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Setting in Order the House of God



 

          There is a phrase in scripture pointing to a prophetic event that has been misunderstood by myself and possibly many others. Originally my belief was it pointed exclusively to constructing and organizing a Temple in the last days. Since the Holy Order Part 2 talk by Denver Snuffer I have reconsidered that conclusion. The Temple is part of the event. A sacred space where the actual work performed enables the desired outcome; but the structure itself is a necessary component of a more expansive work.[1] It is beneficial to identify where we are heading before we attempt to chart a course to the Lord’s eventual outcome.

          Ezekiel was shown a day when inheritances extending from a latter-day Temple are assigned to the Twelve Tribes of Israel (see RE Ezekiel 21). Initially the Temple had to be constructed; followed by the assignment of inheritances. The Lord revealed to Joseph Smith a prophecy of a man who completes this work in the last days. His identity is withheld, but a description of his attributes and mission were explained to Joseph.


Secondly, it is contrary to the will and commandment of God that those who receive not the inheritance by consecration, agreeable to his law which he has given, that he may tithe his people to prepare them against the day of vengeance and burning, should have their names enrolled with the people of God, neither is the genealogy to be kept or to be had where it may be found on any of the records or history of the church. Their names shall not be found, neither the names of their fathers or the names of the children [not beneficiaries of the Spirit of Elijah [RE Malachi  and the sealing power, RE Malachi 1:12], written in the Book of the Law of God, says the Lord of Hosts. Yea, so says the still small voice which whispers through and pierces all things, and often times it makes my bones to quake while it makes manifest, saying, And it shall come to pass that I, the Lord God, will send one mighty and strong, holding the scepter [kingship] of power in his hand, clothed with light [synonym for truth, glory and intelligence, knowledge, see RE T&C 93:11] for a covering, whose mouth shall utter words, eternal [a name for God, see RE Genesis 4:17] words, while his bowels shall be a fountain of truth, to set in order the House of God, and to arrange by lot the inheritance of the saints, whose names are found, and the names of their fathers and of their children, enrolled in the Book of the Law of God; while that man who was [past tense] called of God, and appointed, that puts forth his hand to steady the ark of God [extended beyond what God authorized], shall fall by the shaft of death [before the “one mighty and strong”, as Saul fell before David], like as a tree that is smitten by the vivid shaft of lightning” (RE T&C 83:4, emphasis added).


This passage begins with a discussion of inheritance in Zion. Those who receive an inheritance do so by obedience to the law given by God to consecrate through tithing of their means. Obedience to the Lord’s will and commandment preserves those supporting the Lord’s work by sacrifice and consecration. In exchange for their consecration they receive an inheritance and the promise of preservation when the Lord’s vengeance and burning cleanses the earth from wickedness.

          Who are the “people of God” recorded in the Book of the Law of God in the last days? It is the family of God referred to in scripture as “Israel.” The family of God benefits from the Spirit of Elijah and the sealing power by gathering and sealing them.


Of all the material Jacob could have adopted as his prophecy, his selection of Zenos’ allegory of the Olive Tree is telling. The account is a journey through various dispensations of the Gospel, tracking a bloodline of chosen people. To Jacob’s credit, he realized the work of salvation was devoted primarily to rescuing the descendants of a chosen line beginning with Abraham.

The allegory is a family story. The use of the Olive tree is a deliberate symbol of a family, and of the tree whose value was beyond question in the culture from which the allegory sprung. To understand the story, it is necessary to settle on meanings.


The tree is a family line belonging to the “house of Israel.” (Jacob 5: 3.) The work of the Lord of the vineyard and his fellow laborers is designed to cause the chosen family line to produce fruit worthy of preservation[2] [resist the urge to overlook this footnote].


The “fruit” is people, or more correctly, children raised in righteousness who comprehend and accept the Gospel and abide by its teachings. The name “Israel” is the new name given to Jacob. Jacob was renamed by the Lord because the Lord accepted him into His own family. Naming signifies Fatherhood over Jacob, and the name Israel signifies the Family of God.


Not every descendant of Jacob is also a descendant of Israel. Blood is one thing, adoption into the Family of God is another. The allegory should be read with the proper context. It is about preserving the Family of Israel, or in other words, the Family of God.


To correct and instruct the chosen family, it was necessary for the Lord of the vineyard, in a desperate attempt to cause the family to produce fruit worthy of preservation, to disburse [disperse?] the children, scatter them throughout the vineyard, graft wild branches into the roots and tame branches into wild roots. In one sense the failure of the chosen family is to the world’s great blessing. In the end, the world overcomes the chosen family and all those grafted into it, and in the final effort the work returns to the original roots and the original branches [Patriarchal Fathers and Spirit of Elijah] in a desperate final attempt to salvage something from the vineyard before it is burned.


Choosing this allegory as the great central theme of Jacob’s book shows his comprehension of sacred history and prophecy, and his knowledge of the future. Unlike Nephi, whose muse was Isaiah, the fully mature prophet Jacob turned to Zenos to act as “second witness” to his prophecy. We have in Jacob Chapter 5 the great explanation of how we got where we are today, and what will unfold before the Lord’s return to burn the vineyard. It is odd we spend so little time with the material. It is the central theme of all man’s history (from God’s point of view) (Jacob Chapter 5 blogpost, Denver Snuffer Jr., March 23, 2012, emphasis added).


The gathering of Israel in the last days is less about lineal descent and more about identifying and aggregating people who repent and bear the fruit of personal righteousness.[3] Because their righteousness is a throwback to the conduct of the Patriarchal Fathers who obtained promises of God, their righteousness qualifies them for adoption into a branch of Israel; heirs to the promises God made to their progenitors. Not by blood lineage but because their works and conduct testify they are the children of the righteous Fathers, Israel. As the Savior’s works were aligned with the Father’s will, our works of righteousness are a witness of our devotion and obedience to the Savior and the righteous Fathers, led by Him into covenant blessings. This makes us candidates for adoption into the family of God, worthy of preservation. A “new name” from God is His witness to us of our adoption.


The religion of the Fathers involved direct communion, contact, and connection between mankind and God. The Holy Order is an important part of the return of that direct association. The original religion of the Patriarchs enabled the faithful to hear directly from the Lord His promise of eternal life. God would seal them by covenant into His Heavenly Family. We can, if faithful, obtain all that the original Fathers received from God at the beginning: What I, the Lord, have spoken, I have spoken, and I excuse not myself. And though the heaven[s] and the earth pass away, my word shall not pass away, but shall all be fulfilled, whether by my own voice or by the voice of my servants [it’s] the same. For behold and lo, the Lord is God and the spirit bears record, and the record is true, and the truth abides for ever and ever. Amen. (T&C 54:7) As a servant of God, I say with His authority that these promises are true, and He intends to fulfill them for His covenant people Israel. In the beginning, mankind was placed in a family. The first commandment to Father Adam and Mother Eve was to multiply and replenish the Earth. The first man and woman were married. Their union produced the family of mankind. Every soul born into this Creation came from parents and were all intended to be in a family. The plan of salvation is covenantal and familial. The government of God is a family [Israel]. If a family is established by covenant with God, it will be the only order that can survive death. In a very real sense, the salvation of mankind now comes only through the family of Abraham. The God of Abraham and of Isaac and of Jacob covenanted with these three successive generations that they would stand at the head of all who would be saved after them. The God of Israel requires some part of mankind—however small—to be sealed into that line or be utterly wasted at His coming” (Religion of the Fathers, Denver Snuffer, p.50, emphasis added).


A very important definition is given in this quotation; essential to understanding the prophecy given to Joseph Smith. The phrase being “it will be the only order that can survive death.”


          In the prophecy given to Joseph Smith a man referred to as “one mighty and strong” is described with godly attributes, empowered by God to “set in order the house of God.” Setting in order the house of God is a two step process. The first step is identifying people who qualify for adoption into God’s house by their heed and diligence to the Lord’s words from the “mighty and strong” servant. The second step is gathering them to Zion where the Spirit of Elijah and the sealing power seals them as members of Israel’s household.[4] It empowers them to extend sealing to worthy members of their kindred dead by adoption. Mortals on Earth seek after the blessings and power obtained by the Patriarchal Fathers by righteousness and by covenant. They do so by becoming adopted into Israel’s family through a contemporary dispensation head and his spouse.[5] The dispensation head obtains the status of Patriarchal Father when the Lord sends the Spirit of Elijah to him; this empowers him to carry out the work of gathering the Lord’s people and extending the sealing power to them in the house of God.


          After obtaining the blessings of the Patriarchal Father’s and are sealed in the family of Israel, their names are written in the Book of the Law of God and they become savior’s on Mount Zion by becoming adoptive parents to the righteous of their kindred dead. In effect, they become father’s and mother’s to their faithful progenitors.


And now I say unto you, who shall declare his generation? Behold, I say unto you that when his soul has been made an offering for sin, he shall see his seed. And now what say ye? And who shall be his seed? Behold, I say unto you that whosoever has heard the words of the prophets, yea, all the holy prophets who have prophesied concerning the coming of the Lord, I say unto you that all those who have hearkened unto their words, and believed that the Lord would redeem his people, and have looked forward to that day for a remission of their sins, I say unto you that these are his seed, or they are heirs of the kingdom of God. For these are they whose sins he hath borne; these are they for whom he has died, to redeem them from their transgressions. And now, are they not his seed? Yea, and are not the prophets, every one that has opened his mouth to prophesy that has not fallen into transgression? (I mean all the holy prophets ever since the world began.) I say unto you that they are his seed. And these are they who have published peace, who have brought good tidings of good, who have published salvation and said unto Zion, Thy God reigneth. And oh how beautiful upon the mountains were their feet. And again, how beautiful upon the mountains are the feet of those that art still publishing peace. And again, how beautiful upon the mountains are the feet of those who shall hereafter publish peace, yea, from this time henceforth and for ever!


And behold, I say unto you, this is not all; for oh how beautiful upon the mountains are the feet of him that bringeth good tidings — that is, the Founder of Peace, yea, even the Lord, who has redeemed his people, yea, him who hath granted salvation unto his people! For were it not for the redemption which he hath made for his people, which was prepared from the foundation of the world, I say unto you, were it not for this, that all mankind must have perished. But behold, the bands of death shall be broken, and the Son reigneth and hath power over the dead; therefore he bringeth to pass the resurrection of the dead. And there cometh a resurrection, even a first resurrection, yea, even a resurrection of those that have been, and who are, and who shall be, even until the resurrection of Christ — for so shall he be called. And now the resurrection of all the prophets and all those that have believed in their words (or all those that have kept the commandments of God) shall come forth in the first resurrection; therefore they are the first resurrection. They are raised to dwell with God, who has redeemed them. Thus they have eternal life through Christ, who hath broken the bands of death” (RE Mosiah 8:8-9, emphasis added).


When the Lord said to Moses His work and glory is bringing to pass the immortality and eternal life of man, that work and glory is the development of the souls of men and women into the Holy Order where they become Patriarchs and Matriarchs who nurture and train the children of God for Eternal Life, parenthood of the highest order.


          Those who bring forth fruit “meet for the Father’s Kingdom” engage in a process involving multiple cycles of existence that transform them into His attributes and character. That is perfection.


          We are not complete but have the opportunity to make great strides in our development through the Spirit of Elijah and the Holy Order that opens the conduit between Heaven and Earth. God may open that conduit but it is up to us to receive that which is offered.


“We can plant the doctrine, restore truth, and remember the Prophet Joseph Smith’s words, but if we are not nourished from it we will not be grafted in to the living roots [root of Jesse?][6]. Our hearts will not turn to the fathers. His servants will dispense pruning, care, and ministration but fruit must grow in response. Without responding, the branches remain unproductive in a damaged vineyard, ultimately only suitable to be burned. “Grafting” [adoption] restores, reconnects, and returns, or in other words, plants in the hearts of the children the promises made to the fathers. “And the hearts of the children shall turn to the fathers.” Moroni said this must happen. Moroni reworked Malachi in JS-H 1:39: “He shall plant in the hearts of the children the promises made to the fathers. And the hearts of the children shall turn to their fathers.” The last days’ work is to make that happen” (Snuffer, Denver. Preserving the Restoration pp. 137-138, emphasis added, Mill Creek Press).


Set in Order the House of God


The Holy Order function requires both a father and mother, and is the reason Joseph Smith wrote, “[T]here are many teachers but perhaps not many Fathers. There are times coming when God will signify many things which are expedient for the well being of the saints but the times have not yet come but will come as fast as there can be found place and receptions for them.” That time did not come during Joseph’s life, and therefore the return of the Holy Order did not happen in his day. Because of the failure in Joseph’s day, the Family or House of God still needs to be set in order. As is always the case, there will need to be a temple prepared for the Holy Order to function. It was first given to Adam and Eve in sacred space and therefore, sacred space like the Garden of Eden is required for its function” (The Holy Order Part 2, Denver Snuffer Jr., p.4, emphasis added).


For the Priesthood of God to return to its original structure as in Eden, the “Holy Order” must follow the original pattern. The pattern always begins with a righteous Father and Mother. It must end in the same manner. The couple in the Garden interacted with Heaven and walked and talked with God. There were no churches. The couple were taught from on High and received instructions and ordinances. They obeyed those commandments and ordinances shown them by angels. After baptism they received the holy ghost, had their “record of Heaven” revealed to them and witnessed all things that would befall future generations. The couple jointly taught and testified to their posterity, seeking to love and nurture them to repeat the pattern. That pattern always begins with a husband and wife.


          Joseph Smith draws a distinction between “teachers” and “Fathers.” A teacher may instruct their students in correct principles, but a Father lives the principles they profess without hypocrisy or guile. Father is capitalized in the quotation by Joseph Smith implying elevated standing or patriarchy. It points to Patriarchal Fathers who trod the path to God’s presence and obtained promises for themselves and their posterity.


          “Setting in order the House of God” is re-establishing the family as the center of governance. This pattern follows the pattern of Heaven and offers the most effective and efficient manner of teaching and nurturing mankind in how to ascend to God’s presence. The Holy Order requires the establishment of “sacred space” or a Temple where the righteousness of some few of Earth’s inhabitants sanctify the ground whereon they stand.


“When Moses came into God’s presence, was redeemed from the fall, and obtained His promise of eternal life, he became the Lord’s temple. When we read the Lord’s admonition to Moses to “[put] the shoes from off thy feet, for the place whereon thou standest is holy ground,” we tend to put the emphasis on “the place.” We should instead put the emphasis on “thou.” That is, no matter where Moses stood, having been redeemed from the fall, he always stood on holy ground. The true temple of God is therefore the redeemed individual. A revelation to Joseph explained: For man is spirit. The elements are eternal, and spirit and element, inseparably connected, receive a fulness of joy; And when separated, man cannot receive a fulness of joy. The elements are the tabernacle of God; yea, man is the tabernacle of God, even temples; and whatsoever temple is defiled, God shall destroy that temple. (D&C 93: 33-35.) (Snuffer, Denver. Passing the Heavenly Gift (pp. 280-281, emphasis added). Mill Creek Press. Kindle Edition).


Adoption vs. Procreation


          Adam and Eve were commanded to multiply and replenish the Earth. When the Holy Order is reinstituted the children of men are in effect gathered as righteous fruit. This is essential to fulfill the chiasm that is the history of this Earth. Adam and Eve began the chiasm with the Spirit of Messiah. The second step in the descension of man is the Spirit of Elijah, represented by Enoch. The completion of the descent was achieved by Noah and the Spirit of Elias. Thereafter came the flood, the destruction of the wicked and the preservation of a righteous remnant.


          Reversing the descent and beginning the return ascent was Joseph Smith by the Spirit of Elias. The second step of ascension is the Spirit of Elijah and the “root of Jesse.” He becomes a “rightful” heir to the Priesthood, receives the keys to the kingdom to open the conduit between Heaven and Earth, and begins gathering Israel or the Family of God.[7]


          Adam and Eve dispersed the children of men throughout the Earth through procreation. The “root of Jesse” and his mate must oversee the gathering of Israel from among the children of men. They search for righteous heirs to gather to Zion and establish a New Jerusalem or effectively a new Eden. Opposite the process Adam and Eve carried out, the “root of Jesse” and his companion assemble God’s latter-day Family through adoption. Restoring the Holy Order or Patriarchal Order establishes the means by which the children of men obtain membership in God’s Family through adoption in the “root of Jesse’s” lineage. Through this couple the righteous obtain access to the blessings of Abraham, being united with God’s family.


          The Holy Order is initiated when Elijah is sent by the Lord to minister to the “root of Jesse” and a Temple is built by. Through this connection the righteous gathered to the family of Abraham come to know the Lord and receive the Spirit of Messiah. Thereafter they walk and talk to God and continue their transformation, becoming renewed in the image of God with their companions.


The Temple Built and the Conduit from Heaven Opens


          The beginning of this paper quoted the reference about the “one mighty and strong.” In my book, “Our Future is Our Past,” I explain the “one mighty and strong” and the “root of Jesse” are the same person. These two individuals are also the “prince” described in RE Ezekiel 19:6, emphasis added).


And David my servant shall be king over them, and they all shall have one shepherd. They [Israel] shall also walk in my judgments, and observe my statutes, and do them. And they shall dwell in the land that I have given unto Jacob my servant, wherein your fathers have dwelled. And they shall dwell therein — even they, and their children, and their children’s children for ever. And my servant David shall be their prince for ever.”


The Lord’s servant, David undergoes a title change from “king” in RE verse 5 to “prince for ever.” Thereafter Ezekiel refers to David as “the prince.” The time when God’s family, Israel “walk in my judgments, and observe my statutes” follows after the battle of Gog and Magog and seven years of burning the weapons of war.


          In RE Ezekiel 21 a Heavenly ministrant appears to Ezekiel and shows him in vision the city where the Lord’s Temple is built in the land of Israel. Like Isaiah’s description of the latter-day Temple[8], the Lord’s Temple is constructed “upon a very high mountain.”


          After measuring the outward dimensions of the Temple, Ezekiel is shown the inner dimensions. This vision provides the “prince” information necessary for the construction of the latter-day Temple. When the Temple is constructed, inheritances are assigned, beginning at the Temple where the “prince” and his family dwell on one side and the “priests of Zadok,” Levitical Priests who minister in the Temple dwell on the opposite side. Inheritances for the other tribes are given thereafter moving outward from the Temple.


          The East gate of the Temple is reserved for the Lord and the “prince.


“Afterward, he brought me to the gate, even the gate that looks toward the east. And behold, the glory of the God of Israel came from the way of the east, and his voice was like a noise of many waters, and the earth shined with his glory. And it was according to the appearance of the vision which I saw, even according to the vision that I saw when I came to destroy the city. And the visions were like the vision that I saw by the river Chebar. And I fell upon my face, and the glory of the Lord came into the house by the way of the gate whose prospect is toward the east. So the spirit took me up and brought me into the inner court, and behold, the glory of the Lord filled the house.


And I heard him [the Lord] speaking unto me out of the house (and the man stood by me), and he said unto me, Son of man, the place of my throne, and the place of the soles of my feet where I will dwell in the midst of the children of Israel for ever, and my holy name, shall the house of Israel no more defile — neither they nor their kings — by their whoredom, nor by the carcasses of their kings in their high places. In their setting of their threshold by my thresholds, and their doorpost by my doorposts, and the wall between me and them, they have even defiled my holy name by their abominations that they have committed; wherefore, I have consumed them in my anger. Now let them put away their whoredom and the carcasses of their kings far from me, and I will dwell in the midst of them for ever” (RE Ezekiel 21:27-28, emphasis added).


The Lord in glory enters the latter-day Temple at the East gate. His glory fills the Temple and He declares it to be where His throne sits and the soles of His feet rest forever with Israel. The Lord accepts the Temple because Israel’s sins have been “put away” and like Moses on Sinai, their feet sanctify the place where the Lord establishes as His everlasting dwelling place with Israel.


“You son of man [Ezekiel], show the house to the house of Israel, that they may be ashamed of their iniquities. And let them measure the pattern, and if they are ashamed of all that they have done, show them the form of the house and the fashion thereof, and the exits thereof, and the entrances thereof, and all the forms thereof, and all the ordinances thereof, and all the forms thereof, and all the laws thereof; and write it in their sight, that they may keep the whole form thereof, and all the ordinances thereof, and do them.


This is the law of the house: upon the top of the mountain, the whole limit thereof round about shall be most holy. Behold, this is the law of the house” (RE Ezekiel 21:29-30, emphasis added).


Presumably Ezekiel is the proxy for the “prince” in this vision because Ezekiel will not live to witness what he is shown by the Lord. However, his writings are preserved to inform and instruct those who live to see the prophecy’s fulfillment.


Waters Flow From the East Porch of the Temple when the “One Mighty and Strong” Arranges Inheritances by Lot


          After the Lord fills the Temple with His glory and the “prince” enters the Lord’s presence one cannot help but receive of His countenance into theirs. The “one mighty and strong” whom the Lord sends is both mighty and strong because of his association with the Savior. He holds the scepter of power because of his righteousness.[9] The “one mighty and strong” has light for a covering. Light because he receives revelation from the Lord and takes the Lord’s countenance upon himself.[10] The words he utters are Eternal, or God’s words and it fills his bowels to overflowing with truth. As a metaphorical “fountain” who establishes the connection between Heaven and Earth, the “prince” exercises his keys to the knowledge of God[11] to flood the Earth with divine knowledge. Under divine direction the “prince” sets the house of God in order, completing the ordering of the Lord’s House by gathering God’s family, Israel by adoption.


          This process is portrayed in Ezekiel’s vision as truth being poured out on Earth metaphorically as a flood of water.


“Afterward, he brought me again unto the door of the house, and behold, waters issued out from under the threshold of the house eastward [where the Lord and the “prince” enter]— for the forefront of the house stood toward the east — and the waters came down from under, from the right side of the house at the south side of the altar [the right side of the altar is symbolic of the Lord’s presence][12]. Then he brought me out of the way of the gate northward, and led me about the way outside unto the outer gate by the way that looks eastward; and behold, there ran out waters on the right side.


And when the man that had the line in his hand went forth eastward, he measured a thousand cubits, and he brought me through the waters (the waters were to the ankles). Again he measured a thousand, and brought me through the waters (the waters were to the knees). Again he measured a thousand, and brought me through (the waters were to the loins). Afterward he measured a thousand, and it was a river that I could not pass over, for the waters were risen, waters to swim in, a river that could not be passed over[13]. And he said unto me, Son of man, have you seen this?


Then he brought me and caused me to return to the brink of the river. Now when I had returned, behold, at the bank of the river were very many trees [trees are a scriptural metaphor for people, (see RE Isaiah 4:8) on the one side and on the other. Then said he unto me, These waters issue out toward the east country, and go down into the desert, and go into the sea — which, being brought forth into the sea, the waters shall be healed. And it shall come to pass that everything that lives, which moves, wherever the rivers shall come, shall live. And there shall be a very great multitude of fish[14] because these waters shall come there, for they shall be healed. And everything shall live where the river comes. And it shall come to pass that the fishers shall stand upon it from Engedi even unto Eneglaim. They shall be a place to spread forth nets; their fish shall be according to their kinds, as the fish of the great sea, exceedingly many [gathering of Israel] But the miry places thereof and the marshes thereof shall not be healed; they shall be given to salt [sterile].


And by the river, upon the bank thereof, on this side and on that side, shall grow all trees for food — whose leaf shall not fade [Eternal], 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 food, and the leaf thereof for medicine.


Thus says the Lord God: This shall be the border whereby you shall inherit the land, according to the twelve tribes of Israel — Joseph shall have two portions, and you shall inherit it, one as well as another — concerning which I lifted up my hand to give it unto your fathers; and this land shall fall unto you for inheritance” (RE Ezekiel 21:58-62, emphasis added).


This is the prophetic future for those who embrace the Holy Order God establishes in our day. It will be done exactly as it is written. We support the Lord’s work by repenting and humbly petitioning for His mercy in prayer.


And now Melchizedek was a priest of this Order, therefore he obtained peace in Salem and was called the Prince of Peace. And his people wrought righteousness, and obtained Heaven, and sought for the city of Enoch which God had before taken, separating it from the earth, having reserved it unto the latter days, or the end of the world, and has said and sworn with an oath that the heavens and the earth should come together [conduit between Heaven and Earth, an ensign], and the sons of God should be tried so as by fire [endure the presence of the sanctified]. And this Melchizedek, having thus established righteousness, was called the King of Heaven by his people — or in other words, the King of Peace” (RE Genesis 7:20, emphasis added).

 


[1] “The Holy Order function requires both a father and mother, and is the reason Joseph Smith wrote, “[T]here are many teachers but perhaps not many Fathers. There are times coming when God will signify many things which are expedient for the well being of the saints but the times have not yet come but will come as fast as there can be found place and receptions for them.” That time did not come during Joseph’s life, and therefore the return of the Holy Order did not happen in his day. Because of the failure in Joseph’s day, the Family or House of God still needs to be set in order. As is always the case, there will need to be a temple prepared for the Holy Order to function. It was first given to Adam and Eve in sacred space and therefore, sacred space like the Garden of Eden is required for its function” (Holy Order Part 2, Denver Snuffer Jr., p.4, emphasis added).


[2] The theme of producing fruit worthy of preservation is a redundant theme. Insight into how this fruit is produced and preserved is given in the Tenth Parable from the book Ten Parables by Denver Snuffer Jr. The following is an excerpt depicting the produce by which fruit is produced and then preserved. “Angels came to the Lord and reported there was a young man who sought to do good, who loved his wife and treated her with great affection. Not only that, when the man and his wife spoke, they shared such joy and kindness, such light and truth between them the angels were coming to listen in to their daily discourse. The Lord said He would come and see the man and his wife for Himself. So it was that the Lord came down and looked upon the young man and his wife. He found them together, preparing a meal for their children, joking about the events of the day. Their conversation was witty, filled with mirth and insight and great love was shared between them. The Lord then considered the young man carefully. He spoke to the angels and said: “We will present this matter at the council, and you will receive word.” The Lord returned from where He came, and presented the matter to the council to consider. The Lord said, “I have considered the case of this young man, and have found his intent and desires to be perfect. He has labored long to gain light and has collected great light. However, he is lacking in one great virtue and it will be necessary for us to intervene if the young man is to be prepared to become one with us. “He is complete, having a wife whom he loves and who loves him. They are as one of us and their company would be well suited to mingle with our company.” Because of the Lord’s recommendation, the council determined to intervene, to preserve the young man and his wife. The Lord was to do all He saw fit to cause the preservation of this man and woman. So it was that the Lord called His servant and instructed him what he should do. Thereupon the events unfolded in the life of the young man as follows”

Thereafter the young man was given experiences that taught and tested him directed by the Heavenly Council. The final experience and test was administered by Sarah, the wife of Abraham. She condescended from her exalted place, transformed to a beggar in the path of the young man. “ . . . As he emerged from the side of the crowd, the man nearly bumped into an elderly woman, standing on the curb, holding a sign asking for help. The old woman did not so much as lift up her face, but stared at the ground for her shame in begging. No one was giving her any aid from the great crowd of men wearing suits. As was his practice, the man had money in his pocket to give to beggars. Since he had encountered but this one beggar, he gave to her more generously by reaching for her hand and putting money into it. At the kindness shown her, the old woman glanced up and said, “thank you so much.” The man responded: “God bless you,” and he meant it . . . In the middle of the night, the man was awakened and summoned by the Spirit. He was taken by the Spirit back to the place where he had been earlier that day and stood now before the old beggar woman on a deserted street. As he stood before her, she transformed before his eyes, from an elderly beggar woman to a beautiful young personage whom he recognized as Sarah, wife of Abraham and Mother of all the righteous. When he saw who she was he wondered at what this all meant. Sarah spoke to him and said; “you passed the test.” The man, thinking she spoke of his giving her some money, said, “It wasn’t much of a test.” She responded, “But no one else had mercy.” And as he thought about all those who had been beside him in the crowd, none of whom had even noticed her, he was taken by the Spirit back to his home and bed. He awoke his wife and told her of what had happened. She inquired: “What test?” “I do not know,” he replied. “What do you think it means?” “I think it means you are quite full of yourself,” she replied. They both chuckled and returned to sleep. In the morning as he awoke, the Spirit commanded the man to write the account. As he sat down to write, the words were given to him. Where he intended to write about the events of the day before, instead it was given to him to write the following: “I have been instructed from On High, and have been taught for years. Eighteen years ago I failed the test; today I have passed. I was confronted by two beggars: “With the first, I was going out. “With the second, I was coming in. “The first was young, the second was old. “The first was a man, the second a woman. “The first was outside a courthouse, the second outside a church. “To the first I did not have charity, but to the second I did. “In the first I did not know the identity of the beggar; but in the second I knew her name. “The first left me with a lingering guilt, which I have carried until the second left a sense of relief. “God’s patience in bearing with me has given me eighteen years to learn the great lesson. It has all been punctuated as if by two great bookends in these visits by His angels, and God has been there all along.” The man had learned the missing virtue. Within days the Lord came to him and instructed him further. The Lord dressed him in white and gave him further light and knowledge to prepare him. When he had been fully prepared by the Lord, he was summoned into the Heavenly Council, where he heard unspeakable things. Circles within circles were assembled, the Father being in the center of it all, and great rejoicing took place. The words of Psalms 2: 7 were spoken unto him [“I will declare the decree: the Lord hath said unto me, Thou art my Son; this day have I begotten thee”]. He met the hosts of heaven, and they were as a family unto him” (Snuffer, Denver C.. Ten Parables (pp.93-109, emphasis added). Kindle Edition.

This exemplifies the process by which a man and his wife are tried, tested and prepared to join the Family of God in the Hosts of Heaven. It begins with righteousness and a loving union before Heaven intervenes. This is fruit worthy of preservation.

 

[3] “ . . . Given the examples of Abraham and Joseph Smith, it becomes clear that the Holy Order does not have to be exclusively dynastic (passing in one family line) but can branch out to include any other worthy member of the line, however distant or separated by generations” (The Religion of the Fathers, Denver Snuffer Jr., pg. 3, emphasis added).


[4] “Joseph’s teaching about sealing for the afterlife explained for salvation there must be someone to “have power to hold the keys of the revelations ordinances, oricles powers & endowments of the fulness of the Melchezedek Priesthood & of the Kingdom of God on the Earth & to receive, obtain and perform all the ordinances belonging to the Kingdom of God even unto the sealing of the hearts of the fathers unto the children & the hearts of the children unto the fathers even those who are in heaven.” (WJS p. 329, emphasis added.)

“ . . . The Order is not just a form of priesthood, but also involves a family connection to the first fathers. For the holder, it establishes a role within that family. The seniormost living couple in that order stands in the same position as did Adam and Eve. It is essential that the Holy Order be reestablished prior to the Second Coming so that the events of Adam-Ondi-Ahman can take place. To link together God’s Family necessarily follows the precedent of Abraham because it includes adoption of the living holder on earth to the “fathers who are in heaven”169 (as Joseph Smith put it). The identity of those “fathers in heaven” and the identity of those who have held the Holy Order are the same. God’s family must be linked together on both sides of the veil” (The Holy Order Part 2, Denver Snuffer Jr., p.49, emphasis added).


[5] “The covenant-making to secure a throne requires the direct participation of the woman. The Holy Order involves both the husband and wife” (The Holy Order Part 2, Denver Snuffer Jr., p.30, emphasis added).


[6] The question of what is the “living roots” is important to understanding how we are “nourished” as well as from whom we receive nourishment. Living roots are roots that are not only alive but have the ability to sustain and nourish plants grafted into them. Isaiah points to such a graft to occur in the last days. While not as apparent in the King James Translation of Isaiah 11:1, the Gileadi translation changes the first verse to say, “ . . . a branch from its graft bear fruit.” The “stem” or stump of Israel is Christ. Because Christ and His roots remain alive, a “rod” or “shoot” springs from the stump after the tree [Israel] is felled. Metaphorically the roots and stump attempt to restore the upper portion of the tree. The Restoration or “rod” is a man. “Behold, thus says the Lord: It is a servant in the hands of Christ, who is partly a descendant of Jesse as well as of Ephraim, or of the House of Joseph, on whom there is laid much power.” (RE T&C 129:2). The characteristics of a “rod” or in more modern terms, a “sucker” are that they draw nourishment from the stump and roots, grow straight up rapidly but are unable to bear fruit. The method of turning a sucker into a productive, fruitful branch is by grafting. In Isaiah’s prophecy, the graft is to the “roots.” Translating this into modern terminology, The Lord, [“Stem” or Stump] raises up Joseph Smith [the “rod”, “shoot,” or “sucker”] to initiate the Restoration of the Gospel of Jesus Christ to the gentiles. Joseph Smith stated his work was that associated with the Spirit of Elias, which is preparatory (see TPJS., p.335). For the gentile “rod” to bear fruit, it must be grafted into  “living roots” which are the Patriarchal Fathers, the Spirit of Elijah. Joseph Smith attempted this but fell short when the Nauvoo Temple was not completed and accepted by Christ (see RE T&C 141:10). In the last days, Malachi (see RE Malachi 1:12) foretold a day when Elijah comes to turn the hearts of the children to their Patriarchal Fathers. The men and women who obtained Eternal promises that continue beyond this life into Eternity. That is why they are “living roots.” The gentiles who accept Joseph Smith must also accept the “root of Jesse,” (see RE T&C 129:3) who obtains the status of Patriarchal Father and leads the gentile remnant and Israel to a connection between Heaven and Earth. The connection establishes a union between the kingdom of God in Heaven with the kingdom of God on Earth. The “branch,” like the “living roots” must become “living,” worthy of preservation.


[7]Question: What is the Root of Jesse spoken of in the 10th verse of the 11th chapter [Isa. 5:4]?Answer: Behold, thus says the Lord: It is a descendant of Jesse as well as of Joseph, unto whom rightly belongs the Priesthood and the keys of the Kingdom, for an ensign and for the gathering of my people in the last day” (RE T&C 129:3, emphasis added).

 

[8] “The word that Isaiah, the son of Amoz, saw concerning Judah and Jerusalem; and it shall come to pass in the last days, when 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 [of Israel] shall flow unto it. And many people shall go and say, Come and let us go up to the mountain of the Lord, to the house of the God of Jacob, and he will teach us of his ways and we will walk in his paths. For out of Zion shall go forth the law, and the word of the Lord from Jerusalem. And he shall judge among the nations and shall rebuke many people. And they shall beat their swords into plowshares and their spears into pruning hooks; nation shall not lift up sword against nation, neither shall they learn war anymore” (RE Isaiah 1:5, emphasis added).

 

[9] “Behold, there are many called, but few are chosen, and why are they not chosen? Because their hearts are set so much upon the things of this world, and aspire to the honors of men, that they do not learn this one lesson — that the rights of the Priesthood are inseparably connected with the Powers of Heaven and that the Powers of Heaven cannot be controlled nor handled, only upon the principles of righteousness. That 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, the spirit of the Lord is grieved, and when it is withdrawn, Amen to the priesthood or the authority of that man. Behold, ere he is aware, he is left unto himself, to kick against the pricks, to persecute the saints, and to fight against God. 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” (RE T&C 139:5, emphasis added).


[10]And it came to pass that when Jesus had thus prayed unto the Father, he came unto his disciples, and behold, they did still continue without ceasing to pray unto him. And they did not multiply many words, for it was given unto them what they should pray, and they were filled with desire. And it came to pass that Jesus blessed them as they did pray unto him, and his countenance did smile upon them, and the light of his countenance did shine upon them. And behold, they were as white as the countenance and also the garments of Jesus. And behold, the whiteness thereof did exceed all whiteness, yea, even there could be nothing upon earth so white as the whiteness thereof. And Jesus said unto them, Pray on. Nevertheless, they did not cease to pray. And he turned from them again and went a little way off, and bowed himself to the earth, and he prayed again unto the Father, saying, Father, I thank thee that thou hast purified these whom I have chosen because of their faith; and I pray for them, and also for them who shall believe on their words, that they may be purified in me through faith on their words, even as they are purified in me. Father, I pray not for the world, but for them which thou hast given unto me out of the world because of their faith, that they may be purified in me, that I may be in them as thou, Father, art in me, that we may be one, that I may be glorified in them. And when Jesus had spoken these words, he came again unto his disciples, and behold, they did pray steadfastly without ceasing unto him; and he did smile upon them again, and behold, they were white, even as Jesus” (RE 3 Nephi 9:4, emphasis added).


[11]And this greater Priesthood administers the gospel and holds the key of the mysteries of the kingdom, even the key of the knowledge of God. Therefore, in the ordinances thereof, the power of godliness is manifest, and without the ordinances thereof, and the authority of the Priesthood, the power of godliness is not manifest unto man in the flesh, for without this no man can see the face of God, even the Father, and live” (RE T&C 82:12, emphasis added).

 

[12] “But if you passed through and you came from inside the Holy of Holies into the Holy Place, you would be standing, as it turns out, on the right side of the altar. Symbolically that meant that this person who has now come to stand on the right side of the altar has just emerged from the symbolic presence of God. We tend to think of things as being non-physical, but when these encounters occur, it gets very concrete and very specific—and there we have the right side of the altar of incense, and that description fixes the angel in the right location for him, inside the temple, to have emerged from this symbolic presence” (The Road to Emmaus, Denver Snuffer Jr., p.9, emphasis added).


[13] “And the day shall come that the earth shall rest. But before that day, the heavens shall be darkened, and a veil of darkness shall cover the earth; and the heavens shall shake, and also the earth. And great tribulations shall be among the children of men, but my people will I preserve. And righteousness will I send down out of Heaven. Truth will I send forth out of the earth to bear testimony of my Only Begotten, his resurrection from the dead, yea, and also the resurrection of all men. And righteousness and truth will I cause to sweep the earth as with a flood, to gather out my own elect from the four quarters of the earth unto a place which I shall prepare, a holy city, that my people may gird up their loins and be looking forth for the time of my coming. For there shall be my tabernacle, and it shall be called Zion, a New Jerusalem. And the Lord said unto Enoch, Then shall you and all your city meet them there, and we will receive them into our bosom. And they shall see us, and we will fall upon their necks, and they shall fall upon our necks, and we will kiss each other; and there shall be my abode. And it shall be Zion which shall come forth out of all the creations which I have made, and for the space of a thousand years shall the earth rest” (RE Genesis 4:22, emphasis added).


[14] “And now as he walked by the Sea of Galilee, he saw Simon, and Andrew his brother, casting a net into the sea, for they were fishers. And Jesus said unto them, Come after me and I will make you to become fishers of men. And immediately they forsook their nets and followed him. And when he had gone a little farther from there, he saw Jacob, the son of Zebedee, and John his brother, who also were in the ship mending their nets. And he called them, and immediately they left their father Zebedee in the ship with the hired servants and went after him” (RE Mark 1:5, emphasis added).


Scott Roderick

5/21/24



Setting in Order the House of God
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