An Address to All Believers in Christ — Chapters 2-3
An Address to All Believers in Christ — Chapters 2-3
Chapter 2 — In this chapter I give you a few quotations from the Book of Mormon.
(In 2 Tim. iii:1-5, Paul prophesied that in the last days, men shall have a form of godliness, but deny the power thereof. The power is the Holy Ghost, and its manifestations. Paul say in 1 Cor. xii:7, that "the manifestation of the Spirit is given to every man," that is, every man who has the Holy Spirit. To one if given the one gift and to one another gift.)
*** "Woe unto all who tremble, and are angry because of the truth of God. For behold, he that is built upon the rock, receiveth it with gladness: and he that is built upon a sandy foundation, trembleth lest he fall. But behold, there shall be many at that day, when I shall proceed to do a 'marvelous work' among them, that I may remember my covenants which I have made unto the children of men, that I may 'set my hand again the second time to recover my people,' (Isa. xi:11) which are of the house of Israel; and also that I may remember the promises which I have made unto thee, Nephi, and also unto thy father, that I would remember your seed; *** many of the Gentiles shall say, A Bible! A Bible!, we have got a Bible, and there cannot be any more Bible. But thus said the Lord God: O fools, they shall have a Bible; and it shall proceed forth from the Jews, mine ancient covenant people. And what thank they the Jews for the Bible which they receive from them? Yea, what do the Gentiles mean? Do they remember the travels, and the labors, and the pains of the Jews, and their diligence unto me, in bringing forth salvation unto the Gentiles? O ye Gentiles, have ye remembered the Jews, mine ancient covenant people? Nay; but ye have cursed them, and have hated them, and have not sought to recover them. But behold, I will return all these things upon your own heads; for I, the Lord, hath not forgotten my people. Thou fool, that shall say, we have got a Bible, and we need no more Bible. have ye obtained a Bible, save it were by the Jews? Know ye not that there are more nations than one? Know ye not that I, the Lord your God, have created all men, and that I remember those who are upon the isles of the sea (Acts xvii:26) , and that I rule in the heavens above and in the earth beneath; and I bring forth my word unto the children of men, yea, even upon all the nations of the earth? Wherefore murmur ye, because that ye shall receive more of my word? Know ye not that the testimony of two nations is a witness unto you that I am God, that I remember one nation like unto another? Wherefore, I speak the same words unto one nation like unto another. And when the two nations shall run together, the testimony of the two nations shall run together also. And I do this that I may prove unto many, that I am the same yesterday, today, and forever; and that I speak forth my words according to mine own pleasure. And because that I have spoken one word, ye need not suppose that I cannot speak another; for my work is not yet finished; neither shall it be, until the end of man; neither from that time henceforth and forever. Wherefore, because that ye have a Bible, ye need not suppose that it contains all my words; neither need ye suppose that I have not caused more to be written: * * * For behold, I speak unto the Jews, and they shall write it; and I shall also speak unto the Nephites, and they shall write it; and I shall also speak unto the other tribes of the house of Israel, which I have led away (the ten lost tribes, supposed to be beyond the North Sea -- from the Book of Esdras), and they shall write it; and I shall also speak unto all nations of the earth, and they shall write it. And it shall come to pass that the Jews shall have the words of the Nephites, and the Nephites shall have the words of the Jews: and the Nephites and the Jews shall have the words of the lost tribes of Israel: and the lost tribes of Israel shall have the words of the Nephites and the Jews. And it shall come to pass that my people, who are of the house of Israel, shall be gathered home unto the lands of their possessions; and my word shall also be gathered in one. And I will show unto them that fight against my word and against my people, who are of the house of Israel, that I am God, and that I covenanted with Abraham, that I would remember his seed forever. * * * For behold, except ye shall keep the commandments of God ye shall all likewise perish. * * * As many of the Gentiles as will repent, are the covenant people of the Lord; and as many of the Jews as will not repent, shall be cast off. * * * Woe unto them that turn aside the just for a thing of nought, and revile against that which is good, and say that it is of no worth (the Book of Mormon); for the day shall come that the Lord God will speedily visit the inhabitants of the earth; and in that day that they are fully ripe in iniquity, they shall perish. But behold, if the inhabitants of the earth shall repent of their wickedness and abominations they shall not be destroyed, saith the Lord of hosts."
From the twelfth chapter of 2 Nephi:
But he that believeth these things which I have spoken, him will I visit with the manifestations of my spirit, and he shall know and bear record." (Ether i:12.)
"If any man will do his will, he shall know of the doctrine, whether it be of God, or whether I speak of myself." (John vii:17.)
I will say a word here in regard to a passage in Rev. xxii:18:
"For I testify unto every man that heareth the words of the prophecy of this book (the Revelation of John), if any man shall add unto these things, God shall add unto him the plagues that are written in this book."
This means that no man shall add unto the prophecy of John's Revelation. It can be plainly seen that it does not refer to the Bible, because the books which compose our Bible were not compiled when the Revelation was written. All the other books which compose the Bible were afterward added to John's Revelation.
Our Bible comprises only the books which the canons decided to compile. There are many inspired books that have never come down to us. There are over fifteen books spoken of in the Bible that are not in the Bible. In the following passages are some of the books spoken of that are not in the Bible. 2Chron. ix:29. 1Chron. xxix:29. Num. xxi:14. 1Kings xi:41. 2Chron. xiii:22. 2Chron. xii:15. 2Chron. xx:34. 2Chron. xxvi:22. Gen. v:1. Ex. xxiv:7. 1Sam. x:25. 1Kings iv:32. 2Chron. xii:15. In 1Cor. v:9, a third epistle to the Corinthians is mentioned; we have only two. In Col. iv:16, the epistle from Laodicea. In Jude iii, a second epistle of Jude is spoken of; we have but one. I have a copy of the book of Jasher; It is spoken of in 2 Sam. I:18 and Joshua x:13.
I will give a few quotations from the Book of Mormon in regard to some points of doctrine over which the religious world is divided:
"Wherefore, I would exhort you, that deny not the power of God; for he worketh by power, according to the faith of the children of men, the same today and tomorrow, and forever. And again I exhort you, my brethren, that ye deny not the gifts of God, for they are many; and they come from the same God. And there are different ways that these gifts are adminstered; but it is the same God who worketh all in all; and they are given by the manifestation of the Spirit of God unto men, to profit them. For behold, to one is given by the Spirit of God, that he may teach the word of wisdom; and to another, that he may teach the word of knowledge by the same Spirit; and to another, exceeding great faith; and to another, the gifts of healing by the same Spirit. * * * (and so on, the different gifts which are enumerated by Paul in 1Cor. xii.) * * * * and all these gifts of which I have spoken, which are spiritual, never will be done away, even so long as the world shall stand, only according to the unbelief of the children of men. Wherefore, there must be faith; and if there must be faith, there must be also be hope; and if there must be hope, there must also be charity; and except ye have charity, ye can in no wise be saved in the kingdom of God." Moroni x:1.
"And he (Christ) said unto them, On this wise shall ye baptize; and there shall be no disputations among you. Verily I say unto you, that whoso repenteth of his sins through your words, and desireth to be baptized in my name, on this wise shall ye baptize them: Behold, ye shall go down and stand in the water, and in my name shall ye baptize them. And now behold, these are the words which you shall say, calling them by name, saying: Having authority given me of Jesus Christ, I baptize you in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost. Amen. And then shall ye immerse them in the water, and come forth again out of the water." (Nephi v:8.)
"The manner which the disciples, who were called the elders of the church, ordained priests and teachers. After they had prayed unto the Father in the name of Christ, they laid their hands upon them, and said, In the name of Jesus Christ I ordain you to be a priest; (or if he be a teacher), I ordain you to be a teacher, to preach repentance and remission of sins through Jesus Christ, by the endurance of faith on his name to the end. Amen. And after this manner did they ordain priests and teachers, according to the gifts and callings of God unto men; and they ordained them by the power of the Holy Ghost which was in them. -- (Chapter 3, Book of Moroni.)
"The manner of their elders and priests administering the flesh and blood of Christ unto the church. And they administered it according to the commandments of Christ; wherefore we know the manner to be true; and the elder or priest did minister it. And they did kneel down with the church, and pray to the Father in the name of Christ, saying, O God, the Eternal Father, we ask thee in the name of thy Son Jesus Christ, to bless and sanctify this bread to the souls of all those who partake of it, that they may eat in remembrance of the body of thy Son, and witness unto thee, O God, the Eternal Father, that they are willing to take upon them the name of thy Son, and always remember him, and keep his commandments which he hath given them, that they may always have his Spirit to be with them. Amen. -- (Chapter 4, Book of Moroni.)
"The manner of administering the wine. Behold, they took the cup, and said, O God, the Eternal Father, we ask thee, in the name of thy Son Jesus Christ, to bless and sanctify this wine to the souls of all those who drink of it, that they may do it in remembrance of the blood of thy Son which was shed for them, that they may witness unto thee, O God, the Eternal Father, that they do always remember him, that they may have his Spirit to be with them. Amen. -- (Chapter 5, Book of Moroni.)
"And now I speak concerning baptism. Behold, elders, priests and teachers were baptized; and they were not baptized, save they brought forth fruit meet that they were worthy of it; neither did they receive any unto baptism, save they came forth with a broken heart and a contrite spirit, and witnessed unto the church that they truly repented of all their sins: And none were received unto baptism, save they took upon them the name of Christ, having a determination to serve him to the end. And after they had been received unto baptism, and were wrought upon and cleansed by the power of the Holy Ghost, they were numbered among the people of the Church of Christ, and their names were taken, that they might be remembered and nourished by the good word of God, to keep them in the right way, to keep them continually watchful unto prayer, relying alone upon the merits of Christ, who was the author and the finisher of their faith. And the church did meet together oft, to fast and pray, and to speak one with another concerning the welfare of their souls: and they did meet together oft to partake of bread and wine, in remembrance of the Lord Jesus; and they were strict to observe that there should be no iniquity among them; and whoso was found to commit iniquity, and three witnesses of the church did condemn them before the elders; and if they repented not, and confessed not, their names were blotted out, and they were not numbered among the people of Christ; but as oft as they repented, and sought forgiveness, with real intent, they were forgiven. And their meetings were conducted by the church, after the manner of the workings of the Spirit, and by the power of the Holy Ghost; for as the power of the Holy Ghost led them whether to preach or exhort, or to pray, or to supplicate, or to sing, even so it was done. -- (Chapter 6, Book of Moroni.)
Concerning a literal gathering of the Israel of God upon the earth in righteousness and holiness, see the passages of scripture which are given below.
The Book of Mormon contains prophesies concerning the gathering of Israel, which are much more full and explanatory. I will not go into detail on the teachings in the Book of Mormon in regard to this matter, trusting that all who have become interested in that Book will read it. Jer. xxxi:8-14. Israel shall be gathered, "and they shall not sorrow any more at all." Jer. xxxii:37-41. Israel shall be gathered, "and I will give them one heart, and one way, that they may fear me forever." Isa, liv:7, whole chapter, Isa. xi:11-16, Ezek. xxxvii:15-28, Ezek. xxxiv:13-31.
Regarding the two foregoing passages, remember that this prophesy was given about 400 years after King David was dead. Ezek. xi:17-21. Rev. v:9-10. "And they sang a new song, saying, Thou art worthy, etc., * * * * "and hast made us unto our God kings and priests; and we shall reign on the earth." At the end of the millenial reign on this earth, then comes the end of the world and the second and last resurrection. All of the dead shall then rise. Only the righteous shall rise at the first resurrection. (Rev. xx:4-8, and whole chapter.) At the end of the world is the final judgement, after which there shall be a new earth and a new heaven. Then a great voice out of heaven cried "Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and he will dwell with them, and they shall be his people, and God himself shall be with them, and be their God." (Rev. xxi:1-7.)
In regard to the gathering of a part of the house of Israel upon this land of America, which is the land God gave to the seed of Joseph (son of Jacob); and the gathering of a part of the house of Israel upon the land of Palestine, which is the land God gave to the Jews, I give you some of the words of Jesus Christ himself, which he spake to the people while he was upon this land, after finishing his mission at Jerusalem.
(Book of Mormon, Nephi ix:9-12 and x:1.)
"And it shall come to pass that I will establish my people, O house of Israel. And behold, this people will I establish in this land, unto the fulfilling of the covenant which I made with your father Jacob; and it shall be a new Jerusalem. And the powers of heaven shall be in the midst of this people; yea, even I will be in the midst of you. Behold, I am he of whom Moses spake, saying, A prophet shall the Lord your God raise up unto you of your brethren, like unto me, him shall ye hear in all things whatsoever he shall say unto you. And it shall come to pass that every soul who will not hear that prophet, shall be cut off from among the people. Verily, I say unto you, yea; and all the prophets from Samuel, and those that follow after, as many as have spoken, have testified of me. And behold, ye are the children of the prophets; and ye are of the house of Israel; and ye are of the covenant which the Father made with your fathers, saying unto Abraham, And in thy seed, shall all the kindreds of the earth be blessed; the Father having raised me up unto you first, and sent me to bless you, in turning away every one of you from his iniquities; and this because ye are the children of the covenant. And after that ye were blessed then fulfilleth the Father the covenant which he made with Abraham, saying, in thy seed shall all the kindreds of the earth be blessed, unto the pouring outof the Holy Ghost, through me upon the Gentiles, which blessing upon the Gentiles, shall makethem mighty above all, unto the scattering of my people, O house of Israel: and they shall be a scourge unto the people of this land. Nevertheless, when they shall have received the fullness of my gospel, then if they shall harden their hearts against me, I will return their iniquities upon their own heads, saith the Father. And I will remember the covenant which I have made with my people, and I have covenanted with them, that I would gather them together in mine own due time; that I would give unto them again the land of their fathers, for their inheritance, which is the land of Jerusalem, which is the promised land unto them forever, saith the Father.
And it shall come to pass that the time cometh, when the fullness of my gopel shall be preached unto them, and they shall believe in me, that I am Jesus Christ, the son of God, and shall pray unto the Father in my name. Then shall their watchmen lift up their voice; and with the voice together shall they sing; for they shall see eye to eye. Then will the Father gather them together again, and give unto them Jerusalem for the land of their inheritance. Then shall they break forth into joy -- sing together ye waste places of Jerusalem: * * * * * * And then shall be brought to pass that which is written, Awake, awake again, and put on thy strength, O Zion; put on thy beautiful garments, O Jerusalem, the holy city, for henceforth there shall no more come into thee the uncircumcised and the unclean. Shake thyself from the dust; arise, sit down, O Jerusalem; loose thyself from the bands of thy neck, O captive daughter of Zion. For thus saith the Lord, Ye have sold yourselves for nought; and ye shall be redeemed without money. Verily, verily, I say unto you, that my people shall know my name: yea, in that day they shall know that I am he that doth speak.
And then shall they say, How beautiful upon the mountains are the feet of him that bringeth good tidings unto them, that publisheth peace: that bringeth good tidings unto them of good, that publisheth salvation; that saith unto Zion, thy God reigneth! And then shall a cry go forth, Depart ye, depart ye, go ye out from thence, touch not that which is unclean; go ye out of the midst of her; be ye clean, that bear the vessels of the Lord. For ye shall not go out with haste, nor go by flight: for the Lord will go before you; and the God of Israel shall be your rearward. Behold, my servant shall deal prudently, he shall be exhalted and extolled, and be very high. As man were astonished at thee; (his visage was so marred more than any man, and his form more than the sons of men), so shall he sprinkle many nations; the kings shall shut their mouths at him, for that which had been told them shall they see; and that which they had not heard shall they consider. Verily, verily, I say unto you, all these things shall surely come, even as the Father hath commanded me. Then shall this covenant which the Father hath covenanted with his people, be fulfilled; and then shall Jerusalem be inhabited again with my people, and it shall be the land of their inheritance. And verily, I say unto you, I give unto you a sign, that ye may know the time when these things shall be about to take place, that I shall gather in from their long dispersion, my people, O house of Israel, and shall establish again among them my Zion. And behold, this is the thing which I will give unto you for a sign, for verily I say unto you, that when these things which I declare unto you, and which I shall declare unto you hereafter of myself, and by the power of the Holy Ghost, which shall be given unto you of the Father, shall be made known unto the Gentiles, that they may know concerning this people who are a remnant of the house of Jacob, and concerning this my people who shall be scattered by them (the Indians); * * * when these things come to pass, that thy seed shall begin to know these things, it shall be a sign unto them, that they may know that the work of the Father hath already commenced unto the fulfilling of the covenant which he hath made unto the people who are the house of Israel. And when that day shall come, it shall come to pass that kings shall shut their mouths; for that which had not been told them shall they see; and that which they had not heard shall they consider. For in that day, for my sake shall the Father work a work, which shall be a great and marvelous work among them; and there shall be among them those who will not believe it, although a man shall declare it into them. But behold, the life of my servant shall be in my hand; therefore they shall not hurt him, although he shall be marred because of them. Yet I will heal him, for I will shew unto them that my wisdom is greater than the cunning of the devil. Therefore it shall come to pass, that whosoever will not believe in my words, who am Jesus Christ, whom the Father shall cause him to bring forth unto the Gentiles, and shall give unto him power that he shall bring them forth unto the Gentiles, (it shall be done even as Moses said,) they shall be cut off from among my people who are of the covenant; and my people who are a remnant of Jacob, shall be among the Gentiles, yea, in the midst of them, as a lion among the beasts of the forest, as a young lion among the flocks of sheep, who, if he go through, both treadeth down and teareth in pieces, and none can deliver. Their hand shall be lifted up upon their adversaries, and all their enemies shall be cut off. Yea, wo be unto the Gentiles, except they repent, for it shall come to pass in that day, saith the Father, that I will cut off thy horses out of the midst of thee, and I will destroy thy chariots, and I will cut off the cities of thy land, and throw down all thy strong holds; and I will cut off witchcrafts out of thy land, and thou shalt have no more sooth-sayers: thy graven images I will also cut off, and thy standing images out of the midst of thee; and thou shall no more worship the works of thy hands; and I will pluck up thy groves out of the midst of thee; so will I destroy thy cities. And it shall come to pass that all lyings, and deceivings, and envyings, and strifes, and priestcrafts and whoredoms, shall be done away. For it shall come to pass, saith the Father, that at that day, whosoever will not repent and come unto my beloved Son, them will I cut off from among my people, O house of Israel; and I will execute vengeance and fury upon them, even as upon the heathen, such as they have not heard.
"But if they will repent, and hearken unto my words, and harden not their hearts, I will establish my church among them, and they shall come in unto the covenant, and be numbered among this the remnant of Jacob, unto whom I have given this land for their inheritance, and they shall assist my people, the remnant of Jacob; and also, as many of the house of Israel as shall come, that they may build a city, which shall be called the New Jerusalem; and then shall they assist my people that they may be gathered in, who are scattered upon all the face of the land, in unto the New Jerusalem. And then shall the power of heaven come down among them; and I also will be in the midst, and then shall the work of the Father commence, at that day even when this Gospel shall be preached among the remnant of this people. Verily, I say unto you, at that day shall the work of the Father commence among all the dispersed of my people; yea, even the tribes which have been lost, which the Father hath led away out of Jerusalem. Yea, the work shall commence among all the dispersed of my people, with the Father, to prepare the way whereby they may come unto me, that they may call on the Father in my name; yea, and then shall the work commence, with the Father, among all the nations, in preparing the way whereby his people may be gathered home to the land of their inheritance. And they shall go out from all nations; and they shall not go out in haste, nor go by flight; for I will go before them, saith the Father, and I will be their rearward.
And in the mouth of the three witnesses shall these things be established; and the testimony of three, and this work, in the which shall be shown forth the power of God, and also His word, of which the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Ghost beareth record; and all this shall stand as a testimony against the world at the last day. And if it so be that they repent and come unto the Father in the name of Jesus, they shall be received into the kingdom of God. And now, if I have no authority for these things, judge ye, for ye shall know that I have authority when ye shall see me, and we shall stand before God at the last day. Amen." (Ether ii).
Hearken, O ye Gentiles, and hear the words, of Jesus Christ, the Son of the living God, which he hath commanded me that I should speak concerning you, for behold, he commandeth me that I should write, saying: Turn, all ye Gentiles, from your wicked ways, and repent of your evil doings, of your lyings and deceivings, and of your whoredoms, and of your secret abominations , and your idolatries, and of your murders, and of your priestcrafts, and your envyings, and your strifes, and from all your wickedness and abominations, and come unto me, and be baptized in my name, that ye may receive a remission of your sins, and be filled with the Holy Ghost, that ye may be numbered with my people, who are of the house of Israel." (Nephi chap. xiv.)
Part Second — Chapter 3
To Believers In The Book Of Mormon.
The spirit of God moves upon me to send forth this epistle unto you. It is wisdom in God that these facts which I give you have not been made generally known long ago. But now the Spirit of God has made it manifest to me to make them known. The time is at hand to prepare for the day when the gospel will go to the house of Israel! It has been made known to me that when the gosple will go to the remnant of Jacob (the Lamanites), it must go to them as Christ has given it to us, the fullness of which is in the Book of Mormon and the New Testament. I know that the Latter Day Saints are teaching some errors in doctrine, and I hope to convince the honest in heart among them of this fact. The commands of God are strict, and his word is yea, yea, and nay, nay. It is a serious thing for man to add doctrines to the doctrine which Christ has taught in his word. Christ has taught that it is necessary to be abiding in his doctrine, and whosoever teaches more or less than the doctrine which he has taught in his word, is not in Him. He has taught but one doctrine. I do not mean to judge or condemn the Latter Day Saints. God is the judge. But I will speak the truth as the Spirit of God moves upon me to speak it, and I hope and pray that many will heed the truth -- that they will lay aside all error, and come in upon the doctrine of Christ, as it is taught in the written word. I believe that the Latter Day Saints who are opposed to polygamy have done a great work and great good. I believe they have done a great work in carrying forth the Book of Mormon. We cannot always understand God's ways of dealing with his people. God suffers men to be led into error because of their blindness of heart. He works with men only according to their faith and obedience; but now the Spirit of God is moving upon the Elders of the Church of Christ to go forth unto all the believers in the Book of Mormon, and unto all other people, crying repentance, and calling on them to heed to the teachings of Christ. I do not mean to persecute Joseph his son, and believe him to be a good man. Joseph, like many of those of old whom God had chosen, fell into error; and why should we want to follow any man into error? Should we put our trust in an arm of flesh? Nay, verily!
There never lived but one perfect man, and that was Christ; and he is our only lawgiver. Therefore we should take great heed and compare with the "written word" all doctrines, and laws and revelations coming through any man, for any man can fall into error and lead every one into error who trusts in man. God chooses the weak things of this world, so that man should not put their trust in man and make flesh their arm, but put their trust in God only. It is just, in God's wisdom, that every one who is not living sufficiently spiritual to discern between truth and error, should be led into error. God called Saul and many others of old who afterward fell into error and lost the Spirit, knowing that they would fall, so as to let every one be led into error by them who had such little faith in God as to make a man their God, and trust in "an arm of flesh," instead of putting their whole faith and trust in God only, and heeding Him only. God suffered them to be led into error because of their trangressions and lack of faith in Him. Christ has spoken, and the voice of God has declared from the heavens: "Hear ye him!" His teachings in the Book of Mormon and the New Testament are the same.
But the Latter Day Saints have another book of doctrine -- the "Doctrine and Covenants" -- in which are the doctrines that Christ never taught to the "twelve" at Jerusalem, nor to the "twelve" upon this continent. The Latter Day Saints believe these new doctrines, which do not agree with the teachings of Christ. Why do they believe them? Because they are putting too much trust in a man! This has been the mistake of God's people in all ages past. Read the scriptures and observe how very soon the great majority of God's people always fell into error by trusting in man. Men who were humble when God chose them, but afterward fell into error. If men do not live near enough to God to discern error when it comes -- and it may appear as an angel of light -- (for instance, polygamy) -- God suffers them to be led into error because of their trangressions. See how many of the prophets whom God called afterward fell into error. Saul, David, Solomon, and many prophets in Israel.
Now, I do not judge, nor say whether Saul, David, Solomon, or Joseph will be saved or lost. These are all in the hands of a just God. Perhaps the errors of David were more grievous that those of Joseph. Now I hope you understand me. I am not persecuting Brother Joseph, and never did persecute him. Because he erred is no reason why I should not love him. God called him to translate his sacred word by the power and gift of God; but he was not called to set up and establish the church any more than any of us Elders were. This will I prove conclusively later on, from evidence which you are bound to accept.
The "Choice Seer," spoken of in the Book of Mormon is not Brother Joseph. I will give you here a brief outline concerning this "Choice Seer" who is yet to come forth. The man who is not learned (in 2Nephi xi; 18), refers to Brother Joseph, but the "Choice Seer" (in 2Nephi ii) is another man. He is to come from the Lamanites. He is to come from the fruit of the loins of Joseph (of Egypt), that seed being the "branch which was to be broken off" at Jerusalem, to whom this land was consecrated for their inheritance forever -- being Lehi and his seed; Lehi's seed being little Joseph, who received the blessing from his father Lehi, that his seed should not be utterly destroyed; for out of his seed which should not all be destroyed (the Indians) should come to this "Choice Seer." This is the interpretation of this chapter. This "Choice Seer" will be of that seed. His name will be Joseph, and his father's name Joseph. He is to translate sealed records yet to come forth, (spoken of in 2Nephi xi:18). "And not to the bringing forth my word only, saith the Lord, but to the convincing them of my word." "How many Indians did Brother Joseph convince? He never preached a sermon to them in his life to my knowledge. May God help you brethren to understand this chapter, for it can only be understood by the enlightening power of the Holy Ghost. It is very plain to me. I speak in full on this subject in chapter X.
I want to say to the Latter Day Saints, that the elders of the Church of Christ, in coming to them, come to them as their brethren, in love and in meekness. God forbid that we should persecute you, who have likewise taken upon yourselves the "shame of Christ" in this age of the world -- which shame, in the eyes of the world, is believing the Book of Mormon. No; we love you, and by the help of God we will labor, trusting that the day is not far distant when the honest in heart among you, and among all believers in the Book of Mormon, and the world, may all be one with us upon the doctrine of Christ, working by the power and gifts of God to prepare the way for the gospel to go to the House of Israel. God only knows how I have grieved and suffered and plead with him for you for the past forty-eight years, that you might repent and be enlightened by the Holy Ghost to see the errors in which you have been led. To God belongs the mystery of his dealings with his people; he is allwise, and his ways are not man's ways. Mormon stood alone for many years, when the whole church of Nephites and Lamanites had every one gone into error and transgression. He stood alone, holding the authority, and prayed to God continually that he might go to them and preach to them; but the Lord forbid him to preach to them. Then let no man judge hastily as to my authority, lest he judge wrongly and continue in error; but go to God in prayer and fasting, and find out the truth, for the Holy Ghost will guide you into all truth. If you believe my testimony to the Book of Mormon; if you believe that God spake to us three witnesses by his own voice from the heavens, and told me to "separate myself from among the Latter Day Saints, for as they sought to do unto me, should it be done unto them." In the spring of 1838, the heads of the church and many of the members had gone deep into error and blindness. I had been striving with them for a long time to show them the errors into which they were drifting, and for my labors I received only persecutions. In June, 1838, at Far West, Mo., a secret organization was formed, Doctor Avard being put in as the leader of the band; a certain oath was to be administered to all the brethern to bind them to support the heads of the church in everything they should teach. All who refused to take this oath were considered dissenters from the church, and certain things were to be done concerning these dissenters, by Dr. Avard's secret band. I make no farther statements now; but suffice it to say that my persecutions, for trying to show them their errors, became of such a nature that I had to leave the Latter Day Saints; and, as I rode on horseback out of Far West, in June, 1838, the voice of God from heaven spake to me as I have stated above. I was called out to hold the authority which God gave to me.
I see from a letter written by the heads of the church, while they were in Liberty Jail, that they repented while in jail of having anything to do with this secret organization, and came out again Dr. Avard, declaring it all wickedness, and resolved to henceforth disapprobate everything that was not according to the gospel, and which was not of a bold, frank and upright nature. I quote from this letter, printed in the Times and Seasons, July, 1840:
"We farther caution our brethren against the impropriety of the organization of bands or companies, by covenants, oaths, penalties, or secrecies; but let the time past of our experience and suffering by the wickedness of Dr. Avard suffice. And let our covenants be that of the everlasting covenant, as it is contained in the Holy Writ, and the things which God has revealed unto us. Pure friendship always becomes weakened the very moment you undertake to make it stronger by penal oaths and secrecy. Your humble servants intend from henceforth to disapprobate everything that is not in accordance with the fullness of the gospel of Jesus Christ, and which is not of a bold, frank and upright nature."
They were put in jail in November, after I had left them. Now you see why I left the Latter Day Saints. After I left them they say they gave men a trial and cut me off. About the same time that I came out, the Spirit of God moved on quite a number of the brethren who came out, with their families. All of the eight witnesses who were then living (except the three Smiths) came out; Peter and Christian Whitmer were dead. Oliver Cowdery came out also. Martin Harris was then in Ohio. The church went deeper and deeper into wickedness. They were driven out of Missouri, and went to Nauvoo; and were driven out of Nauvoo, and went to Salt Lake, where they are to day, believing in the doctrine of polygamy. Nearly all the members at Nauvoo went to Salt Lake. Only a very few rejected the revelation on polygamy. The Reorganization is built up principally of members -- not of the old church -- but the new converts. The majority of those who did not go to Salt Lake are in the Reorganized Church today.
Many of the Reorganized Church have wondered why I have stood apart from them. Brethren, I here will tell you why. God commanded me by his own voice to stand apart from you. Many of you think that I have desire to lead -- to lead a church that believe as I do. I have no such desire. A one-man leader to the church is not the teachings of Christ. After Brother Joseph was killed, many came to me and importuned me to come out and be their leader; but I refused. With these statements, so you will understand me, I will proceed to show you how the heads of the church went into one error after another. I followed them into many errors in doctrine, which the Lord has since shown me, and which errors I have confessed and repented of, and will speak of in this pamphlet.
I am not preaching self-justification from being in errors in doctrine in the past. It is since 1847 that I have been shown all the errors into which I had followed the heads of the church, and that when God's own due time came for building up the waste places of Zion, the Church of Christ must be established on the teachings of Christ, which teachings in their purtiy are in the new covenant of the Book of Mormon, and come forth to us to settle all disputations about doctrine, because many plain and precious things have been taken from the record of the Jews, and on all doctrinal points -- order of the church offices, etc. -- we must rely upon it.
Christ commanded the Nephites to write his teachings, for they were to come down to us as the fullness of his gospel to us.
And why is it? Oh, why is it that you will not take the words of Christ himself, and lay down your contentions and disputations, taking his plain, simple teachings which he has given us in that book? As you know, the teachings of Christ are the same in the New Testament and in the Book of Mormon; but on account of the plain and precious things being taken from the Bible, there is room therein for disputations on some doctrinal points; but the teachings of Christ in the Book of Mormon are pure, plain, simple and full. Christ chose "twelve" and called them disciples or elders, not apostles, and the "twelve" ordained elders, priests, and teachers. These are all the spiritual offices in the Church of Christ, and their duties are plainly given. The manner of baptism, and the manner of administering the flesh and blood of Christ, and everything pertaining to the Church of Christ is plainly set forth in the fullness of the gospel, as I will show you in this epistle.
Of course I do not mean to place one book ahead of the other. I am also called to bear witness that the Bible is true. The angel who declared unto us that the Book of Mormon was true, also declared unto us that the Bible was true. They are both the word of God, and as it is prophesied, they both shall be one.
Concerning the question of my authority to administer in the ordinances of the Church of Christ; I have this to say; As I have stated, I was called out to hold the authority that God gave to me. I am not judging as to whose authority was good, or whose authority was not good. I am not judging as to any man's authority now to act in the church he is in, he has authority to act in the church he is in: but the Lord has made it known to me that no man has authority to act in "the Church of Christ," without being adopted therein according to the gospel of Christ.
I believe there are many honest hearts among all the orders of Latter Day Saints, and many in all churches, and in the world, that will yet come to a knowledge of the truth. Many of you believe, that because some of the spiritual gifts are with you, therefore you must be in the true doctrine of Christ; but this does not follow. The "signs" are produced in a believer by his faith. Some of the signs have been with all the factions who believe the Book of Mormon. If you have not charity, the signs will profit you nothing. Christ said, "Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works? And then I will profess unto them, I never knew you." (Matt. vii:22-23.) No, brethren, do not think that because some of the spiritual gifts are with a church, that that church cannot be in error by teaching more or less than the doctrine of Christ.