge, in common with most of the Saints in Missouri, as a result of the reproofs and warnings of the Prophet and others, was brought to a partial repentance; still, as late as March, 1833, notwithstanding the partial repentance referred to, the Lord expressed himself as being “not well pleased” with Bishop Partridge and others:
“Behold, I say unto you that your brethren in Zion begin to repent, and the angels rejoice over them; nevertheless, I am not well pleased with many things, and I am not well pleased with my servant William E. McLellin, neither with my servant Sidney Gilbert; and the bishop also <Edward Partridge>, and others have many things to repent of; but verily I say unto you that I, the Lord, will continue with Zion, and plead with her strong ones, and chasten her until she overcomes and is clean before me.” (Doc. and Cov. 90:34-36)
Because of the failure of the Saints in Zion to fully repent and keep the commandments of the Lord, the fury of their enemies burst upon them, and they were driven from their possessions into exile, and their homes were destroyed. We here give the Lord’s explanation of the troubles that came upon the people; it is found in a revelation given under date of December 16th, 1833:
“Verily I say unto you, concerning your brethren who have been afflicted, and persecuted, and cast out  from the land of their inheritance, I, the Lord, have suffered the affliction to come upon them wherewith they have been afflicted, in consequence of their transgressions; yet I will own them, and they shall be mine in that day when I shall come to make up my jewels. Therefore, they must needs be chastened and tried, even as Abraham, who was commanded to offer up his only son; for all those who will not endure chastening, but deny me, cannot be sanctified. Behold, I say unto you, there were jarrings, and contentions, and envyings, and strifes, and lustful and covetous desires among them; therefore by these things they polluted their inheritances. They were slow to hearken unto the voice of the Lord their God; therefore, the Lord their God is slow to hearken unto their prayers, to answer them in the day of their trouble. In the day of their peace they esteemed lightly my counsel; but, in the day of their trouble, of necessity they feel after me. Verily I say unto you, notwithstanding their sins, my bowels are filled with compassion towards them: I will not utterly cast them off; and in the day of wrath I will remember mercy.” (Doc. and Cov. 101:1-9)
In the midst of the troublous times in Missouri, Edward Partridge acted a most noble, and self-sacrificing part, and bore many indignities with the greatest patience. He was taken to the public square of Independence, partly stripped of his clothing, and bedaubed with tar and feathers, amid the jeers of the mob. He neither complained nor murmured at this treatment, but bore it well, with meekness and dignity. He was one with five others to offer himself as a ransom for the Church “Willing to be scourged or even put to death,” if that would but satisfy the tormentors of the Saints, and stop the inhuman cruelties practiced towards them by the Missourians. He was also active in settling the Saints in upper Missouri, in 1836-8. He shared in all the labors and hardships incident to the settlement of a new country, and subsequently passed through the trials attendant upon the exodus of the Saints from Missouri. Who shall say that his repent- ance, his sacrifices, his sufferings and faithfulness did  not procure for him a mitigation of the severe judgment decreed against him in the revelation contained in the eighty-fifth section of the Doctrine and Covenants? At any rate, the Lord said, some three years later, that he was well pleased with Edward Partridge. The word of the Lord came to the Prophet to this effect, on the 7th of November, 1835:
“Behold, I am well pleased with my servant Isaac Morley, and my servant Edward Partridge, because of the integrity of their hearts in laboring in my vineyard, for the salvation of the souls of men. Verily I say unto you, their sins are forgiven them, therefore, say unto them in my name, that it is my will that they should tarry for a little season, (in Kirtland) and attend the school and also the solemn assembly, for a wise purpose in me. Even so. Amen.” (History of the Church, Vol. II, pp. 302-3)
Certainly in the face of this plain statement of the Lord’s that the sins of Edward Partridge were forgiven him, we do not feel that his sad and early death was the fulfillment of the threatened judgment of the revelation. But that he was the man so threatened in that revelation, there can be no question; not only on account of what is here set forth, but also because Orson Pratt, one familiar with Edward Partridge, and an active participant in all these historical matters, publicly declared from the pulpit in Salt Lake City, about the time of the death of President Young, that the man referred to in that passage of the revelation in question, was Bishop Edward Partridge. Of the fact of his statement, there can be no doubt; and at the time he was the historian of the Church as well as a member of the quorum of the Apostles. <Pratt later contradicted this statement, as mentioned in Chapter 8 of this book.>
Now, as to the “one mighty and strong,” who shall be sent of God, to “set in order the house of God, and to arrange by lot the inheritances of the Saints.” Who is he? What position will he hold in the Church? In what manner will he come to his calling? We draw  attention first of all to the fact that this whole letter to William W. Phelps, as well as the part afterwards accepted as the word of the Lord, related to the affairs of the Church in Zion, Independence, Jackson County, Missouri. And inasmuch as through his repentance and sacrifices and suffering, Bishop Edward Partridge undoubtedly obtained a mitigation of the threatened judgment against him of falling “by the shaft of death, like as a tree that is smitten by the vivid shaft of lightning,” so the occasion for sending another to fill his station—”one mighty and strong to set in order the house of God, and to arrange by lot the inheritances of the Saints”—may also be considered as having passed away and the whole incident of the prophecy closed.
Such examples of the Lord thus dealing with men are found in other scriptures than in this revelation. The word of the Lord came to the Prophet Isaiah, commanding him to carry what was really a death sentence to Hezekiah, King of Israel, which sentence, however, was revoked by the Lord when the king earnestly prayed that his life might be spared unto him. The incident is related in the second book of Kings, as follows:
“In those days was Hezekiah sick unto death. And the Prophet Isaiah, the son of Amoz came to him and said unto him, Thus saith the Lord, Set thine house in order; for thou shalt die and not live.
Then he turned his face to the wall, and prayed unto the Lord, saying,
I beseech thee, O Lord, remember now how I have walked before thee in truth and with a perfect heart, and have done that which is good in thy sight. And Hezekiah wept sore.
And it came to pass, afore Isaiah was gone out into the middle court, that the word of the Lord came to him, saying,
Turn again, and tell Hezekiah, the captain of my people, Thus saith the Lord, the God of David, thy father, I have heard thy prayer, I have seen thy tears: behold, I will heal thee: on the third day thou shalt go up unto the house of the Lord.
 And I will add unto thy days fifteen years; and I will deliver thee and this city out of the hand of the king of Assyria, and I will defend this city for mine own sake, and for my servant David’s sake.” (II Kings 20:1-6)
Notwithstanding his self-enumeration of virtues, in the above passage, it is quite evident from the closing verses of the chapter that King Hezekiah was a proud, vain and selfish man; yet the Lord loved him for the good that was in him, and hearkened to his prayer, and set aside the sentence of death decreed against him.
Other instances of like procedure will doubtless occur to the Saints as they think upon this subject. If God, in the case of Hezekiah and other of his servants, prophets and kings in Israel, could thus mitigate or change the decree against them, should it be accounted a strange thing that he forgave Edward Partridge his sins, and withheld the execution of the judgment pronounced against him?
If, however, there are those who will still insist that the prophecy concerning the coming of “one mighty and strong” is still to be regarded as relating to the future, let the Latter-day Saints know that he will be a future bishop of the Church who will be with the Saints in Zion, Jackson County, Missouri, when the Lord shall establish them in that land; and he will be so blessed with the spirit and power of his calling that he will be able to set in order the house of God, pertaining to the department of the work under his jurisdiction; and in righteousness and justice will “arrange by lot the inheritances of the Saints.” He will hold the same high and exalted station that Edward Partridge held; for the latter was called to do just this kind of work—that is, to set in order the house of God as pertaining to settling the Saints upon their inheritances, as will appear from the following passage:
“And let my servant Edward Partridge stand in the office to which I have appointed him, and divide unto the saints their inheritance, even as I have  commanded, also those whom he has appointed to assist him. * * * Let the bishop and the agent make preparations for those families which have been commanded to come to his land, as soon as possible, and plant them in their inheritance. (Doc. and Cov. 57:7, 15)
“For this cause (viz., that the Saints might be gathered upon the land of Zion) I have sent you hither, and have selected my servant Edward Partridge, and have appointed unto him his mission in this land (in Jackson County, Missouri).
And whoso standeth in this mission is appointed to be a judge in Israel, like as it was in ancient days, to divide the lands of the heritage of God unto his children.” (Doc. and Cov. 58:14, 17)
The future bishop will also be called and appointed of God as Aaron of old, and as Edward Partridge was. He will be designated by the inspiration of the Lord, and will be accepted and sustained by the whole Church, as the law of God provides. His coming will not be the result of a wild, erratic movement, or the assumption of authority by a self-appointed egotist seeking power that he may lord it over the people; God’s house is one of order, and admits of no such irregular procedure.
Certainly this prophecy does not allude in any way to any President of the Church, past, present, or to come. The revelation under consideration does not relate to matters that especially concern the duties of the President of the Church: but to the arranging “by lot the inheritances of the Saints,” and that is the whole substance of the revelation, a matter distinctly placed under the jurisdiction of the Bishop of the Church. If it shall be urged that the phrase “to set in order the house of God,” indicates a larger scope of action than that contemplated in settling the Saints upon their inheritances, the reasonable and sufficient answer is that scope of this phrase should most certainly be interpreted by the whole subject of the revelation, and not the meaning of the revelation by the  particular phrase. So that the phrase, “set in order the house of God” is limited to setting in order the house of God by arranging by lot the inheritances of the Saints.
In conclusion, we would say that the Latter-day Saints by this time, should be so well settled in the conviction that God has established his Church in the earth for the last time, to remain, and no more to be thrown down, or destroyed; and that God’s house is a house of order, of law, of regularity, that erratic disturbers of that order of men of restless temperament, who, through ignorance and egotism become vain babblers, yet make great pretensions to prophetic powers and other spiritual graces and gifts, ought not to have any influence with them, nor ought the Saints to be disturbed in their spirit by such characters and their theories. The Church of Christ is with the Saints. It has committed to it the law of God for its own government and perpetuation. It possesses every means for the correction of every wrong or abuse or error which may from time to time arise, and that without anarchy, or even revolution; it can do it by processes of evolution—by development, by an increase of knowledge, wisdom, patience and charity.
The presiding quorums of the Church will always be composed of such men, they will be chosen in such manner, that the Saints can be assured that solid wisdom, righteousness, and conscientious adherence to duty, will characterize the policy of those who are entrusted with the administration of the affairs of the Church. While from time to time, as the work of the Lord may have need of their services, men of exceptional talents and abilities, will develop among the people of God; and without disorder, or eruption, or excitement, they will be called of the Lord, through the appointed agencies of the Priesthood and Church authority, to positions that will afford them opportunity for service. They will be accepted by the Saints in the regular order, appointed by the law of the Church, just as Edward Partridge was called and accepted; and just as the “one mighty and strong” will be called and accepted when the time comes for his services.
Joseph F. Smith,
John R. Winder,
Anthon H. Lund,
(Mess. of First Pres. 4:108-120; also Des. News, Nov. 13, 1905)
* * *
It is interesting to note that in the statement itself there are three contradictory conclusions: (1) “the whole incident of the prophecy <is> closed;” (2) if this prophecy does relate to the future, “he will be a future bishop of the Church;” and (3) he “will be called and accepted when the time comes for his services.”
Initially the First Presidency’s statement is putting the matter in the past and considering it a CLOSED issue. They later say, however, that IF he comes, he will be a future bishop in the church, which suggests that there is still room for doubt and it MAY BE a future event. The Official Statement concludes with the positive statement that the One Mighty and Strong WILL COME in the future. Such contradictions leave the reader only more confused.
Going back to the middle viewpoint—how can this interpretation that he is to be a “bishop” in the church possibly be correct? The idea that a bishop is a “high and exalted station” sufficient enough to set in order the house of God is so remote that F. M. Darter correctly concluded:
Furthermore, when we stop to think that “if” this “Mighty and Strong One” does come “that he will be a future bishop,” that really is enough to make a layman blush, for even he can appreciate that this “One Mighty and Strong” is to possess greater power than any of our past Church presidents, and that he will set the entire House of God in order. (Zion’s Redemption, p. 94)
 Let’s consider the statement that the “One Mighty and Strong” would be a “future bishop of the Church”.—The duties and responsibilities of a bishop, Section 107, verse 68, states that “the office of a bishop is in administering all temporal things.” Would holding this position enable such a person to qualify for the high and noble calling of “One Mighty and Strong” as described in Section 85? Dividing the inheritances of the Saints could well be the responsibility of bishops, but the setting in order of the house of God will require the power and authority of a higher office. It is interesting to note that Joseph Smith said that the term House of God should often be translated as Kingdom of God, which includes more than just the LDS Church. (See D.H.C. 6:184.)
The final conclusion of this Official Statement—that the One Mighty and Strong is a future messenger who “will be called and accepted when the time comes”—is the most accepted position by the Church leaders before this 1905 announcement. Apostle Orson Pratt, about two years after the death of Brigham Young, made a public statement in which he said:
You may perhaps ask when this time will come for the Saints to receive bona fide inheritances? The time will come for the Saints to receive their stewardships, when they shall return to the lands from whence they have been driven; but the inheritances will not be given, until the Lord shall first appoint to the righteous dead their inheritances, and afterwards the righteous living will receive theirs. This you will find recorded in the Doctrine and Covenants; and in the same Book it is predicted that there is to be one “mighty and strong,” as well as to be an immortal personage—one that is clothed upon with light, as with a garment:—one whose bowels are a fountain of truth. His mission will be to divide, by lot, to the Saints their inheritances, according to their faithfulness in their stewardships. (JD 21:150-151)
 Since the time for the inheritances of the Saints is definitely in the future, then the coming of the One Mighty and Strong must also be in the future if he is going to divide those inheritances.
One startling comment Darter made about the 1905 statement of the First Presidency was, “This article was not written by the First Presidency.” (Zion’s Redemption, p. 92) But rather than continuing with the true authorship, he dropped it.
Years later, N. B. Lundwall told this author that while he was secretary to B. H. Roberts of the First Quorum of Seventies, Roberts told him that he was the person who wrote it. Lundwall gave the author a copy of his statement that he had placed in a manuscript to be published. It reads:
The preceding articles on the “One Mighty and Strong” are very enlightening—the one by Orson Pratt and the other signed by President Joseph F. Smith and counselors. At a regular weekly meeting of the First Council of Seventy held in the Salt Lake Temple, at which the compiler of this book was Secretary, the above article by President Smith and counselors was briefly discussed. In the course of the discussion, Elder B. H. Roberts stated, “I wrote the article and Pres. Smith and his counselors signed it.” The articles herewith presented deserve careful and critical consideration. (N. B. Lundwall, unpublished statement in author’s possession.)
Max Anderson had access to similar information and wrote:
- B. Lundwall, one time secretary to the First Council of Seventy, stated that B. H. Roberts, senior president of that council was assigned by President Smith to research the subject. (“One Mighty and Strong,” p. 8)
 However, Mr. Anderson thought this was too bizzare to be true and his explanation was:
It is in extremely poor taste, and calculated to undermine the confidence which should exist in the minds of the Saints in the President of the Church, to suggest that he would issue a public statement, especially upon such an important subject, and that because of external pressure, which did not express his convictions and the impressions of the Lord’s spirit to him. (Ibid., p. 8)
This “extremely poor taste” of having someone else speak for the President of the Church should not be too difficult for the Saints to understand as it has occurred many times, especially in more recent years. For example, President Benson and others have had someone else write and read many of their sermons at General Conference. The Saints, in general, have accepted those sermons as inspired, if not the pure word of the Lord. Other Church presidents have also become too senile to dictate or to write their own sermons or conduct the affairs of the Church..
Regarding authorship, Joseph Musser reports:
On the above subject Bro. W<oolley> stated that Joseph F. Smith did not want to publish the church article of 1905 in which the statement was put forth that this revelation was to be taken as obsolete, but that said article was the work of Francis M. Lyman who insisted on Pres. Smith signing it. (Items on Priesthood, pp. 4-5)
Apparently, the announcement was not the product of Lyman, but he probably encouraged President Smith to sign it.
 But regardless of who wrote the article, the LDS Church has always sustained the announcement and used it as their official position on the subject—contradictory as it is.
In 1947 the Church continued to sustain this announcement by endorsing its publication in Mark E. Petersen’s book The Way of the Master. A special letter of recommendation was sent by the First Presidency to all stake and mission presidents in the Western States and Canada, accompanied by a copy of this book.
About 20 years before the turn of the century, there was a footnote to the words “One Mighty and Strong” in Section 85 stating “a future messenger”. This was added by Orson Pratt with official Church approval at that time, and remained in the Doctrine and Covenants for over 40 years. It was removed in 1921 in an effort to eliminate so much speculation among the members.
In a letter from Oliver Cowdery to John Whitmer, January 1, 1834, referring to D & C 85, it states:
Brother Joseph says that the item in his letter that says that the man that <was> called of God, etc. And puts forth his hand to steady the ark of God does not mean that anyone had at that time, but it was given for a caution to those in high <places> standing to beware lest they should fall by the shaft of death. (original in Huntington Library, California)
Another aspect to be considered in why this “Official Statement” was issued is that there was pressure from some of the Saints claiming the Church leaders had made changes which were not inspired, and therefore this scripture was proof that it would get “out of order.” Joseph Musser commented on this:
 The church statement referred to in this article, was signed by Joseph F. Smith, John R. Winder, and Anthon H. Lund, the First Presidency of the Church. Our respect for these men and confidence in their integrity and the soundness of their faith, are absolute. We believe, however, that the statement, like the manifesto of Wilford Woodruff of 1890, was one of expediency. We have good reason to believe this from the circumstances existing at the time, and from our personal knowledge of the real feelings of these brethren on the question at issue. (Truth 14:70; also 9:115)
Those who are in Church leadership positions today naturally do not want to believe that this revelation is futuristic, but people who believe that both church and state have departed from their appointed paths want to believe it because they have hope that the “House of God” will be set back in order.
* * *
This official announcement has been received in a variety of ways—some accepting, some rejecting, some questioning. But it remains an important and highly controversial subject among LDS Church members and Fundamentalist Mormons.
The following four chapters present statements by four individuals who spoke out on this official Church statement—two in agreement (Sidney Sperry and Max Anderson) and two with opposing views (Francis Darter and Joseph Musser). There are many Church scholars today who also take issue with some of the remarks in this “Official Statement”, but choose not to make public statements in that regard.
 Chapter 3
- SIDNEY SPERRY’S STATEMENT
For years Church leaders had been receiving and hearing reports from apostates, Fundamentalists, and questioning members about the “setting in order of the house of God.” These rumblings were disturbing and often created an embarrassment since they inferred that the One Mighty and Strong was to come to set the Church in order because it was out of order. This matter was often referred to religion professors and other religious scholars in order to rebuff this unsavory publicity.
This explains why Dr. Sidney B. Sperry, BYU professor, attempted to interpret these questionable verses in the 85th section. In his Compendium he explained:
A little knowledge of Church history and a prayerful reading of the revelation should produce the answers. The reader will recall that on at least two previous occasions the Lord had reason to chastise Bishop Edward Partridge. (See 50:39 and 64:17) Despite the good qualities of Elder Partridge, he seems to have had a stubborn streak in him, and on occasions the natural practical bent of the man seems to have been in conflict with some of the directions given by the Lord to govern the Church. In July, 1831, the Almighty gave directions (57:7) that Brother Partridge should “stand in the office to which I have appointed him, and divide unto the saints their inheritance, even as I have commanded.” And in the revelation we are now dealing with, inheritances are  being considered, and the Saints we are told receive them “legally from the Bishop,” meaning, of course, from Bishop Partridge (vs. 1).
Apparently the Bishop had not yet repented of the sins alluded to by the Lord a little over two months earlier (64:17), and Satan yet sought “to destroy his soul” by tempting him to set his own judgment over that of the Prophet’s in dealing with the practical matters inherent to his office and calling. That this situation was made clear to the Prophet by revelation seems evident to me from verse 6, where the “still small voice” (the Holy Ghost) made “manifest” the displeasure and counsel of the Lord recorded in verses 7 and 8. Obviously, the “man, who was called of God and appointed, that putteth forth his hand to steady the ark of God,” has to be Bishop Partridge. The revelation concerns inheritances, and the Bishop had charge of that work. Who else could the Lord be more logically speaking of than the Bishop, all matters being considered?
Now if Elder Partridge is the one referred to in verse 8, who is the “one mighty and strong, to set in order the house of God, and . . . arrange by lot the inheritances of the Saints” in verse 7? No indication as to the identity of the individual is given by the Lord, whatever our interpretation of the verse may be. The bare fact of the matter is that no one was sent by the Almighty to take over Bishop Partridge’s duties, and we are fully justified in assuming that the Bishop repented of his sins, and with his repentance there was no need of the Lord to fulfill His threat. * * *
Coming now to the remainder of the revelation (vss. 9-12), we find the Lord admonishing the Saints that those whose names are not written in the book of remembrance (cf. vss. 5, 7) shall find no inheritance for themselves “in that day,” that is, that period or date when the Bishop of the Church shall distribute the inheritances of the Saints, whether near or distant in time. Because of their unrighteousness they shall be “cut asunder” or cut off from the righteous, and their “portion” or fate shall be among unbelievers, where there shall be “wailing and gnashing of teeth.” The  judgments of God shall go hard with them. The Prophet assures us that he does not say these things of himself (vs. 10); what the Lord speaks, He will also fulfill. Those of the High Priesthood, whose names are not written in the book of the law or who are apostates or who have been cut off from the Church, shall also find no inheritance among the Saints of the Most High. The same fate shall befall those of the Lesser Priesthood who are similar offenders. It shall be done to all these transgressors as it was anciently to the children of the priests as recorded in Ezra 2:61-62.
These sought their register among those that were reckoned by genealogy, but they were not found: therefore were they, as polluted, put from the priesthood. (Doc. & Cov. Compendium, Sperry, pp. 412-413)
The distinguished professor brings out some interesting points. One is that he presumes the house of God was about to be out of order because “Satan yet sought to destroy his soul <Partridge> by tempting him to set his own judgment over that of the Prophet’s in dealing with the practical matters inherent to his office and calling.”
By this statement we may assume that if any other Church leader decides to “set his own judgment over that of the Prophet’s”<Joseph Smith>, he would also be in danger of getting the house of God out of order. If it happened once, it could happen again.
Consider how powerful Satan was at the time this letter was sent by the Prophet. Brigham Young relates:
In the Fall and Winter of 1832, there was a terrible spirit of apostasy manifested at Kirtland; and on one occasion several of the Twelve, the witnesses of the Book of Mormon and other leading Elders in the Church met in council, in one of the upper rooms of the Temple, and discussed the question of how the Prophet  Joseph could be deposed and David Whitmer, one of the three special witnesses to the Book of Mormon, be chosen President of the Church. President Young was at that council, but remained steadfast in his loyalty to the absent prophet. He thus describes the part he took on that occasion;
“I arose and told them in a plain and forcible manner that Joseph was a prophet, and I knew it; and that they might rail at and slander him as they pleased, they could not destroy the appointment of the prophet of God; they could only destroy their own authority, cut the thread which bound them to the prophet and to God, and sink themselves to hell. Many were highly enraged at my decided opposition to their measures, and Jacob Bump, an old pugilist, was so exasperated that he could not be still. Some of the brethren near him put their hands on him, and requested him to be quiet; but he writhed and twisted his arms and body, saying, `how can I keep my hands off that man?’ I told him if he thought it would give him any relief, he might lay them on. The meeting was broken up without the apostates being able to unite on any decided measure of opposition.” (Contrib. 10:1)
It is important to realize that the main reason the apostates tried to change the leadership of the Church was because they did not agree with the teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith. They were not meeting in the temple to replace Joseph because they didn’t like his personality; they opposed his teachings! Where does that place us today? Isn’t that a strong indication that things are now out of order? But this will be the subject of a later chapter. (See Chapter 9, “A House out of Order.”)
The statements by both the First Presidency and Dr. Sperry acknowledge that there is “no indication as to the identity” of the One Mighty and Strong. Nor have Church leaders since then ever made an official statement identifying this individual.
 Prof. Sperry assumes that since no one came to take over Bishop Partridge’s duties, then he must have repented and there was no need for the Lord to fulfill his threat. However, he does say that the unrighteous shall not receive “the inheritances of Saints, whether near or distant in time.” Those Saints whose lives and teachings have “been in conflict with some of the directives given by the Lord,” would prove themselves unworthy of those inheritances. We would agree with him that anyone, then and now, who will “set down his own judgment over that of the Prophet” will suffer the consequences. All those that oppose the laws, ordinances and covenants of the Lord, will disqualify themselves from receiving this great inheritance.
However, Dr. Sidney Sperry seemed to downplay the subject of a setting in order when he said, “In my humble opinion, the vigorous discussions of the past—and even at present—were, and are, veritable tempests in a teapot.” (Doc. & Cov. Compendium, p. 411) These small tempests, however, have now mushroomed into tens of thousands of people claiming that all is not well in Zion, and the house of God is not in proper order.
Many prophecies applied to those early Saints and their failure to redeem Zion. But is it not possible they pertain to us, too, since we have not yet qualified ourselves to go back and redeem Zion?
 Chapter 4
MAX ANDERSON’S STATEMENT
Mr. Max Anderson, working in close association with the hierarchy of the Church, has compiled a manuscript of arguments to be used against the LDS Fundamentalists. Part of his chapter entitled “The One Mighty and Strong” is included and briefly discussed in the following pages.
“. . . In the time of the seventh president of this church (Heber J. Grant, 1918-1945) * * * the one mighty and strong spoken of in the 85th section of the Doctrine and Covenants would come.”
So declares Lorin C. Woolley in his 1929 statement in the pamphlet, “1886 Revelation.” However, it soon became apparent that the statement was too restrictive, and the parenthetical “(the day of bondage)” was added in reference to the day in which the “one mighty and strong” was to come. This note considerably extended the time limits for the purported coming of “the one mighty and strong to set the House of God in order.” The days of temporal bondage (1882-1900?) have long since passed and even if one accepts the Fundamentalist assertion of a 50-year mortgage on the Temple grounds and other church properties, consummated in November, 1923, this mortgage, as a last vestige of temporal bondage, would have been dissolved in November, 1973, thus ending the “day of bondage” anyway. And there certainly is no evidence that any “one mighty and strong” came at any time during that period and “set the House of God in order. Thus, the only Fundamentalist contention left is the claim of spiritual bondage. So far, all claims of spiritual bondage have been shown not to exist.
 Before continuing with Anderson’s statement, it is necessary to interject a comment on this reference to Lorin Woolley. It is a fact the Church was in both temporal and spiritual bondage at the time of the seventh president. The Fundamentalists did not make an unfounded “assertion” of the temporal bondage of the church occurring in 1923.
Heber J. Grant took out a $30 million loan to put the U & I Sugar Company back on its feet. To do so, he decided to mortgage the temple, (including all the buildings on Temple Square), the Bishop’s Storehouse, Deseret Gym, etc. This marked the first financial tie-up with Wall Street, and it continued in the areas of investments, contracts and financial bonds with national and international bankers.
Information about the huge mortgage kept sifting down through the membership of the Church, and questions were raised about its being a fact or just an ugly rumor. To stop this, the Church issued the following statement:
The Church has borrowed no money. The Church has mortgaged none of its property. The Church has sold none of its property. The First Presidency has no intention of so doing because there is no call or necessity therefore, and all rumors and accounts to the contrary are wholly untrue. (Des. News, April 4, 1936)
While this may be true of the Church itself, it may not have been true of the Corporation of the LDS Church, which appeared to be in real financial bondage at this time.
Nevertheless, this was the response of the Presidency of the Church to a loan which was in the Salt Lake County Recorder’s Office, Deed No. 501, 787, Bk. 11 U, page 440, dated Nov. 19, 1923, and recorded Nov. 21, 1923. It was issued by Heber J. Grant, Trustee in Trust for the Church of Jesus Christ of  Latter-day Saints. Two other deeds followed: #501,790 and #502,184 also issued by Heber J. Grant.
These three deeds included the entire Temple Block, Church Office Building, Bishop’s Building, Deseret Gymnasium Building, Beehive and Lion House buildings.
Also there was a mortgage of $3-1/2 million issued by the Utah-Idaho Sugar Company in favor of Wells Fargo and Union Trust Co. of San Francisco, recorded on February 27, 1936, in Book 172 of Mortgages, page 281.
There was one other mortgage listed in the Box Elder County Recorder’s Office in Bk. 36 of Mortgages, page 329, in 1931 by the Utah-Idaho Sugar Company to the Corporation of the President of the Church of Jesus Christ of L.D.S. for the purpose of a guarantee to the Chase National Bank of New York and associate banks.
It seems to be a mystery why the Church has taken such devious methods of hiding this information, rather than telling the members that it needed money to function. Was it because of vain pride that the Church leadership attempted to hide the fact that they were not shrewd businessmen? Who cares? Spiritual men are often poor businessmen, but shrewd businessmen are seldom spiritual men.
It is regrettable that the Church President stepped outside his realm by using funds supposedly dedicated to the Lord, for personal ambition and for business ventures. It is unfortunate that those sacred emblems were used as pawns to pay Chase Bank and their international cohorts unbeknown to the Church membership.
 CONVEYANCES OF PROPERTY DEED AND THE CORPORATION SOLE
THIS DEED, Made the 19th day of November, A. D. 1923, Between HEBER J. GRANT, as Trustee-in-Trust for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, (successor in office of Lorenzo Snow as such Trustee-in-Trust), party of the first part, and ANTHONY W. IVINS, Trustee, party of the second part, both of the City and County of Salt Lake, State of Utah, WITNESSETH:
That the party of the first part for and in consideration of the sum Of One Dollar ($1.00) to him in hand paid by the party of the second part, the receipt whereof is hereby acknowledged, does hereby grant, bargain, sell and convey unto the party of the second part, his successors in trust and assigns forever, all the following described land and promises situated in the City and County of Salt Lake, State of Utah, to-wit:
A tract of land upon which the Bee-Hive House and Lion House are erected, more fully described as follows:
Commencing Thirty-three (33) feet East of the Southeast corner of Lot One (1), Block Eighty-eight (88), Plat “A”, Salt Lake City Survey; running thence West Two Hundred Fourteen (214) feet, Six (6) inches; thence North Two Hundred Sixty-four (264) feet; thence East Seventy (70) feet, four (4) inches; thence South Sixty-six (66) feet; thence East One Hundred Forty-four (144) feet, Two (2) inches; thence South on West side of State Street, One Hundred Ninety-eight (198) feet, to the place of beginning.
—Also the Gymnasium Tennis Court, more fully described as follows:
Commencing at the Southeast corner of Lot Three (3), Block Eighty-eight (88), Plat “A”, Salt Lake City Survey, and running thence North One Hundred Twenty three and Seventy-five One-hundredths (123.75) feet; thence West One Hundred Fifteen (115) feet; thence South One Hundred Twenty-three and Seventy-five One-hundredths (123.75) feet; thence East One Hundred Fifteen (115) feet, to the place of beginning.
TOGETHER with all and singular the tenements, hereditaments and appurtenances thereunto belonging or in anywise appertaining.
TO HAVE AND TO HOLD the said premises, with the appurtenances, unto the said party of the second part, his successors in trust and assigns forever.
This deed is executed and delivered for the purpose of enabling said party of the second part to reconvey said property to the said Heber J. Grant, as President of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, so that he, as such President, may incorporate under the laws of the State of Utah as a corporation sole.
IN WITNESS WHEREOF the said party of the first part has hereunto subscribed his name the name the day and year first above written.
Done in presence of Heber J. Grant
Arthur Winter Trustee in Trust for the
Melvin D. Wells, Church of Jesus Christ
STATE OF UTAH, )ss. of Latter-Day Saints.
COUNTY OF SALT LAKE )
On the 19th day of November, A.D., 1923, personally appeared before me HEBER J. GRANT, Trustee in Trust for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, the signer of the foregoing instrument, who duly acknowledged to me that he executed the same as such Trustee in Trust.
I, David O. McKay, do hereby certify that I am the President of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, a religious association, and by virtue of such office I am the corporation sole of the Corporation of the President of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, a corporation sole, organized under the laws of the State of Utah; that I am the person designated in the Articles of Incorporation of said corporation sole to sign and execute deeds and other instruments of writing and to transact all of the business of said corporation sole pursuant to the provisions of Title 16, Chapter 7, Section 8, Utah Code Annotated, 1953; I hereby designate and appoint Hugh B. Brown and N. Eldon Tanner, Counselors in The First Presidency of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, and each or either of them acting jointly or separately, as agents authorized and empowered to execute deeds and other instruments of writing for and on behalf of said corporation sole.
Dated at Salt lake City, Utah, the 18th day of December, A.D., 1963
David O. McKay (signature)
Corporation Sole of the Corporation
of the President of The Church of
Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints
 But temporal bondage does not necessarily mean a debt of money. For instance, the Israelites were in bondage to the Egyptians, but they owed no money. They were in bondage because they were not free from the laws, traditions, customs and spiritual indoctrination of the Egyptians. The Mormon Church, which is supposed to be a spiritual entity, has become traditioned in the same manner as the Israelites in Egypt.
If Mormons look and dress like Babylonians, get married by their standards, become educated by them, vote for them, do business with and pay taxes to them, fight their wars, live among them and act like them—can they still be considered Latter-day Saints, or are they Babylonians?
Now to continue with Max Anderson—
This revelation <Section 85> is excerpted from a letter which was written to W. W. Phelps by the Prophet from Kirtland on Nov. 27, 1832. (See D.H.C. 1:227-29.) The entire letter placed in the context of church history shows that Bishop Partridge was the man referred to in the letter “that God has appointed in a legal way, agreeably to the law to organize and regulate the church, and all the affairs of the same.” He was the one to dispense “their inheritance by consecrations, by order or deed.” The subject of this whole letter “relates to the affairs of the church in Missouri, the gathering of the Saints to that land and of obtaining their inheritances under the law of consecration and stewardship.”
The 1905 statement rightly points out that Edward Partridge, the Bishop in Zion, was the one who put “forth his hand to steady the ark of God” and was threatened with removal if he did not repent.
“. . . That he was the man so threatened in that revelation there can be no question; not only on account of what is here set forth, but also because Orson Pratt, one familiar with Edward Partridge, and an active participant in all these historical matters,  publicly declared from the pulpit in Salt Lake City, about the time of the death of President Young, that the man referred to in the passage of the revelation in question, was Bishop Edward Partridge. Of the facts of his statement there can be no doubt; and at the time he was the historian of the church as well as a member of the Quorum of the apostles.”
A revelation which supports President Joseph F. Smith’s argument warns Bishop Partridge he may be replaced by someone who will rightly and faithfully perform the Lord’s errand:
“For it shall come to pass that the inhabitants of Zion shall judge all things pertaining to Zion. And liars and hypocrites shall be proved by them, and they who are not apostles and prophets shall be known. And even the Bishop (Edward Partridge), who is a judge, and his counselors, if they are not faithful in their stewardships shall be condemned, and others shall be planted in their stead. For, behold, I say unto you that Zion shall flourish, and the glory of the Lord shall be upon her; and she shall be an ensign unto the people. *** (D.H.C. 1:213-214, 11 Sept. 1831)
After this warning the events relating to the difficulties between Bishop Partridge and President Rigdon occurred as is stated in President Smith’s text, and Joseph Smith warned:
“Repent, repent is the voice of God to Zion. * * * I say to you (and what I say to you I say to all), hear the warning voice of God, lest Zion fall, and the Lord swear in his wrath the inhabitants in Zion shall not enter his rest. * * *”
(In order to understand the serious nature of affairs in Zion at this time the letters of reproof, of which the above is an excerpt, should be read. (See D.H.C. 1:316-321.)
Further condemnation was given by revelation on Sept. 23, 1832:
“You have treated lightly the things you have received, which vanity and unbelief have brought the whole church under condemnation. And this condemnation resteth upon the children of Zion, even all; and they shall remain under this condemnation  until they repent. * * * Otherwise there remaineth a scourge and a judgment to be poured out on the children of Zion.” (D & C 84:54-58)
Apparently repentance was not forthcoming and so the rebellious bishop was threatened with the serious judgment of Section 85 if he did not repent.
“. . . the prediction was made that another `one mighty and strong,’ would be sent of God to take his place, to have his bishopric—one having the spirit and power of that high office resting upon him, by which he would have power to `set in order the house of God and arrange by lot the inheritances of the Saints,’ in other words one who would do the work that Bishop Edward Partridge had been appointed to do but failed to accomplish.”
In order to understand some of the terms used in this revelation let us review the Lord’s language at this same period. The Lord speaks of his leaders in Zion as “strong ones.”
“Nevertheless, I am not well pleased with many things; and I am not well pleased with my servant William E. M’Lellin, neither with my servant Sidney Gilbert; and the bishop also, and others have many things to repent of. But verily I say unto you, that I, the Lord, will contend with Zion, and plead with her strong ones, and chasten her until she overcomes and is clean before me.” (D & C 90:35, 36)
The First Presidency were appointed by revelation as follows:
“And this shall be your business and mission in all your lives, to preside in council, and set in order all the affairs of this church and kingdom.” (D & C 90:16)
Later when the Twelve Apostles were called they were appointed to ordain evangelical ministers * * * also, to ordain and set in order all the other officers of the church. * * * (Ibid. 107:39, 58)
As the Lord uses these terms, the Bishop, as a leader in Zion, was a “strong one” who like the First Presidency and the Twelve was to “set in order the house of God” in his jurisdiction. If Edward Partridge was seriously failing his calling and not a “strong”  leader as he should have been, then the Lord threatened to replace him with “one mighty and strong” who would “set in order the House of God.” Joseph Smith, himself, was earlier threatened with replacement when he faltered. In December, 1830, the Lord revealed:
“And I have given unto him the keys of the mystery of those things which have been sealed, even things which were from the foundation of the world, and the things which shall come from this time to the time of my coming, if he abide in me, and if not, another will I plant in his stead.”.(D & C 35:17)
This same information was re-iterated three months later. (See D & C 43:1-4.)
In September, 1831, at the same time Bishop Partridge was reproved, the Prophet himself was guilty of a degree of unfaithfulness. The Lord said of the Prophet:
“Nevertheless, he has sinned; but verily I say unto you, I, the Lord, forgive sins unto those who confess their sins before me and ask forgiveness, who have not sinned unto death.”(no reference given.)
As we shall see, Bishop Partridge’s sins apparently were so grievous that he is threatened with death if he does not fully repent.
By March, 1833, the Prophet had proved himself sufficiently faithful and the Lord promised:
“Verily I say unto you, the keys of this kingdom shall never be taken from you, while thou art in the world neither in the world to come. Nevertheless, through you shall the oracles be given to another, yea, even to the church.” (D & C 90:3, 4)
And then as a warning to those who should hold the Prophetic office in the future the Lord warned:
“And all they who receive the oracles of God, let them beware how they hold them lest they are accounted as a light thing, and are brought under condemnation thereby, and stumble and fall when the storms descend, and the winds blow, and the rains descend, and beat upon their house.” (Ibid., v. 5)
Like Joseph Smith, the threat of replacement rested on Bishop Partridge until he also sufficiently  proved himself before the Lord. In the same revelation cited above the Lord continued to reprove Bishop Partridge and others in Zion, as noted above.
President Joseph F. Smith points out the repentance of Bishop Partridge and his resultant acceptance by the Lord:
“In the midst of the troublous times in Missouri, Edward Partridge acted a most noble, and self-sacrificing part, and bore many indignities with the greatest patience. He was taken to the public square of Independence, partly stripped of his clothing, and bedaubed with tar and feathers, amid the jeers of the mob. He neither complained nor murmured at this treatment, but bore it well, with meekness and dignity. He was one with five others to offer himself as a ransom for the Church “willing to be scourged or even put to death,” if that would but satisfy the tormentors of the Saints, and stop the inhuman cruelties practiced towards them by the Missourians. He was also active in settling the Saints in upper Missouri, in 1835-8. He shared in all the labors and hardships incident to the settlement of a new country, and subsequently passed through the trials attendant upon the exodus of the Saints from Missouri. Who shall say that his repentance, his sacrifices, his sufferings and faithfulness did not procure for him a mitigation of the severe judgment decreed against him in the revelation contained in the eighty-fifth section of the Doctrine and Covenants? At any rate, the Lord said, some three years later, that he was well pleased with Edward Partridge. The word of the Lord came to the Prophet to this effect on the 7th of November, 1835:
`Behold, I am well pleased with my servant Isaac Morley, and my servant Edward Partridge, because of the integrity of their hearts in laboring in my vineyard, for the salvation of the souls of men. Verily I say unto you, their sins are forgiven them, . . .'”
President J. F. Smith concludes the matter thus;
“And inasmuch as through his repentance and sacrifices and suffering Bishop Partridge undoubtedly obtained a mitigation of the threatened judgment against him of falling `by the shaft of death, like as a  tree that is smitten by the vivid shaft of lightning’ so that the occasion for another to fill his station—`one mighty and strong to set in order the House of God and to arrange by lot the inheritances of the Saints’—may also be considered as having passed away and the whole incident of prophecy closed.”
(For evidence that Bishop Partridge’s mission was to “arrange by lot the inheritances of the Saints”, see D & C 57:7, 15; 58:14, 17)
Fundamentalists have been quick to seize on this revelation as proof that the church was to get out of order and, therefore, are not willing to accept the 1905 statement as the truth.
It is interesting to note that all through Max Anderson’s argument in quoting the Official Church Statement, he has apparently forgotten that the last statement of that 1905 message indicates that the First Presidency acknowledged that the One Mighty and Strong is yet to come. To reiterate;
Men of exceptional talents and abilities . . . will be accepted by the Saints in the regular order, appointed by the law of the Church, just as Edward Partridge was called and accepted; and just as the “one mighty and strong” will be called and accepted when the time comes for his services.
The statement that the One Mighty and Strong is not future is frivolous. And when verses 7 and 8 of Section 85 are analyzed further in this book, it will be more clear that this has to refer to a future resurrected being.
Mr. Anderson readily quotes the failure of many leading men, including Joseph Smith, showing how close the setting in order nearly happened in those early days of the Church. However, he and many others today seem to think that such a thing could not be possible in our present time. Surely if Joseph Smith, the witnesses to the Book of Mormon,  others in the First Presidency, and most of the Apostles had such personal failings in those early days, it is possible for leaders of the Church to err the same in our day. If the “setting in order” could have happened in the early days of the Church,, it can certainly happen in the latter days.
Continuing with Mr. Anderson—
- Harvey Allred and Joseph W. Musser, in defense of the Fundamentalist position on this issue, dispute the entire <1905> article. Allred gives his opinion of the article in the following terse language:
“Sacrilege! And yet, there is about as much reason in that scoffing statement as there is in some arguments men advance to prove their false position a true position in this church.” (Allred, B. H., A Leaf in Review, p. 124)
And Joseph W. Musser offers the following critique;
“The statement seeks to prove that the revelation related to the affairs of the church in Missouri and the granting to the Saints their inheritances; and Bishop Partridge, being the Bishop, was the logical man to perform that work. But this assumption is in error.” (Truth 9:116)
Musser further points out that—
“The statement of the First Presidency, as referred to herein, places emphasis upon William W. Phelps, who was, at the time the revelation was received, the bishop of the church stationed at Zion, Jackson County, Missouri.” (Truth 14:71)
We answer simply that a cursory review of Church history shows that Edward Partridge was indeed the one and only bishop in Zion, Jackson County, Missouri, and that W. W. Phelps was sent to Missouri to function as the printer for the church, publishing the church newspaper The Evening and Morning Star. (See Far West Record, D.H.C., The Historical Record, etc.)
 Musser goes on in this same article to admit the point President Smith makes in his article;
“One duty of the bishop was to award inheritances to the worthy Saints, and we understand some inheritances were awarded. How faithful the bishop was in this duty we know not. But certainly a moment’s reflection should convince any Latter-day Saint that a bishop would not be authorized, under his bishopric, to set the House of God in order. That would require one holding the Melchizedek Priesthood. * * *” (Ibid., p. 71)
We will not hesitate to agree that Joseph Musser and his colleagues “know not” how faithful the bishop in Zion was. President Joseph F. Smith, who carefully and meticulously explained it in his article was considerably better prepared, but Fundamentalists have refused to believe all his testimony. (See Allred, A Leaf in Review, pp. 119-123; and Musser, Truth 9:116-118; 14:70-72)
The additional assertion that “a bishop would not be authorized, under his bishopric, to set the House of God in order” is unsound and untrue in the sense that, and under the circumstances that the statement is given in the revelation. The Bishop was by very assignment through revelation given the task “to arrange by lot the inheritances of the Saints” in Zion, Missouri. His calling comprised exclusively “setting the House of God” in Missouri “in order.” Fundamentalists have repeatedly claimed that the “House of God” as referred to specifically in the revelation in question included the whole church, and therefore a bishop would not be qualified for such a task. Since Partridge was the only bishop in the whole church at this time, he would well have had also this prerogative if this is what the Lord really meant by this term.
Not only has Joseph Musser and all Fundamentalism claimed the Church to be out of order following D & C 85, but he has also tacitly admitted his own priesthood council is not in order or never has been. Commenting on Section 85 he continues:
“As we see the situation, the House of God includes the entire structure—the Priesthood, the  Temple, Church and Kingdom of God in all its branches. * * * Is the Priesthood out of order? We should say so long as it is not being conferred, only an office in the Church being given, and so long as the Sanhedrin (i.e., the full Fundamentalists Priesthood Council) and the Grand Council are not fully complete in membership, that the Priesthood is out of order.” (Truth 14:71)
Since Musser’s Sanhedrin has never been fully organized with its full complement of 71 members or the Grand Council of 50 members, perhaps it is a case of “the pot calling the kettle black.”
The Prophet Isaiah foretold the situation as he saw it in the last days: “The Lord hath a mighty and strong one” which “shall cast down the pride of Ephraim” because “the priest and the prophet have erred” and “they err in vision, they stumble in judgment. For all tables are full of vomit and filthiness, so that there is no place clean.” (Isa. 28:2, 3, 7, 8)
If anyone can look at the present-day Mormons and believe that things were worse in the days of Bishop Partridge, they certainly do stumble in judgment. How many times a year is it reported that some official of the Church is in trouble for some shady business dealings, telling falsehoods or some other embarrassing situation? And these are only the cases that “unfortunately” surface through the media. It appears that many “err in vision and stumble in judgment.”
Max Anderson continues by again quoting Joseph Musser:
“Then, again, as good and faithful a man as Edward Partridge was, he could hardly answer the qualifications the Lord mentions, (nor could any mortal man) as “holding the scepter of power in his hand, clothed with light for a covering, whose mouth shall utter words, eternal words; while his bowels shall  be a fountain of truth. This doubtless describes an immortal and resurrected being.” (Truth, 9:116)
This statement reflects the typical Fundamentalist conception of President Smith’s article that Partridge was to be the “one mighty and strong” with the attributes mentioned. The article plainly states that if he (Partridge) did not repent someone else would take his place, someone “mighty and strong” who would fulfill the assignment of Bishop Partridge in Zion with dispatch and integrity. Musser claims “This doubtless describes an immortal and resurrected being.” We ask: Why? Does one have to be resurrected and immortal to have bowels that are depicted as “a fountain of truth?” Surely a mortal who is righteous can fit this description. Does one have to be resurrected and immortal to be described as being “clothed with light for a covering?” Surely a mortal who is righteous can fit this description. Finally, does one have to be resurrected and immortal to be described as “holding the scepter of power in his hand?” Surely a mortal who is righteous, bearing the Priesthood of Almighty God, can fit this description. It is clear that these are the attributes, or some of them, required of all of God’s leaders who are properly fitted to serve in high and holy callings and are appointed to them. The description here may be unusually graphic but the application is universal.
Max gives no example of any General Authority who has been clothed with a light for a covering and has held the scepter of power in his hand. Moses used his rod as a scepter of power to perform mighty miracles to show the works of God. Where is that power today? The Lord told Moses that he used his rod “to shew in thee my power, and that my name may be declared throughout all the earth.” (Ex. 9:16) That power was used to demonstrate, or as we might say, to serve as a witness. But that power now seems to be gone.
When did any mortal come clothed with a light for a covering? Can one see the difference in a man who is clothed  with light and another who is not? Today the Mormons are all clothed like Gentiles.
Consider the following descriptions and identities of messengers who appeared clothed with some type of glorious light:
- Oliver Cowdery described the appearance of John the Baptist by saying: “The angel of God came down clothed with glory . . . as in the `blaze of day’, yes, more—above the glitter of the May sunbeam, . . . (Times and Seasons 2:201)
- From Jedediah Grant: “The Prophet Joseph Smith was visited by an holy angel, clad in robes of light. . . .” (JD 2:12)
- John Taylor: “He <Joseph Smith> told them that the heavens had been opened and that angels clothed in light and glory had appeared to him and revealed unto him certain things.” (JD 10:127)
- Orson Pratt: “While pleading and praying to the Lord for more information, which was a matter of great concern to him, the heavens were opened, and two personages clothed in light or fire descended and stood before him.” (JD 15:181)
- Orson Pratt: “We are told that David Whitmer, Martin Harris and Oliver Cowdery, in the year 1829, before this book was published, saw an angel of God come down from heaven and take the plates from which it was translated, and he exhibited them before the eyes of these three men turning them over leaf after leaf. They saw the angel descend; they saw his glorious personage; they  beheld the light and glory of his countenance. …” (JD 16:212)
- As mentioned in an earlier chapter, Orson Pratt identified this messenger as “one that is clothed upon with light as with a garment whose bowels are a fountain of truth. His mission will be to divide, by lot, to the Saints their inheritance, . . . ” (JD 21:150-151)
In these six testimonies, only heavenly resurrected messengers are described as having a light for a covering—angels from the other side rather than mortal men.
In conclusion, Max Anderson states:
We conclude this section with three statements which seem to apply most appropriately to the false claims by critics Lorin Woolley, Joseph Musser and company, et al, of apostasy and bondage of the Church under President Grant:
Joseph Smith: I will give unto you one of the keys of the mysteries of the kingdom. It is an eternal principle, that has existed with God from all eternity. That man who rises up to condemn others, finding fault with the church, saying that they are out of the way, while he himself is righteous, then know assuredly, that that man is in the high road to apostasy; and if he does not repent, will apostatize, as God lives.
The principle is as correct as the one Jesus put forth in saying, that he who seeketh a sign is an adulterous person; and that principle is eternal, undeviating, and firm as the pillars of heaven; for whenever you see a man seeking after a sign, you may set it down that he is an adulterous man. (Compendium, 1884, p. 271)
D & C 121:16-18, 21: Cursed are all those that shall lift up the heel against mine anointed, saith the Lord, and cry they have sinned when they have not  sinned before me, saith the Lord, but have done that which was meet in mine eyes, and which I commanded them;
But those who cry transgression do it because they are the servants of sin, and are the children of disobedience themselves;
And those who cry swear falsely against my servants that they might bring them into bondage, and death. . . .
They shall not have right to the priesthood, nor their posterity after them from generation to generation.
George Q. Cannon: The man who holds the keys is always the object of assault. His life is the life that is most sought after. He is the man they would strike down, if they had the power. They seek to weaken the confidence of the people in him, by all manner of slanders, and by every sort of falsification. It is the main object of our enemies to sow the seeds of distrust and suspicion in the midst of the Latter-day Saints, and to accomplish this relate all manner of falsehoods concerning those who bear the priesthood of the Son of God. They contort every act. They misrepresent every word and every counsel that is given. They endeavor to put everything in a false light. And those who read those things continually, begin to believe by degrees, that there is foundation for them, that there is something wrong, that this man or the other man is not to be trusted, and that they are doing wrong in yielding obedience to the counsels of the Priesthood, and in submitting to its control. You are aware these attacks are constantly directed against the Priesthood, and it is, I say, the vital point today. (JD 24:277, 1883)
Since we are admonished by the Lord to prove those who claim to be apostles and prophets (D & C 64:38, 39), we leave the reader to judge if Fundamentalists fit this pattern.
* * *
 It may be well to add some quotations at this point to clarify these passages. President Brigham Young once said:
Now when I was an Elder I was as willing to correct an error in the Brethren as I am now But the people do not see it so. Now if you should be with the Twelve or anybody, you would have right to correct an error as well as with a member, but you could not correct them by cutting them off from the Church because they are over you in the priesthood. (Wilford Woodruff’s Journal, p. 56)
If anyone should see an elder, an apostle or even the President of the Church, make an error, would it be wrong to tell him your opinion? Brigham says no. If he thought you were right, he would be glad to be corrected so he would not continue in error or sin. Just because we offer our views and opinions to someone, including leaders in the Church, it does not mean we are trying to take over their position or accusing them of apostasy and that we are all perfectly clean from sin. Everyone should have the right and privilege of admonishing a brother.
As great as Joseph Smith was, consider this letter he wrote:
I desire, Brother William, that you will humble yourself. I freely forgive you, and you know my unshaken and unchangeable disposition; I know in whom I trust; I stand upon the rock; the floods cannot, no, they shall not, overthrow me. You know the doctrine I teach is true; you know that God has blessed me. I brought salvation to my father’s house, as an instrument in the hands of God when they were in a miserable situation. You know that it is my duty to admonish you, when you do wrong. This liberty I shall always take, and you shall have the same privilege. I take the liberty to admonish you, because of my birthright; and I grant you the privilege,  because it is my duty to be humble, and receive rebuke and instruction from a brother, or a friend. (DHC 2:343)
What a great man! The Prophet Joseph Smith declares that he is willing to be admonished by a brother or a friend! Surely if as noble a man as Joseph could be admonished or reproved with kindness by his brothers, why is it impossible for “a brother or a friend” to have the same privileges now? Today if anyone has the slightest disagreement with one of the Church leaders regarding doctrine, principle or belief, they are threatened with apostasy and are often cut off the Church.
If you admonish a true friend for making an error or even committing some sin, he will thank you for it because it will help him improve his life. If you try to correct an error in a wicked person, they will revile against you. The Prophet explains:
A frank and open rebuke provoketh a good man to emulation; and in the hour of trouble he will be your best friend; but on the other hand, it will draw out all the corruptions of the corrupt hearts, and lying and the poison of asps is under their tongues; and they do cause the pure in heart to be cast into prison, because they want them out of the way. (TPJS, p. 137)
It is regrettable that persons cannot question or disagree with leaders of the Church today without getting into trouble for it. And it is regrettable that we don’t have leaders today who will be grateful for any correction or admonition from a brother and thank him for bringing it to his attention.
We have ignored the reasons for admonitions, corrections, and rebukes. Instead we have built walls of immunity against them, and in so doing we have lost the opportunity for learning humility and penitence.
 This chapter should not be concluded without answering some of the comments that Max Anderson made against the Mormon Fundamentalists. To begin with, the Fundamentalists are generally not “finding fault with the Church”, nor even with the leaders personally—only with some of the actions or doctrines of the Church leaders. Neither do they “lift up the heel against mine anointed”—the key here being can a person be—the Lord’s anointed—if they don’t believe in, teach and practice all the principles and ordinances of the Gospel? The same question could be asked about the man who “holds the keys”.
True prophets are only prophets when they speak as such and are subject to human weaknesses like the rest of us. When we say our leaders cannot make errors, cannot be questioned as to their actions, and that we must follow them in blind faith, it smells of the old Catholic doctrine of infallibility.
In every previous dispensation there has been a falling away from the true Gospel. Should our dispensation be any different? In the Church today there are two sets of Gospel standards: one as established by Joseph Smith and another that has been gradually changed since the restoration. Both cannot be right, but that is what we are taught to accept, because if we say anything, we are on “the high road to apostasy” or else we are an “adulterous man”.
If Max Anderson, Mark Petersen and company, et al, continue to say that all is well in Zion, then let them believe it until the One Mighty and Strong comes to tell them differently.
The problem is not with members who will not follow their current leaders, but rather with the present leaders who say we should always follow them. The reason for the present  problem is that the leaders today have not followed their previous leaders. If they had done that, there would be no discrepancies now. But how can the present leaders disobey their former leaders and then demand that everyone follow them, when they didn’t set the example by following their leaders?
 Chapter 5
FRANCIS DARTER’S STATEMENT
Francis M. Darter was a brilliant civil engineer and an avid student of the scriptures. He was strong minded with a firm conviction of the Gospel, and because of it he had the rare distinction of being excommunicated twice from the LDS Church. He wrote many books and pamphlets and often included information on the One Mighty and Strong.
Because of his extensive research and willingness to share the fruits thereof (even at the possible sacrifice of his Church membership), we can gain much by reading what he has recorded. Therefore, this chapter will include extracts pertaining to the One Mighty and Strong from his book entitled Redemption of Zion.
A Mighty and Strong One
Does Holy Writ refer to a future spiritual leader as “A Mighty and Strong One?” Yes. In the 28th chapter of Isaiah we find a detailed record foretelling the Lord’s sending forth “A Mighty and Strong One” to bring a blessing to the righteous, but judgment against the wicked, the oppressor and the slothful servant. His mission will be in the last generation, “in that day,” among a certain people who will be living in “the fat valley,” a people who are “of Ephraim.” Their organizations will possess “priests” and “prophets”. Isaiah refers not to the faithful and strong but to the weak ones among these people as “the Drunkards of Ephraim.” He intimates, in fact he tells us, that these  drunkards are not drunk with wine, but that “they err in vision” and that “they stumble in judgment.” (Isa. 28:1-7)
The Lord, thru Isaiah, informs us that He is unable to teach this certain faction of His people for they have refused to wean themselves from the breast. They remain contented with the milk portion of the Gospel. He says, “Whom shall He teach knowledge? And whom shall He make to understand doctrine? Them that are weaned from the milk, and drawn from the breast.” The record clearly indicates that the Lord prefers to give to the whole of these people the meat portion of the Gospel; but He tells us He can give it only to those who have progressed beyond the A B C class, to those who “are weaned from the milk.”
Paul, in his day, also found Saints who were in the same condition. I quote him: “We have many things to say, and hard to be uttered, seeing ye are dull of hearing. For when for the time ye ought to be teachers, ye have need that one teach you again which be the first principles of the oracles of God; and are become such as have need of milk, and not of strong meat. For every one that useth milk is unskillful in the word of righteousness: for he is a babe. But strong meat belongeth to them that are of full age, even those who by reason of use have their senses exercised to discern both good and evil.” (Heb. 5:11-14)
Isaiah most positively identifies and pronounces judgments against a portion of our Latter-day Saints. We often hear that certain portion of our people say: “All is well in Zion,” and they make the excuse that the Saints are not ready for these deeper things in Holy Writ, but Isaiah says that the error lies not with the laymen but that “the priest and the prophet have erred” in their failure to teach the layman the deeper portions of the Gospel and inform their people of the actual inward conditions and judgments to come.
These spiritually weak ones are continually reminding us of the “Words of Wisdom,” tithing, church origin; church origin, tithing and “Words of Wisdom.” I ask the question, what is wisdom? Does it not also include a responsibility to inform ourselves of the entire  Word of God? The argument they advance, namely, that it isn’t time to discuss these certain Scriptures openly, has no foundation now, for the time is at hand for their fulfilment. To know what is in the Book of Mormon is an actual requirement of us before we shall receive the “sealed portions” of that Book. We are also told that the glory of God is intelligence, and that we cannot be saved in our ignorance.
While speaking of the Book of Mormon, do you realize that the entire 29th chapter of Isaiah describes the coming forth of the original plates of that record and the attitude of the people against the Book of Mormon? Isaiah also in his 33rd chapter refers to this Zion as being “very far off” from Jerusalem. (33:13-17) If the 29th chapter of Isaiah refers to our people and nation, then it is very feasible that the 28th may likewise.
* * *
Many of our weak members are now refusing to be guided by the written counsel of the Lord. They prefer their own methods. Isaiah may have also referred to the Saints’ rejection or rather their failure to live “the United Order” in Zion. They preferred to live alone, with every man struggling to obtain possession of a portion of the world at any price. Therefore, there is no rest; single-handed schemes are all on an uphill grade; except with the small minority. We are now trying to live the law of Tithing, but things are not right and the masses are not satisfied. If everything had been left as the Lord gave it thru the Prophet Joseph Smith, we would be shining as a beacon light from a mountain top. The sending out of missionaries to the world would not be necessary for the light would be so great that the honest in heart would find us.
I do not want to give out the impression that all have gone “out of the way.” We have several hundreds of thousands of the finest Saints and Elders in Israel that ever lived in mortality, but it is the minority; the overbearing, the oppressor, the hypocrite and the weak ones among us to whom the Lord is referring.
* * *
 Brigham Young foretold our present conditions. He said that if we ever gave up polygamy and the United Order (the latter meaning, in a general way, that every man must work and be in many respects on an equal footing with his brother) that our progress “cannot advance as God wishes for it to advance.” He further stated that: “If this people do not accept and live the principles of the United Order, they will not be acceptable to the Lord. I do not want to live to see the sufferings that this people will have to pass through if they reject the United Order.” (Dedicatorial sermon, St. George Temple) John Taylor tells us that Joseph Smith predicted the same thing. (John Taylor’s address at Centerville, June 11, 1883, Hist. Records, Vol. 6, p. 233; Hist. of John Taylor, p. 99)
* * *
Isaiah continues to identify the Latter-day Saints: “Therefore thus saith the Lord God, Behold, I lay in Zion for a foundation a stone, a tried stone, a precious corner-stone, a sure foundation; he that believeth shall not make haste.” (Isa. 28:16) Question: Was Joseph Smith commanded to build a cornerstone of Zion? Yes. The Nauvoo Stake, Temple and the Nauvoo House were to be one of these cornerstones. I quote in part: “I say unto you, that you are now called immediately to make a solemn proclamation of my gospel, and of this state which I have planted to be a corner-stone of Zion.” (D & C 124:2) The center and most precious corner-stone of God’s near future Kingdom has also been promised our people, as referred to by Isaiah. It is called Zion and is to be built at Independence, Missouri, within the generation of 1832, which event can be but a few years off. (D & C 57:1-5; 84:1-5)
The mission of “the Mighty and Strong One” will include the arranging “by lot the inheritances of the Saints.” Holy Writ tells us: “And it shall be called the New Jerusalem, a land of peace, a city of refuge, a  place of safety for the Saints of the Most High God; And the glory of the Lord shall be there, and the terror of the Lord shall be there, insomuch that the wicked shall not come unto it, and it shall be called Zion. And it shall come to pass among the wicked, that every man that will not take his sword against his neighbor must needs flee unto Zion for safety. And there shall be gathered unto it out of every nation under heaven; and it shall be the only people that shall not be at war one with another. And it shall be said among the wicked: Let us not go up to battle against Zion, for the inhabitants of Zion are terrible, wherefore we cannot stand.” (D & C 45:66-70; Ether 13:4-8; III Nephi 21:22-29)
Isaiah continues, “Judgment also will I lay to the line, and righteousness to the plummet; and the hail shall sweep away the refuge of lies, and the water shall overflow the hiding place. And your covenant with death shall be disannulled, and your agreement with hell shall not stand; when the overflowing scourge shall pass through, then ye shall be trodden down by it. From the time that it goeth forth it shall take you: for morning by morning shall it pass over, by day and by night; and it shall be a vexation only to understand the report. For the bed is shorter than that a man can stretch himself on it; and the covering narrower than that he can wrap himself in it.” (Isa. 28:17-20) The language here used most certainly indicates that we have adopted a platform or policy that is too narrow to satisfy our God.
What is this “covenant with death,” and “agreement with hell?” Have the Latter-day Saints made such an agreement? It is safe to say that any party who seeks to obstruct or force a people from living the law of God is spiritually called “hell;” and that any agreement with this party to abandon the laws of God is a “covenant with death.”
* * *
Now this agreement was made with our nation whom we honor, and should be wholly lived up to. It is  also a closed issue and should not be referred to, but is quoted here solely to further identify the Latter-day Saints as the people to whom the Lord has promised to send “A Mighty and Strong One.”
* * *
The craving for interest and carnal securities and their wrecking consequence has sunk its fangs so deep among our people that it appears that there is but one hope left, which lies within the future power and mission of the man who is to gather the Saints to Zion “like unto Moses” (D & C 103:11-18); and the “One Mighty and Strong” who is “to arrange by lot the inheritances of the Saints” in Zion, and “set in order the house of God” (D & C 85;6-7); and the latter day Elias, who, “must come and restore all things.” (D & C 77:14) It is, therefore, very evident that the Lord has foreseen our present conditions and has wisely and fatherly reserved ample room and sufficient rights either to assist or assume full control in guiding the helm of the old ship Zion, when it is redeemed in the land of Missouri, America. When that time comes, our whole system will be changed.
* * *
We, as a people, have now planted ourselves in the Stakes of Zion, particularly the fat valleys of Utah. We have surrounded ourselves with luxuries and have hoarded up great sums of treasures which have been invested in non-church property, saying to ourselves that surely these things will make us secure in the hour of need. It appears, however, that the Lord is not satisfied with the hearts of His Saints and the treasures of His Church being tied up in carnal and material securities and with no provisions for the home gathering of thousands of Saints, the world over, who now desire to gather in before serious trouble begins—for He says through Isaiah:
“Woe to the crown of pride, to the Drunkards of Ephraim, whose glorious beauty is a fading flower, which are on the head of the fat valleys of them that  are overcome with wine! Behold, the Lord hath a Mighty and Strong One, which as a tempest of hail and a destroying storm, as a flood of mighty waters overflowing, shall cast down to the earth with the hand. The crown of pride, the drunkards of Ephraim, shall be trodden under feet: And the glorious beauty, which is on the head of the fat valley, shall be a fading flower, and as the hasty fruit before the summer which when he that looketh upon it seeth, while it is yet in his hand he eateth it up. In that day shall the Lord of hosts be for a crown of glory, and for a diadem of beauty, unto the residue of his people.” (Those who are left after the Lord’s Scourges pass through them.) “And for a spirit of judgment to him that sitteth in judgment, and for strength to them that turn the battle to the gate.” (Isa. 28:1-6)
It is evident that the coming forth of this “One Mighty and Strong” will be connected with the final judgment of Israel and redemption of Zion. The main judgment is to fall upon the head valley and not on the valleys where Ephraim dwells. (See verses 1 and 4.) The “One Mighty and Strong” has been pictured by some writers as one who comes to destroy, but just as sure as there is a God, this great leader will be filled with the spirit of love and leadership to those who are living the Gospel, and are prepared for the final gathering. To those who are not prepared and are found taking advantage of the Saints, the Lord has pronounced judgment through this “Mighty and Strong One”. His work will be: “to set in order the house of God, and to arrange by lot the inheritances of the Saints in Zion.”
In the days of Joseph Smith, an effort was made to establish and build up the center of Zion, in Missouri, but thru wickedness and selfishness on the part of some, they failed. They broke their covenant with the Lord thru transgression, “covetousness and feigned words.” (D & C 104:52)
* * *
The article further states that the judgment pronounced in the revelation referred to Edward Partridge, that he was the one whom the Lord threatened to destroy.
 In order that my readers may be able to draw their own conclusions regarding the character of Edward Partridge, I quote the Lord’s own words in referring to this noble character. This revelation was given after the death of Partridge. “. . . even as I did my servant David Patten, who is with me at this time, and also my servant Edward Partridge, . . .” (D & C 124:19) Joseph Smith referred to Edward Partridge as a man “without guile.” (CH 1:392) We also find a letter from Joseph Smith to Edward Partridge and Wm. Phelps dated December 10, 1833, (being one month after the fall of Zion), wherein the prophet exonerated these two certain brethren and referred to their righteousness and purity of motives. (C.H. Vol. 1; D & C 124:51, 52) The fact that the Lord was also well pleased with him both three and five years later surely discredits the 1905 article. (C.H. Vol. 2, pp. 302-303; D & C 115:1-9)
During the July, 1833, persecution of the Saints, Edward Partridge was tarred and feathered, and three days later stepped out before the same mob and offered his body as a sacrifice if they would only spare the Saints. (C.H. Vol. 1, pp. 390-4 and 412). Edward Partridge lived eight years after the fall of Zion, and in all of this time he lived a most holy life, and the Lord took him unto Himself, as quoted above. It was the exposures received during the persecution in Missouri that hastened his death.
In view of the evidence quoted and a great deal more that is known to those who are informed, and would be printed if space permitted, does it not seem strange that men of integrity would try to throw a cloud around Partridge’s life in their desperate effort to annul a revelation that unquestionably has a future fulfillment? The first half of the 1905 article is summed up in these words: “may also be considered as having passed away and the whole incident of the prophecy closed.” In other words it has no future fulfilment.
* * *
 The very fact that this “One Mighty and Strong” is to divide by lot the inheritance of the Saints in Zion, and that the Saints have not to this date received their inheritances, nor has that great and last Holy Temple been built in Independence, Missouri, all goes to conclusively prove that the mission of the “One Mighty and Strong,” and the man “like as Moses” and the great latter day Elias, are yet future.
The description of the building up of this Holy City—the New Jerusalem—Zion, and Temple was given by revelation on September 22, 1832. (D & C 84th Sec.) and two months later the revelation of the 85th section was given to Joseph Smith, which contained the details of the mission of this One Mighty and Strong “to set in order the House of God, and to arrange by lot the inheritance of the Saints” in Zion. In other words, the 85th section was given to explain in what manner this final redemption and gathering shall be done and the appointed one to accomplish this great work. The “One Mighty and Strong” is to cleanse the House of God, which cleansing will include the high and low.
* * * * *
Darter has leaned heavy on the Prophet Isaiah and his description of “a mighty and strong one” (Isa. 28:2). He has tied him together with the one described in Section 85 as being the same person and the same time. Darter has put Isaiah’s description upon the Mormon people—how the people must be fed on milk instead of meat; how the prophets and priests have erred; how they made covenants with death; how they have abundant temporal wealth but lack in spiritual strength. Darter explains how all these events, as described by Isaiah, are destined to take place just prior to the final judgment, including the coming of the One Mighty and Strong.
We have failed to live the Gospel well enough so that we could receive an inheritance in Zion, so another attempt must be made. Only the chosen will be selected from among the millions called Latter-day Saints.
 Chapter 6
JOSEPH MUSSER’S STATEMENT
Joseph Musser was well known to members of the Church as well as many who were not. Briefly, he was born in 1872 while Brigham Young was still alive and lived through a stormy period of Church history. He was very dedicated to the Church and its teachings, and in his journal he writes;
Receiving a written invitation from President Lorenzo Snow to receive my `Higher Anointings’ in the Temple, my wife and I, with four other couples, repaired to the Temple on Thanksgiving morning, November 1899, where the most glorious blessings known to man were sealed upon us.
Shortly after that a messenger from President Snow called to him and said he had been appointed to enter plural marriage and help keep the principle alive. He did, and it later cost him his Church membership.
He became a leader in the Fundamentalist movement and a prolific writer. Among many other works, he published the first 20 volumes of Truth magazine. He often wrote about the one Mighty and Strong, and following are some of his articles.
The One Mighty and Strong
An esteemed correspondent asks that we comment on the Epistle of the First Presidency of the  Church, November 13, 1905, appearing in the Improvement Era (10:929 et seq) on the subject of the “One Mighty and Strong”.
“Is the fulfillment of this revelation still future, or can we assume `the whole incident of the prophecy closed,’ as the statement claims?”
First, let us make clear our high regard for the personnel of the Presidency issuing the Epistle. We bore a somewhat intimate acquaintance with each member, regarding them as men of integrity before the Lord. They were valiant in the defense of truth and unwavering in their devotion to the cause.
The revelation referred to (D & C Sec. 85) as the article infers, has caused much comment and speculation among the Saints, many of whom are not in accord with the statement of the brethren, which, as they view it, amounts to a repudiation of the revelation. At the time the statement was published a number of persons were claiming the distinction of being the one “mighty and strong”, the Lord then preparing them to assume their roll at the proper time. Many of the Saints were being led astray in their faith by these groundless claims. The Epistle was doubtless one of those “expediency” documents that the leaders have been led to issue from time to time. How wisely so is a matter for the Lord to render final decision upon. However, from our own intimacy with the brethren we seriously doubt that the statement expressed their views with complete frankness.
In the statement an attempt was made to fasten the implications of the revelation on Elder Edward Partridge, whose labors as Bishop at Zion in the early History of the Church in Missouri, were characterized by occasional disagreements with the Prophet, Joseph Smith, regarding church policy and discipline; yet there is nothing in the wording of the revelation that would suggest the name of Brother Partridge. The revelation reads, in part:
“Yea, thus saith the still small voice, which whispereth through and pierceth all things, and often times it maketh my bones to quake while it maketh manifest, saying:
 And it shall come to pass that I, the Lord God, will send one mighty and strong, holding the scepter of power in his hand, clothed with light for a covering, whose mouth shall utter words, eternal words; while his bowels shall be a fountain of truth, to set in order the house of God, and to arrange by lot the inheritances of the saints whose names are found, and the names of their fathers, and of their children, enrolled in the book of the law of God;
While that man, who was called of God and appointed, that putteth forth his hand to steady the ark of God, shall fall by the shaft of death, like as a tree that is smitten by the vivid shaft of lightning. * * *
These things I (Joseph Smith) say not of myself; therefore, as the Lord speaketh, he will also fulfill.”(D & C 85)
The statement seeks to prove that the revelation related to the affairs of the Church in Missouri and the granting to the Saints their inheritances; and Edward Partridge, being the Bishop, was the logical man to perform that work. But this assumption is in error. True, the Lord’s clerk, then located in Zion, was instructed in the manner of keeping records—general instructions applicable to all such clerks in the Church. But the one mighty and strong was to be given two separate assignments, (a) to set in order the house of God; and (b) after the house of God is set in order he is to arrange by lot the inheritances of the Saints, etc. The second assignment could hardly be undertaken until the first is completed. Naturally the “house of God” will have to be in order before the Saints can receive their inheritances, and since the house is to be set in order, obviously it will be out of order. Then, again, as good and faithful a man as Edward Partridge was, he could hardly answer to the qualifications the Lord mentions, (nor could any mortal man) as “holding the scepter of power in his hand, clothed with light for a covering, whose mouth shall utter words, eternal words; while his bowels shall be a fountain of truth.” This doubtless describes an immortal and resurrected being.
 So much, then, on the assumption that Bishop Partridge, by reason of his bishopric, was the logical man to perform the work mentioned. Was he the man who was to be stricken with the shaft of death? The statement says:
“But that he was the man so threatened in that revelation there can be no question; not only on account of what is here set forth, but also because Orson Pratt, one familiar with Edward Partridge, and an active participant in all these historical matters, publicly declared from the pulpit in Salt Lake City, about the time of the death of President Young, that the man referred to in that passage of the revelation in question was Bishop Edward Partridge. Of the fact of this statement, there can be no doubt; and at the time he was the historian of the Church as well as a member of the quorum of the Apostles.” (Imp. Era, 10:939)
That this statement was made by Orson Pratt is doubtful. Such a statement would doubtless be published in the Deseret News, also in the Journal of Discourses. No reference is given in the Epistle. We have made a careful search in the published sermons of Orson Pratt delivered during the time mentioned, and can find no reference to such a statement. Then, again, this sermon was supposed to be delivered about the time of the death of Brigham Young, which occurred August 29, 1877. The Doctrine and Covenants was divided into chapters and verses, with footnotes by Orson Pratt, and the first issue, with footnotes, was published in 1879. (See copyright introduction by Heber J. Grant, prepared doubtless by Dr. James E. Talmage, in the edition of 1921) in all the editions of the Doctrine and Covenants published from 1879 to and including that of 1920 “Printed and Published by George Albert Smith, 295 Edge Lane, Liverpool”, the footnote under verse 7 of the revelation reads, “A future messenger promised.” This was expurgated from the record in and after the edition of 1921.
In the light of this information, is it reasonable to suppose that Orson Pratt, Church Historian and as  thorough a student as he was, would claim in 1877 that Sec. 85 of the D & C had reference to Edward Partridge, then in 1879—two years later—add an explanatory footnote to the effect that the revelation did not have reference to Edward Partridge, but to a future messenger? Edward Partridge died May 27, 1840, and 39 years later (1879) the footnote referred to, promising a future messenger, was published and continued to be published until taken out by Dr. Talmage in 1920—41 years later. The facts in the case do not support in the least degree the claim that Orson Pratt made the statement attributed to him. How easy and helpful it would have been while allegedly quoting Orson Pratt, to have given the reference so that the statement could be verified.
A somewhat parallel case occurred with the present church administration. In publishing the sayings of the late President Joseph F. Smith in Gospel Doctrines, on Priesthood, the beloved President was quoted as teaching that the conference of Priesthood must precede the ordaining to office (page 169). Since this teaching conflicted with the order put into motion by the present President of the Church, and after a large number of the books had been distributed to the public, the authorities, doubtless, in order to bolster up their new ruling that the office only should be given, had an “Addenda” added to their remaining stock of “Gospel Doctrines”, which claimed that President Smith “as of record,” reversed his first statement, saying, “it is a distinction without a difference.” (See Gospel Doctrines, p. 686)
Diligent search has failed to produce this “as of record” statement ascribed to President Smith. The authorities have been appealed to for proof of the statement but it has not been produced and, at least one of the leading officials of the Church has stated, “there is no such record.” The inference was a deception. There is only one way to confer Priesthood, and that is to confer it. The conference precedes ordination to office. Presidents John Taylor and George Q. Cannon both so contended and they predicted the time when men’s priesthood would be  called into question, because of its not having been properly conferred. That time is now. Men’s priesthood is being challenged, and with good reason.
And so it is with this Epistle from the First Presidency of the Church, claiming that Section 85 has ceased to be an issue because Edward Partridge repented, when the name of Edward Partridge was in no sense used in connection with the revelation. As we have shown, nearly forty years after the death of Edward Partridge, Orson Pratt published in the Doctrine and Covenants that the revelation had reference to a future messenger.
The Epistle itself is self contradictory. After a vain attempt to associate Edward Partridge with the revelation, as being the man to be stricken with the shaft of death, and pleading his cause through his subsequent repentance, sacrifices and death, the statement reads:
“And inasmuch as through his repentance, and sacrifice and suffering, Bishop Edward Partridge undoubtedly obtained a mitigation of the threatened judgment against him of falling `by the shaft of death like as a tree that is smitten by the vivid shaft of lightning’, so the occasion for sending another to fill his station—`one mighty and strong’ to set in order the house of God, and to `arrange by lot the inheritance of the Saints’—may also be considered as having passed away and the whole incident of the prophecy closed.”
Here the incident is closed, and the implications in the revelation declared void, but in closing the statement the brethren reiterated their faith in the future coming of “one mighty and strong,” which we quote later. This shows a fatal weakness in the argument set forth.
Speaking of the man who was to lead the Saints out of bondage “like as Moses led the children of Israel,” (D & C 103:16-18), Orson Pratt expressed the hope that the Prophet Joseph Smith will be that man (See JD 15:363). The one “mighty and strong” that is to set the house of God in order, bears every earmark of being Joseph Smith.
 This man is to be “holding the scepter of power in his hand.” Joseph Smith holds all keys pertaining to the present dispensation; is the head of it and directs all affairs pertaining to it—certainly he holds in his hand the “scepter of power.”
This man is to be “clothed with light for a covering.” As a resurrected immortal God nothing but light—most glorious light—can be his covering.
This man is to utter words, “eternal words,” while his “bowels shall be a fountain of truth.” Being a resurrected immortal being, obviously his words will be eternal as he is eternal, and naught but truth will issue from him and permeate his entire being.
Joseph Smith, being the instrument in the hands of God in setting up the “house of God”—organizing His church and kingdom, is the logical one to clean up the mess they are in and set them in order. He possesses every needed qualification.
To our minds the Lord has made His choice of Joseph Smith to perform this great work very clear, as indicated in the parable concerning the redemption of Zion (D & C 101:43-62). “And the lord of the vineyard said unto one of his servants: Go and gather together the residue of my servants, and take all the strength of mine house, which are my warriors, my young men, and they that are of middle age also among all my servants, who are the strength of mine house, save those only whom I have appointed to tarry; and go ye straightway into the land of my vineyard, and redeem my vineyard; for it is mine; I have bought it with money.”
It is reasonable to assume the servant who is to redeem the Lord’s vineyard, is the one who will set His house in order and arrange by lot the inheritances of the Saints, as indicated in Sec. 85. Who is this servant? The Lord tells us his name:
“Verily, verily I say unto you, that my servant Baurak Ale (Joseph Smith, Jun.) is the man to whom I likened the servant to whom the Lord of the vineyard spake in the parable which I have given unto you.
Therefore let my servant Baurak Ale (Joseph Smith, Jun.) say unto the strength of my house, my  young men and the middle aged—Gather yourselves together unto the land of Zion, upon the land which I have bought with money that has been consecrated unto me.” (D & C 103:21-22)
We are told that President Woodruff, in his day, referred to Section 85 as the one revelation most feared by the Presidents of the Church; that it stood as a constant challenge of their actions in that high office. The late Anthony W. Ivins is reported as saying that it (the Revelation) is yet to be fulfilled. The late President J. Golden Kimball, acknowledging the Church to be out of order stated to the writer, “It will take some one mighty and strong to set it back in order; we can’t do it.”
We know, the leaders know—they have admitted it—that the Church is out of order—is on a detour, and since it is established never again to be thrown down or given to another people, it will have to be set in order, and the “one mighty and strong” will do it.
In our judgment the Epistle itself answers the question in its last paragraph, which reads, as taken from Gospel Doctrine, p. 478:
The presiding quorums of the Church will always be composed of such men (men of integrity), they will be chosen in such manner, that solid wisdom, righteousness, and conscientious adherence to duty, will characterize the policy of those who are entrusted with the administration of the affairs of the Church. While, from time to time, as the work of the Lord may have need of their services, men of exceptional talents and abilities will develop among the people of God; and without disorder or eruption or excitement, they will be called of the Lord through the appointed agencies of the Priesthood and Church authority, to positions that will afford them opportunity for service. They will be accepted by the Saints in the regular order, appointed by the law of the Church, just as Edward Partridge was called and accepted, and just as the “one mighty and strong” will be called and accepted when the time comes for his services.
 (Sig.) Joseph F. Smith
(Sig.) John R. Winder
(Sig.) Anthon H. Lund
It may have been an act of expediency to put the statement referred to before the Saints, but it was also an act of wisdom to wind up with the frank claim that the “one mighty and strong” will be called and accepted when the time comes for his services, which must now be very near. The fulfillment of the revelation in question is still future. (Truth 9:115-119, Oct. 1943)
* * *
As we see the situation, the house of God includes the entire structure—the Priesthood, the Temple, Church, and the Kingdom of God in all its branches. Who is there on earth today who can accomplish this herculean task?
* * *
Is the Priesthood out of order? We should say so long as it is not being conferred, only an office in the Church being given, and so long as the Sanhedrin and the Grand Council are not fully complete in membership, that the Priesthood is out of order.
Is the Church out of order? If changing the ordinances in the Temple, if changing the garments of the Holy Priesthood, if repudiating revelations of the Lord on the marriage question, and turning persecutors of the brethren appointed to keep the Gospel fire alive; if the Church has gone on a detour as President David O. McKay said was the case—if all these things are evidences of the Church being out of order, then it must be out of order. And if the Church is out of Order by the voluntary efforts of its leaders, can the leaders set it back in order?
Is the Temple out of order? We say yes, so long as part of its ordinances have been discontinued, and so long as the Saints who are qualified to enter its sacred precincts for their blessings are denied that privilege  because of their strict adherence to the Gospel plan, the Temple must be out of order.
The statement of the First Presidency, as referred to herein, places emphasis upon William W. Phelps, who was, at the time the revelation was received, the Bishop of the Church stationed at Zion, Jackson County, Missouri. One duty of the Bishop was to award inheritances to the worthy saints, and we understand some inheritances were awarded. How faithful the Bishop was in this duty we know not. But certainly a moment’s reflection should convince any Latter-day Saint that a Bishop would not be authorized, under his Bishopric, to set the house of God in order. That would require one holding the Melchizedek Priesthood, not merely the Aaronic Priesthood, under which all Bishops officiate.
Who then could be the one Mighty and Strong? Who is at the head of the present dispensation into which all former dispensations are gathered, and who holds the keys thereof; and who established the house of God under the direction of Jesus Christ in this dispensation? You say the Prophet Joseph Smith, Jun. Then why shouldn’t he, the builder of the house, be the one to set it back in order? Does Joseph Smith answer to the description? Let us see:
1st. He must hold the sceptre of power in his hand: He is, as stated, the head of the dispensation and holds the keys thereof (D & C 90:3). Is not this a sceptre of power?
2nd. He must be clothed with light for a covering: Could a resurrected being, one of the Godhead of this planet, be clothed in any other way?
3rd. His mouth shall utter words, eternal words: Could such a being utter any other kind of words?
4th. His bowels shall be a fountain of truth: A natural prerequisite of a glorified, resurrected being, a member of the Godhead.
Could any other kind of a being set the house of God in order, once it is out of order, by the actions of mortals?
Yes, Joseph Smith the Prophet, in our conception, is the man who is doing this great work; and we  understand he has already begun this task. We understand, too, when the Church is set in order, which means all the principles of salvation that have been dropped from it by its leaders will be returned, and in consequence of which a great apostasy will take place among its members; but the largest group will remain true to the Prophet Joseph Smith and his teachings.
We say again, it cannot be expected that the leaders, both past and present, who contributed to the “out of order” condition, to put it back in order. The Church leaders have spent nigh onto thirty years in their crusades against the Saints, finally forcing 21 of them into the penitentiaries of the land, with the consequent distress brought upon their wives and children, with great inconvenience, expense and distress to hundreds of others whose lives have been devoted to the living of the principles taught by the former leaders. Under these conditions no sane person will say that the Church is not out of order, for God is a being of order.
The Church statement referred to, after spending twelve pages closely printed, trying to prove that the revelation has been annulled, concludes with this startling statement:
“If, however, there are those who still insist that the prophecy concerning the coming of `one mighty and strong’ is still to be regarded as relating to the future, let the Latter-day Saints know that he will be a future Bishop of the Church, who will be with the Saints in Zion, Jackson County, Missouri, when the Lord shall establish them in that land, and he will be so blessed with the spirit and power of his calling that he will be able to set in order the house of God, pertaining to the department of the work under his jurisdiction; and in righteousness and justice will `arrange by lot the inheritances of the Saints.’ * * *
Certainly the prophecy does not allude in any way to any President of the Church, past, present, or to come. The revelation under consideration does not relate to matters that especially concern the duties of the President of the Church.” * * *
 Certainly this prophecy does “allude to the Presidency of the Church, past, present and to come.” It does relate to matters that especially concern the duties of the President of the Church.
The theme of the Church statement seems to be: There is no truth whatever in the revelation’s potency in this day; but if it does apply to the present time, then such and such a position must necessarily prevail.
The Lord, dwelling upon a very important subject, said:
“Therefore, inasmuch as some of my servants have not kept the commandment, but have broken the covenant through covetousness and with feigned words, I have cursed them with a very sore and grievous curse. * * * For I, the Lord, am not to be mocked in these things.” (D & C 104:4, 6)
We are anxiously awaiting the day when the one Mighty and Strong shall come and accomplish his work and when the Gospel can again be taught in its purity and fulness; and to this end we fervently pray. (Truth 14:69-72)
* * * * *
These statements of Joseph Musser are probably some of the best and clearest that have been presented on the subject of the One Mighty and Strong, using both scripture and logic. In the first instance he concludes that since Zion was not established, nor were the inheritances divided among the Saints, then the house of God is still out of order.
Musser’s quotations by Orson Pratt give credence against the unfounded and questionable statement by Church leaders and leaves little doubt that the One Mighty and Strong is indeed a future messenger. He, too, is of the opinion that since Joseph Smith established the Restoration of the Church, it is his responsibility to once again set it in order.
 But while we’re waiting for the Prophet to come and fulfill the rest of his earthly mission, it is interesting to take note of the many that have presented themselves as being this One Mighty and Strong, some of whom are included in the following chapter.
 Chapter 7
CLAIMANTS TO THE TITLE
Even before the official 1905 statement was issued from the Church Presidency, several men were claiming the title of One Mighty and Strong:
There have arisen from time to time men of doubtful intelligence who have laid claim to be the one Mighty and Strong. * * * (CHMR 1:350)
It has been used by vain and foolish men to bolster up their vagaries of speculation, and in some cases their pretensions to great power and high positions they were to attain in the Church. (Des. News, Nov. 13, 1905)
One would think in such a matter as this that sufficient native modesty would assert itself to restrain a man from announcing himself as the one on whom such high honors are to be conferred, and who is to exercise such great powers in establishing the Saints in their inheritances. (Mess. of the F.P. 4:109)
And today men are still making this claim. So how can we distinguish the many from the one? In 1912 Joseph F. Smith, troubled by men who claimed to be the Mighty and Strong, gave the following warning in General Conference:
I know that the Lord will not raise up “Tom, Dick, or Harry”, here, there and everywhere, claiming to be Christ, or “One Mighty and Strong,” claiming to be  inspired and called to do some wonderful things. * * * Put that in your little notebooks now, and remember it. . . . (April Conf. Rept., 1912, p. 10)
The scriptures say there is only one mighty and strong, not two, a dozen or a hundred. Isaiah said, “Behold, the Lord hath a mighty and strong one.” (Isa. 28:2) Lehi prophesied that “there shall rise up one mighty among them.” And the leaders of the Church who have interpreted this passage have said, “and just as the one mighty and strong will be called and accepted when the time comes for his services.” (Mess. of the F.P., 4:120)
However, there have been a numerous train of people who have claimed to be that one. They would form a very large quorum!
It would be difficult to estimate the number of those who have claimed that grand title and honor of One Mighty and Strong. Some do not make an outright claim to the title, but they do say they have “all the keys” that could qualify them to hold such a position. Each has said he had a special calling to bring about the work of setting the house of God back in order.
Most of these individuals have been dissenters from the LDS Church, proclaiming their reasons why the Church needed to be set in order; and naturally each has claimed authority to accomplish the task. Usually he claims revelation from God assuring him that he has been “appointed”, and many have written down their “revelations”. Some have portfolios of over 100 revelations to “prove” their credentials.
There is an admixture of names, titles, and offices under the banner of the One Mighty and Strong. Some claim that all these titles apply to just one person, while others claim that  different men will hold the various titles. For example, the scriptures mention the “Root of Jesse” (Isa. 11:10, D & C 113:5-6), “A Man Like Unto Moses” (D & C 103:15-18), the “Marred Servant” (3 Nephi 20:44, D & C 43:4), the “Lamanite Prophet” and the “Indian Messiah” (3 Nephi 21:23-24, D & C 101:55-62).
Joseph Smith has been identified in many different positions. Some have thought that the Prophet Joseph was the one who was meant to “fall by the shaft of death” because of the nature of his tragic martyrdom. Others have thought he was the One Mighty and Strong and would be raised from the dead as a resurrected being to fulfill his mission on earth.
Names such as Adam, Jesus, John the Baptist, Brigham Young, and an Indian Prophet have all been suggested as filling the position of One Mighty and Strong, and these claims will be briefly considered here.
- W. Phelps, the man who received this letter/ revelation from Joseph Smith, wrote a letter to President Brigham Young saying:
Now this revelation was sent to me in Zion, and has reference to the time when Adam, our father and God, comes at the beginning of our eternal lot of inheritances. —According as our names are found in the law of the Lord. . . . (Letter of W. W. Phelps to Brigham Young, Gr. SLC, May 6, 1861, “Letters” C.H.O.)
At one time, Francis Darter apparently agreed:
It has not been publicly revealed just who is to be this immortal personage, the “One Mighty and Strong  * * * holding the sceptre of power in his hand, clothed with light for a covering, whose mouth shall utter words, eternal words,” etc.; but I can say that Adam may be that man. (Zions Redemption, p. 110)
Twenty columns of the Evening and Morning Star authored by G. D. Cole presented the argument that Jesus is the One Mighty and Strong that will set the house of God in order.
Wingfield Watson (associated with the Strangites) wrote a pamphlet in 1915 stating that according to the scriptures the One Mighty and Strong “is evidently of the tribe of Judah, and of the lineage of David.” (“The One Mighty and Strong”, p. 10)
Maurice Glendenning gathered a following who believed in the Order of Aaron, in which he claimed the rights of the firstborn son of Aaron. He claimed to received revelations from Elias. Glendenning advocates that the One Mighty and Strong is Christ, the great Elias. (“The Aaronic Order”, BYU term paper, 1959)
John the Baptist
During the 1930’s Otto Fetting, who had broken away from the Hedrickite faction, claimed revelations from John the Baptist. He said those revelations declared that John the Baptist was the One Mighty and Strong. William A. Draves also made this same claim about John the Baptist.
The official 1905 announcement stated that—
 “Others have insisted that the late President Brigham Young was the man who fulfilled the prediction, when, with such heaven-inspired wisdom and masterly skill, he led the exiled Saints from Nauvoo to the Rocky Mountains and laid their settlements in the valley of Utah.” (M. of F.P. 4:110)
One of those who thought it was Brigham Young was Oliver B. Huntington, who wrote in his journal:
During the three nights these two verses ran in my mind. . . . the fulfillment of the whole was shown to me to have transpired in the ministration, labors and government of the Church by Brigham Young. It was proven to me that he “was the one mighty and strong.” Almond W. Babbit was the one mentioned in the 8th verse who should “fall by the shaft of death like as a tree that is smitten by the vivid shaft of lightning. (O. B. Huntington Journal, 1878, p. 52)
An Indian Prophet
Some people use the following passage from The Book of Mormon to support their claim that an Indian Prophet will be the One Mighty and Strong:
Wherefore, because of this covenant thou art blessed; for thy seed shall not be destroyed, for they shall hearken unto the words of the book. And there shall rise up one mighty among them, who shall do much good, both in word and in deed, being an instrument in the hands of God, with exceeding faith, to work mighty wonders, and do that thing which is great in the sight of God, unto the bringing to pass much restoration unto the house of Israel, and unto the seed of thy brethren. (2 Nephi 3:23-24)
In the 1907 edition of the Book of Mormon the footnote to this “one mighty” reads, an Indian prophet. Later editions dropped this reference.
 Francis Darter later changed his mind about this being Adam and said:
The “One Mighty” Indian “Choice Seer,” the “Branch,” the “Mighty Wise One,” the mortal “Mighty and Strong One,” . . . will be its senior Priest and King, a Theocracy Kingdom. His present headquarters is on the inside of that divinely planted mighty jungle of southern Yucatan and Northern Guatemala. (“God Will Send a Man,” p. 1)
Ross Wesley LeBaron helped form the Church of the Firstborn of the Fulness of Times. After a dispute with his brothers, he established the Church of the Firstborn in Salt Lake City. He once wrote a letter stating, “Once when these things were weighing heavily upon me, I instinctively prayed, `Father in Heaven, who is the Mighty and Strong?’ I heard a voice say clearly, `The Mighty and Strong is the Indian Prophet.'” (Letter to M. Bautista, Dec. 6, 1958) There have been others with a similar belief, such as Norman Pierce and Rhea Kunz.
The Book of Mormon prophesies that the Gentiles, to whom the Gospel shall be restored, shall assist the Lamanites in the last days:
And they shall assist my people, the remnant of Jacob, and also as many of the house of Israel as shall come, that they may build a city, which shall be called the New Jerusalem.
And then shall they assist my people that they may be gathered in, who are scattered upon all the face of the land, in unto the New Jerusalem.
And then shall the power of heaven come down among them; and I also will be in their midst.
And then shall the work of the Father commence at that day, even when this gospel shall be preached among the remnant of this people. (3 Nephi 21:23-26)
 It will be Ephraim who shall assist the Lamanites, but it will be like a big brother assisting a younger brother—not the other way around. The Apostle Orson Pratt explains:
“. . .And then shall the work of the Father commence, at that day, even when this Gospel shall be preached among the remnant of this people. Verily I say unto you, in that day shall the work of the Father commence among all the dispersed of my people.”
What I wish to call your special attention to now, so far as these sayings are concerned, is this—the Latter-day Saints in these mountains never can have the privilege of going back to Jackson County and building that city which is to be called the New Jerusalem, upon the spot that was appointed by revelation through the Prophet Joseph, until quite a large portion of the remnants of Joseph go back with us. Now then, here is a work for us, and we have no need to pray the Father to return us to Jackson County until that work is done. We can pray to the Father, in the name of Jesus, to convert these Indian tribes around us, and bring them to a knowledge of the truth, that they may fulfill the things contained in the Book of Mormon. And then when we do return, taking them with us, that they shall be instructed not only in relation to their fathers and the Gospel contained in the record of their fathers, but also in the arts and sciences. They will also be instructed to cultivate the earth, to build buildings as we do, instructed how to build temples and in the various branches of industry practiced by us; and then, after having received this information and instruction, we shall have the privilege of helping them to build the New Jerusalem. The Lord says, “They,” the Gentiles, who believe in the Book of Mormon, “shall assist my people, the remnant of Jacob, that they may build a city, which shall be called the New Jerusalem.”
Now, a great many, without reading these things, have flattered themselves that we are the ones who are going to do all this work. It is not so; we have got to be helpers, we have got to be those who co-operate  with the remnants of Joseph in accomplishing this great work; for the Lord will have respect unto them, because they are of the blood of Israel, and the promises of their fathers extend to them, and they will have the privilege of building that city, according to the pattern that the Lord shall give. Do not misunderstand me, do not think that all the Lamanite tribes are going to be converted and receive this great degree of education and civilization before we can return to Jackson County. Do not think this for a moment, it will only be a remnant; for when we have laid the foundation of that city and have built a portion of it, and have built a temple therein, there is another work which we have got to do in connection with these remnants of Jacob whom we shall assist in building the city. What is it? We have got to be sent forth as missionaries to all parts of this American continent. Not to the Gentiles, for their times will be fulfilled; but we must go to all those tribes that roam through the cold regions of the north—British America, to all the tribes that dwell in the territories of the United States, also to all those who are scattered through Mexico, and Central and South America, and the object of our going will be to declare the principles of the Gospel unto them, and bring them to a knowledge of the truth. “Then shall they assist my people who are scattered on all the face of the land, that they may be gathered in to the New Jerusalem.”
Will not this be a great work? It will take a good while to gather all these tribes of South America, for some of them will have to come from five to eight thousand miles in order to reach the New Jerusalem. This will be quite a work, and yet we shall have to perform it after the city is built. (JD 17:301-302)
There is no doubt that the Lamanites will have a prophet—in fact, many prophets, who will lead them into the great mission they have to perform. Each of the tribes will be led by inspired prophets to accomplish the task of the latter days. The house of Judah will have their David, and they shall  gather and establish the kingdom in lands designated for their appointments. But Christ will be the one to rule and reign over the earth. This great work will be assigned to the house of Ephraim (see D & C 133:34) for the benefit of all the other tribes of Israel.
* * *
Brief descriptions of 15 of the most interesting claimants to hold the One Mighty and Strong title are presented here:
Strang was probably the first person to believe that he was the Mighty and Strong, to set in order the house of God. However, he certainly was not the first to try to set the house of God in order. He claimed that Joseph Smith, in 1844, had appointed him his successor and that an angel had ordained him.; therefore, Brigham Young was not a prophet or the rightful successor. Strang added some scripture called the Book of the Law of the Lord.
About 1890 James published a series of tracts outlining great events that were coming to pass and describing his high and holy calling. He claimed the Church went out of order when Brigham Young took Joseph’s seat as President. He taught that whenever the word resurrection was used, it really meant reincarnation.
In a letter to the Church, Brighouse described his claim to a variety of lofty titles:
O ye covenant people of the Lord, listen to the voice of the Son of Man. I am the true Shepherd of Israel . . . . And now my Father hath sent me to stand  up for you. I am Michael the great prince. . . . I am the son of the living and true God . . . . I am his first-born. . . . Jesus Christ the Eternal Father is now upon the earth; I have seen him and know him. I have walked and talked with him. I am Enock <sic> once known by the name of Joseph Smith. . . .
I am Enoch and Zion is with me. I am the second Adam—a quickening spirit. I am the Son of the Resurrection and the bands of death have been broken. I have power over the dead, and shall reign until I have put all enemies under my feet.
And thus it is, Amen. (“Voice of the 7th Angel,” p. 46)
In spite of his claims to such important positions, very little was heard from him after 1892.
Samuel claimed many revelations which included his call to a special mission in 1904. He wrote a personal life history which included a record of being excommunicated for believing he was the One Mighty and Strong in 1905. The Deseret News printed a lengthy article about Samuel on November 13, 1905, and he had a Church trial on December 1, 1905. In his own defense, Eastman wrote:
. . . This epistle purported to give all the members of the church and all the Priesthood the true meaning of that remarkable prophecy and revelation found in Section 85, Doctrine and Covenants. . . . This sham prophetic epistle, published but a few days before I was brought to trial before the church courts, prejudiced the church courts against me so that it was impossible for me to be heard in my own defense before them, so as to receive an honest and impartial trial at their hands. (“Ten Years”, Eastman, p. 104)
 His claim to being the One Mighty and Strong was enough to get him excommunicated. He continued to write articles but his record gradually faded away after 1918.
Paul had been Samuel Eastman’s secretary, but when Sam died, Paul thought he was to take his place as the One Mighty and Strong. He was preaching and publishing during the 1930’s and 40’s. One of his publications was called “Zion’s Standard Watchman.”
Paul lived on Redwood Road in Salt Lake City, where he kept some milk goats, one of whom was named “Holy Ghost”. Paul claimed it would live through the Millennium. But Paul was killed in an automobile accident, and his goat died of old age.
LeRoy broke away from both the Church and the Fundamentalists to set up a colony of people near Veyo, Utah. He was an inventor and developed a steam engine for which he claimed he was offered $4 million, but the final transaction never took place. He thought it was his mission to put the Church back in order, and that his inventions would save the economy of the Church. He had revelations, and his followers thought he was as great as Jesus.
In 1953 he was shot to death over a mining claim, but his followers thought he would still come back to set the Church in order. 
John Tanner Clark
John wrote extensively about the One Mighty and Strong. At first he thought it was an Indian—but eventually it was reported that he claimed he was the One. Much of his claim to that office was due to his patriarchal blessing. The following is taken from the Preface of his book, The One Mighty and Strong:
After having completed the pencil writing of the manuscript of the Book entitled The One Mighty and Strong, in the spring of 1922 A.D., which was just off-handedly done and the same rolled up and placed away until I should feel like publishing it; and then in a short time afterwards, while thinking whether or not it was time to publish it, the Lord Jesus Christ came to me and said, speaking in a firm and positive manner, “Publish it; you should have gone on and published it; publish it; there is no redemption for the Lamanites; there is no restoration of the fullness of the Gospel; this must be published first.” He then showed me the tremendous opposition I would have to pass through, and also that I should come through it all victoriously. (One Mighty and Strong, Clark, Preface)
It was thought that his claim would have ended with his death in 1932, but it continued right after his funeral. One of Clark’s followers said that, “John T. Clark will yet accomplish the mission he was evidently sent here to do.”
John T. had a faithful follower in Harry Shewell, who in 1935 wrote a tract called “Who Is John T. Clark?” This was three years after the death of Clark, but he still advocated that Clark would “yet accomplish the mission he was evidently sent here to do.”
Lyle O. Wright wrote his BYU thesis on this subject and concluded with this statement about Clark: “So, John T. Clark  remains one of the contenders for the One Mighty and Strong office.” (“Origins and Development of the Church of the Fulness of Times,” p. 37)
Benjamin LeBaron, the oldest son in the large family of Alma Dayer LeBaron, also claimed to be the One Mighty and Strong, but his younger brothers didn’t believe him. Ben used a variety of methods to draw attention to himself, such as doing push-ups in the street so people and cars would stop and see how strong he was.
He did and said many things which made people question his sanity, and it was determined later that he had indeed lost it, as indicated by a letter from Conway LeBaron:
Lyle Wright July 15, 1962
. . . The reason Ben lost his sanity was because of the whispering campaign and persecution for his religious convictions from L.D.S. friends. Ben’s life was a continual battle and the attitude against him and his family also entered into his courtship. He never claimed to be “One Mighty and Strong” until he lost his sanity.
If one would refer to Ben’s scholastic rating in the Juarez Stake Academy, they would find he was a very brilliant student.
For a while Joel was the leader of nearly all of the fundamentalist LeBarons. His group published a series of pamphlets called “The Ensign”, one of which stated, “Joel F. LeBaron is the One Mighty and Strong.” (“The Seventies,” p.  6) However, after some disagreements over authority, his brother, Ervil, had Joel killed.
About 1975 John started a church called the Patriarchal Church of Christ. They began a little book store in Salt Lake City, but later closed it when the Church headquarters moved down by Mesquite, Nevada. From there they went to Oregon; and after some internal difficulties relating to immorality, John was apparently excommunicated from his own church. Many of the members of the Church departed and scattered in several directions. Only a few remained with John.
Elden had one of the most convincing stories of any of the contenders for prophetic powers. He claimed two angels came to him one night in the 1960’s while he was in a hospital and said they had come to prepare him to meet the Lord. They taught him many things, one of which was that he was to be the instrument in the hands of the Lord to set the house of God in order. Soon after they left, the room became bright and he said the Lord stood before him. Elden was told of the many destructions that are coming on the earth and that he was chosen to prepare the people for those judgments.
He told his story and several believed it. One day they gathered at a home where Enoch was to appear and tell them how to live the United Order, but no messenger ever came.
Elden made a prophecy that at a certain conference there would be much bloodshed, and the house of God would be set in order. Conference came and went—nothing happened. His followers disbanded and Elden returned to Montana.
 He was an avid health-food addict, and everything had to be pure, even the water he drank. Ironically, he died after eating from a bottle of contaminated fruit.
Sherman Russell Lloyd
In Salt Lake City a group calling themselves the LDS Scripture Researchers taught the doctrine of reincarnation and were led by “Russ” Lloyd. He claimed to be Joseph Smith reincarnated, or R. J. Smith—standing for “Reincarnated Joseph Smith.” In their publications he was referred to as “The One”.
Russ was active during the 1950’s and 60’s. He previously had trouble with the LDS Church and had been excommunicated. He joined a polygamist group and was an active member until some of his questionable moral activities were brought to light, and he was ousted from them, too.
He claimed all the keys, powers and rights to set the house of God in order and began to publish a few pamphlets. He gradually went blind, but in spite of this handicap, still claimed he was the Holy Ghost. It was a paradox that he thought a blind Holy Ghost could lead the people to the truth. For years his wife had to lead and take care of him. He died without getting the house in order.
Frank, an outstanding artist, lived for a while in Orem, Utah, where he began to have revelations, some of which were published in 1972. He and some of his followers have claimed that he is the One Mighty and Strong and will put the house of God in order. He lived in Arizona for a few years and gathered a small following, but recently moved back to Utah. 
Jasper No. 7
Revelations came to a prophet called Jasper No. 7, who claimed he was a “Firstborn literal descendant of Aaron,” and who some thought was to be the One Mighty and Strong. It seems his name was J. H. Sherwood and he founded a church in 1938 in Los Angeles, called the “Church of the Living God, and the Church of the Firstborn”.
Because he was excommunicated from the LDS Church, he made a formal proclamation to the Church that they no longer had the right to administer the Sacrament or perform any other Priesthood ordinances after September 13, 1936.
Since he was no longer permitted to use the LDS temples, which he believed he was commissioned to do, he took a shortcut in doing work for the dead. On April 4, 1954, in the presence of three witnesses, at a lake in Ventura County, California, a baptism was performed for “all those who have died without a knowledge of the Gospel,” thus doing “away with the laborious and sometimes costly genealogical work.” (“A Vital Message—Church of Jesus Christ of Israel,” Sherwood, n.d.)
Art reached the position of a Seventy in the LDS Church, but fell out of favor and was excommunicated. He moved from North Carolina to Utah during the early 1980’s and began to compile many revelations that he claimed to have received, some even being sold in book stores. In Provo he opened his own little book store, but it was shortlived. He has been actively engaged in missionary work in the Salt Lake City, Logan and Provo areas, and is currently residing in Utah County. 
Alonzo failed to convince LDS Church leaders that he was the One Mighty and Strong, and it is said that he wrote letters excommunicating everyone except George F. Richards. He was put in the state mental hospital in Provo, Utah, but he escaped because he claimed that angels unlocked the doors. He went to Mexico where a brother, Clarence Langford, claimed he had a vision supporting Alonzo’s calling.
About 80 miles from Colonia LeBaron in Old Mexico are the Langford families. They believed that Lon would be the One Mighty and Strong. However, when Lon died, they concluded that he would come back and do the job. They still await his arrival.
* * *
The author is acquainted with many others, still living, who claim to have all the keys and authority to put the house of God in order. They are not mentioned because most of them do not want it “revealed” as yet.
A warning: Acting or believing differently from some of these “Mighties and Strongs” has already caused some very stressful, and even life-threatening, situations. The gift of discernment on this subject is a very important spiritual gift in these last days.
Why do some of these men rise up to declare that they are “super prophets” or the One Mighty and Strong? One or more of the following six reasons usually apply: 
- They have done something in their lives to warrant the influence of false and delusive spirits. Some men actually receive revelations that deceive them, while others imagine the revelations from mere figments of their mind. The Prophet Joseph said some men receive revelations out of their own mind.
- They desire that “scepter of power” promised to accompany that servant. The lure of power, fame and praise of the world is an influence that captures the heart of many men.
- They have become bitter and want to retaliate against the Church because they were mistreated or excommunicated. One of the first objectives of most apostates is to get revenge.
- By rejecting the revelations of God, they open themselves up to receive revelations from the devil.
- Some men are prophets of the devil. Joseph said, “False prophets always arise to oppose the true prophets and they will prophesy so very near the truth that they will deceive almost the very chosen ones.” (TPJS, p. 365)
- Obviously some of them were prone to mental disorders.
The real Mighty and Strong One will have more power and wisdom than any mortal. The Kingdom of the whole world will be set in order! Certainly no man of the author’s present acquaintance is capable of doing that!
 Chapter 8
THE PROPHET JOSEPH SMITH
Many Saints think that Joseph Smith will yet fill the position of One Mighty and Strong, and justifiably so. Joseph holds the keys to this whole dispensation and therefore is still responsible for it. The Lord told him, “Verily I say unto you, the keys of this kingdom shall never be taken from you, while thou art in the world, neither in the world to come.” (D & C 90:3)
He unquestionably meets all the qualifications as outlined in D & C 85:
- He will hold “a scepter of power in his hand.” The scepter indicates supremacy and regal power vested in someone with an extremely high calling or appointment, undoubtedly with keys and jurisdiction pertaining to the Kingdom of God. The word scepter, according to Zondervan’s Pictorial Encyclopedia of the Bible, refers to “a rod of correction” or “a commander’s staff,” and is “associated mainly with kings” and “with Israel’s future rulers.” (5:292-293)
- To be “clothed with light for a covering” is evidence that this personage will be immortal. Similar terminology was used by Oliver Cowdery in describing the appearance of John the Baptist: “The angel of God came down clothed  with glory. . . as in the `blaze of day’, yes, more—above the glitter of the May sunbeam, . . . ” (Times and Seasons 2:201)
- His “mouth shall utter . . . eternal words” and he will be a “fountain of truth”—which words are more descriptive of an immortal being from heaven rather than a mortal who is limited in his knowledge of eternal truths.
- “To set in order the house of God” includes both the religious and political kingdom of God—first the church, then the state, then the nation—so it can become the promised Zion.
- “To arrange by lot the inheritances of the saints whose names are found, . . . in the book of the law of God.” Since it is evident that this was not accomplished in the early days of the Church in Missouri, this must apply to some future time. For those “that endureth in faith and doeth my will, the same shall overcome, and shall receive an inheritance upon the earth when the day of transfiguration shall come.” (D & C 63:20) This is a considerable distance away.
When the resurrected Prophet does return to earth, still holding the position of leader of this dispensation, it would be out of order for him to be subservient to some other “Mighty and Strong” who was born and lived in this dispensation. In fact, he will apparently be acting under the direction of the Ancient of Days.
He <Joseph Smith> shall sit in the great assembly and general council of patriarchs, and execute the will and commandment under the direction of the Ancient of Days, for he shall have his place and act in his station. (Unpublished Revelations, Collier, I:77)
 In a letter David W. Patten wrote an interpretation to a prophecy by the Apostle Paul. The scripture was concerning that event when “There shall come out of Sion the Deliverer, and shall turn away ungodliness from Jacob.” David Patten wrote:
This work evidently commences at the time the Gospel begins to take the darkness from the minds of Israel, for this will be the work of God by the deliverer, for He shall turn away ungodliness from the whole family of Jacob, “for this is my covenant unto them, when I shall take away their sins.”
Now, then, we can see that this deliverer is a king or harbinger or forerunner, that is, one that is sent to prepare the way for another, and this deliverer is such a one, for he comes to turn away ungodliness from Jacob, consequently he must receive a dispensation and an authority suitable to his calling, or he could not turn away ungodliness from Jacob, nor fulfill the scriptures. But the words of the prophets must be fulfilled, and in order to do this, to this messenger must be given the dispensation of the fullness of times, according to the prophets. For Paul says again, in speaking of the dispensation of the fullness of time, “Having made known unto us the mystery of His will, according to His good pleasure, which He hath purposed in Himself: that in the dispensation of the fullness of times, He might gather together in one all things in Christ, both which are in heaven, and which are on earth; even in Him.” (Eph. 1:9) And Isaiah says, “And it shall come to pass in that day, that the Lord shall set His hand again the second time to recover the remnant of His people.” (11:11) Now is the time that the deliverer shall come out of Zion and turn away ungodliness from the house of Israel.” (DHC 3:50)
The deliverer came but the work that he was supposed to do has not been completed. It is reasonable, therefore, that he must come again to bring to pass the fulfillment of those scriptures. There is an interesting parallel here—that both  Jesus Christ and Joseph Smith will have a “second coming” in order to complete their mission pertaining to this world.
The Book of Mormon mentions “one mighty among them” and his special work. This has been interpreted as being Joseph Smith because of the inclusion of the word “restoration”:
Wherefore, because of this covenant thou art blessed; for thy seed shall not be destroyed, for they shall hearken unto the words of the book. And there shall rise up one mighty among them, who shall do much good, both in word and in deed, being an instrument in the hands of God, with exceeding faith, to work mighty wonders, and do that thing which is great in the sight of God, unto the bringing to pass much restoration unto the house of Israel, and unto the seed of thy brethren. (2 Nephi 3:23-24)
It is very probable that Joseph Smith fulfilled this prophecy regarding what has already been restored and also that which is yet to come forth, such as the rest of the Book of Mormon.
In 1878 David Whitmer mentioned this “second great work” in an interview with a Dr. Poulson. He said that there will be “a smashing up of this nation, about which time the second great work has to be done, a work like Joseph did, and the translation of the sealed plates. . . .” (Des. News, Aug. 16, 1878)
On September 22, 1835, five years after the publishing of the Book of Mormon, Oliver Cowdery gave a patriarchal blessing to Joseph Smith, wherein he told him that his work with Nephite records was not yet finished:
 The records of past ages and generations, and the histories of ancient days shall he <Joseph Smith> bring forth, even the record of the Nephites shall he AGAIN obtain, with all those hid up by Mormon, and others who were righteous; and many others till he is overwhelmed with knowledge. (Unpublished Revelations, Collier, I:76-77)
In a parable of the vineyard and the 12 olive trees (D & C 101:41-62), the vineyard was taken over by the enemy, but one of the servants came back and put it in order. In Section 103 the Lord explains that “my servant . . . (Joseph Smith, Jun.) is the man to whom I likened the servant to whom the Lord of the vineyard spake in the parable which I have given unto you.” (D & C 103:21) So here the Lord very plainly identifies that person who is to return and set things in order.
Since Zion was not redeemed during the Prophet’s mortal lifetime, isn’t it likely that the Lord would allow him to return at a future time to set things in order and to bring about the redemption of Zion?
The Apostle Orson Pratt apparently believed that Joseph Smith could be this mighty person:
The Lord had said unto him, before the rise of this church, that He would grant unto him eternal life even though he should be slain, which certainly was an indication that he might be slain. But we still were in hope that he would live and that he would be the man who, like Moses, would lead this people from bondage. I do not know but he will yet. God’s arm is not shortened that He cannot raise him up even from the tomb. * * * and if the Lord sees proper to bring forth that man just before the winding up scene to lead forth the army of Israel, he will do so. (JD 15:363)
 Parley P. Pratt gave an interesting testimony right after he heard about the martyrdom:
But now he <Joseph Smith> was gone to the invisible world, and we and the Church of the Saints were left to mourn in sorrow and without the presence of our beloved founder and Prophet.
As I walked along over the plains of Illinois, lonely and solitary, I reflected as follows: I am now drawing near to the beloved city; in a day or two I shall be there. How shall I meet the sorrowing widows and orphans? How shall I meet the aged and widowed mother of these two martyrs? How shall I meet an entire community bowed down with grief and sorrow unutterable? What shall I say? or how console and advise twenty-five thousand people who will throng about me in tears, and in the absence of my President and the older members of the now presiding council, will ask counsel at my hands? Shall I tell them to fly to the wilderness and deserts? Or, shall I tell them to stay at home and take care of themselves, and continue to build the Temple? With these reflections and inquiries, I walked onward, weighed down as it were unto death. When I could endure it no longer, I cried out aloud, saying: O Lord! in the name of Jesus Christ I pray Thee, show me what these things mean, and what I shall say to Thy people? On a sudden the Spirit of God came upon me, and filled my heart with joy and gladness indescribable; and while the spirit of revelation glowed in my bosom with as visible a warmth and gladness as if it were fire. The Spirit said unto me: “Lift up your head and rejoice; for behold! it is well with my servants Joseph and Hyrum. My servant Joseph still holds the keys of my kingdom in this dispensation, and he shall stand in due time on the earth, in the flesh, and fulfil that to which he is appointed. Go and say unto my people in Nauvoo, that they shall continue to pursue their daily duties and take care of themselves, and make no movement in Church government to reorganize or alter anything until the return of the remainder of the Quorum of the  Twelve. But exhort them that they continue to build the House of the Lord which I have commanded them to build in Nauvoo.”
This information caused my bosom to burn with joy.. . . . (Autobiography of Parley P. Pratt, p. 333)
Brigham Young also testified of this, according to Wilford Woodruff’s journal entry of July 30, 1847—about a week after the Saints arrived in Salt Lake Valley. Woodruff stated that President Brigham Young “clothed with the Spirit of God,” addressed the Saints for more than an hour, saying:
. . . we should yet have Brothers Joseph and Hyrum and many of the Saints in their resurrected bodies with us on earth. . . . (Wilford Woodruff Journal 3:244)
Heber C. Kimball also believed that Joseph Smith would return in a leadership capacity for the redemption of Zion:
The western boundary of the state of Missouri will be swept so clean of its inhabitants that, as President Young tells us, when you return to that place, there will not be left so much as a yellow dog to wag his tail. Before that day comes, however, the saints will be put to tests that will try the integrity of the best of them. The pressure will become so great that the more righteous among them will cry unto the Lord day and night until deliverance comes. Then the Prophet and others will make their appearance, and those who have remained faithful will be selected to return to Jackson County, Missouri, and take part in the upbuilding of that beautiful city, the New Jerusalem. (Des. News, May 23, 1931; also Prophecy and Modern Times, Cleon Skousen, pp. 31-32)
In probably the last public discourse of Joseph Smith to the Saints, he prophesied:
 You will gather many people into the fastness of the Rocky Mountains as a center for the gathering of the people, and you will be faithful because you have been true; and many of those that come under your ministry, because of their much learning, will seek for high positions, and they will be set up and raise themselves in eminence above you, but you will walk in low places unnoticed and you will know all that transpires in their midst, and those that are my friends will be your friends. This I will promise to you, that when I come again to lead you forth, for I will go to prepare a place for you, so that where I am you shall be with me. (“Diary of John E. Forsgren,” Fate of the Persecutors . . ., Lundwall, p. 154)
The First Presidency of the Church recognized in 1905 that some believed Joseph Smith was the One Mighty and Strong:
As to the “One Mighty and Strong,” some hold that he has come, others that he is yet to come. Some have held that the Prophet Joseph Smith was the man, and that he would be raised from the dead and appear among the Saints to fulfill the terms of this prophecy. (Mess. of the F.P. 4:110)
Bishop John H. Koyle, of Dream Mine fame, told me that it was revealed to him that the Prophet Joseph was the One Mighty and Strong who would come to set the house of God in order.
Joseph Musser voiced the opinion of most Fundamentalist Mormons when he wrote:
The fulfillment of the revelation in question <Section 85> is still future, and the Prophet Joseph Smith is the “One Mighty and Strong” who has already taken steps to set the House of God in order. (Truth 16:134)
 Rulon Allred agreed with this identification:
He says that He is going to send one mighty and strong to set the house of God in order and to arrange by lot the inheritances of the Saints. And the General Authority very properly said that some of these people who are splinter group leaders, audaciously, with great lack of humility, have assumed to be the “one mighty and strong”. Well, this is true. I’ve known a half-dozen ones mighty and strong, and I agree with the General Authority 100%. They are certainly audacious and wicked. Because you and I know that the one mighty and strong is the Prophet Joseph Smith, and he holds the keys to this dispensation. He is going to set the house of God in order under the direction of the Lord Jesus Christ.
The General Authority left out another passage. “That man who is called of God and appointed, that putteth forth his hand to steady the ark of God shall fall by the shaft of death.” Who was that? He was a man called of God. (Treasures of Knowledge 1:154)
At least one of the LeBarons believed Joseph Smith was the “One”, as explained in a letter from Conway LeBaron:
Lyle Wright July 15, 1962
I worked through the years with my brother <Alma Dayer> and was closer to him than any one else. I feel if he had any claims heÕd of told me about them. As to the “One Mighty and Strong” (D & C 85), he never made any claims or sought after this office. One time in talking about the “One Mighty and Strong”, Dayer said in regard to the Lord pruning His vineyard for the last time, that Joseph Smith, being the Lord’s servant, he thought would come to do this work and would be the “One Mighty and Strong,” to do the work.
 According to Carl Jentsch, Lorin Woolley gave him the following advice and explained his understanding of the identity of the One Mighty and Strong:
Don’t fight the Church, and don’t establish or become a part of any group.” He said, “You’ll live to see the day that the Prophet Joseph will come among this people, to individuals, and he will choose this man or that man, and they are the ones, through the instrumentality of the Prophet Joseph, who is “The One Mighty and Strong,” who will come bearing the scepter of power in his hand to set in order the House of God, and you are one of them if you will keep your integrity.” I’ve kept it. (Reminiscences of John and Lorin Woolley, comp. by Rhea Kunz, 4:6, Interview with Carl Jentsch, June 1971)
Wilford Woodruff recorded in his journal the following remarks by Brigham Young:
At 8 oclok all the camps met to gether & was Addressed for more than an hour by President Young in An interesting manner Clothed with the spirit of God: “Zion would arise the Judgments of God would be poured out the Blood of the Prophets would be av<enged> & their Cup would be filled double unto them. And if we were faithful we should yet have Brs Joseph & Hiram & many of the saints in there resurrected Bodies with us on earth. (W.W. 3:244)
There is no need to mention other references that Joseph Smith is the prime candidate for this position of “One Mighty and Strong”. It should be evident by now that his mission on earth as the leader of this dispensation is not yet complete.
We can take consolation in the promise that if the Church should get out of order, the Lord will set it back in order rather than allow it to fall into total apostasy as it did after the Christian era. That is a promise given by the Lord.
 Regardless of the speculation as to whether or not Joseph Smith is the “One Mighty and Strong”, we have the promise that Zion will be redeemed and we shall once again hail the Prophet Joseph—as one of our hymns so beautifully describes:
Hail to the Prophet, ascended to heaven!
Traitors and tyrants now fight him in vain.
Mingling with Gods, he can plan for his brethren;
Death cannot conquer the hero again. * * *
Millions shall know “brother Joseph” again!
(“Praise to the Man”, p.147, 1957 LDS hymn book)
Royal Scepters and Egyptian Scepters
The scepter was representative or symbolic of power and purpose. For instance, it has been described as:
The official staff or baton of the king, emblematic of his authority and, specifically, of his striking power; occasionally possessed also by a lesser dignitary. (Interpreter’s Bible Dictionary 4:234)
This staff has been described as “a descendant of man’s earliest weapon—the club!”, and rightfully compared because it often symbolized military power. For instance, Moses used his staff to bring the power of plagues and also to destroy the army of the Egyptians. In these last days it will be used to destroy all the wicked.
 Chapter 9
A HOUSE OUT OF ORDER
If the House of God is to be set in order, it means that it must first be out of order. This chapter will attempt to answer three major questions regarding the setting in order of the House of God:
- When did it get out of order?
- How did it get out of order?
- What must be done to get it back in order?
- When did it get out of order?
The scriptures record that many of the ancient prophets looked down through time and saw the great events which were to occur in the last days. Peter discussed the restoration, but he also talked about the judgments on the house of God. Said he:
For the time is come that judgment must begin at the house of God: and if it first begin at us, what shall the end be of them that obey not the gospel of God? And if the righteous scarcely be saved, where shall the ungodly and the sinner appear? (1 Peter 4:17-18)
The Lord told Joseph Smith the same:
 And upon my house shall it <vengeance> begin, and from my house shall it go forth, saith the Lord; First among those among you, saith the Lord, who have professed to know my name and have not known me, and have blasphemed against me in the midst of my house, saith the Lord. (D & C 112:25-26)
And again, nearly 50 years later, the Lord repeated this prophecy in a revelation to Wilford Woodruff in 1880, and included the reasons for the subsequent judgments:
These revelations and testimonies you have before. Let my Saints search the word of the Lord and treasure up wisdom and be prepared for that which is to come. As I have decreed, so shall my judgments begin at the house of God. There are those in my Church who have a name among you who are adulterers and adulteresses and those who blaspheme my name and those who love and make a lie and those who revel and drink with the drunken; if they do not speedily repent of their wickedness and abominations, they shall be severed from the ordinances of my house, saith the Lord. There are many who have need to repent whose hearts are set upon the things of this world, who aspire to the honors of men and do not honor the Priesthood, nor seek to build up the Kingdom of God as they should. Neither do they learn or comprehend that the rights of the Priesthood are inseparably connected with the powers of heaven and that the powers of heaven cannot be controlled nor handled only upon the principles of righteousness. Such should repent and turn unto the Lord and seek for the Holy Spirit to guide them. Judgments will begin at my house, and from thence will they go forth unto the wicked, and the wicked cannot escape. (Wilford Woodruff Journal, Jan. 25, 1880; Life of Wilford Woodruff, Cowley, p. 530)
It is evident that God’s judgments did not come upon the house of God in the days of Peter, nor in the early days of  this Church; nor at any time since has the house of God been set in order. According to these scriptures, it would have to occur after that revelation given in 1880.
Even in the early years of the Church, the Saints could have had a Zion, but they did not live up to their covenants and they failed. Further attempts were made but always without much success. The Lord explained the reasons:
Behold, I say unto you, were it not for the transgressions of my people, speaking concerning the church and not individuals, they might have been redeemed even now.
But behold, they have not learned to be obedient to the things which I required at their hands, but are full of all manner of evil, and do not impart of their substance, as becometh saints, to the poor and afflicted among them;
And are not united according to the union required by the law of the celestial kingdom;
And Zion cannot be built up unless it is by the principles of the law of the celestial kingdom; otherwise I cannot receive her unto myself. (D & C 105:2-5)
From that day until this the Saints have failed to redeem Zion, and they are not “united according to the union of the Celestial Kingdom.” We are out of order until we obey those principles and laws.
This is what John the Revelator was referring to when he said:
I saw another angel fly in the midst of heaven, having the everlasting gospel to preach unto them that dwell on the earth, and to every nation, and kindred, and tongue, and people, saying with a loud voice, Fear God and give glory to Him; for the hour of his judgment is come. (Rev. 14:6-7)
 Apparently the “hour of judgment” was to come after the everlasting gospel was preached to “every nation, kindred and tongue.” So this time of judgment, vengeance, and setting in order is to occur some time yet in our future.
But when did indications arise that the Church was getting out of order? And if the Church was out of order, then an important part of the entire House of God was out of order.
When the early Saints failed to live the United Order and were unsuccessful in redeeming Zion, members then began to adopt worldly standards and the Church has become a world church, giving up much of its uniqueness. For example, Joseph Musser penned the following, showing his reason for believing the Church was out of order:
The Saints are losing their identity as a “peculiar people” which the Lord designed they should be. It is the present boast of our leaders that we are at peace with the world and that Mormonism is becoming popular. This, to all thinking minds, must be evidence of spiritual decay; that the Saints are fast losing their identity as a “holy” and a “peculiar” people, such as the Lord designed they should be. The Church, under its present leadership, is fast becoming “just another religious group.” (Truth 6:14-15)
So it began to get out of order even during the lifetime of the Prophet Joseph—not all at once, but rather like growing dark in the evening—a somewhat gradual process.
- How did it get out of order?
It appears that the Prophet Joseph Smith knew what was going to happen because he told Mosiah Hancock:
 You will see men arise in power in the Church who will seek to put down your friends and the friends of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. Many will be hoisted because of their money and the worldly learning which they seem to be in possession of; and many who are the true followers of our Lord and Savior will be cast down because of their poverty.” (Mosiah Hancock Journal, p. 19)
This agrees with another statement made by Apostle Orson F. Whitney:
Many of this people are perhaps preparing themselves, by following after the world in its mad race for wealth and pleasure, to go down with Babylon when she crumbles and falls but I know there is a people in the heart’s core of this people, that will arise in their majesty in a day that is near at hand, and push spiritual things to the front; a people who will stand up for God, fearing not man nor what man can do, but believing as the Prophet Joseph says, that all things we suffer are for our best good, and that God will stand by us forever and ever. (Des. News, Aug. 11, 1889)
Orson Hyde received similar information in a revelation received April 1846:
Evil men, ambitious of power, must needs arise among you, and they shall be led by their own self-will and not by me. Yet they are instruments in my hands, and are permitted to try my people, and to collect from among them those who are not the elect, and such as are unworthy of eternal life. Grieve not after them, neither mourn nor be alarmed. My people know my voice and also the voice of my spirit, and a stranger they will not follow; Therefore such as follow strangers are not my people. (Unpublished Revelations, Collier, I:104-105)
 So, going back to a special people within a people who will push spiritual things to the front, it must mean that the Church has been pushing temporal things to the front. The glory and wealth of the world would be too much of a temptation for the leaders. That was the great temptation presented to Christ on the mount—and so no wonder it has been presented to His Church! President Brigham Young, foreseeing these temptations to the leaders and members, explained:
Men have said, probably, to all of you who have been out and mingled with the world, “It is very well for you Latter-day Saints to talk about your condition now, because you are a primitive people, you are a young community, you have not been tempted and tried. Wait till you increase in wealth, and until you become familiar with the sins which surround the wealthy. Wait until you are brought in contact with luxury; wait until the spirit of reform which animated your pioneers dies out, and a generation rises up who will think more of the world; then there will be a different feeling and spirit, and you will not be persecuted, hated or despised. You will become more popular, because the world will become familiarized with your ideas. Then `Mormonism’ and the Latter-day Saints will become like every other people that have preceded them—overcome by the luxuries of the world, and by the love of riches. (JD 15:207)
The Lord had warned them of this:
But inasmuch as they keep not my commandments, and hearken not to observe all my words, the kingdoms of the world shall prevail against them. (D & C 103:3)
The temporal wealth of the Church is obvious to both Church members and non-members. A recent report by the Arizona Republic stated:
 No religion in America converts spiritual beliefs into financial success like the Mormon Church.
The Church, which claims 7.8 million members worldwide, is among the most rapidly growing and powerful economic institutions in the United States, particularly in the West, where much of its wealth is concentrated. (June 30, 1991)
Brigham Young warned the Saints of the perilous times the Church would go through. His remarks were reported by Joshua Jones, who said:
In a conference held at Provo City, Utah Territory, in the year 1867, in the bowery, on the northwest corner of the now Provo Commercial Bank block, President Brigham Young, in the course of a sermon he was delivering to the people, made the following prophecy: “Brethren, this Church will be led onto the very brink of hell by the leaders of this people, then God will raise up the one `Mighty and Strong’ spoken of in the 85th Section of the Doctrine & Covenants to save and redeem this Church.” Attested to by Joshua Jones who made a minute of it at that time and now has it in his diary. He is now (June 1922) at Provo City, Utah. The sending of this one “Mighty and Strong” the Lord has purposed for the salvation of the honest in heart among his people, and to be the initiative to bring about the great blessing the Lord has in reserve to cause the poor, the lame, the deaf, and the blind to rejoice. (One Mighty and Strong, John T. Clark, p. 106)
From the scriptures, Apostle Orson Pratt learned that this people would become involved with Babylon and end up in bondage. He wrote:
It seems then that this people, at some future time in their sojourn here in this land, may possibly be in bondage greater than they are at the present time. I try to hope for the best, and to think that the bondage  we are in and have been in for years, in consequence of the efforts of those who are striving to take away our rights as American citizens, and to trample us down in the dust; I say I have been in hopes that that would be all the bondage that was meant here in this prophecy, but I do not know but what there may be a greater signification to these words. I do not know what the purposes of the Lord are in relation to this particular thing. It may be that we shall have our rights completely taken from us; it may be, if we do not live sufficiently faithful before the Lord, that he will yet bring us into still greater tribulation than that which we have hitherto had. It may be that we shall yet be in bondage like the Israelites in the land of Egypt; for the Lord has said that, when this man should be raised up, he would redeem his people by power out of bondage, and they should be led as their fathers were led at the first. (JD 17:303)
Orson Pratt continued with his understanding of these scriptures, that this people would be delivered from a bondage in a very similar fashion to what the ancient Israelites were delivered from the Egyptians:
In these last days, in redeeming his people from bondage, he has told us in plain words, that his angel should go before us and also his presence; and as, in the deliverance of Israel in ancient times the waters were divided and plagues sent forth upon the Egyptian nation, it would not surprise me at all if there should be similar power manifested in the redemption of Zion. There may be a few individuals go to prepare the way, to purchase a little more land and get things in order; but when that is accomplished, this people as a body will return to that land, the Lord going with them.
In ancient times, so long as the Lord did continue with Israel, he manifested his glory over their camp by a cloud by day; and whenever the cloud arose they followed it, and wherever it rested, there they pitched their tents and remained until the cloud moved again, when they again journeyed on. Now, if Zion is to be  redeemed after the same manner, you need not be surprised if the Lord God should let his glory, in the form of a cloud by day and the shining of a flaming fire by night, be over all the camp of Zion. This is what I look for; perhaps I am a little enthusiastic, but it is really what I look for and expect; and when the Lord says that his presence shall go with us, I expect he will be in the midst of this people as he was in the midst of ancient Israel until they rejected him from their midst. (JD 17:304)
Joseph Fielding Smith understood the seriousness of the dangers facing the Church. He quoted Isaiah and then commented:
“The earth is also defiled under the inhabitants thereof; because they have transgressed the laws, changed the ordinances and broken the everlasting covenant.” (Isa. 24:5)
Are we not too much inclined to blame the generations that are past for the breaking of the new and everlasting covenant, and to think it is because of the great apostasy which followed the ministry of the Apostles in primitive times, that these troubles are coming upon the earth? Perhaps we should wake up to the realization that it is because of the breaking of covenants, especially the new and everlasting covenant, which is the fullness of the gospel as it has been revealed, that the world is to be consumed by fire and few men left. Since this punishment is to come, at the time of the cleansing of the earth when Christ comes again, should not Latter-day Saints take heed unto themselves? We have been given the new and everlasting covenant, and many among us have broken it, and many are now breaking it: Therefore all who are guilty of this offense will aid in bringing to pass this destruction in which they will find themselves swept from the earth when the great and dreadful day of the Lord shall come. (Des. News, Oct.17, 1936, p. 7)
 Mormon also warned of the pride and materialism among the Saints of our day:
Behold, I speak unto you as if ye were present, and yet ye are not, but behold, Jesus Christ hath shown you unto me, and I know your doing.
And I know that ye do walk in the pride of your hearts; and there are none save a few only who do not lift themselves up in the pride of their hearts, unto the wearing of very fine apparel, unto envying, and strifes, and malice and persecutions, and all manner of iniquities; and your churches, yea, even every one, have become polluted because of the pride of your hearts.
For behold, ye do love money, and your substance, and your fine apparel, and the adornment of your churches, more than ye love the poor and the needy, the sick and the afflicted.
O ye pollutions, ye hypocrites, ye teachers, who sell yourselves for that which will canker, why have you polluted the holy church of God? Why are ye ashamed to take upon you the name of Christ? Why do ye not think that greater is the value of an endless happiness than that misery which never dies—because of the praise of the world?
Why do you adorn yourselves with that which hath no life, and yet suffer the hungry, and the needy and the naked, and the sick and the afflicted to pass by you, and notice them not? (Mormon 8:35-39)
- M. Darter, the Independent Fundamentalist, observed that things in the Church certainly needed to be set in order because—
We have surrounded ourselves with luxuries and have hoarded up great sums of treasures which have been invested in non-church property, saying to ourselves that surely these things will make us secure in the hour of need. It appears, however, that the Lord  is not satisfied with the hearts of His Saints and the treasures of His Church being tied up in carnal and material securities and with no provisions for the home gathering of thousands of Saints, the world over, who now desire to gather in before serious trouble begins. . . . To those who are not prepared and are found taking advantage of the Saints, the Lord has pronounced judgment through this “Mighty and Strong One.” (Zion’s Redemption, p. 90)
On the other hand, Mark E. Petersen, in his book Way of the Master, expressed a very different view of conditions in the Church today. He re-quoted the official 1905 message of the First Presidency (comprising nearly all of Petersen’s Chapter 15), and prefaced it with the following brief remarks:
Various of our apostates who become disenchanted with the Church, and declare that its leaders have gone astray, revert to Section 85 of the Doctrine and Covenants and read there concerning “one mighty and strong” destined to set the Church in order.
They assume that this scripture refers to our day and to our leaders whom they declare have fallen. But how mistaken they are!
The leaders of the Church have not gone astray. They are indeed and in fact the prophets, seers and revelators of the Lord, even as were the brethren chosen when the Church first saw the light of day.
Because there has been difficulty over that scripture for years, the First Presidency, under President Joseph F. Smith, published an explanation of it in the Deseret News, Nov. 13, 1905. (The official announcement followed.) (Way of the Master, p. 82)
It is apparent that Elder Petersen is not including this chapter to clarify scripture, but rather to defend the integrity of the Church leaders. He states that the Church today has “prophets, seers and revelators” and that they are comparable to the leaders “when the Church first saw the light of day.” The  question arises, then, that if the current leaders of the Church are as qualified to be prophets, seers and revelators as Joseph Smith, etc., then where are their revelations? Have they spoken in tongues, recorded the appearance of angels, used seer stones, or spoken with Christ and God?
Weakness often needs the support of a false defense, and greater weaknesses require greater false defenses. A brilliant teacher who has gone through the colleges of learning has graduation certificates as proof of his school. On the other hand, a false teacher has no certificates or diplomas, but professes that he does.
By the same token, a true prophet usually has gifts, powers and evidences of his spiritual calling. The Lord lists nearly a dozen spiritual gifts that are available in the Church and then says those who are appointed “to watch over the church and to be elders unto the church, are to have it given unto them to discern all those gifts. . . .” (D & C 46:27) How could a person discern those gifts if he was not acquainted with them? Furthermore, the Lord says, “That unto some it may be given to have all those gifts, that there may be a head, in order that every member may be profited thereby.” (D & C 46:29)
If these gifts are not exhibited, then it is evident we are in serious trouble. Moroni says that God—
. . .is the same yesterday, today, and forever, and that all these gifts of which I have spoken, which are spiritual, never will be done away, even as long as the world shall stand, only according to the unbelief of the children of men, * * * if the day cometh that the power and gifts of God shall be done away among you, it shall be because of unbelief. And wo be unto the children of men if this be the case; for there shall be none that doeth good among you, no not one. For if  there be one among you that doeth good, he shall work by the power and gifts of God. (Moroni 10:19, 24, 25)
If the Church were in order, and we had leaders that are “prophets, seers and revelators of the Lord, even as were the brethren chosen when the Church first saw the light of day,” then these gifts would be apparent today. It is obvious that if the house of God is not enjoying all these gifts of the spirit today, then it is not in proper order.
In the past century the house of God has deteriorated in spiritual value. The LDS Church has not reported a single revelation of “Thus saith the Lord;” there have been no ancient texts translated; no seer stones or Urim and Thummims have shed their light; the three Nephites have declined to visit with us anymore; and the Lord refuses to display His mighty works.
Instead of spiritual growth, the Church has expanded its temporal growth, and built businesses and temples in Babylon. In over 100 years they have not made one attempt to live the United Order. Church members have fallen into debt; they are having more mixed marriages with the gentiles; they have sunk to the level of using gentile lawyers, doctors, educational systems, and politicians.
Mormons have lost their identity as Israelites and have become Gentiles. Indeed they are no longer the peculiar people the Lord commanded to gather together. Members have taken on the sins of the world and suffer because of thievery, abortions, divorces, drunkenness and all the other criminal activities of our present society. Salt Lake City, the capital of Mormonism, has a worse crime record than other comparable cities of its size. The nations of the world are on the brink of catastrophe and destruction, and the Mormons stand without preparation for it.
 In spite of this blackened image cast upon God’s Church, President Kimball reflected the feelings of the other General Authorities by saying, “This work is divine; the Lord is at the helm; the Church is true; and all is well.” (Ensign, May 1982)
Could the following passage of scripture possibly apply here: “Wo be unto him that crieth: `All is well?'” (2 Ne. 28:25)
How deep into the ways of Babylon must we sink before we realize the house of God needs to get back in order?
For those who still do not comprehend these things, the Lord has explained:
And your minds in times past have been darkened because of unbelief, and because you have treated lightly the things you have received—which vanity and unbelief have brought the whole church under condemnation. And this condemnation resteth upon the children of Zion even all. (D & C 84:54-56)
In the past 160 years the Lord has not changed or revoked that edict because we have not changed or improved our status with Him, in spite of repeated warnings from the Lord Himself:
Behold, vengeance cometh speedily upon the inhabitants of the earth, a day of wrath, a day of burning, a day of desolation, of weeping, of mourning, and of lamentations; and as a whirlwind it shall come upon all the face of the earth, saith the Lord.
And upon my house shall it begin, and from my house shall it go forth, saith the Lord.
First among those among you, saith the Lord, who have professed to know my name and have not known me, and have blasphemed against me in the midst of MY HOUSE, saith the Lord. (D & C 112:24-26)
 So the setting in order will reach very high places in the Church. The Lord even mentions specifically—
For it shall come to pass that the inhabitants of Zion shall judge all things pertaining to Zion. And liars and hypocrites shall be proved by them, and they who are not apostles and prophets shall be known. And even the bishop, who is a judge, and his counselors, if they are not faithful in their stewardships shall be condemned.(D & C 64:38-40)
The Lord gave this revelation in Section 85 to Joseph Smith knowing the time would come when His people would not fulfill all the requirements of His laws. But in these important verses He made a promise that a few would be counted worthy to assist Him in building His Zion. God also knew it would take power from on high—no mortal man could set the house of God in order. Some of the Church authorities have interpreted that scripture the same as J. Golden Kimball, who said, “It will take one mighty and strong to set it in order. We (the present authorities) cannot do it.” (Truth 5:202)
So in answer to the question, “How did the Church get out of order?” the following list shows ten of the main ways:
- Pride in our hearts
- Wearing fine apparel
- Envy, strife, malice
- Persecution of others
- Love of money and power
- Love of substance
- Adornment of churches
- Neglect of poor, sick, and needy
- Priestcraft 
- What must be done to get it back in order?
Apostle Orson Pratt expounds on the events that must happen to get things back in order—the responsibility, the joy, the wonders:
Everything must be organized according to the law of Heaven. This will prepare us for the more perfect law that will come in force, when the Lord shall command this people to go back to the place where the central city shall be built. We have to build that city; we have to furnish riches to do it. We must prepare ourselves for it; and when we get there, there will be more perfect order established than that which is now being instituted.
God has not permitted us yet to enter a perfect order. He told the people when they were scattered from that land to let those laws which He had given concerning the properties of His children be executed and fulfilled after the redemption of Zion. Now, I doubt whether you can execute them before that time; but you can get as near to them as you can, so that you may not be wholly strangers to the order which God will introduce when you go back to that land. For thus saith the Lord God in one of the new revelations which He has given, recorded in the history of Joseph the Prophet, “Behold I will send one mighty and strong, clothed with light as a garment whose mouth shall utter words—eternal words, and whose bowels shall be a fountain of truth, who shall divide to the Saints their inheritances.” He will send one ordained to do this purpose, and to fulfill this particular duty, that the Saints may receive their inheritances after they have consecrated everything in their possession. Then we can build up a city that will be a city of perfection, “the perfection of beauty.” I want to see that day, whether in the flesh or out of it, and rejoice in it, and partake of its glories. May God bless you. Amen. (JD 12:323, 1868)
 Within two years of the Restoration, the Saints were attempting to redeem Zion, but that hope died in 1846 with their expulsion from Illinois. After the Saints arrived in the Salt Lake Valley, they never again made an attempt to redeem Zion. Now it is a doctrine vaguely understood by our modern Mormons.
The Saints must have another “Reformation” as they did in the early 1850’s. They were commanded to repent and be rebaptized or leave the Church, the Saints and Utah. It is time for the Saints to remove themselves from Babylon—physically, socially, economically and spiritually!
 Chapter 10
During the 1880’s decade of bitter persecutions against the LDS Church, the Lord gave the president of the Church about a dozen important revelations; but during the 100 years since then not one written revelation has been reported.
In the Book of Mormon, the Bible, and the Doctrine and Covenants, there are lists of approximately 12 gifts of the Spirit that are supposed to abound when the Saints were obedient to the commandments:
speaking in tongues
interpretation of tongues
visitation of angels
power to do miracles
healing of blind, lame and deaf
raising the dead
use of seer stones
seeing the Savior
As a barometer of determining the “orderliness” of the Church today, how many of these gifts, if any, are manifest among the leaders and members of the Church?
 So a setting in order seems obvious. It will be similar to a Restoration, except that it will be a Reformation. All the powers, blessings, miracles and gifts that came with the Restoration will return with this Reformation. Indeed it will be of a great magnitude and will even overshadow the powers and miracles of the Restoration. Many more people will be involved, more land, new inventions, great riches, infinitely more information, and even more ancient records. It will be a wonderful occasion to behold the Mormon people accomplish the things that the early Church members failed to do! After thousands of years of spiritual failures, this will finally get people to obey the will of the Lord. It will even establish the Kingdom of God and the Millennial reign of Christ on the earth.
And much more revelation will be received. Added to this will be the discovery of many valuable and ancient artifacts. In the early days of the Church we were blessed with the records of the Book of Mormon; but after the setting in order, the promise to receive the other two-thirds will be fulfilled. And even beyond that is the promise to receive other ancient records. For instance, the Lord has said, “There are records which contain much of my gospel, which have been kept back because of the wickedness of the people” (D & C 6:26). The people will then be worthy to receive them. Brigham Young described this scene:
When Joseph got the plates, the angel instructed him to carry them back to the Hill Cumorah, which he did. Oliver says that when Joseph and Oliver went there, the hill opened, and they walked into a cave, in which there was a large and spacious room. He says he did not think, at the time, whether they had the light of the sun, or artificial light; but it was just as light as day. They laid the plates on a table; it was a large table that stood in the room. Under this table there was a pile of plates as much as two feet high, and there  were altogether in this room more plates than, probably, many wagon loads; they were piled up in the corners and along the walls. The first time they went there, the sword of Laban hung upon the wall; but when they went again, it had been taken down and laid upon the table across the gold plates; it was unsheathed, and on it were written these words, “This sword will never be sheathed again until the kingdoms of this world become the kingdom of our God and His Christ.” I take the liberty of referring to those things so that they will not be forgotten and lost. Carlos Smith was a young man of as much veracity as any young man we had, and he was a witness to these things. Samuel Smith saw some things, and Hyrum saw a good many things, but Joseph was the leader.
Now, you may think I am unwise in publicly telling these things, thinking, perhaps, I should preserve them in my own breast; but such is not in my mind. I would like the people called Latter-day Saints to understand some little things with regard to the workings and dealings of the Lord with His people here upon the earth. I could relate to you a great many more, all of which are familiar to many of our brethren and sisters (JD 19:38).
In an interview with David Whitmer a year before he died, he was asked:
“When will the Temple be built in Independence?
“Right after the great tribulation is over.
“What do you mean by that?
“A civil war more bloody and cruel than the rebellion. It will be a smashing up of this nation, about which time the second great work has to be done, a work like Joseph did, and the translation of the sealed plates, and <then there will be> peace all over.” (Des. News, Aug. 13, 1878)
The second great work will be the setting in order and bringing back all those powers and gifts, such as receiving and translating these ancient records.
 Who are these people that shall come forward to bring about a righteous “new world order”? Are they the Rockefellers, the Rothchilds, the International Bankers or the Oil Cartel? No, it will not be that kind of a new world order. The Lord will set up his worldwide order under the banner of His Kingdom.
Furthermore, it will not be managed by these barons of worldly wealth and power. The Lord said, “The weak things of the world shall come forth and break down the mighty and strong ones. . . .” (D & C 1:19) These are the Ephraimites of the house of Joseph, and the other tribes and people of the earth “shall bring forth their rich treasures unto the children of Ephraim.” Because of their faithfulness the Lord has said, “Behold, this is the blessing of the everlasting God upon the tribes of Israel, and the richer blessing upon the head of Ephraim and his fellows.” (D & C 133:30, 34)
These few faithful will receive power over temporal riches and also spiritual matters. New revelations will pertain to the sciences with inventions of artificial fuels, motors of almost perpetual motion, battery and electrical power that will reduce expense to near nothing, and absolute clean food, water and air.
From the earliest days of the Church the Saints have struggled through poverty, hardships, and bankruptcies. After the setting in order, however, that will change. The Lord has made this promise to His Saints: “Ye shall be the richest of all people” and then gives the reason by adding, “the riches of the earth are mine to give. . . .” (D & C 38:39)
This great wealth to be given to the Saints was described by the Prophet Joseph Smith when he prophesied that the Saints “will find the mountains full of minerals and they will become very rich. You will see silver piled in the streets. You  will see gold shoveled up like sand.” (Visions of the Latter Days, p. 50)
Brigham Young understood the future and also prophesied of the great wealth that will come to the Saints: “When we are prepared, we shall have gold sufficient to pave the streets, and we will tread it under our feet.” (JD 7:271) And he later added:
The gold and silver will be given to the Saints; the riches of the world will be put in their possession, and they will be legal heirs. (JD 8:82)
When it is necessary that we should possess gold in great abundance, the Lord will show it to us in vision, and we shall not have to prospect and dig to find it, as the wicked have to do. The liberty of the Saints is to possess power with God to open gold mines, when we want gold. . . . (JD 10:288)
At the present time we lack many kinds of power with God; but the day will come when all the gifts and powers once enjoyed by former prophets will again be manifest—during and after the setting in order!
Mankind will enjoy the power of looking back into history to see it as it was and to learn of laws and principles to benefit their future. Added to all this, the Lord will reveal the power of sustaining life so mankind will no longer die and be buried in the ground. Then men will learn that obedience to God will render blessings which they could not obtain from the systems of Babylon.
Many scholars have logically interpreted the scriptural passage about a “great and marvelous work” to describe a scene of events after the Restoration, not the Restoration itself. For example, Avraham Gileadi noted this in his research:
 Once, while preparing to teach a Gospel Doctrine class on the Book of Mormon, I was struck by what seemed to be a clear sequence of events that Nephi was predicting for the last days. Within that series of events, recorded in 1 Nephi 13 through 14, the expression “a great and a marvelous work” caught my attention. I had always assumed that the great and marvelous work of which the Book of Mormon speaks was the restoration of the gospel through the Prophet Joseph Smith. Yet, now, looking at Nephi’s words more carefully, I found that he seems to speak of the great and marvelous work as another event, one that follows and transcends what happened in Joseph Smith’s day. Nephi prophesies the restoration of the gospel in 1 Nephi 13:34-37, yet the great and marvelous work he refers to in 1 Nephi 14:7 appears to occur later. The great and marvelous work is something final; it involves an enduring peace for some and destruction for others. (The Last Days, 1st ed., p. 57)
The Lord brought about the Restoration, but gradually most of the doctrines, principles, and even the gathering of the Saints were phased out. So much depended on being gathered that the purpose of restoring the Gospel could not be attained without it. Therefore, it would be necessary to make the attempt a second time. This agrees with scripture. From the Book of Mormon:
And the Lord will set his hand again the second time to restore his people from their lost and fallen state. Wherefore, he will proceed to do a marvelous work and a wonder among the children of men. (2 Nephi 25:17)
This also compares with Isaiah:
And it shall come to pass in that day, that the Lord shall set his hand again the second time to recover the remnant of his people. . . . (Isa. 11:11)
 This second event must occur after the first one which was the Restoration of the Gospel. Whatever that marvelous work and wonder is, it will cause a world-wide gathering of the righteous and the final destruction of the wicked. That has not happened, because the first attempt did not cause it. There was only a small percentage that gathered, and by the turn of the century it had stopped.
The second event, or the real “marvelous work and wonder” will cause that “all nations shall flow unto it” and then “they shall beat their swords into plowshares, and their spears into pruning hooks; nation shall not lift up sword against nation, neither shall they learn war any more.” (Isa. 2:2-4) What a marvelous work and wonder to cause these events to happen!
We have heard the claim that the Lord would not allow the President of the Church to lead the people astray, and if such a thing would occur, the Lord would remove him. But the 85th Section is proof that it could and will happen.!
Every dispensation of the past has gradually fallen into apostasy. Forced by enemies to abandon true principles, adopting the worldly standards and customs, seeking for worldly wealth or honors, and neglecting the poor, are all marks of apostasy that befell those dispensations of the past. This dispensation is no different. We are guilty of the same sins and failings. However, this dispensation has one unique feature that is different from all others—God, through a special messenger, will once again set it in order. He will send One Mighty and Strong to direct His house and people back on course.
The setting in order of the House of God will be a greater event than the Restoration. What failed in the beginning will  succeed in the end. The miracles will be greater; the number of converts will be more numerous; the power and wealth of the Saints will be richer; and Zion—the New Jerusalem—will finally be built. Instead of the kingdoms of the world overcoming the Kingdom of God, it will be reversed.
The setting in order will be one of the greatest works of God among men. It will be called the “second great work” and a “marvelous work and a wonder”. Every true Saint should be eager and anxiously awaiting that event because Christ has promised, “Mine angels shall go up before you, and also my presence. . . . ” (D & C 103:20)
This will be the marvelous work and a wonder, for everything will change causing Babylon to fall and Zion to rise. The Saints will again seek for the redemption of Zion and the building of the New Jerusalem. They will be able to make that promised journey because Missouri will be swept clean of every image of Babylon and will be rebuilt according to the plan of God. Christ will reign personally on the earth as King of kings and Lord of lords, to give laws to the nations of the earth.
And “in that day shall the branch of the Lord be beautiful and glorious. . . and the earth shall be excellent and comely for them that are escaped of Israel.” (Isa. 4:2)
Then men will learn war no more and the earth shall have peace for a thousand years.
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