Brother Joseph F. Smith has published a monthly news letter since 2012. It’s most recent edition includes his testimony from his trip to Brazil. It can be viewed here.
We’ve made an effort to gather some of the most frequently asked questions and compile them with answers. This will be a “living” page in that we expect to keep adding to it over time. So rather than having it get lost in the blog roll we made a separate page for easy reference. You will see a link to the FAQ’s in the menu at the top. But it can also be viewed here.
Attached at the link below is Brother Bob Moore’s write up of Moroni’s interpretation of the prophecy of Joseph of Egypt contained in 2 Nephi 2 [RLDS], 2 Nephi 3 [LDS]
NOTE: Updated on December 26, 2017
There is a lot being passed around by some who have half the picture. This is my fault, for I did not make the whole story clear in my testimony this past Sunday. If I had tried to do so it would have taken much more time. If we will remember, the Lord said through Joseph Jr. that if this people would not do the work He has asked them to do, He would raise up a people who would.
Consider, we have used up 180 some years and the City New Jerusalem is not established, nor do we have Zion. With the division and contention we see in the branches where are we to find a people who will work together to do His purpose? “And it shall come to pass in that day, that the Lord shall set his hand again the second time to recover the remnant of his people, …” (Isaiah 11:11) “But behold, there shall be many at that day, when I shall proceed to do a marvelous work among them, that I may remember my covenants which I have made unto the children of men, that I may set my hand again the second time to recover my people, which are the house of Israel; …” (2 Nephi 12:42 [RLDS])
He is setting His hand the second time because we have failed to do His bidding, and we have rested more on the arm of flesh than on the words of the prophets and the words of the Lord contained in the revelations. In this event let me testify to all that the whole trip and the events that transpired were arranged and directed by the Lord. I knew before I went to Brazil, that I would baptize some, I did not know how many. I also knew who I was directed to ordain to the priesthood.
There are always questions when something new comes up, especially when it involves changes in our organizational theory and understanding. This event where the Lord is setting His hand the second time for sure cast questions upon our present purposed process, but perhaps with prayer and repentance we can receive the word from the Lord one way or the other.
Make sure the answers come from the Lord. Perhaps it would be best to hearken to the advice of Gamaliel “And now I say unto you, Refrain from these men, and let them alone: for if this counsel or this work be of men, it will come to nought: But if it be of God, ye cannot overthrow it; lest haply ye be found even to fight against God.” (Acts 5:38-39)
Revelation given through Joseph Luff, February 19, 1930 at the Church on the Temple Lot
Oh ye who have made covenant with God, and delight yourselves in the assurance of His fidelity, and have hope in the triumph of His purpose; Who say, His promises fail not and in their fulfillment we shall have honor and glory; while yet your doings vitiate your heirship thereto and invite not approval but rather reproof.
Who cry, “Love all men as Christ hath loved,” yet love not. Who pray, “Forgive us, Lord, as we forgive,” yet forgive not; but seek your redress as the godless do, and find delight in parading what ye account to be the wrongs of others. Would ye thus be forgiven of your Lord?
Who seek to fatten yourselves upon the fruit of the folly of your brethren and declare God’s favor in your increase.
Who delve into the tombs of your sires in service for tokens of their erring, that by sowing these you might gather unto yourselves a harvest from the yield of disappointment and distrust, and in this have spent your energy rather than in declaring the gospel unto men. From whence have you learned that this is your calling? Or that by so doing ye give honor to God? Make answer to yourselves and be ye judges thereof.
Who have interpreted the scriptures to your liking and have declared the glory of the gospel triumph to be dependent upon the building of a house by human hands. Who with this idol in your hearts have poured forth your prayers and counsels continually, until your zeal’s fruition and the product of your contentions is manifest in deception and dismay.
Who now seek to defend the steps unwisely taken, by feigning a discovery of both Satan and God in the current and channel of your revelations, and think that the stream from which you drank nourishment has now become poison, yet fail nevertheless to discern or confess that the poison ye deplore is manifest in the works ye seek to defend.
Who hear not, from the spectacles of your blundering a call for repentance but in blindness limit the need for repentance to those from whom you hold yourselves separate. Awake from your delusion while time is yours, lest the disappointment which is your present portion shall be but a whisper compared with the thundering that will follow.
The temple of your purposing ye shall not be permitted to build as ye have planned nor will ye gather from the field of your present sowing a harvest of satisfaction. Upon the ruin of your brother’s hopes ye shall not erect a monument for Christ hath not, as ye have imagined, discarded the assemblage of his former choosing. His mercy and His purpose alike await the repentance of all who have named His name, but who in the shadow of fleshly interposition and carnal maneuvering have misplaced their confidence and deprived themselves meanwhile of the abundance of His promised out-pouring of good yet count themselves rich in their poverty. 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 thenceforth those who remain and give heed to His revealment shall abound in the joy of their sanctified experience and God shall have a united people.
Cease, therefore, your clamor of superiority and your denunciation of human frailty elsewhere and give yourselves to the righteousness of humility and self-abasement, that the Kingdom of Heaven for whose coming ye pray may not be compelled to exclude you but rather include you at it’s appearing.
Give heed and let not stubbornness or pride deprive you of the good that awaits contrition. Open the door at which the Spirit knocks and It’s entering will mean the increase of your peace and the effectiveness of your service; but whosoever shall bar It’s entrance will invite the ill from which It’s mission is to save them.
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, 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.
And inasmuch as my people build an house unto me, in the name of the Lord, and do not suffer any unclean thing to come into it, that it be not defiled, my glory shall rest upon it; yea, and my presence shall be there, for I will come into it, and all the pure in heart that shall come into it, shall see God: but if it be defiled I will not come into it, and my glory shall not be there, for I will not come into unholy temples.
And now, behold, if Zion do these things, she shall prosper and spread herself and become very glorious, very great, and very terrible; and the nations of the earth shall honor her, and shall say, Surely Zion is the city of our God; and surely Zion cannot fall, neither be moved out of her place, for God is there, and the hand of the Lord is there, and he hath sworn by the power of his might to be her salvation, and her high tower.
RLDS Doctrine and Covenants 94:3-5b
A description of the house of the Lord, which is to be built first, in Zion:
This house of the Lord for the presidency, is eighty seven feet long, and sixty one feet wide, and ten feet taken off of the east end for the stairway, leaves the inner court, seventy eight feet by sixty one, which is calculated and divided for seats in the following manner, viz: The two aisles four feet wide each; the middle of the pews, are eleven feet ten inches long, and three feet wide each; and the two lines drawn through the middle, are four inches apart; in which space a curtain is to drop at right angles, and divide the house into four parts if necessary. The pews of the side blocks, are fourteen and a half feet long and three feet wide. The five pews in each corner of the house, are twelve feet six inches long. The open spaces, between the corner and side pews are for fire places; those in the west are nine feet wide, and the east ones are eight feet and eight inches wide, and the chimney carried up, in the wall where they are marked with a pencil.
The pulpit in the west end of the house is to be occupied by the high priesthood, as follows: Number one, is for the president and his council. Nurnber two, is for the bishop and his council. Number three for the high priests; and number four for the elders: each of these are eight feet long, containing three coves or stands for the respective speakers; and those seats opposite them are for visiting officers, who are to occupy seats according to their respective grades. The two spaces in the middle are stairs two feet wide. The middle pulpit is to be elevated; the first seats one foot, the second two feet, the third three feet, and the fourth four feet. And those upon each side are also to be elevated: the first one eight inches, the second sixteen, the third twenty four, the fottrth thirty two inches. The corner seats are to be occupied by singers and elevated; the first seat six inches, the second twelve, the third eighteen, the fourth twenty-four, and the fifth thirty two inches.
The pulpit in the east end of the house is to be occupied by the lesser priesthood. Number one is for the presidency of the lesser priesthood; number two for the priests: number three for the teachers: and number four for the deacons; and the seats by their sides, are also to be occupied by visiting officers; each one opposite his respective grade, &c. The pulpits are to be done off with panel work, in the best workmanlike manner, and the building to be composed of stone and brick of the best kind. The side view represents five windows in each story. The windows are to have each forty eight lights, of seven by nine glass, six one way and eight the other; the sides and lintels of the windows to be of hewn stone; end on the top of the lintel is to be a gothic top, as you see, but the windows must have a lintel; and so with the outside doors, all with gothic tops.
Make your house fourteen feet high between the floors. There will not be a gallery but a chamber; each story to be fourteen feet high, arched over head, with an eliptic arch, over each of the stories. Let the under part, or foundation of the house, be of stone, let it be raised sufficiently high to admit of banking up so high as to admit of a descent every way from the house, so far as to divide the distance between the house, and the one next to it. On the top of those stone, and above the embankment, let there be two rows of hewn stone, and then commence the brick on the hewn stone.— The entire height of the house, twenty eight feet, each story being fourteen feet; make the wall a sufficient thickness for a house of this size.
Observe particularly that as there are pulpits at each end of the house, the backs of the congregetion must be to one of them, and they will want occasionally to change. In order for this, the house must have pews instead of slips, and in the pews let the seats be loose, so as to slip from one side of the pew to the other, so as to face either pulpit, as occasion may require.
The end view represents five windows of the same size as the side, the middle windows excepted, which is to be the same, with the addition of sidelights. This middle window is designed to light both above and below, as the upper floor is to be laid off in the same way as the lower, and arched overhead, with curtains, or veils, as before mentioned.
You will be careful to have hooks and rings to suspend your vails on, so that they can be let down or raised at any time, at pleasure. —Also, as you see, the pulpits are to have four seats, one rising above another; for instance, the elders seat is the lowest, next comes the high priests, next the bishop’s; so each of these must have a vail that is suspended on the upper floor, so as to be let down; which will at any time when necessary be let down, and shut off each stand or scat by itself.
The doors are to be five feet wide, and nine feet high, and to be in the east end of the house. The west end is to have no doors, but in other respects to be like the east, except the windows are to be opposite the alleys which run east and west. The roof of the house to have one fourth pitch, the door to have gothic top, as the windows. The shingles of the roof to be painted before they are put on. There is to be a fan light, as you see. The windows and doors are all to have venetians; a belfry in the east end, and a bell of very large size.— June 25th, 1833.
From “Times and Seasons” Volume 6, Pages 787-787