Chapter Five -The Doctrine and Covenants
Revelation given to the prophet Joseph Smith, found in the Doctrine and Covenants:
23 And in that day shall be heard wars and rumors of wars, and the whole earth shall be in commotion, and man’s hearts shall fail them, and they shall say that Christ delayeth his coming until the end of the earth
24 And the love of men shall wax cold, and iniquity shall abound.
25 And when the times of the Gentiles are come in, a light shall break forth among them that sit in darkness, and it shall be the fullness of my gospel.
26 But they receive it not; for they perceive not the light, and they turn their hearts from me because of the precepts of men.
27 And in that generation shall the times of the Gentiles be fulfilled.
28 And there shall be men standing in that generation that shall not pass until they shall see an overflowing scourge; for a desolating sickness shall cover the land.
29 But my disciples shall stand in holy places, and shall not be moved; but among the wicked, men shall lift up their voices and curse God and die. (D&C 45:23–29)
Fifty-six percent of all deaths in the United States are related to coronary disease. Coronary disease is a direct result of the partaking of animal fat. It is probably not yet the overflowing scourge, but it is a weakening of the body in preparation for it.
Those disciples who shall stand in holy places will not necessarily be standing in their ward house or in the Temples, but the ground they stand on will be the cleanliness and holiness of their bodies because they have softened their hearts to the true teaching of the Gospel of Jesus Christ and are not partaking of forbidden foods which lead a darkened understanding and to dark paths.
9 Wherefore, I say unto you that I have sent unto you mine everlasting covenant, even that which was from the beginning. (D&C 49:9)
18 And whoso forbiddeth to abstain from meats, that man should not eat the same, is not ordained of God;
19 For behold, the beasts of the field and the fowls of the air, and that which cometh of the earth, is ordained for the use of man for food and for raiment, and that he might have in abundance.
20 But it is not given that man should possess that which is above another, wherefore the world lieth in sin.
21 And woe be unto man that sheddeth blood or that wasteth flesh and hath no need. (D&C 49:18–21)
Footnote 21A: And surely, blood shall not be shed, only for meat to save your lives; and the blood of every beast will I require at your hands. (Genesis 9:11 JST)
Explanation of verses:
When Joseph Smith removed and commanding from 1Timothy 4:3 he changed the entire meaning of the scripture
18 And whoso forbiddeth to abstain from meats, that man should not eat the same, is not ordained of God;
Whoso forbids a man to be an abstainer is not of God. In other words, if you are already abstaining (vegan or vegetarian) and someone tells/forbids you to do this, he is not of God.
He followed this with:
21 And wo be unto man that sheddeth blood or that wasteth flesh and hath no need.
[Footnote 21A Genesis 9:11, “And surely, blood shall not be shed, only for meat to save your lives; and the blood of every beast will I require at your hands.]
Opinion on D&C 49:19:
If we use animals for (not as) food and for raiment, then we are using the ox to help us plow for (to obtain) food, the chicken to eat bugs in our garden for more of an abundance of food, the goat for the price of the field (Goats will clear your land of weeds and leave a rich fertilizer behind), the sheep for wool for clothing, etc. However if we use them AS food, then we no longer have them to help us obtain it. (If an ox lives 25 years, think of the many meals he can help us obtain. If we butcher him, it is obvious he can only last a few meals.)
Opinion on D&C 49:20:
It is not given that one man should possess that which is above another: People always ask this question: If
God is so good, why does he let some people in the world starve, while others have plenty? The answer is that some people in the world take what is not theirs. Study the Hunger Argument from the Earth Save Foundation, below:
1. Amount of total US grain production consumed by livestock: 70 percent
2. How frequently a child on earth dies as a result of malnutrition and starvation: Every 2.3 seconds
3. Amount of US grain exports consumed by livestock: 66 percent
4. Number of children who die as a result of malnutrition and starvation every day: 38,000
5. Amount of world grain harvest consumed by livestock throughout the eighties: Half
6. Number of people who will die as a result of malnutrition and starvation this year: 20,000,000
7. Number of people who could be fed using the land, water, and energy that would be freed-up from growing livestock feed if Americans reduced their intake of meat by 10 percent: 100,000,000.
Again think of the Joseph Smith Translation of Genesis 9:11:
And surely blood shall not be shed, except for meat to save your lives, and the blood of every beast will I require at your hands. (Genesis 9:11)
It is obvious that eating the flesh of beasts is a tradition that we are steeped in within this culture from the time we are children. It is time to grow up and realize the damage we have done. It is time to grow up and realize the sins that we have committed — it was for these sins that Christ suffered. We can make restitution for many of our sins. Stealing, for example: we can repay the person from whom we stole.
The sins for which we cannot make restitution — the taking of life, were paid for by our Savior. We can repent, but we can never restore the life of that creature. We can never repay the Savior for the suffering that He has already suffered in our behalf. We can only repent and cause Him not to suffer more than He already has. Think of this: if I repent now, instead of ten years from now, that will be that many sins less that Christ had to suffer for in the Garden of Gethsemane so many years ago.
17 Yea, and the herb, and the good things which come of the earth, whether for food or for raiment, or for houses, or for barns, or for orchards, or for gardens, or for vineyards,
18 Yea, all things which come of the earth, in the season thereof, are made for the benefit and the use of man, both to please the eye and to gladden the heart.
19 Yea, for food and for raiment, for taste and for smell, to strengthen the body and to enliven the soul,
20 And it pleaseth God that he hath given all these things unto man; for unto this end were they made to be used, with judgment, not to excess, neither by extortion. (D&C 59:17–20)
If we extort, we take something that does not belong to us: flesh from the beasts, milk from the cows, honey from the bees, on and on.
34 Behold, the Lord requireth the heart and a willing mind; and the willing and obedient shall eat the GOOD of the land of Zion in these last days. (D&C 64:34. Emphasis added.)
75 That I may testify unto your Father, and your God, and my God, that you are clean from the blood of this wicked generation; that I may fulfill this promise, this great promise, which I have made unto you, when I will.
86 Abide ye in the liberty where with ye are made free; entangle not yourselves in sin, but let your hands be clean, until the Lord comes. [We are made free from the blood and sins of this generation. We are made free from the yoke of bondage of whatever unclean spirit chooses to enter and inhabit our weak bodies.]
124 Cease to be idle; cease to be unclean; cease to find fault one with another; cease to sleep longer than is needful; retire to thy bed early, that ye may not be weary; arise early, that your bodies and your minds may be invigorated.
125 And above all things clothe yourselves with the bond of charity, as with a mantle, which is the bond of perfectness and peace.
138 And ye shall not receive any among you into this school save he is clean from the blood of this generation. (D&C 88:75,86, 124–125,138
It is easy to see that Joseph Smith preached the same gospel message as Isaiah:
15 And when ye spread forth your hands, I will hide mine eyes from you: yea, when ye make many prayers, I will not hear: your hands are full of blood.
16 Wash you, make you clean; put away the evil of your doings from before mine eyes; cease to do evil. (Isaiah 1:15–16)
The Word of Wisdom:
The Word of Wisdom is the centerpiece of the gospel for our temporal and eternal salvation. It is also a section that many Saints do not understand and Heber J. Grant said, “They ignore at their own peril.” Joseph Smith does much here to restore the plain and precious parts of the Gospel of Jesus Christ that were taken away.
1 A Word of Wisdom for the benefit of the council of high priests, assembled in Kirtland, and the church, and also the saints in Zion
2 To be sent greeting; not by commandment or constraint, but by revelation and the Word of Wisdom, showing forth the order and will of God in the temporal salvation of all saints in the last days.
3 Given for a principle with promise, adapted to the capacity of the weak and the weakest of all saints who are or can be called saints.
4 Behold, verily, thus saith the Lord unto you: In consequence of the evils and designs which do and will exist in the hearts of conspiring men in the last days, I have warned you, and forewarn you, by giving unto you this Word of Wisdom by revelation.
5 That inasmuch as any man drinketh wine or strong drink among you, behold it is not good, neither meet in the sight of your Father, only in assembling yourselves together to offer up your sacraments before him.
6 And, behold, this should be wine, yea, pure wine of the grape of the vine, of your own make.
7 And, again strong drinks are not for the belly, but for the washing of your bodies.
8 And again, tobacco is not for the body, neither for the belly, and is not good for man, but is an herb for bruises and all sick cattle, to be used with judgment and skill.
9 And again, hot drinks are not for the body or belly.
10 And again, verily I say unto you, all wholesome herbs God hath ordained for the constitution, nature, and use of man —
11 Every herb in the season thereof, and every fruit in the season thereof; all these to be used with prudence and thanksgiving.
12 Yea, flesh also of beasts and of the fowls of the air, I, the Lord, have ordained for the use of man with thanksgiving; nevertheless they are to be used sparingly;
13 And it is PLEASING UNTO ME that they SHOULD NOT BE USED ONLY IN TIMES OF WINTER, OR OF COLD OR FAMINE.
14 All grain is ordained for the use of man and of beasts, to be the staff of life, not only for man but for the beasts of the field, and the fowls of heaven, and all wild animals that run or creep on the earth;
15 And these hath God made for the use of man only in times of famine and excess of hunger.
16 All grain is good for the food of man; as also the fruit of the vine; that which yieldeth fruit, whether in the ground or above the ground —
17 Nevertheless, wheat for man, and corn for the ox, and oats for the horse, and rye for the fowls and for swine, and for all beasts of the field, and barley for all useful animals, and for mild drinks, as also other grain.
18 And all saints who remember to keep and do these sayings, walking in obedience to the commandments, shall receive health in their navel and marrow to their bones;
19 AND SHALL FIND WISDOM AND GREAT TREASURES OF KNOWLEDGE, EVEN HIDDEN TREASURES.
20 And shall run and not be weary, and shall walk and not faint.
21 And I the Lord give unto them a promise, that the destroying angel shall pass by them, as the children of Israel, and not slay them. (D&C 89:1–21. Emphasis added.)
Repeating Verse 21: And I the Lord, give unto them (all those mentioned in verses 1 and 3) a promise, that the destroying angel (angel of death) shall pass by them, as the children of Israel, and not slay them. Amen.
Vonda Thorpe says in her paper Sanctity of Life: (This is a most interesting statement and contains an even more remarkable promise.)
“In the supplementary student manual [Religion 301] — Old Testament: Genesis to 2 Samuel — that gospel doctrine teachers use, we find the following statement on page 54:
“During the first 2200 or so years of the earth’s history, i.e., from the
fall of Adam to the ministry of Melchizedek, it was a not-uncommon occurrence
for faithful members of the Church to be translated and taken into heavenly
realms without tasting death. Since that time there have been occasional special
instances of translation, instances in which a special work of the ministry
“‘… Methuselah, the son of Enoch, of his loins (Moses 8:2). But during the nearly 700 years from the translation of Enoch to the flood of Noah, it would appear that nearly all of the faithful members of the Church were translated, for ‘the Holy ghost fell on many, and they were caught up by the powers of heaven unto Zion.’ … that he breaketh the bands of death, that the grave shall have no victory …” Pondering this ‘mystery’ causes me to ask, “Were they all translated at once or one by one as each gained sufficient faith and purity to part the veil? To cover 700 years indicates individual worthiness. How was it done? Could we? Their ‘world’ must have been similar to ours. There were righteous Saints among them, just as now. Noah’s people’ …ate, drank, and were merry’ right up to Noah’s departure … not unlike us today.
It is obvious that we have sold our birthright for a mess of pottage, as did Esau, because we have hardened our hearts and will not or cannot follow the Word of Wisdom it its entirety — we have forsaken the promise of the Gospel.
This is the fullness as Christ received it: The Holy Ghost as our constant companion, the Holy Spirit as our guide, the kingdom of Heaven, which is within, as Christ taught. We have been satisfied with only a testimony of the truthfulness of the gospel, a paltry tidbit of its entirety, a part when we could have had the whole. We have grown old when we could have stayed young, we have gotten sick when we could have been healthy, and we have caused pain to the Savior when we could have repented. In other words, we have not magnified our callings and been sanctified by the Spirit unto the renewing of our bodies.
33 For whoso is faithful unto the obtaining these two priesthoods of which I have spoken, and the magnifying their calling, are sanctified by the Spirit unto the renewing of their bodies. (D&C 84:33)
31 Behold, here is the agency of man, and here is the condemnation of man; because that which was from the beginning is plainly manifest unto them, and they receive not the light.
32 And every man whose spirit receiveth not the light is under condemnation.
33 For man is spirit. The elements are eternal, and spirit and element, inseparably connected receive a fulness of joy.
34 And when separated, man cannot receive a fullness of joy.
35 The elements are the tabernacle of God; yea, man is the tabernacle of God, even temples; and whatsoever temple is defiled, God shall destroy that temple. (D&C 93:31–35)
Obviously we are destroying ourselves with the foods we eat.
Concerning the temple, a representation of one’s body:
8 And ye shall not suffer any unclean thing to come in unto it; and my glory shall be there, and my presence shall be there. (D&C 94:8)
22 For behold, and lo, vengeance cometh speedily upon the ungodly as the whirlwind; and who shall escape it?
23 The Lord’s scourge shall pass over by night and by day, and the report thereof shall vex all people; yea, it shall not be stayed until the Lord come;
24 For the indignation of the Lord is kindled against their abominations and all their wicked works.
25 Nevertheless, Zion shall escape if she observe to do ALL THINGS whatsoever I have commanded her. (D&C 97:22–25. Emphasis added.)
It would be good here to explain the problems with disobedience regarding the eating of flesh and to see how it relates to Section 97:
There is inherent disease in flesh of all kinds. The following research has been provided by old veterinary manuals, (Animal Diseases, Yearbook of Agriculture 1956, Ezra Taft Benson, Secretary of Agriculture) new and old research done by medical scholars, and was taken from an article written by Tom Rodgers, health researcher:
The Pathogen Load of Man’s Slaughterhouse:
1. Clean plant food: fruits, herbs, grains, vegetables, legumes and nuts, all if uncontaminated in the handling contains: 10 pathogens per gram.
2. Animal foods for acceptable sale — (per US/Utah Dept of Agriculture) contains:
Milk (cow’s) begins at 20,000 pathogens per gram
Butter, Cheese, Ice Cream: 300,000 to 1 million pathogens per gram
Eggs average 50,000 to 500,000 per gram
Flesh: Most flesh foods such as beef, poultry, lamb, pork, and seafood all fall within a 300,000 to 1 million pathogens per gram range
Honey: botulism — 150,000 pathogens per gram
One 4-ounce serving of fruit contains: 100 pathogens or less
One glass of milk contains: (pasteurized: 5 million pathogens, many living as the flash pasteurization process does not kill all pathogens.)
Four ounces ice cream contains: 112 million pathogens which begin to thaw, come alive, and replicate once in the warm confines of the intestines.
Butter contains: 7 million pathogens per pat
An average serving of meat, fish or poultry contains: 336 million pathogens per gram
So why should we worry that we will get the plagues of the last days or the Lord’s scourge? We don’t have to worry if we are obeying all commandments, especially the Word of Wisdom. There are not many disease organisms in fruits and vegetables, and this diet will protect us against pathogens. However, if we allow ourselves to partake of a little flesh, milk or eggs, we are causing our immune systems to break down. Day after day, month after month, year after year, our army of white cells begins to lose the battle because of the load of millions and millions of pathogens we continue to ingest every day of our lives. This our army of white cells is so overwhelmed fighting the pathogens in the flesh foods we consume that when a really serious pathogen comes along, it gets ignored in the battle.
Plagues of our day
SARS in Asia: a disease humans get because they eat civet cats, which have this pathogen.
Ebola in Africa: a disease humans get because they eat monkeys who are infected with this pathogen.
MSG: headaches from monosodium glutamate or natural flavor from beef
Let us now remember the fourth verse of the Word of Wisdom:
4 Behold, verily, thus saith the Lord unto you: In consequence of the evils and designs which do and will exist in the hearts of conspiring men in the last days, I have warned you, and forewarn you, by giving unto you this word of wisdom by revelation. (D&C 89:4)
If there is a conspiracy in these last days, it is basic. We are purposely kept uninformed by the powers that make money from death and horror and those who make money on the sicknesses of men and beasts. The major problems are the pain and suffering caused to our innocent creatures of the world and our immune systems that are breaking down under the heavy load we carry, thus weakening our bodies so that the adversary may gain entrance into them. (To understand this illustration further, please read Return from Tomorrow, by George Ritchie.)
In Ritchie’s account, just as alcohol weakened the bar patrons and enabled the adversary to gain entrance into their bodies, we gradually weaken our bodies with dead flesh and hardness of heart, and whether we would like to admit it or not, we allow entrance to the spiritual parasites of the universe. We can also allow their entrance by disobedience to other parts of the scriptures. In other words, if we lie repeatedly, we open ourselves to a lying spirit. As during the time of Christ, so is it now.
31 And I beheld multitudes of people who were sick and who were afflicted with all manner of diseases, and with devils and unclean spirits; and the angel spake and showed all these things unto me, And they were healed by the power of the Lamb of God; and the devils and the unclean spirits were cast out. (1 Nephi 11:31)
The scriptures have warned and forewarned us. Some of us know by personal experience and would like to change the past, but it is too late. However, we can go forward as did Jeremiah with joy in our hearts for finally we know the truth.
28 Come unto me all ye that labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. (Matthew 11:28)
Isn’t this why we are to come unto Christ, to do his bidding, to follow his teaching, to lighten the burdens of sickness, disease, and unclean spirits?
15 Therefore, let your hearts be comforted; for all things shall work together for good to them that walk uprightly, and to the sanctification of the church.
16 For I will raise up unto myself a pure people that will serve me in righteousness. (D&C 100:15–16)
26 And in that day the enmity of man, and the enmity of beasts, yea, the enmity of all flesh, shall cease from before my face. (D&C 101:26)
23 Verily, verily, I say unto you, darkness covereth the earth, and gross darkness the minds of the people, and all flesh has become corrupt before my face.
28 But purify your hearts before me; …
33 Verily I say unto you, behold how great is your calling. Cleanse your hearts and your garments, lest the blood of this generation be required at your hands. (D&C 112:23,28, 33)
Go ye out from Babylon. Be ye clean that bear the vessels of the Lord. (D&C 133:5)
Other ancient scriptures found in The Complete Dead Sea Scrolls in English:
“But they, like Adam, have broken the Covenant.
“Note furthermore that Community rule 4:6 lists healing as the chief eschatological reward and that according to the Palestinian Aramaic paraphrases of Genesis iii, 15, the days of the Messiah will bring an ultimate cure to the children of Eve wounded by the serpent in the Garden of Eden. (Geza Vermes, The Complete Dead Sea Scrolls in English, 23)
“… four … vacat [Then] I, Noah, went out and walked on the earth, through its length and breadth … delight on her in their leaves and in their fruit. And all the land was filled with grass and herbs and grain. Then I blessed the Lord of heaven who made splendid things. He is for ever and praise is his. And I repeated the blessing on account of his grace for the earth and on account of his removing and causing to perish from it all those who do violence and wickedness and lies and on account of his rescuing the righteous man … vacat [God] was revealed to me and [the Lord] of heaven spoke to me and said to me: ‘Do not fear, Noah. I shall be with you and with your sons who will be like you for ever … of the earth and rule over them … and over its deserts and its mountains and all that are on them. And behold, I give all of it to you and to your sons to eat the green things and the grass of the earth. But you shall not eat any blood. Your fear and awe … forever … (Geza Vermes, The Complete Dead Sea Scrolls in English, 451)
“[And] He crowned the mountains with pro[duce] and poured food on them, and he satisfied every soul with good fruit. ‘Whoever does my will, let him eat and be satisfied’, says [the Lo] rd. ‘And let them bless [my holy] name. But behold, they have done what is wicked in my eyes,’ said the Lord. They rebelled (?) against God through their ac [tio] ns. And the Lord judged them according to all their ways, and according to the thoughts of the inclination of their [evil] hearts. And He thundered at them in [His] power, and all the foundations of the earth [tr]embled, [and the wa]ters burst forth from the abysses. All the windows of heaven opened, and all the abyss[es] overflowed [with] mighty waters. And the windows of heaven [emptied out] rain and He destroyed them by the Flood.… Therefore everything [perished] on the dry land; and men, beasts, birds and winged creatures [died]. And the g [iant] s did not escape … And God made [a sign...and] set his bow [in the cloud] that He might remember the covenant... [that there might no more be on earth] waters of flood...and that the mass of waters [might not let [loo]se … (Geza Vermes, The Complete Dead Sea Scrolls in English, 518)
“And the people murmured ag[ainst Moses] saying, What shall we drink? And Moses cried to [the lord who showed him] a tree, and he threw it into [the wate]r, and the water became sweet. There he made for them a statute and [an ordinance and there he proved them. And he said, If [you will lis] ten di[li]gently [to the v]oice of the Lord your God and do that which is right in his eyes and [give heed to his commandments and judgements, and keep] all his statutes, [I will put none] of the diseases [upon you] which I put on the E[gyptians]. For I am the Lord, your [heale]r.” (Geza Vermes, The Complete Dead Sea Scrolls in English, 444)
The diseases from which the Egyptians suffered were the diseases of cattle. They, as did other peoples of the world, suffered from the diseases of the animals they butchered, handled and ate, so it was easy to see what the Lord was telling the people through Moses 444.
“And before I lift my hands to eat of the pleasant fruits of the earth … holiness shall be on my tongue. And no abominations shall be found upon it.” (Geza Vermes, The Complete Dead Sea Scrolls in English, 113)
“Hear now, my sons and I will uncover your eyes that you may see and understand the works of God that you may choose that which pleases Him and reject that which He hates, that you may walk perfectly in all His ways and not follow after thoughts of the guilty inclination and after eyes of lust. [Lust for flesh.] For through them, great men have gone astray and mighty heroes have stumbled from former times till now. Because they walked in the stubbornness of their heart the Heavenly Watchers fell; and they were caught because they did not keep the commandments of God. And their sons also fell who were tall as cedar trees, and whose bodies were like mountains. All flesh on dry land perished; they were as though they had never been because they did their own will and did not keep the commandments of their Maker so that His wrath was kindled against them.
“Through it, the children of Noah went astray, together with their kin, and were cut off. Abraham did not walk in it, and he was accounted a friend of God and party to the Covenant for ever. The children of Jacob strayed through them and were punished in accordance with their error. And their sons in Egypt walked in the stubbornness of their hearts, conspiring against the commandments of God and each of them doing that which seemed right in his own eyes. They ate blood, and He cut off their males in the wilderness. (Geza Vermes, The Complete Dead Sea Scrolls in English, 128–129)
Exhortation to seek wisdom
“Seek her and find her, grasp her and possess her!
With her is length of days and fatness of bone,
The joy of the heart and
Happy is the man who works it. (Geza Vermes, The Complete Dead Sea Scrolls in English, 398)
“But the wicked shall do wickedly and shall not understand but the righteous shall purify themselves and make themselves white. (Geza Vermes, The Complete Dead Sea Scrolls in English, 494)
Now compare this with:
10 Many shall be purified, and made white, and tried; but the wicked shall do wickedly and none of the wicked shall understand but the wise shall understand. (Daniel 12:10) (As found in the King James Version of the Bible.)
We can’t just sit back and expect the Lord to purify us. We have to willingly become a participant in the process. The word wicked refers specifically to those who partake of flesh. The word righteous specifically refers to those who don’t partake of animal flesh. Only the righteous can purify themselves and be made perfect or white.
18 Come now, and let us reason together, saith the Lord: Though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they be red like crimson, they shall be as wool.
19 If ye be willing and obedient, ye shall eat the GOOD of the land. (Isaiah 1:18–19 Emphasis added)
The following denotes how the Essenes regarded themselves:
“Taken together, however, it is clear from this literature that the sectaries regarded themselves as the true Israel, the repository of the authentic traditions of the religious body, from which they had seceded. (Geza Vermes, The Complete Dead Sea Scrolls in English, 26)
“(IQS v, 13–14 True purification comes from the ‘spirit of holiness and true cleansing from the ‘humble submission’ of the soul to all God’s precepts. For it is through the spirit of true counsel concerning the ways of man that all his sins shall be expiated … he shall be cleansed from all his sins by the spirit of holiness … and his iniquity shall be expiated by the spirit of uprightness and humility. And when his flesh is sprinkled with purifying water and sanctified by cleansing water, it shall be made clean by the humble submission of his soul to all the precepts of God. IQSIII, 6–9)
“The second issue has to do with the sect’s attitude towards the Temple and Temple sacrifice. While some Essenes, notwithstanding their vow of total fidelity to the Law of Moses, rejected the validity of the Sanctuary and refused to participate (temporarily) in its rites (cf. Philo, Omnis Probus 75; Josephus, Antiquities XVIII, 19) they evaded the theological dilemma in which this stand might have placed them by contending that until the rededication of the Temple, the only true worship of God was to be offered in their establishment. The council of the Community was to be the ‘Most Holy Dwelling for Aaron’ where, ‘without the flesh of holocausts and the fat of sacrifice’, a ‘sweet fragrance’ was to be sent up to God, and where prayer was to serve ‘as an acceptable fragrance of righteousness’ (IQS VIII, 8–9; IX, 4–5) The Community itself was to be the sacrifice offered to God in atonement for Israel’s sins (IQSVIII, 4–5; 4Q265 fr.7 ii).
“He has created man to govern the world, and has appointed for him two spirits in which to walk until the time of His visitation: the spirits of truth and injustice. Those born of truth spring from a fountain of light but those born of injustice spring from a source of darkness. All the children of righteousness are ruled by the Prince of Light and walk in the ways of light, but all the children of injustice are ruled by the Angel of Darkness and walk in the ways of darkness. The Angel of Darkness leads all the children of righteousness astray, and until his end, all their sin, iniquities, wickedness, and all their unlawful deeds are caused by his dominion in accordance with the mysteries of God. Every one of their chastisements, and every one of the seasons of their distress, shall be brought about by the rule of his persecution; for all his allotted spirits seek the overthrow of the sons of light. (Geza Vermes, The Complete Dead Sea Scrolls in English, 101–103)
In his book, Approaching Zion, Hugh Nibley teaches us about the doctrine of the “Two Ways” — the way of darkness and the way of light — as taught in the early church:
“It was impossible to try to compromise between them [the two ways] because they led in opposite directions. Yet in the ancient church it was the compromisers, the dyophysites who won. When we try to mix Zion and Babylon, Babylon has already won the game. It is amazing that any teaching so fundamental and so elect could be so effectively silenced today among people professing to preach and to practice the restored gospel. Here is an example from President Joseph Fielding Smith of what I mean:
“‘Our innocent little birds, natives of our country, who live upon the vermin, are indeed enemies to the farmer and to mankind. It is not only wicked to destroy them, it is abominable, in my opinion. I think that this principle should extend, not only to the bird life but to the life of all animals … I never could see why a man should be imbued with a blood-thirsty desire to kill and destroy animal life. I have known men and they still exist among us — who enjoy what is to them the sport of hunting birds … I think it is wicked for men to thirst in their souls to kill almost everything which possesses animal life. It is wrong, and I have been surprised at prominent men whom I have seen whose very souls seemed to be athirst for the shedding of animal blood. They go off hunting deer, antelope, elk and any thing they can find, and what for? Just for the fun of it.’
“Here is a practice designated by the president and prophet of the church as abominable, the ancient sport of the masters of Babylon – the descendants of Cain, of Ham, of Nimrod, all of whom were mighty hunters. And yet there are men today engaging in such practices, who at the same time speak piously of building Zion. How is this possible? It is the old word game of the early Christians and of others. In the newly discovered gospel of Philip, there is a wonderful passage describing how Satan rules this world by the skillful manipulation of labels. In this world we communicate through symbols, through labels, it explains. Therefore in this Satan Possesses a powerful tool to comfort the wicked, enabling them to discredit the righteous and to brand the righteous with whatever epithets suit them and to load their own guilt on others.
“Today as in the ancient church: Those who embrace Babylon in its stark reality do not renounce Zion. They don’t need to. As the great apostasy progressed, the Christian world got ever more mileage out of the name Christianity. As the apostolic fathers and the early apologists observed, the farther they fall away from real Christianity, the more loudly they proclaim and the more enthusiastically they display the name and the banner of Christ. (Hugh Nibley, Approaching Zion, pp. 19,20)
Remembering the “Two Ways” –the way of darkness and the way of light — as taught in the early church:
When we are under the dominion of the Angel of Darkness, could it be that we are possessed by one of his demons? And could the reason be that we may be possessed because we have hardened our hearts and weakened our bodies in such a way that the Holy Spirit cannot dwell there, thus it cannot protect us from this spirit of darkness? It is as though we voluntarily removed the armor of God.
“But the God of Israel and His angel of Truth will succor all the sons of light. For it is He who created the spirits of Light and Darkness and founded every action upon them and established every deed [upon] their [ways]. And He loves the one IV everlastingly and delights in its works for ever; but the counsel of the other He loathes and for ever hates its ways.
“These are their ways in the world for the enlightenment of the heart of man, and so that all the paths of true righteousness may be made straight before him, and so that the fear of the laws of God may be instilled in his heart; a spirit of humility, patience, abundant charity, unending goodness, understanding, and intelligence: (a spirit of) mighty wisdom which trusts in all the deeds of God and leans on His great loving-kindness; a spirit of discernment in every purpose, of zeal for just laws, of holy intent with steadfastness of heart, of great charity towards all the sons of truth, of admirable purity which detests all unclean idols, of humble conduct sprung from an understanding of all things, and of faithful concealment of the mysteries of truth. [Could the reason for concealment be because it brought upon them persecution (see Ephesians 6:12), and could this be the reason our prophets do not stress this truth to the world?] These are the counsels of the spirit to the sons of truth in this world.”
“And as for the visitation of all who walk in this spirit, it shall be healing, great peace in a long life, and fruitfulness, together with every everlasting blessing and eternal joy in life without end, a crown of glory and a garment of majesty in unending light.
“But the ways of the spirit of falsehood are these: greed, and slackness in the search for righteousness, wickedness and lies, haughtiness and pride, falseness and deceit, cruelty and abundant evil, ill-temper and much folly and brazen insolence, abominable deeds [committed] in a spirit of lust, and ways of lewdness in the service of uncleanness, a blaspheming tongue, blindness of eye and dullness of ear, stiffness of neck and heaviness of heart, so that man walks in all the ways of darkness and guile.
“And the visitation of all who walk in this spirit shall be multitude of plagues by the hand of all the destroying angels, everlasting damnation by the avenging wrath of the fury of God, eternal torment and endless disgrace together with shameful extinction in the fire of the dark regions. The times of all their generations shall be spent in sorrowful mourning and in bitter misery and in calamities of darkness until they are destroyed without remnant or survivor.
“The nature of all the children of men is ruled by these [two spirits], and during their life all the hosts of men have a portion of their divisions and walk in [both] their ways. And the whole reward for their deeds shall be, for everlasting ages, according to whether each man’s portion in their two divisions is great or small. For God has established the spirits in equal measure until the final age, and has set everlasting hatred between their divisions. Truth abhors the works of injustice, and injustice hates all the ways of truth. And their struggle is fierce in all their arguments for they do not walk together. But in the mysteries of His understanding and in His glorious wisdom God has ordained an end for injustice, and at the time of the visitation He will destroy it forever. Then truth, which has wallowed in the ways of wickedness during the dominion of injustice until the appointed time of judgment, shall arise in the world forever. God will then purify every deed of man with His truth; He will refine for Himself the human frame by rooting out all spirit of injustice from the bounds of his flesh. He will cleanse him of all wicked deeds with the spirit of holiness: like purifying waters He will shed upon him the spirit of truth (to cleanse him) of all abomination and injustice. And he shall be plunged into the spirit of purification, that he may instruct the upright in the knowledge of the most High and teach the wisdom of the sons of heaven to the perfect of way. For God has chosen them for an everlasting Covenant and all the glory of Adam shall be theirs. There shall be no more lies and all the works of injustice shall be put to shame. . (Geza Vermes, The Complete Dead Sea Scrolls in English, 101–103)
The word upright is the root of the word righteous. Those who walk uprightly walk in the body of a man, not in a body made from the flesh of animals, thus on all fours.
“Until now the spirits of truth and injustice struggle in the hearts of men and they walk in both wisdom and folly. According to his portion of truth so does a man hate injustice, and according to his inheritance in the realm of injustice so is he wicked and so hates truth. For God has established the two spirits in equal measure until the determined end and until the Renewal, and He knows the reward of their deeds from all eternity. He has allotted them to the children of men that they may know good [and evil, and] that the destiny of all the living may be according to the spirit within [them at the time] of the visitation.… (Geza Vermes, The Complete Dead Sea Scrolls in English, 101–103)
Finally: the Resurrection. The question now is: Will we be resurrected in a twenty-year-old perfect body? Joseph Smith answered the question in this way:
“As concerning the resurrection, I will merely say that all men will come from the grave as they lie down, whether old or young; there will not be added unto their stature one cubit, neither taken from it; all will be raised by the power of God, having spirit in their bodies, and not blood. (The Teachings of Joseph Smith, Compiled by Joseph Fielding Smith, 199)
Footnote by Joseph F. Smith:
“The body will come forth as it is laid to rest, for there is no growth or development in the grave. As it is laid down, so will it arise, and changes to perfection will come by the law of restitution. But the spirit will continue to expand and develop, and the body, after the resurrection, will develop to the full stature of man.” (Joseph F. Smith, The Improvement Era, June 1904)
If, in fact, we were given a body that we had to learn to live in for all eternity, and we didn’t learn to live in it in this life, would it make sense for the Lord to give us another perfect one in the resurrection? It might make more sense for us to restore and regenerate the one we have and learn how to make it last for all eternity, having learned from that experience.
33 For whoso is faithful unto the obtaining these two priesthoods of which I have spoken are sanctified by the Spirit unto the renewing of their bodies. (D&C 84:33)
See also D&C 88:32–39:
32 And they who remain shall also be quickened; nevertheless, they shall return again to their own place, to enjoy that which they are willing to receive, because they were not willing to enjoy that which they might have received.
33 For what doth it profit a man if a gift is bestowed upon him and he receive not the gift: Behold, he rejoices not in that which is given unto him, neither rejoices in him who is the giver of the gift.
34 And again, verily I say unto you, that which is governed by law is also preserved by law and perfected and sanctified by the same.
35 That which breaketh a law, and abideth not by law, but seeketh to become a law unto itself, and willeth to abide in sin, and altogether abideth in sin, cannot be sanctified by law, neither by mercy, justice, nor judgment. Therefore, they must remain filthy still.
36 All kingdoms have a law given;
37 And there are many kingdoms; for there is no space in which there is no kingdom; and there is no kingdom in which there is no space, either a greater or a lesser kingdom.
38 And unto every kingdom is given a law; and unto every law there are certain bounds also and conditions.
39 All beings who abide not in those conditions are not justified. (D&C 88:32–39)
It is clearly helpful when we understand the words clean and unclean:
31 And I, God, said unto man, Behold, I have given you every herb, bearing seed, which is upon the face of all the earth; and every tree in the which shall be the fruit of a tree, yielding seed; to you it shall be for meat.
32 And to every beast of the earth, and to every fowl of the air, and to everything that creepeth upon the earth, wherein I grant life, there shall be given every CLEAN herb for meat; and it was so, even as I spake. (Genesis 1:31–32 Joseph Smith Translation, Emphasis added.)
Did God give this commandment just so He could see if we would obey it? Maybe. Maybe He wanted to alleviate the pain and sicknesses we would and have suffered for generations. There are indications in the scriptures that we are His children. For this reason and His love for us, He wishes to bless us, but how can he bless us if we cannot obey the laws of heaven?
20 There is a law, irrevocably decreed in heaven before the foundation of this world, upon which all blessings are predicated —
21 And when we obtain any blessing from God, it is by obedience to that law upon which it is predicated. (D&C 130:20–21)
What are the promised blessings if we obey the law?
The indicated scriptures are too numerous to mention. In scripture after scripture we are told our health would be restored, that our sins will be forgiven. In scripture after scripture, we are told that if we repent, we will have the companionship of the Holy Ghost. In scripture after scripture, we are told that we will have life eternal. Here are just a few examples of blessings given for obedience.
17 … I, Nephi, was desirous also that I might see, and hear, and know of these things, by the power of the Holy Ghost, which is the gift of God unto all those who diligently seek him as well in times of old as in the time that he should manifest himself unto the children of men
18 For he is the same yesterday, today and forever; and the way is prepared for all men from the foundation of the world, if it so be that they repent and come unto him.
19 For he that diligently seeketh shall find; and the mysteries of God shall be unfolded unto them, by the power of the Holy Ghost, as well in these times as in times of old, and as well in times of old as in times to come; wherefore, the course of the Lord in one eternal round.
20 Therefore remember, O man for all thy doings thou shalt be brought into judgment.
21 Wherefore, if ye have sought to do wickedly in the days of your probation, then ye are found unclean before the judgment seat of God; and no unclean thing can dwell with God; wherefore, ye must be cast off forever. (1 Nephi 10:17–21)
7 Wherefore I beseech of you brethren, that ye should search diligently in the light of Christ that ye may know good from evil; and if ye will lay hold upon every good thing, and condemn it not, ye certainly will be a child of Christ. (Moroni 7:19)
24 And secondly, he doth require that ye should do as he hath commanded you: for which if ye do, he doth immediately bless you; and therefore he hath paid you. And ye are still indebted unto him and are, and will be, forever and ever; therefore, of what have ye to boast? (Mosiah 2:24)
41 And moreover, I would desire that ye should consider on the blessed and happy state of those that keep the commandments of God. For behold, they are blessed in all things, both temporal and spiritual; and if they hold out faithful to the end they are received into heaven that thereby they may dwell with God in a state of never ending happiness. O remember, remember that these things are true; for the Lord hath spoken it. (Mosiah 2:41)
18 And all saints who remember to keep and do these sayings, walking in obedience to the commandments, shall receive health to their navel and marrow to their bones;
19 And shall find wisdom and great treasures of knowledge, even hidden treasures;
20 And shall run and not be weary, and shall walk and not faint.
21 And I, the Lord, give unto them a promise, that the destroying angel shall pass by them, as the children of Israel, and not slay them. Amen. (D&C 89:18–21)
“God will justify the taking of animal life to sustain man’s want, but He reserves a special blessing for those who place their own nobility before their necessity.” (To the Glory of God, Truman G. Madsen and Charles D. Tate, Jr. ed., Hugh Nibley, found in Kindness to Animals and Caring for the Earth, Richard D. Stratton)
Before we continue, we must discuss how the Christian religion compares with the cult of death. There are those who say, “Why should we do it? (Not eat flesh.) Everyone is going to die.” In other words:
“… let us eat and drink; for tomorrow we die.” (1 Corinthians 15:32)
Let us think about this: eternal life means life in this body or in the flesh. Remember what Hyrum Smith said:
There were many of the commands of God that seemed to be overlooked by this generation, and he was fearful that many of the Latter Day Saints in this respect were following their old traditions, and former practices of spiritualizing the word of God, and through a vain philosophy departing from the pure principles of eternal truth which God had given by revelation for the salvation of the human family; but, that every word of God is an importance, whether it be the word contained in the Bible, in the Book of Mormon, or in the Book of Doctrine and Covenants, for ‘man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth from the mouth of God.”(Hyrum Smith, Brother of the Prophet Joseph Smith, Times and Seasons, Vol. III, No. 15, City of Nauvoo, Illinois. June 1, 1842)
Here it is clear that we are not to spiritualize the word of God. The gospel in its entirety promises not only eternal salvation, but temporal salvation as well. By learning temporal salvation, we are practicing for eternal salvation. We gain a body. We learn to live in it. If we have treated it right from the beginning of birth forward, then although we couldn’t overcome the fall without the Grace of our Savior, we might approach the long lives that the Patriarchs enjoyed.
Rabbi Shmuley Boteach states:
“The pagan religious cults of the ancient world were focused almost entirely on death. Ancient Egypt with pyramids as temples of death, its worship of the god Hades, and its mass embalming of mummies saw the purpose of life as gaining entry into the afterlife “… Modern-day Islam — with its emphasis on the heavenly rewards for martyrdom — is about gaining eternal paradise not by one’s actions while living, but by one’s actions in dying. In Hinduism, death is so central a facet that up until about 100 years ago, when a man died, they put his living widow on the funeral pyre with him.
“Judaism, and its daughter religion Christianity, were a radical departure from the earlier cults of death. Both emphasized the idea of moral and righteous action on this earth. Both were based on the Hebrew scripture’s demand for moral and righteous action and the need to perfect the earth in God’s name. Even in the New Testament, the passion of Christ (Crucifixion) occupies at most a chapter or two in each of the gospels, while the life of Jesus is spelled out over ten times that number.
“But Judaism and Christianity must therefore be supremely careful not to emulate their pagan predecessors and become religions that put the focus on death rather than on life …
“There are two ways to understand Christianity. One is as a religion of life; the other is as a religion of death. The former focuses on emulating how Jesus lived, the latter homes in exclusively on how he died. The former looks at the incomparable ethical teachings of Jesus from the Sermon on the Mount; the latter focuses on the horrors of the crucifixion on the cross.
“The Christianity of life concentrates on what Jesus taught his disciples about how to live virtuously, the Christianity of death distills the Christian message into the single maxim that Jesus died for mankind’s sins. The Christianity of life emphasizes the idea of personal accountability in our relationship with God, the Christianity of death emphasizes that reposing faith in Jesus is all that is needed in order to gain salvation.” (Rabbi Shmuley Boteach, WorldNetDaily.com , March 5, 2004)
It is very clear to the “Mormons” that we are a Christianity of life: How many times do we have it in the scriptures? Hundreds? Let us examine several of them:
Adam fell that men might be, and men are that they might have joy. (2 Nephi 2:25)
For behold, this is my work and glory – to bring to pass the immortality and the eternal life of man. (Moses 1:39)
For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord. (Romans 6:23)
Wherefore men are free according to the flesh; and all things are given them which are expedient unto man. And they are free to choose liberty and eternal life.… (2 Nephi 2:27)
17 Wherefore, do the things which I have told you I have seen that your lord and your Redeemer should do; for, for this cause have they been shown unto me, that ye might know the gate by which ye should enter. For the gate by which ye should enter is repentance and baptism by water; and then cometh a remission of your sins by fire and by the Holy Ghost.
18 And then are ye in this strait and narrow path which leads to eternal life. (2 Nephi 31:17–18)
13 Enter ye in at the strait gate; for wide is the gate, and broad is the way, that leadeth to destruction, and many there be which go in thereat:
14 Because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it. (Matthew 7:13–14)
32 Yea, even wo unto all ye workers of iniquity; repent, repent, for the Lord God hath spoken it.
33 Behold, he sendeth an invitation unto all men, for the arms of mercy are extended towards them and he saith: Repent, and I will receive you.
34 Yea, he saith: Come unto me and ye shall partake of the fruit of the tree of life; yea, ye shall eat and drink of the bread and the waters of life freely;
35 Yea, come unto me and bring forth works of righteousness, and ye shall not be hewn down and cast into the fire. (Alma 5:32–35)
And, through eternal progression, would we be like the Father?
130 The Father has a body of flesh and bones as tangible as man’s; the Son also; but the Holy Ghost has not a body of flesh and bones, but is a personage of Spirit. Were it not so, the Holy Ghost could not dwell in us. (D&C 130:22)
What shall we do?
9 And now Alma began to expound these things unto him, saying: It is given unto many to know the mysteries of God; nevertheless they are laid under a strict command that they shall not impart only according to the portion of his word which he doth grant unto the children of men, according to the heed and diligence which they give unto him.
10 And therefore, he that will harden his heart, the same receiveth the lesser portion of the word; and he that will not harden his heart, to him is given the greater portion of the word, until it is given unto him to know the mysteries of God until he know them in full.
11 And they that will harden their hearts, to them is given the lesser portion of the word until they know nothing concerning his mysteries; and then they are taken captive by the devil, and led by his will down to destruction. Now this is what is meant by the chains of hell. (Alma 12:9–11)
13 O that ye would awake; awake from a deep sleep, yea, even from the sleep of hell, and shake off the awful chains by which ye are bound, which are the chains which bind the children of men, that they are carried away captive down to the eternal gulf of misery and woe. (2 Nephi 1:13)
7 He that overcometh shall inherit all things; and I will be his God, and he shall be my son. (Revelation 21:7)
10 Love worketh no ill to his neighbor: therefore love is the fulfilling of the law.
11 And that, knowing the time, that now it is high time to awake out of sleep; for now is our salvation nearer than when we believed.
12 The night is far spent, the day is at hand: let us therefore cast off the works of darkness, and let us put on the armour of light. (Romans 13:10–12)
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