LDS ARTICLES OF FAITH, PART XLVIII

Article Nine, Latter-day Revelation, Part 6


The 9th 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.” When LDS quote Article 9 they usually aren’t thinking about revelations in the Doctrine and Covenants (D. & C.) or in their Church history. But, if they are asked if they believe in polygamy, most LDS say no. But D. & C. 132:3-4 says, “All those who have this law (polygamy) 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.” Some LDS say they believe it but don’t practice it. But D. & C. 132 says if it was revealed to them, they must obey it, not just believe it! D. & C. 132 is also the only LDS scriptural basis for eternal marriage which is a requirement enter the highest realm of the celestial kingdom. If LDS truly believe “all that God has revealed” as the 9th LDS Article of Faith says, they need to embrace both polygamy and eternal marriage since God supposedly revealed both in D. & C. 132!


D. & C. 114 says it was a “Revelation given through Joseph Smith the Prophet, at Far West, Missouri, April 17, 1838.” It says, “Verily thus saith the Lord: It is wisdom in my servant David W. Patton, that he settle up all his business as soon as he possibly can, and make disposition of his merchandise, that he may perform a mission unto me next spring, in company with others, even twelve including himself, to testify of my name and bear glad tidings unto all the world.” But six months later, on October 25, 1838 David Patton led an LDS militia to fight some Missourians who had taken three LDS as prisoners near Far West, MO and he was mortally wounded and died that night (History of the Church {H of C} vol. 3, pp. 170-171). So, he didn’t even live till the next spring and he never went on the LDS mission to “all the world.” Did the Lord know that David Patton would die before the year ended? If so, why did He reveal D. & C. 114 to Smith? Did this revelation come from God? If it did, Article 9 says LDS must believe it!


The introduction to D. & C. 115 says it was a “Revelation given through Joseph Smith the Prophet, at Far West, Missouri, April 26, 1838, making known the will of God concerning the building up of that place and of the Lord’s House.” This revelation is very important to LDS because it gives their official name for the first time in verses 3 and 4. In 2018 A D, LDS President, Russell M. Nelson said that the full name in verses 3-4 must be used in speaking about the LDS Church. This revelation is dated April 26, 1838 which was eight years after the LDS Church began! It was originally called the Church of Christ in 1830, but between 1830 and 1834 it was also called the Church of Jesus Christ, the Church of God and in 1834 it was called the Church of the Latter-Day Saints (H of C, vol. 3, p. 24 footnotes). It was called by those names while LDS founder and Prophet Joseph Smith was leading it. If the name was as important as Pres. Nelson claims, why didn’t God reveal it to Smith earlier? LDS leaders called it the Mormon Church or LDS Church almost from its beginning, so 2018 is 180 years after Smith received D. & C. 115 and a bit late to say it must be called by its 1838 name! President Nelson only focused on the name of the LDS Church in D. &C. 115 when that was not the main message of this “revelation.” The introduction to it (above) says it is God’s will to build a city and temple at Far West, MO. And D. & C. 115:1 says, “Thus saith the Lord unto you, my servant Joseph Smith, Jun…, “Verily I say unto you all: Arise and shine forth, that thy light may be a standard for the nations. And that the gathering together upon the land of Zion, and upon her stakes, may be for a defense, and for a refuge from the storm, and from the wrath when it shall be poured out without mixture upon the whole earth. Let the city, Far West, be a holy and consecrated land unto me; and it shall be called most holy, for the ground upon which thou standest is holy. Therefore, I command you to build a house (temple) unto me, for the gathering together of my saints, that they may worship me” (verses 5-8). The Lord even told Smith when to build the temple in verses 9-12. It says they were to begin on July 4, 1838 and the H. of C., vol. 3, pp.41-42 says the 4 cornerstones were laid by LDS leaders that day. D. & C. 115:11-12 says, “One year from this day (April 26, 1838) let them re-commence laying the foundation of my house (on 4-26-1839). Thus, let them from that time forth labor diligently until it shall be finished, from the corner stone thereof unto the top thereof, until there shall not anything remain that is not finished.” And the Lord said in verse 17, “It is my will that the city of Far West should be built up speedily by the gathering of my saints.


The meaning of D. & C. 115 was summarized in the introduction above it and the “revelation” is easy to understand. LDS were to gather and build a city at Far West, MO. They were to start building a temple on April 26, 1839 and not stop building until it was completely finished. Conflicts between LDS and people in MO caused most of the LDS to leave MO before 1839 began, but a few LDS leaders slipped back into MO on April 26, 1839 and went to the spot where the Far West temple was to be built. “Elder Alpheus Cutler, the master workman of the house, then re-commenced laying the foundation of the Lord’s House, agreeably to revelation, by rolling a large stone near the southeast corner…Elder Alpheus Cutler then placed the stone before alluded to in its regular position, after which, in consequence of the peculiar situation of the Saints, he thought it wisdom to adjourn until some future time, when the Lord shall open the way; expressing his determination then to proceed with the building (H. of C. vol. 3, pp. 337-339). More than 180 years have elapsed since 1839 and there is still no city of Far West and no temple there. Did rolling a big stone up to the temple site fulfill what this revelation said was to happen? If the Lord gave this revelation to Smith, why wasn’t it done? Three days after the stone was rolled up to the Far West Temple location, Joseph Smith purchased two large farms for the LDS Church in the area of Commerce, IL and called it Nauvoo and LDS began to settle there (H. of C. vol. 3, pp.341-342). Why didn’t Smith do what D. & C. 115 says?


LDS President Brigham Young spoke of the four temples the D. & C. says the LDS “Lord” told them to build. He said, “We reared up a temple in Kirtland (OH)…it was left by the (LDS) Saints before it was completed. Joseph (Smith) located the site for the temple block in Jackson County Missouri…and pointed out the SE corner of the temple in 1831—also laid the corner stone for a temple in Far West, Caldwell County, MO. These temples were never built. We built one in Nauvoo (IL)…they got it nearly completed before it burned, the Saints did not enjoy it” (Journal of Discourses, vol. 18, pp 303-304). Why would an omniscient Lord command LDS to build temples in places He knew they couldn’t? Or, did He give those “revelations”?


Next time we will discuss some more “latter-day revelations.”