Friday, January 23, 2015

Take upon you the name of Christ. Not, "the name of Jesus Christ."

I never noticed this until recently, but nowhere in scripture (with one exception which I'll get to) does it say "take upon you the name of Jesus Christ".  It always says take upon you "the name of Christ". The one scripture in D&C 20 that does say Jesus Christ originally just said Christ and the name of Jesus was later added in.  

Why is that?  Does this lead to a different understanding of the phrase?
Christ = "Anointed."  
If we take upon ourselves that name, what does that imply?  
Do we become anointed?  By whom?
Or is it familial?  Like taking upon us His last name?  Do we take upon ourselves the name of Christ when we're begotten of Him and He declares us to be His son or daughter?

2 Nephi 31 says that we show we're WILLING to take upon us the name of Christ by being baptized.  
Then Moroni 6 says that only those who had already taken upon them the name of Christ were baptized.

Mosiah 5 and 6 connect receiving a covenant with taking the name of Christ.

So is this just getting too nitpicky?  There seems to be a lot of ambiguity and I really want to understand this concept. 

Then in the Sacrament prayer we show that we're WILLING to take upon us the name of His "Son."  

These are all the scriptures I could find that talk about taking the name of Christ upon us:
Mosiah 6:2
2 And it came to pass that there was not one soul, except it were little children, but who had entered into the covenant and had taken upon them the name of Christ.

Alma 1:19
19 But it came to pass that whosoever did not belong to the church of God began to persecute those that did belong to the church of God, and had taken upon them the name of Christ.

Doctrine and Covenants 18:21
21 Take upon you the name of Christ, and speak the truth in soberness.

3 Nephi 27:5
5 Have they not read the scriptures, which say ye must take upon you the name of Christ, which is my name? For by this name shall ye be called at the last day;

Alma 46:15
15 And those who did belong to the church were faithful; yea, all those who were true believers in Christ took upon them, gladly, the name of Christ, or Christians as they were called, because of their belief in Christ who should come.

Mosiah 5:10
10 And now it shall come to pass, that whosoever shall not take upon him the name of Christ must be called by some other name; therefore, he findeth himself on the left hand of God.

Alma 46:18
18 And he said: Surely God shall not suffer that we, who are despised because we take upon us the name of Christ, shall be trodden down and destroyed, until we bring it upon us by our own transgressions.

Mosiah 25:23
23 And now there were seven churches in the land of Zarahemla. And it came to pass that whosoever were desirous to take upon them the name of Christ, or of God, they did join the churches of God;

Mormon 8:38
38 O ye pollutions, ye hypocrites, ye teachers, who sell yourselves for that which will canker, why have ye polluted the holy church of God? Why are ye ashamed to take upon you the name of Christ? Why do ye not think that greater is the value of an endless happiness than that misery which never dies—because of the praise of the world?

Mosiah 5:8
8 And under this head ye are made free, and there is no other head whereby ye can be made free. There is no other name given whereby salvation cometh; therefore, I would that ye should take upon you the name of Christ, all you that have entered into the covenant with God that ye should be obedient unto the end of your lives.

Alma 46:21
21 And it came to pass that when Moroni had proclaimed these words, behold, the people came running together with their armor girded about their loins, rending their garments in token, or as a covenant, that they would not forsake the Lord their God; or, in other words, if they should transgress the commandments of God, or fall into transgression, and be ashamed to take upon them the name of Christ, the Lord should rend them even as they had rent their garments.

2 Nephi 31:13
13 Wherefore, my beloved brethren, I know that if ye shall follow the Son, with full purpose of heart, acting no hypocrisy and no deception before God, but with real intent, repenting of your sins, witnessing unto the Father that ye are willing to take upon you the name of Christ, by baptism—yea, by following your Lord and your Savior down into the water, according to his word, behold, then shall ye receive the Holy Ghost; yea, then cometh the baptism of fire and of the Holy Ghost; and then can ye speak with the tongue of angels, and shout praises unto the Holy One of Israel.
Moroni 6:3
3 And none were received unto baptism save they took upon them the name of Christ, having a determination to serve him to the end.

Comparison of different editions of D&C 20:37
As found in the original "Articles and Covenants" printed in 1830:
And again, by way of commandment  to the church concerning the manner of  baptism, behold whosoever humbleth himself before God and desireth to be baptized, and comes forth with a broken heart  and a contrite spirit, and witnesseth unto  the church that they truly repent of all their sins, and are willing to take upon them the name of Christ, having a determination to serve him unto the end, and  truly manifest by their works that they have received the gift of Christ unto the remission of their sins, then shall they be  received unto baptism into the church of  Christ.

As found in the Revelation Book 1 (written in the early 1830s)
And again by the way of Commandment to the Church
Concerning the manner of Baptism Behold whosoever  humbleth himself before God & desireth to be Baptized &  comes forth with a broken heart & a contrite spirit & witness eth to the Church that they have truly Repented of all  their sins & are willing to take upon them the name of Christ having a determination to serve him unto the end  & truly manifest by their works that they have received the  spirit of Christ unto the remision of their sins then shall they  be received unto Baptism into the Church of Christ.

As found in Doctrine and Covenants 1835 edition (same as current edition):
And again by way of commandment to the church concerning the manner of baptism.
All those who humble themselves before God and desire to be baptized, and come forth with broken hearts and contrite spirits, and witness before the church that they have truly repented of all their sins and are willing to take upon them the name of Jesus Christ, having a determination to serve him to the end, and truly manifest by their works that they have received of the Spirit of Christ unto the remission of their sins, shall be received by baptism into his church.

Regarding the text of the 1835 edition, this is part of the description taken from the Joseph Smith Papers:
JS apparently relied on others to do the actual typesetting and printing and possibly the bulk of the editing, arranging, and other intellectual work needed to prepare the revelations for print.

Doctrine and Covenants 20:37 (as we have it today)
And again, by way of commandment to the church concerning the manner of baptism—All those who humble themselves before God, and desire to be baptized, and come forth with broken hearts and contrite spirits, and witness before the church that they have truly repented of all their sins, and are willing to take upon them the name of Jesus Christ, having a determination to serve him to the end, and truly manifest by their works that they have received of the Spirit of Christ unto the remission of their sins, shall be received by baptism into his church.

Also of interest:
This was a revelation given to Oliver Cowdery titled "Articles of the Church of Christ" (1829):
And now I speak unto the Church Repent all ye ends of the Earth & come  unto me & be baptized in my name which is Jesus Christ & endure to the end &  ye shall be saved Behold Jesus Christ is the name which is given of the Father &  there is none other name given whereby man can be saved Therefore all men must  take upon them the name which is given of the Father for in that name shall they  be called at the last <day> Therefore if they know not the name by which they are  called they cannot have place in the Kingdom of my Father.

Thursday, January 22, 2015

Healing, Part 2: Women

Joseph Smith, April 28, 1842 (Nauvoo Relief Society Minutes)
He said the reason of these remarks being made was, that some little things was circulating in the Society, that some persons were not going right in laying hands on the sick, &C.  Said if he had common sympathies, would rejoice that the sick could be heal'd, that the time had not been before, that these things could be in their proper order—that the Church is not now organiz'd in its proper order, and cannot be until the Temple is completed.  Prest. Smith continued the subject by adverting to the commission given to the ancient apostles "Go ye into all the world" &C.  No matter who believeth; these signs such as healing the sick, casting out devils &C. should follow all that believe whether male or female. He ask'd the Society if they could not see by this sweeping stroke that werein they are ordained, it is the privilege of those set apart  to administer in that authority which is conferr'd  on them—and if the sisters should have faith to heal the sick, let all hold their tongues, and let every thing roll on.
Respecting the females laying on hands, he further remark'd, there could be no devil in it if God gave his sanction by healing—that there could be no more sin in any female laying hands on the sick than in wetting the face with water It is no sin for any body to do it that has faith, or if the sick has faith to be heal'd by the administration.

28 April 1842 • Thursday (Joseph Smith Journal entry)
Thursday 28 at Two o’clock after-noon met the members of the “Female relief Society”  and after presiding at the admission of many new members. Gave a lecture on the pries[t]hood shewing how the Sisters would come in possession of the priviliges & blesings & gifts of the priesthood— & that the signs should follow them. such as healing the sick casting out devils &c. & that  they might attain unto. these blessings. by a virtuous life & conversation  & diligence in keeping all the commandments

Nauvoo Relief Society Minute Book, April 19 1842
Mrs. [Elizabeth Davis] Durfee bore testimony to the great blessing  she received when administered to, after the close of the  last meeting, by Prest. E. Smith & Councillors Cleveland  and Whitney. she said she never realized more benefit  thro’ any administration— that she was heal’d, and  thought the sisters had more faith than the brethren.

Brigham Young:
“It is the privilege of a mother to have faith and to administer to her child; this she can do herself, as well as sending for the Elders to have the benefit of their faith.”
(Journal of Discourses, 13:155)

John Taylor:
It is the privilege of all faithful women and lay members of the Church, who believe in Christ, to administer to all the sick or afflicted in their respective families, either by the laying on of hands, or by the anointing with oil in the name of the Lord: but they should administer in these sacred ordinances, not by virtue and authority of the priesthood, but by virtue of their faith in Christ, and the promises made to believers: and thus they should do in all their ministrations. (Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, Circular Letter, October 6, 1880, microfilm of holograph, CR 2 30)

Joseph F. Smith
It is just as much the right of the mother as of the father [to heal], although he, holding the priesthood, can do it by virtue of this as well as in the name of the Lord. The women are not especially called upon to visit from house to house to administer to the sick, but they can do so properly, if called upon. (“The Relief Society Jubilee,” Deseret Weekly, March 26, 1892, p. 435)

Orson Pratt

It seems that the gifts here named [in Mark 16:16-18] are general gifts, intended more or less for the whole Church; not only for those in the Priesthood, but for those out of the Priesthood, for males and for females. For instance, children are often taken sick, and it is the privilege of their parents, whether they have the Priesthood or not, by virtue of this promise, to lay their hands on their sick children, and ask the Lord, in the name of Jesus, to heal them. Suppose that the father, the head of the family, is absent, has the mother the right to lay her hands upon her sick child? We say that, by virtue of this promise which the Lord has made, she may lay her hands upon her child or children, and ask God to heal it or them. How many scores and scores of cases have there been in this Church, every year since it was organized, where the parents, both brethren and sisters, have had power over disease, through the Spirit of God being poured out upon them, and their children have been healed through the laying on of their hands? (Journal of Discourses, 16:290)

Now, something to consider.

Matthew 25:24-25
24 Then he which had received the one talent came and said, Lord, I knew thee that thou art an hard man, reaping where thou hast not sown, and gathering where thou hast not strawed:
25 And I was afraid, and went and hid thy talent in the earth: lo,there thou hast that is thine.

The gifts of the Spirit are given to everyone - male and female, young and old.  God is no respecter of persons.  
So if  a woman is given the gift of healing as a gift of the Spirit and she is afraid to use it because of the fear of men, what potential loss is there?  
Or would God not give women the gift of healing simply because it has become the tradition for women not to heal?  
Can mortals constrain God by their traditions they create for themselves?  
How is a gift of the Spirit received?  Does God choose it or does a person's spirit naturally receive that which best fits them?  Or does it only come to someone who asks for it?  
Is it possible that there are many women in our church and other religions and cultures throughout the world who have the gift of healing and will never discover it because they are bound down by cultural traditions?  
How can anyone find out?  How can one receive it who desires it?  
Would God condemn a woman for giving a healing blessing to a sick child?  If so, why would He do it now if He wouldn't have 150 years ago?

Healing, Part 1: Questions

I have many questions about healing.  Not just healing, but the gift of healing and the gift to be healed.  
For example:
Who is doing the healing?  Does our own spirit heal our body when Christ commands it?  Or when He says it does our body obey?  Or does healing power somehow go out of Him and heal us? Why is a mortal voice necessary?  Isn't a prayer petitioning the healing the same thing as a blessing?  Is healing tied to priesthood?  How?  Where did that tradition come from?  Is it scriptural?  Why were women allowed to heal in the early days of the church and even set apart to do so but not anymore?  Was there a revelation from God discontinuing the practice?

So I turned to the scriptures to help answer some questions.  I think I found even more questions.

Matthew 9:35 And Jesus went about all the cities and villages, teaching in their synagogues, and preaching the gospel of the kingdom, and healing every sickness and every disease among the people.

[He seemed very liberal with His healing.  Why doesn't He do that now?  We all come to Him likewise and ask to be healed but something keeps us from being healed.  What is it?]

Mark 1:34 And he healed many that were sick of divers diseases, and cast out many devils; and suffered not the devils to speak, because they knew him.

[How many of our problems are due to devils and unclean/false/evil spirits/entities?]

Luke 6:
17 ¶And he came down with them, and stood in the plain, and the company of his disciples, and a great multitude of people out of all Judæa and Jerusalem, and from the sea coast of Tyre and Sidon, which came to hear him, and to be healed of their diseases;
18 And they that were vexed with unclean spirits: and they were healed.
19 And the whole multitude sought to touch him: for there went virtue out of him, and healed them all.

[were those vexed with unclean spirits aware that they had them? Or did they just think they were sick or diseased?  So the virtue itself healed them?  What does that even mean?]

Mark 6:13 And they cast out many devils, and anointed with oil many that were sick, and healed them.

[Why the anointing with oil?  Is this the only scripture besides James 5 that mentions this?]

3 Nephi 7:
21 And it came to pass that the thirty and first year did pass away, and there were but few who were converted unto the Lord; but as many as were converted did truly signify unto the people that they had been visited by the power and Spirit of God, which was in Jesus Christ, in whom they believed.
22 And as many as had devils cast out from them, and were healed of their sicknesses and their infirmities, did truly manifest unto the people that they had been wrought upon by the Spirit of God, and had been healed; and they did show forth signs also and did do some miracles among the people.

[The Spirit of God wrought upon the people and healed them.  Were there any blessings or prayers required, or did the Lord just step in and heal them of His own accord?  Was this a spiritual healing or physical healing or both?  Do both usually go hand in hand?]

Moroni 10:
9 For behold, to one is given by the Spirit of God, that he may teach the word of wisdom;
10 And to another, that he may teach the word of knowledge by the same Spirit;
11 And to another, exceedingly great faith; and to another, the gifts of healing by the same Spirit;

[The Spirit of God gives gifts of teaching and healing.  Is healing not tied to the priesthood?  Why don't the scriptures ever mention healing having anything to do with priesthood?]

Alma 15:
5 And it came to pass that they went immediately, obeying the message which he had sent unto them; and they went in unto the house unto Zeezrom; and they found him upon his bed, sick, being very low with a burning fever; and his mind also was exceedingly sore because of his iniquities; and when he saw them he stretched forth his hand, and besought them that they would heal him.
6 And it came to pass that Alma said unto him, taking him by the hand: Believest thou in the power of Christ unto salvation?
7 And he answered and said: Yea, I believe all the words that thou hast taught.
8 And Alma said: If thou believest in the redemption of Christ thou canst be healed.
9 And he said: Yea, I believe according to thy words.
10 And then Alma cried unto the Lord, saying: O Lord our God, have mercy on this man, and heal him according to his faith which is in Christ.
11 And when Alma had said these words, Zeezrom leaped upon his feet, and began to walk; and this was done to the great astonishment of all the people; and the knowledge of this went forth throughout all the land of Sidom.

[Alma didn't perform a priesthood blessing or even command Zeezrom to be healed.  He just prayed for him to be healed.  Is it the same effect?  Can we always have the same result by just asking for it? Can ANYONE do this, regardless of gender or age?]

3 Nephi 9:13 O all ye that are spared because ye were more righteous than they, will ye not now return unto me, and repent of your sins, and be converted, that I may heal you?

[repentance and conversion will lead to healing?  Or is this a spiritual healing He's referring to?]

Mormon 9:
9 For do we not read that God is the same yesterday, today, and forever, and in him there is no variableness neither shadow of changing?
18 And who shall say that Jesus Christ did not do many mighty miracles? And there were many mighty miracles wrought by the hands of the apostles.
19 And if there were miracles wrought then, why has God ceased to be a God of miracles and yet be an unchangeable Being? And behold, I say unto you he changeth not; if so he would cease to be God; and he ceaseth not to be God, and is a God of miracles.
20 And the reason why he ceaseth to do miracles among the children of men is because that they dwindle in unbelief, and depart from the right way, and know not the God in whom they should trust.
21 Behold, I say unto you that whoso believeth in Christ, doubting nothing, whatsoever he shall ask the Father in the name of Christ it shall be granted him; and this promise is unto all, even unto the ends of the earth.

[so we should be expecting the same outpouring of miracles that went on at the time of the Lord?]

3 Nephi 17:8 For I perceive that ye desire that I should show unto you what I have done unto your brethren at Jerusalem, for I see that your faith is sufficient that I should heal you.

[as soon as we have the faith will the Lord step in and heal us?]

Mormon 1:13 But wickedness did prevail upon the face of the whole land, insomuch that the Lord did take away his beloved disciples, and the work of miracles and of healing did cease because of the iniquity of the people.

[is that the reason that miracles cease for us as well?]

4 Nephi 1:5 And there were great and marvelous works wrought by the disciples of Jesus, insomuch that they did heal the sick, and raise the dead, and cause the lame to walk, and the blind to receive their sight, and the deaf to hear; and all manner of miracles did they work among the children of men; and in nothing did they work miracles save it were in the name of Jesus.

[is it only necessary to perform miracles in the name of Jesus?  Is priesthood involved?  Did their ability to heal the sick come as a direct result of having all things in common?]

1 Nephi 11:31
31 And he spake unto me again, saying: Look! And I looked, and I beheld the Lamb of God going forth among the children of men. And I beheld multitudes of people who were sick, and who were afflicted with all manner of diseases, and with devils and unclean spirits; and the angel spake and showed all these things unto me. And they were healed by the power of the Lamb of God; and the devils and the unclean spirits were cast out.

[only Christ does the healing.  If we are commanded to be healed, do our spirits have any involvement in it, or does Christ alone do the healing?]

1 Nephi 17:41 And he did straiten them in the wilderness with his rod; for they hardened their hearts, even as ye have; and the Lord straitened them because of their iniquity. He sent fiery flying serpents among them; and after they were bitten he prepared a way that they might be healed; and the labor which they had to perform was to look; and because of the simpleness of the way, or the easiness of it, there were many who perished.

[Is there always a labor to be performed in order to be healed?  Is it a show of faith?]

Matthew 8:
16 ¶When the even was come, they brought unto him many that were possessed with devils: and he cast out the spirits with his word, and healed all that were sick:
17 That it might be fulfilled which was spoken by Esaias the prophet, saying, Himself took our infirmities, and bare our sicknesses.

[Is He able to heal us because He took upon Himself our sicknesses in Gethsemane?]

Luke 8
48 And he said unto her, Daughter, be of good comfort: thy faith hath made thee whole; go in peace.

[is there always some act of faith necessary to be healed?  Can Jesus heal a faithless person?]

James 5:
13 Is any among you afflicted? let him pray. Is any merry? let him sing psalms.
14 Is any sick among you? let him call for the elders of the church; and let them pray over him, anointing him with oil in the name of the Lord:
15 And the prayer of faith shall save the sick, and the Lord shall raise him up; and if he have committed sins, they shall be forgiven him.
16 Confess your faults one to another, and pray one for another, that ye may be healed. The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much.

[If we prayed for each other more often would we be healed more often?  Are we generally forgiven of our sins when we are healed physically?  Does one need to come before the other?

So now I have a lot more questions.  Next post: women and healing.

Tuesday, January 6, 2015

A warning to the Gentiles. Too bad I'm a Gentile...

Are you a Lamanite, a Jew, or a Gentile?

D&C 109:60 
Now these words, O Lord, we have spoken before thee, concerning the revelations and commandments which thou hast given unto us, who are identified with the Gentiles.

D&C 14:10 

Wherefore, I must bring forth the fulness of my gospel from the Gentiles unto the house of Israel.

D&C 19:26-27
And again, I command thee that thou shalt not covet thine own property, but impart it freely to the printing of the Book of Mormon, which contains the truth and the word of God—Which is my word to the Gentile, that soon it may go to the Jew, of whom the Lamanites are a remnant, that they may believe the gospel, and look not for a Messiah to come who has already come.

D&C 90:9
That through your administration they may receive the word, and through their administration the word may go forth unto the ends of the earth, unto the Gentiles first, and then, behold, and lo, they shall turn unto the Jews.

Title page of Book of Mormon:  "...Sealed by the hand of Moroni, and hid up unto the Lord, to come forth in due time by way of the Gentile..."  (the Gentiles will bring the gospel to the Lamanites - if we as LDS aren't those gentiles, then who will bring the Gospel to the Lamanites?)

Apostle Orson Pratt:”We, the Latter-day Saints are Gentiles; in other words, we have come from among the Gentile nations, though many of us may have the blood of Israel within our veins.” JD 18:64

"Written to the Lamanites, who are a remnant of the house of Israel; and also to Jew and Gentile"

For they are not all Israel, which are of Israel

From wikipedia:
The term [gentile] is used by English translators for the Hebrew גוי (goy) and נכרי (nokhri) in the Hebrew Bible and the Greek word ἔθνη (éthnē) in the New Testament... Latin and later English translators selectively used the term Gentiles when the context for the base term "peoples" or "nations" referred to non-Israelite peoples or nations in English translations of the Bible.

The word "gentile" just means nation or people.

Though we claim from our patriarchal blessings to be descended from Jacob through one of his twelve sons and generally do so rightly, most of the people (Gentiles) in the world have the blood of Jacob in them anyway.  Even most of the Arabs can most likely claim to be mingled with those descended from Jacob (when the tribes were scattered many Israelites were mixed in with the Assyrians, Babylonians, et cetera).

It's one thing to be descended from Jacob (common) but another thing to be of the House of Israel through a direct connection from God.  Scripturally speaking, being descended from Jacob is NOT the same thing as being part of the House of Israel.  Paul differentiates between the two:

Romans 9:6-8  (read Romans 9:3-33 for a great lesson on this subject):
6 Not as though the word of God hath taken none effect. For they are not all Israel, which are of Israel:
7 Neither, because they are the seed of Abraham, are they all children: but, In Isaac shall thy seed be called.
8 That is, They which are the children of the flesh, these are not the children of God: but the children of the promise are counted for the seed.

The Warning of the Book of Mormon and Doctrine and Covenants

Nephi, Mormon, and Moroni saw us (Americans, Mormons, Europeans et cetera) as outsiders.  They called us "goyim" or "peoples" or "nations".  They were using the word to differentiate us from the Lamanites.  Whenever we read the word "gentile" in the Book of Mormon we can generally (but not 100%) assume that the writer is referring to us as the LDS people - the ones who will actually be reading the Book of Mormon.  All of the warnings to the gentiles in the Book of Mormon are referring to members of our church.  Not the catholics, not Americans in general.  There is absolutely no point in spending countless hours inscribing warnings on the gold plates to non-LDS people who would never read them.  The writers of the Book of Mormon saw our day, they saw the traps we'd be facing, and they knew through bitter experience (having gone through the same things themselves) how to warn us.  We have neglected their warnings - assuming that we are "chosen" and "righteous" and that the warnings must apply to someone else - and have come under condemnation for it.  Even the account of the Zoramites and the Rameumptom seems to be a direct warning to us.  Are there similarities when we get up once a month and testify to ourselves about how amazing we are?  Or how important it is for us to dress well when we worship?  Isn't it fascinating that Mormon took the time to inscribe that account in such detail?  Why else would it be there?  If it wasn't helpful for our repentance Mormon wouldn't have written it.  The Book of Mormon isn't a story book for our entertainment or general inspiration - it specifically addresses problems we'd be facing and warns us about our sins.

Mormon 8:35-38:
35 Behold, I speak unto you as if ye were present, and yet ye are not. But behold, Jesus Christ hath shown you unto me, and I know your doing.
36 And I know that ye do walk in the pride of your hearts; and there are none save a few only who do not lift themselves up in the pride of their hearts, unto the wearing of very fine apparel, unto envying, and strifes, and malice, and persecutions, and all manner of iniquities; and your churches, yea, even every one, have become polluted because of the pride of your hearts.
37 For behold, ye do love money, and your substance, and your fine apparel, and the adorning of your churches, more than ye love the poor and the needy, the sick and the afflicted.
38 O ye pollutions, ye hypocrites, ye teachers, who sell yourselves for that which will canker, why have ye polluted the holy church of God? [what other holy church of God is there?] Why are ye ashamed to take upon you the name of Christ? Why do ye not think that greater is the value of an endless happiness than that misery which never dies—because of the praise of the world?

D&C 84:55-59:
55 Which vanity and unbelief have brought the whole church under condemnation.
56 And this condemnation resteth upon the children of Zion, even all.
57 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—  [*Note - President Benson said that this condemnation still rests on the church.  (If a building is condemned it cannot be inhabited.  It is not "chosen.")]
58 That they may bring forth fruit meet for their Father’s kingdom; otherwise there remaineth a scourge and judgment to be poured out upon the children of Zion.
59 For shall the children of the kingdom pollute my holy land? Verily, I say unto you, Nay.

D&C 112:24-26:
24 Behold, vengeance cometh speedily upon the inhabitants of the earth, a day of wrath, a day of burning, a day of desolation, of weeping, of mourning, and of lamentation; and as a whirlwind it shall come upon all the face of the earth, saith the Lord.
25 And upon my house shall it begin, and from my house shall it go forth, saith the Lord;
26 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. [not inactives but Temple-going people]

3 Nephi 16:10:
10 And thus commandeth the Father that I should say unto you: At that day when the Gentiles shall sin against my gospel, and shall reject the fulness of my gospel, and shall be lifted up in the pride of their hearts above all nations, and above all the people of the whole earth, and shall be filled with all manner of lyings, and of deceits, and of mischiefs, and all manner of hypocrisy, and murders, and priestcrafts, and whoredoms, and of secret abominations; and if they shall do all those things, and shall reject the fulness of my gospel, behold, saith the Father, I will bring the fulness of my gospel from among them.

Rejecting the fulness

So what is "the fulness of the Gospel?"  What would be involved in that rejection in modern times?  In Moses' day the people rejected the fulness of the Gospel when they demanded that Moses should go up and see God for them so they wouldn't have to.  They wanted an intermediary (a prophet) between them and the Lord.  They refused the obligation to come up and see and speak with God for themselves.  They were cursed for it and the fulness was taken away.

Joseph Smith, August 27, 1843:
"when God offers a blessing or knowledge to a man and he refuses to receive it he will be damned. —mentioning the case of the Israelites praying that God would speak to Moses & not to Them—in consequense of which he cursed them with a carnal law"

Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith, p.237-238

"President Joseph Smith read the 14th chapter of Ezekiel--said the Lord had declared by the Prophet, that the people should each one stand for himself, and depend on no man or men in that state of corruption of the Jewish church--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 if the people departed from the Lord, they must fall--that they were depending on the Prophet, hence were darkened in their minds, in consequence of neglecting the duties devolving upon themselves, envious towards the innocent, while they afflict the virtuous with their shafts of envy."

Isn't that what we're doing right now?  I was with my son in primary a couple years ago and the children were told that God will not speak to them - that He will only speak to the president of the church and the general authorities.  The teacher even said, "Can you imagine what would happen if God spoke to everyone?  It'd be chaos!" (exact quote) It was a revolting and abominable lesson.  But this belief has gained a lot of traction recently and is being taught or at least implied in some of our meetings and lessons.


Christ taught that in the last days we'd need to have our own lamps full - not borrowed oil from others.  If any of us are trying to borrow oil from any mortal being - no matter how close to God that person may be - then we are in very real danger.

I'm not trying to criticize here.  I accept that I am also under condemnation.  I'm just trying to get out from under the condemnation and warn everyone I can.  If my words sound angry or critical it is definitely not intended.  A warning has been given in the Book of Mormon and until recently I never even noticed that the warning was intended for me. I figured I'd pass it on.