Down through the centuries of time, Theologians and historians have speculated and re-speculated over events that transpired in order to understand the grand panorama of God as it unfolds. Some cite the word of God to explain an event of the past, while others might use the same reference to describe some future occurrence. Seldom is anyone able to recognize a foretold event as it begins to unfold. It seems that it is the nature of man to look back in retrospect and recognize the simplicity of a foretold event which has already taken place; while another may project his imagination into the future and describe another prophecy that will someday occur, but it takes inspiration to comprehend that God’s work is happening right in front of you!
The scriptures foretold the advent of Jesus Christ. He was to come into the world as a new born babe being wrapped in swaddling clothes and lying in a manger. The wise men recognized the foretold star which led them to the actual scene.
“…Behold a virgin shall conceive and bear a son and shall call his name Immanuel.” Isaiah 7:14
He was also called:
“Wonderful, Counselor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace.” Isaiah 9:6
Jesus the Christ, (recognized as the “Stem of Jesse” in D&C 113:1 & 2) was foreordained to die for mankind by being crucified, and then rise from the dead after three days.
“… he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities; the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and with his stripes we are healed…He was oppressed and he was afflicted, yet he opened not his mouth…”
“…He shall see of the travail of his soul, and shall be satisfied; by his knowledge shall my righteous servant justify many; for he shall bear their iniquities…” Isaiah 53:5-12
“…and he began to teach them, that the Son of Man must suffer many things and be rejected by the elders, and the chief priests, and scribes, and be killed and after three days rise again.” Mark 8:31
Now that the facts are available, millions of people bear record that Jesus is the Christ, the Savior who was foretold would come. One might ask himself, why didn’t the Jews, who possessed and believed in the scriptures, recognize the fulfillment of scripture and follow Him? Over two thousand years have come and gone and millions of Jews still fail to recognize Jesus as the Christ. Why?
Again, in the next era of the prophecy The Bible also declares that after there has been a falling away from the true gospel of Christ, that an unlearned man will come forward in the latter days and be an instrument through which the gospel in its fullness would be restored, bringing forth another witness of Jesus the Christ from out of the earth. How many fail to recognize this event also?
“I will take the stick [scrolls, record] of Joseph [Book of Mormon], which is in the hand of Ephraim and the tribes of Israel, his fellows, and will put them with him even with the stick of Judah [The Bible], and make them one stick, and they shall be one in mine hand.” Ezekiel 37:16-19
“… the plates of brass and all the records which have been kept, and all those things which had been kept sacred from the departure of Lehi out of Jerusalem.” 3 Nephi 1:2
“Out of the earth shall they come, by the hand of the Lord, and none can stay it; and it shall come in a day when it shall be said that miracles are done away…” Mormon 8:26
“Truth shall spring out of the earth…” Psalms 85:11
“And the Book is delivered to him that is not learned…”Isaiah 29:11
“…for that day shall not come, except there come a falling away first…” 2 Thessalonians 2:3
“…Thou [Joseph Smith] shalt be called a seer, a translator, a prophet, an apostle of Jesus Christ, an elder of the church through the will of God the Father and the grace of your Lord Jesus Christ… to lay the foundation thereof…” D&C 21:1-2
All Christendom proclaimed the Bible to be of God, but when this foretold event transpired it was scoffed at and denounced. Those Christians who should have welcomed such a glorious advent, found all manner of fault with the restoration of the gospel fullness and harassed and persecuted those who believed until the Prophet Joseph Smith was martyred; and others, before and since, have died in defense of the truth. Yet, great power was laid upon this young prophet who was to stand at the head of this last dispensation to establish the foundation of the FULLNESS OF THE GOSPEL … which was never more to be taken from the earth. The Prophet Joseph Smith was declared by God to be “The Rod” (The Servant in the hands of Christ) which the Prophet Isaiah foretold would come. (see Isaiah 11:1)
“What is the ROD spoken of?…Behold thus saith the Lord, it is a SERVANT in the hands of Christ, who is partly a descendant of Jesse as well as Ephraim or of the house of Joseph, on who there is laid much power.” D&C 113:3-4
Has anyone ever had so much power laid upon him as the Prophet Joseph Smith, chosen to stand at the head of this Last Dispensation?
This foundation that Joseph is the ROD, on whom much power is laid, is illustrated in the book, Doctrine and Covenants, Student Manual prepared by the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, 1981 edition, page 283: “The writer has always assumed that the ‘rod’ was Joseph Smith. Believing that the Prophet, out of modesty, hesitated to name himself directly. None of us would question that Joseph was destined to become a great servant in the hands of Christ. Moreover, if we assume that he was the ‘rod’ or ‘servant’, observe how very well such an identification fits in with Moroni’s mission of explaining to the latter-day Prophet his part in Isaiah’s great vision of the future. As the ‘rod’ or ‘servant in the hands of Christ’, Joseph Smith fits naturally into Isaiah’s prophecy; it is easy to understand why Moroni quoted Isaiah 11 to him.”
The Book of Mormon further substantiates this position as it too, foretells of this event to take place during the latter days:
“… a seer will I raise up … bringing them [the House of Israel] to the knowledge of their fathers in the latter days and also to the knowledge of my covenants, saith the Lord.” 2 Nephi 3:11-17
” … a light shall break forth among them that sit in darkness and it shall be the fullness of my gospel;” D&C 45:28
“That in the dispensation of the fullness of times He might gather together in one all things in Christ both which are in heaven and which are on earth.” Ephesians 1:10
Can anyone explain why those who so eagerly embraced the scriptures as being the word of God, could also denounce such an important event as the restoration of the gospel when it was ushered in? Why is all Christendom unable to recognize the Prophet Joseph Smith and his message from the realms of God? Why can’t intelligent men recognize the fulfillment of such an important and essential advent in the documented unveiling of this foretold occurrence?
The late Elder Mark E. Petersen made a classical observation when he stated: “The average Christian does not realize that the very scriptures which he reads are evidence that there has been a great apostasy from the truth.” (“Toward a Better Life” p. 70)
From the above quote, one must conclude that when anyone deviates from the scriptures and the commandments of God, he has embarked upon the road to apostasy. One of the great callings given to the LDS people through the Prophet Joseph Smith was to gather the elect of God from all quarters of the earth. This became the first great gathering edict of the latter days.
“For verily, verily, I say unto you that ye are called to lift up your voices as with the sound of a trump to declare my gospel unto a crooked and perverse generation … and even so will I gather mine elect from the four quarters of the earth, even as many as will believe in me, and hearken unto my voice.” D&C 33:2 & 6
“Yea, verily I say unto you again, the time has come when the voice of the Lord is unto you: Go ye out of Babylon; gather ye out from among the nations … Send forth the elders of my church unto the nations which are afar off; unto the islands of the sea; send forth unto foreign lands; call upon all nations, first upon the Gentiles, then upon the Jews …” D&C 133:7-8
The first latter day gathering began to unfold with Joseph Smith as he was instructed to begin gathering out of the world those who would hear the word of God from among the Gentile nations. A time designated as the “Fullness of the Times of the Gentiles.”(See 1 Ne. 15:13 and D&C 45:28) The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints became known as the “Gentile” Church because its members were gathered from among the GENTILE NATIONS and were the only Gentile people to possess the FULLNESS OF THE GOSPEL. Yes, truly they were the only Gentile people to have under their control the higher laws and commandments pertaining to the full and complete gospel. Verily, they are “that people” spoken of in many different places in the scriptures. To better illustrate this position one might ponder some very important references. On the title page of the Book of Mormon it describes the message contained therein being translated from the golden plates as “…Sealed by the hand of Moroni and hid up unto the Lord, TO COME FORTH IN DUE TIME BY WAY OF THE GENTILE…” Need one explain further that the Book of Mormon came forth through the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (The Gentile Church) which possessed the GOSPEL FULLNESS?
God revealed further evidence of this when the Prophet Joseph Smith gave the dedicatory prayer in the Kirtland Temple: “Now these words, O Lord, we have spoken before thee, concerning the revelations and commandments which thou has given unto us, who are identified with the Gentiles.” D&C 109:60
Another public declaration was stated by Apostle Orson Pratt:”We, the Latter-day Saints are Gentiles; in other words, we have come from among the Gentile nations, though many of us may have the blood of Israel within our veins.” JD 18:64
Joseph Smith is the Rod, and Jesus Christ is the Stem, But what then of the branch and the root?
God foretold the GOSPEL FULLNESS coming to the Latter-day Saints (the Gentiles) in these last days in several places, For example in the 45th Section of the Doctrine and Covenants, beginning with verse 28:
“And when the times of the Gentiles [L.D.S.] is come in, a light shall break forth among them that sit in darkness, and it shall be the FULLNESS of my gospel;”
But very few realize that God also foretold what the Latter-day Saints would do with these higher laws appertaining to the GOSPEL FULLNESS– He emphatically states in verse 29:
“But they receive it not; for they perceive not the light, and they turn their hearts from me because of the precepts of men.”
Evidently the Lord knew that the Latter-day Saints would not always live these new revealed laws and commandments, and because of the pressures of men would, little by little, turn their backs upon them and classify them as unnecessary and nonessential. (See Mormon Doctrine, by Bruce R. McConkie, 1958 edition page 523) Hence, by their own indifference and neglect they would lose the blessings offered them by God. Then in verse 30, the Lord tells us that these Gentiles (Latter-day Saints) will have had their probation time and another era will begin:
“And in that generation shall the time of the Gentiles be fulfilled.”
Later in verse 43 he tells us that only a few will be willing to remain steadfast, and those few will be gathered out to live the Gospel in its fullness:
“And the remnant shall be gathered…”
This becomes THE SECOND GATHERING which is spoken of to take place in these last days … a gathering out from the Gentile Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints
D&C 45:28 And when the times of the Gentiles is come in, a light shall break forth among them that sit in darkness, and it shall be the fullness of my gospel;
29 But they receive it not; for they perceive not the light, and they turn their hearts from me because of the precepts of men.
30 And in that generation shall the times of the Gentiles be fulfilled…
39 And it shall come to pass that he that feareth me shall be looking forth for the great day of the Lord to come…
43 And the remnant shall be gathered…
44 And then they shall look for me, and, behold, I will come.”
“And it shall come to pass in that day the Lord shall set his hand AGAIN, THE SECOND TIME to recover the remnant of his people…”2 Nephi 21:11
The Lord reinforces this position:
“And in that day there shall be a root of Jesse, which shall stand for an ensign of the people; to it shall the Gentiles (Latter-Day Saints) seek; and his rest shall be glorious.” 2 Nephi 21:10
“What is the ROOT OF JESSE..? Behold thus saith the Lord, it is a descendent of Jesse, as well as Joseph unto whom rightly belongs the priesthood and the keys of the kingdom for an ensign and for the GATHERING OF MY PEOPLE IN THE LAST DAYS.” D&C 113:5-6
The “Root of Jesse” is commissioned to initiate that SECOND GATHERING in the latter days, and is a servant different from Christ (Stem of Jesse) and the Prophet Joseph Smith (The Rod), because the scriptures explain that out of the basic doctrine restored by Joseph Smith (The Rod) shall a remnant evolve; a righteous Branch that was to come out of The Root of Jesse. “And there shall come forth a rod (Joseph Smith) out of the stem of Jesse and a branch shall grow out of his roots.” 2 Nephi 21:1
Verse 12 reveals who should comprise this “branch” of faithful people dedicated to serve the Lord: “And he shall set up an ensign for the nations, and shall assemble the outcasts of Israel, and gather together the dispersed of Judah from the four corners of the earth.” (2 Nephi 21:12)
Doctrine and Covenants 113:6 explains that this “Root of Jesse” to be established for this last gathering, will be an ensign to which the people of God will seek, including the pure blood of Israel from the Church, as well as the whole House of Israel. The Root and the Branch are commencing their work today. You are also called to gather, and recognize your role as members of the house of Israel.
The Church also refers to its priesthood as the “Elders of Israel” and the scriptures state that this remnant (or residue) shall be the “Outcasts of Israel.” They are those who have been cast out of the L.D.S. Church for desiring to obey all the laws and commandments of God.
“And he shall set up an ensign for the nations, and shall assemble the outcasts of Israel, and gather together the dispersed of Judah from the four corners of the earth.” 2 Nephi 21:12
The “Outcasts” are those who are of the true blood of the House of Israel, of whom God Speaks as “My People” comprising the “Second Gathering” in the last days.
Such a statement is sure to bring unrest among the Latter-day Saints who have basked so long in false traditional pride while ignorantly denouncing the higher laws and doctrine of God which the Prophet Joseph Smith restored to remain throughout this Dispensation!
But, it is quite forcefully declared in the scriptures that this apostasy of the L.D.S. shall occur: ” And blessed are the Gentiles [L.D.S.] because of their belief in me, in and of the Holy Ghost which witnesses unto them of me and of the Father. Behold because of their belief in me, saith the Father and because of the unbelief of you O House of Israel, in the LATTER DAY shall the truth come unto the Gentiles [L.D.S.] that the FULLNESS of these things shall be known unto them.”
3 Nephi 16:6-7
This scripture describes the FIRST GATHERING in these latter days, for in these LATTER DAYS no other people ever had the GOSPEL FULLNESS under their control, thus it is evident that the Gentiles possessing it refers to the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Following this clarification, even greater evidence enforces the conclusion stated above, that the L.D.S. people did not understand the importance of the revealed laws and cast them aside (D&C 45:29)…even declaring some of them to be of the devil. Consider what is predicted when the L.D.S. Church does reject the higher laws of God:
“And thus commanded the Father that I should say unto you: At that day when the Gentiles [L.D.S.] 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 mischief’s and all manner of hypocrisy and murders and priest crafts 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 16:10
This scripture can refer to no one except the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints for the following reasons:
- No other church in these latter days ever had the gospel in its fullness given unto it.
- Since no other church ever had the fullness, no other church could sin against it, nor reject it, nor turn from it.
- The Father says that after this people reject the higher laws. “the fullness”, He will take it away from them. You can’t take something away from someone if he doesn’t have it to begin with.
The mainstream Church (The Gentiles who had the fullness of the gospel) as a body lost the laws and authority to perform the higher gospel ordinances when they changed them. The Lord also declared that when this happens “The times of the Gentiles” (L.D.S.) will be fulfilled and through the organized ministry of more determined individuals the work of God will continue as promised.
This work shall be that of the ROOT OF JESSE. It also comprises the work of the SECOND GATHERING in these last days.
Even though God foretold the withdrawl of “THE FULLNESS OF HIS GOSPEL” from the church, He leaves the way open for all to choose, individually, the path to follow. They may remain with the complacent majority or seek the remnant which has preserved the fullness. No one must be forced, and all must decide which path he will follow:
“But if the Gentiles [L.D.S.] will repent and return unto me saith the Father, behold they shall be numbered among my people, O house of Israel.” 3 Nephi 16:13
Again, this verse refers to the church because no one can return to a place where he has never before been. The Apostle Orson Pratt was well aware of another era to open up in these last days when he gave a discourse 25 July 1875: ” After the times of the Gentiles are fulfilled which period is set in the mind of God, ANOTHER scene will open up before the world, in the grand panorama of the last days. What is that? The downfall of the Gentile nations. Says one – “Whom do you call Gentiles?” Every nation excepting the literal descendants of Israel: We THE LATTER-DAY SAINTS, ARE GENTILES; In other words we have come from among the Gentile nations, though many of us may have the blood of Israel within our veins.” JD 18:64
That new scene spoken of follows the rejection of the GOSPEL FULLNESS by the Mainstream LDS Church, as is spoken of in the scriptures as when the “Times of the Gentiles are fulfilled”; the probation period of the Latter-day Saints. Then, in a manner consistent with methods used in the past, the Lord sets in motion His plan to gather the true blood of Israel together, those from among the Latter-day Saints and from the whole house of Israel. This is that second gathering in the last days of which the scriptures speak:
“And the day that he shall set his hand AGAIN THE SECOND TIME to recover his people, is the day, yea, even the last time, that the servants of the Lord shall go forth in his power to nourish and prune his vineyard; and after that the end cometh.” Jacob 6:2
“… out of the fruit of his loins the Lord God would raise up a RIGHTEOUS BRANCH unto the house of Israel; not the Messiah, but a branch which was to be broken off…in the latter days…” 2 Nephi 3:5
“… then shall the fullness of the gospel of the Messiah come unto the Gentiles [L.D.S.] and from the Gentiles unto the remnant of our seed. And at that day shall the remnant of our seed know that they are of the house of Israel and that they are the covenant people of the Lord …” 1 Nephi 15:13-14
” … the Messiah will set himself AGAIN THE SECOND TIME to recover them …” 2 Nephi 6:14
” But wo unto him that has the law given, yea, that has all the commandments of God, like unto us, and that transgresseth them, and that wasteth the days of his probation, for awful is his state!” 2 Nephi 9:27
” But behold, there shall be many – at that day when I shall proceed to do a marvelous work among them, that I may remember my covenants which I have made unto the children of men, that I may set my hand AGAIN THE SECOND TIME to recover my people, which are of the house of Israel.” 2 Nephi 22:1
There is no question that God frequently proclaimed that there were to be two gatherings in the last days. However, members of the Church have become so indoctrinated that to admit that the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints could ever fail, would be blasphemous. As a result they rest upon the laurels of their pioneer forefathers. So much emphasis has been placed upon the infallibility of the Church, that it has taken upon it the same connotation as placed upon the Catholic Church, likewise the Jewish Church during the time of Christ. It could not fail because it was headed by a “prophet” of God (High Priest, Vicar of Christ, etc.) and its leaders claimed to have the Melchizedek Priesthood, handed down by succession from Abraham to Caiaphas. To believe differently from that was blasphemous and being stoned to death for such a belief was an acceptable punishment. (see John 8:37-59).
God was certainly aware that the L.D.S. people (as a body) would turn from the fullness of the gospel and reject those most sacred higher ordinances, which were restored to remain throughout this last dispensation, because He revealed it to be so. So that His word would be preserved, He gave a very distinct explanation to the Prophet Joseph Smith in the form of a parable. It reads:
“And now, I will show unto you a parable, that you may know my will concerning the redemption of Zion.
“A certain nobleman [Christ] had a spot of land, very choice; and he said unto his servants: Go ye unto my vineyard, even upon this very choice piece of land and plant twelve olive-trees; [i.e. establish Israel]:
“And set watchmen [officers in the Church] round about them, and build a tower [the highest Or the “Temple” ordinances of the gospel] that one may overlook the land round about, to be a watchman upon the tower, that mine olive-trees may not be broken down when the enemy [Satan, Government, Traditions, Worldliness] shall come to spoil and take upon themselves the fruit of my vineyard [Church].
“Now, the servants of the nobleman went and did as their lord commanded them, and planted the olive-trees, and built a hedge [kept the laws] roundabout and set watchmen and began to build a tower [lived the higher laws, i.e.. The Laws of Consecration and Celestial Plural Marriage, etc.]
“And while they were yet laying the foundation thereof, they began to say among themselves; and what need hath my Lord of this tower?
“And counseled [found fault] for a long time, saying among themselves, What need hath my Lord of this tower, seeing this is a time of peace?
“Might not his money [effort] be given to the exchangers? [become a part of the world] For there is no need of these things [i.e. being peculiar in abiding God’s higher ordinances].
“And while they were at variance one with another they became very slothful, and they hearkened not unto the commandments of their lord.
“And the enemy came by night and broke down the hedge; and the servants of the nobleman arose and were afrightened, and fled; and the enemy destroyed their works, and broke down the olive-trees.
“Now, behold, the nobleman, the lord of the vineyard, called upon his servants, and said unto them, Why? what is the cause of this great evil?
“Ought ye not to have done even as I commanded you, and after ye had planted the vineyard, and built the hedge round about, and set watchmen upon the walls thereof — built the tower also and set a watchman upon the tower and watched for my vineyard, and not have fallen asleep, lest the enemy should come upon you?
“And behold, the watchmen upon the tower would have seen the enemy while he was yet afar off; and then ye could have made ready and kept the enemy from breaking down the hedge thereof and saved my vineyard from the hands of the destroyer.
“And the Lord of the vineyard said unto ONE of his servants: Go and GATHER TOGETHER THE RESIDUE of my servants and take all the strength [Authority, Keys] of mine house [Priesthood, Church, and Kingdom of God] which are my warriors, my young men, and they that are of middle age also among all of my servants, who are the strength of mine house, save these only whom I have appointed to tarry;
“And go ye straightway unto the land of my vineyard and redeem my vineyard: for it is mine; I have bought it with money.
“Therefore, get ye straightway unto my land; break down the walls of mine enemies; throw down their tower, and scatter their watchmen.
“And inasmuch as they gather together against you, avenge me of mine enemies, that by and by I may come with the RESIDUE OF MINE HOUSE AND POSSESS THE LAND.
“And the servant said unto his lord; when shall these things be?
“And he said unto his servant; When I will: go ye straightway, and do all the things whatsoever I have commanded you; and this shall be my seal and blessing upon you — a faithful and wise steward in the midst of mine house, a ruler in my kingdom.” (D&C 101:43-62)
Is it not unusual that God continually refers to a “remnant” or a “residue” of the Church that will actually live His higher laws — the GOSPEL in its FULLNESS? Why not gather the great majority? Has not the vast LDS missionary program filtered throughout the world and recovered only those righteous individuals who are of the house of Israel? Not so:
“Again verily I say unto you, I will show unto you wisdom in me concerning all the churches, inasmuch as they are willing to be guided in a right and proper way for their salvation– “THAT THE WORK OF THE GATHERING TOGETHER OF MY SAINTS MAY CONTINUE, that I may build them up unto my name upon holy places; for the time of harvest is come, and my word must needs be fulfilled.
Therefore, I MUST GATHER TOGETHER MY PEOPLE, according to the parable of the wheat and the tares, that the wheat may be secured in the garners to possess eternal life and be crowned with celestial glory, when I shall come in the kingdom of my Father to reward every man according as his work shall be:
“While the tares shall be bound in bundles, and their bands made strong, that they may be burned with unquenchable fire. Therefore a commandment I give unto all the churches, that they shall CONTINUE TO GATHER TOGETHER UNTO THE PLACES WHICH I HAVE APPOINTED.” D&C 101:63-67
By careful observation of the revelations of God, it becomes very evident that He definitely speaks of two gatherings in the last days:
- Commencing with the Prophet Joseph Smith (The Rod) whom He commanded to send missionaries throughout the world to gather saints (dedicated and complacent, i.e. wheat and tares) into the Church.
- Commencing with the Root of Jesse, after the vast majority of members of the church (tares) join with the leaders who reject the Gospel fullness, and forbid the few who desire to serve God and abide the higher laws, then the elect are to be gathered together out of the Church (the wheat) ……. which the scriptures refer to as, “again the second time in the last days.”
The early leader’s of the Church also were very much aware of a second gathering from the Church membership. And many predicted it. The following passages are examples of the many inspired statements by prophets and apostles regarding the, then future, apostasy of church members and the second gathering:
“Many of this people are perhaps preparing themselves by following after the world in its mad race…but I KNOW THAT THERE IS A PEOPLE, IN THE HEARTS CORE OF THIS PEOPLE, that will arise in their majesty in a day that is near at hand, and push spiritual things to the front; a people who will stand up for God, FEARING NOT MAN NOR WHAT MAN CAN DO”. (Orson F. Whitney, Deseret Weekly, 11 Aug 1889)
“And if we as a people do not hold ourselves on the altar ready to be used, with our means and all that God has bestowed upon us, according to the Master’s bidding, for the up building of His Kingdom upon the earth, He will pass on and get somebody else; because He will get a people that will do it. I do not mean to say that He will pass off and leave this people; no, there will come up from the midst of this people that people which has been talked so much about.” (DHW, Oct Conference; Deseret News 9 Dec 1882)
“But the time will come when the Lord will choose a people out of this people upon whom he will bestow his choicest blessings.” (Heber C. Kimball, (Deseret News 9 Nov 1865; JD 11:145)
“Many will doubtless make shipwreck of their faith, and will be led away by allurements of sin into by and forbidden paths, yet the kingdom will not be taken from this people and given to another, but a people will come forth from among us, who will be zealous of good works, willing to do the bidding of the Lord, who will be taught in His ways, and who will walk in His paths.”(DHW, Deseret News, 6 Nov 1876)
” Many of this people have broken their covenants by speaking evil of one another, by speaking against the servants of God, and by finding fault with the plurality of wives and trying to sink it out of existence. But you cannot do that, for God will cut you off AND RAISE UP ANOTHER PEOPLE that will carry out His purposes in righteousness, unless you walk up to the line of your duty.” (HCK, JD 4:108)
“What would be necessary to bring about the results nearest the hearts of the opponents of Mormonism? Simply to renounce, abrogate, or apostatize from the New and Everlasting Covenant of Marriage in its fullness. Were the Church to do that as an entirety, God would reject the Saints as a body, The authority of the Priesthood would be withdrawn with its gifts and powers and there would be no more heavenly recognition of the administrations. The heavens would permanently withdraw themselves, and the Lord would RAISE UP ANOTHER PEOPLE OF GREATER VALOR AND STABILITY. For His work must, according to His unalterable decrees, go forward; for the time of the second coming of the Savior is near, even at the doors.” (John Taylor, Deseret News, 23 Apr 1885)
“The idea was suggested to me a short time ago, while in conversation with one or two of the brethren who were speaking about the influence that is now being brought against the Church, how fortunate it was that there were some who had not obeyed the law of God in regard to plural marriage. Now, I want to say for myself personally, if I had not obeyed that command of God, concerning plural marriage, I believe that I would have been damned. If God saves this people, as I firmly believe he will, it will be through those men and women whom men have placed under a ban, whom men have said shall have no power because of the laws that are enacted against them. I tell you, the salvation that will come to this people will be through the faithfulness of the men of God and women of God who, in the face of an opposing world, contrary to their traditions, to their education, to their pre-conceived notions, and to the popular prejudices of the day — WHO HAVE IN THE MIDST OF ALL THIS STEPPED FORWARD IN THE VANGUARD AND OBEYED THE COMMAND OF GOD, and have dared to endure all the consequences, and been willing to endure all the penalties whatever men’s laws may be, WE CANNOT DENY THE TRUTH OF GOD, THE REVELATIONS OF GOD.” (George Q. Cannon, General Conference 8 Oct 1882, JD 23:278-28)
“If we are not faithful, others will take our places. For this is the Church and the people that will possess the kingdom forever and ever. Shall we do this in our present conditions as a people? No; for we must be pure and holy, and be prepared for the presence of the Savior and God, in order to possess the kingdom. (Brigham Young, JD 8:143-144)
“His word will go forth in these last days, in purity ; for if Zion will not purify herself, so as to be approved of in all things in His sight, HE WILL SEEK ANOTHER PEOPLE…” (Joseph Smith, TPJS p.18)
“Before the great day of the Lord shall come, and the day of righteousness and peace dawn upon this fair creation, two potent cleansing processes shall be in active operation. The first of these is the preparation of a CHOICE PEOPLE, purified by an application to their lives, as individuals, and a community, of the principles of the gospel of peace. SUCH A PEOPLE WILL EVOLVE FROM THOSE CALLED LATTER-DAY SAINTS … And from the remnant of the whole house of Israel, will emanate the nucleus or foundation from which will spring the righteous millennial population of our globe.” (Millennial Star, 42:585 (1880))
“I do not know but that it would be an utter impossibility to commence and carry out some principles pertaining to Zion right in the midst of this people. They have strayed so far that to get a people who would conform to heavenly laws it may be needful to LEAD SOME FROM THE MIDST OF THESE PEOPLE and commence anew some place in the regions round about in these mountains. I do not know how long it will be before this people are brought to the trying point to see who is and who is not for the Lord; but I would advise the Latter-day Saints to prepare for this, for it may come sooner than some of you expect. If the Lord should undertake to bring about an order of things different than that which now exists, and establish it not exactly in the midst of this people, but in some place that they can commence anew, I hope the people will begin to pray to the Lord, reckon up with themselves and examine their own hearts and see whether they are willing and prepared, if called upon, to place all that they have, or as much as they are required in that order of things and carry it out…
“In order to bring this about, who knows how many chastisements God may have to pour out upon the people calling themselves Latter-day Saints? I do not know.
“Sometimes I fear when I read certain revelations contained in this book, [of Doctrine and Covenants] ‘Inasmuch as this people will not be obedient to my commandments and live by every word that I have spoken, I will visit them with sore afflictions, with pestilence, with plague, with sword, and the flame of devouring fire.’ Is it not enough to make a person fear, when God has spoken this concerning the Latter-Day Saints? In order to do this, God has prophesied that He will raise up a man like unto Moses, who shall lead His people therefrom.” (Orson Pratt, SLC, Utah,3 Sep 1873, JD 15:361-362)
“Let the weak knees quake, and the false hearts flutter and tremble; let those of little faith ignore and forsake if they choose, the holy principles of eternal life committed to their care. Let the winds howl, and the waves dash and the storms burst forth in all their fury! There are those remaining whom GOD HATH RESERVED FOR PERILOUS TIMES, whose knees have never bowed to Baal, whose hands have never faltered, whose hearts have never trembled; … These shall stand steadfast, firm rooted as the rock upon which their hopes are built, and though the floods come and the rains descend, and the winds blow and beat upon their house, it shall not fall.” (Millennial Star, 44:312-314)
“Such a body will EVOLVE FROM THOSE CALLED LATTER-DAY SAINTS, WHO AS A CHURCH POSSESS THE FULLNESS AND POWER OF THE PURE PLAN OF SALVATION.” (George Q. Cannon, Millennial Star, 42:584-5)
“The Lord almighty will not suffer His Priesthood to be again driven from the earth, even should he permit the wicked to kill and destroy this people … GOD WILL PRESERVE A PORTION OF THIS PEOPLE, of the meek and humble, to bear off the Kingdom to the inhabitants of the earth, and will defend His Priesthood for it is THE LAST TIME, THE LAST GATHERING TIME.” (Brigham Young, “The Contributor,” 10:362)
“Does the Church want it as God organized it? Or do you want to clip the power of the priesthood, and let those who have the KEYS OF THE PRIESTHOOD go and build up the Kingdom in all the world wherever the people will hear them?” (History of the Church, 7:235)
These quotes from the early leaders go on and on. Still there are those in the Church who are of the opinion that the Church can never fail. Remember, such was the belief of the Jews who sustained a “prophet” whom they claimed held the Melchizedek priesthood. This president of the ancient church was Caiaphas, who spit upon the savior and led the people to cry out “Crucify him!”And yet many of the church members of his day were convinced that prophets cannot lead you astray. Yet, the Bible speaks, many times, about prophets who teach lies and cause the people of God to err. How then can one tell if the prophet teaches truth?
From scriptures, ancient and modern, we learn:
“The prophets prophesy falsely and the priests bear rule by their means; and my people love to have it so; and what will ye do in the end thereof?” Jeremiah 5:31
“As for my people, children are their oppressors, and women rule over them. O my people, they which lead thee cause thee to err and destroy the way of thy paths.” Isaiah 3:12
“…they have transgressed the laws, changed the ordinances, broken the everlasting covenant.” Isaiah 24:5
“If the Church knew all the commandments, one-half [of those commandments] they would condemn through prejudice and ignorance.” (Joseph Smith, TPJS P. 112)
“… except the Church receive the FULLNESS of the scriptures they WOULD YET FAIL.” (Joseph Smith, TPJS P.9)
“Oh I beseech you go forward, go forward and MAKE YOUR CALLING AND ELECTION SURE; and if ANY MAN PREACH ANY OTHER GOSPEL THAN THAT WHICH I HAVE PREACHED, HE SHALL BE CURSED.” (Joseph Smith, TPJS P. 366)
One might question, does the gospel doctrine which the Prophet Joseph Smith restored and taught remain unchanged in the Church today? Has the Church rejected the practice of some of those once essential laws? Have we become complacent in accepting a watered down version of the gospel with doctrinal changes? Such as:
- The Law of Consecration:
“It is contrary to the will of God that those who receive not their inheritance by CONSECRATION … should have their names enrolled with the people of God.” (D&C 85:3)
- Celestial Plural Marriage:
“…the doctrine of plural and celestial marriage is the most holy and important doctrine ever revealed to man on the earth, and without obedience to that principle, no man can ever attain to the fullness of exaltation in celestial glory.” (Joseph Smith, Historical Record, 6:225-7)
“…it belongs to this dispensation just as baptism for the dead does…without it the church cannot progress…” (Wilford Woodruff, Life of Wilford Woodruff, p. 542)
- Knowledge of who God is:
“How much unbelief exists in the minds of the Latter-day Saints in regards to one particular doctrine … namely that ADAM IS OUR FATHER AND GOD..” (Brigham Young, Deseret News, 18 Jun 1873)
- The Church is no longer a “peculiar people,” but one with the world:
“When we see the time that we can willingly strike hands and have full fellowship with those who despise the Kingdom of God, know ye then that the Priesthood of the Son of God is out of your possession.” (Brigham Young, JD 10:257)
- Altering the pattern of the garment of the Holy Priesthood as given by God:
“… must be white and of approved pattern … worn as intended, to the wrists and ankles … the pattern …was revealed from Heaven…”(Joseph F. Smith, Improvement Era 9:813)
” If you …(cut)…off the sleeves or legs or change it in any manner, it loses its identity and is no longer a garment of the Priesthood. … and forfeit (your) …standing … in the Church..” (Temple Pres. Anthon H. Lund)
- No longer preaching the gathering unto one place upon this land: (D&C 29:7-8)
“In this dispensation there is a principle or commandment peculiar to it. What is that? It is the gathering the people unto one place. The gathering of this people is as necessary to be observed … as faith, repentance, baptism, or any other ordinance. It is an essential part of the gospel of this dispensation. …
The Gospel cannot be administered nor the Church of God continue to exist without it.” (Joseph F. Smith, JD 19:192)
- The Doctrine of priesthood by lineage, Which lineage was permitted to have the priesthood and which lineage was forbidden to have it?
“… the blood of the Canaanites was preserved … thus from Ham sprang that race which preserved the curse … Now Pharaoh being of that lineage by which he could not have the right of Priesthood…” Abraham 1:21-27
“To attempt to give the Priesthood to the black race… on that very day and hour we should do so the Priesthood is taken from this Church…” (Brigham Young, 5 Feb 1852)
- The doctrine of having one’s Calling and Election made sure:
“This is the purpose of mortality — to prepare us to return into the presence of our Father in Heaven. This is the calling and promise that can come to men while they yet live in the flesh. To know for a certainty … to receive the promise of inheriting a part and place in His Kingdom, is perhaps the greatest CALLING AND ELECTION that mortal men can achieve. Yes, it is one of the least understood and least sought for of all the promises of God.” (Calling and Election p. 152)
- Patriarchal ( or Priesthood) Sealings:
” With the introduction of the Priesthood upon the earth was also introduced the sealing ordinance that the chain of the Priesthood from Adam to the latest generation might be united in one unbroken continuance … By this power men will be sealed to men back to Adam …” (Brigham Young, JD 9:269)
10. Ordination as Kings and Queens:
“But there must be a holy place prepared for that purpose … that men may receive their [2nd] endowments and be made kings and priests unto the Most High God…” (DHC 6:319)
[The endowment in the temples today only promises that one may, at some future day, be called up and ordained kings and queens]
“…. we two wives were anointed queens and priestesses, to reign and rule with our husband over his kingdom in the celestial world.” (“An English Woman in Utah” p. 321)
11. Doctrine of Re-baptism:
“At this time came a revelation, that the saints could be baptized and re-baptized when they chose.” (Brigham Young, JD 18:241)
12. A Political Kingdom of God:
“We are asked. “is the Church of God, and the Kingdom of God, the same organization?” And we are informed that some of the brethren hold that they are separate. This is the correct view to take. The Kingdom of God is a separate organization from the Church of God. There may be men acting as officers in the Kingdom of God who will not be members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.” (“Joseph Smith and World Government,” p.9)
Ponder these doctrines, and others, as taught by the Prophet Joseph Smith and one will recognize the error of several presidents of the Church, as well as the masses among its membership.
“… We ought to obey God rather than men.” Acts 5:29
“…yea, how long will ye suffer yourselves to be led by foolish and blind guides? …” Helaman 13:29
“For God doth not walk in crooked paths, neither doth he turn to the right hand nor to the left, neither doth he vary from that which he hath said, therefore his paths are straight, and his course is one eternal round.” D&C 3:2
“If any officer in this Church shall counsel the people to violate any of the laws of God, and to sustain and build up the kingdoms of this world, I would justify them, and the Lord will justify them, in refusing to obey that counsel.” (Brigham Young, JD 12:164)
“I am more afraid that this people have so much confidence in their leaders that they will not enquire for themselves of God whether they are led by him. I am fearful they settle down in a state of blind self-security, trusting their eternal destiny in the hands of their leaders with a reckless confidence that in itself would thwart the purposes of God in their salvation, and weaken that influence they could give to their leaders, did they know for themselves, by the revelations of Jesus, that they are led in the right way. Let every man and woman know, by the whispering of the Spirit of God to themselves, whether their leaders are walking in the path the Lord dictates, or not.” (Brigham Young, JD 9:150)
How many choose to be “cursed” rather than to stand up for God? Too many! Herein one can understand why God foretold of the necessity of A SECOND GATHERING OF HIS PEOPLE IN THE LAST DAYS OUT FROM THE GENTILE [L.D.S.] CHURCH, etc.
“The work is in our hands to PERFORM, the God of Heaven REQUIRES it of us and if we fail to build it up we shall be under condemnation and the LORD WOULD REMOVE US OUT OF THE WAY AND HE WOULD RAISE UP ANOTHER PEOPLE WHO WOULD DO IT. Why? Because the Almighty has decreed that this work shall be PERFORMED ON THE EARTH …” (Wilford Woodruff, JD 15:284)
The apostasy of the Church didn’t happen all at once, but little by little over the years it did happen just as predicted. The “times of the gentiles” have been fulfilled right on schedule, and the “Root of Jesse” has been called and ordained with the use of the complete “keys of the Priesthood” to enact the “Second Gathering” era in the last dispensation. It may be as hard for the proud Latter-day Saints to accept these facts as it was for the Jews to recognize and accept Christ. Very few did because their minds were already made up. So be it!
So what are we to do? Conscience demands that we stand faithful and endure to the end. We must live the fullness of the Gospel. Being surrounded by others who do not obey the commandments is no excuse for failing to obey them ourselves. God will not hold us guiltless for disregarding his laws, simply because the leaders of the church failed to sufficiently motivate us.
The principle of Agency is the first principle upon which all others are dependent. We must choose to obey all the commandments. It was never in the plan or mind of God that church leaders would force us to accept higher principles. The current leaders of the mainstream LDS church will never call on the members to live consecration, Celestial Marriage, or gather to build Zion. It is up to individual people to exercise their agency and choose to obey these commandments without compulsion.
We are not left alone to do this work. As soon as any latter day saint is ready to move forward and take the next step the way is opened. And by reading this post a new path is now open to you, you can investigate these things with an open mind, and a heart that welcomes the spirit of the Lord, or you can turn back into the complacency characteristic of Mormon subculture. But if you choose to move forward, and you seek to live the commandments, you will not be alone in this struggle.
There is a true order of the priesthood today, organized with all the rights, powers, keys, and offices of the original church. the true order of the priesthood is necessary for this work to move forward as God would have it do. While there are many who would prefer to simply live the best they can, on their own, the priesthood is always organized according to the order of God’s house. There are many denominations, and many people who are independently doing all that they can to live the fullness of the Gospel, but this is not enough to accomplish the design of God. It is time for us to overcome our scattered condition, and unite together in a gathering of saints organized according to the holy order of the Priesthood.
At the head of this order today stands Christ, who converses face to face with his prophets, apostles, and all who prepare themselves worthily to enter his presence. This blessing is available to all who are willing to make themselves worthy of it.
And there is a servant of Christ, A special witness of his literal resurrection, who presides over the priesthood on the earth. He holds the fullness of the priesthood, and presides over all the keys on the earth. He is the “Root of Jesse,” spoken of by so many of the prophets. He is gathering “the Branch,” or establishing a final gathering of saints who will live all the commandments of God, and prepare the way for the coming of the Savior.
The Branch is a gathering of latter-day saints who are striving to live all the commandments and are preparing physically and spiritually to build up Zion on the earth. This gathering is small, but will eventually grow until Zion is built up from beneath, and comes down from above, uniting all things into one and fulfilling the prophecies of this the dispensation of the fullness of times.
If the Spirit has touched your heart and borne witness to you that these things are true, then I ask you to take the next step. The most important thing in life is always taking the next step. A journey of 1000 miles begins with one step. You do not need to worry about what the future may hold, so long as you know that your feet are on the path that leads to God, and always keep walking. Never stop seeking God.
The next step for you may be prayer, additional scripture study, more repentance, being re-baptized, or gathering with other saints into the Branch. Whatever the next step is, I encourage you to take that next step in faith. Do not worry about things that may be further down the road, simply do what is right, and do it now. The Lord will not forsake you.
We invite you and all men and women to come unto Christ, join with us and build Zion. All of the words of the Lord will be fulfilled. We cannot choose if these things are true or not, we can only choose if we will follow the truth once it is manifest to us. Zion is beginning to be established, and as God lives Zion will arise and shine, and fill the earth with truth divine. Will you choose to build Zion? If so, come and enter into the work.
Joseph Smith said: “What was the object of gathering the … people of God in any age of the world? … The main object was to build unto the Lord a house whereby He could reveal unto His people the ordinances of His house and the glories of His kingdom, and teach the people the way of salvation; for there are certain ordinances and principles that, when they are taught and practiced, must be done in a place or house built for that purpose.
“… Ordinances instituted in the heavens before the foundation of the world, in the priesthood, for the salvation of men, are not to be altered or changed. All must be saved on the same principles. It is for the same purpose that God gathers together His people in the last days, to build unto the Lord a house to prepare them for the ordinances and endowments, washings and anointings, etc. One of the ordinances of the house of the Lord is baptism for the dead. God decreed before the foundation of the world that that ordinance should be administered in a font prepared for that purpose in the house of the Lord. …
“The doctrine of baptism for the dead is clearly shown in the New Testament; … it was the reason why Jesus said unto the Jews, ‘How oft would I have gathered thy children together, even as a hen gathereth her chickens under her wings, and ye would not!’ Matthew 23:37 —that they might attend to the ordinances of baptism for the dead as well as other ordinances of the priesthood, and receive revelations from heaven, and be perfected in the things of the kingdom of God—but they would not. This was the case on the day of Pentecost: those blessings were poured out on the disciples on that occasion. God ordained that He would save the dead, and would do it by gathering His people together. …
“… Why gather the people together in this place? For the same purpose that Jesus wanted to gather the Jews—to receive the ordinances, the blessings, and the glories that God has in store for His Saints. I will now ask this assembly and all the Saints if you will now build this house and receive the ordinances and blessings which God has in store for you; or will you not build unto the Lord this house, and let Him pass by and bestow these blessings upon another people?”
Heeding these words of the prophet Joseph Smith, we exhort all who read these words to come and gather today to the temple of God, live a consecrated life, and assist in building the New Jerusalem. Exaltation, freedom and happiness are the destiny of all who choose to follow the paths of righteousness. A new path is now open to you, will you walk in it?
For further information please contact us at:
or 1 (801) 769-6279
If we are too busy meeting with others to meet with you right away, or if the number is busy when you call, I hope that you will try again. Please remember: “seek and ye shall find, knock and the door will open.”
 This was also prophesied by President George Q. Cannon, (see Deseret News Editorial, 23 April 1885)
 For more on this subject see “A Priesthood Issue” by Joseph Musser
 History of the Church, 5:423–25, 427; paragraph divisions altered; from a discourse given by Joseph Smith on June 11, 1843, in Nauvoo, Illinois; reported by Wilford Woodruff and Willard Richards