1 Nephi 14:1 - 4, NC 1 Nephi 3 par. 25
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. Yea, they shall be numbered among the house of Israel; and they shall be a blessed people upon the promised land for ever. They shall be no more brought down into captivity, and the house of Israel shall no more be confounded. And that great pit which hath been digged for them by that great and abominable church — which was founded by the Devil and his children, that he might lead away the souls of men down to hell — yea, that great pit which hath been digged for the destruction of men shall be filled by those who digged it, unto their utter destruction, saith the Lamb of God, not the destruction of the soul, save it be the casting of it into that hell which hath no end. For behold, this is according to the captivity of the Devil, and also according to the justice of God, upon all those who will work wickedness and abomination before him.
The Stick of Joseph in the Hand of Ephraim, 1 Nefi 3 par. 25
And it shall come to pass that if the Goyim shall hearken unto the Lamb of Elohim 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 Elohim, they shall be numbered among the seed of your father. Yes, they shall be numbered among the house of Isra’el; and they shall be a blessed people upon the promised land for ever. They shall be no more brought down into captivity, and the house of Isra’el shall no more be confounded. And that great pit which has been dug for them by that great and abominable church — which was founded by HaSatan and his children, that he might lead away the souls of men down to Gehinnom — yes, that great pit which has been dug for the destruction of men shall be filled by those who dug it, unto their utter destruction, says the Lamb of Elohim, not the destruction of the soul, except it be the casting of it into that Gehinnom which has no end. For behold, this is according to the captivity of HaSatan, and also according to the justice of Elohim, upon all those who will work wickedness and abomination before him.
In the blog post "A Book Carried Forth Among the Gentiles" we discussed briefly concerning the dual nature of Christ while in the flesh and how that relates to Him manifesting Himself unto the gentiles at a later date.
In the later blog post "Exceeding Great Many Do Stumble" we talked briefly about the gentiles being in an original position of "stumbling" because of the plain and precious things that had been removed from the Book of the Lamb of God by that great and abominable church.
Is it possible that here in what Nephi is declaring we see a culminating promise from the Lord to the gentiles that fixes the gentile deficiencies we addressed briefly in those previous posts?
What would be the timeline for what Nephi is declaring here, And it shall come to pass that if the gentiles shall hearken unto the Lamb of God in that day, to be accomplished or rather has what Nephi is declaring here already been accomplished or is it yet to be accomplished among the gentiles?
Where is this group of gentiles who have or will hearken to the Lamb of God to be found?
Is this related to what the angel Nephi declared to the Prophet Joseph in September of 1823?
After telling me these things he commenced quoting the prophecies of the Old Testament. He first quoted part of the third chapter of Malachi [Mal. 1:6 – 8], and he quoted also the fourth or last chapter of the same prophecy [Mal. 1:9 – 11], though with a little variation from the way it reads in our Bibles. Instead of quoting the first verse as reads in our books, he quoted it thus: For behold, the day cometh that shall burn as an oven, and all the proud, yea and all that do wickedly, shall burn as stubble; for they that cometh shall burn them, saith the Lord of Hosts, that it shall leave them neither root nor branch. And again he quoted the fifth verse thus: Behold, I will reveal unto you the Priesthood by the hand of Elijah the prophet before the coming of the great and dreadful day of the Lord. He also quoted the next verse differently: And he shall plant in the hearts of the children the promises made to the fathers, and the hearts of the children shall turn to their fathers; if it were not so, the whole earth would be utterly wasted at his coming. In addition to these he quoted the eleventh chapter of Isaiah [Isaiah 5:3-5], saying that it was about to be fulfilled. He quoted also the third chapter of Acts, twenty-second and twenty-third verses [Acts 2:3], precisely as they stand in our New Testament. He said that that prophet was Christ, but the day had not yet come when they who would not hear his voice should be cut off from among the people, but soon would come. He also quoted the second chapter of Joel from the twenty-eighth to the last verse [Joel 1:12]. He also said that this was not yet fulfilled, but was soon to be. And he further stated the fullness of the gentiles was soon to come in. He quoted many other passages of scripture and offered many explanations which cannot be mentioned here. (Joseph Smith History 1:36 - 41, T&C Section 1 Joseph Smith History 3 par. 4)
Is hearkening unto the Lamb of God the same as hearing the voice of Christ?
What does it mean to hear the voice of Christ?
Is hearing His voice related to what the Lord declared here?
And it was at Jerusalem the feast of the dedication, and it was winter. And Jesus walked in the temple in Solomon’s porch. Then came the Jews round about him, and said unto him, How long do you make us to doubt? If you are the Christ, tell us plainly. Jesus answered them, I told you and you believed not. The works that I do in my Father’s name, they bear witness of me. But you believe not because you are not of my sheep, as I said unto you. My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me. And I give unto them eternal life, and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of my hand. My Father, who gave them to me, is greater than all, and no man is able to pluck them out of my Father’s hand. I and my Father are one. (John 10:22 - 30, NC John 6 par. 29)
Could those who hear Christ's voice be identified as those who are able to recognize His words in the messages He sends?
Wasn't Christ sent, in addition to His atonement, to declare the message of salvation?
Aren't His words contained in that message of salvation?
If anyone has been "sent" by Him to declare that message, is it reasonable to consider that the words of the message they are delivering constitute Christ's voice unto salvation?
What works must be present among a group of gentiles in order for that group to qualify as hearkening to the Lamb of God?
If a group of gentiles does the following works can it be said of them that they are hearkening to the Lamb of God?
...At that day when the gentiles shall sin against my gospel, and shall reject the fullness of my gospel, and shall be lifted up in the pride of their hearts above all nations and above all the people of the whole earth, and shall be filled with all manner of lyings, and of deceits, and of mischiefs, and all manner of hypocrisy, and murders, and priestcrafts, and whoredoms, and of secret abominations, and if they shall do all these things, and shall reject the fullness of my gospel,...(3 Nephi 16:8 - 15, NC 3 Nephi 7 par. 5)
Are these the works of a group of gentiles who hear the voice of Christ or hearken to the Lamb of God?
Maybe to not get too far ahead we could consider the following.
What might we understand Nephi to mean when he declares that when the gentiles hearken to the voice of the Lamb of God that He will manifest Himself unto them in word and in power, in very deed?
What is entailed in the Lamb of God manifesting Himself unto the gentiles in "word"?
Is the above question in any way related to the following revelation given by the Lamb of God to the Prophet Joseph?
Wherefore, meaning the church, you shall give heed unto all his words and commandments which he shall give unto you as he receives them walking in all holiness before me, for his word you shall receive as if from my own mouth in all patience and faith. For by doing these things the gates of hell shall not prevail against you, yea, and the Lord God will disperse the powers of darkness from before you and cause the heavens to shake for your good and his name’s glory, for thus says the Lord God: Him have I inspired to move the cause of Zion in mighty power for good, and his diligence I know and his prayers I have heard, yea, his weeping for Zion I have seen and I will cause that he shall mourn for her no longer, for his days of rejoicing are come unto the remission of his sins and the manifestations of my blessings upon his works. For behold, I will bless all those who labor in my vineyard with a mighty blessing and they shall believe on his words which are given him through me by the Comforter, which manifests that Jesus was crucified by sinful men for the sins of the world, yea, for the remission of sins unto the contrite heart. (D&C 21:4 - 9, T&C 18 par. 4)
Through the Prophet Joseph did the Lord manifest Himself to a group of gentiles in word?
Consider the following in a discourse given concerning the religion of the Fathers. (I removed the footnotes but all citing can be found in the original paper that can be downloaded for free from Denversnuffer.com in the downloads section.)
In one sense, the religion of the fathers is based on a direct connection to God. Reduced to one thought, it is that as long as God is speaking directly to a body of people, giving them commandments, they have the most essential element of the religion of the fathers. If they remain true to that connection all things can be restored to them.
The last days people of Zion will have more revelation, and consequently more commandments than others. Disobedient souls, who refuse to obey God’s commandments, have no interest in Zion. Likewise, they have no opportunity for seeing Zion, because it is only possible through receiving commandments and obeying them.
This has been explained in modern scripture:
Yea, blessed are they whose feet stand upon the land of Zion, who have obeyed my gospel, for they shall receive for their reward the good things of the earth, and it shall bring forth in her strength. And they also shall be crowned with blessings from above, yea, and with commandments not a few, and with revelations in their time, they that are faithful and diligent before me.
This is a critical part of Christ’s gospel. Any body of saints in any age of the world must obtain the Lord’s commandments addressed to them to be saved. Commandments given to others belong to them, and only commandments God gives to us belong to us.
Joseph Smith explained this matter, after referring to the New Testament:
And though we cannot claim these promises which were made to the ancients for they are not our property, merely because they were made to the ancient Saints, yet if we are the children of the Most High, and are called with the same calling with which they were called, and embrace the same covenant that they embraced, and are faithful to the testimony of our Lord as they were, we can approach the Father, in the name of Christ as they approached Him, and for ourselves obtain the same promises. These promises, when obtained, if ever by us, will not be because Peter, John, and the other Apostles … walked in the fear of God and had power and faith to prevail and obtain them; but it will be because we, ourselves, have faith and approach God in the name of His Son Jesus Christ, even as they did; and when these promises are obtained, they will be promises directly to us, or they will do us no good. They will be communicated for our benefit, being our own property (through the gift of God), earned by our own diligence in keeping His commandments, and walking uprightly before Him.
This is affirmed in our scriptures:
I admit that by reading the scriptures, of truth, the saints in the days of Paul could learn, beyond the power of contradiction, that Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob had the promise of eternal life confirmed to them by an oath of the Lord; but that promise or oath was no assurance to them of their salvation, but they could, by walking in the footsteps and continuing in the faith of their fathers, obtain for themselves an oath for confirmation that they were meet to be partakers of the inheritance with the saints in light. If the saints in the days of the apostles were privileged to take the ancients for examples, and lay hold of the same promises, and attain to the same exalted privilege of knowing that their names were written in the Lamb’s Book of Life and that they were sealed there as a perpetual memorial before the face of the Most High, will not the same faithfulness, the same purity of heart and the same faith bring the same assurance of eternal life, and that in the same manner, to the children of men now in this age of the world? I have no doubt but that the holy prophets and apostles and saints in ancient days were saved in the kingdom of God; neither do I doubt but that they held converse and communion with him while they were in the flesh, as Paul said to his Corinthian brethren that the Lord Jesus showed himself to above five hundred saints at one time after his resurrection. Job said that he knew that his Redeemer lived and that he should see him in the flesh in the latter days. I may believe that Enoch walked with God and by faith was translated. I may believe that Noah was a perfect man in his generation and also walked with God. I may believe that Abraham communed with God and conversed with angels. I may believe that Isaac obtained a renewal of the covenant made to Abraham by the direct voice of the Lord. I may believe that Jacob conversed with holy angels, and heard the voice of his Maker, that he wrestled with the angel until he prevailed and obtained the blessing. I may believe that Elijah was taken to Heaven in a chariot of fire with fiery horses. I may believe that the saints saw the Lord and conversed with him face to face after his resurrection. I may believe that the Hebrew church came to Mount Zion, and unto the city of the living God, the Heavenly Jerusalem, and to an innumerable company of angels. I may believe that they looked into eternity and saw the Judge of all, and Jesus the Mediator of the new covenant. But will all this purchase an assurance for me, and waft me to the regions of eternal day, and seat me down in the presence of the King of kings with my garments spotless, pure, and white? Or must I not rather obtain for myself, by my own faith and diligence in keeping the commandments of the Lord, an assurance of salvation for myself? And have I not an equal privilege with the ancient saints? And will not the Lord hear my prayers and listen to my cries as soon as he ever did to theirs, if I come to him in the manner they did? ("The Religion of the Fathers", Denver Snuffer, Mar. 2021, pgs. 41 - 43)
As long as Joseph was able to declare the words of the Lord, from the Lord Himself, to a group of gentiles was the Lord manifesting Himself unto that group of gentiles in word?
Was Hyrum also "chosen" by the Lord to declare His words?
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 upon his head the bishopric, 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. (D&C 124:91 - 96, T&C 141 par. 32)
Aren't the words spoken to Hyrum, 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., the same words the Lord spoke to the others He "sent" to proclaim His words?
When the Prophets Joseph and Hyrum were killed was anyone called by the Lord Himself in the exact same manner that He called Hyrum and Joseph to be "sent" to speak His message of salvation?
After their deaths' did the Lord continue to speak directly to that group of gentiles?
How about starting with Brigham Young?
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 favor with my Father and God. ("Providences of God—Privileges and Duties of the Saints—Spiritual Operations and Manifestations—The Spirit World, &c", Remarks by President Brigham Young, Delivered in the Tabernacle, Great Salt Lake City, September 1, 1859, Journal of Discourses, volume 7, page 243)
Is it reasonable to conclude from the above statement by Brigham Young himself in the tabernacle that Brigham Young was not "sent" with the Lord's message of salvation like Joseph and Hyrum?
What does that mean as far as the following is concerned?
In one sense, the religion of the fathers is based on a direct connection to God. Reduced to one thought, it is that as long as God is speaking directly to a body of people, giving them commandments, they have the most essential element of the religion of the fathers. If they remain true to that connection all things can be restored to them.
Was Joseph permitted by the Lord to restore all things?
Did the Lord restore all things through Brigham Young or any of the other leaders of the LDS Church or through anyone in any of the many splintering groups who claim Joseph as their founding prophet?
Does history show us that the Lord's initial manifestation of Himself to the gentiles in word was met with rejection so that He removed those whom He had "sent" with His word, the message of salvation?
Even with initial failings on the part of the gentile body originally entrusted to receive and preserve the Lord's words has the Lord set in motion all things to still manifest Himself to repentant gentiles even today by His word?
What about the Book of Mormon?
Has it been preserved and does it still contain the Lord's authorized message of salvation?
Have sufficient words from the Prophet Joseph been preserved to allow a group of gentiles to repent and hearken to Joseph's words?
Joseph’s doctrines, teachings, revelations and council was supposed to be kept and hearkened to by the church. In the 1835 Doctrine and Covenants, section 41 [actually 14], it says “Ye have received a commandment for a law unto my church, through him whom I have appointed unto you, to receive commandments and revelations from my hand,” [D&C 14:1, 1835 ed.] making it clear that when we get something from Joseph we, as a church, were directed by the Lord, to respect what it was that came through him.
In section 32:2 [actually 32:3, 1835 ed.] it says, “I have entrusted unto you, my servant Joseph, for a wise purpose in me, and it shall be made known unto future generations; but this generation shall have my word through you.” Don’t read the word “generation” in that context narrowly, because the word “generation” has sometimes varying meanings. And the safe meaning in that context of that statement to Joseph, includes all those who live after the day that Joseph came and Joseph bore testimony. Therefore, it would include you.("4:Contradicting Joseph", Denver Snuffer Podcast, 04 February 2018)
What would be necessary for a group of gentiles to come back to the point before June 27 1844 where the Lord was manifesting Himself in word to the gentiles through Joseph and Hyrum?
Has such an event occurred?
I testify that it has.
I testify that the Lord is again manifesting Himself by word to gentiles who will hearken unto Him, the Lamb of God.
There is so much to explain about the Lord resuming again His manifesting Himself in word to the gentiles but it cannot be done in this post.
Please look into the matter.
What is entailed in the Lamb of God manifesting Himself unto the gentiles in "power"?
I have an opinion but like all of my other opinions even if it happens to be correct it is incomplete at best.
My present understanding of the Lamb of God manifesting Himself to the gentiles in "power" is as follows.
1) In the previous blog post "I Beheld Other Books" we discussed that these other books were brought forth by the "power" and gift of the Lamb of God.
Are such things included in the Lamb of God manifesting Himself in power to the gentiles?
How were the "other books" received by the initial group of gentiles to whom the books were given?
Let's look at the reception of the Book of Mormon.
The Lord said the following concerning the earlier group of gentiles to whom the Book of Mormon was first given.
If the gentiles, unto whom the Book of Mormon was given, had hearkened unto the holy ghost, they would have come unto me in Hyrum and Joseph’s day. But they did not hearken, and would not allow me to abide with them in word, and in power, and in very deed. (T&C 157 par. 22)
Consider the following.
Although the Book of Mormon has remained in print continuously since its first publication in 1830, Latter Day Saints did not respect it as scripture until the 1950s.
The book has been a test and not the fulsome revelation of all God's dealings even with the Nephites. “And when they shall have received this, which is expedient that they should have first, to try their faith, and if it shall so be that they shall believe these things then shall the greater things be made manifest unto them” (3 Ne. 26:9.)
From its founding until 1937, Brigham Young University did not offer a single course on the Book of Mormon. Only in 1961 did it become mandatory for incoming BYU freshmen to take a class on the Book of Mormon.
Hugh Nibley defended the Book of Mormon in a debate with Sterling McMurrin in 1955. Nibley offended nearly all those who were in attendance because of his serious defense, some of whom declared flatly that the Book of Mormon needed to be abandoned because it was driving the best minds out of the church. (Peterson, Boyd Jay, Hugh Nibley: A Consecrated Life. Salt Lake City: Greg Kofford Books, 2002, p. 160.)
Although Hugh Nibley advocated taking the Book of Mormon seriously in the 1950s, the Saints only began to take it seriously after Ezra Taft Benson's general conference talk in 1986. The Church was under-whelmed with the Book of Mormon until late into the twentieth century.
Noel B. Reynolds wrote about this Church-wide neglect in his article
… The Coming Forth of the Book of Mormon in the Twentieth Century, BYU Studies 38, no. 2 (1999), found at pages 7-47. He wrote: “the Book of Mormon was largely overlooked throughout the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries.” (Id., p. 8.) A handful of Church leaders appealed for more serious attention to the book, “[h]owever, the Church as a whole did not respond in a dramatic way to any of these urgent messages until after President Benson’s emphatic messages in 1986.” (Id., p. 9.) (Snuffer, Eighteen Verses, Salt Lake City: Mill Creek Press, 2007; p. 4, all as in original.)
Within 18 months of the restoration through Joseph Smith, the Saints were condemned for unbelief. (D&C 84:54-57.) By January 1841 the Saints were warned they would be rejected, with their dead, if they failed to repent and keep God's commandments. They did not repent, and so, the restoration has been in a pause for four and five generations, waiting for God to begin it anew.("Boise Conference Address (Opening Remarks) Covenant of Christ Conference Egyptian Theater Boise, Idaho, September 3, 2017 by Denver C. Snuffer, Jr., pg. 4)
It wasn't until September 2, 2017 that a group of gentiles, gathered together in Boise, Idaho, formally accepted and canonized as scripture to govern their own lives, the Book of Mormon.
What about the "other books" in addition to the Book of Mormon?
When they were initially given by the "power" and gift of the Lamb of God how were they received?
Joseph Smith’s revision of the Bible was designed to restore the Bible to read, “even as they are in [God’s] own bosom, to the salvation of [God’s] elect.” From the command to commence the corrected Bible project until the command to publish it, Joseph’s inspired revision was referred to in fourteen revelations.
The revised Bible was quoted exclusively in Lectures on Faith. The Bible revision was essential for people to have belief. Without it, the saints would dwindle in unbelief because they lacked the truths God intended to be known and accepted by His followers. Joseph Smith knew this and warned about how crucial it was for the revised Bible (which he called the “fullness of the scriptures”) to be published for believers. In an October 1831 Conference he taught the saints, “God had often sealed up the Heavens because of covetousness in the church. Said the Lord would cut his work short in righteousness and except the church receive the fullness of the scriptures they would yet fall.”
The fullness of the scriptures was never published in Joseph Smith’s lifetime, or ever by any church. The RLDS church published an incomplete and altered version that excluded revisions made by Joseph and included revisions made by a committee. A significant part of the work accomplished by Joseph Smith has been neglected by the LDS or altered by the RLDS (now the Community of Christ), and both of those groups have dwindled in unbelief. Because they have incomplete scriptures, having rejected part of what the Lord has as ‘scriptures in His own bosom,’ it cannot be otherwise. All of the breakoff groups that have separated from the LDS or the RLDS have similarly dwindled in unbelief. ("The Religion of the Fathers", Denver Snuffer, Mar. 2021, pgs. 5 - 6)
After the deaths of Joseph and Hyrum no other books came from the Lord to a gentile group by His power and the previous books He had sent were neglected until a small group of gentiles repented and remembered the words the Lord had previously sent forth by His power.
No new revelation was received by those who followed after Joseph and Hyrum in any of the restoration splintered groups.
The Lord paused His manifesting of Himself to the gentiles by power.
Now the Lord has resumed sending His word or rather manifesting Himself to the gentiles by power as He has sent a new "other book" and new revelations and commandments to those gentiles who repent.
2) Whenever the Lord establishes a covenant can it be said that it is done by His power?
What effect does a covenant extended by the Lord have on an individual or group who have the covenant extended to them and they receive and keep it?
I will give to you words to speak to the people to accept my covenant, and you shall read those words to them. Read first to the people these words I now speak, and then read the words of the covenant, and the people who will receive and do my words and my covenant shall then stand and say, Yes. Then by my law and my word they will be mine, and I will be with and lead my people onward through the spirit of Truth, the Comforter, the Record of Heaven, the peaceable things of immortal glory, even the holy ghost which will abide with them, and you will be children of the Most High God, fellow servants and numbered with the congregation of the just. Therefore rejoice! And the angels are given charge to watch over and protect my people. My eyes are over the whole earth and all men everywhere are before me. Men conspire to overthrow and oppress, and use violence to control others through fear. My spirit restrains the destroyer, to allow those who are in the world and willing to give heed to my words time to prepare, but I will not always suffer with the wickedness of man. The earth groans under the wickedness of mankind upon her face, and she longs for peace to come. She withholds the abundance of her bounty because of the offenses of men against me, against one another, and against her. But if righteousness returns and my people prove by their actions, words, and thoughts to yield to my spirit and hearken to my commandments, then will the earth rejoice, for the feet of those who cry peace upon her mountains are beautiful indeed, and I, the Lord, will bring again Zion, and the earth will rejoice. In the world, tares are ripening. And so I ask you, What of the wheat? Let your pride, and your envy, and your fears depart from you. I will come to my tabernacle and dwell with my people in Zion, and none will overtake it. Cry peace. Proclaim my words. Invite those who will repent to be baptized and forgiven, and they shall obtain my spirit to guide them. The time is short and I come quickly, therefore open your mouths and warn others to flee the wrath which is to come as men in anger destroy one another. The wicked shall destroy the wicked, and I will hold the peacemakers in the palm of my hand and none can take them from me. (T&C 157 pars. 59 - 65)
Consider the following.
The Lord determined long ago He would use a covenant to graft back people who had become wild and bitter, and connect them to the original roots of the tree of life, or in other words restore a people in our day to His covenant.("Boise Conference Address (Opening Remarks) Covenant of Christ Conference Egyptian Theater Boise, Idaho, September 3, 2017 by Denver C. Snuffer, Jr., pg. 3)
Today marks a moment when the stirrings that have been underway for years result in God’s offering to establish His people, on earth, by a covenant He ordains.
The few ready to receive the Lord's offer today are scattered to the nethermost parts of His vineyard (Jacob 5:52.) Despite this, a live broadcast on the Internet allows them to be grafted in at the same moment this is happening in Boise, Idaho.
Correspondingly, those utterly refused to accept the offered covenant are plucked from the restoration’s tree of life because they're bitter fruit, unable to meet the Lord’s requirements. (Id.) The Lord is taking the step to preserve part of humanity, not to destroy (Id., v. 53.)
A few descendants of the covenant fathers have the natural gift of faith. That gift belongs to the natural branches (Id., v. 54). When grafted we are connected to the natural roots, or covenant fathers, as heirs of the promises made to them. (Id.)
Even after the covenant, there will still be those who are bitter and wild, who will be unable to produce natural fruit despite the covenant. These will remain for a time despite their bitterness (Id., v. 56-57).
Today only the “most bitter” who refuse to be grafted in will be trimmed away. (Id., v. 57) We look forward to more “nourishing” or restoring of truths, light and commandments which will bless those who will receive. But for those who will not, the continuing restoration will prune them away (Id., v.58). These bitter and wild branches must still be cut off and cast away. (Id.)
These steps are necessary to preserve the opportunity for the natural fruit to fully return (Id., v. 59). The good must overcome the evil. (Id.) This takes time, and it means that the Lord's patience is extended to give time to develop and further improve. We are not expected, and cannot become natural fruit in a single step. But we are expected to accept the initial graft today.
The Lord is taking the steps so that “perhaps”, that’s a deliberate word, perhaps we may become natural fruit worthy to be preserved in the coming harvest (Id., v.60). “Perhaps” is the right word. Some who are grafted will still be plucked away and burned. But others will bear natural fruit and be preserved.("Boise Conference Address (Opening Remarks) Covenant of Christ Conference Egyptian Theater Boise, Idaho, September 3, 2017 by Denver C. Snuffer, Jr., pgs. 4 - 5)
Is it reasonable to state that by "power" a covenant that the Lord extends is able to change a repentant individual or group from one state or identity to another state or identity completely?
If it is by His power that a covenant is extended can that covenant be broken by anything except the wickedness of the individual or group that received it?
Covenants, promises, rights, vows, associations, and expectations that are mine will endure, and those that are not cannot endure. Everything in the world, whether it is established by men, or by Thrones, or by Dominions, or by Principalities, or by Powers, that are not by my word and promise, shall be thrown down when men are dead and shall not remain in my Father’s Kingdom. Only those things that are by me shall remain in and after the resurrection. (T&C 157 par. 37)
When the initial group of gentiles were gifted the Book of Mormon, the Lord declared that the Book of Mormon was a covenant that they needed to repent and remember.
There is so much that ought to be studied on this subject that cannot be presented here.
They did not repent, but on September 03, 2017 the Lord offered a new covenant to repentant gentiles.
I am not bringing these things up to heap condemnation on an earlier group of people. I bring these things up to present a possibility that the Lord showed Nephi that there is much much work to be done that we may consider has already been completed.
3) What about the temple and temple rights?
This is what the Lord told the people of Nauvoo through Joseph concerning the purpose for the Nauvoo temple in January 1841.
And again, verily I say unto you, let all my saints come from afar, and send swift messengers, yea, chosen messengers, and say unto them, Come all of you, with all your gold, and your silver, and your precious stones, and with all your antiquities, and with all who have knowledge of antiquities that will come, may come. And bring the box tree, and the fir tree, and the pine tree, together with all the precious trees of the earth, and with iron, with copper, and with brass, and with zinc, and with all your precious things of the earth, and build a house unto my name for the Most High to dwell therein. 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. For a baptismal font there is not upon the earth, that they my saints may be baptized for those who are dead; for this ordinance belongs to my house and cannot be acceptable to me, only in the days of your poverty wherein you are not able to build a house unto me. But I command you, all you my saints, to build a house unto me, and I grant unto you a sufficient time to build a house unto me, and during this time your baptisms shall be acceptable unto me. But behold, at the end of this appointment, your baptisms for your dead shall not be acceptable unto me. And if you do not these things, at the end of the appointment you shall be rejected as a church with your dead, says the Lord your God. For verily I say unto you that after you have had sufficient time to build a house unto me, wherein the ordinance of baptizing for the dead belongs, and for which the same was instituted from before the foundation of the world, your baptisms for your dead cannot be acceptable unto me, for therein are the keys of the Holy Priesthood ordained that you may receive honor and glory. And after this time, your baptisms for the dead by those who are scattered abroad are not acceptable unto me, says the Lord. For it is ordained that in Zion, and in her stakes, and in Jerusalem — those places which I have appointed for refuge — shall be the places for the baptisms for your dead. And again, verily I say unto you, how shall your washings be acceptable unto me except you perform them in a house which you have built to my name? For, for this cause I commanded Moses that he should build a tabernacle, that they should bear it with them in the wilderness, and to build a house in the land of promise that those ordinances might be revealed which had been hid from before the world was. Therefore, verily I say unto you that your anointings, and your washings, and your baptisms for the dead, and your solemn assemblies, and your memorials for your sacrifices by the sons of Levi, and for your oracles in your most holy places wherein you receive conversations, and your statutes and judgments for the beginning of the revelations and foundation of Zion, and for the glory, and honor, and endowment of all her municipals, are ordained by the ordinance of my holy house, which my people are always commanded to build unto my holy name. And verily I say unto you, let this house be built unto my name that I may reveal my ordinances therein unto my people, for I deign to reveal unto my church things which have been kept hid from before the foundation of the world, things that pertain to the dispensation of the fullness of times. And I will show unto my servant Joseph all things pertaining to this house and the Priesthood thereof, and the place whereon it shall be built. And you shall build it on the place where you have contemplated building it, for that is the spot which I have chosen for you to build it. If you labor with all your mights, I will consecrate that spot that it shall be made holy. And if my people will hearken unto my voice and unto the voice of my servants whom I have appointed to lead my people, behold, verily I say unto you, they shall not be moved out of their place. (D&C 124:25 - 45, T&C 141 pars. 10 - 13)
Does a return of the fullness of the priesthood, a revelation of all the ordinances of God to His church (remember the Lord's definition of a church), visitations, conversations, sacrifices, baptisms for the dead, and the beginning of the revelations and foundation of Zion and for the glory and honor and endowment of all her municipalities, all sound like the Lord manifesting Himself to the gentiles in "power"?
What happened with the Nauvoo temple?
What is entailed in the Lamb of God manifesting Himself unto the gentiles in "very deed"?
At the conclusion of the vision of the three-heavens, Joseph wrote the following. It clarifies that we are supposed to access heaven and see for ourselves the glory to be found there:
“But great and marvelous are the works of the Lord, and the mysteries of his Kingdom which he showed unto us, which surpasses all understanding, in glory, and in might, and in dominion, which he commanded us we should not write while we were yet in the Spirit, and are not lawful for men to utter, neither is man capable to make them known, for they are only to be seen and understood by the power of the Holy [Ghost], which God bestows on those who love him and purify themselves before him, to whom he grants the privilege of seeing and knowing for themselves that through the power and manifestation of the Spirit, while in the flesh, they may be able to bear his presence in the world of glory” (Teachings and Commandments 69:29).
This privilege of seeing and knowing for ourselves is available to us “while in the flesh.” The restoration aimed to reconnect us to heaven in a literal way. This is the same that transpired with Enoch and others in earlier dispensations.
The Book of Mormon is filled with ascension lessons and examples. There is one verse that captures Joseph Smith’s ascent theology. That verse compresses into a single sentence, it explains why the Book of Mormon contains the “fullness of the gospel,” and it’s perhaps Joseph’s most inspired declaration:
“Verily thus says the Lord: It shall come to pass that every soul who forsakes their sins, and comes unto me, and calls on my name, and obeys my Voice, and keeps all my commandments, shall see my face and know that I Am, and that I am the true light that lights every man who comes into the world” (Teachings and Commandments 93:1).
“Every soul” includes you and me. Every one of us has equal access to the Lord. The conditions are the same for all: forsake sins, come to Christ, call on His name, obey His voice, keep His commandments. This is far more challenging than obedience to a handful of “thou shalt nots” because so much is required to be done, so much required to be known. A great deal of study and prayer is required to stand in the presence of the Lord. Once done, we shall see His face and know that He is the true light that enlightens everyone. He’s the God of the whole world.
Immediately after His resurrection, Christ did not minister to gentiles. But after the Book of Mormon came forth, gentiles are also eligible for Christ’s ministry in very deed:
“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” (1 Nephi 3:25 NC).
His promise to us is predicated on “hearkening” to the Lamb. Gentiles failed to do so, and upon Joseph’s death, a great dearth set upon the restoration. Until there is gentile repenting and returning, it will continue to unwind. Since June 27, 1844 we have a restoration slow-moving car wreck. The pace of that decay is accelerating. We must rage against the fading of that light, “And seek the face of the Lord always, that in patience you may possess your souls, and have Eternal life” (Teachings and Commandments 101:6). ("30: How The Restoration Has Fallen", Denver Snuffer Podcast, 08 August 2018.)
For Christ to manifest Himself to the gentiles in very deed doesn't that occur by Christ coming personally to individuals and to a group?
The following is part of a recent revelation. This part of the revelation describes how He will manifest Himself to the gentiles who hearken to Him, in very deed.
I will visit my house, which the remnant of my people shall build, and I will dwell therein, to be among you, and no one will need to say, Know ye the Lord, for you all shall know me, from the least to the greatest. (T&C 158 par. 15)
This would be a fulfillment of the words of Jeremiah.
Behold, the days come, says the Lord, that I will sow the house of Israel and the house of Judah with the seed of man and with the seed of beast. And it shall come to pass that as I have watched over them to pluck up, and to break down, and to throw down, and to destroy, and to afflict, so will I watch over them to build and to plant, says the Lord. In those days, they shall say no more, The fathers have eaten a sour grape, and the children’s teeth are set on edge — but everyone shall die for his own iniquity. Every man that eats the sour grape, his teeth shall be set on edge. Behold, the days come, says the Lord, that I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel and with the house of Judah — not according to the covenant that I made with their fathers in the day that I took them by the hand to bring them out of the land of Egypt (which my covenant they broke, although I was a husband unto them, says the Lord), but this shall be the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel: after those days, says the Lord, I will put my law in their inward parts, and write it in their hearts, and will be their God and they shall be my people. And they shall teach no more every man his neighbor and every man his brother, saying, Know the Lord — for they shall all know me, from the least of them unto the greatest of them, says the Lord. For I will forgive their iniquity and I will remember their sin no more. (Jeremiah 31:27 - 34, OC Jeremiah 12 par. 9)
If I am the least bit correct in my present understanding of what Nephi has recorded here in his vision then there is so much that is right now being fulfilled of his words and there is so much that is still future in the fulfillment of his words.