For The Cause of Zion
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Joseph’s Sermon - Waldo Branch - 8/27/1995
Address of Joseph F. Smith to the Restoration Saints Gathered at Waldo Branch
I greet you in the name of Jesus Christ, our Lord and Savior, the Redeemer of Israel, and the Redeemer of Latter Day Zion. By way of introduction, my name is Joseph F. Smith. My father’s name was Arthur M. Smith, who was the son of Alexander H. Smith, who was the son of Joseph, the Prophet.
It is with great joy that I am allowed to speak to this people today. I have a high respect for you who have had the courage to stand up and say “No” to that spirit within the church to which you once belonged in faith believing, the church of your youth, the church of your fathers, the church of your first love; to say “No” to that spirit which has led the leadership down paths of unrighteousness.
I am somewhat aware of the courage it takes to stand for the truth. My father left, the Reorganization in the 1925-26 period, when the hammer first fell on those who would not accept the unrighteousness of “Supreme Directional Control.” My father left the Reorganized Church and went over to the Church of Christ, Temple Lot. Of all the Smith families, his was the only one to refuse to bow to the direction of the hierarchy of his day. Think of what this meant to him, to leave all his relations for the sake of truth. I think of how this decision of yours has torn at your heart strings. I think of the tears that it has brought to your eyes. I think of the courage it has taken to stand for what you know is true. For that reason I feel honored to be allowed to speak to you.
My message to you today is one the Lord has laid heavily upon me. I do not come here to tell you how to organize your church. I do not come here to tell you how to structure your organization. I do not come here to tell you what you must believe, or what you must reject I do not come here to teach you doctrine. I do come here knowing that within your hearts there is a hope of Zion. That is beginning to be a rare thing. There is a hope of the Zion that was prophesied by many prophets of old and prophesied by prophets of latter days. It is the Zion of which the prophet Joel spoke:
“The Lord also shall roar out of Zion, and utter his voice from Jerusalem; and the heavens and the earth shall shake; but the Lord will be the hope of his people, and the strength of the children of Israel. So shall ye know that I am the Lord your God dwelling in Zion, my holy mountain…” (Joel 3:16-17)
It is the Zion spoken of by the prophet Isaiah:
“And the Lord will create upon every dwelling-place of mount Zion, and upon her assemblies, a cloud and smoke by day, and the shining of a flaming fire by night; for upon all the glory of Zion shall be a defence. And there shall be a tabernacle for a shadow in the daytime from the heat, and for a place of refuge, and for a covert from storm and from rain.” ( Isaiah 4:4-5)
There are two things Zion is going to be: a place of refuge and the dwelling place of the Lord.
I want to read you a portion of D&C 94, starting with paragraph 2f:
“Verily I say unto you, All among them who know their hearts are honest, and are broken, and their spirits contrite, and are willing to observe their covenants by sacrifice; yea, every sacrifice which I, the Lord, shall command, they are all accepted of me…
This tells us what is required of us to be accepted of God: a broken heart and a contrite spirit.
“…for I, the Lord, will cause them to bring forth as a very fruitful tree which is planted in a goodly land, by a pure stream, that yieldeth much precious fruit. Verily I say unto you, that it is my will that an house should be built unto me in the land of Zion, like unto the pattern which I have given you; yea, let it be built speedily by the tithing of my people: behold, this is the tithing and the sacrifice which I, the Lord, require at their hands, that there may be an house built unto me for the salvation of Zion; for a place of thanksgiving, for all Saints, and for a place of instruction for all those who are called to the work of the ministry…”
Brothers and sisters of the Restoration, I look forward to that instruction.
“…in all their several callings, and offices; that they may be perfected in the understanding of their ministry; in theory; in principle and in doctrine; in all things pertaining to the kingdom of God on the earth, the keys of which kingdom have been conferred upon you.” (D&C 94:2f-3)
This tells us of the importance of the house that is to be built in the land of Zion, the things that are going to be accomplished there. I would love for my ministry, my understanding of the mysteries of God to be perfected. There burns within my heart a desire to see the coming of this Zion. I have waited many years, as many of you have, and it still has shown no sign of coming. I want with all my heart to promote the cause of that Zion, to rekindle the fire in your hearts, the same fire that once heated the zeal of the early saints, to rekindle in you the same hope as they had within their hearts, the hope that gave them the courage to face death, to cross frozen rivers, to walk hundreds of miles through snow and cold without ample clothing, to remain steadfast in their faith even though driven to privations almost unbelievable to us today, privations that cost many their lives, brought embarrassment, physical suffering, loss of material goods and property. Yet in the face of all these, there still remained the hope of Zion. Every segment of the Restoration that has not denied that first baptism, that first ordination, whose hearts are pure, that has recognized the restored Kingdom of God, that is seeking His righteousness, needs this hope, needs to be able to see the vision of Zion through the clouds of confusion in which it has been engulfed since the saints were driven from Jackson county in the 1830’s.
Granted the privilege of speaking to you today, I step behind this pulpit with all humility. I am not the most learned minister available. Therefore, I must seek the Lord for any message that I deliver. Oh, that I could stand here today and say that I was worthy of the work to which I have been called, to say that I was worthy of the priesthood I was ordained to in 1953! But, brothers and sisters, I am probably the weakest of the weak. But I was not ordained to the Melchizedek priesthood to stand by and watch the hope of Zion deteriorate into the world of Babylon. That is not my calling. Perhaps the only qualities I have are a faith in God and a faith in His promise that He would do the things He said He would do.
I want to turn in the Old Testament to the book of Micah:
“But in the last days it shall come to pass, that the mountain of the house of the Lord shall be established in the top of the mountains, and it shall be exalted above the hills; and people shall flow unto it. And many nations shall come, and say, Come, and let us go up to the mountain of the Lord, and to the house of the God of Jacob; and he will teach us of his ways, and we will walk in his paths; for the law shall go forth of Zion, and the word of the Lord from Jerusalem.” (Micah 4:1-2)
When the prophet, Micah, spoke of the mountain of the Lord, He was not speaking of a mound of earth and stone, but was foretelling the coming of the government of the Lord, the kingdom of God, which was to be restored to earth in the last days. Can you imagine: the government of God returned to earth in our days? He was speaking of that “Holy Mountain” where God is to dwell, from which His voice is to roar forth to the whole world, the mountain from which is to come the “WORD OF THE LORD.” It was this kingdom of God, known in 1830 as the Church of Christ, that was restored April 6th, 1830. Joseph Smith, and those early saints were charged with the responsibility of laying the foundation of that kingdom. And, brothers and sisters, I believe he laid the foundation.
When we think of Micah’s words, “in the last days," my thoughts turn to the prophecy found in Daniel:
“But thou, O Daniel, shut up the words, and seal the book, even to the time of the end: many shall run to and fro, and knowledge shall be increased.” (Daniel 12:4)
We do not have any difficulty identifying the period of time we are in, do we? One can fly to Europe in one day, and many do just that every day. Look at our freeways and highways, vehicles coming and going, so many it would be hard to number them. “Many shall run to and fro.” Today some of you are in Independence, while tomorrow you may be in Oregon, Texas, Florida. Minnesota. Who knows?
“Knowledge shall be increased.” Today, with the use of a computer, I can find any word you might want to locate in the Bible in about five seconds. One hundred years ago the thought of bathroom facilities inside one’s house was considered ridiculous. Today we send men to the moon and outer space; one hundred years ago they were just learning to build cars. Today we flip a switch and have light; one hundred years ago they lit candles and oil lamps. “Knowledge shall be increased.”
Being in this end time, being in these last days should cause us to consider our situation, consider our responsibilities and set in our minds once and for all the decision whether this is the Kingdom of God. For any who decide that it is not His Kingdom, that it is not the work of his hands, that it is not the beginning of the fulfillment of His purposes, His prophecies delivered by His prophets - you are set free of the responsibilities of His work in this Kingdom. But to those of you who do believe that this is the Kingdom of God, that this is His priesthood restored to the earth, that this is the work of His hands, that these are His prophecies wrought by His prophets - I address my message today.
From that day in 1820 when Joseph Smith retired to the woods to pray and ask the Lord which church he was to join and was given the answer that he should join none of them, on down through the following revelations that brought us to the establishment of the Church on April 6th, 1830, the divine light of God began its dawn upon this dispensation of time. I said “the divine light of God” because it was not the light that was conceived by some theologian, or some teachers, some educators, some men. It was the divine light of God.
Those of us who have been willing to accept that light have had our eyes opened to many beautiful truths in the Scriptures. Those who have rejected that light still remain in darkness. But now, having this light, the words of Christ ring out to us today:
“Yet a little while is the light with you…” When I read this I shudder. I recognize how far the Restoration has deteriorated just in my short period of life. I look around and see segments of the Restoration doing away with this and doing away with that, and disappearing, disappearing! It scares me, because the divine light of God, the Kingdom of God, was restored on April 6th, 1830. It would be a shame if we should lose that light.
“Yet a little while is the light with you. Walk while ye have the light, lest darkness come upon you; for he that walketh in darkness knoweth not whither he goeth. While ye have light, believe in the light, that ye may be the children of light…” (John 12:35-36)
Throughout the Scriptures this period of time known as the last days is spoken of as being an exciting and tremendous time, a time in which the Lord is to destroy the wicked, a time for the bringing forth and the building up of the Kingdom of Christ, the return of Zion. This hope of the return of Zion was voiced many centuries ago.
The prophet Isaiah said:
“Thy watchmen shall lift up the voice; with the voice together shall they sing; for they shall see eye to eye, when the Lord shall bring again Zion.” (Isaiah 52:8)
Note what the prophet said. “They shall see eye to eye, when the Lord shall bring again Zion.”
This brings me to the heart of the message I want to deliver to you wonderful people. Of all the segments of the Restoration, very few see eye to eye. Few of you see eye to eye pertaining to the Restoration and the gospel of Christ But we must come to that point.
I want to read you a part of a revelation given to the Church in September of 1830 as found in chapter 29 of the Book of Commandments:
“Listen to the voice of Jesus Christ, your Redeemer, the great I AM, whose arm of mercy hath atoned for your sins, who will gather his people even as a hen gathereth her chickens under her wings, even as many as will hearken to my voice, and humble themselves before me, and call upon me in mighty prayer. Behold, verily, verily I say unto you, that at this time your sins are forgiven you, therefore ye receive these things; but remember to sin no more, lest perils shall come upon you. Verily I say unto you, that ye are chosen out of the world to declare my gospel with the sound of rejoicing, as with the voice of a trump; lift up your hearts and be glad, for I am in your midst, and am your advocate with the Father; and it is His good will to give you the kingdom; and as it is written, Whatsoever ye shall ask in faith, being united in prayer according to my command, ye shall receive; and ye are called to bring to pass the gathering of mine elect, for mine elect hear my voice and harden not their hearts;” [D&C 28:l-2c]
In 1830, ’31 and ’32 the Church was blessed with a great abundance of the Spirit of God He worked with them. He talked with them. Some moved to Jackson County to set up Zion. I want to read a portion of another revelation. It is a part of our history that perhaps we are not proud of, but it is there nevertheless. It is found in the 8th paragraph of Section 83 of the Doctrine and Covenants:
“And your minds in times past have been darkened because of unbelief, and because you have treated lightly the things you have received, which vanity and unbelief hath brought the whole church under condemnation. And this condemnation resteth upon the children of Zion, even all; and they shall remain under this condemnation until they repent and remember the new covenant, even the Book of Mormon and the former commandments which I have given them, not only to say, but to do according to that which I have written,”
Their minds had been darkened; their spiritual vision had been lessened. They had to face the trials of their time with less guidance from God than they had had before. This was given in September of 1832. If you doubt the truth of this revelation, if you question it, let me show you the literal fulfillment of it. Let us read the remainder of that paragraph:
“that they may bring forth fruit meet for their Father’s kingdom, otherwise there remaineth a scourge and a judgment to be poured out upon the children of Zion; for, shall the children of the kingdom pollute my holy land? Verily, I say unto you, Nay.”
What happened to the saints in Jackson County, in the land of Zion in the following year? They were driven, driven from the land of Zion. “A scourge and a judgment” was poured out upon them. From the day they were driven from Zion, yea even before, there were clouds of confusion arising in their midst, obscuring the path of righteousness, blotting out the vision of Zion, the clouds of disobedience, the clouds of the lack of understanding the word of God, until today we are faced with that blinding wall of confusion which has divided us into various segments of the Kingdom of God. This need not be forever.
There was a definite line of action laid out for the Church by the voice of inspiration. That work, traced to its logical conclusion, inevitably indicates a common object: to prepare a people for the coming of Christ. Unless we misread and totally fail to grasp the reasons that gave birth to the restoration of the Kingdom of God, we know that it was brought into existence, the priesthood restored to the earth again and men validly commissioned to act in the name of Jesus Christ for the very reason of preparing mankind for the return of the Savior. This work, in essence, was laid down, stopped, interrupted when the saints were driven from the land of Zion. It is true that various segments of this broken kingdom have made attempts at the redemption of Zion and the renewing of that work. However none have had the spiritual direction of the magnitude that was enjoyed by those early saints. Nor have they had the clarity of vision, the determination, the perseverance of the commitment required.
This brings me to my plea to you today I want to read a prayer that was offered by the prophet Nehemiah as found in the first chapter of Nehemiah. As you remember, the kingdom of Judah had been taken captive and carried away into Babylon.
The words of Nehemiah the son of Hachaliah: "And it came to pass in the month Chisleu, in the twentieth year, as I was in Shushan the palace, That Hanani, one of my brethren, came, he and certain men of Judah; and I asked them concerning the Jews that had escaped, which were left of the captivity, and concerning Jerusalem. And they said unto me, The remnant that are left of the captivity there in the province are in great affliction and reproach: the wall of Jerusalem also is broken down, and the gates thereof are burned with fire. And it came to pass, when I heard these words, that I sat down and wept, and mourned certain days, and fasted, and prayed before the God of heaven,”
He sat and wept because his home, the land of Judah was suffering. I have sat and wept because the land of Zion is suffering. I have shaken in my heart with fear because I am afraid that we are going to miss the opportunity that has been provided for us here in these last days.
Nehemiah prayed, and this prayer could fit us today.
“…I beseech thee, O Lord God of heaven, the great and terrible God, that keepeth covenant and mercy for them that love him and observe his commandments: Let thine ear now be attentive, and thine eyes open, that thou mayest hear the prayer of thy servant, which I pray before thee now, day and night, for the children of Israel thy servants, and confess the sins of the children of Israel, which we have sinned against thee: both I and my father’s house have sinned. We have dealt very corruptly against thee, and have not kept the commandments, nor the statutes, nor the judgments, which thou commandedst thy servant Moses.” (Nehemiah 1:5-7)
We have not kept the commandments nor the judgments nor the statutes that the Lord gave Joseph.
“Remember, I beseech thee, the word that thou commandedst thy servant Moses, saying, If ye transgress, I will scatter you abroad among the nations: But if ye turn unto me, and keep my commandments, and do them; though there were of you cast out unto the uttermost part of the heaven, yet will I gather them from thence” (Nehemiah 1:8-9)
All that is required of us is to repent, to come to Him with a broken heart and a contrite spirit and be willing to abide His word and keep His commandments.
Ezra, set upon a journey with the priests to the land of Jerusalem from Babylon, the same place Nehemiah came from, for Ezra had prepared in his heart to seek the law of the Lord, and to do it and to teach in Israel His statutes and judgments. He writes:
“Then I proclaimed a fast there, at the river of Ahava, that we might afflict ourselves before our God, to seek of him a right way for us, and for our little ones, and for all our substance… So we fasted and besought our God for this: and he was entreated of us.” (Ezra 8:21,23)
I call upon you, members of the Restoration branches, I call upon you who have the hope of Zion in your heart, to begin a fast, not a fast from food but a fast from contending one with another, a fast of seeking peace one with another, a fast of practicing the principles that Christ taught you that you should have—of love for one another. This is the fast I call for you today. This is the fast I want you to consider.
I want you to think for a moment as to what might occur, what God might do if we could get 900 people, or maybe 1900 people throughout all the segments of the Restoration united in prayer for one special request.. What did He say in the commandment above (D&C 28:2c): If you were united in prayer, He would answer? Do you believe God would answer? I do!
Suppose we took all our differences and put them right up here on a little shelf—I do not ask you to get rid of them—all your pet theories, all your ideas, your concepts and so forth…just put them up here on a shelf. Keep them; you may want to refer to them later. Then, together, united in prayer every night before you went to bed, every morning when you got up, every time you asked the blessing on the food, you made one part of that prayer that God would take away from us the darkness of our minds, that He would take away the clouds of confusion that we might see clearly the path we have to walk to get back into a condition where God can work with us and create this Zion. What would happen if thousands, or only 900 prayed for this one thing? What would happen to all these differences up here on this shelf when God answered? They would be gone!
Brothers and sisters, this idea that was laid upon me is so simple! And I said to myself, “Lord, this is so ridiculous. Anyone can understand this. How can I bring that to a people?” But it is the only way, the only way we can find back to that position where we become in a condition that God can work with us.
I am a carpenter. I use a lot of wood putty, because sometimes I make mistakes. In order to use this wood putty, it must be pliable. I must be able to work with it and to put it into cracks and little holes. When a can of that becomes so hard and so brittle that I can not use it, it is useless. I throw it out. Do you get my point? We must become pliable to the point that God can work with us, can begin to create a people worthy of Zion.
Think of the possibilities. I do not know how you would organize it throughout your groups to encourage everyone to pray for one thing. We are not in the habit of doing that. But somehow there must be a way that we can coordinate the people to where they would pray for that one thing that we could get an answer. We could know tomorrow, a week from tomorrow, or whenever God answers! We could know what step we needed to take. Then when we sang “We’re Marching to Zion,” it would be with a new spirit!
Christ, in teaching His disciples and His followers, explained that He had to be crucified on the cross, and that they would have to partake of His flesh and blood. In the sixth chapter of John (John 6:66-68) it says:
“From that time many of his disciples went back, and walked no more with him.”
They did not wait long enough for Him to explain what He meant. They left!
“Then said Jesus unto the twelve, Will ye also go away?”
There is a thrill that goes through me when I read the answer of Peter:
“Then Simon Peter answered him, Lord, to whom shall we go? thou hast the words of eternal life. And we believe and are sure that thou art that Christ, the Son of the living God.”
To whom will you go today? If not down this path, to whom will you go? For if this is the kingdom of God, it is here that you will find the path to eternal life! To whom will you go?
There is a prayer I have constantly with me. Maybe you will want to have it constantly with you. It is found in the second verse of a song we sometimes sing—”Abide With Me.” The last part of the second verse is my prayer: “Change and decay in all around I see. 0 thou who changest not, abide with me.” Amen.
Joseph F Smith
(Corrections and clarifications in red - OK'd by Brother Joseph)
Eu venho até você em nome de Jesus Cristo. That’s Portuguese. They taught me that and sent that message to you. That’s all the Portuguese I know. I come to you in the name of Jesus Christ. In order that you might understand what all of this is about, I want to read to you the first invitation that I got from the people in Brazil to come and visit them
Brother Bob had invited me a couple of times to go to different countries and I said, "no I’m not getting out of this country, I want to stay here in America where I can put my feet on the ground, and I know where I’m at, and I can do what I can do. Another minister suggested going to the South Sea Islands, and boy I would love to go there, but I said, "no, I'm going to stay in America. But this message was different and when I read it I said, "I’ll go." We used to sing a song, "I'll go where you want me to go dear Lord, I'll do what you want me to do." You had better mean it, because He will.
The First Brazil Email Message
“Hi, Mr. Smith,
I have a lot to say, but as I do not know how to speak and write in English, I fear that the Google translator will transcribe a phrase otherwise, causing confusion that can be read by you. So I’ll briefly summarize the facts so that you can keep track of what happened to us and what we want with you.
I still do not understand all of your doctrine, but I will use the Bible and the texts of your scriptures, as it appears at the site of ….
It all started April 6th, 2007, it was the eve of Easter, I had climbed a hill alone to pray to God in the desire to get some answers to my questions. During the trip, I was lost in the woods closed until sunset and night came, and the darkness of the trees were larger than in an enclosed room, and without a flashlight, I could not move from that place. Fear at that time took over my senses making me feel like a dark force was overwhelming me when a light appeared through the trees, pushing away the fear that surrendered to me. Soon a character involved in the light, called me by name and said not to be afraid, identified himself as an angel of God with the name of Raphael (which years later I could see him in one of his writings that he had visited Joseph Smith Jr. in the past (Doctrine and Covenants 110:21b). [ and that’s probably the LDS Doctrine and Covenants because that’s all they have that is written in Portuguese] On this occasion, the Angel Rafael, made with his hands lights to illuminate the whole forest so that could reach the top of the Hill, where I received the visitation of another celestial being, which I will not report here at this email, leave for another occasion. [I will tell you who that being – later on I learned who that being was, it’s Moroni, because at this beginning of this time Moroni began to work with these people.]
The being who was waiting for me at the top of the mountain, then prescribed, more than once, the text of Isaiah 1: 2-9, so that it was etched in my memory. He told me that he appeared to me because of my great faith and restlessness, and that my prayer had touched the feelings of Him who rules the whole universe. But He required me to return to that same place, no longer alone, but accompanied by three other men who would approach me for Bible study and that we should go back there once every year until 10 years had passed, and so we did, until we came to understand what God expects us to do.
Your contact was revealed to us in this last time, which was January 21st of this year 2017. We were told on this occasion that we went up the hill, that God is moving His hand to restore Zion to his place, determined by Him, in a place chosen to be the New Jerusalem in Missouri.
He said that the churches that bear His name had strayed from their covenant, making the arm of the flesh their strength. He showed us that the remnant quoted by Him to me the first time, in the Words of Isaiah 1:9, refers to the” Branches of the Restoration”. However, He affirmed that even among the branches of the restoration there were certain divergences of opinion, ([that’s quite a statement] and that they are not altogether ones of heart and mind.
Therefore, the Lord looks with appreciation to you, Mr. Smith, and to your congregation, for have seen your labor and the intent of your heart.
[Some of you who don’t know we too well I’ve worked for 21 years to bring the Saints together, I started with the Waldo sermon 21 years ago, wherein the Lord told them that they had a window of opportunity to step through, to lay aside their differences, find common ground and begin to build up the Kingdom of God. And for the most part it went in one ear and out the other. And this is what He is referring to]
But there is no way to get your people back together in one flock in your country, for there is much strife and repugnance among the Latter Day Saints in regard to the other churches which, in one, have been divided into many, But God will do it from Brazil, until it fills all Latin America, Central and finally to arrive again in the lands of the north, when the people of the Covenant is counted as being a great multitude (Revelation 7:9)
In relation to what the Lord requires of us with you, it is that a congregation directed by you here in Brazil be established, and be in communion with the other branches of the restoration, because the holy spirit will operate in our midst entering in and preaching in many Chapels of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, for there are many people in that denomination that the Lord intends to seek for Himself, as he did in the past when the Nephites preached to the Lamanites.
Our work, therefore is similar to that of Alma, who preached among the wicked people of King Noah, converting his members to the truth of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. The Lord allowed the powers of darkness to take over the regency of the greatest church of the Saints of today, but He intends to seek His own sheep from this flock, so that the prophecy of Isaiah 60:22 will come.
What we initially desire is the baptism of your hands, or an authority of someone sent to us from you for this purpose, and obtain the gift of the Holy Spirit in order to fulfill our ministry fully, as promised to us by the heavenly beings.
We are willing to separate our tithes from now on to achieve this goal, which is not ours only but of our Lord Jesus Christ we were told that you would be our leader as long as you live. Amen!”
His brother in the faith;
Mauricio Artur Berger 04.03.2017 (1st email sent to Joseph F Smith)
You’ll have to excuse my voice I’ve been fighting for 2 weeks to get to this place and I’ve met many opposition’s. One of the reasons why they requested me was because the angel told them that the Lord had preserved a portion of the priesthood from Joseph the Prophet, through Joseph the third, and through Alexander Hale Smith, and through my father Arthur Smith, to me with the priesthood that they say the angel told him ..... was more pure I’ll put it that way.
When I first read this invitation from Mauricio, I said, "yes, I’ll go, no question, I can." I could not say, "No I don’t want to go to that country." "I’ll go," but I felt ... I felt so unworthy and I fussed within myself time time and again. Why would the Lord pick me? When there are men out here who are better educated than I, who are more capable than I, who are younger than I, and who could go to this country and do this work. And this bothered me, all summer long. I have worked for three years with a little group up in Maryville, Michigan. I’ve been there four times and they want me back as soon as I can go. I told them I won’t go back as long as there is snow in that country. Last summer I went and preached my sermon and when I got through preaching my sermon, I sat down, and they sang the closing song. I touched the man in charge and I said I’ve got something more to give. I felt all of a sudden I needed to read this to them so I did read it, and I sat down, and they had the closing prayer. One of the ladies got up and went over to the Paster and said, "We need to have prayer for Joseph." So he selected 3 elders who came up, placed their hands on my head and the first two gave very beautiful prayers, but the third one halfway through his prayer, he said, "Brother Joseph you need to quit fretting and worrying about not being worthy. God has called you to a job; step up to your work and do it." I was grateful for that, because that gives me a little more courage. Also the angel had told the man in charge, Mauricio, he told him that my grandfather, Alexander Hale Smith, had resurrected a dead child. I said, "Wow! He had to have learned that from the angel, because not many people know that story." My father told me that story as I was a young lad. There was a serious malady going around the community where they lived, and his little sister had come down with the sickness, and they called the doctor, and by the time the doctor got there he said, "She’s dead, her heart is quit she’s not breathing." The mother grabbed the child up and said, "I won’t give her up, I won’t give her up," and they tried to take the child from her. They said, "She’s passed, she’s dead, she’s gone," and the lady that was my grandmother said, "No, I won’t give her up." Dad said, it was some time that she walked the floor, praying, and a little later, Alexander Hale Smith and Joseph the third walked in and anointed her head with oil, and she came back to life. I know that the angel had to tell him that, because there’s no way they would know that down there in Portugal, I mean Brazil.
So we come to the time that brother Bob Moore .... I asked brother Bob Moore to go with me because I’m not a world traveler, and he is. And so we made our arrangements, but we failed to get our visas in time. We had to postpone for a couple of months, so we could get our visas right. We finally got them right; we got on the airplane in Kansas City and flew to Dallas. In Dallas I had requested that they furnished a wheelchair, because I can only walk so far, and then I’ve got to sit down. And they had a wheelchair waiting for me, and they took me halfway across the state of Texas. Poor Bob had to walk. We boarded our plane, and we left Texas, and for 10 hours flew south. I have a little advantage on Bob because he says he can’t sleep on an airplane, but I can; boy I can snore away. So the 10 hours wasn’t too hard for me. We landed, and we had to trade at Sao Paulo in Brazil. At that point we had to transfer to a local aircraft, where we flew from Sao Paulo to Porto Alegre where the Saints were to meet us. So we got our baggage when we landed - we got our baggage and went down to the entrance of the airport, and there were two young men - one had my name on a card, another had brother Bob’s name on a card, and they came running to us, tickled to death to see us. Gave us a big hug. Chattering and jabbering a mile a minute, and we could not understand one word they said. Finally I spoke to the one in a little bit of Spanish, and he understood a little bit of Spanish. I said, I want to buy a hamburger here; I’m hungry, and he said, “no, no, no, no, we go, we go.” So, we took off, and they took us on the way up into the mountains to a restaurant where they gave us a very beautiful meal.
We arrived at Mauricio’s apartment sometime that afternoon, and we met the whole group. One of the first impressions I had of the group is that they were well taught on the doctrines and the principles of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. In fact later on in the week as we discussed with them, brother Bob turned to me and said to me, "Brother Joseph, do you feel like you’re back in school?" Because we were learning things that they had been taught by the angel that we did not know. Now Bob has all this on his computer and if you want to know what all this stuff is, you have to ask him, because I didn’t have a computer to write it down and I couldn’t remember half of it anyway. But it was an interesting week. That was Saturday afternoon and then Saturday night they told me, they said, “We’re going to have a baptism tomorrow at 2 o’clock."
So then I got up Sunday morning and put on my white clothes, prepared, and we went out to a lake and found a place where it was suitable. Some of the Brethren set up a tent so we could change clothes and we proceeded to go to the baptism. I requested that before we started, there, we have a prayer. And I tried to instill in their mind every time they went into any kind of service or work of the Lord, they started first with a prayer. And when the prayer was over, I waded out into the lake and I found what I thought was a suitable place. I was about waist deep in water, little over maybe. I had one foot against a rock and the other foot in a bucket of clay it felt like. Brother Bob said, “Joseph, take a step back - one step,” and I said, "If I step back one bit, I’ll drown." Because there was nothing behind me. I was right on the edge of a drop off. So, the first man who came out was Mauricio to be baptized. He is six foot six. When he stood up a little bit above me, in front of me, and I was raising my hand and repeating the words for baptism and he went, they took a picture, and I think my head reached maybe his waistline. But I got him down in the water and got him out okay, didn’t drown, and he went back to the bank. And another brother stepped out - Joni and I baptized him, and I looked up, and here came another one, and I baptized that one, and here came another one, and I baptized that one, and here came another one. I baptized 9 people at one time. And we told them that we would gather together that evening, and I would give the gift of the Holy Ghost through the laying on of hands.
I also said, and some of you are going to reach down and grab them rotten apples to throw at me, but that’s okay, because prior to this, by email, Mauricio had talked to me about the sacrament and he said, "Should I go buy that tray with all the little cups?" and I said, "What did the Book of Mormon say?" He (Mauricio) said, “one glass, one cup.” And I said, "Is that alright with you?" And he (Mauricio) said, “perfect”. Then he said, “What about the emblems, what should we have?” I said again, "What does the Book of Mormon say? He (Mauricio) said, “it says wine.” I said fine, suits me. So we had prepared for the sacrament bread and wine. Now you can throw your tomatoes at me if you want to. But that’s what I served, and that’s the way it was.
We sat down for the laying on of hands, and brother Mauricio was first. I placed my hands on his head, and I spoke in English, and I know he didn’t understand a word I said. And he stood up, and he kind of wavered just a little bit and turned and got a hold of me. I thought, well, he’s probably wanting to thank me I guess - I didn’t know, but then he went on. Later on, after the sacrament was served we had a testimonial service and I’ll jump ahead just a little bit here, because I think this will be interesting to you. He said that when I laid my hands on his head, he said he didn’t feel anything, but he said that when he stood up, there was a fire burst forth in his chest that almost made him stagger, and he turned to me for support. Only anyone who has ever felt in their life what I have experienced that day can understand what it is to be baptized with the baptism of fire. Well, I went ahead and confirmed the Holy Ghost on the rest, but also, before I went down, the Lord instructed me to baptize, oh I’m sorry, to ordain brother Mauricio and Joni to the Melchizedek priesthood. So after the laying on of hands, I ordained Mauricio to be an elder, and Joni also. And then we served the sacrament, and when it came time to serve the bread and the wine, I served Mauricio, he served me and then he served the people. Afterwards I said, "Now sometimes we leave this period of time for prayer or testimony, according to your desire." They began, each and every one, began to bear their testimony, and it was always, that they said, “There is a fire in here.” The Spirit, and I believe brother Bob will verify this, the Spirit in that room that time was so strong, it was almost overwhelming. They said they didn’t know what it was. Sister Denise, she said, “All my life I’ve had experiences, but this is different, there is a fire in here, in my chest that is going through my whole body, and it brings me great joy.” They all testified the same thing. Well, that was the thrill of the evening. I’ve never sat in a room with Saints with so much power of the Spirit. I did not understand their language but I knew when they were bearing their testimonies, I knew what they were saying.
Now I’m going to skip a little bit and go to the last baptism and that was the Sunday before we left. We’ll come back to the other things, but I want to cover this about the same time, because we did the same thing. We went out to the lake, and Mauricio wanted to baptize his wife. I said, "Well, you’re an elder now, go ahead!" And he went out and he baptized his wife, and I’m up on the bank saying Hallelujah! Because the priesthood was going right to work. They weren’t hesitant at all. They were stepping forward and doing the work, and it just pleased me so much. Joni wanted to baptize his wife. He did. Mauricio baptized his whole family. And that night I gave the laying on of hands again. And we served the sacrament again. And they had the same testimonies. And as Muricio’s wife was bearing her testimony, her little daughter who was 8 also, her little 8 year old daughter, had been baptized. She jumped up, and she rattled off something in Portuguese. I mean it lasted at least 3 or 4 minutes. I didn’t know what it was, but I knew what the Spirit was behind it.
I cannot find the words to describe these people. They love each other. They love each other in a way that we don’t understand. When they come into the room they ... each one, they greet each one with a hug and kiss. And the way they’ve been working, if somebody lost their job and got behind and needed some help they helped them out. They helped each other. It’s just a beautiful bunch of people.
One of our problems was communication. I want to touch on that too, because there was a young girl there by the name of Sarah. She is a little angel. Mauricio was told to learn English and he refused to do it. So the daughter learned English on the television while watching English-speaking movies and reading the Portuguese script on the bottom. The only time, the only problem she had in translating for us was phrases from the Bible which she did not know. Besides that we had a large screen computer set up with the Google translator and you could write something English and it would appear over here in Portuguese, or visa versa. This was our means of communication.
We found during the week that they had had a lot of trouble with the LDS Church. They had found out that there was something going on, so they sent a spy. They told him to go and join the group and then report to them of what was going on. Well he didn’t realize what they were asking him to do because they were supposed to be good people, you know? So, there came a time when Mauricio had the plates. He had the plates and the sword of Laban and he had stored them in the attic of his apartment. Now if you wonder whether he had the plates or not, he must have had them, because the Utah Church was working awful hard to take them away from him. They talked to their little spy and they said “well, what’s going on? What kind of meetings they having? What they doing? Has he got the plates? Where they at?” And the young man said, “Well yes, they’ve got the plates. They are in Brother Mauricio’s attic.” Brother Mauricio and his family, had locked up their house and had gone to a family affair in another town. And sometime in the evening, he (Mauricio) got a warning. He went back home, took the plates and the sword of Laban out of his apartment, took them outside, buried them in the ground and covered them up carefully. And then he went back to the family affair in another town. The next day, when they came home, the whole place was turned upside down. Cushions were off of the couches, the couches were upside down. The beds were all torn up. Every drawer in the house was emptied on the floor. There was not one spot in that house that they hadn’t gone through looking for the plates. I’m saying to myself, well, they must have the plates if they … because this is what Joseph Jr. went through. As soon as somebody found out he had them, there was someone out there after them.
And then there was another time, that in the morning ... three o’clock in the morning they were in bed asleep and the neighbor calls and says, "Somebody’s trying to break into your house." So he called the police, but before the police got there, the people had fled. And he called his neighbor and said, “What scared them away?” --- There was a real bright light right over your apartment that shined right down on them and scared them. Moroni is protecting them.
This was getting pretty interesting to me.
They said, "Friday night we’re going to show you some evidence." As we studied during the week, we learned ... we learned several things that are very interesting. I’ll have trouble with this. But Friday night came, and they shuffled all the women and children up to the shopping mall, and left us with the four brethren there and brother Bob and myself.
OH, I’m sorry I need to back up, just a minute, because the first Sunday night in our Sacrament service, as I was sitting there listening to the Portuguese testimony, the Lord brought my eyes around to one certain person and I said, "Okay." I guess I just looked at him. Pretty soon He brought me back to that man. And then again He would bring me back to him. I said, "Should I be ordaining him too? And if so, I need evidence." So, as the meeting closed and the people were leaving, brother Bob come into my room, he said, "there’s one more man we need to ordain." I said, "What’s his name?" He said, "Valdici." ( That is the closest I can come to it, Bob). I said, "Thank you brother Bob, because that’s the evidence I asked the Lord for." So we did ordain the third Elder there.
But, Friday night came, and I kind of had a suspicion of what they were going to bring, but I wasn’t prepared for what they actually brought. They set us down in a room. It was, in fact, the bedroom that I had been sleeping in, and they had a large table there. Two of them left, and in a few minutes they came back, and they had a board, about yea big, and something on the board covered with a cloth. My heart was already starting to beat, but when they pulled that cloth off I was totally welded in my chair. I could not get up. I could not do anything. The tears were running down my cheeks, because sitting in front of me were the Golden Plates of the Book of Mormon and the preserved portion, a portion, asealed portion. And when I could finally get my strength to get up, I said, "Can I hold them in my hands?" And they picked them up and handed them to me and I, I, I almost went down to the table. They are very heavy! I know 50 to 60 pounds.
The plates that my great-grandfather had carefully turned and translated, I turned and I marveled. I marveled when I thought what was contained there. Of the many generations of the Nephites, and each generation had their historian, and then they handed down these things until it came to Moroni, and he had compacted it into one. And it was in my hand. I was holding it.
The plates were very smooth. I guessed them about 5 x 8 sheets, but no it’s more like 6 x 6, I think. You could, I could see the hieroglyphics on them, but you couldn’t feel them. This puzzled me because I thought they would be inscribed there but they are not. You can put your hand on it. It is smooth. But you can see them, don’t ask me how. Don’t ask me how. (Months later the other North American witnesses noted that the inscription was not smooth as Joseph perceived, but all of them agreed that some of the engraving was very finely done, and that the sensitivity of a person's fingers would be a determining variable. Many older people have much less sensitive fingertips, and Brother Joseph was 83 at the time.)
The sealed portion had 2 straps across it. They work something like a belt, they unhooked them and opened them up. I took one of the straps. It was metal but very flexible, and I wondered what kind of metal it was. I smelled it, there was a faint odor of brass, but they weren’t brass. I don’t know what they were but they were very flexible. The sealed portion, on the outside edges of the pages had two pins driven down through them that were so fixed, that you could not remove them.
What I learned earlier in the week, is that when Mauricio had first received these plates, he had been arguing with, or conversing with, one of the guys that had been up on the mountain with him 2 times (a very close friend). And that guy was saying, "this is all phony, this is all not real," and Mauricio... it got to the point where he wasn’t sure, and he did not want to be misled. He had studied for years with the LDS church, but he would not accept their doctrines. He could not accept their doctrines.
So in this conversation I was listening to, I heard that when he (Maurcio) was handed the plates and the sword and the interpreters, Mauricio broke the interpreters. At the time, that's all I heard - I did not get the rest of the story, but Mauricio did not break them right when he got them. But my heart almost stopped when he told that. And, he showed us the pieces of glass that were left, one piece about the size of a quarter, a little bigger. He said - he described them - he said they were a triangular form with a groove around the outside where it would fit into the frame.
I wondered why? Why would the Lord allow him to destroy them? But I was looking at the plates of the Book of Mormon and the sealed portion, and the first sheet of the sealed portion was right there, you could see the hieroglyphics on them. And I thought, maybe ... I don’t know .... I just thought maybe the reason the Lord allowed him to destroy them is ... had he had the interpreters he may have been able to translate that first sheet of the sealed portion and it wasn’t time for it to be translated. (The account above of the interpreters being broken leaves out the rest of the story. Mauricio broke the interpreters when he actually used them and both read and also saw a vision of terrible destruction upon American and the land of Zion because of the wickedness of its people. He wanted to see goodness and light and glory, and instead he saw the opposite, something greatly distressing. Then, remembering his skeptical friend's accusations, in great emotional agony he broke the interpreters. Moroni fused one lens back together and told Mauricio to make stones to substitute for the crushed lens). Moroni then took the plates back.)
We did learn that there is a portion of the seal plates that is going to be translated, and going to be published in the very near future, and that it will bring peace to those whose hearts are pure and whose desires are pure.
Then I looked at Laban’s sword. Have you ever noticed in the Book of Mormon every leader of the group, when he went to war, he used Laban’s sword. I never thought too much about it, I had thought well, it must be a pretty good sword. It’s only about that long. Less than 3 feet long. The blade is about three inches wide and maybe about three quarters of an inch back from the edge it starts to rise up, and the back part of the blade is heavy. And the sword is heavy. And I checked the edge of the sharp edge and it’s sharp. And I guarantee you if a man swings that and hits in the arm, you are going to lose your arm. Because the weight of that would be tremendous. They showed us a crack right where the blade goes into the handle where it had become cracked. The blade itself had begun to deteriorate, and Moroni had told them to wrap it in plastic to preserve it.
Brothers and Sisters, I kid you not, I held those plates in my hands. I held those plates in my hands, and they’re down there in Brazil. Somebody said “well why in Brazil?” Well, tell me something. Why here? God can’t find a group of people together here that will hold together 6 months out of the year, that would be of one heart one mind. And these people down there are of one heart and one mind. They were ready for baptism. When I got there, they had waited 6 months for it and longer, they had been promised it. And they’re being taught by an angel of God.
There was a job given to both Bob and myself. We were to come back, and bear our testimony, which I have done this morning. In the 9th chapter of 3rd Nephi it says that “the Lord is going to do a marvelous work and a wonder amongst his people, and a man will declare it unto you. And I’ve declared it unto you this day. The Lord is starting to set his hand the second time and he’s starting down there in Brazil. But it’s coming to this country. We have to be prepared to receive it when it comes. We will have to be of pure heart; we will have be worthy to be called Holy. Brother Bob’s job, my job, is to bring the restoration Saints (and you’ll choke on this - I did) and the Temple Lot church together. This is what we’ve got to do. I said, "You're kidding, I know the temple lot Church, you're kidding!" But this is our job. They have to come together and build that Temple first. When the City New Jerusalem is established, there will be 24 temples built. You have 12 Apostles and 12 Nephite leaders, I guess each one of these will have a temple, I don’t know, that’s what I suspect it’s for. But this is our job.
Our job, also, is to select 6 more witnesses to take down there - that they can see the plates and bear their testimony. The Lord wants eight witnesses, just like in the Book of Mormon times.
We were so well treated it was unbelievable. They eat differently than we do. For breakfast we had mangos, and these are ripe mangos, and papayas and a toasted sandwich of their make. For the dinners, these people are descendants of Italian and German immigrants. I never ate so much rice in my life. But what they put on that rice, let me tell you, it was really good. They can cook chicken and beef better than a lot of people. Really good eating. I probably gained some weight. If I did, I probably lost it all in Paducah, Kentucky and Springfield, Missouri through my nose. On the way back both Bob and I acquired a virus. It really took hold of me, it worked on me. But in any event, I’m here. And I brought this testimony to you, this day.
This is what the Lord plans to do. I remember in the fourth chapter, or first chapter of Micah, excuse me, where it mentions the House of the God of Jacob would be established in the top of the mountains, and many people say, "Come let us go up to the house of the God of Jacob, that we may learn of His ways, and walk in His paths." This is what the Lord is attempting to do now. He invited the 1830 Saints to do it. He invited them to locate the land of Zion and build a house of the Lord there. But they would not obey His commandments. They would not follow exactly His word. And with the lord, it’s a straight line if he says it’s green, it’s green, it’s not partially green, it’s not chartreuse or some other color. If it’s black it’s black. There is no deviation from the word.
Remember back, the two priests in the Old Testament time who didn’t have the right wood for their sensors, and they just used any wood. The Lord killed them. Remember the time when the Ark of the Covenant was being brought back to Jerusalem, and they had it on the back of a mule, and it went through this one man’s place, and it started to fall, and he stuck his hand up there to stop it? The Lord killed him, because the command was no hand will touch that ark. They carried it with a rod that went through rings and that’s the way they carried it. The word of the Lord means what it says.
Oliver Cowdery wrote to Joseph Smith and he said, “You've got to change the words of this Revelation, it doesn’t fit the culture in which we live”. Joseph wrote back and said “ we didn’t consider the orthography.” Now that will make you think, won’t it? Where did that young man get that word? I had to go to the dictionary to find out what it meant. It means the usage of a word. “We did not consider the orthography of the word but it was the word of God, and you do not change it.”
So, long ago, we received what brother Bob terms, and I agree, the first invitation, so to speak. But we had excuses. What we have in Brazil is the second invitation. The Lord is setting his hand the second time to prepare a place to gather His people. Do you remember the 14th chapter of John first and second verse? He said, “you believe in God, believe also in me.” He said “I go to prepare a place for you, that where I am you may be also”. This is what he’s doing. He’s preparing a place for his Saints, and he’s working with those who will work with him according to his ways.
So what lies before us is we must become holy. Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, mind and soul, and thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself. This is the Celestial law of God. We like to keep one foot in the kingdom of God and put the other one over there in Babylon. I tell you this - the stretch between the two is going to be too much for you to reach pretty soon. You’re going to have to move one foot or the other, and the choice of what foot you will move is up to you.
There is a great work coming and it’s on the horizon. I have witnessed the beginning of it . I have enjoyed a blessing which is way and beyond anything I could be worthy of. To go down there and baptize these people, to lay my hands on their heads and give them the gift that they longed for - that they wanted, and to give it in such a way that the fire in their chest was beyond anything that they had experienced. This was a great privilege for me, a great opportunity, and I’m grateful that the Lord allowed me to do these things. I’m grateful for those of you who have given me your support both by prayer, money and opportunities. Those of you who have prayed for my health and prayed for my safe return, I’m grateful for it. I can tell you one thing brother Bob told me a while ago. Monday night they had a special prayer for me in Brazil. Well it’s a good thing, because it was on Monday evening I had finally convinced that hospital that I had not had a heart attack, and I was not going to have a heart operation. They finally came to that conclusion, at that time. So it’s been quite an experience. I praise God. I praise God because I love the work of God. I love the work of His hands. And to take and hold a part of it in my hands… oh my goodness, what a blessing.
I remember a poem, I think I’ve got that poem. Yep, here it is. I’d like to read it to you. It says:
I want to let go, but I won’t let go. There are battles to fight by day and by night for God and what’s right. I’ll never let go. I want to let go, but I won’t let go. I’m sick 'tis true, worried and blue, worn through and through, but I will not let go. I want to let go, but I won’t let go. What? lying down in the field, surrender my shield, cowardly yield? NO! I will not let go. I want to let go, but I won’t let go. May this be my song against legions of wrong, oh God keep me strong that I may never let go.
Thank you and God bless.
Joseph F. Smith
Joseph's Sermon at Zarahemla Branch
after returning from the first trip to Brazil
(When he and Bob Moore saw and held the golden plates) October 29, 2017
Sermon by Joseph F Smith
An Important History Lesson
2015 or 2016
SCRIPTURE: Psalm 28:1 Unto thee will I cry, O Lord, my rock; be not silent to me; lest, if thou be silent to me, I become like them that go down into the pit.
:2 Hear the voice of my supplications, when I cry unto thee, when I lift up my hands towards thy holy oracle.
:3 Draw me not away with the wicked, and with the workers of iniquity, which speak peace to their neighbors, but mischief is in their hearts.
:4 Give them according to their deeds, and according to the wickedness of their endeavors; give them after the work of their hands; render to them their desert.
:5 Because they regard not the works of the Lord, nor the operation of his hands, he shall destroy them, and not build them up.
Growing up on a farm down in the Ozarks, our home being 9 miles from town, we attended a small country school house. Our curriculum was small and basic, yet was sufficient for the time. We of course studied about this nation, and came to appreciate much of its blessings. As I grew older I came to appreciate it more. Looking back in the history of this land I can realize the work of God's hands in the operation of our culture, our life. Today I see the work of a hand that is not of the Lord, and it is bringing this land down. The moral condition of our people, and of the government also, is falling so low that we are near that condition spoken of in the Book of Mormon as being ripe in iniquity. This makes me feel very sad, as I remember how good our life was when evil was bad and good was good. I remember a line from an old hymn we used to sing “Abide With Me” I believe it is the last part of the 2nd stanza that gives my heart comfort... “Change and decay all around me I see, Oh thou that change'st not abide with me.”
My Favorite song=== Oh Master let me walk with thee
Recently as I was reading in the book of Jeremiah, the 30th chapter I ran across a verse that struck a bit of interest in me.
JER 30:13 Is there none to plead thy cause, that thou mayest be bound up? Hast thou no healing medicines?
As I read this my mind ran to a verse in Hosea Chapter 6
[Hosea 6:1] Come, and let us return unto the Lord; for He hath torn, and will heal us; He hath smitten, and He will bind us up.
[Hosea 6:2] After two days will He revive us; in the third day He will raise us up, and we shall live in His sight.
The Prophet Hosea was talking about the Kingdom of Israel and the Kingdom of Judah. Both had been driven out of their land by war and capture. Back in Jeremiah 30 he says
30:15 Why criest thou for thine affliction? Is thy sorrow incurable? It was for the multitude of thine iniquities, and because thy sins are increased I have done these things unto thee.
“These things” are what Hosea was talking about when He says that the Lord had torn them and smitten them, and it was because of their sins and iniquities. But Hosea says [Hosea 6:2] After two days will He revive us; in the third day He will raise us up, and we shall live in His sight.
As a young boy we used to go to some of the revivals that were had in our area. Usually, there was good singing. But a revival is used to bring souls back after they have fallen away from the Lord, and that is what had apparently happened to Israel.
Many times in prophecy the Lord uses days to represent years.
[2 Pet 3:8] But concerning the coming of the Lord, beloved, I would not have you ignorant of this one thing, that one day is with the Lord as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day. . Here Hosea is giving 2 days and the Lord will revive Israel. There is no way that this represents only two days, but if 2 days represents 2000 years, let see what will be the end of that period. An ending has to have a beginning, so let’s find first the starting point.
The Kingdom of Israel was taken captive in 720 BC, while the Kingdom of Judah was taken captive in 600BC. The central point of that persecution period on the whole house of Israel would be 660BC
2000 minus 660 would bring us to 1340 AD
In the mid 1300's, a man by the name of John Wycliffe began a translation of the Bible into English. Wycliffe's Bible is the name now given to a group of Bible translations into Middle English, that were made under the direction of, or at the might of, John Wycliffe. They appeared over a period from approximately 1382 to 1395.These Bible translations were the chief inspiration and chief cause of the Lollard movement, a pre-Reformation movement that rejected many of the distinctive teachings of the Roman Catholic Church purposed to reform western Christianity
Wycliffe had begun to teach his followers to think for themselves, and to not blindly follow the priest. This was the beginning of the reformation movement. After Wycliffe died, a man by the name of John Huss continued his work and carried it into the 1400's where Martin Luther took up the work, later John Calvin and others pushed forward the work of reformation
Since much of Israel had migrated up into the land we call Europe today, they began to benefit from the Reformation. This was a means of bringing them back to the knowledge of the Lord, which they had lost knowledge of, or interest in. In any event it was a means of reviving the blood of Israel<<<>>> for Israel had mingled their blood with the Gentiles by marriage, and had been under the influence of the Roman Church for several hundred years. So after 2000 years from the date of the beginning of their punishment, they began to be revived, as the prophet had said.
Another historical event took place during the 1400-1500 period. The Book of Mormon tells us that the Lord moved on a man to go forth upon the waters to this land which was the Promised Land. (1 nephi 3:147)
1 Nephi 3:147 - And I looked and beheld a man among the Gentiles, who was separated from the seed of my brethren by the many waters; and I beheld the Spirit of God, that it came down and wrought upon the man; and he went forth upon the many waters, even unto the seed of my brethren, who were in the Promised Land.
148 And it came to pass that I beheld the Spirit of God, that it wrought upon other Gentiles; and they went forth out of captivity upon the many waters.
Do you know who that man was? 1492 Columbus sailed the ocean blue............. We see here the work of the Lord’s hands. In the very next verse of the Book of Mormon, we see that the Lord moved on other Gentiles to come to this promised land. When those Gentiles came here to America, they carried the Blood of ancient Israel to this land. It is here in America that the Lord planned to set up a government that would allow freedom for mankind; a land that He could use to restore His Church which had been driven into the wilderness. How great our blessings
Isa 5:1-2 - And then will I sing to my well-beloved a song of my beloved touching his vineyard. My well-beloved hath a vineyard in a very fruitful hill; and he fenced it, and gathered out the stones thereof, and planted it with the choicest vine, and built a tower in the midst of it, and also made a winepress therein; and he looked that it should bring forth grapes, and it brought forth wild grapes.
In 1776 the colonies declared their freedom, and the United States of America was established. In this land of freedom men were able to teach much more about God and Jesus Christ, continuing in the revival of Israel as Hosea had predicted. There is another part of that prophecy that is of interest to us today. In the third day he will raise us up. Lets look to this project of “raising up” during the 3rd thousand year period
In the year of 1820 an angel visited Joseph Smith Jr. and told him of a work the Lord desired for him to do. After several years, the plates for the Book of Mormon, having been hidden for hundreds of years, were delivered to Joseph, and after a period of time were translated and published. Along with its translation the Priesthood of the Lord was restored and shortly after its publication, the Church, Christ's Church, was also restored
While it is true that an abundance of truth was brought forth in the work of the early Saints by the power of the Lord, what we are looking for is the means whereby the Children would be “lifted up” In the restoring of the authoritative priesthood in the beginning of the work of the Church, along with it came a very special gift. This was a gift that had been gone from the earth for hundreds of years. This was the gift of the Holy Ghost. Not only was it to be used to bring us to the truth, It was also the means whereby we could be born again - Born of the Holy Ghost - even the same spirit that conceived Christ in the virgin Mary. Once we repent of our sins and go down into the water of baptism, and come forth and receive the gift of the Holy Ghost, we become children of God. No longer children of the world, we are lifted up. We have become children of light, Sons and Daughters of God.
Isa 50:7- “Who is among you that feareth the Lord, that obeyeth the voice of his servant, <<<>>> that walketh in darkness, and hath no light? Let him trust in the name of the Lord, and stay upon his God.”
Then if we return to the Lord, the prophet says we shall live in His sight. Once Zion has been established, those who have been sanctified, made holy, purified, who come to Him with a pure heart, we shall be able to Live in His sight.
One of the purposes of the Lord in establishing this Restoration movement was to lay the foundation of that House of the God of Jacob that the 2nd chapter of Isa and 4th chapter of Mica speaks about, where it says “But in the last days it shall come to pass, that the mountain of the house of the Lord shall be established in the top of the mountains, and it shall be exalted above the hills; and people shall flow unto it.”
Isa 9; 6-7 For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given; and the government shall be upon His shoulder; and His name shall be called Wonderful, Counselor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace. Of the increase of his government and peace there is no end, upon the throne of David, and upon his kingdom, to order it, and to establish it with judgment and with justice from henceforth even forever. The zeal of the Lord of hosts will perform this.
And many nations shall come, and say, Come, and let us go up to the mountain of the Lord, and to the house of the God of Jacob; and he will teach us of his ways, and we will walk in his paths; for the law shall go forth of Zion, and the word of the Lord from Jerusalem.
The foundation of this government, the House of the God of Jacob that Joseph and those early Saints were to form. Perhaps it wasn't the foundation that got messed up, but rather that which was built upon the foundation.
Remember what Isa 5th chapter said: “ he looked that it should bring forth grapes, and it brought forth wild grapes” Our forefathers did lay the foundation but they also produced wild grapes, thus the breaking apart of the Restored Church. True, many tried to mend the breach, but those also have failed
JER 30:13 Is there none to plead thy cause, that thou mayest be bound up? Hast thou no healing medicines?
Even as ancient Israel was wounded by their transgressions, so also has the Restoration movement been wounded. Jeremiah was speaking to Israel of today. That message in the 30th chapter and also the 32nd chapter is directed at us today, for we also have wounds that need to be bound up. Jeremiah ask the question, “Is there none to plead thy cause?” Yes, there are many pleading the cause, but Israel does not seem to want to be healed.
The Saints do not want to do the things that would heal the Church. The Lord knew this. That is why He gave the revelation on the one Mighty and Strong, “And it shall come to pass that I the Lord God will send one mighty and strong, holding the sceptre of power in his hand, clothed with light for a covering, whose mouth shall utter words, eternal words, while his bowels shall be a fountain of truth, to set in order the house of God.”
Vol 1 Page 259 RLDS Church History
Many times in my study of the scriptures I have read the words of Isaiah
Isa 6:8 - “Whom shall I send, and who will go for us? Then said I, Here am I; send me.”
One time over 20 years ago I said “send me.” He did, and I have pleaded with the Saints to heal the breach. I preached a sermon in the Waldo Church in August of 1995, totally out of my character, but I was given a message. I delivered the message, and it was simple. Lay aside your differences and build up the Kingdom of God. It was heard by many and considered by few, and that has changed very little.
Now that we have become “lifted up children of God,” we are his workmanship, “created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them.” Eph 2:10
And what are the good works we should be doing? Well there are many answers to that question. We were called to declare the fullness of the Gospel. We were called to establish Zion. We were called to gather Israel, and many other works we were called to accomplish. But note the words of Jesus to His followers while in Jerusalem:
John 13:34 - “A new commandment I give unto you. That ye love one another; as I have loved you, that ye also love one another.”
John 13:35 - “By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another.”
Nineteen times in the New Testament we are taught to love one another.
In a revelation given through Joseph Smith Jr. we were commanded to be one, and He said if we were not one we were not His, and this God delivered fact does not seem to scare the Saints nor the ministry. Of all the failures found in the Restoration history, the lack of unity, in all the segments. Is the most senseless, and foolish weakness.
How can we all, who trace our roots back to the 1830 original Church and Priesthood, so carelessly judge one another, so as to say we are not children of the same God?? Which one of us has the spiritual integrity, the divine insight to so sit in judgment? Where in the scriptures does it allow such ability to be in the hands of man? Read it to me.....
Psalms 1:1 –“He that dwelleth in the secret place of the Most High shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty.”
:2 – “I will say of the Lord, He is my refuge and my fortress; my God; in him will I trust.”
JER 30:13 – “Is there none to plead thy cause, that thou mayest be bound up? Hast thou no healing medicines?”
JER 30:15 – “Why criest thou for thine affliction? Is thy sorrow incurable? It was for the multitude of thine iniquities, and because thy sins are increased I have done these things unto thee.”
The Bridegroom is coming! How well are our lamps prepared? What will be your claim to His favor? Perhaps all the great work you have done? Or perhaps how many you have baptized? The many books or articles you have written? Your work in this land and the land overseas? Yes what gift will you lay at His feet?
Mat 7:30 – ”Verily I say unto you, it is not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, that shall enter unto the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father who is in heaven.”
Before us lies an unknown waste,
The future it is termed,
And its demands are only known,
When scripture has been learned.
The true demands of humans are,
To do as Jesus did,
And give our lives a sacrifice,
Just as the scriptures bid.
We learn the lessons Jesus taught,
And all of life's demands,
by prayerful, careful study of,
God's words and His commands.
NOVEMBER 20, 2017 at Waldo
Joseph F. Smith
Scripture is in Red
Joseph F Smith is in Black
Washington’s Vision from Infallible Proofs is in Blue
[Ezek 33:2-7] “Son of man, speak to the children of thy people, and say unto them, When I bring the sword upon a land, if the people of the land take a man of their coasts, and set him for their watchman; If when he seeth the sword come upon the land, he blow the trumpet, and warn the people; then whosoever heareth the sound of the trumpet, and taketh not warning; if the sword come, and take him away, his blood shall be upon his own head.”
He heard the sound of the trumpet, and took not warning; his blood shall be upon him.
“But he that taketh warning shall deliver his soul. But if the watchman see the sword come, and blow not the trumpet, and the people be not warned; if the sword come, and take any person from among them, he is taken away in his iniquity; but his blood will I require at the watchman's hand. So thou, O son of man, I have set thee a watchman unto the house of Israel; therefore thou shalt hear the word at my mouth, and warn them from me.”
The Lord has shown me and many others that there is a sword approaching. It is true that you have not "set me" as your watchman, but I believe the Lord has. I have blown the trumpet, I am sending the alarm. If you heed not this warning, your blood will not be on my hands. You may feel that I am a little presumptuous with this statement, but I say it in love.
GEN 7:68-69 “And the day shall come that the earth shall rest. But before that day the heavens shall be darkened, and a veil of darkness shall cover the earth; and the heavens shall shake, and also the earth. And great tribulations shall be among the children of men, but my people will I preserve; and righteousness will I send down out of heaven, and truth will I send forth out of the earth, to bear testimony of Mine Only Begotten; his resurrection from the dead; yea, and also the resurrection of all men.”
It is the great tribulations that I want to speak to you about tonight. We have known for a long time of the prophecy about Gog and Magog from the 38th chapter of Ezekiel, but there is another prophecy that we have perhaps overlooked. This prophecy is found in Revelation 11th chapter. I have asked that you bring paper and pencil along with your scriptures, so that you can write down the references as I give them. So many times we hear scripture given and think “I'll go look that up and read it at home” only to find that the cares of this world have driven them out of our memory. What I am bringing to you is right out of the scriptures, except for some reference from George Washington's vision. To my mind understanding the prophecies is like putting together a picture puzzle. If a piece fits and is the right color to match, then the piece goes there.
Rev 11:3-4 ”And I will give power unto my two witnesses, and they shall prophesy a thousand two hundred and threescore days, clothed in sackcloth.” These are the two olive trees, and the two candlesticks standing before the God of the earth.
The first thing to establish here is the identity of the two witnesses.
Zechriah 4:11-14 “Then answered I, and said unto him, What are these two olive trees upon the right side of the candlestick and upon the left side thereof? And I answered again, and said unto him, ‘What be these two olive branches which through the two golden pipes empty the golden oil out of themselves?’ And he answered me and said, ‘Knowest thou not what these be?’ And I said, ‘No, my lord.’ Then said he, ‘These are the two anointed ones that stand before the Lord of the whole earth.’”
You will remember that the 12 tribes of Israel are described as an Olive tree in Romans 11: 17-25. In 970 BC, that tree was divided into two kingdoms. Israel and Judah; 2 branches.
2 Nephi 12:59 “Know ye not that the testimony of two nations is a witness unto you that I am God, that I remember one nation like unto another?”
The two Nations = Kingdoms <<>> Israel (US) Judah (Jerusalem)
Their testimony---- Bible (Jeruslem) and Book of Mormon (US)
“and they shall prophesy a thousand two hundred and threescore days, clothed in sackcloth. Restrained, in sorrow, prophecy not heard”
570 A.D. The time when the Lombard Kings (10 different tribal kingdoms that the Romans had taken over) relinquished power to the beast and the New Testament church went into total apostasy
570 A.D ((+)) 1260==1830
Rev 11:7 “And when they shall have finished their testimony, the beast that ascendeth out of the bottomless pit shall make war against them, and shall overcome them, and kill them.” (the nations of US and Judah -jfs )( "kill" those Governments -jfs)
Beast == devil in control of a world government or power
“And their dead bodies (governments - jfs) shall lie in the street of the great city, which spiritually is called Sodom and Egypt, where also our Lord was crucified.” Street called Sodom = Sin : Egypt = bondage
“And they of the people and kindreds and tongues and nations shall see their dead bodies three days and a half, and shall not suffer their dead bodies to be put in graves.” One day for a year = 3 years and a half
“And they that dwell upon the earth shall rejoice over them, and make merry, and shall send gifts one to another; because these two prophets tormented them that dwelt on the earth.”
Jer 33:24 “Considerest thou not what this people have spoken, saying, ‘The two families which the Lord hath chosen, he hath even cast them off? Thus, they have despised my people, that they should be no more a nation before them.’”
Lam 2:16 “All thine enemies have opened their mouth against thee; they hiss and gnash the teeth; they say, ‘We have swallowed her up; certainly this is the day that we looked for; we have found, we have seen it.’”
Back to Revelation 11th chapter “And after three days and a half the Spirit of life from God entered into them, and they stood upon their feet; and great fear fell upon them which saw them. And they heard a great voice from heaven, saying unto them, Come up hither. And they ascended up to heaven in a cloud; and their enemies beheld them.”
These prophecies should warn us that the work of the Lord is about to commence, and we are interested in what that work is. The Lord speaking to scattered Israel after they had been driven out of their homeland, and had settled among the heathen nations, He promised to do a work in their days.
The work He is about to do is of great importance to us today
Habakkuk 1:5 “Behold ye among the heathen, and regard, and wonder marvelously; for I will work a work in your days, which ye will not believe, though it be told you.”
Isaiah 10:12 “… it shall come to pass, that, when the Lord hath performed his whole work upon Mount Zion and upon Jerusalem …”
We see that in the days when the Children of Israel are scattered among the Heathen ….. that would be our day….. the Lord is going to perform a work in Zion and Jerusalem. It has been shown to me that this will involve the armies of Gog and Magog.
Washington's Vision (Infallible proofs) "And again I heard the mysterious voice saying `Son of the Republic, look and learn.' At this the dark, shadowy angel placed a trumpet to his mouth, and blew three distinct blasts; and taking water from the ocean, he sprinkled it upon Europe, Asia and Africa. Then my eyes beheld a fearful scene: From each of these countries arose thick, black clouds that were soon joined into one. Throughout this mass there gleamed a dark red light by which I saw hordes of armed men, who, moving with the cloud, marched by land and sailed by sea to America. Our country was enveloped in this volume of cloud, and I saw these vast armies devastate the whole county and burn the villages, towns and cities that I beheld springing up.”
As we begin to develop a picture of God's work in our days one might say why is the Lord doing this? The answer would be that these two nations have come under condemnation, the street Sodom = sin and Egypt = bondage
We were given to understand that Zion was to be established here in the US, but what has the Lord promised before He sets up Zion???
Psalm 101:6-8 “Mine eyes shall be upon the faithful of the land, that they may dwell with me; he that walketh in a perfect way, he shall serve me.
He that worketh deceit shall not dwell within my house; he that telleth lies shall not tarry in my sight. I will early destroy all the wicked of the land; that I may cut off all wicked doers from the city of the Lord. New Jerusalem.”
The Lord purposes a cleansing of this land
Isa 4:2-3 “And it shall come to pass, they that are left in Zion, and he that remaineth in Jerusalem, shall be called holy, even everyone that is written among the living in Jerusalem; When the Lord shall have washed away the filth of the daughters of Zion, and shall have purged the blood of Jerusalem from the midst thereof by the spirit of judgment, and by the spirit of burning”
judgment---burning = war, military action
Washington's Vision "Instantly a light as of a thousand suns shone down from above me, and pierced and broke into fragments the dark cloud which enveloped America. At the same moment the angel upon whose head still shone the word Union, and who bore our national flag in one hand and a sword in the other, descended from the heavens attended by legions of white spirits. These immediately joined the inhabitants of America, who I perceived were well nigh overcome, but who immediately, taking courage again, closed up their broken ranks and renewed the battle." Where did these come from?
Remember those who were caught after laying 3 and half days/yrs?
Ezek 37:9-14 “Then said he unto me, Prophesy unto the wind, prophesy, son of man, and say to the wind, ‘Thus saith the Lord God; Come from the four winds, O breath, and breathe upon these slain, killed that they may live.’ So I prophesied as he commanded me, and the breath came into them, and they lived, and stood up upon their feet, an exceeding great army. Then he said unto me, ‘Son of man, these bones are the whole house of Israel; behold, they say, ‘Our bones are dried, and our hope is lost; we are cut off for our parts.’ ‘Therefore prophesy and say unto them, Thus saith the Lord God; Behold, O my people, I will open your graves, and cause you to come up out of your graves, and bring you into the land of Israel. And ye shall know that I am the Lord, when I have opened your graves, O my people, and brought you up out of your graves. And shall put my Spirit in you, and ye shall live, and I shall place you in your own land; then shall ye know that I the Lord have spoken it, and performed it, saith the Lord.’ ”
Before you cast this aside, remember:
Rev 11:11 “And after three days and a half the Spirit of life from God entered into them, and they stood upon their feet; and great fear fell upon them which saw them.”
WASHINGTON'S VISION "Again, amid the fearful noise of the conflict, I heard the mysterious voice saying, `Son of the Republic, look and learn.' As the voice ceased, the shadowy angel for the last time dipped water from the ocean and sprinkled it upon America. Instantly the dark cloud rolled back, together with the armies it had brought, leaving the inhabitants of the land victorious!
Then once more I beheld the villages, towns and cities springing up where I had seen them before, while the bright angel, planting the azure standard he had brought in the midst of them, cried with a loud voice: ‘While the stars remain, and the heavens send down dew upon the earth, so long shall the Union last.’ And taking from his brow the crown on which blazoned the word `Union,' he placed it upon the Standard while the people, kneeling down, said, ‘Amen.’ ”
[Sec 98:4g] “Zion shall not be moved out of her place, notwithstanding her children are scattered, they that remain and are pure in heart shall return and come to their inheritances; they and their children, with songs of everlasting joy; to build up the waste places of Zion. And all these things, that the prophets might be fulfilled.”
Isa 4:2-3 “And it shall come to pass, they that are left in Zion, and he that remaineth in Jerusalem, shall be called holy, even everyone that is written among the living in Jerusalem;”
What I have shown you here is the work of God's hands doing what the sculptors did on Mt Rushmore. He has, in a sense, cut out a small number of people from this government, that are considered Holy by His judgment. This for His purpose.
Go to the 2nd Chapter 0f Daniel – Explanation of Daniel’s Vision
Dan 2:34 “Thou sawest till that a stone was cut out without hands, which smote the image upon his feet that were of iron and clay, and brake them to pieces.
35 Then was the iron, the clay, the brass, the silver, and the gold, broken to pieces together, and became like the chaff of the summer threshing floors; and the wind carried them away, that no place was found for them; and the stone that smote the image became a great mountain, and filled the whole earth.”
Thou sawest till that a stone was cut out without hands,
stone that smote the image became a great mountain,
John 14:1-3 “Let not your heart be troubled; ye believe in God, believe also in me. In my Father's house are many mansions; if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. And when I go, I will prepare a place for you, and come again and receive you unto myself; that where I am, ye may be also.”
Joel 3:17 “So shall ye know that I am the Lord your God dwelling in Zion, my holy mountain; then shall Jerusalem be holy, and there shall no strangers pass through her anymore.”
Rev 14:1 “And I looked, and, lo, a Lamb stood on the mount Zion, and with him a hundred forty and four thousand, having his Father's name written in their foreheads.”
Gen 7:70 “And righteousness and truth will I cause to sweep the earth as with a flood, to gather out mine own elect from the four quarters of the earth, unto a place which I shall prepare; an holy city, that my people may gird up their loins, and be looking forth for the time of my coming; for there shall be my tabernacle, and it shall be called Zion; a New Jerusalem.”
Thou sawest till that a stone was cut out without hands,
stone that smote the image became a great mountain,
Mica 4:1-2 “But in the last days it shall come to pass, that the mountain of the house of the Lord shall be established in the top of the mountains, and it shall be exalted above the hills; and people shall flow unto it. And many nations shall come, and say, Come, and let us go up to the mountain of the Lord, and to the house of the God of Jacob; and he will teach us of his ways, and we will walk in his paths; for the law shall go forth of Zion, and the word of the Lord from Jerusalem.”
Isa 11:9 “They shall not hurt nor destroy in all my holy mountain; for the earth shall be full of the knowledge of the Lord, as the waters cover the sea.”
the mountain of the Lord = my holy mountain;
[Sec 1:3b] prepare ye, prepare ye for that which is to come, for the Lord is nigh; and the anger of the Lord is kindled, and his sword is bathed in heaven, and it shall fall upon the inhabitants of the earth; and the arm of the Lord shall be revealed;
[Sec 1:3c] and the day cometh that they who will not hear the voice of the Lord, neither the voice of his servants, neither give heed to the words of the prophets and apostles, shall be cut off from among the people;
“They that are left in Zion, and he that remaineth in Jerusalem, shall be called holy,”
HOLY = belonging to or coming from God; consecrated; sacred; spiritually perfect or pure; untainted by evil or sin; sinless;
[Sec 38:6a] “Behold, this I have given unto you a parable, and it is even as I am: I say unto you, Be one; and if ye are not one, ye are not mine.”
John 13:34 “A new commandment I give unto you. That ye love one another; as I have loved you, that ye also love one another.”
35 “By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another.”
What is our identity today?
We will have differences. That is for sure. For we all judge some things as we understand. That is why we must lean upon the Lord for direction.
Joseph Smith the 3rd gave the following counsel to the General Conference of 1910 “There is no absolute tribunal this side of the great judgment day that is authorized to determine exactly who is right and who is wrong in a dispute or controversy, such as arises frequently in our midst.”
We can contend over any number of issues, we can continue in controversy and division, or we can set aside our differences, bring down the walls, and come to love one another and take up the work before us.
That work is to bring about a Holy people, prepared to face the tribulation that lies ahead. It is time. It is time.
This was given by Joseph Luff at the Church on the Temple lot Feb 19, 1930 - “ for behold from both here and there, and from every circle where God’s intervening hand shall smite and awaken to repentance, shall arise a cry to which He will give ear, and His answer will dissolve the obstacles that hinder and the differences that provoke contention, and from thence forth, those who remain and give heed to His revelation, shall abound in the joy of their sanctified experience and God will have a united people”
awaken to repentance, a humbling experience
Come my Brothers and Sisters, together let us rise to the challenge, take up the work before us and bring before God a Holy and united people.
LET US BE ONE