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The Gentiles and Zion Part IV

       Submerged within the stories in scripture are patterns of how the Lord and men interact with one another. Readers familiar with the Book of Mormon readily identify “the cycle of pride,” where people begin humble and penitent, receiving blessings from God. After a period of prosperity they become complacent, neglecting their relationship with God. They turn from Him to worldly pleasures and accumulation of wealth. To save them from their rebellion, God pours judgments upon them until they return to humility and penitence; beginning the cycle again.

          There are other cycles in scripture that are clear and discernible once the reader is aware of them. For example, in the “Our Divine Parents” talk, Denver Snuffer offers a key to discerning Heavenly Mother in the scriptures.

“Our scriptures speak carefully about the existence and importance of a Heavenly Mother, a Divine Female whose greatest attribute is to bestow wisdom upon the whole of this creation. It is possible to miss Her presence. That cultural and theological blindness is not because of Her absence from the scriptures. It's not hard to detect Her if you look. We just don’t look . . . The Father and the Son are masculine and, therefore, personified by the word knowledge. The Mother as well as the Son’s companion are feminine and personified by the word wisdom. These personifications reflect an eternal truth about these two parts of the one true God. Knowledge (masculine) initiates; Wisdom (feminine) receives, guides, and tempers. Knowledge can be dangerous unless it is informed by wisdom. Wisdom provides guidance and counsel to channel what comes from knowledge. These are eternal attributes, part of what it means to be a male or a female. Creation begins with the active initiative of knowledge, but order and harmony for the creation requires wisdom. Balance between them is required for an orderly creation to exist . . . A great deal can be learned about Heavenly Mother by searching for the word wisdom in scripture. Very often, the reference to wisdom is to Her distinctly and not merely an abstract attribute. If we are blind to Her existence, we cannot see the reference to Her in those passages. Although many scriptures have the Divine Mother’s words, Her presence is veiled by our ignorance and refusal to acknowledge Her” (Our Divine Parents, Denver Snuffer Jr., pp.2-6, emphasis added).

By searching for “wisdom” in the scriptures, it is possible in many if not most instances to unveil the voice of Heavenly Mother. This exercise provides interesting insights into Her role and nature of Her contribution to mankind’s development.

The Covenant Pattern

          Like the cycle of pride explained before, the Lord follows a covenant pattern. It begins with the Lord sending His servant, [a Melchizedek High Priest, see T&C 82:12] to prepare the proposed covenant people to receive the higher covenant. Covenant preparation is a function of the Aaronic Priesthood and the Spirit of Elias. This was the work Joseph Smith was sent to perform among the gentiles.

“In the first place, suffice it to say, I went into the woods to inquire of the Lord, by prayer, His will concerning me, and I saw an angel, and he laid his hands upon my head, and ordained me to a Priest after the order of Aaron, and to hold the keys of this Priesthood, which office was to preach repentance and baptism for the remission of sins, and also to baptize. But I was informed that this office did not extend to the laying on of hands for the giving of the Holy Ghost; that that office was a greater work, and was to be given afterward; but that my ordination was a preparatory work, or a going before, which was the spirit of Elias; for the spirit of Elias was a going before to prepare the way for the greater, which was the case with John the Baptist. (Smith Jr., Joseph. Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith (p. 384). Deseret Book Company. Kindle Edition, emphasis added).

 Following the ordinations of Joseph Smith and Oliver Cowdery, Joseph Smith was appointed first elder and Oliver Cowdery became the second elder. Both were given identical priesthood keys but Oliver was subject to the direction of Joseph Smith.

          The covenant pattern is explained in the 82 section of the Teachings and Commandments.

And this greater Priesthood [Melchizedek] 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.

Now, this, Moses plainly taught to the children of Israel in the wilderness, and sought diligently to sanctify his people that they might behold the face of God, but they hardened their hearts and could not endure his presence. Therefore, the Lord, in his wrath (for his anger was kindled against them) swore that they should not enter into his rest — which rest is the fullness of his glory [presence]— while in the wilderness.

Therefore, he [the Lord] took Moses out of their midst, and the Holy Priesthood also [Spirit of Elijah]. And the lesser priesthood [Aaronic, Spirit of Elias] continued, which priesthood holds the key of the ministering of angels, and the preparatory gospel, which gospel is the gospel of repentance, and of baptism, and the remission of sins, and the law of carnal commandments, which the Lord in his wrath caused to continue with the house of Aaron, among the children of Israel, until John [the Baptist], whom God raised up, being filled with the holy ghost from his mother’s womb. For he was baptized while he was yet in his childhood, and was ordained by the angel of God [Aaronic Priesthood] at the time he was eight days old unto this power: to overthrow the kingdom of the Jews, and to make straight the way of the Lord before the face of his people, to prepare them for the coming of the Lord, in whose hand is given all power” (RE T&C 82:12-14, emphasis added).

This explains the Lord’s covenant cycle. Moses received the greater [Melchizedek] priesthood, plainly taught the power and blessings of the greater priesthood to Israel. Israel rejected the higher priesthood and the Lord withdrew Moses and the greater priesthood from Israel. He then replaced it with the lesser, Aaronic Priesthood. The Aaronic Priesthood was passed by literal lineage through descendants of Aaron until John the Baptist.

"Here is a little of law which must be fulfilled. The Levitical Priesthood is forever hereditary—fixed on the head of Aaron and his sons forever, and was in active operation down to Zacharias the father of John” (Smith Jr., Joseph. Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith (p. 364). Deseret Book Company. Kindle Edition, emphasis added).

John the Baptist was the son of Zachariah, an Aaronic high priest and Elizabeth, the cousin of Mary, the Mother of Jesus. Through ordination and birthright John the Baptist assumed authority previously held by the Aaronic leadership in the Jewish church. The first and only son of an Aaronic high priest, John the Baptist was also ordained by an angel of God as the rightful heir. John the Baptist was in effect empowered to wrest the kingdom of God from the Jews. This was preparation for the ministry of the Savior, who submitted to John’s authority by being baptized by him and then assuming His rightful claim to the kingdom of God on Earth.

 

“The Savior said unto John, I must be baptized by you. Why so? To fulfil all righteousness. John refuses at first, but afterwards obeyed by administering the ordinance of baptism unto him, Jesus having no other legal administrator to apply to. There is no salvation between the two lids of the Bible without a legal administrator. Jesus was then the legal administrator, and ordained His Apostles. (Smith Jr., Joseph. Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith (p. 365). Deseret Book Company. Kindle Edition, emphasis added).

Following the Savior’s baptism by John the Beloved, Jesus becomes the legal administrator in the Jewish religion. He extends the final Melchizedek covenant offer of His dispensation to the Jews. The ultimate act of rejection by the Jews was the crucifixion of the Son of God. The passing of Jesus completed the covenant cycle for Israel.

          Prior to the death and resurrection of Jesus, the Lord gave the sealing power to Peter [Melchizedek Priesthood] and the covenant cycle for the gentiles began. According to Joseph Smith, some gentiles received the covenant, unlike Israel.

“Thus after this chosen family had rejected Christ and His proposals, the heralds of salvation said to them, "Lo we turn unto the Gentiles"; and the Gentiles received the covenant, and were grafted in from whence the chosen family were broken off; but the Gentiles have not continued in the goodness of God, but have departed from the faith that was once delivered to the Saints, and have broken the covenant in which their fathers were established (see Isaiah 24:5); and have become high-minded, and have not feared; therefore, but few of them will be gathered with the chosen family. Have not the pride, high-mindedness, and unbelief of the Gentiles, provoked the Holy One of Israel to withdraw His Holy Spirit from them, and send forth His judgments to scourge them for their wickedness? This is certainly the case” (TPJS., p.15, emphasis added).

The gentiles received the covenant in the days of Paul and Peter for some period of time but the covenant did not continue. Pride, high-mindedness and unbelief replaced the faith of the earlier gentile fathers. As gentiles moved further from the covenant the Lord withdrew His Spirit from them and called them to repentance by pouring His judgments upon them.

          The covenant cycle of the gentiles that began after the crucifixion of Jesus was half complete when God began withdrawing His Spirit from the gentiles. The generation of gentiles who rejected the covenant passed away. Then God sent John the Baptist to lay the foundation for the last offer of covenant to the Jews and Jesus. The same pattern is repeated with the second covenant offer to the gentiles in the last days. After several generations of gentiles passed, the Lord sent Joseph Smith as an Elias to prepare them for the Melchizedek Priesthood covenant. This was accomplished by John the Baptist ordaining Joseph Smith and Oliver Cowdery to the Aaronic order of priesthood.

          Some gentiles were receptive to Joseph Smith in the early years but the gentile offer of the Melchizedek covenant ended with the deaths of Joseph and Hyrum Smith. The Savior’s exclamation point to this ending was the complete destruction of the Nauvoo temple, like the temple in Jerusalem.

          Presuming the Lord stays true to the covenant cycle, a man appears claiming to have seen Christ. For that to be true, he must be a Melchizedek High Priest, like Moses and Joseph Smith. Since it comes at the end of the gentile covenant cycle, he begins by reaffirming what went on before with Joseph Smith. In effect, a spokesman for Joseph Smith as Aaron was a spokesman for Moses. Evidence of the legitimacy of his claim is found in two things. First is the content of his message which aligns with the words spoken by Christ personally and through His servants called to this Holy Order previously. As an Elias he will not transcend the limitations of his mission. He never claims to be more than he is, within the capacity in which the Lord has sent Him. That does not suggest that capacity can’t change. If his people to whom he has been sent repent and join the covenant and are faithful, he and his people ascend together, though he is more advanced than them.

          The second element is his willingness to sacrifice to fulfill his mission. Those who receive the Priesthood after the Order of the Son of God are men who commit to living as Jesus did. There will is to do the will of Him who sent them. They will not preach or minister for money. In fact, they condemn it. What is freely available from God should never be shared for money.

          The Lord sends these men to act as an Elias or one who prepares the way for a higher or greater work. John the Baptist finished the work begun by Aaron and his firstborn sons. The Melchizedek High Priest does so because of the status and needs of the people, and it does not reflect his standing before God.

          Another sign validating the divine calling of the Lord’s servant is how popular the reaction is to their message.

Priestcraft is toxic, not just to the listeners but to the practitioners. If what you’re saying, if what you’re preaching, is greeted with wild enthusiasm, and it doesn’t get you shunned, then you’re probably not saying anything that God would agree with. God’s purpose is to bring us to repentance. I mean, the Lord is exceptionally positive, but He is positive in stating affirmatively the standard that is acceptable to Him.  “Blessed are ye when men shall revile you and persecute you and say all manner of evil against you falsely, for my name sake” (Matthew 5:11).  He expected us to be misunderstood, misapprehended, assessed very narrowly—just as He was, cast out—not to be handed money and to be given a chief seat, to be adored, and to be respected” (Priestcraft, Denver Snuffer Jr., August 16, 2018, emphasis added).

 Their message is a restoration of the original teachings given by God to man. When the Melchizedek Priesthood is removed, mankind is exposed to the full forces of the fall of Adam. The fall introduced entropy into this world.

“And now Alma began to expound these things unto him, saying, It is given unto many to know the mysteries of God; nevertheless, they are laid under a strict command that they shall not impart — only according to the portion of his word which he doth grant unto the children of men, according to the heed and diligence which they give unto him. And therefore, he that will harden his heart, the same receiveth the lesser portion of the word [“Believe it not!] And he that will not harden his heart, to him is given the greater portion of the word, until it is given unto him to know the mysteries of God, until they know them in full. And they that will harden their hearts, to them is given the lesser portion of the word until they know nothing concerning his mysteries; and then they are taken captive by the Devil and led by his will down to destruction. Now this is what is meant by the chains of hell” (RE Alma 9:3, emphasis added).

 The absence of the Melchizedek Priesthood stems the flow of revelation to mankind. When keys to the knowledge of God are removed with His Priesthood, mankind is left to themselves to interpret, misinterpret, redact and ignore what was given before. When truth is restored, it acts like a sledge hammer striking with devastating force false doctrines established to mislead the souls of men. Rather than repent, they retreat to traditions of their father’s.

“I [Joseph Smith] have tried for a number of years to get the minds of the Saints prepared to receive the things of God; but we frequently see some of them, after suffering all they have for the work of God, will fly to pieces like glass as soon as anything comes that is contrary to their traditions: they cannot stand the fire at all. How many will be able to abide a celestial law, and go through and receive their exaltation, I am unable to say, as many are called, but few are chosen” (Smith Jr., Joseph. Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith (pp. 379-380). Deseret Book Company. Kindle Edition, emphasis added).

When the Melchizedek High Priest and the Greater Priesthood is Gone

          When Moses was translated and the Melchizedek Priesthood withdrawn, the Lord’s offer of covenant is removed as well. But that does not leave the people who were chosen by God completely abandoned. It leaves them significantly impaired. The Aaronic covenant, also known as the Law of Moses continued after the Lord removed Moses from Israel. The Aaronic Priesthood was intended to prepare the people for the greater priesthood, but it would not accomplish it unless the individuals sought diligently to receive the greater priesthood. If Israel was following this course there would have been no need for John the Baptist, the Elias preceding the Savior.

          Joseph Smith began his ministry as an Elias, he, like Moses, actively sought to elevate the gentile saints to receive the greater Melchizedek Covenant. The murders of Joseph and Hyrum Smith and failure to complete the Nauvoo Temple marked the rejection of the greater covenant by the gentile latter-day saints. Like Israel before them, the Lord allowed the Aaronic covenant to continue but the Melchizedek Priesthood was withdrawn with the sealing power.

“ . . . For there is not place found on the earth that he may come and restore again that which was lost unto you, or which he has taken away, even the fullness of the Priesthood” (RE T&C 141:10, emphasis added).

The withdrawal of the higher Priesthood from the saints did not stop the surviving leadership from claiming a succession from Joseph Smith to the “new order of things.”

“Charles Wesley Wandell, an assistant church historian, was aghast at these emendations. Commenting on the many changes made in the historical work as it was being serialized in the Deseret News, Wandell noted in his diary: “I notice the interpolations because having been employed in the Historian’s office at Navuoo by Doctor Richards, and employed, too, in 1845, in compiling this very autobiography, I know that after Joseph’s death his memoir was ‘doctored’ to suit the new order of things, and this, too, by the direct order of Brigham Young to Doctor Richards and systematically by Richards.” The Quorum of the Twelve, under Brigham Young’s leadership, began altering the historical record shortly after Smith’s death. Contrary to the introduction’s claim, Smith did not author the History of the Church. At the time of his 1844 death, the narrative had been written up to 5 August 1838” (Preserving the Restoration Snuffer, Denver, pp.v-vi).

The reality is this is consistent with the covenant pattern throughout time. The Jews maintain their claim to “chosen” status by claiming a connection to Abraham and Moses. Catholicism and the Orthodox religions claim their authority by associating themselves with Peter and the sealing power given to him by Jesus. Protestant Christianity claims authority by virtue of the Bible. Mormons, similar to Jews and the Torah, use Joseph Smith and his accomplishments to claim priesthood succession and that claim was correct, but not in the manner they claim.

          When Moses and the greater Priesthood were removed from Israel, the Aaronic Priesthood remained. The same is true after the murders of Joseph and Hyrum Smith. The sealing power, or more correctly stated, the power to use God’s word to seal individuals and their works for time and eternity was removed. This power can only continue if God declares it personally.

Now Melchizedek was a man of faith who wrought righteousness. And when a child, he feared God, and stopped the mouths of lions, and quenched the violence of fire. And thus, having been approved of God, he was ordained a high priest after the Order of the covenant which God made with Enoch, it being after the Order of the Son of God, which Order came not by man, nor the will of men, neither by father nor mother, neither by beginning of days nor end of years, but of God. And it was delivered unto men by the calling of his own voice, according to his own will, unto as many as believed on his name” (RE Genesis 7:18, emphasis added).

Succession of the Melchizedek Priesthood may begin by ordination by a man, but it must also be ratified by God. As part of the ordination of the first quorum of Twelve Apostles, performed by the three witnesses, their instructions included this directive.

“ . . . Never cease striving until you have seen God face to face. Strengthen your faith; cast off your doubts, your sins, and all your unbelief; and nothing can prevent you from coming to God. Your ordination is not full and complete till God has laid His hand upon you. We require as much to qualify us as did those who have gone before us; God is the same. If the Savior in former days laid His hands upon His disciples, why not in latter days? (Passing the Heavenly Gift , Snuffer, Denver, (p. 89), emphasis added).

The first Apostles ordained in Joseph Smith’s dispensation were given the same bar the Lord set for Israel in Moses’ day. The full purpose of the Atonement of Jesus Christ was to repair the damage from the Fall of Adam and Eve. If the Atonement truly repairs the damage from the Fall, it will of necessity return mankind back to God’s presence. The Lord did that for Joseph Smith and offered it to all who likewise sought His face.

          The lofty bar set by the Lord for a man to claim this Priesthood is the requirement the man has to receive it from the Lord directly; no intermediary involved. Brigham Young claimed to be Joseph Smith’s successor, but Brigham never had the audacity to claim he had seen Christ or even an angel.

“I have flattered myself, if I am as faithful as I know how to be to my God, and my brethren, and to all my covenants, and faithful in the discharge of my duty, when I have lived to be as old as was Moses when the Lord appeared to him, that perhaps I then may hold communion with the Lord, as did Moses. I am not now in that position, though I know much more than I did twenty, ten, or five years ago. But have I yet lived to the state of perfection that I can commune in person with the Father and the Son at my will and pleasure? No,-though I hold myself in readiness that he can wield me at his will and pleasure. If I am faithful until I am eighty years of age, perhaps the Lord will appear to me and personally dictate me in the management of his Church and people. A little over twenty years, and if I am faithful, perhaps I will obtain that favour with my Father and God” (Snuffer, Denver. Passing the Heavenly Gift (p. 90). Mill Creek Press. Kindle Edition, emphasis added).

Brigham Young’s words are a direct contradiction to the established narrative of the church. Like all religion claiming to hold authority from God, their entire foundation and legitimacy rests on that assertion.

          The problem with building the foundation on that assertion is the assertion, no matter how sincerely one believes it, will always be false. To claim a falsehood is true is inherently Satanic and will not stand.

Something Was Left , But What?

          The sealing power was taken with Joseph and Hyrum, but the portions of priesthood remaining are those passed from Hyrum by right or lineal descent. As stated in RE Genesis 7:18:

“ . . . he was ordained a high priest after the Order of the covenant which God made with Enoch, it being after the Order of the Son of God, which Order came not by man, nor the will of men, neither by father nor mother, neither by beginning of days nor end of years, but of God. And it was delivered unto men by the calling of his own voice, according to his own will, unto as many as believed on his name” (emphasis added).

There are no lineal rights with Melchizedek Priesthood until the Spirit of Elijah is given and the door opens to the blessings of the Patriarchal Fathers. If the connection is made with the great Patriarchs rights descend from them. But that opportunity passed from the contemporary saints in Joseph Smith’s day. All that remained were Hyrum’s lineal rights to two offices, the office of Patriarch and Hyrum’s bishopric.

And again, verily I say unto you that my servant William be appointed, ordained, and anointed as a counselor unto my servant Joseph, in the room of my servant Hyrum, that my servant Hyrum may take the office of Priesthood and Patriarch, which was appointed unto him by his father by blessing, and also by right, that from henceforth he shall hold the keys of the Patriarchal blessings upon the heads of all my people, that whoever he blesses shall be blessed and whoever he curses shall be cursed, that whatever he shall bind on the earth shall be bound in Heaven, and that whatever he shall loose on earth shall be loosed in Heaven. And from this time forth I appoint unto him that he may be a prophet, and a seer, and a revelator unto my church, as well as my servant Joseph, that he may act in concert also with my servant Joseph, and that he shall receive counsel from my servant Joseph, who shall show unto him the keys whereby he may ask and receive, and be crowned with the same blessings. I crown [kingship] upon his head the bishopric [Aaronic], and blessing, and glory, and honor, and Priesthood, and gifts of the Priesthood, that once were put upon him that was my servant Oliver Cowdery, that my servant Hyrum may bear record of the things which I shall show unto him, that his name may be had in honorable remembrance from generation to generation for ever and ever” (RE T&C 141:32, emphasis added).

Hyrum’s right to the Patriarchal Priesthood came from his father, Joseph Smith Senior by blessing and by right. Like Oliver Cowdery, Hyrum received Melchizedek Priesthood keys Joseph Smith Jr. held including the sealing power and the Holy Spirit of Promise.

          When Joseph and Hyrum were taken, the Melchizedek Priesthood and the sealing power left with them. The Patriarchal power under the Aaronic Priesthood does not include the sealing power with the Holy Spirit of Promise. Under the Aaronic Priesthood Patriarchal blessings are not sealed in Heaven and Earth but are, like temple covenants blessings, contingent on faithfulness. Under the Aaronic Covenant the Patriarch declares lineage in Israel, reflecting a general tribal mission the person is sent to fulfill for the house of Israel. The Patriarch also identifies specific spiritual gifts the individual is given as gifts from God identifying their personal strengths they are encouraged to develop. The Patriarch also offers admonitions to identify weakness that should be guarded against. The blessing is then sealed with a contingent sealing tied to the faithfulness of the individual.

          The office of bishop is the presidency of the Aaronic Priesthood held by descendants of Aaron by lineal descent. The following is the explanation of a bishop from The Glossary of Gospel Terms:

“From the Greek episkopos (ἐπίσκοπος), meaning an “overseer” (one who sees “over”); literally “looking on intently”; “one who keeps an eye on” others, the flock, the fellowship.1 In the church organized by Joseph Smith, “the historical development of this office has been the most complex and the least understood…. Smith first appointed ‘general’ bishops with broad geographical jurisdiction. Only later did he introduce the possibility of local bishops for smaller geographical units [such as wards and branches] and a Presiding Bishop for the entire church. Again retrospective interpretations and changes in the historical record have muddied the story of this development.”2 Joseph Smith was church president, and Hyrum Smith was in the church presidency and also patriarch to the church, but choosing the bishop was left for the members’ vote.3 Even the duties of a bishop were decided by common consent in the beginning of the restoration.4 The office of bishop still continues in many of the various religious groups claiming Joseph Smith as their founder” (Bishop, p.590, emphasis added).

          The Glossary explanation makes note of the complex and least understood nature of the office of Bishop. When compiling research on the Davidic King, there was considerable evidence that linked the office of bishop to that of a king. This is not the forum for a “deep dive” into the subject, but there is one relevant anecdote worth sharing.

          The LDS ward I resided in had a member who was a retired university professor,  a French linguist. Coincidentally he was also one of two stake Patriarchs. His name was Rulon Smithson. I mention his name only because he is and was noteworthy as a righteous, faithful man who deserves recognition.

          In a conversation with Rulon I mentioned my theory that the office of king was the head of the Aaronic Priesthood and pointed to the relationship between King David and Abiathar and Zadok, two Aaronic high priests serving at the direction of David.

          Rulon was interested in the proposition because of a conversation he shared with his friend who was a scholar in Germanic languages. In that conversation his friend explained a connection between the German word “Koenig,” the word for king and the Jewish name Cohen. The name through which the presidency of the Aaronic Priesthood passed by linear right. He noted with interest how the similarities between the two and how they relate. The royal element of the Aaronic Priesthood may have been alluded to by the Lord when He crowns Hyrum with a bishopric.

Patriarch Eldred G. Smith Becomes a Pivotal Figure

          With the resumption of the Restoration that began with Joseph Smith came a renewed interest in Eldred G. Smith, a direct descendant of Hyrum Smith and Patriarch of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Eldred G. Smith’s importance in the Lord’s eyes is significant. He was the living legacy of Hyrum Smith and a living testament to the authority bestowed upon Hyrum. If the covenant pattern followed its normal trajectory, the Melchizedek Priesthood was removed from the gentiles and the only remaining Priesthood is the Priesthood held through Hyrum’s descendants. Discontinuing the Patriarchal Priesthood would be like sawing off  a branch of a tree you are standing on.

          Denver Snuffer has drawn attention to Eldred G. Smith and the office of Patriarch in many of his writings. The following are references to the Patriarch and raise interesting points regarding the legacy of the office.

The Patriarch of the Church is Eldred G. Smith, now aged 103 years.  His office used to ordain the President of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints using the hereditary priesthood line running back to Father Smith, Joseph and Hyrum.  

Eldred G. Smith was made Emeritus in 1979, but continues to have an office in the Church Office Building” (Patriarch Smith, Denver Snuffer Jr., Blogpost March 10, 2010, emphasis added).

This observation may seem somewhat innocuous but it raises thoughts worth considering. For example, why were early church Presidents ordained by the church Patriarch? An interesting line of authority was the one that came through Joseph Smith Sen., Joseph Smith Jr., and Hyrum Smith. Equally interesting is why was this pattern for ordaining church presidents abandoned and what implications did that change have? Presumably having the authority of the Quorum of Twelve Apostles performing the ordination of the President shifted the claim of Priesthood authority away from the lineal descent to rest on the Apostolic Priesthood line and its legitimacy.

          During an interview with Tim Malone, Denver was asked for an explanation of his comments regarding Eldred G. Smith being a sign something has ended. In response to Tim’s question, Denver said:

“In a word, the fullness of the Gentiles is ending – one of the last signs of that was the passing of Eldred Smith in 2013 and with him the office of patriarch to the church. That office was never well understood. And I’ve never been told it was necessary to fully explain the significance so I’ve left most of the details unexplained. But to what I’ve said already I would add the following. The LDS church makes enthusiastic claims about their priesthood. And those claims would be much more accurate if they were dialed back some. If they were considerably more modest. They claim to have Melchizedek priesthood which has the following list of things associated with it, when it is described for us the first time in scripture in Genesis chapter 14, Joseph Smith translation: the authority ‘to break mountains, to divide the seas, to dry up waters, to turn waters out of their course, to put at defiance the armies of nations, to divide the earth, to break every band, to stand in the presence of God.’ I pointed out that it’s not necessary to do all these things. But any one of them is sufficient to show the authority is present. But this priesthood does have signs [that are not present today]. The ordination of Hyrum in 1841 was and, I’m reading from the scripture, to “the office of Priesthood and Patriarch.” That’s in section 124 verse 91. What was intended with that ordination was so that, and again I’m reading from the same revelation: “His name be had in honorable remembrance from generation to generation, forever and ever.” (D&C 124:96) There was a colorable [apparently correct or being justified] claim to priesthood while Hyrum and his descendants remained in office. That ended. So far as the LDS church was concerned, it was good riddance. Because they found the office was troublesome. It was not part of the twelve, yet it claimed the status of prophet, seer, and revelator while it was part of the general authorities. It was A uncontrollable because only the descendants of Hyrum were holders. That gave them independence and leaders wanted the office to be discarded and it has been. There are many prophecies that foretell the Gentiles will reject their invitation to have the fullness of the gospel. Christ said that this would happen in 3 Nephi 16:10. There have been many signs Christ’s prophecies were fulfilled. Only one thing now remained to be done, God needed to send a witness to be the final required sign – sent by God to declare his intention to begin something new . . .” (A Visit With Denver Snuffer, Tim Malone and Denver Snuffer Jr., 5/13/2015, pp.1-2, emphasis added)

The Priesthood passed by lineal descent was a cause for concern since the passing of Joseph and Hyrum Smith. Immediately following the murders of the two brothers the successors to Joseph and Hyrum felt concern over how the legitimacy of Priesthood succession would be viewed by the general body. If a descendant of Hyrum performed the ordination there would at least be a legitimate link to Joseph Smith Jr., through Hyrum’s ordination to point to. Over time as the general body became more comfortable and complacent about Priesthood claims the focus of leadership appeared increasingly concerned with the independence of the Priesthood passed by linear right. The authority of the Quorum of the Twelve and the First Presidency, (who were ascendant members of the Quorum) became more assertive in their intent to minimize and reduce a position created by divine decree. Their actions were done, not by revelation, but by decree.

          These events brought a self-fulfilling close to the gentile covenant offer and the Lord sent a servant to declare it is done, as in previous dispensations.

“The first dynasty continued through ten generations—from Adam to Melchizedek—before it was lost. Through Abraham, it was reconnected and then continued for five more generations. It appeared again once on the earth in a single generation that included Joseph and his brother Hyrum. Now even the imitation of it has come to an end, because there is no perpetuation, in honorable remembrance, of the descendants of Hyrum Smith[285] occupying the office of Patriarch to the Church. There have been many signs given by God that He was about to do something new from the time of the death of Joseph Smith ’til today. All that was left at the end was for a witness to be appointed to come to declare, “Now it has come to an end.” In the last installment of the ten lecture series I said, The witness has now come, and I am he. It has come to an end with something new now begun. One of the signs of it having come to an end was the passing of Eldred Smith. There are many other signs given if you look for them. You can see them all along the way, from the condemnation in 1832[286] to the expulsion from Missouri;[287] the forced exodus from Nauvoo; the suffering during and following the exodus; the afflictions, judgments, and wrath of God at the Saints;[288] their pride, lying, deceit, hypocrisy, murders, priestcrafts, and whoredoms (as Christ foretold[289]); inquisitorial abuse of the population[290] once isolated from the U.S.; mass-murders;[291] contradictions in “fundamental” teachings; changes to the ordinances,[292] including the temple rites; quest for popularity and centrally-controlled, tightly correlated rejection of teachings—the history of the LDS Church has been a long, downward path.[293] It has walked away from the light and increasingly embraced darkness. Its members are now ruled by traditions that contradict the scriptures and commandments of God. They are asleep and cannot be awakened. God will now do something new and leave them to make their own way. Emma Smith, Sidney Rigdon, and William Marks said without Joseph Smith there was no church.[294] They were right. As soon as Joseph Smith was out of the picture, there was a complete overthrow of the Church by the Quorum of the Twelve. The Quorum of the Twelve substituted themselves in the place of the equal distribution of power in the Church established by revelation” (Snuffer Jr., Denver C.. The Teachings of Denver C. Snuffer, Jr. Volume 3: 2014-2016: Kindle Edition (The Teachings of Denver C. Snuffer Jr. Readers Edition Series) . Restoration Archive. Kindle Edition, emphasis added).

There is a prophecy foretelling Joseph Smith Jr., becoming strong at the time of the gathering of Israel. One can only wonder if, in the process of making Joseph Smith Jr., strong, the legacy of his brother, Hyrum will return to prominence as the man whom the Lord loved for the integrity of his heart (see RE T&C 141:5).

          The covenant cycle established throughout scripture has now reached the end of the last offer of covenant to the gentiles. A gentile remnant who flees the established church as the Jews left Judaism for Christ commences. Like the days of Joseph Smith when he laments the unwillingness of the saints to receive revealed truth, modern gentiles adhere to false traditions of their fathers. This blinds them from recognizing and acknowledging prophetic events as they unfold. As the cycle closes a small number of faithful gentiles join descendants of Lehi in establishing a New Jerusalem for a descendant of David and a Temple in Zion for the Spirit of Elijah’s return and a union between the Father’s in Heaven with their posterity on Earth.

          This completes the covenant cycle found throughout covenant history.


2/29/24

Scott Roderick



The Gentiles and Zion Part IV
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