Episode 008

This week’s episode has been posted over at http://ironrodpodcast.com

Last week’s episode covered the history of the church beginning in 1829 up to the dedication of the Kirtland temple in early 1836. It was a period of amazing revelations and spiritual manifestations. But even then there were signs that all was not well.

This week’s episode picks up in 1836 and shows how the scriptural expectations surrounding the Kirtland temple were not fulfilled and how quickly things began degrading for the church. Financial troubles in Kirtland followed by strife among the leaders and violent conflict with non-members in Missouri eventually led to a new beginning in Nauvoo. But instead of returning to the original doctrines of the church, new practices and doctrines were introduced right up until the death of Joseph and Hyrum. We discuss these issues and put them into historical and scriptural context.

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Feedback on Bible format

I’ve been working on the reformatted version of the Bible. The main text contains the Joseph Smith Translation / Inspired Version text, but uses the King James Version verse numbers to keep it useful for looking up references.

Where text has been added in the JST, the words are denoted with a dotted underline. Where text has been changed from the KJV, the JST words have a solid underline and the KJV words are shown in the margin.

I want to standardize on the formatting now before I get too far. It takes a long time to go back after the fact and update formatting. I’d like to get some feedback on this format for showing both versions, scriptural quotations, and other formatting styles. Please take a look and use the comments to let me know what you think.

Episode 006 – The Nature of God

The latest episode has been posted at ironrodpodcast.com

While preparing for this episode, I compiled a list of scriptures that touch on the nature of God. Most didn’t make it into the podcast, so for your reference, they are listed here with a little bit of commentary.

Mosiah 15:1-5
God himself shall come down among the children of men, and shall redeem his people. And because he dwelleth in flesh he shall be called the Son of God, and having subjected the flesh to the will of the Father, being the Father and the Son—The Father, because he was conceived by the power of God; and the Son, because of the flesh; thus becoming the Father and Son—And they are one God, yea, the very Eternal Father of heaven and of earth. And thus the flesh becoming subject to the Spirit, or the Son to the Father, being one God, suffereth temptation, and yieldeth not to the temptation, but suffereth himself to be mocked, and scourged, and cast out, and disowned by his people.

Notice how the Son is consistently identified with the flesh, whereas the Father never is. The Father is identified with the Spirit. Also notice that the terminology about the Son puts his name and subjection in the future.

3 Nephi 1:13 -14
Lift up your head and be of good cheer; for behold, the time is at hand, and on this night shall the sign be given, and on the morrow come I into the world, to show unto the world that I will fulfil all that which I have caused to be spoken by the mouth of my holy prophets. Behold, I come unto my own, to fulfil all things which I have made known unto the children of men from the foundation of the world, and to do the will, both of the Father and of the Sonof the Father because of me, and of the Son because of my flesh. And behold, the time is at hand, and this night shall the sign be given.

Notice that the speaker above identifies himself as both the Father and the Son, but again only identifies the Son with the flesh.

D&C 93:3-4
And that I am in the Father, and the Father in me, and the Father and I are oneThe Father because he gave me of his fulness, and the Son because I was in the world and made flesh my tabernacle, and dwelt among the sons of men.

Here are several that show that Christ is both the  Father and the Son:

Mormon 9:12
Behold, he created Adam, and by Adam came the fall of man. And because of the fall of man came Jesus Christ, even the Father and the Son; and because of Jesus Christ came the redemption of man.

Ether 3:14
Behold, I am he who was prepared from the foundation of the world to redeem my people. Behold, I am Jesus Christ. I am the Father and the Son. In me shall all mankind have life, and that eternally, even they who shall believe on my name; and they shall become my sons and my daughters.

3 Nephi 9:15
Behold, I am Jesus Christ the Son of God. I created the heavens and the earth, and all things that in them are. I was with the Father from the beginning. I am in the Father, and the Father in me; and in me hath the Father glorified his name.

JST Luke 10:23
All things are delivered to me of my Father, and no man knoweth that the Son is the Father, and the Father is the Son, but him to whom the Son will reveal it.

Mosiah 3:8
8 And he shall be called Jesus Christ, the Son of God, the Father of heaven and earth, the Creator of all things from the beginning; and his mother shall be called Mary.

Helaman 14:12
And also that ye might know of the coming of Jesus Christ, the Son of God, the Father of heaven and of earth, the Creator of all things from the beginning; and that ye might know of the signs of his coming, to the intent that ye might believe on his name.

Ether 4:7
And in that day that they shall exercise faith in me, saith the Lord, even as the brother of Jared did, that they may become sanctified in me, then will I manifest unto them the things which the brother of Jared saw, even to the unfolding unto them all my revelations, saith Jesus Christ, the Son of God, the Father of the heavens and of the earth, and all things that in them are.

The LDS church teaches that Jesus, not the Father, is the Lord speaking in the Doctrine and Covenants. Yet look at some of these verses where both seem to be speaking:

D&C 49:5 Thus saith the Lord; for I am God, and have sent mine Only Begotten Son into the world for the redemption of the world, and have decreed that he that receiveth him shall be saved, and he that receiveth him not shall be damned—

D&C 68:6 Wherefore, be of good cheer, and do not fear, for I the Lord am with you, and will stand by you; and ye shall bear record of me, even Jesus Christ, that I am the Son of the living God, that I was, that I am, and that I am to come.

D&C 29:42 But, behold, I say unto you that I, the Lord God, gave unto Adam and unto his seed, that they should not die as to the temporal death, until I, the Lord God, should send forth angels to declare unto them repentance and redemption, through faith on the name of mine Only Begotten Son.

D&C 124:123 Verily I say unto you, I now give unto you the officers belonging to my Priesthood, that ye may hold the keys thereof, even the Priesthood which is after the order of Melchizedek, which is after the order of mine Only Begotten Son.

Here’s an interesting one from the Book of Moses

Moses 7:59-60
And Enoch beheld the Son of Man ascend up unto the Father; and he called unto the Lord, saying: Wilt thou not come again upon the earth? Forasmuch as thou art God, and I know thee, and thou hast sworn unto me, and commanded me that I should ask in the name of thine Only Begotten; thou hast made me, and given unto me a right to thy throne, and not of myself, but through thine own grace; wherefore, I ask thee if thou wilt not come again on the earth. And the Lord said unto Enoch: As I live, even so will I come in the last days, in the days of wickedness and vengeance, to fulfil the oath which I have made unto you concerning the children of Noah;

Enoch calls to the Lord and says he has been commanded to pray in the name of “thine Only Begotten”, which would indicate he is talking to the Father. But then he asks if he will come again. And the Lord says he will come again in the last days. Which would indicate he’s talking to the Son!

Here’s another example of the Father/Son relationship not being clear cut:

Moses 7:23-24
And after that Zion was taken up into heaven, Enoch beheld, and lo, all the nations of the earth were before him; And there came generation upon generation; and Enoch was high and lifted up, even in the bosom of the Father, and of the Son of Man; and behold, the power of Satan was upon all the face of the earth.

Enoch is taken into the bosom of the Father and of the Son. Then Enoch says to “the Lord”:

31 And thou hast taken Zion to thine own bosom, from all thy creations, from all eternity to all eternity; and naught but peace, justice, and truth is the habitation of thy throne; and mercy shall go before thy face and have no end; how is it thou canst weep?

Then Enoch declares he is in the bosom of the Father:

47 And behold, Enoch saw the day of the coming of the Son of Man, even in the flesh; and his soul rejoiced, saying: The Righteous is lifted up, and the Lamb is slain from the foundation of the world; and through faith I am in the bosom of the Father, and behold, Zion is with me.

And yet, in D&C 38 Christ says:

D&C 38:4
I am the same which have taken the Zion of Enoch into mine own bosom; and verily, I say, even as many as have believed in my name, for I am Christ, and in mine own name, by the virtue of the blood which I have spilt, have I pleaded before the Father for them.

This should give everyone plenty of things to ponder.

Iron Rod Podcast 005 – Lectures on Faith

Lectures on Faith were added to the scriptures in 1835 by a general assembly of the church. They were removed in 1921 by a committee of six men. In this episode we review the history of how and why the Lectures were created, rebut some of the reasons given for their removal, and discuss a few of the key doctrines taught in the Lectures.

The latest podcast is now posted at ironrodpodcast.com

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Preparator or Proprietor?

Read this verse:

1 Nephi 15:35
And there is a place prepared, yea, even that awful hell of which I have spoken, and the devil is the preparator of it; wherefore the final state of the souls of men is to dwell in the kingdom of God, or to be cast out because of that justice of which I have spoken.

Now compare it with what the Lord says in this verse:

Moses 6:29
Wherefore, they have foresworn themselves, and, by their oaths, they have brought upon themselves death; and a hell I have prepared for them, if they repent not;

When I first noticed this several years ago, it bothered me. Both statements cannot be correct. Either God prepared hell, or the devil prepared it. I filed it away hoping to one day resolve the issue. When I discovered BYU’s Book of Mormon Critical Text Project, I learned this verse in Nephi had an interesting history. This project analyzed every version of the Book of Mormon, from the original manuscript to the 1981 version.

The original manuscript has prepriator—a word which doesn’t exist in the English language. In the printer’s manuscript and 1830 edition, this was changed to preparator. In the 1837 edition, it was changed again to foundation. The 1981 edition reverted back to preparator.

But what if the original word was supposed to be proprietor? These words differ only by a few letters and sound quite similar. The change was most likely accidental. But there is a shift in meaning that has doctrinal significance. Webster’s 1828 Dictionary defines proprietor as the person who has the legal right or exclusive title to any thing whether in possession or not.

And there is a place prepared, yea, even that awful hell of which I have spoken, and the devil is the proprietor of it; wherefore the final state of the souls of men is to dwell in the kingdom of God, or to be cast out because of that justice of which I have spoken.

The devil didn’t prepare hell, God did (as Moses 6:29 tells us). The devil, though,  does reign in hell. God isn’t going to dwell there, so the devil has squatter’s rights and it is his kingdom. This meaning is supported by other scriptures.

2 Nephi 2:29
And not choose eternal death, according to the will of the flesh and the evil which is therein, which giveth the spirit of the devil power to captivate, to bring you down to hell, that he may reign over you in his own kingdom.

This is also consistent with modern revelation:

D&C 29:37-38
And they were thrust down, and thus came the devil and his angels; And, behold, there is a place prepared for them from the beginning, which place is hell.

Hell was prepared FOR the devil and his angels, not by them. A simple transcription error introduced a contradiction. This specific example is included as a margin note in the reformatted Book of Mormon. By researching the original transcripts, we can see a simple solution that eliminates that contradiction and reinforces the truths taught elsewhere in scripture. How many other changes are waiting to be found?