If any man writes to you, or preaches to you, doctrines contrary to the Bible, the Book of Mormon, or the Book of Doctrine and Covenants, set him down as an imposter.
Times & Seasons
April 1, 1844
When we have God’s word pure and clear, then we think ourselves all right, we become negligent, and repose in a vain security; we no longer pay due heed, thinking it will always so remain, we do not watch and pray against the devil, who is ready to tear the Divine word out of our hearts.
No greater mischief can happen to a Christian people, than to have God’s word taken from them, or falsified, so that they no longer have it pure and clear. God grant we and our descendants be not witnesses of such a calamity.
On October 31, 1517, Martin Luther posted 95 theses on the door of the Wittenberg Chapel in Germany. These propositions were an appeal for the more scholarly church members to discuss or debate them with Luther at the Wittenberg University.
Luther’s intent in writing the theses was not to condemn the church, nor to tell the Pope how it should be run, but rather to evaluate the difference between Bible teachings and ever increasing new innovations which were creeping into the doctrines of their faith. His writing was sparked by an authoritative change in doctrine–the Pope’s sale of indulgences. Luther became aware of the discrepancy between the words of church leaders and the words of the Lord. There was also a contradiction between the teachings of one pope to that of another. But the trend of making the people believe more in the ideologies of church leaders, than in the doctrines of the Bible, appeared to Luther as the greatest danger to their salvation.
It is not out of reason to expect the Latter-day Saints to also evaluate today’s doctrinal teachings by comparing them to the scriptures and revelations of the Lord. All of the general councils of the Church have advised the members to search and study the scriptures. For example:
“The Savior urged us to `search the scriptures,’ to find the way of life (John 5:39). Everyone owes it to himself to find Christ’s truth, and finding it, to hold fast to it.” (Church News, May 4, 1974, p. 16)
A similar and very timely article was written in 1965 as an editorial in the Church News. This article represents one of the finest literary masterpieces of ecclesiastical penmanship that has come from the present-day leadership of the Church. It is not only accurate in its analysis of Gospel principles, but emphasizes their eternal scope. It lets the reader envision the eternal nature of the promises and rewards which are attached to the everlasting principles of the gospel. It also challenges the reader to make comparisons of Church doctrine with the scriptures. A major portion of the article read:
 OUR UNCHANGEABLE DEITY
One of the most important things we may learn about our religion is that God is unchangeable, the same yesterday, today and forever.
By this we may know that the principles of salvation will always remain the same, and that we need not be disturbed by “new ideas” or “modern innovations” in the Gospel which may come our way.
The Gospel can not possibly be changed. The heaven we hope to achieve is eternal and unchangeable. Therefore to bring the same human nature to the same goal, regardless of the time in which a person lives, requires the same steps and procedures. For that reason the saving principles must ever be the same. They can never change. ***
To say that the Gospel may be changed is to say that either God has changed, or that human nature is no longer human nature.
It is obvious therefore that no one can change the Gospel, and that if they attempt to do so, they only set up a man-made system which is not the Gospel, but is merely a reflection of their own views. And since only God can save, only His Gospel can save, and if we substitute “any other gospel” there is no salvation in it.
Knowing as we do that man-made religion has no power to save, and realizing that we all have souls which require salvation, we should selfishly, and in our own best interests, make certain that we accept the right religion, God’s religion, and not try to work our way into His kingdom by some man-made theory.
Are the doctrines and rituals of the Church in harmony with the Bible, or are they creations of men who–though well meaning–have gone off on a tangent?
If the principles by which any of us attempt to save ourselves are contrary to the Bible, we may know they are man’s teachings, not God’s, for the Lord and His Gospel remain the same–always. (Church News, June 5, 1965, p. 16)
 This challenge and comparison applies to every person claiming to be a Christian. It is necessary for man to find out if their salvation is founded on a “man-made system” or the “creations of men,” even though they came from honorable and “well meaning” men.
The Church of Jesus Christ is not an exception. It should be able to stand comparative tests better than any other church. The following 95 theses contain only a sample of many such references on important principles and ordinances of the Gospel. This compilation is written with the intent of making a comparison of the teachings in the Bible and latter-day scriptures with those of present-day Church leaders. There is also a comparison of present-day Church teachings with those of former Church leaders.
However, the purpose of this book is not just to compare principles of the Gospel as taught anciently to those in modern times. The main object is to better acquaint the reader with many of the principles which were taught both in the Bible and at the time of the restoration, but which have gradually faded out of the realm of modern Christianity.
If the principles by which we attempt to be saved are contrary to the Bible and the other scriptures, then “we may know they are man’s teachings, not God’s, for the Lord and His Gospel remain the same–always!”
The everlasting principles and doctrines of the Gospel should always remain the same; for surely a century should not make a difference in eternal principles. If it does, then we may know that something is wrong.
The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is the only true church upon the face of the earth; nevertheless, it too has its problems with a multitude of preachers who have arisen with heresies, conflicting doctrines, and vast assortment of opinions. Each Latter-day Saint should “search the scriptures” and determine what the Lord has said. It is only upon that “rock” that the gates of hell cannot prevail.
- THE WORD OF GOD
“The grass withereth, the flower fadeth: but the word of our God shall stand forever.” (Isa. 40:8)
“To the law and to the testimony: if they speak not according to this word, it is because there is no light in them.” (Isa. 8:20; 2 Nephi 18:20)
“Whosoever therefore shall be ashamed of me and of my words in this adulterous and sinful generation; of him also shall the Son of Man be ashamed …. “(Mark 8:38)
“He that rejecteth me, and receiveth not my words, hath one that judgeth him: the word that I have spoken, the same shall judge him in the last day.” (John 12:48)
“But he answered and said, It is written, Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God.” (Matt. 4:4)
“For you shall live by every word that proceedeth forth from the mouth of God.” (D. & C. 84:44)
“Search these commandments, for they are true and faithful, and the prophecies and promises which are in them shall all be fulfilled. What I the Lord have spoken, I have spoken, and I excuse not myself; and though the heavens and the earth pass away, my word shall not pass away ….” (D. & C. 1:37-38)
“Do the people of the Church want a safe guide to what is well for them to do? It is this: Keep in harmony with the Presidency of this Church. Accept and follow the teachings and advice of the President.” (Ensign, Oct. 1972)
- TRUE PRINCIPLES
“Beware lest any man spoil you through philosophy and vain deceit, after the tradition of men, after the rudiments of the world, and not after Christ.” (Col. 2:8)
“Search the scriptures–search the revelations which we publish, and ask your Heavenly Father, in the name of His Son Jesus Christ, to manifest the truth unto you, and if you do it with an eye single to His glory nothing doubting, He will answer you by the power of His Holy Spirit. You will then know for yourselves and not for another. You will not then be dependent on man for the knowledge of God; nor will there be any room for speculation. No; for when men receive their instruction from Him that made them, they know how He will save them.” (T.P.J.S., p. 11-12)
“Men may preach and practice everything except those things which God commands us to do, and will be damned at last. We may tithe mint and rue, and all manner of herbs, and still not obey the commandments of God. The object with me is to obey and teach others to obey God in just what he tells us to do. It mattereth not whether the principle is popular or unpopular, I will always maintain a true principle, even if I stand alone in it.” (Joseph Smith, D.H.C. 6:223)
“Who will? (become Gods) Those who are valiant and inspired with the true independence of heaven, who will go forth boldly in the service of their God, leaving others to do as they please, determined to do right, though all mankind besides should take the opposite course. Will this apply to any of you? Your own hearts can answer.” (Brigham Young, J.D. 1:312)
“Brethren, keep your eye on the President of this Church. If he tells you to do anything and it is wrong and you do it, the Lord will bless you for it.” (Heber J. Grant & Harold B. Lee, Ensign, Oct. 1972)
- OUR FILELEADER
“For there is one God, and one mediator between God and man, the man Christ Jesus;” (1 Tim. 2:5)
“Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.” (John 14:6)
“And we talk of Christ, we rejoice in Christ, we preach of Christ, we prophesy of Christ, and we write according to our prophecies, that our children may how to what source they may look for a remission of their sins.” (2 Nephi 25:26)
“When the children of Israel were chosen with Moses at their head, they were to be a peculiar people, among whom God should place His name; their motto was: `The Lord is our lawgiver; the Lord is our Judge; the Lord is our King; and He shall reign over us.’ While in this state they might truly say, `Happy is that people, whose God is the Lord. ‘” (Joseph Smith, T.P.J.S., p. 252)
“…But the greatest and most important of all requirements of our Father in heaven and of his Son Jesus Christ, is, to his brethren or disciples, to believe in Jesus Christ, confess him, seek to him, cling to him, make friends with him. Take a course to open and keep open a communication with your Elder Brother or fileleader–our Saviour.” (Brigham Young, J.D. 8:339)
“With warnings and safeguards such as the Lord provides, need anyone be deceived? If we follow the president of the Church, we need never go astray.” (Church News, Aug. 17, 1974, p. 16)
“For there is not a just man upon earth, that doeth good, and sinneth not.” (Ecc. 8:20; Prov. 20:9; 1 John 1:8)
“And the word of the Lord came unto me, saying, Son of man, prophecy against the prophets of Israel that prophesy, and say thou unto them that prophesy out of their own hearts, Hear ye the word of the Lord; Thus saith the Lord God; Woe unto the foolish prophets, that follow their own spirit, and have seen nothing! O Israel, thy prophets are like the foxes in the deserts.” (Ezek. 13:1-4)
“Thus saith the Lord concerning the prophets that make my people err, that bite with their teeth, and cry, Peace; and he that putteth not into their mouths, they even prepare war against him. Therefore night shall be unto you, that ye shall not have a vision; and it shall be dark unto you, that ye shall not divine; and the sun shall go down over the prophets, and the day shall be dark over them. Then shall the seers be ashamed and the diviners confounded: yea, they shall all cover their lips; for there is no answer of God.” (Micah 3:5-7)
“And as he sat upon the mount of Olives, the disciples came unto him privately, saying, Tell us, when shall these things be? and what shall be the sign of thy coming, and of the end of the world? And Jesus answered and said unto them, Take heed that no man deceive you. For many shall come in my name, saying, I am Christ; and shall deceive many. And many false prophets shall rise, and shall deceive many.” (Matt. 24:3,4,5,11)
“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, and others shall be planted in their stead.” (D. & C. 64:39-40; see also D. & C. 85:7-11; 101:44-54)
The Saints are now told that they “. . . should follow the men whom they sustain as prophets, seers, and revelators, for they will lead no one astray.” (Church News, Mar. 17, 1973)
- TRUST NOT IN THE ARM OF FLESH
“Trust ye not in a friend, put ye not confidence in a guide …. ” (Micah 7:5)
“Thus saith the Lord; Cursed be the man that trusteth in man, and maketh flesh his arm, and whose heart departeth from the Lord.” (Jer. 17:5)
“I will not put my trust in the arm of flesh; for I know that cursed is he that putteth his trust in the arm of flesh.” (2 Nephi 4:34)
“The weak things of the world shall come forth and break down the mighty and strong ones, that man should not counsel his fellow man, neither trust in the arm of flesh–” (D. & C. 1:19)
“Can I save you? No, I can only advise a righteous course, and encourage and aid in walking therein, it then remains for them to take the course which I advise, and I always advise people to adopt that policy which Joseph taught and advocated, and which brother Brigham now lays before us, from day to day. This is what will save you, and you cannot be saved upon any other principle. I have power to save myself, and if I do not save myself, who will save me? All have that privilege, and naught can save us but obedience to the commandments of God.” (Heber C. Kimball, J.D. 3:269)
“How often has it been taught that if you depend entirely upon the voice, judgment, and sagacity of those appointed to lead you, and neglect to enjoy the Spirit for yourselves, how easily you may be led into error, and finally be cast off to the left hand?” (Brigham Young, J.D. 8:59)
Members of the Church are taught that “…it behooves us, as Latter-day Saints, to put our trust in the presiding authorities of the Church.” (Doctrines of Salvation, p. 243)
- PERSONAL TESTIMONY
“The weak things of the world shall come forth and break down the mighty and strong ones, that man should not counsel his fellow man, neither trust in the arm of flesh–But that every man might speak in the name of God the Lord, even the Savior of the world;…” (D. & C. 1:19-20)
“And every one that hearkeneth to the voice of the Spirit cometh unto God, even the Father.” (D. & C. 84:47)
“Reading the experience of others, or the revelation given to them, can never give us a comprehensive view of our condition and true relation to God.” (T.P.J.S., p. 324)
“If it was not for the religion I profess, which gives me to know something about the matter, by revelation, for myself, I would not have anything to do with religion at all.” (John Taylor, J.D. 1:150)
“Now those men or those women who know no more about the powers of God and the influences of the Holy Spirit than to be led entirely by another person suspending their own understanding and pinning their faith upon another’s sleeve, will never be capable of entering into the celestial glory to be crowned as they anticipate. They never will be capable of becoming Gods.” (Brigham Young, J.D. 1:312)
“Let every man and woman know themselves, whether their leaders are walking in the path the Lord dictates or not. This has been my exhortation continually.” (Brigham Young, J.D. 9:150)
“Without revelation direct from heaven it is impossible for any person to understand fully the plan of salvation. We often hear it said that the living Oracles must be in the Church in order that the Kingdom of God may be established and prosper on the earth. I will give another version of this sentiment. I say that the living Oracles of God, or the Spirit of revelation must be in each and every individual, to know the plan of salvation and keep in the path that leads them to the presence of God.” (Disc. of Brigham Young, p. 58)
“… `no man knoweth the things of God, but by the spirit of God.’ That was said in the days of the Savior and the Apostles, and it was no more true then than it is now, or than it was in the days of the Prophets, Moses, Abraham  Noah, Enoch, Adam, or in any and every age of the world. It requires the same manifestations in one age as in another to enable man to understand the things of God.” (Brigham Young, Des. Evening News, May 5, 1874)
“To meet the difficulties that are coming, it will be necessary for you to have a knowledge of the truth of this work for yourselves. The difficulties will be of such a character that the man or woman who does not possess this personal knowledge or witness will fall. If you have not got the testimony, live right and call upon the Lord and cease not till you obtain it. If you do not you will not stand.
“Remember these sayings, for many of you will live to see them fulfilled. The time will come when no man nor woman will be able to endure on borrowed light. Each will have to be guided by the light within himself.” (Life of Heber C. Kimball, pp. 460-61; see also J. Golden Kimball, p. 365)
“…the time is coming when we will be mixed up in these now peaceful valleys to the extent that it will be difficult to tell the face of a saint from the face of an enemy against the people of God.
“Then is the time to look out for the great sieve, for there will be a great sifting time, and many will fall.
“For I say unto you there is a test, a Test, A TEST coming.” (J. Golden Kimball, p. 364)
“The time has arrived in the history of this people when every Latter-day Saint must stand on his own responsibility as a tub stands on its own bottom; live the Gospel of Jesus Christ according to the dictates of his own conscience and get the reward; otherwise he must suffer the consequences.” (Joseph F. Smith, Sept. 1903, Truth, Nov. 1, 1936, 2:6, p. 88)
“When our leaders speak, the thinking has been done. When they propose a plan, it is God’s plan.” (June 1945 Ward Teaching Lesson)
- PERSONAL WITNESSES
“He that hath my commandments, and keepeth them, he it is that loveth me; and he that loveth me shall be loved of my Father, and I will love him, and will manifest myself to him.” (John 14:21)
“The twelve traveling councilors are called to be the Twelve Apostles, or special witnesses of the name of Christ in all the world–thus differing from other officers in the church in the duties of their calling.” (D. & C. 107:23)
“They had this testimony–that they had seen the Savior after he rose from the dead. You must bear the same testimony; or your mission [apostleship], your labor, your toil, will be in vain.*** but it is necessary that you receive a testimony from heaven for yourselves; so that you can hear testimony to the truth of the Book of Mormon, and that you have seen the face of God. That is more than the testimony of an angel.” (D.H.C., 2:193, 195)
“It is the privilege of every Elder to speak of the things of God; and could we all come together with one heart and one mind in perfect faith the veil might as well be rent today as next week or any other time ….” (T.P.J.S. p. 9)
“Therefore, sanctify yourselves that your minds become single to God, and the days will come that you shall see him; for he will unveil his face unto you, and it shall be in his own time, and in his own way, and accord to his own will.” (D. & C. 88:68)
“Verily, thus saith the Lord: It shall come to pass that every soul who forsaketh his sins and cometh unto me, and calleth on my name, and obeyeth my voice, and keepeth my commandments, shall see my face and know that I am.” (D. & C. 93:1)
This testimony is almost never heard of today.
“Surely the Lord God will do nothing, but he revealeth his secret unto his servants the prophets.” (Amos 3:7)
“Behold, the days come, saith the Lord God, that I will send a famine in the land, not a famine of bread, nor a thirst for water, but of hearing the words of the Lord. And they shall wander from sea to sea, and from the north even to the east, they shall run to and fro to seek the word of the Lord, and shall not find it.” (Amos 8:11-12)
“For he will give unto the faithful line upon line, precept upon precept; and I will try you and prove you herewith.” (D. & C. 98:12)
“Hence it needs revelation to assist us, and give us knowledge of the things of God. But if any revelations are given of God, they are universally opposed by the priests and Christendom at large; for they reveal their wickedness and abominations.” (D.H.C. 4:588)
“What constitutes the kingdom of God? Where there is a prophet, a priest, or a righteous man unto whom God gives His oracles, there is the kingdom of God; and where the oracles of God are not, there the kingdom of God is not…. but if we do not get revelations, we do not have the oracles of God….” (T.P.J.S., p. 272)
“If anything should have been suggested by us, or any names mentioned, except by commandment, or thus saith the Lord, we do not consider it binding.” (Joseph Smith, D.H.C., 3:295)
“Communication never ceased when the people were faithful …. an unbroken stillness reigned between the heavens and the earth until the people again repented….” (George Q. Cannon, J.D. 22:265)
“When new revelation ceases to be given officers cease to be called of God.” (Orson Pratt’s Works, p. 40)
Since the Manifesto was issued in 1890, the past 80 Years have been silent. There has never been a revelation presented for the people to accept or sustain at a General Conference. For nearly a century not another word has been added to the Doctrine and Covenants.
- A PECULIAR PEOPLE
The Lord told Moses that he would lead the children of Israel and they would become a “peculiar” people (Ex. 19:5).
Peter also wrote that “…ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people;” (I Peter 2:9; Titus 2:14)
“When the children of Israel were chosen with Moses at their head, they were to be a peculiar people, among whom God should place His name;…” (T.P.J.S., p. 252)
“`Yes,’ said Brother Heber, `we think we are secure here in the chambers of these everlasting hills, where we can close the doors of the canyons against mobs and persecutors, the wicked and the vile, who have always beset us with violence and robbery, but I want to say to you, my brethren, the time is coming when we will be mixed up in these now peaceful valleys to that extent that it will be difficult to tell the face of a saint from the face of an enemy against the people of God.
“`Then is the time to look out for the great sieve, for there will be a great sifting time, and many will fall.'” (J. Golden Kimball, p. 364-65)
“Utah is rapidly succumbing to the wave of uniformity that has been growing in the nation. Our system of transportation, communication, our nation-wide T.V., radio, chain stores, packaged food, theater chains, clothing styles, are rapidly ending our uniqueness. We are no longer a peculiar people….” (“This Was the Place,” by Eugene E. Campbell, Speeches of the Year, Extension Publications, July 23, 1959, p. 9)
“…Because the daughters of Zion are haughty, ***making a tinkling with their feet: *** In that day the Lord will take away the bravery of their tinkling ornaments about their feet, and their cauls, and their round tires like the moon, The chains, and the bracelets, and the mufflers, The bonnets, and the ornaments of the legs, and the headbands, and the tablets, and the earrings, The rings, and nose jewels, The changeable suits of apparel, and the mantles, and the wimples, and the crisping pins, The glasses, and the fine linen, and the hoods, and the vails. And it shall come to pass, that instead of sweet smell there shall be stink; and instead of a girdle a rent; and instead of well set hair baldness; and instead of a stomacher a girding of sackcloth; and burning instead of beauty.” (Isa. 3:16, 18-24)
“In like manner also, that women adorn themselves in modest apparel, with shamefacedness and sobriety; not with broided hair, or gold, or pearls, or costly array; But (which becometh women professing godliness) with good works. (I Tim. 2:9-12)
“If the Lord has given me means and I spend it needlessly, in rings for my fingers, and jewelry for adornment, I deprive the Priesthood of that which they ought to have to gather the poor, to preach the Gospel, to build temples and to feed the hungry in our midst. I deprive a people, will by and by inherit the earth, of so many blessings. Every yard of ribbon that I buy that is needless, every flounce, and every gewgaw that is purchased for my family needlessly, robs the Church of God of just so much. But it seems as though the people do not think of these things; they do not lay them to heart. Our wives and daughters seem to forget that they have responsibilities resting upon them in these respects.” (Brigham Young, J.D. 14:18)
“The President [Brigham Young] stopped with us. He sat at the head of the table and had me sit down at his right. The President, when everything was ready, asked a blessing, then all began to eat. He asked for some buttermilk, then crumbled some bread in it and began to eat. He conversed freely on the situation of the Saints in the mountains, and said that he dreaded the time when the Saints would become popular with the world; for he had seen in sorrow, in a dream, or in dreams, this people clothed in the fashions of Babylon, and drinking in the spirit of Babylon until one could hardly tell a Saint from  a black-leg. And he felt like shouting, `To your tents, Oh Israel!’ because it was the only thing that could keep this people pure.
“Many of this people for the sake of riches and popularity, will sell themselves for that which will canker their souls and lead them down to misery and despair. It would be better for them to dwell in wigwams among the Indians than to dwell with the gentiles and miss the glories which God wishes them to obtain. I wish my families would see the point and come forth before it is too late. For oh, I can see the tendency in my families to hug the moth eaten customs of Babylon to their bosoms. This is far more hurtful to them than the deadly viper; for the poisons of the viper can be healed by the power of God. but the customs of Babylon will be hard to get rid of.” (Mosiah Hancock Journal, p. 47-48)
“There was a time when we could walk up and down the streets and tell by the very countenances of men whether they were Latter-day Saints, or not; but can you do it now? You can not, unless you have greater discernment and more of the Spirit and power of God than I have. Why? Because many are trying as hard as they can to transform themselves into the very shape, character, and spirit of the world. Elders in Israel, young men, mothers and daughters in Israel are conforming to the world’s fashions, until their very countenances indicate its spirit and character. This course is to the shame and disgrace of those who are so unwise.” (Joseph F. Smith, J.D. 11:310)
We live, act, and dress according to the customs and traditions of the gentile world.
“Blessed are ye, when men shall revile you, and persecute you, and shall say all manner of evil against you falsely, for my sake. Rejoice, and be exceeding glad: for great is your reward in heaven: for so persecuted they the prophets which were before you.” (Matt. 5:11-12)
“If ye were of the world, the world would love his own….” (John 15:19; see also 15:20)
*** There is still that same spirit of antagonism existing between truth and error that there was then. Let a man join this Church; *** probably a good man, and esteemed by his neighbours, and continued so; but when he became a servant of God, the powers of darkness were let loose upon him; men began to persecute him and speak evil of him, and his name was cast out as evil. This is the lot of every man that receives the truth–I don’t care where he comes from.” (John Taylor, J.D. 7:195)
“…when all the chief features of the Gospel are obliterated, when we can float along the stream and do as the world does, then and not till then will persecution cease….” (George Q. Cannon, J.D. 22:374)
“And when the spirit of persecution, the spirit of hatred, of wrath and malice ceases in the world against this people, it will be the time that this people have apostatized and joined hands with the wicked.” (Brigham Young, J.D. 4:327)
“My greatest happiness, I find in the good will and friendship that has developed among all classes of people at home and abroad toward the Latter-day Saints Church, during my lifetime; in place of everyday persecutions and bitterness we now enjoy the high regard and happy association with all denominations.” (Heber J. Grant, S.L. Tribune, Nov. 22, 1938)
- WORLD FRIENDSHIP
“If ye were of the world, the world would love his own: but because ye are not of the world, but I have chosen you out of the world, therefore the world hateth you.”(John 15:18-19)
“Know ye not that the friendship of the world is enmity with God? Whosoever therefore will be a friend of the world is the enemy of God.” (James 4:4)
“The world always mistook false prophets for true ones, and those that were sent of God, they considered to be false prophets, and hence they killed, stoned, punished and imprisoned the true prophets and these had to hide themselves `in deserts and dens, and caves of the earth,’ and though the most honorable men of the earth, they banished them from their society as vagabonds, whilst they cherished, honored and supported knaves, vagabonds, hypocrites, impostors, and the basest of men.” (T.P.J.S., p. 206)
“There is nothing that would so weaken my hope and discourage me as to see this people in full fellowship with the world, and receive no more persecution from them because they are one with them.” (Brigham Young, J.D. 10:32)
“When Mormonism finds favor with the wicked in this laid it will have gone into the shade; but until the power of the Priesthood is gone, Mormonism will never become popular with the wicked.” (Brigham Young, J.D. 4:38)
“I am thankful that wherever I have traveled during the past six months I have found a feeling of respect, a feeling of love in the hearts of many for the Latter-day Saints, in the hearts of those not of our faith. I heard many very splendid compliments while in Washington by members of the president’s cabinet, by senators and representatives, and by officials of the government in the Federal Reserve banking departments, and in others, wherever I went, and with all the people that I met, bankers in New York, Chicago, San Francisco, and other cities, I heard good things said of the Latter-day Saints; we are coming into our own, so to speak.” (Heber J. Grant, Conf. Rept., April 4, 1920, p. 12)
13a. MORMON INDEPENDENCE
The Lord commanded His people to be sure that “all thy garments be plain, and their beauty the beauty of the work of thine own hands.” (D. & C. 42:40)
Even the sacrament wine was changed to water in obedience to “…a commandment I give unto you, that you shall not purchase wine neither strong drink of your enemies,” (D.& C. 27:3) but it could be used if it was made by themselves. (v. 4)
“I give not unto you that ye shall live after the manner of the world.” (D. & C. 95:13 and D. & C. 1:16)
“I look forward to no distant period when this people, called Latter-day Saints, will be obliged to sustain themselves. We must prepare to gather around us every necessary of life, to make every implement we may wish to use, and to produce from the earth every grain, vegetable, and fruit that we need, and not go to any other place to buy.” (Brigham Young, J.D. 9:32)
“Now, you go to work, brethren and sisters, and get out something of home manufacture, and be as faithful as President Young and his counsel have been in this matter, and then you shall be blessed more than you are.” (Heber C. Kimball, J.D. 9:28)
“I would like to see the people take a course to make their own clothing, make their own machinery, their own knives and their own forks, and everything else we need, for the day will come when we will be under the necessity of doing it, for trouble and perplexity, war and famine, bloodshed and fire, and insomuch that we cannot get to them, nor they to us.” (Heber C. Kimball, Life of H.C. Kimball, p. 411)
We presently do not have our independence because we purchase everything from our enemies, we live after the manner of the world in nearly every respect, and we are being told to remain scattered in Babylon.
13b. INDEBTEDNESS TO THE GENTILES
“For the Lord thy God blesseth thee, as he promised thee; and thou shalt lend unto many nations, but thou shalt not borrow; and thou shalt reign over many nations, but they shall not reign over thee.” (Deut. 15:6)
“The rich ruleth over the poor, and the borrower is servant to the lender.” (Prov. 22:7)
“Behold, it is said in my laws, or forbidden, to get in debt to thine enemies;” (D. & C. 64:27)
“If they enter upon their business without God in their thoughts, it is `How much can I get for this? and how much can I make on that? and how much will the people give for this and for that? and how fast can I get rich? and how long will it take me to be a millionaire?’ which thoughts should never come into the mind of a merchant who professes to be a Latter-day Saint. But it should be `What can I do to benefit this people?’*** And our mechanics, do they labor for the express purpose of building up Zion and the kingdom of God? I am sorry to say that I think there are very few into whose hearts it has entered or whose thoughts are occupied in the least with such a principle; but it is, `how much can I make?’*** Brother Joseph Smith gave us the word of the Lord; it was simply this: `Never do another day’s work to build up a Gentile city never lay out another dollar while you live, to advance the world in its present state; it is full of wickedness and violence; no regard is paid to the prophets, nor the prophecyings of the prophets, nor to Jesus nor his sayings, nor the word of the Lord that was given anciently, nor to that given in our day. They have gone astray, and they are building up themselves, and they are promoting sin and iniquity upon the earth; and,’ said he, `it is the word and commandment of the Lord to his servants that they shall never do another day’s work, nor spend another dollar to build up a Gentile city'” (Brigham Young, J.D. 11:294-295)
Nearly all Mormons are in debt to the gentiles in something.
13c. CORPORATION SOLE
“Yea, well did Mosiah say, who was our last king, when he was about to deliver up the kingdom, having no one to confer it upon, causing that this people should be governed by their own voices–….” (Alma 10:19)
“And all things shall be done by common consent in the Church, by much prayer and faith, for all things you shall receive by faith.” (D. & C. 26:2)
“For all things must be done in order, and by common consent in the Church, by the prayer of faith.” (D. & C. 28:13)
Without the consent or knowledge of the members of the Church, in 1923 the First Presidency made secret business transactions. Evidence was presented in a pamphlet entitled “Temple Block Sold,” showing how all the buildings on Temple Square and others also were used as pawn to obtain money for Pres. Grant and his associates in their business ventures. The buildings mortgaged under three deeds besides the temple were: Church office building, Bishop’s building, Deseret Gymnasium building, the Beehive House and the Lion House. (It is interesting to note that the present Church leaders claim that any secret doings are not of the Lord. In the June 21, 1975, issue of the Church News, in referring to individuals or groups whose activities are aligned with the evil one, the authorities said: “They are masters in `cover up,’ yet they profess to teach a secret truth made known to them specially by some hidden process…. When will people learn that `the Lord worketh not in darkness’ (2 Nephi 26:23) and that he gives no secret revelations and authorizes no secret ordinations? The Lord’s work is done openly and above board, with the vote and voice of the congregations of the Saints. (D. & C. 20:63-67) … By their devious methods such teachers brand themselves for what they are.”)
STATE OF UTAH }
COUNTY OF SALT LAKE }
- Peterson, Alonzo Cole and Clide Neilson, all residents of Salt Lake County, State of Utah, being duly sworn on oath, dispose and say that they have seen in the office of the Recorder of Salt Lake County, certain Bargain and Sales deeds bearing the respective identification numbers: 501,788–501,790–502,184; that they have also seen one mortgage document issued by the Utah-Idaho Sugar Company in the year of 1936 to Wells Fargo Trust Company of San Francisco; and also one mortgage in Box Elder County, recorded in Book 36 of Mortgages, on page 329, issued by the Utah-Idaho Sugar Company to the Corporation of the President of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints for the purpose of securing certain debts contracted by the latter corporation from the Chase National Bank.
- “ALL IS WELL”
“Let no man deceive you by any means; for there shall come a falling away first, and that man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition; Who opposeth and exalteth himself above all that is called God, or that is worshipped; so that he as God sitteth in the temple of God, showing himself that he is God.” (II Thes. 2:3-4)
“And others he will pacify, and lull them away carnal security, that they will say: All is well in Zion, yea, Zion prospereth, all is well–and thus the devil cheateth their souls, and leadeth them away carefully down to hell.” (2 Nephi 28:21)
“I have had visions and revelations instructing me how to organize this people so that they can live like the family of heaven, but, I cannot do it while so much selfishness and wickedness reign in the Elders of Israel….” (Brigham Young, J.D. 9:269)
“And with regard to the conduct of this people–if an angel should come here and speak his feelings as plainly as I do, I think he would say, `O, Latter-day Saints’ why don’t you see, why don’t you open your eyes and behold the great work resting upon you and that you have entered into? You are blind, you are stupid, you are in the dark, in the mist and fog, wandering to and fro like a boat upon the water without sail, rudder or oar; and you know not whither you are going.” (Brigham Young, J.D. 19:93)
“We are getting into such a condition that if we were to meet the Lord, we could not look him in the face, and the way we are going it will soon be impossible to tell what we do believe.” (John Taylor, Des. News, Mar. 9, 1889)
“Let the majority of the people turn away from the Holy Commandments which the Lord has delivered to us, and cease to hold the balance of power in the Church, and we may expect the judgements of God to come upon us….” (Brigham Young, J.D. 10:335)
We are now told that things are well in Zion–because the Church prospers more than ever before in membership, wealth and popularity. But 70% of the Church is inactive!
- DESTRUCTIONS IN THE WORLD
“…he will thoroughly purge his floor, and gather his wheat into the garner; but he will burn up the chaff with unquenchable fire.” (Matt. 3:12)
“But as it was in the days of Noah, so it shall be also at the coming of the Son of Man.” (Matt. 24:44, Ins. Ver.)
“And thus, with the sword and by bloodshed the inhabitants of the earth shall mourn; and with famine, and plague, and earthquake, and the thunder of heaven, and the fierce and vivid lightning also, shall the inhabitants of the earth be made to feel the wrath, and indignation, and chastening hand of an Almighty God, until the consumption decreed hath made a full end of all nations;” (D. & C. 87:6)
Joseph Smith warned the saints that “…God will gather out the Saints from the Gentiles, and then comes desolation and destruction, and none can escape except the pure in heart who are gathered.” (D.H.C. 2:52)
“We are called upon to come out from among the wicked, as it is written, `Come out of her, O my people,’ that is come out of Babylon. What is Babylon? Why, it is the confused world; come out of her then, and cease to partake of her sins, for if you do not you will be partakers of her plagues.” (Brigham Young, J .D. 12:282)
“This land is blessed above all other lands: it was foreordained to be the gathering place of the Saints, where the Lord would hide up his people until his indignation should pass over the nations of the earth.” (Heber C. Kimball, J.D. 9:52)
“Am I looking for famines? Yes, the most terrible and severe that have ever come upon the nations of the earth. These things are right before us, and some of this people are not thinking anything about them; they do not enter their hearts.” (Heber C. Kimball, J.D. 5:20)
“It will be war of neighborhood against neighborhood, city against city, town against town, country against country, state against state, and they will go forth destroying and being destroyed and manufacturing in a great measure will cease, for a time, among the American nation.” (Orson Pratt, J.D. 20:151)
 “This if this is the case, and if we are not sanctified and gathered to the places God has appointed, with all our former professions and our great love for the Bible, we must fall; we cannot stand; we cannot be saved; for God will gather out His Saints from the Gentiles, and then comes desolation and destruction, and none can escape except the pure in heart who are gathered.” (Joseph Smith, D.H.C. 2:52)
“God will pour out his vials of wrath, and distress the nations till they will learn and practice righteousness; and his people must flee to their appointed hiding place till the indignation is overpast, otherwise they have no guaranty for their safety.” (Mill. Star 9:310)
“The subject and practice of Gathering is a great stumbling block to many who make but a partial investigation of the Gospel as revealed through the Prophet Joseph Smith; for, say they, `Cannot God save me as well in my native land, as in the land of America? Why is it necessary for me to leave the lands of my fathers, and take my journey to the wilds of a distant continent?’ ***Doubtless the Lord could do many things which He never will, and there is one thing for certain He never intends doing–that is, to save a man who will not strive to save himself, by rendering obedience to the principles laid down in the Gospel.” (Mill. Star 39:212)
President Kimball said, “…as we have told the Saints in Europe in hundreds of meetings in many different locations, if the Saints in Europe will remain in their lands, …the kingdom can grow and prosper, and God will bless them, and that I how.” (Improvement Era, Dec. 1955)
- FALL OF U.S. GOVERNMENT
“And in the days of these kings shall the God of heaven set up a kingdom, which shall never be destroyed: and the kingdom shall not be left to other people, but it shall break in pieces and consume ALL these kingdoms, and it shall stand forever.” (Dan. 2:44)
“And thus, with the sword and by bloodshed the inhabitants of the earth shall mourn; and with famine, and plague, and earthquake, and the thunder of heaven, and the fierce and vivid lightning also, shall the inhabitants of the earth be made to feel the wrath, and indignation, and chastening hand of an Almighty God, until the consumption decreed hath made a full end of ALL nations;” (D. & C. 87:6)
“…I prophesy in the name of the Lord God of Israel, unless the United States redress the wrongs committed upon the Saints in the state of Missouri and punish the crimes committed by her officers that in a few years the government will be utterly overthrown and wasted, and there will not be so much as a potsherd left, for their wickedness in permitting the murder of men, women and children, and the wholesale plunder and extermination of thousands of her citizens to go unpunished.” (Joseph Smith, T.P.J.S., p. 302-303)
“I told General Kane that the Government of the United States would be shivered to pieces.” (Brigham Young, J.D. 12:119)
“A terrible revolution will take place in the land of America, such as has never been seen before; for the land will be literally left without a supreme government, and every species of wickedness will run rampant. Father will be against son, and son against father, mother against daughter, and daughter against mother. The most terrible scenes of murder and bloodshed, and rapine that have ever been looked upon will take place. Many will come with bundles under their arms to escape the calamities, and there will be no escape except by fleeing to Zion.” (Joseph Smith, Visions of the Latter Days, p. 9-10)
“The next I knew I was just this side of Omaha. It seemed as though I was above the earth, and looking down at it. As I passed along upon my way east, I saw the road full of people, mostly women, with just what they could carry in bundles on their backs traveling to the mountains on foot.” (Wilford Woodruff, Prophetic Years, by Anderson, p. 54)
 “Joseph said that if they succeeded in taking his life, which they did, war and confusion would come upon the nation, and they would destroy each other, and there would be mob upon mob from one end of the country to the other.” (Brigham Young, J.D. 10:255)
“I ask myself the question, can the American nation escape? The answer comes, No; its destruction, as well as the destruction of the world, is sure; just as sure as the Lord cut off and destroyed the two great and prosperous nations that once inhabited this continent of North and South America because of their wickedness, so will he destroy them, and sooner or later they will reap the fruits of their own wicked acts, and be numbered among the past.” (Wilford Woodruff, J.D. 21:301)
“I saw the Cardston temple preserved from all of this geological upheaval. I saw the international boundary line disappear as these two governments broke up and dissolved into chaos. I saw race rioting upon the American continent on a vast scale.” (The Cardston Temple Vision, Visions of the Latter Days, Book I, p. 27)
“We should not be heard to predict ills and calamities for the nation. On the contrary, we should be providing optimistic support for the nation.” (p. 341)
“Men my fail in this country, earthquakes may come, seas may heave beyond their bounds, there may be great drought, disaster, and hardships, but this nation, founded on principles laid down by men whom God raised up, will never fail. *** Yes, I repeat, men may fail, but this nation won’t fail.” (Harold B. Lee, Ye Are the Light of the World, pp. 350-351)
“We believe that our people should sustain all the righteous activities and actions of their leaders. We do not feel that there is going to be any total disruption. We have hopes that all may straighten out well and that America might go forward. We are teaching our people to be true and loyal to their respective governments.” (Spencer W. Kimball, Ensign, Feb. 1974, pp. 6-7)
17a. GATHERING OF ISRAEL
“And say unto them, Thus saith the Lord God; Behold, I will take the children of Israel from among the heathen, whither they be gone, and will gather them on every side, and bring them into their own land.” (Ezek. 37:21; see also Deut. 30:3; Ezek. 36:24; Psalms 106:47; Psalms 26:9; Isa. 66:18; Jer. 31:10; Ezek. 11:17; John 11:52; Eph. 1:10)
“The doctrine of the gathering of the people of God, including Israel, is one so clearly predicted by the inspired writers, that it seems almost superfluous to refer to the numerous passages relating to it.” (Orson Pratt’s Works, p. 9)
“The Savior spoke in parable of the latter-day kingdom, and assured his disciples that when that kingdom was established, and preparatory to the end of the world, he would send his angels to the four corners of the earth, to gather the wheat into the garner, and the tares in bundles ready for the burning.” (Mill. Star 36:172)
“The gathering of the Saints is a very important item of our faith. It is founded upon divine revelation, both ancient and modern. *** None of the Saints can be dilatory upon this subject, and still retain the Spirit of God. To neglect or be indifferent about gathering is just as displeasing in the sight of God as to neglect or be indifferent about baptism for the remission of sins.” (Mill. Star 10:241)
“Years ago, when the Spirit opened up to the mind of the Prophet Brigham, the visions of the future, he plainly foresaw that the time must come, when the SAINTS would rejoice in the privilege of going to Zion on foot, not only with handcarts, but without them; that they would be glad to escape from the nations with their lives.” (Mill. Star 18:137)
“If men have not the spirit of gathering they are blind and cannot see afar off, and are nigh unto burning.” (Mill. Star 9:310)
“The policy of the Church is not to entice or encourage people to leave their native lands.” (Messages of the First Presidency, 4:165)
17b. THE KEYS OF GATHERING
“After this vision closed, the heavens were again opened unto us; and Moses appeared before us, and committed unto us the keys of the gathering of Israel from the four parts of the earth, and the leading of the ten tribes from the land of the north.” (D. & C. 110:11)
“Moses appeared to the Prophet Joseph to confer upon him the keys for the gathering together of the dispensations and the house of Israel from all portions of the earth. We have got to preach to the Lamanites, to the house of Judah and by and by the ten tribes.” (John Taylor, J.D. 19:141)
“When the Gospel went forth among the people, after the appearance of Moses in the Temple, and the committing of the Keys of the Gathering, when you Latter-day Saints received the Gospel of baptism for remission sins and the laying on of hands for the reception of the Holy Ghost, you also received the spirit of the gathering.” (John Taylor, J.D. 19:125)
“Why is it that you are here to-day? and what brought you here? Because the keys of the gathering of Israel from the four quarters of the earth have been committed to Joseph Smith…” (John Taylor, J.D. 25:179)
“I defy all Israel to have so gathered without these keys and been brought together as they are to-day. But we had no trouble in gathering because we had the keys.” (John Taylor, J.D. 19:144)
“The place of gathering for the Mexican saints is in Mexico, the place of gathering for the Guatemalan saints is in Guatemala; the place of gathering for the Brazilian saints is in Brazil, and so it goes throughout the length and breadth of the whole earth.” (Bruce R. McConkie, Church News, Sept. 2, 1972)
17c. GATHERING TO THE MOUNTAINS
“And it shall come to pass in the last days, that the mountain of the Lord’s house shall be established in the top of the mountains, and shall be exalted above the hills; and all nations shall flow unto it.” (Isa. 2:2)
“Wherefore the decree hath gone forth from the Father that they shall be gathered in unto one place upon the face of this land, to prepare their hearts and be prepared in all things against the day when tribulation and desolation are sent forth upon the wicked.” (D. & C. 29:8)
“But before the great day of the Lord shall come, Jacob shall flourish in the wilderness, and the Lamanites shall blossom as the rose. Zion shall flourish upon the hills and rejoice upon the mountains, and shall be assembled together unto the place which I have appointed.” (D. & C. 49:24-25)
“We are in the mountains; we did not come here of our own accord, but we came by the will of the Father. We are in the tops of the mountains where the prophet (Isaiah) said the people of God would be in the last days.” (Heber C. Kimball, J.D. 10:101)
“Your mission will be to the nations of the earth. You will gather many people into the fastness of the Rocky Mountains.” (Joseph Smith, Jrnl. of Sam H. Rogers, p. 198)
“Zion is placed in her appropriate position, and is truly beginning to flourish and rejoice upon the hills and mountains according to the predictions of Joseph, the Prophet and according to many predictions of the ancient prophets.” (Orson Pratt, The Seer, p. 6)
“…God designs that this shall be our home, and that we shall multiply and increase until the time shall come for us to go back, according to the revelation, to repossess the land from which we were driven.” (George Q. Cannon J.D. 22:282)
“…every nation is the gathering place for its own People.” (Bruce R. McConkie, Church News, Sept. 2, 1972)
“The `gathering of Israel’ is effected when the people of far away countries accept the gospel and remain in their native lands,” President Kimball said. Each country is the `gathering place of Israel’ for its inhabitants, he said.” (Church News, April 5, 1975)
- THE WEALTH OF GENTILES
“Let me say to you just what the Lord requires of you, if you would only do it. He requires at our hands, each and every one of us, to begin and sustain the Kingdom of God, and to withdraw from the world and the business of the world. *** I say this is the mind and the will of God concerning this people, if they will hearken to it. Purchase no more of your enemies.” (Brigham Young, J.D. 11:374)
“If a bishop or any other officer in this Church shall counsel the people to violate any of the laws of God, and to sustain and build up the kingdom of this world, I will justify them, and the Lord will justify them in refusing to obey that counsel.” (Brigham Young, J.D. 12:164)
“I saw that this people would have to gain a foothold, a strength, power, influence and ability to walk by themselves and to take care of themselves, and power to contend with their enemies and overcome them, upon the same principle that the whites did when they first came to America and overcame the Indians.” (Brigham Young, Des. News, 5:403, Feb. 17, 1856)
“In the mercantile world there is what is called the credit system, which I consider one of the greatest curses that was ever introduced among men. *** People talk about our credit not being good lately. I hope to God nobody will credit a “Mormon.” We don’t want anything on credit. I want us to live as we can live; and if we cannot live without going into debt to our enemies, let us die–never put our heads under the yoke.” (John Taylor, J.D. 5:119)
“After a while the Gentiles will gather to this place by the thousands, and Salt Lake will be classed among the wicked cities of the world. A spirit of speculation and extravagance will take possession of the Saints, and the result will be financial bondage.” (Heber C. Kimball, as related by Amanda H. Wilcox, May 1868; see also J. Golden Kimball, by Richards, p. 363)
“You are needed where you are. We encourage you to stay where you are because you are needed there where the light is going out,…” (Matthew Cowley, Conf. Rept., Apr. 1952, p. 102)
- THE WEALTH OF ZION
The Lord said, “and let that which belongs to this people be appointed to this people. *** and let that which belongeth to this people not be taken and given unto that of another church.” (D. & C. 51:7, 10)
“Cease to give wealth which the Lord has given us to those who would destroy the kingdom and scatter us to the four winds if they had the power.” (Brigham Young, J.D. 11:139)
“…this is the great secret we are teaching in the School of the Prophets–be exclusive enough to sustain the kingdom of God. We want our means ourselves and if we trade with outsiders at all we want it to be yonder at a distance and not here.” (Brigham Young, Des. Even. News, Nov. 29, 1868)
“I know, and knew sixteen years ago as well as I do to-day, that from the very first the merchants who came here were laying the foundation for the uprooting of this people unless we had exceeding great faith; and that every dollar that was given to them was given to ruin you and me, and to destroy the kingdom of God on the earth.” (Brigham Young, J.D. 11:298)
“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;…” (Orson F. Whitney, Des. News Weekly, Aug. 11, 1889)
“Many of the higher officials of the church have risen to their present eminence via a route on which they found themselves handling business affairs of the church…. Today the church owns outright a number of thriving modern enterprises and has its funds invested in stocks of others, as well. *** Higher officials of the Mormon church are members of the Boards of Directors of several corporations of national scope, including the Union Pacific Railroad…. Against the advice of all his conferees in the church, President Wilford Woodruff again forcibly injected the church into the beet sugar business in 1890….” (These Amazing Mormons, pp. 49-50)
Church policy scatters the Saints to the four quarters of the earth and spends their wealth among the Gentiles, such as the 40-story office building in New York City, (See Church News, May 3, 1975, p. 4) and many other business enterprises among the gentiles.
- HOLY SCRIPTURES
“We have also a more sure word of prophecy; whereunto ye do well that ye take heed, as unto a light that shineth in a dark place, until the day dawn, and the day star arise in your hearts; Knowing this first, that no prophecy of the scripture is of any private interpretation. For the prophecy came not in old time by the will of man: but holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost. But there were false prophets also among the people, even as there shall be false teachers among you, who prively shall bring in damnable heresies….” (2 Peter 1:19-21; 2:1)
“And he said unto him, If they hear not Moses and the prophets, neither will they be persuaded, though one rose from the dead.” (Luke 16:31)
“Whosoever therefore shall break one of these least commandments and shall teach men so, he shall be called the least in the kingdom of heaven: but whosoever shall do and teach them, the same shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven.” (Matt. 5:19)
“The Lord would cut short his work in righteousness and except the Church receive the fulness of the Scriptures that they would yet fail.” (T.P.J.S., p. 9)
“If any man writes to you, or preaches to you, doctrines contrary to the Bible, the Book of Mormon, or the Book of Doctrine and Covenants, set him down as an imposter.” (Joseph Smith, Times & Seasons, Apr. 1, 1844)
“…his [Pres. David O. McKay’s] words have an even more immediate importance than those of the dead prophets.” (Ezra Taft Benson, Imp. Era, Dec. 1963, p. 1064)
- INSPIRED TRANSLATION OF THE BIBLE
“He that can mark the power of Omnipotence, inscribed upon the heavens, can also see God’s own handwriting in the sacred volume: and he who reads it oftenest will like it best, and he who is acquainted with it, will know the hand wherever he can see it….” (T.P.J.S., p. 56)
The Lord gave “some more extended information upon the Scriptures, a translation of which had already commenced.” (Times & Seasons 4:336)
On February 2, 1833, Joseph wrote: “I completed the translation and review of the New Testament ….” (Times & Seasons 5:723; see also D. & C. 42:5; 101:10; 107:28)
On February 2, 1833, Joseph took the manuscript N.T. which was completed (Times & Seasons 5:723) and sealed it up. Old Testament completed July 2, 1835.” (Times & Seasons 6:802)
On July 2, 1833, Sidney Rigdon wrote: “We this day finished the translation of the scriptures… having finished the translation of the Bible, a few hours since…. (Times & Seasons 6:802; see also D.H.C. 1:368)
“This work [Inspired Translation of the Bible] is given to the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and to the public in pursuance of the commandment of God. As concerning the manner of translation and correction, it is evident, from the manuscripts and the testimony of those who were conversant with the fact, that it was done by direct revelation from God. It was begun in June, 1830, and was finished July 2, 1833.” (Preface to Inspired Translation, p. 3)
“Some teachers and writers have begun to use the so called Inspired Version of the Bible, which the Prophet Joseph undertook but never completed. The Presiding Brethren urge the use of the King James version of the Bible, which is the official Bible of the Church, since the Prophet did not complete his work on the revision.” (Church News, Nov. 16, 1974, p. 16)
- JOURNAL OF DISCOURSES
“For the prophecy came not in old time by the will of man; but holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost.” (2 Peter 1:21)
“And whatsoever they shall speak when moved upon by the Holy Ghost shall be scripture, shall be the will of the Lord, shall be the mind of the Lord, shall be the word of the Lord, shall be the voice of the Lord, and the power of God unto salvation.” (D. & C. 68:3,4)
“…these Sermons will be most valuable, as a gauge of doctrine, a rule of rectitude, and a square to life, furnishing at the same time an extensive repository of historical information.” (Introduction to Journal of Discourses)
“I know just as well what to teach this people and just what to say to them and what to do in order to bring them into the celestial kingdom, as I know the road to my office. It is just as plain and easy. The Lord is in our midst. He teaches the people continually. I have never yet preached a sermon and sent it out to the children of men, that they may not call Scripture. Let me have the privilege of correcting a sermon, and it is as good Scripture as they deserve.” (Brigham Young, J.D. 13:95)
“I say now, when they are copied and approved by me they are as good scripture as is couched in this Bible, and if you want to read revelation read the sayings of him who knows the mind of God,…” (Brigham Young, J.D. 13:264)
In December of 1956, Bruce R. McConkie’s first volume of Sound Doctrine was advertised in the Improvement Era. This was a revision of the Journal of Discourses in which all controversial or unpopular teachings were discarded. However, an exact photo-reproduction reprint was made of those Journals by another source, so the edited editions were not published.
Mark E. Petersen has stated that he would not have a set of the Journal of Discourses in his home. Other present General Authorities have also stated that the Journals contain much false doctrine.
- GIFTS OF THE SPIRIT
Jesus said, “These signs shall follow them that believe….” (Mark 16:17)
“And these signs shall follow them that believe — in my name they shall do many wonderful works; In my name they shall cast out devils; In my name they shall heal the sick; In my name they shall open the eyes of the blind, and unstop the ears of the deaf; and the tongue of the dumb shall speak….” (D. & C. 84:65-70; see Mormon 9:24 and I Cor. Chap. 12)
“Because faith is wanting, the fruits are. No man since the world was had faith without having something along with it, *** A man who has none of the gifts has no faith; and he deceives himself, if he supposes he has. Faith has been wanting, not only among the heathen, but in professed Christendom also, so that tongues, healings, prophecy, and prophets and apostles, and all the gifts and blessings have been wanting.” (T.P.J.S., p. 270)
“The distinguishing characteristics between true and false churches are so evident that none need be mistaken. The one enjoys the Holy Spirit with all its gifts, as set forth in the word of God; the others profess to enjoy the Spirit, but have none of the gifts and operations ascribed to it. The only way by which we discover that the human body is animated by the human spirit, is by its operations; so likewise, the method by which we determine that a church enjoys the Holy Spirit is by its diversity of operations or manifestations. If these cease, we have every reason to believe that the Holy Spirit has departed also.” (Orson Pratt’s Works, p. 96)
“…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. 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.” (Moroni 10:19,25; see also 11-18)
Now there are fewer gifts than at any time in the history of the Church. Although the Church is many times larger, it receives proportionately fewer spiritual gifts.
- SPEAKING IN TONGUES
“And these signs shall follow them that believe; In my name shall they cast out devils; they shall speak with new tongues;” (Mark 16:17)
“…it is given to some to speak with tongues; and to another is given the interpretation of tongues. And all these gifts come from God for the benefit of the children of God.” (D. & C. 46:24)
“On the 23rd of January, we again assembled in conference; when, after much speaking, singing, praying, and praising God, all in tongues,…” (Joseph Smith, D.H.C. 1:323)
“They were so eager to attend their meetings and to speak, prophesy, and talk in tongues, that the Apostle Paul had to regulate their meetings and give them counsel in regard to the manner of conducting them, that order might prevail.”
“The Saints were abundantly blessed with these manifestations of the spirit. But when the apostasy took place, the spirit of the Lord departed, its manifestations were fewer, and at last they were not known in the Church.” (Imp. Era 8:111)
“I was somewhat startled a few days ago, while in conversation with a young brother who had just returned from a mission to Scandinavia, by hearing him remark that he had never in his life heard anyone speak in tongues.
“The remark was somewhat of a shock to me; because in the early days of the Church–where I was reared–there were so many of the Saints who enjoyed the gifts, and there were none among my acquaintances who had not heard the sweet sound of the gift of tongues. Many times there would be both speaking and singing in tongues, in the same sacrament meeting. The interpretation of tongues was equally as the tongues themselves. In fact, we were wont to regard the speaking in tongues, the interpretation of tongues, the relating of dreams and prophesying, as an essential part of the Latter-day gospel. (Anthon H. Lund, Imp. Era Conf. Repts, p. 32)
There are very few members of the Church who have heard the speaking or interpretation of tongues. It was considered by the Prophet Joseph Smith as perhaps “the smallest” of the gifts, yet we do not enjoy or experience even that gift.
- INSPIRED DREAMS
“For God speaketh once, yea twice, yet man perceiveth it not. In a dream, in a vision of the night, when deep sleep falleth upon men, in slumberings upon the bed; then He openeth the ears of men, and sealeth their instruction.” (Job 33:14-16)
“In all dispensations God has revealed many important instructions and warnings to men by means of dreams. ***
“What have not dreams accomplished? Dreams and their interpretation brought the beloved son of Jacob from his dungeon, made him prime minister of Egypt, and the savior of a nation and of his father’s house.
“Dreams, and the interpretation of dreams, raised a Daniel from slavery or degrading captivity in Babylon, to wear a royal chain of gold, and to teach royalty how to rule, whilst he presided over the governors and presidents of more than a hundred provinces.
“Dreams, and the interpretation of dreams, have opened the future, pointed out the course of empires through all the troublous times of successive ages, till Saints alone shall rule, and immortality alone endure.***
“A dream announced by Joseph that his virgin wife should have a son. A dream forewarned him to flee into Egypt with the young child and his mother. A dream announced to him in Egypt the death of Herod, and warned him to return to his native land.
“A dream warned the wise men from the east to return home another way, and not return to Herod to betray the young child.
“Dreams and visions warned Paul, and the Apostles, and the Saints of his day, of various dangers, shipwrecks, persecutions and deaths, and pointed out the means of escape.
“Dreams and visions attended and guided them, more or less, in their whole ministry and sojourn on the earth.” (Key to Theology,
- P. Pratt, pp. 119-123)
“Are you faithful to your vows? If you are you will have dreams, and visions, and revelations from the world of light, and you will be comforted by night and by day. But if you do not fulfill your covenants you cannot enjoy those blessings.” (Heber C. Kimball, J.D. 3:112)
 “…whosoever believeth on my words, them will I visit with the manifestation of my Spirit.” (D. & C. 5:16)
“It is by dreams that God often makes known his mind and will to mankind. In the holy scriptures we find many notable instances of this power, or of this gift, in which man, visited in his slumbers by the angels of God’s presence, has partaken of the Spirit of light and intelligence that surrounds Him….
“Dreams are of different kinds and are given for various purposes; each true one, however, being applicable to the situation and requirements of the individual receiving it, or, of the people about whom it contains directions.
“We have many examples wherein men who received dreams from God, and were obedient to their teachings, realized blessings at His hands. They had faith in God sufficient to know truth from error; but, now-a-days, we may look a long while before we can find, amongst the people of the world, an individual who has thus faith enough to forsake his home and journey into a strange land in obedience to the requirements of God manifested in a dream.” (Mill. Star 26:293)
“Dreams, then, are one of the stepping stones of communication from God to man. When men are capable of receiving revelations from God, they can then be directed, reproved, comforted, warned or instructed and thus have the assurance that they are walking in the path that God wills them to follow.” (The Gift of Dreams, Kraut, p. 14)
Inspired dreams and visions are nearly extinct in the Church. Those who have had them are told not to speak of them.
“And he said, Hear now my words: If there be a prophet among you, I the Lord will make myself known unto him in a vision, and will speak unto him in a dream.” (Num. 12:6)
“Her gates are sunk into the ground; he hath destroyed and broken her bars: her king and her princes are among the Gentiles: the law is no more; her prophets also find no vision from the Lord.” (Lam. 2:9)
“Where there is no vision, the people perish: but he that keepeth the law, happy is he.” (Prov. 29:18)
“By the power of the Spirit our eyes were opened and our understandings were enlightened, so as to see and understand the things of God– ***And we beheld the glory of the Son, on the right hand of the Father, and received of his fulness; And saw the holy angels, and them who are sanctified before his throne, worshiping God, and the Lamb, who worship him forever and ever.” (D. & C. 76:12,20,21)
“The revelations given by the Holy Ghost; by the voice of the Lord; by the ministry of angels; by visions and dreams, and by the inspired officers of the kingdom, are the kind of laws ordained for the government of the Saints. By such laws they have been governed in every age and dispensation. All churches which have not faith to obtain revelations and laws by the inspiration of the Holy Ghost, are not the churches of God. Though they may pretend to great piety; profess to be Christians; make long prayers; preach eloquent sermons, and meet together every Sabbath day under the pretense of worshipping God, yet if they have not faith to obtain new revelations, and visions, and the ministry of angels, they are not the church of God, and are deceiving themselves and others with a false and delusive religion; a religion by which they will perish, as the scripture saith, `Where there is no vision the people perish.'” (Proverbs 29:18) (Orson Pratt’s Works, p.70)
President Heber J. Grant said, The heavens are as brass to me,” and other leaders of the Church have also had the same experience.
[44b] GOSPEL ALWAYS THE SAME
Now taking it for granted that the scriptures say what they mean, and mean what they say, we have sufficient grounds to go on and prove from the Bible that the gospel has always been the same; the ordinances to fulfill its requirements, the same, and the officers to officiate, the same; and the signs and fruits resulting from the promises, the same;…
Joseph Smith, T.P.J.S., p. 264
- TEMPLE VISITATIONS
“And the priests could not enter into the house of the Lord, because the glory of the Lord had filled the Lord’s house.” (II Chron. 7:2)
“And inasmuch as my people build a house unto me in the name of the Lord, and do not suffer any unclean thing to come into it, that it be not defiled, my glory shall rest upon it; yea, and my presence shall be there, for I will come into it, and all the pure in heart that shall come into it shall see God.” (D. & C. 97:15-16)
“We saw the Lord standing upon the breastwork of the pulpit, before us; and under his feet was a paved work of pure gold, in color like amber. His eyes were as a flame of fire; the hair of his head was white like the pure snow; his countenance shone above the brightness of the sun; and his voice was as the sound of the rushing of great waters, even the voice of Jehovah….” (D. & C. 110:2-3)
“I feel disposed to speak a few words more to you, my brethren, concerning the endowment: All who are prepared, and are sufficiently pure to abide the presence of the Savior, will see Him in the solemn assembly.” (Joseph Smith, T.P.J.S., p. 92)
“Zebedee Coltrin related a vision in the Temple in Kirtland after the School of the Prophets was organized. He said while sitting in Council a personage passed through the room dressed in usual clothing. Joseph said that was the Savior. Soon another personage passed through the house clothed in fire; his features and feet were visible, but his body was wrapped in flames. Joseph said that was the Father.” (Journal History, Oct. 10, 1883)
The temples being built today are not visited by the Lord nor are they built for that purpose. The great temple of Washington D.C. was built principally as an exhibit to Gentiles. It is situated in a city where 80% of the population are Negroes and are prohibited from entering the temple.
- HEAVENLY VISITATIONS
“The Son of man shall send forth his angels, and they shall gather out of his kingdom all things that offend, and them which do iniquity;” (Matt. 13:41)
“Who have received the law by the disposition of angels, and have not kept it.” (Acts 7:53)
“Behold I say unto you, Nay; for it is by faith that miracles are wrought; and it is by faith that angels appear and minister unto men; wherefore, if these things have ceased wo be unto the children of men, for it is because of unbelief, and all is vain.” (Moroni 7:37; see also Moroni 10:14)
“Upon you my fellow servants, in the name of Messiah I confer the Priesthood of Aaron, which holds the keys of the ministering of angels,…” (D. & C. 13:1)
“The power and authority of the higher, or Melchizedek Priesthood, is to hold the keys of all the spiritual blessings of the church–To have the privilege of receiving the mysteries of the kingdom of heaven, to have the heavens opened unto them, to commune with the general assembly and church of the Firstborn, and to enjoy the communion and presence of God the Father, and Jesus the mediator of the new covenant.” (D. & C. 107:18-19)
“…He [the Lord] has promised us great things; yea, even a visit from the heavens to honor us with His own presence.” (Joseph Smith, T.P.J.S., p. 19)
Visitations of angels have gradually and almost completely disappeared. In spite of more temples in the Church today, and many more times the number of people who go through the temples, heavenly visitations have almost vanished.
- THE THREE NEPHITES
“Be not forgetful to entertain strangers; for thereby some have entertained angels unawares.” (Heb. 13:2)
“And I did endeavor to preach unto this people, but my mouth was shut, and I was forbidden that I should preach unto them; for behold they had wilfully rebelled against their God; and the beloved disciples were taken away out of the land, because of their iniquity.” (Mormon 1:16)
“And there are none that do know the true God save it be the disciples of Jesus who did tarry in the land until the wickedness of the people was so great that the Lord would not suffer them to remain with the people….” (Mormon 8:10)
“These three men tarried among the Nephites until between three and four hundred years after Christ, and until the wickedness of the people became so great that the Lord took them out of their midst.” (Orson Pratt, J.D. 16:320)
“If they [The Three Nephites] shall pray to the Father, says the Book of Mormon, in the name of Jesus, they can show themselves unto whatsoever person or people they choose. The very reason they do not come amongst us is because we have a work to do preparatory to their coming; and just as soon as that is accomplished, they are on hand, and also many other good old worthy ancients that would rejoice our hearts could we behold their countenances, and hear them recite over the scenes they have passed through, and the history of past events, as well as prophecy of the events to come.” (Orson Pratt, J.D. 2:264)
From 1880 to the present time the appearances of these three have gradually diminished. The Lord apparently is not suffering them to remain with this people because of our wickedness and rejection of so many Gospel principles.
- SECOND COMFORTER
“Verily, thus saith the Lord: It shall come to pass that every soul who forsaketh his sins and cometh unto me, and calleth on my name, and obeyeth my voice, and keepeth my commandments, shall see my face and know that I am; (D. & C. 93:1)
“All Priesthood is Melchizedek, but there are different portions or degrees of it. That portion which brought Moses to speak with God face to face was taken away; but that which brought the ministry of angels remained. All the prophets had the Melchizedek Priesthood and were ordained by God himself.” (T.P.J.S., p. 180-181)
“…when any man obtains this last Comforter, he will have the personage of Jesus Christ to attend him, or appear unto him from time to time, and even He will manifest the Father unto him, and they will take up their abode with him, and the visions of the heavens will be opened unto him and the Lord will teach him face to face….” (T.P.J.S., p. 151)
“You have been indebted to other men, in the first instance, for evidence; on that you have acted; but it is necessary that you receive a testimony from heaven for yourselves; so that you can bear testimony to the truth of the Book of Mormon, and that you have seen the face of God. That is more than the testimony of an angel. When the proper time arrives, you shall be able to bear this testimony to the world. When you bear testimony that you have seen God, this testimony God will never suffer to fall, but will bear you out; although many will not give heed, yet others will. You will therefore see the necessity of getting this testimony from heaven.
“Never cease striving until you have seen God face to face. Strengthen your faith; cast off your doubts, your sins, and all your unbelief; and nothing can prevent you from coming to God. Your ordination is not full and complete till God has laid His hand upon you. We require as much to qualify us as did those who have gone before us, God is the same. If the Savior in former days laid His upon His disciples, why not in latter days?” (D.H.C. 2:195-196)
For the past 85 years there has been almost a silence concerning the Second Comforter. The rarity of this manifestation is indicative of the Saints’ failure to abide by the laws that draw the people to Him.
- HOLY GHOST BEFORE PENTECOST
“And in that day the Holy Ghost fell upon Adam, which beareth record of the Father and the Son….” (Moses 5:9)
“And it came to pass that when Satan had departed from the presence of Moses, that Moses lifted up his eyes unto heaven, being filled with the Holy Ghost, which beareth record of the Father and the Son.” (Moses 1:24)
“And it came to pass after I, Nephi, having heard all the words of my father, concerning the things which he spoke by the power of the Holy Ghost, which power he received by faith on the Son of God–and the Son of God was the Messiah who should come–I, Nephi, was desirous also that I might see, and hear, and know of these things, by the power of the Holy Ghost, which is the gift of God unto those who diligently seek him, as well in times of old as in the time that he should manifest himself unto the children of men.
“For he is the same yesterday, to-day, and forever; and the way is prepared for all men from the foundation of the world, if it so be that they repent and come unto him. For he that diligently seeketh shall find; and the mysteries of God shall be unfolded unto them, by the power of the Holy Ghost, as well in these times as in times of old, and as well in times of old as in times to come; wherefore, the course of the Lord is one eternal round. *** And the Holy Ghost giveth authority that I should speak these things, and deny them not.” (I Nephi 10:17-19, 22)
“And Alma went forth, and also Amulek, among the people, to declare the words of God unto them; and they were filled with the Holy Ghost.” (Alma 8:30)
“This scripture must needs have been fulfilled, which the Holy Ghost by the mouth of David spake before concerning Judah.” (Mark 12:36 & Acts 1:16)
“John, whom God raised up, being filled with the Holy Ghost from his mother’s womb.” (D. & C. 84:27)
“And it came to pass, that, when Elisabeth heard the salutation of Mary, the babe leaped in her womb; and Elisabeth was filled with the Holy Ghost.” (Luke 1:41)
“When as his mother Mary was espoused to Joseph, before they came together, she was found with child of the Holy Ghost.” (Matt. 1:18)
 “And behold, there was a man in Jerusalem, whose name was Simeon; and the same man was just and devout, waiting for the consolation of Israel; and the Holy Ghost was upon him. And it was revealed unto him by the Holy Ghost, that he should not see death, before he had seen the Lord’s Christ.” (Luke 2:25,26)
“During his mortal ministry our Lord gave his disciples the gift of the Holy Ghost, which is the right to the constant companionship of that member of the Godhead based on faithfulness. But as long as Jesus was with them, the actual enjoyment of the gift was withheld. Fulfillment of the promise came on the day of Pentecost; with miraculous majesty attending, the gift of tongues and of interpretation was poured out upon a great multitude and many conversions were made.” (Acts 2:1-17) (Bruce R. McConkie, Mormon Doctrine, p. 181)
- THE MYSTERIES
“He answered and said unto them, Because it is given unto you to know the mysteries of the kingdom of heaven, to them it is not given. For whosoever receiveth, to him shall be given and he shall have more abundance; but whosoever continueth not to receive, from him shall be taken away even that he hath.” (Matt. 13:9-11; see Mark 4:11, Insp. Vers.)
“…and he that will not harden his heart, to him is given the greater portion of the word, until it is given unto him to know the mysteries of God until he know them in full.” (Alma 12:10; see also I Nephi 2:16; I Nephi 10:19; Mosiah 2:9)
“Many men will say, `I will never forsake you, but will stand by you at all times.’ But the moment you teach them some of the mysteries of the kingdom of God that are retained in the heavens and are to be revealed to the children of men when they are prepared for them, they will be the first to stone you and put you to death. It was this same principle that crucified the Lord Jesus Christ, and will cause the people to kill the prophets in this generation.” (T.P.J.S., p. 309; see also p. 112, 364, 331)
“And if thou wilt inquire, thou shalt know mysteries, which are great and marvelous; therefore, thou shalt exercise thy gift that thou mayest find out mysteries, that thou mayest bring many to the knowledge of the truth, yea, convince them of the error of their ways.” (D. & C. 6:11; see also 42:61,65; 107:11; 84:19; 76:116, 5-8)
Note: The only warning against the mysteries were for missionaries not to teach them to the Gentiles because of the danger of persecution. (See Matt. 7:6; T.P.J.S., p. 292; D. & C. 42:65)
“Leave the `Mysteries’ Alone. We should keep our feet on the ground and not get off in the realm of the mysterious, the speculative, the things which the Lord has not yet made plain. *** The discussion of mysteries and doctrines only partly revealed can await the coming of the Lord,…” (Doctrines of Salvation, J.F. Smith, 1:305-306)
“And are built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets Jesus Christ himself being the chief corner stone;” (Eph. 2:20)
“And the Lord spake by his servants the prophets …. ” (2 Kings 21:10)
“Surely the Lord God will do nothing, but he revealeth his secret unto his servants the prophets.” (Amos 3:7)
“If the time or condition should ever come to pass that a man, possessing human weaknesses, shall lead the Church, woe be to the Church; for it will then become like the churches of the world, man-made and man-led, and have no power of God or of life eternal and salvation connected with it; only the wisdom, the judgment and intelligence of man.” (Gospel Doctrine, J.F. Smith, p. 138)
“We are told that the living oracles take precedence over all other authority, living or dead. We agree that the living oracles take precedence, provided they do not conflict with the dead oracles. `To the law and the testimony if they speak not according to this word it is because there is no light in them.’ (Isa. 8:20) If it is true that the living oracles take precedence over all others regardless of their disagreements with the dead prophets, then the Saints must necessarily change their faith every time there is a change in the presidency, to conform to the views of the new president.” (Bsp. Heber Bennion, Gospel Problems, p. 6)
“At this point we recall the stirring words of the late Elder B. H. Roberts. Striking the tabernacle pulpit he exclaimed: “We have Prophets who do not prophesy; Seers who do not see, and Revelators who do not reveal.'” (Truth Aug. 1952, 18:3, p. 83)
- SEERS AND THE URIM & THUMMIM
Ezra had a Urim and Thummim (2:61-63) and also Nehemiah (7:63-65). Joseph in Egypt had the same gift (Masterful Discourses of Orson Pratt, p. 557). The Brother of Jared (Ether 3:23), Aaron (Ex. 28:29,30), and Joshua (Num. 27:18-21) also had it, as well as Lehi and Nephi (Mill. Star 76:552-557). It was possessed by Eleazer the Priest (Num. 27:18-21) and the priest who resided with Micah (Judges 18:5-6); and the priests who lived in the city of Nob (I Sam. 22:18). It was also in existence at the time of King David (I Sam. 28:6).
“And I, Abraham, had the Urim and Thummim, which the Lord my God had given unto me, in Ur of the Chaldees.” (Abraham 3:1)
“And Moses said unto the congregation, This is the thing which the Lord commanded to be done. And he put the breastplate upon him: also he put in the breastplate the Urim and Thummim.” (Lev. 8:5,8)
“Now Ammon said unto him: I can assuredly tell thee, O king, of a man that can translate the records; for he has wherewith that he can look, and translate all records that are of ancient date; and it is a gift from God.” (Mosiah 8:13)
“And now Limhi was again filled with joy in learning from the mouth of Ammon that king Mosiah had a gift from God, whereby he could interpret such engravings; yea, and Ammon also did rejoice.” (Mosiah 21:28)
“And you have a gift to translate the plates; and this is the first gift that I bestowed upon you; and I have commanded that you should pretend to no other gift until my purpose is fulfilled in this; for I will grant unto you no other gift until it is finished.”(D. & C. 5:4)
“Has Brother Brigham Young got the Urim and Thummim? Yes, he has everything that is necessary for him to receive the will and mind of God to this people. Do I know it? Yes, I know all about it….” (Heber C. Kimball, J.D. 2:111)
Hugh B. Brown stated, “I do not know of any Urim and Thummim used in the Church today.” (Oct. 10, 1969, University of Utah Institute of Religion) None of the other apostles or members of the First Presidency have given testimony of a Urim and Thummim either.
“Behold, the days come, saith the Lord God, that I will send a famine in the land, not a famine of bread, nor a thirst for water, but of hearing the words of the Lord: And they shall wander from sea to sea, and from the north even to the east, they shall run to and fro to seek the word of the Lord, and shall not find it.” (Amos 8:11-12)
“And to them will I reveal all mysteries, yea, all the hidden mysteries of my kingdom from days of old, and for ages to come, will I make known unto them the good pleasure of my will concerning all things pertaining to my kingdom. Yea, even the wonders of eternity shall they know, and things to come will I show them, even the things of many generations.” (D. & C. 76:7-8)
“We never can comprehend the things of God and of heaven, but by revelation. We may spiritualize and express opinions to all eternity; but that is no authority.” (T.P.J.S., p. 292)
“`I do not care who leads the church, even though it were Ann Lee; but one thing I must know, and that is what God says about it. I have the keys and the means of obtaining the mind of God on the subject.'” (Brigham Young, D.H.C. 7:230)
In reference to Pres. Heber J. Grant, a Church member stated: “Speaking of attending a certain meeting with the President in the Temple, he said the President came into the meeting under the emotion of tears, and informed the brethren present he had pled with the Lord for direction in certain matters, but could get none. Said he, `The heavens are as brass over me.'” (Truth, Feb. 1939, p. 175)
The Lord speaking to the Twelve Apostles said, “Go ye and teach all nations.” (Matt. 28:16) And again, the Twelve are “called to go into all the world to preach my gospel.” (D. & C. 107:18)
“The Twelve will have no right to go into Zion, or of her stakes, and there undertake to regulate the affairs thereof…but it is their duty to go abroad and regulate all matters relative to the different branches of the Church.” (T.P.J.S., p. 74)
“They [the Twelve] are to travel and preach among the Gentiles, until the Lord shall command them to go to the Jews.” (D.H.C. 2:200; see D. & C. 107:33)
“What, says one, no seats provided for the Twelve; is not this their home? No, their homes are all over the earth preaching the Gospel, building up the kingdom, regulating the affairs of the kingdom of God upon the earth; and we take them in as visitors. Are there places to be provided for the Seventies? No, but for the First Presidency and the local authorities and not for the traveling ministry. The Twelve and the Seventies are travelling quorums to all the inhabitants of the earth.” (Brigham Young, Des. News, June 6, 1877)
“I want to say, here are the Apostles and the Seventies, their business is to warn the nations of the earth and prepare the world for the coming of the Savior. They have been engaged in this more or less.
“It looks to me that our minds ought to extend somewhat, and we get out of the beaten track, and a little change be made. ***
“The following day while commenting upon the readiness in which the Apostles had considered his remarks, the President said he very much regretted that it should have become necessary for him to call attention of the Apostles to their plain duty, that they should have sensed the situation themselves without rendering it necessary for him to point it out to them. Upon this particular occasion he said there was no doubt in his mind that the time was near at hand when the Savior would make His appearance, and he trembled at the thought that the Apostles were spending so much of their time in matters that should be attended to by others, while so little comparatively was being done in their own line of calling.
 “He had been thinking of late whether we were justified in keeping at home the Apostles and Seventies the way we were now doing. They were really ministers to the nations of the earth; their duties were clearly marked out by the Lord, and until the Gospel was preached thoroughly to the world he doubted whether the Savior would come, as the preaching of the Gospel to the world is certainly a part of the work that has to be done before He does come.
“The President also said there were republics on this continent which never had been visited by an Apostle, and he did not know how far the Lord justified the Apostles and Seventies in waiting for things to become pleasant and agreeable before visiting such countries.” (Remarks by Joseph F. Smith about Lorenzo Snow’s last remarks, The Juvenile Instructor, 36:689-690)
For the past 75 years the Apostles have all resided in Salt Lake City, and attended Thursday morning meetings to run the official affairs of the Church. They have become businessmen, stockholders of corporations, and the leading merchants in Utah.
- APOSTLES ASSISTANTS
“It is the duty of the traveling high council [Apostles] to call upon the Seventy, when they need assistance.” (D. & C. 107:38)
“I next called upon the quorums and congregations of Saints to acknowledge the presidents of Seventies, who act as their [the 12 Apostles] representatives, as Apostles and special witnesses to the nations, to assist the Twelve in opening the Gospel kingdom among all the people, and to uphold them by their prayers, which they did by rising.” (Joseph Smith, D.H.C. 2:417)
“The Seventies are to be taken from the quorum of Elders, and are not to be High Priests. They are subject to the direction and dictation of the Twelve, who have the keys of the ministry.” (T.P.J.S., p. 112)
“If a High Priest should be remiss in his duty, and should lead, or suffer the church to be led astray, depart from the ordinances of the Lord, then it is the duty of one of the Seventies, acting under the special direction of the Twelve, being duly commissioned by them with their delegated authority, to go to the church, and if agreeable to a majority of the members of said church, to proceed to regulate and put in order the same; otherwise he can have no authority to act.” (Joseph Smith, D.H.C. 4:129)
“Therefore, at the late General Conference five men, High Priests, were called to act as assistants to the Twelve. This action shows the adaptability of the Church to changing, increasing conditions,….” (John A. Widtsoe, Imp. Era, May 1941, p. 288)
“All of the Assistants to the Twelve Apostles are high priests. If an elder or a seventy should be selected to be an Assistant to the Apostles, he would be ordained to the office of a high priest.” (Imp. Era, Oct. 1956, p. 752)
“The Seventy are to act in the name of the Lord, under the direction of the Twelve or the traveling high council, in building up the church and regulating all the affairs of the same in all nations, first unto the Gentiles and then to the Jews.” (D. & C. 107:34)
“I say unto you, Latter-day Saints, that the Seventies follow the Twelve Apostles, and the Twelve Apostles follow in the wake of the First Presidency,… The Twelve and the Seventies are travelling quorums to all the inhabitants of the earth.” (Des. News, June 6, 1877, p. 274)
“The Seventies are called to be assistants to the Twelve Apostles; indeed they are Apostles of the Lord Jesus Christ subject to the direction of the Twelve, and it is their duty to respond to the call of the Twelve, under the direction of the First Presidency of the Church to preach the gospel….” (Joseph F. Smith, Conf. Rept., April 1907, p. 5)
“They [Seventies] are subject to the direction and dictation of the Twelve, who have the keys of the ministry.” (T.P.J.S., p. 112)
“The activities of Seventies resident in the stakes, both as to quorum and individuals, are under the supervision of stake presidents and ward bishops.” (Priesthood and Church Government, p. 275)
“I cannot believe that God has given us an impractical plan for such choosing and presiding over Seventies. The plan as God has given it is entirely practical if allowed to function as planned. But if changed and distorted I am sure it will not be practical. The multiplication table in mathematics works all right if allowed to stand as it is, but if you go to changing it, making it say that three times nine is twenty-one, or that three times eight is sixteen and so throughout, then you will have trouble, The application of the illustration is obvious.” (B. H. Roberts, The Seventies, Kraut, p. 159)
- APOSTLESHIP OF THE SEVENTY
“And they [Seventies] form a quorum, equal in authority to that of the Twelve special witnesses or Apostles just named.” (D. & C. 107:26)
“This day the Council of the Seventy met to tender an account of their travels and ministry, since they were ordained to that Apostleship.” (Joseph Smith, D.H.C., 2:346)
“He [Brigham Young] stated that the Seventies are ordained Apostles and when they go forth into the ministry they are sent with power to build up the Kingdom in all the world and consequently have power to ordain High Priests and also to ordain and organize a High Council.” (Manuscript History of Brigham Young, Dec. 14, 1845)
“He [Parley P. Pratt] further stated that the difference between the authority of the Seventies and the High Priests was this: The High Priests possessed the High Priesthood but the Seventies possessed the High Priesthood and the Apostleship which was the highest power on the earth or in the Church.” (Nauvoo Record Book B, p. 226)
“The Seventies are Apostles; and they stand next in authority to the Twelve.” (Brigham Young, Des. News, June 6, 1877, p. 274)
“An announcement that members of the First Council of Seventy of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints had been ordained high priests to give them `power to set in order all things pertaining to the Church’ as they visit among the stakes and missions was made Sunday morning in the Salt Lake Tabernacle.” (Des. News, June 12, 1961)
[NOTE: It would be wrong to ordain a man a high priest after he already held the Apostleship of the Seventy.]
- PRESIDENTS OF THE SEVENTY
“And it is according to the vision showing the order of the Seventy, that they should have seven presidents to preside over them, chosen out of the number of the seventy.” (D. & C. 107:93)
The Prophet Joseph Smith said: “The Seventies are to be taken from the quorum of Elders, and are not to be High Priests.” (T.P.J.S., p. 112)
“Five of those chosen to make up the first council were High Priests; therefore to make the action of the Church conform to the word of God, these High Priests were invited by the Prophet to take their place in the High Priests’ quorum, that the first council might be made up of men `chosen out of the number of the Seventy’ as provided by the law of God.” (D.H.C. 2:476)
“If we enquire of the Lord, if there is one man upon the face of the earth that can get to the ears of the Lord and can get him to hearken to him, he would know how it is; for there is nothing in the Doctrine and Covenants upon which an idea can be based that the High Priests have precedence over the seventies.” (Des. News, June 6, 1877)
“This…I insisted very definitely affixed the choosing and presiding over the quorums of the seventy by the First Council of Seventy. It rests with the First Council of the Seventy both to do the choosing and the presiding, and there is nowhere mentioned, nor contemplated, the bringing in of Presidents of Stakes nor of committees from High Councils to do the work of choosing and presiding.” (B. H. Roberts’ letter to the First Presidency, The Seventies, Kraut, p. 146)
In 1961 it was announced that “this morning four members of the First Council of Seventy were ordained high priests, and the other members of the First Council of Seventy will be so ordained.” (Des. News, June 12, 1961)
- SEVENTIES OVER THE SEVENTIES
“And it is according to the vision, showing the order the Seventy, that there shall be seven presidents to preside over them, chosen out of the number of the Seventy.” (D.H.C. 2:182)
“The council was called together in the month of November, 1835. After it was assembled he asked the newly organized quorum if any of their number had been ordained to the High Priest’s office previous to their ordination as Seventies….five out of the Seven Presidents, however, acknowledged that they were High Priests before they were ordained Seventies …. Accordingly, the Prophet invited them to take their places in the High Priests’ quorum again, which was complied with….” (History of the Organization of the Seventies, p. 4-5; also The Seventies, Kraut, p. 134)
“The Seventies are to be taken from the quorum of Elders, and are not to be High Priests. They are subject to the direction and dictation of the Twelve, who have the keys of the ministry.” (T.P.J.S., p. 112)
“At the October conference of 1882, Elders Abraham H. Cannon and Theodore B. Lewis were selected to fill the vacancies in the first council of the seventy; but it was learned that Elder Lewis was a High Priest, and, consequently–for the reason that these presidents are to be `chosen from among the seventy’–he was found ineligible and was not ordained.” (C.H.C. 6:105)
“…it would not be necessary to ordain Presidents of Seventies, High Priests in order to function in all things that would become necessary `in building up the kingdom in all the world, first among the Gentiles and then among the Jews.'” (B. H. Roberts letter to Heber J. Grant, The Seventies, Kraut, p. 164)
“The members of the First Council of the Seventy are now given the authority of high priests to set in order all things pertaining to the stakes and the wards, under the direction of the Twelve Apostles.” (Conf. Rept. Sept.-Oct. 1961, p. 90)
- HIGH PRIESTS AND SEVENTIES AUTHORITY
“And they [the Seventies] form a quorum, equal authority to that of the Twelve special witnesses or Apostles just named.” (D. & C. 107:26)
Apostle Parley P. Pratt said, “the difference between the authority of the Seventies and the High Priests was this: The High Priests possessed the High Priesthood, but the Seventies possessed the High Priesthood and the Apostleship which was the highest power on the earth or in the Church.” (Nauvoo Record Book B, p. 226)
“He said that in case the quorum of the Twelve should by any means become disorganized, that the Seventies held the jurisdiction and authority of Presidency of the Church in all the world wherever it might be found. That the High Priests’ duty would be the same as it is now; they would have to attend to their affairs; but the authority of Presidency over the whole Church belonged to the Seventies,” (Seventies Record Nauvoo Period, Book B, Parley P. Pratt, Jan. 25, 1846, p. 226)
“The quorum of the twelve apostles are equal in power and authority to the first presidency. The first quorum of the seventy is equal in authority to the quorum of the twelve; and, of course, indirectly equal in authority to the first presidency, since things equal to a common thing must be equal to each other.” (C.H.C. 2:369)
“I stated that the Seventy were ordained Apostles and when they went forth into the ministry they were sent with power to build up the kingdom in all the world and consequently they have power to ordain High Priests and also ordain a High Council. Some of the High Priests have been ready to quarrel on the subject supposing they had power and authority above the Seventy….” (Manuscript History of Brigham Young; see The Seventies, Kraut, p. 163)
“An announcement that members of the First Council of Seventy of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints had been ordained high priests to give them `power to set in order all things pertaining to the Church’ as they visit among the stakes and missions was made Sunday morning in the Salt Lake Tabernacle.” (Des. News, June 12, 1961)
- HIGH PRIESTS
“The duty of a High Priest is to preside over the labors of the Seventies such as branches and stakes and to organize the same when necessary, but not to preside over the Seventies or to control them in any way whatever.” (Nauvoo Period Record, Book B, p. 31)
“There is a quorum of High Priests in this Stake, and it is proper that they should fully understand the duties of their office and calling, which the Book of Doctrine and Covenants plainly states. *** Many circumstances have occurred since the commencement of our recent organization which show how little prepared the High Priests were to take upon themselves the duties of their office, in presiding over Stakes, Wards, etc.” (John Taylor, J.D. 19:140)
“The Seventies are also members of the same Priesthood, are a sort of traveling council or Priesthood, and may preside over a church or churches, until a High Priest be had.” (T.P.J.S., p. 112)
“…the Seventies are not called to serve tables, or preside over churches, to settle difficulties, but are to preach the Gospel and build them, and set others, who do not belong to these quorums, to preside over them, who are High Priests.” (T.P.J.S., p. 109)
“And we, therefore, had to go outside of the High Priests, whose legitimate business it was to occupy these positions, and call other men and ordain them High Priests, and set them apart to preside in these stakes, as Presidents and Bishops and Councilors,…” (John Taylor, J.D. 19:306)
“High priests after the order of the Melchizedek Priesthood have a right to officiate in their own standing, under the direction of the presidency, in administering spiritual things, and also in the office of an elder,… Whereas other officers of the Church, who belong not unto the Twelve, neither to the Seventy, are not under the responsibility to travel among all nations….” (D.& C. 107:10, 98)
Today high priests call the missionaries, ordain them, and preside over the missions.
“The elders are to conduct the meetings as they are led by the Holy Ghost, according to the commandments and revelations of God.” (D. & C. 20:45)
“Again, the duty of the president over the office of elders is to preside over ninety-six elders, and to sit in council with them, and to teach them according to the covenants. This presidency is a distinct one from that of the seventy, and is designed for those who do not travel into all the world.” (D. & C. 107:89-90)
“Verily, I say unto you, saith the Lord of Hosts, there must needs be presiding elders to preside over those who are of the office of an elder.” (D. & C. 107:60)
“Whereas other officers of the church, who belong not unto the Twelve, neither to the Seventy, are not under the responsibility to travel among all nations…. ” (D. & C. 107:98)
“On the left of the first presidency may be said to stand the high priests, to which quorums of priesthood belongs the right of general and local presidency in the church. From their ranks patriarchs, presidents of stakes, high councilors, and bishops and their counselors are chosen; and next to the high priests stand the elders, who are to assist them in the performance of their duties. These quorums of priesthood constitute the standing ministry for the stakes of Zion, upon whom more especially devolve local presidency, and the duty of preaching and administering the gospel within the stakes of Zion.” (C.H.C. 2:370-71)
Nearly all of the missionaries in the foreign missions are elders.
- TEACHERS AND DEACONS
“The teacher’s duty is to watch over the church always, and be with and strengthen them; *** and is to be assisted always, in all his duties in the church, by the deacons, if occasion requires.” (D. & C. 20:53-57)
“The duty of the teachers is to be the standing ministers in the respective wards where they reside, to see that there is no iniquity in the church, and that the members perform their duties. Twenty-four of them constitute a quorum, which is presided over by a president and two counselors chosen from the members.
“The duty of the deacons is to assist the teacher, and they may also expound, teach, warn and invite all to come unto Christ. Twelve of them form a quorum, and from their number a president and two counselors are chosen to preside.” (C.H.C. 2:371)
“Deacons are appointed to assist the teachers in the performance of their duties.” (C.H.C. 1:194)
In March 1970 it was announced that home teachers could be assisted by their wives. So for the next three years wives were allowed to act as home teachers with their husbands. Then in October of 1973 the Church reversed their former reversal by stating, “Wives should not be assigned as Priesthood home teaching companions.” (Priesthood Bulletin, Vol. 9, No. 5)
- LADY MISSIONARIES
“Let your women keep silence in the churches: for it is not permitted unto them to speak; but they are commanded to be under obedience, as also saith the law.” (I Cor. 14:34)
“Let the woman learn in silence with all subjection. But I suffer not a woman to teach, nor to usurp authority over the men, but to be in silence.” (I Tim. 2:11-12)
“After these things the Lord appointed other seventy also, and sent them two and two before his face into every city and place, whither he himself would come.” (Luke 10:1)
“It is the duty of the traveling high council to call upon the Seventy, when they need assistance, to fill the several calls for preaching and administering the gospel, instead of any others.” (D. & C. 107:38)
“Every man who has a calling to minister to the inhabitants of the world was ordained to that very purpose in the Grand Council of heaven before this world was.” (T.P.J.S., p. 365)
In 1898 it was announced: “Great interest is being manifested at the present time in the subject of sending sisters out as missionaries, to labor in bearing testimony to the truth of the Gospel, and in other directions connected with its propagation. It is very gratifying to hear such good news concerning the commencement of the labors of the sisters.” (Mill. Star 60:398)
- WITHOUT PURSE OR SCRIP
“And he said unto them Take nothing for your journey, neither staves, nor scrip, neither bread, neither money; neither have two coats apiece.” (Luke 9:3; see also Matt. 10:1-15)
“Therefore, let no man among you, for this commandment is unto all the faithful who are called of God in the church unto the ministry, from this hour take purse or scrip, that goeth forth to proclaim this gospel of the kingdom.” (D. & C. 84:86; see also D. & C. 24:18)
“There is no qualification about these words of the Lord; and though the revelation in which they are contained was given in 1832, we know of no command that has changed their force since they were given.” (Mill. Star 53:348)
“This is the Lord’s way. Blessings beyond all earthly reckoning await those who thus give and those who receive. Herein is prescribed a test whereby we may know who are, indeed, the Lord’s disciples.” (J. E. Taylor, Mill. Star 88:248)
“Thus saith the Lord unto My servant, John Taylor, and my servant Wilford Woodruff, and my servant Orson Pratt, and to all the residue of mine Apostles: Have you not gone forth in my name without purse or scrip and declared the Gospel of life and salvation unto this nation and the nations of the earth and warned them of the judgments which are to come, as you have been moved upon by the power of the Holy Ghost and the inspiration of the Lord?
“You have done this year by year for the whole generation, as men count time. Therefore, your garments are clean of the blood of this generation and especially of this nation.” (Life of Wilford Woodruff, Revelation given in 1880, p. 530)
The missionary must have a guaranteed income before he can go on a mission.
- WASHING OF FEET
“Peter saith unto him, Thou shalt never wash my feet. Jesus answered him, If I wash thee not, thou hast no part with me. *** If I then, your Lord and Master, have washed your feet; ye also ought to wash one another’s feet.” (John 13:8, 14)
“He that receiveth you not, go away from him alone by yourselves, and cleanse your feet even with water, pure water, whether in heat or in cold, and bear testimony of it unto your Father which is in heaven, and return not again unto that man. (D. & C. 84:92-93; see also 60:15)
“I told him if he did not repent of his sins and be baptized for the remission of them, he would be damned, which made him angry. We then passed on until we came to a pure stream of water, and there cleansed our feet, bearing testimony against him, as the Lord commanded.” (Life of Heber C. Kimball, Orson F. Whitney, p. 80)
“Elder Taylor and his companion diligently searched these people out and presented the gospel message to them. Some gladly received the word, and others rejected it with great bitterness. Against some of this latter class the brethren washed their feet as a witness against them. The manner in which they complied with this ordinance appointed unto them is described by Elder Taylor as follows:
“`We washed our feet and then knelt before the Lord and bore testimony of it, saying: O Lord, our Heavenly Father, we Thy servants have borne testimony to the truth of those things which Thou hast revealed to Mr. S_____, and he has rejected our testimony. O, Father, Thou knowest we have no hard feelings toward the man; if Thou canst forgive him and lead him to the truth, do so, we pray Thee. O, Father, we do this that we may fulfill Thy word, and bear testimony before Thee according to Thy commandment; and now, O, Lord, we leave him in Thy hands, praying Thee to guide us into all truth, in the name of Jesus. Amen.”‘ (The Life of John Taylor, by B. H. Roberts, p. 76)
Such things are neither taught nor practiced.
- PREACHING IN THE MINISTRY
Those who were called to the ministry were told by the Lord to “preach the word of truth by the Comforter,” because “if it be by some other way it is not of God.” (D. & C. 50:17-18; see also D. & C. 20:45)
“All are to preach the Gospel, by the power and influence of the Holy Ghost; and no man can preach the Gospel without the Holy Ghost.” (T.P.J.S., p. 112)
“The Holy Ghost knows the minds of this people and what is necessary to deal out to every man and every woman in due season their portion. If I am not dictated by the Holy Ghost I cannot communicate to you that which is necessary.” (Heber C. Kimball, Bowery, Aug. 23, 1857, Des. News, Sept. 16, 1857)
“The Lord knows our hearts; He knows our wants; He knows where we need strength and comfort, and warning and reproof; and when He pours out His Holy Spirit upon the people and upon the speaker every man and woman receives that which is suited to his or her condition. It is for this reason that the Lord has commanded His servants not to prepare their discourses, but to ponder upon His word, and in the very moment they needed to speak He would give unto them that which they should say. In this way all are fed, all are benefited, all are reproved, all are warned, as the need may be.” (George Q. Cannon, Des. News Weekly, Sept. 5, 1896)
“When people attempt to preach the Gospel without the inspiration of the Holy Ghost, they are under the necessity of studying or of writing their sermons,… When the Lord sets to his hand to perform a work and to build up his kingdom on the earth, his servants whom he calls to do this work are obliged to trust in the Lord their God and to lean upon his arm for strength,…” (Wilford Woodruff, J.D. 10:214)
“Jedediah became an adroit scriptorian and keen logician. Because of his ready wit and power of exhortation his fame soon spread abroad. *** The religion he preached was new, and the manner of its presentation was strange, for he announced that he never prepared his sermons beforehand. `Of course I read and store my mind with Gospel truths,’ he told the people, `but I never study up a sermon.'” (Jedediah M. Grant, Pioneer-Statesman, Mary Grant Judd, p. 56)
The missionaries must memorize and quote prepared lessons, as outlined in the following instructions given to every missionary:
- How to Memorize Discussions:
A.Read all six discussions to get a picture of the plan as a whole. Write a brief summary of the contents of each discussion.
B.Read discussion to be memorized several times. Compare text with outline.
C.Memorize basic conclusions and key questions.
D.Reread dialogue leading to each conclusion until completely familiar with it.
E.Give discussion aloud using flannel board or other visual aid procedure.”
(Uniform System for Teaching Investigators, p. 4, Aug. 1961, The Church of Jesus Christ of L.D.S.)
- WRITTEN SERMONS IN THE CHURCH
“But when they deliver you up, take no thought how or what ye shall speak: for it shall be given you in that some hour what ye shall speak. For it is not ye that speak, but the Spirit of your Father which speaketh in you.” (Matt. 10:19-20)
“But notwithstanding those things which are written, it always has been given to the elders of my church from the beginning, and ever shall be, to conduct all meetings as they are directed and guided by the Holy Spirit.” (D. & C. 46:2)
“Therefore, verily I say unto you, lift up your voices unto this people; speak the thoughts that I shall put into your hearts, and you shall not be confounded before men; For it shall be given you in the very hour, yea, in the very moment, what ye shall say.” (D. & C. 100:5-6)
“With the Latter-day Saints, the idea of writing sermons or preparing addresses beforehand is entirely discarded; it never was practiced amongst them.” (George A. Smith, J.D. 13:292)
“Hence the folly of sermons written beforehand; and unless the written beforehand sermons are by revelation, or prophecy, all men the world over, may know when they hear a sermon read from the pulpit, that God has no hand in that matter; and the preacher is not sent of God; and is not God’s servant.” (editorial, Des. News, Sept. 4, 1852)
“It is well known to the Latter-day Saints–though perhaps not to strangers–that no Elder or member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints who enters into this Tabernacle knows who is going to be called upon to speak to the people. Hence no man spends a week, a day, an hour, or a moment to prepare a discourse to deliver unto the people.” (Wilford Woodruff, J.D. 24:236)
Written sermons are now practiced in the Church. Even the General Authorities must read their sermons at General Conference.
“Wherefore, Abram paid unto him tithes of all that he had, of all the riches which he possessed, which God had given him more than that which he had need.” (Gen. 14:39. Insp. Trans.)
“Will a man rob God? Yet ye have robbed me. But ye say, Wherein have we robbed thee? In tithes and offerings. Ye are cursed a curse: for ye have robbed me, even this whole nation.” (Mal. 3:8-9)
“For the building of mine house, and for the laying of the foundation of Zion and for the priesthood, and for the debts of the Presidency of my Church. And this shall be the beginning of the tithing of my people.” (D. & C. 119:2-3)
“And let that which belongs to this people be appointed unto this people. And the money which is left unto this people–let there be an agent appointed unto this people, to take the money to provide food and raiment, according to the wants of this people. And let that which belongeth to this people not be taken and given unto that of another church.” (D. & C. 51:7,8,10)
“The biggest commercial enterprise in the West, excepting only the massive Bank of America in California, is a strictly non-commercial organization called the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, better known as the Mormons…. income pours in from the church’s vast collection of business and real-estate investments, ranging from the Hotel Utah on Salt Lake City’s Temple Square to a 260,000-acre Florida cattle ranch. All told, the cash flow reaches an estimated $1 million a day.” (Newsweek, “Latter-Day Profits,” Jan. 22, 1962, p. 67)
“The church has attained–through faithful tithes and shrewd investments and business operations–a spectacular wealth. It is fast becoming, if it is not already, the richest church of its size in the world. Unquestionably it controls the greatest aggregation of capital in the states of the Rocky Mountain area. *** A poor Mormon farmer near the hamlets of Moroni, Ephraim or Manti–educated to the high standards of his church–might occasionally bristle at some family sacrifice necessary to meet his tithe if the extent of church wealth were known to him.” (Esquire, “Utah: How Much Money Hath the Mormon Church?” Aug. 1962, see pp. 86-91)
- THE UNITED ORDER
“…neither said any of them that ought of the things which he possessed was his own; but they had all things common.” (Acts 4:33)
“And the Lord called his people Zion, because they were of one heart and one mind, and dwelt in righteousness; and there were no poor among them.” (Moses 7:18)
“And they had all things common among them; therefore there were not rich and poor, bond and free, but they were all made free, and partakers of the heavenly gift. (4 Nephi 1:3)
“…it must needs be that there be an organization of my people *** for a permanent and everlasting establishment and order to my church *** that ye may be equal in the bonds of heavenly things, yea, and earthly things also….” (D. & C. 78:3, 5)
“And let every man deal honestly, and be alike among this people, and receive alike, that ye may be one, even as I have commanded you.” (D. & C. 51:9)
“Nevertheless, in your temporal things you shall be equal, and this not grudgingly, otherwise the abundance of the manifestations of the Spirit shall be withheld.” (D. & C. 70:14)
“Will the time ever come that we can commence and organize this people as a family? It will. Do we know how? Yes, what was lacking in these revelations from Joseph to enable us to do so was revealed to me.” (Brigham Young, J.D. 11:326)
“The Lord has declared it to be His will that His people enter into a covenant, even as Enoch and his people did, which of necessity must be before we shall have the privilege of building the Center Stake of Zion,…” (Brigham Young, J.D. 18:263)
The Saints of today are told that the Lord “took away” this principle.
“And sold their possessions and goods, and parted them to all men, as every man had need.” (Acts 2:45)
“…every man shall be made accountable unto me, a steward over his own property, or that which he has received by consecration, as much as is sufficient for himself and family.” (D. & C. 42:32)
“The Lord said in that revelation that the principle which he had revealed in relation to the properties of his Church must be carried out to the very letter upon the land of Zion; and those individuals who would not give heed to it, but sought to obtain their inheritances in an individual way by purchasing it themselves from the Government, should have their names blotted out from the book of the names of the righteous, and if their children pursued the same course their names should be blotted out too, they and their children should not be known in the book of the law of the Lord as being entitled to an inheritance among the Saints in Zion.
“We find, therefore, that the Lord drove out this people because we were unworthy to receive our inheritances by consecration. As a people, we did not strictly comply with that which the Lord required. Neither did they comply in Kirtland. ***
“This ought to be an example for us who are living at a later period in the history of the Church of the living God, and who ought, by this time, to have become thoroughly experienced in the law of God.” (Orson Pratt, J.D. 15:358)
“It [the revelation on consecration] was one of the first commandments or revelations given to this people after they had the privilege of organizing themselves as a Church, as a body, as the kingdom of God on the earth. I observed then, and I now think, that it will be one of the last revelations which the people will receive into their hearts and understanding of their own free will and choice, and esteem it as a pleasure, a privilege, and a blessing unto them to observe and keep most holy.” (Brigham Young, J.D. 2:299)
The Law of Consecration has not been taught, encouraged or practiced in the Church for nearly a century.
- SCHOOL OF THE PROPHETS
The Lord said that he desired to have a “…school of the prophets, which I have commanded to be organized.” (D. & C. 90:7; see also D. & C. 88:127-141; D. & C. 97:3)
Joseph Smith said that the Lord had commanded them to “establish a school for the Prophets; this is the word of the Lord to us, and we must, yea, the Lord helping us, we will obey; as on conditions of our obedience He has promised us great things; yea, even a visit from the heavens to honor us with His own presence. We greatly fear before the Lord lest we should fail of this great honor, which our Master proposes to confer on us;…” (T.P.J.S., p. 19)
“You have read, probably, that we are starting the school of the prophets. *** We will start this school of the prophets to increase in knowledge. *** To-morrow evening we shall commence our course of lectures on theology. To that class I have invited a few, but not many. I believe I have invited the First Presidency, the Twelve Apostles, Bishop Hunter and his Counselors, the first seven presidents of Seventies, the Presidency of the High Priests’ quorum, the Presidency of this Stake of Zion, the High Council, the Bishops and their Counsellors, and the City Council.” (Brigham Young, J.D. 12:116)
“The object of the School of the Prophets is to train ourselves until we can receive the order of Enoch in all its fullness.” (Brigham Young, J.D. 12:210)
“Will this School of the Prophets stop? No, it was commenced in the days of Joseph, and it will not stop.” (Heber C. Kimball, J.D. 12:189)
“We have here our Schools of the Prophets, in which we are taught how to manage our temporal affairs and how to avoid the snares that exist in the world; whom to deal with and whom to let alone; how to raise stock, how to cultivate our farms, and how to conduct all the affairs incident to human existence. We are also taught about God and eternity; about our associations before we came here, our relationship to God at the present time, the destiny of this and other worlds and everything pertaining to this life and that which is to come.” (Jos. F. Smith, J.D. 12:349)
Shortly after the turn of the century, the school of the prophets was discarded.
- KINGDOM OF GOD
“And in the days of these kings shall the God of heaven set up a kingdom, which shall never be destroyed: and the kingdom shall not be left to other people, but it shall break in pieces and consume all these kingdoms, and it shall stand for ever.” (Dan. 2:44; see also Rev. 12, Insp. Trans.)
“The keys of the kingdom of God are committed unto man on the earth, and from thence shall the gospel roll forth unto the ends of the earth, as the stone which is cut out of the mountain without hands shall roll forth, until it has filled the whole earth.” (D. & C. 65:2)
“The Prophet gave the full and complete organization to this Kingdom the spring before he was killed. This Kingdom is the kingdom Daniel spoke of, which was to be set up in the last days; it is the kingdom that is not to be given to another people. Now I want to give you these few words–the kingdom that protects every person, every sect, and all people upon the face of the earth, in their legal rights. I shall not tell you the names of the members of this Kingdom, neither shall I read you its constitution, but the constitution was given by revelation.” (Brigham Young, Des. News, Aug. 1854)
“We are asked, Is the Church of God, and the Kingdom of God the same organization? And we are informed that some of the brethren hold that they are separate. This is the correct view to take. The Kingdom of God is a separate organization from the Church of God. There may be men acting as officers in the Kingdom of God who will not be members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. (George Q. Cannon, Joseph Smith and World Government, p.9)
“As observed by one of the speakers this morning, that Kingdom grows out of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, but it is not the Church, for a man may be a legislator in that body which will issue laws to sustain the inhabitants of the earth in their individual rights, and still not belong to the Church of Jesus Christ at all.
“And further, though a man may not even believe in any religion, it would be perfectly right, when necessary, to give him the privilege of holding a seat among that body which will make laws to govern all the nations of the earth and control those who make no profession of religion at all; for that body would be governed, controlled, and dictated to acknowledge others in those rights which they wish to enjoy themselves. (Brigham Young, J.D. 2:310)
 “This volume [Joseph Smith and World Government] is an important contribution to Mormon literature for at least three reasons. First, it is the only published analysis that has been made to date of Joseph Smith’s concept of world government. It gives conclusive evidence that the Prophet included within his concept of the Kingdom of God the development of a political government that would be administered under the direction of the Priesthood of Zion. The Kingdom of God, then, was considered as something more than the Church. It included the idea of a future world government where the Church and State were to be separate bodies, but united in the fact that both institutions were to be subject to priesthood direction.
“Second, this study establishes the fact that Joseph Smith laid the foundation of the Kingdom of God in its political, as well as in its religious, sphere. Thus, he revealed the political principles and philosophy of the millennial government, and organized it in embryonic form upon the earth.
“Third, for the first time much of the history of this new adjunct to the Priesthood is presented in published form. From the spring of 1844 to at least 1870 the political organ the Prophet organized played a dominant role in the history of the Mormon movement. It was this body, not the Church, that planned and carried out the Exodus. After locating the Saints in the Great Basin, this political body then organized and incorporated itself into the State of Deseret. All this has escaped the student of Mormonism. Until now, neither the fact that such a body existed nor its influence in the Church’s history has been understood.” (Joseph Smith and World Government, flyleaf, Hyrum L. Andrus)
“The Kingdom of God is the Church established by divine authority upon the earth; this institution asserts no claim to temporal rule over nations its sceptre of power is that of the Holy Priesthood, to be used in the preaching of the gospel and in administering its ordinances for the salvation of mankind living and dead.” (Jesus the Christ, James E. Talmage, p. 788)
56a. BLOOD ATONEMENT
“Whoso sheddeth man’s blood, by men shall his blood be shed; for in the image of God made he man.” (Gen. 9:6)
“Whoso killeth any person, the murderer shall be put to death; by the mouth of witnesses; but one witness shall not testify against any person to cause him to die. Moreover ye shall take no satisfaction for the life of a murderer, which is guilty of death; but he shall surely be put to death.” (Num. 35:30-31; Insp. Ver.)
“Who knowing the judgment of God, that they which commit such things are worthy of death….” (Romans 1:32)
“We believe that the commission of crime should be punished according to the nature of the offense;…” (D. & C. 134:8)
“In debate, George A. Smith said imprisonment was better than hanging. I replied, I was opposed to hanging; even if a man kill another, I will shoot him, or cut off his head, spill his blood on the ground, and let the smoke thereof ascend up to God; and if ever I have the privilege of making a law on that subject, I will have it so.” (Joseph Smith, D.H.C. 5:296)
“That we regard the killing of human beings, except in conformity with the civil law, as a capital crime which should be punished by the shedding of blood of the criminal, after a public trial before a legally constituted court of the land.” (First Pres., Mill. Star 52:33-34)
The doctrine of blood atonement is never taught and rarely mentioned. The idea of capital punishment has almost become eradicated by Communists, psychologists, psychiatrists, and liberal educators.
56b. OATH OF VENGEANCE
The Oath of Vengeance as it was originally incorporated in the endowment ceremony was as follows:
“You and each of you do solemnly promise and vow that you will pray and never cease to pray and never cease to importune High Heaven to avenge the blood of the prophets on this nation and that you will teach this to your children and your children’s children until the third and fourth generation.”
“…and their innocent blood on the banner of liberty, and on the magna charta of the United States, is an ambassador for the religion of Jesus Christ, that will touch the hearts of honest men among all nations; and their innocent blood, with the innocent blood of all the martyrs under the altar that John saw, will cry unto the Lord of Hosts till he avenges that blood on the earth. Amen.” (D. & C. 135:7)
“After the people had gone home, my father [Levi] took me again into the mansion and told me to place one hand on Joseph’s breast and to raise my other arm and swear with hand uplifted that I would never make a compromise with any of the sons of Hell. Which vow I took with a determination to fulfill to the very letter. I took the same vow with Hyrum.” (Mosiah Hancock Jrnl., p. 20)
“Mr. Henry W. Lawrence, being sworn as a witness for the objectors testified that he had been a member of the Mormon Church for many years and had officiated in the Endowment House between 1865 and 1869. Being examined by Mr. Baskin he testified: `There were obligations and covenants entered into in the Endowment ceremonies. There is a great deal to them. There is a covenant to avenge the blood of the prophets. Reference is made to Joseph and Hyrum Smith.’
“In substance it is: `You, each and all of you, covenant and agree to avenge the blood of the prophets, Joseph and Hyrum, who have sealed their testimony with their blood. This you will teach to your children and their children’s children unto the third and fourth generation’–with some other things that are added to it.” (The Inside of Mormonism, p. 52-53)
The Oath of Vengeance is no longer a part of the temple ceremony.
“The earth also is defiled under the inhabitants thereof; because they have transgressed the laws, changed the ordinance, broken the everlasting covenant.” (Isa. 24:5)
“If there is no change of ordinances, there is no change of Priesthood.” (T.P.J.S., p. 158) “Where there is no change of priesthood, there is no change of ordinances….” (T.P.J.S., p. 308)
“Some of you may ask: Is there a single ordinance to be dispensed with? Is there any of the commandments that God has enjoined upon the people, that He will excuse them from obeying? Not one, no matter how trifling or small in our own estimation.” (Disc. of Brigham Young, p. 31)
“God purposed in himself, that there should not be an eternal fulness until every dispensation should be fulfilled and gathered together in one; therefore He set the ordinances to be the same forever, and set Adam to watch over them, to reveal them from heaven to man, or to send angels to reveal them.” (Joseph Smith’s Teachings, p. 113-114)
“It is said the Priesthood was taken from the Church, but it is not so, the Church went from the Priesthood, and continued to travel in the wilderness, turned from the commandments of the Lord, and instituted other ordinances.” (Brigham Young, J.D. 12:69)
“The gospel now being preached to all the world by commandment of the Lord to the Prophet Joseph is the same as taught by Adam, Enoch and the Savior. It never changes through lapse of time; its ordinances and laws are always the same, worlds without end.” (Wilford Woodruff, Des. News, Sept. 2, 1876)
“There is a question that comes into my mind: If men now think they can get along without the gifts of the gospel, may not the time come when they may believe they can get along without its ordinances?” (Dr. James Allen, Imp. Era 8:111)
“Remember therefore from whence thou art fallen, and repent, and do the first works; or else I will come unto thee quickly, and will remove thy candlestick out of his place, except thou repent.” (Revel. 2:5)
“And now I speak concerning baptism. Behold, elders, priests, and teachers were baptized; and they were not baptized save they brought forth fruit meet that they were worthy of it.” (Moroni 6:1)
“At this time came a revelation, that the Saints could be baptized and re-baptized when they chose….” (Brigham Young, J.D. 18:241)
“…the gospel has always been the same; the ordinances to fulfill its requirements, the same, and the officers to officiate, the same; and the signs and fruits resulting from the promises, the same;…” (T.P.J.S., p. 264)
“Shall we stop baptizing people and make no further efforts to establish the kingdom of God upon the earth, because certain ones have acted foolishly and perhaps wickedly? Do the actions of such people render the principles of the gospel without effect or the doctrines we teach untrue? I think you would not say so.” (John Taylor, J.D. 21:59)
“The First Presidency and Twelve have felt” (notice felt replaced revelation) prompted to order that “rebaptism ought to be stopped.” (Conf. Rept., Oct. 1897, p. 68)
“Because the Lord has given us the ordinance of sacrament for renewing our covenants, and because the purpose of (re)baptism began to be somewhat confused in the minds of some members of the Church, the Lord directed Church leaders to discourage the use of (re)baptism for other than the sacred purpose of the remission of sins and for gaining membership in the Church.” (Russell R. Rich, Ensign, p. 45, Feb. 1975)
NOTE: This is an example of a policy that if any doctrine, ordinance or principle becomes “somewhat confused in the minds of some members of the Church,” it will be abandoned rather than correctly taught.
“Neither give heed to fables and endless genealogies, which minister questions, rather than godly edifying which is in faith: so do.” (I Tim. 1:4)
“A man may act as proxy for his own relatives; the ordinances of the Gospel which were laid out before the foundations of the world have thus been fulfilled by them, and we may be baptized for those whom we have much friendship for; but it must first be revealed to the man of God, lest we should run too far.” (T.P.J.S., p. 367)
***”Then in the spirit world they will say, `Do you not see somebody at work for you? The Lord remembers you and has revealed to His servants on the earth, what to do for you.'” (Brigham Young, J.D. 3:372)
“The Gospel is now preached to the spirits in prison, and when the time comes for the servants of God to officiate for them, the names of those who have received the Gospel in the spirit will be revealed by the angels of God and the spirits of just men made perfect; also the places of their birth, the age in which they lived, and everything regarding them that is necessary to be recorded on earth, and they will then be saved so as to find admittance into the presence of God, with their relatives who have officiated for them.” (Brigham Young, J.D. 9:317)
“When I get a revelation that some of my progenitors lived and died without the blessings of the Gospel, or even hearing it preached, but were as honest as I am, as upright as I am, or as any man or woman could be upon the earth; as righteous, so far as they knew how, as any Apostle or Prophet that ever lived, I will go and be baptized, confirmed, washed, and anointed, and go through all the ordinances and endowments for them, that their way may be open to the celestial kingdom.
“As I have frequently told you, that is the work of the Millennium. It is the work that has to be performed by the seed of Abraham, the chosen seed, the royal seed, the blessed of the Lord, those the Lord made covenants with.” (Brigham Young, J.D. 2:138)
Genealogy is done as fast and for as many as can be found. Spirituality and revelation are seldom considered in the work that is done.
To administer means to pass, give, or to participate; only Priests were to handle the sacrament. The Lord said:
“The priest’s duty is to preach, teach, expound, exhort, and baptize, and administer the sacrament…. But neither teachers nor deacons have authority to baptize, administer the sacrament, or lay on hands;… (D. & C. 20:46,58)
“Teachers may warn, expound, exhort, teach and invite all to come unto Christ, and take the lead of meetings when no elder or priest is present; but they have not the authority to baptize, administer the sacrament or lay on hands.” (C.H.C. 1:194)
“Deacons are appointed to assist the teachers in the performance of their duties. They may also warn, expound, exhort, teach and invite all to come unto Christ, but, like the teachers, they have no authority to baptize, administer the sacrament or lay on hands.” (C.H.C. 1:194)
The teachers and deacons pass the sacrament which is a part of administering it. Formerly they raised their hand to the square, while offering the sacramental prayer, but this was also done away.
- HEALING INSTRUMENTS
“For she said within herself, If I may but touch his garment, I shall be whole.” (Matt. 9:21)
“And God wrought special miracles by the hands of Paul: So that from his body were brought unto the sick handkerchiefs or aprons, and the diseases departed from them, and the evil spirits went out of them.” (Acts 19:11-12) “…I have blessed my handkerchief and asked God to sanctify it and fill it with life and power, and sent it to the sick; and hundreds have been healed by it; in like manner I have sent my cane. Dr. Richards used to lay his own black cane on a person’s head and that person has been healed through its instrumentality, by the power of God. I have known Joseph hundreds of times to send his handkerchief to the sick, and they have been healed.” (Life of Heber C. Kimball, Whitney, p. 420)
“…he [Joseph Smith] took from his pocket a silk bandanna handkerchief, and gave to Brother Woodruff, telling him to wipe the faces of the children with it, and they should be healed; and remarked at the same time: `As long as you keep that handkerchief it shall remain a league between you and me.’ Elder Woodruff did as he was commanded, and the children were healed, and he keeps the handkerchief to this day.” (C.H.C. 2:22)
“The rough oak boxes in which the bodies of Joseph and Hyrum were brought from Carthage, were made into canes and other articles. I have a cane made from the plank of one of those boxes, so has brother Brigham and a great many others, and we prize them highly, and esteem them a great blessing. I want to carefully preserve my cane, and when I am done with it here, I shall hand it down to my heir, with instructions to him to do the same. And the day will come when there will be multitudes who will be healed and blessed through the instrumentality of those canes, and the devil cannot overcome those who have them, in consequence of their faith and confidence in the virtues connected with them.” (Heber C. Kimball, J.D. 4:294)
Such things are neither taught nor practiced in the Church.
- THE FAST DAY
“Wherefore the Sabbath was given unto man for a day of rest; and also that man should glorify God, and not that man should not eat;” (Mark 2:26)
“Another thing I wish to say. You know that the first Thursday in each month we hold as a fast day. How many here know the origin of this day? Before tithing was paid, the poor were supported by donations. They came to Joseph and wanted help, in Kirtland, and he said there should be a fast day, which was decided upon. *** Let this be published in our newspapers. Let it be sent forth to the people, that on the first Thursday of each month, the fast day, all that would be eaten by husbands and wives and children and servants should be put in the hands of the Bishop for the sustenance of the poor.” (Brigham Young, J.D. 12:115-116)
“Thursday as a day of fasting and prayer in the Church no longer serves the object for which it was intended.” (Des. News, Nov. 7, 1896)
“The first Thursday of every month is a Fast day, for the Saints to gather together in prayer and fasting, and to bring their offerings for the poor, that the afflicted and unfortunate may not lack for food or clothing, and the comforts of life.” (F. D. Richards, J.D. 26:299)
Ever since the mid-1890’s, fast day in the Church has been observed on Sundays, rather than Thursdays.
- WOMEN ADMINISTER
“No matter who believeth, these signs, such as healing the sick, casting out devils, etc., should follow all that believe, whether male or female. ***
“Respecting females administering for the healing of the sick, he further remarked, there could be no evil in it, if God gave His sanction by healing; that there could be no more sin in any female laying hands on and praying for the sick, than in wetting the face with water; it is no sin for anybody to administer that has faith, or if the sick have faith to be healed by their administration.” (T.P.J.S., p. 224-225)
“…I met the members of the `Female Relief Society,’ and… gave a lecture on the Priesthood, showing how the sisters would come in possession of the privileges, blessings and gifts of the Priesthood, and that the signs should follow them, such as healing the sick, casting out devils, etc., and that they might attain unto these blessings by a virtuous life, and conversation, and diligence in keeping all the commandments;…” (Joseph Smith, D.H.C. 4:602)
“I say that every man and woman who will live their religion, be humble, and be dictated by the Holy Ghost, the spirit of prophecy will be upon them.
“Some of you, ladies, that go abroad from house to house, blessing the sick, having your little circles of women come together, why are you troubling yourselves to bless and lay your hands on women, and prophesy on them, if you do not believe the principle?” (Heber C. Kimball, J.D. 5:176)
“Prescindia was set apart by one of the Apostles and blessed with a special gift of healing. She used this divine power successfully in her duties as midwife and her daily administerings to the sick. She was indeed a venerable woman who led a full and useful life.” (Life of Heber C. Kimball, Whitney, p. 420)
Women are not encouraged or taught to lay on hands & pray for the sick.
- TEMPLE ORDINANCES
“Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and cometh down from the Father of lights, with whom is no variableness, neither shadow of turning.” (James 1:27; Heb. 13:8)
“The order of the house of God has been, and ever will be, the same, even after Christ comes; and after the termination of the thousand years it will be the same; and we shall finally enter into the celestial kingdom of God, and enjoy it forever.” (T.P.J.S., p. 91)
“Now, concerning endowment, in all its phases. My own views are these–that we ought to follow out, as far as we can, the pattern laid down by our leaders. I consider that if there ever was any man who thoroughly understood the principles of the Endowments it was Brigham Young. He was with Joseph Smith from the beginning of the Endowments, to the end, and he understood it if any man did. Now, if I ever have anything to do or say, in any Temple on the earth, concerning the Endowment, I would say: Follow that pattern that President Young has set to us, and not deviate one iota.” (Pres. Wilford Woodruff in a letter of June 8, 1887, from St. George, Utah.)
“Thursday, Dec. 19th:… During our meeting a revelation was read which Pres. Woodruff received Sunday evening, Nov. 24th. Propositions had been made for the Church to make some concessions to the Courts in regard to its principles. Both of Pres. Woodruff’s counselors refused to advise him as to the course he should pursue, and he therefore laid the matter before the Lord. The answer came quick and strong. The word of the Lord was for us not to yield one particle of that which He had revealed and established. He had done and would continue to care for His work and those of the Saints who were faithful, and we need have no fear of our enemies when we were in the line of our duty. We are promised redemption and deliverance if we will trust in God and not in the arm of flesh.” (Abraham Cannon Journal, 1889)
The garments, the wording of the ceremony, the ordinations, the ceremony itself, and the marriage laws have all been changed.
- GARMENTS OF THE PRIESTHOOD
“Thou has a few names even in Sardis which have not defiled their garments…. Behold I come as a thief. (Second coming) Blessed is he that watcheth, and keepeth his garments.” (Rev. 3:4; 16:15)
Warning came from Pres. J. F. Smith who said, “In order that such people may imitate the fashions, they will not hesitate to mutilate that which should be held by them the most sacred of all things in the world, next to their own virtue.” (Era 9:812)
“The garments worn by those who receive endowments must be white and of the approved pattern; they must not be altered or mutilated, and are to be worn as intended, down to the wrist and ankles and around the neck. Admission to the temple will be refused to those who do not comply to these requirements. The Saints should know that the pattern of endowment garments was revealed from Heaven and that the blessings promised in connection with wearing them will not be realized if any unauthorized change is made in their form or in the manner of wearing them.” (Instructions in all temples, 1916; Joseph F. Smith, Pres.)
In 1923 it was announced in the newspapers that the: “Temple Garment Greatly Modified–Church Presidency Gives Permission–Style Change Optional With Wearer.” (Tribune, June 4, 1923)
The reasons for these changes were so that “women wouldn’t have to roll up the sleeves while doing housework,” “promotion of freedom of movement in the body,” for wearing “new and finer hosiery” and “shorter skirts,” and to “play games at gymnasiums.”
On a recent Church sales list there were 16 variations of the garment for sale. Some with strings, or buttons, or zippers, or without–and some include the “sweetheart” neckline–plunging front and back.
- TEMPLES AND STAKES IN ZION
“And after this time, your baptism for the dead, by those who are scattered abroad, are not acceptable unto me, saith the Lord. For it is ordained that in Zion, and in her stakes, and in Jerusalem, those places which I have appointed for refuge, shall be the places for your baptisms your dead.” (D. & C. 124:35-36)
“The whole of America is Zion itself from north to south, and is described by the Prophets, who declare that it is the Zion where the mountain of the Lord should be….” (T.P.J.S., p. 362)
“When the Savior comes, a thousand years will be devoted this work of redemption; and Temples will appear over this land of Joseph–North and South America–and also in Europe and elsewhere; and all the descendants of Shem, Ham, and Japheth who received not the Gospel in the flesh, must be officiated for in the Temples of God….” (Wilford Woodruff, J.D. 19:230)
“Wherefore the decree hath gone forth from the Father that they shall be gathered in unto one place upon the face of this land, to prepare their hearts and be prepared in all things against the day when tribulation and desolation are sent forth upon the wicked.” (D. & C. 29:8)
“…our building of foreign temples is to encourage the saints to stay in their own countries.” (Oct. 17, 1936, Des. News, Church Section)
Now temples are built in all of the nations that the Lord once considered as heathen. He said the time would come for the destruction of these nations.
“Verily, verily, I say unto you, except ye abide my law (plural marriage) ye cannot attain to this glory.” (D. & C. 132:21)
“We cannot be married to our husbands for eternity, without subscribing to the law that admits a plurality of wives.” (Samuel Richards, Mill. Star 15:226)
“The only men who become Gods, even the sons of God, are those who enter into polygamy.” (Brigham Young, J.D. 11:268)
“God has given me a revelation in regard to celestial marriage, I did not make it,… yet they would like us to tone that principle down and change it, and make it applicable to the views of the day. This we cannot do, nor can we interfere with any of the commandments of God to meet the persuasions and behests of men. I cannot do it and will not do it. I find some men trying to twist round the principle in any way and every way they can. They want to sneak out of it in some way. Now, God doesn’t want any kind of sychophancy like that. He expects us to be true to Him and to the principles He has delivered, and to feel as Job did, `Though He slay me yet will I trust Him.’ Though other folks would slay us, yet we will trust in the living God, and be true to our covenants and our God. These are our feelings in relation to this matter. We have been told that, `It is not meet that men who will not abide my law shall preside over my priesthood,’ and yet some people would like very much to do it. Well, they cannot do it. If God has introduced something for our glory and exaltation, we are not going to have that kicked over by improper influences, either inside or outside of the Church of the living God. I see sometimes a disposition to try to ignore some of the laws which God has introduced, and this is one of them.” (John Taylor, J.D. 25:309)
“Celestial marriage–that is, marriage for time and eternity–and polygamous or plural marriage are not synonymous terms. Monogamous marriages for time and eternity, solemnized in our temples in accordance with the word of the Lord and the laws of the Church, are Celestial marriages.” (Heber J. Grant, Official statement, June 17, 1933, Way of the Master, Mark E. Petersen, p. 60)
- ETERNAL MARRIAGES OUT OF THE TEMPLES
“And I will give unto thee the keys of the kingdom of heaven; and whatsoever thou shalt bind on earth shall be bound in heaven; and whatsoever thou shalt loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven.” (Matt. 16:19)
“…we can seal women to men, but not men to men, without a Temple.” (Brigham Young, J.D. 16:186)
“I was asked if certain ordinances could be performed in different places. I told them, yes, under certain circumstances. `Where,’ I was asked. `Anywhere besides in temples?’ Yes. Anywhere besides the Endowment House?’ Yes. `Where, in some other house?’ In another house or out of doors, as the circumstances might be. Why did I say that?… It is the authority of the Priesthood, not the place that validates and sanctifies the ordinance. I was asked if people could be sealed outside. Yes! I could have told them I was sealed outside, and lots of others…. I will say that man was not made for temples, but temples were made for man…. The temples are places that are appropriated for a great many ordinances, and among these ordinances that of marriage; but, then, if we are interrupted by men who do not know about our principles, that is all right, it will not impede the work of God, or stop the performance of ordinances. Let them do their work, and we will try and do ours.” (John Taylor, J.D. 25:355-356; see also D. & C. 132:19, 46, 48)
“…I hereby announce that it is the bounden duty of every Latter-day Saint, male and female, who knows of any such pretended marriage being performed, to inform the proper officers of the Church, in order that the Church’s honor may be maintained and that such individuals may be dealt with according to the rules and regulations of the Church and excommunicated therefrom.” (Heber J.Grant, Conf. Rept., Oct. 3, 1926, p. 12)
“All marriages outside the temples of the Lord are for this life only.” (LDS Reference Encyclopedia, p. 490, 1960)
69a. PLURAL MARRIAGE, AN ETERNAL LAW
“I know that, whatsoever God doeth, it shall be for ever: nothing can be put to it, nor anything taken from it ….” (Ecc. 3:14)
“Wherefore, verily I say unto you that all things unto me are spiritual, and not at any time have I given unto you a law which was temporal; neither any man, nor the children of men;…” (D. & C. 29:34)
“A key: Every principle proceeding from God is eternal and any principle which is not eternal is of the devil.” (T.P.J.S., p. 181)
“But if ye enter not into my law ye cannot receive the promise of my Father, which he made unto Abraham. God commanded Abraham, and Sarah gave Hagar to Abraham to wife. And why did she do it? Because this was the law; and from Hagar sprang many people. And if he have ten virgins given unto him by this law, he cannot commit adultery, for they belong to him, and they are given unto him; therefore, is he justified.” (D. & C. 132:33, 34, 62)
“If we do not embrace that principle soon, the keys will be turned against us. If we do not keep the same that our Heavenly Father has kept, we cannot go with Him.” (Life of Wilford Woodruff, p. 542)
“Some people have supposed that the doctrine of plural marriage was a sort of superfluity or non-essential to the salvation of mankind…. I wish here to enter my solemn protest against this idea for I know it is false…. Whoever has imagined that he could obtain the fulness of the blessing pertaining to this celestial law, by complying with only a portion of its conditions, has deceived himself.” (J. F. Smith, J.D. 11:269)
“But that plural marriage is a vital tenet of the Church is not true. What the Latter-day Saints call celestial marriage is characteristic of the Church, and is in very general practice; but on celestial marriage, plurality of wives was an incident, never an essential. Yet the two have often been confused in the popular mind.” (J. E. Talmage Story & Philosophy of Mormonism, p. 101)
69b. LAW OF ABRAHAM
“If ye were Abraham’s children, ye would do the works of Abraham.” (John 8:39)
“Go ye therefore, and do the works of Abraham; enter into my law and ye shall be saved.” (D. & C. 132:32)
“Why do we believe in and practice polygamy? Because the Lord introduced it to his servants in a revelation given to Joseph Smith, and the Lord’s servants have always practiced it. `And is that religion popular in heaven? It is the only popular religion there, for this is the religion of Abraham, and unless we do the works of Abraham we are not Abraham’s seed and heirs according to promise.” (Brigham Young, J.D. 9:322)
“It is the word of the Lord, and I wish to say to you, and all the world, that if you desire with all your hearts to obtain the blessings which Abraham obtained, you will be polygamists at least in your faith, or you will come short of enjoying the salvation and the glory which Abraham has obtained. This is as true as that God lives.” (Brigham Young, J.D. 11:268-69)
“The Latter-day Saints claim to be the children of Abraham, and if they are the children of Abraham, they will do the works of Abraham. It was difficult for men and women from all parts of the world, who had lived in the monogamic order all their lives to accept this doctrine of the eternity and plurality of marriage. It was `a new and everlasting covenant; and if ye abide not that covenant, then are ye damned, saith the Lord.'” (F. D. Richards, J.D. 26:341)
“The reason why the Church and Kingdom of God cannot advance without the Patriarchal order of marriage, is that it belongs to this dispensation, just as baptism for the dead does, or any law or ordinance that belongs to a dispensation. Without it the Church cannot progress. The leading men of Israel who are presiding over Stakes will have to obey the law of Abraham, or they will have to resign.” (Life of Wilford Woodruff, p. 542)
“We do not understand why the Lord commanded the practice of plural marriage.” (John A. Widtsoe, Imp. Era, March 1943)
69c. JESUS, A POLYGAMIST
“And many women were there beholding afar off, which followed Jesus from Galilee, ministering unto him.” (Matt. 27:55)
“There were also women looking on afar off; among whom was Mary Magdalene, and Mary the mother of James the less and of Joses and Salome; who also, when he was in Galilee, followed him, and ministered unto him; and many other women which came up with him unto Jerusalem.” (Mark 15:40-41)
“Joseph Smith spoke upon these passages to show that Mary and Martha manifested much closer relationship than merely a believer.” (Journal of Wilford Woodruff, July 22, 1883)
“Yet the whole fraternity throughout Christendom will cry out against this order. `Oh dear, Oh dear, Oh dear,’ they all cry out; `I am in pain…I am suffering at witnessing the wickedness there is in the land. Here is one of the `relics’ of barbarism.’ Yes, one of the relics of Adam, of Enoch, of Noah, of Abraham, of Isaac, of Jacob, of Moses, David, Solomon, the Prophets, and JESUS AND HIS APOSTLES.” (Brigham Young, Des. News, Feb. 10, 1867)
“And then it would be so shocking to the modesty of the very pious ladies of Christendom to see Abraham and his wives, Jacob and his wives, Jesus and his honorable wives, all eating occasionally at the same table, and visiting one another, and conversing about their numerous children and their kingdoms. Oh, ye delicate ladies Christendom, how can you endure such a scene as this?” (Orson Pratt, The Seer, p. 172)
“The scripture says that He, the Lord, came walking in the temple, with His train; I do not know who they were unless his wives and children….” (Brigham Young, J.D. 13:309)
“One thing is certain, that there were several holy women that greatly loved Jesus–such as Mary, and Martha her sister, and Mary Magdalene; and Jesus greatly loved them, and associated with them much; and when He arose from the dead, instead of first showing Himself to His chosen witnesses, the Apostles, He appeared first to these women, or at least to one of them–namely, Mary Magdalene.  Now, it would be very natural for a husband in the resurrection to appear first to his own dear wives, and afterwards show himself to his other friends. If all the acts Jesus were written, we no doubt should learn that these beloved women were his wives.” (Orson Pratt, The Seer, p. 159)
“It will be borne in mind that once on a time, there was a marriage in Cana of Galilee; and on a careful reading of that transaction, it will be discovered that no less a person than Jesus Christ was married on that occasion. If he was never married, his intimacy with Mary and Martha and the other Mary also whom Jesus loved, must have been highly unbecoming and improper say the best of it.” (Orson Hyde, J.D. 4:259)
“The grand reason of the burst of public sentiment in anathemas upon Christ and his disciples, causing his crucifixion, was evidently based upon polygamy, according to the testimony of the philosophers who rose in that age. A belief in the doctrine of a plurality of wives caused the persecution of Jesus and his followers.” (Jedediah Grant, J.D. 1:346)
“`Was Jesus a Polygamist?’ We believe in the four standard Church works–the Bible, the Book of Mormon, the Doctrine & Covenants and the Pearl of Great Price, and we have no revelations from the Lord to indicate that Jesus was either married or a polygamist. There are some older brethren in the Church that like to philosophize, that have expressed the thought that he was. We have a little saying from one of the older brethren who said, `Now brothers and sisters, I will now proceed to make very plain to you that which the Lord hath not yet seen fit to reveal.’ In that spirit, some have tried to express their own views with respect to this question, but as far as the Church is concerned, it does not teach that Jesus was married, or that he was a polygamist.” (Letter from LeGrand Richards to Morris L. Reynolds, May 11, 1966)
69d. PLURAL MARRIAGE DONE AWAY
“The principle of plurality of wives never will be done way.” (Heber C. Kimball, J.D. 3:125)
“I can deliver a prophecy upon it… and I tell you–for I know it–it will sail over, and ride triumphantly above all the prejudice and priestcraft of the day.” (Brigham Young, Mill. Star 15:31)
“The United States says we cannot marry more than one wife. God says different…when adulterers and libertines pass a law forbidding polygamy, the Saints cannot obey it. Polygamy is a divine institution. It has been handed down direct from God. The United States cannot abolish it. No nation on earth can prevent it, nor all the nations of the earth combined. I defy the United States. I will obey God.” (John Taylor, S.L. Tribune, Jan. 6, 1880)
“Plurality is a law which God established for his elect before the world was formed, for a continuation of seeds forever. It would be as easy for the United States to build a tower to remove the sun as to remove polygamy.” (Heber C. Kimball, Mill. Star 28:190)
“The reason why the Church and Kingdom of God cannot advance without the Patriarchal Order of Marriage is that it belongs to this dispensation, just as baptism for the dead does, or any law or ordinance that belongs to a dispensation. Without it the Church cannot progress. (Life of Wilford Woodruff, p. 542)
“God has given me a revelation in regard to celestial marriage, I did not make it,… yet they would like us to tone that principle down and change it, and make it applicable to the views of the day. This we cannot do, nor can we interfere with any of the commandments of God to meet the persuasions and behests of men. I cannot do it and will not do it.” (John Taylor, J.D. 25:309)
“The severest prosecutions have never been followed by revelations changing a Divine law, obedience to which brought imprisonment or martyrdom.
“Though I go to prison, God will not change His law of celestial marriage,…” (Pres. Lorenzo Snow, Whitney’s History of Utah, 3:471)
“He cannot withdraw or renounce it. God has revealed it, and He has promised to maintain it, and to bless those who obey it….” (Oct. 6, 1885, Mill. Star 47:707)
 “There are, however, enough witnesses to these principles to establish them upon the earth in such a manner that they never can be forgotten or stamped out.” (Joseph F. Smith, 1879, J.D. 21:10)
“If all Israel will not be sanctified by the law which their Moses first offers them, they will peradventure receive a law of ordinances administered to them, not according to the power of endless life. Men will be saved in the last days as in former days, according to their faith and willingness to receive the word of God, and walk in it.” (Mill. Star 16:36)
“You might as well deny Mormonism and turn away from it as to oppose the plurality of wives. Let the presidency of this Church, and the twelve apostles, and all the authorities unite and say with one voice that they will oppose that doctrine, and the whole of them would be damned.” (Heber C. Kimball, J.D. 5:203)
“We won’t quit practicing plural marriage until Christ shall come.” (Wilford Woodruff, May 1888, Manti Temple, Utah Historical Quarterly, Fall 1971, 39:359)
“So polygamy was given to the Latter-day Saints by the Lord as part of the restoration of all things, and now it was taken away by the Lord. In both instances–the giving of this practice and its discontinuance–it was a divine act. It was not of man.” (Mark E. Petersen, Way of the Master, p. 52)
“We have announced in previous conferences, as it was announced by President Woodruff, *** plural marriages have ceased in the Church. *** I want to say that we have been doing all in our power to prevent it or to stop it; and in order that we might do this, we have been seeking, to our utmost, to find men who have been the agents and the cause of leading people into it. We find it very difficult to trace them but when we do find them, and can prove it upon them, we will deal with them as we have dealt with others that we have been able to find.” (Joseph F. Smith, Conf. Rept., April 1911, p. 8)
70a. THE MANIFESTO
“And the Lord saith, Because they have forsaken my law which I set before them, and have not obeyed my voice, neither walked therein; but have walked after the imagination of their own heart, and after Baalim, which their fathers taught them: Therefore thus saith the Lord of hosts the God of Israel; Behold, I will feed them, even this people, with wormwood, and give them water of gall drink. I will scatter them also among the heathen, whom neither they nor their fathers have known: and I will send a sword after them, till I have consumed them.” (Jer. 9:13-16)
“…who changed the truth of God into a lie, and worshipped and served the creature more than the Creator, who is blessed for ever. Amen.” (Romans 1:25)
“If we believe not, yet he abideth faithful: he cannot deny himself.” (2 Tim. 2:13)
“Remember, remember that it is not the work of God that is frustrated, but the work of men; *** For, behold, you should not have feared man more than God. Although men set at naught the counsels of God, and despise his words–Yet you should have been faithful; and he would have extended his arm and supported you against all the fiery darts of the adversary; and he would have been with you in every time of trouble.” (D. & C. 3:1,7,8)
“And whoso layeth down his life in my cause, for my name’s sake, shall find it again, even life eternal. Therefore, be not afraid of your enemies, for I have decreed in my heart, saith the Lord, that I will prove you in all things, whether you will abide in my covenant, even unto death, that you may be found worthy. For if ye will not abide in my covenant ye are not worthy of me.” (D. & C. 98:13-15)
13: “And now, beloved brethren, we say unto you, that inasmuch as God hath said that He would have a tried people, that He would purge them as gold, now we think that this time He has chosen His own crucible, wherein we have been tried; and we think if we get through with any degree of safety, and shall have kept the faith, that it will be a sign to this generation….” (T.P.J.S., p. 136)
 “Jesus meant to say, `If you have lost the saving principles, you Twelve Apostles, and you that believe in my servants the Twelve, you shall be like unto the salt that has lost its saving principles: it is henceforth good for nothing but to be cast out and trodden under foot of men! *** `I will suffer my bowels to be taken out before I will forfeit the covenant I have made with Him and my brethren.’ Do you understand me? Judas was like salt that had lost its saving principles–good for nothing but to be cast out and trodden under foot of men. It is just so with you men and women, if you do not honour your callings and cultivate the principles you have received. It is so with you, ye Elders of Israel, when you forfeit your covenants. *** I know the day is right at hand when men will forfeit their Priesthood and turn against us against the covenants they have made, and they will be destroyed as Judas was.” (Heber C. Kimball, J.D. 6:125-126)
“There are men who say: `Yield this practice [plural marriage] for the present; perhaps public opinion may soften and then this principle may be taught and practiced.’
“I look upon such a suggestion as from the devil. It would be quite as proper to propose apostacy for a short season until public opinion would become more favorable to us. If there are any in the church who cannot stand the pressure, instead of talking compromise, let them withdraw quietly from the Church. If they can see nothing in the principle of celestial marriage worth contending for, leave those who do see and appreciate its value to fight the battle alone.” (George Q. Cannon, Juv. Inst., 20:156, 1885)
“Does this church want it as God organized it? Or do you want to clip the power of the priesthood and let those who have the keys of the priesthood go and build up the kingdom in all the world, wherever the people will hear them?” (Brigham Young, D.H.C. 7:235)
“President Grant denies having this authority [sealing priesthood]. He says:
“But I want to say to the Latter-day Saints that no man upon the face of the earth has any right or any authority to perform a plural marriage, and there are no plural marriages today in the Church of Christ, because no human being has a right to perform them. (Conf. Rept., April 1921, p. 202; also Gospel Standards, p. 159)
70b. LAWS OF GOD OVER THE LAWS OF MAN
“They that forsake the law praise the wicked; but such as keep the law contend with them.” (Prov. 28:4)
“Then Peter and the other apostles answered and said, We ought to obey God rather than men.” (Acts 5:29)
“Know ye not, that to whom ye yield yourselves servants to obey, his servants ye are to whom ye obey; whether of sin unto death, or of obedience unto righteousness?” (Romans 6:16)
“Therefore, I, the Lord, justify you, and your brethren of my church, in befriending that law which is the constitutional law of the land; And as pertaining to law of man, whatsoever is more or less than this, cometh of evil.” (D. & C. 98:6-7)
“We believe that religion is instituted of God; and that men are amenable to him, and to him only, for the exercise of it, unless their religious opinions prompt them to infringe upon the rights and liberties of others; but we do not believe that human law has a right to interfere in prescribing rules of worship to bind the consciences of men, nor dictate forms for public or private devotion; that the civil magistrate should restrain crime, but never control conscience; should punish guilt but never suppress the freedom of the soul.” (D. & C. 134:4)
“‘Do you think that we shall ever be admitted as a State into the Union without denying the principle of polygamy?’ If we are not admitted until then, we shall never be admitted.” (Brigham Young, J.D. 11:269)
“Finally, we are in honor bound to the government and people of the United States, upon a consideration we have fully received–Statehood–to discontinue the practice of polygamous or plural marriage, and Latter-day Saints will not violate their plighted faith.” (Statement by Grant, Ivins, & Clark, Way of the Master, Petersen, p. 63)
When the Manifesto was given, the Church wrote Washington, D.C.: “We have voluntarily put aside something that we have always believe a sacred principle to be in harmony with those not of our faith.” (Cont. 13:197)
- RAISING SEED TO A BROTHER
“If brethren dwell together, and one of them die, and have no child, the wife of the dead shall not marry without unto a stranger; her husband’s brother shall go in unto her, and take her to him to wife, and perform the duty of a husband’s brother unto her.” (Deut. 25:5; see also Gen. 38:8 and Ruth 3 and 4)
“And now there were with us, seven brethren; and the first, when he had married a wife, deceased; and, having no issue, he left his wife unto his brother.” (Matt. 22:24)
“Suppose, therefore, we get rid of some of our selfishness, and be willing, if proper, to take the wife of some faithful brother who has passed behind the vail, and raise up posterity unto him. If we can do this, in connexion with other duties which we have to perform, we shall be doing good for others as well as for ourselves.” (Joseph Young, J.D. 6:242)
“I am always delighted when I hear President Taylor speak as he did this morning on the principle of brothers taking their brothers’ widows to wife. There are many young women among us pining away, that should be mothers in Israel, that should be raising posterity, because the brothers are so indifferent to the rights that belong to the institution of marriage as to let these young women stay in this condition. And there is one thing that I am impressed with, and that is, there will be considerable condemnation rest down upon the Elders of this Church for their neglect in these matters. Women are led astray and fall into the hands of wicked men because of relatives to the dead neglecting to do that which is their duty; acting as though the Lord cannot reward a man for keeping His law.” (George Q. Cannon, J.D. 26:15)
Such a practice as this would call for excommunication from the Church.
- KEYS OF THE PRIESTHOOD HELD BY MANY
“And also with Peter, and James, and John, whom I have sent unto you, by whom I have ordained you and confirmed you to be apostles, and especial witnesses of my name, and bear the keys of your ministry….” (D. & C. 27:12) (NOTE: Three men conferred the keys on two men.)
“The judge pointed to a room in the back part of the house and told them to step in there. As soon as they got into the room, the lawyer said there was a mob outside in front of the house, `and if they get hold of you they will perhaps do you bodily injury: and I think the best way for you to get out of this is to get right out there,’ pointing to the window and hoisting it. They got into the woods in going a few rods from the house–it was night and they travelled through brush and water and mud, fell over logs, etc., until Oliver was exhausted, then Joseph helped him along through the mud and water, almost carrying him.
“They travelled all night, and just at the break of day, Oliver gave out entirely and exclaimed, `O Lord! Brother Joseph, how long have we got to endure this thing.’ They sat down on a log to rest and Joseph said that at that very time, Peter, James and John came to them and ordained them to the Apostleship.” (Young Women’s Journal 2:75)
“Joseph Smith was a Prophet, Seer, and Revelator before he had power to build up the kingdom of God, or take the first step towards it. When did he obtain that power? Not until the angel had ordained him to be an Apostle.” (Brigham Young, J.D. 6:320)
“What ordination should a man receive to possess all the keys and powers of the Holy Priesthood that were delivered to the sons of Adam? He should be ordained an Apostle of Jesus Christ. That office puts him in possession of every key, every power, every authority, communication, benefit, blessing, glory, and kingdom that was ever revealed to man. That pertains to the office of an Apostle of Jesus Christ.” (Brigham Young, J.D. 9:87)
“Do you not know that the man who receives the Apostleship, receives all the keys that ever were, or that be conferred upon mortal man?” (Brigham Young, J.D. 1:137)
 “When a man is an apostle, and stands at the head of the kingdom of God on the earth, and magnifies his calling, he has the keys of all the power that ever was bestowed on mortal man for the building up of the kingdom of God the earth.” (Brigham Young, J.D. 6:320)
“Said he, (Joseph) `I know not why; but some reason I constrained to hasten my preparations, and to confer upon the Twelve all the ordinances, keys, covenants, endowments, and sealing ordinances of the Priesthood, and so set before them a pattern in all things pertaining to the sanctuary and the endowment there….” (Mill. Star 5:151)
“…and he then said, with great vehemence: `And in the name of the Lord, I now shake from my shoulders the responsibility of bearing off the Kingdom of God to all the world, and here and now I place that responsibility, with all the keys, powers and privileges pertaining thereto, upon the Twelve Apostles,….” (Letter from B. Brown to George Gibbs, p. 9)
“He now felt that the responsibility and care no longer rested upon himself alone, for he had bestowed upon them the keys of the priesthood, the same that he himself held; and whatever might happen to him there were others now who had the authority to step forth and build up the kingdom of God on the earth and to perform all the ordinances thereof.” (Church Historical Record 7:515)
“Furthermore, any such action would have been illegal and void because the Lord has laid down without qualification the principle that `there is never but one on the earth at a time on whom this power and the keys of this priesthood are conferred.’ The Lord has never changed this rule.” (Statement by Pres. Grant and counselors, June 17, 1933, quoted in Way of the Master, by Petersen, p. 58-59)
“The keys of the sealing ordinances rest today solely in President Heber J. Grant, having so passed to him by the ordination prescribed by the Lord, at the hands of those having the authority to pass them,…President Grant is the only man on the earth at this time who possesses these keys. He has never authorized any one to perform polygamous or plural marriages; he is not performing such marriages himself; he has not on his part violated nor is he violating the pledge he made to the Church, to the world, and to our government at the time of the Manifesto.” (Statement by the First Presidency, Heber J. Grant, etc., June 17, 1933)
- PRIESTHOOD ORDINATION
When John the Baptist gave the Priesthood to Joseph and Oliver, he said: “Upon you my fellow servants, in the name of Messiah I confer the Priesthood of Aaron….” (D. & C. 13:1)
President Brigham Young said, “Brother Joseph Smith has come to us many times, saying, `Brethren, you are going to ordain Seventies. Do not forget to confer the high priesthood upon them.'” (Des. News, June 6, 1877, p. 274)
“…the conferring of the Priesthood should precede and accompany ordination to office, unless it be possessed by previous bestowal and ordination. Surely a man cannot possess an appendage to the Priesthood without possessing the Priesthood itself, which he cannot obtain unless it be authoritatively conferred upon him.” (J. F. Smith, Era 4:394; see also D. & C. 107:5)
“Among other things stated by President Taylor on this occasion was this: `I would be surprised if ten percent of those who claim to hold the Melchizedek Priesthood will remain true and faithful to the Gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ, at the time of the seventh President and that there would be thousands that think they hold the Priesthood at that time, but would not have it properly conferred upon them.'” (Statement by Lorin C. Woolley, Questions on Plural Marriage, Dennis R. Short, p. 69)
“The day will come when men’s Priesthood and authority will be called into question, and you will find out that there will be hundreds who have no Priesthood, but who believe they hold it, they holding only an office in the Church.” (George Q. Cannon, Truth 3:153)
In 1921 Heber J. Grant changed the rule of conferring Priesthood by allowing only an ordination to an office in the Church. Thirty-six years later in 1957 David O. McKay made the change back to conferring Priesthood and than ordaining to an office in the Church.
- PRIESTHOOD ORDINANCES
“Remember them, O my God, because they have defiled the priesthood, and the covenant of the priesthood, and of the Levites.” (Neh. 13:29)
“For the priesthood being changed, there is made of necessity a change also of the law.” (Heb. 7:12)
“…if they had continued pure, their priesthood would also have been pure;… in consequence of their adherence to the pure principles of the gospel, for the Priesthood can not continue when the gospel is perverted; ….But as they have departed from his gospel, introduced the ordinances of men and neglected to teach the things God commanded them, they have lost the authority, blessings and power of the Priesthood,… and Christ has ceased to be with them.” (Joseph Smith, Times & Seasons 4:9)
“If there is no change of ordinances, there is no change of Priesthood.” (T.P.J.S., pg. 158)
“Will any man ever be redeemed upon any other principle than what we are redeemed upon? No. Men must abide the same law, or God Almighty will never redeem them. If they violate that law, they bring damnation upon themselves, and must suffer the consequences of it.” (Heber C. Kimball, J.D. 6:67)
“I hold it entirely compatible with the genius of the Church to change its forms of procedure, customs, and ordinances in accordance with our own knowledge and experience. *** Some changes have been made in recent years and these changes have disturbed some of the members. Personally, I approve of those changes and hope the general authorities will be led to make others as changing conditions warrant.” (Stephen L. Richards, S. L. Tribune, April 10, 1932)
- LAW OF ADOPTION
We are taught that we are all the children of God and “joint heirs” with Christ. For this order to be complete there must be a linking of priesthood or “law of adoption,” that goes back to Christ. (Romans 8:14-23 & 9:4; Gal. 4:4-7; Eph. 1:5)
“With the introduction of the Priesthood upon the earth was also introduced the sealing ordinance, that the chain of the Priesthood from Adam to the latest generation might be united in one unbroken continuance. *** By this power men will be sealed to men back to Adam, completing and making perfect the chain of the Priesthood from his day to the winding up scene.” (Brigham Young, J.D. 9:269)
“I and my wife, Mary Jane, with many others was adopted into John D. Lee’s family, thus I took upon myself the name of Lee in this manner: George Laub Lee and my wife’s name Mary Jane Laub Lee.” (Diary of George Laub, 1846, p. 37)
“It was ascertained that many of the saints had intermarried with gentile stock, and were thus debarred from a full enjoyment of the rights and privileges of the house and lineage of Abraham. But these lost blessings could be restored by ingraftment upon the stock of one of the twelve tribes of Israel, represented by the twelve apostles, each of whom was deemed as in lineal descent from Abraham….” Romans 11:16 is quoted as authorizing the doctrine, which requires every member op the church, except the twelve, to choose a father from one of the latter.” (History of Utah, Bancroft, p. 361)
“I was adopted to my father, and should have had my father sealed to his father, and so on back; and the duty that I want every man who presides over a temple to see performed from this day henceforth and forever, unless the Lord Almighty commands otherwise, is let every man be adopted to his father. When a man receives the endowment, adopt him to his father; not to Wilford Woodruff, nor to any other men outside the lineage of his fathers.” (Wilford Woodruff, Utah Gen. & Hist. Mag., 13:749, 1894)
Priesthood sealing of men to men has been stopped. The law of adoption is no longer taught or practiced in the Church.
- DOCTRINE OF THE GODHEAD
“It is the first principle of the Gospel to know for a certainty the character of God.”
“There are but very few beings in the world who understand rightly the character of God.” (T.P.J.S., 345, 343)
“He commenced and brought forth spirits; and then, when he completed that work, He commenced and brought forth tabernacles for those spirits to dwell in. I came through Him, both spirit and body.” (Heber C. Kimball, J.D. 6:31)
“Mankind are here because they are the offspring of parents who were first brought here from another planet, and power was given them to propagate their species, and they were commanded to multiply and replenish the earth.” (Brigham Young, J.D. 7:285)
“The Apostles and Prophets, when speaking of our relationship to God, say that we are flesh of his flesh and bone of his bone….” (Brigham Young, J.D. 11:262)
“We believe that we are the literal offspring of Deity. We have descended from the great Being who formed this earth, and from Him we have inherited the glorious aspirations to be like unto Him….” (George Q. Cannon, Mill. Star 51:278)
“Man has descended from God: In fact, he is of the same race as the Gods. His descent has not been from a lower form of life; in other words, man is, in the most literal sense, a child of God. This is not only true of the spirit of man, but of his body also.” (Priesthood Course of Study, 1910)
“Behold, vengeance cometh…. 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)
“I beheld till the thrones were cast down, and the Ancient of days did sit, whose garment was white as snow, and the hair of his head like the pure wool: His throne was like the fiery flame, and his wheels as burning fire. A fiery stream issued and came forth from before him: thousand thousands ministered unto him, and ten thousand stood before him: the judgment was set, and the books were opened.” (Dan. 7:9-10)
“Now this prophecy Adam spake, as he was moved upon by the Holy Ghost, and a genealogy was kept of the children of God. And this was the book of the generations of Adam, saying: In the day that God created man, in the likeness of God made he him;” (Moses 6:8)
Brigham Young said, `When our father Adam came into the garden of Eden, he came into it with a celestial body, and brought Eve, one of his wives, with him. He helped to make and organize this world. He is Michael, the Archangel, the Ancient of Days; about whom holy men have written and spoken–He is our Father and our God, and the only God with whom we have to do.” (J.D. 1:50)
“Why was Man called Adam? He was the first man on the earth, and its framer and maker. He, with the help of his brethren, brought it into existence. Then he said, `I want my children who are in the spirit world to come and live here. I once dwelt upon an earth something like this in a mortal state. I was faithful, I received my crown and exaltation. I have the privilege of extending my work, and to its increase there will be no end.'” (Brigham Young, Des. News Weekly 22:308)
“Adam and Eve are the parents of all pertaining to the flesh, and I would not say that they are not also the parents of our spirits.” (Brigham Young, J.D. 7:290)
“Adam was an immortal being when he came on this earth, and had begotten all the spirits that was [sic] to come to this earth, and Eve our common Mother who is the mother of all living bore those spirits in the celestial world.” (L. John Nuttal Journal, Vol. 1:20)
“He is the father of the spirits as well as the tabernacles of the sons and daughters of man. Adam! (Brigham Young, Women of Mormondom p. 179)
 “A very interesting conference; for at this meeting president Brigham Young said thus: That Adam and Eve were the names of the first man and woman of every earth that as ever organized. And that Adam and Eve were the natural Father and Mother of every spirit that comes to this planet or that receives tabernacles on this planet. Consequently we are brothers and sisters. And that Adam was God our eternal Father.” (Joseph Lee Robinson Diary, p. 102)
Joseph Smith said that Adam possessed the “First Presidency in the Creation” and “obtained the priesthood keys in the creation;” and that “those keys are revealed by him” because he has dominion over every living creature;” because he also “presides over the spirits of all men.” (T.P.J.S., p. 157)
The Prophet also said that Adam was the “first to hold spiritual blessing,” and the “first to know gospel ordinances;” and that he “holds the keys of all dispensations.” But even more astounding was that “Christ is revealed through the authority of Adam.” (T.P.J.S., p. 167)
“Joseph said that Adam was our Father and God, and himself, being a leader, he too was their God.” (Brigham Young, St. George Conference, May 14, 1876)
“One of these is God the Father, Michael or Adam, from whose loins the earth is peopled, and who is now laboring for the redemption of his children.” (Orson Pratt, Mill. Star 17:785)
“When I first heard the doctrine of Adam being our Father and God, I was favorably impressed — enjoyed and hailed it as a new revelation. It appeared reasonable to me, as the Father of our spirits that he should introduce us here.” (Minutes, School of the Prophets, Provo, June 8, 1868, p. 37)
“The decree has gone forth that every man is to be raised to immortality. Then you will be as Adam was in the Garden of Eden before he fell.” (Orson Pratt, J.D. 7:257)
“Some have grumbled because I believe our God to be so near to us as Father Adam. There are many who know that doctrine to be true.” (Brigham Young, J.D. 5:331)
“How much unbelief exists in the minds of the Latter-day Saints in regard to one particular doctrine which I revealed to them, and which God revealed to me–namely that Adam is our Father and God.” (Brigham Young, Des. News, June 18, 1873)
“Cease troubling yourselves about who God is, who Adam is, who Christ is, who Jehovah is. For heaven’s sake, let these things alone. *** If we want to know any more, wait till we get where God is in person. I say this because we are troubled every little while with inquiries from Elders anxious to know who God is, who Christ is, and who Adam is. I say to the Elders of Israel, stop this.” (Wilford Woodruff, April 7, 1895, Mill. Star 57:355)
“If what is meant is that Adam had passed on to celestial glory through a resurrection before he came here, and that afterwards he was appointed to this earth to die again, the second time becoming mortal, then it is not scriptural or according to the truth.” (Heber J. Grant, Messages from the First Presidency, 5:289-290, Feb. 26, 1931.)
“This so-called Adam-God theory is false and contrary to all the body of revealed truth.” (Bruce R. McConkie, Criticisms of Factions)
“Such doctrine is false and impossible and must be destroyed.” (Milton R. Hunter, Provo Herald, March 22, 1949, p. 9)
- HONORING THE DEAD PROPHETS
“But woe unto you scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites; for ye shut up the kingdom of heaven against men: for ye neither go in yourselves, neither suffer ye them that are entering to go in. Ye blind guides, which strain at a gnat, and swallow a camel. Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! because ye build the tombs of the prophets, and garnish the sepulchres of the righteous….” (Matt. 23:13,24,29)
“O ye twelve! and all Saints! profit by this important key–that in all your trials, troubles, temptations, afflictions, bonds, imprisonments and death, see to it, that you do not betray heaven, that you do not betray Jesus Christ; that you do not betray the brethren; that you do not betray the revelations of God, whether in the Bible, Book of Mormon, or Doctrine and Covenants, or any other that ever was or ever will be given and revealed unto man in this world or that which is to come. Yea, in all your kicking and flounderings, see to it that you do not this thing, lest innocent blood be found upon your skirts, and you go down to hell. All other sins are not to be compared to sinning against the Holy Ghost, and proving a traitor to the brethren.” (T.P.J.S., p. 156)
“If you oppose what is called the `spiritual wife doctrine,’ the Patriarchal Order, which is of God, that course will corrode you with a spirit of apostacy, and you will go overboard; still a great many do so, and strive to justify themselves in it, but they are not justified of God. When you take that course you put a knife to Brother Brigham’s breast, and to the breasts of his associates.” (Heber C. Kimball, J.D. 3:125)
“`Let no being’s affections be placed upon me any further than mine are on eternal principles–principles that are calculated to endure and exalt me, and bring me up to be an heir of God and a joint heir with Jesus Christ.’ This is what every person who has a correct understanding would say.” (Brigham Young, J.D. 3:360)
“Foes from without were not the church’s undoing; it was those who were within.
“There is creeping into our midst, and I warn you brethren about it, and I urge you to meet it, a great host of sectarian doctrines that have no place amongst us. The gospel in its simplicity, is to be found in the revelations, the teachings of the prophet and the early leaders  of the Church. We shall make no mistake if we follow them. We shall make mistakes, and we shall lead our youth, or some of them, to apostasy if we try to harmonize our simple beliefs with the philosophy and the speculations of sectarian doctrines.
“We must not `liberalize,’ and I put that term in quotes, our teachings; we must accept them as God gave them to us….” (J. Reuben Clark, Melchizedek Priesthood Lesson Manual, from Immortality & Eternal Life, p. 156)
The Church builds special monuments of honor to the graves and works of the early leaders, publishing their pictures on the front page of the Church News, paying them honor in all their meetings; but if anyone teaches from the revelations they received, (D. & C. 132, 1882, 1886, and 1889) or teaches the doctrines they believed in (J.D. 1:50), or practices the same principles and laws that they did (plural marriage–Sec. 132), they will be excommunicated.
“Priestcrafts are that men preach and set themselves up for a light unto the world….” (2 Nephi 26:29)
The Prophet Joseph Smith was perhaps the greatest prophet who ever lived, yet the Lord told him: “…Behold, how oft you have transgressed the commandments and the laws of God, and have gone on in the persuasions of men.” (D. & C. 3:6; see also D. & C. 5:21-22; 35:17-18; 64:5; 93:47)
The Prophet Joseph said that “righteous persons could only deliver their own souls–applied it to the present state of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints–said that if the people departed from the Lord, they must fall–that they were depending on the Prophet, hence were darkened in their minds,…” (T.P.J.S., p. 238)
“Do not, brethren, put your trust in man though he be a bishop, an apostle, or a president; if you do, they will fail you at some time or place….” (George Q. Cannon, Mill. Star 53:673)
“…it is a desirable honor that you should so walk before our Heavenly Father as to save yourselves; we are all responsible to God for the manner we improve the light and wisdom given by our Lord to enable us to save ourselves.” (T.P.J.S., p. 227)
“Priesthood elevates to the worthy of the true and living God; priestcraft degrades to the slavery of the soul. Priesthood saves; priestcraft destroys.” (Cont. 10:24)
“So long therefore as the people rely upon their leaders they are not manifesting that degree of faith, they are not in a position to think and reflect for themselves as they should.” (Apos. M. Thatcher, J.D. 26:328)
“There are those among this people who are influenced, controlled, and biased in their thoughts, actions, and feelings by some other individual or family, on whom they place their dependence for spiritual and temporal instruction, and for salvation in the end. These persons do not depend upon themselves for salvation, but upon another of their poor, weak, fellow mortals. “I do not depend upon any inherent goodness of my own,” say they, “to introduce me into the kingdom of glory, but I depend upon you, brother Joseph, upon you, brother Brigham, upon you, brother Heber, or upon you, brother James; I believe your judgment is  superior to mine, and consequently I let you judge for me; your spirit is better than mine, therefore you can do good for me; I will submit myself wholly to you, and place in you all my confidence for life and salvation; where you go I will go, and where you tarry there I will stay; expecting that you will introduce me through the gates into the heavenly Jerusalem. *** They cannot rule themselves, to say nothing of ruling others, but they must be dictated to in every trifle, like a child.” (Brigham Young, J.D. 1:312)
“What a pity it would be if we were led by one man to utter destruction! Are you afraid of this: I am more afraid that this people have so much confidence in their leaders that they will not inquire for themselves of God whether they are led by Him. I am fearful they settle down in a state of blind self-security, trusting their eternal destiny in the hands of their leaders with a reckless confidence that in itself would thwart the purposes of God in their salvation, and weaken that influence they could give to their leaders, did they know for themselves, by the revelations of Jesus, that they are led in the right way. Let every man and woman know, themselves, whether their leaders are walking in the path the Lord dictates, or not. This has been my exhortation continually.” (Brigham Young, J.D. 9:150)
“…President Harold B. Lee stated that `President Grant used to say to us… `Brethren, keep your eye on the President of this Church. If he tells you to do anything and it is wrong and you do it, the Lord will bless you for it. But you don’t need to worry, the Lord will never let his mouthpiece lead this people astray.'” (Address at BYU, April 19, 1961, and Ensign, Oct. 1972, p. 7)
“And all ye lawyers who have no business, only as you hatch it up, would to God you would go to work or run away!” (Joseph Smith, T.P.J.S., p. 329)
“I think that a community is civilized so far as it is free from contentions, law suits and litigation of every kind. *** When I hear men and women say that they will go to a Gentile court to have their difficulties adjusted, I think they will go to hell unless they refrain from such a spirit. *** Now, I ask every man and woman who wishes an honorable name in the Church and kingdom of God upon the earth, if they have entertained any idea of going to law, to banish it from their minds at once.” (Brigham Young, J.D. 11:257-259)
“When God spoke from heaven to Joseph Smith, the people were bound down by priestcraft, doctorcraft, kingcraft and lawyercraft, the four grand crafts that uphold Satan’s kingdom.” (Brigham Young, Des. News, July 12, 1865)
“It requires a lawyer–a man who is well schooled in all that men know, to make things appear what they really are not.” (Brigham Young, J.D. 11:215)
“And I will give you fair warning, and I call upon Brother Peery here, who is President of this Stake, to carry it out, that when he finds any Latter-day Saint under his jurisdiction going to law with his brother before the ungodly, to bring him up and deal with him for his fellowship. This is a correct principle before God; and as Saints of God we should be governed by his laws, and not by the laws of the world.” (John Taylor, J.D. 20:105-106)
“Now, from the early history of this Church, almost every man, every Elder, or member that has undertaken to study or practise law was in a very short time on the high road to apostacy and destruction; and every member of this Church who has undertaken to practise law as a profession has gone neck-and-heels to the Devil.” (George A. Smith, J.D. 6:160)
A great many of the leading men of the Church are lawyers; and B.Y.U. has built a special building for educating the youth of Zion in lawyercraft, while they are restricting the field of religion.
“And Asa in the thirty and ninth year of his reign was diseased in his feet, until his disease was exceeding great: yet in his disease he sought not to the Lord, but to the physicians. And Asa slept with his fathers, and died in the one and fortieth year of his reign.” (II Chron. 16:12-13)
“I preached to a large congregation at the stand, on the science and practice of medicine, desiring to persuade the Saints to trust in God when sick, and not in an arm of flesh, and live by faith and not by medicine, or poison;” (T.P.J.S., p. 190)
“I would rather have a wife of mine that knows what medicine to give me when I am sick, than all the professional doctors in the world.” (Brigham Young, J.D. 12:225)
“Who is the real doctor? That man who knows by the spirit of revelation what ails an individual and by the same spirit knows what medicine to administer. That is the real doctor, the others are quacks.” (Brigham Young J.D. 15:226)
“Doctors and their medicines I regard as a deadly bane to any community. Give your children, when sick, a little simple herb drink; and if they have eaten too much let them go without food until their stomachs are cleansed and purified, and have faith in the name of Jesus and in the ordinances of His Church, and they will live. That is my faith with regard to this thing. I am not very partial to doctors and lawyers, I can see no use for them unless it is to raise grain or go to mechanical work.” (Brigham Young, J.D. 14:109)
The Church is filled with doctors and has been in the hospital business. Many members and leaders of the Church will go to gentile doctors before they call for the elders of the Church.
“It will be so in a little time that not a woman in all Israel will dare to have a baby unless she can have a doctor by her.” (Brigham Young, J.D. 15:225)
“Four ladies are set apart as mid-wives. This is a Church calling.” (Journal of Abraham Cannon, p. 6)
“Great exertions are made by the sisters to prepare themselves to nurse each other–the entire accomplishment of which is most desirable, and every good man will lend influence and aid to accomplish this object, regardless of personal aggrandizement, and pockets full of gold. Jesus taught the principle, that if a person seek after a sign, by which to know the truth of the Gospel, know ye, that that person has an adulterous spirit; and the same principle is equally true with regard to women, who desire a doctor, instead of a female nurse, to wait on them when they are sick; and the doctor who delights in nursing women, instead of instructing them how to nurse themselves and each other, is possessed of the same spirit. We give this for a sign unto Israel, and Israel will profit by it; we don’t expect anybody else will.” (Samuel Richards (editorial), Mill. Star, 14:473, Sept. 18, 1852)
“As a profession, midwifery is as old as the world. Always and ever until the last century have women presided as high priestesses in the chamber of birth. Their skill, their resourcefulness, their tact, their tender touch, all these things, together with their natural cleanliness of mind and body, fit them to assist the mother, and to cleanse and prepare the child for its entrance into the world.
“The wonderfully strict regulations which are recorded by Moses in Leviticus, convince us that he provided inspired hygienic laws for the midwives among his people.
“Gradually the study and practice of surgical obstetrics was taken over by men: and yet not until the most recent time, have men attempted to usurp all ordinary phases of midwifery, and turn women entirely out from their ancient profession.” (Relief Society Magazine, Aug. 1915, Vol. 2, No. 8)
“Patty Bartlett Sessions was called Mother Sessions. She could be called the mother of Mormon midwifery. It is recorded that Patty delivered 3,977 babies. She was set apart for this by the Prophet Joseph Smith. (See Our Pioneer Heritage 6:426)
 “…on July 15, 1873, President Brigham Young issued a request through the bishops of the wards that the presidents of the Relief Societies throughout the Church appoint three women from each ward to study hygiene, nursing and midwifery.” (Our Pioneer Heritage, 6:363)
“Many of the women who practiced midwifery in Utah were trained in their native lands; some in medical schools or hospitals, others working under eminent physicians. But the majority of the medically-minded women were called and set apart by the presiding authorities of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Thus, armed with this authority and the blessings of the Lord, they went forth and performed a marvelous work in the settlements.” (Our Pioneer Heritage 6:425)
According to the State Registration Office, the last license issued for a midwife in Utah was July 15, 1932.
- BIRTH CONTROL
“For in those days the sons of men began to trespass against God, and to transgress the commandments which he had commanded to Adam, to be fruitful and multiply in the earth. And some of the sons of men caused their wives to drink a draught that would render them barren, in order that they might retain their figures and whereby their beautiful appearance might not fade.” (Jasher 11:19-20)
“For behold, this is my work and my glory–to bring to pass the immortality and eternal life of man.” (P. of G.P., Moses 1:39)
“I have told you many times that there are multitudes of pure and holy spirits waiting to take tabernacles, now what is our duty?–to prepare tabernacles for them; to take a course that will not tend to drive those spirits into the families of the wicked, where they will be trained in wickedness, debauchery, and every species of crime. It is the duty of every righteous man and woman to prepare tabernacles for all the spirits women they can hence if my women leave, I will go and search up others who will abide the celestial law, and let all I now have go where they please; though I will send the Gospel to them.” (Brigham Young, J.D. 4:56)
“The loudest outcry against us, and the most devoted efforts against us, come from the region where these dreadful practices prevail, where women murder their offspring before they are born, are guilty of this pre-natal murder, among the people of the United States who think themselves the most enlightened. *** I say to you, my sisters, you teach your daughters against this accursed practice, or they will go to hell, they will be damned, they will be murderers, and the blood of innocence will be found upon them. A man that would sanction such a thing in his family, or that would live with a woman guilty of such acts, shares in the crime of murder. I would no more perform the ordinance of laying on of hands on a woman who is guilty of that crime, if I knew it, than I would put my hands on the head of a rattlesnake. We must set our faces like flint against such acts.” (George Q. Cannon, J.D. 26:14,15)
Many men and women in the Church use birth control pills and devices. Seldom is a sermon heard against their use and practice.
“And by the river upon the bank thereof, on this side and on that side, shall grow all trees for meat, whose leaf shall not fade, neither shall the fruit thereof be consumed: it shall bring forth new fruit according to his months, because their waters they issued out of the sanctuary: and the fruit thereof shall be for meat, and the leaf thereof for medicine.” (Ezek. 47:12)
“And there were some who died with fevers, which at some seasons of the year were very frequent in the land–but not so much so with fevers, because of the excellent qualities of the many plants and roots which God had prepared to remove the cause of diseases, to which men were subject by the nature of the climate.” (Alma 46:40)
“And whosoever among you are sick, and have not faith to be healed, but believe, shall be nourished with all tenderness, with herbs and mild food, and that not by the hand of an enemy.” (D. & C. 42:43)
“And again, verily I say unto you, all wholesome herbs God hath ordained for the constitution, nature, and use of man.” (D. & C. 89:10)
“I preached to a large congregation at the stand, on the science and practice of medicine, desiring to persuade the Saints to trust in God when sick, and not in an arm of flesh, and live by faith and not by medicine, or poison; and when they were sick, and had called for the Elders to pray for them, and they were not healed, to use herbs and mild food.” (D.H.C. 4:414; also T.P.J.S., p. 190)
Apostle Willard Richards prophecied that the principles of herbology “would never die out or cease until it had revolutionized the earth.” (Priddy Meeks Journal, p. 31)
We are relying mostly on medicines, doctors, and drugs of the gentiles. We are also failing to eat the fruits and vegetables as prescribed by the Lord.
- SEVEN-YEAR FAMINE AND FOOD STORAGE
“The seven good kine are seven years; and the seven good ears are seven years; the dream is one. And the seven thin and ill favoured kine that came up after them are seven years; and the seven empty ears blasted with the east wind shall be seven years of famine.” (Gen. 41:26-27)
“Then spake Elisha unto the woman, whose son he had restored to life, saying, Arise, and go thou and thine household, and sojourn wheresoever thou canst sojourn: for the Lord hath called for a famine; and it shall also come upon the land seven years.” (2 Kings 8:1)
“Brethren, go and build your storehouses before your grain is harvested, and lay it up, and let us never cease until we have got a seven years’ supply. You may think that we shall not see times in which we shall need it.” (Heber C. Kimball, J.D. 4:337)
“Let us heed the counsel given about storing up provisions, and, instead of freighting our food away to feed strangers, let us go to work and build good substantial granaries, and fill them with bread-stuff until every man and woman has enough on hand to last for seven years.” (George A. Smith J.D. 12:142)
“A few years ago President Young gave counsel to the people of the Territory–most of whom agreed to it–to lay by seven years’ provisions. We were to have commenced three years ago, and there to have laid up one year’s bread over and above the year’s supply. The following year we were to add another year’s supply, and so have continued until we had our seven years’ supply laid up. How faithful the people have been in keeping this counsel I am not prepared to say,…” (George A. Smith, J.D. 12:141)
“…–it was during these years [1855-56] I say, that the
wise policy was inaugurated of storing up grain each year `against a day of famine’–a policy which though now sometime since abandoned,…” (C.H.C. 4:112)
No one is teaching the Saints to prepare for the 7-year famine which is coming.
- FEAR OF ENEMIES
“With whom the Lord had made a covenant, and charged them, saying, Ye shall not fear other gods, nor bow yourselves to them, nor serve them, nor sacrifice to them: But the Lord, who brought you up out of the land of Egypt with great power and a stretched out arm, him shall ye fear, and him shall ye worship, and to him shall ye do sacrifice. And the statutes, and the ordinances, and the law, and the commandment, which he wrote for you, ye shall observe to do for evermore; and ye shall not fear other gods. And the covenant that I have made with you ye shall not forget; neither shall ye fear other gods. But the Lord your God ye shall fear; and he shall deliver you out of the hand of all your enemies.” (2 Kings 17:35-39)
“For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power and of love, and of a sound mind.” (II Tim. 1:7)
“And behold, how oft you have transgressed the commandments and the laws of God, and have gone on in the persuasions of men. For, behold, you should not have feared man more than God. Although men set at naught the counsels of God, and despise his words–Yet you should have been faithful; and he would have extended his arm and supported you against all the fiery darts of the adversary; and he would have been with you in every time of trouble..” (D. & C. 3:2,5-8)
“I will not suffer that they shall destroy my work; yea, I will show unto them that my wisdom is greater than the cunning of the devil.” (D. & C. 10:43)
“Behold, I say unto you, David, that you have feared man and have not relied on me for strength as you ought. But your mind has been on the things of the earth more than on the things of me…. but have been persuaded by those whom I have not commanded.” (D. & C. 30:1-2)
“Behold, verily I say unto you, that the heart of my servant James Covill was right before me, for he covenanted with me that he would obey my word. And he received the word with gladness, but straightway Satan tempted him; and the fear of persecution and the cares of the world caused him to reject the word. Wherefore he broke my covenant, and it remaineth with me to do with him as seemeth me good.” (D. & C. 40:1-3)
 “And I, the Lord, would fight their battles, and their children’s battles, and their children’s children’s, until they had avenged themselves on all their enemies, to the third and fourth generation.” (D. & C. 98:37)
“For behold, I do not require at their hands to fight the battles of Zion; for, as I said in a former commandment, even so will I fulfil–I will fight your battles.” (D. & C. 105:14)
“Salvation is nothing more nor less than to triumph over all our enemies and put them under our feet. And when we have power to put all enemies under our feet in this world, and a knowledge to triumph over all evil spirits in the world to come, then we are saved….” (T.P.J.S. p. 297)
“Which is the wisest course for the Latter-day Saints to pursue–to continue to attempt to practice plural marriage, with the laws of the nation against it and the opposition of sixty millions of people, and at the cost of the confiscation and loss of all the temples, and the stopping of all the ordinances therein, both for the living and the dead, and the imprisonment of the First Presidency and Twelve and the heads of families in the Church, and the confiscation of personal property of the people all of which of themselves would stop the practice, or, after doing and suffering what we have through our adherence to this principle to cease the practice [Law of God] and submit to the law [of 60 million gentiles]….?” (Discourses of Wilford Woodruff, p. 215)
- FALSE PROPHETS
“And the word of the Lord came unto me, saying, Son of man, prophesy against the prophets of Israel that prophesy, and say thou unto them that prophesy out of their own hearts, Hear ye the word of the Lord; Thus saith the Lord God; Woe unto the foolish prophets that follow their own spirit, and have seen nothing!” (Ezek. 13:1-3; see also Ezek. 34:1-5)
“Beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves.” (Matt. 7:15)
“When the morning was come, all the chief priests and elders of the people took counsel against Jesus to put him to death;” (Matt. 27:1)
“…O my people, they who lead thee cause thee to err and destroy the way of thy paths.” (2 Nephi 13:12)
“And many false prophets shall rise, and shall deceive many [in the last days].” (Matt. 24:11)
“Woe unto you, when all men shall speak well of you! for so did their fathers to the false prophets.” (Luke 6:26)
“But there were false prophets also among the people, even as there shall be false teachers among you, who privily shall bring in damnable heresies, even denying the Lord that bought them, and bring upon themselves swift destruction.” (2 Peter 2:1)
“Beloved, believe not every spirit, but try the spirits whether they are of God: because many false prophets are gone out into the world.” (I John 4:1)
“This morning I read German and visited with a brother and sister from Michigan, who thought that `a prophet is always a prophet;’ but I told them that a prophet was a prophet only when he was acting as such.” (Joseph Smith, D.H.C. 5:265)
“When a man goes about prophesying, and commands men to obey his teachings, he must either be a true or false prophet. 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.” (T.P. J.S., p. 365)
 “For although a man may have many revelations, and have power to do many mighty works, yet if he boasts in his own strength, and sets at naught the counsels of God, and follows after the dictates of his own will and carnal desires, he must fall and incur the vengeance of a just God upon him.” (D. & C. 3:4)
“And liars and hypocrites shall be proved by them, and they who are not apostles and prophets shall be known.” (D. & C. 64:39)
“Saints safe in following church authorities. No man ever went astray by following the counsel of the authorities of the Church.” (Doc. of Sal., p. 243)
“…you don’t need to worry; the Lord will never let His mouthpiece lead this people astray.” (Ensign, Oct. 1972)
“And the Lord thy God will put all these curses upon thine enemies, and on them that hate thee, which persecuted thee.” (Deut. 30:7)
“There is one like Christ? He cannot be found on earth. Then why should His followers complain, if from those whom they once called brethren, and considered as standing in the nearest relation in the everlasting covenant, they should receive persecution?” (T.P.J.S., p. 68)
“…It would be impossible for tyranny to flourish for any length of time in our midst. Oppression of every form would sooner or later have to disappear, or else there would have to be an apostacy from the true principles of the Gospel on the part of the people. Oppression, tyranny, misrule, cannot co-exist with the principles of the everlasting Gospel as they are taught in our midst–that is the greatest possible consistent with good order, and the preservation of the rights of others. Liberty cannot be permitted to degenerate into license, but the utmost liberty can be enjoyed as long as it does not overstep that boundary. ***
“…You will find that the opponents of truth, or, to speak more plainly, according to our phraseology and our methods of expressing ideas, the followers of Satan–you will find that wherever there was persecution upon the earth, they were its authors. Whenever men were trampled upon and their rights were denied them, when men fell victims to violence and the mal-administration of the laws, it was those who were led by Satan’s influence and yielded to his power, who were the instruments in committing those evils. Hence you find that good men never persecuted bad men; never destroyed wicked men when they had power. They were not oppressors, they were not tyrants, they were not persecutor, they did not infringe upon the rights of their fellow men, upon the liberty of conscience, nor upon its proper exercise, nor upon the exercise of man’s agency: they never sought to restrain it. *** God does not do it. Jesus did not do it, and no servant of God did it that had a true conception of his calling.” (George Q. Cannon, J.D. 24:58-59)
“You will never find a people of God who have the truth persecuting another people. If they were to do so they would cease to be the people of God. It is the characteristic of the church of God always that it never condescends to persecution. It does not fear the announcement  of any doctrine, or any principle, or any form of belief, or any so-called revelation. Strong in the knowledge that they have the truth and that God is with them, such a people can afford to let false doctrine when it manifests itself have the freedom of action, the right of agency which God has given unto every human being and which every human being has a right to exercise undisturbed by his fellow man so long as he does not interfere with the happiness and the lives and the liberties of his fellowman. *** (George Q. Cannon, Des. Even. News, Jan. 27, 1884)
“The religion that obtains an exalted popularity amongst men, receiving their approbation and support, cannot be of God; but on the contrary, exactly in proportion as the Church is of God, or has received of His Spirit, even in that degree will be the hostility of the world.” (editorial, Mill. Star, 5:39)
“We have been, however, and we are entirely willing and anxious, too, that such offenders against the law of the State should be dealt with and punished as the law provides. We have been and we are willing to give such legal assistance as we legitimately can in the criminal prosecution of such cases. We are willing to go to such limits not only because we regard it as our duty as citizens of the country to assist in the enforcement of the law and the suppression of pretended “plural marriages,” but also because we wish to do everything humanly possible to make our attitude towards this matter so clear, definite, and unequivocal as to leave no possible doubt of it in the mind of any person.” (Heber J. Grant, Conf. Rept., April 4-6, 1931)
“3. The Church has actively assisted federal and state authorities in obtaining evidence against the cultists and helping to prosecute them, under the law.
- Among witnesses for the prosecution are men who have been appointed by the Church to search out the cultists, turning over such information as they gather to the prosecution for their use; these men have also been appointed by the Church to do all they can to fight the spread of polygamy. (Signed Mark E. Petersen)” (Ogden Standard-Examiner, Oct. 7, 1944)
“Nevertheless among the chief rulers also many believed on him; but because of the Pharisees they did not confess him, lest they should be put out of the synagogue: For they loved the praise of men more than the praise of God.” (John 12:42-43)
“These things have I spoken unto you, that ye should not be offended. They shall put you out of the synagogues.” (John 16:2)
“You cannot take any man’s priesthood away without transgression.” (John Taylor, Times & Seasons 6:922)
“The next day the Prophet came to our home and stopped in our carpenter shop and stood by the turning lathe. I went and got my map for him. `Now,’ he said, `I will show you the travels of this people.’ He then showed our travels thru Iowa, and said, `Here you will make a place for the winter; and here you will travel west until you come to the valley of the Great Salt Lake! You will build cities to the North and to the South, and to the East and to the West; and you will become a great and wealthy people in that land. *** You will live to see men arise in power in the Church who will seek to put down your friends and the friends of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. Many will be hoisted because of their money and the worldly learning which they seem to be in possession of; and many who are the true followers of our Lord and Savior will be cast down because of their poverty.'” (Mosiah Hancock Journal, p. 19)
“No endowments or blessings in the house of the Lord, no patriarchal blessings, no ordination to the Priesthood, can be taken away, once given. To prevent a person for (just) cause from exercising the rights and privileges of acting in the offices of the Priesthood (within the Church: brackets ours), may be and has been done, and the person so silenced still remain a member of the Church, but this does not take away from him any priesthood that he held.” (Joseph F. Smith, Imp. Era. 11:466)
“Persons sometimes say that they have enjoyed the spirit of the work as much since they were cut off as while they were in the Church. Have they enjoyed the Spirit? Yes. Why? Simply because they were wrongfully cut off. They were cut off in such a way that it did not take the  Spirit of God from them. And the reason why they were cut was because they did not come up to the particular standard of perfection of those who dealt with them, or they did not come up to their feelings. I have heard of a man who was cut off because he would not believe that Adam was our Father and God. `Well, but was it not so?’ Its being so does not change the fact that we are sinners and need salvation, and such preaching does not help men and women to repent of their sins.” (Mill. Star 24:99)
“After that he [John Taylor] talked for about an hour and then sat down and wrote the revelation which was given him by the Lord upon the question of Plural Marriage. Then he talked to us for some time, and said, `Some of you will be handled and ostracized and cast out from the Church by your brethren because of your faithfulness and integrity this principle, and some of you may have to surrender your lives because of the same, but woe, woe, unto those who shall bring these troubles upon you.'” (Statement by Lorin C. Woolley, Questions on Plural Marriage, Dennis R. Short, p. 67)
“Similarly excommunication from the Church removes from a man every vestige of Priesthood power that he may have possessed. *** The Church and Priesthood are interwoven, when the Church is upon the earth neither can exist independently.” (John A. Widtsoe, Imp. Era, Sept. 1936)
- FREEDOM OF THOUGHT
“We claim the privilege of worshipping Almighty God according to the dictates of our own conscience, and allow all men the same privilege, let them worship how, where, or what they may.” (Article of Faith 11)
“I will not seek to compel any man to believe as I do, only by the force of reasoning.” (T.P.J.S., p. 313)
“I did not like the old man being called up for erring in doctrine. It looks too much like the Methodist, and not like the Latter-day Saints. Methodists have creeds which a man must believe or be asked out of their church. I want the liberty of thinking and believing as I please. It feels so good not to be trammelled. It does not prove that a man is not a good man because he errs in doctrine.” (Joseph Smith, D.H.C. 5:340)
“We believe that religion is instituted of God; and that men are amenable to him, and to him only, for the exercise of it, unless their religious opinions prompt them to infringe upon the rights and liberties of others;…” (D. & C. 134:4)
“… they may be conferred upon us, it is true; but when we undertake to cover our sins, or to gratify our pride, our vain ambition, or to exercise control or dominion or compulsion upon the souls of the children of men, in any degree of unrighteousness, behold, the heavens withdraw themselves….
“We have learned by sad experience that it is the nature and disposition of almost all men, as soon as they get a little authority, as they suppose, they will immediately begin to exercise unrighteous dominion. Hence many are called, but few are chosen.” (D. & C. 121:37,39,40)
Presently the Church gives people “test oaths” as statements of their beliefs. These oaths are forms written by the Church and those who refuse to sign them are threatened with “action by the Church.”
- ANOTHER PEOPLE
“And think not to say within yourselves, We have Abraham to be our father: for I say unto you, that God is able of these stones [Gentiles] to raise up children unto Abraham.” (Matt. 3:9)
“His word will go forth, in these last days, in purity; for if Zion will not purify herself, so as to be approved of in all things, in His sight, He will seek another people….” (T.P.J.S., p. 18)
“Many of this people have broken their covenants…. But you cannot do that, for God will cut you off and raise up another people that will carry out his purposes in righteousness unless you walk up to the line in your duty.” (Heber C. Kimball, J.D. 4:108)
“What would be necessary to bring about the results nearest the hearts of the opponents of Mormonism? Simply to renounce, abrogate, or apostatize from the New and Everlasting Covenant of Marriage in its fulness. Were the Church to do that as an entirety, God would reject the Saints as a body. The authority of the Priesthood would be withdrawn with its gifts and powers and there would be no more heavenly recognition of the administrations. The heavens would permanently withdraw themselves, and the Lord would raise up another people of greater valor and stability, for his work must, according to his unalterable decrees, go forward; for the time of the second coming of the Savior is near, even at the doors.” (John Taylor, Des. News, April 23, 1885)
“But the time will come when the Lord will choose a people out of this people upon whom he will bestow his choicest blessings.” (Heber C. Kimball, Des. News, Nov. 9, 1865; see J.D. 11:145)
“God will preserve a portion of this people, of the meek and the humble, to bear off the kingdom to the inhabitants of the earth, and will defend His Priesthood, for it is the last time, the last gathering time.” (Brigham Young, Cont. 10:362)
“I know there is a people, in the hearts 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.” (Orson F. Whitney, Des. News, Aug. 11, 1889)
 “…a people will come forth from among us, who will be zealous of good works, willing to do the bidding of the Lord, who will be taught in His ways, and who will walk in His paths.” (Daniel Wells, Des. News, Nov. 6, 1875)
“…there will come up from the midst of this people that people that has been talked so much about.” (Daniel Wells, Des. News, Dec. 9, 1882)
“Such a body will evolve from those called Latter-day Saints, who as a Church possess the fulness and power of the pure plan of salvation.” (George Q. Cannon, Mill. Star 42:585)
“I do not know but that it would be an utter impossibility to commence and carry out some principles pertaining to Zion right in the midst of this people. They have strayed so far that to get a people who would conform to heavenly laws it may be needful to lead some from the midst of this people and commence anew somewhere in the region round about in these mountains.” (Orson Pratt, J.D. 15:361)
“God will not raise up another prophet and another people to do the work that we have been appointed to do.” (J. F. Smith, Church News, March 30, 1974, p. 16)
92a. SETTING IN ORDER
“And that prophet, or that dreamer of dreams, shall be put to death; because he hath spoken to turn you away from the Lord your God, which brought you out of the land of Egypt, and redeemed you out of the house of bondage, to thrust thee out of the way which the Lord thy God commanded thee to walk in. So shalt thou put the evil away from the midst of thee.” (Deut. 13:5)
“And Jesus went into the temple of God, and cast out all them that sold and bought in the temple, and overthrew the tables of the moneychangers, and the seats of them that sold doves. And said unto them It is written, My house shall be called the house of prayer; but ye have made it a den of thieves.” (Matt. 21:12-13)
“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?” (I Peter 4:17)
“If judgments must need begin at the house of God, and if the righteous scarcely are saved, how will it be with the wicked?” (Heber C. Kimball, J.D. 5:20)
“Behold, vengeance cometh speedily upon the inhabitants of the earth, a day of wrath, a day of burning, a day of desolation, of weeping, or mourning, and of lamentation; 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)
We are taught that everything in the Church is in order–that the Church is progressing and making greater strides than ever before, and that there is no need for the “setting in order.”
92b. ONE MIGHTY AND STRONG
“And it shall come to pass that I, the Lord God, will send one mighty and strong,…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; …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.” (D. & C. 85:7,9; see also, 64:38-40)
“This was given before our Prophet Joseph Smith was taken out of our midst. Many of us no doubt thought when that revelation [about a man like unto Moses] was given that Joseph would be the man. I was in hopes it would be Joseph, for I had no idea that he was going to be slain, although I might have known from certain revelations that such would probably be the case, for 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 hopes 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.” (Orson Pratt, J.D. 15:362-363)
“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.'” (Autobiography of Parley P. Pratt, p. 371; see D. & C. 105:16)
“But if you Latter-day Saints who have received the message of the everlasting gospel, and who have, in obedience to the voice from heaven, gathered out of Babylon, if you pollute yourselves by turning again to the vanities, wickedness, and corruptions of the people from whose midst you have been delivered, then, says the Lord, `Behold, judgment shall begin at the House of God,’ it shall begin with you Latter-day Saints, and then will go forth to the nations and kingdoms of the earth, weeping, wailing and lamentations among all people, which will come to pass just as literally as that foretold by the Prophet Joseph Smith concerning what should take place between the North and the South. * * *
 “What will become of the Latter-day Saints? When the judgments shall have ceased, which will be visited first on the House of the Lord, they who remain will spread forth, increase and multiply; and they will build upon this continent a great and magnificent city, called Zion or the New Jerusalem.” (Orson Pratt, Des. News, Sept. 9, 1876)
“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
(Gospel Doctrines, p. 478)
“Let us remind the Saints who hold to the common fallacy that a President of the Church will not be permitted to lead the people astray, of their error by again quoting from the Prophet Brigham Young, speaking at a conference held in Provo, shortly before his death:
“Brethren, this church will be led onto the very brink of hell by the leaders of this people, then God will send the one mighty and strong spoken of in the 85th Section of the Doctrine and Covenants, to save and redeem this Church.” (Truth, Mar. 1, 1936, 1:10, p. 135)
“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!” (Way of the Master, Mark E. Petersen, p. 82)
- REDEMPTION OF ZION
“Behold, I say unto you, the redemption of Zion must needs come by power; therefore, I will raise up unto my people a man, who shall lead them like as Moses led the children of Israel. For ye are the children of Israel, and of the seed of Abraham, and ye must needs be led out of bondage by power, and with a stretched-out arm. And as your fathers were led at the first, even so shall the redemption of Zion be.” (D. & C. 103:15-18)
“The Lord said in that revelation that the principle which he had revealed in relation to the properties of his Church must be carried out to the very letter upon the land of Zion; and those individuals who would not give heed to it, but sought to obtain their inheritances in an individual way by purchasing it themselves from the Government, should have their names blotted out from the book of the names of the righteous, and if their children pursued the same course their names should be blotted out too, they and their children should not be known in the book of the law of the Lord as being entitled to an inheritance among the Saints in Zion.
“We find, therefore, that the Lord drove out this people because we were unworthy to receive our inheritances by consecration. As a people, we did not strictly comply with that which the Lord required. Neither did they comply in Kirtland. ***
“This ought to be an example for us who are living at a later period in the history of the Church of the living God, and who ought, by this time, to have become thoroughly experienced in the law of God.” (Orson Pratt, J.D. 15:358)
“When we go back to Jackson County, we are to go back with power. Do you suppose that God will reveal his power among an unsanctified people, who have no regard nor respect for his laws and institutions, but who are filled with covetousness? No. When God shows forth his power among the Latter-day Saints, it will be because there is a union of feeling in regard to doctrine, and in regard to everything that God has placed in their hands;…
“In order to bring about this, who knows how many chastisements God may yet have to pour out upon the people calling themselves Latter-day Saints? I do not know. Sometimes I fear, when I read certain revelations contained in this book.” (Orson Pratt, J.D. 15:361)
 “We have the promise of the Almighty, and I hope that it will never be revoked, that `I say not unto you as I said to your fathers, my angel shall go before you, but not my presence, but I say unto you that my angel shall go before you and also my presence.’ In order for the presence of God to go with us we must retain the higher Priesthood, for without that and the ordinances thereunto pertaining, no man can behold the face of God and live; therefore if we would retain this higher Priesthood we must sanctify ourselves through obedience to the higher laws. If we do this, we can then claim the fulfillment of this promise which the Lord has made and which I have repeated, that his presence shall go with us.
“I expect that when the Lord leads forth his people to build up the city of Zion, his presence will be visible. When we speak of the presence of the Lord we speak of an exhibition of power. *** Though Israel were not worthy to enter the tabernacle and behold the personage of the Lord and to talk with him, yet Moses, not having forfeited that right, could enter into the tabernacle of the Lord while his glory rested upon it, and he could talk to the Lord face to face. Why? Because he held the higher Priesthood and had been obedient to the higher law and had attended to the higher ordinances. He was not subjected to the law of carnal commandments, he had sanctified himself so that he could endure the presence of the Lord and not be consumed.” (Orson Pratt, J.D. 15:364)
“Many of the saints, who come here, could be far more useful in assisting to strengthen and build up the Church in their native lands, than by making sacrifices to come to Zion….” (Heber J. Grant, A. W. Ivins, C. W. Nibley, Messages of the First Presidency, 5:269)
The index to the Doctrine and Covenants lists more references to Zion than nearly any other word–yet Zion & its redemption are rarely taught.
- BELIEVING THE REVELATIONS OF GOD
“Ye shall not add unto the word which I command you, neither shall ye diminish ought from it, that ye may keep the commandments of the Lord your God which I command you.” (Deut. 4:2; see also Rev. 22:19)
“And he that will contend against the word of the Lord, let him be accursed; and he that shall deny these things, let him be accursed; for unto them will I show no greater things, saith Jesus Christ; for I am he who speaketh.” (Ether 4:8)
“We believe all that God has revealed, all that He does now reveal, and we believe that He will yet reveal many great and important things pertaining to the Kingdom of God.” (9th Article of Faith)
“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.” (D. & C. 84:54-57)
“O ye Twelve! and all Saints! profit by this important Key–that in all your trials, troubles, temptations, afflictions, bonds, imprisonments and death, see to it that you do not betray Jesus Christ; that you do not betray the brethren; that you do not betray the revelations of God, whether in the Bible, Book of Mormon, or Doctrine and Covenants, or any other that ever was or ever will be given and revealed unto man in this world or that which is to come.” (Joseph Smith, T.P.J.S., p. 156)
The revelations of the Lord which were once printed as Sections 137, 138 and 139 in the Doctrine and Covenants, Swedish and German editions, are no longer accepted by the Church, nor have they been republished.
In 1930 the Church published a book entitled Latter-day Revelation. This book was a new edited revision of the Doctrine and Covenants in which most of the sections were emitted or revised. (See Principles or Personalities, opposite p. 176.) It was not accepted by the members of the Church, therefore, only one edition was published.
 Church of Jesus Christ of
Heber J. Grant, President
Salt Lake City, Utah
April 4, 1929
Your letter of March 5th for some unaccountable reason only reached the President’s Office on April 3rd.
So far as I know, none of the revelations to refer [1880, 1882, 1886, 1889] were ever received except the one given to John Taylor, October 13, 1882, which is mentioned by you. Yours very truly, Heber J. Grant
The above letter is evidence that the President of the Church disregarded three revelations of the Lord.
* * *
Selections from the BOOK OF
DOCTRINE and COVENANTS
THE CHURCH OF JESUS CHRIST
OF LATTER-DAY SAINTS
Containing Revelations Given Through
JOSEPH SMITH THE PROPHET
The Church of Jesus Christ of
Salt Lake City, Utah, U. S. A.
To the above is the title page from a book which was published by the Church which discarded many revelations in the Doctrine & Covenants and quoted only part of many others.
- ANOTHER GOSPEL
Jesus warned His disciples that in the last days “false prophets shall rise, and shall deceive many.” (Matt. 24:11) He said even if it were possible, they shall deceive the very elect. Paul the Apostle warns that if anyone should come and “preacheth another Jesus, whom we have not preached, or if ye receive another spirit, which ye have not received, or another gospel,…” then we could be assured that “such are false Apostles of Christ. And no marvel; for Satan himself is transformed into an angel of light. Therefore, it is no great thing if his ministers also be transformed as the ministers of righteousness….” (II Cor. 11:4, 13-15)
“I marvel that ye are so soon removed from him that called you into the grace of Christ unto another gospel, which is not another.” (Gal. 1:6)
“But though we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel unto you than that which we have preached unto you, let him be accursed.” (Gal. 1:8)
“And liars and hypocrites shall be proved by them, and they who are not apostles and prophets shall be known.” (D. & C. 64:39)
“And if any man preach any other Gospel than that which I have preached, he shall be cursed; and some of you who now hear me shall see it, and know that I testify the truth concerning them.” (Joseph Smith, Hist. Record 7:548)
“We are particularly happy with the growth in numbers and effective activity in the stakes and missions overseas. It is a world Church; we believe we are getting nearer and nearer the universal church standing.” (Spencer W. Kimball, Des. News, May 1974)
The Primitive Church…
Every gospel dispensation on earth has suffered from a “falling away,” or an effectual apostasy from the gospel. It did not occur by an immediate collapse, or a sudden rejection of God’s laws; but apostasy was the result of a gradual altering of doctrine, slight changes in the ordinances, and minor compromises between the laws of God and the laws of man. Little deviations and minor changes eventually resulted in a total abandonment of gospel principles.
Even before Christ’s crucifixion, some of his disciples were falling away from Him and His gospel. These men were Judases because they compromised the gospel with their mortal enemies and with the great prince of darkness.
The Primitive Church could have withstood all the attacks of persecution and affliction, if its members would have remained faithful to the gospel. But the weak and wayward traitors from within the church became the greatest contributors to its decline and fall. Before the first century had passed, the church had severely suffered by persecutors from without and compromisers from within.
When the Church became infiltrated by these half-converted apostates, who eventually managed to worm their way into positions of leadership, they would drag other pagan-minded rebels into positions of authority and power. Finally the recreants outnumbered the faithful. From such responsible and respected positions their influence converted nearly all of the rest of the church members to their false delusions.
Jesus gave warnings to his disciples concerning these impending dangers by saying that “they will put you out” of the church or synagogues. Furthermore, they would go so far astray that the time would come that `Whosoever killeth you will think that he doeth God service.” (John 16:2) Thus the true disciples of Jesus had their pagan enemies persecuting them from without, while they suffered from half-converted apostates from within. Under such a crisis the spirituality of the Church was finally extinguished.
 The Apostle Paul recognized the seeds of apostasy which were already infiltrating into the Church. He gave many warnings to the members. To the Saints at Ephesus he declared, “For I know this, that after my departing shall grievous wolves enter in among you, not sparing the flock. Also of your own selves shall men arise, speaking perverse things, to draw away disciples after them.” (Acts 20:29-30) Then in a letter to the Saints in Thessalonia he wrote: “Let no man deceive you by any means: for that day shall not come, except there come a falling away first–For the mystery of iniquity doth already work ….” (2 Thes. 2:3, 7) But to the Saints living in Galatia apostasy had already set in, for Paul wrote: “I marvel that ye are so soon removed from Him that called you into the grace of Christ unto another gospel: Which is not another; but there be some that trouble you, and would pervert the gospel of Christ.” (Gal. 1:6-7)
Then, in a letter to Timothy, Paul spoke of the future when many “shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits, and doctrines of devils.” (I Tim. 4:1) But by the time he wrote his second letter to Timothy he reported that “… all they which are in Asia be turned away from me.” (II Tim. 1:15) Apparently this was only the beginning of an apostasy which would continue to increase, for he said, “But evil men and seducers shall wax worse and worse, deceiving and being deceived.” (II Tim. 3:13) By then Paul recognized how far the Church would depart from the truth because he wrote that “…the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears; and they shall be turned unto fables.” (II Tim. 4:3-4)
Peter also warned the members of the church by saying: “But there were false prophets also among the people, even as there shall be false teachers among you, who privily shall bring in damnable heresies.” (II Peter 2:1)
Towards the end of the first century of the Christian era, the Church became saturated with false prophets and false apostles. John the Revelator was told by the Lord that some of the leaders “are apostles, and are not,” because the Lord had “found them liars.” (Rev. 2:2)
John also was commanded to write to the seven remaining churches in Asia and warn them that they must repent. To the church at Ephesus the Lord said: “I have somewhat  against thee, because thou hast left thy first love (Christ). Remember therefore from whence thou art fallen, and repent.” (Rev. 1:4-5) At Pergamos they were following after “the doctrine of Balaam” and “the doctrine of the Nicolaitans, which thing I hate.” (Rev. 2:14-15) At Thyatira the Lord said, “…thou sufferest that woman Jezebel, which calleth herself a prophetess, to teach and to seduce my servants to commit fornication ….” (Rev. 2:20) At Sardis the Lord said, “Be watchful, and strengthen the things which remain, that are ready to die: for I have not found thy works perfect before God.” (Rev. 3:2) To the Laodiceans His warning was, “So then because thou art lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will spew thee out of my mouth.” (Rev. 3:16)
Jude indicated that the Church had already been taken over by false leaders and he wrote that “It was needful for me to write unto you, and exhort you that ye should earnestly contend for the faith which was once delivered unto the saints. For there are certain men crept in unawares….” (Jude 1:3-4)
Thus within the first century, the Church which had been established by Christ himself, had degenerated to worldly standards and abandoned most of the doctrines of the Gospel.
But the fall of the Church could not be directly blamed upon the lay members, or those semi-apostates who crept in. Even the Apostles themselves had faults and weaknesses which contributed to the final downfall of the Church of Christ. President Brigham Young explained this by saying:
“The principles of the gospel are perfect, but are the Apostles who teach it perfect? No, they are not. Now, bringing the two together, what they taught is not for me to say, but it is enough to say this, that through the weaknesses in the lives of the Apostles many were caused to err. Our historians and ministers tell us that the church went into the wilderness, but they were in the wilderness all the time. They had the way marked out to get out of the wilderness and go straight-forward into the Kingdom of God, but they took various paths, and the two substantial churches that remain–a remnant from the apostles, that divided, are now called the Holy Catholic Church, and the Greek Church. You recollect reading in the  Revelations of John what the angel said to John, when he was on the Isle of Patmos, about the Seven Churches. What was the matter with those Churches? They were not living according to the light that had been exhibited. Do the Latter-day Saints live according to the light that has been exhibited to them? No, they do not.” (J.D. 12:66)
However, the long continuous conflict between Christ and Satan, good and evil, truth and error, far exceeds the days of man’s mortal existence. The great controversy between Christ, the Author of our salvation, and Satan, that prince of darkness, began before the creation of this earth. Satan possesses an eternal hatred for Christ and the principles of the Gospel. Therefore, his entire effort and exertion is to alter, change, or malign the words of God, who has said, “Heaven and earth shall pass away, but My words shall not pass away.” (Matt. 24:35) Therefore, Satan’s ultimate objective is clearly one of deception. Through cunning artifice and devious enticements he imposes his carefully planned substitutions for the gospel. Whether he drives the armies of men into terror and blood to torture or destroy the Saints of God–or if he carefully maligns the truth by tempting them to alter true principles, his object is always the same–to modify and pervert the gospel of Christ. Therefore, the full intent and mission of that prince of darkness is to create apostasy from, or rebellion against, the laws of God.
But if opposition by force against the truth is not successful, Satan then resorts to infiltration. At first he hoists certain half-hearted men into positions of power and influence within the ranks of Christ’s own disciples. He selects men who will abandon the laws of God for the laws of man. These compromisers will, for a price, barter off the principles of Christ for the traditions of men. The devil prizes such men above any others because they prove to be the most effectual at deception and destruction. These champions of spiritual darkness become tempted and led away by the influences of wealth, the honors of men, and the desire to be at peace with their enemies. Such semi-apostates are usually found busily engaged in mercantile traffic, money making schemes, and are absorbed in their temporal affluence among all men. They are so concerned about the temporal progress of the church and in supporting the laws, traditions, and leaders of the land that they will barter away eternal principles to accomplish temporal peace. In their aspirations to acquire the praise  of other men, they lose their bonds with heaven. These spiritually dead leaders sell eternal blessings for a mess of mortal pottage. In their eagerness to magnify the progress of the world and acquire the praise of worldly leaders, they lose sight of their dependence upon God and His Word. At this critical point of history, the Church stood in its greatest peril.
When the temporal muscles of the church began to bulge, its spiritual powers began to wither. Since temporal wealth and peaceful prosperity rarely accompany spiritual power, one or the other usually predominates. Money and power are usually just a means to accrue more money and power. And, along with the accumulation of wealth come the aspirants, the thieves, and all the evils of covetousness. After centuries of temporal and political expansion the Church had become a huge, corrupt business enterprise without spiritual gifts or righteous leaders. The historian Tertullian said that at this time “the noon of the Papacy became the midnight of Christianity,” and Wylie wrote, “When the Church had golden chalices, she had wooden priests .” By now the leaders had abandoned the word of God and every available means was used to hide the scriptures from the people. Many of the Church leader never saw nor studied the scriptures. One Archbishop in Germany accidently happened to discover the scriptures and said, “Of a truth I do not know what book this is, but I perceive everything in it is against us.” (Memorial of the Reformation, p. 20) The objectives of the Church had been changed by the new leaders; therefore, its image was also changed.
“It is scarcely possible to imagine humbler beginnings than those from which the Papacy arose, and certainly it is not possible to imagine a loftier height than that to which it eventually climbed. He who was seen in the first century presiding as the humble pastor over a single congregation, and claiming no rank above his brethren, is beheld in the twelfth century occupying a seat from which he looks down on all the thrones temporal and spiritual of Christendom. How, we ask with amazement, was the Papacy able to traverse the mighty space that divided the humble pastor from the mitred king?” (History of Protestantism, Vol. I, p. 8)
When one looks back upon early Christianity and compares it to modern worship, he cannot but notice the changes. Now there are rituals, record keeping, costumes, and expensive furniture and buildings. Now the receiving and transferring of money, the management and control of businesses; have become a part of worship, and the most serious change is with the learned and worldly wise who re-placed the plain, common men of inspiration and revelation. The simple beauty of Christianity had been eclipsed by the work of scholars and worldly minded aspirants.
A new form and appearance had taken possession of both the Church and its leaders–abundant wealth. By now temporal power had supplanted spiritual power, and worldly wisdom had replaced revelation. Temporal minded churchmen, with zealous ambitions and self-appointments, soon overthrew the humble and poor, who have always characterized Christ’s disciples. As these world-conscious leaders grasped for the power of leadership in the Church, they lost the humility necessary to direct spiritual affairs. Their control of the Church converted it into a business corporation with temporal goals and monetary achievements. Where once a bitter enmity existed between the governments of men and the government of God, now compromisers sought for peace, harmony, cooperation and a reliance with the worldly.
Pride and arrogance now took the place of humility, and like any hierarchy or dictatorship, it demanded homage and submission. Subjects were threatened by damnation and excommunication if they refused to pledge allegiance to their authority. Penal oaths and written statements were concocted to prove submission to their rule, their authority, their words. Disobedience or refusal to submit was termed apostasy and rebellion. First the threats of eternal damnation were the penalties for not signing their oaths; then they were cast out of society or cast into prison. Later torture was adopted and then it became a capital crime with capital punishment.
John Huss was one of the first martyrs of the great reformation. His writings and labors were the means of influencing Martin Luther. He was born in 1373 in Bohemia and labored most of his life in Prague. He discovered a new light when he first read the scriptures–but it was a light which exposed the evils of the papacy. When he spoke the truth from the word of God, he aroused the wrath of Rome. In a letter to his friends in Germany he said, “I have ever kept in mind these words, `Put not your trust in princes;’ and this other text which says, `Cursed is he who trusts in men only.'”
Huss realized the conflict between the scriptures and the Church–he had to decide which he would follow. To stand firm to the scriptures meant death–but he chose to  defend the truth as it had been revealed from heaven. God gave him consolation and comfort through dreams. When he was thrown in prison he wrote:
“I dreamed of the Pope’s evasion before it took place…. I have dreamed of Jerome’s captivity, but not in what way it should occur; and likewise of the different prisons to which I should be conducted, such as they were afterwards assigned to me…. “(Great Voices of the Reformation, p. 62)
But Huss refused to repudiate the doctrines of the scriptures, and for this he was tried by the Catholic Council.
“For the last time, Huss was brought before the council. It was a vast and brilliant assembly,–the emperor, the princes of the empire, the royal deputies, the cardinals, bishops, and priests, and an immense crowd who had come as spectators of the events of the day. From all parts of Christendom had been gathered the witnesses of this first great sacrifice in the long struggle by which liberty of conscience was to be secured.
“Being called upon for his final decision, Huss declared his refusal to abjure, and fixing his penetrating glance upon the monarch whose plighted word had been so shamelessly violated, he declared, `I determined, of my own free will, to appear before this council, under the public protection and faith of the emperor here present.’ A deep flush crimsoned the face of Sigismund as the eyes of all in the assembly turned upon him.
“Sentence having been pronounced, the ceremony of degradation began. The bishops clothed their prisoner in the sacerdotal habit, and as he took the priestly robe, he said, `Our Lord Jesus Christ was covered with a white robe, by way of insult, when Herod had Him conducted before Pilate.’ Being again exhorted to retract, he replied, turning toward the people: `With what face, then, should I behold the heavens? How should I look on those multitudes of men to whom I have preached the pure gospel? No; I esteem their salvation more than this poor body, now appointed unto death.’ The vestments were removed one by one, each bishop pronouncing a curse as he performed his part of the ceremony. Finally `they put on his head a cap or pyramidal-shaped miter of paper, on which  were painted frightful figures of demons, with the `Archheretic’ conspicuous in front. `Most joyfully,’ said Huss, `will I wear this crown of shame for Thy sake, O Jesus, who for me didst wear a crown of thorns.'”
“When he was thus arrayed, `the prelates said, `Now we devote thy soul to the devil.’ `And I,’ said Huss, lifting up his eyes toward heaven, `do commit my spirit into Thy hands, O Lord Jesus, for Thou hast redeemed me.’
“He was now delivered up to the secular authorities, and led away to the place of execution. An immense procession followed, hundreds of men at arms, priests and bishops in their costly robes, and the inhabitants of Constance. When he had been fastened to the stake, and all was ready for the fire to be lighted, the martyr was once more exhorted to save himself by renouncing his errors. `What errors,’ said Huss, `shall I renounce? I know myself guilty of none. I call God to witness that all that I have written and preached has been with the view of rescuing souls from sin and perdition; and, therefore, most joyfully will I confirm with my blood that truth which I have written and preached.’ When the flames kindled about him, he began to sing, `Jesus, Thou Son of David, have mercy on me,’ and so continued till his voice was silenced forever.” (The Great Controversy, by Ellen G. White, p. 122-123)
Thus erring and arrogant men, garbed in the sanctity of religious leadership, compelled others to honor them more than their own Creator.
Jesus cautioned the leaders of His Church that “whosoever will be chief among you, let him be your servant” (Matt. 20:27), but when the proud and vain assume leadership, they compel others to be their servants. Free agency is forfeited when leadership demands servitude. By signing test oaths and vows of obligation, men were forced to place their salvation in the arm of flesh. Men’s faith in God was replaced by a mortal mediator. The power of the Priesthood, which was given to free men from bondage, was now used to enslave them.
But now the work of these few valiant Reformers was about to break the chains of superstition and priestcraft. The Lord led them and guided them in that inspired work. A remarkable prophetic statement was uttered by John Huss  as they were about to burn him at the stake. As the official executioner was about to light the pyre at the feet of the Reformer, he said, “Now we will cook the goose.” (Huss in Bohemian means goose.) “Yes,” replied Huss, “but there will come an eagle in a hundred years that you will not reach.” It was just 100 years later that Martin Luther nailed his 95 Theses on the Wittenburg Chapel door, protesting the abuses of Catholic authority. It was principally through the writings of John Huss that Luther recognized the apostasy which had occurred in the Church. Luther’s comments on the Reformation were simple; he did not believe in the “man worship” that had crept into the leadership of the Church. He wrote:
“In all the affairs of this present life, my fidelity shall be unshaken, for here to lose or to gain is of no consequence to salvation. But when eternal interests are concerned, God wills not that man should submit unto man. For such submission in spiritual matters is a real worship, and ought to be rendered solely to the Creator.” (History of the Reformation, Aubigne, 7:10,11)
He felt that this work of reformation was similar to the labor of the prophets who–
“never came from the upper classes but generally humble, despised individuals, even common herdsmen. The dear Saints, too, always had to preach against sovereigns, kings, princes, priests, and scholars, and risk and lose their necks in doing so. God is wonderful in His ways and judgments. He does not regard great learning and mighty power.” (Road to Reformation, p. 393)
The Church became degenerated from within. Leaders began to proscribe eternal laws as non-essential, or else relative to particular times, specific people, or certain circumstances. Holy principles were replaced with man-made philosophies which were declared as “inspired” or boldly asserted as “the word of God.” Those who claimed to be apostles or prophets, or God’s vicar on earth, were inadvertently disciples of the devil. They became acting agents of Satan in perverting the Gospel. So cunning and so subtle were these influences that in a few decades the doctrines of Christ were classed as evil–and those who were living the Gospel were excommunicated as sinners. The leaders of the Church became the apostates and the true  disciples of Christ were persecuted and cast out by those who should have stood in their defense. Under the pretense of godliness, and robed in the garments of Christ, Church leadership completed the unfinished efforts of Judas. Those who once were the defenders of the Gospel turned to become its oppressors.
It was in this crisis that the reformers took the word of God in the scriptures as a spiritual lamp to lead them out of gross darkness. They sought to distinguish the words of men from the words of God. But a serious problem arose in their mind. Can an individual think or act contrary to the instruction of the head of the Church? By what right can a person pursue a different course of salvation from those who should be authorized to preside over him? Could a member of the Church act contrary to the leader of the Church? Could God sanction a man acting contrary to Church authority? These questions caused the Reformers much serious thought. They arduously studied the word of God in the scriptures for the answers.
First they discovered that “It is better to trust in the Lord than to put confidence in man” (Psalms 118:8), and that “The servant is not greater than his lord; neither he that is sent greater than he that sent him.” (John 13:16) Therefore, “He that entereth not by the door into the sheepfold, but climbeth up some other way, the same is a thief and a robber” (John 10:1), because “the scripture cannot be broken.” (John 10:35)
John Wycliffe, the first of the great reformers in England, made an excellent and concrete observation, which laid a premise for all the other reformers after him. He wrote:
“No faithful man ought to follow either the pope himself or any of the holy men, but in such points as he hath followed the Lord Jesus Christ; for Peter and the sons of Zebedee, by desiring worldly honor, contrary to the following of Christ’s steps, did offend, and therefore in those errors they are not to be followed ….” (Acts and Monuments, by Foxe, Vol. 3:49)
They realized that when the Lord said, “Thou shalt have no other gods before me,” that it was a warning that this should apply to mortal man as much as to gods of wood and stone. Nothing should come between a man and his God.
 Luther’s faith in the scriptures was invincible. His trust was always in the word of God. Consider the following statements of Luther:
“I believe them (Church officials) only insofar as they can prove their teachings from the Scriptures, which have never erred. The fact that so many big fellows are hostile to me and persecute me simply because I rely on the Scriptures alone, does not terrify me; rather does it comfort and encourage me, for again and again the Bible expressly declares that persecutors and enviers are generally wrong while the persecuted are right, and it refers ever and again to the fact that the majority has always supported falsehood while the few have backed up truth.” (Road to Reformation, p. 393)
“I consent with all my heart, that the emperor, the princes, and even the meanest Christian, should examine and judge my works; but on one condition, that they take the word of God for their standard. Do not offer violence to my conscience, which is bound and chained up with the Holy Scriptures.” (History of the Reformation, D’Aubigne 7:10)
“The Word of God is with me, and not with them, for I have the Scriptures on my side while they have only their own teachings. But do I not preach a new doctrine? No. I simply say that true Christianity has ceased to exist among those who should have preserved it–the bishops and scholars.” (Road to Reformation, p. 393)
He declared that the true Church of Christ could exist only “where the Gospel is preached. Where this is not done, the church does not exist, even if baptism and the Lord’s Supper are there and administered in an external proper way.” (Road to Reformation, p. 395)
He also observed that all men were required to conform their lives to the word of God–not the word of God to them. Religious leaders were certainly not an exception but rather they should be more duty-bound to the word of God than anyone. Their lives should conform closer to the commands of God than anyone. Leaders were meant to be an example to God’s Word–not a deviation, from it. These reformers decided that if the shepherds of the flock could  not obtain, or conform, to the word of the Lord, then they could no longer be followed–nor trusted.
John Wessel, one of the notable lights of the Reformation in Germany, saw the continual substitution of the word of man for the word of God. He penned the following remarkable warning:
“The sheep must discern the things on which he feeds, and avoid a corrupted nutriment, even when presented by the shepherd himself. The people should follow the shepherd into the pastures; but when he ceases to lead them into the pastures, he is no longer a shepherd, and then, since he does not fulfil his duty, the flock is not bound to follow him.” (History of the Reformation, D’Aubigne, Vol. I, p. 104)
Then Martin Luther recognized that “the papists prefer the authority of the Church far above God’s Word.”
“But only by gradual stages did Martin Luther come to the full apprehension of the fact that he had precipitated a religious revolution. He was thirty-four when he challenged Tetzel’s sale of indulgences, (95 Theses at Wittenburg) and it was two years later, in his famous debate with the Catholic theologian, John Eck, that he made the definite statement that neither popes nor church councils are infallible.
“Even then, however, he neither desired nor intended to disrupt the ancient church. His convinced hope was that the church in general and the pope in particular, when shown crying evils of ecclesiastical corruption, would correct them.” (Great Voices of the Reformation, p. 68)
Luther defended the scriptures, but condemned the doctrines of the church by doing so–and for this he was condemned by the pope. He was ordered to appear before the church council at Worms.
When Luther arrived at Worms, the city streets were crowded to welcome him. He had proved himself a hero by his defense of the truth against the great powers of the pope and the vast empire of Catholicism. The German people loved a hero and Luther was the hero of the day. As he was about to make his appearance before the great council of the church, General Frunsberg, the outstanding soldier of Germany, put his hand on the shoulder of Luther and  said, “Poor little monk–thou art on thy way to make a stand such as I and many of my knights have never done in our toughest battles!”
The first charge against Luther was for heresy. Luther replied:
“I beseech you by the mercy of God, that whoever can, whether high or low, let him bring forward the proof, let him convince me of errors; let the Scriptures of prophecy and gospels triumph, for I will be wholly ready to revoke every error, if I can be persuasively taught; yes, I will be the first to cast my books into the fire.
“I believe in neither pope nor councils alone; for it is perfectly well established that they have frequently erred, as well as contradicted themselves. Unless then I shall be convinced by the testimony of the Scriptures or by clear reason, I must be bound by those Scriptures which have been brought forward by me; yes, my conscience has been taken captive by these words of God. I cannot revoke anything, nor do I wish to; since to go against one’s conscience is neither safe nor right; here I stand, I cannot do otherwise.” (Road to Reformation, p. 415)
His words rang like a bell through many nations. The reformation had now commenced on a full scale, and this work was inspired by the Lord who was a shield for these men. The one man who could have caused the death of Luther was given a dream that served the purpose of preserving Luther rather than destroying him:
“We step a moment out of the domain of history, to narrate a dream which the Elector Frederick of Saxony had on the night preceding the memorable day on which Luther affixed his “Theses” to the door of the castle-church. The elector told it the next morning to his brother, Duke John, who was then residing with him at his palace of Schweinitz, six leagues from Wittemberg. The dream is recorded by all the chroniclers of the time. Of its truth there is no doubt, however we may interpret it. We cite it here as a compendious and dramatic epitome of the affair of the “Theses,” and the movement which grew out of them.
“On the morning of the 31st October, 1517, the elector said to Duke John, `Brother, I must tell you  a dream which I had last night, and the meaning of which I should like much to know. It is so deeply impressed on my mind, that I will never forget it, were I to live a thousand years. For I dreamed it thrice, and each time with new circumstances.’
“Duke John: `Is it a good or a bad dream?’
“The Elector: `I know not; God knows.’
“Duke John: `Don’t be uneasy at it; but be so good as tell it to me.’
“The Elector: `Having gone to bed last night, fatigued and out of spirits, I fell asleep shortly after my prayer, and slept calmly for about two hours and a half; I then awoke, and continued awake to midnight, all sorts of thoughts passing through my mind. Among other things, I thought how I was to observe the Feast of All Saints. I prayed for the poor souls in purgatory; and supplicated God to guide me, my counsels, and my people according to truth. I again fell asleep, and then dreamed that Almighty God sent me a monk, who was a true son of the Apostle Paul. All the saints accompanied him by order of God, in order to bear testimony before me, and to declare that he did not come to contrive any plot, but that all that he did was according to the will of God. They asked me to have the goodness graciously to permit him to write something on the door of the church of the Castle of Wittemberg. This I granted through my chancellor. Thereupon the monk went to the church, and began to write in such large characters that I could read the writing at Schweinitz. The pen which he used was so large that its end reached as far as Rome, where it pierced the ears of a lion that was crouching there, and caused the triple crown upon the head of the Pope to shake. All the cardinals and princes, running hastily up, tried to prevent it from falling. You and I, brother, wished also to assist, and I stretched out my arm; — but at this moment I awoke, with my arm in the air, quite amazed, and very much enraged at the monk, for not managing his pen better. I recollected myself a little; it was only a dream.
“I was still half asleep, and once more closed my eyes. The dream returned. The lion, still annoyed by the pen, began to roar with all his might, so much so that the whole city of Rome, and all the States of the Holy Empire, ran to see what the matter was. The pope requested them to oppose this monk, and applied particularly to me, on account of his being in my  country. I again awoke, repeated the Lord’s prayer, entreated God to preserve his Holiness, and once more fell asleep.
“Then I dreamed that all the princes of the Empire, and we among them, hastened to Rome, and strove, one after another, to break the pen; but the more we tried the stiffer it became, sounding as if it had been made of iron. We at length desisted. I then asked the monk (for I was sometimes at Rome, and sometimes at Wittemberg) where he got this pen, and why it was so strong. `The pen,’ replied he, `belonged to an old goose of Bohemia, a hundred years old. I got it from one of my old schoolmasters. As to its strength, it is owing to the impossibility of depriving it of its pith or marrow; and I am quite astonished at it myself.’ Suddenly I heard a loud noise–a large number of other pens had sprung out of the long pen of the monk. I awoke a third time; it was daylight.” (The History of Protestantism, I:263,265)
Thus came the Reformation–that liberation of unrighteous coercion of mind and soul. The reformers opened the door to freedom from apostate leadership and uninspired servitude. They paved the way for men to put their trust and faith in God, and to again revere the word of God in the scriptures above that of the “wolves in sheep’s clothing.”
Those faithful reformers established the fertile soil of liberty into which the seed of the Restoration of the Gospel was made possible. Once again liberty of conscience was made secure. Once more God could speak to man.
The Reformation gave birth to the spirit, thought, and desire for a revolution in America. The will to be free from tyranny over the mind or body resulted in a war that obtained national liberty. John Adams wrote, “the Revolution was affected before the war commenced, and was in the minds and hearts of the people.” And when Patrick Henry proclaimed “liberty or death,” it was a single voice expressing the thought of a nation. In this mental climate of political and religious freedom, independence developed into an American Constitution of liberty for all.
Only under such a banner could the Restoration of the Gospel be possible. Although freedom may be protected by national security, the forces of evil can still arise to oppose the truth, oppress the righteous, and subvert the gospel.
It is necessary to briefly review a few of the incidents in Church history depicting Satan’s powers of evil in his war against Christ. It is just as important to know Satan’s power and influence opposing the Gospel, as it is to know the gifts and powers that God bestows to establish and maintain it.
At the beginning of Joseph Smith’s mission, and the start of the Restoration, the adversary was there. The Prophet sought in prayer to learn the truth concerning the churches of the day and he recorded:
“I had scarcely done so, when immediately I was seized upon by some power which entirely overcome me, and had such astonishing influence over me as to bind my tongue so that I could not speak. *** at the very moment when I was ready to sink into despair and abandon myself to destruction–not to an imaginary ruin, but to the power of some actual being from the unseen world,…” (P. of G.P. Joseph Smith 2:15,16)
The Prophet began to encounter spiritual opposition from the unseen world, and physical opposition from people overtaken by this evil force. Joseph commented:
“It seems as though the adversary was aware, at a very early period of my life, that I was destined to prove a disturber and an annoyer of his kingdom;  else why should the powers of darkness combine against me? (P. of G.P., Joseph Smith 2:20)
In fact, the very people who should have been guided by Christ were those who were controlled by the devil. Joseph continued:
“I soon found, however, that my telling the story had excited a great deal of prejudice against me among professors of religion, and was the cause of great persecution, which continued to increase; and though I was an obscure boy, only between fourteen and fifteen years of age, and my circumstances in life such as to make a boy of no consequence in the world, yet men of high standing would take notice sufficient to excite the public mind against me, and create a bitter persecution; and this was common among all sects–ALL UNITED TO PERSECUTE ME.” (P. of G.P., Joseph Smith, 2:22)
The spirit of opposition and persecution became so bitter against him in Harmony, New York, that Joseph was forced to leave and find residence in Fayette. But Lucifer was not content to just make war against the work of God, so he infiltrated his deceptions from within.
“Shortly after Joseph Smith made his home in Fayette, Satan commenced a subtle attack upon the work within the Church. Hiram Page, one of the eight witnesses, obtained a stone with which he was receiving revelations purporting to be for the guidance of the Church; but these revelations were at variance with those given to Joseph Smith and also with the teachings of the Savior and his apostles, as contained in the New Testament. (Essentials in Ch. Hist., p.111)
The Lord revealed to the Prophet that “Satan putteth it into their hearts to anger against you, and to the shedding of blood” (D. & C. 63:28), and that “Satan doth stir up the hearts of the people to contention concerning the points of my doctrine.” (D. & C. 10:63)
Thus, opposition grew as the Restoration grew. With each new doctrine revealed, there came an additional fury of opposition from men and devils.
In April 1833 a mob of about 300 men gathered in Jackson County, Missouri, to attempt the removal of Saints  from their land. In July of 1833, a council of nearly 500 men met to obtain legal or forceful means to expel the Mormons. By November the Saints were lining the banks of the Mississippi as refugees and many died from the attacks of the mobs. Nearly 600 Saints suffered the loss of all their possessions.
Soon a pledge of faith from the lieutenant governor of the state offered them a chance to return to their homes. Their confidence, however, had been misplaced for it was a cunning scheme of this state official, and the mob, to place the Saints in a defenseless position, and then drive them from the country–which they proceeded to do. Eventually nearly 500 Mormons were killed in the State of Missouri.
Added to the Saints’ turmoil from wicked political and religious leaders, there were new deceptions coming from within the Church. After the revelation was given on Church order and organization (Section 42), a woman named Hubble claimed to have received revelations which ran counter to what the Lord had given. She appeared to be very righteous, gifted with the spirit of prophecy, and was a firm proponent that the Book of Mormon was of God. And she succeeded in deceiving some of the Saints.
The Prophet Joseph gave keys by which the Saints could detect a revelation that was from the devil. He said that one of the tests was “by his contradicting a former revelation” which had come from God. (T.P.J.S., p. 214) And again, when people could not detect the difference, he said, “Nothing is a greater injury to the children of men than to be under the influence of a false spirit when they think they have the Spirit of God.” (T.P.J.S., p. 205) Hence, many are the servants of Satan and think they are doing God a service!
The powers of Satan were the most powerfully exhibited within the Church at Kirtland. In 1837 a spirit of speculation, profiting and business took possession of the Saints. The desire for wealth during the brief spell of peace and harmony, had beclouded the minds of most of the Saints and many of their leaders. The Prophet Joseph saw what would be the final result and warned the Saints of such influences. He withdrew from his position in the Kirtland Banking Society and said “no institution of the kind, established upon just and righteous principles for a blessing not only to the Church but to the whole nation, would be suffered to continue its operation in such an age of darkness, speculation and wickedness.”
 But the Prophet’s warning was not heeded, and the Saints as a whole suffered when the banks and financial institutions all over the country collapsed. Bankruptcy caused a moral collapse of those who had become temporal minded. Those who were not spiritually strong succumbed to apostasy.
“As the fruit of this condition, an apostasy followed rapidly, and it seemed, said the Prophet, `as though all the powers of earth and hell were combining their influence in an especial manner to overthrow the Church at once, and make a final end.’ *** Most of this evil which befell the Church might have been avoided if the Prophet’s counsel had been accepted by the Saints. Apostasy developed WITHIN ALL THE COUNCILS OF THE CHURCH, and many of the leading brethren, who previously had been true and faithful, were involved.” (Essentials in Ch. Hist., p. 198)
Meetings were being held in the Kirtland Temple to change some of the doctrines and even change the leadership of the Church.
“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.’
“‘This was a crisis when earth and hell seemed leagued to overthrow the prophet and Church of God. The knees of many of the strongest men in the Church faltered.'” (The Contributor, Vol. X, No. 1, p. 1)
So powerful were the efforts of Satan that Brigham Young had to leave Kirtland to save his life. Heber C. Kimball said there were at this time not 20 elders who would claim Joseph Smith as a true prophet.
Joseph Fielding Smith described how corrupting the devil’s influence had become:
“In this manner the Kirtland Temple, so recently accepted by the Lord, was desecrated and defiled so that it ceased to be a sacred edifice to His holy name.” (Essentials in Ch. Hist., p. 200)
The Prophet Joseph later said, “there have been but two but what have lifted their heel against me–namely Brigham Young and Heber C. Kimball.” (D.H.C. 5:412)
By 1838 Oliver Cowdery, Martin Harris, and David Whitmer, the three witnesses to the Book of Mormon plates and the Angel Moroni, had been put out of the Church. Other witnesses to the gold plates were also out, and so were about half of the apostles. It appeared that Satan always works most persistently with leaders.
In Missouri the Saints were suffering from persecutors. Governor Boggs issued a statement which said:
“The Mormons must be treated as enemies and must be exterminated or driven from the state, if necessary for the public good.”
His sentiments were carried among the people who soon felt the same spirit. The Haun’s Mill episode was a demonstration of human butchery. Mobs continued persecuting the Saints until they had finally been driven from Jackson County, Far West, and Davies County. Houses were burned, cattle driven away or stolen, women were ravished, and nearly all the Saints had been robbed and plundered–many even murdered. Leaders of the Priesthood were faring worse. Major General Samuel Lucas wrote orders to General Doniphan saying:
“You will take Joseph Smith and the other prisoners into the public square of Far West, and shoot them at 9 o’clock tomorrow morning.” (C.H.C. 1:489-90)
Fortunately, the orders were not obeyed, but such was the influence that Satan put into the hearts of men to overthrow the Gospel. The final tally of losses in Missouri was estimated to be $2,000,000, which, of course, did not include their deaths and sufferings.
Missouri was destined to be Zion. It was a land that was to be redeemed by the Saints. The most beautiful temple in the world was to be constructed for the presence of the Lord. Jackson County was the center stake of Zion where the New Jerusalem was to be built and the center of the Kingdom of God–which was to rule all the nations of the world. But the Saints failed. Why? They failed to keep the commandments that God had given them. For example, they were unsuccessful in living the United Order, a law necessary to be lived before Zion could be redeemed. (See D. & C. 105:1-5)
The exodus of the Latter-day Saints from Missouri to Nauvoo, Illinois, was the result of their failure to live the laws of God. Acquiring a mosquito infested swampland, they intended to re-establish their faith in the Gospel. They needed to start afresh. They needed a community that could be self-protecting and self-governing, so that they could live worthy of gaining temporal and spiritual strength to redeem Zion. But Satan had other plans for them. Again he would cause opposition from the gentiles against the Church, and division and rebellion from within.
The Saints never acquired sufficient worthiness to live the United Order in Illinois either–so they were not permitted to return to Missouri, the center stake of Zion.
The Lord, however, did add further revelations for the Saints to live; but instead of these revelations being a blessing for the Saints, they proved to be a curse to a great many of them. The spirit of the adversary caused rebellion and made traitors out of many of the leading elders of the Church. The revelation on plural marriage was not given to the general membership of the Church at this time because they were not prepared to receive it. However, it was read to the leaders in a special council meeting in the temple:
“Brother Hyrum was called upon to read the revelation. He did so, and after the reading said, `Now you that believe this revelation and go forth and obey the same shall be saved, and you that reject it shall be damned.’
“We saw this prediction verified in less than one week. Of the Presidency of the Stake, Wm. Marks and Father Cowles rejected the revelation; of the Council that were present Leonard Soby rejected it. From that time forward there was a very strong division in the High Council. These three men greatly diminished in spirit day after day, so that there was a great difference in the line of their conduct, which was perceivable to every member that kept the faith.
“***After this the Prophet’s life was constantly in danger.” (Hist. Rec. 6:227)
The Prophet had warned the Saints that “the moment we revolt at anything which comes from God, the devil takes power.” (T.P.J.S., p. 181) Many Saints rebelled against this revelation and the result was apostasy.
Again the Prophet explained one of the causes for men to become traitors to the gospel:
“Many men will say, `I will never forsake you, but will stand by you at all times.’ But the moment you teach them some of the mysteries of the kingdom of God that are retained in the heavens and are to be revealed to the children of men when they are prepared for them they will be the first to stone you and put you to death. It was this same principle that crucified the Lord Jesus Christ, and will cause the people to kill the prophets in this generation.” (T.P.J.S., p. 309)
Some of the men who were the closest to the Prophet Joseph became his worst enemies.
“It was not so much from Missouri and among the mobocrats of Illinois, that the Prophet had cause to fear, but from traitors within the councils of the Church. In the highest quorums, men were found who secretly plotted against his life.” (Ecc. Hist. of Church, p. 360)
Over 200 men participated in a special meeting to overthrow the Prophet Joseph and the doctrines he taught. These men thought they were doing God a service and they  made a covenant on a Bible, swearing to God that they would overthrow Joseph and the doctrines he was teaching. Two young boys were witnesses to these events:
“The boys sat gazing upon this scene, wondering how intelligent beings who had once enjoyed the light of truth [in the council of the twelve] could have fallen into such depths of wickedness as robe anxious to take such an oath against the Prophet of God and his faithful followers.” (Contributor V, see pp. 251-260)
Satan was about to accomplish the death of Joseph and Hyrum and cause a split in the Quorum of the Twelve. Joseph, reflecting upon this rebellion and apostasy, said:
“This generation is as corrupt as the generation of the Jews that crucified Christ; and if he were here to-day, and should preach the same doctrine He did then, they would put Him to death.” (T.P.J.S., p. 328)
Joseph explained that the doctrines of Christ are the reason for opposition. He continued…
“It is thought by some that our enemies would be satisfied by my destruction; but I tell you as soon as they have shed my blood they will thirst for the blood of every man in whose heart dwells a single spark of the spirit of the fullness of the Gospel. The opposition of these men is moved by the spirit of the adversary of all righteousness. It is not only to destroy me, but every man and woman who dares believe the doctrine that God hath inspired me to teach to this generation.” (D.H.C. VI:498)
Opposition continued just as Joseph prophecied it would. The Mormons were now required to make another exodus. Lucifer’s mobs drove the Saints from their homes in the dead of winter. Another temple was desecrated and destroyed. In the territory out west the Saints would be free from devil-inspired mobs. But it is interesting to note that when they were out of the reach of mobs, then came opposition from the Government. Government officials suddenly became moved upon to fight against the Mormons.
Washington officials demanded 500 able-bodied men to fight in the war with Mexico. The Saints were destitute, homeless, and expelled from the United States, yet in this condition, several senators said that if the Mormons did not respond, then the U.S. Army should be sent out to destroy them.
President Buchanan appointed or directed an army to be sent to Utah to suppress the Mormons. The latter prepared defenses and rather than submit to such tyrannical rule and despotism, they would destroy their homes and orchards and flee to the mountains. They would not renounce their faith. At no time in the history of the Church did the Saints display greater courage and wiser judgment on this occasion. This was perhaps the shining hour of Mormonism.
Differences were finally clarified, but it did not change the attitude of the Government. Instead of offering the Mormons statehood, they passed an “anti-bigamy law.” It was signed by Pres. Abraham Lincoln on July 8, 1862. It defined plural marriage as bigamy and punishable by a fine of $500 and five years in prison. Another feature of the law was that it prohibited religious bodies in territories to hold real estate valuing over $50,000.
A bill was presented to Congress known as the Wade Bill. It was instigated for the purpose of destroying the local Mormon Government in the Territory and making all government there federal government.
The Gragin Bill was similar to the Wade Bill but was more drastic. This would give the governor the sole power to appoint all local officers in the Territory. Juries were to be selected by a Federal Marshal. Any Mormon caught “solemnizing” a marriage would be guilty of a criminal act. The Governor was to be trustee-in-trust, or the financial director of the Church–even though he was not a member.
 At this time Brigham Young was arrested for “lewd and lascivious cohabitation.” His bail was set at $5,000.
Congress passed the Poland Bill which curtailed the civil and political rights of the Mormon people. By now the Saints were beginning to show signs of weakening rather than gaining strength. In President Heber C. Kimball’s last public address, he told the Saints:
“I have not one word of reflection to make against you, yet you are living at a poor dying rate.” (J.D. 12:190)
Then in the last public address of Pres. Brigham Young, he told the Saints:
“And with regard to the conduct of this people–if an angel should come here and speak his feelings as plainly as I do, I think he would say, `O, Latter-day Saints! why don’t you see, why don’t you open your eyes and behold the great work resting upon you and that you have entered into? You are blind, you are stupid, you are in the dark, in the mist and fog, wandering to and fro like a boat upon the water without sail, rudder or oar; and you know not whither you are going.” (J.D. 19:93-94)
The Edmunds Law amended the 1862 anti-bigamy law. The penalty was a $500 fine with 5 years in prison. It deprived any polygamist of his right to vote, to hold a political office or any employment of public trust or with the government. All Mormon Government was abolished and all political and public offices were held by gentiles.
Test oaths were issued to force the Mormon people into subjection and to reshape their minds and beliefs.
This was a time referred to as the Crusades. The devil was running rampant, just as he did in the Dark Ages.
Children were forced to testify against their parents under duress of punishment. Improper and indecent questions were applied in courts. Spies and snoops were employed or coerced to gather evidence against the polygamists.
 This was a time of severe test and trial for the Saints. Pres. John Taylor made a prophecy concerning the future by saying:
“There are events in the future and not very far ahead, that will require all our faith, all our energy, all our confidence, all our trust in God, to enable us to withstand the influences that will be brought to bear against us.
“We cannot trust in our intelligence; we cannot trust in wealth; we cannot trust to any surrounding circumstances with which we are enveloped; we must trust alone in the living God to guide us, to direct us, to lead us, to teach us and to instruct us.” (Ecc. Hist. of Church, p. 588)
But these were times that proved the mettle of the Saints–both individually and the Church as a whole. Some men were valiant and faithful; others bent over backwards to cooperate with the Government by informing on other Mormons. Hundreds of polygamist homes were broken as parents were sent to jail and their children scattered.
At the trial of Rudger Clawson in 1884, he testified:
“Your honor,… I very much regret that the laws of my country should come in contact [conflict] with the laws of God, but whenever they do I shall invariably choose the latter. If I did not so express myself I should feel unworthy of the cause I represent.” (Whitney’s History of Utah, pp. 317-318)
He spent three years in prison.
Elder Clawson was not trying to abandon his faith with an excuse that when the laws of the land conflict with the laws of God we must “honor and obey the laws of the land” as many did and still do. Many women were willing to go to jail for contempt because they would not testify against their husbands. It was under such stress that the majority of the Saints were gradually abandoning their doctrines and principles. President John Taylor explained:
“We are getting into such a condition that if we were to meet the Lord, we could not look him in the  face, and the way we are going it will soon be impossible to tell what we do believe.” (John Taylor, Des. News, Mar. 1889)
It was because of these conditions prevailing within Church, and those forces in opposition to it, that President Taylor appointed and ordained men to continue the practice of plural marriage. He saw that the Church as a body would soon abandon that principle. Only a small percentage were living it, and only a few would keep it alive.
In March of 1887 another bill was passed which supplemented the Edmunds Law. It was called the Edmunds-Tucker Law, resulting in the disincorporation of the Church. Now the Church was required to pay to the Government $2400 a year rent for the Historian’s Office and the Tithing Office. The temple block was rented from the gentiles. It also dissolved the Perpetual Emigration Fund. Female Sufferage was also abolished.
Persecution and prosecution developed weaknesses in the leadership of the Church. Friction and division began to occur, just as it did in the days of the Prophet Joseph Smith–and over the same doctrines. Ill feelings and division continued to increase among the apostles and presidency of the Church and was recorded by Church secretary, L. John Nuttall in his journal:
“Thurs. Oct. 6, 1887 ….The Council of Apostles met at 7 o’clock at the Presidents office. I met with them. The ill feelings among some of the quorum was spoken of by President Woodruff very forceably. I never attended such a meeting.
“Fri. Oct. 5, 1888. President Woodruff and J. F. Smith attended a meeting at the Historian’s office this evening at which the Apostles and attorneys F. S. Richards, LeGrand Young, Sheeks and Rawlins and Broadhead were present on the business of the Church suits ….I was sorry to hear of the dissatisfied course pursued by Elder Moses Thatcher and apparent disunion in the council, which I have noticed on several occasions, both before I went east and since my return. I went to bed having fears in my own mind, as to his integrity for the welfare of the Church and kingdom,  in that financial matters have more weight with him and Brother Heber J. Grant than the things of the Kingdom.”
“Wed. Feb. 27, 1889. The council of Apostles met at the presidents office at 10 a.m ….I was not at all satisfied with the spirit manifest at the meeting. Bros. Thatcher and Grant seem to want the church conducted on a money bases. While returning to the Gardo house President Woodruff said to me, he would about as soon attend a funeral as one of our council meetings.”
During this time of conflict between the Government and the Church, and among men in the councils of the Church the Lord saw the necessity of revealing a course for the leaders of the Church to pursue:
“Let not my servants who are called to the Presidency of my Church deny my word or my law, which concerns the salvation of the children of men. *** Place not yourselves in jeopardy to your enemies by promise. *** Let my servants who officiate as your counselors before the courts make their pleadings as they are moved upon by the Holy Spirit, without any further pledges from my Priesthood.” (Revelation given to Wilford Woodruff, Nov. 24, 1889)
At this crucial moment in history, the political compromisers outnumbered the spiritual disciplinarians. Temporal interests outweighed spiritual values. The fainthearted compromisers would soon abandon the counsel of this revelation, and other former revelations.
Other bills were introduced to Congress, some of which proposed to take away all Church and private property. Under pressure from the Government, and the will of the majority of the Saints, Pres. Woodruff said: “I have arrived at a point in the history of my life as President of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints where I am under the necessity of acting for the temporal salvation of the Church.” A few Saints considered the sacrifice of spiritual principles for temporal salvation a poor barter.
 By abandoning certain principles of the Gospel, the Saints could now gain the friendship of the world.
“The General Conference in October  sustained the Manifesto and thus withdrew sanction from the further solemnizing of plural marriages in the Mormon Church. A change of feeling ensued. Mormons and non-Mormons, in Utah and elsewhere, became more friendly with each other.” (Encyclopedia Britannica, 1936, Vol. 15, p. 810)
During the 1890’s, instead of persecution, the gentiles offered the Saint statehood. Escheated property was returned. Peace and brotherhood came from all former political and religious antagonists because they were now sharing similar beliefs. The L.D.S. Choir attended the New York World’s Fair and was hailed by the gentiles with second-place honors. The merging of customs, traditions, laws and employment began a major transition for the Church. It was the beginning of a continuous change of attitude and doctrine which still continues. But for a few unyielding men of Mormonism it was a sad, if not backward course for the Saints. Some pointed to a prophecy of Joseph Smith which said:
“The enemies of this people will never get weary of their persecution against the Church, until they are overcome.” (T.P.J.S., p. 259)
This prophecy indicated that one or the other would have to be overcome before persecution stopped; but it didn’t say which. The Prophet also warned the Saints about positions of Church leadership:
“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 who come in under your ministry because of their much learning, they will seek for high positions and they will be set up and raise themselves to eminence above, but you will walk in the low places unnoticed. And you will know of all that transpired in their midst and these that are your friends will be my friends.” (Our Pioneer Heritage, 6:358-9; Kartchner Records)
At another time prior to the death of the Prophet he indicated that some aspirants would gain leadership positions:
“The government will not receive you with the laws that God designed you to live, and those who are desirous to live the laws of God will have to go South. You will live to see men arise in power in the Church who will seek to put down your friends and the friends of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. Many will be hoisted because of their money and the worldly learning which they seem to be in possession of; and many who are the true followers of our Lord and Savior will be cast down….” (Joseph Smith, Mosiah Hancock Journal, p. 19)
There were a few unyielding Saints who refused to relinquish the doctrines revealed to the Prophet Joseph Smith. Because these tenacious souls would not compromise, they continued to suffer. The Mormon monogamists turned against the Mormon polygamists. Previously the polygamists would not allow monogamists into the leading positions of the Church. (See page 95 of this publication.) Now the monogamists would not allow the polygamists into leadership positions. The once exalting principle of plural marriage was now condemned as a heinous sin. That law of “exaltation” was reverted to a “crime” worthy of excommunication. Men once lived plural marriage to be worthy of leadership positions; now they were thrown out because of it.
“Satan is constantly seeking to deceive men, and lead them to call sin righteousness, and righteousness sin. How successful has been his work! How often censure and reproach are cast upon God’s faithful servants because they will stand fearlessly in defense of the truth! Men who are but agents of Satan are praised and flattered, and even looked upon as martyrs, while those who should be respected and sustained for their fidelity to God, are left to stand alone, under suspicion and distrust.” (The Great Controversy, p. 221)
Apostle John W. Taylor set a new precedent for the “true believers.” In 1906 he and Matthias Cowley were selected to be dropped from the Quorum of Twelve. It was a political expediency to appease the Government’s antagonism against polygamists. According to Cowley’s journal, they were honorably called to this “mission” of resignation to satisfy government pressure. After things “cooled down,” they were told they would be reinstated into the Quorum again. But the monogamists soon regarded their “mission” as a transgression, and by 1911 Apostle John W. Taylor was excommunicated from the Church for living plural marriage.
 This was a period of transition for the Church. A revision of both Church doctrine and policy occurred. Old doctrines were considered false and the new programs were hailed as revelations. Revisions and reversions were made.
Sin and transgression should be the only grounds for excommunication. But now the spiritual tables were turned. People were being excommunicated for obeying the laws of God! Bishop Heber Bennion wrote:
“When men are cut off the Church for wickedness, they become reprobate and go from bad to worse, but when cut off without good cause the Lord will not forsake them. Nothing but our own sins can cut us off; or come between us and the Lord. The Priesthood has no power in unrighteousness.” (Gospel Problems, p.45)
Many of the men who bore the Priesthood began to oppose the laws of the Priesthood. These men in leadership positions had previously made covenants to defend God’s laws with their lives–but were now rejecting those laws!
Thus came a transition of Church doctrine–and a transition of authority. For where the laws of the Priesthood are not, neither will there be the keys of Priesthood. The principles, doctrines and covenants of God were forced to retreat into the underground. Conditions became much the same as they were in the days of the Prophet Joseph. If the majority of the Church members will not live the gospel, then God will seek others who will. Simply because men receive or give endowments does not prove they will remain faithful to them. President Brigham Young said:
“Giving endowments to a great many proves their overthrow, through revealing things to them which they cannot keep.” (J.D. 4:372)
And Heber C. Kimball added:
“We receive the Priesthood and power and authority. If we make a bad use of that Priesthood, do you not see that the day will come when God will reckon with us, and he will take it from us and give it to those who will make better use of it.” (J.D. 6:125)
Priesthood authority was given to administer ordinances, but in the hands of worldly men it is used to change the ordinances. Daniel said they think their priesthood  gives them right and power “to change times and laws.” (Dan. 7:25)
When one worldly innovation is made, then it becomes easier to justify another. As one error creeps in, it invites others, until a multitude of fabrications replace the truth. The result is spiritual paralysis.
The scriptures were written to be used as a guide–thus helping men avoid error. They will easily expose world-loving churchmen from the true disciples of Jesus. They are a yardstick to judge the words of men or devils.
The first cardinal sin of religious leaders is to trust each other rather than the scriptures. Worldly wisdom and human learning usually always replace the word of God–thus the blind lead the blind.
But there is another even more serious sin–not believing in the revelations of God. Pres. Brigham Young…
“told the people that if they would not believe the revelations that God had given he would suffer the devil to give revelations that they–priests and people–would follow after.
“Have I seen this fulfilled? I have. I told the people that as true as God lived, if they would not have truth they would have error sent unto them, and they would believe it.” (Des. News, June 18, 1875)
Deception is a replacement for truth. Those who reject God’s revelations will be controlled by the revelations of the devil. Thus, many reject the truth to gain the favor of the world, but in so doing they lose favor with God.
“But truth is no more desired by the majority to-day than it was by the papists who opposed Luther. There is the same disposition to accept the theories and traditions of men instead of the word of God as in former ages. Those who present the truth for this time should not expect to be received with greater favor than were earlier reformers. The great controversy between truth and error, between Christ and Satan, is to increase in intensity to the close of this world’s history.
“And on the other hand our Lord declared plainly: `Woe unto you, when all men shall speak well of  you! for so did their fathers to the false prophets.’ The spirit of the world is no more in harmony with the spirit of Christ today than in earlier times; and those who preach the word of God in its purity will be received with no greater favor now than then. The forms of opposition to the truth may change, the enmity may be less open because it is more subtle; but the same antagonism still exists, and will be manifested to the end of time.” (The Great Controversy, Ellen G. White, p. 165)
It is remarkable to note the transformation of Church policy within one century. Consider a few of these reversals:
- Once the Saints were willing to burn their homes and orchards and seek hiding places in the mountains rather than submit to government tyranny. Now they will sacrifice any principle, doctrine or ordinance to comply with any “law of the land.” President Wilford Woodruff once said, “This government is steeped in sin and ripened for the damnation of hell.” Now, Mormonism believes it a religious duty to “honor and obey” and be subservient to a government which has become much worse.
- Formerly the Government passed bills and laws against the doctrines and teachings of Joseph Smith and Brigham Young. Today there are many Mormon lawyers who have proposed similar bills and laws. Mormons made obedience to some principles a felony in Utah.
- Ministers of the “abominable” churches have used arguments, references, and quotations against the doctrines of early Mormonism. Now the leading Mormon theologians and professors of religion are using the same materials against these early Mormon doctrines.
- Leaders of the Church once pounded the pulpit and proclaimed that everyone but polygamists would be damned. Now the leaders pound the pulpit and shout damnation for the polygamists.
- The government once deputized informers, sneaks, and snoops to spy out information to be used against believers in Mormonism. Now the Church leaders deputize bishoprics, stake presidencies, and any other members to gather license plate numbers, names and witnesses that can be used against the believers of early Church doctrine.
 F. The early antagonists of Mormonism spewed out their venom against polygamy by calling it “evil,” an “abomination,” and “adultery,” in newspapers: such as the Warsaw Signal, the Nauvoo Expositor, and the Salt Lake Tribune. Now the Deseret News says the same thing.
- Plural marriage was once a doctrinal law of God and His Church; now it is classed as a sin next to murder. Joseph, Hyrum, and many others died for living it; now the leaders would rather die than live it.
- Today many leading authorities of the Church say they are speaking for God, but they teach the ways of the world. They wear the garment of the Priesthood (or some unreasonable facsimile), but they oppose the laws of the Priesthood. They claim their words are infallible, while they change the infallible words of God. Many preside in spiritual calling, but they lack any spiritual gifts. Instead of going out into the world, proclaiming the Gospel to the nations and gathering Israel to the mountains, they stay in the mountains tending business enterprises, and tell the Saints to stay scattered in the world. How can all of these rejections of God’s revelations be called “the way of the Master?” Oh, consistency!
When Luther was asked why he spoke so harshly against the Papacy, he replied, “It takes strong medicine to cure a strong sickness.” Mormonism today needs strong medicine!
Evidence stands to confirm that there is a difference in the Gospel of today from that which was restored to the Prophet Joseph Smith. But there is not only a difference in doctrines but also in societies they produce. A hundred years ago many towns in Utah had only one man as a policeman–and even he would spend his time at farming. The problems of crime were almost nill. Mormon society was industrious, morally clean, and religiously faithful.
But what have been the results over the past 100 years since we have made all the compromises, revisions, and substitutions? The results show that crime in Salt Lake City is comparable to that of any other city in the United States. Divorce has nearly equalled that of the world. Corruption, dope, whoredom and speculation have become our major problems. LDS youth are being lost to worldly standards. Our people are being shifted all over Babylon and being taught that God wants their families scattered. Our hospitals, mental institutions and prisons are being overcrowded, while 70% of Church members are inactive!
 How many broken homes and broken hearts would now prefer to go back a hundred years and live among those faithful Saints of yesterday? They would like to avoid the mass of spiritual pitfalls and sinful mire that surround our people today. Many are discouraged with this multitude of doctrinal changes in the Church because it has made us one with Babylon. But we cannot turn back the pages of a century. Nevertheless, we can teach again those principles that made that society what it was!
As discouraging as the spiritual progress of Mormonism has been, there was one bright spot. It occurred in September of 1856. This was the beginning of the Mormon “Reformation.” Everyone in the Church was re-baptized and covenanted to reform their lives to the Gospel as it had been revealed. Church historian B. H. Roberts commented on this by saying: “The `Reformation’ was doubtless a much needed moral and spiritual awakening.” (C.H.C. 4:119)
This “Reformation” occurred only months before Johnson’s Army came to Utah. The Saints at that time displayed courage, wisdom and faithfulness such as they had never done before or after. We need that same determination today. We need another “Reformation!”
“There must be a reformation. There will be a reformation among this people, for God will not cast off this kingdom and this people, but he will plead with the stronger ones of Zion, he will plead with this people, he will plead with those in high places, he will plead with the priesthood of this church, until Zion shall become clean before him. I do not know but that it would be an utter impossibility to commence and carry out some principles pertaining to Zion right in the midst of this people. They have strayed so far that to get a people who would conform to heavenly laws it may be needful to lead some from the midst of this people and commence anew some where in the regions round about in these mountains.” (Orson Pratt, J.D. 15:360)
Everyone in the Church today should be filled with that faith and spirit of reforming their lives to obey the Gospel as the Lord gave it. If leaders refuse to reform, then the members should follow the course proscribed by Pres. Brigham Young:
“I want you to have faith enough concerning myself and my counsellors for the Lord to remove us out of the way, if we do not magnify our calling, and put men in our places that will do right.” (J.D. 9:142)
But too often modern Mormons are shocked at any intimation that all is not well in Zion. They will protest any thought of a power or influence other than God’s in leadership positions. But there is a reason and a purpose why God will allow deceptions to infiltrate into every organization. The scriptures say that “…for this cause God shall send them strong delusion, that they should believe a lie; that they all might be damned who believed not the truth….” (2 Thes. 2:11-12)
So, all those honorable Saints who have put their trust in the arm of flesh, thus being deceived, shall be welcomed into the Terrestrial Kingdom. (D. & C. 76:75-79)
The gates of the Celestial Kingdom are not reached by a mass exodus of people blindly following someone they have hailed as a “prophet.” Salvation and eternal life are the rewards of individual accomplishment. “Therefore, let every man stand or fall, by himself, and not for another; or not trusting another.” (Insp. Vers., Mark 9:44) Everyone shall be rewarded according to his own faith and works!
And there are still a few valiant uncompromising men filled with enough integrity to keep alive the holy principles of the Gospel. They will not follow any “new prophet” if it means rejection of Joseph’s revelations. To these men shall fall the honor and responsibility of saving the Priesthood and its principles from the work of the compromisers. These faithful few shall redeem Zion, reestablish God’s kingdom on the earth, and usher in the Millennial reign of Christ.
* * * * *
* * *
 ADDENDUM 1990 Edition
Since the initial publication of this book, the LDS Church has continued to make further changes in the eternal and “unchangeable” laws and ordinances of the Gospel. It is a paradox of religion that we contend against Catholicism for their apostasy because of changes they made in the Gospel; yet the claim is made that under Mormonism, similar changes can be made with divine approval.
The Gospel may be added to by the addition of new light and understanding, but the moment we delete, change or oppose those principles, we lose that light. Herein lies the necessary obligation that every man must receive his own confirmation of the truth, for where there is a controversy, one must make a choice, and his eternal destiny may depend on his decisions and choices.
The following three additional major changes, among others of somewhat lesser importance, have been made in the past few years. The format is the same as the 95 presented in the rest of this book–quoting first from scripture, then early LDS leaders, and comparing this consistent doctrinal position with present-day teachings.
NEGRO AND THE PRIESTHOOD (1978)
Now, Pharaoh being of that lineage by which he could not have the right of Priesthood, notwithstanding the Pharaohs would fain claim it from Noah, through Ham, therefore my father was led away by their idolatry. (P of GP, Abraham 1:27)
Since Ham was a son of Noah, it is quite definite that he did not have a black skin and was not a descendant of Cain. But the scripture seems to indicate that the wife of Ham was a descendant of Cain and through her the curses were preserved (verses 21-25). Her name was Egyptus, `which signifies that which is forbidden.’ Also, her daughter was known by the name of Egyptus, and Pharaoh was her grandson. He and his descendants could not hold the Priesthood (verses 21, 25-27). (P of GP Commentary, Milton R. Hunter, p. 141)
I referred to the curse of Ham for laughing at Noah, while in his wine, but doing no harm. Noah was a righteous man, and yet he drank wine and became intoxicated; the Lord did not forsake him in consequence thereof, for he retained all the power of his priesthood, and when he was accused by Canaan, he cursed him by the priesthood which he held, and the Lord had respect to his word, and the priesthood which he held, notwithstanding he was drunk, and the curse remains upon the posterity of Canaan until the present day. (Joseph Smith, D.H.C. 4:445-446)
(Abraham Smoot inquiring of Joseph Smith) What should be done with the Negroes in the South as I was preaching to them? <Joseph> said I could baptize them by the consent of their masters, but not to confer the Priesthood upon them. (L. John Nuttall Jrnl., May 31, 1879)
Shall I tell you the law of God in regard to the African race? If the white man who belongs to the chosen seed mixes his blood with the seed of Cain, the penalty, under the law of God, is death on the spot. This will always be so. (Brigham Young, JD 10:110)
 When all the rest of the children have received their blessings in the Holy Priesthood, then that curse will be removed from the seed of Cain. (Brigham Young, JD 11:272)
. . . suppose we summons them (LDS Church leaders) to appear here, and here declare that it is right to mingle our seed, with the black race of Cain, that they shall come in with us and be partakers with us of all the blessings God has given to us. On that very day and hour we should do so, the priesthood is taken from this Church and kingdom and God leaves us to our fate. The moment we consent to mingle with the seed of Cain the Church must go to destruction–we should receive the curse which has been placed upon the seed of Cain, and never more be numbered with the children of Adam who are heirs to the priesthood until that curse be removed. (Brigham Young, 1854 State Legislature talk)
Negroes in this life are denied the priesthood; under no circumstances can they hold this delegation of authority from the Almighty. (Bruce R. McConkie, Mormon Doctrine, p. 527)
LDS Church Extends Priesthood to all Worthy Male Members
. . . all worthy male members of the church may be ordained to the priesthood without regard for race or color. (Des. News, June 9, 1978, p. 1)
ABOLISHMENT OF THE SEVENTIES (1986)
And the Lord said unto Moses, Gather unto me seventy men of the elders of Israel, whom thou knowest to be the elders of the people, and officers over them; and bring them unto the tabernacle of the congregation, that they may stand there with thee. And I will come down and talk with thee there: and I will take of the spirit which is upon thee, and will put it upon them; and they shall bear the burden of the people with thee, that thou bear it not thyself alone. (Num. 11:16-17)
And the seventy returned again with joy, saying, Lord, even the devils are subject unto us through thy name. (Luke 10:17)
The Seventy are also called to preach the gospel, and to be especial witnesses unto the Gentiles and in all the world–thus differing from other officers in the church in the duties of their calling. And they form a quorum, equal in authority to that of the Twelve special witnesses or Apostles…. (D. & C. 107:25-26)
On the 28th of February (1835), the Church in council assembled, commenced selecting certain individuals to be Seventies, … to begin the organization of the first quorum of Seventies, according to the visions and revelations which I have received. The Seventies are to constitute traveling quorums, to go into all the earth, whithersoever the Twelve Apostles shall call them. (D.H.C. 2:202)
One of the ordained offices in the Melchizedek Priesthood is that of a Seventy. (Mormon Doctrine, Bruce R. McConkie, p. 707)
Today . . . .
The office of the Seventy has been discontinued, the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints announced Saturday. * * * A missionary-minded elder or high priest will be called as the stake mission president with his counselors being selected from among the elders or high priests. (SLC Tribune, p. 6A, Oct. 5, 1986)
TEMPLE ENDOWMENT CEREMONY (1990)
The earth also is defiled under the inhabitants thereof; because they have transgressed the laws, changed the ordinance, broken the everlasting covenant. (Isaiah 24:5)*
The order of the house of God has been, and ever will be, the same, even after Christ comes; and after the termination of the thousand years it will be the same; . . . (Joseph Smith, T.P.J.S., p. 91)
It signifies, then, that the ordinances must be kept in the very way God has appointed; otherwise their Priesthood will prove a cursing instead of a blessing. (T.P.J.S., p. 169)
Now taking it for granted that the scriptures say what they mean, and mean what they say, we have sufficient grounds to go on and prove from the Bible that the gospel has always been the same; the ordinances to fulfill its requirements, the same, and the officers to officiate, the same; and the signs and fruits resulting from the promises, the same; . . . (T.P.J.S., p. 264)
Ordinances instituted in the heavens before the foundation of the world, in the priesthood, for the salvation of men, are not to be altered or changed. All must be saved on the same principles. (T.P.J.S., p. 308)
The g(rand) key word was the first word Adam spoke and is a word of supplication. He (Joseph) found the word by the Urim & Thummim–it is that key word to which the heavens is (sic) opened. (William Clayton Journal, June 15, 1844) **
The Church was undergoing internal deterioration, and was in a state of increasing perversion. Among the more detailed or specific causes of this ever widening departure from the spirit of the gospel of Christ, this  rapidly growing apostasy, the following may be considered as important examples: * * * (2) Unauthorized additions to the ceremonies of the Church, and the introduction of vital changes in essential ordinances. (James E. Talmage, The Great Apostasy, paperback 2nd ed., p. 71)
No jot, iota, or tittle of the temple rites is otherwise than uplifting and sanctifying. In every detail the endowment ceremony contributes to covenants of morality of life, consecration of person to high ideals, devotion to truth, patriotism to nation, and allegiance to God. (James E. Talmage, The House of the Lord (1962), p. 100.
Because of (1) the Church leaders’ desire to increase the diminishing temple attendance, (2) persistent claims of “offensiveness” in parts of the ceremony, and (3) pressures by the feminist element in the Church–many changes were made in the endowment ceremony, and the following excerpt appeared in an article printed nearly three weeks after the changes took effect in all LDS temples on April 10, 1990:
“LDS Leaders Revise Temple Endowment
Sacred ceremonies for the living and dead, performed by faithful Mormons within the walls of the church’s temples have undergone what some view as their most significant changes this century.” (S.L. Tribune, April 29, 1990, p. 2B)
*Joseph Fielding Smith said that it is the Latter-day Saints who “have transgressed the laws, changed the ordinances, and broken the everlasting covenant,” because they were the only ones that had them to begin with. (See Des. News, Church Section, Oct. 17, 1936.)
** A change was just made in the vocal expression of this name.