Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Infallible Authority, Chapter Twelve

The Fullness of the Gospel
by J.J. Dewey
(To read the previous entry, click here. To start this series at the beginning, click here.)

Moroni wrote, “Wherefore I know by this thing which thou hast said, that if the Gentiles have not charity, because of our weakness, that thou wilt prove them, and take away their talent, yea, even that which they have received, and give it unto them who shall have more abundantly.” (Ether 12:35)

Did not Nephi warn, “Wo be unto him that is at ease in Zion! Wo be unto him that crieth all is well ... Wo be unto him that saith: We have received, and we need no more.” (2 Nephi 28:25 & 27)

Church members like to think that this scripture applies to the non-Mormons who reject the Book of Mormon, but who is “at ease in Zion”? If we keep in mind the fact that it could only be the Latter-Day Saints that are at ease in Zion, then we must face the fact that the rest of the prophecy applies to them.
Of course, the devotee would argue the belief that God will yet reveal many great and important things and believe in modern revelation. Yes, this is true in theory in the Church, but not in practice; for how many  times do we hear people in the Church say things like, “Leave the mysteries alone. Do not delve into them.” “We have more than we can handle with what we have.” “Stay with the basics.” “You don’t even know all there is to know about faith yet; why do you want to delve into deeper things?”

Then when one talks about receiving more of the word of God, they will say that it pertains to the future when we are ready, but not now. We forget that, while most are content with the status quo, there are many in the Church and world who are ready for more of the word of God. Anyone who would call the present conference reports modern-day scripture is obviously not prepared for real scripture, for how can the quoting of old scripture be new scripture?

Let us follow Nephi a little further:
 “And in fine, wo unto all those who tremble, and are angry because of the truth of God! For behold, he that is built upon the rock receiveth it with gladness; and he that is built upon a sandy foundation trembleth lest he shall fall.” (Verse 28)
This prophecy shall be fulfilled in our day. Many will be angry when they receive the revelations and teachings of real modern prophets and others which are to come, but the righteous will receive them with joy for the time is verily coming when the words of Isaiah will be fulfilled:
“How beautiful upon the mountains are the feet of him that bringeth good tidings, that publisheth salvation; that saith unto Zion, Thy God reigneth!” (Isa. 52:7)
I would hope to be counted among those who bring you good tidings of good and declare that God does reign and that Zion will yet be built by the power of God. Indeed, since the Church has been driven in the wilderness again, it has almost appeared that God does not reign, for the Church has had to give up many of its basic principles mentioned earlier, but this is because of the folly of man. God does reign over His inner Church and soon it will again come out of the wilderness with great glory and power and after a manner which ye know not.

In the next verse, Nephi repeats his warning:
 “Wo be unto him that shall say, We have received the word of God [meaning the Bible and LDS scriptures], and we need no more of the word of God, for we have enough!” (Verse 29)
In practice is this not the cry of the Church today: “We have enough!” If you do not believe it, just try and expound on a deep doctrine or mystery in Sunday School. As I said the excommunication of my nephew and I began with the simple exploration of progression from lower to higher kingdoms.

Nephi ends his chapter with, “Wo be unto the Gentiles saith the Lord of hosts! For notwithstanding I shall lengthen out my arm unto them from day to day, they will deny me; nevertheless I will be merciful unto them, saith the Lord God, if they will repent and come unto me.” (Verse 32)

Do the Latter-Day Saints deny God? Do they deny revelations given by the Spirit of God to various people in and out of the church? Yes, they do because of the mistaken notion that God will only reveal mysteries through the president of the church. If they do not come through him they are to be rejected.

When Jesus was speaking before the multitudes in Jerusalem, he warned them, “Ye are the salt of the earth; but if the salt have lost its savor, wherewith shall it be salted? It is thenceforth good for nothing, but to be cast out, and to be trodden under the foot of men.” (Matt. 5:13)

What did Jesus mean by this? He told the followers of Moses that they were the salt of the earth. To help us understand a little better let us use the ancient Jews as a correspondence to salt and the earth as a correspondence to a steak. The percentage of the steak that is salt is very small, yet its influence is so strong that it will greatly enhance the flavor of the whole thing. Yet we find that the sea salt that the Jews used, if left to stagnate, will lose its flavoring ability and become completely tasteless. If this were to happen to the salt, who in the world would want to put it on a steak? It would become worthless. The Master would then seek for other salt with taste, for the first salt is, “thenceforth good for nothing, but to be cast out, and to be trodden under the foot of men.”

Did the ancient Jews heed this warning? No! They lost their savor and the Master sought for other salt in the Gentiles. Consequently, the Jews were trodden under foot by the Romans and great were their lamentations.

Does the Lord promise members today that they are salt that cannot lose their savor? No, verily we see that the Lord speaks to the Church today the same as He did yesterday: “But inasmuch as they keep not my commandments, and hearken not to observe all my words, the kingdoms of the world shall prevail against them [the Church]. For they were set to be a light unto the world, and to be saviors of men; and inasmuch as they are not saviors of men, they are as salt that has lost its savor, and is thenceforth good for nothing but to be cast out and trodden under foot of men.” (D&C 103:8- 10)

Ask yourself: Has the Church lost its savor? Are they being the saviors of men as required to keep this savor? Some may answer yes, but we forget that the kingdom was set up for the temporal salvation of men as well as the spiritual. Of course, all religions argue that they are the spiritual saviors. Anyone who preaches about Jesus can claim that, but have they followed the course set out by Joseph Smith to be the physical saviors of mankind and preserve the freedoms of the world?

No! The Council of Fifty has been completely abandoned as well as all other efforts to preserve the principles of freedom in the Constitution.

Other groups outside the Church are being much better salt than the LDS are because some of them do not fear the criticism of the world.

Thus the Lord said, “Verily, I say unto you, that after all this and I have caused my people who are of the house of Israel to be smitten and to be afflicted, and to be slain, and to be cast out from among them, and to become hated by them, and to become a hiss and a byword among them -And thus commandeth the Father that I should say unto you: At that day when the Gentiles shall sin against 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 those things, and shall reject the fullness of my gospel, behold, saith the Father, I WILL BRING THE FULLNESS OF MY GOSPEL FROM AMONG THEM.” (3 Nephi 16:9-10)

Have we reached a time that the fullness of the Gospel has been taken from the church?

Before this question can be answered we must ask another question:
What is the Fullness of the Gospel?

If we know not what the fullness of the gospel is then we have no way of knowing if it has been taken away or not.

Many members believe the fullness of the Gospel includes all the laws and ordinances of the current church. The Fundamentalists go a step further and claim it includes plural marriage, the united order and other items, and no member has a fullness unless he is incorporating every item introduced by Joseph Smith and Brigham Young.
Both of these ideas miss the mark. Is it possible that after all these years and examination of the scriptures that no one has clearly explained what a fullness of the Gospel is?

 Perhaps. The scriptures clearly reveal what the fullness of the Gospel is not.

For instance, the Lord said: “And I have sent forth the fulness of my gospel by the hand of my servant Joseph; and in weakness I have blessed him.” (D&C 35:17)

This revelation was given in 1830, long before plural marriage, the United Order, temple work and many other items that both groups of believers maintain is a part of the fullness. Consider this:
“And gave him power from on high, by the means which were before prepared, to translate the Book of Mormon; Which contains a record of a fallen people, and the fulness of the gospel of Jesus Christ to the Gentiles and to the Jews also.” (D&C 20:8)
 Conclusion: The Book of Mormon contains the fullness of the gospel.

And consider this:
“And the angel of the Lord said unto me: Thou hast beheld that the book proceeded forth from the mouth of a Jew; and when it proceeded forth from the mouth of a Jew it contained the fulness of the gospel of the Lord, of whom the twelve apostles bear record; and they bear record according to the truth which is in the Lamb of God.” I Nephi 13:24
Conclusion: The Bible as it was written contains the fullness of the gospel.

Consider this:
“And again, the elders, priests and teachers of this church shall teach the principles of my gospel, which are in the Bible and the Book of Mormon, in which is the fullness of the gospel.” D&C 42:12
Conclusion – both the Bible and the book of Mormon have the fullness of the gospel.

Is the Book of Mormon and the Bible, as a whole, representative of the fullness of the gospel or is it some teaching or principle within them that is the true fullness? Since we are told that a fullness is in both of them, then that which is a fullness must be something which is common to both books.

The next few verses give a clue:
“And they shall observe the covenants and church articles to do them, and these shall be their teachings, as they shall be directed by the Spirit. And the Spirit shall be given unto you by the prayer of faith; and if ye receive not the Spirit ye shall not teach.” (D&C 42:13-14)
How shall the fullness be taught?
Answer: By the Spirit, for without the Spirit, the fullness cannot be taught.

A couple sections later we read:
“And when the times of the Gentiles is come in, a light shall break forth among them that sit in darkness, and it shall be the FULNESS of my gospel; But they receive it not; for they perceive not the light, and they turn their hearts from me because of the precepts of men.” (D&C 45:28-29)
Here we are clearly told that the fullness of the gospel came to the Gentiles (those who receive the Book of Mormon) and that this fullness is a “light” which is not perceived, but rejected “because of the precepts of men.”

What is that light? Another clue is given in a revelation where the gospel is actually defined:
“And this is my gospel--repentance and baptism by water, and then cometh the baptism of fire and the Holy Ghost, even the Comforter, which showeth all things, and teaches the peaceable things of the Kingdom. Arise and be baptized, and wash away your sins, calling on my name, and you shall receive my Spirit, and a blessing so great as you never have known.”(D&C 39:6&10)
In addition to speaking of the fullness of the gospel, the scriptures also speak of “the fullness of time,” “the fullness of the Gentiles,” and “the fullness of the wrath of God.”

Does the “fullness of time” mean that everything in time is included? No. Neither does the fullness of the Gospel imply that all the teachings of the prophets are included.

A fullness implies a maximum quality or attainment. Which of these is greater and brings more fullness of joy:

To have the fire of the Holy Spirit, or to have an office in the church?

To have the Spirit, or to live the United Order?

To have the Spirit, or to have more than one wife?

To have the Spirit, or to visit the temple?

The great mystery which should not be a mystery is this: To have the fullness of the Gospel is to have the fire of the Holy Spirit, the end product of the first and basic principles of the gospel. This is the underlying principle taught in the Bible and Book of Mormon and the reason they are said to contain the fullness.

He who has the Spirit has what?
Answer: The power of revelation and thus the current Will of God is manifest to him.

This is the “Rock” upon which the true church of Christ has been, is, and will be built and this is also one of the “stones” the builders rejected.

Is this Rock upon which the church is built anything less than a fullness?
Verily no.

Without revelation through the gift of the Holy Spirit, there is no fullness of the Gospel; and since the Church excommunicates those who have claimed to receive the revelation of the Spirit, then we have a church which receives not of the fullness of the gospel as predicted in D&C 45:28-29, previously quoted.

Verily, the Spirit does testify to all: “Come up higher and drink freely of the waters of the Spirit that you may remain always in the fullness of the bosom of the Eternal God, that your work will be a fullness of your potential, being God working in you and speaking to the souls of humanity.”
Copyright J.J. Dewey, used with permission.

[A note from Rock about leaving comments: Many readers have posted as "Anonymous" even though they don't wish to, only because they see no other option. If you don't have a Google, Wordpress, or other username among those listed, you can enter a username in the dropdown box that reads "Name/URL."  Put your name in the "Name" box, ignore the request for a URL, and you should be good to go.
I have a pretty firm policy of never censoring or deleting comments,so if your comment does not immediately appear, it probably means it is being held in the spam filter, which seems to lock in arbitrarily on some posts for reasons unknown.  If you have submitted a comment and it doesn't immediately show up, give me a nudge at RockWaterman@gmail.com and I'll knock it loose. -Rock]


Steven Lester said...

I never got the Holy Spirit after I was baptized and confirmed. I asked for it, but Heaven was just too busy, or else somebody knew that I would just waste it and so spared me the damnation, or else gay and autistic people don't get it because they are too weird. Of course, nobody can be a GA unless they are able to boast that they have it at every chance they get. I wonder if Mitt has it. Dewey must because he's smart and deep. Ah well, I think I am going go play my Skyrim for a while and crash into a few walls because I don't know what the right buttons are to push, or when to push them. The guide costs $26 and I'm too poor right now to buy it. And yes, the last two sentences are a parable; how perceptive of you to notice.

Shawn C. said...

Well, I do actually have a testimony of something related to this. Geneolgical research and work for the dead at least in my book is a way to be a Savior for another person. A Savior on Mount Zion if you will.

Alan Rock Waterman said...

What is a skyrim?

I have long been intrigued by the doctrine of Saviours on Mount Zion. In the old days, one of the Sunday School manuals was on that topic entirely.

Anonymous said...

I also have a testimony about being 'saviors on mount Zion'.

But there is a far more important & vital way to be a 'savior' for someone than doing temple work for them, for we can't save anyone by temple work anyway, if they didn't live righteous while they were on earth.

The most we can do for the dead is to be baptized & married for them so they can progress into Paradise, but we can't get them to a higher reward or kingdom or make their marriage eternal if they didn't merit it while on earth.

But we can gain the ultimate power to literally 'save' our spouse & children, even if they are wicked while on earth, if we are valiant & keep our marriage covenants, & thus we can save them to the Celestial Kingdom with us, even though they didn't merit or deserve it on their own.

Of course they will have to completely repent 1st in Spirit Prison & pay for all their sins, but once they are clean & pure again we will have the power to take them with us to the Celestial Kingdom, if we ourselves were righteous & true to them.

That is truly being a 'savior on mount Zion'. That is truly saving someone like Christ saved us. We can save our spouse & children from the pain & singleness of an eternity in the Terrestrial or Telestial Kingdom.

Like Christ, we also can use the same principles of power (the power of pure unconditional love) to save even our wicked spouse & children & give them blessings they did not earn themselves.

We can truly be Christlike, just like Christ earned us great blessings we didn't earn or deserve ourselves.

There is no greater power than to be able to save the unrighteous souls of our loved ones to the Celestial Kingdom, once they repent in the next life.

Steven Lester said...

The blessings are the same, whether or not one passes before or after the sealing in the Temple, and whether or not the blesser knows and/or loves the blessee. Ultimately, everybody is going to sealed to everybody else, everyone of all of our billions who have or will live on Earth. That is what the Millennium is for. Considering how imperfect all of us are, even as to the subconscious psychology which moves us all in ways that we are not even aware, no other system could be as fair or as loving. This is assuming that it even exists.

Shawn C. said...

But just like THE Savior, work, mercy and grace can be offered, but we then use our agency to accept.

Steven Lester said...

Skyrim is a popular game wherein you become one of several races and then go out and kill everything in sight, the best battles being against large dragons. So far, I've advanced to stealing and being a pickpocket. I haven't figured out how to raise my arm with the sword in it. Therefore, every time I meet an enemy I have to run away really fast and hide. At present, I am a really buff-looking High Elf, not that my muscles do me much good.

Steven Lester said...

The concept of agency is completely flawed. None of us are capable of making decisions that are valid in any way, if only because we can not see into the future to see their import. Add to that all of the muddle that our ape brains offer to us constantly, most of which is hidden and completely unknown, and one can see that we are not as intelligent or as capable as we all like to boast about.

Anonymous said...


Once everyone fully repents in Spirit Prison & becomes clean & pure again with righteous desires, as all eventually will, they will desperately want whatever mercy or grace or gift is offered them by Christ or a spouse or parent.

No one except maybe those who go to outer darkness will reject being able to be with their original spouse again in the Celestial Kingdom, no matter how they felt about or even hated or divorced their spouse on earth. They will be exceedingly & eternally greatful for the gift their spouse gave them in saving them to be in an eternal marriage with them in the Celestial Kingdom & from the singleness & remorse of the Telestial kingdom.

The unrighteous spouse will desire to spend eternity making it all up to their righteous spouse who saved them.

Alan Rock Waterman said...

Steven the buff looking High Elf,
Forget the sword. Once you learn to lift your arm, lift it to the square and command that dragon to get thee behind you.

Anonymous said...

In the little research I did on the "times of the Gentiles" this is what I found:

The times of the Gentiles starts in 1830 and ends in the generation that rejects the fulness of the gospel (D&C 45:28-30).

When the Gentiles reject the fulness of the gospel it will be taken from them and given to the house of Israel (3 Nephi 16:10-11).

If the 1890 Manifesto marks the rejection of the "fulness" of the gospel and a generation is no more than 120 years (Genesis 6:3), then the times of the Gentiles has already been fulfilled (1890 + 120 = no later than 2010).

The question you've got to ask yourself is, "Did the Church vote against plural marriage in 1890 constitute rejection of the fulness of the gospel?" Surprisingly, not even Mormon Fundamentalists (who tend to believe this to be the case) have picked up on the significance of this.

Alan Rock Waterman said...

I'm not so sure. I'm more inclined to the view that when the Saints adopted polygamy as the salient feature of the religion, they relegated the fulness of the gospel to a secondary status.

So that would place the official time of that rejection to around 1852.

I USED to think things went south when the Saints rejected plural marriage, but now I think it started when they rejected Joseph Smith's denunciations of it and went ahead and practiced it anyway.

See here:


And here:


Good Will said...

Mr. Dewey's analysis is obviously inspired, well informed and cogent. However, he made one grave error: he defied the leaders of the Church who told him, rightly or wrongly, to shut up! Was it really "necessary" for him and his newphew to preach the mere "proposition" that one may pass from one kingdom of glory to another? No, it was not necessary.

It is apparent to me that his thesis, nonetheless, is incorrect, for the simple fact that he negates the possibility that, in the process of time and exertion of agency, one may lose one's ability either to see the error of one's ways or to desire to embrace greater light and knowledge.

Do animals progress from one kingdom of glory to the next? (I'm speaking somewhat dishonestly here because I believe, in fact, in the "reincarnation" of intelligence -- that animals "progress" in intelligence by cycles of animate experience. Thus the "humanoid" spirits that inhabited the demoniac begged Jesus to allow them to enter into the swine. It was done then even as it had been done before. Did our intelligences embrace greater "light and truth" by experiencing life as animals? Are the American Indians correct: that the bison and deer and wolf are, indeed, our brothers, at a more primitive level? I think so.) But do animals make moral judgments? No, they lack the intelligence to do so. It is beyond their capacity.

Is it not to be expected that, through disobedience, one may lose sufficient "light and truth" to lose the capacity to "repent"? I think so. No one seems to hold out hope for Satan and his angels. Christ certainly never taught (as far as we know) that they who rebelled would one day be salvaged.

I think in the "bell curve" of existence, there will ALWAYS be those on the right (glorified and perfected) and those on the left, lacking those things (to varying degrees). It just "is" that way. It's a fact of life.

Mr. Dewey threw away his membership in the Church when all he had to do was be loyal. No one was asking him to lie, steal, commit adultery, etc. All they wanted him to do was shut up! Did Christ instruct Mr. Dewey to disobey the Brethren?

Apostasy need not be complete in order to be effective. Mr. Dewey -- though perhaps even correct! -- could have exercized a wee bit more deference for the weaknesses of others, even if he does (presume to) know better than they.

Good Will said...

Dear "Anonymous" sister,

I have been reading your comments about marriage now in virtually every post. (On SEVERAL websites!) It is your answer to EVERYTHING. I don't want to "burst your bubble". Perhaps the Lord has given you this great burden to bear with regard to your wayward spouse -- and the promised reward you desire.

I'm afraid you're obsessesed with this doctrine, however. (It appears to be the only "raft" you cling to!) I'm not suggesting that you are mistaken regarding your situation. But you clearly are mistaken regarding mine (and that of many other people).

I was married to a woman who proved to be truly evil. We had to divorce. (She sought to destroy me! I feared for my life!) We had been sealed in the temple.

Only marriages sealed by the Holy Spirit of Promise -- not just in temples -- will endure through eternity. (I wish you the best on that.)

The sealing between my former wife and I is still in place (though she is no longer active in the Church). Should I have remained married to her -- and be destroyed? -- or remain celibate the rest of my days, precluding me from experiencing all the joys and blessings I have experienced with my current wife (and our seven children)? Certainly not! I could not have fulfilled the measure of my creation or had joy in my posterity!

The "burden" you think to impose on everyone else -- to get and remain "married" at all costs -- is a false doctrine generally (though it may apply in your particular circumstance). People are not perfect. And for the "hardness" of their hearts -- not to mention their wicked lives -- the Lord provides for a "release" for those who are mismatched. (Blessed are you if you can endure. Your spouse may be saved by your faithfulness! But several Latter-day prophets have opted to divorce. Sometimes it's necessary.)

Please consider refraining from "preaching" your particular "doctrine" on EVERY post. You've made your point (many, many times now). The Lord, apparently, has given YOU a burden/blessing to bear/receive. It is NOT for everyone.

Anonymous said...

So Christ's teachings are not for everyone? I didn't make this stuff up, Christ did.

Where are the scriptures that say it's ok to divorce a wicked spouse and remarry someone else and it will be eternal? I can't find any, no matter how many people say they think it's ok.

The people in Moses days were very wicked and would not keep their marriage vows, but just because Moses couldn't stop them from divorcing doesn't mean they were allowed to do so without eternal consequences. Remarriage was still adultery in Moses's day too, just like it is today. Truth does not change, it is always the same, yesterday, today and forever.

Many prophets of the Church have said that divorce is an abomination even today and remarriage is still adultery, even if some church leaders seem to go along with it, it doesn't mean those who do it get a free pass or Christ's law doesn't apply to them.

Prophets and church leaders don't trump Christ, in fact they have to preach the same as he did or they prove themselves imposters and false prophets as Joseph Smith said they do.

Heavenly Father knew that most everyone would deal with unrighteous spouses with some form or degree of abuse, adultery or addiction going on in their marriages, today and in most ages of time, yet his law on marriage is still the same for everyone, that there is no such thing as divorce or remarriage. God of course allows us to separate from a dangerous spouse, to protect ourselves and children if need be, but he never said we can go date or remarry someone else, because we are still married to the 1st and no one can change that, not a 1000 divorces. Even the fallen/false prophet Brigham Young knew and taught that divorce means nothing to God and it's like a blank piece of paper. Why do you think judges, politicians who pass laws allowing divorce can trump Christ? That is flimsy ground in my view. If a marriage will be dissolved it will be by Heavenly Father in the next life. He commanded us to not try to so so here, for no one has the power to do it anyway.

True unconditional everlasting love is the new idea that Christ taught to this world, and it is has always been the standard for all marriages, good or bad, since the days of Adam, it's just few ever lived by that standard, but it doesn't mean we are excused from it.

Most people have unrighteous abusive spouses, but we are to love them as Christ loved us, even if that's from a safe distance if necessary, until they repent and we can rejoin them, in this life or the next.

You may not want to believe in Christ and in his teachings but you can't prove it's ok to just go in and out of marriage when the going gets rough. There are no scriptures to support any such ideas. So while you may not agree with me, at least I stand with Christ on this matter, even though that is not the easy road, but in the end it will reap the greatest blessings. And his teachings are for everyone, not just me. I don't know why you think one can remarry and the marriage be righteous, let alone eternal, where does it say that. And again, don't say some prophet said or ok'd it, because not even prophets can change or preach contrary to Christ's laws, or they prove themselves false prophets.

Anonymous said...

Continued -

And 'the Holy Spirit of Promise' is true unconditional love, which if just one spouse has it then they can guarantee the marriage will go on forever after the other spouse repents.

According to Christ there is no such thing as 2nd marriages and they definitely aren't eternal, so I don't know why you believe the things you do or who you are listening to, but they don't trump Christ.

Can you imagine what this world would be like if everyone divorced their unrighteous spouses, again and again? People would be going in and out of marriages like musical chairs, if they even married at all, and it's getting that way. And that's the quickest way to destroy a society, for only true love in marriage can make societies last, anything else eventually destroys them, that's why Christ preached such an idea, though few accept it, for it requires too much unconditional love and service.

If there is no standard of true unconditional love and commitment in marriage, then anythings goes and no one is safe in any marriage, for their spouse can leave them at any time for someone else, so it's foolish to marry.

The Church supports such evil today in allowing men and women to abandon their spouse and family for any reason, or no reason at all, just because they want someone knew. It is totally anti Christ. But I am not surprised at this because the LDS Church is not the same Church that Joseph started, it's a break off that Brigham Young started and it's in complete apostasy from the true Gospel of Christ, that's why it allows things like polygamy, divorce and remarriage and many other evils.

Everyone wants true love but few are willing to give it.
Only those who are unafraid of the truth will find it.