LDS Articles of Faith, Part XLIV
Article Nine, Latter-day Revelation, Part 2
The ninth LDS Article of Faith says, “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.” Doctrine & Covenants (D. &C.) 20:9 and 27:5 say that the Book of Mormon (B. of M.) contains the “fulness of the gospel.” If the B. of M. contains the “fulness of the everlasting gospel,” how can LDS prophets add more to it? If more can be added, those now dead didn’t have it! Joseph Smith said the Lord revealed D. & C. 132:1-4 to him. Verse 1 is about having many wives and concubines. Verses 3 and 4 say “All who have this law revealed unto them must obey the same. For behold, I reveal unto you a new and everlasting covenant; and if ye abide not that covenant, then are ye damned; for no one can reject this covenant and be permitted to enter into my glory.” Active LDS today have D. & C. 132 revealed to them, but they say it doesn’t apply to them since God cancelled it by the Woodruff Manifesto, also known as Official Declaration 1 at the end of the D. & C. Can an “everlasting covenant” be canceled? D. & C. 132:1 begins with “Verily, thus saith the Lord unto you…” But Woodruff began his Manifesto with “I now publicly declare that my advice to the Latter-day Saints is to refrain from contracting any marriage forbidden by the law of the land.” Smith claimed God revealed D & C. 132 but Woodruff said “my advice is…” Which sounds more authoritative? If God can change His mind about that “revelation,” can He also change His mind about other revelations like D. & C. 1:30 which says that the LDS Church is “the only true and living church upon the face of the whole earth?” Our last blog said several times in the D. & C. the (LDS) Lord commanded LDS to gather to Independence, MO and build a temple and the New Jerusalem. But when they failed to do it, He accepted their efforts in place of doing what He commanded! Does God give commands but accept less than what He commanded? Does that fulfill D. & C. 1:38 which says, “My word shall not pass away, but shall ALL be fulfilled?” Did the Lord reveal D. & C. 132? The Lord said In D. & C. 3:3, “It is not the work of God that is frustrated, but the work of men.” So, was D. & C. 132 from God or man?
LDS leaders designate one of their books of scripture to study each year. The D. & C. was the LDS scripture to study in 2021. Liahona replaced the LDS Ensign magazine in 2021 and it has brief notes and questions about the sections of the D. & C. studied each month. D. & C. Sec. 1 through 9 were in the January 2021 Liahona, but nothing was said about D. & C. 7. and that is the true of most books and articles about the D.& C. The introduction over D. & C. 7 says, “The revelation is a translated version of the record made on parchment by John (the Apostle of Christ) and hidden up by himself.” It doesn’t say whether Smith saw the parchment or if the translation was just “revealed” to him. The caption over verse 1 says, “John the beloved shall live until the Lord comes.” In verses 1-3 John the apostle records a conversation between himself and the Lord: “And the Lord said unto me: ‘John, my beloved, what desirest thou? For if you shall ask what you will, it shall be granted unto you.’ And I (John) said unto Him: ‘Lord, give me power over death, that I may live and bring souls unto thee.’ And the Lord said unto me: ‘Verily, verily I say unto thee, because thou desirest this thou shalt tarry until I come in My glory, and shalt prophesy before nations, kindreds, tongues and people.’” One LDS book that “explains” how John prophesied before multitudes of people is the Doctrine and Covenants Student Manuel published by the LDS Church for students at LDS Seminaries and Institutes of Religion. It asks, “How has John prophesied before nations and ministered to heirs of salvation?” (p. 17). Their answer was: “Five books of the Bible were written by John: The Gospel of John, three epistles, and the book of Revelation. The world’s most widely distributed book is the Bible…certainly John’s written prophecy has gone forth among the nations.” It also says John ministered to Joseph Smith and Oliver Cowdery in 1829 and he was seen again by Smith and Cowdery at an LDS conference on June 3, 1831. In D. & C. 7:1-3, is that what “the Lord” promised John? He told John He would give him whatever He desired, and John said he desired power over death so that he could live and bring souls to Him. And the Lord said “Thou shalt tarry until I come in My glory.” A dictionary definition of the word “tarry” is to “remain,” and that is what John requested in this LDS scripture. He did not request that his written word would go to many nations, but that he would live and go to multitudes himself!
Why don’t some LDS talk more about John still being alive and ministering on earth like D. & C. 7 says? If John the apostle is alive and has been preaching the gospel ever since the time of Christ, it contradicts LDS doctrine of a universal apostasy! That doctrine says for hundreds of years there was no true church or gospel on earth, so the Lord had Joseph Smith restore the true church, gospel, priesthood, etc. That LDS doctrine is based on Joseph Smith’s claim that when he was 14 years old, God the Father and Jesus appeared to him and told him not to join any church because they were all wrong, all of their creeds were an abomination and all of those who professed to believe what they taught were corrupt (Pearl of Great Price, Joseph Smith—History 1:18-19). LDS have written many books and pamphlets about “The Great Apostasy.” How could a “universal apostasy” happen if one of Christ’s apostles was alive and converting multitudes since the time of Christ? But that is only part of the LDS problem since the caption over III Nephi 28 in the B. of M. says: “The three Nephites desire and are given power over death so as to remain on the earth until Jesus comes again…They are now ministering among men.” III Nephi says that after Christ arose from the dead in Israel, He came to America and chose 12 apostles. In III Nephi 28: 6-9 Jesus told three “Nephite apostles” they wouldn’t die but remain alive on earth to preach the gospel to all nations until Jesus returned in glory. So, LDS scripture says four apostles of Christ have been ministering on earth since Christ came the first time and they will minister until He comes again, so they must be here now! Those 4 apostles supposedly converted multitudes of people in every generation since Christ was here. So, how could there have been a universal apostasy for hundreds of years if LDS scripture is true? The Pearl of Great Price is another LDS book of scripture. In it, Moses 5:58-59 also contradicts the LDS doctrine of a universal apostasy. It says, “And thus the Gospel began to be preached, from the beginning…And thus all things were confirmed unto Adam, by an holy ordinance, and the Gospel preached, and a decree sent forth that it (the gospel) should be in the world until the end thereof; and thus it was. Amen.” If “the Gospel” was preached to Adam and it was to be in the world until the world ends, how could there have been a universal apostasy for hundreds of years? This text in Moses 5:58-59 is also verbatim in Joseph Smith’s “translation” (JST) of the Bible in Genesis 5:44-45! Every LDS book of scripture Joseph Smith produced denies the LDS doctrine of a universal apostasy!
Our next blog will look at this matter some more and at other latter-day revelations.