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The Gentiles and Zion Part V (The Sign)



 

          Since the days of Adam, each successive Patriarchal cycle has shortened in the number of generations over time.

“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. . .” (Snuffer Jr., Denver C.. The Teachings of Denver C. Snuffer, Jr. Volume 3: 2014-2016: Kindle Edition, emphasis added).

Adam’s cycle endured for ten generations. Abraham’s remained for five generations. By the time we reach Joseph and Hyrum Smith, the covenant continued through one generation before its withdrawal by God from the gentiles.

          One hundred and eighty years passed since the murders of Joseph and Hyrum Smith and evidence of the loss of the Melchizedek Priesthood is glaringly obvious for those with eyes to see it. In part IV there were historical signs given by Denver that evidence a withdrawal of the greater Priesthood from the gentiles.

          As compelling as historical evidence may be, the absence of scriptural support for the gentile claims of Priesthood authority are compelling. For example, each dispensation head left records of scripture to chronicle their interactions with God. After dispensation heads withdrew, revelation slowed to nothing and eventually were replaced by rabbinical expositions on scripture left behind in the aftermath. Like the rabbinical class arising in the days of Moses and Jesus, the single dispensation of Joseph and Hyrum Smith came to a screeching halt after their death. The Doctrine and Covenants had little or no additions to the record following the martyrdom. What did survive were altered historical records and twenty-six volumes of the Journal of Discourses. They are filled with expositions equivalent to the writings of the rabbinical class.

          There is the curious question of why the Lord has withheld sealed portions of the Book of Mormon as well as other records.

“And now there cannot be written in this book even an hundredth part of the things which Jesus did truly teach unto the people. But behold, the plates of Nephi do contain the more part of the things which he taught the people. And these things have I written, which are a lesser part of the things which he taught the people, and I have written them to the intent that they may be brought again unto this people from the gentiles, according to the words which Jesus hath spoken. And when they [gentiles] shall have received this, which is expedient that they should have first to try their faith, and if it should so be that they shall believe these things, then shall the greater things be made manifest unto them. And if it so be that they will not believe these things, then shall the greater things be withheld from them unto their condemnation . . .” (RE 3 Nephi 12:1, emphasis added).

The Book of Mormon given to the gentiles is a “lesser part” of the record and a test for the gentiles to see if they accept its contents. It is two hundred years since the Book of Mormon was translated by Joseph Smith. What should be of great concern is why the additional records have not been given to the gentiles?

          Another glaring absence in the gentile narrative is the lack of signs the Melchizedek Priesthood keys are present among those professing to hold them. The powers of the Priesthood are explained clearly, as quoted by Denver from the RE Genesis 7:19.

They [Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints] 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].” (A Visit With Denver Snuffer, Tim Malone and Denver Snuffer Jr., 5/13/2015, pp.1-2, emphasis added)

The absence of any of these gifts lend more credence to the revelation given to Joseph Smith in RE T&C 141:10.

“… 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).

One can debate whether the Melchizedek Priesthood was restored by Peter, James, and John or by the voice of God in Father Whitmer’s home. Regardless of where you believe the greater Priesthood was restored, one thing is indisputable. The Lord, through Joseph Smith revealed the Melchizedek Priesthood was removed from the church, not Joseph and Hyrum. When you couple that declaration with the absence of  signs of the Priesthood power, climbing the hill of Melchizedek Priesthood authority is a hill too far. Unfortunately, most will place proverbial fingers in their ears, preferring a false narrative to the truth.


Revelations of Warning From the Lord and His servants


          Prophecies referring to the gentiles in the Book of Mormon are generally divided in two categories. Those prophecies speaking favorably of the gentiles apply to the Lord’s church. Those prophecies speaking negatively are applied to unbelieving gentiles.

          The two distinctions in the gentile prophecies are more difficult to make with the revelations given to Joseph Smith. Consider the prophecy in RE T&C 31:6-7 referring to the “fullness of the gentiles.”

And when that day shall come shall a remnant be scattered among all nations; but they shall be gathered again, but they shall remain until the times of the gentiles be fulfilled. And in that day shall be heard of wars and rumors of wars, and the whole earth shall be in commotion. And men’s hearts shall fail them and shall say that Christ delays his coming until the end of the world, and the love of men shall wax cold and iniquity shall abound. And when the times of the gentiles is come in, a light shall break forth among them that sit in darkness, and it shall be the fullness of my gospel, but they receive it not, for they perceive not the light and they turn their hearts from me because of the precepts of men.

And in that generation shall the times of the gentiles be fulfilled . . .” (RE T&C 31:6-7, emphasis added).

This revelation was given to Joseph Smith on March 7, 1831. The prophecy points to a future day. Rather than addressing the Restoration and its progress, the Lord directs Joseph’s attention to the end of the gentile covenant cycle preceding the gathering of Israel.

          The end of the gentile covenant cycle has “wars and rumors of wars” and the whole earth is in a state of commotion. Men’s hearts fail them and the love of many waxes cold as mankind believes the Savior’s coming is delayed until the end of the world. The love of many men waxes cold and iniquity is found everywhere. All of these conditions are prevalent after the Restoration by Joseph Smith.

          As conditions spiral downward, a light breaks forth among those who sit in darkness. Under these circumstances, everyone is in darkness. The light is described as, “the fullness of my gospel.” If the fullness of the gospel is withheld until this very dark and sinful time, what came before in Joseph Smith’s day was something less than the fullness and probably why darkness reigns. The fullness of the gospel of Christ is sent to the gentiles a final time, as it was for the Jews in the days of Jesus.

          There is no uncertainty regarding the fate of the gentiles at this day. The gentiles reject the fullness of Christ’s gospel because the precepts of men blind the gentiles and they reject the truth.

          Using this prophecy to establish a context, the following comments from Joseph Smith point to a latter-day servant whom the Lord raises up in the end under the circumstances described in this prophecy.

“The Savior said when these tribulations should take place, [like what is described in RE T&C 31:6-7] it should be committed to a man who should be a witness over the whole world: the keys of knowledge, power and revelations should be revealed to a witness who should hold the testimony to the world  [a light breaks forth among those who sit in darkness] It has always been my province to dig up hidden mysteries—new things—for my hearers. [Joseph Smith is introducing something new, a witness to the world when tribulations or “darkness” fill the Earth] Just at the time when some men think that I have no right to the keys of the Priesthood—just at that time I have the greatest right . . . All the testimony is that the Lord in the last days would commit the keys of the Priesthood to a witness over all people . . . The scripture is ready to be fulfilled when great wars, famines, pestilence, great distress, judgments, &c., are ready to be poured out on the inhabitants of the earth. John [the Revelator] saw the angel having the holy Priesthood, who should preach the everlasting Gospel to all nations. God had an angel—a special messenger—ordained and prepared for that purpose in the last days. Woe, woe be to that man or set of men who lift up their hands against God and His witness in these last days: for they shall deceive almost the very chosen ones! (Smith Jr., Joseph. Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith (p. 413- 414). Deseret Book Company. Kindle Edition, emphasis added).

The traditional view of this prophecy assumes Joseph Smith is speaking of himself. At the beginning of Joseph’s remarks he states he is addressing a “literal rendering and reading” of the 24th chapter of Matthew. This chapter is noted for the Savior’s exposition of events in the last days. The audience was familiar with Joseph Smith and the Restoration. Joseph Smith was introducing something new. While Joseph Smith was a witness to the world for Christ, conditions described in this prophecy portray more accurately tribulation more extensive than the considerable tribulation Joseph experienced. Particularly when one considers Joseph’s remarks after speaking of this last days witness.

“Has the Gospel of the kingdom commenced in the last days? [it did with Joseph Smith] And will God take it [the gospel] from the man until He takes him [Joseph Smith] Himself? [(Smith Jr., Joseph. Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith (p. 414). Deseret Book Company. Kindle Edition< emphasis added).

God commenced preaching the gospel of Jesus Christ to the gentiles through the Restoration by Joseph Smith. According to Joseph, that gospel would be taken when God removed him. The death of Joseph Smith and absence of the fullness of the gospel of Jesus Christ explains why there faith erodes and people remain in darkness when the fullness of the gospel breaks forth at the end of the gentiles, as described in RE T&C 31:6-7.

          Careful parsing of Joseph Smith’s remarks from the scriptures unveils and confirms what Joseph Smith explained to his audience. A message that is news to the followers of Joseph Smith in our day.

          In the days of tribulation referred to in the 24th chapter of Matthew or the last days, (a time that Joseph Smith would not live to see), a man is appointed by God to be a “witness to the world,” having “the keys of knowledge, power and revelation.” The description of the witness described by Joseph Smith bears a striking resemblance to Nephi’s description of the gentiles in the last days, after Joseph Smith’s passing.

“And it shall come to pass that if the gentiles shall hearken unto the Lamb of God in that day that he shall manifest himself unto them in word and also in power, in very deed, unto the taking away of their stumbling blocks, and harden not their hearts against the Lamb of God, they shall be numbered among the seed of thy father . . .” (RE 1 Nephi 3:25, emphasis added).

Hearkening to the Lamb of God, excluding His personal mortal ministry, always meant giving heed to the messengers sent by Him. The witness Joseph Smith spoke of holds “keys” to knowledge, power and revelations. Use of the word  “keys” implies Melchizedek Priesthood authority.

“Now for Elijah. The spirit, power, and calling of Elijah is, that ye have power to hold the key of the revelations, ordinances, oracles, powers and endowments of the fulness of the Melchizedek Priesthood and of the kingdom of God on the earth; and to receive, obtain, and perform all the ordinances belonging to the kingdom of God, even unto the turning of the hearts of the fathers unto the children, and the hearts of the children unto the fathers, even those who are in heaven” (Smith Jr., Joseph. Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith (p. 386). Deseret Book Company. Kindle Edition, emphasis added).

The witness Joseph Smith spoke of has of necessity, “keys” for the fullness of the Melchizedek Priesthood and receives the associated Spirit of Elijah. The two things king David never obtained.

“Although David was a king, he never did obtain the spirit and power of Elijah and the fullness of the Priesthood; and the Priesthood that he received, and the throne and kingdom of David is to be taken from him and given to another by the name of David in the last days, raised up out of his lineage” (Smith Jr., Joseph. Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith (p. 389). Deseret Book Company. Kindle Edition, emphasis added).

For the Lord to remove the stumbling blocks before the gentiles, it is necessary a witness holding the Melchizedek Priesthood keys be sent by God to bring to light the “fullness of the gospel” in the last days, at the gentile end. Included with the Spirit of Elijah and the Melchizedek Priesthood are the same keys and covenant offer extended to Israel [Moses], the Jews [Jesus], and the gentiles by Joseph Smith.

          Before the witness proceeds offering the covenant to the gentiles for the last time, an Elias, like John the Baptist, must come. The dispensation of Joseph Smith  closes prior to the “fulness of the gentiles,” initiating the last offer of covenant made to Israel.

          In Joseph Smith’s remarks, he spoke of an angel sent, “holding the holy Priesthood, who should preach the everlasting gospel to all nations-a special messenger-ordained and prepared for that purpose in the last days.

Prior to addressing this angelic messenger sent to preach the Gospel to the Earth, Joseph Smith refers to John the Revelator.

“John the Revelator saw an angel flying though the midst of heaven, having the everlasting Gospel to preach unto them that dwell on the earth.” (TPJS., p.365).

It may seem random that Joseph Smith would include John the Revelator in a discussion of Matthew 24, but it is consistent with a revelation given Joseph Smith about John’s ordination to perform a specific mission in the last days. John, known as the “Beloved” and “Revelator” was translated by God to continue his ministry to men on Earth.

And the Lord said unto me, John, my beloved, what do you desire? For if you shall ask what you will, it shall be granted unto you. And I said unto him, Lord, give unto me power over death, that I may live and bring souls unto you. And the Lord said unto me, Verily, verily I say unto you, because you desired this, you shall tarry until I come in my glory, and shall prophesy before nations, kindreds, tongues, and people.

And for this cause the Lord said unto Peter, If I will that he tarry till I come, what is that to you? For he desired of me that he might bring souls unto me, but you desired that you might speedily come unto me in my kingdom. I say unto you, Peter, this was a good desire, but my beloved has desired that he might do more, or a greater work yet among men, than what he has before done; yea, he has undertaken a greater work. Therefore, I will make him as flaming fire and a ministering angel. He shall minister for those who shall be heirs of salvation who dwell on the earth, and I will make you to minister for him and for your brother James [Jacob]. And unto you three I will give this power and the keys of this ministry until I come. Verily I say unto you, you shall both have according to your desires, for you both joy in that which you have desired” (RE T&C 1, Joseph Smith History, 13:18-19, emphasis added).

The greater work for John the Beloved is to be a ministering angel, (angels minister under the Aaronic Priesthood), specifically ministering to men who are “chosen vessels” and “heirs of salvation.” Angels deliver the words of the Lord to those men worthy of those titles. They in turn deliver the word of the Lord to those who follow them.

          This is a general description of the work John the Beloved is ordained to perform in the last days. The Lord revealed to Joseph Smith a more detailed description.

Question: What are we to understand by the little book which was eaten by John, as mentioned in the 10th chapter of Revelation [Rev. 3:13]?Answer: We are to understand that it was a mission and an ordinance for him to gather the tribes of Israel. Behold, this is Elias who, as it is written, must come and restore all things” (RE T&C 74:14, emphasis added).

John the Beloved’s “mission and ordinance” is to gather Israel and restore all things. He is the “Elias,” like John the Baptist and Joseph Smith who performs a specific assignment from God. Before Israel may be gathered, an Elias must come, wrest the kingdom of God from the gentiles as did John the Baptist from the Jews. John the Baptist did not take over the existing institution. They ceased being the kingdom of God on Earth. Instead, the Baptist laid the foundation for a new work unfettered by false traditions. A fresh start.

           John the Beloved is a translated being ministering to mortals. His mission is fulfilled by directing chosen men to deliver the message and perform the work. According to the covenant cycle, the dispensation started by Joseph Smith must be closed by an Elias. John the Beloved is a last days Elias, but for him to complete his work, there must be a man, a witness, a spokesman. Someone who obtains the Spirit of Elijah and the fullness of the Melchizedek Priesthood. Someone who will say:

“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 . . .”  (Snuffer Jr., Denver C.. The Teachings of Denver C. Snuffer, Jr. Volume 3: 2014-2016: Kindle Edition, emphasis added).

Because there have been few Heavenly manifestations since Joseph Smith, a claim from a man reconnecting with Heaven, having spoken with Christ and entertained angels is understandably met with cynicism. That has always been the case with anyone called by God to testify to mankind.

          What should be a considerable sign is the Lord performing a sign that fulfills a prophecy in support of the man, even if people fail to believe it. For example, Joseph Smith was given a prophecy from God that more of the record of John the Beloved would be given.

“ . . . And John saw and bore record of the fullness of my glory, and the fullness of John’s record is hereafter to be revealed . . . And it shall come to pass that if you are faithful, you shall receive the fullness of the record of John. I give unto you these sayings that you may understand and know how to worship, and know what you worship, that you may come unto the Father in my name, and in due time receive of his fullness, for if you keep my commandments, you shall receive of his fullness and be glorified in me as I am glorified in the Father. Therefore, I say unto you, you shall receive grace for grace” (RE T&C 93:2&7, emphasis added).

In a blog post from 2010, Denver Snuffer said the following regarding more of the record of John the Beloved:

John likely had a good deal more to add concerning the Savior, but deliberately withheld it. Similarly, we have the sealed portion of the Book of Mormon as a reminder that not everything has been revealed to us which prior generations had given to them.

We ought to have a bit more humility about our “Restoration” than we have. The fact is, we have never been given what the ancients were trusted to possess. We have never been equal to them. We certainly aren’t now. Until we take seriously the Book of Mormon (which will require us to both repent and become more humble than we’ve ever been), we aren’t qualified to receive more “(See, e.g., 3 Ne. 26: 7-12D&C 84: 54-58.)

Of what then do we have to boast? (Repent and Be Humble, Denver Snuffer Jr., April 2, 2010, emphasis added).

Another witness the Lord has sent a servant who fulfills the prophecy foretold by Joseph Smith. Particularly something linking the servant to John the Beloved who holds the keys to gather Israel and restore all things. Specifically, more of the record of John the Beloved.

“. . . I made it a subject of prayer and was told to do the work. I spent a few days working with an English-Greek New Testament, the JS Translation of John, and a Greek Lexicon before becoming hopelessly discouraged by the many options and choices. I prayed about it before retiring for the night and essentially quit. I explained that it would take years for me to accomplish this, and that I was not going to be able to solve the riddles of the text. I went to bed assuming I was done with it.

In the middle of that night I was awakened and given the solution to every dilemma I had been facing in the work on the text. So the next day I continued on from where I had abandoned the work and, to my surprise, everything was opened to my mind so clearly and continuously that the entire project was completed in less than three weeksThe light of heaven opened the material in a way I had never thought of nor had previously attained to in considering the Gospel of John. At times it progressed so rapidly that I was unable to finish one part before the next came rolling out. Many new and different things were added, and at least one thing was dropped entirely because it was not part of John’s original composition. Because of the rapid way it rolled out, once I finished the text I went back to clean up a lot of what had been left as incomplete sentences, missing words (particularly conjunctions) and cryptic or inadequate explanations. The intent of the writer, John, was revealed, including why some things were included in the text and the manner he wrote. When it began it was an attempt at a “translation” but by the time it was completed it was clearly a “revelation” and not merely a translation of a text. There fore the result does not have my name on it, because I cannot claim any credit for the content. I failed in what I was attempting. What resulted came from heaven.” (Private email correspondence between Denver Snuffer Jr., and a private party, emphasis added).

To bring the dispensation of Joseph Smith to a conclusion, (following the Priesthood covenant cycle), God had to send an Elias like John the Baptist wresting the kingdom of God from the Jews (see RE T&C 82:14). As the gentile dispensation of Joseph Smith closes, John the Beloved, is the last days Elias responsible for restoring all things and gathering Israel. (see RE T&C 74:14) John ministers to someone qualifying as an “heir of salvation” (RE T&C 1, Joseph Smith History 13:19). or a “chosen vessel”(RE Moroni 7:6), a mortal man. That man would then make the vicarious declaration at the direction of John the Beloved. He qualifies as an angelic ministrant. (see A Glossary of Gospel Terms, Angel, p.568). As a second witness, the servant is under the direction of John the Beloved, the “heir of salvation,” restores more of John the Beloved’s record. Not only does the content of the servants message testify of his divine direction, but the content of John the Beloved’s writings testify of the truth, confirming his association with John the Beloved. How else would God bring to light more of the record of John to fulfill His yet unfulfilled promise to Joseph Smith?

          In addition to Joseph Smith stating the gospel of the kingdom would be taken when God chose to take Joseph, Joseph also spoke of the last days in the context of a flood.

“But I beg leave to say unto you, brethren, that ignorance, superstition and bigotry placing itself where it ought not, is oftentimes in the way of the prosperity of this Church; like the torrent of rain from the mountains, that floods the most pure and crystal stream [revelation at the beginning of the Restoration] with mire, and dirt, and filthiness, and obscures everything that was clear before, and all rushes along in one general deluge; but time weathers tide; and notwithstanding we are rolled in the mire of the flood for the time being, the next surge peradventure, as time rolls on, may bring to us the fountain as clear as crystal, and as pure as snow; while the filthiness, flood-wood and rubbish is left and purged out by the way” (Smith Jr., Joseph. Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith (p. 155). Deseret Book Company. Kindle Edition, emphasis added).

In the beginning, the Restoration received revelation from God, pure and uncluttered with the philosophies of men. Over time, historical alterations, editorial license with scripture and Joseph Smith’s revelations were corrupted. The pure doctrine became obscured by interpolations of men. According to Joseph Smith, in time he said the day comes where the rubbish polluting the fountain of revelation would be cleared. This would happen in a future day by the Lord appointing a servant as obscure and unlikely as Joseph Smith, and frankly all His servants.

“ . . . And now behold, I say unto you — and I would that ye should remember — that God is merciful unto all who believe on his name; therefore, he desireth, in the first place, that ye should believe, yea, even on his word. And now, he imparteth his word by angels unto men, yea, not only men, but women also. Now this is not all. Little children do have words given unto them many times which do confound the wise and the learned” (RE Alma 16:26, emphasis added).

Once the gentile dispensation of Joseph Smith is declared complete, the way is clear for the next phase, a new dispensation where the servant is acknowledged by the Elias, through a mortal servant. As John the Baptist pointed to Christ, John the Beloved assists and directs the servant. He does so by bringing to light the words of Christ.


3/6/24

Scott Roderick



The Gentiles and Zion Part V
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